Sunday, August 16, 2009

Are the Climatologists being honest?

Science works on trust. When that trust is lost, science can't work well. The trust we give to fellow scientists is that they will be honest with the data and that they will also be transparent in telling people what they did, how they did it and allowing for others to inspect the data and logic surrounding the conclusions. In my business, making geological maps, people can come in and look at my data, re-do the maps, inspect all the lines of logic that led me to the conclusions I came to. It can be a bit painful sometimes when someone points out that you are wrong on some issue, but it is a necessary aspect of science.

There is an interesting issue now in climatology in which Phil Jones, the professor in charge of the UK's Climate Research Unit which produces the Hadcrut temperature data set has refused to give the raw data to anyone who might be critical of it. Jones rather infamously once told an Australian researcher:

"Even if WMO agrees, I will still not pass on the data. We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it." Andrew Orlowski, "Global Warming ate my data," The Register, Aug 13, 2009 here

But isn't that the point of science--to double check claims made by a scientist to be sure that it is correct? It seems that Dr. Jones has a particularly thin skin. But now there are reports that Jones has lost the raw data upon which the climate models are based.here

One of the roles of a good manager is to be sure that data is properly stored. Jones has failed in this if the above report is true. Nature magazine notes that Jones has lost further data.

"Jones says he can't fulfil the requests because of confidentiality agreements signed in the 1990s with some nations, including Spain, Germany, Bahrain and Norway, that restrict the data to academic use. In some cases, says Jones, the agreements were made verbally, and in others the written records were mislaid during a move." Olive Heffernan, "Climate data spat intensifies" Nature 460, 787 (2009).

It seems that this guy can't properly manage records and thus should be replaced with the job being given to someone who can keep proper records.

I am of the mind that what Jones doesn't want anyone to see is the absolutely attrocious state of the raw data. If a statistician, like Steve McIntyre, who has been seeking the raw data can see how bad it is, then doubt will be cast upon the global warming. Below are two stations just 24 miles apart which show how incredibly awful the raw data is.

Coldwater Kansas and Ashland Kansas show a huge difference in temperature in the raw data. Such a difference can not be corrected because it is a variable bias. I think this is what Jones doesn't want anyone to see and why he continually refuses to allow other researchers (other than his friends) to actually see the raw data. I get my raw data for the US from .here


Below, I averaged the temperature for each year from 1949 to 2005. It is immediately obvious that something happened in 1967 to separate the two curves. I don't know what it is but any bias applied after 1967 can't be the same as that applied before 1967. But clearly there is something deeply wrong with the raw data.



A plot of the daily difference between the two cities can also be seen to be highly erratic but also shifted towards a warmer Coldwater.



Lets put a 365-day running average on this erratic mess to see if we can make some sense out of it. That is the next picture.



I just checked the forecasts for these two cities. They are 1 deg F different for each day, Coldwater is predicted to be cooler. But the reality is, over the past 60 years, Coldwater is as much as 10 deg F hotter than Ashland. The ability of the climatologists to use data like this to predict the global temperature is absolutely lacking. The data is crap.

19 comments:

  1. An interesting coincidence for you...

    On pages 72-73 of Al Gore's best-selling book, "An Inconvenient Truth", is a graph of the "global temperator", relative to the average temperature from 1961-1990. Though the average is taken from that span, the actual graph goes from 1860 to 2000.

    If you look at the graph, you will notice that the plot of the global temperature passes the 1961-1990 average and shoots up very steeply... in 1967.

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  2. Do you know why they always start at 1860? Because if you look at the temperature for 200 years earlier, you find that most of the warming happened BEFORE carbon dioxide rose. They don't want you to know that. See: http://www.sott.net/articles/show/179397-Irreversible-CO2-Induced-Global-Warming-

    It is figure 2. the picture itself is http://www.sott.net/image/image/18455/medium/SolomonPaperFigure2.gif

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  3. To be fair, Gore has another picture of temperatures that goes all the way back to almost 1000 AD. It's on page 64. He even labels the MWP... but according to the article you cite, the peak of MWP was 400 years before Gore's chart begins. Of course, this just goes to make your point... he doesn't want us to see such high temperatures in the data. In fact, to accent your point even more, Gore's chart doesn't even start at 1,000 exactly, but slightly later... immediately after a sharp decrease in temperature! I never noticed that before. Wow. When I first read the book a few years ago, I figured Gore was at least being sincere, just wrong. But between the data you posted above, and the article you site, it's a major indictment against the book's honesty... and subsequently on Gore and the entire movement.

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  4. Always be skeptical. A friend showed me a video of the Skeptics Society of Los Angeles which is run by Michael Shermer. They wanted a meeting on global warming so they wanted to invite someone really skeptical of global warming, Lomborg. But the 'Skeptics' in that Skeptics society raised such a ruckus that they withdrew the invite to Lomborg and instead had William Ruddimann speak. Ruddiman is not skeptical of global warming, only of when it started. He thinks it started in the Neolithic.

    I laugh at those self-proclaimed skeptics in that society who couldn't be skeptical about global warming.

    This whole movement has become the Church of the Warm Globe. They have a doctrine, (man is an evil polluter), an escatology (we are bringing about a runaway greenhouse), and we will pay for our ecological sins. And if you don't have faith and show any doubt, you will be shunned, just like the Amish do to heretics.

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  5. "This whole movement has become the Church of the Warm Globe. They have a doctrine, (man is an evil polluter), an escatology (we are bringing about a runaway greenhouse), and we will pay for our ecological sins."

    Nonsense.

    Global warming says a) temperature is rising due to extra CO2 added to the atmosphere by man, and b) if not mitigated, this could cause serious problems over the next hundred years due to displacement of coastal areas as well as local increase and decrease in food and water supplies, all of which can cause short term misery in modern civilization.

    All of this is heavily supported in the peer-reviewed literature, with very little that contradicts it.

    If you think anything else, you're viewing your global warming through the distorted lens of the sensationalist media and/or sensationalist hippies.

    And what do you think about skeptics fudging data? Such as how they tried to show a correlation between climate and sun in the Great Global Warming Swindle, but strangely stopped their graph in 1980 because the correlation diverged at that point?

    Are the skeptics being honest?

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  6. Martin says:
    "Global warming says a) temperature is rising due to extra CO2 added to the atmosphere by man, "

    That is what global warming says. In fact, no one can demonstrate that CO2 is causative, at least at the levels predicted by the IPCC. I took the predicted rise in temperature per doubling of the CO2 and applied it to the past history of temperature change. The future predicted change doesn't fit the past change.

    see http://themigrantmind.blogspot.com/2009/06/backward-look-at-ipcc-predictions-of.html

    I do not deny that the world is warming. What I doubt is the causation, at least that CO2 is the only or major cause.


    I do not subscribe to anyone anywhere anytime ignoring data. But as to the skeptics stopping their charts in 1980, I would condemn that. But before you smugly think you have ruled out the sun consider this from Nature.

    "“The reconstruction shows that the current episode of high sunspot number, which has lasted for the past 70 years, has been the most intense and has had the longest duration of any in the past 8,000 years. ” Paula J. Reimer, “Spots from Rings,” Nature, 431(2004), p. 1047

    When there are lots of sunspots, the sun gives off more energy. Note that Reimer was talking about the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s 80s, 90s and the first four years of this century.

    You might also take a look at change in albedo. It too is changing in a way that would warm the earth, so, the divergence might be due to earth albedo--it being more absorptive than mostly due to CO2. My problem with the simple global warming is caused by CO2 claim is that it is too simple.

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  7. "But before you smugly think you have ruled out the sun consider this from Nature."

    But the question is not "Is solar variability more intense?" but "Is solar variability the main cause of the current warming?"

    Checking the peer-reviewed literature:

    "This comparison shows without requiring any recourse to modeling that since roughly 1970 the solar influence on climate (through the channels considered here) cannot have been dominant."

    Peer reviewed

    "These results, while confirming that anthropogenic-added climate forcing might have progressively played a dominant role in climate change during the last century, also suggest that the solar impact on climate change during the same period is significantly stronger than what some theoretical models have predicted."

    Peer reviewed

    "...this new understanding indicates that brightening of the Sun is unlikely to have had a significant influence on global warming since the seventeenth century."

    Peer reviewed

    "...even large solar irradiance change combined with realistic volcanic forcing over past centuries could not explain the late 20th century warming without inclusion of greenhouse gas forcing."

    Peer reviewed

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  8. Martin, I just love the quote-mining you engaged in.
    You cite:
    "These results, while confirming that anthropogenic-added climate forcing might have progressively played a dominant role in climate change during the last century, also suggest that the solar impact on climate change during the same period is significantly stronger than what some theoretical models have predicted."

    While ignoring what the sentence immediately above. HEre it is:

    "We estimate that the sun contributed as much as 45–50% of the 1900–2000 global warming, and 25–35% of the 1980–2000 global warming. These results, while confirming that anthropogenic-added climate forcing might have progressively played a dominant role in climate change during the last century, also suggest that the solar impact on climate change during the same period is significantly stronger than what some theoretical models have predicted."http://www.acrim.com/reference%20files/phenomenological%20solar%20contribution%20to%20the%201900-2000%20global%20surface%20warming.pdf

    Scarfetta and West, "Phenomenological solar contribution to the 1900-2000 global surface warming, "Geophysical Research Letters, 33 2006 L 05708

    Notice that by leaving out the sentence immediately before what you cited, you ignored the fact that the authors of that study say that the sun DID have a role. And thus quote-mine the meaning away. Shame on you.

    You are not to be trusted.

    The first article you cite, which tries to explain the rapid heating post 1980 ignores the fact that throughout this time, the world was dropping rural temperature stations, which means that increasingly, the temperature is heated up by incorrectly measured temperatures in urban areas (search the blog for urban heat island). There may be no massive temperature rise to explain, save on the part of the weather service that can't seem to keep their thermometers away from air conditioner coils.

    The third article admits that it doesn't take into account the UV flux. That is a sign that this paper is worthless. That article says:

    "Less direct Sun–climate couplings driven by the Sun’s well-known variability in ultraviolet flux and in outputs of magnetized plasma might yet account for Sun–climate correlations that defy explanation by the direct influence of TSI variation considered here. The proposed indirect mechanisms are, however, complex, and involve subtle interactions between the troposphere, stratosphere and even higher layers of the Earth’s atmosphere that are much less well understood than the direct radiative forcing effect." Foukal et al, Nature, Sept 2006, p. 161

    The last paper is a model. Models can't handle clouds properly. They also don't predict the past behavior of the temperature correctly.

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  9. I have got to ask Martin if the behavior of Phil Jones, in denying everyone access to the raw data doesn't bother him?

    Is that good science, Martin?

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  10. Of course there is uncertainty, and there is plenty of healthy debate about the sun's role.

    However, the vast majority of papers conclude that the CO2 is almost certainly the main cause of the warming since 1980.

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  11. It's like you're trying to tell me that the big pile consists of golden delicious apples, when it's obviously mostly granny smiths with a few golden delicious thrown in, which I freely admit.

    But the pile is STILL obviously a big honking pile of granny smiths.

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  12. Martin, are you not ashamed of the quote-mining you engaged in? I mean, carefully excising the point made by Scarfetta and West that the sun WAS responsible and then you claimed that they were saying that it wasn't by such excism?

    By the way, Martin, you didn't actually answer my second question. Do you think that the with holding of raw data from researchers by Phil Jones is a good thing? I asked nothing about Granny Smith Apples.

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  13. I don't know the details of Phil Jones so I can't comment.

    I DO know that Richard Lensky withheld raw data on his E. Coli because he knew evolution-deniers would misuse it. I do not begrudge him for doing that.

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  14. Google Scholar has:

    Lots of papers pointing toward CO2 as the culprit, with a few talking about the sun as you pointed out.

    What does the "sun did it" side have? All it seems you have is negative evidence. Pointing out flaws, finding the one paper among hundreds that suggests the sun is at fault. Where are your hundreds of papers showing the sun is at fault?

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  15. Just a note here. Over on RealClimate.org I attempted to discuss your articles on the temperature records being too noisy to show anything.

    It was suggested that Watts -- on a site called WattsUpWithThat (or something similar) had much the same arguments as you have made. You might want to check hm out.

    jb

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  16. JB, it was looking at some of Anthony Watts pictures of thermometers sitting next to airconditioners that changed me from a global warming believer into a rational individual who doesn't believe that one can measure the temperature properly so long as an air conditioner coil is nearby.

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  17. Martin,

    You wrote:"I don't know the details of Phil Jones so I can't comment."

    Why don't you actually READ the blog entry you are commenting on? Or do you merely comment without actually understanding what it is that was said?

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  18. Ha! You're right! I read the first paragraph, skimmed, saw a bunch of graphs, and my eyes clouded over. Caught red-handed.

    I think this is because I build my case on basic logic rather than the actual data itself.

    Thousands of experts, having devoted their entire lives to a subject, say X about that subject.

    Joe Blow reads some literature, spends some time working some math in his head, pokes around Google, and decides that ALL those experts are wrong.

    ????

    This happens ALL the time.

    Two pimply faced teenagers decide they know more about structural engineering than structural engineers and have cracked the case for 9/11!!!

    Jenny McCarthy knows more about "toxins" and mercury than thousands upon thousands of scientists working in the lab with real data!!!

    Wow! All because she has a degree from Google University!

    I guess I just have to accept that the Dunning-Kruger Effect is an unstoppable force of nature. I'm glad it has a name now.

    Anyhoo, my criticism still stands. In it's last report the IPCC said that it is 90% sure human-caused CO2 is responsible. So what if you keep point out a flaw here, a flaw there, uncertainty here, uncertainty there, etc? That isn't a positive case for your side. You might as well be a creationist pointing out the embarrassing Piltdown Man as if this somehow invalidates all the other evidence for evolution.

    As for Watts, the NOAA plotted the entire temperature stations and then separately plotted Watts' "good" thermometer locations. The graphs are almost identical. This video, critical of Watts, was threatened with a phony copyright claim by Watts even though it didn't violate anything. It was taken down by Youtube, and is now back.

    Is Watts being honest?

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  19. Martin said: "I think this is because I build my case on basic logic rather than the actual data itself. "

    As I thought, like young-earth creationists, data doesn't really matter to you.

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