the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Open Thread #1

Posted by Jeff Id on January 12, 2010

Ok, tAV is probably long overdue for an open thread. Open means open for climate related discussion. Not that I clip anything, but intelligent people need space to have discussion.

Keep it civil and I’m looking forward to what we might learn.

———

An interesting topic is Diatribe Guy’s request for some help with a problem put forth far too often by the advocate crowd.

Jeff, not on topic, but you have quite a volume of posts, and I’d like your input. I’m going back and forth with a guy who stated the following:

“As you said, I rely on the opinions of those who know more than you and me. The National Academy of Sciences defenended Mann’s work (with some nuances) saying that any statistical flaws were immaterial to the shape of the curve.

Thus far, noone in the last 15 years or so has published a paleo-climate record that is materially different than Mann’s. Even with the absence of tree rings, the general shape still holds up.

I’m not saying McIntyre and McKitrick are incompetent, or haven’t provided any good insights. They have. And with their insights, you still get a hockey stick. To my knowledge noone from the skeptical community has published a reconstruction that differs materially from Mann’s work. The raw data is publicly available, and the data is more robust now than in 1998 when Mann did his original reconstruction.

Mann’s a smart guy. There’s good reason for skeptics to attack him, because he is a very important figure in the climate change discussion. He has over 80 publications, is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and is one of the most highly cited climate scientists. He is obviously respected by his peers. It’s of little surprise that a person of his stature will be attacked, and there are many, many people who would love nothing more than to see him discredited. But, in the end, whether his work is discredited is judged by the scientific community, not by the wishful thinking of non-scientists.”

I know you did some great reconstruction work on Mann’s hockey stick. My guess is this guy will dismiss it out of hand sinceit’s not “published,” but nevertheless I want to direct him to the most relevant work on this topic.

Could you be so kind as to point me to the most pertinent posts you have on this that shows the problems with Mann’s approach?

Thanks in advance.


192 Responses to “Open Thread #1”

  1. Jeff Id said

    sea ice is cruising back into the middle of the pack.

    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

    I watch the graphs regularly especially now that I’ve basically validated the numbers.

    Cryosphere has arctic ice not doing too badly.

    and global sea ice has risen a bit.

  2. timetochooseagain said

    Well, it might be interesting to see what people think of an idea I’ve had. A lot of papers using multiple regression models with predictor variables to isolate different signals in climate data. Now, we can get into the pros and cons, but anyway, I’ve noticed that there seems to be a problem with the theory, widely accepted, that solar insolation changes trigger the glaciation cycles-namely that the synchronization is imperfect (more problems exist, but this is, I think, the most serious). I theorize, personally, that this is because the effects of precession, obliquity, and eccentricity, are treated as essentially summable, that their effects are all the same as there magnitude, and summed at once. What I think some researcher or any of you clever fellows here could do, is to consider the three effects as individual predictors of the Vostok or similar data, with each function (they are essentially waves) getting a different coefficient and lag, to optimize the fit.

    We wouldn’t know why the different effects work, but what it would demonstrate is that Milankovitch works, isn’t fully understood, but that it works.

    Currently CO2 as an important ice age mechanism is essentially a patch for the vagaries of Milankovitch. I think this is misguided because Milankovitch isn’t just insufficient, it doesn’t even fit the data all that well. But it is the ONLY plausible trigger. So SOME variation should work.

  3. timetochooseagain said

    This idea I have is best understood by carefully reading wiki’s explanation of the Milankovitch “problems”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles#Problems

    It is apparent that one thing I want to establish is just how much stronger the effect of eccentricity really is. If the climate sensitivity to forcing is all that’s going on here, why is the eccentricity so dominant? Precession is a bigger “forcing”.

  4. JAE said

    Hmmm. So I’ll repeat here:

    Diatribe: Go to http://co2science.org/ Go to Index, Medieval Warming Period. Look at the hundreds of citations that indicate the MWP, many of which qualify as “reconstructions.”

    Anyone who is hung up on the hockeystics WANTS to be hung up on them.

  5. vsaluki said

    I think that there are going to be a lot of dustups in the blogoshpere about the 12 year flat trend. The warmers will deny that it is real and failing that they will deny that it is significant. They are looking to get papers published in journals so that they can cite a source. I try to answer one of those papers, as well as the arguments that are going to be used, here:

    http://reallyrealclimate.blogspot.com/2010/01/another-inconvient-truth-for-agw.html

  6. stan said

    If I were to set out to debunk Mann’s mess as thoroughly as possible, I’d start by establishing that the consensus pre-hockey stick had the MWP and LIA. And I’d document all the different studies from all the different academic disciplines which supported that consensus on temperature history. Then I’d point out that no one has ever tried to demonstrate how all those studies were flawed. [Because even if we assume that the hockey team’s work wasn’t badly flawed, we’d still be left with nothing more than a disagreement between one type of reconstruction showing no MWP or LIA and all the prior work that had gone into the consensus showing those periods.]

    Then, I’d cite all those reconstructions which show the MWP and LIA.

    Finally, I’d focus on all the methodological problems underlying Mann’s work. The best place to start would be the summaries that Ross and Steve have prepared over the last few years. I’d show how Mann chose not to use commercially available standard stats software (debugged) and created his own homemade version for his PCA. And point out where he screwed up his code. I’d cite Ross’ account of how they found the “censored” file on Mann’s FTP site which showed that Mann was aware that he couldn’t get a hockey stick without using the verboten bristle cone pines. It also showed that he ran standard statistical significance tests and flunked. Strange how he somehow forgot to reveal that in his published work.

    Anyway, the evidence necessary to make Mikey look bad is so extensive, it might take a long time to pull it all together. But what fun!

  7. JAE said

    Vsaluki: Good Summary. Tried to say so on your blog, but got lost in the sign-in/validation/details. Too damn tired to go through all that now.

  8. vsaluki said

    JAE:

    Thanks. We may need to refine some of those arguments. The flat trend is a real embarrassment to the AGW cabal, and they are going to throw everything they can at it. Go to a site like Monbiot and debate some of the warmers. They all sound like they got the same talking points from RC and Tamino. Some of them are already linking the paper that I wrote about.

  9. Prentis said

    FWIW, don’t know if these will help…..numerous charts from peer-reviewed studies at this web page. (I used some of these charts in a Powerpoint recently and the audience was receptive.)

    http://www.c3headlines.com/temperature-charts-historical-proxies.html

  10. d55may said

    I just want to thank All of you for teaching me things about Climate Change I would never have learned through the MSM.

  11. kevoka said

    Diatribe Guy,

    I would not let someone get away with stating the NAS “defended” Mann et. al. Remember, the words chosen in these reports are pretty carefully thought through.

    The actual verbiage NAS used in the summary of report requested by Congress “Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years (2006)” . Specifically, in regards to the use of tree-ring reconstructions in Mann et. al. publications in the 1990’s (http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11676&page=4):

    “Based on the analyses presented in the original papers by Mann et al. and this newer supporting evidence, the committee finds it plausible that the Northern Hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium.”

    The key word is “plausible”. From Websters Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary:

    Plausible – Having an appearance of truth or reason; seemingly worthy of approval or acceptance; credible or believable

    “The appearance of truth or reason”? That is what magicians strive for.

    Furthermore:

    “Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that “the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium” because the uncertainties inherent in temperature reconstructions for individual years and decades are larger than those for longer time periods and because not all of the available proxies record temperature information on such short timescales.”

    Even “Less confidence” than “appearance of truth or reason”? What is that – disappearance of truth?

  12. Michael Hauber said

    Another reconstruction you could use to debunk the Mann 98 reconstruction that eliminates the medieval warm period is the Mann 08 reconstruction which has a clear medieval warm period.

  13. It's warming. So what. said

    I hear/read lots of discussion about what’s causing warming, and how warm is it really, and how warm did it used to be, and what’s the climate sensitivity. The underlying assumption is that warming is bad – really, really, bad according to some.

    But, where’s the observational data (not model speculation) to support this?

    I read on WUWT today, that we’ve already warmed 1C (attributable mostly to CO2 was the claim), and we can only tolerate 1 additional degree, or bad things will happen. But if we’re halfway there, shouldn’t we be seeing bad things already.

    The following sounds trite; but, as far as I can tell, it is absolutely correct: It has been warming for ~200 years and human prosperity has never been better. Does anything else matter?

    So it’s been warming. So maybe CO2 plays a role in that. So maybe it’s gonna get warmer. So flipping what. It’s working out pretty good so far. The oil ain’t gonna last forever. It’s the ice age that’s gonna kill us.

    Frankly, I wasn’t gonna visit the Maldives anyway.

    …sometimes I think we outsmart ourselves.

  14. kevoka said

    I have been wondering why all the discussions about GHG’s have completely ignored O2 – which makes up 20% of the atmosphere versus CO2’s .0038%.

    The definition of a GHG is an atmospheric gas that has an absorption/emission in the infrared (IR) spectrum. O2, like N2, being a diatomic molecule, does not absorb in this range (roughly between 3um and 50um).

    However, O2 does have 2 strong bands of absorption within this range. One centered at about 6.67 um and the second one starting about 30um and continuing beyond 50um.

    This data comes from the HTRAN DB. In fact in the HITRAN DB O2 is the 7th ranked GHG (ahead of the likes of NO2 and SO2). One view of the HITRAN data can found here:

    http://www.atm.ox.ac.uk/group/mipas/atlas/index.html

    These bands have roughly the same absorption strength as N2O and CH4. Granted N2O and CH4 have more bands in the IR range, and O2 is not as strong as CO2. However, something that is 10,000 more prevalent than CO2, should, I think make it worthy of comment.

    The underlying reason I am curious is simple – especially as it relates to the Relative Forcing calculations. All almost all human created CO2 requires the consumption of atmospheric O2. In fact the ratio is on the order of at least 1.5 O2 molecules consumed for each CO2 molecule created. Thus the true Relative Forcing calculations for AGW CO2 must deduct the existent atmospheric O2 with regards to energy balance of the atmosphere.

  15. Gary said

    #3. timetochooseagain
    IIRC, Milankovitch cycle issues include 1)harmonics of the orbital parameter interactions and 2)feedbacks (such as cold ice up on the continents and lowered salinity caused by meltwater) that modify the expected pattern derived from the simple interactions of the three orbital parameters.

  16. KuhnKat said

    If all the reconstructions, correctly done, show a Hockey Stick, what was that Hide the Decline all about??

  17. For what it is worth, this has been around for a while. It calculates a solar cycle that seems to fit. Worth a look.

    http://www.vukcevic.co.uk/solarcurrent.pdf

    — John Andrews, Knoxville, Tennessee

  18. rk said

    Hopefully there’s enough room on an open thread for this:

    I just watched “Can We Make a Star on Earth” on the Science Channel. Really good. The filmographer actually said that he thinks there should be a Manhattan Project for Fusion.

    He surveyed some of the designs, and talked to the scientists. Most were pretty optimistic about getting positive net energy out w/in the next 30 or so years.

    The filmographer ended the movie with a placard that read: “End of the Energy Crisis, If you want it”

    What I have found grievously disappointing about the “activist scientists” (Pielke Jr. term) is that they totally lack vision.

    They are so tuned to the party line, that they can’t use their models to concentrate the world’s attention on Fusion, which is totally irresponsible.

    I know that I’m assuming that Fusion will be feasible…but even advanced Fission would be a good start.

    It boggles my mind when I read the the UK is going to have 9K windmills capable of generating 125Gw (if memory serves). But as we all know that 125Gw will not happen very often, if ever.

    Meanwhile, Hugo Chavez continues with his no-energy workers’ paradise

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60B56Y20100112?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&rpc=22&sp=true

    The show’s schedule is here:

    http://science.discovery.com/tv-schedules/special.html?paid=48.15730.127062.0.0

  19. stumpy said

    The hockey stick and hockey stick clones that get all the attention are all based on very similar proxies and form only a small part of the literature. Unfortunetly the other studies are isolated or are based on other proxies not commonly disucssed in the field of climate science.

    I believe M&M did publish a paper with their own corrected reconstruction that did show a medieval warm period, and the graph below was published in a previous paper (cant think of the authors off hand, but it was published around 2000)see here: http://icecap.us/images/uploads/MWP.jpg (Molenburg?)

    Of course there are other proxies that are far more telling than statistical curves. For example, fossilied remains of trees in the north where they no longer grow, villages now under glaciers, grapes in northern england, that the romans crossed the alps when there was no glaciers, graves in permafrost etc…

    I often hear the argument that this was restricted to the northern hemisphere, but here in NZ I could show you five papers that found a clear MWP, a govt study that demonstrated a MWP, glacial records based on terminal moraines that shows a MWP, historic remains of Totara at higher altitudes than they currently grow. Infact its well known that when the Moari first arrived in New Zealand the temperatures were much warmer. This kind of information can not be cancelled out by a statistical creation!

    I think for me the best example of the warmer climate in the past was a visit to Grimspound in the UK, a bronze age settlement. The village was located in a barren and exposed location that if often very cold, yet their houses were not well insulated and located high up were temperatures are cool. When I discussed this with a local archeologist that had studied the area he explained that back then the south west of england was much warmer than today and they chose the high, open and exposed site so it would be cooler than the warm humid valleys below. Thats ALOT warmer than todays temps!

    Anyone can argue these events are isolated and do not represent the entire planet, but Mann’s small handfull of proxies can not be either, unless he has one for every square km of the earth, including the sea which makes up the bulk of it.

    The painfull fact is at the end of the day – No one really knows the temperature record of the past! All we can do is guess and estimate, but its all subjective and will never be confirmed.

  20. Peter of Sydney said

    Let’s hope the Russians are wrong because if they are right we will be facing a real catastrophe far worse than what the stupid AGW alarmists have been predicting. http://english.pravda.ru/print/science/earth/106922-earth_ice_age-0

  21. Peter of Sydney said

    I just had a scary thought. What if all the recent freezing cold in the northern hemisphere is actually an early warning sign that the north polar ice cap is going to expand enormously over the next decade or so? So much for all the AGW alarmist crap about shrinking sea ice area and extent. Any shrinking may be just temporary and a sign of the changing dynamics of the whole polar region. This is the type of research that climate scientists should be focusing on right now, not on some hypothetical man-made global warming hoax. It might be considered a joke at first if all this is the start of a new mini ice-age but it won’t be if it gets worse in the coming years. If this does come to pass, not only should the likes of Al Gore and many others be trialled for fraud, but also for crimes against humanity.

  22. Tilde Guillemet said

    timetochooseagain mentioned historical cyclic analysis in http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/01/12/open-thread-1/#comment-17886

    This is a subject I know a lot about in relation to tides – which used to be my main line of business. I have contemplated a few times doing ‘proper’ tidal analysis of historical data. This would use the superbly accurate harmonic analysis method. This is in direct contrast to all the ‘soft’ techniques I’ve seen in published papers with woeful Fourier Analysis or wavelet techniques.

    The problems I have to make this happen are manyfold. Not least that I don’t know the actual frequencies of interest. I haven’t found any references to orbital frequencies that are accurate to the requisite sub-hertz frequencies ( microHertz through to picoHertz or even femtoHertz ) loose statements about Milankovitch cycles being ‘100,000 years’ i.e. about 3×10^-13Hz just don’t work with this approach. The frequencies have to be accurate.

    If anyone can give me an accurate set of major orbital frequencies I’d be mighty grateful.

    Given I can get a decent set of frequencies the second problem is that the ‘clocks’ used in the historical records are certainly wildly wrong. If there are any measures of clock accuracy for all the proxies I’d be interested in seeing them. Slow or fast clocks, or clocks with jumps in them are distinctly unhelpful.

    The final problem is phase shift in the frequencies due to erratic movements in crust, or even just normal orbital degradation such as the moon drifting away.

    Still, the exercise may be useful even if only a couple of stable frequencies can be established and used as a basis for a harmonic sums and differences spectral search.

    For reference most ocean tides can be described to good working accuracy using just 4 frequencies M2, S2, K1, O1

  23. Peter B said

    A good article on the hockey stick is this one of the Dutch magazine “Natuurwetenschap & Techniek” of February 2005, available here:

    http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/Climate_L.pdf

    It really sums up everything clearly.

  24. Geoff Sherrington said

    Might be interesting to send your thoughts to David Stockwell at Niche Modeling (mention me as the leak) because I think he is working along similar lines. http://landshape.org/enm/

    As to contancy of past time, what about constancy of present time? Follow the red dot on the animated gif. http://science.nasa.gov/newhome/headlines/ast23sep99_1.htm

  25. Kondealer said

    Non-Hockey stick reconstructions.
    This is one of the better ones.

    No fancy statistics

    http://www.freesundayschoollessons.org/pdfs/climate-history.pdf

  26. Kondealer said

    BBC is still keen to bang the Warming/Global disaster drum.

    “Melbourne suffers hottest night as Australia swelters”

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/8453744.stm

    Then we read “Melbourne has suffered its hottest night since 1902″

    OK so it is as hot now as in 1902. Where’s the warming?

  27. Peter of Sydney said

    “OK so it is as hot now as in 1902. Where’s the warming?”

    LOL. So, does this mean we had cooling all this time since 1902 up until recently? Also, I suppose CO2 must be just above 1902 level too right? Seriously though, when will this AGW hoax end?

  28. Tonyb said

    Stumpy

    I live close to Grimspound on Dartmoor. It dates back to the bronze age. The site was abandoned when the climate cooled. There is an equally interesting site close by called Hound Tor (Sherlock Holmes in ‘Hound of the Baskervilles’ was set there-there is a very good fast food van parked there most days called ‘Hound of the Basket Meals’.

