the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Archive for August, 2011

Global Sea Ice Anomaly Record Approaching

Posted by Jeff Id on August 31, 2011

Global sea ice anomaly is nearing a record low. It is quite possible that we will break it in the coming weeks. The Antarctic seems unremarkable but the Arctic is running close to the lowest levels measured in the past 30 years.  It looks from figure 1 like we may have tied for the minimum total sea ice around January of 2011.  There is barely 20 million sq kilometers left so sea Ice doom is in our future (can’t resist).

All graphs are from the UIUC Cryosphere page and can be clicked for the full size image.

Global Sea Ice Anomaly

Northern Hemisphere

Southern Hemisphere Sea Ice

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments »

A penny lost is a penny not-earned

Posted by Jeff Id on August 29, 2011

Another global warming whitewash courtesy of the whitehouse ‘economic stimulus programs’ aka green for greens. At this point, only the rock dumb or those not paying any attention at all have not noticed that the alleged stimulus programs were simply payoffs to those who contributed to corrupt politics.  Unions, friends, 501C’s who skewed the election with fraudulent votes. Obama’s QE2 program being the single worst example of mass theft in the history of mankind. No criminal in history has done more to pay off friends than Obama.Bush was dirty with the banks IMHO, but he just didn’t think big enough – or perhaps he was the pawn and the banks did what they wanted.

So people are surprised when 20 million sunk into training programs in a single city for fake green jobs doesn’t return results? It’s insane but I bet some people are surprised that this didn’t work.  None of the actual recipients of the cash were surprised though. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lindzen Choi Presentation

Posted by Jeff Id on August 29, 2011

Andrew of the hypothesis testing blog left a link to a PDF by Dr. Lindzen explaining his recent paper in simple terms.  I found it worth reading.


Posted in Uncategorized | 26 Comments »

Media gone wild

Posted by Jeff Id on August 28, 2011

What is up with the Irene coverage? People are having their homes and lives ruined yet the media is insistent on covering this category 1 storm as some kind of global warming doom event.

There is no real evidence that hurricanes have any correlation to warming, they may because it makes sense, but when the media posts over 24000 articles on global warming and a category 1 storm, something is wrong.

Posted in Uncategorized | 19 Comments »

Confirmation Again

Posted by Jeff Id on August 25, 2011

This post is due to a reader who brought my attention to the recently published critiques of Zhao and Running almost a year ago.

I sort of lost my cool with an obviously bad paper some time ago.   Charlatans of Science Zhao and Running.  Looking back, I could have worded it better but they published a paper claiming the following:

After a 6 percent increase in the 1980s and 1990s, plant productivity declined 1 percent in the last 10 years.

I criticized it quite roundly. In fact, my mom pointed out that it demeaned me when I got wound up about this nonsense (remember the fish shrinking guys).   She’s probably right but what was insane was that they blamed this statistically indistinguishably small measurement of ‘productivity’ on an equally indistinguishable drought model.  There is no way to pull that kind of accuracy from even the best climate data over 10 years.  They knew it, we knew it, everyone knew it including most likely the editor and reviewers who agreed to publish it.   So I called them Charlatans, which is still my opinion.   Perhaps I should have called them advocates or something except that the dishonesty was at least as bad as any other example I have seen — my opinion again.

I still haven’t read the paper and still don’t intend to. Some of the less technical won’t understand why but I bet the more technical readers won’t mind this one bit — it is really that bad.  Global warming study is a business, make no doubt about it.  If you want BIG industry, AGW is right near the top of the list of biggest industries on Earth.  Profitable, lucrative, prestigious and cushy,  what more could you ask for.

Read the rest of this entry »

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FOI Granted

Posted by Jeff Id on August 23, 2011

At Bishop Hill blog, an FOI was denied for the release of my and others correspondence with Dr. Paul Dennis because the record was lost.  I just reviewed it again now and it was on November 19th 2009 that Paul Dennis sent me an email regarding his paper on Antarctic isotope analysis.  I hadn’t realized it was on the same day as climategate until now. That would certainly be of interest to the understandably climate-ignorant investigators.  Perhaps that coincidence changes some of the possibilities of motivation for the Guardian article promoting a silly unstated hypothesis regarding the Doctor?

I don’t see any replies from me back to him as I was somewhat distracted by climategate for the next couple of months.  Hopefully, I’m forgiven for the lack of politeness.  He only left 3 other comments on public blog threads here that I found, all prior to this time which were constructively, and unfortunately for me ,correctly, critical of my understanding of various aspects of ice cores at the time.

