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Cherry-picked data and denier dishonesty

by Donald Prothero, Apr 11 2012

One of the most familiar memes we hear from the climate-change deniers is the phrase, “Global warming ended in 1998 and it’s been cooling since then.” You find something along these lines on most of the AGW denier books and websites, and it is repeated endlessly as if somehow repetition makes it more true. This is just like creationists who continually repeat the phony argument that “evolution violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics”, even though this is patently false. As has been pointed out many times, the Second Law only applies to closed systems. The earth is not a closed system since it receives energy from the sun. Yet in every creationist book and website and debate for many decades now you’ll hear them repeat it over and over again, since it sounds impressive to their scientifically unsophisticated audience and apparently they cannot understand why it’s wrong, or they don’t care as long as it suits their political agenda.

One of the most famous examples of the “cooling since 1998″ meme occurred when conservative pundit George Will wrote in a Feb. 15, 2009 Washington Post column, “Dark Green Doomsayers,” that “According to the World Meteorological Organization,there has been no record of global warming for more than a decade.” The same column also printed false claims about the retreat of the glaciers, and about scientists predicting global cooling back in the 1970s (all discussed and debunked in Jim Powell’s new book The Inquisition of Climate Science, pp. 75-79). Will was taken to task by climate scientists all around the world for his mistakes and misrepresentations, but he never retracted them. The Washington Post ombudsman tried to justify running Will’s column and rationalize their lax fact-checking procedure, writing that “opinion columnists are free to choose whatever facts bolster their arguments. But they are not free to distort them.” Eventually, the uproar was so great at Will’s egregious distortions that the Post printed two separate columns rebutting him. Apparently learning nothing from the experience, Will dug an even deeper hole by again claiming in an April 2, 2009, column that there hasn’t been a warmer year since 1998.

The problem with Will’s statement—and all those made by AGW deniers who repeat the meme—is that it is false! Picking 1998 as a starting point is a classic example of cherry-picking data to show what you want it to show, and a deliberate attempt to distort the actual record. As climatologists have known for years, 1998 was an exceptionally warm year due to  a record El Niño, which boosted average global temperature way above the overall trend from the past few decades. During El Niño years, the marine circulation patterns release a lot of tropical heat from the oceans and raise overall global temperature for a short time. Likewise, 2008 was a La Niña year, and it was cooler than normal. These are part of the year-to-year “noise” in the system of global temperatures that is well known to scientists. Scientists nevertake a single year’s temperature and then connect it to another data point and claim it’s a “trend.” Instead, the only rigorous and scientifically defensible method is to look at the long-term trends in climate over decades and “smooth” the curve using rolling averages, so that a more statistically meaningful curve fit can be performed.

The global mean temperature record, showing the year-to-year "noise" (blue dots and line) and the overall trend (5-year running average—red line)

Such a procedure is performed in the plot shown here, where the curve fit filters out the noise and shows the overall trend in the data—and by any objective measure, global temperatures are clearly increasing dramatically over the past century. This is the same answer that all the other climate indicators have been giving for years, and this is part of the reason why over 95-99% of climate scientists agree that AGW is real.

In response to Will’s column, Michael Jarraud, the secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization (whose data Will misused) wrote:

It is a misinterpretation of the data and of scientific knowledge to point to one year as the warmest on record—as was done in a recent Post column….and then to extrapolate that cooler subsequent years invalidate the reality of global warming and its effects. The difference between climate variability and climate change is critical, not just for scientists or those engaging in policy debates about global warming. Just as one cold snap does not change the global warming trend, one heat wave does not reinforce it. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the global average surface temperature has risen 1.33 degrees Fahrenheit. Evidence of global warming has been documented in widespread decreases in snow cover, sea ice and glaciers. The 11 warmest years on record  occurred in the past 13 years [this was written in 2009].

If this is the reality, what about Will’s claim that climate has cooled since 1998? You can squint at the last few data points on the curve and see the 1998 El Niño spike clearly—but it is also clear that it is just a one-year spike, and not representative of the trend over 5 years or 10 years or longer. The message of the curve is clear: global temperatures are warming dramatically, and the El Niño event of 1998 is just a wiggle in the overall trend. To report the story any other way is a clear distortion of the data.

Details of the past 20 years of earth's mean surface temperature.

 

Making  the point clearer, I’ve replotted the last 20 years of NASA-GISS data on a more expanded graph, so we can focus on the details, and I’ve also updated the data through 2010 (we should have the data for 2011 soon, but already the winter of 2011-2012 is the fourth warmest on record; the previous 3 hottest were all in the past 20 years). As you can see from the plot, the warming trend since 1989 shows up clearly, as does the anomalous spike in 1998. Yet the AGW denier cherry-pickers start with the anomalously warm 1998 data then try to make the case  that the next few years are cooler, hence, “no global warming”. However, this falls apart in 2002 and 2003, which were as warm as 1998 (without El Niño events), and 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010 were as warm as 1998 or even warmer still. As the quote above pointed out, as of 2009, 11 of the warmest years on record had occurred in since 1986, and adding 2009 and 2010, that makes 13  of the warmest years on record in the past 15  years. All of the sixteen hottest years ever recorded on a global scale have occurred in the last 20 years. They are (in order of hottest first): 2010, 2009, 1998, 2005, 2003, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2001, 1997, 2008, 1995, 1999, 1990, and 2000. In other words, every year since 2000 has been in the Top Ten hottest years list, and the rest of the list includes 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000. Only 1996 failed to make the list (because of the short-term cooling). So the claim that “it hasn’t warmed since 1998″ has been false since 2002. This statement is even more pernicious because it deliberately and dishonestly ignores these many record-breaking years since 2004.

Cherry-picking can be played both ways. If I pick any year prior to 1998-2000 and connect with any data point from 2001 onwards, I get a warming trend. In fact, the only way a AGW denier could get their “no warming since 1998″ misrepresentation is to deliberately and consciously look at the curve, pick 1998 to start, and only compare it to 1999-2001. Any other long-term combination of the data shows warming. Thus, this distortion of the data that Will keeps repeating is not just a simple misreading of the facts. Since the meme is quoted from 2009, this means that the deniers were consciously and fraudulently trying to distort the data to suit their purposes. The fact that this lie keeps being perpetuated despite the fact that scientists have offered numerous corrections shows the AGW deniers have the same casual disregard for the truth that creationists do. Such practices demonstrate the absymal level of their scientific integrity, and speaks to the fact that AGW deniers are not climate scientists, but people with political agendas who cherry-pick data, quote-mine out of context, and use whatever lies and half-truths they need to support their cause. The parallel with creationists and other science deniers could not be any clearer.

 

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231 Responses to “Cherry-picked data and denier dishonesty”

  1. Syd Foster says:

    Excellent post.

    To my mind these liars are in the same camp as people who commit war crimes. Their disinformation campaigns over the last 20 years have been instrumental in allowing governments to ignore timely response activity that could have saved the lives of untold numbers of people in the coming years, not to mention the economic ruination of countries and cities that will have to up sticks and move. They are tantamount to mass murderers.

    • markx says:

      Dang.

      I dunno how to type that farting noise one makes with one’s tongue.

      Syd, mate, you sound like an individual of considerable devotion to that which you have been told.

      I think you may need to approach life with a little more… um … scepticism.

      Perhaps just stop and consider a question or two for a moment (and I answered a couple for ya!):

      Is the world warming? Yes, a little, in the immediate past.

      Are we the cause of this? Yes, possibly.

      Has this happened before, when we were not around, and CO2 was not ramped up? Yes, frequently.
      Do we understand how this occurred previously?
      Are we absolutely sure of the mechanisms involved then and now?
      Are we sure our proposed actions will solve the problem?
      Is there risk that adding to the cost of energy will trash the world’s economy and have drastic effects on millions of low income populations?
      Is there the risk that the imposition of carbon taxes and carbon trading will put more wealth and power into the hands of fewer people?
      Is there a risk that noble organisations such as the UN, the World Bank, and powerful government authorities such as the EPA will gain more power and become even more opaque, answering only to non elected bureaucrats?
      Will we have opportunities to act later should we become certain of the problem? Yes, but it will cost more.
      Is it a wise idea to act precipitously because it might be cheaper?

      • noen says:

        @ markx — Yeah, Sid is being a little hyperbolic, more than a little, but that has nothing to do with the truth of global warming.

        Suggesting as you do that what little warming there has been is behind us and that it’s possible we don’t know the causes is a red herring. The earth is getting warmer, climates are changing and we are responsible. We do know how this occurred previously. It’s caused by CO2.

        As a denier you have to explain to me how it is that CO2 is NOT a greenhouse gas. I don’t think you can do that because we know the physics behind it and it’s quite straight forward. In order for deniers like yourself to be correct the physics would have to be wrong and that seems highly unlikely.

        The earth’s climate is going to change. We are already seeing those changes now, today. Worse, there is nothing we can do to stop it. There is a certain amount of warming that is going to happen and there isn’t a damn thing we can do. What we *can* do is prevent it from getting far far worse. We can also start adapting to the changes that we know for a fact are going to occur.

      • markx says:

        neon said: As a denier you have to explain to me how it is that CO2 is NOT a greenhouse gas.

        Nope. I agree with you. CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
        Happy now?

      • noen says:

        No, since you admit that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, how is it possible that increasing amounts would not result in the greenhouse effect?

        CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
        Increasing greenhouse gases causes global warming.
        Humans have increased the amount of CO2.
        Therefore humans are responsible for global warming.

        The denialist position amounts to denying that CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

      • markx says:

        You have just taken the ‘strawman argument’ to a whole new level. To the point of telling me what I should be arguing.

        (GHG is an accepted label for gases known to absorb and emit radiation in the thermal infrared range. Just because I accept the use of that term does not mean I believe it is the most apt descriptive term.)

        Please see my comments further down the page on the ‘water vapour positive feedback’ requirements for CAGW, and also NASA’s take on their understanding of these things. (Somewhere under comment 4.)

      • noen says:

        My refusal to accept your strawman is not itself a strawman. Global warming is understood as being caused by increasing concentrations of CO2. Your desire to change the subject does not count as a reply.

        Water vapor is a GHG but because it does not contribute to climate forcing it is not a concern. If water vapor were the sole cause of climate change we would merely need to wait for it to precipitate out. Problem solved!

        If we removed all the water from the atmosphere it would be instantly replaced from the oceans.

        If we removed all the CO2 from the atmosphere the temperature would drop, removing water from the air in a feedback loop that would not stop until there was no liquid water left.

        CO2 contributes to climate forcing, H2O does not and your claim is therefore false.

      • Canman says:

        Markx: “Will we have opportunities to act later should we become certain of the problem? Yes, but it will cost more.”

        I don’t think the “will cost more” is settled science. We don’t know how much future breaktroughs will cut costs. If we did, they wouldn’t be breakthrough’s!

        I think “opportunities to act later” is closer to settled science. This is climate and not weather, after all!

      • markx says:

        Good point Canman. Future breakthroughs will be many, and important!

      • noen says:

        You don’t actually know that.

        It is immoral to pursue political policies that deny real harm happening to people today in the hopes that future technology will solve that problem. It is especially true when the means to avoid harming others are available now.

        Climate denialism is immoral.

      • markx says:

        noen says: April 15, 2012 at 10:26 am
        It is immoral to pursue political policies that deny real harm happening to people today

        Ah… and you DO actually know this? Can please provide definitive truth this IS occurring, because of Catastrophic Global Warming Catastrophic Climate Change?

        …. And if so please also outline your clear and certain policies guaranteed to alleviate said occurrence of said harm.

      • noen says:

        “Ah… and you DO actually know this?”

        Yes I do. There are island nations today that are witnessing their land being subsumed by rising sea levels. The IPC and other bodies have published reports on how global warming has negatively affected humans. These impact are not insignificant.

        “Can please provide definitive truth this IS occurring, because of Catastrophic Global Warming Catastrophic Climate Change? “

        Moving the goal posts fallacy. I need not prove that climate change will be catastrophic. Only that it’s effects will cause harm.

        “please also outline your clear and certain policies guaranteed to alleviate said occurrence of said harm.”

        As I said, there is nothing we can do about the changes that are slated to occur. We can however be assured that pulling down the ppm of CO2 to 350 is guaranteed to halt further changes. The reason why is because CO2 causes global warming and your claim it does not is false.

      • Von Krieger says:

        I will have to go with the authoritative text on tongue-based farting sounds in print and provide the spelling provided in Calvin and Hobbes.

        Ppbbbbbbbbbt.

      • Syd Foster says:

        You are a patronising git. And either a self-deluding ignoramus or a lier.

      • Syd Foster says:

        That was a reply to markx.