    Hound Tor settlement dates from the MWP and its decline is very well documented as the inhabitants slowly moved down the hill below the 900 foot contour as the climate cooled around 1350.

    I think the LIA was much spikier than the graph you posted illustrates. For example the Temperatures around 1730 were very comparable to today and there were other notably warm periods that don’t really show up.

    The LIA was characteristically -but not continually- cold. Its coldest continual part was probably from around 1350 for two hundred years or so, then there were lots of spikes.

    I wrote about the temperatures in England during the last gasp of the LIA here on Air Vent with the title ‘Bah Humbug!’

    Tonyb

  29. vsaluki said

    “I read on WUWT today, that we’ve already warmed 1C (attributable mostly to CO2 was the claim), and we can only tolerate 1 additional degree, or bad things will happen. But if we’re halfway there, shouldn’t we be seeing bad things already.”

    I did a 5 year average of the temperature for HadCrut3’s first five years and for their last 5 years. The difference was 0.8C. Their first five years started around 1850. So I use 0.8C as the warming for the industrial era.

  30. Andrew said

    22-According to Wiki, there actually is no orbital parameter with frequency of ~100,000 years-Eccentricity has peaks at 95 and 125 thousand years, but there is no apparent duality to the glaciation frequency, which just seems to fall in between.

    I would also like a more exact description of the frequencies of these cycles. Unfortunately, everywhere I look just gives “approximations”.

  31. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Come on Jeff ID, Diatribe Guy’s post is speaking in so many generalities, and particularly his general description of Mann from a position of authority and that the reconstructions, given McMc criticisms, would continue to give a HS, that it does not deserve an answer.

    Diatribe Guy, please learn to ask more specific questions and do a little research on your own. The criticism of McMc, Jeff ID and others is with the methodology used in reconstructing past temperatures, in the cherry picking of proxies and in establishing the proper confidence intervals for the results. Which one would like to discuss and what do you currently know about each one.

    If you are not willing to put in the effort of doing a little research and making your own judgments then by all means go with what an “expert” in the field has to say on blind faith, but do not waste peoples’ time, who want to judge for themselves, with your silly requests.

  32. The Diatribe Guy said

    Thanks all, for the responses.

    Um, #31: perhaps you wish to re-read the post. I am quoting the rantings of a guy I’ve been going back and forth with, and was looking for some good sources to at least get him thinking about his position. I agree it’s full of crap that you can spend your entire life researching, but I knew Jeff had done some good work here and was simply looking for his posts (I didn’t realize he had them under a sub-heading). He was kind enough to highlight the request in his open thread, and I am indebted to others here for their additional sources.

    I have a ton to look over on this, myself, to get a better understanding of all the issues. Honestly, it is not one of those things I’ve spent a great deal of time studying. I apologize for not having the time to become an expert in all areas in order to answer every objection I arrive at in my little debates with people, and am indebted to those who take the time to direct me to the resources I need to address the questions.

  33. Mark T said

    Just about everything diatribe guy’s “opponent” claimed is inaccurate or outright false. It is actually harder to find evidence in support of his claims than otherwise.

    Mark

  34. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: kevoka (Jan 13 00:33),

    The decrease in O2 from combustion of fossil fuels has, in fact, been observed. However, the fractional change in oxygen concentration (ppm compared to percent) is so small that the effect on radiative transfer is minimal. In addition, the oxygen spectra is on the fringes of the thermal emission peak.

  35. Phil. said

    DeWitt Payne said

    January 13, 2010 at 1:52 pm
    Re: kevoka (Jan 13 00:33),

    The decrease in O2 from combustion of fossil fuels has, in fact, been observed. However, the fractional change in oxygen concentration (ppm compared to percent) is so small that the effect on radiative transfer is minimal. In addition, the oxygen spectra is on the fringes of the thermal emission peak.

    The 6.67µm O2 band is about 10 orders of magnitude weaker than the 15µm CO2 band.

  36. Jeff Id said

    #35, Is there a good source where the different absorption bands (calc or measured) can be found? I’ve seen plenty of plots, but no ascii or other data.

  37. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Diatribe Guy, I apologize for my error in attributing your other guy’s comments to you.

    My “new” advice to you would be to ignore the other guy until he can ask more specific and intelligent questions. My point is that someone who thinks for himself is going to go out and look at the arguments made from a number of different sources and POVs. I do not judge that a few posts or articles are going to do the trick.

    One of the other problems is that one blog thread or one article is not going to give you a picture of all of the weaknesses in the case for being confident in the results of proxy temperature reconstructions. It is the sum total that must be used in deciding on the validity of the reconstructions. Even McMc are pestered with the proposition that the one particular weakness/error they are at the moment pointing to will not, by and in itself, totally discredit the reconstruction foundation. I have noticed that Steve M apparently puts in asides to all the other problems when making a specific point.

    The other problem in arguing points with your associates is the one that I will call the politicians solution and that is the ability to quote from a source without really understanding what the source or the opposition to the source are attempting to say – and particularly any nuanced implications. It makes for good sound bites, but with little understanding.

  38. vsaluki said

    Peter:

    “I just had a scary thought. What if all the recent freezing cold in the northern hemisphere is actually an early warning sign that the north polar ice cap is going to expand enormously over the next decade or so? ”

    Peter, try reading some Lao Tze and Chung Tzu. I think you will enjoy them. I’m not leaning on you – really. I read them also.

  39. kevoka said

    Dewitt,
    Yes, the percentage change is small for O2. However, has the K for O2 been calculated?.

    RF = K * ln(O2)/ln(O2_i)

    Seems to me it should have been since it has been done for much less trace GHG’s. But I cannot get past the “its a diatomic argument”.

    Phil,
    Ummm, from eyeballing the plots generated at http://www.atm.ox.ac.uk/group/mipas/atlas/index.html,

    Optical Thickness of 10e0 for O2 at 6.67 and 10e4 for CO2 at 16um. That is 4 orders by my reckoning. How do you arrive at 10? Summation across the all the bands?

  40. edwardt said

    What I see re the Milankovitch cycles is a phasing between the eccentricity and the obliquity (precession being a minor factor). The current interglacial and the one 420kyrs ago were very similar, eccentricity and obliquity were in phase. The result was a long stable interglacial. The opposite occurred during the interglacial that occurred about 225kyrs ago. A very nasty dual peak. When eccentricity peaked, obliquity was at a null, and on each side of the eccentricity peak there was a temperature spike (the obliquity peaking on each side). This seems to repeat for the last 8 cycles or so. The other point to note is that the eccentricity has it’s highest peak at 225kyrs ago.

    I’ve wondered if it’s just that when the eccentricity is really large, you spend more time away from the sun (on average) than closer to the sun.

    Or maybe it’s just the phase relationship between eccentricity and obliquity. Some day we will have a nice 3d orbital mechanics model that can recreate the orbital behavior for the last 1Myrs. Would be fascinating to look at!

  41. Fluffy Clouds (Tim L) said

    lets go to the extreme the north pole points away from the sun 100% there is no day/night for the northern hemisphere, we rotate around
    to day/night for both north south, then to south pointing out. how would this upset air, water flows? ya it is big, so even small amounts of change could net 2-5C (wobble)
    and what about volcanic activity? wobble affected?

  42. NikFromNYC said

    “Thus far, noone in the last 15 years or so has published a paleo-climate record that is materially different than Mann’s.”

    Who needs paleo-climatology when you have actual thermometer records going back ~300+ years that falsify hockey sticks? See what your hockey stick defender has to say to discount them.

  43. NikFromNYC said

    Then we read “Melbourne has suffered its hottest night since 1902″

    OK so it is as hot now as in 1902. Where’s the warming?

    In the adjustments used to create “value-added” data:

    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/climgraph.aspx?pltparms=GHCNT100AJanDecI185520080900111AR50194868000x

    Oddly enough NASA GISS does not add the sort of adjustment that the GHCN does:

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/gistemp/gistemp_station.py?id=501948680000&data_set=2&num_neighbors=1

  44. Geoff Sherrington said

    Re 36 36.Jeff Id said
    January 13, 2010 at 2:08 pm
    “#35, Is there a good source where the different absorption bands (calc or measured) can be found? I’ve seen plenty of plots, but no ascii or other data.”

    Jeff, don’t go there. It is a place for people who have spent a lifetime in the methodology and they are still arguing with each other.

    I tried it once and look at me now.

  45. parallel said

    Has anyone disproved the climate theory of Dr. Ferenc Miskolczi? I read about it some time ago and it seems to have resurfaced. The disproof I have seen is the usual RealClimate one of it is wrong because we say so, rather than explaining why. How is it viewed now?

    What is the temperature difference between the ground and the atmosphere above it, used in the climate models?
    How is this derived? ( I would have thought it better to measure it….)

  46. Jason Smith said

    I have a question along the lines of #35, #44, etc. but not about 02. I am wondering about a good source for how much C02 contributes to the GH effect vs how much water vapor contributes. I understand that GHG composition is somwhere around 19-1 water vapor to CO2. So do both sources contribute in that ratio? Or do their absorption bands change that ratio?

    I read something in a WC post (link off CA) that talked about knocking this idea of 19-1 WV vs C02 contribution out of the park, but the post really said something like WV will turn into water at higher concentrations while CO2 will keep stacking up. I found that explanation to be lacking since it seemed it was referring to the ratio changing over 100s or 1000s of years as one (WV) held steady and CO2 concentrations rose.

    Basically, is it known and agreed upon about how much of the “some 32 degrees Fahrenheit” difference that we have TODAY from TODAY’s GH effect can be attributed to WV, CO2, etc.?

  47. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: Jason Smith (Jan 14 17:40),

    You can look at the relative contributions of water vapor and CO2 by using the MODTRAN calculator provided by David Archer. You have independent control over CO2 and water vapor using the CO2 concentration and the water vapor scale. The output is the emission spectrum as viewed from the selected observation point (altitude and direction up or down) and the emitted power integrated over the spectrum. That’s integrated over the calculated spectrum which does not cover the full spectral range so that it is a few percent less than the true total power.

    For example, using the 1976 standard atmosphere setting, the emitted power at 100 km looking down at 375 ppm CO2 is 258.799 W/m2. Setting the CO2 level to zero and changing nothing else gives 286.242 W/m2, a difference of 27.443 W/m2. If I instead set the water vapor scale to zero but leave CO2 at 375, the emitted power is 303.732 W/m2. At zero altitude looking down the emission from the surface is 360.158 W/m2. Even if you reduce all the adjustable settings to zero, the atmosphere still isn’t completely transparent. MODTRAN has lots of other trace ghg’s you can’t adjust. With all settings at zero, the emission at 100 km looking down is 346.97 W/m2. That’s fairly close, though.

    Adding back individually, all others zero
    Stratospheric ozone restored: 339.748 or 7.222 W/m2 difference
    Tropospheric ozone restored: 345.714 or 1.256 W/m2
    methane: 344.144 or 2.826
    CO2 (375 ppm): 313.058 or 33.912
    Water vapor: 295.317 or 51.653

    The total difference is 96.869 W/m2 which is higher than the difference of 88.171 W/m2 for 346.97-258.799. But that’s expected because of line overlap.

    As can be seen from these numbers, though, the effect of CO2 is the same order of magnitude as the effect of water vapor.

    Finally, the surface temperature offset so that the emitted power is again 258.799 with all adjustable parameters at zero is -21.78 degrees C. That’s for clear sky conditions, though, so the emitted power is higher than the overall average for the planet resulting in a smaller temperature offset than the 33 degrees calculated for a superconducting black body.

  48. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: parallel (Jan 14 11:02),

    Has anyone disproved the climate theory of Dr. Ferenc Miskolczi?

    IMO, yes. You can look here for a discussion of one major error in the derivation. According to a post by Nick Stokes, there are at least three more, but he didn’t link and I’m not interested enough to find them myself.

  49. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: rk (Jan 13 02:57),

    Anyone who says we need a Manhattan Project for fusion power knows very little about both the Manhattan Project and fusion power. ITER is about as close to that sort of thing as we’re going to get. It’s not scheduled to even start testing until 2018 and won’t be ready to try practical tests with D-T fusion until 2026. It’s not so much a lack of money as it is a lack of basic knowledge. By comparison, making a fission weapon was dead simple. On that schedule, assuming there are no more major problems (Hah), you won’t see construction begin on a real power plant until 2050.

  50. kuhnkat said

    DeWitt Payne,

    I can’t argue the math and derivations of Miskolczi’s work. I would ask you for your interpretation of the data that he collected and used.

    Whether he has derived the correct way of interpreting it or not, the data provided is interesting.

  51. kuhnkat said

    I would also be careful of Mr. Stokes. He spends quite a bit of time in apologetics on virtually every site I visit. Quite often it is an exercise in changing the subject as opposed to evaluating the direct issue.

  52. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: DeWitt Payne (Jan 15 14:18),

    Further digging on MODTRAN shows that setting the water vapor scale to zero only removes water vapor in the lower 10 km of the atmosphere. So the total contribution from water vapor is probably more like 60 W/m2. The other features observed in the spectrum are most likely from N2O. Those are severely overlapped by water vapor and CO2 at current levels.

  53. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: kuhnkat (Jan 15 23:12),

    I would ask you for your interpretation of the data that he collected and used.

    Reading Miskolczi is more pain than I want to endure. My BS meter wrapped it’s needle around the peg on a quick scan and that’s as far as I’m interested in going.

  54. parallel said

    DeWitt Payne,
    re #48
    I can’t say I found that link was helpful

    re #49
    I much doubt any Tokamak will ever be economically viable.
    I would guess even the Polywell has a better chance. We will probably know the answer to that in under two years now.

  55. kevoka said

    Jeff #36,
    I finally got access to the line codes in ASCII for HITRAN.

  56. Paul Brand said

    I was a little surprised to have found a post I made on another forum here. I take it some of you guys aren’t to pleased with it, and don’t think I should even be responded to.

    The diatribe guy and I go back a few years. I’ve kind of missed him as a sparring partner on the climate change discussion. I’ve learned a lot from him, and maybe I can learn a bit from you guys to.

    Anyway, there’s much I could respond to, but I want to keep this within reasonable length (in retrospect it isn’t, but there’s a lot to cover).

    To clarify a few things:
    1)Epistimologically, my opinions are weighted toward those who are experts in their fields, and my opinions are weighted toward those who can convince their scientific peers. Mann’s credentials are important in this regard. Additionally, I would place even more weight on the opinions of the IPCC and National Academy of Sciences, than any individual, including Mann. I would consider other well regarded scientific bodies as well, such as the Royal Society. Clearly, consensus statements from well regarded scientific bodies, are skewed towards the opinions that global warming is happening, and it is largely a result of human contribution of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

    I think one poster is confusing the fallacious argument of authority, which applies to necessary claims, and the one I’m making. I do not claim that Mann is right because he is an authority. I similarly don’t claim that with regard to NAS or IPCC or RS. Consensus opinions can be wrong. Nevertheless, I think the consensus of experts is the most reliable way for a lay person to form an accurate opinion.

    2)More specifically, I like the IPCC’s AR4 approach of citing various reconstructions in the peer reviewed literature. My conception is that these are the most reliable reconstructions out there.

    3)While I think the 2000 year record is important, I don’t think it is necessarily foundational to an argument for anthropogenic global warming. If the Medieval Warming Period was a few tenths of a degree warmer than what is shown in the AR4 graphs, that does not have much impact on whether the rise of atmospheric greenhouse gases are significantly contributing to the warming period since the 1970s.

    I also want to respond to a link that was provided. It was the type of link I was looking for, regarding other climate reconstructions that would show a Medieval Warming Period that is stronger than the current warming period.

    http://www.c3headlines.com/temperature-charts-historical-proxies.html

    I don’t think there is any issue with regard to whether certain regions were warmer than now. I don’t dispute that, and I don’t think Mann would dispute that either. I don’t see any reason to address these graphs, where I don’t perceive any disagreement. I’m more interested in global reconstructions, and because of limitations in finding SH proxies, NH reconstructions are certainly of interest.

    So in order:
    1)Greenland. No issues. Source (NOAA) appears credible.

