the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Uh oh.

Posted by Jeff Id on September 2, 2010

Steve M may have found the holy grail for climate skeptics.  We don’t know what is in this data, and I’m guessing that neither do most climatologists and it covers 70 percent of the earth.  What if the historic ocean temp trend is modified significantly by manual or algorithmic adjustment – I’m not saying it was, but it wouldn’t shock me after reading the discussions in the UEA emails. Link below.

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ICOADS – Hawaii

Although the formatting of the SST datasets needs to be completely freshened up, once again, before commenting, I commend the SST collaters for honoring their data by ensuring the preservation of comprehensive metadata – as opposed to their cousins at CRU and GISS. Unfortunately, there don’t seem to be any statistical analyses of SST measurements – by this, I mean, where the authors analyse the actual bias of changing measurement systems and provenance. (Although Thomson et al [Nature 2007] challenged earlier bucket adjustments, they didn’t do the sort of patient data analysis that the field cries out for.

The statistical problems are by no means easy. As I mentioned the other day, I’ve collated data from a few gridcells in the Pacific (one pair at Honiara near Bougainville and one pair at Hawaii.) Today I’ll illustrate the nature of the problem with a graph that took me a long time to articulate. [Click for a larger version]. I’ll explain below.


8 Responses to “Uh oh.”

  1. Brian H said

    No linkys, no graph! Pls fix the HTML ASAP!

  2. Jeff Id said

    Click the title for Steve’s article.

  3. ArndB said

    Kindly pay attention to my comment at Climate Audit:

    “ArndB Posted Sep 2, 2010 at 12:35 PM | Permalink | Reply
    #“Honolulu airport is a “sweet spot” for detecting climate change”
    The matter would become really interesting if the airport is compared with the nearby „Honolulu Obs Oahu“ station , see WUWT/ 19Jun22009: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/19/more-on-noaas-fubar-honolulu-record-highs-asos-debacle-plus-finding-a-long-lost-giss-station/ ),……….full text at CA.

  4. Sam said

    I didn’t understand all the details but that final graph made perfect sense. CRUTEM (land) = high temps, SST (ocean) = average temps.

    Without many details, is this a re-opening of the UHI discussion or an even deeper discussion of data manipulation altogether? I wish I took more stats classes…..

  5. Jeff, I was hoping your post might explain what I couldn’t figure from Steve’s post, which ends in a rather hanging sort of way. What is this holy grail?

    All I could see at CA was a plot that shows Honolulu land warming faster than SST over the last 30 years, with hints that it may be UHI. Is that it?

  6. Jeff id said

    I think the skeptics holy grail would be to show that UHI had affected the land data. I bet the ocean data in the last 30 years is of good quality though but historically the data probably has a lot of problems. I believe there were a substantial number of uncertain adjustments applied to past data too. It’s such a huge dataset and probably is such a big time eater, I’m debating whether to give it a shot.

  7. Re: Jeff id (Sep 2 16:16),
    Jeff, I think it’s agreed that UHI affects the land data. The AR4 SPM says (p 5)
    “Urban heat island effects are real but local, and have a negligible influence (less than 0.006°C per decade over land and zero over the oceans) on these values. “

    Steve seems to be suggesting a real local effect at Honolulu.

  8. Jeff id said

    I agree that’s what steve is suggesting. My guess is 0.006 C/Decade is 5 times lower than the truth but it only affects land data. I trust the 1930 ocean data as much as a Mannian reconstruction these days.

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