      • Syd Foster says:

        Oh and just in case you’d like real answers to your questions (which I doubt you do) read George Monbiot’s book “Heat”. But you won’t, because then you would have to face reality.

  2. beanfeast says:

    Can you explain the label on the Y-axis of the second chart, please.

    I might be particularly dim, but it suggests to me that in 1990 the mean global temperature was 13F (13 + 0) and by 2010 it was 63F (13 + 50).

    • beanfeast says:

      Sorry, I meant 1993, not 1990

    • John K. says:

      I am confused as well, I read the axis the same way.

      The first chart seems to indicate an increase of about 0.5 C over the same period. A 50 F change would be around a 28 C, not 0.5 C. That is 2 orders of magnitude off.

      Of course, now I am doubting my own calculations as well.

  3. Jerrold Alpern says:

    The deniers’ dishonesty goes further. They ignore the rising heat content of the oceans. Even during the pink cherry-picked years in your chart, the brief downturn in the total heat content did not affect the massive buildup that had already occurred, and is continuing to occur. The deniers depend on the flim-flam claim that after many, many decades of heating, a brief cooling spell returns everything to normal. It does not. The heat remains stored in the ocean and will inevitably be released into the atmosphere. This is “committed” warming. The deniers have not merely cherry-picked the chronology, they have cherry-picked the planet by looking solely at the atmosphere and ignoring the ocean.

  4. Janet Camp says:

    Now, if we can only get the media to stop presenting false equivalencies in the name of “fairness”.

    • markx says:

      Janet, whatever your opinion on this matter, I do think you perhaps should consider re-reading both ’1984′ and ‘Animal Farm’.

      I am astonished that apparently intelligent human beings will consider something ‘proven’ purely and solely on the basis of ‘having been told by experts’.

      The medieval church would have loved you lot.

      • tmac57 says:

        There’s also empirical observations. Are you holding out for 100% proof of AGW before you consider it proven? That is a standard that is rarely achieved in science.

      • markx says:

        Nope. Just a lot more precision in said emperical observations, and longer term evidence matching observations with actual predictions.

        (eg. ‘modelling’ Eastern Europe’s 2012 snow storms after the event and saying “Yeah, that makes sense because of …. etc” is not convincing to me).

        ie: A considered and deliberate discussion, ongoing until the matter is clear.

        Not a wrapped up parcel of conclusions stamped “The Science is Settled”.

        Surely that last phrase should be like a red flag to a bull to true sceptics!

        So many things in science have seemed to be fully wrapped up over the years, then suddenly along comes some new discovery putting a different slant on it all.

        And what could be more complex and more difficult to monitor than the entire planet’s climate?

      • tmac57 says:

        A considered and deliberate discussion, ongoing until the matter is clear.

        That has already happened,at least to a 90% confidence level.What more do you want?

        http://climate.nasa.gov/keyIndicators/

        http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

        http://climate.nasa.gov/causes/

        Why is this not clear enough for you to accept the probability?

      • markx says:

        Tmac,

        This one needs a temperature plot against it to raise a few of my questions:

        http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

        And note it is headed “Global Climate Change”, but not Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change. And they stick to the topic:

        Ice cores drawn from Greenland, Antarctica, and tropical mountain glaciers show that the Earth’s climate responds to changes in solar output, in the Earth’s orbit, and in greenhouse gas levels. They also show that in the past, large changes in climate have happened very quickly, geologically-speaking: in tens of years, not in millions or even thousands.

      • Max says:

        http://climate.nasa.gov/causes/

        Several lines of evidence show that current global warming cannot be explained by changes in energy from the sun:
        Since 1750, the average amount of energy coming from the Sun either remained constant or increased slightly.
        If the warming were caused by a more active sun, then scientists would expect to see warmer temperatures in all layers of the atmosphere. Instead, they have observed a cooling in the upper atmosphere, and a warming at the surface and in the lower parts of the atmosphere. That’s because greenhouse gasses are trapping heat in the lower atmosphere.
        Climate models that include solar irradiance changes can’t reproduce the observed temperature trend over the past century or more without including a rise in greenhouse gases.

      • markx says:

        Max says:April 16, 2012 at 1:04 am

        “…http://climate.nasa.gov/causes/

        Several lines of evidence show that current global warming cannot be explained by changes in energy from the sun:…”

        I tell you what Max, it is a relief to see a sensible, logical, factual argument in here!

        All good points.

      • tmac57 says:

        Markx, you will notice that I directed you to that same link that Max did…too bad you couldn’t have bothered to read it then.You have been repeatedly given logical arguments,and links to valid sources during the course of all the ‘climate battles’ on this blog site,and you act like no one has presented anything convincing to change your mind,or if it looks like you have been influenced a bit,then the next opinion piece on climate change will have your dredging up the same old canards as you did before.This begins to ‘stink’ of denialism,rather than being honestly skeptical of AGW.Are you a skeptic,or are you shilling for the likes of Heartland/API?

      • noen says:

        “I am astonished that apparently intelligent human beings will consider something ‘proven’ purely and solely on the basis of ‘having been told by experts’.”

        I am sure it must be confusing to you to have different authorities telling you different things. The thing we know about authoritarian followers is….. they follow. They get their sense to what is true from authorities, not by ratiocination.

        It is the science that fixes the fact of global warming, not experts. And…. this is going to really blow your mind…. ANYONE can know the truth of global warming, or any other fact, simply by understanding the science, acquainting themselves with the evidence and then reasoning to the correct result. Science is knowledge, knowledge is power, and the idea that anyone can have access to knowledge is frightening to authoritarians. No wonder you’re scared.

        I knew in 1980 that global warming was real because I understood the argument which I applied to my previous understanding of science. I mean, it IS 8th grade earth science after all. It’s not like the basic concepts are difficult, they are very easy to understand.

        But, for the authoritarian follower this is all very perplexing. For him statements are true because someone he recognizes as an authority says they are true. He assumes that everyone else thinks as he does so… if someone disagrees it *has* to be that they are doing what he does but just happen to be listening to the wrong experts.

        That and the projection. You can *always* count on the projection.

      • markx says:

        Noen, here we end up both having put forward the same argument, so I doubt we can proceed without headbutting:

        Noen said: “The thing we know about authoritarian followers is….. they follow. They get their sense to what is true from authorities, not by ratiocination.”

        Now, I’m not exactly sure who it is I’m following. I went from believing this ‘story of CO2 induced warming’ to feeling it was perhaps not quite as clear as it was said to be, probably initially doing my reading on the issue in response to “the science is settled” type of statements, quickly leading onto looking for material on the Medieval Warm Period and marveling that Mann’s proxies had erased it.

        I have had to search and ferret rather hard to follow up many of the various issues, and have not managed to find a “big oil sponsor” or even a “small oil provider of anti-AGW fodder”. A lot of the information I see comes from pursuing CAGW proponent’s arguments and the references put forward. It goes without saying where many only see certainties; some of us focus (perhaps also only) on the uncertainties.

        Now, I do see that there is some incredibly detailed work out there, and I even have a grudging respect for the work ethic, attention to detail, and obvious intellectual capacity of Michael Mann. However, I do believe that like many of us frail humans, he has found himself thrust into a position of greatness (of a sort) and has let the ‘power’ go to his head. I think he now believes his own stories, and is enthralled by the prospects of going down in history for saving the planet.

        But, from all I have seen, it is my opinion that we are in the early stages of exploring the effects of humans on the energy budget of the planet, and at an even earlier stage regarding how to proceed from here.

      • noen says:

        “I went from believing this ‘story of CO2 induced warming’ to feeling it was perhaps not quite as clear as it was said to be”

        How could the science be any more clear? CO2 causes global warming. Humans have greatly increased CO2. Global warming is an observed fact. So humans are responsible for global warming. The fact that any scientific discipline is complicated does not mean that higher level descriptions that rely on that science are false.

        Science is a body of knowledge in which successive knowledge builds on previous facts in a consistent way. I can know that the earth revolves around the sun even though the details of the mathematics are very complicated. Likewise with quantum mechanics I can know certain facts without having to be a physicist.

        Michael Mann” has found himself thrust into a position of greatness (of a sort) and has let the ‘power’ go to his head.”

        You don’t actually know that and your reasoning is circular. Your claim that Michael Mann has let power go to his head is based on his claims being false. You cannot then appeal to his claims being false as evidence he has let the power go to his head. If you actually have proof that his claims are wrong then by all means publish and receive your Nobel prize. You will not do this because your claim is not based on objective facts but on your subjective feeling that Michael Mann is wrong.

        Appealing to subjective feelings to validate objective facts is unscientific and just plain false.

      • markx says:

        Noen said: April 15, 2012 at 11:07 am

        How could the science be any more clear?

        Global warming is an observed fact.

        CO2 causes (a little/some) global warming.

        Humans have greatly increased CO2.

        So humans are responsible for global warming.

        Many a scientist would consider that what you have provided here is a proof of anything in particular.

        (note – italics in blockquote is my edit, in line with known facts)

      • markx says:

        Noen said: April 15, 2012 at 11:07 am

        How could the science be any more clear?

        EDIT
        Many a scientist would consider that what you have provided here is NOT a proof of anything in particular.

        (note – italics in blockquote is my edit, in line with known facts)

      • noen says:

        Your quotation of me: “How could the science be any more clear? Global warming is an observed fact. CO2 causes (a little/some) global warming.?”

        This quote is false and reveals your lack of intellectual integrity and a dishonest approach to science. You have exposed yourself as a liar willing to misquote your opponents in order to win arguments.

        Your attempt to amend your deceitful misquotation as being in line with known facts fails on two counts. 1) It was not what I said and I object to your attempt to have me saying things I did not say. 2) The significance of CO2 is precisely the matter you dispute. You do not get to assume your argument is true in order to bolster your argument.

        Question begging however does seem to be your preferred debating tactic. Which merely speaks to the weakness of your claims.

      • markx says:

        noen says:April 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm

        “You have exposed yourself as a liar willing to misquote your opponents in order to win arguments.”

        Ah, ya got me noen.

        Am I winning?!
        Where do ‘they’ keep the score?
        Is there a prize?

      • markx says:

        The relationship between carbon dioxide and radiative forcing is logarithmic, and thus increased concentrations have a progressively smaller warming effect.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiative_forcing

      • noen says:

        “thus increased concentrations have a progressively smaller warming effect.”

        I note that you have moved the goal posts yet again from CO2′s role in the climate to the sensitivity of the climate to CO2. I consider moving the goal posts to be an admission of failure. It would be nice however if you would admit your failure before moving on to a new objection.

        We see a pattern developing:

        You are intellectually dishonest. You constantly attempt to shift the discussion when you realize your previous argument has been lost. Because you keep moving the goal posts you cannot maintain a logically coherent position. Incoherent and inconsistent beliefs are based in emotion not reason. In other words, your opposition to the reality of global warming is political and not based in a rational examination of the available evidence as you claim.

        You are a political ideologue lacking in personal integrity. You are a good and obedient follower willing to march over a cliff for your leaders. Show me some integrity. Skepticism is NOT being a contrarian as you are. It is being willing to challenge one’s own beliefs as well as those of others. You seem unable to do this.

        I don’t believe you when you say you once accepted climate change. I think you’re a liar.

      • markx says:

        noen says: April 15, 2012 at 3:07 pm

        “…moved the goal posts yet again from CO2′s role in the climate to the sensitivity of the climate to CO2….”

        Pretty finely tuned set of goal posts you have there, Noen.

        Given we’ve agreed that CO2 is a GHG (by the commonly accepted definitions) and that it will result in some atmospheric warming, do you not think that sensitivity of the climate to CO2, and the ‘collaborating’ role of other drivers and water vapour then becomes the central issue?

      • noen says:

        “Pretty finely tuned set of goal posts you have there”

        Not at all. Previously you had denied that global warming is real:

        “I am astonished that apparently intelligent human beings will consider something ‘proven’ purely and solely on the basis of ‘having been told by experts’.”

        And now you have completely reversed yourself.:

        “Given we’ve agreed that CO2 is a GHG (by the commonly accepted definitions) and that it will result in some atmospheric warming,”

        Which is it? Is it or is it not a fact that CO2 causes global warming and that humans are responsible for it?

        “do you not think that sensitivity of the climate to CO2, and the ‘collaborating’ role of other drivers and water vapour then becomes the central issue?”

        No I don’t. Two reasons: 1) You’re not honest. You don’t argue honestly or quote your sources honestly and I don’t believe you come by your beliefs honestly. 2) Water vapor does not drive or force climate change. Neither do cosmic rays.