    2)Harris & Randy Mann. The data isn’t from Harris & Randy Mann. It’s from two sources. Dr. Iben Browing and Michael Zahorchak (Climate: The Key to Understanding Business Cycles). Zahorchak is an astrologer (hence the title of the source used in Harris’ graph). Browing was famous for making predictions with regard to when earthquakes were going to happen (and was quite notorious for being wrong). Harris and Mann’s website appear to have Zahorchak’s astrology leanings. Aside from that, I found the references to be very poor. I couldn’t find any discussion on the methodology that was used, how Zahorchak and Browing were put together, or when they did their research (which was likely a couple decades or more ago). The NCGR Astrology Store has some of Zahorchak’s lectures for sale, for those interested. http://geocosmic.org/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=A&Category_Code=N-Zahor

    3)Loehle. Graph goes up to 1950, but of course, the warming period in question is post-1950. If I understand the graph correctly, the anomalies appear to be based on the whole period average, and shouldn’t be confused with a HadCrut 1961-1990 baseline. You need to add another 0.5C to account for what happened after 1950. Furthermore, the cited graph is the unweighted version. The weighted version applies lesser weight to proxies with higher variances. See p. 12 of http://www.econ.ohio-state.edu/jhm/AGW/Loehle/SupplementaryInfo.pdf. According to Loehle analysis, the MWP was 0.5C cooler than today, and doesn’t deviate materially from the peer-reviewed reconstructions included in the IPCC report.
    4)Tree Ring Divergence.
    5)McIntyre/McKitrick. The climateaudit pdf link appears to be down. From what I can gather, this would qualify as material differences from the Mann reconstruction.Anyway, MM removed 80% of the 15th century proxy data to show the divergence. Why did he do that? MM are at odds with every other peer reviewed reconstruction for the 15th century, even though very different methodologies were used amongst them. Does MM still defend this divergence they published in 2003?
    6+)The rest are regional

    Anyway, as I said, I largely agree with the NAS and IPCC AR4 on this subject matter. The NAS is somewhat critical of Mann’s assertions that the 1990s and 1998 were the warmest in 2000 years, as the evidence isn’t of high enough resolution to make those kinds of statements. I don’t know myself what to make of these assertions, but I do give significant weight toward the NAS report. In particular:

    “The basic conclusion of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) was that the late 20th century warmth in the Northern Hemisphere was unprecedented during at least the last 1,000 years. This conclusion has subsequently been supported by an array of evidence that includes both additional large-scale surface temperature reconstructions and pronounced changes in a variety of local proxy indicators, such as melting on ice caps and the retreat of glaciers around the world. Not all individual proxy records indicate that the recent warmth is unprecedented, although a larger fraction of geographically diverse sites experienced exceptional warmth during the late 20th century than during any other extended period from A.D. 900 onward.

    Based on the analyses presented in the original papers by Mann et al. and this newer supporting evidence, the committee finds it plausible that the Northern Hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium. The substantial uncertainties currently present in the quantitative assessment of large-scale surface temperature changes prior to about A.D. 1600 lower our confidence in this conclusion compared to the high level of confidence we place in the Little Ice Age cooling and 20th century warming. Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that “the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium” because the uncertainties inherent in temperature reconstructions for individual years and decades are larger than those for longer time periods, and because not all of the available proxies record temperature information on such short timescales.”

    The main reason for caution, is not the statistical techniques, but the quality of the data and the large margins of error due to data limitations. The resolution of short time periods is even more lacking, and thus claims such as 1998 being the warmest year, should be cautioned against. Sounds reasonable to me.

    One other quote: “On the basis of satellite-based monitoring, which began in the late 1970s, it is clear that the rapid global warming of the last few decades is not attributable to an increase in the Sun’s emission.”

    While the sun may explain the MWP and the LIA, it doesn’t explain late 20th century warming. Greenhouse gases do. Presumably, a stronger MWP would increase solar sensitivity. But, then again, that doesn’t really help when the sun hasn’t increased in strength since the 1970s. In fact, it has dropped very noticably in the last decade. But still, 2009 is the second warmest year on record with next to no sun spots, and January is tracking to be the hottest January on record (according to UAH at least).

    Anyway, sorry for writing so much. I didn’t expect my post to be duplicated elsewhere. I’m also interested in learning who Jeff Id is. Is there a biography page somewhere?

  57. Jeff Id said

    Paul,

    Diatribe guy got me into blogging, although not on purpose. I’m an aeronautical engineer who got really ticked off about Mann08 and is unafraid of a little code, stats and data.

    It’s quite a post you have there, since hockeysticks have been a year and a half long pastime there are a couple of points I would make about the above. Take them how you will.

    The NAS is somewhat critical of Mann’s assertions that the 1990s and 1998 were the warmest in 2000 years, as the evidence isn’t of high enough resolution to make those kinds of statements.

    The NAS panel was a collection of advocates first with a token skeptic, as stated by Michael Mann himself in the recently released emails. They found themselves in a difficult spot where they wanted to support the conclusion so as not to damage the IPCC yet point out reasonable problems with Mann’s work. In the end, the result was a bunch of non-damning statements on the surface and summary and quite a few paper killing gems inside.

    The lack of resolution was not the problem. In fact North, advocate extraordinaire who headed the panel, was forced to concede to congress that he agreed with the Wegman report. Congress had to directly ask him because the NAS report was so couched in BS terms. There is no statistical validity to Mann’s early work according to Wegman, NAS agreed. Unfortunately, the terminology of the NAS report has allowed the charade to continue for those who don’t read through the mush. Things like we conclude the recent years have been the warmest of the past few hundred. — They never say why they conclude that and then they use other papers as justification for the statement.

    I would agree, and I think Steve McIntyre would agree, with you about the proxy data quality being the main issue. He’s made the point here several times here, however in my own opinion, if the data were perfect, the quality of the result in these various hockey sticks would still be bad, because that’s how bad the statistics are. See the hockey stick posts link right below the header bar.

    You’ve made a wide range of points here, some I agree with some not so much. There isn’t any overdriving purpose to tAV but you’ll find a wide range of people with a heck of a lot of skill lurking these threads.

  58. Paul Brand said

    Hi Jeff,

    Thanks for your comments, and introducing yourself. Like the Diatribe Guy, I’m also an actuary.

    Michael Mann seems to be more of a pet topic of skeptics than warmists. And so, I probably haven’t done as much reading on the subject as you have. Diatribe Guy and I kind of spurred each other on to creating climate models. Diatribe Guy focuses highly on the sun. I also factor in greenhouse gases, aerosols, volcanoes, and ENSO. While I agree with Diatribe that the sun contributed to 20th century warming, I would suggest it’s impact was about 0.2C-0.25C (through 1980), and a negative impact since 1980 (unsmoothed, I would say this is about -0.1C). Diatribe would attribute pretty much all the warming to geomagnetic activity, and predicts that given a weak solar cycle, temperatures could drop 2C in 20 years. I would think a weak solar cycle would flatten out the trendline somewhat, but not make it negative.

    I’m familiar with the Wegman Report as is referenced in the wikipedia page on the hockey stick controversy. I’m not sure it’s worthwhile to re-enact the talking points of that webpage. It’s probably not surprising that skeptics have higher regard for Wegman and less for the NAS report, and vice versa. I probably should read Wegman to see what it says. I think my understanding is that it was quite critical of the methodology, but not necessarily suggestive that some kind of hockey stick shape is necessarily wrong. I haven’t taken the time to sort through all the underlying statistical issues, or the reasonableness of the methodology. I expect that this would be very time consuming. Perhaps I would find helpful a more up-to-date reconstruction by McKitrick. What is the materiality of making corrections as suggested by the NAS or Wegman. My understanding is that others have done this, and the necessary changes don’t materially alter the shape of the graph.

  59. curious said

    56 Paul – following on from Jeff’s comment I’d also suggest you read the Wegman Report if you are interested in a critique of the statistical techniques behind the hockey stick. As I recall it they did not have one good thing to say about Mann’s work. Ok, I’m sure faulty work does get through peer review etc but bear in mind this is work that was (to be) fundamental in defining global policy decisions. As an observer in all this I do not see how this is acceptable.

    I would also say if you do read WR and find the phrase “Right answer + wrong methed = bad science” please can you come back to the thread and give a reference for it? When I read it I looked out for this phrase as it is an oft quoted statement attributed to the WR and it is presented to say that Wegman supported Mann’s results but not his method. My reading of the report left me with the impression the Wegman Report said no such thing.

  60. Paul Brand said

    Jeff, just to clarify one more thing. It would be rather surprising to me if North admitted that Mann’s reconstruction had no skill. That certainly wasn’t mentioned in the NAS report, and it strongly implies otherwise. He said he agreed with Wegman regarding methodology conclusions. I’m not clear what can all be inferred from that, but North also said that they were the same conclusions as in his report, which does acknowledge plausible (2:1 ratio) evidence that the late 20th century warming was warmer than any preceding period in the last 1100 years. North considered more than just Mann’s published evidence in making that remark. So the claim that North agrees that Mann has no skill, is something that still needs to be demonstrated.

    Curious, Wegman’s comment may have been made at a presentation of his findings, and may not have been communicated in writing. I think this can be inferred from the wikipedia page, though it isn’t 100% clear.

    There is suggestion that Wegman was hand-picked by Republicans. North seems quite critical of Wegman for using political spin. There’s criticism that Wegman had no consultation with the paleoclimate community or formal peer review, and did not acknowledge published responses to MM. There is an apperance that Wegman is hand-picked, and that he hand-picked his 6 reviewers, who didn’t have any comments. (I’m not saying this is necessarily the case, but this is the impression that I have from the wiki article). The assembly of Wegman’s team is an important consideration in determining whether Wegman’s views are representative of the statistical community. I’m more inclined to place more weight on the NAS findings, which appear to be more representative than Wegman.

    The RealClimate article below suggests that throwing out PC analysis doens’t materially alter the reconstruction.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/07/the-missing-piece-at-the-wegman-hearing/

    It seems to me that just about all the published reconstructions agree that the recent warming is anomalous. I think MM attempted with their 2003 paper to quantify the impacts, but that appears to have been based on incomplete data.

    In particular, I would like some clarity that the criticisms aren’t just methodological, but material as well with regard to the reconstruction as a whole. I haven’t seen very clear evidence of that.

  61. Jeff Id said

    #60, One of the themes my whole life operates on is self verification. I don’t take Wegman and argue what he said agians NAS. Rather, I make my own determinations. I am less versed in the original mannian HS than the subsequent ones however, Wegman was correct as was McIntyre McKitric in my opinion. I don’t have time to look up Gerry North’s testimony before congress right now, but I have found it before. If you want an easier example of bad work, check out the hockey stick posts link above.

    Having more copies of the similar work using bad methods and the same data does not verify other bad work. There are other CPS papers, MV regressions, RegEM, EIV, RCS, corridor normalization, borehole bad math. The subject is long and detailed, but the result is often the same. Bad math for the same result. Loss or supression of data which disagrees, through automated or in many cases manual processes. Palo is in big trouble right now and I doubt the public or scientists realize just how bad the trouble is.

  62. Layman Lurker said

    #56

    “According to Loehle analysis, the MWP was 0.5C cooler than today, and doesn’t deviate materially from the peer-reviewed reconstructions included in the IPCC report.”

    Where does it state that in the paper? By my eyeball Craig’s CWP is about .15C warmer than the MWP if you tack on .5C since 1950. More importantly, it is not statistically significant and is therefore very much materially different than the IPCC sources.

  63. curious said

    60 Paul – “The RealClimate article below suggests that throwing out PC analysis doens’t materially alter the reconstruction.”

    I think the phrase is “they would say that wouldn’t they”!

    Please read the Wegman Report itself, put aside what RC, Wikipedia etc say about “picked people” etc etc. In the end the maths stands up or it doesn’t. Check Wegman’s CV if track record reassures you. Good explanation of the maths issues here:

    http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/Climate_H.pdf

  64. Paul Brand said

    Hi Lurker,

    1950 is a little difficult to eyeball, since the labels have 1800 and then 2000, so you have to go 3/4 of the way to the end. My eyeball says that’s close to +0.2C. (There’s a downward blip shortly afterward, but the margins of error are large as well. There also was NH cooling around that time, fwiw, so not too far off reality). Add 0.5C and you get +0.7C. MWP peaked at just under +0.3C. There’s a link here of someone’s attempt to put Loehle in context of other reconstructions. Loehle doesn’t stand out in my opinion. Keep in mind that the anomaly definition is different. Loehle appears to use his reconstruction average as the base period, while other reconstructions use HadCRUT 1961-1990 as a baseline. The 1961-1990 average is higher than the 2000 year average, hence the shifting. After adjusting for the baseline differences, 2004 is about 0.4C warmer than Loehle MWP peak.

  65. Paul Brand said

    Curious/Jeff, it may be in principle true that the math stands out or it doesn’t, but even as a math guy myself, this isn’t easy math. Mann’s no slouch at math himself. And neither are the statisticans who assisted Wahl and Ammann in their reconstruction. Maybe someday I will attempt the math, but I still have this problem that even if I were to sort it through, my level of expertise isn’t sufficient to make bold proclaimations, so I question whether it is good use of my time. Gavin Schmidt at Real Climate has a PhD in Applied Mathematics, and has extensive climate modeling experience, so he’s no slouch either. My actuarial credentials don’t match up against these guys. I’m good at math, but not that good.

    As for where I’m at, I make judgements with regard to who is right and who is not, according to my epistimological constraints. The consensus of experts know best.

    I’m good enough at mathematical modeling that I can create simple models (simple relative to GCMs of course) that lead toward many of the mainstream conclusions as stated by IPCC and NAS scientists. +0.02C increase per year due to anthropogenic forcings is reasonable based on the data, and is consistent with mainstream findings. My model replicates the last 60 years remarkably well based on solar TSI, volcanic forcing, ENSO, and anthropogenic forcing data. This type of modeling helps me deduce claims such as “2010 is likely to be the hottest year on record”. I think this is a valid claim. It’s not a claim I would have made leading into 2008 and 2009 (of which I did make projections which were quite accurate). But, it is a claim I can make with around 70% confidence now with 2010. And I can have confidence in this projection even in a solar minimum. (A solar maximum would help, no doubt). A record breaking year requires an El Nino on top of increased greenhouse gas forcing. The Nino is projected to be strong enough to break a surface temperature record, and I think this will be shown in pretty much all temperature datasets, including satellite tropospheric ones (though I would put the satellite projection around 50%, because they are more sensitive to Ninos and the 1998 Nino is bigger than the current one).

    So, I do validate in some cases the reasonableness of IPCC conclusions. I don’t claim to have the credibility that people should take my work more seriously than actual climate scientists. But, for my benefit, I better understand the history and the forecast because I do this type of verification analysis.

    I suppose I could attempt mathematical analysis on Mann’s papers. I just haven’t devoted the time to do it. As I’ve said before, there doesn’t appear to be much at stake, unless someone is claiming that the MWP was more than 1C warmer than now. As far as I’m aware, noone worth listening to is claiming that (keeping in mind that someone like McKitrick is someone worth listening to). That might get my attention. Solar forcing really pales in comparison to greenhouse gas forcing, and so you would need a heavy dose of amplification of solar sensitivity for me to take notice. But then again, solar output has declined since 1980, so increased solar sensitivity would just imply that the anthropogenic contribution is larger in recent years.

    So, I’ve glanced at Wegman. Reading it might help me understand what his opinion is (which is already summarized by wiki), but that’s all I have to work on. It’s his opinion. So, I have to weigh how important his opinion is. Perhaps in theory, I could compile all the data, and check for myself how material these errors are. Other people have already done this work, and as far as I’m aware, none demonstrate a material deviation from the reconstructions listed in AR4, except for MM 2003, which had 80% less data for the years in divergence. It would be helpful for me for skeptics to quantify how much these methodological errors amount to. I understand the principle of doing it right is important, but in the end, I care more about whether sound analysis leads toward a materially different conclusion.

    And in the end, maybe Jeff is more competent at math than Mann and Schmidt and all the others. Personally, I don’t know Jeff that well. He has an engineering background, which probably makes him pretty good at math. But, I haven’t spent enough time reviewing his work to know whether his opinion is worth adding to the mix, or whether his math skills are sufficient to back the claims he makes. I don’t even think I’m qualified to make that assessment, given the time. That being said, if he isn’t very good at math, that may quickly become apparent to me. But, I suspect his math skills are significantly better than average. the question is whether they are good enough, and to be good enough, I think one would have to be substantially above the 99th percentile in math skills.

  66. alf said

    Jeff: I have been a lurker on your blog well before it became popular. I even posted a few comments simply because I felt your blog deserved attention.I appreciate your style and substance.
    The National Post published an artical claming that the NOAA used only one temperature station from the northern part of Canada to represent that area:”Yet as American researchers Joseph D’Aleo, a meteorologist, and E. Michael Smith, a computer programmer, point out in a study published on the website of the Science and Public Policy Institute, NOAA uses “just one thermometer [for measuring] everything north of latitude 65 degrees.”
    If this is true could someone possible assess the implications of such an action seeing that the Canadian Government has weather stations north of latitude 65?

    http://www.weatheroffice.gc.ca/canada_e.html

  67. Jeff Id said

    #65 I don’t need to be better at math. We just need to understand it and be honest. Read the hockey stick links above, they are written as simply as they can. Start with the top and work your way down, it will be an easy read for you. When you realize how simple CPS is and how ugly what Mann did was, it should be a jaw dropping experience for you.

    If you’re willing to share the spreadsheet or code and data for your model, do a good writeup and I’ll post it. Email on the left if you are interested. You’ll face the rest here but all that’s required is open honest assessment on tAV. You’ll find plenty of support if it’s done accurately. There aren’t many advocate style deniers here, just people with some damned good questions. tAV get’s around 8000 views/day so your work will get recognized.

    #65, Alf, there are so many endless details. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out you are exactly right. What can we do? I’m hoping to get some time to do a post on thermometer QC myself to get some ideas as to what the best way to proceed with GHCN would be.

  68. Andrew said

    65- “solar output has declined since 1980″

    This claim is debatable. The data really aren’t good enough to make such a firm conclusion.

    http://acrim.com/TSI%20Monitoring.htm

    At any rate the research into solar “amplification”-indirect forcing-is proving rather fruitful so far.

  69. Paul Brand said

    Hi Andrew,

    Sunspots peaked in the 1960s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sunspot_Numbers.png

    PMOD shows declining since 1980, though 1990 wasn’t much different. But, I think it is clear that the most recent solar cycle is significantly weaker, especially the tail end, which is probably one of the weakest bottoms we have had in a hundred years. (The data below isn’t update for the last couple of years, but it can be traced through Oct 09 at least if you follow a few links from wiki).

