Unthreaded #43

For OT links and non-topical points. Editorially, I prefer that readers stick to short points and not try to solve all the problems of the world in 3 paragraphs or prove or disprove the entire apparatus of climate science in 4 sentences. Try to avoid using adjectives. A whole lot of comments containing adjectives end up making a very uninteresting thread for readers. At present, I’m deleting many comments that do not comply with blog policies requiring politeness, avoiding angriness, venting and editorializing.


  1. Stacey
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 8:21 AM | Permalink


    This is a Point of view by Clive James which I picked up at Watts.

    He mentions Hermann Kahn who to all intents and purposes used to predict things which would happen in 25 years time and of course would never be proven. The theme is developed in a very humerous and intelligent way. “Deadman” at Watts is asking if anyone has a transcript?

  2. LMB
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 8:26 AM | Permalink


    Don’t you think the Toronto Star article on you deserves a new thread? Are you being humble?


    I think there will be more articles with your important points of view if you highlight the new ones a bit more. At a time when the media is underreporting, I think it’s important to give the stuff they actually publish more attention.

    • Calvin Ball
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

      That story is also showing up on several blogs. Here is the key sentence from the whole piece:

      And here’s where the business and academic worlds collide.

      If everyone understood the real meaning of that sentence, they’d understand exactly why these annoying bloggers are always nipping at the ankles of these scientists with these infernal FIOA requests.

  3. Robert in Calgary
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

    Can someone remind me – what is the question (or info) Steve has been asking about CO2 and warming? And how long has he been looking for this information?

    • Calvin Ball
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

      It isn’t for specific information per se, as I understand. It’s for someone, preferably the IPCC, to actually produce an “engineering quality” report describing how climate sensitivity is calculated or estimated. The number is the most pivotal value in the entire matter, and yet the way it’s arrived at is rather a hand wave, compared to the level of rigor that’s expected in commercial operations.

      • SteveGinIL
        Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 12:06 AM | Permalink

        Right. Whatever the value or formula or table used, it should be out there, agreed at least that THESE are the methods, so that everyone – friend or foe – knows what is being done and can test it out and adjust the METHODS themselves as reality dictates.

        These methods should have never been kept secret in the first place. All it has done is throw suspicion and make people want to find out what the hell is going on? And for what? Did they think they could fake it forever?

      • suricat
        Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 8:42 PM | Permalink

        Calvin Ball.

        “It isn’t for specific information per se, as I understand. It’s for someone, preferably the IPCC, to actually produce an “engineering quality” report describing how climate sensitivity is calculated or estimated.”

        There’s a problem here Calvin. The IPCC and scientists ‘report’ in the form of “papers”, but engineers don’t ‘report’ per se. They file costly patents!

        Do you know what? It’s impossible to file a ‘patent’ for a natural phenomenon! However, if someone provided me with sufficient financial incentive (like a science grant), I’d be happy to provide a report of “engineering quality”. Though the ‘science community’ probably wouldn’t accept it anyhow!

        Best regards, suricat.

  4. Joseph Miller
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 8:59 AM | Permalink

    In a time when many are increasingly concerned about censorship, particularly in Europe, but also in limited extent Canada and the US, is there a way that we may be able to download snapshots of your website? Perhaps bittorrent snapshots or some other way to get access to it. I have the methods to directly mirror the site, but I would consider it impolite without asking first.

    • Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 12:09 PM | Permalink


      With regards to Joseph Miller’s concern about censorship, (see entry above) I am beginning to believe that the most disturbing feature of the “Climategate” scandal is the attempt by the mainstream media to downplay its significance or to totally avoid it. Even normally anti-establishment journals have fallen in line with this unofficial policy. In the UK, a noted satirical magazine, “Private Eye”, whose reputation has been built upon disclosing such stories, fails to give it any column inches. At the opposite end of the spectrum, my own local paper, very traditional and conservative, has not once mentioned it. The paper does continue to promote a “Go Green” campaign, though. I suspect this action is dictated by the paper’s owners who are the Trinity Mirror organisation. Its most probably a nationally dictated policy that regional editors have to comply with. The BBC is giving the story some coverage but Rupert Murdoch’s Sky News is doing its best to ignore the story. From reading comments posted on this and other websites this seems to be an international phenomena. The press in Continental Europe may be even more reluctant to disclose the revelations of the story than their counterparts in the US and the UK. What is really going on?

      As an individual, what should I and other people do? None of the four letters I have written to my local paper about Climategate have been published, though it has published previous letters I have written to it critical of the consensus view of global warming.

      Ideas please.

  5. Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 9:00 AM | Permalink

    But if I could “solve all the problems of the world in 3 paragraphs or prove or disprove the entire apparatus of climate science in 4 sentences”, that would be acceptable?

    Chuckle !!

  6. aylamp
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    I posted my favourite quote from these e-mails – from Prof Phil Jones to John Christy – at the Bishops Hill blog on 22nd November without noting the filename.

    Using strings of words that I knew were in the e-mail didn’t get me the right file. However, I had already downloaded all the files into my pc. I now notice that the searchable version does not always show the entire e-mail. So here is an extract of Phil Jones’ mail to John Christy.


    “The science isn’t going to stop from now until AR4 comes out in early 2007, so we are going to have to add in relevant new and important papers. I hope it is up to us to decide what is important and new. So, unless you get something to me soon, it won’t be in this version. It shouldn’t matter though, as it will be ridiculous to keep later drafts without it. We will be open to criticism though with what we do add in subsequent drafts. Someone is going to check the final version and the Aug 12 draft. This is partly why I’ve sent you the rest of this email. IPCC, me and whoever will get accused of being political, whatever we do. As you know, I’m not political. If anything, I would like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences. This isn’t being political, it is being selfish.”

    “I would like to see the climate change happen” – this reads like Prof Jones is not confident that the climate will not change as the warmers predict/project!

  7. Fred
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 9:46 AM | Permalink

    Bishop Hill is on target . . . with Roman’s assistance.

    “Giorgio Gilestro takes issue with Willis Eschenbach’s attack on the credibility of the adjustments at Darwin. One should, he says, look at the big picture, and proceeds to an analysis of the adjustments showing that they are normally distributed and average to zero (i.e. there are as many upward adjustments as downwards ones).

    Hooray! says RealClimate author Eric Steig in the comments:

    This is a very nice analysis, and is really the last word on this entire fabricated scandal.”

    Not exactly 🙂


  8. LMB
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    Nice to see two new climategate blogs:



  9. Geo
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    Wow, nice sleaze job from the AP:

    “McIntyre, 62, of Toronto, was trained in math and economics and says he is “substantially retired” from the mineral exploration industry, which produces greenhouse gases.”

    Since the vast overwhelmingly percentage of industries produce greenhouse gases –including the news industry (unless they are peddling dynamos to power their computers. . . which would increase respiration anyway, and thus add to greenhouse gases)– the only obvious point there is to sleaze Steve.

    Maybe. . .maybe. . . the plant nursery industry doesn’t produce net greenhouse gases. . . any others? I’m struggling to think of a second.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

      I don’t care if he’s CEO of Exxon – his arguments are factual and correct. And in the rare case thathe makes an error he welcomes correction. Shit, the guy puts his turnkey code online, invites his adversaries to use it against him, and gives them space on his blog to do so. Who gives a shit about motive when you’re that open?

      • Geo
        Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

        And what percentage of people reading the AP piece would know that? Great, they failed with you.

    • Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

      Any industry fits; ” . . . from the health care industry, which produces greenhouse gases.”

      The health care industry, by the way, also produces low-level radioactive wastes.

    • Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 4:24 PM | Permalink

      One needs to be more than “substantially retired” to stop contributing to greehouse gasses. One needs to be dead!

    • R. Craigen
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

      Plant Nurseries per se might not be net producers of CO2 but the wider commercial greenhouse industry is. Indeed, to optimize plant growth and production greenhouse operators pump CO2 from artificial sources into the houses. Plants love it, and respond with huge increases in growth, much healthier plants, and much more fruit per square meter. Although it costs to inject the CO2 into the environment it is more than compensated in production.

      They become net producers of CO2 for an obvious reason: greenhouses are not hermetically sealed, and although they love the CO2 and absorb what they can the plants only use a small fraction of that which is added. The rest is dispersed in the environment (to provide similar benefit to plants everywhere.

      A few obvious observations.

      1. There is a far better reason to call CO2 a “greenhouse gas” than it’s ability to trap photons in a very narrow frequency range.

      2. Plants know something the vegetables at CRU and IPCC don’t — the healthiest CO2 levels are far above those in the atmosphere today, industrial emissions and all. From the thousands of studies that support this conclusion it appears that the ideal amount of atmospheric CO2 from the perspective of the health of the biosphere are between 2 and 3 times the current levels. Unfortunately these levels are beyond the reach of our industrial plant-food economy. Even if we burnt every drop of fossil fuel in the known reserves, we could not reach the optimal level for plants.

      3. The EPA notwithstanding, CO2 is NOT a pollutant.

      To check out the amazing facts about increased CO2 and plant growth check out the CO2 science summaries at CO2science.org

  10. Sarge6
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

    So far Warmergate has been an opportunity for remedial education in the scientific method re: openness – state all your premises and assumptions, make your data available, provide a pathway for reproducible results.

    But here’s the thing that bothers me and that I’d like to see some reflection about. Right now this is all fixed on the CRU and the IPCC and the hockey stick and dendrochronology and all of that. And I confess that I was not paying attention to all of this in the last 10-15 years (past my undergraduate geology survey course professor who despised APGW). But now that I’m reading everything I can find on Warmergate, this has occurred to me: how in the hell, over the past 10-15 years, did CRU and the IPCC and Al Gore all of them sell this plaqtform for APGW without even, it appears, trying to satisfy one other fundamental principle of the scientific method: to advance one cause, you must rule out or eliminate all other reasonably possible causes? Did no one try to throw up that roadblock in the last 15 years (other than the astronomy community that lately has been looking at sunspot or solar radiation correlation)? So I know I’d really appreciate some deeply-thought musings on what Warmergate has to say about this colossal scientific failure.

    • Michael Smith
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 11:01 AM | Permalink

      Sarge6 asked:

      “how in the hell, over the past 10-15 years, did CRU and the IPCC and Al Gore all of them sell this plaqtform for APGW without even, it appears, trying to satisfy one other fundamental principle of the scientific method: to advance one cause, you must rule out or eliminate all other reasonably possible causes?”

      I think they did it with an argument based on the climate models — which are alleged to include all causal factors that can account for short-term climate change. The only way to get these models to show the warming of the 20th century is to use a CO2 forcing plus positive water vapor feedback. Thus, the argument is that all other factors have been eliminated and man must be to blame.

      This is an attempt at induction by a process of elimination. This can be a valid argument, but it carries a *very* heavy burden of proof indeed. For this argument to work, there cannot be any significant evidence that the models may have missed some causal factor.

      The existence of a Medieval Warm Period would be precisely such evidence and would invalidate their attempted induction. Hence, the importance of the hockey stick to their position.

    • aylamp
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

      Sarge6: “to advance one cause, you must rule out or eliminate all other reasonably possible causes?”

      I think that CRU and colleagues were able to “rule out” certain evidence, as in:

      “we are going to have to add in relevant new and important papers. I hope it is up to us to decide what is important and new.”


    • SteveGinIL
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 3:26 AM | Permalink

      I love this all!

      People are actually addressing these questions. These questions that should have been asked long ago. A big thank you to Steve for staying with it, for all the people who come here and keep him invigorated for the good fight.

      Sarge6, you area so very close to my own take on it all, which is this:




      No. The debate was never held.

      Sarge6: “to advance one cause, you must rule out or eliminate all other reasonably possible causes?”

      I got into this in the first place to find the studies those studies that rule out those “other reasonably possible causes”. I found out pretty damned quick that those studies DID NOT EXIST.

      THOSE STUDIES SHOULD ALL PREDATE 1988, if they exist. Post-1988 ones could not have been part of the mix from which the IPCC conclusions came in 1988. Not without time travel. Post-1988 studies should all have been listed as “corroborative,” at best. I have seen mention of later studies that claimed to prove such and such was not a factor; however, I did not read them as such myself. And for something as broad as AGW, one study is wholly inadequate. For every one of those that suggested GW or AGW, I saw a lot of data in confict with them. With some evidence supporting and some conflicting, to me the issue is an open question.

      And with that open question, precipitous policies seemed completely misguided and dangerous. I keep coming back to our handling of the wolf population in Yellowstone Park, and how everything we did WITH THE BEST OF INTENTIONS made the situation worse.

      In every single discussion with people who have not taken the time to be informed on the weaknesses in the AGW claims, the final argument addressed to me is, “But what if they are right?”

      That is not an argument, but a plea that Bambi’s mother not be shot.

      If they are right, it is incumbent on them to prove it – not 100%, but to a reasonable certainty. Their claims should from the beginning have been subjected to critical questioning by skeptical scientists and a public that had an attitude of “put up or shut up,” like every other scientific hypothesis.

      That debate is now, at least a little bit, beginning to occur to people.

      I find myself actually grinning at the prospect of tough questions and pompous Michael Mann, stammering.

      Thanks Steve and thanks Sarge6.


  11. Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    In my first experience with GHCN data, I found that the Antarctic warming is 8 times higher than actual.


    and for the last 17years the whole continent is represented by one station.

    and it happens to be in the penninsula region.

    And it happens to be the highest trend station.

    • Third Party
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

      (1134418588.txt) 2005!

      From: Tom Wigley
      To: Phil Jones
      Subject: HadCRUT2v
      Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 15:16:28 -0700
      Cc: Tim Osborn , Ben Santer


      Why is there so much missing data for the South Pole? The period Jan 75 thru Dec 90 is all missing except Dec 81, July & Dec 85, Apr 87, Apr & Sept 88, Apr 89. Also, from and including Aug 2003 is missing.

      Also — more seriously but correctable. The S Pole is just represented by a single box at 87.5S (N Pole ditto I suspect). This screws up area averaging. It would be
      better to put the S Pole value in ALL boxes at 87.5S.

      I have had to do this in my code — but you really should fix the ‘raw’ gridded data.

      For area averages, the difference is between having the S Pole represent the whole
      region south of 85S, and having (as now) it represent one 72nd of this region. It is pretty obvious to me what is better.

      This affects the impression of missing data too of course.


      • SteveGinIL
        Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 3:44 AM | Permalink


        The other day I read something about New Zealand, and how few met stations they have, and got to wondering (I can’t look up every single thing; I simply don’t have the time) if those were being used to represent a large area of the Pacific (since I know there are very few open ocean data points).

        Then earlier today I buzzed by Chiefio’s site at Chiefio.wordpress.com, and one link was specifically talking about New Zealand and how ALL their met stations are at airports, suggesting that the UHI index for those stations is throwing off the data for all of NZ.

        Now, your comment makes me realize I need to put those two ideas together and realize those (probably) high UHI stations represent a A LARGE area of ocean, too.

        But it also makes me recall a chart from the first week I started reading up on all this, a world map that showed blue and orange blotches for cool and warm areas. That map showed the SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE very, very warm, (most of the northern hemisphere – especially the US – showed blue) and I have to wonder how much that warming FOR THE WHOLE Southern hemisphere was due to those NZ airport met stations and their UHI numbers.

        When the areas with the greatest coverage by met stations shows the least warming, it seems unbelievable that no one stopped and asked if their methodology was somehow giving a false impression.

        IMHO, scientists tend to not question results/data that are in harmony with what they expect to see. If they questioned those as much as they question contradictory results/data, science would be the wiser for it.

      • Third Party
        Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

        To be fair, someone posted this one that I more recently came across. It would appear the Jones did do some work on enhancing his Antarctic data as time went on.

        From: Phil Jones
        To: David Parker
        Subject: Re: Visit to Met Office
        Date: Tue Feb 10 16:42:03 2009
        Cc: Peter Thorne , “Simpson, Ian.R”

        David, Peter, Ian,
        Let’s go for the week with Feb 25/26 in it. I could come down for late on the 25th then spend most of the 26th discussing Ian’s work and also the Antarctic ideas. Presumably John Prior and others will be available at some point on the 26th.

        The Antarctic surface T data that are in CRUTEM3 have come from my searches over the years and also from READER. Much of the
        early stuff in READER has come from the archives here, except where BAS have got the original digitized data from the Antarctic
        Institutes in all the countries.

        I also have some files of when some of the manned stations on the ice have moved. These are forced moves, as the station moves, but they have never been accounted for. Halley and Casey are affected. There are issues to discuss about the AWSs and also, as David knows from AOPC, work that Wisconsin are doing in putting together all the historic US series. I’ve talked to them about this – mainly to try and stop them calculating mean T a different way. If they do this it will
        screw their series up. It all relates to them saying that the mean of min and max is not a great way in the Antarctic to calculate mean T.

        They say they can now do the mean of every 3 hours, but it needs the historic series and the routine updating to change at the same
        time – which is unlikely to happen.


    • Norbert
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 12:07 AM | Permalink

      This graph by NASA GISS appears to give a more varied picture for 1955 -> 2005 annual mean temperatures, and, if I’m not mistaken, says that the southern most part of Antarctica has been cooling.

      • Norbert
        Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 12:10 AM | Permalink

  12. Dave Shepherd
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    A letter in today’s Sunday Telegraph:

    SIR – What is it about climate change that makes apparently well-educated people so readily abandon their powers of independent thought?

    Christopher Booker’s claim (December 6) that “the world’s weightiest climate data has been distorted” is dangerous nonsense that must not be allowed to go unchallenged.

    Does Mr Booker not question why the people behind these claims choose to publish their findings on blogs, rather than in the peer-reviewed international journals of climate science?

    The democratisation of science is very welcome, but only if the debate is prevented from drifting unrecognisably away from the underpinning consensus provided by expert peer review.

    Dr Paul Williams
    Royal Society Research Fellow
    University of Reading, Reading

    So apparently debate is OK provided it doesn’t challenge the consensus… And this from a Royal Society Research Fellow.

    • Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

      This is a startlingly circular argument, begun by an appeal for independent thinking. Skeptics are saying that the process out of which peer-reviewed articles are produced is skewed towards one conclusion. Dr Williams retorts that skepticism should be left to the people being skepted (sp?). It’s breathtaking.

    • Calvin Ball
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

      The democratisation of science is very welcome, but only if the debate is prevented from drifting unrecognisably away from the underpinning consensus provided by expert peer review.

      Holy crimeny. That’s like the Pope saying that the Protestant Reformation is very welcome as long as they don’t challenge the dogmas of the church. That kind of misses the whole point doesn’t it?

      Did he even proofread what he wrote?

    • henry
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

      “…the underpinning consensus provided by expert peer review…”

      And that’s the problem – getting a true definition of “peer-review”.

      This is something a climate scientist can answer.

      1. What journals do you consider to be “peer-reviewed”?

      2. What things make an journal an acceptable “peer-reviewed” journal?

      • SteveGinIL
        Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 4:06 AM | Permalink

        henry –

        Good point, “getting a true definition of peer review.” Besides the point of the journals not requiring the AGW people to provide the underlying raw data, there is also this:

        Climatology is a science that is to a high degree number-crunching data. Who are the “peers” when the numbers come to be crunched? Are they field scientists? Are they mathematicians? Are they only those who do both? If only mathematicians, should the field people have a say? If only field people, their expertise in the mathematics may not be up to snuff.

        Einstein used a mathematician to do his heavy math work.

        The main thing Steve is providing them is that mathematician to review their math. That sounds like peer review to me.

    • R. Craigen
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

      “Christopher Booker’s claim (December 6) that “the world’s weightiest climate data has been distorted” is dangerous nonsense that must not be allowed to go unchallenged.”

      Mr. Williams’ finding the Chris Booker’s claim is “dangerous” cannot be taken seriously; I challenge it on the basis that it appeared in a Letter to the Editor in a daily political pulp newspaper, “rather than in the peer-reviewed international journals of climate science”.


  13. TA
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

    I would like to see a comprehensive article from someone on the skeptic side responding to claims that methane is bubbling up from the Arctic. This claim seems to ratchet up the fear factor of the warmists quite a few notches. A recent google search for “arctic methane skeptic” (without quotes) did not turn up anything very convincing from a skeptics point of view. In addition, site searches on ClimateAudit and WUWT did not, either. I would like to put this issue more or less to rest in my own mind, if possible. So for all the knowledgeable skeptics reading, this is my entry into the suggestion box.

    • fFreddy
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

      I would like to see some hard data demonstrating that “methane is bubbling up from the Arctic”. Can you provide any ?

      • TA
        Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

        No, I can’t. I only see claims of this all over the place.

        • fFreddy
          Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 3:03 PM | Permalink

          OK. It won’t surprise you that, by this late stage of the game, I’m not very concerned about claims of global warming related catastrophe that I see all over the place.
          If you find yourself arguing this with someone, I suggest “show me the data” as your opening line. Remember, it is not up to us to prove that there isn’t a problem; it is up to the warmists to prove that there is a problem.

        • TA
          Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 9:57 PM | Permalink

          I will agree with you in theory. However, in actual practice, people swayed by the warmists expect skeptics to have counter-evidence even when the warmists have not proven their case. It isn’t exactly a level playing field.

        • fFreddy
          Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 3:04 AM | Permalink

          Yes, that’s very true.
          I’m afraid I have no useful knowledge on the subject, but would refer you to comments below.

        • R. Craigen
          Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

          Nor have I more than a cursory knowledge of the matter. But sometimes wisdom and simple logic is of more value than knowledge.

          If the fear is simply that global warming is causing methane, which has been presumably stored there for millions of years, to bubble up into the atmosphere and that this methane “clearly will lead to” to certain disaster, one must step back and look at the big picture. Today’s climate optimum is not as warm — nor as SUSTAINED as the Medieval Warming Period 1000 years ago. Even that warming is dwarfed by the Holocene Climate Optimum only a few thousand years ago.

          If heating the planet leads unquestionably to massive outgassing of methane, which then leads inexorably to disaster, one must consider the fact that during neither the MWP nor the HCO did such a disaster occur. Indeed, these are called climate optima for a very simple reason: they are the OPPOSITE of disasters!

          From what little I’ve read on the matter it appears that deep ocean and clathrate methane outgassing is not a NEW phenomena — it is only studied and measured in recent years. We have every reason to believe this has been going on for millenia … and disaster has not resulted.

          But whether or not a link can be establised between it and the current warming (everything I’ve read thus far on the matter indicates such a link remains in the realm of pure speculation) is really beside the point, when one realises that, even if such a link exists, before crying wolf one must have reason to believe that there is a wolf — and the prima facie evidence appears to strongly indicate that there is not. Consider the two most recent climate optima: Show me the disaster!

          That’s what you should be asking your friends.

        • gdn
          Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 6:54 PM | Permalink

          “If the fear is simply that global warming is causing methane, which has been presumably stored there for millions of years, to bubble up into the atmosphere and that this methane “clearly will lead to” to certain disaster, one must step back and look at the big picture. Today’s climate optimum is not as warm — nor as SUSTAINED as the Medieval Warming Period 1000 years ago. Even that warming is dwarfed by the Holocene Climate Optimum only a few thousand years ago.”

          Even if the Medieval Warming Period were a localized effect, this area part of the area it would have been localized to.

        • gdn
          Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 6:55 PM | Permalink

          Even if the Medieval Warming Period were a localized effect, this is part of the area it would have been localized to.

      • BlueIce2HotSea
        Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

        Arctic ocean methane from clathrates seem a legitimate issue. The permafrost sources on land alone are estimated to contain as much carbon as 60% of the atmosphere. Plus, the Antarctic reservoir has not even yet been estimated.

        • Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

          CO2 from these sources is not much of a concern,

          Arctic Permafrost May Not Hasten Global Warming, Study Says (Bloomberg)

          Study Rules Out Ancient ‘Bursts’ of Methane From Seafloor Deposits (Oregon State University)

        • BlueIce2HotSea
          Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

          “..not much of a concern..” is good news for positive feedback due to AGW and past interglacial temperatures. However, ‘something’ could cause a release so that makes it a legitimate issue to study.

          And it is certainly is of interest to those that might extract energy from this resource.

        • SteveGinIL
          Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

          Hydrates are present in MANY places under the sea floor around the world. Why are we supposed to be worried about the ones under permafrost and not the others?

          Does anyone have any idea?

    • mitch
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

      see dec09 issue of scientific american

      “methane: a menace surfaces”

      ignore author’s alarmist tone, as there’s lots of interesting observations and information.

      unfortunately the article ends with
      “to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide and thereby slow permafrost thaw, we all must confront the elephant in the room: people burning fossil fuels”

      which ignores the assertion in the article that methane outgassing from melted permafrost helped end the last ice age.

      • fFreddy
        Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 11:43 AM | Permalink

        Thanks. What are the actual observations ?

        • mitch
          Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

          permafrost melts, subsides, hole fills with water, with methane the product of anaerobic decomposition of plant material in these lakes.

          gas is visibly outgassing. author claims to have observed methane bubbles under lake ice:
          “I stabbed an iron spear into one big white pocket and a wind rushed upward. I struck a match, which ignited a flame that shot up five meters high, knocking me backward, burning my face and singeing my eyebrows. Methane!”

          raw numbers: 14 – 35MTons of methane a year released. claimed their climate model predicted a 0.32 deg C rise. no info on how model was validated. cites IPCC as source of credible climate models.

          interesting quote:
          “Evidence from polar ice-core records and radiocarbon dating of ancient drained lake basins has revealed that 10,000 to 11,000 years ago thermokarst lakes contributed substantially to abrupt climate warming – up to 87% of the Northern Hemisphere methane that helped to end the Ice Age.”

          author provides two anecdotes about the number of mammal bones, one of them:
          “It is also hard not to stub one’s toe on the plethora of scattered bones: woolly rhinoceros, mammoth, Pleistocene lion, bear and horse.”

          radiocarbon dating of the methane: 43,000 years old.

          could this be the source of the abrupt cycles we see over and over in data like http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/metadata/noaa-icecore-2475.html ?

        • fFreddy
          Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 2:59 AM | Permalink

          mitch, thank you, guess I will have to go contribute a fiver to SciAm’s coffers.
          Immediate questions, how significant is 14-35MTons of methane by comparison to existing natural methane flow ?
          And “radiocarbon dating of the methane: 43,000 years old” … doesn’t that put it smack in the middle of the last period of glaciation ? How does that work ?

        • mitch
          Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 4:13 AM | Permalink

          i broke down and bought this issue. lots of info here. it’s easy to ignore the author’s obvious bias since she seems to be a relatively newly minted phd.

          author claims that permafrost will become dominant methane emitter by 2100. haven’t checked carbon date against ice core proxies yet. the author claims that permafrost contains 950 tons of carbon worldwide, and fascinating the amount of animal bones. at one point this area could support a much greater number of large mammals, so assumed it was much warmer, but how did the area freeze before the carbon could decompose? is there a natural temperature oscillation associated with this carbon reservoir? richard alley’s data linked to the first answer shows that our current temps seem to be increasing as they have many times in the past. hypothesis: there is a natural mechanism that drives periodic swings in global temps. now, tie it to naughty mankind squandering fossil fuels and speculate all sorts of catastrophes to result and maybe i can get some grant $$ 😉

        • SteveGinIL
          Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 12:43 PM | Permalink

          Mitch – Two questions: Is the specific location mentioned? And what kind of animal bones? There are quite a few locations in the far north of Siberia that have huge deposits of bones from very large mammals (hippos, mammoths, etc.) for which there is no current good explanation how the animals survived so far north. The prodigious amounts of vegetation consumed by these animals simply does not exist so far north.

          Also, 43,000 years old ties in with the age of some of the mammoth skeletons found, but certainly not with the end of the last ice age.

          I would also be interested in how they arrived at the 43,000 year dating – C14 or other things found in the same stratum?

        • mitch
          Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 8:31 PM | Permalink

          Cherski in SE Siberia is one of the areas studied. Author Katey Walter Anthony is a research prof at U. of Alaska Fairbanks Water and Environmental Research Center.

          re: carbon age
          “The radiocarbon age of the gas, up to 43,000 years old in some places pointed to yedoma as the culprit.”

          what kind of heller microbes are these? the author states that methane is bubbling up under the ice. the water must be around 4deg C (temp at which water most dense). i’ve never seen any such microbial decomposition in winter anywhere here in the lower 48.

          also wondering if these deposits are a source of co2 emissions, as in the summer months aerobic decomposition should occur above the thermocline where oxygen can mix with the water.

          at some point these regions were warm enough to grow enough grass to support large animal populations – perhaps with the help of methane *and* co2 from this source?

        • mitch
          Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 4:49 AM | Permalink

          oops, my typo, “950 tons” is actually “950 billion tons”

        • Dave Dardinger
          Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

          I might point out for reference that the lower ocean contains about 43,000 gigatons of carbon (if I recall correctly offhand. So the total in permafrost is only about 2% of that figure. And the amount of fossil fuels burned each year only contains some 1% of the permafrost amount.

        • mitch
          Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 8:00 PM | Permalink

          that’s correct. the usgs estimates are amazing
          “The worldwide amounts of carbon bound in gas hydrates is conservatively estimated to total twice the amount of carbon to be found in all known fossil fuels on Earth.”


        • mitch
          Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 8:13 PM | Permalink

          global warming potential factors in the lifetime of the molecule. the 100 yr gwp for methane is 24x that of co2, and 20 yr gwp is 72x, what is 1 yr gwp? not sure how they measure will read ipcc 2001 for details.

        • Patrick M
          Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

          “raw numbers: 14 – 35MTons of methane a year released. claimed their climate model predicted a 0.32 deg C rise. no info on how model was validated. cites IPCC as source of credible climate models.”

          Yet methane increases in atmosphere have moderated in recent years.
          It has flattened out. CH4 doesnt have a long lifespan in the atmosphere, so unless the outgassing is greater now than before, the rate of increase will be no larger.

          “author claims that permafrost will become dominant methane emitter by 2100.”
          This is one of those claims that requires 4C-6C type rise to come true.

    • Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

      First, if it is really bubbling, it is bubbling at the same rate as in 40ties: Arctic temperature is more-less the same;

      Second, from Figure 3 it is clear, the methane is bubbling from Myanmar or Congo or Cleveland, but not from Arctic;

      Third, while at it, from Figure 2 from the link above, Sudan should pay to developed world for its CO2 emissions.. btw, why the average color is everything else but 388ppm?

    • tty
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 6:54 PM | Permalink

      It was something like 10 degrees (centigrade) warmer in Siberia during the previous interglacial, but no noticeable increase in methane resulted, so I tend to doubt that the process is of any importance.

      There is undoubtedly methane bubbling up in swamps here and there in the Arctic, like everywhere, but I have never seen any hard data that suggests that the quantities are significant, compared to e. g. rice paddies or thermite nests.

      • Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

        Indeed, the previous interglacial showed Arctic (Alaska) temperatures about 5 degr.C higher than today, but global methane levels (measured in ice cores) were only 700 ppbv, while we currently measure about 1800 ppbv. Thus there is no imminent danger of a collapse of methane hydrates…

  14. Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

    Steve, great shot of you at Macleans:


    And what do you think of my speculation Climategate was initiated from inside CRU? My top candidate is Briffa, but I am fairly sure the FOI data was collected around Briffa (look at the first email!).


    A stretch, I know. But IIRC Briffa reached out to you many times? There is even an email from Osborn about Briffa’s Yamal data delivery to you.

    Cheers, AJStrata

    Steve: At no time did Briffa ever express any sympathy or support for what I was doing. Quite the contrary – also evidenced in the Climategate Letters.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 6:57 PM | Permalink

      “IIRC Briffa reached out to you many times?”
      AJ, what gives you that idea? (I think your theory is highly improbable.)

      • Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

        I see someone who is grudgingly accepting tough criticism. That is not surprising, nor a sign he did not respect your efforts. And I guess that is the real question – did he respect your efforts near the end. As I noted in my post an Osborn email takes Gavin to task for alluding to your efforts as a dastardly deed done while Keith was ill. In that Osborn points out Briffa believed your request was being met before he was taken seriously ill, and then took the time to make sure it was met when he discovered otherwise.

        It may have been grudgingly done, but he was attempting to release the data.

        snip – let’s not speculate on this

        • Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 1:00 PM | Permalink

          Sorry, meant that to be a reply to Mr McIntyre.

          Bender, I thought I recall Briffa sending a response to Steve M about Yamal which I thought Steve posted snippets from. Did Briffa not comment here???


        • Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

          I stand corrected.

    • R. Craigen
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 2:01 PM | Permalink

      Interesting — but otherwise almost pure — speculation based on circumstantial evidence, AJ. Briffa would seem a candidate, but my money would be on Harry or his obviously frustrated programmer, who was clearly fed up with the whole affair. (…here follow my own purely speculative thoughts on the matter…)

      The nature of the FOIA archive, which was CLEARLY compiled inside CRU — and almost certainly in the open, or at least under an initiative openly known within the unit, even if its exact contents were not — is also up to now subject to speculation.

      I think we ought to be pressing those investigating to clarify the source of the archive itself: Was it being compiled for deletion, or for potential compliance with an FOI request? Who was responsible for its compilation? What was the criterion for inclusion in the archive? I believe all these questions have known answers inside CRU. In the current climate, one might even have a hope in Hell of getting a response to a clearly-worded FOI request asking for this information. From there one might speculate as to who blew the whistle.

      If they can’t locate the answers, at least the investigators could do a simple forensic search for all machines, and accounts, on which a copy of this archived folder has resided at any time in the last several years. It’s pretty hard to cover the tracks of such a thing, and I’m quite certain that a good sniffer dog should find traces of the FOIA business all over their servers.

      The Russians appear to believe (according to some stories) that they have made progress in determining how this archive ended up in their corner of the internet. If they are not bluffing it may be that we’ll have some forensic information fairly soon. Hopefully the MSM will not have tired of the issue too much to report on it at that time.

      In the meantime, our handy amateur data-mining community could try a few things I suspect haven’t yet been thought of.

      Foremost in my mind is this: It is clear that, however, and by whomever, the FOIA archive was compiled, it was done deliberately, either by hand (whew! big job!) or with some sort of filtering process, perhaps semiautomated. The bottom line: it should be compellingly clear that there was some underlying CRITERION (or multiple criteria) for inclusion in the archive. I don’t think we can conclude, however, that the building of the archive was, at the time of release, complete.

      I think a good data miner could, working from the leaked archive itself, answer some of the looming questions above, and probably backwards-compile, to a high degree of certainty, what the criteria for inclusion were. What are the common denominators in the emails (I mean besides the obvious)? In the emails, which senders/recipients are being filtered for inclusion or exclusion? This may be VERY telling in terms of a whistleblower.

      A good whistleblower would not want to finger themselves. Would they include themselves — so as not to stand out — or filter themselves out — to avoid any unnecessary scrutiny? I don’t know which, but I would think that if there was ANY deliberate action by a whistleblower in terms of their own identity, it would show up in an appropriate statistical analysis. It is almost impossible to tamper with a random dataset without leaving a nonrandom signal.

      Another question I don’t recall seeing an answer to: I presume that the redacted email addresses in the emails are not imposed by the publishers of the archive, but are built into it. This is probably a sure sign that they were being compiled, deliberately, for release. Has someone pinned down precisely how, and at what stage in the growth of the archive, this redaction occurred? Is this a requirement of internal CRU policy vis a vis compliance with FOI requests? Again, precise answers to these questions may point to the source.

      • mhaze
        Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 8:18 AM | Permalink

        What would be interesting would be to supoena the full transactions of the email servers and compare them with the released emails. One would think the full set would contain far more damaging material, unless the released set was compiled from such a complete archive. And in the latter case, was it compiled to contain damaging material that pointed only to certain individuals? Some work is needed on this.

        Also, it’s relatively easy to using linux commands to replace email headers such as “xxxxx”ing out things. This can be done to the contents of a directory as easily as a single file. So there may have been a lot of work involved in selecting the data subset which comprised the emails, but not in editing them.

