A place for comments that would otherwise disrupt sensible conversations.
Just a general comment on what seems to be frequently overlooked here and at other technical blogs.
Esoteric arguments over statistics on data processing methods seem a common theme on many of the hard fought battlefields. Why is everyone using obscure statistical methods in the first place?
It’s a clear sign of very bad data. Signal to noise is very poor. I’ve done enough signal processing over various subject matter to know enough to go examine the raw data.
If the signal you are looking for is clearly there (but hidden) than various statistical methods will all find it. Arguing whether obscure black box statistical method A or B is “correct” is intellectual energy wasted.
How many times have you seen someone think they “see” a signal that is an artifact of processing or method? It took me years of dealing with Fourier transforms and spectral processing to understand the nuances of input data to output data results.
Sure everyone is careful to avoid these things, but if you don’t clearly understand your methods (intimately) and treat statistics or signal processing as “magical black boxes” you are going to misinterpret results, especially with very weak signals…..or non-existent ones.
All this seems obvious, but I feel it is ignored much of the time. Many of these arguments real answer is “there is not enough data to know yet”. Nobody seems to be arguing for this answer.
Go install some more monitoring stations on the ends of the earth and revisit this thing in 5 years once better data is available. I don’t believe either side.
The answer is “not knowable at this time” seems to be a conclusion which is frequently unacceptable, but is the only correct conclusion given the state of the data.
CC- Andrew Revkin
An interesting topic popped up on the Antarctic is Still Warming Thread of what rights are available to owners of intellectual property published on and created on the internet. Gavin commented:
[Response:No, he should have exercised some common sense. If you don’t want people to use data, don’t put it online. And as above, editors choose reviewers, reviewers do not choose themselves. – gavin]
Gavin is correct that data itself is open game. Anyone can use published data, online or print, to verify results and further knowledge. That is the intent of the internet, to share information.
There are limits, fair use policy, to when, what and how much certain creative property on the internet can be used. Watts surface station data is a unique example of data that may deserve stronger protection in some cases under copyright law.
Surface stations dot org may or may not be considered a unique concept that has copyright protection. In that case, data compiled on the internet for a unique purpose should be protected from others regardless of the type of data compiled online. To not protect data in such cases stifles creativity which would be contrary to the purpose of the internet.
The data itself is different in that a large portion of the data is photographs. Creative works like photos, graphics and art in general has copyright protection that differs from plain text and generic data. Reproduction requires obtaining rights to reproduce in advance and attribution to the producer with publication.
The data “collection” was somewhat unique to generic data in that income could be derived from use unlike generic data sets published on governmental and educational websites.
Writers and artists using the internet are very concerned with protecting copyright privileges because considerable income can be produced providing low cost even free access to their creative works as long as not republished in total or substantial amount on other sites without adherence to fair use policies.
Given the expectation of copyright protection, Anthony Watts deserved a chance to review how his data was being used in the Menne et al publication, ensure that proper attribution was made and if his concept was original, inclusion as co-author of the publication using his “data”.
recapture Bowel Populism
Yes well democracy is not a bad system either, yet has plenty of corruption. Where is the scientific watchdog that sniffs out the cold fusion/ environmental advocate frauds?
Who guards the guards? Who stops the trolls’ carpet bombing the literature with one sided half truths about global warming?
Who stops the activists participating in reports designed to support public policy?
In King Abdullah’s words, who will cut the head of the snake?
This is a serious question:
Would you look at the original Svante Arrhenius 1896 paper and do a blog based “peer review” of it?
It is my contention that the conclusion “if the quantity of carbonic acid (CO2) increases in geometric progression, the augmentation of the temperature will increase nearly in arithmetic progression.” does not follow from the data presented. It IS true that if you start from no GHE then then the first added GHGs will add warming, as Arrhenius said, but on Earth in reality it gets to a point where more GHGs does NOT mean more warming. It just adds excess unused GHGs.(eg water in the ocean)
Specifically I contend that there is not enough photon energy available so that ALL added CO2 or water vapor (in the case of feedback) WILL absorb a photon to contribute to the GHE. Hence the IPCC paraphrased conclusion that “more GHGs means more warming” is not valid either.
I claim that IN the GHE process, a photon is absorbed for a few microseconds by a GHG. Either the number of photons limits the process or the number of GHGs limits the process, since the process itself IS limited to about 33C. What limits it?
If the number of GHGs limits the process,(& by implication there are more photons available) then why doesn’t it continue to use all the water vapor GHGs until they are all vaporized? Why doesn’t the addition of more humidity result in more GHE warming when it rains? Why does the daily warming cooling process result in cooling every night, in spite of the fact that man is adding more CO2 evry night? Why doesn’t the number of GHGs that are in use by the GHE process on a hot day at 40C or 55C remain in use when we we are at the annual average 16 or 17C? in which case there are excess unused GHGs in the air. So why must all man added GHGs produce warming?
Doesn’t it make more sense that the nightly reduction in the number of available photons (both incoming and converted to IR)results in fewer GHE reactions and hence it cools AND by implication the Arrhenius/IPCC conclusion that more GHGs means more warming is just not justified?
Then consider that whenever the number of photons does decrease (every day after the peak at noon) that the number of GHE interactions MUST also decrease, and that the number of unused GHGs(in the GHE process) MUST increase, thus establishing that there is AN EXCESS of GHGs over those used in the GHE process, and therefore ALL of the GHGs generated (either by man as CO2, or as WV by feedback) do NOT necessarily have to be in use to create more GHE warming. Thus the Arrhenius/IPCC conclusion that more GHGs means more warming is NOT valid.
Your response in scientific terms understandable to the public would be appreciated.
Re Feedback & 120.
So Gavin, you are claiming that in the GHE when a photon comes in it sits around in the air until man releases CO2 which results in warming which results in more water vapor which THEN absorbs the energy photon to create feedback?
I find it a little strange that the photon (traveling at the speed of light) would wait for man . Wouldn’t it make more sense for the photon to just randomly pick its closest water vapor molecule & get absorbed by it. In which case the water vapor associated GHE is due to directly absorbed photons?
Now what happens when there are more water vapor molecules than photons? (such as the normal conditions on Earth). What if all the photons are constantly being absorbed & released within microseconds, by only some of the excess of water vapor in the air. Doesn’t that then mean that there are no more photons to be absorbed by the added water vapor produced as a result of the added heat from the CO2 associated warming? If so then is there no such thing as feedback from added water vapor?
Or put another way, if there is so much water vapor around (3% vs only 390ppm for CO2), and more GHGs means more warming, why does the GHE stop at 33C instead of continuing until all the water vapor absorbs a photon
OR asked another way, who says that all the water vapor caused by the added CO2 will absorb a photon to cause more GHE warming? And so when the sun reduced teh number of photons every afternoon/evening, just where does all this CO2 caused water vapor get the added photon to cause more warming, especially when the temperature is going DOWN reducing the number of photons available, and contradicting the idea that more GHGs causes more warming.
Think back to the days of MFC09, the detrend analysis. What would happen to the data if you let it cumulate? It adds a trend. Now that trend can be positive, neutral, or negative. Let’s call it a 50 50 chance. Surprise, surprise, it is positive. But how could that be?
Think back to the 97- 98 El Nino which caused a 1 deg C spike in the temperature data. Yes, it went back down, but how could we be sure that its effects would not cumulative over several years?
Think back to the 99 -01 La Nina, did it have much impact?
Why not? What could possible affect it in such a short time? There is only one answer, I’m afraid.
Climate sensitivity is around 0.05 deg C for 2X CO2. Lindzen is wrong with his estimate by a factor of 10.
It’s a pity it wasn’t published, I would have spent the time to read it. There is an upside, however…
Credibility in science is very important, and once it’s gone it’s difficult to get back. Gavin is an expert. Note: Not saying you’ve lost your credibility, Gavin, only that you have to have some in order to lose it.
I take it you don’t like my sensitivity estimate, I guess at the end of the day if the sun switched off we would expect something to change!
Howabout 0.1 deg C 2X CO2? lol
Sunday Times (South Africa)
August 24, 2008
Global warming is biggest scam ever
WITH reference to “Cape Town faces potential devastation from rising sea levels” (August 17), I believe that global warming is the biggest scientific scam ever. There is no evidence to prove that the current climate variations are not a natural cycle.
If we were around in Victorian times with modern technology, every scientist and scam artist would be warning of global cooling because the river Thames had frozen.
What’s more, people shouldn’t have built property so close to the tidal zone
Now i do not believe that there are a lot of people out in the world that thinks like this. i had to post this in an effort to show that we still have not reached out to everybody as yet. Lets keep working
#4 Pete Dunkelberg: I think that is close to the mark. Loss of ice cap will decrease albedo to the point of causing an abrupt spike in temperature that will end 90% of primary plant production, for two or three years. This will abruptly stop most of world agriculture and destroy most of civilization, which depends upon annual agricultural production. Then, increased winter precipitation in the mid-latitudes will ice up the winters, thus increasing albedo, plunging us 8 degrees C. over the span of a few decades, as it would appear to have happened in one of the last ice ages. Glaciers will grow halfway to the equator as usual and this will squeeze whomever has survived — and so the world population will be down to a few millions of people or less, in fifty years. I have talked myself into believing that this might be why the temperate zones have less biodiversity than the tropics: it isn’t the ecosystem energy throughput that determines all diversity, it may also be that the middle latitudes occasionally get swept clean by fire and ice. These latitudes have been fairly moderate for a few thousand years, while we posited an agricultural civilization upon it. But I’ll bet they are prone to enormous variation. Now we are forcing the climate with new CO2, out-of-sequence. N-compartment systems are not deterministically predictable but they appear to suffer more catastrophes with forcing. We are making a big mistake in not attempting to find every way to moderate this.
Pete, I agree with you about the asteroid scenario. However, what I don’t agree with is raising oil prices to make alternative sources more attractive. I will say that it does seem oil companies are acting like a monopoly given the uniformity of oil prices at the gas pump. However, when you look at oil, there isn’t too many ways to differeniate one brand from another. I think it was a mistake for the president to iniate the drilling moratorium in the Atlantic because that gives the oil companies the easy excuse of “gas prices are rising because the government is restricting our supply”.
This question is more for the moderators.
How do you estimate damages from oil spills? I understand that the BP well was the 2nd largest spill ever? The largest would be when Saddam dumped a bunch of barrels in the Gulf War of 1990 correct? Also, I am under the impression that the Exxon Valdez was the worst spill, at least environmentally speaking? How would you rank the major oil spills, in order of worst to least damaging? Furthermore, could you provide some insight the BP spill regarding how much oil may still be in the ocean?
[Response: Absolutely no idea. This is way off topic for this blog – gavin]
Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.
I have recently complete an analysis of monthly temperature data for various sites around Australia using Fourier Transforms. For those who are unfamiliar with this technique it converts time domain data into frequency domain data. The result are very interesting. There is a clear component with a period of 1 year, another large component with a period of 6 months (2nd harmonic) and another peak with a 60 year cycle.
What is the explanation for the 60 year cycle?
How to they ‘smooth’/eliminate the variation of cyclone activity which peaked from 1991 to 1999?
[Response: That’s not really what I said (I presume you are referring to this New York Times interview?). We know that precipitation intensity has been increasing (the amount of rain that falls in the most intense events) across the northern hemisphere –
Really, more precip?
Is there a peer-reviewed study?
I have heard we were in for more drought.
I have had another go at climate sensitivity estimate, in this attempt I ignore the greenhouse.
273K *2 = 546K
546K /1366 w/m2 = 0.4
0.4 *4 w/m2 = 1.6 deg C for double CO2
To Ray Ladbury @50. Thank you for your comment
You may find this an interesting reference of recorded historical weather events.
Obviously not an exhaustive list but good for a comparison to our recent few decades which appear pretty tame.
This study of course has merits and will add to our knowledge. I just make the point if again from my post @40 if I may:
“.. linking current trends to AGW appears very tenuous (even by your research) and bearing in mind the uncertainties and the media and political need for the correlation to stick, its very dangerous ground to attribute anything. We just do not know. This will just muddy the waters even further and lose confidence in climate science by me and I suspect the public at large”
Yes, you can still get record lows. In fact, in the US there have been several in 2011 already, including the all-time state record for Oklahoma. What you may have missed is that the number of record highs has decreased also, but the lows much more so to get the imbalance. What we are seeing is a shrinking of the daily temperature range.
Al Henninig earlier remarked “how would you like to be bombarded incessantly with FOI requests compelling you to release every last bit of code you ever wrote or data you ever worked”.
The real problem is : why was it not automatically provided to start with, as a necessary precondition for publication?
This is down to sloppy peer-reviewing and management of journals. Fix this, and the need for FOI would be obviated.
Al Henning earlier remarked “how would you like to be bombarded incessantly with FOI requests compelling you to release every last bit of code you ever wrote or data you ever worked”.
But the real problem is – why was the material not provided in the first place, as a precondition for publication?
This is down to sloppy management of journals and peer-reviewing. Fix these, and FOI requests would never be necessary in the first place.
Yes, the ratio of record highs to lows has inceased, but thst is largely a result in a big decrease in record lows. Looking at the stat, shows a decrease in record highs also, but being overwhelmed by the decrease in lows. The high temperatures have not increased.
We have witnessed several record lows this year already, including an all-time record low for Oklahoma. The last state all-time high was set in the 1990s.
All told, the changes in extreme weather is not significant. Droughts have not changed in the past century (actually less if you include the 19th century). Tropical cylcone have varied, but have shown no increae during the past century either. Flooding is a question mark, as good data is not available. Pakistan have shown no change in flood frequency over the past century.
I do no know what you are referring to when you say the change is weather is happening must more quickly. It appears to be just anecdotes.
Gavin said upfront: “By looking at the signatures of climate change in precipitation intensity and comparing that to the internal variability and the observation, the researchers conclude that the probability of intense precipitation on any given day has increased by 7 percent over the last 50 years – well outside the bounds of natural variability”.
So why is that bad? I have spent most of my life in very dry areas of Africa, where increased precipitation of that order would be most welcome, as also where I now live in Australia. What is wrong with more rain?
I know that the present Australian government considers rain to be a pollutant, like CO2, hence our upcoming carbon tax, that will seek to phase out all combustion of fossil fuels (which generally produce CO2 to H2O in ratios between 2:1 or close to 1:1). It is true that AR4 WG1 never once prints the formula for combustion of say the octane in gasoline, and so far as I know neither has RC.
Here it is:
2C8H18 + 25O2 → 16CO2 +18H2O.
As nobody here can do these kind of sums, which I learnt in school some 55 years ago, the output from burning gasoline by that formula is 54% CO2 and 46% H2O, and as none here is aware, the radiative forcing from atmospheric H2O relative to CO2 is about 2-4:1 in favour of H2O (Houghton, TAR and 2004), it is clear that burning fossil fuels is very beneficial to all of us, by generating both CO2 and H2O each of which has enormous benefits for us by increasing yields in agriculture, livestock, forestry, and fisheries.
But Gavin, you don’t want to know such inconvenient truths, so this comment will never appear on your sacred site. But with my co-author we are about to submit a paper along these lines, so take care, as I am recording both my submission here and its non-appearance.
Dyson, as a scientist is far beyond you and your pathetic attempts to stack the deck against real climate science, which pays no attention to false claims and hysterical global warming warnings. See Christopher Booker’s The Real Global Warming Crisis for a glimpse of the ‘ science crimes’ that originated this conspiracy.
The Meehl report shows that record lows have decrease substantially, but the recod highs have decreased also, just less so. This shows that the heating of the past several decades was a result of increasing lows, not highs.
So far this year we have set several record lows, but no record highs. In fact, Oklahoma just set a new all-time record low.
Can anyone tell me what extreme events are going to happen next year or 10 that are caused by global warming and likewise what extreme events are going to be prevent because of global warming.
Yeah didn’t think so but I’m sure after they happen you will be quick to blame global warming.
Now that last sums up the global warming argument very well.
Well, of COURSE attribution is “hard”, particularly when (as Phil Jones admitted) there hasn’t been any warming in 15 years! If this is the case, and I’m not sure what the alarmist consensus is at this point – what exactly is CAUSING all this alleged “climate disruption”? Even harder to find out what the alarmist spin is on THAT little thought.
Looking forward to the current view, TIA!
Incidentally, I am not a conservative. I am former information officer for a large Canadian environmental NGO, and a park ranger and interpretive tour developer/leader.
But I don’t tug my forelock when an ultra-rich fearmonger tells me to tighten my belt for the sake of expanding his bank account. Follow the money, you poor schmucks – just for god’s sake get past your artificial black-and-white divisions of humanity and follow the money.
The whole ratio of highs to lows is quite misleading as it was caused by an extremely low number of new lows. New highs also decreased during the same time frame, but not as much as the new lows. So far 2011 has been dominated by new lows, including an all-time new low for the state of Oklahoma. The Meehl report 
“If libel laws were that tight, the denialosphere would be non-existent.”
If fraud were prosecuted, the Team would be in jail.
I’m a bit confused. I didn’t see the word “lawsuit” anywhere in Bill Hughes’ letter. Could someone clarify this for me?
Your silly little website is a joke. Anyone who disagrees with you Eco-fascists isn’t allowed to speak. Qaddafi at his best.
So…taking this all into account…
Gavin recommends that people who’s papers can’t get published because of the unassailable purview of editors simply try other publications.
Publications like EE can’t become legitimate until it employs ‘real’ climate scientists for peer-review (or better unassailable editors).
‘real’ climate scientists like Eric Steig says he’s “done with ‘those’ people” as far as peer-review is concerned.
Where does that leave the conversation? Is it that you had better already BE an accepted part of the climate science group, writing a pre-acceptable scientific work without fatal flaws, in order for you to get to the peer-review stage… or else be ‘forced’ to publish in periodicals that are going to be continuously disparaged as the ‘gray literature’ by those same climate scientists?
Gavin, do the words “toys” and “pram” ring any bells?
I completely again. Although I believe that it take another hundred years or more to achieve another 0.5 deg C temperature increase like we witnessed this past century. We are likely to survive just fine. In fact, the natural factors that contributor to the recent rise will probably reverse such that the increase this century will be much smaller.
I have to go with Xavier here. Most of the observed temperature increase was in nightly lows or wintertime. High temperature showed little change.
BPL, a 1 C increase would move agriculture less than 100 miles. Lansing, MI to Toledo, OH is equivalent to 1C increase. Toledo, OH down to Dayton would result in a 2C temp. increase. The shift is not as great as you think.
Didactylos, I do not think that is what Xavier meant by “memory.”
On your first point, that “the temperature increase is defined as the accumulation of “hourly, daily, seasonal, and dynamical temperature swings” over a suitably long period. It’s not the other way around.”
Are you really asserting that the temperature record is an accumulation? It is not an accumulation of anything, it is an average! An average with very little real meaning. It is purely a human construct that does not exist in or influence the real world. It is a temperature average and says nothing about total of or accumulation of energy! Thank you for making my point for me.
On your third point… I had hoped that someone would bring up the oceans as being our planet’s “climate memory”. Unfortunately for you, this is inconsistent with the AGW centric theory of climate change. It is also at odds with the idea that the atmosphere itself – and more specifically changes in the composition of the atmosphere – drives temperature variations.
For this to be true you would have to prove that minor long-term global air temperature variations drive ocean oscillations and that these ocean oscillations – at some later point — influence global long-term air temperature trends…. It seems to make much more sense to say (only) that ocean oscillations themselves drive long-term global air temperature variations. The oceans have about 500 times the mass and about 4 times the specific heat of the atmosphere. I know the atmosphere influences the ocean sometimes, but the ocean probably influences the atmosphere much more.
To me the best and perhaps only way to make a strong case for AGW is to measure two simple things: radiation budget at the top of the atmosphere and total heat content of the ocean. Wasting time talking about tiny trends in surface temperatures is well, a waste of time. Measuring surface temperature is obviously not a good way to understand the total energy picture for our planet. Also, the signature of radiative induced temperature changes should be easy to spot and it should have very close to zero delay. It should be dang near instant and not “conveniently” buffered by the oceans to be released at some later date.
Congratulations to Anthony Watt today. His blog, http://www.wattsupwiththat.com has won the Best Science Blog again.
Where was Real Climate? Not even nominated. If it was me who was paying for this charade I’d be asking some serious questions…
‘Consensus’ people complaining about pal-review?
Hilarious pots and kettle stuff…
Perhaps some enlightenment would help, but only for those interested in realism.
For better or worse, I hope E&E does take Gavin to court.
The peer-reviewed process has been a joke for over a decade. maybe longer. Maybe it’s been a joke since the beginning of time.
When a panel of scientists are threatened by a changing science, denial and anger seem to follow.
I have heard rumors about the peer review process from other scientific journals not willing or not wanting to print papers, because the papers didn’t support Co2 induced global warming theories.
I don’t have proof, but several scientists have made that statement, regarding their papers not being printed because it wasn’t ‘alarmist’.
But all this really does get from what I was getting at.
So Gavin might be sued because he attacked a ‘denier’ journal. So the rumor goes anyways.
The word on the street suggests that Gavin made his spurious comments, because most journals were towing a ‘alarmist’ approach, and wouldn’t print anything that doubted it and E&E(among other) have broke rank.
Peer review will change. It seems it always does.
Skeptics are threatening the status quo on peer review, and many members of the ‘alarmist’ camp just can’t or won’t accept that.
So what if Gavin insulted E&E. I don’t care in the slightest.
As more and more people become aware of what transparency or FOI or peer-review or any other matter surrounding how science is printed, the better off we are.
And if it takes a few people to go to court and settle the matter.. We should all support it.
If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.
Arguing trace quantities of C02 in the atmosphere and climate disasters that take decades to centuries to play out isn’t going to get the traction sought. For one thing, if you manage to get around Big Energy and depower the Free World, the other nations (who are bent on building what we did) are going to beat a path to our doorstep in a gamble to seize that which we now depend upon for existence.
So, rather than go swimming upstream against established economic /strategic energy sources, why not join ’em and look into thorium reactors instead?
If you build a better mousetrap, they will come.
I have heard that Thorium reactors are cleaner, make 1/1000th of the waste and are safer than uranium-only reactors.
What is known about the downsides to these things?
So what you are saying is the satellite would give you the info to settle the science that we are told is settled.
And you wonder why there are sceptics.
So this is to address the problem of negative feedback….as the climate models only show positive feedack.
It’s going to get 6deg hotter over the next 100 years as long as there are no clouds, rain or volcanic ash in the sky.
But it is settled…..yeh right.
Must report back to WUWT.
“This failure is the fruits of the “Starve the Beast” approach to shrinking government writ small.” – 51
What did you do when the bad men came Daddy?
I’m a scientist, and it was an ideological struggle. As a scientist I felt that I couldn’t take sides.
Why is more rain always a Bad, as per Min Zhang Hegerl and Zwiers in Nature? I spent much of the 1970s in Khartoum where it never rained at all.
Come on Guys. How about you take on the sceptics? At the end of the day you can probably win if your argument is sound and you have the data and logical argument to prove your point.
I think Mr Hansen has a very poor record of predicting things – he has been shown to be wrong many times – I wont list his poor predictions now – but can if you really want me to, including references.
Tamino says “By all indications, your statistical knowledge is confined to “In my humble opinion, it’s a pretty good match” and computing a mean and standard deviation.”.
Goodness, does that mean all my work with Weiner, Kalman and Statistical Process control has been wasted. Good thing my employers didn’t know that. And yes I did use the “How to Lie with Statistics” classic. However, that’s beside the point.
Instead of talking, just present a simple graph showing your estimate , say the HadCRUT3gl data 1850-2010, and compare it to mine. Simple enough?
P.S. I heard the CET was moved to some obscure site. Wonder why?
So there is liquid water under the ice sheet and this may be increasing the flow rate of the ice. In the case of Antarctica, the earth, which has been under 3km of ice and not seen the sun in 30kyears, must be at least -2c even though the surface of the ice is -32c. Really? Now the increased ice loss is going to give us a sea surface rise of 32cm by 2050 and, according to Hansen, the probability of a further 4.7 metre rise in the 45 years to 2095. Really? And all of this is caused by AGW. Really?
History is watching so get ahead of the curve fellow planet lovers. Real planet lovers and former believers are happy about the obvious exaggerations of unstoppable warming. Scientists were lab coat consultants, not saints and we can’t keep scaring our kids with fear of a death by CO2 as the only motivator for responsible environmentalism.
System Change, not climate change
Better late than never, I guess. Too bad the party is already over. You guys can drink the stale beer, though.
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