the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Archive for December, 2010

Antarctic Trends, Graphics and Discussion

Posted by Jeff Id on December 9, 2010

On Climate Audit, in response to a request by Hu McCulloch, Ryan posted the following improved graphic.

O'Donnel et al. Temperature trends of the antarctic. Click for larger image.

WordPress likes to help out with resizing images, so for the really big one go here.

Compare that to the Steig et al. reconstruction below which was used as the cover for Nature.

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Now and Then

Posted by Jeff Id on December 8, 2010

Capitalism vs Science….

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O’Donnel et al. First Praise from Climate Community

Posted by Jeff Id on December 7, 2010

At Climate Audit Andrew Weaver, who is not a climate skeptic, has been very complimentary of the Antarctic paper.

Link here for audio of the relevant bit.

We haven’t yet described the meaning in the extensive work but the implications are both overall and seasonal trend.  I wonder how he got a copy, not that it is a big deal but I’m glad people are taking notice.  There was far too much work put into this for it to be ignored. I am waiting along with the rest of you for Ryan’s next post, it doesn’t seem right for me to do it after all the work that he and Nic  (and the rest of us) put in.

Some quotes from Dr. Andrew Weaver

I think will turn out to be quite an important study.

This science will be highly cited, it’s actually an important study and it is advancing scientific knowledge.

UPDATE:  He was apparently chief editor of the Journal of Climate and now serves as editor emeritus.

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Ljungqvist Analysis Continued

Posted by Jeff Id on December 6, 2010

This is a guest post by Kenneth Fritsch.  He’s taken the time to further the analysis of the unusual proxies from the recent Ljungqvist paper covered here.  Like our work on the Antarctic, this is progressing in baby steps toward a result.  In case you don’t know, I have a ton of respect for people who don’t fear the data or results.  Just let it lead where it goes.


I’ll attempt to make my analysis of the comparison of series correlations of the annual Ljungqvist proxies and GHCN station series brief and to the point.

When I refer to correlations in this analysis I mean correlations between times series of stations or between time series of proxies. The comparisons where made using time periods of 20 and 41 years. In all cases the correlations include all the unique pair-wise station to station or proxy to proxy correlations.

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Posted by Jeff Id on December 5, 2010

Ok, I’m not a natural book reviewer.   I am a prolific reader however, and simply can’t stop trying to entertain or educate my overworked ganglia.  It is a curse when a book can take hours of  your life yet you can’t stop reading.   Recently Mike Smith sent an email saying he wanted to send me a book.  The title of the book was “Warnings – The true story of how science tamed the weather”.    On getting a few minutes to my self I began reading it, unaware that I was about to shoot the whole day reading a book on weather.  Unfortunately besides the hundreds of climate papers I’ve now read, meteorology isn’t in the repertoire. Honestly, I’m not nearly as interested in the weather as I should be to have a climate blog! The story however, was educational but it was also a heck of a lot of fun.  From the first prediction of  a tornado, to development and deployment of doppler radar, the state of weather understanding both then and now is laid out in non-technical detail in the context of personal stories from both Mike and other meteorologists.  Both the tragedies and triumphs are described.

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Remember When…

Posted by Jeff Id on December 3, 2010

Scientists solve enigma of Antarctic ‘cooling’ – click for article.

Research ‘kills off’ climate sceptic argument by showing average temperature across the continent has risen over the last 50 years

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Doing it Ourselves

Posted by Jeff Id on December 1, 2010

UPDATE:  Steve McIntyre has posted on this in his own unique style.

And in case you missed the superbowl of blogs WUWT also has  a post here.

After ten months of reviews and rewrites we have successfully published an improved version of Steig et al. 2009.  While we cannot publish the paper here, we can discuss the detail.   Personally I’ve never seen so much work put into a single paper as Ryan did and it’s wonderful to see it come to a successful conclusion.  This is the initial post on the subject, in the coming weeks there will be more to follow.

Guest post by lead author Ryan O’Donnel.


DOING IT OURSELVES. . . a tongue-in-cheek reference to the RC post here:

Improved methods for PCA-based reconstructions: case study using the Steig et al. (2009) Antarctic temperature reconstruction

(Accepted 11/30/10, Journal of Climate)

Ryan O’Donnell

Nicholas Lewis

Steve McIntyre

Jeff Condon


A detailed analysis is presented of a recently published Antarctic temperature reconstruction that combines satellite and ground information using a regularized expectation-maximization algorithm. Though the general reconstruction concept has merit, it is susceptible to spurious results for both temperature trends and patterns. The deficiencies include: (a) improper calibration of satellite data; (b) improper determination of spatial structure during infilling; and (c) suboptimal determination of regularization parameters, particularly with respect to satellite principal component retention. We propose two methods to resolve these issues. One utilizes temporal relationships between the satellite and ground data; the other combines ground data with only the spatial component of the satellite data. Both improved methods yield similar results that disagree with the previous method in several aspects. Rather than finding warming concentrated in West Antarctica, we find warming over the period of 1957-2006 to be concentrated in the Peninsula (≈0.35oC decade-1). We also show average trends for the continent, East Antarctica, and West Antarctica that are half or less than that found using the unimproved method. Notably, though we find warming in West Antarctica to be smaller in magnitude, we find that statistically significant warming extends at least as far as Marie Byrd Land. We also find differences in the seasonal patterns of temperature change, with winter and fall showing the largest differences and spring and summer showing negligible differences outside of the Peninsula.


RLS  C/Dec

E-W  C/Dec

S09   C/Dec


0.06 ± 0.08

0.04 ± 0.06

0.12 ± 0.09

East Antarctica

0.03 ± 0.09

0.02 ± 0.07

0.10 ± 0.10

West Antarctica

0.10 ± 0.09

0.06 ± 0.07

0.20 ± 0.09


0.35 ± 0.11

0.32 ± 0.09

0.13 ± 0.05

Copyright © 2010 American Meteorological Association

(early online release to be available on or around Dec. 7th)


Temperature trend Deg C/Decade Click to enlarge.


Some of you remember that we intended to submit the analysis of the Steig Antarctic reconstruction for publication.  That was quite some time ago . . . and then you heard nothing.  We did, indeed, submit a paper to Journal of Climate in February.  The review process unfortunately took longer than expected, primarily due to one reviewer in particular.  The total number of pages dedicated by just that reviewer alone and our subsequent responses – was 88 single-spaced pages, or more than 10 times the length of the paper.  Another contributor to the length of time from submission to acceptance was a hardware upgrade to the AMS servers that went horribly wrong, heaping a load of extra work on the Journal of Climate editorial staff.

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Posted by Jeff Id on December 1, 2010

Sent to me by email, the Bishop of Liverpool speaks out on consumption and the environment…….?

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