  15. non
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

    Is there an accounting anywhere of what’s left of the original AGW theory? I seem to recall that they started with CO2 is a greenhouse gas, CO2 leads temperature increases historically, the computer models and the dendro stuff. It seems as though all that’s left is it’s getting warmer and the models – at least that’s what I got out of the recent Nature editorial. Is that really all they’ve got?

    Steve: No. As has been said here many times before.

  16. mitch
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 11:15 AM | Permalink

    very interesting site.

    do you only deal with tree ring proxy data? i’m interested in ice core proxies. is that something that you care to examine, or have examined?

    my assumption at this point is that for the time being tree ring proxies as published by the ipcc have been completely discredited.

    it appears to me the ice core data may be more complete, and hopefully more robust, and a rigorous public audit should confirm that.

    btw i remember a few years back studying temp data downloaded from a local monitoring station attempting to explain why winter snows seemed to come several weeks later than i remember happening in the 60s (i.e. why no white Christmas anymore). no hockey stick found.

    Steve: Ice cores are of interest. Analysis is hampered by Lonnie Thompson’s failure and refusal to archive tropical ice core data.

    • Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

      Mitch — See my https://climateaudit.org/2009/12/10/calibrating-dr-thompsons-z-mometer/.

      Also use CA search engine (in right margin) to find Steve’s “More Evasion by Thompson” (3/5/07), “Dunde: Will the Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up?” (4/12), “Juckes, Yang, Thompson and PNAS: Guliya” (12/3/06).

      • mitch
        Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

        thanks for the info, Hu.

        there are many within the scientific ‘community’ who seem prepared to offer competent critiques of the reports in question. do you think that a senate hearing would be a viable forum? my concern is that it may stray into outright denial of any temperature changes. shouldn’t we focus on the historic variation in temperatures?

        to me the criticisms of Dr. Richard Lindzen and many others, and the mutiny within the APS show that the wall is about to crack. how best to refute?

    • Not Sure
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

      I hope the attention generated by the CRU emails will pressure Dr. Thompson to finally release all the data he has gathered at taxpayer’s expense.

    • mitch
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

      hello steve,

      he averaged, then discarded the raw data?! sloppy indeed!

      i’ve only begun reviewing literature on this. i’m very interested in reviewing the original papers establishing the validity of the greenhouse effect. do you know/have a link to the oft cited definitive compilation edited by MacCracken in 1985?

      Steve: once again, there are other lines of evidence. I’m tired of pointing this out over and over again,

      at this point i am questioning everything about this issue. is this entire controversy based upon unvalidated models from the mid 80s? what objective measures exist to demonstrate that the ‘greenhouse effect’ is real?

      in my opinion climate science may be very close to being discredited after competent scientific review.

  17. Andy
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

    From the BBC here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8400905.stm

    “‘We’ve seen above average temperatures in most continents, and only in North America were there conditions that were cooler than average,’ said WMO secretary-general Michel Jarraud.”

    Perhaps if citizens in other parts of the world were more questioning and began detailed examinations of their own station data the WMO would be able to say temperatures throughout the world, not just in North America, have cooled.

  18. HankHenry
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

    TA, I wouldn’t doubt the claim that methane bubbles up from the arctic. My personal experience with river mud tells me that’s a quite plausible claim. What I would be curious about is what becomes of the methane released into the atmosphere. There must be some process that removes it from the atmosphere since it is a trace gas. I would guess that it oxidizes on it’s own at some gradual rate.

    • DeWitt Payne
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 12:28 PM | Permalink

      Atmospheric methane is oxidized to CO2. The current estimate of lifetime in the atmosphere is 12 years. (Table 1-1 page 73 of the pdf).

      • TA
        Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

        Thanks, that’s really helpful.

        Another useful angle is that central Greenland has typically been significantly warmer than it is today according to ice core proxies (see http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/09/hockey-stick-observed-in-noaa-ice-core-data/). It would seem that at those times, methane would have been bubbling just as today, yet disaster did not strike.

        (I made a similar methane-oriented comment over at the WUWT article.)

        However, even if we have the facts on our side, we do not have the PR. It’s hard to find anything compelling from skeptics on the current methane scare. I would like to see such an article in a prominent place such as CA or WUWT.

        This is not a demand, only a suggestion. I realize it’s easy for me to say “Hey, how about someone else write an article!” I would write it myself rather than suggest more work for someone else–however, I am not confident that I would have the scientific knowledge to write such an article and also to address the inevitable rebuttal of it.

      • mitch
        Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 7:04 AM | Permalink

        interesting link.

        a later report:
        Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990 – 2007

        Click to access GHG2007entire_report-508.pdf

        this contains quantitative definition of greenhouse warming potential.

        snip – editorializing

        • mitch
          Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

          noted. thank you.

  19. harpsi19
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

    Someone should link to


  20. Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    Steven, thank you sir for your undaunted commitment to uncovering the truth.

    -The World

  21. Norbert
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    I’m not sure that (except for a criticism of the methods used) it really matters whether in the 11th century , or even earlier, it was as warm as today. What matters seems (to me) to be things like these:

    a) will the current upward trend continue for, say, 10 year averages.

    b) It hasn’t been shown, as far as I know, that if there were warm times before the year 1100, that those temperatures would have supported or even allowed our current quality-of-life standards, and our current population. Also, I think, it is generally agreed that in the big picture, until the recent past, global temperatures were cooling.

    c) We can’t just move LA, or New York, our agriculture, and so on, to a different place. We can’t just move the US to the Arctis.

    d) Is it still an accepted fact that the last ice age was just something like 5 degrees (I think Celsius) lower than today? In other words, that really a lot of things will change if the global average temperature changes by just a few degrees?

    So I think that if this website is only focussed on a critic of the methods, and doesn’t (yet) question those kinds of things, it should clearly say so, given the relevance of those (potential) facts. I understand that the former may put the latter in (perhaps big) doubt, but if that distinction isn’t made, then this website and similar ones appear to be much more biased and selective than what they criticize, and that any increasing influence of their intentions would make things worse, not better.

    • stephen richards
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 12:28 PM | Permalink


      It matters for very many reasons and no doubt BENDER will jump right in and tell you. BUT

      a) The present upward trend may not be an upward trend and for the past 10 years it almost certainly hasn’t.
      b) Yes, but it has been shown by what? who? and is the data and meta data genuine and genuinely used?

      c) If we can know where the climate is going there are some possible adaption techniques we could use but because theCRU, NOAA, NASA data cannot be trusted we simply cannot know what has happened in the past or what will happen in the future.

      We need unadjusted (raw) data, expert analysis of sid data to be in with half a chance of knowing what to adapt to. We cannot change the climate meaningfully that is for sure

      • Norbert
        Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 3:56 PM | Permalink


        2001, and each year since, has had a higher (surface) temperature than 1997 or any year before (as far as I can tell from the PDF available here: http://www.copenhagendiagnosis.org ).

        The temperature in 2009 is again higher than in 2008, and there are predictions that 2010 or 2011 will have the highest temperature on record ever (according to British Met Office).

        If this comes to be, and temperatures will continue to rise, will/would you change your mind?

        • Norbert
          Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

          (“on record” meaning: since 1850 and a few decades before for European stations)

        • stephen richards
          Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

          Norbert, my friend

          The MetOff forecast that 2009 would be the hottest year on record in 2007. They also forecast that the last four summers would be hot, dry and sunny and that this winter will be warm and wet. They are still using over adjusted data to make their statements valid and even with poor surface data their forecasts have always been wrong.

          In my note you will see that I used words such as ‘may’, ‘almost’ etc. I did so for very good reason. The temperature data we have from GISS/NOAA/CRU/BOM have all been shown to be adjusted. Unfortunately, as SteveM has said on many occasions, we cannot get either the metadata or the raw data or the program code to see what they have done. Hence we cannot know whether this decade has been the warmist in the last 5, 10, 50, 100, 1000,10000 decades.

          Where raw data has been found eg BOM Darwin analysis has shown reasonable cause for caution in accepting verbatum their results.

        • Norbert
          Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 12:32 PM | Permalink

          Stephen, all forecasts for 2009 that I have seen show it as expected to be warmer than 2008, but not warmer than 2007. I’ll welcome a pointer otherwise.

          My understanding is that the raw data needs adjustments since the measurements have been done in sometimes incompatible and/or changing ways. And in so far as potentially incompatibilities are fixed, the adjustments then need to be reversed. Therefore the raw data by itself may be quite useless. Making the results reproducible from any internet-connected laptop may be a large amount of work (which hopefully will be possible and done in the future).

    • bender
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

      “It hasn’t been shown, as far as I know, that if there were warm times before the year 1100 …”
      “IF?” Are you kidding me? You have never heard of the mid-Holocene thermal Optimum? The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum? Check these on Wikipedia. What on Earth have you been reading? “IF!?”
      Now GIVEN that there is consensus that it HAS been a heck of a lot warmer in the past, what kind of proof would you like that a modern economy could function well under that sort of climate?

      • Norbert
        Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

        Bender, I know that there have been even warmer times in the more distant past. On some “skeptic” graphs, the time even in the MWT was shown to have been much warmer than today.

        The question is whether we could easily adapt to such circumstances, or if it would even be possible to adapt to that without major difficulties. In effect, whether adapting would be “cheaper” than reducing CO2 and other greenhouse gases, for example (assuming that would help). Perhaps there are such studies, but I haven’t heard of them discussed widely yet (which admittedly doesn’t mean all that much).

        • Adam Gallon
          Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

          Humans live in Helsinki, with a mean annual temperature of 5C and in Singapore with a 30C ? mean.
          Civilisation as we know it, arose during one of the warmer periods, it blossomed during Minoan times, also a warm period, ditto during Roman times, yep, warm again!
          Warm periods yield greater rainfall and longer growing seasons, so agriculture blossoms.
          Nigel Lawson’s book “An Appeal to Reason” does look at the costs of “adaption” against “reduction” and they’re substantially less.

        • Chris
          Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 4:21 PM | Permalink


          It sounds like you need to read up a bit more and get the big picture. There’s no more evidence of doom and gloom scenarios for climate effects if the temperature goes up by a few degrees than there is evidence that the temperature IS going to go up by a few degrees. For all we know a hypothetical “global livability index” will be higher (thus better) if it is a bit warmer and CO2 is higher.

          Also, if man is not causing warming via GHG, what makes you think we can change things? In any event there is no doubt that economic prosperity and cheap energy sources will be more conducive to making us adaptable than artificial market constrictions which will necessarily create higher energy prices and slow economic development.

          There are studies and direct evidence of the effects of “cap and trade” type legislation. One such study is described by “Every new job created by subsidized renewable energy causes the loss of at least 2.2 jobs in other industries.” The study is by “Gabriel CALZADA”, an economics professor at King Juan Carlos University in Madrid.

        • David A
          Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 12:35 AM | Permalink

          I would state this a little stronger. The “known” effects of increased Co2 are positive. The “negatives” are maybes and ifs.

          Further the possible negative effect decreases logaritmically.
          While the benefits continue in a fairly linear pattern up to at least 1,000 PPM.

  22. Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

    I am a mathematician, Distinguished Professor, University of Manitoba, Member of the Canadian Academy of Sciences, External member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. If this reaches you, Stephen McIntyre, please email me. I think I have an important observation to make.

    George Gratzer

    • DeWitt Payne
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

      Steve’s email address can be found at the Contact Steve Mc link on the upper left of the page. The usual convention of posted email address applies: replace AT with the symbol and remove the spaces on either side.

      • George Gratzer
        Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 10:43 PM | Permalink

        Thank you.


  23. George Barwood
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

    May I put a word in for this video of a presentation by Warren Meyer


    It’s quite long ( I recommend viewing it with breaks), but is the best “general picture” presentation of the sceptical case for catastrophic AGW that I have seen, and I think it deserves a much wider audience.

    • Ron Cram
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 7:34 PM | Permalink

      This is a good presentation. However, it was filmed before the CRU emails and documents were released. I cannot help but wonder what his view of the temp record is now?

  24. Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

    snip – policy

  25. edeck
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 12:13 PM | Permalink

    When I meet someone that is so very positive about AGW and that we must completely stop our way of life it is fruitless to discuss the history(manipulation) of temperatures on a macro scale. Most don’t understand the word ‘proxy’ so telling them about Steve’s work is tedious, they don’t ‘get it”. But then tell them that the Vikings named Greenland because it was green, grapes grew in northern England and a few hundred years later people skated on the Thames they acknowledge that there was change. Opening minds starting with the simple facts will help everyone.
    Steve congrats on your squash prowness. I remember well many afternoons spent playing round-robins and of course drinking beer in between. My claim is taking Jonathon Powers to four games; the fact that he was only eleven is irrelevant!

  26. Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

    I’ll try to be brief, per instructions. NASA’s Web site http://climate.nasa.gov/keyIndicators/ continues to show the Sea Level graph with two incompatible lines, the right one having a .3 mm annual fudge (post glacial adjustment) that isn’t included in the left. It also breaks at a point when Mt Pinatubo’s negative effect was at a peak, boosting the rate in subsequent years. Even so, it’s trending down.

    This can be determined by reading the graph. However, note the CO2 graph below. The one on the right states that it is the “latest data” on “monthly mean CO2 at Mauna Loa.” The actual data is linked, and the graph clearly is not what it says. The squiggly line stops in early 2009, and is most likely some smoothed something but that isn’t specified. The isolated point may be from monthly data, but it’s too far left to be “latest,” which would be October.

    However, it’s impossible to know what the value is because the horizontal lines are weird. The number scale for PPM runs from 378 to 392. There are roughly two horizontal lines for each 2 PPM increment. One naturally assumes that there are exactly two. But count them! Between 378 and 392 are 16 intervals, each representing .875 PPM, not 1.0 PPM.

    This would be completely obvious if the horizontal lines were bright and extended to the y-axis. But they are faint and deliberately blurred at the left and top, presumably for artistic effect. Consequently, it’s clear that the graph is wrong, because whether smoothed, seasoned, or raw, the 2009 should be showing numbers below the long-term trend line, yet it’s not possible to know just what is being said because of the blur.

    • henry
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

      Maybe this has been answered before, but why is Mauna Loa considered the “defacto” chart to show CO2 increase (as if it’s the only place in the world where CO2 is measured)?

      Are there any other sites in the world, and do their charts show lower or higher CO2 levels?

      I guess this comes down to the idea that if 350ppm is the “ideal level”, which site will we use to see if the level has been reached?

  27. Stacey
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 12:41 PM | Permalink

    @ MarkJ Thank you for the text version and Deadwood thanks for the original link to the Radio Programme.

    I like this by Clive James:-

    “We were also called, are still called, flat-earthers by people like Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband, but that kind of abuse is comparatively easy to take, because everybody knows that neither man would be capable of proving mathematically that the earth is not a cube.”

    • deadwood
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 1:03 PM | Permalink

      That wasn’t me. I think it was you.

  28. Bernal
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 1:03 PM | Permalink

    Norbert…where to start. A critique of the methods used in climate research, measurements and their statistical treatment is most of what goes on at CA. Policy, predictions of doom, and other sorts of loose talk are generally frowned upon.

    If you can formulate coherent questions you might answer them yourself by perusing the links at the upper left of the CA home page.

    • Norbert
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 12:41 PM | Permalink


      A procedure which stops at finding errors may very well diverge more from the “truth” that any other procedure. So it should be made clear that such an error-finding-only procedure cannot serve to prove or disprove a theory, but only to show errors in specific work (without evaluating the effect on the outcome). Especially since the direction of error-finding seems to be one-directional, as well as limited to specific areas, and many commenters here seem to use it as a platform to draw “global” conclusions.

      • Chris
        Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 4:47 PM | Permalink


        I think the general “procedure” here is based on the idea that a hypothesis must be reasonably “proven” by those who proposed it. Science then works by others attempting to reproduce the results of the “proof” by the original authors. It’s then supposed to be the case that if the original results cannot be reproduced, the theory is discarded. Research the “cold fusion” issue from several years back to see an excellent example of how this works. So yes, an “error-finding-only” procedure can disprove a theory, unless and until the original authors find some other “proof” to validate it.

        It looks to me like your basic premise is that Climate Audit and other similar sites have to prove “something else” is true in order to be credible or responsible. (Kind of like Mann stating that others needed to do their own reconstructions.) That’s a fallacy. There is no rule that someone cannot conduct research simply for the purpose of shooting holes in others theories, if that’s what you perceive is happening.

        I don’t see any limiting of the error finding, either. I see each and every “proof” of AGW being strongly refuted. I would be interested to hear the AGW “proof” that you feel has not been refuted here or elsewhere.

        • Norbert
          Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 3:33 AM | Permalink


          I didn’t say there should be no trying to shoot holes in theories. I see at least two positive outcomes of this debacle:
          – more open access to research data and reproducibility
          – (hopefully) more and/or better(-located) weather stations

      • bender
        Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 4:53 PM | Permalink

        Sorry, but some theories are so fragile that a single error can completely undermine them. The theory that the medieval warm period was not as warm as today, for example.

        • Norbert
          Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 3:52 AM | Permalink

          Some are, and some are not. And of course it depends on the error. That’s my point.

          It is not enough to show an error. If all you are interested in is finding errors, that leads to a skewed perspective where perhaps you can’t see that the error can be fixed in a way that only strengthens the theory.

          You’ll be prone to claim victory once you’ve proven an error, but most larger theories make lots of errors until they reach a mature form, and you may simply be helping that process while thinking you are doing the opposite, causing a big mess along the way. Or not. It’s a gamble, if all you are looking for is errors.

  29. Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

    500 Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skepticism of “Man-Made” Global Warming

  30. wolv
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 1:30 PM | Permalink


    The skeptics started the name-calling, said Mann, who called McIntyre a “bozo,” a “fraud” and a “moron” in various e-mails.

    Thousand of years from now, your name and work will just be a pixel. Dude, it reflects that you are indeed a pure “moron”.



  31. NaG
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

    I have been following the CRU Letters scandal fairly closely, but I want to make sure I’m looking at it correctly.

    In my understanding, the CRU people are primarily paleoclimatologists, meaning that their focus is on reconstructing climate trends from the past by using various methods that are seen as representations of past temperature, such as tree rings and ice cores. Their goal, it appears, was to show that (1) there is a current warming trend, and (2) that this current trend is significantly more severe than natural climate changes of the past. The assumption would then be that humans would have to be causing the current warming since natural warming in the past occurred at a slower pace.

    If the CRU studies are now untrustworthy, that only seems to mean that we currently lack the information to compare current climate trends to past trends. It doesn’t mean that there is not current warming — we have satellites, etc., to measure that, and those methods are not implicated by the CRU Letters. Some insist that the satellite data shows current warming. Interestingly, as Briffa found, the tree rings seem to show cooling instead, which makes one wonder how accurate tree rings are as a proxy for temperature at all. But if there is warming, we still don’t know whether that warming is out of line with natural trends, or inconsistent with climate cycles. That’s the main thing the CRU Letters have tossed into chaos.

    Is this an accurate analysis? If not, what am I missing?

  32. popcorn
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    Hilarious – Iowahawk Geographic: The Secret Life of Climate Researchers

    Statistician gone wild – Fables of the Reconstruction (Or, How to Make Your Own Hockey Stick)

  33. Al
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 2:09 PM | Permalink


    One addition: Phil Jones (heat of CRU) also wrote the seminal paper on how minor Urban Heat Island effects are. His conclusions have a conflict with reality.

  34. Manfred
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

    with all the new readers here, i think your excellent article below deserves increased attention, as it show unambiguosly, how the IPCC manipulated science and how limited the scientific understanding of climate still is.


  35. Luke Lea
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    Does this IOWAHAWK post on statistics and the hockey stick have merit? It is certainly clear enough.


  36. aylamp
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 2:33 PM | Permalink

    I would like to post (via Reply) a complete CRU e-mail here (1120593115.txt). The UEA searchable site only seems to include the first portion of the e-mail. I downloaded the mails from one of the original sites where they were posted. It seems strange that this mail has been cut somehow. Snip if too long.

    • aylamp
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 2:33 PM | Permalink

      From: Phil Jones
      To: John Christy
      Subject: This and that
      Date: Tue Jul 5 15:51:55 2005

      There has been some email traffic in the last few days to a week – quite
      a bit really, only a small part about MSU. The main part has been one of
      your House subcommittees wanting Mike Mann and others and IPCC
      to respond on how they produced their reconstructions and how IPCC
      produced their report.
      In case you want to look at this see later in the email !

      Also this load of rubbish !

      This is from an Australian at BMRC (not Neville Nicholls). It began from the attached

      article. What an idiot. The scientific community would come down on me in no
      uncertain terms if I said the world had cooled from 1998. OK it has but it is only
      7 years of data and it isn’t statistically significant.

      The Australian also alerted me to this blogging ! I think this is the term ! Luckily

      I don’t live in Australia.

      Unlike the UK, the public in Australia is very very naïve about climate change, mostly
      because of our governments Kyoto stance, and because there is a proliferation of people
      with no climate knowledge at all that are prepared to do the gov bidding. Hence the
      general populace is at best confused, and at worst, antagonistic about climate change –
      for instance, at a recent rural meeting on drought, attended by politicians and around
      2000 farmers, a Qld collegue – Dr Roger Stone – spoke about drought from a climatologist
      point of view, and suggested that climate change may be playing a role in Australias
      continuing drought+water problem. He was booed and heckled (and unfortunately some
      politicians applauded when this happened) – that’s what we’re dealing with due to
      columists such as the one I sent to you.

      Now to your email. I have seen the latest Mears and Wentz paper (to Science), but
      am not reviewing it, thank goodness. I am reviewing a couple of papers on extremes,
      so that I can refer to them in the chapter for AR4. Somewhat circular, but I kept to
      my usual standards.
      The Hadley Centre are working on the day/night issue with sondes, but there are
      a lot of problems as there are very few sites in the tropics with both and where both
      can be distinguished. My own view if that the sondes are overdoing the cooling
      wrt MSU4 in the lower stratosphere, and some of this likely (IPCC definition) affects
      the upper troposphere as well. Sondes are a mess and the fact you get agreement
      with some of them is miraculous. Have you looked at individual sondes, rather than
      averages – particularly tropical ones? LKS is good, but the RATPAC update less so.
      As for being on the latest VG analysis, Kostya wanted it to use the surface data.
      I thought the model comparisons were a useful aside, so agreed. Ben sent me a paper he’s
      submitted with lots of model comparisons that I also thought a useful addition to
      the subject.
      As for resolving all this (as opposed to the dogfight) I’m hoping that CCSP will
      come up with something – a compromise. I might be naive in this respect. I hope
      you are still emailing and talking to Carl and Frank. How is CCSP going? Are you still
      on schedule for end of August for your open review?

      What will be interesting is to see how IPCC pans out, as we’ve been told we can’t use
      any article that hasn’t been submitted by May 31. This date isn’t binding, but
      Aug 12 is a little more as this is when we must submit our next draft – the one
      everybody will be able to get access to and comment upon. The science isn’t
      going to stop from now until AR4 comes out in early 2007, so we are going to
      have to add in relevant new and important papers. I hope it is up to us to decide
      what is important and new. So, unless you get something to me soon, it won’t
      be in this version. It shouldn’t matter though, as it will be ridiculous to keep
      later drafts without it. We will be open to criticism though with what we do add
      in subsequent drafts. Someone is going to check the final version and the
      Aug 12 draft. This is partly why I’ve sent you the rest of this email. IPCC,
      me and whoever will get accused of being political, whatever we do. As you
      know, I’m not political. If anything, I would like to see the climate change happen,
      so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences. This
      isn’t being political, it is being selfish.



      IPCC stuff —- just for interest !!!

      The Committee on Energy and Commerce, 23 June 2005
      Joe Barton, Chairman
      U.S. House of Representatives
      June 23, 2005
      To: Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri
      Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
      C/O IPCC Secretariat
      World Meteorological Organization
      7 bis Avenue de La Paix
      C.P. 2300
      Ch- 1211 Geneva 2 Switzerland
      Dear Chairman Pachauri:
      Questions have been raised, according to a February 14, 2005 article in The Wall Street
      Journal, about the significance of methodological flaws and data errors in studies by Dr.
      Michael Mann and co-authors of the historical record of temperatures and climate change. We
      understand that these studies of temperature proxies (tree rings, ice cores, corals, etc.)
      formed the basis for a new finding in the 2001 United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on
      Climate Change (IPCC) Third Assessment Report (TAR). This finding – that the increase in
      20th century northern hemisphere temperatures is “likely to have been the largest of any
      century during the past 1,000 years” and that the “1990s was the warmest decade and 1998
      the warmest year” – has since been referenced widely and has become a prominent feature of
      the public debate surrounding climate change policy.
      However, in recent peer-reviewed articles in Science, Geophysical Research Letters, Energy
      & Environment, among others, researchers question the results of this work. As these
      researchers find, based on the available information, the conclusions concerning
      histories – and hence whether warming in the 20th century is actually unprecedented –
      cannot be
      supported by the Mann et. al. studies. In addition, we understand from the February 14
      and these other reports that researchers have failed to replicate the findings of these
      studies, in part because of problems with the underlying data and the calculations used to
      reach the conclusions. Questions have also been raised concerning the sharing and
      dissemination of the data and methods used to perform the studies. For example, according
      to the January 2005
      Energy & Environment, the information necessary to replicate the analyses in the studies
      has not been made fully available to researchers upon request.
      The concerns surrounding these studies reflect upon the quality and transparency of
      funded research and of the IPCC review process – two matters of particular interest to the
      Committee. For example, one concern relates to whether IPCC review has been sufficiently
      and independent. We understand that Dr. Michael Mann, the lead author of the studies in
      question, was also a lead author of the IPCC chapter that assessed and reported this very
      same work, and that two co-authors of the studies were also contributing authors to the
      same chapter. Given the prominence these studies were accorded in the IPCC TAR, we seek to
      learn more about the facts and circumstances that led to acceptance and prominent use of
      this work in the IPCC TAR and to understand what this controversy indicates about the data
      quality of key IPCC studies.
      In light of the Committee’s jurisdiction over energy policy and certain environmental
      in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Committee must have full and accurate information
      when considering matters relating to climate change policy. We open this review because the
      dispute surrounding these studies bears directly on important questions about the federally
      funded work upon which climate studies rely and the quality and transparency of analyses
      to support the IPCC assessment process. With the IPCC currently working to produce a fourth
      assessment report, addressing questions of quality and transparency in the underlying
      supporting that assessment, both scientific and economic, are of utmost importance if
      is eventually going to make policy decisions drawing from this work.
      To assist us as we begin this review, and pursuant to Rules X and XI of the U.S. House of
      Representatives, please provide the following information requested below on or before July
      1. Explain the IPCC process for preparing and writing its assessment reports, including,
      not limited to: (a) how referenced studies are reviewed and assessed by the relevant
      Working Group; (b) the steps taken by lead authors, reviewers, and others to ensure the
      data underlying the studies forming the basis for key findings – particularly proxy and
      temperature data – are accurate and up to date; and (c) the IPCC requirements governing
      the quality of data used in reports.
      2. What specifically did IPCC do to check the quality of the Mann et. al. studies and
      underlying data, cited in the TAR? Did IPCC seek to ensure the studies could be
      3. What is your position with regard to: (a) the recent challenges to the quality of the
      et. al. data, (b) related questions surrounding the sharing of methods and research for
      others to test the validity of these studies, and (c) what this controversy indicates about
      the data quality of key IPCC studies?
      4. What did IPCC do to ensure the quality of data for other prominent historical
      or proxy studies cited in the IPCC, including the Folland et. al. and Jones et. al. studies
      that were sources for the graphic accompanying the Mann et. al. graphic in the Summary
      for Policy Makers? Are the data and methodologies for such works complete and
      available for other researchers to test and replicate?
      5. Explain (a) the facts and circumstances by which Dr. Michael Mann served as a lead
      author of the very chapter that prominently featured his work and (b) by which his work
      became a finding and graphical feature of the TAR Summary for Policymakers.
      6. Explain (a) how IPCC ensures objectivity and independence among section contributors
      and reviewers, (b) how they are chosen, and (c) how the chapters, summaries, and the full
      report are approved and what any such approval signifies about the quality and
      acceptance of particular research therein.
      7. Identify the people who wrote and reviewed the historical temperature-record portions of
      the TAR, particularly Section 2.3, “Is the Recent Warming Unusual?” and explain all
      their roles in the preparation of the TAR, including, but not limited to, the specific
      in the writing and review process.
      8. Given the questions about Mann et. al. data, has the Working Group I or the IPCC made
      any changes to specific procedures or policies, including policies for checking the quality
      of data, for the forthcoming Fourth Assessment Report? If so, explain in detail any such
      changes, and why they were made.
      9. Does the IPCC or Working Group I have policies or procedures regarding the disclosure
      and dissemination of scientific data referenced in the reports? If so, explain in detail
      such policies and what happens when they are violated.
      Thank you for your assistance. If you have any questions, please contact Peter Spencer of
      the Majority Committee staff at (202) 226-2424.
      Joe Barton Chairman Chairman
      Ed Whitfield
      Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
      cc: The Honorable John Dingell, Ranking Member
      The Honorable Bart Stupak, Ranking Member,
      Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
      EDITOR’S NOTE: The House of Representatives has also written to National Science Foundation
      Director Arden Bement, Dr. Michael Mann, Dr. Malcolm K. Hughes, and Dr. Raymond S. Bradley,
      requesting information regarding their global warming studies; see “Letters Requesting
      Information Regarding Global Warming Studies” at

      Prof. Phil Jones
      Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
      School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784
      University of East Anglia
      Norwich Email p.jones@uea.ac.uk
      NR4 7TJ


      1. http://mustelid.blogspot.com/2005/06/first-look-at-scs-msu-vn52.html
      2. http://energycommerce.house.gov/108/Letters/062305_Pachauri.pdf
      3. http://energycommerce.house.gov/108/Letters/06232005_1570.htm

    • aylamp
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

      Curtailed version is here:


      … and ends at “Unlike the UK, the public in Australia is very very na”

      • aylamp
        Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 3:47 PM | Permalink

        From: Phil Jones
        To: John Christy
        Subject: This and that
        Date: Tue Jul 5 15:51:55 2005

        What will be interesting is to see how IPCC pans out, as we’ve been told we can’t use any article that hasn’t been submitted by May 31. This date isn’t binding, but Aug 12 is a little more as this is when we must submit our next draft – the one everybody will be able to get access to and comment upon. The science isn’t going to stop from now until AR4 comes out in early 2007, so we are going to have to add in relevant new and important papers. I hope it is up to us to decide what is important and new. So, unless you get something to me soon, it won’t be in this version. It shouldn’t matter though, as it will be ridiculous to keep later drafts without it. We will be open to criticism though with what we do add in subsequent drafts. Someone is going to check the final version and the Aug 12 draft. This is partly why I’ve sent you the rest of this email. IPCC,
        me and whoever will get accused of being political, whatever we do. As you know, I’m not political. If anything, I would like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences. This isn’t being political, it is being selfish. Cheers Phil

  37. Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

    Paul Samuelson died. Readers of Climate Audit want to know something that modest Steve won’t tell you here.



    Decades ago, Paul Samuelson called Stephen McIntyre with a rare offer to get a full scholarship in mathematical economics at MIT. Just to be sure that we’re not reading a blog of a Nobody. 😉

  38. Ruth
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

    There’s a BBC page that puts forward ‘sceptic’ arguments, then a counter-argument. At the end of the page they list websites on which the debate continues, on the sceptic and counter-sceptic sides.

    I hope you’re glad to see that the BBC puts Climate Audit in the same group of sites as IPCC and realclimate, and not in the list of sceptic sites such as Watts. And what is New Scientist doing in the ‘sceptic’ list?


    (scroll down to the end of this page for their list of ‘sceptic’ and ‘counter’ blogs)

    • John M
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 4:15 PM | Permalink


      It’s also curious how Nature Blogs handles some blogs. On their blog roll, under

      “Other Voices – ‘skeptics’, industry, marginalized views”,

      we have:

      Climate Audit
      Climate Science
      Rabett Run
      Global Climate Law
      Greed, Green and Grains

      I can see how Climate Autit and Climate Science might be considered “skeptic” sites, but is the silly wabbit a “skeptic”? Is he with “industry”?

      Funny what’s left, isn’t it?

  39. Ron Cram
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 3:20 PM | Permalink

    Steve, I was just reading Nir Shaviv’s blog Science Bits. He calls the splice of the temp record onto the proxy as the “hockey stitch.” I thought it was funny. See http://sciencebits.com/node/211

  40. Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 3:26 PM | Permalink

    Hi all,

    I’m working on a piece for Examiner.com and would like the assistance of any and all. I’m looking for questions and answers that would help non-scientists evaluate the credibility of claims and counter-claims about global warming.

    My real world example is, How long does CO2 remain in the atmosphere? I have seen about 16 different answers. No two give the same figure. Is there an answer that both Richard Lindzen and Gavin Schmidt would agree on? (Bad choice I know, as both are atmospheric, not oceanic, but you get the idea.)

    Feel free to leave answers in comments, or if you don’t want to clutter up this thread, email me at thomaswfullere at gmail dot com.

    Thanks for your assistance.

    Colby Cosh did a good job profiling Steve McIntyre, but am I the only one who thinks that his 4 page article got cut to two?

    • Al
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

      Tom Fuller, ask historians whose focus is non-European about the MWP and Roman Climate Optimum.

      There’s a dramatic disconnect between the ‘anecdotes’ of migrations, crops, famines, etc. and what the scientists state the temperature must have been. They appear to be convinced “It must have happened here but the scientists call that a local effect, and I’m not going to argue.”

      It would be interesting to do a survey of historians though.

    • DeWitt Payne
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

      I think the answer to the question of CO2 atmospheric lifetime that both Gavin and Richard would agree on is: It’s complicated.

      The reason it’s complicated is there are multiple processes involved and each has a different time constant. Those time constants differ from each other by orders of magnitude. Worse, there’s the lifetime of an individual CO2 molecule and the decay time of concentration from a step change. They aren’t the same.

    • HankHenry
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 5:20 PM | Permalink

      I like Freeman Dyson’s analysis of the average life of a CO2 molecule in the atmosphere. As a mathematical authority he would be hard to beat. An account of his calculation is found in the New York Review of Books. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/21494 You should read through the letters at the end of the article to get the full picture. Tom Freidman does a post-Climategate analysis over at CNN (Campbell Brown). His idea is that CO2 put into the atmosphere is going to stay around for 3000 years and it’s not a good idea to be doing that. That may be a prudent way to think about things, but I think his number is just flat out wrong; sure it’s in the atmosphere 3000 years – plus or minus 3000 years. As a skeptic, I have to say that many of the points of the dire warmers are correct scientifically. Where things break down, where the uncertainty lies, is in the numbers. Fixing purported global warming is not a scientific enterprise, it’s an engineering enterprise. We need some sober engineering standards and practices brought to the table. While scientist know how to handle numbers – engineers are the persons in society that handle them with responsibility.

    • nanny_govt_sucks
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 11:39 PM | Permalink

      How long does CO2 remain in the atmosphere?

      Not long if it rains! 🙂

    • hengav
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

      Tom, here is an idea in the vein of what looks like something else. Plot the Mauna Loa rate of change of CO2 on the same graph as the UAH anomaly graph provided from Dr. Spencer. The Mauna Loa data is easily downloaded from their site. You have one major cooling event associated with Mt Pinatubo on 1991 and one major warming event associated with the 1998 El Nino that are recognizable. You will quickly be able to show your readers that those events affected the rate of change of CO2. It shows that natural variability of global temperature drives the rate of change of CO2 concentration.

      • Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 3:12 PM | Permalink


        Indeed temperature was the main driver for CO2 levels in the past (about 8 ppmv/K over glacials/interglacials), but currently not the cause of the increase (the LIA-current WP difference of about 1 K is only good for about 8 ppmv increase, but we see a rise of 100+ ppmv). Still temperature variations are the main cause of the variations of the rate of change around the trend (at about 4 ppmv/K), but that says nothing about the cause of the trend itself, which is highly probable from the emissions.

        • hengav
          Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 5:14 PM | Permalink

          I am not speaking of the increase per se, but the rate of change. If you compare the 2 graphs using a good old XL you will find that there is a causal relationship.

        • Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 6:01 PM | Permalink

          Indeed there is a quite good relationship between temperature and the rate of change of the CO2 increase. Even better if you include precipitation, which was done by Pieter Tans (head of the CO2 unit of NOAA), see his slides from page 6 or so on:

          Click to access tans.pdf

    • Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

      Dear Mr.Fuller,

      There is a lot of confusion on this. Many skeptics refer to a lot of investigations which show that the residence time of a CO2 molecule is about 5 years. But that is how long a CO2 molecule (whatever the source) in average is in the atmosphere before being captured by a plant or the oceans. This is about the exchange rate between oceans and vegetation at one side and the atmosphere at the other side. The seasonal (and permanent) exchange rate over a year is about 150 GtC (as CO2) on a total of about 800 GtC in the atmosphere. But these exchanges don’t add or extract any amount of CO2 to/from the atmosphere, as long as the (natural + human) mass of emissions is equal to the total mass of natural sinks.
      See a quite realistic scheme of the CO2 cycle from NASA at:

      This has nothing to do with the time needed to reduce any excess CO2 in addition to the atmosphere above a (mainly temperature controlled) dynamic equilibrium. Of the about 8 GtC emitted by humans, about 4 GtC stays in the atmosphere (as total mass, not as individual molecules). That means that nature as a whole is a net sink for CO2. With the current disequilibrium, about 4 GtC/year is absorbed in the (oceanic and terrestrial) sinks. With such a sink rate, the excess CO2 half life time is about 38 years. That means that at the current CO2 level of about 390 ppmv, after 38 years only 340 ppmv remains. After 76 years 315 ppmv,… until we reach 280-290 ppmv, which is about the equilibrium level at the current temperature.

      The IPCC uses the Bern (and other) models, which are a composite of different reduction speeds, depending of the type of sink: fast for upper level oceans, slower for the deep oceans and very slow for carbonate/silicate exchanges. This makes that the first rate is fast but limited for a part of the uptake, the second a lot slower for another part and the last 10-15% stays in the atmosphere (near) forever.
      What the IPCC doesn’t tell you is that the (very) long tail is only for a small percentage of the emissions and only relevant for extreme high scenario’s where near all oil and most of coal is burned.

      For a comprehensive analyses of the excess reduction rate, see the calculations of Peter Dietze at the late John Daly’s website: http://www.john-daly.com/carbon.htm

      Hans Erren has made a graph showing the difference between the (multi-rate) Bern model and the (constant rate) Dietze model:
      The last graph shows the difference…

      Hope this helped…

      • HankHenry
        Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 4:44 PM | Permalink

        F. Engelbeen: Do you know if these calculations that you have lead us through in your post include any anything for increased sink rates due to a fertilization effect. I am not trying to quibble, I am genuinely curious how intricate the calculations get for these global scale estimations.

        • Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

          The sink rates are mainly (if not exclusively) based on ocean sinks. According to newer research (based on d13C and O2 changes), there is an increasing portion of the sinks going into vegetation, while the total ratio of sink/emissions remains remarkably constant at about 45% of the emissions (55% if you include land use changes). Some relevant literature:
          http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/287/5462/2467.pdf Battle ea. partitioning
          http://www.agu.org/journals/gb/gb0504/2004GB002410/2004GB002410.pdf Bender ea. idem
          http://www.bowdoin.edu/~mbattle/papers_posters_and_talks/BenderGBC2005.pdf until 2002.

        • HankHenry
          Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 10:39 AM | Permalink

          Don’t you think there is a fertilization effect enhancing calcification in the ocean? Fertilization may be the wrong word if carbon is primarily sequestered by animals rather than microbes. There is a new paper out of Woods Hole documenting that increased CO2 can produce heavier shells in organisms as long as the levels are not extreme. Considering the relative size of the oceans and fact that carbon is not just cycled in the sea but sequestered, these facts could be important in making numerical estimates.

        • Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

          The main sinks are only known in total as inorganic (carbonate shells sink, deep ocean mixing) and organic, where the latter is composed of land vegetation, ocean vegetation and what sinks from organic rests from small to large sea creatures. Only at two places (one at Hawai and one at the Bermuda’s), there are longer series of data which contain a lot of measurements, including the amount of organic and inorganic carbon sinking into the deep oceans. Thus there is only limited detailed data available for how much carbon is removed by the different pathways. Anyway, here is a nice overview of a few years of data at Bermuda, where the influence of (winter) weather on carbon sequestration is quite important. http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/298/5602/2374

  41. Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    Sorry to intrude again–I gave the wrong email in preceding comment. It’s thomaswfuller3 at gmail dot com.

  42. theduke
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 4:44 PM | Permalink

    Yes, the article about Steve by Colby Cosh in Macleans is on the roster of articles at RealClearPolitics. It is headlined, “The Man who Changed the Climate Science World.”


    That means a high level of exposure, since that website has a huge following.

    Congratulations, Steve, although I’m not sure exposure is what you are looking for.

    Maybe it’s time for a book of your most influential posts– much the way a columnist publishes a collection of his columns. It might allow you to recover some of those earnings you lost by not concentrating on mining opportunities.

  43. Greg Goodknight
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 4:45 PM | Permalink

    I’ve recently read a paper and am surprised it hasn’t made CA or Watts, but since Steve M is the de facto primary picadore of the treemometer set, CA this would seem to be an appropriate forum.

    The list of the “450” includes “A relationship between galactic cosmic
    radiation and tree rings”,

    The summary states
    “• Here, we investigated the interannual variation in the growth rings formed by Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) trees in northern Britain (55N, 3W) over the period 1961–2005 in an attempt to disentangle the influence of atmospheric variables acting at different times of year.
    • Annual growth rings, measured along the north radius of freshly cut (frozen) tree discs and climatological data recorded at an adjacent site were used in the study. Correlations were based on Pearson product–moment correlation coefficients between the annual growth anomaly and these climatic and atmospheric factors.
    • Rather weak correlations between these variables and growth were found.
    However, there was a consistent and statistically significant relationship between growth of the trees and the flux density of galactic cosmic radiation. Moreover, there was an underlying periodicity in growth, with four minima since 1961, resembling the period cycle of galactic cosmic radiation.
    • We discuss the hypotheses that might explain this correlation: the tendency of galactic cosmic radiation to produce cloud condensation nuclei, which in turn increases the diffuse component of solar radiation, and thus increases the photosynthesis of the forest canopy.”

    In Figure 2, they show monthly correlation coefficients averaged over a 44 year period. Only GCR show positive CC’s for every month. It looks real to me, but I’ve little talent or interest in biology, just a BS Physics and MSEE to match and while I managed decent grades in graduate level probability and statistics classes, I try to stay away from most of that, too. A man’s got to know his limitations.

    It would seem just too delicious to have evidence that the Mann Bristlecone Pine proxy and the Briffa Siberian Larch treemometers, both in the pine family, were really GCR proxies all along…

    • bender
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

      The evidence presented is weak. The correlations are weak. They examine a sequential array of univariate models, rather than a multivariate model, which is the weakest way to go about investigating alternative hypotheses. Also, you would not expect variables outside the growing season to have an influence, so why weight that evidence any heavier? Also, they did not test for temperature*precip interaction (i.e. drought), which is expected to yield a stronger response than either variable alone. Another issue is the hypothesis testing of periodicity. The frequency of ring width fluctuations looks to be twice that of the GCR index. The authros provide no formal test of spectral coherence. What is the frequency of flowering in these trees, and why is it not accounted for?
      This paper merits further investigation. Perhaps Jim Bouldin would care to comment?

    • bender
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

      Oh, and the invoking of exceptional weather events I, II, III, and IV in Fig 3 to explain anomalous “divergences” from an overall response pattern is the equivalent of “special pleading”. Bad form that hints of cherry-picking.

  44. Greg
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 4:51 PM | Permalink

    For people who are new to this blog (I’ve been lurking for awhile) would it be appropriate to have a “Start Here if You’re New…” section in the sidebar? Maybe a list of links to the top X posts that define what the discussion is all about?

  45. mrsean2k
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 7:30 PM | Permalink

    I’m sure someone else will pick this up, but just in case:


    6 years seems like a decent period for checks and balances.

    • liberalbiorealist
      Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 9:30 PM | Permalink

      This brings to mind one of the real questions I’ve had, but have can’t say I’ve seen any kind of answer to: how much further must our current plateau in temperatures be extended before we can reasonably declare the predictions of the climate models wrong? Certainly at this stage the predicted temperatures and the actual temperatures have diverged somewhat, but I gather most grant that that deviation is well within chance. Of course, every year the temperatures don’t budge makes it less likely the climate models might be right, most especially because the climate models predict an increasingly steep curve up as time goes by, but what are the actual probabilities here? Has anybody done this work?

      My guess would be that six years out with a continued plateau would already be a major problem for the so-called warmists. Is this so?

      snip – please don’t over-editorialize

      • Al
        Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 9:52 PM | Permalink

        liberalbiorealist, see Lucia’s Blackboard.

        She has solid statistics and asks exactly that question. She has a slew of posts on “IPCC” and “falsify” that aren’t really summed up in a solid overview AFAIK.

        The verdict from Climate Scientists, “Well, those were the older models. You have to reset the clock….”

  46. Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 7:54 PM | Permalink

    Here’s new-to-me blog that’s worth a look for Climategate analyses: http://strata-sphere.com/blog/

    I partic. like his analysis of the clueless “adjustments” to the historical climate record — which is likely to be, in my judgment, the next domino to fall in the increasingly-shaky AGW “consensus”:

    Happy reading–
    Peter D. Tillman

    • Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 8:09 PM | Permalink

      Ah, here’s a quote to share:

      The sad fact is the science behind man-made global warming is not good science. It is rather pathetic actually. I work with premier scientists and in fact review their missions for feasibility to return the results advertised. I would fail this mess without a second thought.

      Thanks, Mr “Strata”!

      Cheers — Pete Tillman

      “No branch of atmospheric physics is more difficult than that dealing with
      radiation. This is not because we do not know the laws of radiation, but because
      of the difficulty of applying them to gases.” — G.C. Simpson (1928)

  47. Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 9:16 PM | Permalink

    For OT links and non-topical points. Editorially, I prefer that readers stick to short points and not try to solve all the problems of the world in 3 paragraphs or prove or disprove the entire apparatus of climate science in 4 sentences.

    Steve prefers we keep it shorter than that 😀

    IPCC – Implicated Paleos of Consensus Climate

    See – 3 paragraphs is a waste of time.

    The later it is, the harder it is to resist.

  48. DeNihilist
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 9:23 PM | Permalink

    Can anyone here direct me to some studies refuting the theory that CO2’s effect is non-linear? i.e. as more is added to the atmosphere, the temperature wil just keep climbing. I have found a few that express the opposite, basically, the CO2 is saturated and any more wil have no temperature effect.


    • Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 7:13 AM | Permalink

      Nihilist, I dont think you will find any. Even the IPCC acknowledge that the CO2 affect is logarithmic, i.e. increasing CO2 has less and less effect. But they really try to hide this away! It is written in a bracket on page 140 of the IPCC AR4 WG1 report. They don’t even give any formulas – they just say the formulas in their previous report are valid. See
      for more details

    • mhaze
      Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 10:49 PM | Permalink


      Here is a strangeness:

      1. No, you won’t find any equations that show the effect of Co2 is of a linear form.
      2. The IPCC graphs present the effect of CO2 as being somewhat linear, nearly linear, etc.

      The argument Warmers present on this is that we are down in an area of the curve where the log decline in sensitivity of Co2 has not occurred to any large measure.

      Poptech: Nice to see you around in more pleasant settings!

  49. Katyamaya
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 9:33 PM | Permalink

    I just came across this, blogger Deep Climate bragging about trying to intervene in the peer review process at a journal on behalf of Real Climate:


  50. theduke
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 11:07 PM | Permalink

    snip – policy

  51. pops
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 11:13 PM | Permalink

    Hey, I have a question. When looking at the electromagnetic spectrum emanating from planet earth, one sees quite clearly the CO2 notches where nothing arrives at the space-based sensor. How is it, then, that adding CO2 can make any difference in the energy balance of the atmosphere if energy at the CO2 wavelengths is already fully absorbed and re-radiated at other wavelengths? [Has this been covered elsewhere?]

    • David Wright
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 4:37 AM | Permalink

      The emission spectra I’ve been able to find (e.g. here) show ~50% absorbtion at the CO2 resonant frequencies. So presumably we’re still in the range where absorbtion of those frequencies increases approximately in proportion to CO2 concentration.

      That said, I believe you would be right if absorbtion were already nearly complete. If you add enough impurities to glass to make it absorb 90% of the incident light, doubling the impurity concentration won’t make it absorb 180% of the incident light.

      • pops
        Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

        Hmm – that doesn’t look very much like this graph. I wonder what the difference might be, but I’m late right now so I’ll have to look into it later.

        • Nick Stokes
          Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 4:04 PM | Permalink

          Look at the y-axis numbers. It’s not zero – it’s showing you the apparent temperature of emission. CO2 doesn’t block emission. GHG’s both absorb and emit. What happens is that the IR in that band that is emitted from the ground at 280K or so, is absorbed, but CO2 high in the atmosphere (at about 225K) emits, and that is what the spectrum shows.

    • DeWitt Payne
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

      When you add more CO2, the notch gets wider. So more energy is absorbed and the temperature has to go up until the total emitted energy balances again. You can play with simulated spectra at David Archer’s MODTRAN page. Change the CO2 and then change the surface temperature offset. I usually do it by looking from 100 km down. That isn’t how the IPCC calculates forcing, but it still gives you an idea how radiative physics works with everything else remaining constant.

      Of course, it’s the everything else remaining constant that’s the big question. The warmers say that there are positive feedbacks and a small change leads to a larger change. The lukewarmers think that negative feedbacks dominate and the change will be less than the first order effect but still positive.

      • cba
        Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 7:26 PM | Permalink


        seasons greetings!

        Looking at the modtran calculator a while back, I’m pretty sure it is not operating beyond about 70km. I think it just gives the 70km value if you specify looking down at a higher altitude. It may show up in the downloadable ascii file or simply that the number cease changing – I don’t recall as it’s been a while. Note I was probably using the 1976 std atm option.

        • DeWitt Payne
          Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 8:11 PM | Permalink

          It doesn’t stop, but the difference is small. Looking up from 70 km the radiant flux is 0.05 W/m2. That’s only slightly higher than the 0.01 W/m2 you would see from cosmic microwave background. And you wouldn’t see that in MODTRAN because it doesn’t go to wavelengths that long. Looking down from 100 km you get 258.799 W/m2 vs 258.862 W/m2 from 70 km, so there’s a little bit of absorption. That’s all 1976 standard atmosphere all other settings default. Besides, 100 km is a rounder number than 70 km.

  52. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 11:16 PM | Permalink


    Environment Canada recorded a frigid -46.1 C, or -58.4 with wind chill, at the Edmonton International Airport at 5 a.m., Environment Canada meteorologist Pierre Lessard said. The old record of -36.1 C was set last year, he said.

    “To break a temperature by 10 degrees is very exceptional,” said Lessard.

  53. Fred
    Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 11:30 PM | Permalink

    Those Edmonton temps are beyond bitter cold . . . those are mid winter Arctic temps in Nunavut.

    Is Al Gore coming to town?

  54. Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 1:41 AM | Permalink


    Don’t know if this been linked but here we go! made me laugh anyways.

    • Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 9:25 AM | Permalink

      Here I thought you meant the National Inquirer, not the Philadelphia one!

      This is just the AP story by Seth Borenstein that is being discussed over on WUWT.

  55. bin
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 4:32 AM | Permalink


    I was intrigued by the above iowahawk post, I think it is important if it can be proved if Mann had indeed used that methodology. Reconstructing temperatures from different proxy data series is not only absurd, it does not model reality. Temp affects tree rings, ice cores etc., not the other way around. Also, they are independent, it is not like each of them has a different weight to arrive at the temp. So, that regression model is simply useless.

    In any case, that sort of analysis is only helpful in calibrating the period for which proxy data is not available – it can not be substantially used to replace the instrumental data, that way we are losing valuable info contained in the temperatures.

    Steve: there is a great deal of analysis of MBH in our articles and earlier posts. iowahaek is not treading new ground.

    In my view, each proxy variable should be regressed independently with temp and then the reconstructed temps. can be averaged ONLY for the period prior to instrumental data. From the time instrumental data is available, the predicted temp range can be shown alongside actual temps just for demonstration.

    • mrsean2k
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 6:01 AM | Permalink


      Can you give me an idea of your qualifications for making this assertion? Please understand there’s no implied criticism or accusation in the question, but I find it useful to know which opinions stem from professional experience in a particular discipline, which are qualified “amateurs”, which are interested newbies (very much my own slot)

      • bin
        Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 12:50 AM | Permalink

        Interested newbie, some familiarity with basic statistics. I believe that a regression model needs to be rooted in some sort of physical reality, hence my question.

    • Calvin Ball
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 8:16 PM | Permalink

      Steve, if you’re not familiar with Iowahawk, he’s ordinarily a satirist, but once in a while does something like this. So I don’t think it was his intent to be on the vanguard, quite the contrary, I believe he was trying to do the opposite, and make this accessible to a broader audience.

      His blog has a substantial following in its own right, and what I believe he was attempting to do was to talk to people not familiar with statistics in a way that communicates the message that this isn’t supercomputer stuff; it can be done on any desktop computer using free software. I don’t think he was trying to break any new ground.

  56. PeterA
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 6:10 AM | Permalink

    Here’s proof why we have an uphill battle to turn things around despite Steve’s excellent work to discredit the Mann’s hockey sticks:

    The reason is simply the public are not interested in the science. SO, wher eto from here?

  57. Ashby Lynch
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 7:25 AM | Permalink


    I watched an interesting video of Steve Schnieder (not sure on the spelling) giving a talk at MIT. The talk was on how probability density functions are used to help make decsions on global warming policy. The gist of it is that he realizes that no “engineering quality” study will ever be achievable, but the accumulation of existing global climate science leads him to believe that we must act anyway. It seems to me that he is really adding a lot of psuedo sophistication to the process that utlimately doesn’t provide much value. It is worth watching for insight into how the movers and shakers are thinking about the science and policy. What I percieve as the bottom line is that no engineering quality study can be made, and the movers and shakers aren’t going to wait until one can be made. I think that one will never be able to be made, and I think they realize that also.

    The video of the MIT conference concerning climategate (or Motely CRU, my personal favorite name for the email release) was interesting also. It appears that everyone there was speaking forthrightly. Once again it gave me great insight into the views and motivations of the movers and shakers of the IPCC process. And once again, Lindzen, in my view, came across as the most competent and reasonable, and scientific. He remarked that he gave lots of talks to MIT alumni groups. I hope that this has an effect. The MIT alumni must surely be an influential group, and if they are giving Lindzen a fair hearing, that is all to the good as far as I am concerned.

    Anyway, it appears that an engineering quality analysis of the global climate problem is not forthcoming, and it doesn’t bother the movers and shakers one little bit.

    • Harry
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 11:41 AM | Permalink

      If one adds ‘energy independence’ as an additional driver behind some of what is billed as ‘Climate’ legislation then the acts of the Europeans , Japanese and various others can be justified on policy grounds whether climate change is real or not. The only ‘policy’ makers who are looking closely at the quality of the climate science are from countries with significant amounts of coal.

    • Harry Eagar
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 7:22 PM | Permalink

      Schneider goes into probability density functions in an offhand way in ‘Science as a Contact Sport.’ As far as I can tell, it is nothing more than the precautionary principle in fancy dress.

      More interesting — though I cannot find my copy to give the page citation — is his claim that no one can replicate his methods because no one could understand his idiosyncratic programs, and also because of the many ‘undocumented subroutines.’

      I say, when a researcher says no one can replicate his results, believe him!

  58. jae
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

    TA, Posted Dec 13, 2009 at 10:28 AM:

    Methane is formed wherever anaerobic bacteria occur, so it would not be surprising to see it “bubbling up” in the artic.

  59. ThinkingScientist
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    I have just made a comparison of the raw (v2.mean) and adjusted (v2.mean_adj) data files from GHCN, for all monthly rcords and then plotted the annual average corrections. The adjustments appear to have a systematic pattern forming a ‘U’ shape with a minimum about 1910. The largest adjustment appears to be about -0.275 degC in 1911 and the adjustment then has a linear trend to 1987 where the adjustment is just -0.02 degC. After 1987 the station count falls off a cliff (which is widely know, I realise).

    The analysis is done using unix utility scripts in a bash shell under cygwin. Anyone from CA interested in getting in touch and checking what I’ve done?

    • Paul Dennis
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

      To the best of my knowledge this has already been done by RomanM and at least one other person.

    • stephen richards
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

      Thank you for doing this. Perhaps RomanM will be in touch. You can see his version on his website.

      • ThinkingScientist
        Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 5:05 AM | Permalink

        Thanks guys – I checked out RomanM’s site and found the post. My results agree with what is posted there.

  60. chainpin
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

    1991 UN Policy Paper Describes the Exact Purpose and Trajectory of Current Copenhagen Treaty

  61. Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

    Tim Bell has another excellent and brutal article out today


    • Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

      oops typo – it’s obviously Ball not Bell

    • Daryl M
      Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 10:26 PM | Permalink

      Tim Ball has really been on a tear lately. If you want to read his articles, here is his index page: http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/members/17916/Ball/.

      I hear him on local talk radio quite often. I think he is one of the more articulate sceptics and he does equally well in writing as he does speaking.

  62. Beobachter
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

    New Alarmist Report

    A new ice and snow melt report has been released claiming updated and more alarming prognosis about the sea level rise.

    It can be downloaded from

    Click to access COP15report.pdf

    According to the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, the report was conceived by Mr. Støre, the Norwegian minister of foreign affairs, and Mr. Al Gore in April this year.
    The Norwegian Polar Institute got help from central ice researchers all over the world with the most updated knowledge for the report.

    Seems to be written i a hurry, already on page 21 the illustration has an error. Further, I have not been able to spot one single new research report or paper that is going into the conclusions in this report. “Report” by the way, it’s more a brochure. The introduction is signed by Støre and Gore!

    Have climate researchers again been used for an alarmist report?

  63. Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 11:26 AM | Permalink

    James Delingpole has published some rather compromising conflicts of interest for Mr Pachauri, Head of the IPCC.


    • Third Party
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

      W’s fault.

      From: Mike Hulme
      To: Phil Jones
      Subject: Re: [Fwd: SSI Alert: IPCC Chair Vote]
      Date: Mon Apr 22 18:14:44 2002
      Cc: s.raper

      I can’t quite see what all the fuss is about Watson – why should he be re-nominated anyway? Why should not an Indian scientist chair IPCC? One could argue the CC issue is more important for the South than for the North. Watson has perhaps thrown his weight about too much in the past. The science is well covered by Susan Solomon in WGI, so why not get an engineer/economist since many of the issues now raised by CC are more to do with energy and money, than natural science.
      If the issue is that Exxon have lobbied and pressured Bush, then OK, this is regrettable but to be honest is anyone really surprised? All these decisions about IPCC chairs and co-chairs are deeply political (witness DEFRA’s support of Martin Parry for getting the WGII nomination).

      At 07:17 20/04/02 +0100, you wrote:

      There is more on the BBC Sci/Tech web site.

      Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 18:24:58 -0600
      From: Tom Wigley
      X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.76 [en] (Windows NT 5.0; U)
      X-Accept-Language: en
      To: Phil Jones , Sarah Raper ,
      Mike Hulme
      Subject: [Fwd: SSI Alert: IPCC Chair Vote]
      You may not have seen this latest piece of politicalization by the Bushies.
      ——– Original Message ——–
      Subject: SSI Alert: IPCC Chair Vote
      Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 18:00:59 -0400
      From: “SSI Mailbox”
      ******************* EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ********************
      ISSUE: Today – April 19, 2002, the Intergovernmental Panel
      on Climate Change (IPCC) plenary voted for Dr. Rajendra
      Pachauri as the sole chair of the IPCC. Dr. Pachauri, an economist and engineer, will replace Dr. Robert Watson, an atmospheric chemist, as chair of the IPCC. This outcome was actively sought by the Bush Administration at the behest of the most conservative elements of the fossil fuel industry.

      This development threatens to undermine the scientific
      credibility and integrity of the IPCC and may weaken the job this extraordinary body has done to bring the world’s attention to one of the most pressing environmental problems.

      ACTION: Monitor your local paper and respond to news stories with a letter-to-the-editor.
      MAIN MESSAGE: Given the Bush Administration’s consistent opposition to climate change mitigation, it is especially imperative at this time that the scientific community and Dr. Pachauri work together to ensure that the IPCC remains a strong and credible scientific process.
      DEADLINE: As soon as possible after the story runs in your paper — preferably the same day but no later than a day or two after.
      *** THE ISSUE ***
      According to a report by Associated Press today (appended
      below), Dr. Rajendra Pachauri was elected as Chair of the IPCC at a plenary meeting in Geneva. As you would be aware from our earlier SSI alerts of the past several weeks, this
      follows on from intense lobbying of the US government by the fossil fuel industry to remove Dr. Robert Watson as Chair.
      Although reports from Geneva are still sketchy, our sources on the ground tell us that there was intense behind-the- scenes lobbying by Saudi Arabia, with assistance from Don Pearlman — a well known oil and gas lobbyist with strong connections to industry-backed organizations opposed to climate change mitigation. Through their maneuvering, the
      co-chair compromise approach — comprised of former chair Dr. Robert Watson and Dr. Pachauri — was not considered.
      As a result of this election, there is considerable concern in the climate science and environmental communities — reinforced by the intensive lobbying from fossil fuel interests on this decision — that the Bush Administration’s lack of support for former IPCC Chair Dr. Robert Watson signals a more general lack of support for the IPCC as a credible international scientific assessment process that provides governments with sound information on climate
      science, impacts, and solutions.
      By supporting Dr. Pachauri for primarily political purposes, the Bush Administration has seriously threatened the scientific credibility of the IPCC process. The conservative fossil fuel interests should be exposed for their role in influencing the US government’s stance on this issue, and the IPCC process must remain a scientifically credible and
      non-politicized process.
      The next IPCC Climate Change Assessment is due out in five
      years, and it is the chair’s role to oversee this complex process. The scientific community’s voice is important in this issue to ensure that the IPCC process remains strong under the leadership of Dr. Pachauri and that the Bush Administration does not erode the effectiveness of this important international body.
      *** THE ACTION ***
      — Monitor your local paper and respond to news stories with a letter-to-the-editor. Information on how and to whom to submit a LTE is usually found right on the Letters Page in your paper. Many papers
      now accept letters via email. If you can’t find the
      information you need, simply call the paper and ask how to go about submitting a letter in response to a recently published article.
      To increase the chances that your letter will be published, do the following:
      – keep it under 200 words and stay focused on one or two main points you’d like to make;
      – focus on a local angle, if possible, that adds something new to the story that appeared in your paper;
      – be sure to include your name, address, and daytime phone number; the paper will contact you before printing your letter; and
      – submit the letter on the same day the story appears, if possible.
      [For additional help with writing an effective letter to the editor, you may turn to the reference guide on the SSI member page at .]
      — MAIN MESSAGE: Given the Bush Administration’s consistent opposition to climate change mitigation, it is especially imperative at this time that the scientific community and Dr. Pachauri work together to ensure that the IPCC remains a strong and credible scientific process.
      — TIMING: Your letter to the editor should reach your paper
      within a few days of the publication of the story to
      increase the chances of it being published.
      — SPECIAL NOTE: If your paper did not carry the story at
      all yet, send an LTE describing the story and emphasizing
      that this issue is of great interest to the paper’s
      — [Be sure to include a description of your scientific
      expertise, your involvement with the IPCC process, or the
      importance of the climate issue to your community.]
      — For the past 10 years, the IPCC’s science has been the
      foundation for sound policymaking on the climate issue. The
      IPCC’s unique intergovernmental approach to scientific
      consensus has worked amazingly well but is now threatened.
      — It is disturbing that the Bush Administration sought and
      received advice from the fossil fuel industry on the
      leadership of an important scientific body such as the IPCC. A politicized IPCC threatens the integrity and credibility of the scientific process.
      — There are fears that it will now be easier for the US to distance itself from the IPCC process. You may point out that the US already rejected the Kyoto protocol last year.
      — It is vital that the scientific process for the next
      Assessment Report (due out in another five years) not be compromised so that the IPCC continues to produce sound science on climate change.
      — The credibility of the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (TAR) findings were strongly affirmed by the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS), which published its supportive report in response to President Bush’s request for an independent assessment on the state of climate science.
      — Dr Rajendra K. Pachauri is an Indian engineer and
      economist. Pachauri, formerly one of the five vice chairs of the IPCC, is highly regarded but will be the first non-atmospheric chemist as chair of the IPCC.
      — For more information on the ExxonMobil memo urging the Bush Administration to remove Dr. Watson from his position as IPCC Chair, please see .
      — For information on the Saudi/Pearlman connection, see the summary by Jeremy Leggett, author of “The Carbon War”, at
      — IPCC – Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization for the purpose of assessing “the scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change.” To date, the IPCC has issued three comprehensive assessments. The first assessment report (FAR) was released in 1990, the second assessment report (SAR) was released in
      1996, and the third assessment report (TAR) was released in 2001. These assessments are based on “published and peer reviewed scientific technical literature” For more information see
      NOTE: Please send us an email message that tells us what action you took. If you actually send a letter, please send us a “blind copy.” (A blind copy simply means that you do not indicate anywhere on your letter that you are sending a copy to us.) Send to: ssi@xxxxxxxxx.xxx or UCS, 2 Brattle Square, Cambridge, MA 02238-9105 (attn. Jason Mathers).
      CHANGE OF EMAIL ADDRESS: Help us keep you posted! If your email address will soon change, or if you’d like us to use a different address, please let us know by sending a message to ssi@xxxxxxxxx.xxx with your new address. Thanks!
      Associated Press
      Fri Apr 19, 1:18 PM ET
      U.S. scientist voted off international climate panel
      By JONATHAN FOWLER, Associated Press Writer
      GENEVA – A U.S. scientist was voted off an international climate panel Friday following what campaigners claimed was pressure from the oil industry and Washington. Atmospheric scientist Robert Watson was seeking re-election as head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
      World Meteorological Organization (news – web sites)
      spokeswoman Mo Lagarde said Watson was defeated by Indian challenger Rajendra Pachauri. Some 76 countries supported Pachauri, while 49 voted for Watson in the secret ballot, she said. Seven nations voted for Jose Goldemberg, a Brazilian (news – web sites) who entered the race this week.
      The WMO and the U.N. Environment Program jointly host the IPCC’s offices and organized the Geneva meeting.
      Environmental groups have accused the administration of
      President George W. Bush (news – web sites) of caving in to a request from Exxon Mobil that it try to remove Watson, a leading expert on global warming (news – web sites), because he had consistently warned governments of the dangers of climate change.
      “The fossil fuel industry and the U.S. government will be celebrating their success in kicking out Bob Watson, an experienced scientist who understood that urgent action is needed to tackle global climate change,” said Kate Hampton, international climate co-ordinator for British-based Friends of the Earth (news – web sites). “The Bush administration
      and its friends would rather shoot the messenger than listen to the message,” Hampton said in a statement.
      The Swiss-based Worldwide Fund for Nature said it was
      worried by the “apparent politicization” of the IPCC.
      “WWF is concerned that oil and gas interests had too much to say in the removal of Dr. Watson as chairman of what should be an impartial, scientific body,” said Jennifer Morgan, Director of WWF’s Climate Program.
      But, Morgan said, the “IPCC is a vibrant group of scientists and WWF looks forward to working closely with Dr. Pachauri to protect the integrity of the IPCC and ensure that it continues to produce sound science on climate change.”
      The U.S. State Department said earlier this month that it would support Pachauri, who was the Indian government’s nominee, to become the next chair.
      Two weeks ago, the Natural Resources Defense Council, a
      Washington, D.C.-based environmental group, said the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality received a memo from Exxon Mobil in February 2001 that asked, “Can Watson be replaced now at the request of the U.S.?” The memo, which the group said it obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, also recommended that the administration “restructure the U.S. attendance at upcoming IPCC meetings to assure none of the Clinton/Gore proponents are involved in any decisional activities.”
      U.S. officials were unavailable for comment.
      Watson has been an outspoken proponent of the idea that
      fossil fuel emissions contribute to rising global
      temperatures. He has led the panel since 1996 and is also the chief scientist of the World Bank (news – web sites).
      Pachauri is an engineer and an economist and is the director of the Tata Energy Research Institute in New Delhi, India.

      Prof. Phil Jones
      Climatic Research Unit Telephone +44 (0) 1603 592090
      School of Environmental Sciences Fax +44 (0) 1603 507784
      University of East Anglia
      Norwich Email p.jones@xxxxxxxxx.xxx
      NR4 7TJ

  64. Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

    Re: Harry 11:41
    I support this view. The U.S.A. are somewhere in between, not knowing where to go, because they are in fact very huge energy producers but not enough to be independent, with oil consumption greatly outnumbering production. For this reason Climategate should resonate in the U.S. quite loudly.

    • Calvin Ball
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

      However – coal (and natural gas) can be converted into synthetic fuels at costs in the US comparable to petroleum. So in the US, carbon caps will have the minor effect of reducing oil imports marginally by encouraging conservation. But, this also precludes synfuels, which would have a much larger positive impact on energy independence. So this, I think, is where the real divergence is between the coal-rich and coal-poor industrialized nations. The coal-poor nations have nothing to lose. The coal rich do.

  65. TJA
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

    Doesn’t this “alternative explanation” for the fast rate of melting glaciers in the ’40s, since it is “known” that it was “cooler” then line up with the “blip” that Jones et al thought they needed to smooth out of the record?


    Looks to me like the “blip” has independent confirmation and that smoothing it out was the wrong decision.

  66. BlueIce2HotSea
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    Didn’t Aldon ask what would happen to CO2 if we cut all the forests?

  67. BrianSJ
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

    Have people seen the opensource project by John Graham-Cumming putting the met office data onto google earth and re-analysing it?

  68. John
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    Professor Mendlesohn doesn’t provide the kind of response fellow warmists that the Team would like. He illustrates where the battleground Steve has discussed and provides in my opinion a reasonable approach.


  69. Rod Fabian
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    A question for the experts:

    From my reading about the CO2 cycles in nature, 95% of CO2 released into the atmosphere comes from natural sources, which means that there is around 20 times more CO2 absorbed from the atmosphere than man is producing. The process of absorption, mostly uptake by the oceans, is subject to the law of mass action, meaning that absorption should be directly proportional to air concentration. So why, after CO2 has risen by 35%, has absorption not risen to take up the extra produced by man? Is this not strong evidence that something else is causing CO2 to go up, such as a change in natural absorption for some other reason, i.e., higher temperatures?

    • Calvin Ball
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 5:40 PM | Permalink

      Actually, it has. The estimated amount of CO2 produced by humans in any given time is roughly double the amount that builds up in the atmosphere, at least for as long as we’ve been keeping records in the mid-20th century. This isn’t controversial.

      • Tolz
        Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 6:30 PM | Permalink

        Isn’t it also true that the ratio of human-emitted to naturally emitted CO2 in the atmosphere has remained relatively constant?

        • Calvin Ball
          Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

          Right. But again, the data is only from about 1960. That doesn’t tell us anything about “pre-industrial” dynamics.

      • Rod Fabian
        Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

        snip – see rules in head post

  70. Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

    What I’ve become interested in but which I lack the time or programing experience to tackle is how the effect of the slow addition of non-European temperature stations to the record since the 1800s has effected the global average. So few individual long running records show a recent upturn, yet the global average shows quite a strong upturn from the1970s on. Are corrections not able to handle this, or do they try at all?

