NZ temps: more stations, no adjustments, still warming

by Gareth on December 7, 2009

NIWA has released details of a newly calculated long term temperature series for New Zealand, based on 11 stations that have had no major site moves or significant adjustments made to their raw data. Running from 1930 to present, the series shows that significant warming has taken place, confirming that the national temperature series recently attacked in a shonky analysis published by the NZ Climate “Science” Coalition and Climate Conversation Group is not only pointing in the right direction, but actually warming a little more slowly than the new series.

Here’s a graph of the new compilation:

The stations used in the analysis are Raoul Island, Tauranga Airport, Ruakura (Hamilton), Gisborne Airport, Chateau Tongariro, Palmerston North DSIR/AgResearch, Westport Airport, Molesworth, Queenstown, Invercargill Airport and Campbell Island. All were identified by Jim Salinger as offering consistent long term records requiring little or no adjustment for site moves or other influences. Salinger’s calculations were confirmed separately by NIWA’s chief climate scientist Jim Renwick, and the results were identical. Over the period, warming of 1ºC is seen.

Bottom line? Unless there’s a significant “urban heat island” at places like Molesworth Station, warming over New Zealand and in the wider NZ region is undeniable.

Not that that will stop the likes of the NZ C”S”C or Treadgold. Amusingly, Treadgold’s latest blog piece is not the apology he so obviously owes NIWA and Salinger, but a diatribe about an Associated Press article covering the Antarctic report I blogged about at the weekend. RT’s source seems to have been the Royal Society of NZ’s web news page, and that has annoyed him greatly:

That the story is promulgated by our once-proud, independent, trustworthy and in particular scientific Royal Society is now a source of shame to all New Zealanders. There is no doubt that our Royal Society has abandoned, in respect of the global warming controversy, any pretence to objective investigation. It has instead adopted such a strong intention to champion the hypothesis of man-made control of the climate that it blinds itself to the necessity of finding evidence.

He’s only getting started though:

Our Royal Society even helps champion, through web site connections, the blatantly alarmist web site Hot Topic, which routinely insults scientific sceptics asking reasonable questions with terms like crank, denialist and worse. We have come to expect that from the likes of Mr Renowden and his bigots, but the support for it from the scientists of the Royal Society is reprehensible. It is scientific misbehaviour.

Unfortunately Richard T must have missed the disclaimer on the Royal Society’s web site news page:

Science in the News is a daily service provided by the Royal Society of New Zealand. Material is not endorsed by the Royal Society of New Zealand and the content includes unedited text from the New Zealand Press Association and news releases supplied.

In the small print, the RS adds:

Content consists of unedited articles supplied by the New Zealand Press Association (NZPA) and news releases from organisations that may have a vested interest. The intention is to inform the subscriber about what is being said in the news, not to provide informed comment on the science behind it. Material in this bulletin must not be regarded as necessarily authoritative or endorsed by RSNZ (my emphasis). Members of the news media should only use material on this bulletin as leads for further investigation and not as copy for publication.

Not content with failing to check his facts on NZ’s temperature series, now he’s happy to accuse the nation’s premier scientific body of “misbehaviour” without bothering to read the small print (or even the bigger stuff at the top of the page). On behalf of all the bigots at Hot Topic (and because the Royal Society would be far too polite to say so in so many words): Treadgold, you give cranks, denialists and “sceptics” a bad name.

{ 111 comments… read them below or add one }

rtreadgold December 8, 2009 at 12:18 am

You’re right, I did miss the disclaimer. I apologise for that. The lies and junk science are still in their news item, which I deplore, but I suppose it’s all right for the Royal Society to post rubbish like that really, I mean, with the disclaimer and everything, you know. It’s not as though they have a reputation to uphold, like, schools go there for material for projects, that kind of want the truth. With the disclaimer there, the children will know to ignore the garbage parts, won’t they?

You normally see the wood in the trees, Gareth, but you’ve missed it big time with this one. There is no excuse for promulgating rubbish, it doesn’t matter about “disclaimers”. In scuttling behind the disclaimer, you’ve openly acknowledged the truth of my complaint and confirmed I had good reason to criticise the Royal Society. Else you wouldn’t need the disclaimer.

Thank you.

Now, about NIWA. It’s simple. Following Dr Wratt’s commitment on 26 November to “providing robust information to help all New Zealanders make good decisions”, the NZ Climate Science Coalition asked NIWA to answer three questions:

1. The graph of the New Zealand temperature record on the NIWA website is based on just seven weather stations. What, precisely, gives NIWA confidence that they are representative of the whole country?
2. What, precisely, are the adjustments made to the temperature readings at each of those seven stations and when were they each made? We request access to the raw data involved in the making of these adjustments.
3. What, precisely, are the reasons each station was so adjusted?

Despite what Dr Wratt states in his media releases NIWA have never provided this information. As an aside, even if they had provided it earlier (which they haven’t), why do they refuse to provide a copy?

They have, indeed, answered some of these questions that relate to part of the Wellington records.

Their presentation of the new analysis of 11 long-term sites which didn’t need adjustment are a useful confirmation of warming (though of a different magnitude from others) but does not address our questions.

NIWA, in this new presentation, do not say whether they conclude that this temperature series properly represents New Zealand. We are left wondering what they think it represents.

Meanwhile, our questions must be answered.

Gareth December 8, 2009 at 8:13 am

Richard,

The information your report claimed was withheld or not available was either provided to the NZ CSC in 2006, or in the public domain. The fact that you are still claiming that your questions have never been answered says much about your character, and a great deal more about your ignorance of basic climate statistics. Do the work to learn the subject, then ask meaningful questions, instead of demonstrating wilful ignorance.

Until you are prepared to withdraw and apologise for the incompetent analysis you released, and specifically apologise to the scientists whose good name you have felt free to smear, I will be forced to conclude that you remain a liar and a charlatan.

Until such an apology and withdrawal is made you are not welcome here.

Rob Taylor December 8, 2009 at 6:27 am

What empty blather, Richard. All your angels have fallen off the head of the pin you had them dancing on, yet you still try to convey the impression that it is the science that is suspect!

I am left wondering who you really represent – certainly not the interests of New Zealanders who want a decent future for their children.

RW December 8, 2009 at 7:42 am

The tide has gone out, Treadgold, and you’re naked. You and the CSC are worthy only of utter contempt. If 300 stations were shown to produce warming you would deny it – but if the situation were reversed and only a tiny handful was available and showed some cooling, you’d accept it. Who do you think you’re kidding? Later generations will exact condign punishment on those of you still alive – and curse the memory of those who are no longer around.

As for the latter-day genius climatologists vainly trying to inject UHI into the Kelburn/Wellington record – give up and do something useful.

Dappledwater December 8, 2009 at 7:53 am

“We are left wondering what they think it represents.” – Dick Treadgold.

I’m sure you are.

Bruce Hamilton December 8, 2009 at 8:20 am

Watt a surprise, it’s warming, and the data appears more valid than the previous set. I wonder how many sets of NZ historical data match the new NIWA criteria, and also originate from locations that are considered representative of the local environment. I’m now curious how these datasets were selected from the pool and, if any were discarded, why?.

NIWA is paid large sums of money by taxpayers to provide robust and accurate information, and they really should be looking at their quality systems to ensure their publications contain the best data available, especially if it’s going to be used to drive policies that have major economic consequences.

Just because Wellington is the capital doesn’t require that compromised local data should be included in national trend publications.

Now NIWA should have no trouble providing the requested data and information to CSC, and everybody can move onto more important things – like mitigation, and killing the ETS.

RW December 8, 2009 at 8:25 am

You’re not wondering at all – you’d just like somebody to consume more time.

[Snip: RW – please keep it polite. GR]

Gareth December 8, 2009 at 8:40 am

Bruce, you’re missing the point. When you’re building a long term temperature record, you have to use stations that have the longest records. The farther back you go, the more history does the selection for you. That’s why the new series only starts in the 1930s…

It’s drawing a long bow to suggest that NIWA’s temp data compilations are being used to drive public policy. They are a very small part of a very large interlocking jigsaw of information from all round the world.

Doug Clover December 8, 2009 at 10:12 am

So are you supporting a carbon tax? Because in a global economy how else are we going to promote mitigation without some kind of price signal?

Don’t tell me you favour command and control measures!

Mark H December 8, 2009 at 11:37 am

That’s a subtle change of tack there, Doug Clover.

How do Gareth’s opinions on command & control affect temperatures on Raoul Island?

Gareth December 8, 2009 at 11:45 am

I think Doug was asking Bruce… (one of the downside of threaded comments is that the order comments appear on screen may not be the order they were posted).

Doug Clover December 8, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Yes I was responding to Bruce’s comment about mitigating emissions but not having an ETS.

Australis December 8, 2009 at 3:44 pm

“Liar?” “Charlatan?”
I suppose these might sound like cogent arguments to some. Actually, if you use a thesaurus you could probably find a lot more names to hurl at your contributors.

Could you please post a copy of the stuff provided to the sceptics in 2006? That should put an end to this endless squabble.

Gareth December 8, 2009 at 6:59 pm

Not invective. Simple statements of fact. If a man misrepresents the truth, he is a liar. Princeton Wordnet suggests that a charlatan is “a flamboyant deceiver”, which looks like an equally a good description to me.

You might note that despite admitting his error with respect to the Royal Society of NZ (see above), he has taken no steps to correct that error at his web site.

The information given to the NZ CSC in 2006 is not mine to release. NIWA has the correspondence from the time. It’s up to them whether they release it or not. The relevant question might be to ask why Treadgold and the NZ CSC conveniently forgot about its existence.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 11:22 am

@Gareth

“Not invective. Simple statements of fact. If a man misrepresents the truth, he is a liar. Princeton Wordnet suggests that a charlatan is “a flamboyant deceiver”, which looks like an equally a good description to me”

Judging by the East Anglia emails, these names would also equally apply to Phil Jones.

Gareth March 5, 2010 at 11:27 am

As I have said (ad nauseam), relying on the selection of emails released by thieves is like a judge listening only to the prosecution. Jones may have said a few things he regrets, but the words I used above most certainly do not apply to him.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 11:31 am

“emails released by thieves ”

What evidence do you have that the emails were stolen?