      • tmac57 says:

        Regarding water vapor:

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/water-vapor-greenhouse-gas.htm

        When skeptics use this argument, they are trying to imply that an increase in CO2 isn’t a major problem. If CO2 isn’t as powerful as water vapor, which there’s already a lot of, adding a little more CO2 couldn’t be that bad, right? What this argument misses is the fact that water vapor creates what scientists call a ‘positive feedback loop’ in the atmosphere — making any temperature changes larger than they would be otherwise.

      • tmac57 says:

        Also in case it was over looked in the last link,please see the excellent Climate Crock video on water vapor feedback:

        http://youtu.be/LAtD9aZYXAs

      • markx says:

        noen says: April 16, 2012 at 10:51 am

        “Previously you had denied that global warming is real….
        ….And now you have completely reversed yourself….”

        Gee, it’s not easy to debate someone who likes to put forward both sides of the argument. Ya wanna call me back and tell me later whether you convinced your self? And which way you went?

        My first statement in the comments on this article included the following:

        “Is the world warming? Yes, a little, in the immediate past.
        Are we the cause of this? Yes, possibly.
        Has this happened before, when we were not around, and CO2 was not ramped up? Yes, frequently.”

      • markx says:

        Tmac said:http://www.skepticalscience.com/water-vapor-greenhouse-gas.htm

        The Skeptical Science page is pretty sketchy in explaining the role of water vapour, and, as usual they don’t like to let discussions run, see below moderator comments: (this in a page on water vapour adding to warming as a feedback to increasing CO2?! Clouds cannot be discussed?)

        Response: Clouds are not water vapor; they are condensed water. This post is about water vapor. See the post Positive feedback means runaway warming.
        .
        Response: See the post “CO2 has a short residence time,” and comment over there. For the CFCs topic, comment on that post, not this one. Off topic comments usually are deleted after one warning.

      • tmac57 says:

        Markx,I think that what SKS does in insisting on staying on topic,makes reading the comments much more relevant.Most blogs just ‘let ‘er rip’,and it becomes a tangled mishmash.Also by channeling the comments into the relevant threads,they keep those older threads alive,and keep the discussion going,rather than let them die out.Pretty smart if you ask me.It only chaffs those who don’t want to follow the rules,and for those folks,I say good riddance.

      • markx says:

        Tmac.

        Nope. The main point of their discussion on the role of water vapour is that it condenses out (clouds).

        I agree it is a good idea to keep on topic, but that is ridiculous.

      • markx says:

        Noen Said “I knew in 1980 that global warming was real because I understood the argument which I applied to my previous understanding of science. I mean, it IS 8th grade earth science after all.”

        I’d advise doing a little revision. In my case, grade 8 is a long time ago, and more has been discovered and much more has been debated since then.

        We can all agree that an increasing level of CO2 will result in some atmospheric warming, and that the effect will proceed in somewhat of an inverse logarithmic manner (ie, for every doubling of CO2 there is a lesser effect on temperature). The whole CAGW story depends very much on the effects of a positive water vapour feedback.

        And Noen is sure about the effect of water vapour, clouds and albedo (since 8th grade), but just how sure is the IPCC?:

        http://ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch2s2-9-1.html

        Listing 10 of the 15 from that page – Now the IPCC is pretty certain all of these are important, the there seems to be a distinct lack of consensus and understanding:

        Showing consensus ( 3 is lowest) and ‘scientific certainty’ as high, med or low:

        Stratospheric water vapour from CH4: 3 Low
        Stratospheric water vapour from causes other than CH4 oxidation: 3 Very Low
        Direct aerosol: 2 to 3 Medium to Low
        Cloud albedo effect (all aerosols): 3 Low
        Surface albedo (land use): 2 to 3 Medium to Low
        Surface albedo (BC aerosol on snow): 3 Low
        Solar irradiance: 3 Low
        Volcanic aerosol: 3 Low
        Cosmic rays: 3 Very Low
        Other surface effects: 3 Very Low

      • noen says:

        The fact that uncertainties exist at low level descriptions do not invalidate higher level facts. I know that the earth revolves around the sun and that knowledge is based on certain facts of gravity even though no one really understands what gravity is and that there exist anomalies that when resolved might change our understanding of it. No future discoveries will invalidate the fact the earth revolves around the sun.

        So… no future understanding will invalidate the fact that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that increasing it results in global warming. We will not at some future time discover that CO2 was not a greenhouse gas after all.

      • markx says:

        “We will not at some future time discover that CO2 was not a greenhouse gas after all.”

        Here, at least, we can agree.

      • tmac57 says:

        You do understand that these uncertainties are not reassuring in the least…right? The error bars around these elements of climate change can be off in the underestimating (temp rise) direction,as well as overestimation. This is what really baffles me about AGW ‘skeptics’.They always,always,always see uncertainty as working in favor of their argument that “It won’t be that bad” because we don’t have all the data.As a matter of fact,global ice loss is one of those elements that is proving to be happening more rapidly than originally projected.

      • tmac57 says:

        From NASA’s Global Climate Change site:

        Global Climate Change: Recent Impacts7

        Phenomena Likelihood that trend occurred in late 20th century
        Cold days, cold nights and frost less frequent over land areas Very likely
        More frequent hot days and nights Very likely
        Heat waves more frequent over most land areas Likely
        Increased incidence of extreme high sea level * Likely
        Global area affected by drought has increased (since 1970s) Likely in some regions
        Increase in intense tropical cyclone activity in North Atlantic (since 1970) Likely in some regions

        * Excluding tsunamis, which are not due to climate change.

        Global Climate Change: Future Trends8

        Phenomena Likelihood of trend
        Contraction of snow cover areas, increased thaw in permafrost regions, decrease in sea ice extent Virtually certain
        Increased frequency of hot extremes, heat waves and heavy precipitation Very likely to occur
        Increase in tropical cyclone intensity Likely to occur
        Precipitation increases in high latitudes Very likely to occur
        Precipitation decreases in subtropical land regions Very likely to occur
        Decreased water resources in many semi-arid areas, including western U.S. and Mediterranean basin High confidence

      • markx says:

        Thanks Tmac.

        They may well be correct, even I know the climate is changing, has changed, and will change in the future.

        The issue is, of course, how much of it are WE causing?

        I am a little re-assured to see you, at least, do consider the possibility predictions may be off in either direction.

      • tmac57 says:

        The issue is, of course, how much of it are WE causing?

        A Parable:

        Tim: There he is!
        King Arthur: Where?
        Tim: There!
        King Arthur: What? Behind the rabbit?
        Tim: It *is* the rabbit!
        King Arthur: You silly sod!
        Tim: What?
        King Arthur: You got us all worked up!
        Tim: Well, that’s no ordinary rabbit.
        King Arthur: Ohh.
        Tim: That’s the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!
        Sir Robin: You tit! I soiled my armor I was so scared!
        Tim: Look, that rabbit’s got a vicious streak a mile wide! It’s a killer!
        Sir Galahad: Get stuffed!
        Tim: He’ll do you up a treat, mate.
        Sir Galahad: Oh, yeah?
        Sir Robin: You manky Scots git!
        Tim: I’m warning you!
        Sir Robin: What’s he do? Nibble your bum?
        Tim: He’s got huge, sharp… er… He can leap about. Look at the bones!
        King Arthur: Go on, Bors. Chop his head off!
        Sir Bors: Right! Silly little bleeder. One rabbit stew comin’ right up!…

        [after Bors is killed by the killer rabbit]
        Tim: I *warned* you, but did you listen to me? Oh, no, you *knew*, didn’t you? Oh, it’s just a harmless little *bunny*, isn’t it?

        Markx…Look at the bones!

      • markx says:

        Ha ha …cute Tmac.

        Um… but I don’t quite get it…

        Is the rabbit CO2? ….

        Or a CAGW proponent?

      • tmac57 says:

        Not surprised that you don’t quite ‘get it’.Seems to be a theme with you.

      • markx says:

        Dang it, even NASA seems to think they might need a better understanding of some things:

        The University of Colorado at Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., today announced the formation of a new collaborative research center dedicated to the study of the sun’s effect on Earth’s climate. Nov2011

        http://www.physorg.com/pdf210273768.pdf

        “The exciting thing about this collaboration is that we believe it will promote studies to help answer key questions about the climate system, including how Earth’s atmosphere responds to the sun’s variability and how that affects climate,” said Pilewskie, a faculty member in CU-Boulder’s atmospheric and oceanic sciences department. “This question is particularly important now as we seek to quantify the human-induced impact on Earth’s climate.”

      • noen says:

        That scientists seek greater understanding does not invalidate our understanding of previously known facts. I know that the earth revolves around the sun even though no physicist today would use Kepler’s equations. The earth does not “obey” or conform to any physical laws at all. The laws conform to it.

        In the same way… I can know that increasing CO2 causes global warming even though subsequent discoveries may change the details. A child in the 8th grade can know that global warming is real without having to know the quantum mechanical equations that describe how the CO2 molecule absorbs and then radiates infrared radiation. She need only understand the higher level descriptions and can fill in her knowledge when she gets older.

        An 8th grade child knows more about climate science than you do because you have failed to understand it at even an 8th grade level.

      • markx says:

        noen says: April 15, 2012 at 12:10 pm

        “….. A child in the 8th grade can know that global warming is real without having to know the quantum mechanical equations that describe how the CO2 molecule absorbs and then radiates infrared radiation. She need only understand the higher level descriptions and can fill in her knowledge when she gets older….”

        So you prefer a system based on ‘belief’ ?

        The Jesuits used that approach to ‘education’ too; “Give me the child for seven years and I will give you the man”.

      • noen says:

        “So you prefer a system based on ‘belief’?”

        Education in the sciences is not predicated on belief. The reason why is because higher level descriptions reduce to lower level descriptions. If I teach a child on the workings of the internal combustion engine I need only say that the spark plug ignites the gas which causes an explosion that drives the piston. I do not have to get into a low level description about the electrical discharge or rapid oxidation of the individual hydrocarbon molecules, the transfer of their kinetic energy into heat and pressure and so on.

        Both the child and the engineer posses knowledge of the workings of internal combustion engines. The same is true for the child educated on global warming. She knows something you do not. That CO2 causes global warming and that humans are responsible for that warming because it is we who have put the CO2 into the air that is causing the climate to change.

        “The Jesuits used that approach to ‘education’ too; “Give me the child for seven years and I will give you the man”.”

        The fact children are educable does not invalidate education. Objective facts do exist. Teaching children objective facts is not religious indoctrination. An appeal to relativism or to solipsism is a sign of desperation.

        There is in fact an objective world that exists independent of our interests. Statements about that world are true IFF they correspond to that world. What relativist such as yourself get upset about is the realization that facts trump authority. You think this is tyranny, it is not, it is the only true freedom we have.

      • markx says:

        Noen Says:
        Teaching children objective facts is not religious indoctrination.

        Yet your 8th grader can be made ‘sure’ while the scientists continue to investigate the matter:

        http://www.physorg.com/pdf210273768.pdf

        “This question is particularly important now as we seek to quantify the human-induced impact on Earth’s climate.”

      • markx says:

        Noen says:

        She knows… That CO2 causes global warming and that humans are responsible for that warming because it is we who have put the CO2 into the air that is causing the climate to change.

        But will(and should)the child not look back and ask;

        “Has the world warmed and cooled before?”

        And ask “What caused that to happen?, and “How much of this warming are we causing?”.

        I’d rather see a child ask quesitons than think they had all the answers.

      • noen says:

        markx said: “Yet your 8th grader can be made ‘sure’ while the scientists continue to investigate the matter

        I’m not sure what you think the linked pdf is supposed to prove. It certainly *does not* dispute the reality of global warming.

        Auto engineers also “continue to investigate the matter” of the science of the internal combustion engine trying to get great efficiency and power out of less or even different fuels. But they will never discover that the rapid oxidation of hydrocarbons plays no significant role in combustion and climate scientists will not discover that CO2 plays no significant role in global warming.

        It is still the case that a *child* knows more about global warming than you do. The reason I can say that is because you still have no understanding AT ALL of the role CO2 plays. You actually think that what this pdf shows is that maybe, just maybe, scientists will suddenly say “Ya know… it’s the sun after all that’s responsible for global warming”.

        You are a *profoundly* ignorant man.

        This is why:
        “But will(and should)the child not look back and ask;

        “Has the world warmed and cooled before?”

        And ask “What caused that to happen?, and “How much of this warming are we causing?”.”

        All this does is show how deeply ignorant you are. Are you actually arguing that because the earth went through warming and cooling periods in the past that therefore it cannot be the case that humans are responsible for the warming we observe today?

        That is such a spectacularly bad and illogical argument that yes, even a *child* would not think that because there was warming in the past there is some doubt about what causes climate change.