  71. LMB
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

    snip – too effuse


  72. Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

    Is your state warming? I’m in New York. It’s not warming. This is true of the vast majority of states in the US:


    The overall US temperature is cooling, not warming:

    Only Siberia and the arctic are warming much, which likely is what makes a global average show warming. But then it’s not Global Warming at all.

    • Nick Stokes
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 9:27 PM | Permalink

      It’s warming where I am.

      • Marine_Shale
        Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 8:03 AM | Permalink

        I come fron North Eastern Victoria,I lived through the Black Saturday fires in Feb 2009.
        Please don’t use bushfires in Australia as some sort of proof of AGW, there is no demonstrable link, as anyone who went through dreadful fires in the past century or more could tell you.
        The more interesting scientific issue is the fact that the current Ausralian Bureau of Meteorology temperature “records” are based on “adjusted data”.Torok and Nichols in 1996 adjusted the entire Australian temperature record, station by station, with large downward adjustments of the earlier part of the record (late 1800’s to the sixties and seventies}. Della-Marta had another go at it in 2000 to get things just right. Torok and Nichols even said that some of the adjustments were “subjective”, they have never been independently audited. I do know that they documented the fact that if they found an anomolously long period of very hot days in a station record ( I think it was five days or more in a row) they would consider it “unlikely” and remove that sequence of hot days from the record.
        I simply do not trust the current pronouncments of record breaking monthly temps or the record breaking sequntial days of high temps. These “”adjustments” all need proper audit. Phil Jones was also involved in some of the early adjustment work in Australia and I would like to look a little more closely at that as well.

      • Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 6:11 PM | Permalink

        Victoria is the bottom right downward hump of Australia. The big city in that region is Melbourne which also has a very long T record, likely the longest in Victoria. Adjusted data shows that it’s COOLING there since 1855:


        Here’s NASA’s version:


        Let’s use GISS to find a few more around Melbourne:

        Of the 9 stations around Melbourne that carry back to the 1800s, on out to 201 km away, 8 of them show significant cooling for whole century.


        No, it’s not warming where you are.

  73. Reader A
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 5:29 PM | Permalink

    Anyone see that Andrew Revkin is leaving the NYTimes?


    • dp
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 9:03 PM | Permalink

      This quote from the Revkin article makes no sense:

      “Earlier, Revkin’s coverage of the Bush administration’s handling of climate change led to a string of breaking stories in 2005 and 2006 about how conservative politics was interfering with science, particularly at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. His story that the Bush administration was trying to restrict public comment by NASA’s top climate expert, Dr. James E. Hansen, long one of the most outspoken scientists on climate change dangers, created a firestorm.”

      Which is it to be – was Hansen hushed up or is he one of the most outspoken… ?

  74. Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 5:36 PM | Permalink

    I’ve just finished putting 190 years of temperature high and lows for Minneapolis/St. Paul into individual Excel files.

    Contact Steve (he’ll have my Email) and I’ll get them to you. Or, if you have the mind for a puzzle, Email me at: “Name of First Locomotive to Haul Iron Ore out of the Mesabi Range@aol.com” (I.e., you have to figure out the name!)

    Trend? Completely RANDOM

  75. Judith Curry
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 6:14 PM | Permalink

    Not sure if a link to this article on steve has been posted

    This statement about the emails really made me laugh:
    “The overall impression is that of 100 elephants stampeding in confusion and panic around a mouse.”

    • Brian B
      Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 7:16 PM | Permalink

      That is pretty funny Dr. Curry, but I can’t help wondering if many of that 100 were really elephants and if what they were panicked by was really a mouse.
      Perhaps a group of snakes and a mongoose would have been more apt?

  76. DanDaly
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 6:47 PM | Permalink

    Although the Independent (UK)in a recent article seeks to debunk any relation between solar activity and climate change http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/sunspots-do-not-cause-climate-change-say-scientists-1839867.html
    I’ve been reading some interesting papers by Juan Fontenla, Judith Lean and others about solar spectral variability particularly in the UV spectrum, which varies by a magnitude of two from minimum to maximum and is inversely related to IR. These studies appear to be in their infancy because accurate measurements have only become possible recently. But models developed seem to show at least some oceanic warming during an active sun. Perhaps someone could put these articles in laymen’s terms so that we can all take these findings into consideration.

  77. Judith Curry
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 7:12 PM | Permalink

    This one is REALLY funny


  78. Kevin
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 7:33 PM | Permalink

    Nice article about Steve.

  79. cbmclean
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 7:35 PM | Permalink

    Anyone else run across this?


    Since I am a lover of cold places, I worry.

  80. harold
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

    “Global Warming’s Ironclad Evidence” – Nate Beeler

  81. pat
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 8:44 PM | Permalink

    this is definitely the funniest piece written yet about hopenhagen. take time out for a good laugh:

    UK Times: AA Gill:The great green land grab
    Amid the oil barons, islanders and idealists in bad shoes, the eco-lobby has annexed not just the climate conference, but the world

  82. mitch
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 8:48 PM | Permalink

    i’ve just started looking at original sources and can’t seem to find a strong proof statement in the literature promoting agw that i’ve reviewed so far.

    it seems to go something like
    1. establish weak correlation between proxies for historical temps and co2 levels.
    2. correlation=causation

    can links be provided to a definitive bibliography of literature which details a proof validated with actual measurements?

  83. Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 9:03 PM | Permalink

    Just reported from Copenhagen: “Between melted land ice and heat expansion of ocean waters, the sea-level rise has increased from 1.8 millimeters a year to 3.4 millimeters (.07 inch a year to .13 inch) in the past 10 years.”

    Utter nonsense. You get 3 by starting just after Mt Pinatubo. You jump to 3.3 by changing the basis from height to volume (oddly still measured linearly). The 3.4 is obsolete, and 10 years is at least 17. And you only get any of this by starting in an anomalously low year. Producing straight line trends starting from anomalously odd years is frowned upon in other contexts.

    • Rhoda R
      Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 1:01 AM | Permalink

      The Weather Channel is reporting that this info comes to us from Penn State University.

  84. cba
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 9:23 PM | Permalink


    Here is another tidbit or nail in the coffin of the high range Temperature increase due to a co2 doubling.

    First, a little bit of background that is generally accepted or considered reasonable. The Earth is about 33K warmer than it would be
    if it were a blackbody at 1 AU with the same albedo. Assuming we currently have an average T of 288.2K and are in radiative
    balance with 235 W/m^2 outgoing power and surface emissions of 384W/m^2, which shows a total net absorption of 150 W/m^2
    due to ghgs. This gives us an average contribution of 33/150 = 0.22K / W/m^2. for a co2 doubling from 384ppm to double that
    there is about 3.5 W/m^2 increased absorption at 70km for clear sky conditions. This results in a total of 0.22*3.5 = 0.77 K
    rise for the doubling due only to co2. The high end of warming estimates is about 5 K increase and the difference is
    supposed to come from the increase in h2o vapor due to that rise in Temperature. The climatologist assumption on the
    increased h2o vapor is that relative humidity, RH, remains a constants.

    The new tidbit is just how much the added h2o vapor affects things. Going to an absolute humidity table, one finds that a
    5 K rise in will result in 1.3 times the h2o vapor already present. While that sounds impressive, one must remember that
    a doubling is the amount we usually tend to consider. Running a one dimensional radiative only model, doubling h2o brought about
    an increase in absorption of about 8 W/m^2 and running a 1.3 x increase in h2o netted only about 3.1 W/m^2 increased absorption.
    This is less than the increase due to the co2 doubling and should be worth only about 3.1*0.22 = 0.68 K rise making the
    total T rise = 0.68 + 0.77 = 1.5 K rise which is well under the 5 K rise assumed to determine the absolute humidity increase. That is
    we are at only 1/3 of the total assumed. Of course if one assumes only a 2 K rise, one finds there is a much less h2o vapor
    increase than with a 5 K rise. The net result is that the h2o contribution is less than that of the co2
    contribution(otherwise the system would be unstable). While I don’t have the numbers handy for the assumption of a 2K rise or
    a close estimate as to the total, it’s going to be much closer to 1 K than to 2 K for the combined effect of co2 and h2o.

    Another of the major problems with this is that the increase in absorption does not include the increased effect of convection
    and water cycle which will means this radiative absorption estimate will actually be higher than the effect in the real world.

    The net result of this is to show that the increase in h2o vapor is insufficient to have any significant effect on the temperature

    Steve: I repeatedly ask people not to bother trying to prove or disprove AGW in a few paragraphs.

    • mitch
      Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 7:34 AM | Permalink

      steve – is it possible to set up an egghead forum for these kinds of posts? i like them.

  85. Denny
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 9:24 PM | Permalink

    Steve M.,

    It’s good to see you back up and running but “things” have certainly changed…I’d rather, myself, see the old style site back…Plus to keep control of people will be a emense challenge…I hope you can get back to your “original” research..for I miss it!!! I know that your time has been more limited..This can’t be the easiest thing for you…hope you are adjusting Ok.

    Great job on your work and interviews..I think you held yourself very well..I will keep watching for more of your work!!!

    Steve: Yes, it’s hard to manage the site right now. I wish new readers would not be so angry or opinionated. Dial it back folks.

  86. Dave McK
    Posted Dec 14, 2009 at 11:40 PM | Permalink

    I have a question:
    Where is the programmer? Has he been properly identified as Ian Harris?
    If so, has he been approached for explanation?
    If not, why not?

  87. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 12:08 AM | Permalink

    Please do not use this thread to engage in arguments. Use it to make short comments drawing something interesting to other readers attention.

    If you want to engage in usenet arguments, please do so elsewhere.

  88. Matt Pearson
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 12:10 AM | Permalink

    Anthony Watts has an interesting tidbit on his site.

    DOE sends a “litigation hold notice” regarding CRU to employees – asking to “preserve documents”

    Who is taking action against DOE? Check out Anthony’s site.

  89. Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 12:14 AM | Permalink

    Steve M,

    Welcome to what CRU had to endure. Look, this subject is of global interest. You have a lot of well meaning people trying to understand. CA cannot become another ‘snipped’ RC.

    Now you understand what CRU experienced. This global scrutiny is painful, unpleasant and will take you to places not comfortable.

    If you do not want discussions – shut this site down and retire. Not trying to be harsh. But cleansing the scientific method is a messy business.

  90. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 12:25 AM | Permalink

    AJ, I’m not trying to be all things to all people. Please understand that the majority of readers never post comments and editorially I have an interest in them as well as people that wish to comment. Many of the threads presume knowledge of issues and methods. That’s what interests me. If people are interested in that sort of discussion, that’s fine, if they’re not, there are other alternatives.

    Unfortunately, without fairly active editing, every thread becomes an identical argument about CO2, just like every usenet thread. I’m not interested in people’s attempts to prove or disprove the impact of doubled CO2 in 2 paragraphs. IT can’t be done in 2 paragraphs and so I’m not interested in such discussions. That’s not what I want.

    Scrutiny is fine. But I’m interested in details and critical comments not opinions.

  91. geronimo
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 1:06 AM | Permalink

    AJStrata: I don’t know if you intended it but your post comes across as very sinister. I have to assume you are part of the CRU if you have some insight into what they’ve had to endure. It’s not obvious from the emails that they had to endure anything very much that they didn’t bring on themselves by refusing to provide raw data and methods from published, peer-reviewed papers. Others had to endure the CRU trying to stop the publication of their papers, but putting scientists who tell you the world will end unless you do as they say under scrutiny is, I suggest, the wisest course of action one could take.

    Dr.Judy, great to see you back on these threads.

  92. Sean
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 1:34 AM | Permalink

    Can someone here tell me if the CRU emails somehow revealed the identity of Tamino? I thought I saw such a claim while surfing Climategate news but now I can’t find it.

    • Luke Lea
      Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 1:47 AM | Permalink

      Lubos Motl has identified him. Go to his blog.

  93. brnn8r
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 1:48 AM | Permalink

    Dr Spencer is to give a speech to the AGU about cloud feedback/forcing on the 16th.


    Should be interesting to see if the modelers accept there is a possibility they may have got forcing and feedback confused.

  94. johnh
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 3:08 AM | Permalink

    Doubt we would have seen this headline in the Times 4 weeks ago.

    Inconvenient truth for Al Gore as his North Pole sums don’t add up


  95. jef
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 3:25 AM | Permalink

    I re-looked at Wegman’s response to Stupak
    which is on the righ hand information bar of CA.

    I think it bears reading again. Wegman is a pretty bright cookie, a little too bright for our dendro friends:

    Click to access StupakResponse.pdf

    Seriously, it is a little scary reading it then looking at the emails. Knowing full well what he said they continued along the same path.

  96. MikeN
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 5:27 AM | Permalink

    >Editorially, I prefer that readers stick to short points and not try to prove or disprove the entire apparatus of climate science in 4 sentences.

    I agree. 3 sentences is more than enough.

  97. mitch
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 5:42 AM | Permalink

    the leaked CRU info has made me question everything about the agw debate. the more i read original sources the less plausible it seems.

    somehow hypotheses that 5 or 6 years ago authors acknowledged were speculative and controversial are now stated as facts.

    so i’ll pose a question: of what value is a number like global average temperature?

    consider an air conditioning system – hot and cold parts with heat flowing through the sytem. instrument it with many thermocouples, and average all readings and obtain an arbitrary and useless number.

    and the earth’s climate is far more complex.

    i’ll post the same question at realclimate.org

    not looking for arguments, just answers. if there’s a relevant thread please point me to it.

    • mitch
      Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 6:26 AM | Permalink

      had to send email to realclimate. pages for questions/comments have been turned off!!

      • Dave Dardinger
        Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

        Maybe the litigation hold had something to do with it. If at least one of the editors are located at CRU, the might not want to have to maintain all the messages sent to them.

  98. Davet
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 5:56 AM | Permalink

    What’s the rationale for making adjustments to the surface temperature measurements at certain locations rather than just not using the measurements from those sites that need to be adjusted?

    • Harry
      Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

      A large portion of the surface temperature readings need adjusting.
      There just aren’t very many places in the world that haven’t changed much in the last 100 years.

      Even in rural areas…anyone who has ever been in a light airplane knows that the thermals are different over a corn field as opposed to a beet field as opposed to a fallow field.

  99. Tony B (another one)
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 6:28 AM | Permalink

    The only journalist worth his title at the BBC – Andrew Neil – had a very interesting discussion with Nick Cohen (a warmist “journalist” – an oxymoron, I know), Michael Portillo (former UK Member of Parliament) and Diane Abbott (current MP).

    It was very pleasing to see someone ask the real questions that need to be asked, steer around the obfuscation, ignore the mantra and put the warmist on the spot. Michael Portillo was also very intelligent in his analysis and added to Neil’s pressure on the warmist. Diane Abbott, being a Labour MP, obviously had no clue, but could chant the mantra. No surprise there, then

    With more like Andrew Neil on the case, maybe the tide will turn at last.

    In 2 parts – warmist piece first

    Second part shows the discussion

  100. PeterB_UK
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 6:57 AM | Permalink

    Just noticed that the BBC’s Paul Hudson updated his blog a few days ago.

    [url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/paulhudson/2009/12/could-the-sun-cast-a-shadow-on.shtml]Could the sun cast a shadow on global temperature predictions?[/url]

  101. Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 7:04 AM | Permalink

    Finally he British MSM seem to be catching on:



  102. Mark Williamson
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

    I just watched a live TV interview on ABC Lateline in Australia between Monbiot (in Copenhagen) and Plimer (in Sydney). Monbiot slaughtered Plimer who refused to answer questions and embarassingly waved his book in front of the camera at every opportunity. I was very disappointed.

  103. David Smith
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 8:43 AM | Permalink

    Ryan Maue has created a nice page of weather maps, mostly centered on North America. They’re colorful.


  104. Jean S
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

    “Gore-effect” hits Copenhagen:

  105. Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 9:59 AM | Permalink

    Raw and homogenized data from Swiss meteorological stations, compared against two truly rural stations in Europe.

    Homogenized Swiss data show more than twice positive trend since 1864 than raw data. Rural stations behave exactly as raw data. Looks exactly as the recent NZ story.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

      “Looks exactly as the recent NZ story.”
      Interesting. Can you link to that NZ story?
      Folks, I think that there are good threads for these kinds of stories on warming trends introduced by “homogenization” algorithms. Please find an appropriate thread rather than waste your words on “unthreaded”. I think Steve M will find these anecdotes useful when he starts stitching the whole picture together.

  106. MattN
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

    snip – inappropriate languate

  107. MattN
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    “snip – inappropriate languate”


  108. Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

    Monbiot v Plimer is at


    I agree mostly with Mark – a cautionary example of how not to deal with questions, however much you feel they’re loaded. Plimer did get in some decent stuff about previous warming periods but that was badly obscured by his stonewalling, book promotion and ugly sneering at a mere ‘journalist’. He did mention the effort to get rid of the MWP as part of the CRUtape letters but it was lost in the noise.

    What is the story about how much CO2 is emitted by volcanoes compared to man? Anyone got a reliable steer on that?

    By not answering well on that Plimer obscured the much more important issue that attribution of recent warming to CO2 has not been established, for instance through unambiguous early heating of the tropical troposhere.

    By not answering well on whether it had cooled in the last ten years or merely gone kinda nowhere he missed the facts that models had not predicted this and that warming since 1860 has been small and is best seen as our continuing to come out of the Little Ice Age (for which we don’t know the reason, when the chips are down).

    It was poor and showed that Climategate doesn’t solve all problems. McIntyre and McKitrick were both much better in their recent TV outings, as was Lindzen in the MIT debate.

    • Peter Lloyd
      Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 2:05 PM | Permalink

      Plimer on volcanos –

      Plimer has come in for lots of criticism on his views about CO2 from volcanos being far more than previously thought. Mainly from critics who, obviously, have not read his book!

      Plimer, as a geologist, has a new (at least, to me) insight. The thousands of miles of mid-ocean cracks which run right round the globe (except for the Arctic) apparently feature thousands, maybe tens of thousands, of volcanic vents which are spewing out all the usual volcanic gases – including large amounts of CO2 Plimer has pointed out that the studies done so far on volcanic emissions are only based on land volcanos and the few active large volcanic seamounts. He proposes that a vast amount of CO2 from the large number of mid-ocean vents completely changes the calculation of the overall CO2 global balance.

      Sounds rasonable to me.

      • Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 2:38 PM | Permalink

        Thank you very much Peter. Another book I need to read. Has anyone even tried to estimate the total CO2 coming out of the vents – presumably through some kind of sampling?

        He certainly didn’t explain this at all in the interaction with Monbiot, which is a real pity.

        Steve: To my knowledge, the amount is small in the scheme of things. It’s not an issue that bothers me.

  109. stansvonhorch
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 11:01 AM | Permalink

    Remember that controversy with “Climate Research” in 2003? The “official” story was that everybody resigned in protest of the Soon & Baliunas paper, including Hans Von Storch. However, on his website, Von Storch says that he resigned after the publisher didn’t let him write an editorial about the controversy as editor-in-chief. If you find the editorial on his page (below) there’s more to it. In part of the editorial, he mentioned the problem that the other side had with politicization and unscientific behavior. When combined with the fact that the emails contain language from the time outlining the need to “get rid of Von Storch” to make sure the skeptics could be controlled, this seems pretty ominous.


  110. luc
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 11:01 AM | Permalink

    Are there any papers on trying to replicate the medieval warm period using the climate models, and see what parameters were necessary to achieve it?

    • Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 7:35 PM | Permalink


      There are several attempts to replicate the MWP-LIA-CWP time frame by climate models. The main problem is that the models use different reconstructions as base for the replication, as that is the only “temperature” indication we have (besides ice core CO2 and other molecules and isotopes).
      The models which use MBH98/99 and other similar reconstructions with a low difference in temperature in the “shaft” of the hockeystick between MWP and LIA need a high sensitivity for CO2 to explain the “blade” of fast temperature increase in the past century. The models that use Moberg or other reconstructions, with a more substantial difference in temperature between the MWP and LIA, and a more bathtube-like shape, only need a modest sensitivity for CO2 as the larger influence of natural variation does a larger part of the increase.
      Unfortunately, I have not the URL of the first example (with Gavin Schmid as one of the authors), the second is here: http://coast.gkss.de/staff/zorita/ABSTRACTS/cubasch_asr.pdf
      They used the same model for a 125 kyr BP and 115 kyr BP simulation of the previous Eemian interglacial too.

  111. Douglas Kubler
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 11:07 AM | Permalink

    I found these as amusing as “hide the decline”.
    ” just to show the same thing in a different way, and to hammer in one more nail.”

    “But, I wanted us to think extra hard about whether there is
    SOME fig that might work?”


  112. Michael Larkin
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 11:16 AM | Permalink

    I found this article in the Weekly Standard very good. The first page doesn’t look all that promising, but the second is long (I make it 5000 words or so), detailed, and intelligent, with a good analysis of the emails:


    I’m a Brit – how is the Weekly standard rated in the US?

    • Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

      The Weekly Standard is a conservative publication, along the lines of National Review.

  113. Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

    Debate between George Monbiot and Prf Ian Plimer


    Very good.

    • Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

      Just for reference – a very good debate – not one where any view prevailed!

      • Michael Larkin
        Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

        Did you think so? I thought Plimer came across as shifty and evasive whatever the truth of his position. Singer or Lindzen or Moncton would have wiped the floor with Monbiot.

        • PeterA
          Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 7:44 AM | Permalink

          I was disappointed with both of them. They kept on arguing on whether we had warming or not over various periods ranging from 10 years to 1000’s of years. Of course it has been warming as well as cooling over various times. So what? The debate was a waste of time.

        • EdB
          Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

          I was impressed by the simple statement that grapes grew in central England, and that crops were growing on Greenland.

          To the uninformed, these specific facts have a way of saying “gee, it was warmer back then!”.

          The is the penny that drops for many viewers. George Monbiot had no comeback, as there is none.

        • Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

          In fact, as I know from the debate with Delingpole the other day George Monbiot has comeback for most things. I don’t know what it is for Greenland’s crops but on vineyards in the UK he has a map of the current ones – which extend much further north than I for one had heard about. He also surmises (not entirely unreasonably) that Roman soldiers would have made the effort to produce even lousy wine in low temperatures rather than none at all, to remind them of home.

          I’m not doubting the Medieval Optimum or the Roman warming, though I’m no expert on how far they extended over the earth. I’m just pointing us all back to the vital work Steve has been doing auditing the real data and the sometimes flawed stats used on top, which is the only rational way to try to settle such issues in the end.

        • Peter Lloyd
          Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 12:03 PM | Permalink

          The most northerly UK vineyard I know of is just to the east of Leeds.

          There is no question that Yorkshire/Lancashire now enjoy a far milder climate than a mere 60 years ago. Snow is now never more than a few inches deep and never stays on the ground (except high Pennines) for more than a few days. In the fifties snowfalls of 2 to 3 ft. deep were usual in winter and heavy falls stayed on the ground for 2-3 weeks. We walked to school on the top of dry stone walls. People wore heavier clothes and more layers.

          But I would not be in the slightest surprised to see that weather pattern return without warning.

  114. Pops
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

    This is an excellent take on Climategate and all that.


  115. Barry R.
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

    Apparently the organizers of the Copenhagen conference can’t even do simple math.


  116. dougie
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

    for anyone in the UK interested –
    BBC4 AT 10PM tonight ‘The Environment Debate’
    on climate change.

    GOSH!! 30mts long on primetime(not).
    wonder what will be covered in that time?

    • Michael Larkin
      Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 5:42 PM | Permalink

      Just watched it. Largely a waste of time. The interviewer actually explicitly said they didn’t want to go into the climategate affair on the pathetic excuse that it was under investigation.

      The BBC is robbing me of my TV licence fee. Lindzen was practically ignored. Bjorn Lomborg at Copenhagen talked some sense, about real pressing problems like hunger and lack of clean drinking water, and how people are sick to death of having a guilt trip laid on them. The mandatory AGW bigmouth (what’s his name?) made me want to puke.

  117. HankHenry
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 3:28 PM | Permalink

    I’ve been looking into the subject of crop failure. For those interested in weather. 1859 was a very odd year.

    In June there was an extensive frost in what is now the corn belt.

    About 2 weeks latter there was something called a Simoon in Santa Barbara CA during which the temperature rose from 80 to 133 in a matter of hours.

    In September there was the famous solar flare or coronal mass ejection that, were it to happen today, would bring world wide communications to its knees.

  118. Phil A
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 4:07 PM | Permalink


    “Dr James Hansen, who has spent the last several decades relentlessly bigging-up the greenhouse gas threat and pushing for emissions cuts, now admits that soot is a major issue – though he can’t bear to suggest it might actually be bigger than greenhouse gases. “Black soot is probably responsible for as much as half of the glacial melt,” he says.”
    snip – editorializing

  119. Rod Fabian
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 6:07 PM | Permalink

    Got some answers for my questions about CO2 absorption.

    Most CO2 absorption is to the oceans, to the tune currently of about 120 Gt/year. That ocean waters are normally in equilibrium with surface water (containing 3010 Gt of CO2) and there is a slower exchange with deep waters, where most of the CO2 is sequestered (31000 Gt).

    Henry’s law states that, all things being equal, an increase in CO2 partial pressure in the air increases CO2 dissolved in water in a linear fashion. An increase of CO2 pressure of 35% should cause an increase of CO2 in the water, and this is what has happened with some limitation from diffusion rates. Here’s a citation that goes through the numbers:


    In short, if we burn all known fossil fuel reserves in the next 100 years we will end up with an amospheric concentration of CO2 in the range of 570 ppm going by the ocean sink flux differential seen up to now.

  120. Syl
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 9:52 PM | Permalink

    In the Climategate attachements there is a word file called jones-foiathoughts.doc.

    Inside the document it reads:

    Options appear to be:

    1. Send them the data
    2. Send them a subset removing station data from some of the countries who made us pay in the normals papers of Hulme et al. (1990s) and also any number that David can remember. This should also omit some other countries like (Australia, NZ, Canada, Antarctica). Also could extract some of the sources that Anders added in (31-38 source codes in J&M 2003). Also should remove many of the early stations that we coded up in the 1980s.
    3. Send them the raw data as is, by reconstructing it from GHCN. How could this be done? Replace all stations where the WMO ID agrees with what is in GHCN. This would be the raw data, but it would annoy them.

  121. Brian Blais
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 9:58 PM | Permalink

    I just got finished going through the slides of Steve’s presentation: https://climateaudit.org/2009/03/13/steves-presentation-at-iccc-2009/

    and was intrigued by the last few slides, concerning the “Least Important Figure”. Am I reading this correctly that Steve is saying that the long-scale predictions of the IPCC are to be trusted, but that the focus on the hockey-stick is not? It seems to suggest (and this is the first time I’ve seen this here, so perhaps I am misreading) that he is supporting the policies being proposed to deal with AGW, is therefore accepting AGW, and is simply doing a statistical exercise to get the temperatures around 1200AD correct. Am I reading this correctly?

    • bender
      Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 10:13 PM | Permalink

      You’re definitely reading between the lines, and that’s not what I would read, reading those same lines. My read is that the graphic DOES in fact matter, if not from a scientific standpoint, then surely from a public persuasion policy perspective. Also, the line from Connolley is important, in part because it is one that has not AFAIK been argued by IPCC, but it is one that one sees time to time from the alarmists. (Telling skeptics their arguments are moot is a favorite line. At times it seems NOTHING matters.)

      • Brian Blais
        Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 6:00 AM | Permalink

        Ah, I should have read the speaking notes too…my bad. Now it makes a lot of sense when I look at what he actually said! 🙂

        Sorry for the noise.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 10:46 PM | Permalink

      Also, I’m not sure it is wise to try to leap to conclusions about policy implications. If you accept that the proxies are flawed and that the MWP was warmer than the CWP is now, then you have to have a physical mechanism to account for that natural historical variability. That opens up the whole pandora’s box of factors involved in “attribution”, and how internal climate variability is generated in the GCMs. Once that whole mess is straightened out then I think you might know where we are on the warming schedule, i.e. how much time there might be to act before things start getting uncomfortably warm.
      My take-home message is while we’re planning to act, let’s not forget that the facts still matter; we still need to try to get ever closer to the truth.
      These are my words, not Steve’s. I don’t know his opinion.

      • jae
        Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 10:57 PM | Permalink

        WOW, IMHO, A PERFECT DESCRIPTION OF THE STATUS QUO! There will absloutely be no “proof” or even a reasonable demonstration of AGW, until the MWP, LIA, RWP, …..ETC. phenomenon are explained.

        • bender
          Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 11:06 PM | Permalink

          That’s not what I said at all. For the thousandth time, I accept that AGW>0 is happening. It’s a question of whether AGW>>x and whether there is cause for alarm.

        • Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 3:37 AM | Permalink

          What is x in AGW>>x?

          That’s part tongue in cheek and part because otherwise that’s a very succinct summary. Would AGW>>0 do? Or should it be AGW>>1.5, or just AGW>1.5, given the breakdown at Copenhagen right now?

          (And part because I want to see how far these boxes nest inwards…)

        • Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

          Yeah, I am curious about the nesting as well. Oh, I am pretty sure AWG>0 but < 1.5.

        • Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 12:03 PM | Permalink

          I think each of us could specify a oncise ‘AGW footprint’ this way. For me:

          1. I accept AGW>0
          2. I would be concerned in AGW>>1.5
          3. In that event, I’d support efforts at geo-engineering.

          AGW stands for sensitivity to doubling of CO2? Bender?

        • suricat
          Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 11:42 PM | Permalink

          Sorry jae, but I have to agree with bender. I don’t think ‘science’ will come to a conclusion until the macro and micro perspectives agree.

          Best regards, suricat.

      • Calvin Ball
        Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 12:43 AM | Permalink

        If you accept that the proxies are flawed and that the MWP was warmer than the CWP is now, then you have to have a physical mechanism to account for that natural historical variability. That opens up the whole pandora’s box of factors involved in “attribution”, and how internal climate variability is generated in the GCMs.

        I don’t buy that. “I don’t know” is sometimes the right answer. The argument that it has to be A, because A is the only theory on the table is fallacious.

      • bobdenton
        Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 6:35 AM | Permalink

        Absolutely. If we bet the farm on CO2, and it’s not, were stuffed. This is the problem with the insistence on “the science is settled” when it’s not.
        It may be CO2, but unless policy makers are alive to the fact that it may be something else no proper contingency planning is possible. If it is natural variation the consequences won’t be any better, but stabilising the climate will require quite different measures and research into these will need to be funded to ensure effective measures are available.

  122. Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 10:25 PM | Permalink

    Haven’t see any reference to this elsewhere in CA, but James Delingpole, who blogs at the U.K. Telegraph, also had a Dec. 9 article in the Spectator, which he concluded by suggesting that Climategate may be a scandal, or a “bloody miracle”

    While Delingpole indicates that Climategate makes him feel “like a proud parent”, he gives credit where it is obviously due:

    “Of course, the real stars of this story are two Canadians named Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick. One is a statistician, the other an economist, and if there’s one absolute certainty in this mucky, confused business it’s that McIntyre and McKitrick will one day be acclaimed as perhaps the most heroic and significant scientific double-act of our age.”


  123. nevket240
    Posted Dec 15, 2009 at 11:26 PM | Permalink

    snip -policy

  124. ecph
    Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 2:08 AM | Permalink

    Video of speeches held at “The Alternative Climate Conference”, Copenhagen, 6th Dec. 2009 are available in English and Danish (organized by European Freedom and Democracy – Danish People’s Party delegation to the European parliament)

    http://www.danskfolkeparti.eu/Climate-Videos.asp (English)
    http://www.danskfolkeparti.eu/Klima-video.asp (Danish)

    You will find 8 speeches:

    Roger A. Pielke Sr., Professor, University of Colorado at Boulder
    “The Diverse Role of Humans within the Climate System Including the Need to Be Inclusive in the Science Presented to Policy Makers”.

    Ole Humlum, Professor, University of Oslo
    “Climate Change and Its Causes”.

    Henrik Svensmark, Professor, Technical University of Denmark
    “The Sun and Its Role in Climate”.

    Bjarne Andresen, Professor, University of Copenhagen
    “Is There a Global Temperature”?

    Jens Olaf Pepke Pedersen, Senior Scientist, Technical University of Denmark
    “Climate Science and Politics”.

    Fred Singer, Professor, Science & Environmental Policy Project
    “Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 Years”.

    Lord Monckton
    “Global warming: the science is in, the truth is out, and the scare is over”.

    Leighton Steward, Geologist
    “Benefits of warmer temp and higher CO2 levels, COP-15, cap & trade, ETS”

  125. johnh
    Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 6:13 AM | Permalink

    ‘When you are in hole stop digging’ is not the advice Al Gore has been given, or maybe he has but chose to ignore it ?

    • PeterA
      Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 7:53 AM | Permalink

      Yes, Al Gore is sticking to his claim that the Arctic will be free of ice in 5 years while both sides are now disagreeing with him. Why does anyone give him the time of day since all he does is blurts out more and more alarming predictions. How long before even the strongest AGW believer starts saying he is wrong, and that he should stop peddling such alarmist claims. Although he’s too stupid to see it, he is actually helping the skeptics to show how man-made global warming catastrophes of any kind have no scientific foundation at all.

  126. MattN
    Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 6:14 AM | Permalink

    Duke environmentalist on McKitrick: http://www.nicholas.duke.edu/thegreengrok/mckitrick

    • bender
      Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 9:10 AM | Permalink

      This critic is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. McKitrick’s idea is very good, and it can be easily adjusted to accommodate the critics’s concerns about lags and nonlinearities and effects arising in the bio- and anthrospheres. I look forward to McKitrick’s rebuttal.

      • Bernie
        Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

        I agree. His position also makes the whole theory almost impossible to falsify. It is a stunning piece of theological thinking.

        • bender
          Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

          Yes. I might be inclined to believe in “boogie-man future” if the guys at the control of the models were a little more open to questioning. As it stands, I find their lack of transparency disconcerting. (Yes, Gavin, I know the models are “available”. That’s no what I’m talking about, so don’t try playing the old dodge ’em trick.)

        • MattN
          Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

          Wait until you guys read this “climate primer” by him: http://www.nicholas.duke.edu/thegreengrok/climateprimer

          I had trouble getting past the first few paragraphs, his thinking is so bad…

        • Bernie
          Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

          Apparently not a first author on a peer reviewed scientific article since 1999 – if his publication list is up to date.

    • Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

      The key article is by John Tierney in the New York Times:


      I’m so glad to see Ross’s truth-based cap and trade proposal has percolated up to this level. I’ve already emailed the link to three of my friends in London who have been following the debate a little, mostly because of my proddings – one of whom is a policy adviser to the Conservatives. This is a real help.

    • AMac
      Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 12:17 PM | Permalink

      Dr. Chameides ends his essay with

      But let’s be honest about it and not cloak our decision to ignore the warnings of climate scientists in the guise of some feel-good, wait-and-see climate-mitigation pretender.

      I submitted a brief, polite comment noting that this is more along the lines of ad hominem than of policy discussion. It hasn’t yet passed moderation.

      • Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 12:43 PM | Permalink

        Well done. The whole point is that truth-based carbon tax is taking ‘the warnings of climate scientists’ absolutely seriously – especially the fact that in all their models it says more, earlier warming in the tropical troposphere if CO2 is responsible. It’s funny how the warnings so often fail to emphasize that part though. But this forces that key issue into the open and is one of the very big reasons for giving Ross all the support we can on this, in my view.

      • AMac
        Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

        Concerning Dr. Chameides’ “A Skeptics’ Compromise Climate ‘Solution'” blog post critical of McKitrick and his carbon tax policy proposal, my comment referred to above (Dec. 16, 2009 at 12:17 PM) was allowed, after some delay. Good for him. Though a subsequent comment (responding to Chameides’ claim that “The science is pretty much settled”), submitted 2+ days ago, appears to have failed moderation.

        • AMac
          Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

          My comment that is either too long (453 words) or insufficiently green for Dr. Chameides’ green blog GreenGrok has a home at An Inconvenient Comment.

