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Friday round-up

Filed under: — group @ 24 July 2009

Two items of interest this week. First, there is an atrocious paper that has just been published in JGR by McLean, de Freitas and Carter that is doing the rounds of the denialosphere. These authors make the completely unsurprising point that that there is a correlation between ENSO indices and global mean temperature – something that has been well known for decades – and then go on to claim that that all trends are explained by this correlation as well. This is somewhat surprising since their method of analysis (which involves taking the first derivative of any changes) eliminates the influence of any trends in the correlation. Tamino has an excellent demonstration of the fatuity of the statements in their hyped press-release and Michael Tobis deconstructs the details. For reference, we showed last year that the long term trends are still basically the same after you account for ENSO. Nevermore let it be said that you can’t get any old rubbish published in a peer-reviewed journal!

Second (and much more interestingly) there is an open call for anyone interested to contribute to setting the agenda for Earth System Science for the next couple of decades at the Visioning Earth Science website of the International Council for Science (ICS). This is one of the umbrella organisations that runs a network of committees and programs that prioritise research directions and international programs and they are looking for ideas. Let them know what your priorities are.

533 Responses to “Friday round-up”

  1. 501
    Mark says:

    “What does “Seriously weak, dude” mean?”

    It means your argument is seriously weak. Dude.

  2. 502
    Mark says:

    “I now see that’s how they make their absurdly detailed regional predictions for 2080.”


    So when they predict 2-6C warming, this is both absurdly detailed yet absurdly inaccurate (since that’s a 400% range of values).


    Weak, dude.

  3. 503
    simon abingdon says:

    #502 “both absurdly detailed yet absurdly inaccurate” Absurdly detailed geographically; uselessly inaccurate in timescale.

  4. 504
    Mark says:

    “Absurdly detailed geographically; uselessly inaccurate in timescale.”

    In what way?

    Are you saying it WON’T be between 2 and 6 C warmer in the UK and that the warming in Wessex will most likely be higher than the Midlands and the Midlands likely higher than the far north of Scotland?

    Do you really think that picture is hopelessly wrong?

  5. 505
    simon abingdon says:

    #504 “Are you saying it WON’T be between 2 and 6 C warmer in the UK and that the warming in Wessex will most likely be higher than the Midlands and the Midlands likely higher than the far north of Scotland?”

    Did you mean “will” or “won’t”?

  6. 506

    #505 simon abingdon

    I am just taking a wild guess here but I believe he said “Are you saying it WON’T be between 2 and 6 C warmer in the UK…”

    You can check it for yourself in post #504 though.

    BTW, is Simon Abingdon your real name?

  7. 507
    Mark says:

    Which one is in capitals?

  8. 508

    Thanks, Ray and Rick. What happened is that I made the mistake of asking for the “nine evidences” right after a post making that claim appeared. My post got pushed down the stack so it looked as if I was coming in from left field.

    I’ll try not to make that particular mistake again (of course, I’ll no doubt make others). My interest in the “nine pieces” comes from a friend who is spending a lot of blog time showing that “US temperature records are so bad that they can show nothing — and THEREFORE AGW is falsified.” He does point out a lot of problems with them, but as I have mentioned to him several times those records are NOT what the AGW IPCC claims are primarily based upon.

  9. 509

    #508 John (Burgy) Burgeson

    The errors are modeled out to decrease the noise in order to see the signal (I hope that is a proper characterization for that). So pointing out errors in the temp record is the very old and tired argument of raw data vs. modeled data. Not that denialists are shy about digging up real old arguments and trying to give them new life.

  10. 510
    simon abingdon says:

    #507 Which one isn´t?

  11. 511
    Mark says:

    the one in capitals.

  12. 512

    #510 simon abingdon

    Oh the irony of a person attempting to sound so profound and scientific with il-informed considerations unfounded by the body of scientific understanding; and acting so immature as you in this thread. Your avoidance of relevant points with red herring distractions, subtle or direct is increasingly glaringly obvious.

    Since you have never answered my inquiries as to whether or not simon abingdon is your real name I will assume that it is not and that you are afraid to take personal responsibility for your naivete and possible, or likely, ignorance of contextually relevant facts and understanding.

  13. 513
    Rod B says:

    John P. Reisman (512), just can’t get rid of that hair, can you? ;-)

  14. 514

    Rod, I’m a more traditional conservative and believe people should take responsibility for their words and actions. Do you disagree?

  15. 515
    Joseph O'Sullivan says:

    I see Michael Mann etal have a new paper out and the BBC has a news article on it

    Is a new RC post about tropical storms in the works?

  16. 516
    Chris Dudley says:

    Doug (#456),

    It seems ACCCE responded to Markey’s letter with non-answers. No admission even about the American Association of University Woman and the Jefferson Area Board for the Aging that I can tell. There is a bit of news though. There were 50 potentially fraudulent letters. Bonner & Associates may not have responded to Markey’s letter by the deadline.

  17. 517
    John Rivers says:

    I have witnessed global warming for years. Coming from Alaska, I have seen glaciers retreat. I came across this video that shows global warming in action here: I showed my former global warming skeptic friends this movie and they all now believe it is happening at an alarming rate.

  18. 518
    David B. Benson says:

    Pollution Reduces Rain Vital to Crops:

  19. 519

    Response to John Reisman (#508)

    My friend has pointed out what are systematic errors in the US temperature data in his blog. I don’t have the expertise to assess his arguments (

    His writing is painful to read because he writes in the traditions of rage radio.

