Another View on Climate

My Own View of Global Warming

Posts Tagged ‘WUWT’

Kudos to WattsUpWithThat

Posted by greg2213 on July 27, 2010

WUWT is pulling ahead nicely in the “blog wars.”

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Damn Lies, Statistics, Perspective, Graphs, and Background Pics

Posted by greg2213 on April 13, 2010

Background pics?

It’s  generally accepted, though still debatable, that global temps have gone up about .6C over the last 100 some odd years. This is averaged over the whole year and some months will show a higher rate, others a lower one.

But .6C isn’t particularly alarming. It’s interesting only because we’re living through it, it’s by no means unique to this period in time. Given data manipulation and heat island effects it can be argued that there has been close to zero warming, on average, but let’s go with the .6 number.

How do you make it into a scarier picture? After all, there’s all that grant money to think about, not to mention Al Gore’s fortunes, incredible tax revenues, increasing government power, massiive boosts to the bottom line of any corporation that can play in the carbon market (Big Oil, Brokerage firms, UN IPCC Chief Pachauuri’s firms, etc.)  Showing a warming picture that’s just  interesting won’t do.

So let’s grab a particularly terrifying pic from WUWT:

US Annual Temperatures by Month

US Annual Temperatures by Month

What’s shown here is the average monthy temperature for many different years, each year being a separate line. The red line is 2009 and it seems to be pretty average. So where’s the catastrophic warming? Think the background pic does anything to add to the alarm? I don’t either.

Then compare that pic to this one, also  from the same post:

US Temps Rising Rapidly?

US Temps Rising Rapidly?

Nice background pic, hmmm?

Squish 120 years of temps into a short space and widen the vertical graph, both of  which exaggerate that upward sloping red line. Make the scale in degrees Fahrenheit, instead of Celsius, since .6C becomes just over 1F, so looks bigger (scarier.)

So the two graphs display the same data, but which one do you think will be more likely to be on the cover of any report by any of the above listed warming beneficiaries?

Here’s the WUWT post with the graphs, more discussion, and the usual bazillion comments: Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics … and Graphs

More stuff:

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Physicists Weigh in on Climategate

Posted by greg2213 on February 27, 2010

The Institute of Physics defies “science” and acknowledges the importance of the Climategate emails.

From WUWT:

The Institute of Physics is a scientific charity devoted to increasing the practice, understanding and application of physics. It has a worldwide membership of over 36,000 and is a leading communicator of physics-related science to all audiences, from specialists through to government and the general public. Its publishing company, IOP Publishing, is a world leader in scientific publishing and the electronic dissemination of physics.

Here’s the rest: Institute of Physics on Climategate

Just a few dozen more of these and we may even get Al Gore to admit that CAGW is dead.

Posted in Climategate, Scientists Say | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

This Says it All

Posted by greg2213 on February 15, 2010

Yet another from WUWT, Science Mag asking R. Pachauri of the IPCC:

Q: Has all that has happened this winter dented the credibility of IPCC?
R.K.P.: I don’t think the credibility of the IPCC can be dented. If the IPCC wasn’t there, why would anyone be worried about climate change?
So I looked up the mission of the IPCC and found this from the Union of Concerned Scientists

IPCC History and Misson
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization for the purpose of assessing “the scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change. It does not carry out new research nor does it monitor climate-related data. It bases its assessment mainly on published and peer reviewed scientific technical literature.” [1] The goal of these assessments is to inform international policy and negotiations on climate-related issues.

So if you believe that climate change (global warming) is a serious issue and humans are the problem, then the UN IPCC fits right in.
It was never intended to be an objective analysis of the reality and science of global warming so Pachauri is right on with his statement.
Too bad there’s no there, there.

Posted in IPCC | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

The Surface Temp Record is a Mess

Posted by greg2213 on January 27, 2010

So says Anthony Watts of Watt’s Up With That? He and others, especially E.M. Smith, aka “Chiefio,” have put together a PDF that analyzes the surface temp record (it isn’t pretty )and they include a one page summary for polcy makers.