  127. mitch
    Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 6:26 AM | Permalink

    does anyone have links to a documented method for global warming potential measurement/derivation?

    i’m looking for something like an ISO or mil-spec test method which clearly documents the procedure.

    if that’s not available a key paper in the scientific lit would be a good starting point.

    • TJA
      Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 7:11 AM | Permalink

      Let us know how that goes. I suggest you search this blog for the term “Engineering Quality” and start reading. There is at least one 500 comment thread.

      • Joe Crawford
        Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

        mitch (Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 6:26 AM):

        does anyone have links to a documented method for global warming potential measurement/derivation?

        How about

        • Joe Crawford
          Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

          That didn’t work try here.

        • mitch
          Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 4:55 AM | Permalink

          point taken. thank you.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 9:26 AM | Permalink


    • bstewart
      Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

      If your interest is with metrics, you’ll also want to head over to Roger Pielke Sr’s blog and read up on ocean heat content (start with his article in Physics Today 2008), as well as the effect of boundary layer physics on land temperatures. You’ll also find information on reconciling surface temperatures with satellite data, which may lead you to Roy Spencer and/or John Christy.

      As if that were not daunting enough, and you’re concerned about attribution as well, then you’ll have to follow the trail suggested by TJA, as well as “climate sensitivity,” “natural variability,” plus research the Antarctic ice cores (EPICA is the best) to understand whether they document CO2 as cause or effect (hint: check what Lubos Motl says about methane).

      • mitch
        Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 11:53 PM | Permalink

        ‘co2 cause or effect’

        only read 2 papers re ice cores. synchronizing the ice clock and the air clock seems like a potential source of error, as it was stated that the air clock lagged approx 30 to 3000 yrs. one author openly acknowledged that a slight time shift of his air clock data gave a much better correlation. not sure given that how you can say which came first.

        • bstewart
          Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 1:47 PM | Permalink

          IMO you are correct about the lag being problematic. There are however two other, better lines of argument: (1) The methane reconstruction – Lubos Motl has goods; and (2) There is a pretty decent carbon cycle model involving ocean solubility of CO2 but no radiative effect whatsoever of atmospheric CO2, that fairly well explains the EPICA data, in the sense that the model takes EPICA reconstructed temperature (and other environmental data excluding CO2) as input and calculates CO2 levels in good agreement with EPICA data. The model leaves some room for radiative effects of CO2, but the simple notion that the ice cores show CO2 as the cause and temperature the effect is not viable. (P. Köhler and H. Fischer, “Simulating low frequency changes in atmospheric CO2 during the last 740 000 years,” Clim. Past, 2, 57-78, 2006 – the journal is open access)

        • mitch
          Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 7:33 PM | Permalink

          thanks for the reference.

          do you know if simultaneous satellite based measurements of co2, incident energy, and transmitted energy have been made? just a simple minded attempt to directly measure the ‘greenhouse effect’

        • mitch
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 5:01 AM | Permalink

          interesting article. at this point i don’t know enough to know if it is a nathan sokal style spoof, but assuming that’s not the case, it is interesting that one can construct such a model. do you know of any similar studies that include the effect of abrupt release of methane from tundra and methane hydrates? to me, that seems like the 500 pound gorilla in the room, if it could act as an abrupt but short lived stimulus. i haven’t had much time to go through lubos motl’s blog. this is probably old news and i’m just another newbie stating the obvious.

        • bstewart
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 6:28 AM | Permalink


          Sorry I’m not familiar with studies such as you request.

      • mitch
        Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 6:20 AM | Permalink

        this paper provides some insight into how ice core data is compiled, and provides an explanation of the ice and air clock synchronization issues.

        Click to access indermuehle00grl.pdf

    • Clif C
      Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

      “documented method for global warming potential”

      I’ve been flailing around for a little bit from a possibly different perspective. For example, just following the “documentation” back from the IPCC reports leads into a thicket.

      I guess its time for me to get down off the fence and DO something too.

      Unless already underway (please, someone let me know if and where), I’m thinking of putting together at a collaborative site an appropriately annotated “genealogy” of climate science showing the lineage of papers and reports.

      • mitch
        Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 4:44 PM | Permalink

        that sounds like a great idea. i’m trying to follow the gwp paper trail. ipcc 2001 > ipcc third assessment report (tar), both online. tar refs ipcc 1994 as a defining document. i want to get to where it says what lab measured what gwp to what standard method.

        if anyone knows an online link to ipcc 1994 please let me know now, i’m going to drive to the library approx 7PM EST to get it.

        IPCC, 1994: Climate Change 1994: Radiative Forcing of Climate Change and an Evaluation of the IPCC IS92 Emission Scenarios

      • mitch
        Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 6:40 AM | Permalink

        oops, “what lab measured what gwp” change “measured” to “derived”. gwp based upon integration over a stated interval (typ 20, 100 or 500 yrs) so it is not measured directly.

      • mitch
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 5:24 AM | Permalink

        just skimmed through ipcc 94. it’s acknowledged that understanding of the physics is incomplete – but gwp’s are calculated anyway, and an error estimate is provided. not sure how you can do that with an incomplete model, must study the details. also, gwp’s are intended to be a tool for policymakers, not scientists.

        to me it seems that experimental confirmation of the accuracy of gwp estimates is central to this debate. there’s sufficient attribution in these documents to determine if this was done, so i’ll follow up on that. i’m sure that i’m following a well worn path. has this issue already been resolved here?

      • mitch
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:51 PM | Permalink

        that doesn’t read right. fool=me… steve has already been down this road.

  128. Jryan
    Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    Well, RealClimate is at it again… now they lasso Eric Steig to do an “objective analysis” of the CRU data (now that it’s offline).. ignoring the fact that Steig in well documented in the CRU emails. I don’t have time to find “Kevin Wood” in the CRU emails because his name is almost made to create false hits in discussions of dendrochronology. 🙂

    Also, I found this editor response on RealClimate to be very funny, considering that Steig is writing it:

    **[Response: The point is that individual stations are being cherry picked. An honest assessment would pick sites at random, as we have done. It is of course possible that some stations have problems that CRU didn’t catch. Picking on those isn’t objective.–eric]**

    Hey Eric, I think you need to have a long sit down with Mike Mann and explain this to him….

    • bender
      Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

      Do they supply turnkey code, the way Steve does? Or are we expected yet again to accept their results on faith?

      • Jryan
        Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

        The latter. That response from Eric Steig I quoted above was to a post by a reader asking for access to the CRU data that was taken off-line.

        So yeah, they are at it again. You take someone who works closely with UEA-CRU and have them write the defense of UEA-CRU data… and then they don’t provide the evidence to support the defense.. all while attacking WUWT for not randomly selecting climate stations to survey.

        I guess they miss the fact that his “non-random” selections now number in the hundreds…. if the Hockey team had used WUWT methodology and selection they would have cut down half of the trees in Yamal and USED THEM ALL.

  129. dean_1230
    Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    FYI, the Office of Science & Technology Policy is launching a public forum on to discuss availability of publicly funded research.


    It looks like the process has already started, but there may still be time to influence the outcome.

  130. MrPete
    Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 12:09 PM | Permalink

    CA commenters: want better comment experience? If you can use FireFox, try the experimental new tool. So far:
    – Most-recent comment threads show up at the end, no matter where the recent comment is in the thread
    – The reply box has the nice helper-buttons from before (Bold, Link, Img, LaTeX, etc)

    And more to come…

    See the CA Assistant page

  131. ZT
    Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 12:25 PM | Permalink

    Suppression of comments? Suppression of information on Wikipedia?

    It seems to me that quite heavy comment suppression occurs on some sites. I have submitted comments to the Times and RealClimate in recent days and they just disappear. Has anyone else seen this?

    Also Wikipedia seems unusually ‘passive’ on the CRU emails http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climategate and climate in general – is there a known reason for this?

    • Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

      Two possible reasons come to mind. In the inner circle of trusted editors (and there are many such rings to the onion by now) there is one who is trusted on AGW and takes the conventional view. (Others may be able to suggest who – I’m just speaking in the abstract. ) The second reason could be funding: it takes a lot of time and effort to get involved in Wikipedia edit wars and if you’re only a self-funded ‘amateur’ (like our esteemed host) what a waste of time, when it mostly goes against you in the end anyhow. But if you’re a fully funded AGW agitator with some background in the science, what could be easier or nicer?

      It’s an issue that’s bothered me from the dawn of the Wiki age in the 90s, when I became fairly prominent on Ward Cunningham’s original (bless his cotton socks – Ward deserves a Nobel more than a few that I’ve heard about of late). I believe that there will be a fragmentation of wiki knowledge bases in the end, to better reflect different viewpoints on highly contentious issues – but getting proper attention on this depends on Google and Bing as well I guess.

      For the moment WordPress with strict snipping from Mr. S. McIntyre has a lot going for it …

      • dougie
        Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

        what is your point? makes no sense to me/clarify please?

        • Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 4:43 AM | Permalink

          ZT had said:

          Wikipedia seems unusually ‘passive’ on the CRU emails http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climategate and climate in general – is there a known reason for this?

          My comments were in response to that. Perhaps that was not clear.

          Was there something specific you didn’t agree with, based on your experience?

  132. Dave McK
    Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 12:38 PM | Permalink

    “Climategate has already affected Russia. On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.
    The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory.
    Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country’s territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports.
    Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations.
    The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature UK (HadCRUT) survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century.
    The HadCRUT database includes specific stations providing incomplete data and highlighting the global-warming process, rather than stations facilitating uninterrupted observations.”


  133. cheesegrater
    Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

    If one wants to see a graph proving the data sets share data, look no further than here:


    Ironically the creator believes this is visual proof if one data set is bad, the others are still good.

  134. Calvin Ball
    Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 8:11 PM | Permalink


    Something I stumbled across at Roger Pielke, Jr:

    I would include here the dueling science-cum-politics weblogs Realclimate.org and Climateaudit.org (we had an exchange with Reaclimate folks a while back). I would also include here CATO’s Patrick Michaels and the IPCC’s Rajendra Pachauri (see this post) and others who have a clear political perspective but choose frequently to debate the science as a proxy war.

    I think that’s probably an accurate description of Realclimate, and certainly an accurate description of CATO and IPCC, but I have no idea how he figures that you’re fighting a proxy political fight. Do you have any idea why he included you in there?

    • bender
      Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 10:29 PM | Permalink

      He didn’t say Steve was political. He said the blog was political. That is sometimes true, despite Steve’s efforts. Also, recall Steve asks that commenters focus on the IPCC-cited literature, as opposed to all scientific literature. The “I” in IPCC => political.

      • Calvin Ball
        Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 12:59 AM | Permalink

        snip -sorry. but silent readers have an interest as well

  135. Barclay E MacDonald
    Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 10:26 PM | Permalink

    Forget tree rings. We have a new proxy, butter: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/article6958507.ece

  136. Dave McK
    Posted Dec 16, 2009 at 11:23 PM | Permalink

    “Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen has officially taken over the presidency of the UN Climate Change Conference COP15 from Connie Hedegaard, who has been appointed special representative.”



  137. Dave McK
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 1:06 AM | Permalink

    Can’t hide that decline.

  138. VG
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 2:02 AM | Permalink

    OT but you may have heard of giant icebergs floating up near the Australian Coast last month and also same time last year. Why? the antarctic had been increasing in ice extent considerable over the past 4 YEARS yes, 4 YEARS (see Cryosphere today a totally pro AGW site). These icebergs are a result of an overextended ice over the SH. This event and the extreme COLD records experienced in BOTH the SH and NH hemispheric winters suggest a global COOLING brought about solar minima. BTW I would prefer warming any day over cooling

  139. mitch
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 6:29 AM | Permalink

    can anyone provide titles of the definitive texts used to teach climate physics?

    in electrical engineering when you say ‘ramo’ or ‘grey and meyer’ many know what book you mean. looking for the texts that everyone has to have at the graduate level.

  140. Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

    For those interested in the Kaufman et al (2009) proxies, I just posted graphs of the individual proxies that had been averaged by Kaufman et al (2009). The data is available from the NOAA Paleoclimatological Program website. While the proxy average provides them with the curve they desired, the plots of the individual proxies do not.


  141. S.Y.
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

    Lubos Motl’s blog seems to have disappeared. What happened?

  142. TJA
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

    This looks like a fun thread:


  143. Reader A
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

    Found this “leaked” UN paper on a climate “activist” website. It has Bill McKibben’s name scribbled on it for some reason. Can someone explain what this is all about?


  144. LMB
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 4:29 PM | Permalink

    Programming Note

    Larry King Live
    9 PM (EST)

    (Thursday night/tonight)

  145. Walter Manny
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 7:20 PM | Permalink

    ‘rasmus’ paying homage to CA, it would appear, demanding transparency from Scafetta. Seems like a reasonable request — perhaps someone here can help get him and Gavin the code they need. Transparency all around, right?

  146. John M
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 7:25 PM | Permalink

    Just saw this on the sciencedailyshow.

    A new analysis of the geological record of the Earth’s sea level, carried out by scientists at Princeton and Harvard universities and published in the Dec. 16 issue of Nature, employs a novel statistical approach that reveals the planet’s polar ice sheets are vulnerable to large-scale melting even under moderate global warming scenarios.

    Oh joy and rapture, another “novel statistical approach”.


    (I guess I just broke the Unthreaded rules, since “novel” is an adjective. I can think of worse.)

  147. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 7:32 PM | Permalink

    Re Dendrclimatology,

    Found this while browsing NASA websites:

    Recommendations, conclusions and procedures for examining uncertainty

    Check that sensitivity of parameters is known
    Carry out pre-analysis to identify inputs variables that have most influence on output

    Ensure that error is propagated sensibly through chained submodels. Be aware of the need
    to evaluate ‘improvements’ to parts of models not just in terms of the mean data they
    transmit but also of the distribution of these means in terms of the distributions input to the submodel.

    Identify groups of parameters that have influence on one another. Assess correlation within
    (process correlation) and between groups (model correlation). Partition the variance into
    components to see at a glance what the influence of an input or group of inputs is on the
    output variability. Expend effort where needed to obtain inputs with sufficient precision or
    obtain better descriptions of the model processes responsible for the output variability
    Bias (systematic error)
    Make funnel plots of key data determining model parameters or inputs; essentially there are
    other measures of reliability besides variance and a funnel plot can sometimes exploit this. If the funnel appears to be incomplete or distorted seek missing data and classify existing data in several ways in order to check for bias. Advanced techniques such as that proposed by (85)Givens et al. (1997) may allow the distortion in the funnel plot to be corrected and a better estimate of the true mean obtained.

    Examine distributions of inputs at old and new scale. Check literature values of key
    parameters. If there are differences (i) check calibration (ii) check sensitivity (iii) check
    propagation analysis.

    Ensure that the model is robust over the range to which it is to be applied. Check that there
    are no unexpected discontinuities as model use is extended from interpolation to
    extrapolation. Explore and define the time dimension in dynamic models in which model
    predictions are needed; there is almost certainly a trade off between early and precise
    prediction. What is the optimum?
    Much of what has been written in this report is common sense and. It is incumbent on all
    building and using models to apply common sense to predictions made with models and to
    the conclusions drawn from those predictions. (End)

    Click to access Magec_final_report.pdf

    (The report deals with models of carbon sequestration and plant growth under CO2 change. Rothamstead is a famous agricultural research centre in Britain.)

    Dated year 2001. Have we been moving backwards?

  148. boballab
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 8:43 PM | Permalink

    Steve you might appreciate this one. Jeff Id over on the Air Vent has found out that RC is asking for computer codes from a scientist so they can duplicate his work. He told them no and you have to read the thread to believe what happens after that:


  149. Steve
    Posted Dec 17, 2009 at 8:57 PM | Permalink

    Video Report: Climategate — UK Met Office Manipulated Russia’s Weather Data to Show Trend
    The female reporter here did a really good job.

  150. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 5:50 AM | Permalink

    Just a small reminder of the 2009 winter forecast of MET UK Office:

    “Preliminary indications continue to suggest that winter temperatures are likely to be near or above average over much of Europe including the UK. Winter 2009/10 is likely to be milder than last year for the UK, but there is still a 1 in 7 chance of a cold winter.”

    This is the same MET who predicteed a “barbeque” summer with it’s new multi million megaflop computer system

  151. bobdenton
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 9:40 AM | Permalink

    Off Topic comments and the Divergence problem.
    I’ve been responding to comments in the themed threads and, as happens, topic drift or divergence occurs. Is there a way I can post a diverging comment on Unthreaded and simply post a link to the response on unthreaded as a response on the themed topic thread? Hopefully, that would keep the themed thread focused and enable divergent matters arising to be discussed on unthreaded in a coherent narrative. Suggestions welcome. Can the “Permalinks” feature be used to do this? I suppose I could post on Unthreaded specifying the post I was responding to and Post on the Themed just something like “ see Unthreaded post -date- time – poster”, but hyperlinks would make it much easier to move between threads without having to go the long way ‘round.

  152. Kate
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 9:57 AM | Permalink


    A blog loaded with skeptical scientists – some posts are beautiful

  153. Steve L
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

    A bit of a ‘novice’ question here, so I apologize in advance if this is well-plowed ground for most. In the “IPCC and the ‘Trick’” thread (https://climateaudit.org/2009/12/10/ipcc-and-the-trick/) the first graphic (IPCC Third Assessment Report Zero-Order Draft Figure 2.3.3a) and the third graphic (IPCC Third Assessment Report Figure 2.21) depict most of the data sets look the same, but the Briffa data set looks radically different. Not the ‘hide the decline’ part, but rather, between around 1600 and 1800 the older version shows ‘peaks’ whereas the new version show ‘valleys’. Can someone explain or point me to an explanation? Cheers and thanks in advance.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

      That has been noted and is under investigation. It is the feature that Deep Climate originally pointed to in reference to the “diluting the message” email snippet.

  154. Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

    Random Team-member activities:

    William Connolley plugs “An Inconvenient Comment”

  155. Peter Lloyd
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

    For several days I have been unable to download the usual HADCRUT3 temp. graphs.

    The usual UEA site:

    throws up the UEA homepage that says –

    ‘Due to the present high volume of visitors to this page, you will shortly be directed to the latest news about CRU on the main University of East Anglia website, or you can go there immediately by clicking on this link.’

    Various alternative links on the web always finish up as above. Last week I tried to access it at 6 a.m. UK time, at which I guess volume from Europe and USA would be minimal. I could not get access.

    I last downloaded HADCRUT3 on 27th. Nov. last. The annual plots showed 2009, presumably based on year-to-date. The smoothed average showed a clear downturn since 2005, contradicting UK Met. Office public statements at that time that global average temperatures were not indicating any downturn.

    Is the sudden disappearance of HADCRUT3 connected with its clear evidence of a downturn, especially at the same time as the Copenhagen meeting, when journalists and others will probably be looking for such data to inform their reports?

    I am not so dumb as to believe that three or four years’ lower temperature has anything to do with climate, but many people ‘are, and the removal ‘just in case’ of what could be used as contrarian evidence ‘ is further evidence of the cynical manipulation of climate data in order to manage public opinion.

    • Peter Lloyd
      Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 6:48 PM | Permalink

      Today the site has changed to the UAE logo and a simple statement that:-

      The CRU Website is currently unavailable, but we’re working on it!
      In the meantime, recent press releases are here.

      With bated breath…..

      • Peter Lloyd
        Posted Dec 26, 2009 at 6:29 PM | Permalink

        It’s back this evening.

        At first sight, can’t see any difference to the 11/27 download.

        The rest of the site is ‘being rebuilt’.

        • Peter Lloyd
          Posted Dec 26, 2009 at 6:40 PM | Permalink

          Wasn’t looking closely enough!

          2009-to-date plots differ slightly.

          NH is down about 0.05 deg.

          SH is up about 0.1 deg.

          Global is up about 0.7 deg.

  156. Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 12:43 PM | Permalink

    I have a question about the analysis of recent temperature data: can a
    non-parametric test for trend be applied directly to the raw (surface) station
    temperature data?

    Quick introduction: I am an “interested bystander”; I have no
    involvement in the climate field, but I have a strong
    mathematical/scientific background, and have been looking casually into
    climate since Climategate started. My only agenda is scientific

    I think a lot of the controversy around Climategate has to do with
    various forms of data processing, such as bias adjustment, gridding,
    etc. It appears that the available temperature data is clearly sampled
    at a frequency much lower than the bandwidth both spatially and
    temporally; interpolating from such data is a recipe for introducing
    artifacts. Also, the types of processing done tend to obscure the
    question of what level of statistical significance exists for any
    conclusion drawn from the data. A pretty line going upwards on a graph
    does not a trend make.

    In my mind, the “perfect” test would:

    * not apply any adjustment to raw data, except possibly subtracting the
    average for that station, or possibly subtracting the (smoothed?)
    average for that day of the year for that station: adjustments which, as
    constant shifts, cannot introduce a trend even in principle, but which
    may strengthen a subsequent test by removing known sources of variance
    (disclaimer: not quite true: subtracting daily averages actually can
    introduce a trend because of wrapping effects, so it should be done with
    some care, e.g. by considering all observations in that year as tied in
    time rank)

    * not average data, either temporally or spatially: averaging *may* make
    any subsequent statistical test less powerful

    * not extrapolate data, for example by filling in missing data using
    neighboring stations, etc

    * not use data that spans any equipment or location change: there is
    really no good way to splice such data together, so the only honest
    approach is to use it as though it was completely independent. I am
    familiar with surfacestations.org, and aware of the fact that most USHCN
    stations have had several moves/upgrades since the 1950’s. The time of
    such changes is reasonably well known; station records from before and
    after each change should be considered as independent stations/series.

    As a non-statistician, I can’t readily think of a test for trend that
    can deal with all of those requirements (especially the missing data).
    Possibly something like Page’s L or Jonckheere test can be modified (see
    [1]). Alternately a Mann-Whitney test could be applied to the
    differenced data (eg subsequent years, with differences only calculated
    when both observations exist).

    I think this type of analysis actually has the best power to detect any
    statistically significant trend in the data, if it exists. If it does
    not show a significant trend, given how basic and “close to the metal”
    the analysis is, a good case can be made that there *is* no significant
    trend, except as an artifact of more comlpicated types of processing.

    Apologies if the question and remarks appear naive. Obviously I’m an
    outsider, and not familiar with all the intricacies of the field. At
    the same time, a lot of the things I have read about the type of data
    analysis used at CRU etc strike me as *wrong*, not even in an outright
    fraudulent way, but simply as not being good statistics.

    [1] Park E, Lee YJ. Non-parametric test of ordered alternatives in
    incomplete blocks. Statistics in Medicine, Volume 19 Issue 10, Pages
    1329 – 1337.

  157. NickB.
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 1:01 PM | Permalink

    AHAHAHAHAHAHA, so they finally understand…

    “Please, show us your code”

    WINNAR Comment: “Zorro says:
    17 December 2009 at 2:02 PM
    Their code was designed by 10 separate programmers who are bound by property rights issues…… and the various offices required the signing of confidentially agreements……. Plus they lost it.”

    • Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 8:47 AM | Permalink

      I do like the reply to a comment by Rasmus:

      “True. But there are still some people (NIPCC, etc, etc, and I was trying to convince Fred Singer about this a couple of weeks ago) who believe that the sun is the culprit, and we have looked at the data, and argued for a while that there is little evidence of the sun causing the recent trends. We always have to be open for new ideas and new facts. Recent work suggest that solar activity can have an influence – albeit weak – causing climate fluctuations.”

      So, they’ve recently discovered that the sun might have an effect on climate???

      *** must not editorialise… must not editorialise… must not editorialise… *** 😀

      • bender
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 9:28 AM | Permalink

        If you want to yack about the sun there are a dozen Svalgard threads for you to refute. Anything less is propaganda.

  158. Keith Herbert
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    Michael Mann has an article in the Washington Post today: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/17/AR2009121703682.html . (Sorry can’t figure out how to use the new format).

    So who does he choose to debate regarding the “trick” and “hide the decline”? Sarah Palin. No mention of McIntyre.

    He argues the word trick merely means “a clever trick” or “tricks of the trade”. OK, I’ll accept that, let’s substitute those words: “a clever trick to hide the decline” or “tricks of the trade to hide the decline”.
    Sound any more convincing?

  159. bender
    Posted Dec 18, 2009 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    The quality of commenting has improved in recent days. More people are following blog rules. Behavior is not as good as pre-climategate, but there is definite improvement. Good job, everyone. Let’s see if we can pick it up another notch still.
    Some simple rules Steve likes people to follow:
    -don’t go off-topic
    -don’t impugn motive
    -don’t get angry
    -don’t pile on
    -don’t use adjectives
    -don’t play with the trolls
    -do stick to the facts
    -don’t issue 3 paragraph “refutations” of AGW
    -do reference the IPCC peer-reviewed literature
    -do point out comments that you feel break a blog rule
    -don’t reply in kind
    -do thread your comments on an appropriate thread
    -do read up on a topic before commenting

    • MrPete
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 7:09 AM | Permalink

      Especially important is placing your comments on the correct thread.

      At least for now, there is no way to move a comment to another thread. That means comments stay…or get chopped. “Mr Nice Guy” is not an available choice 😉

      Steve: my bold.

  160. suricat
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 12:48 AM | Permalink

    Steve: Thought you may find this interesting.

    Click to access pachauri_letter.pdf

    Best regards, suricat.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:41 AM | Permalink

      Yep. That’s be the problem with stochastic time-series all right. Arbitrary framing is prone to abuse.

  161. mitch
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 5:45 AM | Permalink

    this lindzen study is getting attention. any comments?

    Click to access Lindzen-and-Choi-GRL-2009.pdf

    • bender
      Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

      Judith Curry is going to tell us, now that Copenhagen is over, why this paper is either wrong or irrelevant. I can’t wait. I’m putting words in her mouth already 🙂
      Meanwhile, is GRL still considered part of the peerreviewedlitchurchur?

      • mitch
        Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

        i’m just looking for the actual measurements of the effect. there’s lots of assumptions in ipcc docs, and i haven’t been able to psyche them out yet. just want to see the data that shows that the gwp is a good predictor of net energy gain.

        • bstewart
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

          Re lots of assumptions, it has been known for a long time that the one aspect of models that best explains the differences in climate sensitivity among global climate models is how they treat cloud feedback. This was studied by Cess et al JGR 1990.
          Link to PDF:

          Click to access Cessetal-1990.pdf

          Maybe someone can point us to an updated study. This is why Lindzen and Choi is relevant.

        • mitch
          Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

          i’ve done lots of 3D emag simulations: model what you measure, then measure what you model, then you can take it to the bank. maxwell’s equations are the easy stuff. add fluid dynamics and phase changes and your into the multiphysics swamp. somewhere there must be verification by measurement of the effect.

          the fact that ar4>ar3>ar2 kind of fails the sniff test. was all the physics wrapped up in ’94? just want to see it for myself.

          thanks for the link.

      • Daryl M
        Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 2:03 AM | Permalink

        I hope Lindzen responds. It will be interesting to see how the chips fall.

        • mitch
          Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 5:46 AM | Permalink

          i hope so to. the strenuous objections of lindzen, happer and hayden is what really got me to pay attention to all this. anyone might go off the rails, but 3 at once? don’t think so. i wish richard feynman was around.

  162. Hugo M
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 6:17 AM | Permalink

    According to rumors from the Bella Center, U.S. President Barack Obama is said to have asked impatiently to 21 clock for a meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, to move things forward. But Obama had to wait. Wen, who was rumored to his hotel room during the entire Congress hardly ever left, has long been traced. Finally, the U.S. delegation was able to make the Chinese Premier in finding a negotiated room. An apparently infuriated Obama then rushed into the room: “Are you now willing to talk to me, Mr. Premier? Are we ready? Mr. Premier, are you ready to talk with me?”

    Wen was certainly not alone in the room when Obama was literally burst in, it was said of Congress from districts: The Chinese was in talks with India’s leader Manmohan Singh and South African President Jacob Zuma.

    This purely coincidental manned round was agreed at the insistence of impatient American president on the approval of the negotiated document. Without even the consent of the closest partners such as the European Union or the G77 group of developing countries to insure against Obama shouted 22.25 clock, some U.S. journalists to an impromptu press conference and announced the “Copenhagen” chord as the completion of two-week conference.

    Excerpt from a Google translation of http://www.welt.de/politik/ausland/article5580576/Klima-Gipfel-in-Kopenhagen-faktisch-gescheitert.html

  163. Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 5:15 PM | Permalink

    The Other Hockey Stick…CO2 Levels

    An ad hoc assumption, not supported by any factual evidence, was used to solve the problem that ice core data of CO2 levels did not match up with modern CO2 measurements at Mauna Loa. To “solve the problem,” the average age of air was arbitrarily decreed to be exactly 83 years younger than the ice in which it was trapped (Jaworowski 1994 & 1992). I have added the red arrow to illustrate the arbitrary data shift of 83 years to match up ice core data with modern measurements of CO2 at Mauna Loa, an active volcano with elevated levels of CO2.


    Steve: this is not a topic that I’ve analysed and I’d be very cautious about this.

  164. DeNihilist
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 8:14 PM | Permalink

    snip – policy

  165. Kate
    Posted Dec 19, 2009 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    snip – policy

  166. David Weisman
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 12:52 AM | Permalink

    It is possible that this will be snipped as a policy debate, but in my opinion it shouldn’t.

  167. Daryl M
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 1:57 AM | Permalink

    There is a very interesting article on American Thinker by David Douglass and John Christy called “A Climatology Conspiracy?” about how the peer review process was corrupted by the Team. Here is a link: http://www.americanthinker.com/2009/12/a_climatology_conspiracy.html

    • Daryl M
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 12:58 PM | Permalink


      Jeff has started a thread about this. You should also. The article on American Thinker is very enlightening.

  168. bobdenton
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 3:12 AM | Permalink

    snip – do not feed OT comments

    Steve: sorry about the snip. I didn’t notice the move to Unthreaded. Try again.

    • bobdenton
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 3:27 AM | Permalink

      My last sentence shouldn’t be taken to mean I don’t consider that there arn’t many issues in relation to data.

    • Norbert
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 3:44 AM | Permalink

      Isn’t that SteveM’s objection to a pre-2000 analysis? Are you saying the same error has been made here? What do you think a correct analysis would look like?

      • bobdenton
        Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 4:38 AM | Permalink

        This is a single proxy study and relates to a (fairly) specific location. There is no apparent cherry-picking. The statistical analysis looks capable of replication because the data and methodology appear to be disclosed. It may be that this paper is a paragon of transparency. Who should take the credit for that? But this will all come out in the wash. The analysis was done using R, which should help.

        I do not have a view on what the analysis should look like. One is supposed to have no view. This is not an argument for a particular outcome, but for good quality control of data, sound analysis and replicability.

  169. mitch
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 5:54 AM | Permalink

    stumbled upon the online archive of ar4 review papers.

    posting it here to ask if this has been thoroughly reviewed at CA. relevant threads didn’t seem to have recent comments. at the least it should provide contact info for folks who may know what lit documents the reasons for the positions taken.

  170. Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

    Nevermind, it seems that there was a temporary problem with the websites. Now the link is alive and well to Delingpole’s blog and the Rajenda Pachauri article can be found here: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100019821/climategate-with-business-interests-like-these-are-we-really-sure-dr-rajendra-pachauri-is-fit-to-head-the-ipcc/


  171. Myranda
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    I found an old article that might be interesting, and possibly not widely known:


  172. Don S
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

    realclimate appears to have been hacked to a redirect to an empty page that says simply “It Works!”
    Anyone else getting this?

    Steve: .org

  173. Greg F
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

    Don S,

    Why the assumption that they have been hacked?

    If you go to realclimate.org instead of realclimate.com you get:

    The RealClimate software is being upgraded. Apologies for the short break in service, but we should be back soon.

    FYI, a ping shows both sites have the same IP address.

  174. Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 6:29 PM | Permalink

    I’d say they just purchased both domain names and failed to point the .com to the right nameservers.

  175. Harold
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 6:35 PM | Permalink

    Phil Jones to Mann (http://www.climate-gate.org/email.php?eid=108&s=kwdoe):

    3) None of us here are trying to get material into IPCC. I’ve
    given you my input through the review of the chapter in
    Asheville. I may get a chance to see the whole thing again
    at some stage, but I won’t be worried if I don’t.

    This seems out of character…

  176. MrPete
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

    OUCH. Another sordid tale, revealed by Cristy/Douglass here.

    Scientists, awake!

    • bender
      Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 6:47 PM | Permalink

      Quality commentary, hunh?

  177. Harold
    Posted Dec 20, 2009 at 7:02 PM | Permalink

    From Tom Wigley to multiple addressees (http://www.climate-gate.org/email.php?eid=60&s=kwdoe):

    The crucial thing is
    to get the beginning years of the record to match observed emissions as
    far as such data are available.

  178. Myhrr
    Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 5:08 AM | Permalink

    I think I may have posted this in the wrong place, it’s disappeared from proxies.

    Click to access LaMarcheetal1984_Science.pdf

    It’s a study from 1984 and looks like it’s about the same kind of bristlecone pines used in the Hockey Stick. I don’t know enough about this, could someone look at it?

    It’s saying that climate over the period studies doesn’t explain the better growth of trees and attributes it to greater CO2 availability. Growth of plants generally have shown better growth in the last decades from increased CO2 (though this could be from increased volcanic etc. sources, but I can’t find figures for any tracking). It’s a follow up to test another similar finding where temperature decreases and better growth coincided.

    Steve: Discussed elsewhere in the blog.

  179. oneuniverse
    Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    A tentative question for Steve McIntyre:

    Firstly, thank you for your vital work.

    I’ve noticed that you discourage general discussions (which are often criticisms) of the AGW hypothesis.

    I’d assumed this was because AGW is not the focus of this website, that the general discussion of AGW can attract non-scientific and misinformed commentary, compromising the high standards of the site, and I was guessing that you were unwilling to comment publicly on something that you hadn’t personally reviewed – after all, the Climate Audit website, and the ‘MM’ papers, derive a large part of their weight and authority due to their meticulous truth-telling, while under the greatest scrutiny (& ad-hom gaming

    However, your reply to Ted Swart (in the MIT Climategate Debate thread) made me think that perhaps you do have a definite opinion, at least on cosmic rays and their relevance to the AGW debate.

    Personally, I find the evidence linking solar activity, cosmic ray flux and Earth climate to be compelling (eg. as recently presented by Jasper Kirkby of CERN in this 1hr presentation http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/1181073/ ) .

    There are a fair number of criticisms of the proposed GCR-climate link eg. the recent Svensmark et al. 2009 paper, on Forbush decreases & their effect on aerosols & water content, has been criticised in the literature by Laken et al. 2009.

    I guess my question is : was your admonishment to Ted Swart a general ‘look before you leap’ comment, or have you personally found the GCR-climate work to be flawed or otherwise unconvincing (and would you be willing to share your thoughts on this subject) ?

    Steve: I urge people not to accept things like cosmic ray relationships because they “like” the results. I don’t personally have the time or energy right now to examine this hypothesis. I don’t want this site to be taken over by people advocating “skeptic” causes. This is a critical/audit/verification site.

    • oneuniverse
      Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

      Thanks Steve, I understand.
      I’ve made a donation to the site – again, thank you, and have a good Christmas & the New Year.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 12:54 PM | Permalink

      There is this paper by Dengel et al 2009 worth discussing: “A relationship between GCR and tree rings”

      • oneuniverse
        Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 7:24 PM | Permalink

        Thanks bender.

        I’m surprised though that the authors didn’t also mention the simpler hypothesis that more cosmic rays lead to greater clouds and so to increased rainfall.

        There’s already some research that supports this :

        “Centennial scale variations in monsoonal rainfall (Indian, east equatorial and Chinese

        monsoons): Manifestations of solar variability”
        (R.Agnihotri and K.Dutta 2003)

        “The influence of solar activity on the rainfall over India: Cycle-to-cycle variations” (K. M. Hiremath 2006)
        Comparing 130 years of Indian rainfall & sunspot data.