In other words, here is to my knowledge, the complete unabridged (except for email addresses) version of our email communications.

Dennis Paul Mr (ENV) P.xxxxxxxx
date Thu, Nov 19, 2009 at 10:22 AM
subject New paper on Antarctic Peninsula
hide details 11/19/09


I read your blog, and others, with great interest and often a smile. I think it’s fantastic that so many are involving themselves in the debate and thinking with clarity about the issues. and notably the statistics.

Anyway that’s beside the point. I’ve attached a short GRL paper we’ve just published on an ice core from the base of the Antarctic Peninsula. It obviously has relevance to the ongoing debate, the work of Eric Steig et al. and your own analysis of this paper.

Kind regards,


Paul Dennis
Head of Stable Isotope Laboratories
School of Environmental Sciences

I suppose that a scientist discussing his own work is a little unusual.  ;)   I should do a post on his paper, it was interesting as I recall.

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Dreaming of a Green Christmas

Posted by Jeff Id on August 22, 2011

Below is a ‘scary-ish’ plot from Joe Romm’s Climate Regress blog.  It shows several things including the heavily processed data of Arctic Sea Ice Volume which is one of the more unreliable datasets available for sea ice with exponential curve fit projections laid on top.  Currently in 2011 we are looking at a potential new record low sea ice for the Arctic which I think we will hit – or maybe not.   We may even hit a global record low.  Of course the record is only 30 years long but that is another issue entirely.  If I had a set of links for blogs I don’t read, Climate Regress would top it.  I suppose though that there are a number of ways to donate your mind to science, I just prefer to wait until I’m dead to self lobotomize.   Just to be really clear,  I blame Lucia and Carrick at Lucia’s blog for making me read his post and any additional loss of my already scarce IQ is on their hands. So what do we learn from Joe’ s post? Well we learn not to project non-linear curves past the end of a dataset. Of course you should learn that very early in college but the temptation is always there.  Ya see, the end of the curve sticking out past the data does whatever it wants.  You can pick all kinds of crazy functions and it is without any doubt that with the right equation, we could fit a curve to the data better than Joe and have the ‘prediction’ on the right launch into the sky in a manner which would make all of paleoclimatology smile. But that wouldn’t be as scary for sea ice would it. The 2022ish projected zero December ice volume does make one wonder what the temperature of the Arctic is in December doesn’t it?  After all, even in climatology, sea ice is related to temperature. Read the rest of this entry »

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Slow Feedback

Posted by Jeff Id on August 19, 2011

A recent Lindzen and Choi paper was highlighted at WUWT.  I’ve read it a couple of times and found it to be a comprehensible thing with not many field specific statements to grock the point.A lot of acronyms but those also are workable with time.  What they say, if I am understanding, is that mass regression of feedbacks vs forcings are basically an ill-conditioned matrix( with wildly sensitive solutions) because there is little signal variance to regress on. Therefore this paper chose to do their regressions on regions of the data whereby the greatest change occurred. A large change in temperature should coincide, with lag, to a large change in feedback (emissions of radiation to space).  A near zero change would have only noise to work with on feedback measurements.  So we should seek out the large changes for a proper analysis.  Sensible enough.

The reasoning for this is that, by definition, a temperature change is required to produce radiative feedback, and so the greatest signal (and least  noise) in the estimation of feedback should be associated with the largest temperature changes. Thus, it is advisable, but not essential, to restrict oneself to changes greater than 0.1oC; in fact, the impact of thresholds for ΔSST on the statistics of the results turns out, however, to be minor (Lindzen and Choi, 2009).’

The impacts of delta SST may be minor but it apparently is important to have some delta or the regression overestimates feedback:

In contrast, we show that simple regression methods used by several existing  papers generally exaggerate positive feedbacks and even show positive feedbacks when actual feedbacks are negative. We argue that feedbacks are largely concentrated in the tropics, and the tropical feedbacks can be adjusted to account for their impact on the globe as a whole. Indeed, we show that including all CERES data (not just from the tropics) leads to results similar to what are obtained for thetropics alone – though with more noise.

What I read is that by analyzing the large variance portions of SST with similar methods that look at all Sea Surface Temperatures, they found a different result supporting a very low climate sensitivity to CO2 through observation.  It turned out that the tropics are definitely the region of interest in models vs observation.