To summarize the overall issue (and note that people are discussing whether or not each point is actually  important:)

  • Many of the measurement stations used are very poorly placed
  • Stations are moved, equipment is upgraded or changed, standards change, data doesn’t get recorded, used, or is lost, etc.
  • A bias, for whatever reason, has been shown that cools pre-1960 temps and warms post 1960 temps. This, of course, has the effect of exaggerating any detected warming.
  • Heat island effects seem to be poorly corrected
  • 75% of the stations are no longer used in the temp record. Coincidentally most of these stations were from cooler/rural areas.
  • And on and on.

From WUWT:

As many readers know, there have been a number of interesting analysis posts on surface data that have been on various blogs in the past couple of months. But, they’ve been widely scattered. This document was created to pull that collective body of work together.

Of course there will be those who say “but it is not peer reviewed” as some scientific papers are. But the sections in it have been reviewed by thousands before being combined into this new document.  We welcome constructive feedback on this compendium.

WUWT announcement: New Compendium Paper on Surface Temperature Records (The comments are interesting, even the critical ones and the rebuttals, and include discussion about exactly what is measured, and why. )

The full pdf is here – Not peer-reviewed you say? I say that the readers of these blogs would not let sloppy data pass. Any dirty data crunching would be exposed for all to see.

E.M. Smith has done a ton of work on this thing (and so has Mr. Watts with his SurfaceStations project) and has a ton of info and analysis on his blog. Musings from the Chiefio

Other notes:

Posted in Surface Record | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

What’s the Motive?

Posted by greg2213 on January 23, 2010

Here’s a nice comment from WUWT. I like his philosophy, though I will keep my thoughts on the standards used in climate science. Basically: If your science has to put a probe next to one of  Saturn’s moons or design a airplane then it has to be right. If all it has to do is persuade a policy maker the standard for getting it right is far lower. Unfortunately, that, and the issues mentioned below, can make for some sloppy science (EG: Hockey sticks.)

Some editing done for emphasis and spelling, nothing else was changed.

I don’t think any motive is needed here nor does it help to attribute it. It just creates an us versus them and gets every one angry. A combination of “Where is the grant money?” and Confirmation Bias can fully explain the results.

“Where’s the money?” is fully human and we are all subject to that. It’s not evil, it’s reality. And I doubt that many would intentionally falsify data for that (rose colored glasses perhaps). But if you incentivise research into AGW you will get lots of people hunting for it. And that will increase the chances of finding it. And of course those that don’t find it won’t get any press or publication.

Then (I believe the real villian here) confirmation bias. If a climate scientist wants to improve his/her results and they make a modification in the program/adjustment etc.. and the calculated warming goes down then they obviously goofed and back to the drawing board. If it goes up then they were probably right in making the correction. It stays. Not because the scientist want’s the warming to go up, but because they don’t want to make a mistake and since they are sure that AGW exists then that is a convenient error check.

Likewise when you are chosing stations or data you will look for the “that’s weird” stuff to correct or eliminate (whether manually or by program). If you are totally convinced in AGW the data that gets looked at twice will be data that doesn’t show warming. Data that does will be accepted as it doesn’t ring any bells. When the data goes through many hands who all have the same basic beliefs (even if many try to fight the tendency) then there will be progressively more and more bias built in.

So we don’t need to postulate evil intent here. Just scientists with strong beliefs who are doing the best they can. And who sometimes forget that a scientist’s duty, according to Richard Feynman, is to try to disprove their own hypothesis.

Now if we assume no malevolent motives and just go by standards, money, and confirmation bias…

A hypothetical case: Software is to be written to look for certain things in a set of data (land based temp stations, for example.) The whole station selection process is to be automated.

An honest enough effort is made to write it up and then the system reads the available data and clips out stations that “don’t fit” the software’s parameters. Perhaps due to any of the above biases (plus pressure on the developer, budgetary concerns, programming skill, etc.) it so happens that the “wrong” set of stations (or too many) are dropped from the station list. But since the aggregate signal of the remaining stations is “correct” it meets the standards.

Not that it couldn’t be done manually, but the idea of the software is to make things easier on the crew and remove user bias.

Back to reality: Given the statements made by various people on the “reality” of climate change, and their intended “solutions,” I’d add a large helping of political pressure bias to any group that otherwise might be attempting to produce an honest result.

