back to article Is the earth getting warmer, or cooler?

A paper published in scientific journal Nature this week has reignited the debate about Global Warming, by predicting that the earth won't be getting any warmer until 2015. Researchers at the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences have factored in cyclical oceanic into their climate model, and produced a different forecast to the …

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  1. dervheid

    This seems to be...

    covered by one of yesterday's posts:

    "Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please". Mark Twain

    Earth gets warmer (people panic)

    Earth gets cooler (people panic)

    Earth gets warmer (people panic)

    Earth gets cooler (people panic)

    Surprise surprise!

    Perhaps another of the great man's quotes might be appropriate here too;

    "Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising."

    Hmmm.

  2. DZ-Jay

    Very scientific analysis

    So you took two pieces of data, specifically two orthogonal graphs; decided arbitrarily that one was wrong, and proceeded to distort it until it fitted closely the first one; ergo proving that it was doctored and at the same time reassuring the veracity of the first. Right.

    I can do that. If I take an image of the moon, paint it a soft yellowish color, then change the aspect ration of the picture a little bit, and perhaps add a drop shadow for dramatic effect; I can prove that the moon is not really a sphere, but a flat disc, and is not made out of sand or stardust, but of cheese! Q.E.D.

    -dZ.

  3. Graham Bartlett

    Eh?

    "Few icebergs" doesn't equal the complete opening of the Northwest Passage for the first time in the recorded history of North America, which is what's imminent. Larsen B wasn't an isolated incident or an accident.

    Generally, it's an article that would grace the pages of the Daily Express. Pointing out that NASA and co have been applying correction factors to their older numbers, with the clear implication that NASA have falsified the numbers with the correction factors, for example. The fact that people in the 1920s had no idea about heat islands etc. is then given as NASA's excuse for fiddling the figures.

    Maybe sticking with IT would be easier. Suppose version 9.8.7 of WinStone had a known bug in it which caused it to overestimate by 2%. Then a competent tester would apply a 2% reduction to figures from that version or increase the results of previous tests by 2%, to ensure that all tests were working from a level playing field.

    The problem we've got here is the same as the creationists' quote of "teach the controversy". The joke is that for people who actually work in the area, there *is* no controversy. For sure, there's plenty of debate about how much, how fast, and just plain how. But the only reports of controversy are from people who get some reward from reporting it, whether from vested interests funding them directly or simply by being paid for publishing. The latter is the biggest problem, for the same reason that misreporting on MMR vaccination to sell papers directly caused the current outbreak of those diseases.

  4. Steve Crook

    It doesn't matter...

    The time for rational argument has long passed and the carbon cult holds sway. There are lots of good reasons for cutting back on the energy we use and getting as much as we can from renewable resources, but I'm not sure that atmospheric CO2 is one of them. Having people shout at me isn't going to convince me that it is.

    Good stuff

  5. REMF

    an excellent article

    my thanks.

  6. Syren Baran
    Thumb Down

    Think of the children

    Geesh, distorting scientific measurement results.

    I always heard that we, for the sake of the children, should have less violance and Gore on TV. The reason for the latter is now obvious.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh really?

    "Now back to the present. NASA temperatures for March 2008 indicate that it was the third warmest March in history, but satellite data sources RSS and UAH disagree. They show March as the second coldest ever in the southern hemisphere, and barely above average worldwide. "

    And yet from http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/month/sa/archive/200803.adelaide.shtml

    "Adelaide Metro in March 2008

    Record Heat Wave!!!

    Summary

    15 consecutive days with a maximum temperature in excess of 35°C is the longest heat wave recorded at the South Australian Regional Office.

    13 consecutive days with a maximum temperature in excess of 37.8°C (100°F) at the South Australian Regional Office, this surpasses the heat wave of January 1939. There were 8 days in January 1939 when the maximum temperature exceeded the 100°F mark but not consecutively.

    Adelaide recorded its warmest minimum temperature for March of 30.2°C.

    March 2008 average monthly temperature of 24.4°C is the 3rd warmest recorded at the South Australian Regional Office.

    The average maximum temperatures, recorded in the metropolitan area, were about 4.5°C above the long-term average for the month, whilst the average minimum temperatures were between 2°C and 3°C above the long-term average."

    So much for "second coldest ever in the Southern Hemisphere"

  8. 3x2

    alarming increase

    <...>but perhaps future generations will be able to reduce the alarming increase in the number of climate alarms.<...>

    If only. Like the wack job sporting a board predicting the end of the world, when it doesn't happen he doesn't go off to get a job and start a family he just gets a new board. Like all good religions when Global Warming doesn't happen you call it Climate Change and head back for the street

    No doubt the 'clergy' will here shortly telling us everything is well within the predicted range or that the data comes from 'Big Oil'. Better yet that we shouldn't be allowed an opinion anyway. The truth is that we clearly have no agreement on what is happening right now never mind Fifty or a Hundred years into the future.

    If the cooling goes on beyond 2015 we will no doubt start hearing calls for us to ramp up carbon emissions. Same crowd different board.

  9. Graham Marsden
    Boffin

    We do not have unlimited energy!

    I can see this rapidly devolving into another "man made global warming is a myth!", "T'isnt!", "T'is!", "T'isnt!", "T'is so!!!" argument.

    But what that completely fails to realise is that we are using more and more *energy* and we cannot keep doing that indefinitely.

    So instead of putting efforts into arguing about/ reducing/ trading "carbon footprints", how about we just start using energy in a more efficient manner and, who knows, it could have an unexpected knock on effect on the climate...!

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shame on you Mr Goddard

    Shame you didn't investigate the published reasons as to why the adjustments were made and criticise that, rather than assuming an agenda and producing what is effectively an ad hominem attack.

  11. Stuart Cherrington
    Paris Hilton

    Thermometer to close to big shiny rockets

    Surely its obvious why the NASA data is hotter than everyone elses..

    What do NASA do, send big ships into space on piles of flaming liquid, which is hot, so the local thermometer is recording higher temperatures...

    QED...

    Sorry couldn't resist making this comment.

    Paris - cause she's got nice rockets.

  12. dervheid

    No Controversy...

    "The joke is that for people who actually work in the area, there *is* no controversy"

    Or would that be a 'vested interest' perhaps (like no climate change/global warming; no job)

    Part of good science is to challenge the validity of data. This 'rotation' seems to challenge the validity of that data.

  13. Mad Mike
    Paris Hilton

    Graham Bartlett

    Ah yes, and of course the scietific community is completely free of bias. Let's see now. Who pays their salaries? How do you keep the money coming in for research? Best way, is to create a panic!! So, the people with the largest vested interest in proving mankind is influencing global temperatures (whether up or down) are the scientists!!

    That's why there have been opposite panics for many years. Firstly, a new ice age is approaching. When it becomes patently obvious they were talking rubbish and it was simply some natural cycle, they changed it around. Again, the same happened, so they changed it around again. Then again. I'm sure you see the pattern. The only thing that remained constant was the funding from government due to the panic caused by scientists.

    It may now be true that global temperatures are rising and it may even be true that humans are causing it. But, the scientific community has called wolf several times before and been wrong, so they're loosing credability!! I'm met a lot of scientists in my time and have used the Paris icon because most scientists know about as much about the real world as Paris does. They live in their own little spheres; especially physicists.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Can someone explain this to me, please?

    The Greenhouse Effect theory posits that carbon dioxide, methane and the like in the atmosphere reduces the amount of heat lost to space.

    Satellites say the world is getting cooler. Are they saying this based on the amount of heat they are detecting escaping Earth's atmosphere?

    Are we really saying that the Greenhouse Effect, less heat lost to space, is a myth because satellites are detecting... less heat lost to space?

    Explanation very much appreciated.

  15. Michael
    Linux

    Familiar story?

    Anybody remember the predicted effects of global nuclear war? One theory was that we would all freeze in a nuclear winter caused by dust in the atmosphere blocking out the sun. Or, we were all going to die because the ozone layer would be destroyed and we would all fry. My personal theory was that we were all going to die because where we had been standing was now an irradiated hole in the ground. But then what do I know?

    Well, I know that the scientists thought for a long time that the earth was flat and that Gordon will use climate change as an excuse to raise taxes.

    Penguin because they don't pay tax (yet).

  16. P. Pod

    Who knows??

    SInce they can't even forecast the weather for the next 24 hours correctly, how do they expect me to believe that they can get it right 50 years into the future.

    I can forecast the weather for Monday though... It's a bank holiday, so it will rain.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Re: Oh Really?

    Righto, and of course Adelaide is the only place in the southern hemisphere so the RSS and UAH surveys, that looked at the whole of the southern hemisphere (That's more than just Adelaide btw), must be wrong.

    @DZ-Jay: missing the point there huh, your example does it's best to ignore all of the scientific facts up until that point, and tries to prove that your, new, data is correct and anything previous is wrong. The article is looking at the weight of evidence and the fact that the published data has changed over time and is therefore a complete opposite to the example you give. Your scientific analysis skills need a little fine tuning.

    Sure we should be looking at reducing our Carbon output and looking at ways to stop p**sing energy away, but I hate the fact that all of the "end of the world" cranks are now being listened to rather than pointed and laughed at, which is what used to happen.

  18. Matt W
    Thumb Down

    Hmmmmm

    One statistician fighting another never impresses me. This is a troll article intended to set the pack baying.

    Unfortunately, I can't resist....

    If we are going to get into this then one point strikes me. Surely a long term trend (100 years) would be more useful to analyse than the last 10 years.

    The trends in the first two graphs above agree on the long term trend.

    <insert your favourite GW vs Conspiracy theory rant here>

  19. neil
    Stop

    Selective data set

    why select 1998 as the effective start point, I think the data for a couple of decades prior should be shown, this would make many comments nonsensical. 1997 was exceptionally warm, it was the year of a very strong El Nino effect. Interesting that, of the data shown is from the end of this year, skewing trends. If the available data going back was normalised you would still clearly see that the trend is to warm. Please use the full data sets and not pick and mix. You will find that the long term trend is still upwards. Anthropomorphic climate change is happening. 1/10 for science, 8/10 for misrepresentation of data.

  20. joseph doyle
    Thumb Up

    CRUT data

    Why didn't the author use this graph from CRUT

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/nhshgl.gif

  21. Onionman

    And the list just gets longer...

    Ice age's a comin...

    Oil will run out in 2000....

    Acid rain will kill all the forests...

    GM crops will kill you...

    The hole in the ozone layer's will kill you...

    Pesticides will mean a Silent Spring...

    Brent Spar contains hundreds of tons of toxins...

    Which of these life threatening dramas came to pass? All in my life time, all false.

    O

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    @dervheid

    should read

    Earth gets warmer (government taxes more)

    Earth gets cooler (Government taxes more)

    Earth gets warmer (Government taxes more)

    Earth gets cooler (Government taxes more)

    Surprise surprise!

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Andrew Simmons

    "I'm not going to waste my time reading the rest of the article when the first phrase used is so factually incorrect."

    ..in fact I'm going to stick my fingers in my ears and go WEEEEEEEEEEEE until it goes away..

  24. Dazed and Confused Silver badge
    Coat

    We all know about weather forecasting

    Let's face it we all know about how accurate weather forecasting is. The chances that tomorrows weather will be what they say it is going are probably better than 50/50, but we all know it's not that much better.

    Weather forecasts never agree.

    Let's face looking at the Beeb's weather website this morning, the 5 day local forecast had big black clouds and rain, yet when you clicked on the 24hour tab, it showed fluffy white clouds in the morning, a sunny afternoon and a clear night. So what did the weather do this morning? Well I'm in England so of course it rained.

    So we all know to take the weather forecast with a pinch of salt. They might, or might not, get this mornings forecast right. Tommorrow, well maybe. Next week? b****r all chance, they don't even really try. Next years? Anyones guess mate.

    But now we find that they can't even forecast Yesterday's weather. Wow that really is an achievement.

    Mine's the sou'wester & oil skins.

  25. dervheid

    Surely a long term trend

    (100 years) would be more useful to analyse than the last 10 years

    Maybe, but then you'd have to expand that approach and go back, say, 10 000 years, or maybe 100 000. Pity we don't have actual recorded data. All we can do is analyse some ice and tree cores and attempt to extrapolate data from those analyses, based on current recorded conditions. That allows us to theorise about historical data/trends, not prove them.

  26. Andrew
    Paris Hilton

    Has an element of...

    Bullshight just been exposed to the world? I've never believed the world was getting all that warmer at all. In fact, its been so much colder and wetter this year to previous years in the 2000 century, and then you look at 1987!?

    Question your self, what about when the Romans were burning fire, and farting all the time? What about Adof Hitler wiped out the jewish people with fire (No offense intended!)? Surely that would have caused a rise in temperature?

    What about the discovery of electricity? Where's the hot summers that would have caused?

    Oo.. that brings me on to the fact a few years ago they were moaning about too much oxygen going to kill us all! If there was that much carbon, we wouldn't live, the plants would phuck off and die gracefully.

    Its like smoking, they won't give you a real answer. Cancer = Nuke bombs tested in the air. Smoke = just a nasty irritation. You're more likely to die breathing car fumes.

    Paris because she reminds me of the dumb asses in science who seem to make opinion as fact. They take one idea, make it fact, scare the rear injected poo out of people, and they just lap it up. Lets get real. I froze this winter and spring, didn't you?

  27. Terry
    Coat

    Great Article

    I have an urge to slam the carbon cultists, especially the earlier posters who will never entertain the simple fact that they have been duped by the carbon clergy. But honestly I'm growing tired of beating that dead horse. "dervheid" sums it up quite nicely, but I will throw in a comment from the more pragmatic if less upstanding P.T. Barnum:

    "You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, and that's actually good enough."

    Ayn Rand described the previous generation as "mankind haters" and their goal "the anti-industrial revolution". She observed they were bent on the extinction of their most hated of creatures: man himself. Sadly those "hippies" are now in power in the western governments. Expectedly most of their children are even more pathetic "whack jobs" (it's an industry term) one would expect for children raised by the state without parents.

    There is something fundamentally wrong with these people's psyche. It is a potentially fatal weakness in our species that there are so many of them. It is a deplorable weakness in ourselves that we allow them to hold such massive power. Mr Pullman (golden compass fame) should move with them all to Greenland where they can frolic on the unspoiled white beaches (never mind it's snow not sand) until they all do their part to make the world a better, lower carbon, place by <a href="http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/21/philip_pullman_wartime_misery/">achiving the goal they all so desperately want.</a>

    Well that's a pretty deep rant for a Friday. I guess I wasn't quite too tired to slam them a bit after all. Maybe Gen Z will be better. The boomers and Gen X were a bust and Gen Y isn't looking good either.

    Oh well.... Last quote, ancient Chinese curse:

    "May you live in interesting times".

    Cheers!!

  28. m-s-m
    Thumb Down

    @Onionman

    Off the top of my head...

    Acid rain will kill all the forests... -> Yes, until people realised this and started fitting FGD to heavily sulphur-emitting plant. So it didn't come to pass because *something was done about it*

    GM crops will kill you... -> Not yet... Of course if something goes wrong it'll be really easy to stop the seeds spreading all over the place and contaminating normal farmland. Of course, not so much in Europe..

    The hole in the ozone layer's will kill you... -> It certainly doesn't do you any good. Again, the agreement to ban CFCs dealt with that one, so, er, because *something was done about it*

  29. TecTerra
    Coat

    Read!

    @ Andrew Simmons

    Yeah, must be the right thing to do. Close my eyes and nothing will happen.

    READ, you idiot! This is a very well crafted article that deals in facts, not speculation!

    Mine is the furry coat.

  30. m-s-m
    Thumb Down

    @Mad Mike

    I suppose you're talking about the USA? In the UK scientists are funded by research councils and so this argument is completely false. Also, you may be interested to read into the peer review process...

  31. Aodhhan Bronze badge

    Global warming is TRUE

    We've been griping about the warm weather ever since we lost the glaciers which used to cover the ground here... in north-central United States; causing these rediculous bodies of water we now call the Great Lakes.

    Fact is... the loss of glaciers and ice burgs haven't started because of the industrial age... it has been going on since man began wondering away from Africa. When and if it stops... nobody knows.

  32. dervheid
    Alert

    Reasearch Councils?

    and they would get their funding from...?

    That'd be the government?

    That'd be our taxes?

    That'd be independant?

  33. /\/\j17
    Go

    Did You People READ This Before Posting?

    Having read through the article and then the comments I have to wonder if other commentors actually read the article...

    "why select 1998 as the effective start point" - Because this is the point that the two data sources diverge in their trends (para 3).

    "Surely a long term trend (100 years) would be more useful to analyse than the last 10 years." - Yes, and for the two longest running data sources it was (from 1860 and 1880). The other two data sources have only been flying around in space for 30 years so it's not logical to use 100-year trends involving those sources. Yes, potentially 30 year trends could have been analysed but is all that data published/readily available to the author?

    "the longest heat wave recorded at the South Australian Regional Office" - Or to put it another way "the longest heat wave recorded in 0.408% of the southern hemiphears surface area".

    "Shame you didn't investigate the published reasons as to why the adjustments were made" - What, such as taking the affect of weather station location relative to their environment (the US have a habit of siting them 2m from air conditioning outlets - http://www.norcalblogs.com/watts/weather_stations/)... that normally result in the station over, not under reading. So logically you correct and over-reading temperature station by increasing the temperature...

    Personally I found this to be a well written piece that doesn't try to say global warming is real/made-up but reminds us not to take press reports as gospal but to question what we are told.

  34. Frank Bough
    Alert

    Bad Maths

    "That would be equivalent to flipping a penny 70 times and having it come up heads 55 times. It will never happen - one trillion to one odds (2 raised to the power 40.)"

    Err... that result is precisely as likely as any other, or do you believe the penny has a memory? Clever penny.

  35. CockKnocker
    Flame

    its a con

    Global warming panic is a wonderful moneymaking exercise, look at all the "green taxes" and "green solutions"

    Read "State of Fear" by Michael Crichton, yeah its a fiction book but all info provided in the book is obtained from scientific sources and referenced.

    Its a con! if people are afraid of something, i.e: terrorists or the end of the world thru global warming they are easier to control. People bang on about the arctic ice dissapearing but they dont tell you in another area of the arctic, ice is increasing. I hate this global warming scam, The climate goes up and down, why do you think greenland was called greenland - there was no ice there when it was disovered and the vikings had a jolly old time living there. in fact im going to go and burn a rainforest right now.

  36. Wade Burchette
    Stop

    More info on Dr. James Hansen of NASA

    For those that call into question the accuracy of the article, let me tell you some information about Dr. Hansen. He obviously has the power and the will to manipulate data. Several years ago, Dr. Hansen said the Bush administration was censoring him. Here is the truth: At the time, he was given a lot of speeches. The Bush administration told him to do his job.

    http://www.dailytech.com/US+Climate+Expert+Claims+NASA+Tried+To+Silence+Him/article510.htm

    We later find out that Dr. Hansen was big time John Kerry supporter. He also received $720,000 from the Open Society Institute, an institute run by George Soros who tries to bribe, er influence, people like Dr. Hansen.

    http://ibdeditorial.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=275526219598836

    Dr. Hansen also received money from Teresa Heinz-Kerry, wife of John Kerry.

    One person, George Deutsch who obviously was influenced by the Bush administration, said Dr. Hansen exaggerated the threat of warming and tried to cast the Bush administration's response to it as inadequate.

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C01E3DF153EF933A25751C0A9609C8B63

    Dr. Hansen's models have already been proven wrong by Steve McIntyre. One of Dr. Hansen's graph had a Y2K error.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1868

    So, with all these facts, who wants to believe Dr. James Hansen? You can if you want. But knowing his history, I trust little from NASA when it comes to the weather.

  37. Marco

    Re: Very scientific analysis

    >>> So you took two pieces of data, specifically two orthogonal graphs; decided arbitrarily that one was wrong, and proceeded to distort it until it fitted closely the first one; ergo proving that it was doctored and at the same time reassuring the veracity of the first. Right.

    He did more than that: He selected two specific samples from the available data that made his point of view more believable.

    >>> I can do that. If I take an image of the moon, paint it a soft yellowish color, then change the aspect ration of the picture a little bit, and perhaps add a drop shadow for dramatic effect; I can prove that the moon is not really a sphere, but a flat disc, and is not made out of sand or stardust, but of cheese! Q.E.D.

    Chances are, a good number of people would believe you. Just look at the comments here. These people believe there can't be any global warming because summers in Europe have lately been rather mild. Now try to tell them that that's because the Gulf Stream, which so far made Brighton such a lovely place in the summer, is cooling down due to the melting icebergs and that the cooler European summers actually are a sign of an Earth that globally is warming up.

    If cause and effect take more than two stops on their way, many people won't be able or willing to follow.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Re: Oh Really?

    "Righto, and of course Adelaide is the only place in the southern hemisphere so the RSS and UAH surveys, that looked at the whole of the southern hemisphere (That's more than just Adelaide btw), must be wrong."

    That is a valid observation. I should have looked at the rest of the continent, instead of just Adelaide:

    "Averaged over Australia, maximum temperatures for the month were 0.79°C above the 1961−90 average (16th highest on record). Maxima were 3−5°C above average over an area covering most of South Australia south of the Indian-Pacific railway line, Victoria west of Melbourne, and the far south-east of Western Australia. Most of this area experienced its warmest March of the post−1950 period. Outside this area, it was 1°C or more above normal over the remainder of Victoria, almost all of Tasmania and South Australia, the southern and western inland of New South Wales, and most of interior and south-western Western Australia."

    Sorry, I don't have the info for Africa or South America.

  39. dervheid
    Stop

    People are easier to control.

    Spot On!

    In the past, when the peasants were less educated, religion sufficed as a means of keeping them in line (be a good boy/girl in this miserable existance, then enjoy the life everlasting)

    But there are way fewer people for whom this approach will work. New 'religion' required.

    Voila!

    Climate Change / Global warming / Carbon Culture.

    Misinformation. Fear. Panic. Spanish Inquisition!

  40. Solomon Grundy
    Linux

    End of the World

    Is a changing climate going to destroy the world? No. It might destroy humans and lots of other things but it isn't going to destroy the world.

    So it seems to me that since so many hardcore greenies seem to hate people, then the correct thing for them to do would be to try and accelerate climate change - therefore killing all the people they don't like!

    Genius, Nobel here I come.

    P.S. Not sure where you guys live, or if you have trees and plants around you, but if you've been going outside much during the past five or six years you should have noticed how much sooner everything was blooming and seen all the new plants/flowers that keep moving north each spring. Not sure if climate change is man made or not, but I do know that the plants are blooming sooner and migrating (haha) - which tells me a lot more than some satellite data compiled by people who don't go outside.

  41. Nomen Publicus
    Boffin

    A record?

    Climate change has managed to go from theory to "fact" to dogma in just 10 years.

    This at least must be a record.

  42. Schultz
    Flame

    Science versus fiction

    The global warming: SCIENCE or FICTION?

    Scientists reached a wide consensus that it's SCIENCE! There are reasons why Dr. Hansen and colleagues renormalize the temperature measurements -- and no, it's not just to make global warming look more dramatic, but rather to remove systematic errors. There is that whole "peer review" thing going on to assure this is properly done.

    Others, including Mr. Goddard, thinks it is FICTION. No peer review for this particular article, but there are valid issues with global warming even in the reviewed scientific literature.

    So, what to believe?

    Be a scientist, observe yourself. My personal data: Swiss glaciers vanishing (been there, seen it happen), interesting insects making it from Italy across the alps to formerly colder climates, many winters in central Europe without snow. I think global warming is real and out to get you! Then there is stuff I didn't see, but still believe, e.g. the melting of the polar icecaps.

    Mr. Goddart, sorry about it, but you are not trustworthy and your article is SCIENCE FICTION. Try peer review next time to avoid blusters like this one.

  43. Simpson

    Next!

    The Earth's magnetic field is collapsing. We are all going to die in x years!

    "But the only reports of controversy are from people who get some reward from reporting it, whether from vested interests funding them directly or simply by being paid for publishing."

    Yes. Its obvious. Headlines of "The weather is fine, don't worry about it" sell a lot of newpapers (damn those greedy bastards!). I better run out and get mine now, to beat the rush. I also will read the article of "Man safely crosses street", with great interest

    P.S.

    Let the water out of your bathtub. Y2K is over.

    Gotta go.. need to watch that Discovery program on the worlds most dormant, micro volcanoes.

  44. Dave
    Thumb Down

    Even worse maths

    The appeal to probability against the likelihood of the changes to the graph seems rather poorly thought out, and even more poorly argued.

    The odds of flipping a coin 70 times and getting 55 heads would actually be (unless probability has changed in the many years since I did GCSE maths):

    Combinatorial (55, 70) / 2^70

    or about 1 in 1.6 million, so about 6 orders of magnitude more likely than claimed. Not sure where the 2^40 figure came from. However, this all relies on each result being independent. The keyword appears in the article itself, 'systematic', and therefore the changes are not independent and the probability cannot be calculated in this way. In fact we can draw no conclusion at all from this argument without fully understanding what changes were made to the graph and why.

    The probability argument is therefore moot. This sort of poor, superficially attractive, but completely worthless argument is unfortunately common on both sides of the 'debate'. A more interesting question is why the different data sets do not agree, but the writer already knows the answer to that without needing to consider it: NASA bias of course!

    Come on Reg, we expect better.

  45. James Pickett
    Linux

    Refreshing read

    "the person in charge of the temperature data is the eminent Dr. James Hansen - Al Gore's science advisor"

    Quelle surprise!

    How ironic that the only thing Dubya might have got right is our (lack of a) contribution towards climate change.

    IIRC, the ice age cycle is about 10000 years and the next one is just overdue...

    Tux, as he will outlast us all.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    An then you had to spoil it all by saying something stupid like..

    That really was an interesting article.

    You managed to steer away from the sorts of absolutes that mark evangelists on both sides of the climate change argument.

    You presented the sort of facts that highlight what a vexing issue climate modeling is and how hard it is to draw a solid line under any modeled prediction and paint it as irrefutable truth.

    You perhaps neglected to elaborate on the possible legitimate reasons to reassess historic measurements in a manner that wouldnt have a random impact - applying standardizing techniques to adjust for limitations of instrumentation, for example - but then it is open for others with more detailed facts to make those arguments (or not, if the facts dont exist)

    But then you had to dump that stinker. It doesnt matter one iota that the 1920's saw climate change predictions that didnt pan out. This is not the boy who cried wolf. This is not some kid setting off the school fire alarms at 2pm every Friday. There is no form, no pattern of behaviour. There is no Ancient and Honorable Guild Of Scientists whose sole charter is to "keep this wheeze going as long as we can".

    Ignorant apathy is not one bit better than ignorant alarmism and it may be worse. Alarmism may find you out on the street in your underpants while firemen douse the charred crumpet in your toaster, but apathy may leave you toasted in bed with a charred crumpet in her underpants.

    Perhaps instead of the knee-jerk contempt, and as an alternative to blind panic, we can encourage a little prudent alarm with a dose of critical thought?

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dismayed (more by comments than article!)

    I am dismayed that some readers appear to genuinely believe that scientists have a vested financial interest in pushing climate change and creating a panic. The simple truth is that climate change scientists' most fervent hope is to be wrong about climate change. Unfortunately, climate change science does not stand or fall on Mr Goddard's temperature data sets. The best scientific consensus about climate change has been derived from a large, peer-reviewed, and well-debated set of science. Readers can look at the Summary for Policymakers in the IPCC 4th Report for details. Further to that, some important current climate science (that at the time of the compilation of the 4th report was in its early stages from a scientific dilligence perspective) was not included in the IPCC assessment. This later science, taken at a whole, would seem to imply that the IPCC 4th assessment was a very conservative assessment, and that the likelihood that it is much worse is at least as likely. Readers are invited to refer to the bibliography below for an overview of this newer science.

    Brumfiel, G., Academy affirms hockey-stick graph. Nature, 2006. 441: p. 1032-1033.

    Schiermeier, Q., No solar hiding place for greenhouse sceptics. Nature, 2007. 448.

    IPCC, Summary for Policymakers. Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis, 2007(AR4).

    Rahmstorf, S., A Semi-Empirical Approach to Projecting Future Sea-Level Rise. Science, 2007. 315.

    Rahmstorf, S., et al., Recent Climate Observations Compared to Projections, in Sciencexpress. 2007. p. 1-2.

    Raupach, M.R., et al., Global and regional drivers of accelerating CO2 emissions, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). 2007. p. 727-728.

    Kerr, R.A., Polutant Hazes Extend Their Climate-Changing Reach. Science, 2007. 315: p. 1217.

    Reay, D., et al., Spring-time for sinks. Nature, 2007. 446.

    Shine, K.P. and W.T. Sturges, CO2 Is Not the Only Gas. Science, 2007. 315: p. 1804-1805.

    Walker, G., A world melting from the top down. Nature, 2007. 446: p. 718-721.

    Kerr, R.A., Pushing the Scary Side Of Global Warming. Science, 2007. 316: p. 1412-1415.

    Hansen, J., A Slippery Slope: How much Global Warming constitutes "dangerous anthropogenic interference"? Climate Change, 2005. 68: p. 269-279.

    Hansen, J., et al., Earth's Energy Imbalance: Confirmation and Implications. Science, 2005. 308: p. 1431-1435.

    Hansen, J., et al., Climate change and trace gases. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society, 2007. 365: p. 1925-1954.

    Vaughan, D.G. and R. Arthern, Why Is It Hard to Predict the Future of Ice Sheets? Science, 2007. 315.

    Shepherd, A. and D. Wingham, Recent Sea-Level Contributions of the Antarctic and Greenland Ice Sheets. Science, 2007. 315: p. 1529-1532.

    Roe, G.H. and M.B. Baker, Why Is Climate Sensitivity So Unpredictable? Science, 2007. 318: p. 629-632.

    Canadell, J., et al., Contributions to accelerating atmospheric CO2 growth from economic activity, carbon intensity, and efficiency of natural sinks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), 2007. 104(47).

  48. Steven Goddard
    Gates Halo

    Thanks for the feedback

    I appreciate the suggestion to have Dr. Hansen explain the changes in the US temperature graph. It would be an excellent follow up.

    There is no question that the world has been warming for the last 100, 250, and 15,000 year periods. It is a matter of degree. Much of the discussion over the last few years has been centered around the steep slope upwards from 1980-1998, It appears that the trend from 1998-2015 is in the opposite direction - which has a large impact on the long term slope.

    The long-term trend is falling below even the most conservative IPCC estimates. Should we be terrified about a 1C increase over 100 years? I'm not a climate scientist and can't answer that. I am a veteran engineer and geologist, and have noticed some possible irregularities in the NASA data - which was the motivation for this article.

    BTW - The poster who thinks that a 55/15 split is as likely as any other combination might want to steer clear of Las Vegas.

  49. Shabble

    To late

    OK, so science doesn't know everything - in fact, a scientist will never use the term 'know' as an absolute term anyway. So, what are we to think?

    The thing is, the current level of understanding we have of our atmosphere predicts that we should experience global warming as a result of all the greenhouse gases we produce. If we don't, its because our understanding is flawed. This is possible. But what if it is? Do we just give up on predicting atmospheric changes as a result of human activity? Or do we assume that humans can't have any influence on our planet?

    The sensible thing to do is assume that a) we are changing the atmosphere, b) we don't exactly know how and c) producing loads of CO2 is likely to make the globe warmer. Now we get into the nitty-gritty - exactly what effect are we having? We don't know. How do we find out? Do more research.

    It is unreasonable for scientists to think we know everything, but then scientists generally don't. The people who like definite answers are campaigners, politicians, industry folk and journalists, which is a big problem because when the scientists say 'uh-oh, we may have a problem here' the response from the people making the mess is 'show us facts'. When the scientists are unable to do so, the politicians and industrialists just ignore them.

    This is why we're now at this horrible stage - if the worst case scenario is true, then if we don't act in the next couple of years in a really big way, we're scr*wed. However, it is still possible (but not probable) that we are not heading for a big problem. If the policy makers had taken this serously twenty years ago we would probably have a good enough understanding of our atmosphere to say whether we need to make all those emmissions cuts. But they didn't, and so we don't know for sure.

    Being pragmatic, we have to now accept that climate change of some sort is probably happening, and that we have to make pre-emptive changes before we know for sure just how bad the damage will be. Genuine scientific debate is important, but only if we accept that it is now to late to wait for the scientists to produce a cast iron set of theories and predictions to base our plans on.

  50. andy
    Thumb Down

    What are you worried about?

    @Tanya Cumpston

    So, "Averaged over Australia, maximum temperatures for the month were 0.79°C above the 1961−90 average (16th highest on record)"??

    16th highest on record? Doesnt sound particularly worrying to me.

    also you say "Most of this area experienced its warmest March of the post−1950 period"

    so it was hotter before 1950? I presume CO2 levels have been increasing steadily since then, like most of the developed world, so you really think the heat is all man-made? pur-lease!

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Don't worry, be happy! Duum dum de dum de dum dum dum...

    The rate of global warming is much less than predicted, so if it does become a problem it won't be for a long time yet.

    The contribution of manmade CO2 to global warming is not known but is probably much less than predicted as there is such a tiny amount in the atmosphere in any case.

    Mankind already thrives in all environments from frozen wastes to blazing tropics to arid deserts. Some parts of the world suffer severe weather extremes and some are benign. If temperatures (and sea levels) rise and weather patterns shift over time there will be some winners and some losers. But it won't happen overnight or catastrophically so there will be plenty of time to adapt or relocate as preferred.

    If the UK vanished from the face of the earth there would be no measurable impact on global CO2 levels. The idea that if we impoverish ourselves and lead a medieval lifestyle, developing nations will copy our example is laughable. They want MacDonalds, CocaCola and Toyota and compared to their recent lifestyles who can blame them?

    It makes no sense at all to impoverish the nation, destroy the transport infrastructure, or suppress scientific and technological development in the UK, because if there are changes for the worst it will be the wealthiest and most advanced societies that will survive the best.

    Mine's the safari jacket.....

  52. ratfox Silver badge
    Unhappy

    @Schultz

    "Scientists reached a wide consensus that [global warming is] SCIENCE!"

    As a scientist, I protest against the idea that "consensus" can determine what is science.

    That said, it is not surprising that we are getting different observations from different sources. It is reasonable to expect that such observations, especially on a short amount of time (only a few years) are going to differ significantly, as will the models which are built from them.

    What I would like is for people to stop yelling abuse against each other every time they get different results. If we suppose earth is getting warmer by 0.6 C every year, it is normal to assume some will measure +1.2 C, and some will measure no change. Remember, science is not as exact as (we) scientists try to make it seem.

    Personally, I don't doubt global warming, but I do wonder how much of it is human-made. The models are brand new and have little data to work with. Also, Earth had had tropical ages in the past, before there was any human to pollute.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    @ Simon 'references at my fingertips' Pope

    Just because a lot of people believe something to be true does not make it true, ask any Liverpool supporter....

  54. Unkle Al

    @Selective data set

    "Anthropomorphic climate change..." Errr, dontcha mean anthropogenic ?

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Schultz - Science versus fiction

    "There is that whole "peer review" thing going on to assure this is properly done."

    That would be nice if it was true.

    First of all, to properly "peer" review the adjustments you would need to know EXACTLY what is being done to the figures. This information has never been either published or reviewed. The only information given out about the adjustments is an overly broad description of what they do. Nobody can replicate the adjustments from the description.

    Secondly, in "climate science", reviews of the papers are commonly performed by reviewers who are either co-authors on other papers or who will have papers reviewed by the original author. This isn't an independent review process.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Models Creed

    Sometimes you need to remember that modelling is like masturbation. You need to keep reminding yourself that it is not the real thing.

    Paris, for obvious reasons.

  57. Graham Bartlett

    @Mad Mike

    You're missing the elephant-sized point that's in the room.

    Scientists usually don't create panics. Journalists usually create panics, based on scientists saying "this might possibly dodgy, so let's see if it's really a problem". Examples: MMR, thimerosol (sp?), cellphone masts, "Silent Spring", GM crops, Brent Spar - the list of non-events whipped up by publicists in need of a cheap story just goes on and on.

    Conversely, when scientists get het up enough to stand up as a group and say "There's a really big problem, and we're all going to suffer if we don't collectively fix this", generally there's a pretty good reason to do it. Examples: thalidomide, CFCs, BSE, Y2K, acid rain, smoking (active and passive). And the reason all those didn't cause more problems was that people *DID* do something about them. Even then, it wasn't so great - check with people suffering from the effects of thalidomide or BSE. Or with the entire nation of Australia, who had to majorly change their attitude to exposure to the sun.

  58. Onionman

    @M-S-M

    Acid rain will kill all the forests... -> Yes, until people realised this and started fitting FGD to heavily sulphur-emitting plant. So it didn't come to pass because *something was done about it* TRIPE - it turns out that forest death never actually affected more than 0.5% at most of the overall European Forest are (source: Gundersen et al 1998) NAPAP tested growth of trees in acid and found no acid rain effect on trees at all (part of half a billion dollars of research). So, your facts are incorrect.

    GM crops will kill you... -> Not yet... Of course if something goes wrong it'll be really easy to stop the seeds spreading all over the place and contaminating normal farmland. Of course, not so much in Europe.. TRIPE. They have not killed anyone. Show me something that says they have. Also, they will not "contaminate farmland". Weeds will always out evolve something introduced, whether selectively bred or GM, so try readin up a little elementary biology. So, your facts are incorrect.

    The hole in the ozone layer's will kill you... -> It certainly doesn't do you any good. Again, the agreement to ban CFCs dealt with that one, so, er, because *something was done about it* TRUE. And how bad was the problem? The increase in UV at its peak was about the same as moving from Manchester to London (Source: Chakrovarty et al, 1997). Hardly "killing", is it? But you would never have got that info from Greenpeace of FoE, would you?

    You've done what the green apologists always do; you've taken my statements (will kill you/forests) which we were told at the time and come up with some different points at least two of which are based upon factual inaccuracies. Keep on bleating about the planet dying. Instead of ever saying "things may get a little worse or better", your kind of mentality is the one that always predicts catastrophe.

    And then, when your type predicts catastrophe from Global warming, you wonder why you're ignored. (e.g. Al Gore, sea levels up by 20 ft. IPCC, sea levels up by max 2 ft). Has it occurred to you that things might just change a little rather than always being the END OF THE WORLD? Ever heard of the boy who cried "wolf"?

    O

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Say it isn't so!

    One would hope the revisionist data is explained, otherwise we would need to worry about other things like political hacks over riding engineering concerns about O rings burning through (oh wait, been there done that) or management with its own agenda ignoring ice damage to heat shield tiles (Darn! been there and done that too!), or maybe penny pinchers not paying for a final mirror check (drat, done that one!).

    Geez, NASA used to be respected, now even their data is questionable. Maybe Hubble is long gone and they are just using Photoshop(r) to create pretty pictures?

  60. Unkle Al

    @ Everyone citing peer review

    Read some of the ignored scientists comments that participated in the IPCC "peer review" process. Lots of them were flat out ignored and their contributions not included in the final mix. From their inside view of the process, it was flawed, politically motivated, and some accuse outright fraud. http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=21811

  61. Mad Mike
    Paris Hilton

    m-s-m

    'I suppose you're talking about the USA? In the UK scientists are funded by research councils and so this argument is completely false. Also, you may be interested to read into the peer review process...'

    The research councils are funded by the government which has a vested interest in people believing in global warming because that enables them to effect change by taxation!! Additionally, it doesn't really matter who supplies the money. If the scientists say there is no global warming/cooling, they get no money. If they say there is global warming/cooling, they'll get money. Simple really. Do the scientists want to live comfortable lives or exist in cardboard city/

    Paris, got she's simple too.

  62. Mad Mike
    Paris Hilton

    Simon Pope

    'I am dismayed that some readers appear to genuinely believe that scientists have a vested financial interest in pushing climate change and creating a panic. The simple truth is that climate change scientists' most fervent hope is to be wrong about climate change. Unfortunately, climate change science does not stand or fall on Mr Goddard's temperature data sets. The best scientific consensus about climate change has been derived from a large, peer-reviewed, and well-debated set of science. Readers can look at the Summary for Policymakers in the IPCC 4th Report for details. Further to that, some important current climate science (that at the time of the compilation of the 4th report was in its early stages from a scientific dilligence perspective) was not included in the IPCC assessment. This later science, taken at a whole, would seem to imply that the IPCC 4th assessment was a very conservative assessment, and that the likelihood that it is much worse is at least as likely. Readers are invited to refer to the bibliography below for an overview of this newer science.'

    Scientists hope is that they can continue on living comfortable lives with money from somewhere. That's preferable to being a job nobody wants with no money.

    Additionally, if the trend is upwards, what about the ice ages and hot spots throughout history (as in tens of thousands of years). The last ice age? Got colder. Should mankind have fired a few forests? What about the hot spots and cold spots before? Did mankind cause those as well? It seems nature is quite capable of swinging temperatues quite wildly and well beyond our current changes all by itself. So, why is the current change automatically attributed to humans? Just because you can't find a natural answer doesn't automatically make it mankind causing it. That's bad science, unless you're looking for the grants!!

  63. Mark
    Go

    Re: Can someone explain this to me, please?

    Well, a fairly vain hope you'll read this, but it works somewhat like this.

    When the heat is trapped at the earths troposphere, the stratosphere has less heating since it still has the same amount of solar radiation coming in but less earth re-radiation coming out.

    If you want something closer to the truth than this simpler version (it's still on the "true" axis) then look into it yourself.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mad Mike

    I would invite you to read some of the papers I listed earlier before engaging in 'ad hominem' argument over the motives of scientists. The very worst that could happen would be you would develop sound and defensible arguments against climate change.

  65. Matthew
    IT Angle

    @ m-s-m and Mad Mike

    "The research councils are funded by the government which has a vested interest in people believing in global warming because that enables them to effect change by taxation!!"

    I think that it's more likely that the Govt. wants to be seen "to be doing something", particularly by the vocal single issue lobbies who get lots of lovely press and all the ickle children who plead with us to save the planet.

    Driving the agenda and making changes/passing laws is now more acceptable for the Govt. than to do the right thing.

  66. Dr Stephen Jones

    Simon Pope - thank you

    "I am dismayed that some readers appear to genuinely believe that scientists have a vested financial interest in pushing climate change and creating a panic. "

    But what I think dismays you the most, Simon is that the public is very aware how "science" works. They can read junk science every day in the Metro freesheet, or pay for it in the Daily Mail or Grauniad.

    Very few of the scientists want to create a panic - but as Mad Mike says, all want to continue to work in scientific research.

    The Piper calls the tune.

  67. Mark
    Thumb Down

    Re:@ Simon 'references at my fingertips' Pope

    And just because the vast majority DO believe in something doesn't make it false.

    So you have any FACTS to add???

    And Uncle Al, please. Out of thousands a dozen were ignored. So what? Out of thousands of religious personages on telly, Ike "I'm the son of god" is ignored.

    Maybe because he's a nut.

  68. John Savard Silver badge

    Keeping Clear of Las Vegas

    Any particular sequence of heads and tails is as likely as any other. When a coin is thrown 70 times in a row, one of the possible sequences is 70 heads in a row. There are many more sequences with 55 heads and 15 tails, and, of course, far, far more sequences with 35 heads and 35 tails.

    But if you picked one particular sequence with 35 heads and 35 tails in it, say out of a book of random numbers, for the coin to follow that particular sequence exactly would be just as unlikely as 70 heads in a row, which is what the fellow was saying.

    I would suspect, though, that the old temperatures falling would be due to the correction of a systematic error, not the result of correcting random errors - which would be very hard to correct after the fact in any case.

  69. Mark
    Black Helicopters

    @Mad Mike

    No, Mad, the best way to continue to get funding is to ensure there's plenty of controversy going around so "we need more research to see if this is really happening or not".

    Of course, if you're pre-disposed to not believing AGW, the only non-biased option is to say AGW isn't happening, isn't it.

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @Mark

    Hmm sounds similar to the 'Nuclear Winter' scenario that they used to scare us with when I was at school. I guess that as you get older you see so many wild and contradictory scare stories that you become immune.

    Young people are just too dumb to understand this. They should stick to having fun and lots of sex and leave the thinking to us old farts.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Probability

    Your comment about a 55/15 split seems to assume that NASA would correct their data randomly does it not?

    If however they were correcting for systematic errors (which is surely the point) then then 'probability' is the wrong way of looking at things, the issue is what was the systematic error in the first place?

    Perhaps you should research this or even just ask them before attempting to present your speculations in an article - just a thought.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @John Savard - Vegas

    Hmm.. looks like the problem was poorly defined.

    It could be read as either toss a coin 70 times and get either

    a) 55 heads.

    b) exactly 55 heads.

    They have different probabilities of course.

    Also, the statement doesn't specify a particular sequence, just a sum total of heads. you get more combinations for exactly 55 heads out of 70 than you do for 69 heads out of 70 for instance.

    I think I should stay away from Vegas as well!

  73. William Hart
    Boffin

    Ah, yes. Global warming

    Is the world getting warmer? Of course it is. Remember those honking big glaciers used to be parked in your back yard? Notice they seem to have gone missing? Why do you think that happened? There is no debate about warming; it is real and it is happening.

    The only question are:

    1) how much are our activities affecting this process?, and,

    2) What will be the long-term effect?

    i would submit that nobody knows the answers to either of those questions. In the immortal words of George Box, "All models are wrong, some are useful." We have yet to establish that any of the current climate models have reached the level of usefulness.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    "scientific proof"

    Surely this involves repeating an experiment/situation from the beginnnig and getting the same results every time?

    When was the last time anyone rewound the world a few thousand years and got the same results? "Scientific Proof my arse" as Jim Royle would say.

    I'm not saying GW/CC is directly attributable to human activity, or that it is not. It definitely occurs - dinosaurs running around now would have a pretty rough time of it over most of the globe, which same they did not during earlier times when the globe was much hotter.

    What I am saying is, until someone rewinds the Earth and gets the same results time and again, it is NOT scientific proof at all but one group of people shouting louder/longer than all the others.

    And isn't it funny how nobody seriously considered Al Gore for the position of President of the United States of America, but now he's an "expert" on Global Warming, so many people believe everything he says... even above those who have years of experience in the subject.

    Paris, as she's got more idea than many of these so-called "scientists".

  75. PeteB

    Bizzare ?

    All the datasets seem to agree to me (and the slight difference between GISS and the rest is accounted for by the difference in interpolating data in polar regions)

    Oh well, don't let the facts get in the way of a good story

    see

    http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/global2.jpg

    http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/75-08.jpg

    PS - copied from tamino's site :-

    All these data are temperature anomaly. Anomaly is the difference between temperature at a given time, and the average temperature for the same time of year during some reference period. So temperature anomaly doesn’t really tell you, in absolute terms, how hot or cold it is — it tells you how much hotter or colder it is, than it was (on average) during the reference period. And there’s the rub: these data sets use different reference periods. GISS uses the reference period 1951 to 1980, HadCRU used 1961 to 1990, and the satellite estimates use 1979 to 2000. The coldest of these reference periods is the 1951-1980 GISS reference, the warmest is the 1979-2000 satellite reference. That means that GISS anomaly is the difference between present temperature and a colder time period, satellite data are the difference between present temperature and a warmer time period.

    We can’t directly compare the numbers in a meaningful way without compensating for the difference in reference. Otherwise, it’s just like measuring my height in inches above Shaquille O’Neill (which makes the number quite negative) while measuring a newborn child’s height in inches above the ground (which makes the number certainly positive), noting that the infant’s number is greater, and concluding that the newborn is taller than I am. If we fail to compensate for the different reference, then we expect that the GISS numbers will be highest, the HadCRU numbers next, and the satellite data lowest. And that’s exactly what we observe.

    Pretty basic, right? Anybody who pontificates about trends in temperature metrics, and compares different sources of data, really should know this, right?...

  76. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Excellent Article

    What is most interesting here is that unreliable ground based temperature analysis seems to have poor correlation with other ground based temperature analysis (Hadley vs NASA) but the satellite based analysis has high correlation with other satellite analysis. This directly implies that the error from satellite measurement is far lower (although with only 2 sample points the theory isn't proven). That means I am much more likely to believe the satellite data that says temperatures have gone down for 10 years and are fractionally higher than the 30 year average, than scaremongering from the IPCC that tells us we are all already drowned by the melted icecaps.

  77. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    I dont believe it!

    Well the title says it all

    What I dont believe is the various climate models run by the 'experts'

    why?

    Because if you start at 1850 temperature levels, then add the amount of Co2 to the atomsphere created in the following 100 years, the various models come nowhere even close to reality.

  78. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Boring boring Register

    The next time I go near reading one of these "we're the Register and now we have a climate agenda" articles will someone please shoot me. Message to El Reg - please stick to IT. It's what you know and what you're good at. You're basically a bit crap at this other stuff.

    As for these comment "debates" - sheesh. Shouting about it don't make it so.

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Verdict on Climate Scientists: Sad 60's hippy says:

    I am just a poor boy and my story's seldom told

    I've squandered my resistance for a pocketful of mumbles, such are promises

    All lies and jest, still a man hears what he wants to hear

    And disregards the rest .. Paul Simon 1968

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NASA - excelling in the domestic sphere

    NASA recently publicly stated its Mars mission objectives were history and gardening (Reg article). Add now expertise in spinning, and cooking numbers.

    What the world needs is real scientists with balls to start reproducing very fast before they all die out, because once the domestic scientists that are left cause governments to herd us back into caves for our childrens' safety (and their convenience), there will be no-one left to remember that you can do a lot physics with a piece of string.

  81. Lego Me Eggo
    Thumb Down

    What A Load of Hooey! (I tried to be polite.)

    This article reminds me of those Fundamentalist religious types that use the Bible to justify their latest intolerance and bigotry. You can find it in there somewhere and twist it around to where it says we need to hate all gays or ethnic types, or beat your child regularly. Look hard enough and you can prove whatever your agenda is.

    My guess is that The Register hired someone they knew would say what they wanted him to say. Why? To create controversy? To get more readers? To get people riled up? They actually believe that humans aren't affecting world climate?? Who knows. The bottom line is that both of the first graphs are showing a general rise in temperature since the last 25 years of the 19th century, about the time we became industrialized and started spewing toxic fumes into the air. There is no controversy about that.

    The last decade is a blip in the general scheme, and who cares how hot or how cold it was last month?! The fact is, we are a species that is short-sighted, wasteful, self-centered, motivated by greed, with an attitude of entitlement. My only hope is that because of the global warming scare, (whether it exists or not people can argue until they are blue in the face) the next generation will find ways to pollute less, use renewable energy, and become totally independent from foreign oil. Which frankly is the cause of much misery at the present.

    We need to look at the big picture.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Heart

    @ " Scientific Prufe "

    Well Al Gore did invent the Internet as any fule do know and is obviously too busy saving the planet to be president. And all you concerned greens should be thankful that he accepted the Nobel Prize on your behalf so saving you the bother.

  83. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Deep Time climate change

    Yes folks, the Earth has been much warmer and much colder in the past. BUT the climate change concerns are not so much about absolute temperatures - after all we're a long way away from the subtropical Arctic of the Mesozoic - but the speed of change which *IS* abnormal. Typically, the geological record shows gradual swings between hot and cold, not the recent surge which appears be without a geological foundation.

    And for those who point out the very warm periods of the past, at those times there was easy access to the polar regions for warm water currents bringing equatorial warmth to high latitudes. Since Antarctica slipped under the South Pole and the effective closure of the Arctic Ocean this is no longer the case. Our polar regions and the deep oceans are colder than at almost any time in geological history.

    Finally, re: Gore's appointment of Dr. Hansen. If you were making appointments to scientific posts and not as ignorant as the current incumbent, wouldn't you appoint the most highly-regarded people in the field?

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: PeteB - Bizzare

    Tamino refers to himself as "Hansen's Bulldog"

    see http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/02/28/hansens-bulldog/

    Not exactly an independent viewpoint where Hansen's work is concerned

  85. Herby Silver badge

    Sunspots.

    These things come and go. Mostly in 11 year cycles.

    Oh, I thought we were talking about "Climate Change"/"Global Warming"

  86. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simple solution

    Make everyone rich happy and fat and people stop having children, so stopping global warming. The better off westerners get the more it tips into negative growth, immigration takes up all the slack until they are rich enough not to have children, apart from some bleating about pensioners and that problem trails away rapidly along with robot helpers replacing staff.

    Make the poorest rich and provide longer lifespans and they will go into negative growth as well, which is good for everyone.

  87. Dr Stephen Jones
    Stop

    At last! The True Colour of "Green..."

    @ Lego: "The fact is, we are a species that is short-sighted, wasteful, self-centered, motivated by greed, with an attitude of entitlement. "

    As a species we're also incredibly inventive and creative. We never stop being inventive and creative. We devise economic systems that put our inventiveness and creativity all over the planet.

    I hear what you're saying: you hate humans and you hate being one yourself. You'd be happy if most of the humans disappeared and the planet was left to itself.

    I'm so glad you've found a cause where you can put this into practice.

    "This article reminds me of those Fundamentalist religious types..."

    It takes one to know one.

  88. Unkle Al
    Flame

    @Mark

    Convenient to label someone a "nut", thereby justifying the decision to ignore what they say. Wait a minute...Mark, you're a nut. There, now I can ignore everything you say.

  89. John Stirling
    Unhappy

    that's what I love about climate modification.

    No where else will you find such a range of educated to ignorant opinion (on both sides of the fence).

    Perhaps excepting the subject of intelligent design vs evolution.

    My view; climate change is likely to exist, and if it is assumed that it exists then it is likely to have been influenced by humans.

    In much the same way that the anthropomorphic argument of 'why is the universe the way it is? - because if it wasn't we wouldn't be here to ask that question' is not necessarily correct, but has strong explanatory power; the argument of 'what makes us think that our massive industrial development is influencing the world climate? - because we have massive industrial development that might be influencing the world climate and there are no obvious other causes' is a useful first approximation, and reasonable assumption until we have better causes.

    As previously noted the real problem is that everyone would like absolutes, and mainly they would like absolutes that fit the prejudices they held prior to 'investigating' the subject in the sunday papers. If that means picking on specific words, ignoring the intent, and making wild accusations regarding the issue on the basis of a deliberate (or possibly just honest but dumb) misinterpretation then all the better.

    Oh, and to answer some of the interesting 'the greenies want us to go and live in a field - that's silly' arguments, well, those that do are indeed silly, but sensible regulation of emissions can be achieved with minimal economic upset. Evidence? Because whenever environmental legislation has been introduced the industry so regulated has survived, and the costs of implementation have been dramatically lower than expected, or claimed. This has occurred in a number of heavy industries in a number of jurisdictions - I am not going to give examples - go and search them out, that way you might be convinced.

    It's game theory - there is no downside to taking sensible practical action whether climate change is real or false, natural or man made.

    There is no downside to taking no action if climate change is false, or natural.

    On the other hand if it is real and man made and we do nothing....

    Icon; because the most likely outcome in my opinion is 'real' 'man made' 'do nothing (or not enough anyway)'

  90. ratfox Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    @Dr Stephen Jones

    "As a species we're also incredibly inventive and creative. We never stop being inventive and creative. We devise economic systems that put our inventiveness and creativity all over the planet."

    Huh?... Did you just imply the human species is great because we invented ECONOMIC SYSTEMS??

    Shit. I've seen people admiring human arts, literature, music, possibly science and technology, but it's the first time I see somebody justifying the existence of the human species by the economic systems it devised. It is especially rich, considering how great the global economy is doing now...

    Paris, because I have more respect for her than for the economic models.

  91. ian
    Stop

    HA!

    There are liars, damned liars, and statisticians. Tell me again who wrote this article?

  92. Schultz

    Science versus Sex

    @RATFOX

    "As a scientist, I protest against the idea that "consensus" can determine what is science." -- But Gallileo still looked stupid when he went against said consensus!

    And AC said it best: "Sometimes you need to remember that modelling is like masturbation. You need to keep reminding yourself that it is not the real thing." -- But if it's the best game in town, there's no reason to delay.

  93. Charles Hammond

    Where Made the Ice Age Go Away?

    Well as a statement of fact the earth has been going through climate change since I first started noticing it in the 1960's. Change is the only constant in the universe. Off and on I have lived near the Mississippi River. There is also a pattern of about 10 years in the seasons of the floods.

    http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1690658&lastnode_id=0

    This is an article written by a Glacialogist. In the USA Doctor Micheal Savage raised question of what happened to make the Ice Age Go Away? Man did not have any technology 11,000 years ago, so what warmed up the earth?

    According to this article:

    "The period between 1400A.D. to about 1860A.D. has been termed the "Little Ice Age" when average global temps were between 0.5C and 1.0C lower than they are now. That followed a much warmer period between 1000A.D and 1350A.D. when the Vikings colonized Greenland. Remember--they named it Greenland because it was green."

  94. IR

    Don't blame the scientists

    The only people making money out of this issue are journalists.

    It's funny how people claim that scientists are rigging the results in order to keep on the gravy train, then list out a load of science-scares (that the media were also responsible for) which didn't go anywhere. How come they have suddenly discovered how to create the gravy train now, but didn't for anything else?

    It seems that writing articles about climate change is very profitable, considering the amount of traffic they get on just an IT site.

  95. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For the unbelievers

    This should help you find some answers:

    http://illconsidered.blogspot.com/2006/02/how-to-talk-to-global-warming-sceptic.html

    The following explains changes to the graphs:

    A minor data processing error found in the GISS temperature analysis in early 2007 does not affect the present analysis. The data processing flaw was failure to apply NOAA adjustments to United States Historical Climatology Network stations in 2000-2006, as the records for those years were taken from a different data base (Global Historical Climatology Network). This flaw affected only 1.6% of the Earth's surface (contiguous 48 states) and only the several years in the 21st century.

    source: http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20080116/

    September 10, 2007: The year 2000 version of USHCN data was replaced by the current version (with data through 2005). In this newer version, NOAA removed or corrected a number of station records before year 2000. Since these changes included most of the records that failed our quality control checks, we no longer remove any USHCN records. The effect of station removal on analyzed global temperature is very small, as shown by graphs and maps available here.

    source: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/

    Tables showing the changes for decreasing temperatures before 1970 and increasing them afterwards:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/

  96. MarkMac
    Dead Vulture

    Statistics - not

    I can only assume the author is neither a statistician nor a scientist.

    So your thesis is that because much data before about 1970 seems to have been adjusted down, and much data after that moved up, it must be a conspiracy.

    Here's a thought: maybe the methodology for calculating the mean temp changed in the 1970s. Maybe a previous error in the model was noticed and fixed, but not backdated at the time. Maybe someone recently reran the old raw data through the new model. Maybe someone refined the model and ran _all_ the data through to remove another error. Maybe technological changes (computers anyone? hmm, 1970... sounds significant) meant the 1970 onwards data was better processed. Maybe a billion billion other normal things happened which caused the analysis to need updating.

    Or...its an enormous conspiracy by NASA to make us all - what? Invest in space homes? Buy more space shuttles?

    Or maybe we should read up on William of Ockham.

  97. Steven Goddard
    Linux

    Adjustment vs. fitting

    Thanks again for the feedback everyone.

    There is a big difference between adjusting data and fitting data. All of the data presented in this article is directly from the NASA, Hadley, UAH, RSS, and ORNL web sites. The video is a demonstration of a fit - where one version of NASA data is "fitted" to another, in an effort to reverse engineer the "adjustment" which was done at NASA. I did not change any of the data points - just applied a simple rotation to the entire graph as a visual tool.

    As far as the coin toss statistics go, I was attempting to avoid a more technical discussion by using an oversimplification. The actual standard deviation of the Gaussian generated by 70 coin tosses is sqrt(70 * 0.5 * 0.5) = 4.18 . The mean is 70 / 2 = 35, and the odds of the coin toss results being as lopsided as 55/15 are approximated as follows -

    35 - 15 = 20, which is nearly 5 sigma (standard deviations) away from the mean. The probability of a five sigma event is extremely low. Again, I recommend that some posters take a basic course in statistics before betting on an outlier like that in Vegas - or at least they should watch the movie "21" which was pretty good entertainment, and much less boring than a statistics lecture.

    I am not qualified to make judgments about the climate one way or another, but I do think that the community would be better served if the handling of data was done in a universally more transparent fashion, and if the key players spent more time working on the science and less on politics.

    Having worked in the past on government contracts, I can personally testify that the idea of a funding "cash cow" can be tempting to a normally struggling government scientist. Government scientists rarely if ever get rich, but they do like to keep their jobs and reputations in tact as long as possible. The mentality is in some ways similar to a trade union - i.e. don't rock the boat (or else.)

  98. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Benoit Prezeau Re: MarkMac

    Benoit, these changes are not whats known as the Y2k bug. These are completely separate from the Y2k changes. Fixing that particular bug had the effect of raising some temperatures in the past and lowering some in the present which is the complete opposite of what the article is about.

    MarkMac. There was no change in the methodology in the 70s or any discovery of a previously unknown error in the model or any of your other maybes. The latest revision of history occurred at the beginning of April when 1946 and 1903 had their temperatures revised downwards. I can practically guarantee you that if you archive their data today and then compare with their data in 3 months time you will find the data doesn't match.

  99. Wade Burchette

    Re: For the unbelievers

    Benoit, you are using Dr. Hansen's data. I've already proven Dr. Hansen has the will and the power to put bias into NASA data. So you should immediately discount anything weather related from NASA. And the IPCC too. In fact, you should discount any study at all weather related.

    I am a climate change denier because I look at raw data that is free of any bias. Facts are Al Gore's worst nightmare. Ignore the studies, look at the facts. And most importantly, use data to define beliefs, don't use beliefs to define data as so many people do. Once you do, you be a climate change denier too.

  100. Steven Goddard
    Gates Halo

    Remarkable information

    Benoit Prezeau - I had a look at the NASA links you provided and was fascinated by this table. I think you have led us to something extremley interesting.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/US_USHCN.2005vs1999.txt

    Have a look at the year 1998. In the USHCN table it shows the 1999 version at +1.23 and the 2005 version at +1.24.

    Yet Dr Hansen's graph from 1999 (referenced in my article as NASA's original data: 1999) shows 1998 at about +0.9. This is difference of 0.24 from the table. They are supposed to represent the same data! Similar discrepancies for almost all the years in the table. 1986 is shown in the table at +0.73, but the graph shows 1986 at about +0.3.

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_07/fig1x.gif

    Apparently there was a huge data adjustment made sometime after 1999 which is not clearly documented. Thanks again.

    ------

    The Bulldog claim that NASA has better polar coverage than UAH doesn't appear to be correct. UAH has excellent coverage in the Arctic and Antarctic - as can be seen here :

    http://climate.uah.edu/

    Compare vs. the very poor coverage of NASA - as seen on their 250 mile plots

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/do_nmap.py?year_last=2008&month_last=3&sat=4&sst=0&type=anoms&mean_gen=03&year1=2008&year2=2008&base1=1951&base2=1980&radius=250&pol=reg

    If that link doesn't last, go to http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/maps/ set the smoothing radius to 250, and hit the "Make Map" button. The 250 mile radius shows the actual locations of their stations. Zero stations in the Canadian Arctic. Zero stations in Southern Africa. Maybe 5% coverage of Antarctica.

    Time for Tamino to put that argument to bed.

  101. PeteB

    Remarkable Information

    Satellites don't measure latitudes above 82.5N or below 70S at all (as your link shows ! remember the map is a projection !) , GISTEMP analysis does include direct measurements south of 70S latitude, and interpolation estimates north of 82.5N latitude

    StevenG - what was your response to my original point that there is very good agreement between all the datasets ? :-

    http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/global2.jpg

    http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/75-08.jpg

  102. Mark
    Flame

    Re: "scientific proof"

    Arrhenius about 200 years ago proved CO2 was a greenhouse gas.

    We have proof that the combustion of hydrocarbons in an oxygenated atmosphere produces CO2.

    Join the dots.

  103. Eddie
    Pirate

    1st NASA graph

    Why has nobody noticed the first NASA graph has a wonky scale - below 0 degrees it's in 1 degree steps, then above 0 it's only tenths of a degree - no wonder it shoots up so dramatically. Classic!

    Not being a climate scientist I can't help notice the supposed increase/decrease are less than 1 degree from average WORLD temperature, yet in the places we actually measure the annual temperature ranges from -40C in the chilly bits to +40C in the odd desert, so how can anyone say what the actual annual temperate is? Some of the august climate change bodies say around 13C, some say 16C, so +/-1 degree seems irrelevant.

    Furthermore I presume the latest satellite measuring equipment is more accurate than some bloke looking at a thermometer in the 1920's.

    BTW I personally might do something when Al Gore stops spending $30k a month on electric & gas for his mansion - he doesn't seem too bothered about CO2 emissions - I will follow his lead.

  104. Simon Smith

    Re: Re: "scientific proof"

    Does that mean that Arrhenius was -51 years old when he made this discovery?

    God Mark, I know , all this nit-picking is tiresome.

    I

  105. sc
    Coat

    Your government and scientists are after you

    Many of the comments above make me believe that their authors have never worked or even been in a scientific environment. To the person saying you should look at raw data: where do you think the data comes from and why would your or my interpretation be any better than that of someone who's been studying the subject for many years, knows how information was acquired, knows the history of his field of knowledge and has access to colleagues woldwide who can give him a second opinion?

    You got to love all those remarks about how the government and scientists are there to scare us all so they can stay in power/make a living/whatever.

  106. Steven Goddard
    Linux

    More on the 2000 mystery data shift

    I made a more detailed comparison of the NASA graph http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/hansen_07/fig1x.gif

    vs. the NASA published data tables http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/US_USHCN.2005vs1999.txt

    The time stamp of the graph is - Wednesday, August 25, 1999 3:55:56 PM

    The left column of the tables represents the 1999 version of the data. Time stamp is Friday, September 14, 2007 11:35:08 AM

    The data should be identical between the left column of the table and the graph - but they are not even close. During the period 1979-1998, at least fifteen of the years are higher in the table than in the graph. Three years are lower. The average yearly difference between the tables and the graph is +0.15 degrees.

    This is a problem because Dr. Hansen has often used the small magnitude of the "Y2K adjustment" as an argument that Steve McIntyre's error discovery is irrelevant. In fact, there is a large (undocumented?) adjustment to the 1999 data which took place sometime after 1999. The 1999 column of the table does reconcile with the graph from the same year..

    If anyone has any more information on this, please let me know.

  107. Ainteenbooty

    Careful

    > perhaps future generations will be able to reduce the alarming increase in the number of climate alarms.

    Global warming paranoia is a way of life for people like DZ-Jay, Grahm Bartlett and many others. You can't just come in here and tell everybody that their faith is wrong! Who the hell do you think you are?! Infidel!!!

  108. Mark
    Pirate

    Re: "Nuclear Winter' scenario "

    Well when we have an all-out thermonuclear war, let's see whether it gets cold or not.

    We have however been pumping out CO2 at rather a greater rate than we've been shooting nuclear warheads.

  109. Paul Clark
    Linux

    Interactive graphs

    I thought my fellow IT folk might enjoy a programmer's playing in this area:

    All four temperature series (5-year running means)

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:60/plot/uah/mean:60/plot/rss/mean:60/plot/gistemp/mean:60

    Detail of last ten years

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/last:120/plot/uah/last:120/plot/rss/last:120/plot/gistemp/last:120

    Bear in mind that the different sources use different baselines to calculate the anomaly values so it's only the slope that counts.

    (Tux because that's what it runs on)

  110. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    These graphs are not really convincing me

    I've kind of lost interest in this debate since it became so political, but as a scientist looking at these graphs from various sources simply as an exercise in data analysis they do send me a clear message:

    THEY DO NOT AGREE WITHIN THE CLAIMED ERRORS

    That's always a big warning for any data analyst. It says there are errors you haven't accounted for and that means any claims based on these data have to be viewed with suspicion.

    The usual procedure is to take the dispersion between independent results as an indication of the true errors. On that basis, there seems to be little justification for a global warming claim, even though some of the datasets appear to show one.

  111. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Bad Maths

    ""That would be equivalent to flipping a penny 70 times and having it come up heads 55 times. It will never happen - one trillion to one odds (2 raised to the power 40.)"

    Err... that result is precisely as likely as any other, or do you believe the penny has a memory? Clever penny."

    No! 55 heads is considerably less likely than (say) 35 heads (haven't worked out the probabilities, though). That's because there are many more ways of 35 heads turning up than there are of 55 heads turning up. The point you miss is that they can turn up in any order and only the total number of heads counts. There are more sequences that give 35 heads than there are sequences that give 55 heads.

    This is usually covered in about the second lesson of any probability course. Pretty basic stuff.

  112. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
    Coat

    Chasing the money

    A lot of you commenting on a scientific gravy train obviously don't know how scientific grants are awarded.

    If you are a Research Scientist in a UK educational or Goverment sponsored science establishment, you must enter a funding circus to get money for your projects. This works by you outlining a proposal for the research you want to carry out, together with the resources required. This then enters the evaluation process run by the purse string holders (UK Government, Science councils, EU funding organisation etc.) Enivatably, the total of all of the proposals would cost more money than is available (just look at the current UK physics crisis), so a choice must me made.

    The evaluation panels, which are made up of other scientists with reputations (see later) but often also contain civil servants, or even Government Ministers. They look at the proposals and see which ones they are prepared to fund. As there is politics involved, there is an adgenda to the approvals.

    If there is a political desire to prove man-made climate change, the panel can choose to only approve the research that is likely to show that this is the case.

    So as a scientist, if you want to keep working (because a research scientist without funding is unemployed - really, they are), you make your proposal sound like it will appeal to the panel. So if climate change is in vogue, you include an element of it in every proposal.

    The result is funded research which starts with a bias. And without a research project, a scientist does not publish creditable papers, does not get a reputation, and is not engaged in peer review, one of the underlying fundamentals of the science establishment. Once all of the Scientists gaining reputations in climate study come from the same pro-climate change background, and the whole scientific process gets skewed, and doubters are just ignored as having no reputation.

    If there was more funding available, then it is more likely that balanced research would be carried out, but at the moment, the only people wanting to fund research against manmade climate change are the energy companies, particularly the oil companies. This research is discounted by the government sponsored Scientists and Journalists as being biased by commercial pressures.

    More money + less Government intervention = more balanced research. Until this happens, we must be prepared to be a little sceptical of the results. We ABSOLUTLY NEED correctly weighted counter arguments to allow the findings to be believable.

    Please do not get me wrong. I believe in climate change, but as a natural result of reasons we do not yet understand properly (and may never as proved by the research of the recently deceaced Edward Lorentz), one of which could well be human. Climate change has been going on for much longer than the human race has been around, and will continue until the Earth is cold and dead.

    I am a product of the UK Science education system to degree level, and have taught in one such establishment too, so please pass me the tatty corduroy jacket, the one with the leather elbow patches.

  113. Dr Stephen Jones

    @ ratfink

    "Huh?... Did you just imply the human species is great because we invented ECONOMIC SYSTEMS??"

    No, you inferred that. Only an idiot venerates the processes, or thinks our economic management is anywhere near good enough.

    "Paris, because I have more respect for her than for the economic models."

    We're agreed then.

    Since you are already skeptical of the value of climate models (garbage in - magic out) you've already identified the means. Now you can identify the motive.

  114. Marco

    Re: Adjustment vs. fitting

    >>> There is a big difference between adjusting data and fitting data. All of the data presented in this article is directly from the NASA, Hadley, UAH, RSS, and ORNL web sites. The video is a demonstration of a fit - where one version of NASA data is "fitted" to another, in an effort to reverse engineer the "adjustment" which was done at NASA. I did not change any of the data points - just applied a simple rotation to the entire graph as a visual tool.

    ROFL, that's what they call cherrypicking from the available data now?

    >>> Benoit, you are using Dr. Hansen's data. I've already proven Dr. Hansen has the will and the power to put bias into NASA data.

    Mr. Burchett, you haven proven nothing, you only argued that.

    But anyway, these discussions on the Register are getting ridiculous. While I was always able, for example, to see a connection between repeated criticism of Wikipedia and the Register, it is harder to see why it suddenly has taken a fierce position on global warming, giving the likes of Mr. Goddard a platform.

  115. Evan Jones

    And if you have any reason to mistrust it, we'll adjust it!

    Excellent article. We "mercury monkeys" have been pounding the table over questionable "adjustments" for quite some time.

    One error: At the end of page 1, you post a graph claiming it to be NASA's upward adjustments from NOAA data. What it actually is is NOAA's upward adjustment of the raw data.

    So any adjustment of NASA over NOAA is on top of NOAA's upward adjustments.

    Part of the NOAA adjustment is justifiable. Outliers can and should be removed. TOBS must needs be adjusted (though even that has ben called into question owing to adjustments being made to stations where no TOBS problem is in the record). Their other adjustments, namely FILENET (fill-in of missing data) and SHAP (Station History Adjustment Procedure) and UHI (Urban Heat Island) are an outrage for the magpies.

    FILENET should be a neutral adjustment. You guessed it; it's upward. SHAP, considering the scandalous microsite violations (of the rural stations) should be a sharply downward adjustment. You guessed right again: it's upward. And the UHI is lowballed severely: It's a measly minus 0.06C! Yikes!

    So, perhaps the followup article should be: BESIDES NASA, what in heck is with the NOAA hotfoot historical adjustment process in the FIRST place? Get scribbling on it, guys!

    Evan Jones, USA

  116. Evan Jones

    For whatever it's worth . . .

    "The Greenhouse Effect theory posits that carbon dioxide, methane and the like in the atmosphere reduces the amount of heat lost to space."

    Bear in mind that it's not the GH effects themselves that have any real upward push. It's the positive feedbacks from the GH effect. But instead of positive feedback from high-altitude GH water vapor, the Aqua Satellite shows that instead there is an increase in low-level cloud cover, which has significantly increased albedo, resulting in negative feedback and homeostasis.

    The Argo bouys show a slight ocean cooling as well. (And now the Pacific Decadal Oscillation has "flipped" to a cool phase. The last PDO cool phase lasted from 1951-1976. We have been in the PDO warm phase since then.)

    "Satellites say the world is getting cooler. Are they saying this based on the amount of heat they are detecting escaping Earth's atmosphere?"

    Satellites measure microwave reflection in the lower troposphere from the earth's surface, and this is converted to temperature. So what is coming off the surface is what's being measured. This conforms with radiosonde measurements. (Sats separately measure all layers of the lower atmosphere.)

    Sats have the advantage of getting the full sweep, while surface stations are very badly distributed (in spite of honest efforts to grid them) and in deplorable condition. "Issues" with sats have included "conversion" and orbital drift.

    "Are we really saying that the Greenhouse Effect, less heat lost to space, is a myth because satellites are detecting... less heat lost to space?"

    More heat is being reflected into space without ever having reached the surface.

    "Explanation very much appreciated."

    Happy to oblige. Keep an eye out for the new NOAA/CRN system measurements. That will be the first truly "clean" and well sited ground station data ever available. Due to start up later this summer. And it won't need adjustment! Data a tartar! (Hats off to the CRN.)

  117. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    for the love of it all...

    I find it incredible that a person (including the genius’s at NASA) is willing to buy into the hype behind the THEORY of global warming, or as it’s now known: “Climate Change”. Especially when temperature records have been relatively accurate for the past 40-60 years and that weather related records, in general, have been kept for approximately 220 years.

    Scientific estimations of what the weather was like 1000 years ago, let alone 100,000 or even 100,000,000 years ago are just educated guesses. The earth has been around for almost 5 billion years & things change; sometimes it gets warmer, sometimes it gets colder and things die and go away. That is about the only constant in life on this rock.

    Remember, not 30 years ago, society was absolutely convinced that we were going through a period of global cooling, ironically right around the same time as the acid rain crisis.

    This is just the cause de jour, regardless of whether or not it is true, and the only people really benefiting are those who perpetuate the hysteria. Case in point: the limousine environmentalists who take their private jets everywhere to preach their gospel.

    I, for one, am stocking up on firewood, incandescent & halogen lamps, in anticipation of the asteroid hitting the earth. That has happened before, little things like giant craters all over the place seem to be a little more in terms of concrete evidence than profit driven hypotheses.

    I chose the flame because I hate the cold!

  118. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    I knew it

    Global Warming is a lie. Thanks for letting me know El Reg, I am now going to sue the government for "demanding money with menaces" for all their green-tax crap as it is obviously based on bullshit.

    Rejoice people of the world! It's all a myth after all!

  119. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Who Controls NASA?

    If you ask me the American Government wanted Proof from NASA that temperatures are rising and NASA duly obliged by "doctor"ing the Figures. How can NASA justify altering the figures. Surely the raw data can't be wrong, can it?

  120. Eric Werme

    Re: More on the 2000 mystery data shift

    I couple weeks ago there was a discussion at http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com about how missing months in USHCN ground data are filled. Adjustments are made from the two other months in the DJF/MAM/JJA/SON meterological seasons and from average temperature for that month over all the years covered, I think even those outside of the baseline. This has the interesting effect that we don't know the past temperatures until the end of time or a change in the backfilling procedure.

    Unfortunately, I can't find that discussion, nor am I certain it's relevant to the issue at hand. I can dig deeper if you wish.

    BTW, I have a nice intro to the basic issues behind current climatology research at http://wermenh.com/climate/science.html . It's a good starting point to understanding some of the controversy and why the future looks a lot brighter than it has over the last 15 years or so.

  121. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IT workers say climate change not real, everyone... listens?

    Isn't it worthy of independently-funded scientific investigation to ascertain why so many hardcore climate change sceptics are to be found lurking in IT Departments the world over hunched over laptops taking a disproportionate but no doubt effective (for them) amount of comfort from one article on The Register website?

    As they're notorious for not getting out much, should I pay much heed to these people who spend large amounts of time in chilled server rooms and in virtual worlds where temperature is irrelevant and only raised on a personal level when some sad super-boobed female avatar turns up in a chat willing to talk dirty (even if she turns out, as likely, to be a 50-year-old man typing on a keyboard in his garage)?

  122. Michael Searcy
    Alert

    HadCRUT and NASA GISS - Not so different

    http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh103/scentofpine/temps_HadCRUTvGISS.jpg

    http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh103/scentofpine/temps_HadCRUTvGISS_98-07.jpg

  123. Doc Dish
    Stop

    @Michael

    "Well, I know that the scientists thought for a long time that the earth was flat and that Gordon will use climate change as an excuse to raise taxes."

    Actually, Scientists haven't believed the world was flat since Aristotle proved it was spherical in 330 BC

  124. Chris Fox
    Stop

    The real conspiracy here

    The adjustments in satellite temperature date are well document. They were made to correct for shifts and decays in satellite orbits. Previously the raw sat data had been used by climate change deniers as it suggested stable or declining temperatures. A major source of systematic error was then detected and removed.

    Now climate change deniers have lost a major plank in their argument, they appear to have decided that the only rational explanation is that there must be a conspiracy.

    In truth, the only real conspiracy is The Register's editorial agenda for arguing against climate change by peddling half-baked pseudo-science in the face of overwhelming evidence.

  125. Eric Werme
    Dead Vulture

    Re: More on the 2000 mystery data shift

    I found the data adjustment link I was looking for, see

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/04/08/rewriting-history-time-and-time-again

    The original discussion is at

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2964

    That page has an update that sums up the problem pretty well:

    "As noted in the comments below, GISS updated the GLB.Ts+dSST anomalies which show a large 0.67 degC value for March. This addition of March 2008 temperature data to the record caused a corresponding drop in annual average temperature for the years 1946 and 1903. According to GISS, 1946 is now colder than 1960 and 1972, and 1903 dropped into a tie with 1885, 1910 and 1912.

    That’s really neat."

    I'm still not sure if it's relevant to this discussion, but it is worth knowing about the next time you see a graph of GISS data. History will change net month.

    Vulture head because it read the articles and its brain exploded in amazement.

  126. Simon Smith
    IT Angle

    Re: IT workers say climate change not real, everyone... listens?

    "Isn't it worthy of independently-funded scientific investigation to ascertain why so many hardcore climate change sceptics are to be found lurking in IT Departments the world over hunched over laptops taking a disproportionate but no doubt effective (for them) amount of comfort from one article on The Register website?"

    That sounds a wheeze. Apply for a grant now! Go for it! Look forward to hearing about your Nobel prize.

  127. Mark
    Alien

    WTF? "Who Controls NASA?"

    Do you REALLY think that Shrub wants to believe that Man can affect God's Green Earth?

    Heck, he and his cronies are still sacking people who post pro-AGW messages.

  128. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Consensus?

    Graham Bartlett wrote:

    >The joke is that for people who actually work in the area, there *is* no controversy.

    Dr. Edward Wegman--former chairman of the Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics of the National Academy of Sciences--demolishes the famous "hockey stick" graph that launched the global warming panic.

    Dr. David Bromwich--president of the International Commission on Polar Meteorology--says "it's hard to see a global warming signal from the mainland of Antarctica right now."

    Prof. Paul Reiter--Chief of Insects and Infectious Diseases at the famed Pasteur Institute--says "no major scientist with any long record in this field" accepts Al Gore's claim that global warming spreads mosquito-borne diseases.

    Prof. Hendrik Tennekes--director of research, Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute--states "there exists no sound theoretical framework for climate predictability studies" used for global warming forecasts.

    Dr. Christopher Landsea--past chairman of the American Meteorological Society's Committee on Tropical Meteorology and Tropical Cyclones--says "there are no known scientific studies that show a conclusive physical link between global warming and observed hurricane frequency and intensity."

    Dr. Antonino Zichichi--one of the world's foremost physicists, former president of the European Physical Society, who discovered nuclear antimatter--calls global warming models "incoherent and invalid."

    Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski--world-renowned expert on the ancient ice cores used in climate research--says the U.N. "based its global-warming hypothesis on arbitrary assumptions and these assumptions, it is now clear, are false."

    Prof. Tom V. Segalstad--head of the Geological Museum, University of Oslo--says "most leading geologists" know the U.N.'s views "of Earth processes are implausible."

    Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu--founding director of the International Arctic Research Center, twice named one of the "1,000 Most Cited Scientists," says much "Arctic warming during the last half of the last century is due to natural change."

    Dr. Claude Allegre--member, U.S. National Academy of Sciences and French Academy of Science, he was among the first to sound the alarm on the dangers of global warming. His view now: "The cause of this climate change is unknown."

    Dr. Richard Lindzen--Professor of Meteorology at M.I.T., member, the National Research Council Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, says global warming alarmists "are trumpeting catastrophes that couldn't happen even if the models were right."

    Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov--head of the space research laboratory of the Russian Academy of Science's Pulkovo Observatory and of the International Space Station's Astrometria project says "the common view that man's industrial activity is a deciding factor in global warming has emerged from a misinterpretation of cause and effect relations."

    Dr. Richard Tol--Principal researcher at the Institute for Environmental Studies at Vrije Universiteit, and Adjunct Professor at the Center for Integrated Study of the Human Dimensions of Global Change, at Carnegie Mellon University, calls the most influential global warming report of all time "preposterous . . . alarmist and incompetent."

    Dr. Sami Solanki--director and scientific member at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany, who argues that changes in the Sun's state, not human activity, may be the principal cause of global warming: "The sun has been at its strongest over the past 60 years and may now be affecting global temperatures."

    Prof. Freeman Dyson--one of the world's most eminent physicists says the models used to justify global warming alarmism are "full of fudge factors" and "do not begin to describe the real world."

    Dr. Eigils Friis-Christensen--director of the Danish National Space Centre, vice-president of the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy, who argues that changes in the Sun's behavior could account for most of the warming attributed by the UN to man-made CO2.

    And many more, all in Lawrence Solomon's book, The Deniers

  129. fishman

    Al Gore Money Machine

    Al Gore has been raking in the cash - on the order of tens of millions of dollars - on the issue of global warming. He makes at least $100K per speech, and he has extensive investments in areas related to global warming. So every time he opens his mouth, it's money in the bank. And the more he can scare, the better he does.

    Ca-ching!

  130. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scientists in it for the money?

    Honestly, anyone who thinks researchers are in making this up

    for the money hasn't looked at scientist's wages recently.

    Research just doesn't pay. You don't go into research because

    you want to make money. You work in pure science to learn the

    truth.

    Academic/pure scientific research doesn't pay. If you want money, you

    go into industry. It's that simple. You double your salary over night.

  131. Rob
    Thumb Down

    @Steven Goddard

    I'm a bit concerned, as some others appear to be, that you've ignored the difference between a systematic error and random error.

    All the calculations you present for the reduction of early temperatures assume that the errors were random and independent - thus you reach a large figure of 55/70 heads. You then use this figure to 'prove' that the figures have been manipulated and demonstrate it by comically rotating a graph.

    When pressed on this, you've so far ignored it - and I can only suspect that you're doing this on purpose.

    I used to enjoy the Reg, frankly - it just sank like a stone...

  132. Kanhef

    What's the agenda

    of the people who throw terms like "climate cult" around? Why are they so desperate to disprove every bit of evidence that climate change is actually happening? How many are shills for industries that don't want to be regulated?

    @ Peter Gathercole:

    "More money + less Government intervention = more balanced research."

    Without government funding, where's all that money going to come from? The utilities that run all those coal-burning power plants, perhaps? The tobacco and pharmaceutical industries have already been shown to only publish favorable studies and suppress the unfavorable ones. There may be some bias in government-funded research, but do you really thing you'll get impartial work from companies whose livelihood, even existence, depends on the results?

    @ AC:

    "theory of global warming"

    Gravity is a theory. As are the 'laws' of electromagnetism by which your computer functions. Must be an interesting world where only a priori knowledge is accepted.

    It's curious how some people claim there's a massive, decades-long global conspiracy, and at the same time complain that the government is too incompetent to even, say, keep air marshals off the no-fly list.

  133. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re:Andy

    Ooooo, ouch Andy! Your witty repartee is droll beyond words. I see BSoD's and exploding keyboards in your immediate future.

  134. Charles Manning

    New sensors in rural areas won't help much

    The NASA press announcement says that new sensors will be placed in rural areas because the urban sensors are meaningless. Wow. Great we have the white lab coated PhDs help figure that out! Anyone with half a rock for a brain could tell them that urban areas have changed remarkably in the last 100 years and that taking temperature measurements in urban areas is not going to be indicative of the rest of the planet.

    Before going into rural areas, I hope that they talk to farmers. But they probably don't want to get their lab coats and Cray keyboards dirty and won't. Rural areas have undergone large environmental changes in the last 100 years and continue to do so. Land use patterns change the temperatures. Thick lush meadows of yesterday get grazed shorter - meaning less moisture is preserved in the ground and higher temperature fluctuations. Changes from grazing to cropping change the land cover and temperatures. Forests come and go.

    Thus, to get good info they should really be making measurements in pristine areas. Wilderness (including sea and ice) make up the bulk of our planet and probably are the best places to measure.

    To get any useful data requires an apples-to-apples comparison. Unfortunately there is very little historic data from unchanged areas.

  135. Evan Jones

    "Lights=0" (as the audience explodes with derisive laughter)

    "Isn't it worthy of independently-funded scientific investigation to ascertain why so many hardcore climate change sceptics are to be found lurking in IT Departments the world over hunched over laptops taking a disproportionate but no doubt effective (for them) amount of comfort from one article on The Register website?"

    Hmm.

    Maybe the reason is that IT guys are good analysts and have a basic understanding quality control? Just a thought.

    Actually, I would be interested in the results of a study to determine which demographics disproportionately favor or disfavor GW theory

    I bet the liberal arts crowd ("my people") disproportionately favor the theory. That used to be true of scientists, too, but that is changing faster than a hockey-stick graph.

    But then again the term "Lights=0" (Hansen, 2001) didn't used to be considered a standing joke . . .

    Consensus OFF.

    Debate ON.

  136. Herbys
    Thumb Down

    @Tanya Cumpston

    You know that the Southern Hemisphere is a bit more than Australia, don't you?

    While in Australia you were cooking yourselves, in the rest of the southern hemisphere we were cold, very cold. So yes, the southern hemisphere had a record cold march, even if a specific small region had a different situation.

  137. Herbys
    Thumb Down

    Mars

    I think there's enough evidence that there's some global warming, and we can see that in the reduction of the polar icecaps. Now, I wonder if the source is human, why exactly the same amount of reduction can be seen in the other pair of icecaps we can measure, those of mars. http://www.mars-ice.org/_more/about/sphistory222.php

    Is the source of global warming human? If so, then we should stop sending those gas guzzling rovers to mars, as they are making an impact there.

  138. Anteaus
    Thumb Up

    A convincing piece of research.

    IMHO an excellent piece of scientific research, and one which doesn't attempt to discredit or debunk global warming per se, but which attempts to expose flaws in the arguments for it. In particular, this analysis reveals that temperature trends, like so many statistics, are vulnerable to 'massaging' of the figures. Massaging being adjustment of the tolerance, or allowances for error in such a way as to favour a desired result, when in fact that desired result is only one of many which fit within the allowed tolerances. It then continues to uncover that the figures even show symptoms of alteration which might not only indicate massagng, but even hint at the way in which this was done.

    I'm a scientist and a sceptic, and I'm pretty-much convinced.

  139. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Tactics of denial

    Amazingly, climate change deniers, these self appointed "experts" can interpret data

    better than the top scientists in the particular field.

    The next move, when the reality of sceintific opinion and the real facts are pointed out to the self appointed experts, they try and smear the real experts by accusing them of "distorting their results to get funding". Then they cherry pick the available data, find an small anomally and then say that proves all the theory wrong.

    This is the tried and true methodology of those who wish to discredit the majority of scientists in the climate field. The only reason to spout this crap is fear of economic loss, and lo and behold the deniers bleat about this continually.

    You have to be a total moron to think we can keep pouring huge ammounts of CO2

    into the atmosphere without any side effects.

    If the sceintists are wrong and CO2 is not causing changes, and we reduce emissions, there will be no harm done at worst. If nothing is done and they are right,

    we are screwed, so why not err on the side of caution?

    Deniers, try and think of someone other than yourself and your personal finances, like the future of our race!

    Paris cause she has more brains than the all the deniers put together!

  140. john Durrant

    Lies,damn lies & statistics

    Nuff said?

  141. John Philip
    Alert

    Just a few points ...

    Steve,

    While you're chasing Hansen's 'adjustment' down could you answer this for me?

    You wrote "The UK Meteorological Office’s Hadley Center for Climate Studies Had-Crut data shows worldwide temperatures declining since 1998. According to Hadley’s data, the earth is not much warmer now than it was than it was in 1878 or 1941. By contrast, NASA data shows worldwide temperatures increasing at a record pace - and nearly a full degree warmer than 1880."

    1. Why did you choose different dates for the two data series? The NASA data starts in 1880 but you chose to go back to 1878 for Hadley, is it because 1878 happened to be >0.2C warmer?

    2. Historically you use whole year means. Fair enough, except for Hadley 'present day' you seem to be using the 2008 YEAR TO DATE anomaly of 0.232, which is distorted by the unusually cool (La Nina) Feb 08. Is this legitimate?

    3. Why did you use NASA's own plot, but 'roll your own' for Hadley (on a different scale). There's a perfectly good Hadley graph here: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/info/warming/gtc2007.gif

    4. If the NASA figures show 'record pace warming' since 1998, why does their website say ..."2007 tied 1998, which had leapt a remarkable 0.2°C above the prior record with the help of the "El Niño of the century"? http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/2007/

    5. Here are the numbers from the relevant years ...

    Hadley : NASA

    1878 -0.018

    1880 -0.249 : -0.25

    1941 0.062 : 0.11

    1998 0.526 : 0.57

    2007 0.396 : 0.57

    2008 0.232 :

    Point-to-point comparisons really are not that legitimate, but using the Hadley full year figure for 2007 as 'present day' it is clear that

    - NASA does not show temperatures 'increasing at record pace since 1998', the delta is zero.

    - NASA 1880 to 2007 +0.82C, Hadley +0.64

    - NASA 1941 to 2007 +0.46C. Hadley +0.33

    Do you really see anything too troublesome there?

    6. Would it not be closer to the truth to say that since the (anomalously warm) 1998, a linear fit for both datasets show a modest warming, with the small difference entirely explicable by the difference in methodology? Something like this http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/t1998.jpg ?

    Minor points: global mean temperatures are quoted with an uncertainty of around 0.1C, not 0.01C, The IPCC does not issue projections on a scale as short as a single decade (nor should they). US temperatures are a tiny fraction of the global mean.

    cheers

    JP

  142. Mark
    Alien

    @Herbys, Re: Mars

    Do you have anything that says the change on mars is the same as here, or did you make that up?

    Because you could have heard that there's global warming on mars and just JUMPED to the conclusion that it was the same amount of warming as here on earth.

    The increased solar activity, if you read the IPCC report, is a cause of possibly 1/3 the warming we have seen. So we would see some warming of mars. However,

    a) it's in only one hemisphere of mars, so hardly "global"

    b) Mars has a different orbit, so it's summer will be different (hey, it's warmer in summer thanin winter! Stop the press!)

    c) the warming on mars is considerably less than the warming here on earth (though we don't have manned weather stations on mars and the satellite images are a LOT less detailed)

  143. Mark
    Black Helicopters

    Re: "Al Gore Money Machine"

    Do you have anything that says the change on mars is the same as here, or did you make that up?

    Now compare that figure for Tony Blair's payment for a two-hour talk...

  144. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  145. Eric Werme
    Go

    Re: IT workers say climate change not real, everyone... listens?

    Andy Anon writes:

    "Isn't it worthy of independently-funded scientific investigation to ascertain why so many hardcore climate change sceptics are to be found lurking in IT Departments the world over hunched over laptops taking a disproportionate but no doubt effective (for them) amount of comfort from one article on The Register website?"

    No, the reason why there are many IT folk posting here is because this is an IT news, rumor, and discussion site. Duh. A few people have come here from some of the climatology sites following links to the story at El Reg, some place they've never heard of. (E.g. "posted at the Register UK.")

    Andy also fantasizes "As they're notorious for not getting out much, should I pay much heed to these people who spend large amounts of time in chilled server rooms and in virtual worlds where temperature is irrelevant and only raised on a personal level when some sad super-boobed female avatar turns up in a chat willing to talk dirty (even if she turns out, as likely, to be a 50-year-old man typing on a keyboard in his garage)?"

    Oh come on. I live and work in New Hampshire on systems located in chilled server rooms in Massachusetts and Texas. The last computer game I was any good at was Lunar Lander, though I did by a copy of Myst after the price dropped. I don't have a garage.

    I have been interested in weather since I was a kid, and am more interested in wild flowers than cultivated gardens. I haven't had time for that geekist of outdoors activities, Geocaching, because my wife and I bought property on a NH mountainside and that is going to take a lot of time. I've only gotten reinterested in this sorry science because the recent reduction of solar activity means we can finally figure out how both CO2 (et al) and solar (et al) affect climate and temperature. The more I look into things, the more disturbing things I see about the IPCC reports. There are some great avenues for solar related research, some are being pursued, some need to be pursued.

    Fifty years from people are going to look back at this decade and call it the Golden Era of Climatology. I was lucky to be part of Computer Science's golden era. Look at all the sides of this debate and watch what may (or may not) be the most impressive change in scientific thought since plate tectonics.

  146. Anne van der Bom
    Thumb Up

    @Steven Goddard: clarification

    Like Rob and other other posters I would like to address the issue of the random temperature corrections.

    I think you owe us an explanation. You depict the fact that the temperature corrections are not random as proof of bias or tampering on the side of NASA. What about systematic errors? This is much more likely, as random errors are, by the nature of randomness, impossible to correct.

    Are you ignoring this inconvenient question?

  147. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  148. Evan Jones

    A wider perspective

    "New sensors in rural areas won't help much "

    They won't be perfect, and will only cover the US (for a start) but they will help a LOT. I have seen some pics of the new CRN sites, and they are primo. They are all are kept well away from nearby heat sinks and have very consistent, clean micro-environments. With triple-redundant instrumentation and (joy of joys), no humans collecting and recording the data--all done automatically. They are correctly dispersed, so no more grossly artificial gridding procedures. No TOBS issues, either. No ridiculous, arcane adjustment procedures. All data to be raw.

    And the new system will be run in tandem with the old for some time, so a comparison of methods can be made.

    "Amazingly, climate change deniers, these self appointed "experts" can interpret data

    better than the top scientists in the particular field."

    Mmm. Some of them, yes.

    It was a statistician, not a climatologist, that utterly demolished the hockey stick. When Dr. Mann defended it, one of his opening comments was, I am not a statistician," and he said it with pride. It was a meteorologist, not a climatologist who discovered the ubiquitous and sever nature of weather station microsite violations.

    But climate study has a strong interdisciplinary aspect which straight the climatology/earth science side does not address. It includes, physics, chemistry, biology, geology, statistics, archeology, astronomy, engineering, and even history/literature. Not unlike detective work. Unfortunately, many climatologists seem to resent the "intrusion" as much as the old-style detectives (at first) resented the CSI guys. Time to get it all together!

    "Deniers, try and think of someone other than yourself and your personal finances, like the future of our race!"

    Yes, think. THINK. We demographers are doing just that. There is another side you may not have considered sufficiently.

    If trillions of dollars in wealth is to be expended (or, worse, never to be created), and an entire generation in the third and fourth world (India, China, Africa, etc.) are to be denied affluence accepted as second-nature by we in the west, there had better be a darn good reason for it.

    It is often said, "Take strong measures, they cost nothing and may save us." They do NOT cost nothing. They come at a very heavy cost in misery and death. There had better be strong scientific collateral that such sacrifices are necessary.

    It occurs to me that in terms of economics, technology, and demographics, we cannot "dodge" this crisis (if it IS a crisis). But we can "outrun" it by producing as much wealth and tech as fast as the free market can.

    "I think there's enough evidence that there's some global warming, and we can see that in the reduction of the polar icecaps. Now, I wonder if the source is human, why exactly the same amount of reduction can be seen in the other pair of icecaps we can measure, those of mars."

    Mars orbit may be undergoing eccentricity. So we must be cautious in out conclusions.

    But consider that The Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, and the Arctic Oscillation are ALL at maximum warm phase of their cycle. And until the end of last year the Pacific Decadal Oscillation was in a warm phase (since c. 1977).

    The Atlantic worm will turn.

    (Not to mention that solar cycle 24 is the very model of a modern major minimum.)

  149. Mark
    Pirate

    Re: "Consensus?"

    So consensus doesn't mean it's true and if there's no consensus it means it can't be true.

    Is that what you're saying?

    1) Hockey stick debunk has been debunked years ago. It had some validity but that issue was solved with more time to make the signal higher than the noise

    2) Because you can't see change in the middle of the antartic isn't saying there isn't change

    3) your quote ends early, and that doesn't say AGW is wrong, just that it may not cause more malaria.

    4) Doesn't say there's no AGW but disagrees that we can be certain just from models.