There is smoothing used in the choice of data intervals.  This seems reasonable as weather noise at monthly timescales would create difficulty picking consistent intervals and a feedback study of Earth, the choice of high variance intervals shouldn’t change dramatically with or without smoothing.  Also, the simplicity of the study is difficult to miss.   Due to the short term nature of the calculations, sensor drift over years of time makes near zero difference as well so the study has a Gavinesque robustness.  Hopefully, someone will tell me what I’m missing because the paper is fairly definitive about climate models in general.  It supports many of the model inaccuracies documented at various non-sanctioned blogs.  The paper is far to direct to be ignored by mainstream science in my opinion,  if there is a problem with it, the pro’s have to address it.

Posted in Uncategorized | 65 Comments »

Cognitive Dissonance and a Sustainable Future

Posted by Jeff Id on August 18, 2011

I believe we are seeing some frightening signs from the economy again. I’m very concerned with what we will see in the coming weeks.  Our industry is a sensitive indicator of the economy and oft times we have data well before the papers report it.  If the trends of the past two weeks continue, you had better be ready for very bad news.  I hope to be wrong.

So when I read Bart Verheggens latest anti-capitalist post, it left a dry taste in my mouth.   It revolves around a couple of comments from people who are described as insightful.  I describe them as naive and leftist but since they hold the values of the people in charge of the world these days, and it is their belief structure driving business into the ground, they deserve critique for their public commentary which I’m more than happy to provide.   Here are a couple of quotes and some comments which belong here rather than at Bart’s thread.

In a comment over at CaS he [Andrew Adams] said it in a bit more sarcastic way:

Hmm, I can never remember whether AGW is a huge plot to enrich developing countries by redistributing the wealth of us in the West, or a huge plot to impoverish developing countries by denying them access to affordable electricity.

Neither of these is the case in his sarcastic comment of course. First, giving to poor people electricity or goods, makes them dependent on uncontrollable politicians, and will do nothing to ‘enrich’ them.  Free stuff is nice, but it means that people won’t work very hard to become non-poor and pay for stuff and when the politician decides not to pay the subsidy anymore, what then?  Why would they work hard if stuff is free and there is no personal gain? How many times do we have to re-live this obvious fact in history before the left notices.  The second sentence is just silly, impoverish by denying affordable electricity. Oddly enough, if he had said impoverish the poor by denying industrial countries affordable electricity, I would be in agreement. But what the hell is a developing country?? What is it?

Read the rest of this entry »

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Paul Dennis Article -Normal Editorial Process

Posted by Jeff Id on August 17, 2011

I wrote to the Guardian several times after Steve McIntyre questioned them to see if they would simply state that they did not receive my full name from government sources.  The best they would say was that there were plenty of ways any reporter worth his salt could find me.    I kept at it despite the fact that the wiser Steve McIntyre had temporarily given up on the Guardian.  Eventually though,  I got the following interesting responses.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Manifest Skeptology

Posted by Jeff Id on August 11, 2011

I hate the term ‘Manifesto’.  Every time I read it I imagine some religious cult promoting a complex yet divinely unquestionalbe truth.  A skeptic manifesto is an oxymoron by birth — almost.  It fixes your position and in an improper fashion.  Without much thought, a manifesto would seem to be bad news for any scientist. It represents an idealism which cannot be broken.  So after reading a really crappy ‘skeptic manifesto’, I wondered if there is one which can define a proper skeptic that I could live with.  See, there are many who would see skeptic as being one with no foundation (philosophically skeptical of everything until nothing is known), there are others which see it as a foundation against the establishment or even wilder, a foundation against a consensus.  I see it as a foundation against your own beleif, an inner war which will never be won or else it is lost.  If you can’t occasionally admit being wrong, something is wrong with your life outlook.  Therefore a  skeptic has an ability to question even “known” things combined with an ability to accept what is reasonable.  Therefore, in my opinion,  a ‘skeptical manifesto’ should read something like this:

A skeptic is one who questions and decides through logic and reason their own opinion on a topic with a directed effort to ignore the distractions of non-evidentiary arguments or concern of the consequences of the logical conclusions.

Oddly enough, after coming up with my ‘manifesto’ it reads just as well this way:

A scientist is one who questions and decides through logic and reason their own opinion on a topic with a directed effort to ignore the distractions of non-evidentiary arguments or concern of the consequences of the logical conclusions.

