Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Climate Derangement Syndrom in Action

After challenging a CDS denier (was it that I used the word Crayola ?) I got an email reply, not nearly as entertaining as the email that Jim Hansen gets but then again maybe the 48 pt. lettering and the extravagant use of profanity by its author is what caught my attention.

To quote :

Give it up [redacted], your caught, your [redacted], your a lier, your a [redacted] [redacted]ing [redacted] ignorant mother [redacted] with a limited life span.

Wow ... now in all fairness to this fellow I didn't correct his spelling errors but I did redact his language in accordance with the terms of this blog host.

All this in response to this announcement from Hadley/MET :

Increase in mean near-surface temperature (°C) from (1989-98) to (1999-2008)

Increase in mean near-surface temperature (°C) from (1989-98) to (1999-2008)

The lower figure is the ECMWF analysis which uses all available observations, including satellite and weather balloon records, synthesised in a physically- and meteorologically-consistent way, and the upper figure represents the same period from our HadCRUT record. The ECMWF analysis shows that in data-sparse regions such as Russia, Africa and Canada, warming over land is more extreme than in regions sampled by HadCRUT. If we take this into account, the last decade shows a global-mean trend of 0.1 °C to 0.2 °C per decade. We therefore infer with high confidence that the HadCRUT record is at the lower end of likely warming.

one 'F' or two ?

Senator Jim Inhofe, leading recipient of oil and gas lobby monies made a pilgrimage to COP15.

From the news reports, apparently for the good Senator, it didn't go to very well in his attempt to prove the "great myth of global warming"

This from

After 'Truth Squad' Fizzles, Der Spiegel Reporter Tells Inhofe: 'You're Ridiculous'


Back in September, godfather of global warming deniers Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) announced that he would be going to the U.N.’s climate change summit in Copenhagen this week to present “another view.” “I think somebody has to be there — a one-man truth squad,” he said. His “truth squad” later expanded to three, with Sens. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) joining in.

But MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow noted last night that Inhofe’s mission of wreaking havoc on the summit fell flat:

MADDOW: When Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton and all the bigwigs arrived in Denmark, the Inhofe truth squad was nowhere to be found.

We confirmed with the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works that truth squad, denialist, congressional delegation with Senators Barrasso and Wicker – that has ended up getting canceled.

Inhofe did travel to Copenhagen however — with a single staffer and when he got there, all he could muster was an “impromptu” press conference and spent a grand total of two hours in the Danish capital. But even during the press conference, few reporters showed up and the Oklahoma senator wasn’t very well received by the ones who did:

A reporter asked: “If there’s a hoax, then who’s putting on this hoax, and what’s the motive?”

“It started in the United Nations,” Inhofe said, “and the ones in the United States who really grab ahold of this is the Hollywood elite.”

One reporter asked Inhofe if he was referring to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Another reporter — this one from Der Spiegel — told the senator: “You’re ridiculous.”

Politco notes that when Inhofe arrived at the summit “the halls were half-deserted” and that he “walked quickly, brushing off an aide who suggested that he slow down and take a breath.” “I don’t want to breathe — I want to get something done,” he said.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Talking about SwiftHack aka ClimateGate

I was watching the first few minutes of Leonardo DiCaprio's documentary, The 11th Hour. What I saw was not what I was expecting.

A distinguished scientist, a specialist in the study of climactic change on our earth made a plain and simple statement.

"global warming isn't about belief"

In my dealings with the lay public I've always found a very large gulf between what is known in the science and what is thought on the sidewalk. Global warming is no different.

The hack attack at the CRU of UEA has pried open the door for everyone who has a differential opinion about the matter, bursting forth with criticism, sarcasm, wit and doubt.

NPR has decided that Jim Hansen can't get his papers published.

The New York Times has examined columnist Andrew Rivken's association with the CRU as his name appears in the lifted emails.

Rivken himself has decided to once again try to present 'balance' where little exists. While over in the denier/delayer camp, the coffee pot is hot and the keyboards are on fire.

On, David Harsanyi has made at least three startling claims, two of which I think can shed light on.
Phil Jones, head of the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit in Britain, has stepped down from his position. Michael Mann, architect of the famous "hockey stick" graph, is now under investigation by Pennsylvania State University. Similar inquiries should follow.

1) Phil Jones has in fact stepped down as the UEA does an internal investigation into the stolen emails. As a part of this investigation the emails themselves and their content will be examined and certainly questions about methodology raised. But given that the data set from UEA shows a trend that is confirmed independently I very much expect to see Jones back in the left hand seat by the beginning of the year.

2) likewise the University of Pennsylvania is doing a similar investigation of the emails sent and received by Michael Mann. Mann's work has already been validated independently (twice) but to quote Mann, he'd be a bit disappointed if the University didn't look into the matter.

Now number three has me a bit stumped !

Take NASA, which—despite a 2-year-old Freedom of Information Act request asking for research detailing its historical data—continues to ignore taxpayers.

Are these state secrets?