    5) Doesn't say there's no AGW and says that higher temps won't necessarily cause more hurricanes

    6) He's not a climatologist and merely says that he doesn't think models will help

    7) What assumptions? CO2 not a GG? Still doesn't say there's no AGW but doesn't believe models will show us how to chaneg

    8) Geologists aren't climatologists and he's talking as one on behalf of many (and incorrectly)

    9) "Much warming .. natural" So some not.

    10) In his opinion.

    11) Bought lock stock and barrel by big oil. Doesn't put his own money up on a bet about it

    12) Hmmm. So Arrhenius was wrong? God warmed the flask and that releases CO2?

    13) His opinion

    14) And the IPCC agrees. It isn't enough to make the change that is MEASURED (not modeled).

    15) Yes because this is a MODEL not a SIMULATION. The drag effect of trees, towns etc can't be simulated it has to be guessed to give the right answers based on MEASUREMENT. So he's misunderstood modeling.

    16) A space scientist thinks the sun could have done most of it. Big surprise. Has he modeled it?

    So most of your points are not countering AGW models. Most of the rest are descriptions not results. A few are just self-evidently wrong (#12)

    And please remember, the deniers had to resort to a petition that included dead people and people who only exist in cartoons. If we're going to talk about bias, lying and fighting hard to keep your job, lets look there!

    Here's hoping the shill moderating lets THIS one through.

  150. Evan Jones

    Who Decides?

    "Hockey stick debunk has been debunked years ago."

    Actually, the debunk has been debunked. BCPs are miserable proxies for temperature and the Grayson series was grossly overweighted. The Loehle reconstruction (with his subsequent corrections) which avoid tree rings (which are better proxies for precip. than temperatures) show a completely different story. Archeological studies in Greenland (and organic matter under the ice) tends to confirm a very warm Medieval interval.

    "This is absolute, unmitigated bullshit. This "analysis" is a simple case of someone pretending to be knowledgable about a subject they clearly know nothing about."

    One would have more confidence in the adjustments if there were not so much reluctance to make public full data and methods. Falsifiability is primary to the scientific method. Per review simply won't do. There must be independent review.

    Besides, laymen have often made major scientific contributions. And it is the laymen, not the experts who must formulate policy decisions--and who "have the vote". An expert witness can and must inform. But it is the jury who decides. (It is not by accident that "experts" are rigidly excluded from the jury.)

  151. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  152. Tom
    Flame

    The Climate data being discussed are clearly not science

    By my count, there are three instances in which Mr. Goddard asks "Can some shed more light on this particular data correction?"

    If the data were science, Mr. Goddard wouldn't be asking that question, because the raw data, the corrections, and the reasoning (physics, comp sci, math mistake) for the corrections would be PUBLICLY published. Mr. Goddard would KNOW why the correction was made, and if his statistical expertise were relevant, he could comment on why, statistically speaking, this is a questionable correction, data point, or whatever. If it was outside his area of expertise, he might editorialize or simply leave it to another expert.

    Now, what other areas of human interaction do we obscure the source of the data for? Hmmm... Prestidigitation comes to mind, three card monte, and oh yeah, and ancient religions where the gods speak only to the high priests who then tell the unwashed masses what they need to know. Yep, AGW = religion.

  153. R Cox

    random versus systematic error.

    Quoteth:From a statistical viewpoint, data recalculation should cause each year to have a 50/50 probability of going either up or down - thus the odds of all 70 adjusted years working in concert to increase the slope of the graph

    This statement is only valid concerning random errors. Such errors are quantified by statistics and are shown by error bars. All data has random error, and most properly reported data includes an indication of random error, most often in the form of error bars. Certainly one does not flip a coin to choose which side of the random error one will choose for each point. It is random, it is a confidence level, so all that can be done is to state the theoretical error.

    There is a second type of error. This is systematic error. This error occurs not by random chance, but by some material error in the measurement process. Systematic error can be caused by a bad reading, an improper zero offset, or a bad calibration curve. Systematic errors can sometimes be detected through statistical analysis, for instance one might discard all 'outliers', at one's own peril, but most often these errors either remain undetected, or, upon detection, require exactly the kind of recalculation condemned in the article.

    In the present case, there is no credible reason presented in the article to indicate that some older data might be preferentially treated with respect to some new data. Certainly, one can imagine that older instruments might have systematic errors that are different from those on newer instruments. We can even suggest that an analysis of the random error on older instruments might be such that the states skewing of the graph might occur.

    I am not saying that the NASA analysis is correct. However, the authors argument seems sufficiently invalid to be ignored.

  154. Steven Goddard
    Linux

    Good comments about the random vs. systematic error

    Lots of insightful comments here on that topic.

    My point in this piece was that the 2000 adjustments could not have been random, and it is good to see that everyone is in agreement about that.

    I'm currently working on some analysis of the actual adjustments which occurred in 2000, and you will be hearing from me shortly about that - possibly in a new article. Bear in mind that the data and methodology is very opaque as Evan Jones has pointed out - but I think I am finding some interesting patterns ......

  155. Steve

    I still think I'm clever

    "There are lots of good reasons for cutting back on the energy we use and getting as much as we can from renewable resources, but I'm not sure that atmospheric CO2 is one of them. Having people shout at me isn't going to convince me that it is."

    Neither will the presentation of scientific evidence.

    I know this will piss of a lot of people, but I'm saying it anyway; IT is not science and understanding a computer does not make you a scientist. I've taught 14yr olds who can do better than this.

    This is piss poor.

  156. Henry

    Millions of tons of melting ice can't be wrong.

    Alleged quote from Mark Twain: "There are liars, there are damned liars, and then there are statisticians."

    The fact that glaciers everywhere and the polar ice is melting is the only significant fact in the "debate" about global warming.

    This reminds me of college philosophy arguing what is or is not real. Ultimately if you have to deal with it then it is real enough. In global warming if polar ice is melting then global warming is real enough.

  157. Ben Pierard

    Trillions of dollars?

    Hate to come across as inflammatory, but I've seen from the above posts that there's a large number of people who appear to think that cost is a major reason for not doing anything about an imaginary threat..

    From 2007

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/library/news/2007/02/sec-070208-usia01.htm

    "The White House is seeking $294.8 billion to fund global counterterrorism operations, including $99.6 billion for fiscal year 2007, $145.2 billion in 2008 and $50 billion in 2009."

    ...

    "Since 2001, Congress has appropriated more than $425 billion for anti-terrorism activities across the U.S. government. The fiscal year 2008 funding request is the largest made for anti-terrorism programs to date; if approved, it would increase overall funding allocated to fighting terrorism to more than $700 billion since the 2001 attacks on New York, Washington and Pennsylvania."

    Well there you go I suppose. Got to love picking data out of Google.

    Oh and I saw this article in New Scientist today

    http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/mg19826543.100-censorship-exposed-at-us-environment-agency.html?feedId=online-news_rss20

    Why is the EPA as a US government organisation being censored about global climate change issues, while NASA, another US government organisation, appears to be a hotbed of babyeating greedy agenda-driven pinkos?

    I give up :)

  158. Steven Goddard
    Gates Halo

    Polar ice melting?

    Hi Henry,

    This is completely off topic, but since you brought it up - yes, polar sea ice is just starting to melt in the northern hemisphere spring. Simultaneously, polar sea ice is rapidly freezing in the southern hemisphere fall. The total area of earth's polar sea ice is exactly at the 30 year mean - with no indication of any trend since satellite records began in 1979.

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/global.daily.ice.area.withtrend.jpg

  159. Archimedes Tritium

    why be a pure researcher

    >Honestly, anyone who thinks researchers are in making this up

    >for the money hasn't looked at scientist's wages recently.

    >Research just doesn't pay. You don't go into research because

    >you want to make money. You work in pure science to learn the

    >truth.

    >Academic/pure scientific research doesn't pay. If you want money, you

    >go into industry. It's that simple. You double your salary over night.

    No. You go into research and academia because you work ~6 months a year, maybe teaching some classes you developed the curricula for 20 years ago and have been sleep-walking through ever since.

    All en route to tenure so you can do anything you want without getting fired. Such as re-engineer the world the way you think it ought to be, perhaps along lines shaped by the guilt you feel over having it so good without having earned it.

    You don't go into industry because it's demanding and you may not be able to hack it; you have to produce results according to real-world standards, not just peer-review of people just like you. You can get fired and change comes rapidly. You don't have a ready supply of serf-labor (grad students) to do your work for you that you can then write up to impress your colleagues.

  160. Mark

    Re: Polar ice melting?

    Stephen, can you remember that quote when it comes to Mars showing melting polar ice?

    There's a dear.

  161. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  162. Derek Brabrook

    Death and Taxes I say

    if computer modelling/prediction was/is so accurate why haven't they developed a computer program to predict the lottery numbers ? some of you will say "they have !!!" and I'll say "are you rich yet ?"

    surely with only 50 balls (ish) and having to only predict 7 of those balls in a known environment using the variables of friction, inertia, initial starting position, speed of rotation, weight, gravity, oh and a bit of chaos theory thrown in for good measure, has it worked ? did it get it right ? are the millionaires lining up outside the software company who wrote it to personally thank them for their riches ? it is after all a tiny problem in comparison to global warming prediction to solve AND with known variables

    I don't think so .....

    now scale that software problem up to global proportions add a few thousand, possibly a million other variables, throw in sun light, gravitational pull, volcanoes, ozone depletion, forest fires, car exhausts, factories, cows farting... the list is endless

    then produce a nice pretty graph showing what will happen in the next 100 years......in the real world you would laughed out of the patent office saying you could accurately predict lottery numbers with a computer model.... so why aren't we laughing at global warming predictions ? should we question their validity ? or will it fade into obscurity as did the scientists of the 1970's, who's prediction of the impending ice age we were plunging into by the year 2010 turned out to be wrong ?

    tell you one thing it's warm in here, somebody turn on the air conditioning .....

  163. Mark

    Re: Death and Taxes I say

    Because most government agencies with a lot of computing power ARE NOT ALLOWED.

    They must obey their remit. In the case of weather prediction, that is predicting the weather. Much more lucerative is to use the computing power to predict stock market fluctuations, but they aren't in this for the money, else they'd ignore the requirement to produce weather forecasts.

  164. Mark

    @Archimedes Tritium

    "You don't go into industry because it's demanding and you may not be able to hack it; you have to produce results according to real-world standards, not just peer-review of people just like you."

    Hmmm. Results that the COMPANY WANTS. Not the truth. That doesn't sell, especially if the truth is that your new drug has severe drawbacks.

    When was the last time a CEO had to work hard? When was the last one sacked and couldn't find a new one? "The old boy" network is the corporate version of tenure.

  165. Steven Goddard
    Linux

    Climate science?

    Hi Anonymous Coward,

    This article isn't about "climate science." It is an observation of differences in temperature data sets, and differences in historical press accounts about the climate. Most scientists, engineers and school children have adequate training to read the newspaper, read a thermometer, and/or make note that two graphs differ.

    What surprises me is that some people still expect no one to notice that the Emperor is not wearing any clothes. The differences in the data sets are obvious and blatant, and right in front of your face.

  166. NICHOLAS SAUNDERS
    Paris Hilton

    Global warming if only...

    Having moved up from London to Leeds and endured the most god awful miserable 7 month winter in my living memory (sat was the first time the temperature reach 16c e august!) I'm inclined to believe NASA are cooking the books.

    Another reason is you need concensus on what is going on and if 2 satellites (when they are not on TomTom duty directing people into rivers) and the met office say nothing is really going on then 3-1 does it for me.

    EVEN IF.. NASA were right then I don't think caring about the environment and sticking solar panels/wind farms up is a bad thing compared to coal fired power stations causing acid rain in scandanavia.

    I might finally get some bloody decent temperatures up north!

  167. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @@Archimedes Tritium

    "Hmmm. Results that the COMPANY WANTS. Not the truth. That doesn't sell, especially if the truth is that your new drug has severe drawbacks."

    Research which is either incorrect of falsified is useless to a company since they wont make a profit from it and will probably make a loss. If you either falsify or make wildly incorrect assumptions in your research when you work for a company you will more than likely end up sacked or in court.

  168. Steve Bennett

    A welcome debate.

    I thought this article was a good read.

    I do believe there is a conflict of interests in the researching of climate change and it's a subject that does seem to have a very one sided bias.

    I mean if you start a study looking into why the world is warming up, chances are you are going to get a great big fat grant to help you prove this further.

    If you say we think the world's temperature is in line with historical analysis, how much money do you think that project will get?

    One other question that has puzzled me for a while is why Bush did not sign up for Kyoto, maybe someone on the inside knew this might be a croc-o-xxxx...?

    It's an interesting discussion...

  169. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mark

    >Results that the COMPANY WANTS. Not the truth.

    The company still needs the truth internally.

    Even if every organisation is intent on passing off some toxic waste as a cure for the common cold, they still have to know what it is themselves.

    Whether or not your communist, distopian and SHOUTY vision of commerce is accurate.

  170. Mark

    @JonB

    > The company still needs the truth internally.

    But they can remove all traces of that as long as it IS internal.

    And how does that help in any case?

    You seem very willing to allow companies to tell lies to people. And you seem to think that not allowing companies to lie to be communistic? How do you think the Free Market is supposed to work? Here's a clue:

    AN INFORMED CONSUMER DECIDES

    and how can they be informed if companies are allowed to lie to them? That's not information, that DIS-information. Wanting to keep consumers blind seems more against the free market (the basis of a working capitalist society) and therefore more the opposite of capitalist: communist.

  171. Mark

    Re: "A welcome debate."

    Obvious bias:

    You state that there are two scenarios when in reality there are three:

    a) AGW needs investigating. Result grant money

    b) There's no difference. No grant mpney

    and forgot

    c) There's no difference. Get fad wad from corporation.

    Corporations have a much better spending potential than governments. After all, companies don't have a health service or defence force to run.

  172. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mark

    >But they can remove all traces of that as long as it IS internal.

    >And how does that help in any case?

    The point is, that the scientist must still produce accurate work.

    If you remember, you were responding to someone who suggested that academics don't go into industry (earning more) because they didn't like it, you responded saying that they don't have to produce accurate results in industry, because they're evil or something.

    I know it's difficult for you. Does it make sense now?

    I didn't comment on the moral choices of companies lying or not, they'll certainly put out the information they want to be out and hold back the stuff they don't. That's more the domain of marketing departments than scientists though.

  173. Evan Jones

    Say WHAT?!

    "When was the last time a CEO had to work hard?"

    HUH?

    You don't think CEOs work hard?

    Really?

    "Hmmm. Results that the COMPANY WANTS. Not the truth. That doesn't sell, especially if the truth is that your new drug has severe drawbacks."

    Do you think corporations can just get away with "Results that the COMPANY WANTS. Not the truth"?

    Do you think drug companies can just make up their results? Or that mining interests can issue any old assay they want?

    Really?

    (In case you didn't realize, it is the public sector that is not accountable.)

  174. Mark

    @JonB

    Are you now saying that scientists DON'T just lie or exaggerate to get grants? Because that's what I heard you say before when it came to getting government grants...

  175. Indrid Cold

    Shiver me timbers

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2008/04/24/MN9B10AM8Q.DTL

    Thursday, April 24, 2008

    The worst spring cold snap in more than 30 years is threatening to wreak havoc on the wine industry as three recent days of frost have killed grapevine buds up and down the crucial North Coast vineyard region.

    So far, grape growers estimate that as much as 10 percent of their crops could be lost, an unusual occurrence in an industry that hasn't seen a significant spring frost since the early 1970s.

    Farmers usually turn on their frost-protection machines a couple of times a year when the thermometer dips below 40 degrees, but so far this year some said they have had to activate them as many as 30 times.

    Before this year, frost had affected the vineyards of the North Coast to this extent only in 1971 and in the late 1940s, growers said

    National Weather Service forecaster Diana Henderson said the region hasn't set any records for cold this year - that was set in 1990, at 14 degrees in Napa County. But Saturday, Sunday and Monday were unusually chilly, with the thermometer dipping below the freezing point of 32 degrees each day.

  176. Dr Stephen Jones

    @Mark

    "Because most government agencies with a lot of computing power ARE NOT ALLOWED. They must obey their remit. In the case of weather prediction, that is predicting the weather. Much more lucerative is to use the computing power to predict stock market fluctuations..."

    The remit of government agencies is to provide "evidence" that the government likes to hear. The clue's in the name.

    "Are you now saying that scientists DON'T just lie or exaggerate to get grants?"

    When the dominant narrative wants to hear X, government agencies scurry off and produce strategy boutique PDFs or computer models that affirm the narrative.

    All government agencies compete for finite tax bucks, so if they don't eat, they'll get eaten. Viz. - MI5 expanding into the "War on Terror"/"War on Drugs" or weather forecasters becoming "climate experts".

    You're almost there, Mark. One more heave.

  177. Mark
    Gates Horns

    @Dr Stephen Jones

    So all (or 99%) of scientists have all been told the Big Scam and all the ones that have said that AGW is wrong have never been told? Because even the denier scientists don't say that AGW is just a scam.

    After all, they MUST be managing widespread fiddling of figures and making complex models that ONLY show AGW.

    According to theorists like you, anyway.

    And I never hear people like you say that the denier scientists are just saying "Nah" because they get a big kickback from the Oil industry (and, oddly enough, the tobacco industry, though that's so they can persuade the public that since scientists are wrong, they are wrong about the effects of smoking).

    You only need a few more small steps...

  178. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mark

    Mark, you say (referring to grants from industry):

    "Are you now saying that scientists DON'T just lie or exaggerate to get grants?"

    The original post you were commenting on stated this:

    "You don't go into industry because it's demanding and you may not be able to hack it; you have to produce results according to real-world standards, not just peer-review of people just like you."

    If the scientist is getting grants from industry then they are obviously not employed by industry (ie. no monthly pay check).

  179. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mark

    >Are you now saying that scientists DON'T just lie or exaggerate to get grants?

    >Because that's what I heard you say before when it came to getting government grants...

    Where did you hear that?

    I didn't comment on government grants, merely that scientists working in companies still have to produce accurate results regardless of what the company then writes on packaging or in press releases.

    You seem to be under the impression that if you work for Evil Corp., then you can get away with producing any old bollocks because the corp lies anyway, that's not true, Evil Corp will throw you to the laser beam headed sharks for getting the wrong answers, it's a tough working environment.

  180. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    Inconvienient Truth.

    So "Dr. James Hansen - Al Gore's advisor is he" -hmmm interesting.

    One point which always amazes me, when the earth was first formed it was a hugley hot large peice of rock with a torrent of many of these so called green house gases swishing around causing what would now be termed environmental disaster. One question did it carry on getting hotter, well I guess not as I am still here!

  181. Mark

    RE: Inconvienient Truth.

    We also didn't have any humans.

    Speaking as a human (you may or may not be one, so indifferent to the fate of humanity), this doesn't seem like a good idea.

  182. Mark

    @JonB

    But remember that these corporate grants may be quashed easily: they are the property of the company and at least "commercial in confidence". Only a few people need to know the test was made and the scientists involved can be told "thank you. obviously we need to do more testing" and keep trying until they get an answer they can use.

    Governments don't operate like that and the papers produced by research grants have to be sent for review (because your chances of tenure is almost entirely based on how many well-recieved papers you have made. Get one that PROVES AGW isn't man-caused, you'll get a Nobel prize, tenure and a big fat wodge from Big Oil).

    Corporations don't give grants to ensure publishing.

    And we have several unanswered requirements to prove any collusion on the part of scientists to maintain "Green Grants". For example:

    BBC asked for any proof there was bias for climate change science. None arose apart from "a man I know said...".

    There was a bag of money put up asking for anyone to prove global warming was not man-caused. Money pooled from a few Big Oil companies. You didn't get the money for *trying* to prove it wrong, only for actually proving it wrong. Show me any grant from a university or government institution that makes the money dependant on the outcome!

    If the work is all because of Green being popular, how about when it was a detriment to your career to propose it? In the 90's, it definitely WASN'T cool and the US especially ousted people looking into it. Yet there were still lots of papers looking into it. How's that work in your world?

  183. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    Inconvienient Truth.

    Mark:

    Sorry wasn't stating an idea, just a fact.

    The point that there weren't any humans was irrelevant the amount of methane and C02 in the atmosphere at that point was exponetially more than there is now or we could hope to cough out in the next hundred years. And yet the earth cooled and did not get hotter.

  184. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mark

    Um... You're a bit bonkers really aren't you...

  185. R W Rodway

    @Inconvenient Truth

    Well of course it cooled down. Adding more Co2 to the atmosphere doesnt cause the temperature to keep getting hotter and hotter ad-infinitum, it causes it to get hotter until the increased radiation from the Earth (due to it's now hotter temperature) balances the incoming solar radiation. What Co2 does is to cause a given rate of radiation from the Earth to corellate to a higher surface temperature. It's the same as putting a blanket on the bed at night. If the current temperature of the earth is hotter than that equilibrium point then it will cool, as was the case with that molten ball of rock at the start of the Earths history. Even with all those greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere the equilibrium temperature was way below the current temperature, so the earth cooled until it reached that temperature. This is also complicated by the suns luminosity then, which as best we understand was quite a lot less than it is now (the current theory iirc has it that the sun increases in luminosity gradually (about 6% per billion years) until eventually the hydrogen is depleted and it becomes a red giant) This means that for a given greenhouse gas concentration the equilibrium temperature will be lower (blanket example, if the temperature in the room goes down, even though you have a blanket on, you will cool down, Adding a second blanket though will help)

    I gather that the current best estimate for the Co2 sensitivity is about 3 degrees per doubling of Co2 concentration. So if the average temp now is 14C and we double the concentration of Co2 then the average temp will slowly rise until it gets to 17C (and then stop if we don't add any more Co2).

    However if instead aliens come along and microwave the earth, raising its temp to 50C, incidentally doubling Co2 concentrations in the process then the Earth will COOL gradually until it reaches 17C. But it won't go back to 14C again unless the extra Co2 is removed (or something else counters its effect, like the sun reducing in luminosity a bit)

  186. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    Inconvienient Truth

    Still missing the point.

    I understand the nth law of thermodynamics but thanks for explaining it any way. So what your saying is irrespective of what we do it will keep getting hotter anyway due to the expansion of the sun....Hmmm shame that wasn't in Al Gores film

    But it was hotter the CO2 was converted and the earth cooled. So all this global tipping point malarchy is just scare mongering. Points being for those who have missed the thread.

    1. Early earth was much hotter than it is now

    2. More C02 then than now.

    3. Adding more blankets slows cooling effect which is calculated by (Fourier's Law (named after the French physicist Joseph Fourier),

    This equation determines the heat flux vector q for a given temperature profile T and thermal conductivity k. The minus sign ensures that heat flows down the temperature gradient.)

    4. The Sun is sill expanding so given nth law earth is still and still will be for the foreseeable future getting hotter.

    "Global warming proved.....Manmade global warming disproved.....I thank you". "Time to end the conversation agree that we are all toast and go to the pub"

  187. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    Inconvienient Truth

    sorry did I say nth (just how my therm dym proffesor used to refer to it) meant Zeroth.

    Basically means that if you stick a hot coffee in a room it will cool to room temperature after a while.

  188. Mark

    @JonB

    Huh? Run out of reason?

  189. Mark

    @Anonymous Coward and "facts"

    Well, it's a fact that it IS getting hotter than just the solar increase can account for. It is a fact that it is getting hotter faster than at any time in geological history. It is a fact that the little ice age was european. It is a fact that CO2 will trap IR and so blanket the earth like a, uh, blanket. It is a fact that we are pumping a lot of CO2 from a previously unavailable source and that the sinks available can only handle so much in the short term and the long term sinks don't react any where near the speed of the output we have.

    It is a fact that we are alone in the universe (given that being not alone means we could meet other intelligent creatures within a reasonably short period of our lifetime). It is a fact that we will die. It is a fact that blue is a colour. It is a fact that doing twenty pushups is hard.

    How many facts shall we have included in this debate?

  190. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    @Mark "At last a debate"!!

    "it's a fact that it IS getting hotter than just the solar increase can account" I don't think so that will be the first law of thermo dynamics and as Scotty says "you cannay break the laws oof physics captain!"

    "It is a fact that it is getting hotter faster than at any time in geological history". How old are the icecores again not a fact I'm afraid Polar regoins have melted and reformed many times over geological history, supersition by bunny huggers mainly.

    "It is a fact that CO2 will trap IR and so blanket the earth like a, uh, blanket" nth sorry zeroth law again take a flask of C02 stick in a spoon of boiling water, stick it in a freezerit will eventually cool to the temperature of the freezer stick it in an oven and guess what happens......

    It is a fact that we are pumping a lot of CO2 from a previously unavailable source and that the sinks available can only handle so much in the short term and the long term sinks don't react any where near the speed of the output we have......I'll give you just for the fact to show that GW sceptics are open to reasoned discussion unlike you tree huggers who try to validate everything with mainly spurious claims.

    It is a fact that doing twenty pushups is hard....not to me it isn't time to get some protien in your lentil and tofu diet me thinks.

    How many facts shall we have included in this debate?....As many as it takes for you guys to realise there is a debate and not be led like sheep, blindy bumbling from one cause celeb to the other..

  191. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mark

    No, I've made the point I was making, you seem to have got me mixed up with someone else.

    I was responding to your original claim that scientists in commercial outfits produce results that the company wants, not the truth. They do produce accurate work, and the company wants the truth - at least internally.

    You then broke into some rambling diatribe about the way grants and prizes are awarded.

    >Show me any grant from a university or government institution that

    >makes the money dependant on the outcome!

    The DARPA grand challenge.

  192. Eric Werme
    Alert

    Re: Mark, Anonymous Coward and "facts"

    > Well, it's a fact that it IS getting hotter than just the solar increase can account for.

    It hasn't been getting hotter for the last decade and there are signs we're beginning a cool down. CO2 is still going up, except for one interesting and recent blip. At least, we think it's a blip, and we think it's due to the Pacific getting colder during the current La Nina.

    > It is a fact that it is getting hotter faster than at any time in geological history.

    I'm not sure geologic history has the time resolution to support that. There is evidence of sudden (decades-long) changes in both directions.

    > It is a fact that the little ice age was european.

    Utterly false. People are finding more and more evidence that it affected many sites in both northern and southern hemispheres.

    > It is a fact that CO2 will trap IR and so blanket the earth like a, uh, blanket.

    It is also a fact that our current CO2 levels nearly completely block the range of wavelengths affected. The first 100 ppm of CO2 has a major impact, an increase from 350 to 450 will have very little. This is one of the key problems with the GHG theory. CH4 concentrations are plateauing, H2O levels continue to fluctuate wildly but include negative feedback paths that keep the Earth from getting hot quickly.

    > It is a fact that we are pumping a lot of CO2 from a previously unavailable source

    yes, but a lot of that was removed from the atmosphere....

    > and that the sinks available can only handle so much in the short term

    That's not clear, and it one reason why that CO2 blip is interesting.

    > and the long term sinks don't react any where near the speed of the output we have.

    Ditto.

    Climatology is changing astoundingly quickly and some once-in-30 year (or once in 100 or even 200 year) paths to new knowledge are opening. Fact: You aren't keeping up with recent research.

  193. Colin Paterson

    @Eric

    BRAVO!!!!!

  194. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    erm

    climate audit isn't a *science* blog, it's actually better known as a forum for climate change sceptics. As ever, take everything with a pinch (or larger) of salt.

  195. R W Rodway
    Thumb Up

    Frying tonight

    Well, I don't think we should get worried about the slow increase in solar luminosity killing us any time soon. The variance in total solar irradiance seems to be about 1 W/m^2 from the minimum to the maximum of the cycle, varying around a base of 1366W/m^2. So that's 0.073% variance. The time taken for the sun to warm such that the minimum TSI is equal to todays maximum TSI would then the 0.073/6 billion years, or about 12.2 million years. Plenty of time to get the beers in before we all cook.

    Incidentally, though I do think that AGW is a problem I think energy security (aka keeping the lights on) over the next few years/decades is a far bigger concern.

  196. Mark

    @Eric Werme

    "> It is a fact that CO2 will trap IR and so blanket the earth like a, uh, blanket.

    It is also a fact that our current CO2 levels nearly completely block the range of wavelengths affected."

    And when did I say anything about this?

    Note: you say "nearly completely". As in "not completely". As in, if we add more, we get more nearly to "completely".

    And as we add, the atmosphere warms a little, adding more water vapour (the relative humidity lowers for the same mass of water in air, so it will achieve equilibrium of water/vapour above the sea at a higher total mass of water). And, as many sceptics point out, water is far more dangerous a warming agent. So we are having a positive feedback.

    Now if you start off on saying "well, there are negative feedbacks", please think these through first:

    a) that is all mentioned in IPCC reports

    b) have you actually got any proof that would satisfy a sceptic that you can measure the negative effects

    c) why haven't you produced a paper showing this will negate any effect

  197. Mark

    @more Eric Werme

    "> and that the sinks available can only handle so much in the short term

    That's not clear, and it one reason why that CO2 blip is interesting.

    > and the long term sinks don't react any where near the speed of the output we have.

    Ditto.

    Climatology is changing astoundingly quickly and some once-in-30 year (or once in 100 or even 200 year) paths to new knowledge are opening. Fact: You aren't keeping up with recent research."

    So what are these sinks for long term CO2 storage? What is unclear about the short term sinks (mainly the ocean and plant matter: and we're clearing a lot of the plant mass, aren't we)?

    You say "these are uncertain" but they are only uncertain because you're saying they are. Where's the proof?

  198. Mark

    Re:The DARPA grand challenge.

    Fair enough on the rest, I may have gotten you mixed up with someone else, but as to:

    "The DARPA grand challenge."

    is that anything like the X Prize? I.e. not a research grant but a competition. And it's OK to set prizes for WINNING a competition. It's rather different to:

    "Please research and publish peer-reviewed papers showing man has no overall effect on climate changes on the earth", which is asking for research.

    Because, at least in the X prize contest, the winner didn't really win, there were lots of people trying (whereas the antiAGW paper got none) and the result wasn't for political reasons. Except possibly to show that the US can still Do It.

  199. Mark

    Debating with the ill equipped

    Anonymous, I don't eat tofu. The fact that you have to make out I'm some eco hippie vegan (and therefore an anathema to any Right Thinking Red Blooded American) shows you have nothing to debate.

  200. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Mark

    >is that anything like the X Prize?

    It's this :- http://www.darpa.mil/grandchallenge/

    It is different of course, but it fulfils your criteria.

    >"Please research and publish peer-reviewed papers showing man has no overall

    > effect on climate changes on the earth", which is asking for research.

    No, it's still a competition. Unless the money is up front paying for the research. If it's awarded by outcome then it's a contest as is the Grand Challenge.

    BTW I didn't use the X prize because it's private isn't it?

    Otherwise I could use this as well:-

    http://www.naturalnews.com/021596.html

    "Virgin Group CEO offers $25 million prize to solve global warming challenge"

  201. Mark

    Red Blooded Americans

    I just ought to say for those americans out there that don't piss me off, I actually quite like americans. The earlier comment wasn't about americans but the capability of people to accept "Right Thinking" "Red Blooded Americans" and themselves as being inextricably linked.

    It isn't just limited to that group, CoS do the same thing, Police do it, Judges do it, feminists do it. All groups have *individuals* who are or can be salt of the earth. However, they do contain more than their share of people who assume just because of their association MUST be right.

    And Shrub (and pals) is a typical example of that thinking.

  202. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    eco hippie vegan

    Somebody got out of bed without alliging his shankras this morning.

  203. Anonymous Coward
    Alien

    Are all GW sceptics American then.

    Sorry not American;)

  204. Mark

    Re:Are all GW sceptics American then.

    No.

    What answer were you expecting?

  205. MechaNikos
    Linux

    @everyone

    This article is about data sets and their (possible) manipulation, not an article challenging the existence of a global warming phenomenon. If such manipulation has indeed taken place then perhaps we should be asking why, and look for those who benefit.

    As far as the global eco-craze is concerned, I couldn't care less. I have always been consuming resources reasonably and will continue to do so because I see no benefit from pointless waste of any kind. I turn lights and various devices off when they are not needed (most people I know don't), I switch the car engine off when in traffic or waiting longer than 3 mins, I don't leave water taps running just because water supply is unmetered, etc. But that's because it makes sense to do so and not because some eco-terrorist scared the hell out of me and managed to convince me that we will all melt like cheese on toast.

    Yes, global temperature is fluctuating and we are certainly not caring about our planet as much as we should (or could). But I do urge all sane El-Reg readers not to buy in to this whole load of crap they're trying to sell us.

    I, for one, will carry on polluting as much as I have always done, I will keep my awesome 2.5V6 engine and I'll keep enjoying the sun whilst waiting to die from skin cancer.

    And please don't buy a Prius; it's ugly and gay.

  206. Evan Jones

    Positive Feedback

    "Are all GW sceptics American then. "

    A higher percentage of Americans are skeptics than Europeans.

    "Now if you start off on saying "well, there are negative feedbacks", please think these through first:

    a) that is all mentioned in IPCC reports"

    The IPCC thesis relies on positive feedbacks. The IPCC admits that the effects of CO2 alone won't have much measurable effect.

    "b) have you actually got any proof that would satisfy a sceptic that you can measure the negative effects"

    The Aqua satellite is doing that. To cut to the chase, CO2 is supposed to lead to increased water vapor, which increases temperatures which melts surface ice, which decreases albedo, which leads to a tipping point.

    Instead what has happened is that increased CO2 has led to an increase not so much in dispersed vapor, but in low level cloud cover, which has increased albedo, which has resulted in homeostasis.

    And there are none of the projected tropospheric heat bubbles, either.

    The Aqua bouys have shown a slight ocean cooling over the last few years as well.

    The AquaSat and the argoBots were supposed to conclusively prove anthropogenic global warming. But so far they have not.

    "c) why haven't you produced a paper showing this will negate any effect"

    Others (the dudes with the Ph.Ds) are beating me to it. (Sigh.)

    Negative feedback won't negate the direct (but very small) CO2 effect. But there appears to be no positive feedback to speak of.

    The GCMs are bust, to say the least. The predictions simply haven't panned out. But those models were never any good. If they had been, the IPCC would have released the code and operating manuals.

    Try this one out for a feedback mechanism: No open source results in no independent review, which results (by definition) in no scientific method, which results in a lack of credibility.

  207. Mark

    @MechaNikos

    No, this is not about data and possible manipulation. That discussion could be made over, say, the elections in London or the ones in the US.

    This is about how AGW must be wrong because they keep fiddling the figures.

    And you state "As far as the global eco-craze is concerned, I couldn't care less." but then countermand that statement with "But I do urge all sane El-Reg readers not to buy in to this whole load of crap they're trying to sell us." and "I will keep my awesome 2.5V6 engine" so you definitely DO care. You just care about your comfort more than the possibility of global warming being partly your fault.

    So you don't care about AGW but you do care that it should be shown false.

  208. Mark
    Alien

    Re: prius

    How do you know the sexual proclivities of a transportation device? Do you enjoy a little cross-morbidity working? Enjoy a tailpipe on occasion? But don't like being rear-ended?

    Course, you probably prefer a big throbbing beast under you with 2.5 litres of guzzling, throbbing motive power...

  209. Mark
    Boffin

    @Evan Jones

    So water is ONLY causing a negative feedback???

    And with that you expect anyone to believe the rest of your message? Please.

    Water vapour keeps heat in. This is why, despite being flaming hot, desserts (dry) are flippin freezing at night. And 100% of the air will have water vapour. You can have 0% cloud.

    So what's wrong with your idea?

    Well, given that you make assertions that aren't backed up, why should anyone listen to the rest? If it is of no better quality, it would just be a waste of time, wouldn't it.

  210. Mark
    Alert

    Shitzengigglz

    Well a quick google brings up a Roy Spencer (who believes in Intelligent Design. natch).

    There's also a different paper produced from the raw data that comes to a different conclusion. Possibly because the paper you want to introduce is

    a) excluding error bars on their results

    b) isn't giving the raw data calibration information

    c) selects a calibration that fits the "there's no problem" requirement

  211. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Neil - there's no reason to believe your cause had an effect.

    Neil wrote:

    ". Please use the full data sets and not pick and mix. You will find that the long term trend is still upwards. Anthropomorphic climate change is happening."

    You really have no clue, do you?

    Even IF the temperatures have been rising for the last 3-4 decades, it is NOT proof that human activity is changing the climate. You're mixing a change in a very complex system (the world's climate) with a GUESS that it has anything to do with human activity, CO2, or man-made CO2.

    People like Neil are the EXACT reason we have such a problem in this world - they don't use their brain.

  212. mewol
    Dead Vulture

    how painful

    The article was bad, but the comments go beyond that into the ridiculously painful.

    Mr. Goddard, I (like yourself) am not a climate scientist. But it's not that hard to find explanations for these corrections.

    For instance, see http://www.marshall.org/article.php?id=312 and its references at the bottom.

    As I understand it, the corrections made were due to a drift in the orbits of the satellites, resulting in a mistiming of the readings. Obviously if you're erroneously attributing early-evening readings to mid-afternoon (or something similar) you're going to need to correct upwards when you discover the problem.

    Hardly the stuff horrible secret conspiracies are made of.

  213. Evan Jones

    Whom to believe?

    "As I understand it, the corrections made were due to a drift in the orbits of the satellites, resulting in a mistiming of the readings. Obviously if you're erroneously attributing early-evening readings to mid-afternoon (or something similar) you're going to need to correct upwards when you discover the problem."

    No, those are not NASA corrections. In fact, the corrected satellite data to which you refer is already shown in the article (RSS and UAH graphs). What is being discussed is NASA's "readjustment". You are confusing agencies. (Not too difficult; I do it all the time. But one has to keep track.)

    NASA/GISS does not use satellite data (odd, but true). GISS uses NOAA/HCN ground station network metadata (already heartily adjusted upward by NOAA) and then NASA adjusts the NOAA data further. (I have already acerbically commented on the NOAA adjustment process.)

    "So water is ONLY causing a negative feedback???"

    Water vapor is earth's primary greenhouse gas. Any added water that remains as vapor adds to the GH effect and is, to that extent, a positive feedback. But that which instead forms into low level clouds reflects heat back out into space (i.e., it causes an increase in albedo), This results in homeostasis. Enough has gone into albedo to prevent temperature rise.

    "And with that you expect anyone to believe the rest of your message? Please.

    "Water vapour keeps heat in. This is why, despite being flaming hot, desserts (dry) are flippin freezing at night. And 100% of the air will have water vapour. You can have 0% cloud.

    "So what's wrong with your idea?"

    Any heat that gets in is (partially) trapped by GH gasses. But it has to get in, first. As it turns out, most of the increase in atmospheric water is going into low-level cloud formation, not ambient vapor.

    The result is that enough heat is being reflected back into space to make up for that which is trapped. Thus CO2 has no positive feedback. It warms a little bit on its own, but does not trigger the warming dominoes.

    This is why temperatures have remained "jig-jag" flat for the last decade, as has been shown by RSS and UAH satellite data and HadCRU surface data. NASA is the odd man out. (Liars, damnliars and outliers?)

    Think of it this way, a barrier can act like a blanket to keep heat in, or like a fireman's getup to keep heat out, or both, like a spacesuit. When Truman said, "If it's too hot, get out of the kitchen," Harry Hopkins is said to have replied, "In this kitchen you need asbestos pants".

    "Well, given that you make assertions that aren't backed up, why should anyone listen to the rest? If it is of no better quality, it would just be a waste of time, wouldn't it."

    I couldn't have put it better myself, actually. The IPCC makes claims based on Global Climate Models, yet they refuse to release the algorithms, code, or operating manuals. Not only that, but the results so far have proven to be just plain old wrong. So why should anyone listen? Much less base major policy on it.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As for others believing what I am saying as opposed to what you are saying, I have no expectations whatever, one way or another. They are perfectly capable of reading what I say and reading what you say and making up their own minds.

  214. Evan Jones

    CO2 permanency

    "I gather that the current best estimate for the Co2 sensitivity is about 3 degrees per doubling of Co2 concentration. So if the average temp now is 14C and we double the concentration of Co2 then the average temp will slowly rise until it gets to 17C (and then stop if we don't add any more Co2)."

    There's a lot of dispute over that calculation (and it's +/- 1.5°C) because it is based on the IPCC positive feedback assumptions, but I am willing to stipulate it for the sake of argument.

    Isn't CO2 persistence a significant factor? CO2 has a long, but limited life in the atmosphere, and it sinks out, given time. (That's also the paleo model, so far as we can reconstruct it via proxies.)

    So assuming CO2 output stopped, wouldn't CO2 (and temperatures) decrease as time went on, in much the same manner as the Cretaceous-to-present model?

    BTW, I don't disagree with you about the sun. I am more of a sea witch than a sun-worshiper (BUT with due deference to the DeVries cycle, naturally). It seems to me that the atmospheric tail cannot wag the oceanic dog (considering where the joules are stashed). And I find it highly significant that the ArgoBots show a slight ocean cooling.

  215. Evan Jones

    Back to data accuracy

    "This is about how AGW must be wrong because they keep fiddling the figures."

    Now that you mention it, The NOAA has set up a pristine network, the CRN (to go online this fall). It is pristine and beautiful, with fully automated (and redundant) data measurement and collection.

    All data will be raw and unadjusted. No fiddling with figures. The NOAA has finally seen what a disaster their adjustment procedure is.

    Even if it were done right (which it ain't), there would still be an unacceptable margin of error. (These guys are claiming to be accurate to >0.01°C! You don't get there with a six-step adjustment procedure . . .) You want positive feedbacks? Nothing beats multiple margins of error for THAT!

  216. Mark

    CO2 permanency

    the sensitivity is a mapping based on geological records. If you can find a sensitivity that fits the past record much less than 1.5degrees, print it. However, 3 degrees is the best fit and there's a much higher upper limit on sensitivity than the lower limit. That is, more than 4.5 degrees per doubling is much more likely than less than 1.5 degrees per doubling.

    Re:accuracy. Argument by personal incredulity and also assuming that since that was wrong, the mean must be different AND assuming that if it is different, it is and must be lower. Not higher. So where's the feedback? Too low an error calculation cools the planet??? Where's the cause for that?

    Which leads me on to:

    And regarding the eternal coward, there IS a cause: CO2 is a greenhouse gas and we're emitting lots by burning oil (the volume of which can be found in the financial reports of the oil producing countries). THERE is the cause. Now if our CO2 isn't doing any warming,what is the cause of that anomaly? Where's YOUR cause for that effect?

  217. Steven Goddard
    Gates Halo

    Satellite data corrections

    Several people have commented on corrections to satellite data which have brought RSS and UAH in sync.

    While that may be an interesting topic, it doesn't have anything to do with this article - which is about adjustments to the NASA ground-based data.

  218. Mark

    re: Satellite data corrections

    It does show that adjustments to satellite data needn't be because they wanted a different answer. Since that is the main thrust of your argument, this does seem to me to be quite relevant an observation.

    But, hey. What would I know.

  219. Evan Jones

    Where are we and how did we get here?

    "the sensitivity is a mapping based on geological records. If you can find a sensitivity that fits the past record much less than 1.5degrees, print it. However, 3 degrees is the best fit and there's a much higher upper limit on sensitivity than the lower limit. That is, more than 4.5 degrees per doubling is much more likely than less than 1.5 degrees per doubling."

    If there is any real connectivity at all. Before the most recent drop there were three other drops in temperature. With one of them there was a strong drop in CO2, but with the other two there was a (relatively) mild increase. CO2 fluctuation does not match temperature very well. It's not an impossible fit, but it's a bad one.

    The best "outside" correlations with surface temperatures are the multidecadal ocean cycles (PDO, AMO, IPO) and atmospheric/oceanic cycles (AO, AAO, NAO, etc.). Those match up fairly well, not only with the recent 130-year curve, but the hemispheric differences as well.

    "there IS a cause: CO2 is a greenhouse gas and we're emitting lots by burning oil (the volume of which can be found in the financial reports of the oil producing countries)."

    I agree. The question is that of degree and secondary effects.

    "THERE is the cause. Now if our CO2 isn't doing any warming,what is the cause of that anomaly? Where's YOUR cause for that effect?"

    I am a lukewarmist. I think there has been a mild temperature increase. I think the 1880-1998 measurements can be pased as follows:

    1.) A slow, natural recovery from the (most recent) Little Ice Age. If you add up the last five major minimums (Oort, Wolf, Spoerer, Maunder, Dalton minima, over the last 900 years), you will find that 25% of the time, earth has been subjected to Little Ice Age-type conditions.

    2.) There have been two periods of warming and one of cooling during the 20th century. We are at currently at the peak of a warm phase. But around 1900, we were in a cool phase. So we are measuring from a low point to a high point, which exaggerates the trend. But if you measure form the 1930s peak to the current peak, you get a mere 0.2°C increase, which is quite modest.

    And now we appears to be changing. After two "warmings" and two "coolings", we may well find the true "trend".

    3.) I think there has been spurious exaggeration of the record due to severe (well documented), accumulating surface station site violation (overwhelmingly warm biases)--plus NOAA/NASA "adjustment" procedures. Correct or incorrect, this is a conclusion, not an assumption, based on n direct evidence of site violation and examination of specific adjustment procedures, including the specifics of NOAA's FILENET, SHAP, and UHI adjustments. (If you factor this in, the air/sea cycles fit the curve spectacularly well rather than fairly well.)

    In short, I think there has been a mild warming (but not as much as measured by surface stations) due to both natural and anthropogenic (mostly non-CO2) causes.

    On the other hand, I think all this can be and is being untangled, and we will get confirmation one way or another fairly soon. Let the chips fall where they may.

  220. Gareth

    Problem with the Land-Ocean Index graphs

    The scaling shown on the Global Temperature Land-Ocean Index graph (page 1) on the vertical axis is not consistant. This may be a misprint but the gradations below the 0 line are in increments of -2, -4 etc. The gradations above the 0 line are in increments of +0.2, +0.4, +0.6 etc an order of magnitude difference. If this is not a mis-print then this would show a warming since 1880 of ~ +2.6C (-2ish in 1880 and +0.6 now, according to the graph) which is much more than this article's author states (" - and nearly a full degree warmer than 1880.") or the IPCC for that matter - which would indicate that either he or someone else mistyped the graph information or he has mis-read the graph if it is indeed correct - not good in either case if you're going to write an article like this.

    Also I have just looked at the Hadley Center website

    (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/myths/2.html)

    ...and their graphs for "Global Temperature , 1850-2007" do not appear to me to show any significant cooling since 1998 which is not what the author states. Additionally there was an exceptionally strong El Nino event in 1998 that contributed to that year being the warmest on record, but the second warmest year on record was 2005 (a *very* close 2nd. place behind '98) and in that year there was no corresponding El Nino to lay any blame on. The author makes no mention of this either. I may be missing some things here but I don't think so, and I am dubious about this article author's ability to interpret this kind of data properly - even with a mis-print he is still misreading the graph.

  221. Luke Silburn

    Further Questions

    I'd just like to second the comments that John Philip posed a few posts up and ask for some answers to the points raised. I'm late to this particular party, so his post pre-empted most of the problems I had with the article as I read it.

    Further to his questions however, I would like to know:

    1) Why did the author not use consistent axis scales for the four graphs at the head of the article?

    2) In the eighth paragraph, the author mentions 'red below green' and 'red above green' in a couple of places. What is he referring to here? None of the graphics in the article seem to correspond with the description given in the text.

    Beyond those minor queries, I'd like to mention one aspect of the wider issue which is being overlooked by many commentators but which is touched on by the reference to the recent Nature article in the first paragraph - namely that the various datasets (HadCRUT, NASA, the satellites etc) are all attempts at measuring average air temperatures at (or near) to the earth's surface. The surface air temperature (SAT) is a useful metric of course, primarily because it's the piece of the of the wider climate system where we humans live, but it is only a small piece of the overall system and while we can use the trends in the surface record as a shorthand for the total process this useage can be a false friend if we're not careful.

    This is what seems to be happening with the reaction to the Keenlyside article, everyone seems to be fixated on the decadal projection they have made for SAT as though a decade of sideways-moving SAT means that warming is no longer happening, but this research does nothing to challenge the radiative model we have for the various GHGs (indeed the article's authors mention that they included GHG forcings in their model runs) so the authors think the warming effect will still occur, it's just that they don't expect the heat to show up in the SAT for a few years.

    All the stuff about 'Global Warming On Hold For A Decade' only makes sense if you conflate the surface record with the whole system (which is where the false friend takes you), but of course the air temperature isn't the whole system and anyone who has a passing acquaintance with thermodynamics will spot that for the air to be cooled then the excess heat has to have warmed something else up. In this case the 'something else' is almost certainly the ocean - which constitutes something like 90% of the total heat sink for the climate system and, incidentally, is something that we don't measure at all well.

    If the heat moves from something that is relatively well monitored to something that is barely monitored at all then to state that 'global warming has stopped' is really very badly mis-stating the actual situation - in reality the warming is still happening but now it's dropped out of sight.

    Regards

    Luke

  222. Andy

    short term changes

    Interesting article, it appears the global warming religion has no qualms about maniulating data to match its beliefs.

    What I find particularly amusing is that GW believers will frequently quote short term temperature changes as 'evidence' of GW. Yet when reports come out predicing the next 10 years will see a cooling (or that the last 10 years saw a cooling) it is 'only a temporary' cooling and it'll be back to warming as usual after that (well obviously if temperatures fall then they will rise again eventually!).

    I remember at the beginning of 2007 the UK media and the 'experts' were saying - 'this will be the hotest summer on record', 'this will finally convince all the GW doubters' etc..

    What happened?

    We had a typical British wet and changable summer.

    What did the media and the usual GW advocates say?

    'Well that proves it even more - the weather is all messed up'.

    Huh? You can't have it both ways.

    What did all this prove? Nothing, the weather in this country has always been changable and unpredicable. The panic mongers need to grow up and get on with their lives.

    Andy

  223. Mark

    "let the chips fall where they may"

    So, in the espoused "I have no pony in this show, so I've no agenda. trust me" way of thinking you advice do nothing.

    Given that we have two sides of the debate:

    a) Doom! We MUST do SOMETHING!!!

    and

    b) Doom! If we do SOMETHING, we'll all be living in caves!!!

    we should do nothing.

    How is that a compromise?

  224. Evan Jones

    Wonderful compromise!

    Definitely. "Doing nothing" (in a governmental sense) is exactly what the doctor ordered.

    "Doing nothing" means that the undeveloped countries (including but not limited to India/China) will develop and achieve the level affluence has has banished the age-old miseries of mankind. That which we westerners take for granted. This will take two or three decades.

    "Doing nothing" means that the developed countries will acquire immense wealth and power. This will probably take two or three decades, but breakthroughs along the way may accelerate things in ways we cannot yet imagine.

    If global warming, anthropogenic or not, is not a problem, we have one end of Pascal's wager. If global warming DOES turn out to be a serious problem, we will be infinitely better equipped and empowered to deal with it. (I think the "hi-tech-sheet-of-tinfoil-in-space" reflector idea may eventually show promise, as it is adjustable.) Which is the other end of Pascal's wager.

    But Kyoto-like solutions have three problems.

    --First, they come at incredible cost in both treasure and human life. (This affects the poor far, far more than the rich--as we have seen so far.)

    --Second, they don't work. Even the greens admit that the CO2 effects of Kyoto would be minimal in terms of climate change.

    --Third, they would leave us that much poorer and with that much less wealth-generated technology to deal with the AGW problem if it turns out to be serious.

    This is NOT what Pascal had in mind.

    Stipulating a serious AGW problem, we cannot "dodge" it. But we can "outrun" it.

    You see, climate isn't the only field with "feedback" synergy. Economics works that way. too. Wealth results in technology which results in the ability to solve previously insoluble problems--which results in yet more wealth.

    Once you have gotten over the climate graphs for the 20th century, take a gander at some of the economic graphs!

    Besides, no country has ever cleaned up its environment before it has become affluent. And no affluent country has ever failed to clean up its environment. (And it is the developed countries that have by far the lowest birthrates. Check out birthrates in 1990 compared with today. Birthrates are much lower today.)

    The "tipping point" we keep hearing about, applies far more to economics than it ever did to global warming.

    So, yes. for heaven's sake, "do nothing"!

  225. Mark

    So for you the only good comptromise

    is the compromise when you win.

    Idiot.

  226. Evan Jones

    Outcome

    As far apart as we are, we both want the greatest good for the greatest number. We disagree on the degree of danger how to deal.

    I doubt GW is a problem. I doubt very much it is an immediate problem.

    You disagree.

    Either one of us could be wrong.

    But it is important to note that the proposed solutions are not free of cost (mostly cost to the poor), and that the more generally advanced mankind's technology is, the more capable we are to deal with almost any given problem.

    Also, bear in mind that the debate is ongoing. If compelling AGW evidence shows up, we can alter course, and we will be more able to act effectively the wealthier and more advanced we have become.

  227. Steven Goddard
    Linux

    Satellite corrections

    Mark,

    Your assertion that "they (RSS and UAH) wanted a different answer" doesn't have much backing.

    Here is the list of publications from RSS staff. Please find one to support your claim. Unlike some prominent people at NASA, RSS is politically neutral.

    http://www.remss.com/support/rss_journal_papers_by_year.html

  228. Mark

    CO2 concentration and absorbtion saturation

    For some, the fact that CO2 is at current concentrations at the surface isn't the whole picture.

    That is true at the surface, but CO2 is well mixed and its scale height is about 8km, so concentrations go down as you go up. So although it is saturated at the surface, CO2 is not saturated higher up. However, as you increase surface concentration, the mixing will increase the saturation at higher levels too. Which will increase (to saturation of the IR band being looked at) the higher levels. Thickening the blanket. And what happens when you change your 6TOG with an 8TOG?

    Add to that the edges of the spectra are NOT saturated and that energy increases as you go up the black-body curve (until it peaks), these currently unsaturated bands will increase their absorbtion linearly with increasing concentration.

    PS Steven, your entire post is about how the NASA pages had changed figures and posited that this was purely because they wanted to show GW. YOU are making the accusation, not me. I'm just pointing out that other cases where you do not believe a change to be because of anything other than finding out the assumptions changing the digital readout to temperature profiles was incorrect and needed changing. Much like calibrating thermometers: mercury thermometers are calibrated differently from pyric (?) incandescent thermometers.

    YOU made that assertion. NOT ME. Your assertion was with a different group, though, but you still accused scientists of malfeasance.

    YOU.

  229. Evan Jones

    CO2 Argument / Site Violations &. Adjustments

    The main IPCC argument is not with CO2-as-a-blanket. A common misconception.

    The IPCC argues that CO2 acts as the driver of secondary forcing (mainly water vapor) which leads to loss of ice (decreased albedo) and to irreversible warming.

    The IPCC concedes that CO2 effect alone is minimal. It ONLY matters if it leads to positive reinforcement. The IPCC argues that there is a huge amount of positive reinforecement.

    But since there is recent strong evidence (theoretical as well as observatonal) that CO2 does NOT lead to positive reinforcement, an increase of CO2 warming, in and of itself, doesn't add up to half a tinker's damn.

    As for RSS and UAH, they became aware of the orbital drift error and made the necessary corrections. Warming corrections, as it turns out.

    But when NASA and NOAA are made strikingly aware of the grotesque (to the point of high humor) site violations of the HCN ground network, they do NOT make the necessary corrections. IF If it weren't for the pristine CRN network being set up by the NOAA, I would write them off as hopeless. But NOAA, unlike NASA, shows promise. And I will wager that NASA will continue to base its measurements on the old NOAA system and not off NOAA/CRN.

    If anyone questions how a heat sink violation ruins a ground station regarding BOTH warming offset AND warming trend, see,

    Yimaz, et al (2008) [for spurious increase in warming offset]

    http://www.ejournal.unam.mx/atm/Vol21-2/ATM002100202.pdf

    And,

    LaDochy, Pazlet, et al (Dec. 2007) [for spurious increase in warming trend]

    http://www.int-res.com/abstracts/cr/v33/n2/p159-169/

    The CRN is quite aware of all this, of course, which accounts for their spanking new and vastly improved ground network (to go on line this Fall).

  230. Steven Goddard
    Linux

    Motivations

    Hi Mark,

    I haven't made any accusations and have no idea what other people's motivations are - you are reading your own thoughts in.

    What I see is data that has been altered in a highly unusual manner - unlike anything I have encountered elsewhere in engineering or science. There is no question that the data has been systematically altered on several occasions to increase the slope of the graph. What the motivations were for doing that, I can't say. They may be perfectly legitimate.

    Fedora 9 is awesome. I'm a penguin today.

  231. Mark
    Joke

    Hot isn't it

    So where's all this global cooling we're supposed to be having?

  232. Mark
    Alien

    @Steven: didn't you read your own article?

    " Something appears to be inconsistent with the NASA data - but what is it?

    One clue we can see is that NASA has been reworking recent temperatures upwards and older temperatures downwards - which creates a greater slope and the appearance of warming."

    "Describing this more succinctly, the 2007 version of the data appears to have been sheared vertically across 1970 to create the appearance of a warming trend."

    YOU accuse NASA of changing the data TO CREATE a warming trend.

    Or was that someone else writing that?

  233. Mark

    Spin again?

    "There is no question that the data has been systematically altered on several occasions to increase the slope of the graph."

    Nope, this is assuming that the changes were to make the slope steeper.

    All you have proof of is that there are changes that make the slope steeper.

    One is assuming intent. The other not.

  234. Steven Snape
    Happy

    What I want to know is...

    When will I have the beach on doorstep and be able to grow my own bananas at my home in Birmingham

  235. Mark

    Re: What I want to know is...

    Just before someone gets the council to re-zone your property and sell it to someone with lots of wonga, then rezone it back to residential.

    Do you really think that Mr Rich Bastard is going to see his Henley abode sink under the waves and do nothing???

  236. Evan Jones

    'Elp! 'Elp! Ahm Bein' Repressed!

    Yes, life would be so much easier for you if only those rich bastards vanished off the face of the earth. They don't create wealth, buy lots of stuff made by poorer people, employ poorer people, or invest their money and grow the economy. They just steal it from you, heap it into a big pile and sleep on it for a bed. After all, when was the last time a CEO ever had to work hard? <Insert smiley-face indicating mordant sarcasm>

  237. Mark

    Spending power

    When you're poor, you spend 100% of your money. When you're rich, you have to spend much less as a proportion. Most of what is spend is an investment. And there are a LOT more poor people.

    The Keynseian multiplier touted doesn't work in real life: the rich lend out their dosh to poorer people that have to pay the money back with interest, pooling the money back into their hands.

    And as to my position, I could trim sails a little and get away with a salary about half (or a little less) than I'm currently getting. So I'd consider myself wealthy. People had asked why I don't get a second house and rent it out and make more money that way, but in my estimation that would make me part of the housing problem. I don't need that extra money so why do it. NOTE: those who DO need the money can't get a mortgage because nobody will lend it to them, despite lending it to people who are just going to rent it out (something the poor person could do just as well). So you can't make money until you're at the stage you don't have to make it.

  238. Dr Stephen Jones

    Mark says it all (without trying)

    @Evan - Progressive politics used to be about making the poor better off.

    Now it's about ensuring they stay poor, with sanctimonious middle class Greens making ostentatious signs of how they are making sacrifices.

    Fortunately this agenda is electoral suicide.

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