      • markx says:

        Noen said: “because the earth went through warming and cooling periods in the past that therefore it cannot be the case that humans are responsible for the warming we observe today?”

        No, I think because the earth went through warming and cooling periods in the past that therefore it may be the case that humans are not responsible for all of the warming we observe today.

        In fact I consider it to be an absolutely ridiculous premise that the global temperature should be remaining completely stable.

        It has never done so before.

        If it is in fact so simple and is all sorted out by an 8th grader, we’d better save those billions we are spending on reseach.

        Move along, nothing to see here folks.

      • Canman says:

        Noen says @April 15, 12:20am:

        “Science is knowledge, knowledge is power, and the idea that anyone can have access to knowledge is frightening to authoritarians. No wonder you’re scared.”

        You’ve got to be kidding! Some CAGW skeptics may be disregarding the science and be in denial about possible adverse consequences of future warming (I would not include markx), but one thing that they are definately NOT is the “authoritarians” in this debate.

        The warmists OTOH, are authoritarian in more than one sense of the word. They are calling for all kinds of authoritarian government intervention into our lives over this issue. They are also claiming that their experts are authorities whose work should not be questioned. “Hiding the decline” does not seem to be about “the idea that anyone can have access to knowledge.”

      • noen says:

        “You’ve got to be kidding!”

        No, I am not. Scientific knowledge is true power. Were I to travel in time to a distant past I would hold immense power. Just being literate and able to add and subtract would be enough.

        “Some CAGW skeptics may be disregarding the science and be in denial [...] but one thing that they are definately NOT is the “authoritarians” in this debate.”

        You are confusing two senses of authoritarian. One as allegiance to the truth and the other as allegiance to men. The truth is no respecter of persons. This galls you because you think it a grave offense that any mere peasant dares to challenge your lord.

        We owe our obedience to the truth, not to men.

        “They are calling for all kinds of authoritarian government intervention”

        The power to tax is a legitimate function of government. The federal government also has the constitutional right to regulate interstate commerce and it has the *duty* to preserve the welfare of it’s citizens. That you believe democracy is authoritarian says more about you than anything else.

        “They are also claiming that their experts are authorities whose work should not be questioned.”

        Experts *are* authorities. If you would look up the argument from authority fallacy you will find that appeals to experts as being authoritative in their field is the one legitimate use of the argument of authority.

        Those who posses true knowledge are the true authorities. That is because it is science that fixes facts, not men.

      • markx says:

        noen says: April 16, 2012 at 3:19 am

        “… Scientific knowledge is true power.
        Were I to travel in time to a distant past I would hold immense power.
        One as allegiance to the truth and the other as allegiance to men….
        The truth is no respecter of persons. ……
        We owe our obedience to the truth, not to men.
        Those who possess true knowledge are the true authorities.
        ….it is science that fixes facts, not men….”

        Gee, Noen, I like all that! Have you looked in the mirror lately? Check for long beautifully combed hair and a soft blond beard. Oh, and loving soft eyes and a glowing disk over your head.

        You just may be… the Messiah!

        But, be careful… “Were I to travel in time to a distant past I would hold immense power.

        Nope. They’d most likely lynch you. I’m reasonably sure you’d take about ten minutes to offend them all, and their debating skills are reputed to have been somewhat on the blunt side.

      • noen says:

        “You just may be… the Messiah!”

        Yes, an authoritarian would indeed think that an appeal to truth is an appeal to persons. You think that statements are true because someone, ultimately god, says they are true so to you when I talk about truth is sounds to you like I’m making a religious argument.

        Science is not like a religious belief and scientific statements are not like religious dogma. Statements that are true are objectively true because they correspond to an objectively existing reality. You, like many denialists, creationists and other cranks, want to argue that truth is relative to persons (but ultimately grounded on god) or else is completely relative and so does not exist at all.

        This is of course false. Relativism is easily refuted. Most denialist and creationist arguments do boil down to some kind of relativism. Or… in your case, are supported by sophistry.

      • markx says:

        noen says:April 16, 2012 at 11:59 am

        “You just may be… the Messiah!”

        Yes, an authoritarian would indeed think that an appeal to truth is an appeal to persons.

        Nah, you are overthinking it.

        I was just mocking your writing style. Sorry, I’m not usually like that, you just bring out the sneer in me.

      • Canman says:

        Noen, for someone so enthralled with science, you seem to make an awful lot of assumptions about other people’s thinking.

  5. Daniel Clements says:

    “…the only way a AGW denier could get their “no warming since 1998″ misrepresentation is to … pick 1998 to start, and only compare it to 1999-2001. Any other long-term combination of the data shows warming.”

    What about picking 1998 to 2008? That’s a ten year period that shows a cooling trend. I am sure I’ve seen that one used a lot of places.

    Thanks for the excellent article. Too bad facts don’t matter to the AGW Deniers.

    • itzac says:

      The thing with a rolling average is you can’t start your trend line at your first datapoint. If you want to do a five-year rolling average starting with data from 1998, the trend line only starts once you have five data points to average, so 2002. If you want the trend line to start in 1998, you need to start in 1994. If you just draw a line from 1998 to 2008, you’re doing it wrong. If you figure you’ll just accumulate years for the first few points on your trend line, you’re also doing it wrong. The deniers are very much just doing bad statistics.

      Hope this helps.

    • Mal Adapted says:

      Here’s a great, graphical illustration of the wrong way and the right way to look at the trend over varying lengths of time:

      The escalator

      It’s an animated gif, so be sure to watch it for at least 10 seconds.

  6. Trimegistus says:

    The cherry-picking charge goes both ways. Promoters of AGW hysteria have been excluding “inconvenient” data for years now, and screaming “Denier!” at anyone who points this out.

    It’s interesting to contrast the reaction of physicists to the OPERA experiment’s purported FTL neutrino data to the reaction of climate change profiteers to any contradictory findings. The physicists were intrigued and excited by findings with the potential to overturn all their current theories. Climate change activists close ranks and mount personal attacks on heretics.

    Mr. Prothero isn’t a skeptic, he’s a fanatic.

    • Syd Foster says:

      I think you’ll find that physicists have more than their fair share of nut jobs trying to claim they have disproved Einstein, and the reason you don’t generally hear about them is because they have about as much credibility as the non-climate scientists who claim to have disproved global climate change… that’s nil.

      And the physicists give a lot shorter shrift to those nut jobs than the climate change denialists receive from all sides.

      Guess you just aren’t familiar with real scientists, Trism

    • Alan says:

      “The cherry-picking charge goes both ways. Promoters of AGW hysteria have been excluding “inconvenient” data for years now, and screaming “Denier!” at anyone who points this out.”

      Thank you for providing another great example of a classic denier tactic, a variation of the old childish “I know I am, but what are you?” Basically, the intent here is to suggest that since AGW believers (otherwise known as rationalists) are “just as bad” that gets Deniers off the hook for their repeated use of twisted facts and logical fallacies.

      But, of course, AGW believers base their arguments on science and reason and do not resort to the misleading tactics of Deniers. They don’t have to. When anyone suggests otherwise — or, certainly, that somehow they are “just as bad” as Deniers — they give Deniers cover (an excuse) for their behavior.

      Truth is that this is a situation where there are pretty clear good guys and bad guys with the Deniers obviously being the latter. No amount of ad hominem or tactics of distraction can change that basic reality.

      • markx says:

        Alan, the scientific work which has been carried on this topic to date is fascinating, as are the theories put forward and the questions raised. (The modelling, perhaps not so much!… ah, but I jest. The modelling is fine, as long as it is not put forward as FACT or PROOF)

        However, the accuracy of measurements now, (including temperature, radiation budgets, sea levels) and the data of historical temperature leaves much to be desired, and I think this is accepted by all sides of the argument.

        Otherwise, why do we launch 3000 Argo floats, numerous satellites and in other ways devote billions of dollars to these monitoring projects?

        To say “We told you so?” (And even that implies the “science was not settled’)

        Or to fully assess the theories put forward and ongoing effects? But… surely, we understand it already and know exactly what will happen, the science IS settled, right?

      • Max says:

        How do you differentiate “theories” from “modeling”? Both explain the known measurements and make predictions.

      • markx says:

        Theories include ideas on Malankovitch cycles, cosmic rays, the solar system traversing the arms of the galaxy and of course elaborations on the roles of clouds and water vapour.

        The models largely project based on predicated energy inputs based on the pre-decided “climate sensitivity” figure.

    • tmac57 says:

      Trimegistus,I am curious about where you get your information about climate science from.What or who are the sources that you find credible,that led you to your current position?

    • markx says:

      Trimegistus,

      I agree entirely. The neutrino publications and discussions are indeed an example of how science should proceed (and usually DOES proceed).

      However, with some programming, propaganda, scare tactics, government backing, and some labelling, we have an entirely different debate underway on the climate issue.

      It is (to some) simply not allowed to be discussed.

      • tmac57 says:

        Yeah that’s right Markx,30 years of careful research by hundreds of climate researchers around the globe,that is supported by all the major academies of science globally,and by such institutions as NOAA,NASA,AGU,AMS etc., etc. are all using “…programming, propaganda, scare tactics” to dupe an unsuspecting public into believing a lie that only a handful of other scientists can see.Sorry,but I don’t think your idea is a ‘settled’ one.

      • markx says:

        C’mon. There has been a fair effort to market this to the public. (Presented as ‘educate the public’)

        Funny thing is, had they stayed away from the scare tactics, the sea rise, the sudden onset of extreme storms and weather, predictions of imminent extreme droughts, etc we would have probably all gradually and happily gone along with the whole story.

        Someone suffered from “get it done now itis”.

      • tmac57 says:

        Oh,I see,you admit that there is a convincing story to be told,that AGW is real,and something needs to be done,you just think they packaged it wrong?

      • markx says:

        Nope.

        I mean you can sell anything if you package it and market it correctly.

        I’m disappointed from a marketing viewpoint alone.

  7. Insightful Ape says:

    Denialists do not understand (or intentionally ignore) the difference between weather and climate.

  8. Dave says:

    From the chart above, it looks like global warming came practically to a standstill between the late 1930s and the late 1970s, a period of about 40 years. This seems very surprising given the fast economic expansion (and the fast increase in energy consumption that likely accompanied it) after WW2, especially in Europe and North America. Are the reasons for this known?

  9. Mihai says:

    From Newscientist:
    “The mid-century cooling appears to have been largely due to a high concentration of sulphate aerosols in the atmosphere, emitted by industrial activities and volcanic eruptions. Sulphate aerosols have a cooling effect on the climate because they scatter light from the Sun, reflecting its energy back out into space.

    The rise in sulphate aerosols was largely due to the increase in industrial activities at the end of the second world war. In addition, the large eruption of Mount Agung in 1963 produced aerosols which cooled the lower atmosphere by about 0.5°C, while solar activity levelled off after increasing at the beginning of the century

    The clean air acts introduced in Europe and North America reduced emissions of sulphate aerosols. As levels fell in the atmosphere, their cooling effect was soon outweighed by the warming effect of the steadily rising levels of greenhouse gases.”

  10. Guerilla surgeon says:

    Janet, you should watch this.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDYba0m6ztE

    • Janet Camp says:

      @Guerilla surgeon

      One of my all time favorites, but thanks for nudging me take another look!

      @Trimegistus

      Get in the sack.

  11. Army Fork says:

    I have one small niggle to point out, a closed system actually does have the capability to recieve or lose energy, an isolated system does not. That said the earth is still an open system that can both lose and recieve both energy and mass.

  12. Tom says:

    Great post. Great graphs and clearly written. I’d like to think that Will is a person with integrity and sees the facts this so clearly lays out. Hope you can send this to him and that he actually reads it.

  13. Pavel says:

    As someone has mentioned, the second chart looks very puzzling. What is plotted on the Y-axis? Temperature rise in degrees F?

  14. Max says:

    I’m still curious about the “wiggle” in the smoothed curve at the end of the hockey stick graph.
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/hockey_stick.gif
    Looks like it’s following the red thermometer data, not the blue proxy data.

  15. d brown says:

    Well scientists were predicting global cooling back then. And later they were wondering what the new data on co2 would mean. They said they had no way of knowing what would happen the real world. I guess that’s why the first warnings were off. Now we known. We were saved from global cooling, but global warming did not stop.

    • tmac57 says:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/ice-age-predictions-in-1970s-intermediate.htm

      1970s ice age predictions were predominantly media based. The majority of peer reviewed research at the time predicted warming due to increasing CO2.

      Don’t give the deniers any credit for poorly supported arguments.