A group of scientists that comes up with a result that negates the needs for the draconian measures suggested by some (at the Copenhagen conference, for example) will lose their funding and perceived relevance. They are out of work and the work that they did is is ignored in favor of the next group, which might produce “better” results. And they know that is what will happen.

So maybe, just maybe, there is some slight incentive to fudge results, just a bit, to provide an end product which shows just a bit more warming than it would otherwise.

Posted in Follow the Money | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Statistically Speaking, Weather Is Climate

Posted by greg2213 on January 23, 2010

I just noticed that the word Statistics starts with Statist… Hmmm… does that explain something about the AGW crowd and their use of iffy numbers? Or is it merely one of those coincidences that we really should ignore? (wink)

(If you really want to know what Statists are all about, then check out: Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto)

Anyway, the real point of this post isn’t about which words start with which series of letters.

Every time the weather gets unusually warm we see reports in the media that run along the lines of, “GLOBAL WARMING!!! WE’RE ALL DOOMED!!!”

The climate science crowd winks at the alarmism, smiles, and writes another grant request.

Yet, when the weather gets colder it’s written off as natural variation, conveniently ignoring the fact that if natural variation is cooling thing then natural variation will also warm things up. It will also enhance any other warming trend just as the cool cycle will enhance any other cooling trend (eg: volcanic eruption.)

Of course, the same refers to the “Is It Climate?” question. If it’s warming then it’s definitely climate, if it’s cooling then it’s weather.

Watt’s Up With That has an article up on the subject:

Sure is cold out there, unusually so. By “unusual,” I mean the temperature is on the low end of the observed temperatures from previous winters.

Of course, we don’t have any more than about 100 years of reliable measurements, so it’s possible that the freeze we’re experiencing now isn’t as unusual as we suspect. But, anyway, it still sure is cold.

If you recall, a lot of global warming models predicted it would be hot and not cold, and to risk redundancy, it sure is cold. Does this dissonance between the models’ predictions and what is actually happening mean that those models are wrong?

No. But it sure as ice doesn’t mean that they are right.

Here’s the rest: Statistics expert Briggs: Actually, Weather Is Climate

Makes sense to me. If warm weather is evidence for warming, then cold weather is evidence against it. This is probably one of the reasons that global warming became climate change.

Posted in Weather & Climate | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Climategate: The Crutape Letters

Posted by greg2213 on January 18, 2010

Watt’sUpWithThat has an update on the new Climategate book. Anthony Watts says:

If you tried earlier and could not purchase this great book, it is online now at Amazon and ready for purchase…

I’ve read the book, and it appears to be an accurate and detailed portrayal of the history not only of the Climategate events and the players, but also of the events leading up to it. I’m flattered that this book mentions me and my surfacestations project several times. I was interviewed for the book, and this website is featured prominently–and they borrowed liberally from both the posts and the comments.

For those of you that want to follow a detective story, this one has as the twists and turns of Mickey Spillane with a Hardy Boys approach to a matter of fact story line. I highly recommend it.

See WUWT for more: Climategate: The CRUtape Letters now online at Amazon.com

Posted in Books, Climategate | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

New Scientists Mag Backpedals on Climategate?

Posted by greg2213 on January 16, 2010

New Scientist Mag, well known for it’s strongly supportive stance of the AGW hypothesis, seems to have backpedaled somewhat on the “Himalayan Glaciers Gone by 2035” statements. They also seem to have acknowledged that Climategate has damaged the credibility of the “climate scientists.”

Here’s the story: New Scientist Magazine Backpeddles In CYA Move and Acknowledges Climate Science Has Been Damaged by the Climategate Emails

Speaking of Climategate, there’s a new book out on that very subject. Check out the WUWT announcement, here: first book on Climategate

Update: JoNova chimes in on the subject, points out that the story may be getting some traction, and adds some good points about the “quality” of the  IPPC process. WUWT also has an update on the story and more than a few comments.

Update: WUWT prints IPCC “retraction” of glacier story. IPCC admits error on Himalayan glacier melt fiasco

Posted in Climategate, IPCC | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »