the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Real Climate Unmoderated

Posted by Jeff Id on November 25, 2009

I’ve decided to reproduce the Real Climate latest post in its entirety in an unmoderated fashion. It would seem valuable to have the ability to address the scientists in an open manner. Say anything except keep the language reasonable. The boys need to hear a little longer what we think after all they are movin’ on like nothing happened.

I’ve added a bit to the bottom. haha.



Filed under:


— eric @ 24 November 2009

Nov. 24th, 2009 Copenhagen Diagnosis

The ‘Copenhagen Diagnosis‘, a report by 26 scientists from around the world was released today. The report is intended as an update to the IPCC 2007 Working Group 1 report. Like the IPCC report, everything in the Copenhagen Diagnosis is from the peer-reviewed literature, so there is nothing really new. But the report summarizes and highlights those studies, published since the (2006) close-off date for the IPCC report, that the authors deemed most relevant to the negotiations in Copenhagen (COP15) next month. This report was written for policy-makers, stakeholders, the media and the broader public, and has been sent to each and every one of the COP15 negotiating teams throughout the world.

Among the points summarized in the report are that:

The ice sheets are both losing mass (and hence contributing to sea level rise). This was not certain at the time of the IPCC report.

Arctic sea ice has declined faster than projected by IPCC.

Greenhouse gas concentrations have continued to track the upper bounds of IPCC projections.

Observed global temperature changes remain entirely in accord with IPCC projections, i.e. an anthropogenic warming trend of about 0.2 ºC per decade with superimposed short-term natural variability.

Sea level has risen more than 5 centimeters over the past 15 years, about 80% higher than IPCC projections from 2001.

Perhaps most importantly, the report articulates a much clearer picture of what has to happen if the world wants to keep future warming within the reasonable threshold (2°C) that the European Union and the G8 nations have already agreed to in principle.

The full report is available at Three of us at RealClimate are co-authors so we can’t offer an independent review of the report here. We welcome discussion in the comments section though. But read the report first before commenting, please.


Here’s the temperature curve they present

Note how the smoothing curves continue upward linearly. Here is my plot of Crutem, hadley, HadCRUT or whatever you want to call it.

I downladed the data from their public folder directly using very simple code in R. No hide the rise here.

hadcrut= hadc[,2]


Besides the slightly lower slope, my plots don’t have that gorgeous launching red line in the middle of them that absolutely assumes continued warming. I wonder if anyone would like to ask RC how they produced the continuous upslope in their red curve presented in this document for Copenhagen. It’s such a small meaningless point, but it’s standard in the science.

Hide the decline. da da da da.

UAH per request

40 Responses to “Real Climate Unmoderated”

  1. PR Guy said

    Some of the authors of this report are discredited individuals whose result can not be taken at face value. Unless their findings can be independently reproduced, this report should have no weight.

  2. TGSG said

    PR Guy said……..

    I say,, ditto, works for me.

  3. Third Party said

    The photography in the “report” seemed balanced and without emotional content. /sarc

  4. dean said

    Something here is really amiss… I’ve seen GISS and Hadley datasets before, but they’ve never been identical from 1980 on!

    now where to find them files…

  5. Jeff Id said

    #4 Here’s what you need.





    hadcrut= hadc[,2]


  6. Amber said

    Jeff, your own blue line illustrates beautifully the reality — rises and falls over timescales of a decade but over longer timescales, a consistent rise in temperature.

    You are correct IMHO in criticising smoothing but you are guilty of using smoothing yourself.

    The report says, “warming trend of about 0.2 ºC per decade with superimposed short-term natural variability” which looks pretty factual to me.

  7. JAE said

    LOL. This “report” is using all the “science” that has been blown to smithereeeeeeeens by the Climategate scandal! WTF?

  8. Amber said

    To clarify, the 0.2 degrees refers to the last 30-odd years, I imagine.

  9. Amber said

    #7 No the science has not been blown to smithereens by the material, there is plenty of science supporting the theory of enhanced greenhouse warming. Radiation physics says the Greenhouse Effect adds about 33 degrees Celsius to global temperature. Logic says extra greenhouse gas means higher temperature.

  10. JAE said

    I just skimmed the “report,” and I must say that the pictures are stunning. But the verbiage is the same old clap-trap alarmism and cherry-picked references that we have learned to expect from the environmental-extremist-communist community. Absolutely NO mention of any uncertainty. Most importantly, there seems to be absolutely no “weighing” of contradictory studies (and they do exist, folks!). Thus, the bottom line is that it is, again, pure propaganda, which means it is NOT IN ANY WAY SCIENTIFIC.

    in general, it is just more doctrine written FOR environmentalists BY environmentalists.

  11. Amber said

    Like you, I don’t agree with any hysteria, and IMHO there is certainly a lot of that in some circles. We need to filter the hysteria and look at the facts, which on their own are a concern. The hysterics are counterproductive.

  12. Jeff Id said

    Amber, you are completely correct.

    What we have to do now is understand the massive corrections added to the temp data that make the majority of the trend.

    The data is the data, you won’t find any hiding of fact here. Why does the RC graph continue straight up, are they equally honest?

  13. Jeff Id said

    #9 the radiation theory isn’t that clean. I wish it were but there is substantial room for question in it.

    That’s not to say greenhouse gas warming isn’t true, just that the magnitude of it isn’t perfectly known.

    Tediously, it may even be worse than stated.

  14. TurkeyLurkey said

    One thing that ‘the Gavin’ agreed over at RC, is that they expect a(n un)certain rise in temperature for every doubling of the CO2.
    He further agreed that the scientifically correct way to plot this kind of behavior is on a logarithmic scale.
    )(such that CO2 going from 300 to 600 should have the same temperature effect as it going from 600 to 1200 or from 1200 to 2400 ppm. )

    So, even if we swallow the whole ersatz enchilada, the temperature rise should be plotted on a linear scale and the CO2 on a log scale.

    But that would only be true if they were real climate scientists instead of climate raconteurs, promoting the ‘post 2012 climate-control-regime’…

  15. JAE said

    Quick survey:

    All authors on public grants (dole). Sorta like “oil money,” dontcha thinnk?

    One Pielke ref.

    Zero Lindzen ref.

    Zero Spencer refs.

    Zero refs to the solar guys (may have missed some??)

    4 Mann refs

    Special irony, in light of recent scandal, Fig. 21

    I call this report a STACKED DECK and a joke.

    Folks, this is not science, it is biased journalism!

  16. Steve said


    Just out of curiosity, what would the 3rd graph look like using RSS and/or UAH data? I’m much too old, and my wife has a long honey dew list, so R is too time consuming to learn for me!!

  17. JAE said

    Looks scientific, because of references. Maybe the NYT will start doing this?

  18. Jeff Id said

    #16, I did UAH for you. In my opinion it’s trend is currently more accurate than RSS, I may be almost alone in that opinion but after many hours of study that’s the conclusion.

  19. timetochooseagain said

    “Arctic sea ice has declined faster than projected by IPCC.”

    In fact the sudden decrease in 2007 greatly distorts one’s impression of the “decline” of the sea ice (which is apparently not necessary to hide 😉 ) I don’t know what the IPCC had been predicting exactly but the history doesn’t indicate to me that it is sensible to declare that the decline is faster than expected.

    But so what? The sea ice was almost certainly gone in summer during the Holocene Optimum and the Polar Bear survived, the Inuit culture radiated.

    “Greenhouse gas concentrations have continued to track the upper bounds of IPCC projections.”

    This is really odd and I suspect a misstatement. Emissions of CO2 had been outpacing projections, but concentrations were as expected, AFAIK. Methane has been well below projections. But let’s think about this for a second: if “Observed global temperature changes remain entirely in accord with IPCC projections” but the greenhouse gases are tracking the upper bounds, does that not mean that the sensitivity is overestimated? Freudian Slip maybe?

    “Observed global temperature changes remain entirely in accord with IPCC projections, i.e. an anthropogenic warming trend of about 0.2 ºC per decade with superimposed short-term natural variability.”

    This statement is pitifully ridiculous. Look, can someone serious explain to me how you get a decadal decrease over a twelve year period of almost exactly .2 degrees from “superimposed natural variability”? Get real: The rate is lower than expected. Say it with me Climate Scientists: The rate is lower than expected. The rate…is lower than expected…

    “Sea level has risen more than 5 centimeters over the past 15 years, about 80% higher than IPCC projections from 2001.”

    True. It’s a lovely little thing called “superimposed natural variability” which regularly kicks in in sea level changes:

    8-The “last thirty odd years” do NOT show warming at .2 degrees per decade and that is NOT factual!!!!!! The rate over 1978-2008, thirty one years, is about .15 degrees per decade in HadCrut. That rate happens to be identical to the rate from 1911-1941 for what it’s worth. The UAH data and RSS data now have exactly thirty years. RSS shows a rate (RSS is wrong IMAO) of .15 degrees per decade in the LT. UAH shows a little less than .13 degrees per decade in the LT.

    Warming is most certainly NOT going according to plan.

  20. Bob Koss said

    Bob Tisdale has a post about fig. 3

    He suspects they used polynomial trends.

  21. Stewart said

    Can someone comment on whether there is any justification for using the 1880-1920 mean in the graph? I know the mean doesn’t affect the slope of the line per se, but it affects how high it appears to go. In AR4 they didn’t use 1880-1920 as far as I can see…

  22. Espen said

    I tried to recreate this with a fifth-order polynomial trend, but it didn’t look the same. I think they’re using some kind of filtering.

    Btw. look at the following quote from the executive summary:

    “Recent global temperatures demonstrate human-based warming: Over the past 25 years temperatures have increased at a rate of 0.190C per decade, in every good agreement with predictions based on greenhouse gas increases. Even over the past ten years, despite a decrease in solar forcing, the trend continues to be one of warming. Natural, short- term fluctuations are occurring as usual but there have been no significant changes in the underlying warming trend.”

    “No significant changes in the underlying warming trend”, huh? Sounds pretty different from the worries in the mails.

    Another interesting thing is the use of 25-year trends. How convenient – the 25 year trend(I use hadcrut here, but this is true if you use UAH too) is steeper than about anything else:

    And “in every good agreement”? Didn’t every IPCC model forecast a significantly higher temperature level by now?

  23. Amber said

    #19 TTCA
    8-The “last thirty odd years” do NOT show warming at .2 degrees per decade and that is NOT factual!!!!!!
    I was looking at Figure 3, the first chart Jeff reproduced. Looking more closely, I guess it’s more like 20-25 years. Doesn’t change the argument so you’re splitting hairs, I’m afraid.

  24. Amber said

    #12 Jeff, I can’t comment on the veracity of the data but if you’re asking why doesn’t the trend line start to level off right at the end there, my guess would be that the smoothing is being done on a timescale significantly longer than the few years at the end where the temperature stabilised. Thirty years perhaps? I think I saw in the IPCC 4AR the figure 30 years being given as a timescale for a trend in climate.

    #13 What are deficiencies, in your view?

  25. Espen said

    #24 Two points about your comment to Jeff: 1) The smoothing is not a simple 30-year centered moving average. If it was, it would look completely different and it would end in 1994. 2) It’s ironic that you mention 30 years as a “timescale for a trend in climate”, because, as I pointed out in my previous post, they’re using a 25 year trend which happens to be quite a bit steeper (at about 0.192 degrees/decade) than the 30 year trend. See my graph link.

  26. Jeff Id said

    #25, I agree with you. These filters have been repeatedly covered at CA. It is unusual to see 25 year trends when we hear over and over about anything under 30 being non-climate.

    Amber, I know you’re new here but the smoothing method extends a trend past the end of the dataset. Fitlering always makes an assumption about missing information. In this case the missing information is projected upward using one of several methods. The method is mathematically near identical to ignoring the downslope, pasting on an upslope for the next 12 years and using a normal sliding filter. The purpose of the smoothing is to straighten out the end of the graph and hide the last few points just as shown in this email.

    From: Mick Kelly
    Subject: RE: Global temperature
    Date: Sun, 26 Oct 2008 09:02:00 +1300

    Yeah, it wasn’t so much 1998 and all that that I was concerned about, used
    to dealing with that, but the possibility that we might be going through a
    longer – 10 year – period of relatively stable temperatures beyond what you
    might expect from La Nina etc.

    Speculation, but if I see this as a possibility then others might also.
    Anyway, I’ll maybe cut the last few points off the filtered curve before I
    give the talk again as that’s trending down as a result of the end effects
    and the recent cold-ish years.

    Enjoy Iceland and pass on my best wishes to Astrid.


    These filters were covered at CA many times and Lucia at the blackboard had a very nice set of threads on it this year as well.

    The boys are just going to keep on rollin’ along.

  27. Steve said


    Thanks very much for that.

    Noticed a few things:

    I think the start point would make a huge difference in the UAH chart and I suspect it would make the UAH and CRU charts look similar. ie the importance of where you start. The 1985 start influenced by the 1982 volcano?

    The UAH chart is “less concerning”. I think it shows more the step change that Bob Tisdale blogs about. Note how little warming there is before ~ 1998. Also it is more like the residuals/wavelet analysis that William Briggs did about 18 months ago. See his website and search under RSS.

    I get more and more suspicious about what CRU etc have done to the data.

  28. 40 Shades of Green said

    Re 26.

    I can just see the future of the blog climate debate. Every time a “trick” needs to be explained someone, such as Jeff, will whip out an email from the vast compendium to show how it is done.

    Climategate. The gift that keeps on giving.

  29. 40 Shades of Green said

    Also Jeff,

    Great idea to do a RC Uncensored thread. (I do seem to recall suggesting it here some time ago, but anyway)

    What is needed now is a brave volunteer or volunteers to go through the RC thread and “borrow” some of the comments and post them in here to “seed” the debate. In fact I think I will head over now and gather one or two.

    I was always amazed by the posters on sceptical websites, including your good self Jeff, who breathlessly reported that they had left a comment on RC which was, “surprise, surprise” held in moderation. And now we have the RC moderation email to explain the process to the acolytes at RC, as if we didn’t know how it worked.

    Heres to shining a light.

    I am off to RC, back in a few mins.

    40 Shades

  30. Jeff Id said

    #29, Full points to you. I didn’t remember who said it and didn’t want to do it at the time but if they keep posting some of this garbage, it’s a good idea.

  31. Jeff Id said

    As to the breathless reporting, it’s good to expose the nature of the blog. They pretend to be detached scientists with an ability to address open issues so there are only a few options to put pressure on.

  32. 40 Shades of Green said


    So here is one from RC, together with InLine Comment as explained by Michael Mann.

    1. James Allan says:
    24 November 2009 at 11:04 AM

    Nice work. One thing I like is the big emphasis on observational data; thinking back to the the time of TAR, one of the most common (largely misguided) complaints from the sceptics was that climate science entirely relied on models and that the of the prophesies of doom were nothing more than hyperbole. Now that we have so much more data, that line of argument is more or less defunct and I think the balance in this report is a good reflection of that.

    [Response: Thanks, yes. I think that is a real strength to the report. The raw observations speak pretty loudly, and as Lonnie Thompson likes to say, the data have no political agenda.–eric]

  33. 40 Shades of Green said

    And anoher

    MapleLeaf says:
    24 November 2009 at 3:09 PM

    Have read the report. There is an incredible amount of science in there! What really stood out for me, in addition to the inclusion of more and more observational data sets, is that the IPCC projections of sea level and Arctic sea ice minima have been way too conservative. So much for IPCC “alarmism”. It seems the biosphere is going to alarm us if anything in its rapid response to the anthro forcing. Given the third lowest minimum this past summer, and very slow growth of the ice in October and November, the stage has been set for yet another record low Arctic sea ice extent late next summer.

    Of course those in denial and the contrarians, who feel it necessary to point out every flaw, perceived or real, will nitpick their way through this, as they always do. I guess it would be too much to request that we keep our critique constructive and try and focus on the much more important big picture here?

    A last point, if some of the wording may seem ’strong’, like it or not that is what is needed to mobilize people. Many, many people have fallen victim to the rumours that the warming has stopped, slowed or even reversed the last 10 years. This has given people a false sense of security. That said, the policy makers and politicians do finally seem to be showing a sense of urgency (except Canada of course, my apologies to everyone on our behalf for showing no leadership at all on this file).

    PS: Why were Swanson et al. (2009) and Murphy et al. (2009) not included? They would have really strengthened the report.

  34. timetochooseagain said

    23-I’m splitting hairs??? What you just said is THE DEFINITION of splitting hairs! You said “thirty years” I said, “If it’s thirty years it’s wrong”, you said “I meant 20-25 years”. Thirty years provides a much more “robust” estimate anyway.

  35. Amber said

    #26 Hey Jeff, you asked me a question, I answered you. I’m no statistician, which I said on another thread. If you don’t like my answer, accept it at face value.

    I asked you a question which so far you have declined to answer: What are the deficiencies in the radiation physics, in your view?

    #34 TTCA, yes you were splitting hairs, no I was conceding I was wrong about my “30-odd” figure. I am able to admit error, it’s a pity that some people aren’t.

  36. Jeff Id said

    #35, Basically the initial starting point for the amount of warming created by CO2 is also very difficult to determine. My understanding is that an ideal gas at pressure is responsible for much of the 33 degrees you stated. The mean emission altitude becomes the question after that and while people have created values for this altitude there is also question.

    I haven’t spent much time on the subject, after discovering that Mann threw away 60% of the data in the making of a hockey stick sorting entirely by upslope, my time has been spent on other labors.

    Regarding your ask answer and accept, I tried to explain how the filtering works. There are some questions as to how high was the curve before filtering. — We already know, just extend the red line with a ruler for another 25 or 40 years and then run the filter. It’s that simple, because the red line is straight in their version, it assumes a straight line increase for the rest of the filter after the data stops..

  37. Amber said

    I tried to post to the Tim Ball thread without success. Is it closed?

    I was going to reply here but I’ll just ask the above question instead.

  38. Amber said

    …yeah, looks like I can’t post here, either.

  39. Amber said

    Hi Jeff, what’s the time limit on posting to these threads? Thanks.

    [REPLY, I don’t know why but all your posts went into spam. It was not my doing.]

  40. Amber said

    received and understood 🙂

    Your recent post on greenhouse effect is much closer to my own understanding than is your reply #36 so I’m happy to let this thread die a natural death.

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