the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Archive for September, 2009

Kaufman Arctic Proxies

Posted by Jeff Id on September 19, 2009

Here is a plot of the 23 proxies used to create the Arctic reconstruction. I plotted these so we can see the data and use them to reference which series is which. When someone says Yamal, you know what they’re talking about now. Blue lake is a varve proxy, which is sediment layer thickness. My blue lake that I downloaded didn’t look much like this one but it probably hadn’t been processed through the entirely arbitrary log function like the pro’s do. Thanks to SteveM for making the data easy to get to.

Arctic prox 1-8 Read the rest of this entry »

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Stats Ain’t Everything

Posted by Jeff Id on September 19, 2009

Ok, here is an obvously lousy reconstruction of Antarctic temps. Besides the trend being0.10 C/Decade the distribution of trend is astoundingly bad. The difference is, it has very nice verification stats.

After watching each pixel converge using a variety of positive matrix factorizations, I realized that one of the main problems is the satellite calibration to ground data. There are obvious and large offsets in the satellite data when compared to ground stations. There are a lot of ways to calibrate the data. Ryan had a sophisticated step detection using statistical tests followed by calibration of steps outside the predetermined limit. Here I took the difference between satellite and ground data at 62 locations and filtered it by 12 month filter and subtracted that difference from the entire AVHRR dataset.

The filtered difference curve looks like this.

sat minus ground

Calibration Curve

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Arctic Sea Ice Not Following Consensus

Posted by Jeff Id on September 18, 2009

From the NSIDC, Sea ice reaches it’s annual minimum extent growing by 370,000 square miles over 2007.  An area 1 1/2 times the size of Texas.  The recovery is 220,000 sq miles above last year alone yet the NSIDC claims below that the scientists don’t consider this a recovery.

They cite younger thinner ice again and a lower level than the 30 year mean as the reasons this is not a recovery.  I have difficulty ignoring a near 400,000 sq mile increase in ice level.  So I hope they don’t mind if I do consider it at least a partial recovery.

From a post on CA SteveM posted a graph from the NSIDC’s compiled 2008 projections of sea ice by the different ‘experts’ in the field.  Since 2008 minimum is clearly marked and 220,000 sq miles is equal to 570,000 sq kilometers of increase.  We can determine where on the NSIDC graph the actual Arctic sea ice turned out.

All I can say is, be glad you’re not an expert on sea ice.  The linear trend is actually closer than the majority of the experts.


Various "expert" predictions of 2009 sea ice minimums. Green Line is Actual

Original graph from ARCUS link HERE


NSIDC version below:

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An Unusual Invitation – The Best of Blogs

Posted by Jeff Id on September 17, 2009

Blogs are an experiment in society.  Blogging is a relatively new form of communication which is in its infancy.  IMO the best feature of blogs is that they are a controlled argument where issues can occasionally be pounded out to the limits of understanding.  There have been several discussions of that quality I’ve read and a few I’ve been a part of.  These are very special and rare and typically both sides learn even when nothing is settled.

Every blog I’ve been to has its regulars and they tend to agree with the host.  Those who regularly post comments often enjoy a good argument or discussion rather than those who tend to avoid conflict.  Over time blogs develop into a culture of regulars and people who generally agree on the main points and it becomes an echo chamber of agreement.   One of the strengths of tAV, CA and the blackboard is that they are basically unmoderated and we get all types yet by nature those who disagree go in other directions.  Part of that is due to the vitriol in the comments.

I’d like to try another tack, I’ve invited several of the more technical people to blog here by email and some of my favorite posts were written by others, Ryan, JeffC, Doc. Weinstein and TonyB’s on the arctic history!  The reason is that most here appreciate a good techie post and there are plenty of ungodly smart people who come by.  What I haven’t seen much of but would greatly enjoy are guest posts from those with different views.  Certainly there will be some wrath from the typical crowd.  John Pittman and Curious who both read here disagree with some of my views and don’t mind telling me.  I’m no smarter than them so perhaps it might be interesting to hear a different perspective.  Also, Dr. Steig has posted that he disagrees as well as Docs. Grumbine, Mann, Schmidt and many others including regular fare from RC threads.

I have a proposal, as an experiment it would be fun to have an outsider with a different point of view on a topic to create a post here.  Of course there needs to be rules to keep the comments reasonable and reasonably protect the blogger, currently everyone can post damn near anything here in the comments.  By proposing any dissenting posts, I’m required to accept all good posts as nobody knows what I think.

Proposed rules to create a head post:

For anything to post, it must be well written.  At least to my lousy standard.  It must be about technical issues such as climate, energy or science.  The post must be well researched.  You will find that people here can tear a post up very quickly so you better bring your game, because after I agree I wont defend you myself.  It must be from your mind and I recommend your heart.  I have been forced to not accept guest posts in the past for poor writing or being too um….unusual. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hot Water

Posted by Jeff Id on September 16, 2009


Well, since the time I noted the record was different from Doc. Spencer at the link below, WUWT found on ICECAP an article which shows that NOAA has ignored um…satellite data which provides a reduced global value that means no record was set.  I guess we don’t need to keep funding those inconvenient satellites.

A quote from WUWT

AMS Fellow and CCM, Joe D’Aleo of ICECAP has this to say about it:.

Icecap Note: to enable them to make the case the oceans are warming, NOAA chose to remove satellite input into their global ocean estimation and not make any attempt to operationally use Argo data in the process. This resulted in a jump of 0.2C or more and ‘a new ocean warmth record’ in July. ARGO tells us this is another example of NOAA’s inexplicable decision to corrupt data to support political agendas.

Read more at WUWT – Link here. —It’s like a local newspaper advertising the superbowl(WUWT) but this appears that it may be another instance where the NOAA has overstepped science in search of headlines.

NOAA mission statement—- To boldly go where no man has gone before.

Bob Tisdale has an interesting post on it here and is quoted below:

The Hadley Centre’s HADSST2 does not show record SST anomalies for July, August, or for the Summer of 2009. Far from it. Refer to Figure 5. The Hadley Centre uses different techniques to smooth and infill missing data. The differences between the Hadley Centre and NOAA methodologies are explained in the NOAA paper about the ERSST.v3b data, “Improvements to NOAA’s Historical Merged Land-Ocean Surface Temperature Analysis (1880-2006)”.


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File Under: Things That Won’t Work

Posted by Jeff Id on September 15, 2009

Well liberal congressmen have successfully regulated their own free speech and congressmen can no longer call each other dishonest on the floor.  It should be called the freedom to lie act, did you know that 95% of the richest people in congress or liberal democrats.  Whatever, this blog is a global warming blog typically and today the mandate of 35.5 miles per gallon fleet average for cars must be met by 2016.

I considered calling this post – will you buy it?  I’ll answer it for you, hell no you won’t buy it.  There is no way you are going to stop using a four door car and there’s no way you can afford a hybrid, well most can’t anyway.  I bet you’ll still buy the 18 – 28 MPG beast you can with the money you make because that’s where your family goes.  In the car.

We’ll see though.  They call this a “smart car”, I’m not so sure.

Smart Car???

Smart Car???

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Tea Party, Rewriting History

Posted by Jeff Id on September 15, 2009

The media hardly covered this event. There are only 175 news articles found on google regarding this massive event in American history. Conservatives never protest, they barely know how. The leftist media is making an obvious attempt to cover it up so I’ll post some of it here. My thanks to these people for spending their weekend trying to save our children from socialized society. When is the last time over a hundred thousand people marched on Washington and it didn’t get noticed?

Here from the Washington post linked by the Chicago Tribune

Estimates peg it somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 people, which makes it an admirable bit of organizing, but not a contender for the protest hall of fame..

Here’s the pic the post used to memorialize the event.


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Tamino’s Rant

Posted by Jeff Id on September 13, 2009

temp trend

Alleged temperature trend

Tamino’s making this too easy. His recent angry rant on Lucy Skywalkers presentation of graphs because they aren’t scaled sufficiently to show the very slight warming of some of the stations over the last 50 years. So far Tamino has wisely refused to clearly state support the Kaufman Arctic temperature reconstruction travesty but he won’t allow criticism of it either. Instead he has resorted to bashing of peoples intellect and censorship of response by the accused link here. I’ll help out by putting some quotes up from Lucy so Tamino can see the difference, let’s see if he’s intellectually honest enough to work out the difference.

He accuses Lucy of saying warming didn’t happen in the Arctic. To the point of calling her a liar.

LUCY:First, I am NOT claiming the Arctic has not been warming. No real skeptic claims that.

Tammie: I’ll say it bluntly. We don’t believe you. I’m not the only one.

Of course Tamino refused to let Lucy make her point that the uptick was not of the same timeframe in several temp stations as in the crap proxies used for the Arctic paper preferring to argue the straw man that she claimed temp trends were not rising.

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Questions for the Enlightened

Posted by Jeff Id on September 10, 2009

Link added per Grumbine request.

I’m sick of being grumpy. There is only so much of this garbage you can take before you loose your sanity. I read on another blog about some sort of credibility pyramid where the climate dude claims you can only determine things about climate from the most credible sources. The credible sources are listed in order of university degrees rather than ability or actual data. I’ve decided not to reference the blog because I’m sick of blogwars. If the blogger requests it, I will put a whole post just to link to this graph. In the meantime, I’ve got very little idea of the history of this particular blogger and very little interest in finding out. He is some kind of climatologist who has created a plot for the ignorant to follow climate. By ignorant, I mean people who haven’t the will or wherewithal to actually look at data. You know the type, hurricanes are wrecking the world because of global warming and such. If those particular statements piss you off, you have come here for the first time and I implore you to become less ignorant.

In his post which garnered some support from well known leftists in blogland, he put a graph of credibility related to the question of ‘is man changing climate?’. Shown below:


Climate Credibility Tower

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Positive Matrix Factorization

Posted by Jeff Id on September 10, 2009

Well this was a good chunk of my weekend. It’s basically another method for solving the Antarctic reconstruction which is more of a brute force approach which has similarities to some optical calculations we do at my work. The method is conceptually simple and is performed in a few steps. The point of it was to attempt to avoid using PCA or other data reduction methods and come to a reasonable reconstruction.

It starts with something many have said before, AVHRR is surface skin temperature not surface air temperature and the methods of Steig et al fit ground information to the AVHRR data.  Therefore they are reconstructing the surface skin temperature and not the surface air temperature. The result is presented as though they are the same and they well may be similar but I doubt the natural variance of temperature in an exposed rock hill or near meltpoint iceface is anywhere near as great as the variance in air temp. Anyway, I decided to first recalibrate the satellite data to ground data.

The steps are:

1 – Recalibrate AVHRR to better match ground data.

2 – Regress each gridcell of recalibrated AVHRR using the ground data employing iterative positive matrix factorization

My hope was to keep the calibration simple because complex versions simply confuse the situation. To do this the code collects from the area weighted offset reconstruction 64 complete infilled temperature records as created in this post Trends in the Antarctic

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Posted by Jeff Id on September 9, 2009

When the K09 Arctic paper was first published the press release read as below.  This paper was based on about two dozen proxies which were hand selected by the scientists and each are known to have many non-temperature components to their data (i.e. moisture, CO2, disease).  Still the favorite trends were picked from hundreds and these were averaged together to create a new curve which in my opinion has no damn relationship to temperature whatsoever.  The scientists know of these limitations so when I read some of the statements below I get pissed.  So here I’ll piss off a few of these overpriced statistical data mashters (not misspelled) by highlighting some of the idiotic statements by the authors below.  My comments in red.


Figure 1, Published squiggles alleged to be temperature trends.

A new study led by Northern Arizona University and involving the
University of Colorado at Boulder indicates Arctic temperatures have
reversed from a long-term cooling trend and are now the warmest they
have been in at least 2,000 years, bad news for the world’s coastal
cities facing rising seas in the coming decades.

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Rewriting Arctic History

Posted by Jeff Id on September 8, 2009

Lucy Skywalker, asked to put up a link to the graph below Fig 2.  She sent me a short post in her own words which I think do a good job of catching one of the issues of the recent Arctic temperature reconstruction.  Her work was done in response to the recent paper by Kaufman et al. which alleges that temperatures steadily declined for 2000 years before suddenly spiking.  Lucy’s post compliled temperature records from John Daly’s work for the region all around the Arctic frim GISS and HadCRUT for visual comparison to the hockey stick curves presented by the Kaufman paper.

First and likely unsurprisingly for a proxy paper, I’m very skeptical of it. In fact it’s hard for the engineer in me to imagine the hubris of its conclusions considering it uses unverified proxies and thoroughly debunked mathematical methods but it will probably be difficult to disprove because it stands on the foundation of two dozen other papers filled with their own proxy mathemagic.  Remember, I was far less strong worded about Steig09 on first blush.  I’m waiting until I have time to get all the data from the original sources and have tried already to convert the jpg data in the article itself for verification.  So far it has been made a particularly difficult road by the authors methods of publication.  It would be better if people other than myself contacted the authors to request data and code because my Id has a reputation but I will be doing it in time.  Anyway, I have a great deal of comfort with the fact that this particular temp reconstruction is equally as related to temperature as it is to magnetic flux trends on Neptune and the coarseness of cecropia moth antennae.

Figure 1 is a plot of the reconstruction having the same results as the Mann08 (bottom graph).  Note the lack of MWP, no Little ice age and basically no variance other than the shock and recovery so easily created by bad data sorting mathematics.


Fig 1 - Kaufman 09 alleged temperature curves

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Trends in the Antarctic

Posted by Jeff Id on September 6, 2009

To further the documentation of the offset calculation, I’ve put together the R code with comments and a couple of blink comparisons of the raw anomaly data and the offset anomaly data.

Offset area 100 index

Click to see Blink Comparitor

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A Little fun with RC

Posted by Jeff Id on September 3, 2009

Laymen Lurker pointed out a comment at RC which is apparently directed toward the good old Air Vent and myself in particular. Apparently someone called Sekerob has a problem with my sea ice posts. HERE.

Sekerob says:

2 September 2009 at 5:25 PM

To complete the numbers of ‘Global’ a chart to go with that. Note wider difference between extent and area, what I’ve dubbed the break up index. It was 1.25 back in 1979 and this August it was 1.34 or alternate, the August Area this year in global terms was 74.1% of the Extent, back then it was 80.1%. Sign of quality of the ice me thinketh.


One Jeff is massaging this as if sea ice has not significantly reduced. It’s a special art form I’ve not grasped… maybe I would accept after nurse Ratched performs a lobotomy on me. I’m convinced that lack of summer cover and sea ice off days has more bearing for the globe than the simple global summation that is commented surely with ‘it’s only 5.5% less’. Add to that the many millions of km square in missing land snow cover and the snow off days that keep increasing. That’s a bunch of Albedo change on the sunny side.

Since Sekerob hasn’t ever bothered to ask what particular methods I’ve used on sea ice I wonder what he’s referring to.  He is correct though that I don’t use Mannian sanctioned methods for throwing out data or manipulated filter projections to make things appear worse than we thought.  So he does have a good point.  So today I’m forced to come clean with the equations I used to manipulate curves such as this one in Figure 1 which show global sea ice levels reached a near maximum earlier this year.


Figure 1, Global Sea Ice level - NasaTeam NSIDC Data

It is necessary to demonstrate the openness in kind as we expect from scientists in general so under the weight of great pressure from RC readership, I’ll cave in.  After all, I’m sure RC proprietors wouldn’t want their readers to get the wrong message.  The math used to create the diabolical illusion that global sea ice is not vanishing and will not be gone in 2015 like some apparently peer reviewed presentation recently said is as follows:

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The Solution to Future Energy Needs and Global Pollution

Posted by Jeff Id on September 2, 2009

Dr. Weinstein sent me a post suggesting a unique method for clean energy production in the future.  If you’re interested in the energy production aspects of climate as I am, this post is a fun read with some interesting conclusions.


The Solution to Future Energy Needs and Global Pollution

Leonard Weinstein, Sc.D

April 19, 2009


There are two problems quickly becoming apparent that will have a profound effect on modern civilization. These problems are:

1) Increasing energy costs due to limited availability of fuels

2) Increasing pollution due to increased development and energy use in the world

The problems are highly interdependent. They clearly derive from the burning of fossil fuels, which are finite and in some cases are unable to be obtained in quantities fully able to meet demand.

How we satisfy our present energy needs:

There are two distinct categories of energy needed for modern civilization. The first of these is the energy needed for fixed locations (e.g., homes, businesses). This includes electricity, oil, gas, and solid fuels (e.g., wood, coal) for heating, cooling, lights, motors, etc. The second of these is required for transportation (i.e., cars, trucks, trains, planes, and ships). This is currently mainly liquid fuels (gasoline, fuel oil, alcohol, etc.), but can include compressed or liquefied gases (methane, propane and even Hydrogen). There are some vehicles that use grid electricity for power (trams, and some trains), but these requires a limited fixed travel route over the ground.

The vast majority of the energy needed for fixed locations is derived from fossil fuels, with lesser amounts from hydroelectric and nuclear electric generation. Other sources of power also are available, such as Geo-thermal, wind power and Solar. The main present source of electrical energy production in the world is from coal-fired steam turbo-generators. The large quantities of coal available (including huge reserves) and low mining cost, make it an especially low cost source of power. Coal was even used for many years as the main source for heating. However, the need for individual bulk delivery to homes, the difficult method of fueling the fire (cleaning out ash and shoveling coal), and the dirty smoke led to use of more convenient and cleaner fuels and sources of power. Present homes and businesses now mainly use oil, gas, or electricity for heating, and electricity from power plants for other energy needs (cooling, lights, powering motors, etc.). Natural gas is gaining in popularity due to its increasing availability and relatively clean burning, and also due to the fact that it can be continuously delivered via pipelines.

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