So the point of this rambling is to see who can come up with a better/cleaner manifesto for a truly skeptical scientific thinker.

I like simple, so who has a better one?

And for those scientists who come here and see this as a holier than thou post,  I will again point out that in far too many cases, this is a battle within one’s self as much as a study of a scientific puzzle.

Posted in Uncategorized | 60 Comments »

A more detailed reply to Pat Frank – Part 1

Posted by Jeff Id on August 8, 2011

We’ve been discussing Pat Franks recent temperature uncertainty publications for quite some time on this other thread. I’m not pleased to say that nearly zero ground has been made in understanding the problems in this work and even some very sharp people have missed the mark. I’ll give it an hour this morning, and work away at it for a bit until I’m finished. Math isn’t always boring but we have already covered this stuff so you guys might not like it.  The paper being discussed is online here.

There are multiple problems with the paper but I’ll start from the beginning and work my way through.   There are several statistical analyses presented which are broken into different cases.  Case 1 is fine, Case 2 has some problems.   Case 2 however, is not used in the conclusions but is merely presented as an example.  However, the error in the example is repeated throughout the paper.

Screen grab from Pat Frank 2010

Note the definition of tau at the beginning, N true temperature magnitudes.   Not N temperature measurements with error but ‘true’ temperatures.  Equations 4 and 5 are non-controversial for noise which is normally distributed and random.  No disagreements here.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Disclosure by Proxy??

Posted by Jeff Id on August 6, 2011

Steve McIntyre has posted on something we’ve discussed behind the scenes for some time now.  It was a weekend morning at the end of January 2010 when I got the call from Guardian reporter David Leigh for asking for Patrick Condon.  Now, the interesting thing about it was that I had not released my first name to anyone except to Steve McIntyre in my entire gmail or blogging history.  My gmail contains every blog comment and email associated with the Air Vent blog since its inception.  I can look back and find every single disclosure of my name in its history.  There are very few prior to climategate and everyone I wrote to except one, I introduced myself as Jeff (my middle name).  That is the name I use for everyone except banks.  Even wordpress and gmail, by which all of my blogging communication occurred, had no information on my address or phone numbers.

In fact even the UK anti-terror police knew me as Jeff when they wrote to me at the link on my blog, yet weeks later David Leigh contacted me asking for Patrick Condon of the Air Vent.   Now everyone should know that an internet blogger, business owner and engineer isn’t exactly a top secret spy.   It is quite difficult to have the 5000 readers/day I had prior to cliamtegate and claim anonymity but I very, very rarely mentioned my last name.

How did the UK press find me? There is more than one piece in this puzzle.

Were there legitimate avenues for discovery of my name and address?  I’m sure, but they aren’t easy and what is most concerning is that if the information were legitimately located, is that supported by the Guardian’s unique responses to Steve below?

One of the most telling bits is that in the same post by David Leigh, they quote Steve’s private email to Paul Dennis.  Information that to my knowledge only the UK police and Steve had. It is reasonably apparent that the Guardian’s David Leigh was in ‘close’ contact with the UK police on this matter and the UK anti-terror police had information which the general public did not.  If the Guardian wishes to make public the method by which they discovered my name I would be happy to report it here.  If the confidentiality of their source is a problem as they claim, then at least some remark that there were no government sources used in the disclosure would be appropriate.   Finally, there is the matter of my specific request not to have my name published.  In the UK, it isn’t legal to release names of people who don’t want to be identified unless there is some public good.  After the release of my full name,  David said that his ‘editors’ were at fault.

David Leigh

I’m really sorry,  I asked my editors to change it, but it never happened last night for some reason

Recently we learned that many in the UK work above the law for the discovery and disclosure of private information.  It seems apparent that this may be the norm of reporting in the modern age.

I look for the simple answer but am no internet expert.  I had emails to Paul Dennis that would probably have IP addresses attached that would give a nearby Chicago-esque location. The anti-terror police who had access to the UEA emails and my middle/last name would have the same information.  I also had some emails with RC scientists that could do the same for the police.  There were methods to find me but if the methods were easy, why didn’t the Guardian reply – well we did a public records search on your name, or a private source sent an email.

My first comment to David when he called was, “How did you find me?”

He answered, “It wasn’t that hard.”

Any way you cut it, I take him at his word but the second question is, did it come from the same people who released the Paul Dennis emials?  In my world, the simple answer is the most likely.


Steve McIntyre –

David Leigh of the Guardian has been added to the list of UK journalists who’ve engaged in phone hacking and other illegal/unethical conduct. Some of the more questionable conduct by UK journalists has involved their acquisition of information from police that police were not legally entitled to disclose either for payment or as a favour. David Leigh also had a role in the Empire Strikes Back phase of Climategate early last year and, in today’s post, I’ll discuss the connection.

Leigh’s admission of phone hacking is discussed at Bishop Hill here; Guido Fawkes here. Leigh himself admitted here.

There is certainly a voyeuristic thrill in hearing another person’s private messages…

Leigh differentiated his illegal phone hacking from that practised by News of the World because his cause was noble:

unlike Goodman, I was not interested in witless tittle-tattle about the royal family. I was looking for evidence of bribery and corruption.

Now the Climategate connection.

Read the rest of this entry »

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You Sure?

Posted by Jeff Id on August 4, 2011

Don’t let anyone tell you that the science is settled on AGW.  Judith Curry has an interesting post on just what might be causing CO2 increases other than mankind.  Hell, even I was convinced that man likely caused CO2 increases.   It appears that there is some evidence that the CO2 rise may not be all completely our fault.

Maybe I was wrong again.

The moral of the story is, we don’t really know a lot of things about AGW to enough certainty that any reaction is justified.  We don’t know enough about the consequences of our reactions to know if they are helpful either.   See the anti-incandescent light scam for example.  That doesn’t stop the anti-prosperity forces from wanting the solution anyway.  You might one whom agrees with the ‘solutions’, but be careful of the definition of the problem.

Posted in Uncategorized | 165 Comments »


Posted by Jeff Id on August 3, 2011

When those who would control spending are the extremists, what does it say for our future?  Of all things the Tea Party movement stands for, the central issue is spending control.  The mainstream media ensures that the Tea Party is continually painted as extremist yet this simple central point is what they want above all else.  In other words, not spending more than you have is ‘extreme’?!!

The liberals and incumbent Republicans in the US are out of control.  More worried about re-election and who to blaim than what is right.   It ain’t a close call folks, we don’t have the money and the spending must stop.  Yes they can increase taxes but even the dumbest of the thoughtfully dumb have to realize that when you take ever greater percentages of money out of the economy, eventually you reach a point where you take in less total revenue?  The thing businesses understand is that WE THE PEOPLE are way way past the point of positive revenue/tax correlation.  Paygo is a trap for this reason.  As is a fake balanced budget amendment.   Policy must reflect the balance between business and redistribution and in the last 5 years, our liberals have nearly destroyed America.   Our company is still seeing customers close their doors at record rates, bills unpaid, companies demanding pennies worth of cost reduction so they can hope to survive.  Eleven percent of US houses are empty of inhabitants today.  Hope and change folks.

It is stupid beyond belief that the recent budget for the US was signed.  Yes it was important as we need to pay our bills, but it was stupid to agree to huge commitments without any true reduction in spending.  Deeper and deeper we go, the liberals pushing at our backs, the incumbent Republicans helping it along.  We simply don’t have the money for this oversized, bloated, monster of an evil government we have supported.   They must be disemployed at the earliest possible convenience.

If the US economy makes it to the next election, that election again will likely be close.   It is insane to me that it should be close, but so many idiots are detached from the critical care/life support ward our economy is in that they can’t fathom the obvious solutions.   The very thing which made America great, has been distroyed in 3 short years by hope, change and fake wealth redistribution.  Sure Bush started the program with his liberal House and Senate, but since Obama took control, the three liberal branches together drove the knife deep home smiling all the way.

When those who only want spending within our means are the extremists, something is horribly wrong and those who don’t see it, deserve what they get.   Unfortunately, the leftist politicians in power will take the wiser group down right with them. Unless something dramatic happens in the next election cycle beyond my own imaginiation, the shrill screaming for ever more support of their evil socialist creation during our economic decent will likely echo through the White house walls for decades to come.  Intent?

Not spending more than you have is not extreme, it is correct. More tax is not always more revenue.  Business is not the problem, the government is.  Less regulation, less tax, more free choice, less lawsuits, less enforcement and you get a cleaner world with better health.  Sure there is a line where the unbridled free growth will have negative results, but by the naturally expanding nature of government, we aren’t likely to find it in the next hundred years, and most certainly won’t be very close to that line of negative consequence any time soon.

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