    I don’t have ACRIM data in front of me, and my browser isn’t showing the charts. I understand ACRIM adjusts somewhat differently when merging various satellite records together. But, I’m pretty sure that it too would show that the last cycle was weaker.

  70. Paul Brand said

    Jeff, I’ve taken a quick look at some of your articles. If I feel motivated, I will read them closer later on. Your first paragraph in #67 above strikes me as suspicious, but I don’t think that would surprise you. You sound like an 1800 rated chess player (i.e. a good chess player) who thinks he can take down Magnus Carlson with ease (i.e. the #1 rated chess player in the world). I think there is a reason why these climate scientists study for over ten years before practicing. This isn’t supposed to be easy stuff that you can learn over your coffee break. But, maybe you will convince me otherwise. I’ll try to keep an open mind.

    Regarding your 2nd paragraph. I don’t know. If I feel motivated, I might pass it on to you privately, but probably not publicly. I probably need to clean it up before passing it on. And document it in such a way that someone else can figure out what the heck I’m doing, and where all the inputs and outputs are.

  71. Craig Loehle said

    #56 Paul Brand
    I have some comments on your post.
    First, the appearance that the current period is warmer than the MWP is misleading because for the recent period we have annual data and for my reconstruction we have smoothed data (29 year window) with dating error. Apples and oranges.
    Generally, appeal to authority in the way you indicate is a reasonable approach for a layman–take the American Heart Assoc as a guide on heart disease, for example, though note that they were wrong about the Atkins diet, which does lower cholesterol, and opposed it. Historically, professional societies have NOT been the first to get with new results. The geological society vigorously opposed the idea of continental drift, and even commissioned a study that proposed silly land bridges all over the place. The medical establishment resisted the idea that ulcers are caused by H. Pylori bacteria. Etc. And now it comes out that the Himalayan disappearing glaciers are not disappearing at all, but the IPCC cited what was basicly a toss-off line during a telephone interview in 1999. One thing to note in the IPCC, Royal Society, Nature, etc. is the shrill tone they have adopted with respect to skeptics–calling them deniers and calling for the end of debate. This is an indication that they are heavily influenced by political advocacy rather than pure science on this issue.

    Why the hockey stick important? It is not whether the MWP was WARMER than today (though this is likely) but the assertion that today is unprecedented and by a large margin. This assertion, made often in the press (though you don’t see it as much these days) is what is critical. It is the unprecedentedness that is supposed to raise alarm. I would note that 6,000 to 8,000 BP it was quite a bit warmer than today (the Holocene Optimum). The hockey stick has been used to test and calibrate climate models and evaluate the contribution of solar forcing so it matters quite a lot.

  72. Jeff Id said

    #70, I am surprised that you would suggest the paragraph suspicious. I’m not asking you to believe the posts, the posts lay out the math so you can check it yourself.

    Please, please don’t believe anything written here. Check it, demand open accounting so it can be checked, but for gods sakes don’t just believe it and walk away. All I did was lay out simple heavily commented and referenced code and results for people to run and check themselves.

    You are too caught up in credentials for my liking, but some people are. I don’t like listing details of my own history so you won’t find it on tAV. It’s too much like bragging. If it helps you, I’ve got 7 years of engineering school, 15 years of practice – plus 4 while still in school, and I’ve been programming for 25 years in basic, C++, Assembly, Machine, PLC’s, R and a variety of robotic control script languages.

    A number of the commenters in the threads are PhD’s and at least one taught graduate level stats. They and others have reviewed the posts as well and pointed out errors which were corrected as documented in the threads. Still IMO, you should check it yourself. Maybe you’ll find the big error.

  73. curious said

    70 – “Regarding your 2nd paragraph. I don’t know. If I feel motivated, I might pass it on to you privately, but probably not publicly. I probably need to clean it up before passing it on. And document it in such a way that someone else can figure out what the heck I’m doing, and where all the inputs and outputs are.”

    Paul – what you describe is standard “actual climate science”. As Einstein said: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

    Hope you find the motivation to clean it up and pass it on.

  74. Mark T said

    Paul Brand said
    January 21, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    You sound like an 1800 rated chess player (i.e. a good chess player) who thinks he can take down Magnus Carlson with ease (i.e. the #1 rated chess player in the world).

    You are starting off with the assumption that climatologists, particularly those implementing CPS (or more prominently, PCA) are the de-facto authorities on such mathematical techniques. This is, quite frankly, not true. There are a whole host of other professions that specialize in such techniques, and, more importantly, those in some of these professions spend their entire careers developing and testing such techniques with real-world examples that are, above all, testable. Indeed, in many cases, it seems as if the climatologists are the 1800 rated chess players attempting to take down those that are truly authoritative in their respective fields.

    I think there is a reason why these climate scientists study for over ten years before practicing.

    Because their chosen “field” is actually an amalgam of many fields, which requires a lengthy amount of study to gain competence over. Such diversity, of course, can lead to jacks of all trades that are expert in none.

    This isn’t supposed to be easy stuff that you can learn over your coffee break.

    For those of us that do it for a living, it is easy (linear algebra and some statistical analysis background is really all that is required to understand the calculations themselves). Certainly it is not easy if one does not have the math background, but I’m pretty certain Jeff does. Others that post here, and on the related blogs, most certainly do.

    Mark

  75. The Diatribe Guy said

    Welcome to the Air Vent, Paul!

    Fortunately for me, you’ll find these people smarter and more coherent than me.

    Just to clarify on Paul’s claim that I believe all the warming is related to solar forcings, that actually isn’t true. I have done correlation analysis relating sunspots to HadCrut temps, but even after the correlation analysis there is still warming unexplained by the sun. I have often stated in my own blog that only after a complete simultaneous correlation analysis incorporating solar forcing, oceanic oscillations, CO2 measures, etc. would I be able to form a firm conclusion on all the associated impacts. Also, I noted in my solar correlation to potential pitfall of cross-correlation of other factors. I also admitted to Paul that there is likely a limiting influence on continued minimal forcing, as opposed to a continual 0.1C reduction (with reference to the 2C reduction after 20 years, whcih he accurately stated I suggested on my blog).

    The most important conclusions I have found in my own anaylsis is that simply deconstructing HadCrut by fitting 2 sine waves provides a great deal of insight into whether or not warming is accelerating. Considering these waves, it really is almost perfectly linear, at about 0.4C per Century over the course of the HadCrut data, and prior to removal of solar influence.

    Also with regard to the peak in sunspots – it is a mistake to look at the correlation of magnitude only, because at some point extra spots just don’t matter, according to my correlation analysis. What is more important is consistency over time, which occurs with shorter cycles. And that is what occurred in the last third of the 20th century, prior to Cycle 23.

  76. Paul Brand said

    Curious, your comments don’t appear very insightful. Or at least, I don’t see how it is insightful, or defensible.

    Jeff, sorry if the chess comment is hurtful. I’m not really trying to disparage you. At least not yet! :) As you say, it’s not that surprising that I would draw that kind of impression. I don’t think it’s easy stuff. I haven’t sat down and worked through all the math. Maybe I’m overestimating the difficulty, maybe not. But, at least you know what my initial impression is. But, then again, maybe it could have been left unsaid.

    Mark, I appreciate the time you put into your response, but perhaps I’ll allow Jeff to speak for himself. The number of responders here has the potential to increase a lot. I’ve got other priorities, and I’m not motivated to respond to everyone.

    Craig, thanks for coming by. I didn’t expect it! I’m new here, and didn’t realize there are some published names out here.

    Thanks for the history lesson. Anecdotes are interesting, but I would have to say that the consensus expert position is usually the most correct, even with anecdotal exceptions. It’s definitely the most reasonable default position. And by the way, AGW was once ground-breaking as well, and still is in some respects. Galileo challenged the status quo. He was right, and he convinced his peers that he was right. Over time, more and more people became convinced. Not all of Galileo’s reasons were sound, by the way. But he was right. I suppose Darwin was also ground-breaking at one point in time. The Intelligent Design community has very similar concerns to the climate skeptic community with regard to peer review standards. Dembski’s Design Revolution discusses how revolutionary ideas are at first ridiculed before eventually becoming mainstream. Does that make Dembski right becuase he makes some new out-of-the box thinking? No.

    I get that the the MWP affects solar sensitivity. But, as I’ve said earlier, solar sensitivity is currently calculated to be around 0.3 W / m^2 relative to the Maunder minimum (IPCC says 0.1 W / m^s relative to 1750). This compares to 1.6 W / m^2 for greenhouse gases. The solar sensitivity would have to be driven up substantially for it to be the dominant force. Raising the MWP to above current levels wouldn’t exactly be a big game changer, unless it was higher by a lot. And even then, the sun flattened out between 1980 and 2000 and is now decreasing. Yet temperature trends resist the downward pressure, and are now trending up to what are likely new record highs.

    Do you think your WLS results differ materially from other published reconstructions? (I don’t see much difference, as I’ve outlined earlier). What do you think of Jeff’s work here? Are his sleepless nights justified? What would your results look like if you used Mann’s methodology with your data? Does the hockey stick straighten out?

  77. Paul Brand said

    Craig, one more thing. You said the Himalayan glaciers aren’t disappearing at all? I find that puzzling. Do you have aggregate data available to back up that claim? The contoversy is surrounding a non-peer reviewed claim that 80% of the glaciers would disappear by 2035. The current trendline is something like -4% per decade, if I recall correct.

    Diatribe Guy, Hi! Got to go.

  78. curious said

    76 Paul – “Curious, your comments don’t appear very insightful. Or at least, I don’t see how it is insightful, or defensible.”

    Yawn – at least I’ve read the report I’m discussing. Perhaps “insight” is actually another word for “hearsay” – if I could find the motivation I’d look it up in a dictionary but I can’t be bothered. Time for bed.

  79. Mark T said

    Paul Brand said
    January 21, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    Mark, I appreciate the time you put into your response, but perhaps I’ll allow Jeff to speak for himself.

    That I mentioned Jeff’s “qualifications,” or appeared to be defending Jeff, was really immaterial to the point I made: your argument is a logical fallacy, not only an appeal to authority, but an appeal to false authority. Your assumption is incorrect, or at least, untenable, so perhaps you should start with a new assumption.

    The number of responders here has the potential to increase a lot. I’ve got other priorities, and I’m not motivated to respond to everyone.

    You should be motivated to respond to everyone that offers a legitimate criticism of your argument. One of the problems with climate science, to date, is that there seems to be a tendency to wave off all criticism that comes from “the outside,” even when it has merit. It is rather arrogant to pick and choose which arguments you would prefer to respond to since this is an open blog. You can, of course, and I won’t attempt to stop you, but you only hurt your credibility in the long run. Sure, some say “who cares about my credibility on a blog,” but then I respond “then why post?”

    Mark

  80. Jeff Id said

    Paul,

    Like many bloggers, Mark enjoys a vigorous discussion, I’m not immune either. My reply though had nothing to do with hurt. I’d be pretty proud to have an 1800 whatever in chess, — I do play reasonably well for an untrained amateur but maybe 199 is a more appropriate rating. I don’t think this has to do much with being smarter but rather with being open with methods and careful with interpretation of them.

    Mann has 1284 series from proxies which are assumed to be temperatures. These are noisy because of other signals. The proxies are calibrated to temperature from 1850 on because that’s when we have data.

    The math above sorts each proxy by Pearson correlation to temperatures and throws out 60 percent of the series with lower correlation. The remaining proxies are scaled by standard deviation to the calibration period (measured temp period) and averaged. That’s it.

    Since the time period which is sorted is the blade end of the stick is it any wonder you get a nice strong clean temperature signal from it?

    Not that fancy at all, but it guarantees an amplified calibration range in relation to the historic signal because the calibration time period noise is sorted in HS favor. I then used the same methods to find sine waves, temperature declines, unprecedented warming in history. I even searched for a digital ascii J but didn’t post it.

    The result is whatever you are looking for.

  81. Mark T said

    Yup. Recall when Amman finally published his R2 number. I think Steve’s comment was along the lines of “I’ve never seen an R2 this low,” because it had to go out 5 places for the first significant digit.

    Mark

  82. Craig Loehle said

    My purpose in doing my study was to show that leaving out tree rings produces a materially different result–which it did. I did not and do not claim that it is a final-say type reconstruction. I do not believe tree rings capture valid temperature signals on the 1000+ year timeframe. When algorithms heavily weight single proxies like bristlecones or Yamal larch, even more reason to be suspicious of them.

  83. Jeff Id said

    Paul,

    It’s up to you but I think it would be appropriate to acknowledge Dr. Loehle’s filtering as an appropriate and significant answer to your question of unprecedentedness rather than ignore or just change direction. He clearly addressed why you can’t just paste an annual blade on the end as in your image above.

    It would give a good sign that you are an open thinker and promote a better response. That is unless you have an argument with it.

    BTW: Are you aware of the type of filter used in the blade you showed pasted on? Hint: It ain’t pretty.

  84. Jeff Id said

    #82, I bet it’s been a year now, is your paper on tree non-linearity on line where it can be downloaded?

  85. timetochooseagain said

    69-Sunspots are not the only indicator of solar activity. But, in fact, ACRIM has this minimum slightly higher than the 21-22 minimum.

    http://acrim.com/RESULTS/earth_obs_fig26.pdf

    The difference between their adjustment procedures is that PMOD’s go against the instincts of the satellite teams.

  86. Paul Brand said

    Mark,

    You don’t seem to know what a logical fallacy is. Go look up the wiki entry http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_authority.

    It’s only fallacious if it’s a necessary claim (as is true with pretty much all logical fallacies), such as “person X is necessarily right with regard to Y, because person X is really good at Y”. In contrast the claim, “person X is credible with regard to Y, because person X is an expert at Y”, is clearly not a logical fallacy.

    “Appeal to false authority”? That’s just begging the question.

    Your comment “you should feel motivated to respond to everyone” is trollish. I’ll respond to people I find interesting. I don’t find people who invent false definitions of logical fallacies, very interesting. Furthermore, I don’t have the time to respond to everyone I find interesting, and this discussion isn’t #1 on my priority list.

  87. Paul Brand said

    Craig, I know you are saying your results are materially different, but when I looked at them compared to other reconstrcutions, they appear to be right in the middle. See http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2666/3914214320_261cba1cf2_o.png, where your reconstruction is the black line. Your stick appears straighter than many of the others. Not as straight as Mann’s, but straighter than Moberg.

    Also see these for further comparison (doesn’t include Loehle):

    http://www.junkscience.com/sep08/Mann2008.png.

    Your graph is showing a MWP to LIA cooling of around -0.5C. Moberg’s is roughly -0.9C. Mann and Jones 2003 is roughly -0.3C. That’s why I say that your results aren’t materially different from other published reconstructions. It’s because of this observation that I want to clarify how yours is different.

    By the way, thanks also for clarifying the resolution of your graph, and resulting smoothing. How does this compare to the others?

    Jeff, yes I realize there isn’t a blade on Craig’s graph. The instrumental temperature record is appended to Mann’s graph after 1960. Craig doesn’t do this. I think it is important context to relate what happened after 1950 with what happened in the MWP. Craig’s graph doesn’t give this context. But, I’m not at the current moment intereted in whether the blade should or shouldn’t be included. I’m interested in whether Craig’s reconstruction materially differs from others. Craig claims that excluding tree rings changes the shape. Does it?

  88. Craig Loehle said

    #86 I would make a distinction between expertise in well-established subject areas, and experts where the subject is rapidly unfolding. For example, if you break your arm, lots of docs know exactly what to do. On the other hand, try to get experts to agree on causes or treatments for autism, lupus, or alzheimers. Not so expert. In the climate change arena, lots of people are running around claiming expertise where none exists, claiming certainty based on models that require 100 years to be sure they are right on their 100 year projections. Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren in the 1970s in their book claimed that 1/2 the US population would be dead of starvation by the year 2000. They were sure about it. Just saying.

  89. Craig Loehle said

    #87 Paul Brand The Moberg reconstruction uses 11 of the 18 series I used (plus a few others) and also no tree rings, but a different type of reconstruction method. Moberg uses wavelet smoothing/signal detection, but the smoothing is not explicit and is thus difficult to quantify. I would say his and mine are different enough from the others. One of the lines I think is the Briffa recon which has divergence after 1960–it goes way down (cool) so they truncated it in many graphics and in some places patched in the instrumental data to make it go up after 1960–I would need to know where you got your data/graphics to say. Another one is truncated or ends in 1980 and they hide it under the thick black line for instrumental data. Often they have achieved their smooth of the annual data (yes they smoothed them) with a filter and in order to reach as close to present as possible they do a weird reflecting of the data (padding at the end) in such a way to make the smoothed curve flip up at the end.

  90. Mark T said

    Paul Brand said
    January 22, 2010 at 10:34 am

    It’s only fallacious if it’s a necessary claim (as is true with pretty much all logical fallacies), such as “person X is necessarily right with regard to Y, because person X is really good at Y”.

    Indeed, that is what you are doing, but that is not the only way it is a fallacy. Claiming someone is an authority in any field, when they are not, is also fallacious. “The climatologists spent 10 years learning about the climate, therefore they must be authoritative.” I suggest you do a little digging if you do not understand why this is wrong.

    In contrast the claim, “person X is credible with regard to Y, because person X is an expert at Y”, is clearly not a logical fallacy.

    But this is not what you have done. The climatologists are, perhaps, authoritative on matters regarding the climate (maybe), but clearly not on matters regarding statistics and statistical analysis.

    “Appeal to false authority”? That’s just begging the question.

    You assigned a lack of authority to Jeff, where some clearly exists, while at the same time assigning expertise to others when none apparently exists, i.e., a false authority. You are assigning expertise to these guys in matters statistical when in fact, they are not, and provably so. There is no “begging the question,” merely a statement of fact.

    Your comment “you should feel motivated to respond to everyone” is trollish.

    Nice how you clipped my relevant point. I said you should “respond to everyone that offers a legitimate criticism of your argument” not just “respond to everyone.” Shall I point out what a strawman is? Your response was elitist, and clearly indicative of someone not interested in the truth.

    All you had to do was admit that your authoritative comparison was wrong, and it would have been over.

    I don’t find people who invent false definitions of logical fallacies, very interesting.

    More elitism. Take a dose of your own medicine.

    Furthermore, I don’t have the time to respond to everyone I find interesting, and this discussion isn’t #1 on my priority list.

    Obfuscation seems to take that honor, I see.

    Besides Craig’s point, Jeff, and many others, have been able to rather easily outline the problems with claims made by your so-called “authorities.” They are not authorities, nor are they even close. Their errors begin with a violation of their own assumptions (read MBH98, for example, and take note of the first three major assumptions that even Mann says must be met, but either are not, or are never proven to be). Their implementations are laughable, e.g., RegEM “centering,” error bar calculations, etc. There’s a reason these “authorities” do not consult outside statistical help: they would be laughed out of the room.

    Mark

  91. Paul Brand said

    I still don’t see how yours is materially different. Look at the trend from MWP to LIA. Post 1960 analysis is a red herring to that specific question, and yes I’m aware of the underlying issues with tree ring divergence. But that’s not the focus of my question. My question is whether you are showing a materially higher MWP than the other reconstructions. The only way I can judge this simply is by comparing to LIA.

    The source of my the graph which compares you to some other reconstructions is here:http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090912174440AAyM0RC. I don’t know where the graph originated. It shows the same MWP to LIA trend as in your paper. The only difference is that the anomaly base period is shifted. I’m assuming you didn’t use the 1961-1990 base period in your paper, but rather your reconstruction time period average. Your graph is showing way less variability than Moberg, and not much more than Mann and Jones.

    Anyway, I take it you don’t agree with the HadCRUT temperature record warming trend. That’s a different question. There are three ways to look at the divergence problem (well probably more than three). One, the temperature record is wrong, and actually cooled since 1960. Two, tree rings aren’t very useful as climate proxies. Three, sulphuric aerosol emissions resulted in global dimming, thus creating the temperature divergence after 1960 in tree ring proxies.

    But seriously, I don’t have the desire to get into that issue right now, and nor do I have the expertise to discuss the more technical components of the discussion. Throughout this thread, I’ve been saying much the same thing. I can’t find a credible temperature reconstruction that differs materially from AR4. Does yours materially differ? Why do you say that it does?

  92. Mark T said

    Paul Brand said
    January 22, 2010 at 10:34 am

    It’s only fallacious if it’s a necessary claim

    For the record, this statement is incorrect.

    I suggest you read the entry on fallacyfiles.org as it has a much better exposition. It does not need to be a necessary claim, as I noted. If you had actually read your Wiki article in full, you probably would have been able to glean this anyway, particularly since it links to fallacyfiles.org.

    Mark

  93. Layman Lurker said

    #64 Paul Brand

    Paul, I was mistakenly looking at the wrong graph (page 7) when I made my comment in #62.

  94. Paul Brand said

    Mark:

    “Indeed that is what you are doing…” I didn’t say anyone was necesarily right. My nuance couldn’t be more explicit.

    “But this is not what you have done…” That remains to be demonstrated.

    “You assigned a lack of authority to Jeff…” No I didn’t. I’m suspicious, but I have assigned no authority or lack thereof. All I know so far is that Jeff is pretty good at math. I do not know with certainty whether his claims are reasonable. Am I doubtful? Yes.

    “Nice how you clipped my relevant point…” You read too much into it. I didn’t miss your qualifier, and I think you are trolling.

    “More elitism…” not interested in exchanging insults

    “…They are not authorities, nor are they even close…” I judge who is authoritative based on relevant experts, who can convince their peers they are correct. You can claim I’m making an error of judgement, that I shouldn’t trust IPCC, NAS, RS, Nature, or GRL, or whoever else, but I don’t value your opinion over well-recognized scientific institutions. I trust mainstream science, and I make no apologies for it. I haven’t always. I used to believe the earth was 6000 years old, that evolution couldn’t happen naturally, and that environmentalism was a big conspiracy, and that climate change was nothing to worry about. My epistimology has changed. I don’t trust pseudo-science anymore. I generally don’t trust conspiracy theories either.

    Anyway, I validate what I can, but clearly (and I’m sure you would agree), I’m not an expert in all things. I defer to others. I don’t defer to Jeff or yourself. I haven’t established that your opinions are credible. At least not yet.

    If I get around to it, I’ll take a closer look at Jeff’s articles. If it inspires me, maybe I will take a look at the code. But, I kind of doubt that I’m qualified to make an assessment. If it’s easy, I will figure it out.

    “For the record, this statement is incorrect”.

    The third premise at the top of the page is “therefore, p is true”. I never said “p is true”, that would be a necessary claim. Lower down in the page it adds “…credibility unduly enhanced”. Good luck demosntrating that with formal logic! You may certainly opine that, but you cannot demonstrate it using formal logic. Thus your criticisms should stick to the credibility of my sources, rather than poking fun at my actually believing sources that I think are credible.

    Back toward the top:

    “On the other hand, arguments from authority are an important part of informal logic. Since we cannot have expert knowledge of many subjects, we often rely on the judgments of those who do. There is no fallacy involved in simply arguing that the assertion made by an authority is true. The fallacy only arises when it is claimed or implied that the authority is infallible in principle and can hence be exempted from criticism.”

    Note that I never claimed anyone was infallible. Quite the opposite! What have I been claiming? I’ve been claiming that I have more trust in the opinions of relevant experts who are able to convince their peers of the accuracy of their claims. Is that a logical fallacy? No. Not even close.

  95. Mark T said

    Paul Brand said
    January 22, 2010 at 3:59 pm
    Mark:

    I didn’t say anyone was necesarily right. My nuance couldn’t be more explicit.

    You assigned authority to those Jeff is challenging. No nuance necessary.

    That remains to be demonstrated.

    As I have done.

    No I didn’t. I’m suspicious, but I have assigned no authority or lack thereof.

    Yes, you did. You specifically said he has less authority than those he is challenging (your chess analogy).

    I do not know with certainty whether his claims are reasonable. Am I doubtful? Yes.

    So, rather than read up and make an attempt at understanding his math, you simply come in here and claim he is jousting with giants? That doesn’t make sense. Why not do something novel for a change: find out whether or not his claims are reasonable for making claims one way or another regarding anybody’s authority? Seems a simple concept, why is it so hard for folks like you to get it?

    You read too much into it. I didn’t miss your qualifier, and I think you are trolling.

    Pointing out your logical errors is not trolling. Quoting out of context, which is what you did when you clipped the last bit of my statement, is a strawman argument, i.e., another logical fallacy, btw.

    not interested in exchanging insults

    Your the one that started it by saying Jeff wasn’t in the same league as the climatologists, and I recall you called me a troll, too. It’s pretty easy to simply dismiss someone that has pointed out your flaws when you simply label them a troll. This statement seems hypocritical, at best.

    I judge who is authoritative based on relevant experts, who can convince their peers they are correct.

    The relevant experts are statisticians. They do not seem to agree that climatologists are doing very good work, which is why there are none working with the reconstruction people… oh wait, there’s one. I would suggest you look into the climategate scandal, too. Their methods of “convincing” aren’t very convincing. More like extortion. In fact, even they think MBH98 is rubbish.

    You can claim I’m making an error of judgement, that I shouldn’t trust IPCC, NAS, RS, Nature, or GRL, or whoever else, but I don’t value your opinion over well-recognized scientific institutions. I trust mainstream science, and I make no apologies for it. I haven’t always. I used to believe the earth was 6000 years old, that evolution couldn’t happen naturally, and that environmentalism was a big conspiracy, and that climate change was nothing to worry about. My epistimology has changed. I don’t trust pseudo-science anymore. I generally don’t trust conspiracy theories either.

    Groupthink does not require conspiracy, so really, it is you making the conspiracy claim, not any of us. And, you miss the point. You are the one that made the claim to authority when none has been demonstrated. That your opinion is these guys are authoritative is immaterial to the fallacy, it is still a fallacy. In any case, they are not statisticians, whether you like it or not. Nor are they signal processing professionals.

    If I get around to it, I’ll take a closer look at Jeff’s articles. If it inspires me, maybe I will take a look at the code. But, I kind of doubt that I’m qualified to make an assessment. If it’s easy, I will figure it out.

    Wow. So you’re confident enough to tell Jeff he’s not up to the same level as the climatologists, yet not even qualified to judge the work yourself, nor have you attempted? And I’m the troll?

    The third premise at the top of the page is “therefore, p is true”. I never said “p is true”, that would be a necessary claim. Lower down in the page it adds “…credibility unduly enhanced”.

    There are four major conditions which result in a fallacious argument by authority. Had you read through the link, and as I suggested, moved on to fallacyfiles.org, you would have discovered that my assertion was correct.

    Good luck demosntrating that with formal logic! You may certainly opine that, but you cannot demonstrate it using formal logic.

    The form is “authority A believes that P is true, therefore P is true” (from fallacyfiles.org). It is an informal fallacy, so it is not a failure of the logical structure, but one of language (flawed premises, incorrect conclusions), and hence, “formal logic” cannot be used to demonstrate the problem beyond the simple statement I just made.

    Thus your criticisms should stick to the credibility of my sources, rather than poking fun at my actually believing sources that I think are credible.

    Your source linked to mine, which supports my view. I’m not sure what your problem is here. Again, what I poked fun at was your inability to understand these sources. This statement is evidence my assertions were correct.

    Note that I never claimed anyone was infallible. Quite the opposite! What have I been claiming? I’ve been claiming that I have more trust in the opinions of relevant experts who are able to convince their peers of the accuracy of their claims. Is that a logical fallacy? No. Not even close.

    You claimed authority when none exists. Climatologists are not authorities on the methods being used, and, as Craig noted, the field is new enough that the specific application of the methods is rather recent and there are no authorities. Authorities on these specific methods are statisticians (and signal processing folks) that developed them. Do a search on “component analysis” (there are three varieties: minor, or MCA, principal, or PCA, and independent, or ICA) for more information. CPS, Jeff’s particular gripe above, is a simple statistical technique – the fact that we even have to argue why the method is flawed indicates a lack of authority of those defending it.

    Really, you’re trying to hard to defend and indefensible position. Your chess analogy was flawed. All you had to do was admit that and be done with it. Instead, you choose to fight, demonstrating a lack of understanding of simple logic by repeatedly committing simple logical errors. You also admit that you haven’t even attempted to understand Jeff’s work, and that you might not even be qualified to judge it! Indeed, you aren’t even in a position to judge whether he’s right or wrong, yet still you cling to the hope that climatologists are authorities. And I’m a troll… Yeah.

    Mark

  96. Mark T said

    “That your opinion is these guys are authoritative is immaterial to the fallacy, it is still a fallacy”

    Actually, I should have said that your unproven opinion is all that is necessary to make it a fallacy.

    Mark

  97. Mark T said

    Anthony has an interesting post up by Matt Briggs, someone that is quite the statistician.

    Mark

  98. Paul Brand said

    Mark,

    You said: “You assigned authority to those Jeff is challenging.” But you fail to distinguish between assigning authority and claiming they are therefore right. It’s a pretty important nuance.

    “Yes, you did. You specifically said he has less authority than those he is challenging (your chess analogy).” I suspect he has less authority, but I didn’t explicitly claim he had less authority. I would think a scientific body like the NAS has more authority than Jeff. That’s my impression. It’s not a statement of fact, it’s an impression. The definitional differences are not hard, yet you keep on claiming I’m making absolute claims. But, if you understood my comments correctly, the difference in chess ratings weren’t the primary focus of the analogy. (In retrospect, Magnus Carlson analogies are probably hyperbolic, but I was trying to be gracious with the 1800 rating, which is pretty darn good. Maybe I should have said 2000, or 2200, but I don’t have a lot to go on yet). What shocked me primarily, wasn’t Jeff’s lack of credentials, but his claim that he can falsify the statistical analysis with ease. I find that hard to believe. As I said before, I’ll try to keep an open mind, but my initial impression is what it is.

    “Why not do something novel for a change: find out whether or not his claims are reasonable for making claims one way or another regarding anybody’s authority? Seems a simple concept, why is it so hard for folks like you to get it?”

    Well, when I have time to look into it, maybe I’ll look into it. In the meantime, you are demanding that I waste my time responding to you. There are other people in my life who demand my time. They are much younger than you, and they are higher up on my priority list.

    “The relevant experts are statisticians. They do not seem to agree that climatologists are doing very good work, which is why there are none working with the reconstruction people… oh wait, there’s one. I would suggest you look into the climategate scandal, too. Their methods of “convincing” aren’t very convincing. More like extortion. In fact, even they think MBH98 is rubbish.”

    I’ve asked numerous times, without a decent reply. Where is there a credible reconstruction that differs materially from the reconstructions appearing in AR4?

    Are there statistical flaws with MBH98? According to the NAS and Wegman there are. Do correcting the errors materially affect the shape of the stick? I see no evidence within NAS nor Wegman that the reconstruction would look materially different with the appropriate corrections. I have asked here more than a few times, and thus far I haven’t seen any. I expect there must be something out there. And if there is no material impact on the shape of the stick, then maybe it’s not worth my time reviewing Jeff’s work. If it isn’t material, it’s not worth my time.

    “Groupthink does not require conspiracy, so really, it is you making the conspiracy claim, not any of us.” I’m the one with the conspiracy claim? For what? Agreeing with mainstream science? Are you kidding me?

    “And, you miss the point. You are the one that made the claim to authority when none has been demonstrated. That your opinion is these guys are authoritative is immaterial to the fallacy, it is still a fallacy. In any case, they are not statisticians, whether you like it or not.”

    Statisticians aren’t experts in paleo-climatology. They have relevant expertise, but you make it sound like stats skills alone are sufficient in doing reconstructive work. Additionally, I see no evidence that statisticians believe that the shape of AR4 reconstructions is materially wrong. It sounds like a good idea to have paleo-climatologists and statisticians working together. I won’t argue with that. I think I’ve read that Wahl did employ a statistician in his analysis. Is that true?

    I’m out of time.

    But, I’ll say one more thing, if you think reading Jeff’s analysis is of better use of my time than reading your own, you should probably limit your involvement.

  99. RB said

    Paul,
    The last time I looked at the Loehle data, you have to use a 29-year average centered at the 15-year point. His reconstruction therefore ends at 1935. If you padded the instrument readings from 1936 onwards, which Craig says are mixing apples and oranges, you’d get 1994 readings where the data last stops at about where it was at the MWP peak in his data (to do this, I had to further adjust 1936 onwards instrument readings upward by the difference between 1935 instrument average and proxy data). Somebody correct me if I’m wrong so far. However, if I superimpose the rise from the lows in 200AD with the rise from the lows in 1600ish onwards, I see a much more pronounced rise in the 1970-plus region and the peak is attained ~200 years earlier (off the top of my head). One could always argue the reasons for this rise, but that is not the point here. I saw the Loehle data as being in agreement with the hypothesis that if the recent warming was due to human-induced CO2 changes that business-as-usual AGW emissions, could lead to significant rise in temperatures in the future. Also, based on the same line of reasoning (human-induced CO2 sensitivity based on current science), temperatures would in the next 2-3 decades be the highest in 1000 years if you take into account that there is another 0.5C in the pipeline due to ocean thermal inertia that would be realized over the next 20-to-30 years (source: Gavin Schmidt @realclimate).

  100. Mark T said

    Paul Brand said
    January 22, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    But you fail to distinguish between assigning authority and claiming they are therefore right. It’s a pretty important nuance.

    When you claim someone has authority, it is implied you assume they are right.

    I suspect he has less authority, but I didn’t explicitly claim he had less authority.

    Actually, you did. Jeff is the 1800 chess player attempting to take down the best: that’s an explicit statement that Jeff has less, but really immaterial to my point anyway (as I noted, I was not attempting to defend Jeff, just pointing out your appeal to authority).

    I would think a scientific body like the NAS has more authority than Jeff. That’s my impression.

    There’s a couple problems with using the NAS as an example. First, the one review they openly conducted really did agree with Wegman (a true stastical authority) that Mann’s implementation of PCA had no skill. Two, the members of the NAS that did the review are hardly disinterested, and in fact, they are some of the very same “authorities” that really aren’t. The disinterested claim, btw, is one of the conditions for an appeal to authority (false authority, which I mentioned, is one of the other conditions).

    The definitional differences are not hard, yet you keep on claiming I’m making absolute claims.

    Not really.

    But, if you understood my comments correctly, the difference in chess ratings weren’t the primary focus of the analogy. (In retrospect, Magnus Carlson analogies are probably hyperbolic, but I was trying to be gracious with the 1800 rating, which is pretty darn good. Maybe I should have said 2000, or 2200, but I don’t have a lot to go on yet).

    That you don’t have a lot to go on is really the rub. Save your comments for when you do have a lot to go on, and then, don’t try to claim someone is wrong because someone else said so, demonstrate that you understand why someone is wrong.

    What shocked me primarily, wasn’t Jeff’s lack of credentials, but his claim that he can falsify the statistical analysis with ease.

    It really is that easy to do as he claimed. This is why I have been so adamant that these guys are definitely not the authorities. It is really, really bad to use the source you’re trying to correlate to as the selection criteria, i.e., picking only those proxies that correlate well to temperature. Really, really bad.

    Well, when I have time to look into it, maybe I’ll look into it.

    Good, but save your criticism till then.

    In the meantime, you are demanding that I waste my time responding to you.

    I demand nothing. You choose to respond to me because I hit a nerve.

    I’ve asked numerous times, without a decent reply. Where is there a credible reconstruction that differs materially from the reconstructions appearing in AR4?

    This is a strawman argument. It is not necessary to provide a different reconstruction to disprove those that exist. Furthermore, your question assumes that reconstructions have validity in the first place, which has yet to be proven.

    Are there statistical flaws with MBH98? According to the NAS and Wegman there are.

    Indeed, and some are egregious. I don’t think Wegman even touched on the ones I’ve taken issue with.

    Do correcting the errors materially affect the shape of the stick? I see no evidence within NAS nor Wegman that the reconstruction would look materially different with the appropriate corrections.

    Again, you are assuming that the reconstruction means anything in the first place. Yes, btw, the reconstructions do look different when BCPs are removed (and some other questionable proxies). That is not meant to imply they are correct, just different.

    And if there is no material impact on the shape of the stick, then maybe it’s not worth my time reviewing Jeff’s work. If it isn’t material, it’s not worth my time.

    You keep saying “material impact.” What do you mean by that? Statistically significant difference, or eye-balling? If the former, yes, I believe there is a statistically significant difference when you correct for the many errors (and take out the BCPs).

    I’m the one with the conspiracy claim? For what? Agreeing with mainstream science? Are you kidding me?

    Reread what I said. You are the one stating that I (generally “we”) am claiming conspiracy. You are the only one that used the word, not me. I do not need for there to be some deep conspiracy, nor did I say there was one, so you should drop the strawman.

    Statisticians aren’t experts in paleo-climatology. They have relevant expertise, but you make it sound like stats skills alone are sufficient in doing reconstructive work.

    Statisticians are experts in analyzing data using statistical methods. What that data consists of is largely immaterial. An expert still needs to meet the same assumptions of linearity, stationarity, uncorrelatedness, etc., when implementing these methods. Stats skills are necessary, not sufficient, but many on the team seem to possess less than stellar skills in this regard, which is evidenced by the many very simple mistakes they make.

    Additionally, I see no evidence that statisticians believe that the shape of AR4 reconstructions is materially wrong.

    What they say is that the shape of the AR4 reconstructions have no skill, i.e., they have no meaning. “Materially wrong” is way too definite a proclamation from any statistician to see the light of day. They are generally more vague than this (hehe, sorry, RomanM!).

    It sounds like a good idea to have paleo-climatologists and statisticians working together. I won’t argue with that. I think I’ve read that Wahl did employ a statistician in his analysis. Is that true?

    Probably Nychka, hardly a disinterested party.

    But, I’ll say one more thing, if you think reading Jeff’s analysis is of better use of my time than reading your own, you should probably limit your involvement.

    This is the open thread, expressly for these sorts of divergences (pun intended). I’ll stop when I bore.

    If you’d like me to offer more input on other more substantive arguments, I can certainly oblige.

    Mark

  101. Craig Loehle said

    #99 Yes, all that MIGHT transpire in which case it MIGHT be the warmest in 1000 years sometime in the future. But the claim has already been made by Mann in the press and others that 1998 was the warmest single year in 1000 years, and by an alarming amount. If you look at the individual years for the tree ring reconstructions of Mann et al, the spread is huge and there is no way to say 1998 was unusual. It is only by smoothing their results (the resulting spagetti graphs) by sometimes 50 year smooths and then tacking on the annual instrumental data (or overlaying it) at the end that you get that result. In which case, it is again apples and oranges. And to reach a temperature sometime soon that was an easy time for humans (the early middle ages) climate-wise, does not seem so horrifying, does it?

  102. RB said

    #101, I guess there is no easy way to answer that – it can go both ways, that is, additional natural variations could make it even worse than we currently imagine. I imagine, based on Judith Curry’s statements, that we’ll have a better handle on AMO/PDO and better modeling of these effects within a decade and answer these questions better.

  103. RB said

    Reference for this statement from Climateaudit in the past and more recent statements on modeling on the LC thread:

    #
    Judith Curry
    Posted Feb 5, 2008 at 9:34 PM | Permalink

    William, This is my take on it, note i am not a paleo-oceanographer or paleoclimate modeler. the reason the period of the last 1000 years isn’t much of a priority in terms of paleo simulations is that you need some specified change to external forcing (solar, atmospheric composition) or bottom boundary conditions (like continents moving around) to get a simulation that is different from present. We can simulate the “blade” of the stick during the last 100 years (CO2 increase), but there is no particular change to external forcing in the earlier period that we know about. The medieval warm period and little ice age (whther they are local or global phenomena) are believed to be associated with thermohaline circulations in the atlantic; correct simulation of such long term internal oscillations in an ocean basin requires long term simulations for the ocean for which we don’t really have any observational constraints. So this is why there is probably not much to be learned from such a simulation. Coupled climate model simulations for a period of about 10,000 years would be probably needed to capture these kinds of circulations ( I am just speculating here). Interesting for sure, vut the scientific payoff for using all this computer time doesn’t seem to be too high in the absence of observations of the ocean circulation during this period with which to compare the simulations.
    #

  104. Layman Lurker said

    #102 & #103

    One must consider the possibility of a climate highly sensitive to solar forcing and/or internal variability (but not CO2). There are suggestions the literature of sensitivity mechanisms which are distinct and unique to solar.

  105. RB said

    #104, perhaps, but those appear to be weaker, minority views currently. The important thing, if it is CO2 as strongly believed, is not just that we might be at temperatures are at middle age values but that assumes a static view of the emissions.

  106. Jeff Id said

    It looks like the IPCC is working on the new face of global warming.

    http://gawker.com/5459506/osama-bin-laden-global-warming-activist

  107. M. Simon said

    DeWitt Payne said
    January 15, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Re: rk (Jan 13 02:57),

    Anyone who says we need a Manhattan Project for fusion power knows very little about both the Manhattan Project and fusion power. ITER is about as close to that sort of thing as we’re going to get.

    Any one who thinks ITER is the way to economically viable fusion doesn’t know much about fusion. Or the trouble ITER is in. It is in the midst of a 3 month “we are in deep sh*t” review.

    Vincent Page of GE says ITER is not what GE and the utilities want.

    http://iecfusiontech.blogspot.com/2007/07/fusion-symposia.html

    I like small fusion. Focus Fusion. FRC. And my favorite Polywell Fusion. Polywell Fusion research is currently being funded by the US Navy. And the best part of Polywell? We Will Know In Two Years or less. You can learn more about Polywell and its potential at: Bussard’s IEC Fusion Technology (Polywell Fusion) Explained.

  108. Dill Rod said

    Someone at WUWT linked to this debate between Bill Gray and Kevin Trenberth:

    http://rayharvey.org/index.php/2010/01/dr-william-gray-and-dr-kevin-trenberth-debate-global-warming-part-1/

    http://rayharvey.org/index.php/2010/01/dr-william-gray-and-dr-kevin-trenberth-debate-global-warming-part-2/

    It’s an interesting exchange; gives you a glimpse into Trenberth’s soul.

  109. Harold Vance said

    The Guardian is unearthing the dispute over Jones 1990. The two articles (dated Feb. 1) are at the top of Drudge right now:

    Strange case of moving weather posts and a scientist under siege

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/01/dispute-weather-fraud

    Key study by East Anglia professor Phil Jones was based on suspect figures

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/01/leaked-emails-climate-jones-chinese

    Jones 1990 is a key study as it basically said that UHI was a non-issue.

  110. Harold Vance said

    Informal survey: How many people out there think that the science of UHI was settled in 1990?

  111. Jeff, I complained on another thread that the comment numbering had gone haywire. I found what happened. On CA Assist, I had cleared the box that says “hide old comments”, but it had ticked itself again. The result is that old comments get hidden, but the comments get re-numbered.

  112. Jeff Id said

    #111, I turned it off this morning b/c I couldn’t read other comments. haha.
    Thanks for the explanation.

  113. Ruhroh said

    Hey Jeff;

    I, for one, would benefit from a ‘flowchart’ of the various Alphabet soup databases of intemperance…

    Do I have this much right?

    In the beginning, there are people reading LiquidInGlass thermometers. Subsequently done electronically. (noting here the wattsupwiththat effort to show the various heat sources near the thermometers).

    These records are digitized and combined at various places, and some of them are warehoused at NCDC.

    By processes undocumented to the world, NCDC on occasion will ‘adjust’ this raw data. The ‘aboriginal’ data and the ‘adjusted’ version are all called ‘raw’ by NCDC, without version numbers for ongoing ‘adjustments’.

    Perhaps the NCDC bundles are called USHCN or GHCN or ?

    Then GIStemp comes into the picture.
    Step1 is to glue/splice record segments that are aligned in time, and discard old temperatures.

    Step2 ‘homogenizes’ the data with a logic I apparently cannot retain to restate it here. At this point it becomes ‘anomalized’.

    Step3 ‘adjusts’ Urban stations to look more like rural airport data.

    Subsequently the data is ‘gridded’ into 5×5 degree boxes, with extrapolation by either 250 or 1200km if sparse.

    I have no idea how Hadcru, Crutem, et al,(sic) come to exist, and their inter-relationships.

    I’ve only spent dozens of hours on this, so I’m still a newb, but I can’t be the only one who is dazed and overwhelmed by the arcana.

    I guess I am hoping someone will write a nice overview review post on this.
    The Cheifio seems to be very busy wrestling with the spaghettiball, and now collaborating with some DBtypes who can run the queries without fighting fortran to do it.

    So, maybe the smart guys over here can clarify this topic of the incredibly odd process by which the Global Average Temperature ‘Science’ comes up with the foundation of all the nonsense.

  114. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: M. Simon (Jan 30 11:43),

    You missed my point, probably because I didn’t explain it well enough. The Manhattan Project was started because everyone involved was reasonably certain they could make a bomb in a timely fashion, i.e. before the war was over and before the Germans built one of their own. It was about working out the details of exactly how, as much or more engineering than science. ITER is indeed a mess. We still don’t know if it’s possible to build a fusion power plant at all (it’s been 40 years away for at least 40 years), so it’s way too early for a Manhattan Project. Not to mention finding the equivalent of General Grove to run it and herding the cats to get and keep funding.

  115. tallbloke said

    The MET has released station data for nother 1500 stations.

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/news/latest/

    Scroll down to “more climate data released”

  116. curious said

    Seems like a topic for tAV readers interest:

    http://www.jgc.org/blog/2010/02/something-odd-in-crutem3-station-errors.html

    h/t Bishop Hill

  117. Layman Lurker said

    Jeff, have you checked out Tamino’s lately? His last couple of posts have been interesting.

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  119. Jason Calley said

    DeWitt payne said: “We still don’t know if it’s possible to build a fusion power plant at all (it’s been 40 years away for at least 40 years), so it’s way too early for a Manhattan Project. Not to mention finding the equivalent of General Grove to run it and herding the cats to get and keep funding.”

    True, but if you have an interest in fusion, please take the time to watch Dr. Robert Bussard’s talk on the subject.

  120. Jason Calley said

    This comment is concerning human psychology and how it relates to the AGW subject.

    Sorry if I step on some toes, but first, a quick trip backwards to 2003. During the lead up to the war in Iraq, it seemed obvious to me that the mainstream reports of WMD and joint operations of Iraq and Al Qaida were, to put it kindly, very mistaken. Nonetheless, no one that I spoke to about it ever changed their opinions. In spite of what I thought were very reasonable, logic and fact based arguments, those who believed the WMD and terrorists stories were never convinced otherwise. It took years for them to finally realize that they had been wrong on the subject. Here is the important part, I think: they absolutely COULD NOT admit (even to themselves) that they had been so deeply mistaken until they had an acceptable narative for their actions, one that allowed them to retain their ideological dignity. The most common explanation I hear now from them is “Well, we were operating with the best information we had at the time!” Sometimes I hear variations of “He really did have WMDs but they are so hidden we never found them!” What I never hear is “Jason, you gave me the facts years ago, but I just could not accept them then. Thanks for trying, Amigo!”

    We need to find a fallback explaination for the true AGW believers.

    I am not particularly concerned that they say “Jason, yes, you were right all along!” I just want them to say, “Well, looks like we can stop worrying about AGW.” Whatever it is though, the true believers need to have some personally acceptable way of giving up their crusade, something that allows them — at least in their own minds! — to retain the certainty that they were not taken for complete idiots.

    If you think that they will accept and admit that they were absolutely lied to and used for fools, then you expect something that 99 out of 100 humans will never do. You can try all the facts, figures, reason and logic that you wish, but unless you offer an ideological excuse to these people they will never change their minds. Never. Facts won’t work.

    So…any ideas? If you were an AGW believer, what emotional, feel good interpretation could you come up with that would allow you to admit your error? Maybe something like “Well, climate is a chaotic system and we did as well as the old computers could model, but luckily NOW they are better. Good thing we developed better systems before we had to do the safe thing and ban fossil fuels!” Sure, I know, the reasoning on that is bad, but remember, we are looking for an emotionally acceptable excuse for people who will not be swayed by reason.

    Any ideas?

  121. Kan said

    Jason Calley,
    I think the answer is already presented by the history of the movement – now called AGW. If you track the advancement of the technology of how we can measure things related to the environment, you will find a following hysteria about how man is on the cusp of irreparably destroying our earth. It matters not that no long term historical record of the thing being measured is known, or what its true equilibrium point is.

    I will leave the Iraq example aside, other than to ask, per your thesis of “saving face”: Why did Saddam persist, well after it was very clear that he would be invaded, in his continued projection of the WMD myth? All he had to do was allow the IAEA back in, unobstructed, to stave off his downfall.

  122. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: Jason Calley (Feb 9 16:50),

    Choosing to emphasize WMD’s as the reason to remove Saddam was a mistake. A lot of the blame for that is on Colin Powell’s head. There were lots of other reasons. Tony Blair talked about them in his recent testimony. One needs to remember that a state of war still existed at the time and Iraq was in daily violation of the terms of the cease fire, and that’s just for starters.

  123. kuhnkat said

    Paul Brand,

    “… but I would have to say that the consensus expert position is usually the most correct,…”

    Refer to flat earth authority.

  124. frankbi said

    Hello Jeff Id: you may be interested to know that I’ve drawn a diagram summarizing my current understanding of how FOI2009.zip was created. Since you’re one of the few inactivists (the only one?) who isn’t mindlessly buying into the “It’s a whistleblower!” theory, I’m curious to know if you have any further insights to add on who and how the crack was done.

    Let it be known that we AGW theory proponents do actually listen to fresh viewpoints!

  125. JAE said

    More on Nature’s bias view of Climategate: http://hotair.com/archives/2010/02/17/did-nature-misreport-fraud-issue-with-jones/

  126. kevoka said

    I have a stupid question: why is the data from Mauna Loa considered reliable as an indicator for CO2 amounts in the atmosphere? It is a volcano. Do volcano’s not spew C02? If not directly, then with lava flows burning everything in sight?

  127. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: kevoka (Feb 20 01:01),

    Hawaii is in the trade wind area. The observatory is upwind of the crater when the prevailing wind is blowing. If by chance the wind isn’t blowing in the right direction, they either don’t sample or they reject the data point. The data from Mauna Loa are in good agreement with other stations like Barrow, AK and the South Pole which aren’t near volcanoes. The average is a little higher at Barrow and a little lower at the South Pole. This is consistent with the hypothesis that there is a source of CO2 in the NH and a sink in the SH.

  128. JAE said

    Hmmm. Here’s an interesting development: http://www.canada.com/Coulter+event+shut+down+security+concerns/2718231/story.html

    Do these Canadian morons really think they are helping their cause? LOL!

  129. curious said

    For AMac from another thread a while ago – here is the Koutsoyiannis presentation:

    http://www.itia.ntua.gr/en/docinfo/896/

    Paper here:

    http://www.itia.ntua.gr/en/docinfo/923/

    h/t Anna V who just posted it at the blackboard

  130. Jeff Id said

    JAE wrote

    April 25, 2010 at 4:44 pm e

    35: “Jeff Id, I’d be interesting in exploring the problems you see in wind power. Could you pick a few of your “best” reasons for why you think it isn’t a practical alternative?”

    Here are some real important issues:

    http://www.masterresource.org/category/windpower/integrationfirming/

    —–

    My problems with wind power stem from the intermittent generation of electricity. Without working storage (batteries), the result is that load must be transmitted over long distances. If you consider the true generation per acre, the electricity received is very very low and costs are high.

  131. Carrick said

    TomH:

    Link to study that wind generation can increase emissions:

    http://www.wind-watch.org/documents/how-less-became-more/

    This issue isn’t intrinsic to wind generation, it addresses an infrastructural needs that must be addressed as we integrate wind power into our energy grid. And deals with issues on plant design, which may or may not be solvable via future technological innovations.

    I’ve also still to see one person who’s managed to come up with a credible explanation for why the costs of long-distance transmission of electrical power are high.

    I’ll spoil the fun and say “Long distance transmission of electricity is not expensive. It’s incredibly cheap.” And the more you transmit over an existing line (within reason), the cheaper it gets, because very little energy gets lost in transmission and most of the costs are in the maintenance of the power lines. And contrary to the claims that some have made, much of our power arrives from nonregional sources.

    The arguments of people who argue against wind power (I refer to advocates who publish position paper) resemble the usual “kitchen sink” arguments where issues that are only peripherally related to wind power generation suddenly become fundamental flaws in the wind power generation itself, rather than issues that are easily solved, many of which need to be addressed regardless of whether we use 100% wind power or 0% wind power.

    My recommendation is that any serious look at the issues of wind power should start with NREL rather than “free market think tanks”. The fact that the study is starting from a “free market organization” already taints it with a political, rather than technical bias.

  132. Skip said

    Carrick@131, so let me get this straight – free market think tank is tainted, and political, but one that depends on government handouts, and therefore is predisposed to avoid anything that would cut those handouts, is not? Just do a thought experiment here – what if research was showing the non-viability of some of these technologies? Do you really think that research would be published?

    I’m not saying that the NREL isn’t doing some good research, don’t get me wrong. But to hold it up as unbiased? Not a chance. Just look at the website. For example, look at the section on alternative fuels, biodiesel, etc. It’s all cheerleading. There are sections on benefits, but not any on costs. These are marketing documents, and advertising prospectuses, not unbiased sources of information.

  133. Thoughtful Tom said

    #131
    Thanks Carrick for pushing this. I have been wanting to get a handle on where the anti-wind attitude is coming from, but I too am time restricted.

    I set out to make the point that line losses ARE large (not that that has thing one to do with wind…). But I was wrong. Here is some general information about line losses:
    Transmission and distribution losses in the USA were estimated at 7.2% in 1995 [13] and 6.5% in 2007[14]. In general, losses are estimated from the discrepancy between energy produced (as reported by power plants) and energy sold to end customers; the difference between what is produced and what is consumed constitute transmission and distribution losses.

    As of 1980, the longest cost-effective distance for electricity was 7,000 km (4,300 mi), although all present transmission lines are considerably shorter.[15]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_power_transmission#Losses

    I do not know what they consider cost-effective, but based on their figures, and given that US coast-to-coast is 3,000 miles, this looks like a non-issue.

    Of course it already was a non-issue because the coal and nuke plants that skeptics like will be sited far from population centers (due to NIMBY issues).

    So all of this leads me back to my original point (1985) – why don’t we just put PV panels all over Nevada and be done with pollution for electricity. 25 years later this would still produce more than enough energy. I think people have more fun hollering about this stuff than actually doing something about it.

    As for the anti-wind “information” brought up so far – the links have been to sites with an obvious bias against wind, and even against AGW (meaning they have an agenda to “prove” renewable energy doesn’t work to support their anti-AGW agenda).

    Can we have some unbiased information?

  134. Skip said

    Thoughtful Tom@133, no, actually, you can’t have unbiased information. So it behooves you to look at information from all sources.

    If Wikipedia is correct, they show the long distance transmission costs at somewhere around half of the production cost, showing ranges of US$0.005–0.02/kWh for the transmission and annual averaged large producer costs of US$0.01–0.025/kWh. I say “if Wikipedia is correct”, because the paper they reference is fairly old, 1984. Looking around I didn’t find anything more recent though.

    But it is fairly clear that transmission over over existing lines that have available capacity, is fairly cheap. It is not at all clear that we have that capacity available where the wind farms will necessarily be located. If we don’t have the capacity, other wikipedia cites suggest a cost of about $10/foot for aboveground and $20-40/foot underground lines.

    The other problem with wind is that on average it doesn’t produce peak power when we need it. So you either need storage capacity (which we don’t have the technology for now), or added capacity to transmit the power to the east a couple of time zones. And that doesn’t help you for the west coast. You also need variable capacity from non-diffuse sources to fill in the gaps.

  135. curious said

    Carrick – agreed re: transmission but do you really think the intermittency problem and lack of load matching are easily solved issues with wind? I’ve not looked at it for a while but I think Denmark was having severe grid stability problems. The top line numbers from big turbines in good locations are pretty good but scaling up to being part of a national energy supply system still seems a bit of a stretch to me. For example calm uk winter conditions means that the requirement for full power supply from other sources stands. Have you seen any convincing studies which take actual measured UK wind patterns at viable sites sites and analyses the annual output vs load on a day by day (hour by hour) basis? I’ve looked but not found it though I imagine it has to exist as we are committing so heavily to offshore wind. Also, how do we schedule current thermal plant to best work with the massive fluctuations that are part of wind generation? And how will unmodified thermal plant take this treatment? Ok gas turbines are relatively quick to bring on line but I’m guessing they are designed for optimum use with constant load with minimum starts? IMO lack of sufficient good wind regime sites is a big issue and I do not have much confidence in the UK NOABL data – from a quick look the NREL data sets are also simulations. Further to the winter scenario add snow on solar panels and I think our peak winter days present some big challenges for the current renewable strategy. IMO efficiency of use has a lot to offer but this is hard to progress in a market which wants to shift kWh. As ever I acknowledge I’m not up to date and YMMMV.

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/energy/renewables/danish-wind-turbines-take-unfortunate-turn

  136. Carrick said

    Curious, good questions, ones I plan on looking into.

    This seems to be a good place to start. As I intimated there are some questions about some of the “wind power denialist” credentials. People make all sort so claims, many repeated on this blog.

    Intermittancy is less of an issue in this country than some people would suggest (from the quoted source):

    if a wind generator is operating at a certain level at present, there is an 80 percent probability that it will be operating within ±10 percent of that level one hour from now. And, there is a 60 percent probability that it will be operating within ±10 percent of that level five hours from now.

    Any one turbine certainly has variability, though it’s much less than some people claim , but when you average over a large region of the US, you will recovery something approaching the long-term mean capacity of the individual generators.

    I’m not going to address UK conditions, because I’m not familiar with their situation. It certainly is not the case that wind speeds in the winter in the US are much lower than in summer. Perhaps can look at wind speed data since you are interested, and see the degree to which this actually true in the UK.

  137. Jeff Id said

    #136, I am very interested in a true analysis of actual wind performance. I will warn you that I’m inclined to accept a new alternative source but wind so far has been dissapointing in my cursory checks. If you have data which contradicts my opinion, it would do a lot to de-stress my views.

  138. Carrick said

    #137. I’ll do my best, Jeff. I don’t plan on being an advocate for anything. Even this.

    I think what you will find if you look in detail at some of the claims that are made contra-wind power, that they are half-truths or outright lies. There could be as many as 20 of these posted on this blog just today. Sometimes I end up looking like an advocate when all I’m doing sometimes is facts checking other people’s claims.

  139. Jeff Id said

    #138,

    All I care about here is your honest opinion. The rest will sort itself out.

  140. AMac said

    Interesting side topic that’s come up a few times in the Reader Background thread: the role played by the pro-AGW-Consensus blog RealClimate in influencing readers’ opinions about AGW.

    A point made by Steven Mosher (#106),

    The issue is that [RealClimate was] using their moderation policy to paint a picture of what skeptics were like. So I tested this. I put in comments with obvious mistakes: They passed moderation.

    I then put in comments with those mistakes removed. Those questions? those comments? Trash bin…

    Comment A: Stupid question, passes moderation
    Comment B: Smart question, fails moderation.

    Here are the results of a cursory scan of the first 199 comments in that thread. I searched for “Real Climate”, “RealClimate”, and “RC”, trying to count each poster no more than once.

    1 – Reading RealClimate had a positive effect.
    0 – Neutral mentions of RealClimate.
    27 – RealClimate helped turn the poster away from the Consensus position.

  141. curious said

    136 – Carrick re: US avg. winter wind speeds vs. annual average – my point for the UK wasn’t to do with averages but specific events.

    If we have an energy supply model which assumes a certain minimum % of supply from wind is available I’d expect to see see a UK area wide analysis of past wind data taken at turbine hub heights which supports it. I haven’t found this yet though I have seen some tentative or speculative approaches which suggest that a wide enough geographical spread helps security of supply. Well this is reasonable BUT it does not address the critical issue of outliers. What do we do on a cold day where demand is maxing and we are centre of a still air weather system? Perhaps this is for a few hours one to five days a year? Do we as a nation say, ok, we tolerate brownouts or total regional outages in order to avoid keeping standby plant equivalent to our % assumed wind contribution with a redundancy of perhaps 99%? Part of our renewables strategy is to have distributed micro generation – if we have snow then solar thermal or pv are not going to provide anything. For this reason I think part of the distributed microgeneration approach should be distributed storage.

    I’d be interested if you have any updates on your digging on the US scenario. I’m guessing that the wide geographical spread argument will apply, only more so, and with your greater access to wind resource over land I would expect actual data capture and logging to be a much more straight forward exercise than for our offshore approach.

  142. pgosselin said

    Sea Ice Outlook report is out.

    http://pgosselin.wordpress.com/2010/06/23/alfred-wegener-institute-80-probability-arctic-ice-will-bottom-out-between-4-7-and-5-7-million-km%c2%b2/

  143. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: pgosselin (Jun 23 09:17),

    I think they’ve gone from overly pessimistic to overly optimistic. Sea ice extent is far below 2007 at present and the rate of loss is also well above average. Sea ice area is tracking 2007. That means the ice coverage is more compact than 2007. So it’s still possible that the loss rate will slow dramatically. But considering that this is the period for maximum insolation, I’m not holding my breath.

    My guess, and it’s only a guess, is that area will be below 2009 and close to 2007 and 2008. Given the current extent and past history, the projected extent minimum is ~4.6 Mm2, below 2008 but above 2007. But I’m thinking past history is more like an upper limit than a median estimate. They also appear to be ignoring the effect of the Atlantic Meridional Oscillation which has been close to record positive levels recently, not to mention the satellite temperature anomaly for the Arctic region, which is also near record highs. I don’t think that will change until the La Nina takes effect, which will probably be too late for the summer minimum.

  144. Jeff Id said

    I haven’t seen any weather pattern information from the pole. I don’t have any time at all lately, blogging is nearly impossible but if the air/ocean currents were lining up with 07, a lot would be explained.

  145. Russell C said

    I’ve dropped by your forum on random occasions while educating myself on aspects of ‘alleged’ AGW that the mainstream media doesn’t bother to discuss. I tend to get lost on the technicality of it all, though.

    Just in case you and your readers occasionally get too focused on fine details of the science, you might want to take a look at my 7/29 American Thinker article that helps explain why accusations against skeptic scientists end up looking a bit repetitive…:

    “The Left and Its Talking Points: – http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/07/the_left_and_its_talking_point.html

  146. Bob_FJ said

    Jeff Id,
    I guess you noticed that the Guardian Bob Ward thread was closed shortly after you made two succinct posts there, which survived intact. However, are you aware that shortly after that, the thread was reopened, but with your comments removed by a moderator. Then, quick smart, it was closed again. Other strange things happened as discussed over at Harmless Sky; see comment 1438
    http://ccgi.newbery1.plus.com/blog/?p=274&cp=10#comment-74890 (1438)

  147. Jeff Id said

    #146, Thanks Bob. I’m having trouble finding the energy to do something about it. Apparently they don’t handle criticism well.

  148. Russell C said

    Update to post #145, my chronology of details that help explain the ’96-to-present smear of climate skeptics at ClimateRealists: “Has the Mainstream Media Trusted Enviro-activists for Advice on Listening to Skeptic Scientists?” http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=6175

  149. Tom Anderson said

    Didn’t know where to post this but thought some people might be interested.

    The Monarch Butterfly has begun their migration south, at least here along the western shore of lake Michigan. Looking out at the lake I can see a non-stop train of monarchs, all flying south. Yesterday they were hanging around, doing whatever it is they do. Today, everyone of them are heading south. If you are in the area, go out and watch the migration. It is really cool.

  150. Søren Rosdahl Jensen said

    I have a question regarding the plots of Yamal data at the page:

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/10/08/more-rcs-and-a-different-yamal/

    I have plotted the Yamal data using the Dendrochronology Program Library in R, dplR, and there is a difference. The plots are similar in shape, but the y-values differ – plot here:

    http://img829.imageshack.us/f/yad061.png/

    Jeff: Could I see the code you used?

    On a related note, I tried to run the R script on this page:

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/yamal-the-dirty-dozen/

    It doesn’t work because the file linked to at this location appears to be gone:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/scripts/tree/utilities.treering.txt

    I am pretty new to R but very impressed sofar.

    Cheers,

  151. RomanM said

    #150:

    Try the link

    http://www.climateaudit.info/scripts/tree/utilities.treering.txt .

    Because of a move of the materials at the climateaudit website a year ago, the letters “info” need to be substituted for “org” in links to data and R scripts at that site.

  152. Søren Rosdahl Jensen said

    Thanks Roman
    Now almost everything works except:
    chron.yamal=RCS.chronology(yamal,method=’nls’)
    Error in tapply(tree$x, tree$age, mean) : arguments must have same length

    I have no clue how to fix that – right now at least.

  153. Layman Lurker said

    #150 and #152

    I believe that the plots in Jeff’s post would have had data transformation into standard units.

    WRT to the “R” error, it appears that “tree$x” and “tree$age” are not of the same length and/or have missing values. These vectors must be of equal length. Missing elements are usually filled in with “9999” or “NA”. Then you will have to write some code which can sort through these filled elements and run your process.

  154. Søren Rosdahl Jensen said

    Thanks Layman Lurker – it was the transformation into standard units that made the difference.

    Regarding the R error it comes when applying the function RCS.chronology from http://www.climateaudit.info/scripts/tree/utilities.treering.txt .

    And I can’t figure out how tree$age are defined or how to change it because it is inside the function definition. I also have troubles getting other of the tree ring utilities to work.

  155. Layman Lurker said

    #154

    Looking through Jeff’s and Steve’s code you linked to, as well as the Yamal data file….

    I can’t figure out why tree$x and tree$age would be different lengths as this code obviously worked for Jeff (I’m pretty new to R myself). I believe “tree$x” would be rw and “tree$age” would be the age of the tree. There should be a rw value for each advancing “age” value of the tree (tree id is the first column in the data file). Therefore it makes sense that the vectors should be of equal length. I didn’t see any missing rw values in the Yamal data, however for some reason the last rw value for each tree is -9999 and would need to be dealt with somehow in the code. You could try just typing in “tree$x” and “tree$age” and see what R returns wrt to length an values of these vectors.

  156. Layman Lurker said

    A guest post at WUWT by Craig Loehle: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/28/loehle-vindication/#more-25461

    He compares his reconstruction to a new CPS reconstruction (Ljungqvist, 2010). Ljungqvist has joined the discussion and offered this comment:

    Fredrik Charpentier Ljungqvist says:
    September 28, 2010 at 7:16 am

    A comment from the author:

    Some remarks have been made suggesting that the amplitude of past temperature variability are deflated. It is indeed true and discuss in length in the article. The common regression methods do deflate the amplitude of changes in the reconstructed temperatures. This reconstruction shares this problem with all others.

    Jeff, since he so readily acknowledges the variability issues of CPS, perhaps he would be interested in joining you at tAV to explore this wrt his work.

  157. Jeff Id said

    Lurk,

    I see it here.

  158. Jeff Id said

    Søren Rosdahl Jensen,

    Sorry for the complete lack of interaction. Currently my laptop is dead again and I don’t have an easy way to set up on this computer.

    I have no idea what problems you are running into but if you are willing to post the code here, Perhaps we can work on it.

    Sorry again, I’m usually more responsive but the drugs these docs put you on really spin your head.

  159. Søren Rosdahl Jensen said

    Jeff:
    No worries about responding late, I know that you are blogging in your sparetime.

    The code is actually the already posted, since I just copy-pasted the script from this page:

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/10/05/yamal-the-dirty-dozen/

    modified as Roman suggested, and after looking at the climate audit treering utilities I realised I needed to modify it where the function make.rwl_new is called. In the tree ring utilities the new function is make.rwl and the old is make.rwl_old. So changing the calls to make.rwl_new to make_rwl, everything runs until the line:
    chron.yamal=RCS.chronology(yamal,method=’nls’)
    Error in tapply(tree$x, tree$age, mean) : arguments must have same length

    if I type tree$age in R i get “null”.

  160. Layman Lurker said

    #159

    If tree$age did not exist, then you would get an error saying “object not found”. When you get a “NULL” I think that means that it recognizes the object, but it contains no values.

  161. curious said

    Technically interesting windpower project:

    http://europe.theoildrum.com/node/7014

  162. Eliniaric said

    Where reasonable download or secure the films in clear prettier the distinction and divers contents ?

  163. Layman Lurker said

    Jeff, via Tom Nelson, a Nature article published today speculating on implications of a political shift on climate science.

    I found this quote interesting:

    “Climate-science denial is a by-product of extreme partisanship and a kind of reactionary mode among conservatives, and I expect that this will wane,” says Paul Bledsoe, a senior adviser to the Bipartisan Policy Center, a centrist think tank based in Washington DC. He says that most Republicans in the current Congress accept the science even if they disagree over what to do about it. “But if large parts of the Republican Party begin to deny consensus science,” he adds, “then the climate community will have to confront them about it.”

    The article as suggestive that Bledsoe is representing moderate, middle of the road political views. Click here for his bio.

  164. Jeff Id said

    This is just cool

    http://impact.ese.ic.ac.uk/

    Asteroid impact calculator.

