Friday, May 8, 2009

Global Warming with a Vengeance

In 1989, global warming came to Waterville, Washington with a vengeance. The annual temperature jumped 10 degrees F that year. For the previous 100 years the temperature had been hovering around 44 F. Then after 1989 the temperature fluctuated between 44 and 54 F for the next 10 years.

Let's look at Waterville Washington. the report from the surface stations surveyor, who looked at what NOAA's meta data says about this site wrote:

The topological description for Waterville from the NOAA site for meta data is

Gently rolling Wheatland Plateau ends 4 Mi W drops off to riv 7 Mi W. Shade trees

There is also a description of ‘obstructions’ on the NOAA site that lists the following

“Obstruction Type: Office”


Let's see that gently rolling wheatland with an office. drum roll.... next two pictures below.

Image from

Image from


Yes, a nice lovely rock garden 4 feet from hot parked car engines, next to an office, and not a wheat field in site. Lovely. Yes, the government is doing such a fantastic job of measuring our temperature that I think we should hand over our health care and all our money to them!

Now let's look at the temperature record for this lovely little burg. Somewhere in the late 1980s, global warming came to Waterville with a vengance. I don't need a comparison with another station to know that they did something different--like built a lovely little rock garden to surround their thermometer, and built a parking lot for it?

There is a 12 degree temperature change in this record. But, it doesn't stay constant. Look at 1995 and 1996. They are back to the historical levels, and then it turns around again. What a lovely, trustworthy record of temperatures against which to measure global death by warming. From 1890 until 1986 or 1987, there was not a single swing of temperature of 12 degrees. But by golly about the time the global warming band wagon got rolling, the good citizens of Waterville, Washington, wanted to play their small role in helping the earth warm up. Thanks to you all, good citizens of Waterville, Washington. You, with your 12 deg rise in temperature are vying for a spot on the global warming hall of fame!

Is anyone willing to call this as it is? Does the religion of global warming have everyone's tongue?

Can anyone say that this data is useful to detecting global warming? It isn't a bias after 1986, it isn't even constant. The swings (I don't know why) start then and don't stop.

This is the kind of stuff that any scientist ought to quickly condemn. Failure to do so causes loss of credibilty. And this is why I call such stations, dishonestly cited.

If a scientist knows that the data he is collecting is crap and he does nothing to correct the situation he is being dishonest. There is no other way to state the situation. So, for those who think that a whole group of climatologists wouldn't be disingenuous about the data there are 3 options

1. They don't know about this situation--which means they are incompetent
2. They know and don't do anything about it--which means they are complicit in the dishonesty
3. They know but don't have the money to fix it so go along and don't talk about it--once again, complicity in the dishonesty.

The raw fact is that they have to know about this. They edit the data stream. Notice the rather dishonest editing on the Waterville temperature stream. They remove the idiotic 12 deg jump in temperature, but the edited data is still a degree or more above the 100 year trend. This is, unfortunately editorial bias showing its head, and that 1-5 degree upward trend will go into the global average making the world appear hotter when in fact something was wrong with the Waterville station and it can't be fixed.

But hey, when you can't fix something you might as well edit it to say what you want it to say.


  1. Very interesting. However, these stations, individually are not used in the modeling, but rather on a continental scale the data is used to "validate" the model after it is run. Interestingly enough, on an individual scale the confidence in the models might actually be improved should the data from the individual stations be found to be contaminated (read below).

    Recently Gavin Schmidt of NASA, the lead researcher for the GISS had this say about the use of GHCN and USHCN data stations (to Anthony Watt):
    "> Don't let me get in the way of your efforts here, but please stop saying that "This data is in fact used in climate modeling to predict our climate future".
    "> This is simply not so.
    "> You've downloaded the GISS model - perhaps you'd like to show me where these station data are used? You won't be able to because they aren't.
    "> Observational data at large scale (not individual stations) are used to evaluate the models after they've been run - but again generally only at the continental scale and above. The evaluation is not just with trends but with patterns of variability (El Nino responses, NAO etc.) and obviously, the better the data the more reliable the evaluation.
    "> Note that the climate model hindcasts for this area are around 0.5 over the 20th Century - significantly less than this individual station. Should this record therefore be shown to contaminated, it would actually improve our confidence in the models, not lessen it!"

    Now again, I'm clearly not a scientist like you are, but it sounds like the models are built and the data aggregated and gridded and corrected are used to validate the model afterwards. As Schmidt said: "Observational data at large scale (not individual stations) are used to evaluate the models after they've been run"

    Speaking of how many earth scientists disagree with anthropogenic warming, I recently read a poll of earth scientists (certainly not every earth scientist was polled), classified by specialization, finds that 96.2% of climatologists who are active in climate research believe that mean global temperatures have risen compared to pre-1800s levels, and 97.4% believe that human activity is a significant factor in changing mean global temperatures. (But to be fair the poll only went out to 10,000 or so professionals in the field with about a 30% response rate -typical for webbased polls apparently, and the sub-specializations further limited the number of respondants, so at the highest level of specialization it was around 76 respondents or so). But the fact still remains of the initial 3,000 or so respondents about 80% believe in a significant human role in global climate change, and 90% think the temperature has risen copared to pre-1800 levels.

    In fact, as the level of active engagement in climate research increases, the percentage of respondants who believe in global warming with a significant anthropogenic role increases accordingly(Doran, Peter T.; Maggie Kendall Zimmerman (January 20, 2009). "Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change". EOS 90 (3): 22–23. doi:10.1029/2009EO030002. (Summary available at

    I have to ask why your insights are somehow more accurate? Personally, since I am not a trained climatologist but what I've read indicates that anthropogenic global warming is not controversial among the professionals, who should I believe?

    AND they seem to make their points without incendiary, accusative, insulting language like "Holophobe" or "Holocene Deniers" or "Global warming hysteriacs". (Albeit some of those are clever portmanteaux or turns of phrase, but in reality that's all they are, and they serve only to make the debate more insulting and gut-level. Not actually science. Just playground games.)

    Maybe your points would get more traction in actual scientific circles if they were produced without bile or accusations of dishonestly or ignorance. And if they were related to the actual detailed science itself.

  2. Hagiograph, I have published over 100 articles. Among them I have published 4 in geophysical journals, one in the Journal of Theoretical Biology, one in a statistics journal and I have been an industry speaker when I was Director of Technology for Kerr-McGee Oil and Gas company, giving talks on geophysics, seismic and information systems. I think I know what gets traction in a scientific setting. But this is a political issue.

    You say that my points would get more traction if I left off the accusations. Let's examine that point because it is interesting. First, a blog is not a scientific paper. Secondly, I will state clearly again, if someone knows that the data is crap and they collect it anyway, then they become dishonest. That is the scientific ethic. I would expect to be fired if I did that on my job, maybe climatologists have a looser ethic than exists in the oil business.

    Secondly, you say that the GW folks don't use insulting language. Not so. James Hansen says that oil company executives should be arrested and tried for crimes against humanity. Don't you think that is a bit insulting? Skeptics are called Global Warming Deniers, which was, historically, a take off on Holocaust Deniers, a degrading insult to those who doubted the holocaust happened. My gut tells me that you never ever complained to anyone about the use of those terms, but now that your ox is being gored with a nice juicy way of framing the debate, you whinge about language being unfair. What I see are people who can dish it out but can't take it. Are you one of those?

    YOu ask, "Who should I believe?" I would say no one. Beleive the data. I am showing you the data. You have posted several things commenting on my wee blog but all you have done is basically said that you don't beleive me. Show me that my data is wrong. It is all out there on the internet to be downloaded. All you have to do is go to the work of showing that it is wrong. Who should you beleive? No one, believe the data!

    I love that poll you cite of earth scientists. First off it was almost entirely limited to academics. I am an earth scientist and I work in the oil industry. The poll was sent to the members of the AGU, which very few of us in the oil industry belong to because it doesn't help in finding oil. However, the oil industry employs more geoscientists than all of academica combined. But we were left out of that poll. I wonder why. I suspect that the answers would be quite different if the poll were sent to us, which is why I think it wasn't.

    Your quote from Gavin Schmidt is irrelevant. I didn't say they used the station data in the modeling. I do say they use it to judge where we started from, temperature-wise. A model simply can't tell you what the temperature is in 1900. Only the HCN data can do that, and if it is so full of crap, you can't say that we have warmed by any given quantity of temperature.

    Another reason your quotation of Gavin is irrelevant is that if a model can tell us the temperature in 1900 so that we can know if we have warmed or cooled, then why do we need the thermometers at all. Let's just make a happy-clappy models that says "the world has warmed by a degree" and be done with it. Here is that program.

    10 Print "the world has warmed by a degree"
    20 stop

    Wow, I now have a model that proves that the world has warmed by 1 degree. Where is my prize?

  3. I am impressed by your number of presentations and the fact that you speak Mandarin. I take exception to your representation that my posts all just boil down to my "not believing you". I believe I have adequately explained my points complete with references, etc.

    In your discussion of the regression line on a data set I ran the numbers and posted the regression slope I got. It differed from yours. I also explained my stance on the 14C content of the CO2 in sea water. Your response still was only in 2 half lives. I would think that a modern mass spec could differentiate between that particular reservoir at 2 half lives (~10,000 years) versus 10 half lives (~57,000 years).

    I think I have provided ample evidence for why I believe as I do, not just that I fail to believe you.

    I agree that debating the science using opinion polls is weak, but when the majority of the climate scientists disagree with an oil man, and the science I've read and seen from them seem quite reasonable I can tell you that carries some amount of weight for those of us who don't hold an advanced degree in climatology.

    But perhaps most interesting of all is that for all your iconoclasm and insistence on just following the data you seem quite quick to remind us constantly of your various feats in petroleum. 100 articles (are they all in those 4 geophysics journals?), you speak mandarin, you've lived here or there, you've been a director of technology, etc. You are quick to remind us of your unrelated feats (are any of these peer-reviewed articles in climatology?) and you are equally quick to name-call.

    Almost as if the data isn't enough?

  4. One last point about the opinion of oil geologists:

    Here's an interesting point about the AAPG position statement on anthropogenic global climate change:
    Prior to the adoption of this statement, the AAPG was the only major scientific organization that rejected the finding of significant human influence on recent climate, according to a statement by the Council of the American Quaternary Association.[68] Explaining the plan for a revision, AAPG president Lee Billingsly wrote in March 2007 that "Members have threatened to not renew their memberships... if AAPG does not alter its position on global climate change.... And I have been told of members who already have resigned in previous years because of our current global climate change position.... The current policy statement is not supported by a significant number of our members and prospective members."

    And this point:
    With the release of the revised statement by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists in 2007, no remaining scientific body of national or international standing is known to reject the basic findings of human influence on recent climate change.

  5. "So, for those who think that a whole group of climatologists wouldn't be disingenuous about the data there are 3 options

    1. They don't know about this situation--which means they are incompetent
    2. They know and don't do anything about it--which means they are complicit in the dishonesty
    3. They know but don't have the money to fix it so go along and don't talk about it--once again, complicity in the dishonesty."

    How about Option 4? Climatologists Are Smarter Than You (TM). They actually look at the _raw_ raw data (not the annual means that you look at), and there are EASY ways to correct the data which DO NOT INVOLVE BEING DISHONEST - JUST SMART.

    Like I posted on your March 15th post, what you are seeing here is NOT that the stations are recording 12 degree jumps in annual temperatures, but rather than some stations are missing occasional days of data. For example, there are 12 days of missing data in December 2004... that might lead to a higher average temperature in 2004, if you are averaging the absolute temperatures. Maybe the stationkeeper took a vacation or something...

    You can use the CDIAC page to look at which years have missing data. Then, you have a choice. Either throw out the years with lots of missing data, or use an anomaly method to find the anomalies for the data that _do_ exist and average those rather than averaging the absolute temperature for the year. (and raw daily data is easily available for these stations)

    Let me pose an analogy: there is a man who likes running. Once a year, he times himself running on a beach, a hiking trail, and an artificial track. He tracks his times from year to year to see how his times improve or get worse. But one year, the beach was closed. Now, when he plots his average time for the year, it looks like he was WAY faster. But he knows that he was missing data for that year. So instead, what he does is record his times on each track as anomalies, and then he can average the anomalies to see his time change. That means that the year that he didn't run on the beach, he takes ((Trail_time minus AVERAGE_Trail_time) + (Track_time minus AVERAGE_Track_time))2 as his deviation from average that year. Is that the perfect solution? No, the perfect solution would be to have the data from a run on the beach. But, you know, scientists and engineers live with imperfect data all the time. If the USHCN had unlimited billions of dollars, sure, it could develop a _great_ temperature network. However, what the runner does _not_ do is compare (Track_Time + Trail_Time)/2 to (AVERAGE_Track_Time + AVERAGE_Trail_Time + AVERAGE_Beach_Time)/3 to show that his times got 12 minutes better on average that one year, which is basically what you are doing.

    ps. You have misspelled "sanitize" on your figure.