the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Archive for February, 2010

The Next Battlefield

Posted by Jeff Id on February 21, 2010

Guest post — John Pittman


The Next Battlefield

After the climategate emails, the failure of Copenhagen, and the IPCC Gate-du-Jour, a common thread is starting to appear on the AGW proponents blogs. The thread is that even if something is found from climategate, it won’t matter because… That because is usually the models. But do such claims agree with what the IPCC 4AR stated? A few articles with different aspects of why it doesn’t matter.

First, there are a bunch of red herrings out there on both sides. One of the common ones is that it has been getting warmer and ALL THE EVIDENCE shows it. The real fight is over CO2 induced large temperature increases. Even all the modeling done about the potential effects are a side issue compared to the real question. The real question is CO2 guilty, and how was it proven. WRT the emails, do they give reason to doubt this proof? To answer, we go to IPCC 4AR.

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The Media

Posted by Jeff Id on February 20, 2010

Often, news articles miss the point or become political rather than informative.  This one is unique.  It’s got an odd mix of misunderstanding of the facts combined with compliments to McIntyre.  Again, climatology is an odd world and some of this requires translation for the public (which doesn’t spend hours a day looking at it) to follow.

CA has the article under Hometown Coverage.

The full article by Jeet Heer  is here.

It starts with this paragraph.

Much remains murky about the scandal dubbed Climategate, which involves the release last fall of e-mails leaked or stolen from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. Initial accounts focused on e-mails that seemed to show scientists deliberately distorting research to make the danger of global warming appear worse than it is. Others have suggested this could be a misreading of the e-mails, most of which, though not all, simply suggest working professionals wrangling over contentious issues and occasionally slagging their critics.

Now I understand that a reporter will attempt to maintain balance, but how come reasonable and neutral people keep repeating the bullcrap lines of these scientists.  Others have suggested a misreading— come on. Read them yourself if you’re going to write an article. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out who’s being honest and who’s got the financial incentives not to.  Gee, is it the unpaid bloggers or the multi-billion dollar climate industry??  Work the math.  Anyway, it drives me nuts that people with keyboards are still pushing the obviously charade arguments.

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Roman on Methods of Combining Suface Stations

Posted by Jeff Id on February 20, 2010

This weekend I’m a bit busy again, however Roman M has done an interesting post on combining surface station anomalies.


Combining Stations (Plan B)

In his post on combining  station monthly temperature series, Tamino proposes a method for calculating an “offset” for each station.  This offset is intended to place the series for the stations all on at the same level.  The reason that makes such an accommodation necessary is the fact that there are often missing values in a given record – sometimes for complete years at a stretch.   Simple averages  in such a situation can provide a distorted view of what the overall picture looks like.

In his proposed “optimal” method, Tamino suggests  a procedure based on least square methods to calculate a set of coefficients for shifting a station record up or down before calculating a combined series for the set of stations.  The starting point is a sum of squares (which for calculational and discussion purposes I have rewritten in a slightly different form):

SS = {1 \over 2}\sum\limits_{t = 1}^N {\sum\limits_{i,j = 1}^r  {\mathop \delta \nolimits_i (t)\mathop \delta \nolimits_j (t)\left(  {(x_i (t) - \mu _i ) - (x_j (t) - \mu _j )} \right)^2 } }


i (and j)  = 1, 2, …, r, = the station identifiers for a set of r stations

t = 1, 2, …, N, = the time (i.e. year and month) of the observation

xi(t) = the observed temperature at station i at time t

µi = the offset  value which is subtracted from station i

δi(t) = indicator of whether xi(t) is missing (0) or available (1)

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Sat/Ground Correlation

Posted by Jeff Id on February 20, 2010

On a whim, I’ve been looking at sorting surface station data for quality according to UAH satellite data.  It’s a process which, if done right, could have either validity or be used as a method cherry picking – [sarc]an advantage unique to climatology[/sarc] .  In messing around I sorted ground data against the final UAH global average, throwing out stations below a correlation threshold.  As expected, I was able to generate beautiful UAH curves with every wiggle and shape by selecting the ‘right’ temperature stations. Only somewhat surprisingly the trends returned were double the UAH trend – below.

This was created by correlating to UAH and rejecting anything with corelations below a pre-set threshold.

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Posted by Jeff Id on February 19, 2010

Lubos Motl struggles with Mannian sophistry.