    • markx says:

      According to the hypothesized mechanisms put forward we currently only fulfil one of the requirements to trigger an ice age : The northern hemisphere summer occurs at perihelion, but the earth’s orbit of sun is very close to circular right now, and such influences are far greater when eccentricity reaches its extreme. Eccentricity of the earth’s orbit varies in an approximately 100,000 year cycle

      It is easy to see why it was/is a worry. The Holocene at 12,000 years has already lasted longer than all of the more recent interglacial periods. (An aside, it is also probably the coolest and most stable recent interglacial on record; others showed many peaks and troughs. Another aside, the first half of the Holocene was apparently about 1 degree C warmer than we are now.)

      Aside: The ice age mechanism is put forward as ‘hypothesized’. You’d think someone would model that and proclaim “The Science is Settled”.

      Asides aside, it has been a perfect environment for the development of our species.

      But the long-term trend over the next 20,000 years was (and is?) considered to probably be toward extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation and a cooler climate.

      http://www.mantleplumes.org/WebDocuments/Hays1976.pdf

  16. Kenneth Polit says:

    Deniers can’t seem to understand the difference between weather and climate. Off topic, but something I’ve always wanted to ask the skeptical community, Do you sometimes wish that your bullshit detector had an off switch? Mine doesn’t and I sometimes wish I could believe that, for example, God is watching what I do and He loves me. Or that there are advanced aliens studying the earth and its lifeforms. Those things would be nice to believe, but I know it’s bullshit. Too bad.

    • Max says:

      Yeah, it would be nice to turn off the bullshit detector at movies and funerals.

    • markx says:

      I hate to tell ya lads, but those BS Detectors Mark I are known to malfunction. Sometimes they need to be recalibrated.

      Now, I’m not saying straight out that the whole theory under discussion is bullshit, but, there is a hell of lot here to question.

      • tmac57 says:

        Yeah,I heard that the Mark X models were particularly unreliable.

      • markx says:

        Re Mark X models:

        Only problem with that model is it can be too sensitive.

        Often it will pick up noise from repeater stations passively retransmitting erroneous signals from central BS transmitter stations.

      • tmac57 says:

        Sounds about right.

  17. Canman says:

    I remember the firestorm over George Will’s “Dark Green Doomsayers” column. He caught a lot of flack for his assertions about arctic sea ice. He did respond in a later column:

    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will030109.php3

    He did bring up what could probably be called the “canard” that scientist were predicting a coming ice age. This might not have ever been a scientific consensus, but he never said it was in his column.
    There were, however, a lot of people, which I’m sure incuded some scientists, who were predicting this. They arguably included John Holdron (president Obama’s science adviser) and Paul Ehrlich:

    http://tierneylab.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/29/dr-holdrens-ice-age-tidal-wave/

    Science is not one of George Will’s main subjects, but public policy is. His column included what I thought was a pretty good observation:

    “Because of today’s economy, another law — call it the Law of Clarifying Calamities — is being (redundantly) confirmed. On graphs tracking public opinion, two lines are moving in tandem and inversely: The sharply rising line charts public concern about the economy, the plunging line follows concern about the environment.”

  18. John Myste says:

    Excellent article that is sure to offend the minority of people who can even follow it. I hope one day to belong to that minority.

  19. markx says:

    Speaking of Cherry Picking:

    Envisat Data: http://www.aviso.oceanobs.com/en/news/ocean-indicators/mean-sea-level/products-images/index.html

    Check on “Time Serie” and “Envisat”.

    What is remarkable about this chart?

    Well, until about a week ago the series commenced at mid 2004, in spite of data from mid 2002 being available all along.

    Why? Possibly because otherwise no sea level rise would have been visible until mid 2008?

    And let’s not even get started on all the calibrations, adjustments and instrument error problems with those satellites.

    • Max says:

      Check on “Multi-mission” to see how it compares to other satellites.

      • Canman says:

        That’s got to be the most linear climate chart I have ever seen. Six cm rise in 20 years. That would extrapolate to 30 cm (about a foot) over a century. Of course past performance is no gaurantee of future ..er.. “success”?

      • markx says:

        Correct, Canman —

        Run, run for the hills, the sea is rising!!

        (… at the rate of one foot per century).

      • markx says:

        Max, there are a few problems with multi mission – Jason 1 and 2 were calibrated against Envisat, but recently Envisat has needed several adjustments based on Jason 2 data….

        … and too many adjustments are always worrying …

        http://ecotretas.blogspot.pt/2011/06/verdades-inconvenientes-do-envisat.html

        Here is the Envisat data before the recent adjustments (and time extension) — on a Portuguese site (crowing about the “lack of sea level rise, but don’t laugh too much – Skeptical Science had a whole page explaining this away, telling us all the water was on land due to increased evaporation due to increased warming).

        Gee, its complex, isn’t it?

  20. klem says:

    Oooh that George Will cherry picking data like that.

    Its almost as bad as those cherry picking climate alarmists who say the planet has warmed since the early 1800′s, when we just came out of a 150 year long cold spell called the ‘Little Ice Age’.

    Oooh that George Will, what a cherry picker!

  21. markx says:

    And is NASA starting to rethink the whole thing?

    From a NASA page:

    NASA http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2011/

    “…. because the combined effect of all forcings is less than that of greenhouse gases alone, and much of the greenhouse gas forcing has been “used up” in causing the warming of the past century. It is apparent that the solar forcing is not negligible in comparison with the net climate forcing.….”

    • Max says:

      You’re quoting Global Warming activist James Hansen? That’s like Creationists quote-mining Stephen Jay Gould.

      Hansen’s conclusion is, “We conclude that the slowdown of warming is likely to prove illusory, with more rapid warming appearing over the next few years.”

      • tmac57 says:

        Why Max,are you implying that Markx has gone and cherry picked his information? I am shocked…shocked I say!!!

  22. Rob Gay says:

    I had a talk with a Denier recently, and this same thing came up:
    Deniers always want to say that “AGW people say the ‘science is settled’ and ‘settled science’ is out there. What a load! That should be a red flag!”
    In my searches, I have yet to find a non-Denier use the phrase “settled science”. It shows up a lot on “conservative” news sites from Denier commentators, as well as on Denier blogs, but I have yet to find it in the literature or used as an argument from people who actually deal with the science itself.
    I understand that Deniers use the term as a way to mock scientists and people who support AGW, but it is just another false flag as far as I can see.

  23. Phea says:

    I believe AGW is caused by us burning shitloads of fossil fuels, and radically increasing the levels of CO2. I also believe we will not stop burning fossil fuels until they are gone. The last petroleum will probably be used by the military in some future war. Now, with that belief, the only possible solution I see on the horizon, is figuring out a way to dispose of, use, suck up, (if you will), the extra CO2 we’re responsible for generating. Maybe instead of trying to stop, or cut down on the burning of fossil fuels, (good luck with that strategy), we should be doing something to counteract the effects that would be less painful, like GROWING MORE PLANTS! They LIKE CO2. They NEED CO2. They suck up CO2 like… well, like we suck up oxygen. I admit, I am ignorant in regards to real SCIENCE. I’m basing my thoughts on a VERY BASIC understanding of CO2, oxygen, and what creates and uses them. I guess what bothers me, is I hear little to nothing about the solution, (or at least a PART of the solution), being, “Let’s grow MORE plants!” Now why is that?

    • Canman says:

      I personally like the idea of space mirrors. It seems like they could be targeted to orbit more freaquently over glaicers and ice sheets. It also seems possible that nanotech might offer industrial streangth improvement over plants in sucking up CO2, thus preserving more natural plant life. But that’s just speculation.

      I think the best course of action to take to reduce the increase in CO2 emissions is to build more nuclear plants. While I don’t think fossil fuels are running out all that fast, nuclear fuels are definitely NOT running out anytime soon — especially if newer designs like the travelling wave or thorium pan out.

      I think proponents of wind and solar are guilty of horrendous cherry picking. They like to point to peak capacities and use impressive sounding “amounts” of power online, as opposed to unimpressive “proportions” of power online. Matt Ridley recently made a great quote:

      “To the nearest whole number, the percentage of the world’s energy that comes from wind turbines today is: zero.”

    • noen says:

      “I guess what bothers me, is I hear little to nothing about the solution, (or at least a PART of the solution), being, “Let’s grow MORE plants!” Now why is that?”

      Because it doesn’t work. When plants die they release their stored CO2. Hence vegetation is carbon neutral. What has been suggested instead is bio-char. You grow a crop of a suitable kind, then convert it to charcoal. Make use of the out-gasses for fuel and then bury the resulting carbon (charcoal). It’s cheap and not out of reach of third world nations and it would be a start at pulling down CO2 from the air.

      • markx says:

        Wood pellet as heating fuel?
        Timber as a construction material?
        Plant fibre for construction/ textiles?
        Ploughed in biomass?
        Plant forests which last centuries?
        Increase plankton, ground cover?

        C’mon, don’t be so negative.

  24. Mark says:

    Deniers arent’saying that it’s been cooling since 1998, deniers say that IT HASN’T BEEN WARMING SINCE 1998. Which is weird, because CO2 levels have increased. And CO2 is supposed to cause warming. Which leads to two conclusions: 1. global warming / manmade climate change is a hoax, and 2. warmists / leftist hate science. Sad.

  25. tmac57 says:

    The U.S. wind industry has added over 35% of all new generating capacity over the past 4 years, second only to natural gas, and more than nuclear and coal combined. Today, U.S. wind power capacity represents more than 20% of the world’s installed wind power.

    http://www.awea.org/learnabout/industry_stats/index.cfm

    How long do you suppose that figure can stay at “zero” with those kind of numbers? Matt Ridley is an idiot.

  26. markx says:

    Not cherry picking, more like substituting:

    The issue of adjustments: We see it everywhere, in the sea level charts shown above, but especially in temperture records. And the great mystery is, it is usually the past which gets adjusted. (not enough warming? Its OK, we have the power to cool the past):

    http://tucsoncitizen.com/wryheat/2012/04/16/noaa-temperature-record-adjustments-could-account-for-almost-all-warming-since-1973/

    and

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/02/15/data-corruption-at-giss/

    and (this is an amazing effort – but you have to go to WUWT to see the analysis … Tmac – you can ask someone else to explain it)

    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/fig_9_darwin-adjusted-and-un-w-adjustment.jpg

  27. markx says:

    More temperature adjustments: New Zealand: (this is part of a major court case now)

    http://briefingroom.typepad.com/the_briefing_room/2009/11/niwas-explanation-raises-major-new-questions.html

  28. markx says:

    http://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/ghcn-temperature-adjustments-affect-40-of-the-arctic/

    Iceland adjustments:

    There has been much discussion recently about temperature adjustments made by GHCN in Iceland and Greenland, which have had the effect of reducing historic temperature levels, thereby creating an artificial warming trend. These can easily be checked at the GISS website, where both the old and new datasets can be viewed as graph and table data, here and here.
    It has now been identified that similar adjustments have been made at nearly every station close to the Arctic Circle, between Greenland and, going East,via Norway to Siberia, i.e 56 Degrees West to 86 Degrees East, about 40% of the circumference.

    (….)

    Why is 64 North significant? GISS produce zonal temperature data, and their “Arctic” zone goes from 64 North to the Pole. Coincidence?

    Is there any justification for adjusting?

    Trausti Jonsson, a senior climatologist at the Iceland Met Office, has already confirmed that he sees no reason for the adjustments in Iceland and that they themselves have already made any adjustments necessary due to station moves etc before sending the data onto GHCN.
    Clearly the fact that nearly every station in the region has been adjusted disproves the idea that these sites are outliers, which give biased results not supported by nearby stations.

    GHCN were asked in January to investigate this issue and so far have failed to come up with any explanation. Unless they can do this, the assumption must be that the adjustments have been created by faulty software.

    • markx says:

      …sorry …meant to blockquote above on Iceland – please note is a direct quote.

    • tmac57 says:

      Oh,so their fudging the Artic temps upward must be the reason why the ice is decreasing by record amounts.This is very encouraging,since now all we have to do to reverse the warming is fudge the records back down.Problem solved!

      • tmac57 says:

        Arctic that is ;)

      • markx says:

        Question is, why do they need to fudge it? It is warming… a little:

        Warming – but perhaps not too “Catastrophic”:

        The Greenland ice sheet will lose a bit more than 0.4% of its ice volume (230 gigatonnes) of ice per year. This equates to about 0.005% of ice mass loss per year.

        At the current rate, it would take 1,000 years for the Greenland Ice Sheet to lose 5% of its volume.

        The Earth’s climate was at least 2°C warmer during the Holocene Climatic Optimum and the Greenland Ice Sheet did not melt then.

