the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Archive for February, 2009

A Little Bit of Magic

Posted by Jeff Id on February 28, 2009

Sorry for the delay, I haven’t actually been lazy at all. I have been working on a couple of what I find very interesting posts this one today and possibly another tomorrow. You aren’t going to believe this…

Those who have followed the Steig reconstruction know that 3 curves were used with different weightings to recreate the entire antarctic. The 3 curves look like this.


Linear combinations of these 3 curves make the temperature trend for the entire antarctic. RegEM was used to create the data prior to 1982 for the satellites by basically copying surface station data onto the ends of the sat data. RegEM is supposed to follow the data that exists so the PC’s should look the same in the pre 1982 period as the post. But they don’t! The paper makes the statement that 3 pc’s are used in RegEM however in the result PC3 is near zero and therefore there are really only 2. In this post I made a video of the Steig temperature anomalies for the antarctic. None of the data in this video is real, ALL of it is highly processed. The data post 1982 is derrived from PCA analysis of real data. The pre 1982 data is pasted on ‘imputed’ data.

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NSIDC Back on Line 4% Ice Loss is NO PROBLEM

Posted by Jeff Id on February 28, 2009

Near-real-time data now available

Near-real-time sea ice data updates are again available from Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis. We have switched to the Special Sensor Microwave/Imager (SSM/I) sensor on the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP) F13 satellite following the sensor drift problem described in our February 18 post.

The temporary error in the near-real-time data does not change the conclusion that Arctic sea ice extent has been declining for the past three decades. This conclusion is based on peer reviewed analysis of quality-controlled data products, not near-real-time data.

They have taken slightly too much heat IMHO but it’s hard to imagine millions of dollars per year and they didn’t pick up on the problem sooner. Still it’s good news that the satellite is back on line. There are some very reasonable people in the NSIDC who I found very helpful, however you can imagine there are quite a few over the top AGW’ers.

On February 18, we reported that the F15 sensor malfunction started out having a negligible impact on computed ice extent, which gradually increased as the sensor degraded further. At the end of January, the F15 sensor underestimated ice extent by 50,000 square kilometers (19,300 square miles) compared to F13. That is still within the margin of error for daily data. By mid-February, the difference had grown to 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles), which is outside of expected error. However, that amount represents less than 4% of Arctic sea ice extent at this time of year.

The last sentence is one of the best quotes I’ve found on global warming from a serious site. — Why? you ask. Because the entire melting of the ‘last 3 decades’ indicates the total global sea ice loss is only …………….. 4%.

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Reason still has a place.

Posted by Jeff Id on February 27, 2009

Scientist: Global Warming Evidence, Claims Exaggerated

The voice of reason is getting stronger I just hope we haven’t crossed the political ‘real’ tipping point already. I’m not naive enough to believe that good science and reason will stop anything however.

Claims about the allegedly dire effects of global warming may be exaggerated, Patrick Michaels, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, said during a Thursday lecture at the Rockefeller Center at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.

Michaels, who is also a state climatologist and professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, discussed the research published in his new book, “Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don’t Want You to Know.”

“The discussion surrounding global warming has become wildly extreme,” he told a packed auditorium. “You either believe it’s the end of the world unless we do something about it right now, or you’re a denier.”

Michaels criticized scientists’ widespread acceptance of the computer climate change models, saying that the models have projected higher temperatures than have actually occurred in recent years.

“[There is a] systematic failure of computer models,” he said. “What warming there is, is at or below the lower limits of computer models.”

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Politicians + Scientists = Polyscienticians

Posted by Jeff Id on February 26, 2009

Anthony Watts already covered this but it is important enough to take note of here after all the site URL is noconsensus. I originally thought of the name because I was going to blog about politics and science as well as global warming. I thought it applied to a wide variety of topics so it gave me freedom to post on anything.

Consensus in science is typically the result of many years of study and understanding with clear provable results. It has never to my knowledge been used to project an outcome centuries in advance without actual proof. The antarctic paper is a good example in that the data and construction are so obfuscated and under-verified I doubt now the result can be sorted from the mathematical artifacts. Yet this paper somehow passed through peer review cleanly enough to make the cover of Nature. It’s so obvious that by declaring a scientific consensus that the declaration is in reality politics that the very words self prove the political nature of the statement. If I claim 2 + 2 =4 and then shout scientists have reached consensus you might believe me but perhaps another scientist says just as definitively 2 + 2 = 11 and declares consensus. In reality that’s only because he used in base 3. My point is that the scientific community will only in the most certain of instances have consensus.

The political nature of the subject and the diffusion of AGW politics through the scinetists is obvious and clearly corrupting to the science. Does anyone think that this Antarctic paper would be on the cover of nature if the same unusual methods found cooling? Isn’t this supposed to be science before outcome?

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Correlation of Reconstructions

Posted by Jeff Id on February 25, 2009

One of the key issues with the Steig09 RegEM algorithm is the assumption that correlation will create appropriate location based weightings for the reconstructed trend. The correlation in the AWS (automated weather station) reconstruction is based on signal in AWS and manual Surface Station data. This post uses the same algorithm employed by SteveM on CA to demonstrate the correlation vs distance of the surface station data prior to RegEM. RegEM infills the missing data through the whole matrix so while Steig09 presented the AWS as a verification of the satellite reconstruction, the surface station missing data was also reconstructed. Therefore this first three graphs are similar in shape to SteveM’s result but is actually based on the RegEM data.

This is a plot of the correlation of the total surface station data as reconstructed by RegEM.


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Underwater Carbon Observatory

Posted by Jeff Id on February 24, 2009

carbon-observation-satThe aerodynamic shroud covering the new carbon orbital observatory failed to separate permanently altering the slated mission to study atmospheric carbon. Following it’s predetermined flight path the sophisticated device switched to it’s backup mission to measure carbon underwater. Unfortunately our doomed little friend failed again on landing, the apparent cause was RUD (rapid unplanned disassembly) due to landing at speeds over mach 5. Even this secondary ‘backup’ mission was doomed to failure.

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Meeting of the Minds

Posted by Jeff Id on February 24, 2009

Yeah, I’m a conservative. Not a republican so don’t attach that label to me. Tamino or Real Climate have plenty of others if you’re looking for one but we’re looking to the future.

This really deserves some attention.

Special Interests Dominate Fiscal Responsibility Summit

I’m just going to copy the names and people convened to decide how to tackle the most extreme economic problem the US has experienced in decades. This is the illustrious crowd our leader decided had the right credentials to advise him.

John Gage, American Federation of Government Employees
John Sweeney, AFL-CIO
Gerry McEntee, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers
Anna Burger, Change to Win
Dennis Van Roekel, National Education Association
Andy Stern, Service Employees Union International

Health Care Associations
Richard Umbdenstock, American Hospital Association
Nancy Neilson , American Medical Association
Becky Patton, American Nurses Association

Health Policy Foundations
Karen Davis, Commonwealth Fund
Drew Altman, Kaiser Family Foundation

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When Weathermen Get It Right

Posted by Jeff Id on February 23, 2009

I read this refreshing article this morning which really makes the skeptics point clearly.  Now is a time for rational thought not the flailing regulatory actions we will see in the next year.

The short article that starts like this.

Today, we are urged to believe that within the next few decades the globe will become intolerably warmer. The world as we know it will be drastically altered unless we act now to reverse our wayward lifestyles, especially our wasteful energy practices.

But wait. Aren’t we all just essentially being pressured to believe in a long-range climate forecast? And isn’t this pressure largely being applied by politicians and political organizations no less? Who today would bet serious money on a weather prediction made a month in advance let alone decades ahead? Yet the developed nations of the world are under the gun to invest hundreds of billions of dollars on a climate prophecy when worldwide financial stability is tottering. Doesn’t President Barack Obama have enough global headaches to buffer to worry about a trillion-dollar climate prescription?

The summation is also great.

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Antarctic Sat. Reconstruction Without Peninsula – Still no Sat. Data

Posted by Jeff Id on February 23, 2009

Just a short post this morning to show one of the different calculations I’ve done. I shouldn’t keep everything to myself after all. The graph below represents a regridding of the Antarctic as presented by Jeff C who was kind enough to send me his data.


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The Trouble With the Consensus

Posted by Jeff Id on February 22, 2009

Sometimes these AGW  extremists really do themselves a disservice.  The know nothing news reporters who pretend to have opinions on both sides simply end up looking like fools.  The AGW guys control the media for all intents and purposes so that side of the argument get’s most of the BS.  Then there’s the time when they go head to head.

Here’s an article by some know nothing guy with what he believes is superior knowledge to a different know nothing talking head.  The rubbish that comes out is similar in noise level to a tree ring proxy.

Letter: Will erred about global warming

George Will’s Feb. 15 syndicated column on global warming seems to rest on a strange logic: Because a past prediction didn’t come true, therefore no prediction will ever be true.

But Will also makes some specific assertions that he claims are backed by climate authorities.

First, he states that the University of Illinois’ Arctic Climate Research Center has concluded that “global sea ice levels now equal those of 1979.”

But the ACRC immediately posted this reply: “We do not know where George Will is getting his information, but our data shows that … global sea ice levels are 1.34 million sq. km less in February 2009 than in February 1979. This decrease in sea ice area is roughly equal to the area of Texas, California, and Oklahoma combined.” (

Well Cryosphere may be a good source, but if we trust our scources Mann08 ‘s hockey stick would still be useful.  I took the time a while ago to download the data in gridded format from the NSIDC, applied a consistent mask and plotted the trends.

nasa-team-arctic-ice-jan-2009Global sea ice levels plotted for the arctic and antarctic look like this.

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Watts Up Recognized by the UK Telegraph

Posted by Jeff Id on February 21, 2009

As predicted here on the Air Vent the climate change experts, faced with reduced temperature trends are ramping up the hot air to compensate. WUWT was recognized for catching this over the top reporting.

Climate change rhetoric spirals out of control

It was another bad week for the “warmists”, now more desperate than ever to whip up alarm over an overheating planet. It began last weekend with the BBC leading its bulletins on the news that a “leading climate scientist” in America, Professor Chris Field, had warned that “the severity of global warming over the next century will be much worse than previously believed”. Future temperatures “will be beyond anything predicted”, he told a Chicago conference. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had “seriously underestimated the size of the problem”.

To promote its cause the BBC website even posted a video explaining how warming would be made worse by “negative feedback”. This scientific howler provoked much amusement and derision on expert US blogs, such as Anthony Watts’s Watts Up With That – since “negative feedback” would lower temperatures rather than raise them. The BBC soon pulled its video.

Al Gore’s ally Dr James Hansen, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. In The Observer he launched his most vitriolic call yet for the closing down of the coal-fired power stations which are the world’s main source of electricity, repeating his claim to a British court last year that the new coal-fired plant at Kingsnorth will alone be responsible for “the extermination of 400 species”.

“Coal-fired power plants are factories of death,” wrote Hansen, “the trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains”. This deliberate echo of the trains carrying Jews to Nazi death camps recalled how the more extreme warmists like to equate sceptics on climate change with “Holocaust deniers”. But such overheated language seemed somehow at home in the newspaper which in 1996 solemnly predicted that by 2016 half a million Britons would be dying each year from having eaten BSE-infected beef.

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Seven Points About Climate Change

Posted by Jeff Id on February 20, 2009

dem-gas-planThose of you who stop by regularly know how I feel about the climate alarmism and political pressures behind it.  You also know I have a bit of a temper about it which I try to keep in check.  I read this article with as open a mind as I could, it contains seven points so let’s see if we can agree with any of  them.

McKibben outlines climate change effects

1. Scientists are divided. There has been astounding consensus throughout the scientific community that global warming is real, dangerous, and caused by humans. Although the details of future forecasts remain unclear, there’s no serious question about the general shape of what’s to come.

By September 2007, there was 25 percent less ice in the Arctic Ocean than ever measured before. By the end of the summer season in 2008, so much ice had melted that both the Northwest and Northeast passages were open.

Scientists are breathless. The computer models said this shouldn’t have happened until sometime late in the 21st century. Even skeptics can’t dispute such alarming events.

Right off the bat he’s swinging all over the place.  Scientists agree, he cliams.  Sure a lot of government sponsored climatologists agree, but so far it’s been pretty hard for me to locate convincing evidence that anyone knwos what’s happening today let alone in a hundred years.  Then he makes claims about sea ice being down by 25% which is at best a cherry pick of one area in the arctic.  Then he says computer models say this shouldn’t have happened yet.  What’s he talking about?  Temps have lagged a bit behind the models the last time I checked.

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Satellite Temperature Trend Also Halved by Simple Regridding

Posted by Jeff Id on February 20, 2009

From the work of several different people I have been able to recreate the reconstruction of the Satellite temperature for the Antarctic. From my previous work we learned that it was possible to recreate the results of the AWS trend by aligning only 3 pc’s calculated by RomanM and placed in a matrix where missing values are infilled by RegEM. I then used the same technique to recalculate trends by the re-gridded data as presented by Jeff C.

First the satellite Principal Component reconstruction.


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The Three PC’s of the Antarctic

Posted by Jeff Id on February 18, 2009

Tonight I was going to replicate the Antarctic reconstruction for the AWS temperature using the gridded data from Jeff C. My goal was to do the same for the satellite series and run a reconstruction using Jeff C’s regridded dataset.

I needed the PC’s and weightings for the 5509 satellite series but ran into a small problem. Principal components analysis can’t work with more columns than row’s. The satellite data consists of 5509 columns with 600 months of rows each as presented by Dr. Steig on his webpage. The PC algorithm is overdefined – more equations than unknowns.

Well I wanted to do my analysis of 3 pc’s against JeffC”s surface station data so I needed the 3 PC’s. I ran the first 600 columns through pc analysis and found 3 reasonable looking pc’s . I needed the weighting for the rest of the series so I had to do it for all of them so I ran them 600 at a time for all 5509 series. I then checked to make sure that the PC’s from one set of 600 were the same as another. . . . They weren’t. I had 5509/600 =9.18 sets of data which was represented by 10 different PC runs. Each run had it’s own 3 curves!!

After a few minutes I decided that the final set of PC’s would be the PC’s of all the 30 curves. These 3 curves would represent the total satellite data. So I ran an analysis of the PC’s on the final 30 curves.

Here are the SD values of the calc.

9.260698e+01 4.020218e+01 2.877281e+01 3.401857e-07

After the 3rd PC all the SD’s are basically zero meaning that there are only 3 curves for the entirety of the satellite data as RomanM had already stated. So that worked but what do the PC’s look like…..


Note PC3.. These 3 trends should not show a difference for the pre 1982 pre satellite data compared to the post 1982. The pre 1982 data is from RegEM and is imputed. A good calculation would match the pre 1980 data well.

These are 3 temperature curves used to reconstruct the continent of Antarctica. The same curves used to make the graphs on the cover of Nature. The same data used to sort out by correlation which stations get which weighting from the data.

These curves have a problem.


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How Many PC’s Does it Take to …

Posted by Jeff Id on February 17, 2009

I had an idea earlier today that RegEM on all the massive set of satellite data in the antarctic reconstruction paper may be actually equal to a RegEM of only 3 series. This is an oddity as revealed by Roman M’s brilliant analysis on climate audit where he discovered that the satellite reconstruction data is entirely represented by 3 pc’s for over 5000 grid cells. A massive amount of data for so small a number of series. Each gridcell is created by taking three trends times 3 x 5000 multipliers and added together to create all of the individual cells.

The way the paper seems to work is to use all the complexities of the 1982 -2006 satellite data with a wide variety of covariances in relation to the 42 surface measurements in a sophisticated bounded impution algorithm (RegEM) to reproduce data back to 1956. Well, it turns out that doesn’t seem to be the case.

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