Using my favorite library tool I googled "NASA FOIA Historical Climate Data"

Google reveals all ...

Chris Horner, a fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), is trying to take a look at NASA's, probably, cooked climate change data. NASA has been in the middle of the fraud, and even furthered it, it appears. Horner and CEI has given NASA until the end of this year to comply with his FOIA request before suing.

Horner is the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism and Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud and Deception to Keep you Misinformed. He has tried for two years, through the Freedom of Information Act, to see NASA's data, which he suspects is fraudulent. Horner believes NASA:

In the blog article about Horner's FOIA request Horner is quoted as saying

...has shaped its climate data and [that] would explain why the agency has repeatedly had to correct its data going as far back as the 1930's.

I assume that what is there is highly damaging," Mr. Horner said. "These guys are quite clearly bound and determined not to reveal their internal discussions about this.

Well, this is dramatic, isn't it? I did a little digging into Horner over at RealClimate. Finding nothing I resorted to the Wiki and hit pay dirt. Chris Horner is a lawyer and works for none other than CEI, the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Horner has had some pretty interesting things to say about NASA and James Hansen.

Horner has accused NASA's chief climate scientist, James Hansen, of "doctor[ing] temperature data on two occasions in 2001 and once in 2007 in attempts to show an impending climate catastrophe." Horner told Fox News that Hansen has "clearly abused his platform provided to him by the taxpayer, principally by the way he's been exposed of manipulating and revising data with the strange coincidence of him always found on the side of exaggerating the warming."

I don't know if it was in the same breath or not but he followed up with this piece of space age wisdom.
"[The planet Pluto, which is warming up despite moving away from the sun], is a reminder that no matter where you are climate happens... There will be inevitably and likely imminent claims [by environmentalists] that mankind is also causing Plutonian global warming."

I find this statement most telling for one small detail (also from the Wiki)
As Pluto moves away from the Sun, its atmosphere gradually freezes and falls to the ground.

Did I mention he was a lawyer?

Friday, November 27, 2009

ClimateGate (why it matters and doesn't)

When I first heard of the break-in by as of yet un-named individuals to the mail server at CRU of the University of East Anglia I must admit I brushed it off. I thought to myself, "what could anyone find?"

In this regard I was quite right and quite wrong. They didn't find anything other than the usual, scientists fighting over methods and practices. Its what you would expect to find.

The climate denier/delayer criminal cadre by careful parsing of words and snipping from context with very little trouble created a tempest in a teacup by creating the impression that a conspiracy existed. Having found all sorts of 'evil' in these emails, even then nothing is there, they are now spending column inches in print and the blogosphere barking about the 'conspiracy' where none exists.

In a weird way this reminds me of Richard Hoagland and the face on Mars. He went to extraordinary lengths to prove what he was interpreting from grainy imagery transmitted back. NASA gave him factual answers and factual information but has been to this day unable to convince Hoagland that what he thinks he is seeing isn't there.

My favorite line when dealing with a denier is "here's the data, prove me wrong!" It always takes them off guard when I click to a public website and pull up pile of research data.

One of their winning strategies is to put the opponent on the defensive but here is where it fails. Climate science is facts and data, no belief required. You may not want to swim in waters too deep, if you don't understand the data, in you don't know how to process the data, then maybe you should either get the skills or get out of the pool !

This is part of the reason why I carry around a pretty complete list of links to data sets and at least a handful of methods.

I've created a special posting with some of the data sources I use in context of my posts. has put up a very complete source data page.

I agree with the rest of the climate science community, transparency is good but getting lay people out of dictating science policy would be better.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Response (or having a battle of wits with an unarmed person)

We now boldly stride up to our ultra-fascist right wing wacka-doodle, ripping the gauntlet out of his hand and quickly striking him across the left side of the head.

The common tactic of the denier/delayer is to throw opinion pieces from news papers and magazines up on the wall and like spaghetti, see if it sticks. The opinion piece from the Western Voices World News is no different, let me show you how.

They start their piece with a staggering claim.
There's a big global warming scandal breaking out across the blogosphere. Earlier I saw Der Spiegel's, "Climatologists Baffled by Global Warming Time-Out."

The Der Spiegel article correctly quotes a recent statement from the British MET Office Hadley Centre which indicated that the upward trend in global temperatures has plateaued off.

Just a few weeks ago, Britain's Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research added more fuel to the fire with its latest calculations of global average temperatures. According to the Hadley figures, the world grew warmer by 0.07 degrees Celsius from 1999 to 2008 and not by the 0.2 degrees Celsius assumed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And, say the British experts, when their figure is adjusted for two naturally occurring climate phenomena, El Niño and La Niña, the resulting temperature trend is reduced to 0.0 degrees Celsius -- in other words, a standstill.

They indicate how 'baffled' the climate science community is about the whole matter.
Climatologists are puzzled as to why average global temperatures have stopped rising over the last 10 years.