        Arctic and Antarctic sea ice below:

        Arctic Sea Ice: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/N_timeseries.png

        Antarctic sea ice: http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/daily_images/S_timeseries.png

        By the way, re ice extent, CryoSat is still being calibrated: http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SEMHXD5XPVG_index_0.html

      • tmac57 says:

        And maybe the current level of Co2 (about 390 ppm) might not be “catastrophic” to use your term,but Co2 is not at a static level,and you already admit that it is causing warming,and that we are the main source of the added Co2.So what happens if the level continues to rise? The big wildcard,that climate scientists do not fully understand are the feedback loops,and possible tipping points that CAN lead to “catastrophic” changes.
        That is the whole point of why climate scientists are trying to get people’s attention to the role of Co2 as a driver in our climate.You seem to think that uncertainty is our friend.It is not,and the indicators are not looking good,and there are hints in the geological record that do indeed show that catastrophes can,and do happen when the climate gets out of balance,and we are causing an unnatural forcing that we don’t fully understand.Doesn’t that give you even the slightest pause for concern?

      • markx says:

        So you think we just need to act, do something, anything, now? Just in case it may help?

        Hasten slowly, and look around a lot.

        I think I’ve spent too much of my life in Asia.

        I always very carefully look around when someone is pushing a certain action, and try to see if there may be other motivations for that action, and other beneficiaries from the response. I get even more suspicious as the call to action becomes more strident.

        I sometimes wish I had your simple belief in the profound goodness of this world.

      • tmac57 says:

        I don’t believe in the “profound goodness of this world”. That’s why I realize that the fossil fuel industry will protect their market regardless of how much harm they may be causing. And they will continue to undermine attempts to bring any attention to the problems they are responsible for.I also realize that some people will use their cognitive bias to disregard those harms because it suits their purposes to continue on in a lifestyle that is comfortable,and will probably only affect later generation in more drastic and costly ways.
        We are both cynical about the world,just about different players.You think that it is the climate scientists who are the bad actors,and have self interest driving their actions,and I think that it is the fossil fuel industry who are trying to derail their competition,and avoid the responsibility that the have for their negative externalities.As someone said the other day,”What business wouldn’t be more profitable if they didn’t have to pay for their garbage and waste,and could just dump it wherever that wanted such as in the street,ocean,lakes,rivers,air or in your backyard?

  29. Robert Sheaffer says:

    If it is a “lie” that there was no Global Warming since 1998, then why was a peer-reviewed scientific paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences to blame the lack of warming on ‘Chinese aerosols’: http://www.pnas.org/content/108/29/11790.abstract?sid=75d97da2-a6f1-41df-9069-483e3acc5d3b (abstract), (text) http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/pnas-201102467.pdf ?
    “Given the widely noted increase in the warming effects of rising
    greenhouse gas concentrations,it has been unclear why global
    surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008.”

    If there was warming in that period, why did the pro-AGW Blog Skeptical Science cite the Kaufmann paper to explain why there wasn’t:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Why-The-Hottest-Decade-Was-Not-Hotter-.html

  30. markx says:

    THIS is your science?!: even some of you CAGW proponents may see this as just a little too “Orwellian”:

    Our guest blogger is Brad Johnson, campaign manager of Forecast the Facts
    Countless lives were saved this weekend by vigilant government officials who warned of deadly tornadoes in Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska — states whose politics are dominated by anti-government, anti-science ideologues. Over 100 tornadoes struck down in 24 hours, but only six people died in Oklahoma, Sen. Jim Inhofe’s home state, thanks to warnings from the National Weather Service scientists he has worked to discredit:

    One of Johnson’s earlier headlines:

    “Storms Kill Over 250 People In States Represented by Climate Pollution Deniers”.

    And from that particular article by Brad Johnson:

    Given that global warming is unequivocal, Climate Scientist Kevin Trenberth cautioned the AMercan Metrological Society in January this year, “ the null hypothesis should be that all weather events are affected by global warming, rather than the inane statements along the lines of ‘of course we can not attribute any particular weather event to global warming.”

    This man is a SCIENTIST? That is not science. Pure politics.
    And Orwellian to a chilling degree.

    All the records to date clearly show no increase in the frequency or the strength of major cyclones/typhoons or tornados. Landsea resigned from his position as lead IPCC author on this topic over Trenberth’s consistent and dramatic misstating of the truth of the situation.

    • markx says:

      Sorry – edit:

      All the records to date clearly show no increase in the frequency or the strength of major cyclones/typhoons or tornados. Landsea resigned from his position as lead IPCC author on this topic over Trenberth’s consistent and dramatic misstating of the truth of the situation.

  31. Canman says:

    This post is about a faulty type of arguing called cherry picking. People who call themselves skeptics, tend to like Carl Sagan’s “baloney detection kit”. It has 9 tools, 2 additional issues and 20 common fallacies of logic and rhetoric:

    http://www.xenu.net/archive/baloney_detection.html

    The list of fallacies does not include the words “cherry picking”. the closest fit is Observational selection (counting the hits and forgetting the misses). Interestingly it includes “slippery slope”. I’ve often heard debaters use those very words to support their arguments.

    It is fun to go through the list of the baloney detection kit topics and try apply them to climate change. The one that really sticks out to me is the fallacy of the excluded middle. This one does not seem to favor CAGW proponents. It’s claimed that you are either a realist or a denialist. Is there any room for luke warmers, like me?

    I think this is a gross oversimplification. It’s not whether we will solve or ignore the problem. It’s how much and which of our resources do we will throw at it.

    One fallacy that I can’t find on the list is the false choice or dichotomy. Bjorn Lomborg gets accused of this when he argues that we can use funds to either help the poor now or perform climate action now. This is not the excluded middle argument (although it still applies). This argument is that we can do both by getting the extra money from somewhere else, presumably Bill Gates or the military. And there is some truth in this. But while funds for solving these problems may not be part of this particular dichotomy, they are still part of a larger polychotomy. There is a limited amount of funds in the world. I believe people on the political left, do not want to face up to this fact.

    Anyway, that’s my take on cherry picking, the baloney detection kit and climate change. Check it out for yourselves.

    • markx says:

      Well said, Canman (comment #32). That sums it up very nicely.

      And we may end up doing some considerable harm by allocating resources to (for example) windmills when those resources could do far more good in another allocation (and not necessarily climate related).

      There seems to be this great rush to ‘Do something! NOW!’

      I believe (and I could be wrong), that the sense of urgency comes from a variety of motivations:

      Those who genuinely believe we must act before it is too late,
      Those who see an economic or a benefit (and those usually go hand in hand),
      And those few hustling for their opportunity to go down in history and so realizing they had better get something happening now

      …and of course, in the background are a number of (probably most) scientists who may, or may not, care one way or the other, but know who their employer is, and what sort of research keeps the grants and therefore paychecks coming.
      eer the paycheck comes form, and what keeps that coming)

    • markx says:

      sorry for the chaotic posting:

      And we may end up doing some considerable harm by allocating resources to (for example) windmills when those resources could do far more good in another allocation (and not necessarily climate related).

      There seems to be this great rush to ‘Do something! NOW!’

      I believe (and I could be wrong), that the sense of urgency comes from a variety of motivations:

      • Those who genuinely believe we must act before it is too late,

      • Those who see an economic or a political benefit (and those usually go hand in hand),

      • And those few hustling for their opportunity to go down in history and so realizing they had better get something happening now

      …and of course, in the background are a number of (probably most) scientists who may, or may not, care one way or the other, but know who their employer is, and what sort of research keeps the grants and therefore the paychecks coming.

    • Canman says:

      I have one more point I would like to make about cherry picking. I find that the term is used more by the warmist camp than by the skeptics. Cherry picking sort of implies that one is deliberatly trying to deceive, although I don’t beleive this is always the case. The skeptics tend to prefer the words “confirmation bias”, which implies that one’s opponents are deluding themselves.

      • tmac57 says:

        Climate ‘skeptics’ use confirmation bias,AGW ‘deniers’ use cherry picking.
        I do try to distinguish who is arguing from an a base of intellectual honesty,and those who are willfully ignoring evidence,lying,and distorting the truth (such as using out of context quotes and such).
        We all are subject to things such as cognitive bias,it’s the people who do it on purpose who make me angry (Christopher Monckton for example).

  32. markx says:

    Amongst the many and varied articles, comments and opinions one may see at WUWT, there are often some interesting articles and comments from research scientists.

    This one is worth a read as it gives some insight into the character, methods and motivation of a major figure in the climate science field:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/17/scientists-rebuttal-of-michael-manns-denierand-other-unsavory-labels-in-his-book/#more-61508

    • noen says:

      Oh yeah, Alan Watts, another clown from the right wing clown show.

      “Willard Anthony Watts (Anthony Watts) is a blogger, weathercaster and non-scientist, paid AGW denier who runs the website wattsupwiththat.com. He does not have a university qualification and has no climate credentials other than being a radio weather announcer. His website is parodied and debunked at the website wottsupwiththat.com Watts is on the payroll of the Heartland Institute, which itself is funded by polluting industries.”

      http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Anthony_Watts

      • Canman says:

        That particular video caused something of a copyrights firestorm. Here is Anthony Watt’s explanation, which I thought was better than that of his critics:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/07/30/on-climate-comedy-copyrights-and-cinematography/

      • noen says:

        Anthony Watt is a clown. Which make you a clown for believing him. He is NOT a meteorologist. He has NO post secondary degree at all. He’s a radio weather announcer. And the video was reinstated because it is fair use to criticize lies and falsehoods.

        The fact that a right wing clown-show radio announcer sued someone because they showed him to be a fool is meaningless.

        And your supporting him exposes you to be a liar. When you say that you once believed in the science behind climate change you lie. When you say that you accept that CO2 is a greenhouse gas you lie. You don’t believe any of those things because your behavior here shows that claim to be a lie. The number of positions you have adopted are all over the map. You’ll accept *any* criticism no matter how ludicrous as long as it is counter to the consensus.

        That’s not being an intellectual, or having any kind of personal or professional integrity. It’s a pathetic grasping desperation clawing at any shred of hope to save one’s precious beliefs. You are not merely ignorant, a condition that is correctable, you blindly believe what you’re told.

        It’s sad. I feel sorry for you.

      • markx says:

        C’mon Noen, take it easy, …. calm down.

        It is no fun discussing things with someone who is foaming at the mouth.

      • Canman says:

        Noen. \F (thumbed nose emoticon)

      • markx says:

        ….and… he states the site is NOT funded by Heartland.

      • markx says:

        …and, try reading the article, NOT written by Watts. (… you guys send me to Skeptical science frequently.)

      • tmac57 says:

        I read the article and it IS apparently written by Watts unless you are referring to some other one than what Canman linked to. Anyway…so what? He is just carping about copyright fair use and hardly defends what the video exposes,which is that the surface station data isn’t compromised by it’s siting. The Berkley BEST study backed that up.The video is still up on YouTube,so I guess any copyright problems have no legs…either that or Watts can’t be bothered to do anything about it,but that’s between him and Peter.

      • tmac57 says:

        Were you referring to your link at comment #33?
        If so I will take a look.This thread is getting too convoluted.

      • tmac57 says:

        Ok,Markx,I just read the WUWT Craig Loehle authored piece about Mann. What a crybaby Loehle is! Libel?Slander?Give me a break! Mann does what any other scientist does defending his work from what appears to be a hack…he tells it like it is,and Loehle gets his feelings hurt.Sheesh!
        Anyway,you now owe me a turn at reading some SKS…
        This one should be pertinent:
        http://www.skepticalscience.com/loehle-scafetta-60-year-cycle.htm
        Nice curve fitting Craig!

      • markx says:

        Yeah – I agree – just an exercise in curve fitting.

  33. markx says:

    Wait for new technology?

    http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v27/n12/abs/nbt.1586.html

    “As part of the push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by burning fossil fuels researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have developed a greener way to extract biofuel from bacteria.

    The team has genetically modified a cyanobacterium to consume carbon dioxide and produce the liquid fuel isobutanol, which holds great potential as a gasoline alternative. As an added bonus that reaction is powered directly by energy from sunlight, through photosynthesis.”

  34. markx says:

    No one seems to care about all the adjusted data:

    Here is the latest case:

    http://www.real-science.com/breaking-news-nsidc-gets-in-the-data-tampering-act

    This time Sea Ice extent.

    Tell me, if it is all so simple and clear cut, why is there so much difficulty just getting the basic recording correct?

    And… that is giving everyone the benefit of the doubt and not mentioning all adjustments seem to be in only one direction …oh… ooops)

      • markx says:

        A model.

        Thanks.

        Any takers on adjusments? Especially of historical records?

      • tmac57 says:

        If better research,or more data comes along,should they not make adjustments? Of course in the denial universe,failing to correct errors or update arguments when new data comes along is seen as being steadfast and consistent.