Lubos  — Interview with Michael Mann

h/t reader hjbange


MM – Yeah, some of our articles are probably more penetrable than others. And some of what we write is technical enough that it is likely impenetrable to the general public, and even likely some other scientists.

And some that can’t be understood by the god’s.

Posted in Uncategorized | 40 Comments »


Posted by Jeff Id on February 18, 2010

If you read one thing in climate science this week, read this.

It’s very well written, spoken and so perfectly true.

Henk Tennekes was made to clear his desk and resign as Director of the KNMI (Dutch Meteorological Institute). His sin? In a newspaper column the world-renowned meteorologist had disproved all the bold claims about climate change.

Thanks again to WUWT.

Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

ICO Responds

Posted by Jeff Id on February 18, 2010

On January 27 tAV reported that the ICO had apparently advised UEA officials that it was acceptable to ignore the FOI requests.

UEA was Advised by ICO to Ignore FOI

Today blogger Kondealer left this post on tAV.  Apparently he had filed an official complaint with the ICO on the handling of the freedom of information requests.   This in turn was was followed by an official reply.  As will all aspects of climate science,  fog it appears has again ruled the day.  It’s an amazing reply.  One thing we know for certain is that the officer who replied– is absolutely not a lawyer.  My bold below.

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Another IT Theory on Climategate

Posted by Jeff Id on February 18, 2010

Ok, here’s one for the endless IT guys out there.  Frank Bi from the Journal of Inactivism has posted a theory on how the IT files were hacked and compiled.  It’s a graphic post so the rest of us can follow. Reproduced with permission here, click the title below to link to the original.


I’ve drawn a diagram that tries to summarize how the — or, rather, — containing the cracked CRU e-mails and data was created, according to the information given in the posts and comments on this sub-blog and the old IJI blog. (Click for a larger version of the diagram.) It probably needs more work, so let me know what you think.

In the meantime, feel free to spread it around!

Posted in Uncategorized | 35 Comments »

Steve Mosher on PJTV

Posted by Jeff Id on February 18, 2010

Steve Mosher left a link to this interview on my blog during work hours. Unfortunately, at work I have no sound on the work computer. The interview turned out to be quite good though when I finally got a chance to listen to it tonight.  Check it out – click the picture to play.

The interview is also posted at Lucia’s.

Unfortunately, I screwed up and forgot to give credit to her blog for hosting the video first.  She never mentioned it tho.

Posted in Uncategorized | 38 Comments »


Posted by Jeff Id on February 17, 2010

You had better pay attention people. We must not question the authority of the progressive movement, throughout history their goals have never once been non-violently achieved. They claim pacifism but it is as much of a lie as the consensus on global warming is.

Grant Tamino Foster knows he is smarter than you, he really does, even though he’s never met you.  He knows how you should best live, he will tell you what to eat, wear, drive, and what to believe, and he has no shame in doing whatever it takes to get his way. Fortunately, I have no shame in calling out evil people like this, as they work to from destroy freedom on earth in exchange for their enlightened rule.

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Real Climate: Spin and Facts

Posted by Jeff Id on February 16, 2010

“As far as we’re aware, so far only one–or at most two–legitimate errors have been found in the AR4:”

Which is more error than Real Climate has admitted since inception.  Think about where you have to be at mentally to make this claim.  They then go on to try and explain away several other obvious IPCC exaggerations.  Hell, these are the two errors the global warming biased MSM was bright enough forced to figure out and publish and RC is only saying one or maybe two.  hahaha.

Link here – IPCC errors: facts and spin

They even point out 16 million in Exxon funding allegedly to create confusion, with the money spread between 43 different groups, when Phil Climategate “hide the decline” Jones himself received 22 million over the same period.   What a joke!

Posted in Uncategorized | 64 Comments »

Pielke Sr. on Stratospheric Water Vapor

Posted by Jeff Id on February 15, 2010

Roger Pielke Sr. has an interesting commentary on the recent paper on stratospheric water vapor.  The paper seemed important when it came out and apparenlty isn’t getting enough attention.  Dr. Pielke has comments turned off but he has a bunch of links to his commentary.  I’ve copied the post in full because he has comments off on his blog and there are several links to other sections of his site.


Comments On “Contributions Of Stratospheric Water Vapor To Decadal Changes In The Rate Of Global Warming By Solomon Et Al 2010

The paper

Susan Solomon, Karen Rosenlof, Robert Portmann, John Daniel, Sean Davis, Todd Sanford, Gian-Kasper Plattner, 2010: Contributions of Stratospheric Water Vapor to Decadal Changes in the Rate of
Global Warming. / 28 January 2010 / Page 1 / 10.1126/science.1182488 ( see also)

has already received considerable attention on blogs (e.g. see).  [thanks to Marcel Crok for first alerting me to the paper].