Fact is, no one is baffled by what were seeing, what makes data analysis and prediction difficult is that the current historically measured rate of temperature increase is about .2 degrees celsius per year where the annual seasonal variability is also .2 degrees celsius.

Because the signal is buried deep in the noise for the lay public to make grandiose comparisons between observations and the predictions of models is more than crazy making.

Der Spegiel does seem to soften their tone by reflecting on the difference between local weather and global climate.
The differences among individual regions of the world are considerable. In the Arctic, for example, temperatures rose by almost three degrees Celsius, which led to a dramatic melting of sea ice. At the same time, temperatures declined in large areas of North America, the western Pacific and the Arabian Peninsula. Europe, including Germany, remains slightly in positive warming territory.

Wow, this has got to be damaging, doesn't it? Actually, no for two reasons.

First, Der Spiegel apparently failed to read the complete statement of the Hadley Centre. Quoting from the summary.
Average global temperatures are now some 0.75 °C warmer than they were 100 years ago and since the mid-1970s average global temperatures have increased at a rate of more than 0.15 °C per decade. Yet over the last 10 years temperatures have risen more slowly, causing some to claim that global warming has stopped. Here we explain why this is not the case and explains that observed changes are entirely consistent with our understanding of natural fluctuations of the climate within a trend of continuing long-term warming. The evidence is very clear that global temperatures are rising and that humans are largely responsible.

Secondly, Der Spiegel played fast and loose with the simplest of facts from the Hadley statement. To quote Der Spiegel -
"According to the Hadley figures, the world grew warmer by 0.07 degrees Celsius from 1999 to 2008"

The problem here is pretty simple, the Hadley data graphs cover the period from 1850 to 2007, not extending to 2008. Where did 2008 come from and what's wrong with adding a year here or a year there? Nothing until you use it as the basis of your headline graphic to support a false premise. They further seem to complicate matters by quoting a number of 0.07 degrees which I could not find at Hadley, so I went digging through the data sets.

This is typically the point where I stop looking for whats wrong and try to find what might by chance be right - looking into the HADCrut3 data set myself I found the same problem I've seen before with the deniers and delayers; cherry picking.

For the interval 1999 to 2007, the HADCrut3 data set starts from 0.262 degrees in 1999, peaks at 0.479 in 2005 and drops to 0.403 in 2007. Here the flattening of the trend line is quite clear and its clear that Der Spegiel had the data in their hands because they then proceed to add 2008 where the temperature drops to 0.3120 degrees celsius.

Impressive? Not really as ten years of data alone make a poor trend. What Der Spegiel failed to do when creating their headline graphic is include the error bars. What is it with the error bars? The error bars show the confidence of the data and is used and carried forward in all calculations.

In the HADCrut3 data set the first two columns are the year and the temperature, columns three through twelve are the 95 percent certainty ranges based on how the data was analyzed.

Since they had the data in their hands they also failed to notice that currently HADCrut3 has pegged 2009 at 0.439 degrees above the baseline datum making the total delta T from 1999 to 2009 of 0.1770 degrees celsius, just under the .2 degree per decade we've been observing.

What Hadley did was revise their data set factoring in yearly or seasonal variability. Now there is likely to be an argument about how they processed their data and I would like to see the same transforms made against some of the other established data sets but until then I'll just enjoy watching the denier/delayers dig a deeper hole for themselves.

British MET Office Hadley Centre Climate Monitoring Data Sets

British MET Office Hadley Report "Global Warming Goes On" (Summary)

Image Credit : Der Spegiel Online

Facts and Data (where and how)

Because of the technical limits of there are simply some things I cannot do to make the presentations more comprehensive.

This entry is an evolving list of sources for both facts, data and for good measure, some of the out right lies of the denier/delayer crowd.

They will be cross referenced to the individual blog posts.

Question #1 (solar forcing vs. global temperature)

General - IPCC Third Assessment - WG1

Question #1 (solar forcing vs. global temperatures)

Anthropogenic global warming isn't a belief system, its facts and data. You may not agree with the facts or the data and if you don't its up to the observer to challenge those facts and data with either a competing hypothesis or evidence that the conclusions drawn are either not valid or having lesser validity to a competing hypothesis.

In the documentary "The Great Global Warming Swindle" (2007) the producers propose the hypothesis that global warming is connected to solar output using the enclosed graph. The graph suggestively supports the assertion that the activity of our sun is responsible for the heating of the earth.

Two things to note about the graph ...

First the temperature scale is bounded with both negative and positive values above or below a datum point. The datum point is commonly agreed as a specific mean temperature within a base period. The generally agreed base period is the interval of 1951 through 1980. So that sets our zero point for the temperature side of the graph.

Secondly, and much more problematic is the portion of the graph illustrating solar forcing. It has no units so you have to guess; it looks like total solar irradiance but the numbers are way out of range and further the numbers decline monotonically as you ascent the axis. They could be using the duration of solar cycles but these are two entirely different measures.

My question for the Witchfinder General is with the volumes of data available why do they stop the solar data in the late 1970's and the temperature data in the early 1980's ?