  165. NY Climate Boondoggle said

    Just be glad you don’t live in New York. On November 9 an interim report (http://nyclimatechange.us/InterimReport.cfm)was released describing the challenge:
    “Climate change, resulting primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels and other human activities, is a significant threat to our environment, economy, and communities. Climate change is already occurring; its adverse effects are well documented across the globe and throughout our region.”

    And the opportunity:
    “New York State can turn this challenge into an opportunity by working aggressively to become a hub of the new clean energy economy and by making policies and investments that bring low-carbon choices to our citizens and future generations.”

    In August 2009 New York Governor Paterson issued Executive Order 24 formally establishing a State goal of reducing GHG emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 (or 80 by 50), and named the Climate Action Council to determine how to meet the goal. The New York State Climate Action Plan Interim Report is the initial analysis that documents the challenges of meeting this goal. The Interim Report also presents preliminary quantitative analysis of the costs, savings, and GHG emission reduction potential for individual mitigation policy options relative to a mid-point 40 by 30 benchmark target, i.e., 40 percent reduction in GHG emissions by 2030.

    You really can’t make this stuff up.

  166. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Jeff ID, I was going to send you a private email on the topic I will discuss here, but thought that perhaps others might want to comment.

    Jeff, I was looking for reasonable and simple method to evaluate the Ljungqvist proxies and I came up with what I think might be applicable to Ljungqvist and other proxy evaluations. Climate scientists have used the pair-wise spatial and temporal correlations of station temperatures and temperature anomalies to estimate the uncertainty of the derived regional and global average instrumental temperatures and anomalies. The uncertainties arise due to the infilling of incomplete data both from spatial and temporal considerations. Certain assumptions from empirical relationships are made about the correlations of station temperatures over distances and time. There are other secondary consideration that have lesser effects like altitude differences and proximity to large bodies of water, but these are normally ignored.

    What we have is yearly station data over the past 100 years that we can use to estimate the correlation of temperatures over distance and time and compare it with the same proxies correlations that are resolved to annual frequencies. The proxies are, of course not thermometers, but the assumption of those who use proxies to estimate historic temperatures and trends have to assume that in the proxy signal is buried a temperature signal (and trend) that is affected white and red noise. The question then becomes, in light of the proposed comparison with station data, how much we would expect the correlation relationships to deteriorate from any given a level of white and red noise in a proxy response. I am thinking of these comparisons as using an internal standard to determine how much a proxy is like a thermometer (not that the thermometers or their use have been perfect)

    I have made these proposed comparisons with GHCN station and the annual Ljungqvist proxy data. There is a very dramatic deterioration of the correlations in the proxy data and what I need to do next is to determine what given levels of white and red noise would be required to cause this deterioration. Unfortunately the Ljungqvist data is limited and in some cases wide spread spatially. As determined from station data, the correlation with distance gives out after approximately 3000 kilo meters of separation.

    My first impression from my analysis is that the annual fluctuations in the proxy response are driven by something much more influential than temperature. If those other influences give trends in proxy responses over time then even with a buried trending temperature signal in the proxy response, how would that trend be separated from the trend(s) of the larger influences?

    I suppose one could point to the those proxy sites as being rather unique and different than the station data, but if that is the case than one has to consider what that difference would do for the uncertainty of infilling to obtain an average and meaningful regional temperature anomaly and trend from proxy data.

    If there is any interest here in pursuing and discussing further the approach I outlined above I can show you the results I have for obtained for the correlation comparisons and I could ultimately show you all my R code for doing the comparisons.

  167. Jeff Id said

    Kenneth,

    Is there any way you can show your results with a few graphs and a bit of commentary. tAV could use a little science and I’m booked for a while yet.

    Even articles which aren’t comment heavy typically get a thousand views or more so it isn’t really a waste of time. I don’t think we’re anywhere near understanding the Ljungqvist work fully.

  168. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Jeff, I’ll put something together over the next couple of days and post here on the open thread.

  169. Kenneth Fritsch said

    I’ll attempt to make my analysis of the comparison of series correlations of the annual Ljungqvist proxies and GHCN station series brief and to the point.

    When I refer to correlations in this analysis I mean correlations between times series of stations or between time series of proxies. The comparisons where made using time periods of 20 and 41 years. In all cases the correlations include all the unique pair-wise station to station or proxy to proxy correlations.

    I used the Lungqvist proxy data after normalizing it (z scores) by subtracting the mean and dividing by the standard deviation. I used the mean and standard deviation for 29 of the 30 proxies for a period of 947 years going back from the early 20th century to the late 10th century. I eliminated proxy number 21 because it had a very discontinuous pattern of data availability during this long time period. In order to make the comparison with GHCN station data I used only proxies that had annual resolutions.

    I used GHCN data for the period 1950 to 1990 because during that time I had the largest set of stations with complete data. For that period there were 447 stations. I also used a set of GHCN data over a 100 year period in order to get a picture of the change in the station series correlations over 20 year periods. For that period there were only 35 GHCN stations that had complete data. For GHCN correlations I used temperature data and not anomalies.

    My intent was to use an internal comparison of station and proxy data in the form of the relationships of station and proxy series correlations with distance separations and estimate how that relationship changes over time. The standard of comparison here would be the station correlations knowing full well that proxies are not thermometers and that the relationship of the proxy response would deteriorate from instrumental by way of white and red noise. The question that remains is how much deterioration would we expect and still assume we could find a temperature signal or better at what point could we assume no signal is discernible.

    First the relationship of station correlation with distance and how well it holds up over time must be estimated. To that end I used the 447 GHCN stations temperature series for the time period 1950-1990 and calculated the unique pair-wise series (and excluding the trivial same station correlations). Those unique pairs are a large number [447*(447-1)/2 =99,681]. I plotted and regressed those pair-wise series correlations against distance for distance separations less than 3000 km. It can be seen that beyond 3000 km separation the correlation on average goes to 0. The plot is shown in Link 1 and the regression summary is given in Link 2 below. While there is considerable scatter of data points around a linear trend line, the correlation is quite high and significant.

    To better see the relationship that is subject noise in Link 1, I took the same data and calculated means and standard deviations for 100 km increments. The plots for the mean and standard deviations are shown in Link 3 below. Included is a plot of the mean for the same data that has altitude difference between stations of more than 1000 m to show that while altitude differences have an effect that are not large. The correlations of the mean distance separation and the standard deviation seen in this form shows that there is a good correlation between series correlations and distance of separation, i.e. minus the noise. That does not, however, entirely mitigate the scatter of data seen in the first link when a comparison is made with a small number of data such as is the case with the Ljungqvist proxies. For this post I leave that as an open question that I will attempt to answer at another time with some stratified re-sampling of the station data.

    Next I looked at the proxy data using the same 41 year time periods, but since I have a long time series (over the 947 years) I was able to obtain 23 time series to obtain a mean correlation and a standard deviation. The data plotted in Link 4 below used only separation distances less than 3000 km and thus, unfortunately the number of data points for comparison with the station data was only 16. Remember though that each point is an average of 23 time periods. The trends look very flat for both the means and the standard deviations. Take out the one point at 0.26 and the means would be flat at approximately 0 correlation.

    To obtain a better comparison over several time periods I used a 20 year time series for pair-wise correlations for the GHCN temperatures over the period 1990 to 1999 and compared it to the Ljungqvist proxy data over the 947 year range with 47 sets of 20 year time periods. That comparison is shown in Link 5 below. While the proxy data is sparse and without re-sampling the station data it is rather apparent that there is not even an approaching overlap of the station correlations in the 500 km distance separation range with the very low proxy correlations.

    Link 1:

    Link2:

    Link3:

    Link 4:

    Link5:

  170. Kenneth Fritsch said

    I have added a histogram in the link below that compares a stratified re-sampling of the log10 of the probability of the regression trend of the GHCN station distance separation versus station series correlations being 0 to the same statistic for the annual Ljungqvist proxies.

    Recall that the GHCN stations distance/series correlations are from 447 stations from the period 1950-1990. The proxy relationships are average series correlations of 41 years collected in 23 sets over 947 years. In both station and proxy relationships the correlations used were confined to distance separations less than 3000 km. The final proxy regression with 16 data points was the basis for the GHCN re-sampling with the station data being re=sampled with 16 data points randomly selected from the same 100 km incremental distance separations in which the proxy data resided.

    The histogram of the station log10 probabilities compared to the proxy log10 probability shown as the vertical line at -0.33 shows that proxy series correlation versus distance relationship is significantly different than that relationship for the station data. This difference is not so apparent when one looks at the scatter plot of the GHCN series correlations to distance separation.

    The next step will be to add white noise to the GHCN station data and repeat the comparison described here.

  171. Mark F said

    this article in the Globe (Toronna) cites already-manifest disaster.
    can anyone comment on the truth of each of the “reports”?

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/climate-change-migration-around-the-world/article1843086/?cmpid=rss1

  172. curious said

    136, 141 – Carrick, not sure if this is still on your topic list but, looking for something else (!), I turned this up:

    http://www.ilexenergy.com/pages/documents/reports/renewables/Poyry%20Wind%20Study%20Press%20Release.pdf

    http://www.ilexenergy.com/pages/documents/reports/renewables/Intermittency%20Public%20Report%202_0.pdf

    It looks good as it is actually based on measured numbers. Other interesting reports from the same group here:

    http://www.ilexenergy.com/?t=7_0Latest

  173. Carrick said

    Thanks for the references, Curious.

  174. curious said

    Interesting post today at Bishop Hill by Douglas Keenan on Koutsoyiannis 2011:

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/6/6/koutsoyiannis-2011.html

    Preprint here:

    http://itia.ntua.gr/en/docinfo/1102/

    Paper here:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378437111000148

    Apologies if already aware.

  175. curious said

    174 – … and at Lucia’s!

  176. curious said

    For info – Science of Doom has just started a new series looking at Statistics and Climate:

    http://scienceofdoom.com/2011/07/24/statistics-and-climate-part-one/

  177. j ferguson said

    Jeff,
    i have to admit that your observation that Obama might not be all that intelligent really set me back. How could I reconcile your opinion with mine especially when you are clearly pretty sharp? I’ve worried about this frequently in the months since you said it.

    You may be right. His stand on the debt limit makes no sense to me. I agree that it would be good to look at some of the iniquitous tax legislation, but that doesn’t seem to be something that MUST happen now.

    I also suspect that the upward adjustment of taxes in the $250k income range might hit Subchapter S people who gave at the office, and gave, and gave.

    I don’t know how you do your books, but it would be interesting if you could share a general view of the cost implications of government impositions on your business over the last ten years.

    For some reason, Democrats don’t always call an involuntary contribution a tax, but surely it is.

    I used to be a Libertarian in the late 70s and 80s. I gave up because i found that our form of government was more “something for everyone” than “nothing for anyone”, which is more what I would have preferred. I thought that “something for everyone” was so built into our national psyche that there was no going back – that it was too late.

    I do wish the Republicans would find a heavier candidate for 2012 than any of the folks currently running. I had a pretty accurate (as it turned out) view of Gore in 2000 and voted for Bush, mostly, i guess because I didn’t see anything about him that made me nervous and I assumed that he might be able to put together an administration with some of the same folks his Dad had in his shop – and I liked them.

    Thank you for continuing this excellent blog and for participating in the temp dataset interpretation and localization effect adjustment and geometry expansion analyses with your colleagues, especially Tamino and Nick. I’m much impressed that you guys are working together.

    best regards, john ferguson

  178. j ferguson said

    I don’t know if other technical blogs are going to analyze (explain) the significance of the CERN findings, but it would be wonderful if you were able to do it, especially in view of the usual clarity of your writing on complex subjects.

    john

  179. diogenes said

    just wondering …did Ryan or you ever do a study looking at data infilling techiniques on an established temperature record? EG looking at California, Arizona and Nevada…suppressing one state and then infilling with iridge or TTLS etc?

  180. Matthew W said

    Something I am watching now:

    http://athd.org/wind-turbines.html

    Is 2 kWh in 24 hours very good??

  181. curious said

    Seasons Greetings to Jeff and fellow venters! Peaceful and prosperous New Years to all.

    (well maybe not carbon traders.. ! :-) )

  182. j ferguson said

    Merry Christmas Jeff and the many commentors here from whom I’ve learned so much. We live in a marvelous age where it is possible to spend part of every day with people much smarter than oneself and slowly slowly slowly come to understand the issues.

    john

  183. page488 said

    Hi Jeff,

    Nothing new to say. Just wanted to thank you for providing this very wonderful forum.

    Take care; Happy Hollidays; Happy New Year!

    Page and Sylvie (the dog in the pic)

  184. Matthew W said

    I am trying to figure something out but don’t have a handle on the math !!

    ===============================================================
    The Passivhaus standard for central Europe requires that the building fulfills the following requirements:
    The building must be designed to have an annual heating demand as calculated with the Passivhaus Planning Package of not more than 15kWh/m² per year (4746 btu/ft² per year) in heating and 15kWh/m² per year cooling energy

    Total primary energy (source energy for electricity and etc.) consumption (primary energy for heating, hot water and electricity) must not be more than 120 kWh/m² per year (3.79 × 104 btu/ft² per year)
    =================================================================================

    My total energy use is:
    Total Electricity: 5532 Kwh
    Total Gas: 756 therms

    How can I convert that into “kWh/m² per year or 4746 btu/ft² per year”???
    Thanks !

  185. Ninderthana said

    The Open Atmospheric Science Journal, 2012, 6, 49-60

    Lunar Tides and the Long-Term Variation of the Peak Latitude Anomaly of the Summer Sub-Tropical High Pressure Ridge over Eastern Australia

    by Ian R.G. Wilson

    http://astroclimateconnection.blogspot.com.au/2012_03_01_archive.html

    down load available (for free) at:

    http://www.benthamscience.com/open/toascj/articles/V006/49TOASCJ.pdf

  186. curious said

    h/t HR at Watts Up tips and notes:
    *****************************************

    http://www.clim-past-discuss.net/8/2409/2012/cpd-8-2409-2012.pdf

    Climate of the last millennium:ensemble consistency of simulations and reconstructions
    O. Bothe, J. H. Jungclaus, D. Zanchettin, and E. Zorita

    Abstract
    Are simulations and reconstructions of past climate and its variability comparable with each other? We assess if simulations and reconstructions are consistent under the paradigm of a statistically indistinguishable ensemble. Ensemble consistency is assessed for Northern Hemisphere mean temperature, Central European mean temperature and for global temperature fields for the elimate of the last millennium. Reconstructions available for these regions are evaluated against the simulation data from the community simulations of the climate of the last millennium performed at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology.

    The distributions of ensemble simulated temperatures are generally too wide at most locations and on most time-scales relative to the employed reconstructions. Similarly,an ensemble of reconstructions is too wide when evaluated against the simulation ensemble mean.Probabilistic and climatological ensemble consistency is limited to sub-domains and sub-periods. Only the ensemble simulated and reconstructed annual Central European mean temperatures for the second half of the last millennium demonstrates consistency.

    The lack of consistency found in our analyses implies that, on the basis of the studied data sets, no status of truth can be assumed for climate evolutions on the considered spatial and temporal scales and, thus, assessing the accuracy of reconstructions and simulations is so far of limited feasibility in pre-instrumental periods.

  187. I would like to extend to you personal invitation to check my feature length documentary on the “cold facts” of Global Warming entitled “The Boy Who Cried Warming,” available in full at http://www.theboywhocriedwarming.com. The virtual premier has been enjoyed by over 12,000 viewers due to a grassroots campaign effort of handing out flyers and emailing people just like you! We are independent filmmakers without corporate sponsorship, every view counts to us, and we would truly appreciate if you would take a look and (if you enjoy the film) encourage others to check it out. The list of websites mentioning our film growing, and we would be honored if you would join the growing list distinguished sites below:

    “The Boy Who Cried Warming” has enjoyed recommendations from:
    Watts Up With That?
    Examiner.com
    Digging in the Clay
    Bishop Hill
    Junk Science
    Climate Depot
    No Trick Zone
    Before it’s News
    Climate Change Dispatch
    Climate Ponderings
    Jammie Wearing Fools
    Oh What Now
    SCEF.org.uk
    Tom Nelson

    And the list keeps on growing… PLEASE feel free to Google the name to check out the comments, and as always, enjoy the show!
    Jesse Jones

    Producer/Writer “The Boy Who Cried Warming”

  188. Jeff I didn’t know where to post this, but, I thought you’d be very interested. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/23/west-antarctica-warming-climate-change_n_2356287.html?utm_hp_ref=climate-change

    OSLO, Dec 23 (Reuters) – West Antarctica is warming almost twice as fast as previously believed, adding to worries of a thaw that would add to sea level rise from San Francisco to Shanghai, a study showed on Sunday.

    Annual average temperatures at the Byrd research station in West Antarctica had risen 2.4 degrees Celsius (4.3F) since the 1950s, one of the fastest gains on the planet and three times the global average in a changing climate, it said.

    I haven’t looked at the details, yet. but I thought this more up your ally anyway.

    Merry Christmas!

    • Thanks James, I have a copy of the paper already. The whole “globe is melting” pitch they make is pretty funny considering the warmest temperature reported in that paper for the last 52 years was -9.7 Celcius!

  189. kuhnkat said

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2013/07/swedish-scientist-replicates-dr-murry.html

  190. curious said

    At Watts Up:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/10/12/new-paper-finds-west-antarctic-glacier-likely-melting-from-geothermal-heat-below/

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