    But my question is simple. How important are the ground temperature readings? Partticularly those of the US. My comment to him has been that they are not a primary evidence of AGW at all — that the primary evidences are from other sources (which is why I was looking for the “9 evidences” previously mentioned in this thread.

    So — are the ground temperature records of the US a primary foundation for the IPCC claims of AGW — or not? I thought not — but I am not sure.

    Thanks. Burgy

  20. 520

    Response to John Reisman (509)

    In his blog at my friend has pointed out what he sees are systematic flaws in the US ground temperature records. I have not the expertise to adrress these, but I have commented to him that US ground temperature records are not a primary evidence for the IPCC claims of AGW.

    Am I correct in this statement?

  21. 521
    dhogaza says:

    My friend has pointed out what are systematic errors in the US temperature data in his blog

    Read carefully. It would appear that the “written records mislaid during a move” refers to some of the confidentiality agreements, not the temperature data, which in this day and age I’d imagine are given to them electronically …

    Which rather undermines the point of his post.

  22. 522
    Ray Ladbury says:

    your buddy is chanelling Watts again. Watts study is conducted without any reference to or understanding of how the data are used. So guess what: Researchers looked at his 70 “good” stations and the trend for the entire network and zero difference. A real scientist knows not just to look for errors but to assess their significance.

  23. 523
    Hank Roberts says:

    John B, don’t worry about your friend. He’s got his audience and fame, and you won’t change that now that he’s in #2 position, after WTF and above CA. You can ask the agency that keeps the data about inconsistencies, or read up on the work already done, at great length.

    But not at any of these sites!'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

  24. 524
    CTG says:

    Re 519/520 Burgy – your friend is suffering from the same delusion as Watts. The absolute temperature of any one temperature station is irrelevant to measurements of climate. It is the trend over time that matters. Note that in the first of the three graphs, although there is divergence between the two lines after 1967, they nevertheless both show exactly the same shape of curve thereafter.

    Now, if the blue line was consistently going up while the red line was going down, your friend might have a point. But they are definitely in synch.

    Statistical analysis of Watts’ figures showed that there was no significant difference between the temperature records of the 70 “best” stations compared to the full data set.

    Tell your friend not to build straw men.

  25. 525
    Garry S-J says:

    Burgy, the contiguous states of the USA make up less than 1.6 per cent of the world’s surface.
    I know it seems like such a big country looking at it from the inside, but, well..

  26. 526
    tamino says:

    Re: #520 (John (Burgy) Burgeson)

    Look at the 1st graph in that post. During the years 81-82 the Coldwater temperature is WAY too high. Why do you suppose that is?

    It’s because the author has simply averaged the available data without taking into account that there’s data *missing*. The missing data is from winter 1981/1982, so cold months are absent, making those averages incorrectly too high.

    That’s a rookie mistake. But it’s what your “friend” thinks passes for analysis. And it’s not the only rookie mistake. He’s pretty clueless; it seems he really is in the same league as Anthony Watts.

  27. 527

    John Burgeson,

    Let me point out that the errors pointed out by your friend are in the raw data. I.e., data “as recorded”, not taking into account known station moves, instrument changes, change in observation time-of-day (a treacherous effect that must be accounted for), etc.

    Just for fun, I collected data from four Kansas stations including the two he used, and plotted their properly reduced data together. Corrections made, as described here, were for time-of-observations, station moves, instrument changes, and urbanization effects — all known corrections. No “homogenization” or such. All I did was move the station curves vertically to get them to align. That’s all.

    Just click on my name. You see the Coldwater curve showing an instrumental malfunction 1981-1983… otherwise the curves agree within a degree Fahrenheit or better (and those diffs could be partly due to these, well, being different stations in different places), with no noticeable trend offsets.

    This is what you get if you look not only at the data, but at the metadata too. Fifteen minutes of play with octave.

    End of lesson :-)

  28. 528

    Thanks for comments. FWIW, my friend claims to be doing his own analyses and is not following Watts.

    He has quite a number of examples of his analyses of the raw data (including China) on his blog. I understand that there are no bloggers here that take those analyses seriously. But his arguments do seem to be taken seriously by some of his followers and on at least one chat website.

    Sorry, BTW, for the dual posts. The software hiccuped!


  29. 529
    Mark says:

    “FWIW, my friend claims to be doing his own analyses and is not following Watts.”


    He’s either horrendously unlucky and following the EXACT SAME wrongheaded trail that Watts is or he IS following Watts.

  30. 530
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Burgy says, “FWIW, my friend claims to be doing his own analyses…”

    And that is PAINFULLY obvious. This is a textbook case of a smart guy doing what makes sense to him even though it is absolute crap in the context of the relevant field of study. It is also an example of someone with ideological blinders on looking for any tiny error without regard to whether it has any significance.

  31. 531
    Hank Roberts says:

    Remind him some people get upset about plagiarism; he ought to check his work against Watts’s and see if by some coincidence his numbers look the same–not surprising for correct answers, but for wrong answers it’s odd.

  32. 532

    ??? What does NWVM stand for? That’s a new one to me.


  33. 533
    Hank Roberts says:

    After your FWIW, he’s delivering the common putdown: ‘not worth very much’.