        “Influence of solar and cosmic-ray variablity on climate” (Badruddi et al

        Also considering rainfall over India.

        “Influence of sunspot activity on the annual rainfall of
        Tamil Nadu, India” (Selvaraj et al.


        “Is there a link between Earth’s magnetic field and low-latitude precipitation?” () (only abstract

        is free)

        Another independent study apparently finding evidence for a link between GCR’s and clouds:

        “Empirical evidence for a nonlinear effect of galactic cosmic rays on clouds” (Harrison and Stephenson 2005) (only abstract is free)

        Unlike the preceding papers, the following one has mixed, in some ways unusual results for the GCR-cloud hypothesis, at least for over Brazil (it finds periods of significant postive then negative correlation with GCR ) :
        “Rainfall cycles with bidecadal periods in the Brazillian region.” (Almeida et al. 2004)

      • oneuniverse
        Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 9:53 AM | Permalink

        bender, thank you, that was interesting. I’m a little surprised the authors didn’t also consider as an alternative hypothesis that GCR’s might be leading to more clouds and so to more precipitation, which affects tree-ring growth in most conditions and species.

        There are some studies that support this hypothesis, most . I posted some references yesterday, but the post didn’t make it through. I’m wondering whether it was because I was posting from a different computer than for my original post ? Or am I banned ? 😦

        • bender
          Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

          They state that exact hypothesis in the introduction:
          “These climatic changes include … those that are less well understood, including changes in cloud cover …”
          Why didn’t they explicitly test that possibility? Because they’re lazy or short-sighted? No. The problem is cloud cover data. It doesn’t go back very far. Whereas their time-series goes back to 1961.

        • oneuniverse
          Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

          Hi bender, they consider that GCR-induced changes in cloud cover might explain the correlation, and they hypothesise that the mechanism might be that increased cloud diffusion of solar radiation may lead to greater penetration and coverage of the forest canopy and so lead to more photosynthesis.

          I only had access to the abstract, mentions the above in the final sentence.

          Perhaps I misunderstand – does the paper acknowledge that GCR-induced changes in rainfall might play a part in the correlation? If not, that’s a surprising omission – since research has taken place in this area, with quite positive results, it was my understanding that such relevant research should be mentioned.

        • bender
          Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

          They attempt to advance the idea of “radiation scattering” by GCRs leading to enhanced growth. However they explicitly mention that they can not rule out an indirect effect through cloud condensation. As a correlative study, it is, natually, inconclusive.

        • oneuniverse
          Posted Dec 24, 2009 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

          Ok, I’ve just read the paper – precipitation data for the region and studied time period was available, and included in the study.

          I withdraw my criticism of Dengel et al. 2009, with apologies.

        • oneuniverse
          Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 12:21 PM | Permalink

          Point taken about lack of data for their study, though.

    • oneuniverse
      Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 7:31 PM | Permalink

      Thanks Bender.

      I’m surprised though that the authors didn’t also mention the simpler hypothesis that more cosmic rays lead to greater clouds and so to increased rainfall.

      There’s already some research that supports this :

      “Centennial scale variations in monsoonal rainfall (Indian, east equatorial and Chinese monsoons): Manifestations of solar variability”
      (R.Agnihotri and K.Dutta 2003)

      “The influence of solar activity on the rainfall over India: Cycle-to-cycle variations” (K. M. Hiremath 2006)
      Comparing 130 years of Indian rainfall & sunspot data.

      “Influence of solar and cosmic-ray variablity on climate” (Badruddi et al
      Also considering rainfall over India.

      “Influence of sunspot activity on the annual rainfall of Tamil Nadu, India” (Selvaraj et al.

      “Is there a link between Earth’s magnetic field and low-latitude precipitation?” (a href=”http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/37/1/71.abstract”>Knudsen and Riisage 2009
      ) (only abstract is free)

      Another independent study apparently finding evidence for a link between GCR’s and clouds:

      “Empirical evidence for a nonlinear effect of galactic cosmic rays on clouds” (Harrison and Stephenson 2005) (only abstract is free)

      Unlike the preceding papers, the following one has mixed, in some ways unusual results for the GCR-cloud hypothesis, at least for over Brazil (it finds periods of significant postive then negative correlation with GCR ) :
      “Rainfall cycles with bidecadal periods in the Brazillian region.” (Almeida et al. 2004)

    • oneuniverse
      Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 11:26 AM | Permalink

      Steve: “This is a critical/audit/verification site.”

      Given the ‘trajectory’ of papers criticially examined on this website (Mann, Jones, Briffa, Amman, ..), what I’d love to see next is an audit of Chapter 6 of the IPCC AR4 WG I, and indeed chapters 1,2,3 and 8.

  180. Phlinn
    Posted Dec 21, 2009 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

    GHCN adjustments: After looking at Watts post on Darwin, and seeing various comments accusing him of cherry picking data, I decided to check the overall GHCN data. Using the GHCN Monthly Version 2 mean data, I calculated the adjustment for every station, month, and year. If the data was set to -9999 in either adjusted for unadjusted data I explicitly set the adjustment to 0 (not optimal perhaps, but relatively simple to implement). I then averaged across all stations, and posted it.. I did remove some really sparse pre 1840 data that I assumed was untrustworthy anyways. There is a definite upward trend in the 20th century, and I think it’s clear that there are some really odd data adjustments going on. Does this seem like a useful way to look at how GHCN adjusts data? Am I reinventing the wheel here? I’ve seen a fair number of station by station adjustment checks, but I don’t recall seeing all adjustments combined.It’s pretty simplistic, but seems at odds with claims that they correct for UHI effects. If I get the time and can track it down, I might try the same process with just CRU’s stations.

    This does not mean that the raw data doesn’t have an upward trend as it is.

  181. bender
    Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    I lost track of your comment – the one on independence among multiproxy studies and PIs that make up the “team”. Please see the Wegman report Figure 5.2 and 5.8.

    Click to access WegmanReport.pdf

    There you will see that the “team” concept is not a McIntyre hallucination. It’s a real demonstrable structure (Fig 5.2, confirmed by the CRU email leak). There you will see that the multiproxy studies are statistically non-independent (Fig. 5.8).
    Ask yourself this: why did RealClimate not refer you to these figures, which squarely answer your question?

    • rob
      Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

      Thanks bender,
      but the pdf was such a poor resolution it wasn’t possible to see the names in the upper part of fig 5.2 and the like.

      Is there any better quality document available?

      I specifically noted the RC reply referred to Tom Crowley, is he part of the “team”?

      • bender
        Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 2:10 PM | Permalink

        I can read it by zooming the display resolution. Crowley is not listed in the author matrix or network, which is ca. 2005.

      • bender
        Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

        The emails show Tom Crowley advising the team on publication strategies. Ia a coach considered part of a team? I think so.

      • rob
        Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

        They(eric) were referring to this paper – http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/289/5477/270

        Don’t know if the PC analysis with the faulty calibration is used? I wonder in what way it is independent?

        …a side kick…you linking to the Wegman report had me read it all over again. It’s astonishing.

        Merry Christmas!

  182. Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    If anyone has been following Willis E’s Darwin thread on WUWT, then you may be interested in the following?

    With vjones’s help and with the aid of EMSmith’s excellent documentation, I’ve been carrying out my own analysis of the NOAA GHCN data. My first step was to reproduce Willis’s excellent analysis for Darwin (unlike the Team who think that ‘there’s nothing to see here, move on’). I’ve therefore been applying the scientiic method and have attempted to falsify Willis’s Darwin analysis. I’m sorry (actually I’m glad) to say that I have failed! I’ve reproduced his charts and results almost 100% and have documented my efforts on vjones blog ‘diggingintheclay‘. You can read the thread in which I reproduce Willis’s analysis by clicking on the link below.

    Reproducing Willis Eschenbach’s WUWT Darwin analysis

    As most visitors to CA already know and appreciate science progresses by ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ so I’ve taken the liberty of further extending Willis’s excellent analysis for Darwin to all the WMO stations in the NOAA GHCN dataset.

    Specifically I’ve attempted to answer the question posed by others on Willis’s original Darwin thread as to whether or not Darwin is a special case or not?

    Well judge for yourself by clicking on the link below which documents my extension of Willis’s Darwin analysis to include the whole NOAA GHCN dataset.

    Physically unjustifiable NOAA GHCN adjustments

    The following is an excerpt from the thread

    “In total, I have found 194 instances of WMO stations where “cooling” has been turned into “warming” by virtue of the adjustments made by NOAA to the raw data. As can be seen from the following “Cooling turned into warming” table (Table 1) below, which lists the Top 30 WMO station on the “cooling to warming” list, Darwin is ranked in only 26th place! The list is sorted by the absolute difference in the magnitude of the raw to adjusted slopes i.e. the list is ranked so that the worst case of “cooling” converted to significant “warming” comes first, followed by the next worse etc.

    It’s clear from looking at the list that Darwin is certainly not “just a special case” and that in fact that there are many other cases of WMO stations where (as with Darwin) NOAA have performed physically unjustifiable adjustments to the raw data. As can been seen from Table 1 many of these adjustments result in trend slopes which are greater than the IPCC’s claimed 0.6 deg. C/century warming during the 20th century said by the IPCC to be caused by man’s emissions of CO2 through the burning of fossil fuels.


  183. Myhrr
    Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 3:51 PM | Permalink

    Thank you Steve. Hope it’s of use.

  184. Calvin Ball
    Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

    Steve, perusing the CRUtape letters, I came across this gem: 1228258714.txt By Gavin Schmidt to the team:

    The contrarians have found that there is actually no limit to what you can ask people for (raw data, intermediate steps, additional calculations, residuals, sensitivity calculations, all the code, a
    workable version of the code on any platform etc.), and like Somali pirates they have found that once someone has paid up, they can always shake them down again.

    Charming, no?

  185. Posted Dec 22, 2009 at 10:36 PM | Permalink


    The AGW movement does seem to have jumped the shark.

    PARIS (AFP) – Man’s best friend could be one of the environment’s worst enemies, according to a new study which says the carbon pawprint of a pet dog is more than double that of a gas-guzzling sports utility vehicle.

    But the revelation in the book “Time to Eat the Dog: The Real Guide to Sustainable Living” by New Zealanders Robert and Brenda Vale has angered pet owners who feel they are being singled out as troublemakers.

    However cats are better if only slightly.

  186. jae
    Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 6:13 PM | Permalink

    Interesting ironical tidbit:

    “The CRU was founded in 1971 with funding from sources including Shell and British Petroleum. At that time the supposed menace to the planet and to mankind was global cooling, a source of interest to oil companies for obvious reasons.”

    From: http://www.counterpunch.com/cockburn12182009.html

  187. John G. Bell
    Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 6:25 PM | Permalink

    Merry Christmas Steve. Hope you and yours are well for the holidays. It has been a great year. Truth and beauty don’t go out of fashion even though the snake oil salesmen still draw the crowds.

  188. DeNihilist
    Posted Dec 23, 2009 at 9:17 PM | Permalink

    Steve, not sure if this is something that might interest you.

    Click to access green&armstrong-agw-analogies.pdf

    (quote from the abstract) We summarize evidence showing that the global warming alarm movement has more of the
    character of a political movement than that of a scientific controversy. We then make forecasts of
    the effects and outcomes of this movement using a structured analysis of analogous situations—a
    method that has been shown to produce accurate forecasts for conflict situations. This paper
    summarizes the current status of this “structured analogies project (end quote)

    h/t theclimatebet

  189. markJ
    Posted Dec 24, 2009 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

    Tried a search on Wolfgang Knorr (Bristol UK, Earth Sciences) on CA. The press release makes Dr Knorr sound very apologetic in finding that carbon sinks do not appear to be declining regardless of the increase in airborne CO2.


  190. Susann
    Posted Dec 24, 2009 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

    I know this is OT but I want to wish Steve McIntyre and everyone here a very happy holiday, whichever you celebrate. I realize the debates can get heated at times, but I see that as proof that we all really care, whatever side we’re on (or in the middle, as the case may be). While I lean to the warmer side, I come here to get my brain exercised, so thanks for everyone’s responses to me. I feel certain that most of us are here because we want to know the truth, whatever it is. Peace.

  191. Wayne Richards
    Posted Dec 24, 2009 at 9:48 PM | Permalink

    Happy Name-the-season to you and all who helped you, including Alan Watts during your own snowstorm.
    This has been a year of which you can be inordinately proud. The importance of your work simply cannot be described. Many thanks.
    And yes, I know “Happy” is an adjective. Sheesh!

  192. Kate
    Posted Dec 25, 2009 at 12:10 AM | Permalink

    I’m the librarian.

    Would Steve be willing to make a link to this site at his main page?

    Also, is there a place I could post when I find a MSM article that folks can comment to?

    Today I found one at PBS. Jim Lehrer interviewed Obama about Copenhagen. The comments section was empty. No login is required, and there is no “moderator.”

    These opportunities don’t arise often. I’d like to have a place to put out an “alert” when this stuff comes along.

  193. Nathan Kurz
    Posted Dec 25, 2009 at 2:44 PM | Permalink

    It’s possible I missed it, but I haven’t seen this link posted here:

    snip – policy

    No sample can really do it justice. Read it if you have a free hour or two.

  194. jae
    Posted Dec 25, 2009 at 9:12 PM | Permalink

    Hmmm. Why so little support for another very important voice, EPA’s Alan Carlin? Are people THAT disgusted at whistleblowers??


  195. harry eaton
    Posted Dec 26, 2009 at 8:45 AM | Permalink

    Regarding Climate gatekeeping: Schmidt 2009 (S09), Another observation is that the CRU emails indicate that it was routine for papers critical of team papers were routinely sent to the team member for review. In the case of S09, it was given to the team (at least in part) to review, but it appears it was NOT given to the McKitrick and Michaels (2007) authors for review even though it was an article directly criticizing their paper. This indicates a double-standard in the selection of reviewers. It’s highly likely that had the McKMi07 authors being given a chance to review S09, it could have been revised to correct its mistakes and reach proper conclusions.

    • bender
      Posted Dec 26, 2009 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

      “This indicates a double-standard in the selection of reviewers”
      And so it will go into the double-standards dtabase.

  196. Syl
    Posted Dec 29, 2009 at 8:53 AM | Permalink

    Not sure if this was posted already. But this is one kick-ass analysis of Climategate.


  197. Posted Dec 29, 2009 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

    hengav posted Dec 29, 2009 at 12:32 AM @ FOI Myth#1: USA

    This may come off as coat-racking about Wikipedia, but I will take the chance. Considerable time has been taken up by the editorial staff there to restrict the history of Climategate to the Nov 2009 “leak” date. Climategate needs to include the historical context of repeated requests for source codes, raw data, and open dialogue. Theses requests were not at first FOI requests, many were personal appeals that ultimately hit dead ends. That both Nature and Wikipedia editorialize about the “effects” of the leak is predictable. This thread reminds us that Climategate began a long time ago, long before the earliest of the CRU emails.

    I saw this too. The nascent Neutralpedia is an opportunity to make good this breach – there is a placeholder for an article on Climategate such as can do this issue the justice and wide-ranging context the WP article lacks. Go to its Community Portal.

    • hengav
      Posted Dec 29, 2009 at 5:16 PM | Permalink

      I will email you later today.
      The only reason I feel the battleground should be at Wikipedia is because their editorial policies appear to lack a good overlord. It’s like reading a trial manuscript where no judge showed up, but it was allowed to carry on anyways. My fear is Neutralpedia will be dismissed rather than embraced… but I am willing to participate in the experiment.

  198. Posted Dec 31, 2009 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

    Richard North at EU Referendum blog has had a threatening lawyer’s letter over his revelations of Rajendra Pachauri’s conflicts of interest.

  199. dunbrokin
    Posted Dec 31, 2009 at 5:22 PM | Permalink


  200. Calvin Ball
    Posted Dec 31, 2009 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

    This suddenly came out of nowhere, and refers to an article in the AGU, where only the abstract is available for free. I don’t think it means what it sounds like it means, and would be revolutionary if it does. Does anybody have any additional information on this?

  201. Roderic Fabian
    Posted Jan 1, 2010 at 9:54 PM | Permalink

    I have some posts up concerning GISS station data. My rather surprising finding was that despite the often screwy adjustments to temps at individual stations it doesn’t seem to make a lot of difference in the aggregate. And Jim Hansen’s often complicated analysis of data can be done using simpler methods:


    Anyone have any explanation for the apparent absence of a head island effect in this data?

    Steve: Why don’t you read past blog posts in the Hansen/GISS category?

  202. TerryMN
    Posted Jan 3, 2010 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

    Interesting piece o news…


  203. Kate
    Posted Jan 3, 2010 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    Can anyone link me to the 2009 article on the Hockey stick, with charts, that speaks so well to the lay-person?

    Steve: TRy my Ohio State presentation in climateaudit.info/pdf

  204. AlanB
    Posted Jan 4, 2010 at 5:13 AM | Permalink

    The 2009 Weblog awards have been cancelled

  205. trumla
    Posted Jan 4, 2010 at 3:17 PM | Permalink


    Climategate: You should be steamed

    Neil Frank, who holds a Ph.D. from Florida State University in meteorology, was director of the National Hurricane Center (1974–87) and chief meteorologist at KHOU (Channel 11) until his retirement in 2008.

  206. Posted Jan 4, 2010 at 4:48 PM | Permalink

    Maybe this has been previously mentioned, but for the 350th anniversary of The Royal Society all online content is free.

    A good chance to catch up on some of those historical classics.


  207. Posted Jan 4, 2010 at 4:49 PM | Permalink

    hmmm . . . that didn’t show up in the right place ???

  208. Chris BC
    Posted Jan 6, 2010 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    I was wondering if anyone has considered calculating the probability of the very recent NH weather if AGW theory is correct. If we accept the CRU/Mann/Gore (etc.) storyline that current temps are unprecedented to the high side, there must be considerably more heat in the earth’s global system than ever before.

    If there is more global heat, surely the probability of the unusual to record breaking cold events now occurring all across the NH is relatively small. Obviously some sort of framework and set of assumptions must be made in order to calculate any probabilities of concurrent wide scale cold weather events, but I’m hoping perhaps some of this has already been done or at least considered. I would suggest using the AGW worst case scenario for at least one trial.

    Any thoughts from the CA stats gurus?

  209. Doug Badgero
    Posted Jan 6, 2010 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

    I asked on a previous post if the Norbert that posts here is the one referenced in a recent NYTs article. The Norbert in the article was Norbert Untersteiner. The subject of the article was the possible use of CIA resources to gather climate data. Since the post was snipped without comment I shall try another tact….

    Is this the same Norbert and does anyone know if there would actually be any useful additional info that CIA “spy” satellites might provide.

  210. Ken
    Posted Jan 7, 2010 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

    NASA research finds that solar activity correlates with uppper atmosphere temps. Yet upper atmospheric cooling is a “fundumental prediction” of AGW theory?

    Does this research now invalidate this “fundumental prediction” of AGW theory? I can’t see how this finding can be compatible with an AGW theory that says primarily CO2 gas levels drive the upper atmospheric temp.


  211. Kate
    Posted Jan 7, 2010 at 9:23 PM | Permalink

    The BBC grills the Met.


  212. Kate
    Posted Jan 8, 2010 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

    I would appreciate help with this one.


    This is a well-written article by the opposition. The author states these “facts.” What can I post there that will be the strongest talking point, from the least “political” source?

    “So this is what we know, as established science.
    i) there is a broad correlation between CO2 levels and global temperature,
    ii) the greenhouse effect is only one causal factor, but it is an important factor
    iii) CO2 concentrations are very steeply rising, to levels not achieved for millions of years
    iv) Average temperatures have risen by 0.6 degree C over the last hundred years, and there has been a significant increase in the last 30 years
    v) The rise in CO2 correlates with the explosion of air-flights, increase of animal husbandry for a more meat oriented diet, and growth of consumerism”

  213. harold
    Posted Jan 11, 2010 at 6:59 AM | Permalink

    HADCRUT3 and GISTEMP data for 2009 has been added to the model / temp comparison chart at realclimate:


    This gives 4 years in a row below the prediction, an unlikely result if the models were predictive. Note that the 2009 data only goes through November!

    • boballab
      Posted Jan 12, 2010 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

      The reason it would only run through November is that is when the year ends for Meteorological purposes. The 2009 year started in Dec 2008. The reason I believe they do this is to keep the seasons together, winter begins in Dec so cutting the year off at the end of the calendar year wouldn’t fit the bill. GISS actually explains that on their site:

      Note: In the tables, DJF, the Northern Hemisphere Winter mean, uses the December of the previous year, and so does metANN, the “meteorological annual mean”, i.e. the mean over the 4 seasons (Dec-Nov mean). For a description of how the seasonal and annual means are computed, click here.


    • bender
      Posted Jan 12, 2010 at 12:21 PM | Permalink

      What happened to the protest by DWP about the frequency of anomalous runs when the generating process is autocorrelated? 4 consecutive anomalies is not that many.
      Or is this a second post by harold, parrotting the first that DWP responded to?

  214. harold
    Posted Jan 11, 2010 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

    IPCC used “grey literature” for glacier statements:


  215. Joachim
    Posted Jan 11, 2010 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    Over at http://www.realclimate.org they are really going to town on the review of Lindzen and Choi (2009) GRL paper. Its _really_ funny, they’re complaining about many of the same thing Steve has commented on.

    • Posted Jan 11, 2010 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

      Yes, I pointed this irony out to them (and they did post it) but some of them didnt seem to get the point!

  216. AMac
    Posted Jan 12, 2010 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    Here’s an op-ed in this month’s “The Scientist”, a trade publication for biologists. “Mind Your Manners” by Steven Wiley.

    There has been a lot of talk in the media about the loss of courtesy in modern society. By many criteria, it seems that people in general have lost a degree of politeness. Reading some of the online comments after several recent articles in The Scientist would seem to indicate that biologists have also lost their manners.


    This lack of basic manners alarms me not only because of the obvious danger to our sense of community, but also because this type of behavior could damage society’s positive perception of scientists.


    Most people can tell the difference between reasonable assertions and unsupported conjecture. The problem is that when emotional outbursts are injected into a situation, any pretense of objectivity becomes lost.

    In these times where science offers the best hope for progress in an increasing complex and fractious world, it would be a real tragedy if the bad behavior of some scientists compromised our reputation as neutral seekers of truth.

    Could some of Wiley’s points maybe, possibly, perhaps have some slight applicability in climate science as currently practiced? Will the Consensus ever reach the point of grappling with that notion?

  217. Andreas Wallmark
    Posted Jan 13, 2010 at 11:40 AM | Permalink

    Regarding the climategate correspondece between phil Jones and wibjorn Karlén about Karlén couldn’t find the data supporting the IPCC graph over Nordic Temperatures.

    I looked in to it and found this report:

    Click to access rapport0900.pdf

    Nordklim is a joint venture between the nordic met offices. If these guys were in the business of producing hockeysticks they did a poor job.
    The longterm temperature trends are all over the place and if you could find a hockeystick temperature trend for the nordic region you must have a vivid imagination.

    They didn’t even bother to make a trend for the whole region as the differences between the different parts of the region is so big it wouldn’t make any sense.

    There is even different trends for the same region if you look at different parts of the year: You could have a positive trend for summer temps and a negative trend for winter temps.

    My point is, if there exist a global hockeystick trend, which i seriosly doubt, wouldn’t it show up on a regional scale as well. If it doesn’t why bother at all about global trends since climate is regional not global.

    I have never seen this report discussed before here or elsewere.

    Would be interesting if you could take a look at it Steve!

  218. Henry
    Posted Jan 14, 2010 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

    Lovely IPCC 4AR Glacier story from New Scientist about Himalayan glaciers melting by 2035, which seems to involve an interview in 1999 based on an unpublished study, which was quoted by the WWF in 2005, and then put into the latest IPCC report, with the likelihood being “very high”.

    When the Indian government suggested this was alarmist, the IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri apparently was not happy, accusing the Indian government of non-peer-reviewed voodoo science.

  219. G. E. Lambert
    Posted Jan 17, 2010 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    Can anybody help me find the “Ohio State” presentation. The obvious links to it do not seem to work.

    Thank you.

  220. P Gosselin
    Posted Jan 24, 2010 at 6:39 AM | Permalink

    CRU also engaged in propoganda tactics and public manipulation.
    Science a matter of public opinion polls?
    “In an e-mail dated 9 October 1997, Dr. Joseph Alcamo admonishes other members of the Jones Gang to forget credentials and just get signatures.

    I am very strongly in favor of as wide and rapid a distribution as possible for endorsements. I think the only thing that counts is numbers. The media is going to say “1000 scientists signed” or “1500 signed”. No one is going to check if it is 600 with PhDs versus 2000 without. They will mention the prominent ones, but that is a different story.

  221. P Gosselin
    Posted Jan 24, 2010 at 7:45 AM | Permalink

    And then there’s this:
    IPCC also fabricates link to weather events.

  222. NickB.
    Posted Jan 25, 2010 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

    To the CA team – I thought you might be interested in the following article from ArsTechnica – http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/01/keeping-computers-from-ending-sciences-reproducibility.ars?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss – regarding the Scientific Method and reproducibility in the era of computer modeling for scientific research

    While Climate Research is not specifically mentioned – they tend towards the AGW/CAGW end of the spectrum – the issues discussed are as big an issue, if not bigger, for the Climate world IMO

    • Posted Jan 25, 2010 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

      Thanks a lot for the valuable reference. It’s almost better climate science isn’t mentioned. It’s a vital general issue.

  223. jae
    Posted Jan 25, 2010 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

    Alan Carlin, US EPA has another good post: http://www.carlineconomics.com/archives/629#respond

  224. boballab
    Posted Jan 26, 2010 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    Found this today: Dr. William Briggs is starting an online tutorial for the R program. It will have Youtube clips where he explains how to use the program. Todays was the first in the series and just explains the background and where and how to download/install R.

    For those that want to learn R (so you can use those scripts Steve keeps showing) this would be the place to start.

  225. Peter Pearson
    Posted Jan 29, 2010 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

    Curious short on the front page of today’s Wall Street Journal:

    Lower water vapor levels in the stratosphere
    may explain why temperatures have stayed flat
    since 2000 despite global warming, a study said.

    Isn’t that an odd way to say, “… why there has been no global warming since 2000”?

  226. stephen richards
    Posted Feb 1, 2010 at 7:43 AM | Permalink

    For the first time since 1963, I think, the MetOff UK on the BBC weather site, which did not exist in 1963 (yes I know) is using the words ‘very, very cold’ starting the w/c 8 feb. That is significant. They have studiously avoided words like cold or very cold for several years now so to say very, very cold is something else.

  227. kmye
    Posted Feb 1, 2010 at 8:21 PM | Permalink

    The “climate change sceptic and researcher of scientific fraud” in this article is SM, no? Is the Guardian keeping up RC et al’s proud tradition of refusing to refer to him by name?


    • kmye
      Posted Feb 1, 2010 at 8:44 PM | Permalink

      Ah, nevermind, I guess…in another article from today, it looks like they’re referring to Doug Keenan…


      • Henry
        Posted Feb 3, 2010 at 6:09 PM | Permalink

        Fred Pearce seems to have let loose a torrent of Climategate articles in the last few days covering a wide range of topics from different directions. As far as I can tell he is being respectful of Steve’s work, while launching demolitions both both the methods of the Team and of the slogans of extreme deniers.

        On Doug Keenan, Jones and Wang, the UEA CRU response is curious. The graph of the 2008 study overlaying the 1990 study suggests to me that they did not adjust the early numbers significantly (except for the last year of data 1983), which may mean nothing as they used the same stations. But I really do not see how the rural and urban stations manage to match so well in either study – I would have thought just 42 of of each should have inevitably have produced wider variations given that the stations were not all in the same location.

  228. Posted Feb 8, 2010 at 4:08 AM | Permalink


    This is an interesting item from Bishop hill Blog on statistics analysis error in CRUTEM..he needs help on it. It looks like it could become a larger item for investigation…

  229. Whatever happened to 1998 no longer the hottest
    Posted Feb 9, 2010 at 3:50 AM | Permalink


    You all probably know how Steve McIntyre spotted a GISS error which resulted in them being forced to (quietly) change their data for USA temps which resulted in 1934 being the hottest not 1998.

    It’s well documented in various places such as here http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/2007/08/1998_no_longer_the_hottest_yea.html. I checked the raw data in 2007 and remember seeing 1934 as the hottest.

    Well since then they have carried on fiddling with the data and now if you look at http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/Fig.D.txt you will see that 1998 is warmer than 1934 once again. Has there been an outcry about this, have I missed it?

  230. Charlie A
    Posted Feb 10, 2010 at 12:14 AM | Permalink

    Who is George White?

    How reliable is his analysis found at

    To me it looks like he has put together a sensitivity analysis that uses existing seasonal variations.

    He comes to roughly the same sensitivity numbers as Lindzen and Choi, using a totally different, independent method.

    It looks to me like his blog post is an excellent candidate for being a guest blog post.

  231. See - owe to Rich
    Posted Feb 10, 2010 at 1:19 PM | Permalink


    If you look at the Daily Maximum CET available from http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcet/data/download.html , you will see that 8 of the coldest days in January are myseriously missing data. The remaining 23 days average out to 4.6 degC, which whilst not warm is above 1987’s figure.

    Talk about a warming bias! Should someone send an FOIA asking about the lost 8 days?

    In their monthly series, they now have a line for 2010, but it is empty for January, presumably because 23/31 records fails some QA criterion.

    Still, at least they haven’t claimed there was a 10 degree day, or even a 9 degree day; 1978&1979 are the previous pair of years when 10 degC was not reached in January.


  232. See - owe to Rich
    Posted Feb 10, 2010 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

    P.S. I live not far from Pershore, which is one of the CET measuring sites, and during early January I was checking it almost daily on the MetOffice website. I do not recall seeing any missing days there.

    I wish now that I had recorded the values I saw – they were typically 1 or 2 degrees IIRC.


  233. P Gosselin
    Posted Feb 13, 2010 at 8:31 AM | Permalink

    Invitation to contribute:

  234. Posted Feb 14, 2010 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

    It seems that 2010 is starting out hot. Many have probably seen the linked site before.

    According to AMSU records (?), most of January and all of February so far has been warmer than at any time since 1998, when looking at this data at close to ground level.


    Check all years, select “near surface layer (ch04)” to see the spaghetti.

    When there’s been record or near record amounts of snow in many places around the northern hemisphere, are there any known reciprocal effects in the southern hemisphere?

    If global temperatures have seemed to be slightly higher during the past 6 weeks, does the link between warm temperatures and increased snowfall actually exist?

    Are there other factors in the equation such as Arctic Oscillation and/or El Niño as well? A multitude of factors that just happened to fall in sync to create such an anomalous amount of snowfall, perhaps?

    Keep up the good work, people. This site is always a pleasure to read.


  235. JT
    Posted Feb 14, 2010 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

    Posting just to draw this link found a Lubos’ blog to Steve’s attention with a request for a post from Steve giving an explication:http://economics.huji.ac.il/facultye/beenstock/Nature_Paper091209.pdf

    Steve: Ross is very knowledgeable about cointegration.

  236. oneuniverse
    Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

    re: https://climateaudit.org/2010/02/15/kerry-emanuel-boston-globe-opinion-climate-changes-are-proven-fact/

    I’m disappointed that discussion had to be curtailed due to comments which violated the editorial policy of ‘no three-paragraph proofs/disproofs of the AGW hypothesis’.

    If the AGW hypothesis can be disproved simply and concisely, why shouldn’t it be discussed on Climate Audit*? Dr. Kary Mullis, Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, certainly thought that it was disproved when he pointed out that satellite measurements of terrestrial OLR, by Wielicki et al. 2002 and Chen et al. 2002, published in the same issue of Science, show that the strength of the greenhouse effect actually decreased over the 90’s (a period sufficiently far removed from the start of the large-scale anthrpogenic CO2 output earlier in the century to include the hypothesised pipeline/feedback lags).

    Additionally, the mid- to upper-tropospheric water vapor content (considered to be the most significant region w.r.t. ghg effect) has also been falling, while the IPCC predicted a rise as part of the enhanced greenhouse.

    There’s also the ‘carbon sink anomaly’ – the CO2 increase predicted by the IPCC’s 100-yr CO2 residence time has not been observed – the longer this goes on, the greater the anomaly will become.

    It’s difficult to avoid drawing the conclusion that the hypothesis is flawed.

    * defn. “audit” : to examine carefully for accuracy with the intent of verification

    • oneuniverse
      Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

      BTW I’m not trying to argue for a change of policy.
      I’d mistakenly thought that you’d implicitly invited discussion of the science on that thread (as laid out by Dr. Emanuel).

    • Kenneth Fritsch
      Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

      My comment on that thread concerning moving on was not about the fact that RyanM had posted the opinion piece by Emanuel, but that we should move on from (avoid) replies with opinions about what to make of the evidence for AGW that Emanuel provided. In my view Emanuel gave a one man’s opinion on AGW and one that was published because of his status in the climate science world

      I think, however, that it would be informative to discuss why Kerry Emanuel, who, as Ryan, notes had been one of the more hesitant climate scientists speaking directly to the issue of policy, would chose to speak out of late. Also of interest is his invoking the precautionary principle (which I personally think is invoked when a strong case cannot be made for an action and can allow for all kinds of legislative mischief) without directly naming it in his piece.

      This article was not the first time we have heard from Emanuel since the climate emails were revealed. He appears to want to make a case against the deniers in an effort to neutralize the bad publicity that the emails gave some climate scientists. He makes those cases in such general terms, in my view, as to appear to be giving little more than one man’s opinion and not a very informed one with regards to the offerings of climate science.

      I think Kerry Emanuel has chosen to speak out now because he has viewed a change in the PR battle for hearts and minds of the voting constituencies who might be influential in determining the near term fate of AGW mitigation legislation. I think it is rather clear where Emanuel stands on the policy issue.

      By the way, I think that the PR battle as it has been waged from both sides of the AGW issues has been too intertwined with emotional content and taking anecdotal evidence out of context.

      Look at the recent spate of snow storms and cold weather that was taken by some to give conclusive evidence against GW/AGW. A good humored jab at Al Gore is one thing but to imply that it is evidence of a hoax is quite another.

      On the other side, it would appear that a number of observers were not willing to merely point to one winter as not evidence against AGW (as they should at the same time point to those who erroneuosly use one summer as evidence for the extent of AGW) but had to go a bridge too far in saying, in effect, that one winters evidence of cold and snow can be used to make a case for the extent of AGW.

      • Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 11:39 AM | Permalink

        The hurricane stuff Morano is pushing with the Les Helton guy really is nonsense and manufacturing of controversy.

      • justbeau
        Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 9:30 PM | Permalink

        Emanuel’s contribution was in the Boston Globe, a subsidiary of the NY Times.

        Emanuel is at MIT. MIT’s leadership has supported the hypothesis of AGW, so his contribution might be a counterweight to preserving the honor of his university. MIT does not want to see AGW go down the drain in just a few months, because this would make the university look silly. So he seems to be fighting a rear-guard action, fighting so as to enable a more orderly overall retreat.

        It beats me what evidence favors AGW. Emanuel implies there is evidence, but it seems significant he does not specifically reveal what it is, presumably because this would enable the possibility of devastating rebuttal.

        Emanuel is apparently the best scientific spokesperson in the US who can be dredged up to rally the demoralized legions of AGW devotees.

        • justbeau
          Posted Feb 19, 2010 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

          Prof. Lindzen has a concise rejection of Kerry Emanuel’s essas.

          I respect Lindzen enormously!!!

          He has a lot of courage. It cannot be easy to be at a university in which lots of professors kow-tow to enviro propaganda.

          Lindzen looks like a hippie scientist. He looks the part of an Al Gore fan.

          But it turns out Lindzen is is someone of great courage and intellectual integrity. What a great guy! A ray of light within the gloom of MIT.