It seems most likely that they were released intentionally.
The file was called FOIA.zip – does that give any clues?

Gareth March 5, 2010 at 12:05 pm

My sources are excellent. The server in question was hacked multiple times, and the entire database was stolen. The released mails account for roughly 1% of the total stolen, and show signs of having been sorted and packaged for “release” on a computer or computers on the east coast of the US.

If you want to discuss the mails, could youplease take the discussion to a relevant post.

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Gareth,
Can you please redirect me to the appropriate discussion thread.

I would be interested to hear more on the emails

Thanks

[Extensive discussion here. GR]

Dr Checkzor March 5, 2010 at 1:42 pm

Gareth
If you have information about the hacking, theft or otherwise of the CRU emails – that is info that is not in the public domain – then I suggest that you contact the Norfolk police asap as they are conducting an investigation into the issue.

Regards

Gareth March 5, 2010 at 2:03 pm

The Norfolk police have all the information that I have — and probably a lot more besides. The probability that this was a “whistleblower” is small. The selection of emails for release was certainly made outside UEA.

Bruce Hamilton December 8, 2009 at 6:05 pm

To RW
Of course I’m wondering..

“Here’s Set A”. You don’t like some of them because they’ve been adjusted?. OK then “Here’s Set B”.This time we’ve selected on continuity of location”. Tumeke’s view of John Key’s opinions springs to mind.

If I am the only person wondering about selection criteria, fine. Well designed experiments define what the selection criteria will be BEFORE the data is collated and interpreted. These days, it would be extremely difficult to obtain FDA pharmaceutical approval if clinical trials were reported on the basis of post-review data selection. Some Pharma companies succeeded previously, but the legal consequences have been eye-watering..

To Gareth,

My problem with the NIWA data was not the data, but the process of stitching-together of data sets and applying corrections. In my field, it is unacceptable to apply corrections using a surrogate that is displaced from the two series being compared.

It appears to me that the use of a correction was validated by obtaining the “expected” result. They should have just excluded that dataset if they needed the continuity – and perhaps they didn’t need the early data, because the later single station result show a similar trend.

I can understand the problem of available historical data, but one of my complaints has never been that NIWA did it, but that the manipulation was not immediately obvious to viewers. It all seems so unnecessary, why not select suitable continuous series to start with?. A reasonable peer-reviewer or quality assurance person should have raised these issues before publication.

Sadly, NIWA’s data compilations are not affecting NZ public policy as much as they should, but they need to be of the highest standard to promote public confidence. If they aren’t intended for public policy, why are NIWA getting so much money from MoRST/FoRST for the CC work – keeping climate scientist off the street ?.

To Doug,

We already have a small carbon tax in the form of the petroleum levy, but prices didn’t significantly change public energy consumption behaviour when retail prices doubled. Taxes take money from earners and give it to politicians to spend – would you expect parsimonious and wise use of that tax revenue?.

They’ll throw some at alternative fuels ( mostly wasted ), maybe some energy conservation ( mostly helpful ), and the rest will disappear into the consolidated funds for disbursement to favoured social programmes. The atmosphere will still have pollution, arising from those that can afford to pay, as there’s no social stigma, perhaps even some kudos for having a fuel guzzler.

Companies reacted to the fuel price, because the most efficient energy users gained competitive advantages. If the industry is competitive ( eg aviation, trucking ) future fuel costs will be factored into purchasing decisions. Japan has long been known for trying to maximise fuel efficiency to increase competitiveness – it’s quite doable without additional punitive taxes for companies.

For individuals, it’s all about showing how they can benefit from not throwing away 95% of the energy they purchase. That can range from downsizing transport, recycling, careful use of home energy, to purchasing unpackaged foods, etc.etc. One problem is that concentrated energy has become very easy to obtain and consume at point of use.

The reason CFCs disappeared was because there were more expensive alternatives that whole industries agreed to use ( no competitive advantage after switching ), and the vast majority of atmospheric CFC pollution was clearly man made – people understood CFC aerosols had to go somewhere, and they were synthesized chemicals.

THe ETS is stupid because it distracts and doesn’t fix. It could reward the richest polluters, who can purchase more allocations. It’s like trading farts at a public gathering. I want to fart, but don’t have an allocation – so I pay somebody for one. The air still smells, and the rich can fart more. Allocations are cheaper at rock concerts and very expensive at classical concerts, yet the pollution is the same.

The problem is not the science, it’s educating the public about sensible energy use choices.

Calling people names may be fun but, so far, it’s ineffective.

Gareth December 8, 2009 at 8:49 pm

Bruce, the process of adjustment you find so difficult to take is hardly news. One of the reasons that NIWA are a bit surprised by this whole affair is that the adjustment processes are well described in the literature, and regarded as non-controversial by those involved in the field around the world. Jim Salinger did his PhD on this back in the 1970s…

You’ve got a stack of historical data — back to 1867 for some stations — so why throw it out? In fact, NZ records stretch back further in some cases, but there was no standardisation on the screens used — that’s why 1867 is generally held to be the start of the instrumental record. The Central England Temperature record goes back much further, and has involved much more in the way of linking station data.
There are sound physical reasons for thinking that “adjustments” can be made meaningful — at the most basic level, the weather in Wellington tends to be the weather in Wellington, and Wellington weather stations will tend to record much the same sort of thing. Of course there will be micro/meso climate differences, but they should be consistent as well, and therefore can be taken into account.

As for NIWA’s funding, I’m pretty sure you’ll find that the national climate data record is a very small part of the total. A great deal more is going on modelling what climate impacts might be in NZ — money well spent, because nobody else is going to do it for us.

Bruce Hamilton December 8, 2009 at 10:34 pm

“I’m pretty sure you’ll find that the national climate data record is a very small part of the total.”

Given how large the NIWA total is, that may be true, but $4.5+ million per year is still significant bikkies to me.

Unlike some others here, I believe humanity has the skills to mitigate climatic adverse effects sufficiently to prevent catastrophic change.. The question is when the will and means to change our behavior arrive.

Today’s posts have helped me realise that some NZ climate researchers and activists cast themselves as crusaders. Pity really, but that implies necessary solutions will originate from others and be embraced by the masses.

Please keep having fun.

Gareth December 8, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Today’s posts have helped me realise that some NZ climate researchers and activists cast themselves as crusaders.

Oh really? And why might that be (though I don’t accept the premise)? Might it not have something to do with being attacked by the likes of the NZ CSC? Or the persistent attempts by them, and by lobbyists like the GPC to downplay the need for action. Before going all “holier than thou”, you might want to look at what passes for debate at Wishart or Treadgold’s blogs.

Your comfortable assumption that mankind is smart enough to avoid catastrophic damage is just that, an assumption. I agree that we’re smart enough, but differ on the likelihood of success. What I see in the evidence of change does not leave much room for comfort…

Dappledwater December 9, 2009 at 7:38 am

“Unlike some others here, I believe humanity has the skills to mitigate climatic adverse effects sufficiently to prevent catastrophic change.” – B Hamilton.

Yeah, belief is right, and one based on wishful thinking.

Terry December 8, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Try this site for some temperature graphs going back over the last 50,000 years. http://www.foresight.org/nanodot/?p=3553 It is a nanotechnology site but an interesting perspective post.

H.H. Lamb “Climate History and the Modern World” ISBN 0-415-12735-1 was founder of CRU at East Anglia. Contemporary records show farming where none exists today, wine grape culture where none exists today, and so on.

It has clearly been warmer in the past, and it will be warmer, and cooler, in the future. Plant food will not change this as plant food has varied enormously as well. And yes it has been warming. But since we all seem to want to live in Palm Beach and not Winnepeg, is that a bad thing?

Perspective has meaning when you try to use a short period of observation to forecast a long period. The “If Present Trends Continue” school of forecasting have never been successful beyond a few years.

Enjoy your site.

Terry

Gareth December 8, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Terry, you are aware that Central Greenland temperature is not a proxy for global temperature? And that Hubert Lamb’s pioneering work was not the final word on our understanding of climate history?

As for Palm Beach, you can keep it and all of Florida (except Joe’s Stone Crab and the Anhinga Trail in the Everglades).

Tim December 9, 2009 at 6:57 am

I want the jumbo claws

Terry December 9, 2009 at 7:12 pm

Gareth:
Yep, but that “not a proxy” comment applies to all discrete records. Hubert Lamb did a lot of good work, and provided ample contemporary evidence to support it. No one has come forth with evidence sufficient to disprove Lamb’s work. Put another way, tree ring data that diverges from measured temperature readings is suspect until the advocates can explain the divergence.

There are demonstrated cycles in the climate, most notable the intermittent ice ages on the last millions of years. There is the matter of the sun and clouds, neither of which are accounted for in climate models.

Each of us has evidence or lack of evidence to support our position, so the debate could go on endlessly.

I do enjoy your site because you will engage the debate rather than ban the comment or the commenter. A bit unusual on your side, but a required part of the process. Thank you.

Though I share your opinion of Florida completely, just note that something like 40% (I make things up too) of the winter visitors to Florida, Arizona, California are Canadian, so the Winnipeg comment stands. ;>)

Gareth December 9, 2009 at 10:22 pm

No one has come forth with evidence sufficient to disprove Lamb’s work.

I’m sure that Lamb himself would recognise that his work was not the last word on studies of ancient climate. We know much more than in Lamb’s day.

There is the matter of the sun and clouds, neither of which are accounted for in climate models.

This is simply wrong. The sun is fully taken into account in climate models, including the variation in total solar irradiance over the 11 year solar cycle. Clouds are also taken into account — there’s plenty of uncertainty in cloud modelling, to be sure — but not enough to change warming into cooling (however much one or two scientists might like to think there is).

Ultimately, reality will win the sort of “debate” you’re talking about. The interesting questions are not to do with whether warming’s happening or not, but how much and when.

Kiwiiano December 9, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Quoting Terry:
It has clearly been warmer in the past, and it will be warmer, and cooler, in the future. Plant food will not change this as plant food has varied enormously as well. And yes it has been warming. But since we all seem to want to live in Palm Beach and not Winnepeg, is that a bad thing?

