Really, this all comes down (or should that be up?) to what I call “northernhemispheriphilia” – the absurd insistence by scientists of ALWAYS showing the Earth with the northern hemisphere on top. If you guys had had the good sense to show the Southern Hemisphere on top then all the signs would have automatically reversed and the problem would have never arisen in the first place.
Anyway, I think this reversal requires a more thorough analysis, so I’ve alerted the boffins over at WUWT to the situation, who should be able to provide some serious discussion, here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/30/open-thread-weekend-9/#comment-941180
Nigel Calder recently produced a graph apparently from Svensmark and Friis-Christensen (2007) that shows exactly the opposite of your Fig. 3. I asked Nigel here and here if he could explain the contradiction, although I was not entirely satisfied with his response.
If I may I would like to ask the same question here. How is it that Svensmark and Friis-Christensen have a graph that appears to contradict yours. Please don’t tell me it’s the ICHEAT bug. :) But it surely must be explained what they have done that is wrong.
[Response: There is of course a real correlation between the 11-year solar cycle (which also modulates the cosmic ray count) and global temperature - quite a few papers have shown this, including recently Foster&Rahmstorf (ERL 2011). -stefan]
I’m confused. The comparisons showing the wrong sign above are between solar activity, PDO and cosmic rays with the temperature record, all observations. How would a bug in the code of climate models affect these comparisons since everything shown above is observations?
In commercial computer code, where people are trying to avoid litigation for copying proprietary code, the concept of “Clean room” development is well understood. You lock people away from net access and have them develope the functionality you want to copy from scratch. Sounds like some climate modelers need to try the method … or at least do some serious code analysis looking for shared sections and have them reimplemented independently.
It’s probably a bad idea to publish satire in a climate blog. In a few days thisarticle will by cited on WUWT and pompously editorialized about on Forbes. It will end up being the 2123rd “final nail in the coffin” of AGW theory.
Good to have this sorted at last. Have to say ‘though, that the ICHEAT methodology has been a great help in efforts to extract useful interpretations from recalcitrant data as attested, for example, by the outstanding efforts of Drs Roy (Julie) Christie and John (Woy) Spencer, not to mention the clever applications of Professor Mitt Linzwest (and others).
And it’s great to see how this very special-ised methodology has been embraced by the hoi polloi, to such an extent that a complete absence of scientific insight is no longer a hindrance to the very productive data “re-interpretation” that we see at all corners of the Internet!
You should publicize those first graphs more, perhaps make it a quiz where people have to guess the trend in them after they are shown the temperature trend. Is there any reason to think that PDO is affected by the CO2 or the sun/cosmic rays?
If they are all uncorrelated then it won’t be pretty if they all point the same way. What temp rise per decade would we get then.
(thought you were just going to say the the temp graph was upside down because the satellites were programmed in the wrong hemisphere)
As a game developer I’ve done the same thing many times. It’s pretty common in programming – most non programmers don’t appreciate that when you only have 1s and 0s -1 is as good as 1, but takes up half the memory. All of the really cheap sites on the web use -1s and the letter o. It keeps the costs down. Happy -1th of April.
Brilliant, ANOTHER climate conspiracy from the alarmists! I aim to be the Prometheus in this situation, by which I mean I will deliver your remarks straight to Fox News for immediate dissemination.
However, being a humble man, I will not use my own name, as I wish no fame for myself for reporting this “discovery.” Also, I wouldn’t want to get famous on this particular day, since April is of course Hitler’s birth month.
While we argue and discuss this and that, seemingly going around in circles, but also maybe getting somewhere, step by step, here is my new book about POLAR CITIES that everyone dismissed so vehemently three years ago.
I’m missing something here, how does an error in the code for a computer model make a difference in the observational data series you’ve shown? Has ICHEAT been used to produce final numbers for all these data? That is, has the PDO etc. been different than we thought? You really need to explain things better before weird memes propagate.
As a resident artsie here at RC, I share your embarrassment not a whit!
However, in order to begin to right the cosmic balance again (so to speak), I will ask a (perhaps foolish) question: does this mean that the long-standing and very well-accepted ‘pirate effect’ and ‘sheep albedo effect’ are now of the wrong sign?
I was reading the last few lines when I suddenly realised, that also this theory will be falsified. Very soon, I think. Maybe already tomorrow.
Comment by Hans Kiesewetter — 1 Apr 2012 @ 7:55 AM
Re; ‘ . . We will keep you updated here at RealClimate, of course.’
Once a year will be quite enough, thank you.
Comment by Christopher Squire — 1 Apr 2012 @ 7:58 AM
Thanks for the hard work RC.
Unfortunately, I believe you have the start date incorrect. The issue pre-dates Van den Budenmeyer by a couple decades. There are also reports from the astronomical community coming out that ICHEAT has been applied even earlier to the faint young sun “problem,” but it turns out stellar luminosity actually goes down with time!!
This correction now explains why Mars has evidently cooled over geologic timescales, and beautifully explains the transition from greenhouse to icehouse climates over the last several tens of millions of years. It turns out that Earth is inevitably headed for a snowball state sometime soon, depending somewhat on the size of the sheep-albedo feedback (though some new minor issues open up in explaining previous, similar events).
I have to say that, while potentially embarrassing, I would much rather this news be broken honestly, on a reputable climate science blog like this one, as opposed to entering the media through some denialist source. Mistakes are part of the scientific method, and I’d much rather our side keeps the moral/scientific high ground by being honest about mistakes when we find them. So, thanks for posting this.
This ICHEAT seems to be a useful subroutine – to bad it has been exposed. When word about this gets out to the deniersphere, this is going to create problems. Think of the headlines it will make: SCIENTISTS SCREW UP THEIR DATA USING ICHEAT! OMG, all those hefty paychecks from the government will dry up, and all you guys will have to get REAL JOBS!
On a more serious note:
How many climate change deniers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Amazing, I made it all the way to the line about solar activity and ran right smack into the words ‘coincides with the deepest solar minimum’ when I realized the paradox was the relationship between the science outlined in the article and the time segment on a per anum scale. If the time segment occurs on a particular the ‘Wrong sign paradox’ make perfect sense to those that understand the coincidence factor. This also proves that if you choose your data correctly correlation handily proves causation.
The relationship immediately became obvious and suddenly I realized that we’ve all been thinking about this wrong-headedly. This goes to the opposites attract theory. When two opposites come together in a binding relationship it is well known that bliss ensues until of course the opposites come to the notion that they do have something in common – the fact that they are opposite. This is akin to anti-matter/matter interaction at that point.
Very funny. But not so funny. In the real world the ICHEAT is more complicated, and the researcher might not be aware that he/she is using it. There is always a tendency toward confirmation bias. There is always a tendency to accept one’s research results if it reaches what one expects or wants, and a tendency to fiddle with the research if not.
The Dutch are famous though for their problem solving capabilities, after tackling this ISCHUMMEL problem, our scientific institutes are directing their attention on the monster of Loch Ness and the location of Atlantis, but our top priority will be to finally solve the famous chicken and egg problem.
Stefan: While I do realize this is an April Fools post, a note of clarification about your second example.
You wrote, “Basic physical considerations would suggest that the global temperature is warm when the PDO-Index is high, i.e. when sea surface temperatures in the North Pacific are high. A theory that would beautifully fit the data – if only the sign were reversed (Fig. 2)!”
The PDO does not represent the sea surface temperature anomalies of the North Pacific. In fact, the PDO is inversely related to the detrended sea surface temperature anomalies of the North Pacific, north of 20N.
Perhaps Calder did not see any pressing reasons to reveal to you that the “impressive” cosmic rays/temperature fit of Svensmark and Friis-Christensen in their never-published reply to Lockwood & Fröhlich was only achieved by removing a trend of 0,14C/decade – or 0,7C over the last 50 years? ;)
Comment by Christoffer Bugge Harder — 2 Apr 2012 @ 12:41 AM
It ill behoves me to criticise such an august body of scientists as those who run Realclimate.org but I feel it incumbent on me to do so. You are indeed correct to state the variable ‘ICHEAT’ has appeared in all climate models up to the present but are completely wrong about its provenance. It was introduced by Dr CO Jones and Professor SN Dall and should read ‘1 C heat’ and represents the CO2 climate sensitivity built into the models. In 1988 the neo-Confusion philosopher, Jim Han Sen, introduced the following line: ‘WATVAP=3.0”. Climate sceptics claim that as there has been no warming since 1998 its value should be 0.0.
ICHEAT2 is also a very useful variable. If you set it to 0 and then use it as a multiplier, all sorts of things can simply disappear. There are times when that is more useful than simple ICHEAT. For example, it would be difficult to interpret CO2_conc *= ICHEAT;
but CO2_conc *= ICHEAT2;
has a very simple interpretation. There isn’t any CO2, so it can’t be doing anything.
By observation, at least a few people on any blog will respond to trolls, thus providing sustenance. An individual who is bothered by this is best served by adding to the din, as that will hasten the troll’s exile to the Bore Hole.
Be that as it may, I don’t think Dan H and Norman are trolls, and from their actions, it seems that the mods at SS & RC agree. Norman was ejected for being too high-maintenance. Hopefully he’ll learn to shrink his bandwidth.
Having done computer modeling in flow dynamics I know you do have to sometimes force the model to behave like the real word – especially when have to satisfy a CPA that the finacal output is accurate. I almost bought into it until I realized ‘oh sugar’ what is today’s date!!! LOL
I’d like to refer you to Lou Grinzo here :
“If you’re going to do an AFD joke, make it funny and make it subtle enough to actually fool people.”
I don’t think RC should attempt April Fools gags. The topic is (a) serious (b) tough enough to understand for the layman . But there’s a (c) Funny doesn’t work in a polarized dialogue, not because it’s not funny, but because it creates a them and us mentality, or the them and us mentality that’s already there becomes more polarized. Or something like that.
I’ll give you an example from my own experience. To face down unruly litigants the ‘State’ uses humour in the courtrooms. Ive been there, and I cant quite explain why it works. If you don’t get what I’m saying, sorry, were I to explain what Im on about I would go way off topic of RC. Now Im not saying Ive had my SOH lobotomized but put it this way have you ever lied when someone’s asked “D’you get the joke?”
Oh my gosh. How embarrassing. And to think I sent this to 4,374,210 people…
What a great example of obfuscation.
My friend, Willy Wonka, would truly have appreciated this.
I look forward to next year’s rant.
Ha! You had me fooled – mainly because this bit is all too true:
“useful computer code spreads like a virus amongst scientists…nobody ever starts writing scientific code from scratch if colleagues have already solved aspects of the task at hand and the code is free.”
I’m sure there are a few bugs out there that have spread in this fashion.
I’m definitely not a computer person, but it seems that there may also an issue in the design tolerances for what look like remnant loops: SEPTIC_FOO and SEPTIC_BAR. Specifically the escape counter using the variable DUM_NUM seems to have been left in a default with lots of 9′s in it. Perhaps if you’re going to leave those functions in there, setting a lower limit for SUM DUM_NUM would shorten runtime and thereby avoid overtaxing the heat sinks… at least on some of your more antiquated systems.
As one of the people involved with the code review on this important topic, I thought it would be useful to give an update. It seems that far too many extant papers and theories rely on this particular variable essentially inverting non-conforming data, so rather than eliminating the variable, it seemed better to rename it to more accurately describe its function. Henceforth, this data-inverting variable shall be called KONTRARIAN. (Patches available on request.)
i may be an imaginary number but the author of the post isn’t. In any event, joke or not, better vetting of the climate model computer code, numerical estimations, and actual validation would be a good idea all around.