      • markx says:

        No.

        It is the adjustment of long past records that is difficult to understand.

        There is nothing new, or better about them.

      • Canman says:

        As much as it pains me to agree with Tmac, the understanding of long past records can become new and better.

      • tmac57 says:

        Canman-Well thanks,but why would it “pain” you to agree with something that makes sense to you?

      • markx says:

        Sure, TOB adjustments make some sense, individual station adjustments to remove obvious glitches make a lot of sense, but much is done quietly with no real explanation.

        And yes, I understand adjusting proxies, but when you are talking about a manually recorded temperature record, where someone gazed at a thermometer and wrote it down fifty years ago, a lot of the adjustments make little sense:

        Darwin Australia: A mild cooling since 1940 was (apparently) changed with a 6 degree/century rise at one station, apparently based on the adjustments to match stations 500 km away.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/08/the-smoking-gun-at-darwin-zero/

        if you don’t want to spend too much time on WUWT just see fig 7 and 8, but reading the whole thing will help.

        Here’s one actually changed the trend to cooling!! The logic for adjustment seems fair enough, but, what knowledge justifies 7 changes to a historical record over a recent period of a few years? (below shows one particular day’s average at one particular site, and its frequently changed value)
        http://notrickszone.com/2012/04/13/hansen-shocks-adjusts-antarctica-temperatures-changes-warming-trend-to-cooling/

        According to the above, the station temperature data in the GISS record must have come from at least four different locations. These are not moves down the street; these are moves to quite different locations many tens of kilometers apart on different islands or parts of Adelaide Island. The exposures to wind, the ice, and the open sea must have been quite different at each. At each location, the stations also had a development history. Each grew in size from the establishment date to the day it was abandoned for the next.

        An interesting comment on the page:

        Paul Matthews 13. April 2012 at 16:10
        One thing I have only recently learnt is that the adjustments applied to station data by GHCN (which in turn are used by Hansen for GISSTEMP) are constantly changing.

        Here is a table of the adjusted temperature for Rothera in January 1948, at the different times I downloaded the data file from GHCN. The first column is the download date. First two are same date but switch from v3.0 to v3.1.

        20111105 1948TAVG 2.61
        20111105 1948TAVG 2.19
        20120117 1948TAVG 2.39
        20120123 1948TAVG 2.39
        20120311 1948TAVG 3.05
        20120402 1948TAVG 3.08
        20120411 1948TAVG 2.74

        There is a hell of a lot of argument hanging on the basis of these temperature historical temperature records, and meddling with them does not help anyone’s faith in their accuracy.

    • tmac57 says:

      I just looked at the NSIDC site,and their graphic matches Goddard’s first one,so I don’t know what the problem is,but in any case,a graphic on a web site can be unintentionally wrong,and his implication that there is something nefarious going on is conspiracy mongering at it’s worst.
      Do you think Goddard has credibility when it comes to representing what researchers know about the world’s ice?

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/Part-Three-Response-to-Goddard.html

      http://www.desmogblog.com/arctic-ice-melt-media-misinformation-retracted?page=1
      (and don’t carp that I referrenced Desmogblog,after all,you use WUWT and Goddard’s blog)

      • markx says:

        Yes, NDIC have ‘recorrected’ their ‘corrected chart’ and explained the error: (see WUWT for details) -

        “Walt Meier (who was traveling) responded about an hour later, with this speculation:

        Hi Anthony,
        Thanks for letting us know. I have a guess at what this might be.

        We’re starting to make some changes to our processing to update/improve things, including some you’ve suggested. One thing that we’ve decided to do is to change the way we calculate our 5-day average values. …..
        ….
        ….this change has been implemented in our test environment and we were going to roll it out some time in near future after we tested it for a bit we planned to announce the change. I think that by accident the test code got put into production. I’d need to confirm this, but from the plot differences, this looks like what likely happened.”,

        Re blogs, no problems to me.

      • markx says:

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/Part-Three-Response-to-Goddard.html

        Below is the highest ice loss figure I could find in the text on the above page:

        Rignot et al (2008) use the mass flux method (Part Two) to investigate every glacier basin in Antarctica and finds that the continent as a whole is losing 196 Gt year (1 GT almost equals 1 km3).

        196 cubic Kilometre, across the whole 14 million sq kilometres, implies an average loss of 14 mm per year across the whole of the continent of Antarctica.

        Surprisingly high, but at 62 x 10^6 km^3, (without accounting for acceleration) ice would take more than 300,000 years to disappear.

        But as far as recent ice extent goes, it does not look too worrying:

        http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/a_new_record_for_antartic_total_ice_extent

        Also interesting seeing Antarctic temperature status in the (very) long term picture:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:65_Myr_Climate_Change.png

      • tmac57 says:

        Still looking for that loose thread that will unravel the whole tapestry?

        http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL040222.shtml

      • markx says:

        Tmac. I’m not seeking to unravel the tapestry.

        I just want to see the whole story, or as much of it as we will understand in our time.

        It seems to me those who persist in focussing on a few small stitches in one area, and consider the tapestry is already completed will be unlikely to ever see the great story in all of its brilliant detail.

      • markx says:

        A tapestry. Indeed an apt analogy.

        We can so far see little of the detail before us right now, and that completed in the distant past has faded and is barely recognisable.
        Of course the stitches of the future story are being placed day by day.

        The measured Antarctic ice loss is interesting:

        The British Antarctic Survey, which has undertaken the majority of Britain’s scientific research in the area, has the following positions:

        1. Ice makes polar climate sensitive by introducing a strong positive feedback loop.

        2. Melting of continental Antarctic ice could contribute to global sea level rise.

        3. Climate models predict more snowfall than ice melting during the next 50 years, but models are not good enough for them to be confident about the prediction.

        4. Antarctica seems to be both warming around the edges and cooling at the center at the same time. Thus it is not possible to say whether it is warming or cooling overall.

        5. There is no evidence for a decline in overall Antarctic sea ice extent.

        6. The central and southern parts of the west coast of the Antarctic Peninsula have warmed by nearly 3°C. The cause is not known.

        7. Changes have occurred in the upper atmosphere over Antarctica.

        Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_Antarctica

        Temperature today across Antarctica (map): http://www.wunderground.com/global/Region/AN/Temperature.html?MR=1

    • markx says:

      aaannd … a little more ‘cherry transplanting’.

      Australia again: this time Sydney region – a 1.5 Degree C cooling of the past (from about 1870 to 1900) coupled with a slight warming of the present in the move from CRUT3 to CRUT4.

      http://www.warwickhughes.com/blog/?p=1460

      “…looking back to the main issue of the massive increase in the CRUT4 trend over the MDB grid cell The chart of CRUT4 minus CRUT3 which shows massive adjustments of 1 to 1.5 degrees which seems out of all proportion to the 0.2 degrees adjustment justified by Nicholls et al 1996.

      (Nicholls etal compared a long running experiment at Adelaide comparing readings in Stevenson screens and a Glaisher stand found that – “Over the year, the mean temperatures were about 0.2 deg C warmer in the Glaisher stand, relative to the Stevenson screen.”)

  35. Clemens non papa says:

    Mr. Prothero, please comment thid article, published recently in Nature magazine:
    Recent contributions of glaciers and ice caps to sea level rise (Thomas Jacob & al.)

  36. Josiah says:

    Visit this website for the real truth on anthropogenic global warming
    http://www.climatetruthireland.com

  37. markx says:

    The original climate cherry-picking. (I just keep falling over this stuff everwhere!)

    The paper on the first indication of a discernible human influence on the climate was a prime example of cherry picking. This paper was put forward as ‘the’ proof that Anthropogenic Greenhouse Warming was already here, with actual observed data agreeing with the models.

    Except they used a time period from 1966 to 1987 when in fact data was available from 1956 to 1995.

    “A Search For Human Influences On The Thermal Structure Of The Atmosphere”. (Benjamin Santer of the IPCC, Tom Wigley of NCAR, Philip Jones of CRU, John Mitchell of the U.K. Hadley Centre, A. Oort and R. Stouffer of GFDL among others) British science journal “Nature” (Vol.382, 4 July 1996, p.39-46)

    http://www.john-daly.com/sonde.htm (you can see the two charts here … one glance is enough.)

    `Nature’ published two rebuttals from other climate scientists: (Vol.384, 12 Dec 1996). The first was from Prof Patrick Michaels and Dr Paul Knappenberger, (University of Virginia):

    “When we examine the period of record used by Santer et al. (1st graph) in the context of the longer period available from ref.5 (2nd graph), we find that in the region with the most significant warming (30-600 S. 850-300 hPa), the increase is largely an artefact of the time period chosen”

    • tmac57 says:

      Here’s another example of using selective dates for showing what you want to show by (coincidentally) Michaels,Knappenberger,and Frauenfeld:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/Frauenfield_2011_Designed_Obsolescence.html

      Into this established landscape comes a new paper which presents a selective Greenland melt reconstruction. During the review process the papers’ authors were urged to, yet chose not to, include record-setting warm year 2010 temperatures. Had the authors considered all available data, their conclusion that ‘Greenland climate has not changed significantly’ would have been simply insupportable.

      and:

      Their selective ‘findings’ were obsolete at the time the paper was submitted for publication in December of 2010. In the review process, the authors and journal editors were made aware that important new data were available that would change the conclusions of the study. Unfortunately, the paper represents not only a failure of the review process, but an intentional exclusion of data that would, if included, undermine the paper’s thesis.

      • markx says:

        Cmon, you KNOW you can’t point at one year of data and claim it’s absolutely critical to a result..

        Lemme see now … um…it was here somewhere… Oh yeah ..“That’s weather, not climate..”

        ;-)

      • tmac57 says:

        But,wasn’t that your whole hobby horse about cherry picking? Admit it Markx,take that whole scenario from the SKS article,drop it down into WUWT,and change the authors to ‘friendly’ sources,and change the warming to cooling.Tell me you wouldn’t be sneering about how the ‘warmists’ want to exclude ‘inconvenient data’.
        I accept their findings because it comports well with a whole body of other facts and scientific research that show the same trend,not some anomalous curiosity that should instill serious doubt about a ‘house of cards’.

      • markx says:

        Yeah, that was a bit tongue in cheek. There is certainly cherry picking occurring on both sides of the debate.

    • tmac57 says:

      And if you can’t cherry pick to prove your case,then just delete data:
      http://www.skepticalscience.com/patrick-michaels-serial-deleter-of-inconvenient-data.html

      Patrick Michaels is a research fellow at the Cato Institute think tank, the chief editor of the website World Climate Report, has been given a climate blog at the business magazine Forbes, and his articles are frequently re-posted at climate “skeptic” blogs like Watts Up With That (WUWT). Despite his clear conflict of interest (Michaels has estimated that 40% of his work is funded by the petroleum industry), many people continue to rely on him as a reliable source of climate information. This is an unwise choice, because Michaels also has a long history of badly distorting climate scientists’ work. In fact, not only does Michaels misrepresent climate research on a regular basis, but on several occasions he has gone as far as to manipulate other scientists’ figures by deleting parts he doesn’t like.

      • Kevin M says:

        Sounds like the distorting Mann and the East Anglia group did to the work sent on to the IPCC…DISTORTED science equals DISTORTED predictions.

      • tmac57 says:

        Good solid fact-based rebuttal. This is how science and rational discourse advances. \sarc

  38. tmac57 says:

    An interesting bit of framing here:

    Benjamin Santer
    Tom Wigley
    Philip Jones
    John Mitchell
    A. Oort
    R. Stouffer

    versus “PROF” Patrick Michaels and “DR” Paul Knappenberger

    Very subtle undermining Markx

    • markx says:

      No undermining. Nothing subtle.

      We were discussing cherry-picking, right?

      Any comments in regard to that?

      • tmac57 says:

        The first group is ‘Just some guys with an opinion’,while the second set are an esteemed ‘Professor’ and ‘Doctor’.
        Not overtly stated as such,just a sneaky subliminal insinuation by someone’s design.

      • markx says:

        Ha. Yeah, I see what you mean. Correct.

    • markx says:

      Surely this “A Search For Human Influences On The Thermal Structure Of The Atmosphere” Santer et al was the ‘original climate cherry pick”?

  39. markx says:

    This is an interesting one:

    Levitus etal show a dramatic chart of escalating oceanic heat content.
    Over at WUWT an analysis shows that dramatic heat content climb of the top 2000 metres of the entre world’s ocean can be calculated to have risen 0.09 degrees C over a period of 55 years.