Except that we run the risk that Palm Beach will be underwater and Winnepeg will be part of the extended SW desert east of the Rockies. These are not wild guesses or extrapolations, they’re supported by evidence from ice and mud cores on just what the planet’s climate was like when the CO2 levels were at or near current levels, let alone what things will be like if we squeeze every last drop of oil, cup of coal or thimble of tar sand out of the earth.
Life will continue even if CO2 doubles from present levels, but it won’t be as we know it, Jim.

John December 15, 2009 at 10:44 am

Could somebody explain why “wine grape culture” is supposed to be historical evidence of a warm climate? Here in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada the temperature will dip below -30C in a cold winter (although we’re seeing fewer of those recently). The grape vine on the side of my garage is very healthy, thank you, although it would do better with a bit more sun. The absence of UK vineyards today has nothing to do with the recent climate being too cold.

And give me Winnipeg over Palm Beach any day. Hands down.

Kiwiiano December 16, 2009 at 7:09 am

There seem to be growing numbers of vineyards in the UK nowadays, but it may be a matter of perception. I recall when the Mundy brothers proposed a vineyard for Christchurch NZ back in the 70’s, they were deemed lunatics. We are now surrounded with vineyards with some of our best wine coming from Otago, 230km closer to the South pole.

Macro December 8, 2009 at 8:15 pm

Bruce I think you are making more out of this than there is! NIWA tried to get the best set of data they could from as many sites as they could and compiled the largest set of historical data that was available – surely that would seem reasonable. Because some data sets had to be adjusted for a variety of reasons – movement in stations from one height to another – etc etc all that needed to accounted for. What if the earlier Wellington records were made in Kelburn and then shifted down to the Airport? Would RT have been happy to leave them uncorrected then? I think not!
The fact that these people continue to make noises about perfectly good science means that NIWA then have to fall back on a shorter timeframe – much less ideal – from stations that do not need to be corrected – and WALLA – the same or similar results. Justifying the original adjusted data in the first place.

Bruce Hamilton December 8, 2009 at 8:55 pm

Macro,

Possibly I’m setting an unreasonably high standard, but we are paying NIWA serious money to conduct research on our behalf. They claim to have data available to them from 600 active stations, and 6000+ historical stations.

” …to make noises about perfectly good science means that NIWA then have to fall back on a shorter timeframe “.
Sorry, but the stitching-together and adjusting of Wellington data using a non-overlapping surrogate doesn’t match my definition of ” perfectly good science “.

Expedient, possibly justified , but definitely not “perfectly good science” in my world. YMMV.

I believe we need to take strong action to curb emissions – not just greenhouse, but ensuring that we doesn’t swap one pollutant for another ( eg atmospheric carbonyls from biofuels ).

The intrinsic errors of measuring several climate parameters can be entertaining diversions, but they alone won’t change people’s behaviour – even if all the warming opponents were suddenly to die of heatstroke.

People will change if there are tangible benefits or, at least, no immediate adverse personal consequences. The recent supermarket shopping bag fiasco demonstrates that such considerations are important.

Macro December 8, 2009 at 9:29 pm

“Sorry, but the stitching-together and adjusting of Wellington data using a non-overlapping surrogate doesn’t match my definition of ” perfectly good science “.”
Bruce that has all been gone through – IT IS PERFECTLY SOUND SCIENCE. It’s the kind of statistical work that is done in almost every field of mathematical analysis of time series.
There can be no absolute value the graph is indicative.
The trend is what matters and is obvious to all who care to see.

Bruce Hamilton December 8, 2009 at 10:14 pm

“– IT IS PERFECTLY SOUND SCIENCE.”

OK, If you insist, it must be so…. E pur si muove.

RW December 9, 2009 at 11:04 am

Nonsense. Goodbye to you as well. I feel the Eric Idle “Universe” song coming on.

Kim December 8, 2009 at 8:57 pm

I’m sorry to report that the sceptics are winning. Is it blind optimism?
A Close Up viewers poll that I saw a result from must have been along the lines of “Which climate change book is more credible Wishart’s Air Con or Gareth Morgan’s Poles Apart?” Results 77%/23% to Wishart!!! This is what we are up against. Thoughts??? Reason for hope???

R2D2 December 8, 2009 at 9:03 pm

Thoughts? The band will keep playing until the entire ship has sunken

Bruce Hamilton December 8, 2009 at 9:20 pm

Kim,

The skeptics are now somewhat poorer, they wasted $0.74 for each vote. The public are not stupid, and they will change behaviour – provided suitable education and incentives are used.

Imposed mandatory common sense solutions will fail, but techniques that show equal pain and personal gain can, and will, succeed. The ETS, and the associated exemptions etc. are manifestly unfair, and will not work.

It’s not about the science, because that will continue to be in dispute for decades ( it’s religious, and disputes help funding ), but change will come from small scale solutions that are palatable and economic.

Some exist now, many more are on the way. There will be cul-de-sacs, but the majority will change as the incentives appear, and social pressures make personal energy efficiency a social necessity.

Gareth December 8, 2009 at 9:20 pm

The poll simply reflects that Wishart is the better talking head on TV. A smooth talker. The facts are irrelevant in that sort of context, because it wasn’t an attempt to critically examine the views of either Wishart or Morgan, just a head-to-head so TV NZ could charge 75c for every text vote. How much did they make, I wonder?

Frankly, I think Wishart is a sideshow – a noisy thing that turns up at irregular intervals (where you pay too much to play a rigged game for crap prizes). The same goes for the rest of the cranks and their carefully-orchestrated pre-Copenhagen campaign. They’re pissed off that they’re not getting traction where it matters. The world is heading down a low carbon path, and no amount of mud-slinging is going to change that.

The big question is whether the world will do enough, soon enough, to prevent the worst impacts of warming. I suspect the answer is no.

StephenR December 9, 2009 at 11:36 am

Not sure it would make a difference if they just asked the question out of the blue before Sainsbury opened his mouth – a self selecting poll from a large pool of no one in particular isn’t worth squat.

Gareth December 9, 2009 at 11:42 am

Meanwhile, a proper poll (albeit of only 500 people, and commissioned by the GPC (big emitters lobby group)) finds that:

most people, about eight out of 10, agreed that climate change was happening and was a problem, although many were unsure whether it was caused by people

The Herald story notes that 44 percent attributed climate change to human action, but also shows how vulnerable the figures are to how questions are worded.

middx December 8, 2009 at 9:25 pm

If close up had shots of rocks melting in the TVNZ roof garden
The Skeptics would point out the UUHIE
Ultra Urban Heat Island Effect and link to some obscure website where it was shown that rocks had been spontaneously melting on roof gardens for millions of years and we have a 456000 signatures to prove it.

Rob Taylor December 8, 2009 at 9:26 pm

Comforting lies will always outsell discomforting truths, but ignoring reality gets harder every year. Watch Australia.

Kim December 8, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Middx

Beautiful. :-)

Gareth

I thought you may say that. I agree.

Macro December 8, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Close up! Doing science by polling – GREAT!

R2D2 December 8, 2009 at 9:40 pm

Just watched the vid…. all Gareth could say is, “The balance of the science is that it is man made”

Thats not really answering the question is it?? Maybe next time they could get Gareth on there lol

Gareth December 8, 2009 at 9:58 pm

No, I do TV3…

nommopilot December 9, 2009 at 11:10 am

There was nothing of any substance said on either side of the debate. As Gareth said, it was a sideshow.

Wishart didn’t say anything either except to namedrop a few of the latest denialist memes du jour.

I hope I don’t have to get that Close Up to stinky garbage infotainment again for a good long while.

Macro December 8, 2009 at 9:44 pm

And a phone in poll at that!
A lesson for us all

middx December 8, 2009 at 9:48 pm

>A lesson for us all<
Don't watch close up?

Macro December 9, 2009 at 4:15 pm

YES and I don’t!

Australis December 8, 2009 at 10:11 pm

Okay, well I don’t think we can get too exercised about some old debate in 2006. The current focus is on the NIWA graph and the new station schedule that appeared on the site late last week.

I keep reading here that raw data is misleading and that adjustments have to be made for relocation, new instruments, automation, screens, plant growth, etc. If that’s the case, why is this new unadjusted series regarded as useful? And why weren’t these stations selected for the graph?

Gareth December 8, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Salinger prepared this alternative series to demonstrate that warming in NZ did not depend solely on the adjustments made to station data in the longer series, which is what Treadgold and the NZ CSC claimed in their shonky report.

I’m glad you’re not going to get too exercised about Treadgold and the NZ CSC’s smear tactics. But then, of course, you’re not the one being smeared on the basis of lies… Sleep well.

Rob Taylor December 9, 2009 at 10:33 am

Gareth, how about a thread re alternatives to cap-and-trade, regarding which there is much angst from Hansen and others?

http://www.truthout.org/1208091

Gareth December 9, 2009 at 10:39 am

Not a bad idea, Rob, one I’d been thinking about myself for a while. Got a couple of posts to do first, though…

Rob Taylor December 9, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Speaking of angst, Bill McKibben of 350.org is profoundly unimpressed by “politics as usual”

http://www.salon.com/news/global_warming/index.html?story=/opinion/feature/2009/12/07/copenhagen

Kiwiiano December 9, 2009 at 12:40 pm

I wish the naysayers would step back to view the big picture. We know that CO2 and other gases in the atmosphere moderate that Earth’s temperature, it would be frozen solid if they didn’t, given the energy we receive from the sun. We know that humans have been dumping vast amounts of fossil carbon into the biosphere and damaging other natural carbon recycling processes. We have indications that the average temperature is rising from all the changes in the polar and other regions. It would have been nice to have calibrated weather stations scattered at 1km intervals over the entire planet dating back to the end Permian extinction, but we don’t, we have to scrabble around deriving information from archival data, mud and ice cores, tree rings and everything else that will give us the information we desperately need, making every effort to ensure that it is as accurate as possible. We are warned that rising temperatures will have dire consequences if we don’t modify our lifestyles. It really pisses me off that you are willing to jeopardise my children and grandchildren’s survival by nit-picking over whether a corrected history of temperature at Kelburn is untrustworthy enough to disregard, even when it is supported by numbers gathered from all over the planet.
Jeez, I really hope you live long enough to see the mess you are getting us into and have to explain why to your great-grandchildren.

Australis December 9, 2009 at 12:48 pm

” ….. making every effort to ensure that it is as accurate as possible”

That’s what this all about. We are all wholly dependent on science, and science is wholly dependent on transparency and ability to replicate. Why would you be “pissed off” by people doing science?

Gareth December 9, 2009 at 1:04 pm

With respect, Australis, this whole issue has never been about accuracy in the NZ temp record. It’s been about a bunch of people who want to stymie action on climate change making as much noise as possible, using ethically and scientifically indefensible tactics.

hardly December 16, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Here is the problem with this story. Some of those places should have been adjusted down for the urban heat island effect (an adjustment climate scientists claim they do). I note several airports in the list but worse the list includes Molesworth Street. This is right in the middle of the CBD and there is no way in 1930 there was the kind of urban envirnoment there that there is now. So the question should be why wasn’t this adjusted down.

RW December 19, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Thanks – you gave me a much-needed laugh!

Macro December 16, 2009 at 10:05 pm

“Molesworth” is a sheep station in Marlborough – one of the largest in the country!! For goodness sake, get off this UHI trip – it’s making you look like the “useful idiot” you plainly are. Repeating misinformation you clearly know nothing about. And one of the primary considerations for the siting of airports is that they have a prevailing wind! No UHI there either.

Gareth December 16, 2009 at 10:41 pm

I even put a link under Molesworth Station to a Google Map showing exactly where it is. No urban heat island. No urb.

Australis December 16, 2009 at 10:24 pm

The primary consideration for siting at airports is that international aviation treaties require airport temps to be measured and recorded. Neither the siting nor the instrumentation is influenced by the possibility that they might also be chosen to form part of a national temp record.

83% of the NZ sites used by GHCN are airports – a developed world record and indicative of the miserly attitude to meteorology displayed by successive governments.

The main drawback of airports is that they are surrounded by hectares of black asphalt – runways and carparks – which are particularly susceptible to UHI.

Gareth December 16, 2009 at 10:39 pm

Never been to Wellington airport, have you…

Macro December 16, 2009 at 10:58 pm

The siting of airports has nothing to do with whether or not the temperature is going to be recorded – but it had better have a good prevailing wind – preferably down the runway.
As for asphalt – those airports (having flown in to all of them) listed above have very little (apart from the main runway) and are mostly surrounded by grass – they are NOT – apart from Wellington – International Airports, and there is very little car parking associated with any of them. Of course there are micro climates in all situations – but playing the UHI game on these particular sites is just ridiculous!

Australis December 16, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Well…. I’ve been in howling Southerlies at Wellington airport to know it makes a very strange surrogate for sheltered Thorndon.

Macro, are you saying that the UHI effect is never considered by NIWA – or just that airports are excluded?

Kiwiiano December 16, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Sheesh!! UHIs….whatever! It would be nice if we has a matrix of calibrated thermometers located at 1km intervals over the entire planet since the end-Permian extinction, but we don’t. Since the “Oh shite! What are we getting ourselves into?” realisation a decade or three ago we’ve been scrabbling around picking up info from all sorts of unlikely sources. Some have required fine tuning, corrections, cross-references, anything that we can agree that we’re extracting useful data from.
The result so far is that the VAST majority of scientists, from a wide range of disparate disciplines, are agreeing that their data and analysis supports the belief that humanity is changing the planet’s climate. The planet couldn’t give a toss, but our civilization is going to be severely knee-capped by the changes we are causing. The contrarians may hide their heads where the sun don’t shine, but it won’t change a thing if we don’t pull finger and change our profligate ways.
Nit-pick on the finer points if you like, skepticism is an inherent component of good science, but spreading unwarranted FUD may and should become high treason.

RW December 19, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Show you how much you know about Thorndon! – the old site there – and indeed the whole area – is extremely windy. “Sheltered” – my a**e. I walk through it regularly on a trek from Kelburn through the Gardens to city, and am very well-acquainted with the “wind thing” in the entire area. The Thorndon records include a day that had a windrun of 1200 miles – that is a pretty fair blast.

The funny bit is that if your speculation that the Thorndon site was significantly warmer than the Airport one were correct, it would move the adjustments in the composite graph in the opposite direction to the one you’d like to see.

It’s been a good break for me, not reading denialist rubbish for a couple of weeks – and on a temporary return, to see that the standard of such contributions is as low as ever.

What next – a metropolis on Campbell Island?

Australis December 17, 2009 at 12:24 am

Fair enough Kiwiano – in reconstructing the past, statisticians etc have to make the most of whatever records or impressions happen to be available. But it needs to be acknowledged that most of these historical estimates are accurate to ..umm…. maybe plus-or-minus 2C??

I was intrigued by your suggestion that one or more individual scientists (even “thousands”) have found that THEIR data show the human causation of recent warming. Can you give me a reference to a peer-reviewed paper that shows this?

Kiwiiano December 17, 2009 at 7:14 am

Australis, Conan Doyle said it in ‘The Sign of Four’ “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” The increase in temperature is measured and clearly visible, the increases in GHG are measured, the fossil origins established, all other causations (individual or summed) excluded. The past values may be fuzzy but the consequences are clear and not looking good.

I’d be equally interested to hear an explanation of how we can add 9GT of carbon per year to a closed biosystem (about 130x the natural additions), while simultaneously crippling the sequestration mechanisms, WITHOUT causing changes.
I hope and pray that you can find one, but, again, it’s not looking good.

Macro December 17, 2009 at 9:39 am

Suppose there is a UHI in a particular situation that is NOT taken into account. What does it matter? That factor is added (or subtracted) as much at the start as at the end. What we are looking for is a TREND. If that trend exists it will be evident whether or not a UHI effect or whatever is taken into account or not! All the arguments of UHI are simply spurious.

Phil Scadden December 18, 2009 at 4:49 pm

[Restoring an earlier comment from pre-hack]
You think that electrification of transport and conversion of electricity generation to non-carbon sources are going to be good shareholder value in oil and coal companies?

The CEO of a company is there to uphold shareholder value within the limits of the law- doing otherwise will result in a sacking. That said, companies do have ethics and community values but the application is pretty variable. Exxon gets demonised for their funding of right-wing groups which in turn fund disinformation campaigns.

Phil Scadden December 18, 2009 at 4:55 pm

[Restoring an earlier comment from pre-hack]
Terry, this is simply misconstruction that has been done to death in numerous places. A summary of responses at
http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/climategate
Though people beating this up are seldom remotely interested in the reality.

Besides, IPCC reports are summaries of science. Their value is that you can then reference the papers at will and conveniently summarize text book stuff for you.

So you dont believe CRU record? Well its actually slightly lower than GISS which all public. If earth isnt warming then why is sealevel rising? Why is MSU-LT also reflecting the same trend as surface temperatures. All that stuff is just talking point for denialists.

Like volcanoes… well there isnt only empirical evidence, there is theoretical evidence and wow lots of papers working out contribution. Would there be any point in pointing these out to you?
CO2 well to repeat myself:
– There is no evidence of unforced variations of current magnitude in paleoclimate. To talk about lags, and “recovery from LIA” (that a laugh – where are the springs), then where is the physics? What natural force is driving climate now?
– Warmer nights (outside polar regions) and milder winters are evidence of CO2 increasing our insulation – solar forcing would give warmer days.
– Land anomalies exceed sea anomalies – explain that with some yet unknown internal forcing from the thermohaline cycle.
– The stratosphere cools (even when corrected for O3 depletion), while troposphere warms. Now that is really tough to explain in alternative models.
– Climate models (which take into account all forcings), predict arctic amplification (and dont scream back what about antarctic; the model predict not much happening there for a complex set of reasons). Solar would predict tropic amplification.

Forcing over last thousand years are well accounted for in terms of combination of changes in solar and aerosol forcings. Eg see
http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/shared/articles/MannetalScience09.pdf
or similar chapters in IPCC AR4 WG1 report. Finding a mechanism of for current warming that lets CO2 off the hook has some problems – you need some undiscovered negative forcing to counterbalance the physics of CO2 increase; and you need an undiscovered source of warming which can reproduce the effects we observe as well as a CO2 model does.

Terry December 18, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Phil, that was an interesting site where the conclusion was clearly stated and then they proceeded to justify it. We can throw such sites at each other for a long time, and to no avail.

When the UK Met Office says they have to go over the data and it will take years, the underlying message is not one of confidence.

My objections to this whole mess are these:
-An arbitrary 30 year baseline is statistically meaningless in the context of a planet that is 4.5 billion years old, or that has demonstrated ice ages where the interglacial is in the range of 10,000 years. Selecting the period determined the result, choose=another period and get a different result.
-The temperature went up and then down, but CO2 plant food just goes up. There is a disconnect and ignoring it may be good PR but it is not good science.
-The historic proxies have their own issues. Gaerth says Greenland ice cores don’t represent the whole world, and Briffa’s Yamal tree rings may be just one or two trees and they still cool about 1960.
-The number and location of surface stations is decreasing and becoming concentrated in urban and airport locations. This may make sense on a number of levels, but the exact locations are a secret, as are all the raw readings and the adjustments. It may be good science, but no one will ever know.
-Other issues include the effects of the sun and the clouds, neither of which are understood enough to model competently.
-And finally there is the correlation equals causation issue. We can both cite lots of silly correlation, such as drinking caffiene within 4 hours of an auto accident, so if you avoid caffiene you will never have an auto accident. Right now temperature and CO2 are in the coincident category. Competent evidence could cause movement.
-And finally there is the catastrophe assertions. We have been assured that glowball warmening climate change will cause extinction of the species, food shortages, drought in all crop producing areas and flooding everywhere else, and so on and so forth, as well as flooding from a 30 meter, or 30 centimeter, rise in ocean levels.

The natural variation in the planet’s climate is likely huge, and stems from things our current science does not understand. An example is the sun, which current models don’t duplicate. The forecasters keep revising the revisions to the the revisions and have not got it right yet. Perhaps it is related to the fact that they have never before seen this behavior. Forecasting the unobserved can be tough.

And aren’t there other cycles lasting 22,000 years and longer?

Surely there must be benefits to warmer. Crop production expands in area. Food is more available. Plant growth increases.

Plant food may contribute, but the evidence is contaminated,

Phil Scadden December 18, 2009 at 4:57 pm

[Repost of response to Australis, lost in the hack]
The aip article was from “The discovery of Global Warming”. Ch2. Your arguement was what was believed pre- 60 since all experiments were carried out at sealevel pressure. Weart goes into it more detail in
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/06/a-saturated-gassy-argument/

http://www.skepticalscience.com/empirical-evidence-for-co2-enhanced-greenhouse-effect.htm
has more. (You should run arguments past this site before posting here)

Note particularly the papers on direct measurement of CO2 effect. The link to the maths by way in my earlier post was from paper which made direct measurement of CO2 absorption at top of atmosphere and compared it to the theory.

More readable stuff on CO2 here…
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/08/the-co2-problem-in-6-easy-steps

Also, I missed this in your earlier reply.
“Warmer nights and milder winters may be weak evidence of the Greenhouse Effect, but are associated with water vapour, not CO2. The additional vapour results fro any warming, however caused.”

Water vapour content is a feedback not a forcing. Basically a function of temperature. The point here is that if planet warms for whatever forcing, water vapour goes up and GHG-effect with it. However, if the forcing causing the warming is increased GHG other than water, then the pattern is night-time/winter temperature anomaly , whereas the radiative forcing from increased solar or reduced aerosol would be result in daytime/summer anomaly.

And further to your argument on “tuning models”, same models are used for paleoclimate where solar forcing dominates. You can run the model with human GHG emissions constant and increase solar and see the different pattern of temperature anomaly. No surprise as effect of solar forcing worked out laboriously by Milankovich decades ago.

Phil Scadden December 18, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Terry – your now missing comment about “swiss scientists find sun 8%
stronger in recent past”. Is that about right? Talk about a chinese whispers changing the meaning of everything and I dont want to disturb more.
The comment could only apply to Huss et al, in GRL Dec 2009
“Strong Alpine glacier melt in the 1940s due to enhanced solar radiation”.

It would be instructive to read it to show the difference between the denial blogs take on it and what it actually says. Nothing controversial here. It is talking about radiation as measured at 3 sites in alps. Perhaps the blog “scientists” dont know that “global radiation” in this context means the sum of beam and diffuse radiation on a surface. The measurements reflect changes in cloudiness and aerosols, not anything to do with the sun.

Phil Scadden December 18, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Terry, that site was compendium developed comments by the scientists concerned with their explanations verifiable. It saves you trawling through RC and commentary supplied by Trebenth. Rather unlike sites which you seem to channelling rubbish and FUD from. You posted about the 8% solar. What site and what impression did you take from it? Now compare with reality. Dont you see you are being taken for a sucker?

Your assertions about natural cycles make the assumption that somehow these are independent of physics and thus unknowable. I am sorry but I dont buy that. Our models for climate work well for current climate, well for paleoclimate. We dont know the full ins and outs of the thermohaline system but this is a heat redistribution system not a heat budget detail, and furthermore its hard to see how current pattern could be driven by any change there.

As far as I can see your position is that physics is wrong and you will bet on some undiscovered mechanism in the natural world which is somehow causing warming without us detecting it.

“Other issues include the effects of the sun and the clouds, neither of which are understood enough to model competently. ”

Completely false. The sun is measured directly by satellite. We can see no trend in TSI. Cloud uncertainties were an issue but current models work fine. Uncertainties translate through in uncertainties in prediction. These are exhaustively covered by the model outputs.

The correlation argument is a complete misconstruction on your part. AGW is based on physics. You verify your model by comparing prediction with observation. This is not correlation.

“Catastrophism” is relative. Not in my lifetime. Dont comfuse greenpeace with scientists. Whether warmer is better or not is irrelevant – the concern is cost of the rate of change. Is it cheaper to slow change or pay cost of massive disruption. Think of it as a risk analysis.

Rob Taylor December 19, 2009 at 8:36 am

Terry, your “arguments” are well represented in the ever-growing list of AGW denial hypocrisies maintained here:

http://akwag.blogspot.com/2009/12/climate-of-hypocrisy.html

Terry December 19, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Phil, you asked about the 8%, http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL040789.shtml and I originally noted it from http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/ entry date Dec 16. As you know, the article itself is behind the wall and I have not paid the subscription fee.

Actually I am all in favor of physics. And good science.

Here is a fellow you may know, and who disagrees with a lot of what you have said: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/09/04/even-doubling-or-tripling-the-amount-of-co2-will-have-little-impact-on-temps/

The debate will go on.

To Rob Taylor, thanks, that is an excellent parody. Maybe they are serious. But I have not advocated or supported most of what is there.

If you are going to do science then your data, methods and results need to be open and published and capable of replication by others. Science is not done on faith.

Enjoyed the debate, but it is showing signs of deteriorating and I think Gareth has some standards we all need to help uphold. Thanks to all.

Terry

samv December 20, 2009 at 6:42 am

Here is a fellow you may know, and who disagrees with a lot of what you have said:

Er… that guy is an Engineer and is basically repeating crank arguments.

Enjoyed the debate, but it is showing signs of deteriorating…

Skim reader psychology expert, are we? Think people will just skip to the end, see what the tone of the last comment is and then infer you “won” ?

You don’t seem to get Total Solar Irradiance. Regardless of what ground-based meters measure (this 8% in the Alps for instance), the amount of light incident on the Earth’s atmosphere varies by less than 1W/m² or <0.2W/m² effective forcing, which is far less than the ~2.5W/m² forcing from the COâ‚‚ greenhouse effect.

You say that you're in favour of good physics and good science. But given the links you've put up so far, it seems what you're in favour of is good physics and science stories – Duffy’s post is a prime example of this. A long diatribe, filled with sciency-sounding statements which individually make sense but reach a fanciful conclusion. To take it to the next level, take what he’s written and subject it to some critical analysis; don’t just let it lull you to sleep. What is the standard model position on that? Is the author ignoring or disregarding a large body of science?

Take for instance the water vapour claim. He writes as if what he is saying challenges the standard theory. But it’s really a crock. He uses the “COâ‚‚ rises follow temperature rises by 800 years” talking point, without mentioning this is actually supportive of the consensus science, and in no way implies that rises in COâ‚‚ won’t increase temperatures, too.

But please, don’t take this on faith – do some digging. Just be wary of long essays like that written by people with impressive sounding credentials speaking outside of their field. It’s just their opinion; don’t make it yours without investigating first.

Terry December 19, 2009 at 4:27 pm

News from our past
http://www.ucar.edu/news/releases/2006/sunspot.shtml
Wonder if it is true? Maybe someday.

And more on solar
http://www.leif.org/EOS/2008JD011470.pdfhttp:/

Phil Scadden December 20, 2009 at 9:24 am

Terry, where to begin.

While solar changes are responsible for climate change in the past and will be in the future, and the aerosols affecting the received are also a major forcing, the current pattern of warming is not caused by solar. – please see comments to Australis. Respect physics.

I am sorry you cant pull GRL articles. The crap about this on the denialist sites is amazing. Interesting but hardly controversial.To quote the author in a press release though. “Neverthelss this should not lead people to conclude that the current period of global warming is not really as big of a problem for the glaciers as previously assumed”.

“If you are going to do science then your data, methods and results need to be open and published and capable of replication by others. Science is not done on faith.”

And so it is – but it appears are falling for spin. Data is always tricky. You cannot release data given to you by other scientists without their consent. The normal protocol is to ask them direct – a protocol that McIntyre refuses to accept. Also, there are times when you use commercial data which is always subject to restrictions. I use fishery and oil company data like this. The restrictions are not ideal but a lot better than not using the data. Other researchers can get the data on the same terms from the same sources.

It appears to me that you have the classic problem of trust attribution. How much garbage on wattsup has to be refuted to you before you stop reading? 5, 10, 50 articles? You have two conflicting sources on information on this subject. Choosing to trust sources that agree with your own opinions (surely the only reason to go to wattsup) is entirely normal but a rotten way to get to the truth.

Terry December 20, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Phil:
Data is not tricky. Data is data. If certain agreements prevent you from releasing it, say “I can’t provide the actual data but it was obtained under various agreements with this list of providers.” You sorta just did. It isn’t hard. I doubt the providers limit disclosure of locations, but if they do they likely don’t limit disclosure of locations NOT used. Just a thought. But secret data, secret locations and secret programs may be “peer reviewed” but they don’t pass the sniff test of credible. And they are not replicable.

Anthony Watts looked at the US reporting stations using the Gov’t standards for siting a weather station and found that something like 89% are poor. See Surfacestations.org. He also provides a lot of current analysis of the sun, and the various moving of goal posts on the solar cycle, most of it guest posts from those in the field. There is also some dreck, and some humor.

One of the folks in comments at WUWT mentioned this site, and I have found it, and especially you, to be quite reasonable. I keep coming back because I value the perspective.

I’ve never seen a denialist site. Aren’t they all about refuting the Holocaust? I thought we were discussing climate. Yes I am skeptical about the frantic religious true-believer hype and the attribution of all manner of mutually exclusive disasters. Remember, if it is warm to hot it is conclusive evidence of GLOBAL WARMING. Record lows and umpteen feet of snow? Just weather. Don’t believe me? Just watch the evening news. The famous Climatologist Al Gore recently stated that the core temperature of the earth was in the millions of degrees. I won’t take that seriously or use it against anyone in a serious discussion, but it sort of does make the point.

I also have serious reservations about a lot of the measurements and adjustments and algorithms currently in vogue in Climatology. Russia is represented by all of 25 stations, and not much more for China? And the US record is migrating to Airports? Seems I read somewhere that there have been 16 adjustments to the US record in the past eleven years, with no explanation of any of them. Is any or all or some of this true? I don’t know, and there are definite limits about what can trust on them internets thingys. But they do pass the initial sniff test of credible, so call them rebuttable presumptions.

It may well be that plant food is a leading rather than trailing indicator and that is so powerful as to cause a 10C increase in temperatures. Or not. But what passes for the science right now has the look and feel of cherry-picked, manufactured and adjusted. As one wag observed, if you torture the data enough it will eventually confess. My reservations are strictly on the methodology and the data selection and the base period. If you need an arbitrary base period, choose two cycles of the PDO or the AMO, not one starting in the middle of a cold period. The original subject of Gareth’s post was that Unadjusted data showed a trend, and that there was little UHI effect. Good, on the face of it it looks verifiable and replicable, so put it in the “True” column.

Side note: In about 1974 I was working at Prudhoe Bay and went out to a well being drilled. They were in the surface hole, somewhere between 65′ and 1200′, in open hole through the permafrost gravels. I was in the mud pit looking at the returns and noticed an odd shape coming out, so I grabbed it. It was a perfect Douglass Fir cone, complete with the ‘mouse tails’. So at some point in the last 1200′ of gravel deposition there were Doug Fir in the Brooks Range. And because it was open hole, that cone could have come from anywhere in the hole, top, bottom, middle. What would the Climate have been to support Doug Fir in the Brooks Range? Could it have been warmer than today?

Regarding the article in GRL, the only things I have seen are the links posted, and they seemed pretty reasonable to me. Regarding the disclaimer, they could have written “Our results appear to differ from the Politically Correct result and we apologize profusely as we don’t want to interrupt our source of funding, and it really truly does not contradict The Verdict, so please keep funding us.” It is an issue whenever science and politics coincide. Government has a clear incentive to use this issue as an excuse to collect taxes under whatever pretext, but somehow they are exempt from ridicule as source of funding. Industry has a clear incentive to participate as whatever the facts are, convenient or inconvenient, could affect their future revenue and solvency. Any industry funding is ridiculed unless, like BP, it goes to the Hockey Team. Disclosure: I used to work for BP and they still carry my health insurance as part of an early separation agreement.

You are not going to get me to agree that AGW is real so long as the underlying science has the look and feel of “We make stuff up.” I will not get you to admit that there is a strong element of “We make stuff up” in what passes for climate science. But I think we understand one another a bit better.

So Phil, do you fish? We go to Alaska every summer and I try to get time in on the Kenai. Rainbows, Dollies (Char) and pinks, and a few tries at the silvers (coho). They say NZ has wonderful fishing, but I am allergic to airplanes as their seating computer always puts me between two huge fellows (and I am not small) and someone in front who insists on crushing my knees with the table when they recline their seat.

Permit me to respond to another comment. This is not an athletic or political contest where one declares victory and retires. It is a debate and a discussion, and I am quite concerned about it deteriorating into name calling and such, which I do not believe either Phil or I intend as the outcome. Apologies if it is too much a discussion between two people. My email is terryj@olypen.com. Every spammer in the world has it, so you may as well have it too. But let us not descend to the level of name calling and imputing motivations.

Merry Christmas to all.

Terry

samv December 21, 2009 at 11:45 am

I’ve never seen a denialist site. Aren’t they all about refuting the Holocaust?

Godwin!

Dappledwater December 20, 2009 at 9:58 pm

“I’ve never seen a denialist site.” – Terry.

Liar. See comment here:

“One of the folks in comments at WUWT mentioned this site” – Terry

Dappledwater December 20, 2009 at 10:04 pm

“Remember, if it is warm to hot it is conclusive evidence of GLOBAL WARMING. Record lows and umpteen feet of snow? Just weather. Don’t believe me? Just watch the evening news.” – Terry.

More telling are long term trends:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091112121611.htm

“Spurred by a warming climate, daily record high temperatures occurred twice as often as record lows over the last decade across the continental United States, new research shows.”

Terry is mistaken if he thinks that AGW means the end of cold weather.

Dappledwater December 20, 2009 at 10:28 pm

“Anthony Watts looked at the US reporting stations using the Gov’t standards for siting a weather station and found that something like 89% are poor. See Surfacestations.org. He also provides a lot of current analysis of the sun, and the various moving of goal posts on the solar cycle, most of it guest posts from those in the field. There is also some dreck, and some humor.” – Terry.

Oh dear, Anthony Watts?. Probably new to you Terry, but that UHI crock has long been debunked:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/about/response-v2.pdf

“One analysis was for the full USHCN version 2 data set. The other
used only USHCN version 2 data from the 70 stations that surfacestations.org classified as good or best. We would expect some differences simply due to the different area covered: the 70
stations only covered 43% of the country with no stations in, for example, New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee or North Carolina. Yet the
two time series, shown below as both annual data and smooth data, are remarkably similar. Clearly there is no indication from this analysis that poor station exposure has imparted a bias in the U.S. temperature trends”

Phil Scadden December 21, 2009 at 10:53 am

” Data is not tricky. Data is data. If certain agreements prevent you from releasing it, say “I can’t provide the actual data but it was obtained under various agreements with this list of providers.” You sorta just did. It isn’t hard. ”

Which is exactly what Jones and Briffa did but McIntyre screamed “secret data:” and kept sending FOI to claim this. Reading the full context of the CRU emails might help instead of the cherry picked ones. And of course after the brouhaha McIntyre made about the Russian data which Briffa said he had to get the from Russian, McIntyre found he had it on his disk all along, from exactly that source. Scientists do cling to data – until they have published their results from it, they dont like sharing with someone else.

” But secret data, secret locations and secret programs may be “peer reviewed” but they don’t pass the sniff test of credible. And they are not replicable.
Right. But you are assuming what is not true. Disclosure of code is actively debated in most areas of science in the moment. It is not as valuable as someone replicating from scratch but mostly no reason not to disclose. But tell me, if you are so hot on this then I assume you are berating the (very few) skeptical scientists to do the same?
I actually think this issue is way overblown. There is an automatic assumption somewhere that if a scientists results dont agree with what you expect, then they have made a mistake somewhere. Its much more likely to be in the science than in their code. (There are exceptions – Christy and Spencer. Whoops!). However its only when normal replication fails that you start asking questions over their code.

” Anthony Watts looked at the US reporting stations using the Gov’t standards for siting a weather station and found that something like 89% are poor. ”
Sheesh, Watts “analysis” is totally flawed. This is well documented – but again, who are going to believe? If NOAA scientists are as hopeless as Watts would have you believe, then fine – chuck away the temperature data. Now are you going to chuck away the sealevel data too? What about MSU-LT measurements which happen to also reflect the surface record? What do you make of all these independent methods of measuring giving you same answer? Horrors – is it possible that someone knows what they are doing? I ask again Terry, how many articles at WUWT would we have to take apart for you?

” Yes I am skeptical about the frantic religious true-believer hype and the attribution of all manner of mutually exclusive disasters.”

Good for you – so am I. Please try applying some of the skepticism to everything you see at WUWT too. If you are skeptical about one side of the argument but not the other, then that is denialism not skepticism,

Remember, if it is warm to hot it is conclusive evidence of GLOBAL WARMING. Record lows and umpteen feet of snow?”

While predicting regional effects of a warming world is difficult, (some places get drier, some wetter) overall, a warmer world is a wetter world. If winter temperatures drop below zero, then your wetness will be snow. The good news is that it will melt and spring will come quicker. No weather event can ever be attributed to GW. Only trends in events can be. That is the difference between weather and climate.

” Seems I read somewhere that there have been 16 adjustments to the US record in the past eleven years, with no explanation of any of them.”
The hows and whys of homogenization are actually very well documented. These days it is also usual to overlap records to enable more accurate adjustment. Want to explain further exactly which method you dont like? Surely you dont advocate NOT homogenizing the record when it would obviously be incorrect not to do so (change of screen, moved station, change of time of day for reading). But this is boring. Rabbiting on about the temperature record is missing the forest for the trees. Try finding the error in the sealevel data.

“It may well be that plant food is a leading rather than trailing indicator and that is so powerful as to cause a 10C increase in temperatures. Or not. But what passes for the science right now has the look and feel of cherry-picked, manufactured and adjusted. ”
Um that applies to denialists rubbish. The “plant food” stuff has papers on it. Look them up. This sounds like grasping at straws to me.

” If you need an arbitrary base period, choose two cycles of the PDO or the AMO, not one starting in the middle of a cold period.”

I cannot fathom what on earth you mean here. I cant see how choice of base affects anything. However, there are many times we would like more data, longer data but are constrained by when instrumentation starts. (eg satellite readings of TSI).

” What would the Climate have been to support Doug Fir in the Brooks Range? Could it have been warmer than today?”
I have no idea of the geography, context, or age that you are talking about it. Depending on place and time, it could easily have been warmer than today. See the Mann 09 paper referenced earlier (to Australis).

“Regarding the article in GRL, the only things I have seen are the links posted, and they seemed pretty reasonable to me. Regarding the disclaimer, they could have written “Our results appear to differ from the Politically Correct result and we apologize profusely as we don’t want to interrupt our source of funding, and it really truly does not contradict The Verdict, so please keep funding us.” ”

But there results arent politically incorrect. Lets take this slowly. TSI, (solar at top of atmosphere) is not trending and varies very little over solar cycle. The orbital changes (Milankovich) are trending down but on a timeframe of 1000s of years. Radiation as measured by ground station however is affected by cloud and aerosol. At same time as we increased CO2, we also increased aerosol. This masks CO2 warming. Now a geoengineering solution is use aerosols. Problems:
1/ If aerosol is constant but CO2 rises, you still get warming.
2/ Aerosols are short-lived in the atmosphere. You have to keep putting them up.
And it is 2/ that is the issue here. We have cleaned up. It would be easy to state that reduction in aerosols is driving GW and this is the point of the Huss et al paper. Their radiation stations follow the pattern recorded elsewhere of bright and warming, then dimming from aerosols, and now brightening again. However, removing the aerosols is exposing us to the full force of the CO2 effect in the atmosphere where the real problem lies.

” It is an issue whenever science and politics coincide. Government has a clear incentive to use this issue as an excuse to collect taxes under whatever pretext, ”
Umm, the only reason to use tax is to induce people to move away from carbon and thus avoid tax. You do realise that your accusations about the motives of scientists are repellent and insulting? I would hope that you would not behave in such a self-interested way. Do you really believe all climate scientists are? Much of my work is in oil/gas/coal – should I be anti-AGW because it threatens my funding? Like climate scientists, if this work ended, then I would follow funding elsewhere.

“You are not going to get me to agree that AGW is real so long as the underlying science has the look and feel of “We make stuff up.” I will not get you to admit that there is a strong element of “We make stuff up” in what passes for climate science. But I think we understand one another a bit better.”

I think you are victim of a campaign to discredit the messenger. Here is how I look at this. What are the criteria for changing your mind in cold hard data that you can trust? For the record here are mine.
To disbelieve we are warming. Either:
1/ a 25 year record of flat or falling GISS temp. measurements. (Despite your comments on basis, there is one. If there were NO forcings at work, the temperatures would still vary because of internal variability associated with heat redistribution, across and within atmosphere and ocean. An easy to follow (and replicate) example of this calculation at http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/how-long/) or
2/ Sealevel rise returning to or below the millennial rate 0.2mm/yr

To disbelieve the “A” part of “AGW”.
1/ A better model – something that honours physics and all observations better than current model. This is easily the most convincing of all.
2/ Robust AGW model predictions are:
– stratospheric cooling, tropospheric warming.
– night temp anomalies stronger than day, winters warming more rapidly than summers
– arctic (but not Antarctic) amplification

A variation from these predictions would be a cause for re-examination.

“So Phil, do you fish? ”

No – but a keen tramper (that would be backpacker I think to you. I am surprised to have someone from NH commentating here.) My fishery work is related to either seafloor mapping to improve fishing efficiency or oddly some work relating to fish stock estimation.

“They say NZ has wonderful fishing, but I am allergic to airplanes as their seating computer always puts me between two huge fellows (and I am not small)”

Fishing is good (reckon you could cross moonstone jumping on the heads of the trout as they rise) but I am happy for you NOT to be travelling long distances.

” Permit me to respond to another comment. This is not an athletic or political contest where one declares victory and retires. It is a debate and a discussion, and I am quite concerned about it deteriorating into name calling and such, which I do not believe either Phil or I intend as the outcome. ”

Thank you Terry. I go into these discussion with the best of intention believing it is the duty of the well informed to try and help these debates. As I am discovering, it gets very tiring whacking the same old moles and that can lead to arrogance and aggression. Your reminder is very timely in the run up to Xmas.

” But let us not descend to the level of name calling and imputing motivations.”

Indeed.

Gareth December 21, 2009 at 11:13 am

Phil, small point:

No weather event can ever be attributed to GW.

That’s often said and is broadly true, but in a changing climate you get changes in extremes (intensity and frequency) that can be attributed to that change. Recent heatwaves in Aussie give a clear example. Adelaide’s had three extreme heat events in the last two years. Barry Brook points out here:
Statistically speaking, it’s astronomically unlikely that such a sequence of rare heat waves would occur by chance, if the climate wasn’t warming.
Weather events that show the influence of warming: and there will be more.

On snow: a couple of years ago, Norway had one of its snowiest winters on record. It was also one of the warmest. In fact increased snowfall around the Arctic is a fairly robust projection of boreal warming and sea ice reduction.

Phil Scadden December 21, 2009 at 11:25 am

Alright Gareth, “no single weather event”. What you are talking about though are trends. (Frequency of drought, heatwaves, floods) etc.

And to Terry, a warmer climate is one with more energy in it. This is where the apparent contradictions of weather come from. That said, I am not happy of with media’s flippant attribution to GW for just about any weather event. I want to see a published paper with a lot of data analysis about trends before I am ready to attribute anything. It also seems so easy for changes in the heat distribution system to make a mockery of regional (but not global) predictions. Imagine the effect on NZ, if the northward Antarctic current switched from east coast to west coast. No change at all globally (no effect at all on the planetary heat budget) but profound on us.

Gareth December 21, 2009 at 1:47 pm

PS: You might want to see Joe Romm on the subject of extremes, especially snow.

Phil Scadden December 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Terry, one other thing.
” Russia is represented by all of 25 stations,”

Where did you get this idea from? As far as I can see, it close to 500 stations.

Terry December 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm

My misremembering: “IEA’s Andrei Illarionov said the think tank’s analysis found that temperature data in Russia used by Hadley-CRU was limited to 25 percent of Russia’s stations and left out almost half of the country’s land mass.
“(The report) is an analysis of what stations have been used, what stations have not been used and, based on this analysis, it looks like the real actual temperature dynamics … in Russia, that is the increase in warming, have been artificially increased by 0.64 degrees Celsius,” Illarionov told IBD.
Hadley Centre responded to IBD via e-mail saying: “The World Meteorological Organisation (sic) chooses the set of stations designated as essential climate stations that have been released by the Met Office.”
Met Office spokesman Dave Britton told IBD that if all data had been used “we would probably suggest that the (Russian) warming would actually be greater.”
But Illarionov said that the station data chosen by Hadley/CRU tended to be closer to places with higher populations, which are often warmer.” I said 25 stations and it was 25%. Sorry.

OK, I’ll have another look at this. You make some good points, and I am sure there are a lot of people doing good work The incessant hype is reminiscent of Cold Fusion and Y2K.

On the PDO/AMO/ENSO, if you set your base in a known cold period then of course you get warming. Thr PDO is rather important locally and in fact affects a large chunk of North America, and I believe the AMO does the same for Europe. Their previous cycles have been plotted back in time. Enso appears to be widely known.

Don Easterbrook is a local professor who has studied the PDO, and local Cascade glacier advance and retreat patterns. He has predicted about 30years of cooler temps and then a return to warming, and I recall his general trend was up. See his website at http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~dbunny/. Well, RealClimate has an enemies list http://www.realclimate.org/wiki/index.php?title=RC_Wiki#Alphabetically_.28by_author.29 and Don is on it. Read Don’s paper and then read the rebuttal at the RC wiki. If this is representative of the professional work these guys do…. One thing in Don’s favor is that most of you will be able to evaluate his prediction as true or false in your lifetime, but not the IPCC models with the safe 100 year time frame.

Another local professor Cliff Mass http://cliffmass.blogspot.com/ has post up on climategate in which he discusses the difficulty of getting published for around the 101st time. He calls part of it Snowpackgate.

I said Anthony Watts and Surfacestations.org used the Gov’t standards and looked at the actual stations and found most of them were poor based on the Gov’t standards. That finding has not been debunked. The feds did a “study” and claimed that the results from the 70 good stations were the same as from the whole lot. I use “study” in quotes because the press here now refers to any set of talking points in a press release as a “study”. But the stations still don’t meet the station siting guidelines the feds promulgated, which makes you wonder why have standards if they mean nothing.

Denialist is a term tossed around here pretty loosely, and it is insulting on a number of levels. This is a discussion of Climate, not the Holocaust. Questioning the quality of the science as loudly advanced by some is not the same as saying it can’t possibly happen. And questioning the apparent methods of some practitioners is not the same as impugning everyone in the field. My apologies if I was not clear on that point.
The discussion has been very useful, and I thank Gareth for hosting it and Phil for the literature and for the gracious attempt to whack another mole.

Merry Christmas to all.

Terry
One reason that a guy from the NH came to visit is that is somewhere between difficult and impossible to find a dedicated AGW site where one can have a discussion of the issues. I think Gareth has a real marketing issue going for him if he can keep control of people who yell “LIAR.”

Phil Scadden December 22, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Terry, IEA/Russion stations. Data released for 25% of the stations. See http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/russian_analysis_confirms_20th.php for some analysis. Comparison of the released stations versus the lot.

Cold fusion/Y2K. Well cold fusion only generated media hype for the sheer audacity of it. Fell over fast when couldnt be reproduced. This situation is more like Y2k – a lot of knowledgeable people being Jeremiah’s “unless you deal with the problem, this disaster befalls”. The disaster aspects appeals mightily to the media and the “unless” bit gets forgotten. We beat y2k thanks to a lot of very hard effort and serious $$$. My celebration of millennium somewhat muted because I was hunched over a computer monitoring systems on a power station where I had installed code and I was required to make sure my research code didnt cause problems. The guys on the station (and their suppliers) worked for a year or more to clean the critical systems.

Baselines. I still want to know what indicator you are talking about??? The only “baseline” like that would “pre-industrial” or “pre- mass CO2 burning”, both long enough ago to have many ocean cycles. And these cycles are heat distributors not sources. Very important for local climate but as said earlier, they cannot account for the pattern of current warming.

The article you refer to (not peer-reviewed) and the rebuttal referenced on RC is by Chris Colose – a blogger and not a publishing scientist as far as I can tell. The essential points in the rebuttal stand as does his criticism of Don’s choice of language and waving of straw men.

Never mind Watts understanding of the standard, the valuable thing about a station for climate work is the length of its record. For that reason alone, suboptimal stations are maintained and used. They require correction and homogenisation, and yes replacement by a move to a better site when possible. As has been pointed out ad nauseum, you get same trend when use rural only as you do for full UHI-corrected network. Consider for yourself the problem scientist face when trying to create a long temperature record for an area with a lot of change to both site and recording parameters. How would YOU approach homogenization?

To be clear where I use “denialist” rather than skeptic. To me a skeptic is skeptical about all evidence. The most damaging thing about the politicking, is that normal skeptical debate between scientists is going underground least it be misinterpreted by the likes of Watts (eg the discussions around Tsonis, Swanson and Tsonis, or Keelyside,Latif et al). A denialist isnt skeptical. This person subject anything supporting AGW to criticism and trumpets any kind of rubbish that is anti-AGW. WUWT and Co2Science would good examples. WUWT reported on NIWA’s rebuttal of the C”S”C study yet?

As to other sites – well there is always RC. There you are talking to the professionals, not amateurs like me. Ask an honest question and you get a polite and informative response back. I dont know how Gavin manages it day after day.

Dappledwater December 21, 2009 at 11:34 pm

Denialist is a term tossed around here pretty loosely, and it is insulting on a number of levels. This is a discussion of Climate, not the Holocaust. – Terry.

Indeed, AGW deniers are much, much worse, billions will die given our current trajectory. Why are you so intent on spreading your brand of stupid?.

Australis December 21, 2009 at 11:51 pm

Dappledwater: Clearly, it has never occurred to you that you might possibly be wrong – about any aspect of these complex issues.

Unfortunately, your dogmatism and fervour cannot help but undermine hopes of any civilised discussion on this blog.

Macro December 22, 2009 at 8:07 pm

Dogmatism
Function: noun
Date: 1603

1 : positiveness in assertion of opinion especially when unwarranted or arrogant
2 : a viewpoint or system of ideas based on insufficiently examined premises

When one looks at the evidence of AGW and the consequent changes in climate it is immediately apparent who are those who are dogmatic and hold their stance with rabid fevour.

1. great intensity of feeling or belief; ardour; zeal
2. Rare intense heat.

And while those who understand the consequences of Global Warming are passionate about doing something about it. The so called “sceptics” have little science to back their posturing, but they do so with ardour, and intense zeal.

Terry December 22, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Hi, Phil:

“Baselines. I still want to know what indicator you are talking about??? ”
I thought I understood that the period 1960 to 1990 was used as the yardstick by which temp anomalies are measured. Any period chosen would have to be within the instrument record, so say some period from 1850 to 2000. If you want an actual average temperature for the earth you would try to get a period where all known effects of ENSO, AMO and PDO are covered, so the period is likely in the 70 to 100 year range. On the other hand, you could simply select any arbitrary number you want and declare it the reference number and measure variation against that number. It is a minor issue, except that the base period keeps getting portrayed as the ideal perfect, and that simply isn’t true.

You make a good point about the record and it’s length. I find it interesting that there are these rigid standards that simply are not followed. It makes me wonder what other areas this promulgate and ignore approach is used.

I understand how you look at skeptic and denialist, and will flat out tell you that any questioning of the data and methods brands on a heretic. The basic issue for the AGW advocates is do you wish to persuade or to belittle? At least in the States, the AGW side is losing the battle for the public support, probably helped along by celebrity pronouncements that everything is a result of Global warming.

And you are right that the debate has been stifled. People who are advocates dare not voice any questions and people who think the AGW is overstated are villified, defunded and removed from the field. But it’s not like this is new in the science debates. Disciplinary feuds have a long history. What is a bit different this time is that it has become entwined in politics, big money is at stake, and some see it as an opportunity to amass power.

WUWT may have had something on NIWA, but if so it missed my notice. It tends to focus on the US aspect and the McIntyre/ Hockey team issue and the sun. And they have some fun with station locations on top of the downtown fire station next to the air conditioner condenser, which made the local paper. You may dismiss him as a crank, but he has a wide following.

If I understand the posts correctly, the CRU file was posted as a comment to both McIntyre’s and Watts sites several weeks before being put up in Russia. Both declined. Believe this was discussed by Charles (?not sure) the Moderator a day or two after the fit hit the shan.

Anthony drives a Prius, lives in a Peoples Republic city (Chico, CA) and puts solar arrays on schools.

RC is quite hostile to non-believers and even to information seekers, usually deleting comments (you can’t get past moderation) or banning a commenter. You’ll not believe me I suppose, so as an anonymous person using the IP from the library or such Pose a question or comment that you might expect me or my ilk to make in the gentlest possible language and see what happens. To tell the truth, amateur to amateur has a lot to recommend it, and I’d prefer to keep you, thank you ;>) You can add a new feature to your CV: Explains the Obvious to the Oblivious.

There has been a minor flap of late over a Connolley (sp?) who was part of the Team and has been editing Wiki something over 5,000 times and is reported to have been removing references to LIA and MWP and such. The National Post in Canada had an article on it around December 16. Can’t vouch for anything except it has been a flap. But the behavior is consistent with that set forth in the CRU emails.

OK off topic. Went looking for geologic levels of CO2. Found some interesting charts covering about 600 million years, with some wild variations of both CO2 and Temp. The temp variation could partly be plate tectonics and land mass location, and should generally trend down over geologic time as earth itself cools. Then I thought about the banded iron and wondered if the same sort of depositional factors could be at work on other things. Also made me wonder (see above) if geologists can still freely talk about geologic evidence. Someone must have calculated it, but there was one ginormous quantity of plant matter that went into the currently known quantity of coal in the world in a relatively short (geologic) time. Feel free to ignore this diversion. I find geology fascinating in the big picture and read on it, but you will find my skill level pitiful. And if you ever feel a need to approach geology from a strictly literary standpoint, try John McPhee. Focus on US, but quite readable.

Australis, civilised discussion has a lot to recommend it. Thanks for the comment. Dappledwater, I come here to learn, perhaps to change my opinion. Insulting will not be persuasive. But I understand you regard this as a private preserve and intruders are not welcome. I’ll try to tread lightly.

Terry

Phil Scadden December 23, 2009 at 5:14 pm

“I thought I understood that the period 1960 to 1990 was used as the yardstick by which temp anomalies are measured. ”

Well you need a baseline for an anomaly record and this is a point in time. The different anomaly products all use different base time which means you have to recalculate to compare – not an issue. The only baseline I ever hear quoted as “ideal” would be “pre-industrial”.

“I find it interesting that there are these rigid standards that simply are not followed.”

Standard evolve – the stations with long length were probably established by different institutions for different purposes in places that have changed completely.

“WUWT may have had something on NIWA, ”

They did – waded in straight away trumpeting more fraud – where was the skepticism? In fairness, he did point to NIWAs defense but see for yourself what he intended readers to make of it.

In science arguments you tend to have one model versus another and you try to find observations that conclusively prefer one to another. In what I call denialist sites, that is not how it works. The denialist litany goes:
“It not happening”
(Watts stuff on weather, stations, arctic records – anything but sealevel)
“Its happening,but we arent responsible”
(Watts does stuff on ocean cycles, sunspots, aerosols, cosmic rays)
“Its happening but its good for us”
(Okay, I dont see any of that).

Pushing all positions at same time is shorthand is for “I believe anything that supports me doing nothing”.

“Both declined”
Well, it would have been a poisoned chalice to accept, esp for McIntyre. He may be obsessional but he’s not stupid.

Anthony drives a Prius, lives in a Peoples Republic city (Chico, CA) and puts solar arrays on schools.

“RC is quite hostile to non-believers and even to information seekers”

Well even in my cursory looking at it, I see a lot of answers to what looks like very pointed questions. On the other hand, the post I saw of yours made me think, sheesh, yet another potpourri of skeptic talking points, can I be bothered?. I see a note from Gavin today.

“People are free to clutter up all manner of bulletin boards and forums and threads elsewhere with repetitive, oft-debunked random talking points. Just not here. If you want to have a dialog about science then we’re good, but if you want to insult scientists, insinuate wrong-doing or post random links to the same, then that isn’t going to work. Feel free to try again.”

Gareth links to many useful files – try skepticalscience first.

“OK off topic. Went looking for geologic levels of CO2. Found some interesting charts covering about 600 million years, with some wild variations of both CO2 and Temp. …”

Paleoclimate in deep time is difficult. Reliable estimates of CO2 are very recent thanks to boron proxy but it is built on assumptions that you cant push back into banded-iron time.
Consider the fundamental physics of planetary temp.
T = Function( solar, aerosol, albedo, GHG). Proxies for these get tough very quickly. Hell, we bitch about problems in estimating aerosols in the 1940-1960 period.

Banded iron time is atmosphere with little oxygen, but way beyond the point where internal temperature is issue. The fine there is the “faint young sun” paradox. How come we have liquid water with such a faint sun? Strong greenhouse is the conventional view. CO2 removal (coal, but more important carbonate) has allowed earth to cool to point where we have ice caps while at same time solar output (on billion year scale) rises.

The Stockwell paper doesnt look that interesting to me. I would be disappointed if journal didnt require changes but forecast models go nowhere here in defining a process controlled by forcing. If statistical approach appears then find
http://www.uwm.edu/~kswanson/publications/2008GL037022_all.pdf
more interesting. This doesnt violate physics and the approach might have some merit.

Terry December 22, 2009 at 8:41 pm

Phil:
Don’t know if you have access to this article or not: http://en.scientificcommons.org/47822430

Interesting in that they employ a different statistical method to look at jumps or discontinuities in the record. I found a review of the paper here http://theresilientearth.com/?q=content/stat-model-predicts-flat-temperatures-through-2050

The review may or may not accurately summarize the paper, but the different method of dealing in jumps is worth a further look.

Terry

Dappledwater December 22, 2009 at 10:53 pm

“Dappledwater, I come here to learn, perhaps to change my opinion. Insulting will not be persuasive. But I understand you regard this as a private preserve and intruders are not welcome. I’ll try to tread lightly” – Terry.

Terry, confess, you are nothing but a denier of AGW. Your sad little routine has been tried hundreds of times on other climate blogs I visit. You pretend to be seeking out the truth, but continually vomit up denialist nonsense. When someone lays into you, you whine and claim you’re being victimized, and how the denier blogs aren’t so rude – blah, blah, blah.

I have absolutely no doubt you will refuse to be swayed by the science, you haven’t been thus far, and there’s several hundred years research on the topic. I certainly have no intention in trying to educate you, but will counter the nonsense you peddle.

RW December 23, 2009 at 9:18 am

Given the considerable skills shown here in putting deniers in their place, it would be even better if some of them could be exercised in some other zones – eg the political column in the Stuff, where a cabal of right-wing and/or liberatarian types regularly post denier crap to support their ideology.

Phil Scadden December 23, 2009 at 5:16 pm

RW – well I for one find it time-consuming and exhausting. Especially saying the same things time and again, in blogs, letters to editor, whatever. I am torn between what feel is a duty to truth and a strong desire to spend time on more interesting pursuits. I think Gareth and Brian need big kudos for keeping at it.

RW December 23, 2009 at 11:08 pm

I quite agree Phil. I think the denier cabal’s aim is to tire people out by presenting them with this type of dilemma. Yes, a huge debt is clearly owed to Gareth and Bryan.

Rob Taylor December 24, 2009 at 5:00 am

Agreed – kudos to Gareth, Bryan, Phil, Sam and all the other informed contributors who make this site so educative.
That “Terry” appears to be coming from further up the food chain than our local branch of the denier franchise should be taken as a compliment;
when Exxon’s version of Nixon’s “enemies list” is one day made public, we can expect an honorable placing for Hot Topic!

Phil Scadden December 24, 2009 at 9:06 pm

Dappledwater – I think your comment to Terry are somewhat uncharitable given his willingness to engage and goodwill. Some Christmas spirits perhaps?

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