The abstract of this paper reads

“Stratospheric water vapor concentrations decreased by about 10% after the year 2000. Here we show that this acted to slow the rate of increase in global surface temperature over 2000-2009 by about 25% compared to that which would have occurred due only to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. More limited data suggest that stratospheric water vapor probably increased between 1980 and 2000, which would have enhanced the decadal rate of surface warming during the 1990s by about 30% compared to estimates neglecting this change. These findings show that stratospheric water vapor represents an important driver of decadal global surface climate change.”

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GHCN Gridded Temperature Data

Posted by Jeff Id on February 15, 2010

I’ve been working with GHCN temp data.  In this case I used a function called getstation4 which attempts to look at each station ID and determine if the data is from the same instrument or a different one. I’ve put the code here for it because anyone can use it for compiling individual station numbers.

For example in GHCN station number 60360, there are 4 separate series.  In raw temperature form, if there are different sensors close together at different altitudes they will have an offset in temperature. Also, a sensor mounted in a city area or by an air conditioner vent will read differently than one mounted five miles away in a field. These must not be averaged as absolute temperature and are best averaged after anomaly is taken while data from the same station is better averaged before anomalization. I think the mathematically inclined will appreciate the difference.

To be considered the same as each other, I made the condition that both stations must have some overlap and that the sum of the absolute value of the overlap must not be greater than 0.2 with this line.

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Global temperature by combining surface and satellite data

Posted by Jeff Id on February 13, 2010

This is a complex guest post by Nic L.  It represents early results of a method he and Ryan have been working on for global temperatures.  This post uses the concept of regularized least squares, similarly to the RegEM method of Steig et al, whereas you have two datasets, one with more trend information(ground stations), the other with more spatial information (satellite).  There is a huge amount of work here and the concept is fully publishable, especially when you see the huge warming result at the end ;).  Because of that, this post would probably be one which would make the cut for Tamino or RealClimate, however, this post makes no effort to correct for surface station problems but rather is about the uniqueness of the method and the issues involved with a complex problem.

——NicL 11 February 2010


My earlier post on long-record GHCN stations sprang from my interest in using them to create an improved global gridded temperature history from 1850 on, by combining the data from a set of good quality long record surface stations, augmented by ocean data, with the gridded satellite TLT (lower troposphere) data produced by UAH and/or RSS since 1978.

A well known example in the peer reviewed literature (Steig et al, Nature, January 2009) applied this sort of approach to reconstructing a 50 year gridded temperature history of Antarctica using a relatively sparse set of ground stations, many of which had incomplete records and some of which did not cover the full 50 year period, in conjunction with AVHRR satellite TIR (thermal infra-red) data.  Steve McIntyre started an investigation of Steig’s Antarctica reconstruction and Ryan O, Jeff Id and myself took this up and spent a lot of time and effort looking into Steig’s work and finding ways to improve on it.

Following on from that work, I have been seeking to apply some of the same techniques on a global scale.  Ryan has also begun exploring this area, we have been exchanging ideas and the plan is to work on it together, hopefully along with Jeff. What is presented here is very much a “proof of concept” first cut approach.

The rationale for combining in-situ surface temperature data with satellite data is that the surface data is available going back much further than satellite data, but is spatially very incomplete, whilst the satellite data is spatially complete (or nearly so) but is available for only the last thirty years. Using mathematical techniques, spatial information from the satellite data can be combined with the temporal information from the surface data to produce a gridded reconstruction over the entire period that surface temperature measurements are available.

Combining data from satellite and surface measurements in the proposed way relies on the assumption that the pattern of spatial correlations of temperature fluctuations shown by the satellite data was the same in the pre-satellite era.  Over the relatively limited time period involved in this case (160 years), that seems a reasonable assumption.  It can be tested to an extent, but I have not attempted to do so at this stage.

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Climategate Change

Posted by Jeff Id on February 12, 2010

This is a big improvement. How can you have a climate blog and not report on Phil Climategate Jones recent interview?  Like our good US president, the smackdown has changed his tone.  H/T again to Steve McIntyre, to whom much is owed.   Climate Audit.

A – Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?

And the response:

So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other.

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