    And re the error bars shown: To quote:

    Here’s the problem I have with this graph. It claims that we know the temperature of the top two kilometres (1.2 miles) of the ocean in 1955-60 with an error of plus or minus one and a half hundredths of a degree C …
    It also claims that we currently know the temperature of the top 2 kilometers of the global ocean, which is some 673,423,330,000,000,000 tonnes (673 quadrillion tonnes) of water, with an error of plus or minus two thousandths of a degree C … Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

    WUWT http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/pip/2012GL051106.shtml

    From:
    A new study of changes in oceanic heat content, by Levitus et al: “World Ocean Heat Content And Thermosteric Sea Level Change (0-2000), 1955-2010″ (paywalled at http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/pip/2012GL051106.shtml )

    • markx says:

      The trouble is, if one has the slightest bit of doubt in one’s mind, claims of such precision over such a time period are not re-assuring at all. Only the truly convinced could accept this without a single question.

    • markx says:

      A commentator from WUWT asks an important question in relation to Levitus etal 2012:

      Bill Yarber says: April 23, 2012 at 7:34 am

      So the oceans have warmed about 0.1C over the past 57 years but the Earth has warmed by 0.8C since 1979.

      What’s wrong with that picture, especially since the oceans cover 70% of the Earth’s surface and constitute 98+% of the heat sinking capacity?

      • tmac57 says:

        I especially liked this part of that paper:

        We have estimated an increase of 24×10
        22
        J representing a volume mean warming
        of 0.09° C of the 0-2000 m layer of the World Ocean. If this heat were instantly
        transferred to the lower 10 km of the global atmosphere it would result in a volume mean
        warming of this atmospheric layer by approximately 36°C (65° F). This transfer of course
        will not happen; earth’s climate system simply does not work like this. But this
        computation does provide a perspective on the amount of heating that the earth system
        has undergone since 1955.

      • markx says:

        So you are quite comfortable with the concept that we can measure an increase of 0.09 degrees C over a 55 year period, and are quite comfortable with the accuracy of measurements taken 40 to 55 years ago, and quite comfortable with the belief that the measurements then recorded were truly precisely representative of the temperature of that complete mass of water at that time?

      • tmac57 says:

        Am I quite comfortable? Actually,I’m a bit warm lately.

      • tmac57 says:

        Rob Painting over at (guess who?)SKS has a recent post on OHC and talks about the uncertainties in the OHC data,and why that is not a reassuring thing.

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/Search-For-Missing-Heat-Confirms-More-Global-Warming-In-The-Pipeline-.html

      • markx says:

        Re Rob Painting at SS – only in that the measured heat content does not match the modelled data – that’s where the term ‘missing’ comes from. The question should arise: “Is it the data, or the model which is wrong, and are we measuring accurately enough and for long enough?”

        I agree it that it is not yet clear, and many uncertainties exist. We do not yet know enough. In fact, that is the major point of my whole argument.

      • markx says:

        Re Rob Painting’s missing heat discussion: It seems to me somewhat of a circular argument.

        ie: We know the heat is missing because we can calculate what it should be by TOA radiation measurements. But we can’t measure TOA radiation accurately enough, so we have to calculate that by known CO2 and feedback forcing. Thus, we prove CO2 is responsible for the increasing global temperature and that we have correctly calculated exactly what the feedback effects are, if we assume the ‘missing heat’ is there somewhere.

        From the SKS page and comments: http://www.skepticalscience.com/Search-For-Missing-Heat-Confirms-More-Global-Warming-In-The-Pipeline-.html

        By combining the ocean heating rates, TOA observations (figure 4) and other energy storage terms (land, atmosphere warming and ice melt), the authors calculated Earth’s energy imbalance from January 2001-December 2010 to be 0.5 (±0.43) W/m2.

        • Mike at 06:21 AM on 25 February, 2012

        Painting wrote: “Because this planetary heat imbalance is tiny compared to the energy coming in from the sun, and the heat being radiated back out to space, it is too small to be measured directly by satellites.”

        • KR at 06:54 AM on 25 February, 2012
        Mike

        Total top of atmosphere (TOA) global imbalance is usually inferred from the various components, as there aren’t any satellite resources doing direct differencing between incoming and outgoing radiation (quite difficult to do, given in particular spatial variations).

  40. Kevin M says:

    This spring has been good for those of us who have questioned the reliability of the so called science of AGW, with more and more credible former AGw advocates coming forward to say the science has been done in sloppy manner and exagerated outcomes have predicted. This week Mr. Lovelock came forward and offered his honest opinion of how the science has been out of whack. I particularly like the statement he made “we don’t know what the climate is doing, we thought we did” As a denier, I am happy to see some honesty creep into the discussion, the so-called theory of man made climate change is falling apart each day as more honest people come forward and shown the distorted conclustions made from distorted science.

    • Syd Foster says:

      Let’s have some references, so we can check out these so-called former “advocates” of AGW, and their sudden realisation that they’ve been doing bad science all this time… strange they didn’t notice earlier! Frankly I just know that you are a distortionist and a propagandist. I will be watching for your links, but I don’t expect them to appear, or if they do they will turn out to be bogus.

      Come on then, let’s see them!

      • Kevin M says:

        In my post, I am refering to Lovelock and Fritz Vahrenholt. Both are former supporters of theory of man made climate change, both say the science is not settled, and the results of climate change have been greatly overstated based on exaggerated science. Add to that the engineers and scientist, all 49, from NASA that said the same thing, the science has been distorted and is not at all settled. Mann and the East Anglia folks did a good job of skewing the data, remember “hide the decline” and my favorite “there has been no warming and it’s a damn shame”, then the folks at the IPCC did an even better job of exaggerating the exageratted data.
        Fritz did a nice job showing the sloppy work and the obivious distortion of the data.
        I understand why the alarmist must be angry, after investing your beliefs and energy in something that turns out to be something we don’t really understand yet. But the anger should be with the folks that distorted the science, not the people that question it.

    • Max says:

      Lovelock should speak for himself. Next maybe he’ll admit that his Chernobyl death toll estimate of several dozen emergency workers was a bit low.

    • tmac57 says:

      …the so-called theory of man made climate change is falling apart each day…

      This is one of the silliest memes in the denier’s catalog of talking points.The fact is,that the research continues at a steady pace,and it is overwhelmingly supportive of the AGW position.The few denier papers that manage to get past peer review (if they even bother to try),usually get shot down and debunked in short order.
      The one thing that the professional denial machine is really,really,good at,is PR,since they don’t need to bother themselves with fact checking or making a coherent theory that hangs together as a whole.Just throw any old crap against the wall,and it is sure to stick.Their acolytes will be sure to pick it up and repeat it ad nauseum.

      • Kevin M says:

        With regard to the peer review requirement. I find it interesting that as the alarmist’s lose more ground in their arguement they begin to make outragous demands that we can only consider the opinions of a “peer reviewed” author. Seriously, a PHD chemist like Fritz surely understands the basics of how data is presented based on the scientific method. Lovelock, in his upcoming book offers examples of how the data was overstated and hyped.
        Another major problem with peer reviewed is the referees that vet the articles are stacked with scientist’ that are in the grant mill who don’t permit opposing views to be published.

      • Max says:

        http://www.skepticalscience.com/fritz-vahrenholt-duped-on-climate-change.html
        “Vahrenholt admits he has no expertise in climate science, but apparently his status as ‘Germany’s Top Environmentalist’ (a title which Vahrenholt appears to have been awarded just recently by anti-climate think tanks and denialists) and his climate ‘skepticism’ are sufficient for some people to take his climate claims seriously.”

      • Kevin M says:

        Vahrenholt did what numerous other qualified scientist’s have done, he looked at the work that was presented to the IPCC and found the data to be manipulated and sloppy. He was a supporter of AGW until he looked a little closer and discovered he and others had been duped.

  41. markx says:

    Difference between raw and final USHCN data sets temperature adjustment historical

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/img/climate/research/ushcn/ts.ushcn_anom25_diffs_urb-raw_pg.gif

    • Canman says:

      Damn thing looks like a hockey stick!

    • Max says:

      Funny, first Watts complained that the raw data reflects the urban heat island effect, and presumably needs to be adjusted downward. So he’s not against adjustments as long as they’re toward cooling. Well, the data was adjusted for the urban heat island effect, but it was adjusted for other things as well.
      I’m guessing you saw this
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/13/warming-in-the-ushcn-is-mainly-an-artifact-of-adjustments/

      The biggest adjustments are for station location quality and time of observation. Those are explained here.
      http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/ushcn/

      For example:
      “The Time of Observation Bias (TOB) arises when the 24-hour daily summary period at a station begins and ends at an hour other than local midnight. When the summary period ends at an hour other than midnight, monthly mean temperatures exhibit a systematic bias relative to the local midnight standard (Baker, 1975).”

      Are you saying they shouldn’t adjust for that? Why not? Because you don’t like the result?

      • markx says:

        Max, if you find yourself completely comfortable with repeated and frequents adjustments and tweaks of historical data sets, in an area as politically and financially charged as that of climate, and also feel comfortable with the ‘facts’ that some scientists feel they can precisely measure the earth’s surface temperatures now, and feel that it was precisely enough measured in the past that they can publish scientific articles stating ocean temperatures have risen 0.09 degrees Centigrade over the last 55 years, you are surely not of a sceptical bent.

      • markx says:

        Max (and others): Your whole belief is based on a complete faith in the theories and statements of those scientists: the base theories of CO2 as a driver and atmospheric water as an amplifier of GHG effects, and their statements re the ability of the models to accurately mirror climate behaviour in the past and to predict (project) it into the future.

        Nothing sceptical at all there, just an appeal to (and/or faith in) authority.

      • Max says:

        Yes I’m comfortable with justified adjustments. Your GPS receiver wouldn’t work if it didn’t correct for a bunch of errors.
        http://ww2.trimble.com/gps_tutorial/howgps-error.aspx

        It’s fine to ask what the adjustments are for. I’m curious myself. But then, the cynical or conspiracy theorist thing to do is to just insinuate foul play. The skeptical thing to do is to see if the questions have already been answered, or do what Richard Muller did and investigate, but that would require qualification, time, and money.

      • markx says:

        Max, what do you think would possibly justify these adjustments? From 1857, for a 30 year period?!
        I am surprised at how much of this is happening (I had not expected it at all) – it seems very ‘Big Brother’ – rewriting the past to reflect present beliefs.

        CRUTEM4 temperatures adjustments have, in part, been made with reference only to the earlier CRUTEM3 data, rather than raw temperature data. Further, the adjustments depend on the month for the data, and these adjustments are made for 20 or 30 consecutive years. In the case of Adelaide (946720), for 30 years from 1857, CRUTEM4
        • Lowers all January temps by 1.4oC
        • Lowers all Feb temps by 0.9oC
        • Lowers all March temps by 1.7oC
        • With April to December all lowered by 0.5 to 1.1oC.

        (source: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/03/has-the-crutem4-data-been-fiddled-with/#more-62667 on WUWT)

      • markx says:

        More analysis on CRUTEM 4 vs 3:

        There are now 5549 stations in the set compared to 5097 in CRUTEM3. 628 new stations have been added while 176 stations have been discarded.

        All the new stations are in far northern latitudes around the arctic. Many stations in the US have been dropped.

      • markx says:

        Sums it up very well:

        Pamela Gray says:May 3, 2012 at 6:55 am

        “The researchers who adjust data seem to have lost the gold standard research principle that raw data is the data and that error bars are the proposed problems with the raw data.

        More clearly, the demonstrated extent of adjustments should be used to determine error bars, not to adjust the raw data average….”

  42. markx says:

    ferd berple says: April 28, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Climate scientists complain when someone outside of climate science talks about climate science, but ignore the fact that climate science is no qualification to build reliable computer models.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/28/tisdale-a-closer-look-at-crutem4-since-1975/#comments

  43. Michael Sauka says:

    Okay, I’m persuaded. AGW is real. I’m looking for an estimated timeline. Scientists out in the field observing and measuring confirm the claim. A warm Winter and hotter Summer does not convince the public. Approximately when will something happen that will get the public’s attention. Will it be soon or 20 years from now? Not being a climate scientist, I would like some kind on consensus of the experts on this point. Since an imminent threat requires economic changes now, saying we just don’t know when will not help convince the uninformed.

  44. Pvblivs says:

    I find that when someone calls an opponent X-denier the person making the accusation is dishonest. It is done strictly as a silencing technique by people who know their arguments are weak. If scientists were as sure of human-caused-global-warming/climate-change as they claim to be, there would be no label of “climate-change-denier.” But they are not. They have to rally the troops and silence the critics. While this is very effective from a psychological standpoint, it is intellectually dishonest.

  45. Pvblivs says:

    I shouldn’t be surprised that comments are moderated. Since the blog already goes into dishonest territory, the moderation fits right in.