    • Posted Feb 17, 2010 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

      Re: oneuniverse (Feb 16 10:28), have a look at my transcription of the Kerry Emanuel statement to Neutralpedia where discussions can continue, and my first off-the-cuff responses can be improved with editing and hyperlinking, to become authoritative. I understand Steve has to stay focussed. Steve is the battering ram – my work is different.

      • Jimchip
        Posted Feb 17, 2010 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

        Re: Lucy Skywalker (Feb 17 13:07),

        pssst…Lucy, if you run into any emails or other documents related to the CCE inquiry…

      • oneuniverse
        Posted Feb 18, 2010 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

        Thank you Lucy, I look forward to reading it. May I say I found the ‘Curious Anomalies’ essay a very helpful and at the time probably unique document.

        I completely agree re: the focus of the website, and I’d like to apologise for the brashness, unintended, present in my first post.

  237. Sean
    Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 2:09 PM | Permalink


    Maybe you have seen this before, but here is experimental proof that tree diameter growth is directly affected by moisture, holding temperature constant:


    The fact that drought interfered with the tree growth isn’t surprising. What is surprising, says Nepstad, is where in the tree this slow-down occurs. “We thought that early drought stress would show up first in leaves—that leaf area would decrease significantly and that litterfall would increase as leaves died and dropped off the trees,” said Nepstad. “Instead, we found only small decreases in leaf area, and litterfall actually decreased. It turns out that wood production is the most sensitive to drought stress. Trees just stop growing in diameter, which has important consequences for timber production.”

    In the experiment, a hectare of the amazon was starved of water (through an elaborate gutter system and compared with a nearby similar, unaffected hectare. The purpose was to measure the Amazon’s senstitivity to rainfall changes.

    Maybe the link between tree ring growth and moisture is obvious but it does seem that this study is nonetheless unique because it is such a controlled experiment. Also, it is interesting that the result surprised the scientist.

    • Sean
      Posted Feb 19, 2010 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

      The second paragraph of this post is a quote from the NASA article on the topic.

      By the way, does anyone else find this experiment interesting?

      Isn’t it directly on point to Briffa’s tree ring series?

  238. Sean
    Posted Feb 16, 2010 at 4:52 PM | Permalink

    The last line of this article is one of the richest statements in the whole climategate controversy:


    Phil Jones is considering a correction to his 1990 Chinese weather station paper, and is doing so because the mislaid/purloined emails finally showed what he spent 20 years covering up, namely that whatever data he originally had (and which was obviously not required by his peer reviewers) has been lost.

    Then this:

    “I don’t think we should be taking much notice of what’s on blogs because they seem to be hijacking the peer-review process,” he told Nature.

    O, the irony!

    • Jimchip
      Posted Feb 17, 2010 at 7:29 PM | Permalink

      Re: Sean (Feb 16 16:52),

      Phil must have been reading RealClimate. He can’t stand to read any other blogs.

  239. Required fields
    Posted Feb 17, 2010 at 2:39 PM | Permalink

    “But the scientific framework has changed greatly. We now recognise the magnitude of the human assault on the planet, the biggest challenge that society and science together have faced.” -Boulton, here: http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/gsl/society/history/page2981.html


    “They were selected on the basis they have no prejudicial interest in climate change and climate science” here: http://www.cce-review.org/FAQs.php

  240. DaveinPhilly
    Posted Feb 17, 2010 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

    Hello, I was in a internet forum and was challenged by a AGW proponent to cite a damaging EastAnglia email. I picked one at random and found the following 3 emails and was wondering if I was correct in my assumptions.


    I have questions..

    First one by “Ben Santer” says…

    “”So I suspect, based on S/N arguments, that it’s better to search for an
    anthropogenic surface temperature signal over the oceans rather than the
    land. Actually showing this might be useful.””

    I’m concerned that he is TRYING to find some proof of AGW instead of letting the data speak for itself in an unbiased way. Is there bias here? S/N means “signal to noise”?

    Next one…..

    Phil Jones talking about infilled databases. Is that data extrapolation?

    “All infilling has the problem that when there is little data it tends to revert to the 1961-90 average of zero….The infilling is partly the reason they got 2005 so warm, by extrapolating across the Arctic from the coastal stations.”

    Uh-oh. It is extrapolation. They took temperature readings only from the coast and said it was that way all across the Arctic? Huh? That doesn’t sound good.

    More Phil Jones…”In the AR4 chapter, we had to exclude the SST from the Arctic plot as the Arctic (north of 65N) from 1950 was above the 61-90 average for most of the years that had enough data to estimate a value.”

    I don’t know what the “61-90 average” means,(latitudes?) but excluding some Sea Surface Temps SST is cause for concern? Yes/No?

    Santer again…”With some help from Peter, I managed to obtain some preliminary results for the detection of an anthropogenic fingerprint in observed SST data. “”

    Trying AGAIN to find proof of AGW in water temperatures (SST)?

    Santer again…”This means that, if we had begun monitoring observed SST changes in 1950, we would have been able to identify an anthropogenic fingerprint roughly 30 years later.””

    He seems to be looking VERY hard for evidence of AGW? Is this preconceived bias?

    And the MONEY QUOTE…Santer again..”and that in the “mean removed” case, we might have more luck detecting an “ANTHRO” fingerprint if go to full space-time optimal detection.””

    “LUCK” detecting an anthro fingerprint”? He’s hoping for LUCK? What the heck is that!! Is he going into this study trying to get a pre-determined outcome and ignoring all opposing evidence?

    Please help. Thanks. Didn’t see these particular emails discussed on the web.

    • David A
      Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 11:56 PM | Permalink

      Do you have the time stamps for these,in particular the money quote? I would like to see them in context.

  241. Posted Feb 17, 2010 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

    Someone, I think on CA, mentioned keeping a track of changes in the NASA gistemp records, using a link on changedetection.com. Looks like there’s been a subtantial “adjustment” done on the 17th. Most of the adjustments appear to be in the late 1800s early 1900s.

    Gistemp record

  242. MarkR
    Posted Feb 20, 2010 at 2:23 AM | Permalink

    Richard Lindzen hits the Warmers for Six. Uses RealPlayer. I would advise downloading Real Alternative, which is free and doesn’t muck up your system.


  243. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Feb 20, 2010 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

    When Tom C said at the Dendro thread recently ended for comments:

    “I’d love Steve to stick to the science, come clean, and answer those couple of questions.”

    I was reminded of the would-be dendrochronologists who joined the discussion briefly, when the Briffa tree ring finds were a hot topic here, and then left without answering some questions still on the boards.

    My question was and I will now direct it to Tom C: How do the dendroclimatologists calculate the confidence intervals for their reported results? I have not been able to have that question answered.

    I have calculated the response/measurement spreads reported in papers for tree rings where the same tree was used with replicate borings and to my laypersons view these replicate invariably had huge differences.

  244. Philip Lloyd
    Posted Feb 21, 2010 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

    I am wondering if another “hockey stick” isn’t lurking in the background. I have been playing with sea level data http://www.pol.ac.uk/psmsl/psmsl_individual_stations.html and have been surprised to find that many of the longer data sets (e.g. New York, since 1860 with a break between 1880 and 1900) show no evidence for any acceleration of the rate of sea level rise. Yet when I go to AR4 I find “Global average sea level rose at an average rate of 1.8 [1.3 to 2.3] mm per year over 1961 to 2003. The rate was faster over 1993 to 2003: about 3.1 [2.4 to 3.8] mm per year. Whether the faster rate for 1993 to 2003 reflects decadal variability or an increase in the longer-term trend is unclear. There is high confidence that the rate of observed sea level rise increased from the 19th to the 20th century. The total 20th-century rise is estimated to be 0.17m [0.12 to 0.22]” Working Group 1, Summary for Policy Makers Version 2, pp5-6, IPCC, 05-06-2007
    I immediately asked myself why did the IPCC decide to take such a short baseline? Why did it compare 1961-2003 with 1993-2003 when there was up to 150 years of data available? Where did the “average” of 1.8 [1.3 to 2.3]mm/a come from? I have searched the literature, and found a single paper on which the claim is based – Church, J.A., and N.J. White, 2006: A 20th century acceleration in global sea-level rise. Geophys. Res. Lett., 33, L01602, doi:10.1029/2005GL024826. This made it into AR4 but seems to have been a little late according to the IPCC rules, if I am not mistaken, but then J. Church, was also an author of the IPCC Chapter 5.
    The methodology is described as :
    “We use the same techniques as in our earlier study
    [Church et al., 2004] of using tide-gauge data to determine the changes in amplitude between consecutive months of a
    selected number of these Empirical Orthogonal (eigen)Functions [EOFs]. These techniques were developed to estimate historical values of surface atmospheric
    pressure and sea surface temperatures [Kaplan et al.,
    2000; Rayner et al., 2003]. First differences of the tidegauge data are used because it is not possible to relate all of the separate records to a single vertical datum. The first
    differences of the EOF amplitudes are integrated backward in time to estimate sea-level fields and hence Global Mean Sea Level [GMSL] each month. A revised scaling of the EOFs results in realistic formal error estimates. We calculate the EOFs from 12 years – – – of satellite altimeter data (T/P
    and Jason-1) from January 1993 to December 2004. All
    standard corrections except the inverse barometer correction are applied, including corrections for the drift of the watervapour
    measurements [Keihm et al., 2000; MacMillan et al.,
    2004] for both T/P and Jason-1 and for the drift of the T/P sea-level measurements [Mitchum, 2000]. We map the
    altimeter data to a 1  1  1 month grid. We remove
    the seasonal signal and a linear trend in GMSL, as we will use the EOFs to model variability about the time-varying GMSL. An additional spatially uniform field is included in the reconstruction to represent changes in GMSL. Omitting
    this field results in a much smaller rate of GMSL rise,
    inconsistent with tide-gauge data (in the mean and at
    individual sites) and earlier studies [e.g., Douglas, 1991], and results in unrealistically large spatial variability in
    regional trends as a finite number of EOFs cannot
    adequately represent a substantial change in mean sea level.
    Trends from our reconstructed time series agree well with trends from long tide-gauge records. The EOFs provide information on global correlations of sea-level variability”

    A critical question is whether “Trends from our reconstructed time series agree well with trends from long tide-gauge records.” All the longer-term tide gauge records I have examing show no detectable acceleration in the rate of sea level rise at all, yet Church and White (Fig 2) show a hockey stick with a rise of ~0.7mm/a between 1970 and 1940 and a rise of ~2.3mm/a from 1940 to present.

    I have not managed to find anyone else who has worked with the tide gauge records who has identified an acceleration of this magnitude. Could their analytical methodology have led them astray?

  245. ChickenLittle
    Posted Feb 22, 2010 at 2:23 PM | Permalink


    Svalgaard had a dialogue with you a few years back on the solar min and max measured in various ways being about the same now as it ever was, with cyclical variations about every 11 years, but no overall trend. Has he or anyone else integrated the insolation measurements over time using some reasonable multi-year triangular-shaped bandpass filter giving less weight to the recent and older measurements and more weight to the mid-term measurements? Long periods at minimum like now or during Maunder would heat the earth less, and more rapid and more powerful solar cycles would heat the earth more.

  246. Gary Mount
    Posted Feb 24, 2010 at 9:53 AM | Permalink

    Has anyone ever done a comparison calculation on crop yeild increases at todays CO2 level compared to pre-industrial levels ? In other words, how much more food production might be taking place now because of the extra CO2.
    And why isn’t the loss of future crop yields that would have been gained with future increased CO2 levels not added to the often mentioned trillions of dollars cost of trying to reduce carbon output when rebutting the precautionary principal?

    • David A
      Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 11:46 PM | Permalink

      I have asked this several times. At CO2 science there are innumerable studies showing the benefits of increased CO2. I would estimate we currently have a 12 to 20% increased in food production as a result of increased CO2. To look at this in a different light, it would take that much more water and land to produce what we currently produce if CO2 was still at 280 PPM.

      However a study on the economic benefits of increased CO2, I have not seen. I have tried to send hints to Ross M that this would be a great project for some PHD candidates within his influence.

  247. dougie
    Posted Feb 24, 2010 at 6:55 PM | Permalink

    Hi Steve
    just wondered if you are going to covering this.

    Dr. Judith A. Curry
    On the Credibility of Climate Research, Part II:
    Towards Rebuilding Trust


    and thanks for your dogged persistence for data/proof, without which I doubt we would seeing this seachange in the climate science debate.
    i agree with above comments about you getting your story on this debacle out, some are willing to twist your involvement without any knowledge of the history.

  248. Bill
    Posted Feb 25, 2010 at 2:54 AM | Permalink

    Any physicists around? Is there anything to what this guy is saying?


    • DeWitt Payne
      Posted Feb 25, 2010 at 11:16 AM | Permalink

      Re: Bill (Feb 25 02:54),

      In a word, no. The NASA script is less than ideal, they use ‘heat’ to mean at least two different things. But the author then runs off into neverland. He states that all bodies radiate, which is more or less true, then he extends that to say that all molecular gases do too, which is extremely misleading. I’m not going into the details of radiative physics of molecular gases, but his conclusion is, to use the phrase attributed to Wolfang Pauli, “Not only is it not right, it’s not even wrong!”

  249. pat
    Posted Feb 25, 2010 at 11:09 PM | Permalink

    26 Feb: Wall St Jnl: Push to Oversimplify at Climate Panel
    Keith Briffa, a climate scientist at East Anglia, expressed this worry in emails to colleagues in 1999, as work intensified on the IPCC’s third major report, published in 2001. Mr. Briffa’s particular concern: tree rings.
    Scientists use tree rings and other proxies to assess temperatures thousands of years ago, before thermometers existed. Wider rings indicate greater growth, generally suggesting warmer temperatures, or higher precipitation, or both. Mr. Briffa pioneered the technique…
    A university spokesman said Mr. Briffa wouldn’t comment…
    Mr. Christy said in an interview that some of the pressure to downplay the uncertainty came from Michael Mann, a fellow lead author of that chapter, a scientist at Pennsylvania State University, and a developer of the original hockey-stick chart…
    Mr. Mann said in an email interview, “I was not pushing ‘hard’ for anything of the sort.” The chapter’s authors, he said, “engaged in a robust, good faith discussion of what the level of certainty was.” Mr. Mann also noted that his original 1998 hockey-stick paper stressed the uncertainties involved in reconstructing past temperatures.

    • Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

      Re: pat (Feb 25 23:09),

      pat, here’s a few of my faves from the article. I was tempted to write some comments to some of the quotes but, meh:

      “the IPCC has morphed from a scientific analyst to a political actor. “It’s very much an advocacy organization that’s couched in the role of advice,” says Roger Pielke, a University of Colorado political scientist. He says many IPCC participants want “to compel action” instead of “just summarizing science.” ”

      “To restore its credibility, the IPCC will focus on enforcing rules already on the books, IPCC Chairman Rajendra Pachauri and other officials said in interviews.”

      “And people who write reports must refrain from advocating specific environmental actions—a political line the IPCC isn’t supposed to cross. Mr. Pachauri describes the IPCC’s record as “impeccable.”

      “The IPCC’s budget, about $7 million this year, comes mainly from contributions from the U.S. and other industrialized nations.”

      “There is a very broad and deep consensus that I buy into that we’re producing too much CO2 and it’s going to cause problems eventually,” said John H. Marburger III, former science adviser to President George W. Bush. Many details remain uncertain, he said, but “I think it’s unequivocal that there is a human component.”

      “The hockey-stick chart is “the textbook example” of “how difficult the job really is” to summarize the full report, said Mr. Stocker, one of the top scientists overseeing the IPCC’s next report, due in 2013 and 2014.”

      “The IPCC’s rules “have been softened to the point that in this way the IPCC is not any more an assessment of published science (which is its proclaimed goal),” he wrote in the email. Mr. Giorgi added: “At this point there are very little rules and almost anything goes. I think this will set a dangerous precedent.”

      In an interview, Mr. Giorgi said the pressure he felt came from the panel overseeing his part of the report. The panel was co-chaired by Sir John Houghton, a scientist who previously had chaired the IPCC as a whole.”

      So the scientists put numbers into the 2007 study, along with a big caveat—what Mr. Alley calls a “punt.” The study took into account things like glacier melt in most of the world, but it noted that it excluded what’s happening in the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, which “we can’t predict,” Mr. Alley said.”

      “A spokeswoman for Mr. Gore said he understands the uncertainties, and that he pointed out in statements “that there was essentially an asterisk” on the 2007 report’s sea-level projections. “As he understands the situation from the ice-science community, the uncertainty in sea level applies in both directions,” meaning sea-level rise could be greater or smaller than projected, her statement said.”

      Mr. Marburger, the former Bush science adviser, said he frequently heard policy makers express frustration at the lack of certainty in many areas of science, including climate. “‘Why can’t we get better numbers?’ Everybody asks that,” he said. “But science rarely gives you the right answer.”

  250. pat
    Posted Feb 26, 2010 at 4:45 PM | Permalink

    yes, Jimchip, there are some gems in there. may Al can speak for himself if he attends the following:

    Al Gore to come to Manila to speak on climate change
    GMA News: SM Prime Holdings is bringing in former US Vice-President Al Gore to keynote a leadership conference where top Philippine leaders from the academe, business, government and nongovernment sectors to learn from the experience and expertise of global leaders.
    To be held at the SMX Convention Center at the SM Mall of Asia Complex on April 30, the lecture will have Gore present an Asian version of An Inconvenient Truth, a multimedia presentation on the threat of climate change and solutions to global warming and the subject of the movie of the same title that has won critical and box-office acclaim.

  251. Turning Tide
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 4:50 PM | Permalink

    Re: Geoffrey Boulton’s cv

    Nick Scott Plummer of Channel 4 has a new item on the Geoffrey Boulton story: Sceptics seek second Climtegate panel casualty

    Boulton is claiming that the final line in his cv about him being a “contributor to G8 preparatory groups and Intergovernmental Panels on climate change” is not correct, and that he has “no idea” about where it came from or where/when it was added.

    He has sent a copy of his 2007 cv to Channel 4 news, which doesn’t have this final line. However, if you check the properties of this Word doc., it’s creation date is 3 July 2008, not 2007!

  252. curious
    Posted Feb 27, 2010 at 7:20 PM | Permalink

    Sorry if this has been noted but thought you’d be interested – Last section of post at RC 24 February:


    Climate Auditing – Close Encounters with Mr. Steven McIntyre

    Ten days after the online publication of our International Journal of Climatology paper, Mr. Steven McIntyre, who runs the “ClimateAudit” blog, requested all of the climate model data we had used in our research. I replied that Mr. McIntyre was welcome to “audit” our calculations, and that all of the primary model data we had employed were archived at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and freely available to any researcher. Over 3,400 scientists around the world currently analyze climate model output from this open database.

    My response was insufficient for Mr. McIntyre. He submitted two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for climate model data – not for the freely available raw data, but for the results from intermediate calculations I had performed with the raw data. One FOIA request also asked for two years of my email correspondence related to these climate model data sets.

    I had performed these intermediate calculations in order derive weighted-average temperature changes for different layers of the atmosphere. This is standard practice. It is necessary since model temperature data are available at specific heights in the atmosphere, whereas satellite temperature measurements represent an average over a deep layer of the atmosphere. The weighted averages calculated from the climate model data can be directly compared with actual satellite data. The method used for making such intermediate calculations is not a secret. It is published in several different scientific journals.

    Unlike Mr. McIntyre, David Douglass and his colleagues (in their International Journal of Climatology paper) had used the freely available raw model data. With these raw datasets, Douglass et al. made intermediate calculations similar to the calculations we had performed. The results of their intermediate calculations were similar to our own intermediate results. The differences between what Douglass and colleagues had done and what my colleagues and I had done was not in the intermediate calculations – it was in the statistical tests each group had used to compare climate models with observations.

    The punch-line of this story is that Mr. McIntyre’s Freedom of Information Act requests were completely unnecessary. In my opinion, they were frivolous. Mr. McIntyre already had access to all of the information necessary to check our calculations and our findings.

    When I invited Mr. McIntyre to “audit” our entire study, including the intermediate calculations, and told him that all the data necessary to perform such an “audit” were freely available, he expressed moral outrage on his blog. I began to receive threatening emails. Complaints about my “stonewalling” behavior were sent to my superiors at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and at the U.S. Department of Energy.

    A little over a month after receiving Mr. McIntyre’s Freedom of Information Act requests, I decided to release all of the intermediate calculations I had performed for our International Journal of Climatology paper. I made these datasets available to the entire scientific community. I did this because I wanted to continue with my scientific research. I did not want to spend all of my available time and energy responding to harassment incited by Mr. McIntyre’s blog.

    Mr. Pearce does not mention that Mr. McIntyre had no need to file Freedom of Information Act requests, since Mr. McIntyre already had access to all of the raw climate model data we had used in our study (and to the methods we had used for performing intermediate calculations). Nor does Mr. Pearce mention the curious asymmetry in Mr. McIntyre’s “auditing”. To my knowledge, Mr. McIntyre – who purports to have considerable statistical expertise – has failed to “audit” the Douglass et al. paper, which contained serious statistical errors.

    As the “Climategate” emails clearly show, there is a pattern of behavior here. My encounter with Mr. McIntyre’s use of FOIA requests for “audit” purposes is not an isolated event. In my opinion, Mr. McIntyre’s FOIA requests serve the purpose of initiating fishing expeditions, and are not being used for true scientific discovery.

    Mr. McIntyre’s own words do not present a picture of a man engaged in purely dispassionate and objective scientific inquiry:

    “But if Santer wants to try this kind of stunt, as I’ve said above, I’ve submitted FOI requests and we’ll see what they turn up. We’ll see what the journal policies require. I’ll also see what DOE and PCDMI administrators have to say. We’ll see if any of Santer’s buddies are obligated to produce the data. We’ll see if Santer ever sent any of the data to his buddies”

    (Steven McIntyre; posting on his ClimateAudit blog; Nov. 21, 2008).

    My research is subject to rigorous scrutiny. Mr. McIntyre’s blogging is not. He can issue FOIA requests at will. He is the master of his domain – the supreme, unchallenged ruler of the “ClimateAudit” universe. He is not a climate scientist, but he has the power to single-handedly destroy the reputations of exceptional men and women who have devoted their entire careers to the pursuit of climate science. Mr. McIntyre’s unchecked, extraordinary power is the real story of “Climategate”. I hope that someone has the courage to tell this story.

    Benjamin D. Santer

    John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow
    San Ramon, California
    February 22, 2010*

    *These remarks reflect the personal opinions of Benjamin D. Santer. They do not reflect the official views of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory or the U.S. Department of Energy. In preparing this document, I would like to acknowledge the assistance of Tom Wigley, Myles Allen, Kristin Aydt, Graham Cogley, Peter Gleckler, Leo Haimberger, Gabi Hegerl, John Lanzante, Mike MacCracken, Gavin Schmidt, Steve Sherwood, Susan Solomon, Karl Taylor, Simon Tett, and Peter Thorne.

    • Kenneth Fritsch
      Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

      But, of course, the questions that Ben Santer used several paragraphs of writing to avoid answering were:

      1. Why do you not provide the intermediate code upon request?
      2. Is not having (and checking) the intermediate code a more efficient way of avoiding a person replicating your work getting hung up at that point and wasting everbodies time?
      3. Do not you avoid the whole FOI process by providing the code originally?
      4. Can Ben Santer’s reactions to this situation be considered to be within the realm and spirit of science where one expects and encourages others to check their work and furthermore avoids the indulgents of personalities at all costs?

      I truly think that Ben Santer and the crowd at RC take this response of Santer’s as the a proper rationale for his actions. It is never what should be done in the spirit of science – regardless of all the excuses and spin that can be applied to any situation like this one.

      • Sean
        Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

        It was reading stuff like this that convinced me early on (when I knew nothing about climate science) that Steve M. is likely to be correct. When someone spends many paragraphs explaining why they wouldn’t just do something very simple, there’s something up.

        In every case I have seen or read about where a trader was cooking his books, this kind of handwaving was the first red flag.

  253. Philip Lloyd
    Posted Feb 28, 2010 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

    What Santer does not seem to realise is that EVERY STEP needs checking. He says “The method used for making such intermediate calculations is not a secret.” Well, why was it so difficult to show precisely what he had done. Scientific findings must be able to be replicated. Why is it so difficult for those running around Real Climate to understand that simple fact? When you publish, you are supposed to be disclosing not only what you have found but also the route by which you found it. If Santer had bothered to be rigorous in his description of what he had done to the raw data, it would not have been necessary to ask him for the intermediate results and the method by which he obtained them.

  254. Kevin
    Posted Mar 1, 2010 at 8:13 AM | Permalink

    Michael Mann on Point of Inquiry

    • Posted Mar 1, 2010 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

      Which starts:

      For the scientists who study global warming, now is the winter of their despair.

      It goes on to list Climategate and all the other IPCC -gates. But hang on a moment, any true scientist would welcome an increase of the truth. And we’ve been told that global warming is the humanitarian crisis of our generation. Whatever else is the case, all the findings in the last three months and a bit suggest that it’s not as great a problem, or as immediate a problem, as has been made out. This has to be grounds for – perhaps qualified – relief, even joy. So whence the despair?

  255. Colin Davidson
    Posted Mar 2, 2010 at 8:11 PM | Permalink

    As I understand it, the Greenhouse effect relies on an energy imbalance(radiative forcing) being created because when the optical thickness of the CO2 increases, the temperature of the layer radiating to space decreases (due to the lapse rate) as it is higher in the atmosphere.

    I wondered exactly where the radiation “horizon” for CO2 actually lies. Obviously, this horizon is just above the point where all the radiation from CO2 is absorbed by the overlying gas.
    The standard tables for CO2 absorption atwavenumber 650 (wavelength 15um) give the following numbers:
    Concentration, atm cm: 0.2 0.5 1 5 10 100 1000
    Transmission %: 75 61 48 16 8 0.1 0
    I make 1atm cm to be equivalent to the CO2 in 25m of atmosphere at the surface. So the radiation horizon is around 500m at the surface (ie 15um radiation from the surface will be absorbed by 500m altitude). At the other boundary, the horizon is above 90% of the atmosphere. I make this to be within the Tropopause.

    The significance is that if this is correct, there would be no energy imbalance for an increase in CO2 – as the radiating layer moves outward there is no decrease (more likely an increase) in temperature.

    I am looking for the flaw in this line of reasoning.

    Steve: Blog policies discourage debate of personal theories – if there’s a mainstream text or journal article that you wish to discuss, then bring it to our attention.

  256. Paul
    Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 2:40 PM | Permalink

    I was just looking at the recent U.S. Senate Report

    Steve’s name is NOT listed under “Bios of key players”. This seems odd. Is there an explanation for this?

  257. Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    Steve, have you seen this email yet from the NASA FOIA files (part 4)?

  258. ClaytonB
    Posted Mar 3, 2010 at 9:11 PM | Permalink

    It’s been a while since we’ve had a technical post! I suppose you’ve been busy.

  259. DR
    Posted Mar 7, 2010 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    The IPCC is calling for nominations for lead authors and review editors for AR5 http://www.ipcc.ch/
    Closing date 12 March 2010.

  260. stephen richards
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 7:19 AM | Permalink

    Very rare in the south of france, in march, but today it is snowing and up to 40cms/15″ is expected.

  261. DeWitt Payne
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 7:02 PM | Permalink

    Does anybody have any experience with the pastecs package in R? I want to convert the irregularly spaced Dome C ice core CO2 and delta deuterium data to a regularly spaced series. I think the function(s) I need are in that package, but, as for most programming languages (R in particular), the user handbook is less than helpful for someone who doesn’t already know how to do things.

  262. geo
    Posted Mar 10, 2010 at 7:47 PM | Permalink

    I don’t know if Steve will even see this over here in the “slush pile”, and particularly when he’s busy with other stuff anyway.

    But while contemplating the current IPCC “disappeared” the MWP at WUWT, while considering that, and Steve’s proof that Mann’s method produces hockey stick’s with random noise, it occurs to me to wonder:

    Isn’t it true that misdating proxies in creating a reconstruction is really just a form of creating “random noise”?

    The reason I ask, is I’m wondering if it doesn’t make more sense to take the various proxies, recognize the MWP is in fact reasonably well dated by contemporary reports, and just use that to “center” the dating on the proxies around it and see what gives you? That would take the random noise factor out of what misdating of the proxie records would introduce when you try to average together multiple proxies that have each been misdated due to the inherent uncertainty of dating proxies.

  263. Des
    Posted Mar 12, 2010 at 5:33 AM | Permalink

    Hey guys I’m trying to find a copy of Steve’s presentation to OHU “How do we know that 1998 was the warmest year of the millenium?” I’ve searched all over the web but everything links back to this site and the link appears to be broken. Does anyone know of another site where it’s posted?

    Hopefully Steve won’t see this and feel like he has to fix it. Poor guy has enough on his plate.

  264. Posted Mar 12, 2010 at 8:42 AM | Permalink

    I don’t know where to ask this sort of question, I’m hoping it’s here.

    I’ve only recently started noticing old information on the retracted Soon and Baliunas paper, so I have only a shallow understanding of it.

    As I understand it they accepted they couldn’t back up their conclusions as it stood.

    Has there been any further work by the authors to address the criticisms levelled at the paper?

    Are there any good, neutral primers on the issues in that paper in particular?

    • Jimchip
      Posted Mar 12, 2010 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

      Re: mrsean2k (Mar 12 08:42),

      Soon and Baliunas wasn’t retracted. Even the climate-biased wikipedia has a reasonably balanced account. It was a review paper. I recall one bone of contention wrt the fact that there was misinterpretation with regards to statements about the temperature record.

      • Sean Inglis
        Posted Mar 13, 2010 at 8:00 PM | Permalink

        Then I need to tighten up my understanding of the issue, and I will.


    • Philip Lloyd
      Posted Mar 12, 2010 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

      I have read and re-read Soon and Balunias, and then read Mann and Co on the subject, and I really don’t know what Mann and Co’s problem is. All Soon and Balunias did was review the literature. They posed simple questions, and found very positive answers to them. Theirs has to be the review paper most savaged in the whole history of science. It is a Good Paper. Read it and worry that you hadn’t done a similar study.

  265. Craig Loehle
    Posted Mar 12, 2010 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

    FOI response: be glad it isn’t as bad as in India

  266. JohnS
    Posted Mar 12, 2010 at 4:29 PM | Permalink

    You’ve probably answered this before, but when you did your non-tree ring proxy temperature reconstruction, did you screen the papers on co2science.com? How many of those papers did you use?

    I was thinking about repeating your analysis to include some of the papers there just for hell of it, even if raw data is hard to get and data points have to be taken off graphs.

    The temporal distribution histograms on that site are qualitatively interesting, but some more sophisticated analysis might be interesting too.

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Mar 17, 2010 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

      Sorry for late reply. I went to the international archives and also searched for papers and then tried to track down the data. Many authors did not archive their data and would not respond to email (fancy that!).

  267. dougie
    Posted Mar 15, 2010 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

    in Timesonline

    ‘Grandaddy of green, James Lovelock, warms to eco-sceptics’

    What, I wondered, would be the great man’s view on the latest twists in the atmospheric story — the Climategate emails and the sloppy science revealed in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)? To my surprise, he immediately professed his admiration for the climate-change sceptics.

    “I think you have to accept that the sceptics have kept us sane — some of them, anyway,” he said. “They have been a breath of fresh air. They have kept us from regarding the science of climate change as a religion. It had gone too far that way. There is a role for sceptics in science. They shouldn’t be brushed aside. It is clear that the angel side wasn’t without sin.”


  268. Another Layman Lurker
    Posted Mar 15, 2010 at 8:19 PM | Permalink

    Re the smear by John Q mentioned in the comments on Hurricane 2010 post.

    Who benefits should Steve at this time divert attention to this and who is behind this strategy? Is His Grace’s book becoming too prominent?

  269. Another Layman Lurker
    Posted Mar 16, 2010 at 12:51 AM | Permalink

    Well fancy that! These ’eminent’ persons are coming to Australia end June early July for a climate change conference:
    Professor Chris Field (Carnegie Institution for Science)
    Dr R.K. Pachauri (Chair, IPCC)
    Professor Stephen Schneider (Stanford University)
    Neil Adger (Tyndall Centre, UK)
    Martin Parry (Co-Chair, IPCC Working Group II for the Fourth Assessment).


  270. pat
    Posted Mar 16, 2010 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    co2science.org: Southwest Greenland
    Vinther, B.M., Jones, P.D., Briffa, K.R., Clausen, H.B., Andersen, K.K., Dahl-Jensen, D. and Johnsen, S.J. 2010. Climatic signals in multiple highly resolved stable isotope records from Greenland. Quaternary Science Reviews 29: 522-538
    ..In describing this record, the seven scientists said that “temperatures during the warmest intervals of the Medieval Warm Period,” which they defined as occurring “some 900 to 1300 years ago, “were as warm as or slightly warmer than present day Greenland temperatures [italics added].” Hence, we conclude that for southwest Greenland, various portions of the MWP (AD 700-1100) were warmer than they have been over the last several years.

    16 March: Business&Media: Gore Attaches Global Warming as Cause to Last Weekend’s Storm in Northeast
    “[T]he odds have shifted toward much larger downpours,” Gore said. “And we have seen that happen in the Northeast, we’ve seen it happen in the Northwest – in both of those regions are among those that scientists have predicted for a long time would begin to experience much larger downpours.”
    But Gore had a specific example in mind. He explained this recent soaking in the Northeastern United States was “consistent” with what global warming alarmists were projecting.
    “Just look at what has been happening for the last three days,” Gore said. “The so-called skeptics haven’t noted it because it’s not snow. But the downpours and heavy winds are consistent with what the scientists have long warned about.”..

  271. Posted Mar 17, 2010 at 2:21 AM | Permalink

    The UK Advertising Standards Authority have banned 2 adverts from the Department of Energy and Climate Change for overstating CO2 as a cause of Climate Change http://www.asa.org.uk/Complaints-and-ASA-action/Adjudications/2010/3/Department-of-Energy-and-Climate-Change/TF_ADJ_48225.aspx

  272. John M. Lancaster
    Posted Mar 17, 2010 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    Has everyone seen this website showing glaciers growing all over the world , in 2010 ?


  273. bobdenton
    Posted Mar 19, 2010 at 7:23 AM | Permalink

    Quite an interesting popular review of the weaknesses in the peer- review system.


  274. Posted Mar 21, 2010 at 11:44 PM | Permalink

    The Clay Mathematics Institute awards the Millennium Prize of US $1,000,000,000 for resolution of the Poincaré conjecture to Grigoriy Perelman — 18 March 2010.

    Russian mathematician http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grigori_Perelman>Grigoriy Perelman published his breakthrough works as three preprints at ArXiv.org in 2002-2003. The works were analyzed by specialists in the field and the proof found to be correct.

    Where there is a professional community, formal criteria as if the work is published in “peer reviewed literature” or not are not relevant. The less professional the community becomes, the more it becomes fixed on formal criteria rather than the substance.

    Dr. Perelman’s story generally tells a lot about the inside of the scientific community.

    • DeWitt Payne
      Posted Mar 25, 2010 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

      Re: Anastassia Makarieva (Mar 21 23:44),

      I believe the prize is $1,000,000, i.e. one megadollar not gigadollar. I noticed that there is a Millenium prize related to the Navier-Stokes equations as well.

    • davidc
      Posted Mar 28, 2010 at 5:01 PM | Permalink

      It is a common confusion to see mathematics and science as being the same thing, or closely related. In fact they are at opposite ends of the spectrum of analytical activity. Mathematics is about such things as proving theorems and a valid proof remains valid whatever happens in the real world. Science is about theories and observations that might support them or refute them. There is never a proof of a scientific theory in the sense there is in mathematics.

  275. mikep
    Posted Mar 22, 2010 at 11:07 AM | Permalink

    Climate gatekeeping once more. I see from Ross Mckitrick’s site that his comment on Schmidt 2009 in the IJOC has been turned down on what look like flimsy grounds and even though one of the reviewers accepts that Schmidt made a couple of important mistakes. Remember that Mckitrick and Michaels were not asked for comments on the Schmidt original, but Schmidt may well be the reviewer of Mckitrick..

    See http://sites.google.com/site/rossmckitrick/

  276. johnh
    Posted Mar 22, 2010 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

    Next Climategate inquiry team is announced, the oil man is up to his nose in renewable energy and Carbon capture. One of Manns mates is on it too.


  277. David A
    Posted Mar 23, 2010 at 8:33 AM | Permalink

    According to this…
    The argos system not only shows no warming, but no sea level rise for the past six years. if this is true how do the AGW proponents insist sea level rise is accelerating?

  278. Kate
    Posted Mar 26, 2010 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

    They’re still on this – for a month now.

    Eric Steig says:
    24 March 2010 at 7:04 PM
    Here are my edits of Ben Santer’s comment, so that it applies to me:
    In fact, my position on this matter was that Mr. McIntyre’s data requests were superfluous and frivolous, since Mr. McIntyre already had access to all of the raw climate data my colleagues and I had used. Mr. McIntyre also had access to all the algorithms required to calculate intermediate “value-added” information from the raw climate data. With some work – which he was unwilling to do – Mr. McIntyre could have replicated all of the calculations performed in the Steig et al. Nature paper.

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Mar 27, 2010 at 12:54 PM | Permalink

      Yeah, he could have done it IF they had said exactly what they did, including the parameters of the code they used, and the details of the manipulation of the data. But they didn’t. So they are claiming that any old clairvoyant could have replicated their work…like Jones saying the data is available but not releasing even the names of the stations he used, nor the “corrections” to the data that were made.

  279. Chas
    Posted Mar 27, 2010 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    Hi, can anyone unpick this:

    Click to access Esper_2010_GCB.pdf

    Trends and uncertainties in Siberian indicators of 20 century warming.
    It seems that the divergence problem can be eliminated by:
    Using RCS
    Calibrating over the later period of the temperature series -?!
    Sorting out the temperature records
    Using tree-ring sites with a clear climatic signal
    –Was the divergence problem just an artefact?

    • Dave Dardinger
      Posted Mar 27, 2010 at 11:02 PM | Permalink

      Re: Chas (Mar 27 15:45),

      Haven’t read it yet, but the way you describe it, it sounds like just a different way to cherry-pick sites. Perhaps some of our statistics experts could try some synthetic data to see if it’s a latter-day Mannomatic.

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Mar 28, 2010 at 1:00 PM | Permalink

      If you calibrate your tree ring model against the first half of the 20th century, and test against the second half, this is a good test, which they fail (ie divergence appears). If you use the entire data record, you probably screen out the trees/sites that have divergence and Presto! it works better but you have no data left for testing.

  280. John M
    Posted Mar 28, 2010 at 9:05 PM | Permalink

    Big article in the local paper.

    Steve McIntyre at least is quoted.


    Aside from the usual pablum, two interesting points:

    a) Mann claims he’s a “skeptic”
    b) He regrets not putting his foot down and saying it’s wrong to delete e-mails. More pushing of poor ole’ Dr. Phil under the bus.

  281. oakwood
    Posted Mar 29, 2010 at 1:46 AM | Permalink

    A real example of auditing by peers – “four years for teams of academics around the world to check Mr Perelman’s solution”.

    Interesting example here of genuine and thorough peer review in the field of Mathematics.

    Grigory Perelman is a reclusive, eccentric Russian mathematician who published a solution to a 100 year old mathematical problem – the Poincare conjecture.

    The UK’s Telegraph newspaper reports:

    “In 2003 [Perelman] quietly published the solution to the Poincaré conjecture, that had baffled scientists for nearly a century… It took four years for teams of academics around the world to check Mr Perelman’s solution, but eventually they confirmed that he had cracked a conundrum that many had thought unsolvable.”

    Quite a contrast to peer-review in climate science!

    Full story:

  282. See - owe to Rich
    Posted Mar 29, 2010 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

    I have become interested in the controversy over McClean, DeFreitas, and Carter not being allowed a response at JGR to a Team comment on their paper “Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature” (I think I picked it up on a WUWT thread). It all seems to boil down to whether the high correlations quoted by MFC are due to having filtered via 12-month averaging and 1st-order difference. If that is the case it would be interesting to know what the correlation in the unfiltered data is.

    Figure 7 of “Censorship at AGU: scientists denied the right to reply” looks impressive to the naked eye, but what is the actual correlation to the MSU data?

    If anyone here knows more about this, I’d be keen to read their comments.


  283. Posted Mar 31, 2010 at 12:34 AM | Permalink

    Seems as though Exeter and Oxford are heading “Down Under” to study Kauri tree rings in petrified remains commonly found here http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3534323/Kauri-trees-offer-unique-climate-data

  284. bobdenton
    Posted Apr 3, 2010 at 7:16 AM | Permalink

    OT Response to comment by Steve on post by bobdenton Apr 3 2.14 on “Keith should say…”

    Steve, your forensic investigation is putting together a further and better prima facie case against UEA, it’s staff and others, of a breach of FoIA. I could say “WOW” and leave it at that, but I’d rather your efforts resulted in something more constructive.

    As things stand, the ICO have taken the view that there is strong prima facie evidence of an instantaneous offence of deletion committed by Phil Jones which is time barred. The Select Committee have concurred in this view but appealed for a determination of this issue by either the ICO or Muir, neither of whom have jurisdiction.

    Like the Select Committee, I bear no personal animosity towards Phil Jones and I sympathise with him to the extent that he has been the lighting rod for complaints about the way climate science has operated when disapprobrium deserves to be shared around much more widely: however, if the culture of non-disclosure is to be impartially investigated and guilt incontrovertibly and appropriately allocated to all those involved. no matter who they are, where they are and what part they played, then the matter needs to be adjudicated before the proper tribunal established for this purpose.

    In this case it is Norwich Magistrates Court. This is where you or I or anyone else would end up if we were alleged to have committed an offence in Norwich. There would be no ad-hoc committee specially set up to accommodate us, nor would we be subject to the good opinion of a state official, whose opinion carries no greater weight legally than yours or mine.

    The conduct of UEA in this matter is of great public interest by virtue of the fact that it informs public opinion about, not just the culture of UEA, but the culture of the dominant clique within climate science at a time when the probity of climate science is a matter of, not just public interest in the UK, but critical international concern.

    Without an adjudication by the Court established for this purpose, and recognised as competent to do so for 800 years , and whose decisions are accepted as authoritative I do not see how this matter can be resolved.
    So, what I’d like to see done, by those involved and knowledgeable and with a grievance, in that they have been the alleged the victims of illegal acts, is that they assemble the evidence, package it a persuasive manner, list those they allege have committed offences, state why they are not time-barred and send it to the ICO, requesting that he prosecute, and setting why it is the overwhelming public interest to so.

    The ICO is understaffed and overwhelmed, and unless specifically asked to do so it’s likely they would be seeking reasons to do nothing rather than to act. In all probability they have not yet even allocated a case officer to deal with the issues at UEA.

    If a pre-packaged case and an explicit request to prosecute were presented to the ICO, coupled with an announcement of the fact and the reasons for doing so on a prominent blog the ICO is likely to respond as most public servants do when public gaze turns to them. Suddenly they become efficient, rigorous and dutiful.
    Bear in mind that any prosecution would relate to an offence in Norwich, but the defendants, any one party to the common enterprise, need not be or have ever been in the UK, so the UEA, it’s staff and any of it’s correspondents may be prosecuted.

    Before I read your comment this morning I had already gone to the ICO website to copy your post and request that action be taken on the basis that there was evidence of a continuing offence but the site was down. Where do you find a policeman when you want one? Anyway, it’s now back up, but spurred by your comment I thought I would air my view before proceeding further.

  285. Barry Woods
    Posted Apr 4, 2010 at 2:58 AM | Permalink

    B***** H***

    This is GREENPEACE:
    I am shocked that they allow/sanction this on their website.
    I will highlight the last 4 sentences:

    “We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work.

    And we be many, but you be few.”

    “The politicians have failed. Now it’s up to us. We must break the law to make the laws we need: laws that are supposed to protect society, and protect our future. Until our laws do that, screw being climate lobbyists. Screw being climate activists. It’s not working. We need an army of climate outlaws.”

    The proper channels have failed. It’s time for mass civil disobedience to cut off the financial oxygen from denial and skepticism.

    If you’re one of those who believe that this is not just necessary but also possible, speak to us. Let’s talk about what that mass civil disobedience is going to look like.

    If you’re one of those who have spent their lives undermining progressive climate legislation, bankrolling junk science, fueling spurious debates around false solutions, and cattle-prodding democratically-elected governments into submission, then hear this:

    We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work.

    And we be many, but you be few.


  286. Posted Apr 10, 2010 at 6:59 PM | Permalink

    One of the most frequently repeated claims regarding the IPCC Assessment Report is that it’s “all peer-reviewed”. A Citizen Audit of this claim has been conducted, and the results will be available next week.

    Coming very soon to a monitor near you … “F21“.


  287. Aylamp
    Posted Apr 13, 2010 at 5:12 AM | Permalink

    How climate change is affecting the Antarctic – A CRU public lecture. Anyone going?


  288. Aylamp
    Posted Apr 13, 2010 at 5:19 AM | Permalink

    correction UEA, not CRU

  289. Craig Loehle
    Posted Apr 13, 2010 at 7:57 AM | Permalink

    I am auditing how Hadley global temp data has changed over time–does anyone have archived global temp anomaly data (not the gridded or raw, just the yearly values)?
    craigloehl at aol.com

  290. bobdenton
    Posted Apr 16, 2010 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    Second tranche of submissions to Muir, including Mann and Santer, now up.


  291. gimply
    Posted Apr 21, 2010 at 9:44 AM | Permalink

    Met faulty modeling of volcanic ash cloud path was reported to have
    needlessly grounded flights. Same model for this winter’s weather
    forecasts? Same model for their “climate” predictions? (well, some
    say weather and climate are the same, tested twice daily etc.)? Sigh…

  292. Posted Apr 27, 2010 at 3:35 AM | Permalink

    Auditblogs are gone. John, did you sell it all to Environmental Media Services ? 🙂

  293. David S
    Posted Apr 29, 2010 at 5:00 AM | Permalink

    A commenter on James Delingpole’s blog notes that Andrew Lloyd Weaver is suing the National Post. Could get interesting – any chance of your being called as an expert witness, Steve?

  294. Posted Apr 30, 2010 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

    Slightly OT, but it seems that the CRU is not the only source of dubious value coming out of UEA.

    Now we see animal rights to privacy being questioned http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/7653305/Wildlife-documentaries-invade-animal-privacy-rights-claims-leading-academic.html.

    Dr Brett Mills suggests we should seek animals approval before filming their most intimate moments – how remains uncertain

  295. Tom Gray
    Posted May 2, 2010 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

    Research into distrust in scientific consensuses


    From the report

    “In fact, when participants believed that science rejected a claim, they moved in the direction of being more likely to accept the clam as true. This finding ran counter to our expectations, but is consistent with findings that trust in science is decreasing.”

  296. Dennis
    Posted May 4, 2010 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

    I am curious; if as a result of the
    Virginia AG’s actions, all of Mann’s
    code and data finally becomes public,
    will you, Steve McIntyre, make use of
    it in subsequent analyses?

  297. Posted May 5, 2010 at 6:44 AM | Permalink

    Steve – if atmospheric CO2 has increased from 280 ppmv pre-industrial to 358 ppmv (1994) would not the thickness of the atmosphere increase accordingly from about 59 (computed) to its current 75 miles in that period? And would not the thicker atmosphere provide a feedback to reduce solar energy impinging on earth? Anyone ever evaluate this?

    • yguy
      Posted May 5, 2010 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

      “Steve – if atmospheric CO2 has increased from 280 ppmv pre-industrial to 358 ppmv (1994) would not the thickness of the atmosphere increase accordingly from about 59 (computed) to its current 75 miles in that period?”

      I don’t see how an increase in volume can be inferred from a proportional increase in one gas, especially when one of the other gases is O2.

  298. Posted May 5, 2010 at 8:01 AM | Permalink

    Actually – an error in my earlier calcs – atmosphere may increase by about 13.46 miles.

    1 Height of Atmoshere (estimated pre-industrial) 61.54 miles Trial

    2 radius of earth 3959 miles wikipedia

    3 Pre-Industrial atmosphere+earth radius 4020.54 miles 1+2

    4 Volume atmos + earth 272,233,401,418 cubic miles 4/3pi*R^3 R=3

    5 Volume Earth 259,923,241,564 cubic miles 4/3pi*R^3 R=2

    6 Volume Atmosphere Pre-Industrial 12,310,159,854 cubic miles 4-5

    7 CO2 fraction in atmosphere pre-industrial 280 ppmv radix.net

    8 CO2 volume in atmosphere Pre-industrial 3,446,845 cubic miles 6*7/10^6

    9 CO2 fraction 1994 358 ppmv radix.net

    10 Atmospheric Volume Change 1994 due to CO2 only 15,739,418,671 cubic miles 6*9/7

    11 New Total Volume Earth + Atmosphere 275,662,660,235 cubic miles 10+5

    12 New Radius of atmosphere earth 4,034.00 miles (3/4*V/pi())^.333

    13 New Atmosphereic Height 75.00 miles 12-17

    14 Increase in Atmospheric Height 13.46 miles 13-1

  299. Posted May 5, 2010 at 8:11 AM | Permalink

    ralphieGM: Does your calculation take into account the volumetric variation of gases due to varying pressures and temperatures at different altitudes in the atmosphere?

    Normally, given a constant temperature, doubling the pressure of a known volume of gas reduces that volume to a half of the original and vice versa. Similarly, temperature has an effect on volume (and pressure, naturally), reducing volume as temperature goes down — assuming, that pressure stays constant.


  300. Dave Dardinger
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

    You’ve clearly made some mistakes in orders of magnitude. You’re not going to increase the volume of earth plus atmosphere from 272… (4) TO 275… (11) i.e. 1% simply by increasing the CO2 in the atmosphere alone by ~100 ppm i.e. .01%. Go back and check your math.

  301. Frank
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

    Steve: Snip the first two paragraphs if you must.

    To the extent that Mann is engaging in climate change politics, rather than science, he could be considered to be a fair target for his political enemies, including the Attorney General of Virginia. This is pretty low, even for politics.

    Steve (and many of this readers) are interested getting politics out of climate science and more accuracy into climate science. The Attorney General’s investigation is unlikely to make this quest easier or more successful.

    If political persecution of Mann isn’t the right response to the failed NAS, UEA and PSU investigations, what is? Congressional hearings on the hockey stick and the British government inquiry into CRU were minimally useful (at best) from a scientific point of view. Politicians aren’t familiar enough with science to get far with scientists. Non-science hearings might accomplish more: 1) A panel of experts from inside the government (NSF, NIH, GAO) could critique the PSU and UEA investigations into scientific misconduct. 2) A panel of science journal editors and and a panel of science society leaders could be asked about the Climategate emails, actions they are taking to prevent similar abuses in the future, and the politicization of science. Since the answer is nothing, they could be informed that they will be asked to return in the future to report on what they have done. Some Congressmen might perform well at a hearing of this type and even Congressmen who favor climate change legislation should be upset about the obvious loss of creditability with the public. Congress and Attorneys General can not “police” the scientific community, but they might succeed in illuminating the community’s failure to police itself.

  302. Posted May 5, 2010 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

    Sauli and yguy: I was looking for a way to reflect that the atmosphere should increase as CO2 is pumped into it. It seems logical to me that new CO2 would need new space. My calculations may be crude but common sense indicates a thickening of the atmosphere would occur as new gases are pumped into it. Not really sure how to compute such a phenomenon – gave it my best shot.

    • Posted May 5, 2010 at 11:34 PM | Permalink

      Hi ralphieGM.

      The method is a bit unusual, but that is ok. There are some easy fixes.

      Your step 10 is the biggest problem. You multiplied the total volume of the atmosphere by the proportionate increase in CO2. It should be the total volume of CO2 multiplied by the proportional increase in CO2.

      To get the additional volume due to the additional CO2, you need (0.000358-0.000280)*AtmosVolumne

      Try this. Your step 8 gives the pre-industrial CO2 volumne.
      Add a new step to get post-industrial CO2 volume by the same method. Use 6*7/10^6

      Then use subtraction of those two volumes to get the change.

      Also having got the change in volume, in step 11 you should add step 10 to the previous combined volumne of step 4, not just step solid volume of step 5.

      It will look like this, with my 9.1 and 10 replacing your 10, and a revised step 11
      step 6: Preindustrial volume: 12,310,159,854 cubic miles
      step 7: Preindustrial CO2 fraction: 280ppm
      step 8: Preindustrial CO2 volume: 3,446,845 cubic miles 6*7/10^6
      step 9: Postindustrial CO2 fraction 358ppm
      step 9.1: Postindustrial CO2 volume: 4,407,118 cubic miles 6*9/10^6
      step 10: Atmospheric volumne change: 960,210 cubic miles 9.1 – 9
      step 11: New atmospheric volumne: 272,234,588,239 cubic miles 4 + 10

      Then you carry on as before.
      step 12: new radius (V*3/4/pi)^(1/3) 4020.545 miles
      step 13: increase in atmospheric height: 0.0047 miles

      There are issues with this number because density is not constant; but it is in the ball park. By going tom 280ppm to 358 ppm we expect an additional 78ppm, which is 0.000078.

      Note that 0.000078 * 61.54 = 0.0048

      That is, you could have multiplied by the atmospheric height straight away.

      There is another important point, however. To get CO2, we burn carbon, and remove an approximate equal quantity of O2 from the air in the process, which gives no volume change result at all. In fact, since a lot of burning also gives solid wastes, you are likely to reduce the total volume a little bit.

      Cheers — sylas

  303. ralphieGM
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 7:37 AM | Permalink

    Sylas – still think I am right but I agree that CO2 produced by burning would consume oxygen and lessen the volume increase due to this form of release.

    Disregarding that burning effect, atmospheric volume would be 358ppmV/280ppmV times the old atmospheric volume since the CO2 fraction is given in terms of the total volume of air (not times the CO2 volume as you say).

    CO2 produced by other non oxygen consuming sources such as ocean release should increase atmospheric height – and not insignificantly as I see it.

    But I have not totally convinced myself of these calculations either.

    • Posted May 7, 2010 at 4:04 PM | Permalink

      You say:

      Disregarding that burning effect, atmospheric volume would be 358ppmV/280ppmV times the old atmospheric volume since the CO2 fraction is given in terms of the total volume of air (not times the CO2 volume as you say).

      No, that’s definitely incorrect. If you multiply by 358/280, you are increasing the total volume by about 28%. And yet CO2 is STILL only a fraction of a percent of the total. You can’t increase total volume by 28% with a gas that is a fraction of a percent of the total!

      The correct approach is as I have described for you above. You are adding 78 parts per million, so you multiply by 1.000078.

      Suppose you have 1,000,000 units of pre-industrial atmosphere. Since it is 280 ppm CO2, you have 280 units of CO2. When this increases to 358, you are adding 78 more units of CO2, which brings the total atmosphere to 1,000,078. Read my last post again, I walk through it pretty carefully.

      This is all a bit beside the point, as every atom of CO2 added has meant an atom of O2 removed, and to the volume change is actually zero. But I did want to comment on the maths methods to help with those as well.

      Cheers — sylas

  304. Posted May 7, 2010 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

    “Disregarding that burning effect, atmospheric volume would be 358ppmV/280ppmV times the old atmospheric volume since the CO2 fraction is given in terms of the total volume of air (not times the CO2 volume as you say).”

    This assumes that an addition in CO2 content also increases all other atmospheric gases in a similar ratio. And yes, the concentration of CO2 is given in terms of volume. Given a cubic meter of air that contains 280 000 cm^3 of CO2, you have a cubic meter of air with a CO2 content of 280 ppmV. If you increase the amount of CO2 within this volume to, say, 400 000 cm^3, you have a total volume of 1 000 120 000 cm^3 with CO2 concentration at 399,952 ppmV. What other gases are also created in which amounts that would substantiate the 358/280 –> 27,86 % increase in total volume?

    If volume increases in the same manner, would not the concentration (not quantity, as per the definition of “ppmV” = parts per million in volume) of CO2 remain the same?


  305. Posted May 7, 2010 at 8:00 AM | Permalink

    Simply, what I’m trying to say here, is that we don’t have all of the necessary details and mechanisms involved to present any kind of answer. Has the concentration of other gases changed? Is the average air pressure at sea level still the same as 100-200 years ago? How does gravity’s ability to hold in atmospheric gases decrease as altitude increases? How linear is the pressure gradient between AMSL and TOA? What about the temperature gradient?

    And having no specialized knowledge in atmosperic physics I probably wouldn’t even be scratching the edges of the correct questions to be asking. The math is the simple part, I fear. Understanding the mechanisms and relations is the larger problem.


    • Posted May 7, 2010 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

      With respect, this is a non-issue. Gravity has not changed, and the atmosphere a thousand years ago was still about 78% Nitrogen, 21% Oxygen and 1% Argon, rounding to single percentages.

      There are significant changes to trace gases, CO2 being the largest in total bulk, increasing from .028% to 0.039% (nearest thousandth of a percent) but that is not going to have any significant effect on volumes or pressures.

      The changes that are the center of climate discussions concern absorption and emission of radiation, and trace gases can be quite important for that. But not the bulk properties of pressure and volume.

  306. ralphieGM
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 5:23 PM | Permalink

    Sauli and sylas – I’ll study this further – thanks for your input. If the atmosphere is thickening at all I guess the amount of radiation that impinges earth would decrease. Not sure of how much a part this would play as a negative feedback. CO2 released from the oceans are not consuming oxygen – they are simply adding to the volume of the atmosphere. Likewise microbes that convert soil to CO2 would be adding volume.

    • Posted May 8, 2010 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

      Good for you ralphie; it is always best to sort it out for yourself rather than just accept without thinking or study.

      I’ll add this as something to think about. Different gases block different bands of radiation. The additional CO2, for example, blocks longwave radiation, which is the main frequency emitted from the Earth’s surface. The impact on radiation coming from the Sun, which is in much shorter wavelengths, is negligible. Hence the effect is not to reduce the amount of radiation impinging on the Earth, but to increase it. This is because whatever frequencies are absorbed are also frequencies that can be emitted. So radiation coming up from the surface is absorbed in the atmosphere, and then the atmosphere radiates itself, both up and out to space and backradiation going down to the surface. This is what leads to a so-called atmospheric greenhouse effect.

      Also, the ocean both releases and absorbs CO2. At present, the absorption exceeds emissions, by about 2.3 Gt per year. This is because of the increasing partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere. About half of what is being added to the atmosphere from human activities remains there; the rest ends up being taken up in the ocean and terrestrial sinks. Processes in soil also both absorb and emit carbon, as part of the carbon cycle; and again, because of the large increases in atmospheric carbon the equilibrium is disturbed and soils and vegetation tend to absorb more carbon than is emitted; with a net absorption of another 2 Gt per year or so.

  307. dennis
    Posted May 7, 2010 at 9:30 PM | Permalink

    From Science Insider Magazine:
    “NSF to Ask Every Grant Applicant for Data Management Plan”

    I don’t know if this is old news, but
    it looks like NSF is finally starting to come around on data archiving.

  308. dougie
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 7:23 PM | Permalink


    from TCO at the blackboard

    Wegman has been unwilling to share his methodology details. You can go read the “Take a Ritalin, Dave” post on CA, where SM criticizes Ritson for complaining about Wegman non-disclosure too quickly. However, years have gone by and Wegman still never released the details (and yes…I checked by asking Ritson).

    is this true?

  309. Posted May 11, 2010 at 4:10 AM | Permalink

    Academics urge radical new approach to climate change

    See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science_and_environment/10106362.stm

    Still comes down to taxing the hell out of the West !!!

  310. JohnH
    Posted May 16, 2010 at 7:40 AM | Permalink

    Pachauri has gone from stating the IPCC report was from 100% peer reviewed sources to now trying to defend the use of non peer reviewed sources.


  311. Frank
    Posted May 17, 2010 at 12:58 AM | Permalink

    Press Release 10-077
    Scientists Seeking NSF Funding Will Soon Be Required to Submit Data Management Plans


  312. Tom Gray
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 10:13 AM | Permalink

    Peer-reviewed Statistics Show Emotional Response in a Dead Salmon


    The result is completely nuts — but that’s actually exactly the point. Bennett, who is now a post-doc at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his adviser, George Wolford, wrote up the work as a warning about the dangers of false positives in fMRI data. They wanted to call attention to ways the field could improve its statistical methods.

  313. Henry
    Posted May 19, 2010 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

    Nothing here yet on the Heartland Fourth International Conference on Climate Change, May 2010, Chicago. Steve’s presentation can be seen here (just click on the little box on the bottom and the video at the top will start.

    Dan Miller, the American Spectator and Bishop Hill all note the different audience response at the beginning and end. Steve is now clearly labelled a foreign left-wing lukewarmer by those who should be grateful to him. The point should be the science and statistics not the US culture wars.

  314. Posted May 20, 2010 at 3:51 AM | Permalink

    Hi Steve:

    Good job at the ICCC, really enjoyed listening to the story from you.

    I just finished an animation of station locations with data in the GHCNv2 unadjusted v2.mean file. For now, I the video and my remarks on disappearing stations are posted on http://blog.qtau.com/2010/05/dude-where-is-my-thermometer.html

    I’ll post the Perl code I wrote to generate the animation over the weekend. Enjoy.

    Steve: will post up a thread and link to cover this.

  315. Posted May 23, 2010 at 12:43 AM | Permalink


    While working with the GHCN data set, I just stumbled upon something that seems really odd to me. Can you look at http://blog.qtau.com/2010/05/whats-up-with-adjusted-mean.html

    It seems like the adjustments stop post-2006 and missing monthly temperatures are filled in with the previous month’s mean temperature. Is this a known issue? Is there a simple explanation for it that I am missing?

    Steve: Sinan, remind me if I forget – I’ve got a couple of things that I’m working on, but do wish to look at this.

    • Posted May 23, 2010 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

      Steve: No rush. I am just not very sure how to explain what I am seeing. Another set of eyes looking at it independently might spot something I did not understand.

    • Posted May 23, 2010 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

      Steve: I am just adding things here to keep you up-to-date. Not trying to rush you 😉

      I put together an animation of the distribution of adjustments by type (positive, negative, zero) by year/month. There are some interesting patterns in 80s and the 90s. See http://blog.qtau.com/2010/05/adjustments-to-monthly-mean.html

    • Posted May 24, 2010 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

      I also put together an animation of adjustments between v2.mean and v2.mean_adj by location/month/year: http://blog.qtau.com/2010/05/would-you-like-yours-well-adjusted.html Things get really interesting after the 80s.

      v2.mean_adj dated 2010/05/15 does not seem to contain any values from the continental USA starting January 2007.

      NOAA says global anomalies use the GHCN for land temperatures. I am wondering how they came up with those dots. I am not sure if they use v2.mean or v2.mean_adj. If they do not use v2.mean_adj, what is the point of making adjustments?

      I sent an email to the NCDC with my questions. Waiting for the response.

    • Posted May 25, 2010 at 10:21 PM | Permalink

      Steve: While trying to figure out if the decreasing number of stations with data post 1992 matters, I put together a chart comparing within-grid means between, what I call, survivor stations and zombie stations.

      The chart looks interesting but comes with a lot of caveats.

  316. The Iceman Cometh
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 2:26 AM | Permalink

    I’m really impressed (depressed?) by Sinan’s digging into GHCN. The animation http://blog.qtau.com/2010/05/dude-where-is-my-thermometer.html is really amazing in demonstrating the extent of the land temperature measurement problem.

  317. Jonathan
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    Steve, you might perhaps be interested in this petition for availability of CryoEM data which is doing the rounds at the moment.

  318. pjm
    Posted May 30, 2010 at 10:25 PM | Permalink

    A recent article in New Scientist suggested that humans killed off the North American megafauna, which reduced the amount of methane, which might have caused climate cooling about 13,000 years ago. Would Al Gore believe anybody who said increasing CO2 was restoring the harm we did back then?

  319. dougie
    Posted May 31, 2010 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

    this may interest you Steve –

    ‘Mining for Cold, Hard Facts’


    “Unfortunately many of our proxies have significant errors and are prone to be a slave to assumptions,” says climatologist John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville, who has often criticized the IPCC. His research, using temperature readings from NOAA and NASA satellites, has undermined arguments that the atmosphere is warming at an unusual rate.

    The ice-core data from Antarctica is “terribly important,” Dr. Christy says. “We really need to know what the climate did before we can answer why it did what it did. If it happened before, it will happen again, and probably worse.”

  320. Speed
    Posted Jun 5, 2010 at 6:04 AM | Permalink

    WSJ/s The Numbers Guy has a few words that will sound familiar to CA readers.
    Self-Reported Economic-Impact Estimates Deserve Scrutiny

    The Meadowlands, like many sponsors of studies that show a large economic benefit to hosting sporting events, isn’t releasing the report. “If we release the report, everybody is debating one number vs. another number,” said Alice McGillion, spokeswoman for the stadium.

    “If they don’t make it public, we shouldn’t trust it,” said Dennis Coates, an economist at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. “If we’re supposed to trust the numbers, let us look at them.”

  321. Posted Jun 13, 2010 at 5:32 PM | Permalink

    Maggie Thatcher, who single-handedly started the whole AGW scam in the UK, is reported in the Telegraph to have reversed her opinion


    Shame she can’t dismantle CRU and HAD-CRU whilst she’s at it

  322. Posted Jun 22, 2010 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    Seems as though AGM belivers are now publishing papers to say they are better than non-believers http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7845662/Climate-change-sceptic-scientists-less-prominent-and-authoritative.html

  323. Bob Koss
    Posted Jun 23, 2010 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

    2013 IPCC authors are online. WG1 only.

    Click to access wg1authors.pdf

    I searched for names cited in the Mann 2008 bibliography. Not totally comprehensive though.

    These people are not authors.

    Mann, Bradley, Hughes, Jones, Briffa, Santer, Esper, Wahl, Ammann, Crowley, Lowery, Moberg, Folland, Juckes, Rutherford, Cook, Schmidt, Rind, Fritts, D’arrigo, Wilson, Jacoby, Brohan, Kennedy, Pollack, Haris, Huang S, Keimig, Barnett, Holmgren, Evans, Dietrich, Xoplaki, Grosjean, Delworth, Waple, Reynolds

    These people are authors.

    Osborn, Jansen, Luterbacher, Wanner, Hegerl, Tett, Shindell, Kaplan, Cane, Zwiers

  324. Bob Koss
    Posted Jun 23, 2010 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    Here are the WG2 and WG3 authors.

    Click to access WGII-AR5_Authors.pdf

    Click to access WGIII-AR5-Author-Nominations.pdf

  325. thisisnotgoodtogo
    Posted Nov 5, 2010 at 4:33 PM | Permalink

    Hello All

    Please forgive this posting here, as I don’t know my way around to the right spot

    Steve, my friend Heiko Bleher , the aquatic species collector with more aquatic species named after him than anyone else, just posted his photos of the Amazon BONE DRY and of course, no fish left that need the water at all times.

    I appreciate you as duty and honour personified.

    see aquapress bleher site.

    thanks so much for the education you’ve offered me as a lurker.

    I got nothing else to say

  326. Tom Gray
    Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 9:03 AM | Permalink

    From the New York Times at


    This bears on the idea of scientific auditing and due diligence;
    The story is about the difficulty in finding scientists to do replication studies and eh difficulty in even getting important replication studies published if they are done.

    From the story

    But perhaps not forever. Ian Lipkin, a virologist at Columbia University who is renowned in scientific circles for discovering new viruses behind mysterious outbreaks, is also known for doing what he calls “de-discovery”: intensely scrutinizing controversial claims about diseases.

    Last September, Mr. Lipkin laid out several tips for effective de-discovery in the journal Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews. He recommended engaging other scientists — including those who published the original findings — as well as any relevant advocacy groups (like those for people suffering from the disease in question). Together, everyone must agree on a rigorous series of steps for the experiment. Each laboratory then carries out the same test, and then all the results are gathered together.

    At the request of the National Institutes of Health, Mr. Lipkin is running just such a project with Ms. Mikovits and other researchers to test the link between viruses and chronic fatigue, based on a large-scale study of 300 subjects. He expects results by the end of this year.

    So scientific audits are being performed and being called “de-discovery” in these fields. There is even a published protocol for doing this sort of work. Perhaps this is something that a re-configured IPCC could be doing. They could commission audit or de-discovery studies of controversial claims in climate science. Do bristle cones matter? The study could be commissioned and the results published for use by policymakers. Erphaos this would hep remove the political advocacy from climate science

  327. RuhRoh
    Posted Jun 27, 2011 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

    Mr. McI;

    What is your impression of purported ‘overstatement’ of the shale gas projections?
    My reliably-lefty brother from Berkeley, seems to think it is a ploy by (mystery) someone to get more gas-fired power plants?

    The NYT had one article against ‘fracking’, and apparently has recently come out with a mini-version of ‘climategate’, releasing emails about non-payback of well costs.

    Not exactly climate stuff, but maybe in your ‘wheelhouse’. ?
    Enjoy your stuff.

  328. Tom Gray
    Posted Sep 23, 2011 at 12:43 PM | Permalink

    Click to access neutrino-blunder.pdf

    Some researchers at CERN have reported on an experiment that produiced neutrinos travelling at faster than light speeds. The above URL points to a paper from a particle physisicist that indicates that this result was derived from a mistake in some very elementary statistics

    I thought that this might be of interest to this blog

  329. TG
    Posted Sep 23, 2011 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

    This interesting subject is actually closely linked to climate science! 🙂

    From today’s Guardian story on the faster-than-light neutrinos:

    23 September 2011 7:18PM

    Give the problem to the CRU boys at East Anglia.

    They’ll be able to rustle up the few missing billiseconds from any data they are given

  330. Tom Gray
    Posted Feb 25, 2012 at 7:54 PM | Permalink

    The February 13-19 issue of BusinessWeek contains an article about Yamal and the people who live there. There are photographs showing the trees.

    The article contains the statement:

    Russia claims that the Yamal Peninsula, which contains the Bovanenkovo fields, contains 38 trillion cubic meters of gas reserves – enough to supply the energy needs of the European Union for the next 72 years

  331. RichardLH
    Posted Jun 17, 2013 at 4:00 AM | Permalink


    I believe there is merit in trying to indentify short term (less than 15 years) natural cycles in the temperature record.

    The only ‘single instument’, ‘whole area’ data sets available for this period are from sattelites (UAH or RSS).

    The length of those records is sufficent to be beyond the Nyquist limit for any cycles down to around 15 years now.

    To examine this concept I applied a cascaded set of central output running averge ‘filters’ to the UAH Global data set as published by Dr Roy Spencer.

    This output is then processed to obtain local ‘zero’ crossing data from the signal (by visual inspection at present!)

    These may provide insights into any underlying, short term, periodicity in the signal I believe.


    From the data so far it would appear that 37 month, 4 years, 7 years (4 + 3), and 12 years (4*3) and a partial ~60 year cycle may well be visible in the data.

    With cycle counts of just 10, 4,3 and a potential half I suspect that this falls at the ‘human pattern recognitian’ end of statistica science but you would be able to judge much better than I.

    In any case this may well provide insight into near term futures for the UAH Global data series with a suggested figure (by me 🙂 of +0.13C for Dec 2013 for the 12 month average which I suppose we can check towrds end 2014.

    Please note that this is not curve fitting to the data, it is curve extraction from the data. I did not propose the cycles, the data suggests that those cycles exist.

    Time alone will show if this approach has any merit but at least the marker is in the ground now.

%d bloggers like this: