Loaded (?) dice

by Judith Curry

“Climate dice”, describing the chance of unusually warm or cool seasons relative to climatology, have become progressively “loaded” in the past 30 years, coincident with rapid global warming.  We conclude that extreme heat waves, such as that in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 and Moscow in 2010, were “caused” by global warming, because their likelihood was negligible prior to the recent rapid global warming. – Hansen, Sato, Ruedy

We discussed this paper Perceptions of Climate Change: The New Climate Dice in a previous thread.  The paper is getting pretty big play in the MSM, notably this article by Paul Krugman entitled Loading the Climate Dice.

Tamino on loaded dice

The idea of ‘loaded dice’ is described in Tamino’s post Craps:

An ordinary die has six faces, with a single spot on one face, two spots on another, etc. etc. up to six spots. When you roll the die, you get an essentially random result between 1 and 6. It’s not uncommon in many games (craps, for instance) to roll two dice and add their numbers to compute the result. We could even roll three, or four, or as many as the game requires (Yahtzee, anyone?).

In any case, let’s call the result you get weather. The way the faces of the dice are numbered, with the six faces having the numbers 1 through 6, let’s call thatclimate.

Climate (the labels on the dice) determines what you expect to get. It also determines how much you can expect your result to vary. This fits the definition of actual climate, which is the mean and variability of weather over long time spans over large areas. Although climate determines the average result and how much variation we can expect, it doesn’t by itself determine the actual result. That’s a random result of rolling the dice … or if you prefer, a random result of natural variations in weather.

When we change either the mean value or the variance of a distribution, then relatively speaking the most profound changes in the probability are likely to occur in the tails of the distribution, i.e., for the extreme events. Let’s take a look at how this might affect a different probability function, the normal distribution(the familiar “bell curve”).

[see details of the analysis in Tamino’s post]

And this illustrates one of the greatest potential dangers of global warming. If we increase the mean temperature (and we already have), of course we increase the likelihood of extreme heat waves (and we already have). But if, in addition, global warming increases the variance of regional temperatures, then we increase the likelihood of extreme heat waves by a lot. A helluva lot. The effect was profound when we only increased the standard deviation by a factor of 1.1 — what if it increases by a factor of 1.2 or even more? The increased likelihood of extreme heat would be astounding. What’s more, we would also increase the likelihood of extreme cold spells!

 Hansen et al.

The main conclusion of Hansen et al is:

“Climate dice”, describing the chance of unusually warm or cool seasons relative to climatology, have become progressively “loaded” in the past 30 years, coincident with rapid global warming. The distribution of seasonal mean temperature anomalies has shifted toward higher temperatures and the range of anomalies has increased. An important change is the emergence of a category of summertime extremely hot outliers, more than three standard deviations (σ) warmer than climatology.  This hot extreme, which covered much less than 1% of Earth’s surface in the period of climatology, now typically covers about 10% of the land area. We conclude that extreme heat waves, such as that in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 and Moscow in 2010, were “caused” by global warming, because their likelihood was negligible prior to the recent rapid global warming.

Hansen et al. illustrate a dramatic change in the historical distribution of global surface temperatures (Fig 9a):

What has been plotted is local temperature anomalies divided by the local standard deviation.   These T/sigma values are collected for separate decades and a distribution of T/sigma value is plotted for each decade.

It is difficult to interpret Hansen’s widening distribution for several reasons.  The analysis convoluted the trend and the variance, and it is not clear whether the spatial or temporal variance has changed.   While Hansen et al. conclude that temperatures have become more varied/extreme, the results could also be explained by global trend and different local standard deviations.

Therefore, it is not conclusive that since the T/sigma distribution widened, temperatures have become more varied or extreme. It may be a result of the global trend and different local standard deviations.

Tamino has two posts on this topic, raising several issues

See also the comments, very good discussions.  The punchline from Tamino’s analysis:

It’s that last part which makes the variance baseline-dependent. In particular, if the baseline period is the same as the time span we’re averaging over, then all the station averages  will equal their corresponding station offsets, and all the differences will be zero. This will cause the estimated variance to be minimum. If, on the other hand, the differences between station means and station offsets show large variance because different stations have warmed differently between baseline and observation intervals, then the last term will greatly increase the estimated data variance.


Lets break this down a bit.   The recent IPCC SREX Report illustrates how a change in mean, variance, and skewness can influence the extreme tail of a distribution:

Figure SPM.3 | The effect of changes in temperature distribution on extremes. Different changes in temperature distributions between present and future climate and their effects on extreme values of the distributions: (a) effects of a simple shift of the entire distribution toward a warmer climate; (b) effects of an increase in temperature variability with no shift in the mean; (c) effects of an altered shape of the distribution, in this example a change in asymmetry toward the hotter part of the distribution. 

Need for caution in interpreting in interpreting extreme weather statistics

Sardeshmukh, Penland, and Comp (3 of my favorite NOAA scientists) have a good poster that explains the issues in interpreting extreme weather statistics. Their main point:

  • The PDFs of daily atmospheric anomalies are not Gaussian: they are generally skewed and heavy tailed. 
  • Non-Gaussianity has enormous implications for the probabilities of extreme values, and for our ability to estimate their changes using limited samples


From Tamino’s part II post:

However, if we want to know whether or not the weather (not climate) is getting more variable, then we really want to isolate the individual-station fluctuations. Therefore I submit that in order to estimate the distribution of the temperature anomalies for estimating temperature variability during some time span (perhaps each decade, or a set of 11-year periods like Hansen et al.), then for each time span computed, then baseline for anomaly calculation should be equal to the time span being analyzed.

From Sardeshmukh et al.:

  • We have demonstrated the relevance of “stochastically generated skewed” (SGS) distributions for describing daily atmospheric variability, that arise from simple extensions of a “red noise” process.
  • The parameters of these SGS distributions, and of the associated linear Markov model, can be estimated from the first four moments of the data (mean, variance, skewness, and kurtosis). The model can then be run to generate not only the appropriate SGS distribution, but also to estimate sampling uncertainties through extensive Monte Carlo integrations.
  • We have shown that extreme-value distributions can be estimated more accurately from limited- length records using such a Markov model than through direct GEV approaches.
  • To accurately represent extreme weather statistics and their changes, it is necessary for climate models to accurately represent the first four moments of daily variability. The good news is that for many purposes this may also be sufficient. The bad news is that currently they do not adequately capture the changes of even the first moment (the mean) on regional scales.

JC comments:  Hansen’s idea for presenting extremes in this way is a powerful one, but misleading.  I agree with suggestions by Tamino and Sardesmukh et al., here are some other suggestions.

Surface temperature and heat wave extremes are arguably the easiest extreme weather event data to work with, having the most complete time/space coverage. I like the idea of the decadal analysis.  But I would focus only on land (over oceans the data quality is worse, the extremes are moderated, and the impacts are smaller), and focus on regions and look at at the longest time series possible.  This seems like an ideal application for the Berkeley Earth dataset.

The issue of trend needs to be dealt with in some way.  I agree with Tamino that each decade’s anomaly should be determined from the decadal average.

A table for each decade with the 4 moments (mean, variance, skewness, kurtosis) for each region would be the most illuminating IMO.  I agree with Sardeshmukh et al. that the most interesting aspects of such an analysis is likely to be changes in the skewness of the distribution. Identifying regional physical mechanisms that could account for changes in skewness (e.g. changes in precip, land use) would be very illuminating.  In regions with increasing rainfall, the distribution might very be skewed so that the long tail is towards cool and not warm.

Digging into the data to understand decadal variation of extreme events seems much more productive than inferring extreme events from climate models, I think Sardeshmukh et al. nail it with this statement:

To accurately represent extreme weather statistics and their changes, it is necessary for climate models to accurately represent the first four moments of daily variability. The bad news is that currently they do not adequately capture the changes of even the first moment (the mean) on regional scales.

447 responses to “Loaded (?) dice

  1. Well, horse hockey. Hansen horse hockey.

    • Is it just me or does the fact that they witness non-Gaussian distribution render most of the statistical tools they have brought to bear on the subject vastly less relevant?

      • No, it’s not only you.

      • Steven Mosher

        depends on specifics

      • What I’ve wondered about with regard to this subject is the role of ENSO in producing extremes and, affecting variance in Hansen style decadal studies.

        From memory Hansen did nothing about proving attribution. The presumption was the later decades had greater extremes (and variance) so it must be AGW. But over the time of the study the nature of ENSO has changed dramatically.(e.g. http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/ ).

        1950 to 1975 weak El Nino’s; strong, common La Nina.
        1975 to 2000 strong, common El Nino; weak, rare La Nina
        2000 to 2012 (maybe) weaker El Nino; stronger, common La Nina

        It’s my understanding that ENSO events have an impact in many regions of the world in producing extreme’s of temperature and precipitation. In fact that seems like common climate science knowledge. Hansen makes no attempt to look for an ENSO signal in the extreme data. Seems like along side an AGW signal any scientist doing this sort of attribution study should look at ENSO. It’s obvious.

        If nobody will do the work it seems as likely that these results are due to multidecadal changes in ENSO as they are due to GHG’s.

      • See Bob Tisdale’s blog.

      • i don’t rmember reading anything on bob’s blog about enso andextreme events

      • I suspect you’ve read more carefully than have I.

      • Somewhere, source unknown, I’ve gotten the impression that the mechanisms of ENSO and the other oceanic oscillations militate against the development of extreme weather. You want extreme weather, look at the Super El Nino of late last century. And what happens with the idea that a decrease in the polar/tropical temperature difference, in a warmer world, leads to less extreme weather events? Also, there is meaning in Ryan Maue’s graph of Accumulated Cyclone Energy, what it is, I don’t know.

      • Dave Springer

        If uncooperative, flawed, or otherwise poor data is pencil whipped it really doesn’t matter what kind of distribution you get from it. In the information processiong world it’s called GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out). First and foremost the input data must be validated before the output data can be assigned any relevance.

      • Steven Mosher

        when you actually get around to defining validation and trying to do it show us ur work

      • Dave Springer

        Pencil whipping should only improve raw data at the margins. In this case the raw data shows no warming trend at all. Two species of pencil whipping, Time of Observation Bias (TOBS) and Station Homogeneity Adjustment (SHAP), produce the warming trend in its entirety. This gives man-made warming a whole new meaning. I don’t believe that people suddenly acquired new habits circa 1950 in where and when they read their thermometers. Only the gullible, naive, or willfully ignorant would believe that.

      • Dave Springer

        How about I show you Watts, McIntyre, Evans, and Christy’s work?

        You know where to look.

        So which are you Mosher 1) gullible 2) naive or 3) willfully ignorant?

        It’s okay to pick all three.

  2. If Moscow is brought into the mix we should consider what skeptics in that part of the world think–e.g.,

    “Today’s debate about global warming is essentially a debate about freedom. The environmentalists would like to mastermind each and every possible (and impossible) aspect of our lives.”

    Vaclav Klaus
    Blue Planet in Green Shackles

    • Oliver K. Manuel

      Klaus is right. Tha AGW movement has absolutely nothing to do with Earth’s climate. It is all about control of people.

      In a noble effort to save themselves from the threat of destruction by “nuclear fire”, world leaders made a serious wrong turn in 1945 that threatens the birthright and personal freedom of every person on Earth.

      They established the United Nations to eliminate nationalism and national governments. National governments are limited by national constitutions. There is no constitutional limit on the United Nations.

      In 1776, the Declaration of Independence proclaimed our right to

      a) Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, and to
      b) Alter or abolish any government that doesn’t support these goals.

      Klaus has seen tyrannical communism in action. Wake up, America, consensus science and politically correct society are wolves in sheep clothing!

      • Oliver, your sagacity is overwhelming. You are the Ben Franklin of our times. Great comment.

      • 1. The Climategate emails and documents released in Nov 2009 revealed a problem.

        2. The strange respomses of world leaders, heads of the US National Academy of Sciences, the UN’s IPPC, the UK’s Royal Society, almost every major scientific organization and the editor’s of almost every major scientific journal revealed a very BIG problem !

        3. The sad fact is just this, and nothing less:: We lost:

        A. Constitutional limits on government, and
        B. Integrity of government science !

        We cannot restore B until we have restored A.

        Oliver K. Manuel

      • No, Oliver and Wang-a-thong are clueless as a rooster summoning the sunrise.

        “If Moscow is brought into the mix we should consider what skeptics in that part of the world think–e.g.,
        [… a quote by]
        Vaclav Klaus”

        Last time I checked, people from the Czech Republic don’t like to be grouped in with Russians.

      • Yes. Good comment.

      • Dave Springer

        STFU Chester.

    • “that part of the world ” ?

      Just on a point on information. Moscow is in Russia. Vaclav Klaus is Czech. The distance from Prague to Moscow is nearly 2000 km and you’d have to travel through at least two other countries to make the overland trip.

      • … behind what once was the iron curtain of liberal fascism and the misery, poverty and death of Leftist ideology… Unlike the Western schoolteachers of AGW, Vaclav Klaus still smells the sulfur and prefer lovers of individual liberty like George Bush, not secular, socialists authoritarians like Castro and Chavez.

      • If Klaus were wrong,

        a.) The nuclear physics community would reply to nuclear rest mass data that show Yukawa’s 1948 model of interactions between neutrons in cores of atoms is wrong, and

        b.) The space science community, including astronomers, astrophysicists and solar scientists, would reply to isotope data that show Fred Hoyle’s 1946 model of the cores of stars is wrong.

        Instead, they have refused to reply and even tried to hide isotope data from the Galileo probe on Jupiter that cost US taxpayers over a billion dollars ( >$1,000,000,000):

      • I guess it could read ‘slavic part of the world’ but then we’d have the ethnographers rather than the geographers at our throats.

      • It’s a rare person that both escaped from the Stalinists and then managed to make it through a concentration camp intact. Lots of us know the difference, you jackass.

      • Rokhlin did it reverse,he survived the Germans and Gulag


        His student of geometry being Gromov ie chance and necessity

      • You think I give a FF about someone I do not know?

      • Is the acronym an equivalence statement of your mathematical grades?

    • spartacusisfree

      But there can be no CO2-AGW because it’s in OR self-absorption mode by ~200 ppmV.

      It’s a physical fact. What’s more there can be no direct thermalisation due to the Gibbsian Principle of Indistinguishability – molecules have no memory.

      So, start thinking again, oxymoronic ‘climate scientists’.

      • spartacusisfree

        Sorry: IR self-absorption mode. it means emissivity and absorptivity asymptote, the latter operating by switching off IR band emission from the Earth’s surface.

        The key error by climate science is the childish belief that surface emission is the same as an isolated black body in a vacuum.

    • Don't Get Me Started

      You flatter these people by calling them “skeptics.” They, and most of the people who post here are AGW deniers, smugly repeated whatever Curry and Watts feed to them. No wonder the world is in such a dreadful state.

      • I pref to call them “anti-agreers”. They plan their strategy via AA meetings.
        I personally don’t use the D-word because it cuts too close to home.

      • An apprecition for the power of the Sun, the role of water vapor, a knowledge of history and an awareness of how greedy, ignorant, hypocritical and cowardly liberal fascists are is the earmark of An Opening Mind and is what gives birth to global warming sketicism and skeptics about most all things througout the entire human experience–which is only about the last 10,000 years of the Earth’s geological history.

  3. The reality of a constant struggle for survival in a dynamic, ever changing, often harsh natural world has been replaced by a romantic notion of nature in a blissful state of harmony and balance, something pure and perfect where any detectable human influence is by definition a desecration. This sacred perspective of the environment manifests itself in language where fragile and delicate become almost mandatory adjectives in describing the natural world. ~Walter Starck

  4. I agree with Judith the graph showing the change in distribution is hard to interpret. Crudely, from the graph, it appears that variability relative to the mean increased from the fifties through the eighties (or nineties), whereas it has decreased or remained the same since the nineties.

    • And then there is the issue of the pathological fixation with “warm” events. Since we are dealing with weather -not climate- how about noting the fact that Westerns Europe has experienced three multi record setting winters in a row? That e.g. Britain and Sweden have seen temperature lows and precipitation highs breaking records that go back more than a century? Or that the Pacific Northwest has been experiencing several years of record setting low temperatures during late winter and spring, with precipitation amounts that are far higher than the norm and that -like the past two years-current May, June and July temperatures are running 4-6C under the long term norm?

      The entire outlook on this subject is fundamentally skewed: it’s like watching only what happens on one side of a tennis court and drawing conclusion about the development of the match as a whole from that.

      Whatever it is and no matter how it’s dressed up, this has all the makings of pseudo science in the vein of astrology or homeopathy.

  5. Loaded dice is a unfortunate choice for the comparison. For loaded dice the range of possible values is fixed and the odds are not what they used to be – and should be. In case of warming the whole distribution shifts. The distribution may also get wider or more skewed but the main change is the shift. That makes the situation so different from loaded dice that’s the better the sooner we get rid of this bad allegory.

    • Pekka Pirilä | July 27, 2012 at 2:29
      Pekka, you are always using your loaded dice. That’s how you are mugging the taxpayer. Would you come up clean: Q: how much are you profiteering from the misleading propaganda?!?! To be a bit clearer:

      In Australia they call it ” the generous government incentives” (about solar panels)- translated on street language: the government is robing / mugging the poor and the pensioner, the western producers; by artificially quadrupling the price for electricity – then they give those money to cronies like you; as ” laundering people’s money” to reward that so called ”GOVERNMENT INCENTIVES” to people like you; to have plenty time – to flood with your drivel the blogosphere…? Simple question: are you benefiting, and HOW MUCH, from the biggest lie ever told; that ”the whole planet is getting warmer” ”that water vapor H2O, CO2, CH4 are GLOBAL warming molecules

      Pekka, start facing the reality, crime shouldn’t pay! No public lie lasted forever: Pekka, you are now playing Russian Roulette; with the beryl of the gun pointed at yourself. Welcome to the reality and compare: http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/open-pandoras-box/water-vapor-h2o/

      • ‘Beryl of the Gun’ is beautiful, Stephan. It’s shiny.

      • kim | July 28, 2012 at 8:29 am

        Kim, beryl or barrel, is important that people can understand; what I’m trying to say – they can correct them-self; they speak English.

        Real problem I face is; when two computers can’t understand each other; so, please help me: ‘my computer suggests ”vapour” but rejects ”vapor” other computers are of opposite opinions; who is wrong,/ correct, and does it really matter? This one that I use for the net; I didn’t get it virgin – was used before by somebody that altered the spellchecker.

        The laptop I use for important things and writing the book – never gets connected to the net. Actually, the first one I had; if the first 3 misspellings i didn’t correct, but continued writing – it was just switching off; by telling me: ”if you have new text, will be lost, program is switching off; because you are doing an illegal operation”

        How can I misspell illegibly? Was yelling at the computer: don’t wipe-off my text, I paid $50 bucks for you, don’t play smart-ass, I have a hammer in the car!!!

        Well Kim, what I’m trying to say is: need few people that are interested in the truth, to present to the world what I have. I don’t like computers, but I like fishing; there are other people that enjoy clicking, they can have fun giving insomnia to the leading Warmist… cheers!

      • Cast opals in the current.

  6. It’s funny. The core concept here is the same as the core concept behind “The Bell Curve”. But The Bell Curve is politically incorrect, and this isn’t.

  7. The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

    Excellent comment. It very well could be the case that the range of possible values in anthropogenic climate change is not fixed, but is constantly evolving (especially as the level of greenhouse is continually increasing).

    However, in defense of the load dice, or skewed probability function, this general metaphot does give a sense about changing probabilities, even if it doesn’t give a sense about the changing nature of what might be on any side of the dice. All of this, of course, is related to the impossible task of predicting a non-linear chaotic system passing through a series of tipping-points.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates) | July 27, 2012 at 2:47 pm said: predicting a non-linear chaotic system passing through a series of tipping-points”
      Gates,Nobody puts a knife on anybody’s throat – to predict lies; it’s all done voluntarily, you should know best – you are inside the Warmist Cult

      Gates, intentionally predicting wrong; for political expediency and loot money – is not a prediction, but a gigantic risky crime. When one predicts which horse will win / but doesn’t = he pays the price, not the innocent.

      No need for ” phony predictions” without using ”the already known facts” Warmist predictions are not predictions, but the biggest destructive lies ever. Your horse is running in the wrong direction. Avoiding ”the already known facts” my blog and my comments = your horse is using ”ostrich tactic” will not get very far. Gates, don’t spend the spoils – will be asked to pay all back, with modest interest. Your 15 minutes of glory will not continue for long; the truth will catch up with you! Don’t forget for one minute, keep it under your pillow.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Denier Stephan,

        Hard as I try I have no idea what you are talking about. Bits and pieces of your ramblings seem to be almost coherent, and then you seem to pour your words from a blender.

    • However, in defense of the load dice, or skewed probability function, this general metaphot does give a sense about changing probabilities,

      But it doesn’t say whether the change is for the better or the worse. They constantly imply the changes are for thew worse. But are they? If much of the warming is at night, in winter and in high latitudes, it is more good or more bad? From where I come from, it would mean a longer growing season. That would be very good for the property I grew up on.

      What are the benefits versus the damage costs?

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        The terms “good” and “bad” are not very scientific in looking at potential effects from climate change. Some species may thrive and some be challenged severely as habitats shift. How well 7+ billion can adapt is open for debate. Floods and droughts hitting food producing regions more frequently would of course be negative as would major changes to the ocean food chain and availability of drinking water.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates) | July 27, 2012 at 11:33 pm

        Gates, new dams prevent floods and droughts; does ONE Warmist or Fake Skeptic talks about building new dams, to improve the climate? Yes, dams improve the climate! All proven, on my blog.

        Does any Warmist & Fake talks about controlling ”overpopulation”?!?! How about prof Pachaury; does he tell the ladies in India; to keep their legs crossed – or does he con about CO2, for millions of loot money? It tells which Warmist & Fakes are honesty deficient – you are one of them.

        Dams prevent floods, by collecting part of the floodwater – dams provide water for the environment in droughts. DAMS, AS SHOCK ABSORBERS; BRING DAY / NIGHT temp CLOSER – less extreme day / night temp, is good climate.

        Deceiving the people that: ”water vapor’ is bad for the climate, is: for burning people, animals, trees in big bushfires + for drought famine – where people, fauna and flora suffer… that makes you and your cult as premeditated mas murderers of animals and people – all for the ”CAUSE”

        Please point; which sentence is not clear enough for you; I will get in more details. (so-far, the more stinky skeletons one has in his closed – the less understands what I say / the stench from his skeletons are giving him amnesia…)

      • Skeptical,

        Your comment shows why you have to do the cost benefit analysis. Just pointing out the bad consequences that come to your mind is not scientific. It is scaremongering. It is nonsense.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Climate change is far too complex for a simple cost/ benefit analysis. Earth systems are too integrated for such a simple black and white approach. A wholistic approach might reveal far more where costs and benefits are looked at in terms of impacts on the functioning and health of the whole system and not just financial terms.

      • Dave Springer

        If a cost/benefit analysis cannot be done then a prescriptive remedy that incurs a cost cannot be formulated. It’s just that simple. If you don’t know whether the action you take will cause harm, good, or be neutral then the only logical course of action is to avoid any cost.

        It’s not rocket science. If the cost of action has a 33% chance each of

        1) doing good
        2) doing nothing
        3) doing harm

        Then you avoid the cost altogether because there’s a 66% chance the cost will either be wasted or make the problem worse, both of which are undesirable.

      • Skeptical Warmist,

        I take it from your comment you know naught about cost-benefit analysis, correct?

        How do you suggest we make policy decisions if we don’t evaluate the costs and benefits of the proposed policy?

        Do you propose we make policy on the basis of the beliefs and value judgements?

        Are you prepared to advocate multi-trillion dollar mitigation policies that you cannot demonstrate will give a return (i.e. you cannot demonstrate they will provide a benefit)?

        If you think there will be a benefit from such policies, then please tell me how you know this – since you have not done the work to evaluate it and you oppose doing the work.

      • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

        Peter Lang,

        I know enough about cost/benefit analysis to understand that you can’t use traditional approaches when it comes to climate change. And the recent failures at Rio demonstrate why this is the case– even if you do the analysis, few will be willing to sacrifice voluntarily. Unfortunately, it will take a series of ever increasing climates-related catastrophies to force a truly serious response. Then, even more unfortunately, geoengineering will be forced upon us as absolutely necessary. This band-aid approach to the management of a climate system will have significant downsides, no different than chemotherapy for a cancer patient.

      • Skeptical Warmist,

        even if you do the analysis, few will be willing to sacrifice voluntarily.

        That is because rational people recognise that the costs of the proposed mitigation far exceed the benefits: http://jennifermarohasy.com/2012/06/what-the-carbon-tax-and-ets-will-really-cost-peter-lang/

  8. Die Zauberflotist

    Go with me, back to that time decades ago when normal prevailed. Extreme weather events were seldom seen and only occasionally mentioned by eccentric relatives. Perfect days and perfect nights seemed endless, almost guaranteed. As someone said, “the air so dewy sweet you didn’t even have to lick the stamps”. Then…. we loaded the freaking dice.

    • True, true Napoleon actually lost his army to the Russian kindness that was shown to the French throughout the winter.

    • Michael Hart

      I call it the “Cider With Rosie” mentality. Laurie Lee’s book describes the epitome of the English rural idyll, that is forever gone. The summers that were always perfect…

      But it’s being supplemented with something rather older…..?
      “Then it came to pass, at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh had a dream; and behold, he stood by the river. Suddenly there came up out of the river seven cows, fine looking and fat; and they fed in the meadow. Then behold, seven other cows came up after them out of the river, ugly and gaunt, and stood by the other cows on the bank of the river. And the ugly and gaunt cows ate up the seven fine looking and fat cows. So Pharaoh awoke. He slept and dreamed a second time; and suddenly seven heads of grain came up on one stalk, plump and good. Then behold, seven thin heads, blighted by the east wind, sprang up after them. And the seven thin heads devoured the seven plump and full heads. So Pharaoh awoke, and indeed, it was a dream.”

  9. Obvious that if the mean increases that the variance will increase. It’s very rare to find a natural process where the variance will stay the same or decrease with an increase in the mean. Likely only human-engineered control systems or biological systems have that property, and the climate is not even close to possessing those kinds of properties.

      • That is epistemic uncertainty you knob.

      • Oh, so the uncertainty is in the measurements. We have a great deal of confidence in the model.

        So since the model is assumed correct, http://redneckphysics.blogspot.com/2012/07/there-are-no-steps-it-is-constant.html

        the stratosphere and SST are questionable also, though they tend to support the reduction in variance with increased mean.

        The ARGO data is too short and likely not accurate enough either since it tends to disagree with the model we have confidence in, though it also tends to lend support to the reduction in variance with increasing mean. Seems I have run into this situation before where uncertainty in the data required using model estimates because of the much greater confidence we have in the models.

    • again I disagree with you on this topic. it may be rare but it is not physically implausible. in the abstract, if AGW acted to reduce temperature minima without increasing maxima by a similar amount, variance could be reduced. Not saying for sure it will.

      • …but there are some indications that it can.

      • Well, you still haven’t given an example and I can give scores from natural processes. It really is quite obvious, as maximum entropy generates a standard deviation equal to the mean if all one knows is the mean.

      • I have been trying to get you to look at the limit imposed by water and atmospheric pressure. Admittedly, it is not a simple problem. The oceans are a non-equilibrium system with dissipative options, you have to consider ice mass moving out or in, during a warming phase returning. The freezing point of salt water provides a relatively stable sink temperature.

        Even Raypierre says that that decay curve would be related to “Sensitivity” only the oceans liquid internal phase with salt variability allows some shifting in the whole system “sensitivity”.


        That reconstruction appears to show the bi-stable regions of the oceans that match pretty well with the range of salt freezing -1.9C to fresh thawing 0C. Away from the liquid oceans, the temperatures could go anywhere. The oceans, look to be the best reference to determine any physical limits.

      • Webster, https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-4V1oWxu3PmQ/UBPcCXSscxI/AAAAAAAACqc/S54zV2jlN0o/s903/wringing%2520the%2520bell.png

        Sparing no expense on the intricate graphics :) From one reference the distribution appears to have a fat tail. Depending on the amount and time constants of the energy absorption, there are lags.


        Any system that has lags is likely to have internal oscillations.

        Predicting an end result without considering the dampening characteristics of the system tends to result in less than impressive skill.

        Since the topic is loaded dice, the bi-stable nature of the system tends to “load” probabilities. So would variability be greatest near a region of stability or in the “Goldielocks” region in between the regions of stability?

      • You still have not given a natural counter-example.

        Here is an example of a mean variance rise.

        The sun has a much higher mean temperature and obviously it has a much higher variance in temperature, see sunspots cor example. This variance is not a proportional value but an absolute one. When the mean goes up, the variance will rise in absolute terms. It is just such an incredibly obvious empirical fact of natural processes, tied into laws of entropy.

      • The Sun has a much higher temperature than what you idiot? You have been thinking of that all day I know. I will give you one for free. The variance in the energy states of molecules in a gas volume increases as the average energy increases. A little bit trivial I know – it therefore suits you.

        We have the example instead of the diurnal temperature range where the difference between mins and max has declined over time as the mean has increased. This starts to get interesting. We have for instance a conservative pollutant in water – the mean concentration increases and there is no more variance at the end of the day in a well mixed sample. There is the example of warm icecream mix freezing faster than cold mix. If a population as a whole is better fed the height curve shifts to the right. Is it likely that some people don’t respond to better nutrition? Probably not.

        I can’t think of an example that isn’t trivial – including the present one. If the mean temperature increases for whatever reason – it seems quite difficult to get there without an increase in above average temperatures. Should there be increase in frequency of cold events? Impossible – it doesn’t happen in Hansen’s graph – although cold events may still occur. Taminos’ dice might read 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 and the not 1 to 8 missing 6. The variance in that case doesn’t change – although I admit I haven’t run the numbers. It is really an example of a model that is far too simple minded to be regarded seriously.

        As really is your insistance on a non trivial example of your thesis. It doesn’t exist you boob.

      • Kangaroo boy uses a counter example based on an urban legend. Warmer materials may freeze faster but like I said, a human designed refrigeration system is in the loop. The refrigeration rate is based on how far away the temperature is from a setpoint. The warmer material reduces the temperature surroundings so the feedback mechanism kicks in more strongly and so it freezes marginally faster.

        Notice that no one can come up with a counter-example.

      • Webby,

        You didn’t fall out of the stupid tree. You got drug through dumbass forest. Which bit of trivial nonsense and I am just yanking your chain for fun didn’t you understand? Basically – your only contributions are so mind numbingly tedious, simpleminded and invariably incorrect that anyone with any sense just ignores your stubborn insistence on some misbegotten idea you imagine makes sense or perhaps does in that alternate universe you live in. The bizarro universe where the meaningless substitutes for meaning and the intelligible for gobbledegook. If a battle of wits was an Olympic sport – you would be eligible for the special Olympics. Waiting for you to say something intelligent is like putting a candle in the window for Jimmy Hoffa. You must have a very large brain, to hold so much ignorance.

        ‘(PhysOrg.com) — Scientists have known for generations that hot water can sometimes freeze faster than cold, an effect known as the Mpemba effect, but until now have not understood why. Several theories have been proposed, but one scientist believes he has the answer.’

        ‘Radiation safety officer with the State University of New York, James Brownridge, has been studying the effect in his spare time for the last decade, carrying out hundreds of experiments, and now says he has evidence that supercooling is involved. Brownridge said he found water usually supercools at 0°C and only begins freezing below this temperature. The freezing point is governed by impurities in the water that seed ice crystal formation. Impurities such as dust, bacteria, and dissolved salts all have a characteristic nucleation temperature, and when several are present the freezing point is determined by the one with the highest nucleation temperature.

        In his experiments, Brownridge took two water samples at the same temperature and placed them in a freezer. He found that one would usually freeze before the other, presumably because of a slightly different mix of impurities. He then removed the samples from the freezer, warmed one to room temperature and the other to 80°C and then froze them again. The results were that if the difference in freezing point was at least 5°C, the one with the highest freezing point always froze before the other if it was heated to 80°C and then re-frozen.’ http://phys.org/news188801988.html

  10. This article is a joke.

    In climate that has a warming and cooling phases of 30 years to consider only the 30 years warming phase for statistical analysis is not science, but voodoo science.

  11. I’ve already expressed grave misgivings about this paper on several occasions.
    A distribution of temperature anomalies, as opposed to absolute temperatures, tells you little to nothing about anything – let alone extreme weather events. It’s an abstraction of an abstraction, which amounts to statistical soup.

  12. Really nice summation, and good recommendations.


    a) we aren’t really seeing people do this in a systematic manner using appropriate metrics, and never have (certainly not for sufficient spans of time to produce significant results on which to base analyses);
    b) the analyses called for are incredibly complex and intricately interrelated in ways that invite multiplication of errors. (See anything by Mr. Orssengo for examples of this issue.)
    c) there are equations that tell us the scale of the metrics required, and they demand one or two orders of magnitude closer grids – on the order of 10 km or 1 km squares or cubes throughout the atmosphere, and finer granularity below the sea, plus several more vectors of measurement besides mere temperature anomaly, in order for the best of Chaos Theory reasoning to be applied, if then. There may be no level of observation that allows sufficient advances in projections and inference to satisfy the requirements of the recommendation to move forward our understanding of the loading of the dice.
    d) the loading of the dice itself, the external forcing, acts as a perturbation on a complex system. This in and of itself takes the system through extremes unrelated to what Hansen or Tamino discuss. Not only do we get the very real effects under Hansen, but also we get effects that will be more unpredictable and more extreme under Lorenz.

    So you could fool yourself into paralysis by analysis, and end up as impotent as Congress.

  13. Besides ethics, I do a bit of ‘the numbers of gambling’…closest I can get…not exactly probability, not exactly statistics.

    I think that this is a more accurate weather/climate dice analogy:

    We have an unknown number of dice, each with an unknown number of sides, each side representing a factor involved in determining the daily weather and climate. The dice are rolled a thousand (~many) times a day and each roll causes a change in the weather which depends on not only the current roll, but the previous 100,000 (~many times many) rolls.

    Mankind affects the values on some of the faces of the dice, those labeled ‘land use’, ‘atmospheric composition’, etc etc., but we don’t know the qualitative or quantitative values of the changes or the cumulative effects. Planetary dynamics, atmospheric dynamics, solar cycles, solar flares and storms, cosmic rays, volcanism, and a lot of other variable factors each have their own value, which changes, on its own face on one of the dice, but again, we don’t and can’t know the qualitative or relative quantitative value.

    We are only allowed to know the ‘whole result’ of the day’s rolls–the daily weather and thus, cumulatively, the climate.

    Using this version, we know we must have affected the outcome, but don’t (and can’t?) know how. We can not predict the effects of future rolls either. As in any other game that depends on probability, we can look to the past to guess the future–but like the stock market–even when you know the changes that are affecting the markets–predicting future outcomes is a crap shoot.

    • Well put. Another example is betting on the outcome of a football game. You might list 10 reasons (variables) that you think will cause your team to win — but if your team does win, there is no guarantee that they won because of any of the 10 reasons you chose. There are thousands of variables at play.

    • If the dice can be affected by previous rolls then each roll is not a random event but an outcome from a system that may well be governed by deterministic chaos. Longer term prediction would not be feasible in such circumstances.

      • Peter, my back of the envelope idea wasn’t that previous rolls affect the current roll, but that the effect of the current roll depends not only on its own value, but also on the values of the ‘many x many’ rolls immediately before it, in other words, a long sequence

        In practice this would mean that a dice roll of ‘136’ (a randomly picked number) would have a different result in today’s weather than in tomorrow’s weather. This matches the actuality — seemingly identical conditions can be followed by different conditions — world weather map X is not always followed by world weather map Y. La Nina isn’t always followed by neutral followed by El Nino.

        In the ‘loaded dice’ argument, this means that while we know we have changed some of the values on the faces of some of the dice, we can have no idea what effect that will have, is having or has had.

        The consensus loaded dice analogy seems to say we loaded to dice to produce more ‘heat’, more variability, more extremes. There is no evidence for this idea. Notice they never say we’ve loaded the dice for more nice weather – it is a political statement.

      • Thanks for elaborating on your dice analogy Kip. The outcome of a dice roll is to me the same as the physical process of the roll itself; there seems to be no distinction between them AFA I can see.

  14. In regard to Paul Krugman getting into climate science, the first law of economics is that if you have two economists, they have opposite opinions. The second law of economics is that they are both wrong.

    • With you on that one!

      • A girl fell asleep in Milton Friedman’s Eco 101 class. He rapped on her desk and demanded she answer his question. She woke up with a start and said ‘I don’t know what the question was, but the answer is increase the money supply”.

      • I remember Edward Heath calling Nigel Lawson a one club golfer because his unique answer to every problem was to alter the interest rate up or down.

  15. David Wojick

    I am curious what data they are using and why they think it is accurate enough for this sort of analysis. Are we dancing on the head of a pin again?

    • Steven Mosher

      Data is fine. methodology is flawed

      • John another

        Sanitys sake, everyone and their dog knows that the methodology is flawed and the dog et the raw data (as is their wont). My own local National Park ‘lost’ one third of the data for the last century. Why is there even a need for FOI when there is supposed to be a specific requirement for all raw data archiving attached to any public funding?
        No, the data is not fine, let alone fully even existent.
        Sometimes I admire you and Judy and sometimes I deplore the damage to rational thought you both do.


      • Steven Mosher

        Sadly you can prove that the loss of data or discovery of data does not change the answer.
        is losing some data a good thing..no. is it fatal. proveably not.

      • maksimovich

        The problematic issue is incorrect assumptions in the arbitrary assimilation of data ( especially where data is collated under constraint) and variability is greater the the climatic means,

        Hanson for example identifies the variability of the SO ( a legitimate problem) and assimilates inhomogeneous data without validation eg

        Careful examination reveals something amiss in the standard deviation maps for 1951-1980. How can variability be less than 0.1°C in the Southern Ocean? Given weather variability there, surely temperature cannot be so rigidly fixed. The small variability there must be an artifact of limited measurements during 1951-1980. Ocean temperature analyses there were based on limited sampling and climatology, and thus did not include realistic year-to-year changes.

        Fortunately, satellite measurements of sea surface temperature provide near-global data in recent decades for ice-free regions. Resulting maps of standard deviation for 1981-2010 (right column in Fig. 2) remove the Southern Ocean artifact of the 1951-1980 maps.

        Another group of researchers clearly identify the problems with the satellite record Kravtsov 2011 and the requirements for additional metrics such as SLwind for SST variance .eg

        Poor spatial coverage by in situ measurements in the Southern Ocean prohibits direct comprehensive description of climate variability there. The data from NASA satellites launched over the past decade thus provide a unique source of precise measurements of climatically important quantities such as SST and SLW. Global coverage and fine
        resolution make them extremely valuable for studying air-sea interaction in the Southern Ocean. In particular, the microwave-based sensor AMSR on the AQUA satellite launched in 2002 samples SST field under clouds – an opportunity that was previously unavailable for infrared-based SST records over the typically cloudy Southern Ocean.

        Secondly the importance of additional metrics such as wind and pressure are required to resolve dynamics that are smaller then the law of physics resolution of GCM, such as mesoscale eddys and which are clearly not temporal invariant .


      • John another

        Why was data lost? Is that now considered professional? Professional enough to justify the expenditure of trillions of dollars and involuntary life changes? Is it fatal YES!!!!

      • John another

        Sadly, I think that in your statement “loss or discovery of data does not change the answer” you have declared yourself to the world as a post normal scientist and opposed to the classical definition of the science that rebelled against the politically correct and drug us out of the Dark Ages.
        Your answer and that of your ilk is straight out of the Inquisition.
        Thank you for laying at least one of your cards on the table.

      • Data is sporadically collected, data is missing, data is adjusted, data is fiddled, data is erased, but any of that is not even a minor calamity.
        Climate is not a bridge or a skyscraper; it is nature. The data we have as it is, is more than good enough to determine extent of natural change and the natural oscillations on one hand and any ‘anthropogenic’ factor that may be present, and that it is the best we can hope for.
        Greetings Steven.

      • John another

        If the ‘lost’ data is of such little consequence, why is the team spending millions and breaking FOI laws to keep it out of reach of anyone not of the team?
        There does not appear to be much agreement between the team (and it’s megaphones) with skeptics and realist wrt natural change in just our own Holocene. It would seem to some, that it only cools locally and warms globally.
        No, IMHO, the instruments let alone proxies, are not good enough to pin down tenths of a degree (a useless metric by itself) per century. But that is not what the teams obstruction and obfuscation are about now is it?

      • John another

        We know some of the ‘lost’ data is on the drive the Norfolk Police just returned to UEA; We know that FOIA has some of it. We know the University of Virginia is in possession. All other involved institutions will eventually be spending the same resources (although they do provide to Greenpeace for no charge). Why is it so incredibly difficult for you to understand why an inquiring society would dare ask for transparency wrt to a movement that requires the transfer of trillions of dollars and a massive involuntary change in life?
        And while I am asking, just exactly what is the ideal temperature for life on this specific planet? What species will thrive or be annihilated at the temperature your bureaucracy has deemed politically correct?


    • David, the inability of the climate modelers to properly reanalyze the data that is available, is nearly proof that the CO2 dominate GHE theory is wrong. The wild geese chases in the Antarctic and tropics are about to require they back up and reevaluate their position on the other factors and the non-equilibrium or bi-stable nature of the climate. The change in the rate of stratospheric cooling should not have been a surprise, the reduction in ocean heat uptake (missing heat) should not have been a surprise, the variation in regional stratospheric ozone should not have been a surprise and they should have expected the Antarctic to cool until the stratospheric cooling shifted to neutral.

      They have a problem with their theory.

  16. lurker, passing through laughing

    The assertion that there was a negligible heat waves in places that have historically had heat waves and droughts is one of the funniest idiocratic assertion made in a very long time.
    They have no credible way of knowing which years should or should not have heat waves
    It is as ridiculous as an article about periodic melting of surface ice in Greenland to be called “unprecedented melting” and in a way that implied the entire icecap was melting.
    What makes the entire farce truly hilarious is that it was ever taken seriously.
    The authors of this paper are clowns, dressed up to do a parody of science.
    Their conclusions are no more credible than someone who has examined a folded tortilla that some fanatic believes bears an image of Christ to solemnly conclude that the tortilla could only have that shape because of God’s intervention.
    Who needs the Daily Onion when you have climate scientists?

  17. Curiuos George

    Does Dr. Hansen say that climate is a 10-year weather? His graphs are for 10 year periods. I’m enthusiastic, we have a common ground. Let’s compare 10-year climate forecasts to reality. I mean forecasts published 10 years ago.

  18. k scott denison

    Why do the *real climate scientists* always compare nice even decades to other nice even decades? As if the Earth knew what year it was or that climate varied neatly by decade. And in the case of the Hansen graph, using 11 year “decades”. Huh?

    • Because if they admitted that they can’t predict the future they would have to get real jobs?

      • Jim S | July 27, 2012 at 8:42 pm said: ”if they admitted that they can’t predict the future they would have to get real jobs?”

        Jim, ”predictions” by tarot cards has improved by 30%, by reading tea-leafs predictions improved by 33% – crystal ball ”predictions” are not improving, because those crystal balls are made in China / inferior quality.

        Somebody ‘predicting” the weather after next Monday = is stumbling in a dark. Yes Jim, WEATHER IS CLIMATE!!! Don’t let the ”Climate From Changing Stoppers”, to CON you that: climate is the phony GLOBAL warming.

        Climate is: wet climate = mild climate + dry climate = extreme climate. (extreme climate is; hot days/cold nights) + summer / winter climate + high / low altitude / latitude climate, FULL STOP! THAT’S CLIMATE!!!

        You wan’t ”predictions” go to a Gypsy Tarot Cards Reader” if you want pure 24carat lies, go to IPCC, to Jim Hansen, JimD, to gbaike&lolwot, Pekka and Vaughn Pratt. They are sharing the ”Olympic Gold and Silver medals for shameless, tireless extremist lies” You should congratulate them; they have being working hard for those medals. The Telescope, Eli Rabbet and Mosher received the Bronze medal; they need to put extra effort, for next time

      • C’mon, moshe; when the going gets tough.

      • My wife goes shopping.

  19. Economists like Krugman have a track record for accuracy about as poor as climatologists like Hansen. Tamino makes sound technical points (and I speak as a PhD level econometrician). The two bigger issues are (1) there is no plausible theory for weather events being Gaussian distributed (normal bell curve) and (2) there is as yet no statistical evidence in any of the US data, or any of the world data acessible to me, for a change in weather extremes. I just spent months looking. Probable slight increase in total precipitation over the past century, and in this decade an increase in extreme one day US precipitation triggered by hurricane landfalls. Nothing global on tropical storms, though.
    Hansen’s piece is groping for a strong climate extremes signal when the objective data says there is at best only a weak signal against a strongly noisy background. Why? Because extremes are about the only worrisome impact left once sea level rise and crop yields are calibrated to likely future reality and impact.

    • Rud Istvan,

      Hansen’s piece is groping for a strong climate extremes signal when the objective data says there is at best only a weak signal against a strongly noisy background. Why? Because extremes are about the only worrisome impact left once sea level rise and crop yields are calibrated to likely future reality and impact.

      I think that comments nails it.

    • Dave Springer

      Rud Istvan | July 27, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Reply

      “I just spent months looking. Probable slight increase in total precipitation over the past century”

      That is exactly what I expect. CO2’s ability to raise surface temperature is restricted by the ability of evaporation and convection to insensibly lift the retained energy away from the surface. So where there is plenty of surface water available for evaporation there will be little rise in surface temperature but rather more rainfall instead. This then leads to a predictable distribution in observed warming trends – i.e. follow the liquid water. Where a liquid ocean covers the surface you get nothing but more rain. The largest effect would be in the winter, over land, in higher latitudes where the surface is frozen for months on end. Follow the water. All the observations are in line with this prediction.

      • Dave Springer

        If it can possibly be measured I expect the average height of clouds to increase by about 150 meters for each CO2 doubling. The great amount of energy being lifted away from the surface and transported insensibly to the cloud deck lowers the environmental lapse rate between cloud and surface. That means that water vapor convecting upward must travel farther for adiabatic cooling to reduce its temperature to the dewpoint where a cloud will form and the energy becomes sensible again.

      • 100 to 150 meters is about right. Hard to measure that change with all the noise though with the increased, what’s it called? Advection?

      • Dave Springer

        I got the 150 meters from a 1.1C rise in temperature an environmental lapse rate of 6.7C/km. The same DWLIR that could raise surface temperature 1.1C on dry land would, over perpetually wet surface, instead result in 1.1C rise in temperature at the former cloud deck which means the new cloud deck would have to be 150 meters higher for adiabatic cooling to make the cloud form.

    • How would you describe the quality of available Extreme Weather Event (EWE) data, or more to the point, opportunities to improve current data collection? Looking at the presentation (http://www.met.rdg.ac.uk/~han/Extremes/extreme1.pdf) from the MET on different metrics such as Exceedence, Volatility and Clustering we see this is far from a straightforward topic.

      And.. wouldn’t it be extraordinary to find a Gaussian, for what we know must be a function of multiple variables, if we’re discussing EWE? And even if Gaussian, why not severely skewed and with a much longer tail than is commonly expressed (http://www.bitsofscience.org/weather-extremes-gaussian-distribution-4902/)? The tails of such distributions are often full of uncertainty at the extremes, by nature of their small numbers.

      I know the theoretical EWE schema describe conventionally uses the Gaussian simplification (http://www.emc.ncep.noaa.gov/gmb/ens/target/ens/albapr/albapr.html) for the purposes of discussion. However, to actually see this really happen, against the background of everything else? That’s a lot to ask. Not seeing it isn’t proof it isn’t happening, or even evidence it isn’t a powerful or dominant effect. Merely that we aren’t seeing what might be there. It would be surprising if we did see it, given the poor efforts we’ve made to collect and organize sufficient relevant data on top of every other difficulty.

      Also, other distributions and ways of looking at EWE are perhaps easier and more useful from a Risk management point of view. (http://books.google.ca/books?id=yaTYZUxkha0C&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false)

      Correlation between EWE’s and other events is also interesting and under-examined (http://www.ngi.no/upload/38478/InfraRisk_Poster_Meyer2010.pdf or http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0477(2000)081%3C0443%3AIOEWAC%3E2.3.CO%3B2 for example), from the point of view of including higher order consequences.

  20. Paul Vaughan

    The whole paradigm is fundamentally flawed on the basis of absolute logic. That includes Dr. Curry’s comments. Advice: Rethink at a deeper level of fundamentals. Try to become aware of what unwarranted assumptions are somehow being made implicitly (probably via misguided cultural roots). As soon as people start talking about unconditional PDFs in the context of climate, I know they’re hopelessly lost.

    I’m sure most of you have seen this:

    WUWT publishing suspended – major announcement coming

    I can think of only 1 thing warranting such dramatic foreshadowing:
    Someone has finished cracking the code of ENSO.

    It will be interesting to see if this is what has happened.

    • I wouldn’t think so, see his last post
      Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. draws attention today to a new study that cites Fall et al. 2011 aka the “Surfacestations Paper” that I co-authored, which was a follow up to my original surveys published in Watts 2009.

      I don’t think there is much mystery about the ENSO, its ~5 year periodicity and the source are identified with a scant reference in some of my posts and graphs, not too far removed from the AMO.

      • Paul Vaughan

        The Stairway to Heaven…

        annual heliomagnetic field polarity at solar cycle (Schwabe) timescale:

        grey: phase anomaly
        red: power
        black: cumulative cycle length anomaly
        data: http://www.leif.org/research/spolar.txt

        Beyond shadow of doubt: 1970s terrestrial regime shift was of solar origin.

      • I would say it is closely synchronized with the heliomagnetic field polarity at solar cycle i.e. beyond shadow of doubt: 1970s terrestrial regime shift was of the ‘solar systems (magnetic) configuration’ origin.

      • Paul Vaughan

        Yes. And it’s easy to isolate the pattern from both 27 day AND annual, emphasizing top-down control. The reason why there’s better coherence with cycle length metrics than amplitude metrics is because timing matters so much for acoustic terrestrial resonance. Using second order central differences, I have now isolated the 1940s shift at annual timescale. The ’76 to ’98 stretch of rising atmospheric angular momentum integral and el nino domination is also bracketed. The data suggest that at coarse scale HMF/HCS morphology is determined by north-south asymmetry. That’s proportional to amplitude. And cycle length interface with Earth’s natural cycles is not independent of that. We have enough details of the timing framework to know with absolute certainty that we are dealing with dark forces of ignorance &/or deception.

    • Dave Springer

      The flaw is focusing on radiative fluxes when in actuality the lower troposphere is dominated by latent fluxes. Latent flux on a global average basis is nearly twice the radiative flux (78W/m2 vs 40W/m2 according to Trenberth’s famous energy budget cartoon) in the lower troposphere.

  21. Does anybody claim the climate is a stationary process? Are measurements of global or regional climate statistics 100,000 years ago (if we had been there) useful for characterising today’s climate? Or measurements before the last termination, or during the Holocene optimum? Even during the LIA – just a couple of hundred years ago?

    A stationary process is one where the statistical properties do not change over time.

    The statistics of dice will be stationary if we are not actively tampering with them. There is every reason to expect an assessment of their statistical properties over one time interval will be good expectations of bahaviour at other times.

    If we tamper with the dice after an initial statistical assessment, we may not be able to rely on the measured properties. Tampering is reason to believe their properties are non-stationary and our initial assessment will give us misleading expecations.

    If the climate is non-stationary, it is very difficult to make a case that any historical statistical assessments may be adopted as a norm. This undermines argument that a meaningful change from normal has occured.

    Measure statistical properties for each decade. Or other intervals. But how can it be separated as not “normal” vartiation of a non-stationary system?

    • Jordan | July 27, 2012 at 6:12 pm said: ” Or measurements before the last termination, or during the Holocene optimum? Even during the LIA – just a couple of hundred years ago?”

      Jordan, one can go back in time and be telling the truth. or lies. Confusing past big climatic changes, as if they were GLOBAL, is a same lie as saying that: ”98 was the warmest year, LIE” It was the warmest on 2-3-4 places, but was colder on other places. Your LIA, Holocene, Crapocene, were same (proof of lies): http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/skeptics-stinky-skeletons-from-their-closet/

      Jordan, two lies don’t make one truth. Warmist say that climate in 100y will change; of course will change – climate hasn’t stopped changing for one day in the last 4billion years. But encompassing GLOBAL warming in the same basket as climatic changes; that’s where the lie is. The planet will have EXACT warmth units in 100y as today, same warmth units was during your LIA, Holocene, Crapocene, AND Eocene, AND Miocene; – warmth shifts location OR days get warmer / nights colder – that’s what ALL of your Crapocenes were. Therefore: ”by yours & Plimer’s lies”, you cannot prove Warmist lie wrong!!! Your ”LIA’ lie as GLOBAL; is giving oxygen and Viagra to your opponents. THINK!

      • Stefan: “Your ”LIA’ lie as GLOBAL; is giving oxygen and Viagra to your opponents. THINK!”

        We’re basically in agreement Sefan, but I’m gonna have to differ on that one.

        When you are facing a specific argument in a court of law, you cannot simply wave your arms around and cry “it’s all rubbish”. Nobody is going to pay attention to argumentation at that level. Your will lose if you try.

        If you don’t think the arguments stack up on specific points, it is your responsibility to attack them by exposing logical flaws.

        Here’s one: measures of global average temperature have little or no physical measning. Here is an illustration to support that view. Let’s say I have an enclosure containing a gas turbine. I tell you that the average temperature of the enclosure and its contents is 300 degC. From that information, what can you deduce about the operating performance of my turbine? Answer: virtually nothing. You cannot deduce its operating efficiency or power output. In fact, from the information provided, you cannot even tell whether or not the gas turbine is operating.

        According to the information upthread, Hansen is standing in the court of public opinion, waving about graphs of decadal pdf’s to support an argument. How do we respond to this?

        We can certainly object to the concept of average temperature and explain why it is not menningful – I agree with you on that.

        But another angle is that he seems to be making an argument that a pdf derived from the 1950’s has value in characterising what SHOULD have happened in the 1990’s?

        But we can also ask for justification of the appatent assumption of stationarity when it is patently obvious from longer timescales that the climate is non-stationary.

        I don’t think Hansen’s analsyis stacks up on either point. I’m sure there are other objections too. Only thing left to do is to drive these wedges into his detailed points to pull-apart his logic.

    • Jordan | July 27, 2012 at 6:12 pm

      I was pointing to you that: putting climatic changes in the same basket as the phony GLOBAL warmings; is giving oxygen to the Warmist. For the court of law / under oath; questions are getting prepared here – try to defend the Warmist: http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/q-a/

      Regarding your LIA, Holocene, they are same lies as any Warmist lie- only more smelly and more prolific. Jordan, whatever I say, I can substantiate. When the 8-9 posts / pages on my blog are known to the public, will be the end of the misleading propaganda. What you and the rest are repeating; even the dogs heard about it on the TV box 100000 times, but people stop believing. Fake’s drivel is slowing the truth; if you have read the previous post I recommended to you – it’s a good sample of proofs of the Fake’s daydreaming and shameless / irresponsible stupidity.

      Warmist are not ridiculing you about your ”LIA” Holocene, Crapocenes because it suits them / because is their shield from the truth. When you realize that: warmings are localized – LIA was: colder in Europe, but warmer than normal on other places AT THAT SAME TIME – the laws of physics don’t permit warming of the WHOLE planet – cooling of the WHOLE planet is physically impossible = you can understand that: THE WARMIST DON’T HAVE A CASE!!! The crap you promote, is the Warmist ”life support”

      Jordan; if you believe that Hansen, Gore haven’t heard about LIA, Miocene, Holocene – you better buy yourself a new alarm clock, to wake you up. Cheers!

  22. Another comment on weather extremes. A higher and more robust logic level. None of the GCMs used to predict future warming operate on a scale sufficiently fine to be able to produce weather. AR4 says they do a poor job with clouds, and Wentz showed they do a poor job with precipitation.
    That leaves first weather principles. Higher mean temperature, more heat energy, more extremes? Except compared to seasonal variation, the mean rise is relatively insignificant. More summer tropical heat, higher SST, more tropical storms? Except the same phenomenon means more wind shear which prevents them from forming. So over the roughly 0.5C rise from about 1970 that AR4 says is mostly AGW, ther is no change in tropical storms or their intensity. One is left arguing for extremes based on beliefs only. GCMs don’t go there, and weather records don’t show anything yet. Pretty tough for Hansen and Sato, although that has not stopped them fom trying. See their several recent papers put up on the NASA site.

  23. The problem with Climatists is pretty simple to diagnose–e.g., would ‘ya think a Climatist knows that water goes down the toilet in one direction in the Northern Hemiphere and the opposite direction in the Southern hemisphere? My guess is that people who believe humans cause global warming probably think nature determines the direction water rotates in a toilet. Go figure. It’s a mystery why some people are completely bass-akwards when it comes what they accept or deny as the truth. And, it is that difference that makes global warming a Left versus right issue instead of a scientific matter.

    • Wagathon | July 27, 2012 at 6:49 pm

      Wagathon, time to put in that experiment in your toilet; all the: LIA, Miocene, Holocene Crapocene, Eocene; before flushing the toilet and see in which direction they will spin. Do it, in the name or science.

      Because of all of your Crapocenes from the past -> Warmist got tricked – to lie about Warming in 2100, now the poor Swindlers are stuck with it. I speak in defense of the ”Warmist criminals” One of the pillars, of the Warmist castle is demolished here: http://globalwarmingdenier.wordpress.com/open-pandoras-box/water-vapor-h2o/

  24. “The PDFs of daily atmospheric anomalies are not Gaussian: they are generally skewed and heavy tailed. ”

    So all bets are off until we have more accurate probability distributions. But why does the IPCC concentrate on the post-1970 era when an equally strong rise in temperature happened after 1905? In fact,why did the IPCC write off the average global temperature in 1905 as anomalous and the 1940 temperature as normal? My guess is that to admit the true cause of the 1905 – 1940 rise would have been to undermine their entire theory of a threatening AGM.

    • “until we have more accurate probability distributions”

      OK – assuming there is such a thing as an accurate pdf for weather and/or climate.

      If the statistical properties are variables, we will never reach this ideal. Playing around with historical pdfs seems to a fruitless endeavour to me.

      Is there anybody who thinks the climate is a stationary system?

      • Thanks, Jordon.”Is there anybody who thinks the climate is a stationary system?” Not me. On the other hand we need evidence of when to expect change in stationarity. The fact that NOAA is able to measure and plot it shows it can be done. Sample size is a problem but most major weather events around the world get plenty of press coverage, even if ignored by their governments. I suggest the following periods: 1850 – 1905 (a base), 1905 – 1940, 1940 – 1970, 1970 – 2000, 2000 – present.

        Thanks, Captdallas. Data accuracy is not so important because we are interested in major weather events within the above periods.

        Incidently in the USA in some areas you seem to be plagued by tornadoes which do great damage. In Australia we call them willie-willies which do little damage, but have been known to lift the roof off a shed. Does anyone know why yours’ are so destructive while ours are benign?

      • “On the other hand we need evidence of when to expect change in stationarity.”

        A test of whether or not the climate is stationary is to assess the statistical properties at different times. If the properties have remained constant, there would be evidence that the climate is stationary. If the statistical properties have changed, there would be evidence that climate is non-stationary.

        Looking at the above presentation of Hansen’s analysis, he shows that pdf’s change from decade to decade. A natural deduction from this is that the climate is non-stationary. As such, the pdf from the 1950’s is not representative of the 1990’s.

        But that’s not what Hansen is trying to argue. He is trying to build a case that the climate has changed for a specific reason. To make this case, he invites us to make an assumption that the pdf’s from the 1950’s WOULD HAVE BEEN respresentative of the 1990’s, except that we emitted CO2.

        It is a very weak case, when considering the evidence (from diverse sources and different time scales) that climate is non-stationary. He has not addressed the question of non-stationarity as the reason for his observations.

        Until he does, there is no reason to see anything other than natural variation in his presentation.

      • “We choose 1951-1980 as the base period for most of our illustrations, because that is a time of little global temperature trend just prior to the rapid global warming in recent decades.” (from Hansen’s paper)

        Hansen’s view that he had chosen a period when world climate was unaffected by CO2 shows that. like the IPCC, he had ignored the rapid earlier temperature rise between 1905 and 1940. From his perspective he was ignoring the greatest reversal in history of climate in 1940. Its aftermath in his chosen period was working its way through the depths of the oceans and eventually raised surface temperatures enough from 1970 on, to our present global average. Where else could that permanent burst of heat go? See my web site.

    • How can they be anything but Gaussian? The fact that their distributions aren’t Gaussian ought to tell them that they’re doing something wrong.

    • Alexander, I believe the data prior to 1970 isn’t accurate enough. Unless you are wanting to determine that solar forcing and aerosols were dominated factors pre 1950s. There seems to be issues with data post 1995 also. Oddest thing?

  25. Speaking as a plumber of some distinction – Wagathon – it is simply not true that toilets in the SH are anti-cyclonic. It is in fact and urban myth. At that scale the dominant process is merely hydraulic.

    It seems also that the evidence for attribution of global warming is decidedly uncertain – to put the most charitable spin on it. The evidence is indeed that there are other and far more significant factors than greenhouse gases.

    ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ IPCC S3.4.4.1

    To the extent that low frequency climates variations are real (:cool:) – it may simply reflect rather poorly on the attribution arguments and make this discussion relatively pointless.

  26. True, true… and if you believe meteors ever hit the earth check out this down to Earth sage advice about that and global warming and anything else the Left comes may dream up next to get excited about from second-hand burgers to the missing G-spot: Uncertainty plays a huge role in this issue. It’s not that we expect disaster, it’s that the uncertainty is said to offer the possibility of disaster: implausible, but high consequence. Somewhere it has to be like the possible asteroid impact: Live with it. ~Richard Lindzen

  27. Steven Mosher

    well i can say that we agree with tamino based on an independent look at hansen some time ago. hansens approach is provably flawed.

    heat waves with berkeley data.. yup.

    • Is this a hint for AW;s Sunday announcement

    • Heat waves with berkeley data, but of course, there should be. The maximum temperature in the afternoon is after the maximum forcing, the maximum annual temperature is after the maximum annual forcing, the maximum decadal temperature will be after the maximum decadal forcing. The maximum temperature impact of solar is after the maximum solar forcing. Is that persistence or inertia?

      Climate science may be suffering from carbonichondria.

      • Dave Springer

        Maximum temperature doesn’t coincide with maximal forcing because of thermal resistance in the ground. Before maximal forcing is attained the forcing has already increased above the annual average and this will cause a temperature rise. The rise will continue until the forcing falls below the average. You’re basically fighting the average temperature of the ground at about 1 meter deep which is more or less constant year-round if we discount water infiltration. Any surface forcing which is sufficient to heat the surface warmer than the constant below ground will raise the surface temperature so it continues going up even after forcing begins to decline.

  28. This article is extremely flowed.

    Here is the frequency histogram (http://bit.ly/O6Uryp )
    I got for the global mean surface temperature, which is both symmetric and unimodal.

    The main issue is on the smoothed GMST for the whole of the data.

    How do you determine it? Based on that you can get what ever you want.

    Here is my smoothed GMST for the 20th century.


    Then we have

    Residual GMST = Observed GMST – Smoothed GMST

    And the Residual GMST is symmetric and unimodal for the whole of the 20th century.

  29. Sardeshmukh et al. were addressing daily variations, while Hansen was looking at seasonal means. Surely these are not going to have comparable statistics, and seasonal means are much more relevant to droughts, etc. Also where is the analysis done by these supposedly better methods that shows extremes are not getting more common. Remember we are just talking about data here, not models. It should be easy enough for a skeptic to provide a counter-example to Hansen’s if one existed, otherwise this is all just speculation that there is some method out there to prove Hansen wrong about his probabilities with the same data.

    • The data shows there has not been change in the GMST band that envelope the observed GMST in the whole of the 20th century => http://bit.ly/OsdxJf

      • I mean the WIDTH of the GMST band

      • It doesn’t need to broaden, just to shift to the right, for the rare heat events to increase a lot in frequency. It will broaden too if the trend increases significantly within the averaging period, but that is a separate thing.

  30. In my day you would average the entire set and plot the interesting years on the distribution. This must be terribly old fashioned, but Hansen actually decreased the quality of the original data. It surely makes it more “Bayesian”, but one should take limited pride in that.

  31. It still bothers me that this paper only looks at one period of time, ending after a decade which indeed has a large number of extreme events. I’d like to see a similar analysis taking “climatology” to be the period from 1881-1910 and compare with the period from 1911 to 1940, the 1930s of course being another decade with many extreme events.

    The data is not as good, but what if the same normal curve skewing was observed? The paper would be more convincing if more time periods were examined in order to see whether the recent period is exceptional or not.

  32. Tamino’s postings and the discussion that follows the latest posting seem to confirm convincingly that no significant change has been observed in the variability of the temperatures ant that the interpretation of the distributions shown in the first figure of this posting (taken from Hansen’s paper) was erroneous.

    In addition of the supposed (and discredited) empirical observations we have in the thread the plausibility arguments of Michael Tobis. He argues that persistent forcing creates increased differences between the exiting state of the Earth system and the equilibrium (or stationary) state that corresponds to the present constitution of the atmosphere. As far as I interpret him correctly he’s arguing that this difference is adding to some kind of tension which will in turn make the system more unstable.

    That argument might be stronger if the Earth system would not have all the present variability with seasons and all the weather patterns that we have. With all these mechanisms operating all the time the argument of Michael Tobis does not appear convincing. My gut feeling is that whatever effect of the type Tobis is discussing, it’s likely to be very small. John N-G and other participants of the discussion seem to share this feeling, but it’s an interesting argument that might deserve more pondering. At the minimum it should be possible to study whether the effect is present in the climate models. If it is, then the details of it’s mechanisms might help in figuring out whether that’s true also for the real Earth system. If it isn’t then the changes of Michael Tobis to convince others that this is an important issue look meager.

    • Joe's World


      Stationary weather systems are pressure differences in nature, but can have a direct effect of drastically change the area it is affecting.
      Currently, we measure pressure by the density on water and NOT the actual pressure of the atmospheric gases. If we did, then we may learn that the moon has generated pressure which gives us the tides.

      Scientists have a great difficulty distinguishing the different characteristics of different densities of material. Be it liquid, gases or solid state and the effects of absorption and energy release.
      Mistakes in science are very extensive and no one is fixing them.

      I found a mistake where they even forgot to include the sun with orbital velocity which has a great effect on measure speed in calculating the speed of our planets orbit. They measured the distance to the sun and just used that measurement forgetting that the orbit calculation needs to go through the sun for pi to work. So, the sun was NOT included, only as a point with no size of measured distance.

    • Pekka, you have some serious typos but I agree with your analysis.

      • The number of typos I make seems to be a nonlinearly rising function of age – and that applies also to my writing in Finnish. A spell checker helps but leaves the worst typos intact. I try to remember proof-reading but often I forget that.

        Some process of the type Kahneman calls System 1 seems to be involved as many of the typos have a nature that’s difficult to explain otherwise.

      • It’s the sun, silly.

      • I find the process of typos very interesting. For example, the other day I meant to type “offer” and typed “over” instead. Basically, the selective (storage?) mechanism of associating words because of sound overrode the main criterion I wanted to use (meaning) for word selection.

        Although the mechanism involved in typing “ant” instead of “and” is quite different than the mechanism behind selecting the completely wrong word (which may not even be properly classified as a typo), I think that spell-checkers and make it worse in some ways because they allow for a more lax attitude towards proofreading.

        Including a feature in the software interface for previewing helps, and a feature for correcting errors after you’ve posted is even better: the blog Little Green Footballs has that feature and it comes in very handy. You can forget to preview before you post and still fix typos. Typically, for some reason when I read over what I’ve written after I’ve posted it, I catch more errors. And often even if a preview feature exists, I reflexively post without using it.

        How are you attributing typos to System 1 thinking?

      • How are you attributing typos to System 1 thinking?

        The most important mechanism of that type may be the connection through similar pronunciation, but every now and then the relationship between the word that I think and the word that I write is of some other nature. There may be an association that’s plausible at the System 1 level but sometimes the explanation is not totally obvious.

      • but every now and then the relationship between the word that I think and the word that I write is of some other nature.

        In some of the work I have done with international clients, I read them a short passage and ask them to say it back to me exactly as I read it to them (including reproducing word grouping, pitch, inflection, individual sounds, volume change, etc.). What is fascinating is that sometimes they will repeat mostly everything as I said it, but substitute a synonym for one word or another to what was in the original passage.

        When I think about that, it’s amazing. In real time, as they are saying something back to me, they can process information well-enough to parse the meaning of the entire sentence, search through their brain and find a similar word to the original word, that fits appropriately in context (i.e., the right part of speech), and insert it as they are speaking.

        Of course, I know you said that the typos exist in Finish also, and although obviously your English is quite good – some of your “typos” I would guess originate with the extra layer of complication added by using a language other than your first. Do you translate when you write in English, or are you at the level where you can actually think in English as you type?

      • In general I don’t translate but form the sentences directly in English.

        My typos in Finnish are different, partly because Finnish has one of the most phonetic writing systems of all languages. That may influence also the way I relate spoken language to the written one in English as well. A typical serious typo for me in Finnish is cutting one word in the middle and continuing without space with the next one.

      • That may influence also the way I relate spoken language to the written one in English as well

        No doubt. The “errors” non-native speakers of English make when speaking in English reflect the grammatical or sound structures of their native language. I see no reason to think it would be different with typos or relating the spoken and written forms of the language. What I find even more interesting is how those language structures and related cultural conventions can affect the entire process of communication, including the organization of ideas (e.g., hierarchical or flat), the concept of how to support an assertion, the importance of objectivity vs. subjectivity, the importance of repetition, the importance of organizing features (metadiscourse), etc.

      • I say it’s broccoli on the wall, and I say ‘The Hell with it’.

      • I say it’s broccoli on the wall, and I say ‘The Hell with it’.

        What a coincidence: A 44 letter typo.

        I’ve never even seen one that long before.

      • Dave Springer

        I don’t use a spell-checker in blog comments nor do I proof-read. That assigns blog comments an importance they don’t deserve. I see it more as conversational. If you mispronounce or otherwise make a mistake in spoken conversation you don’t get a do-over before anyone notices. My biggest source of errors is my fingers not being able to keep up with my thoughts and the fingers, which evidently have a mind of their own, attempt to catch up by just skipping a whole word now and then.

      • Dave Springer

        Pekka Pirilä | July 28, 2012 at 10:06 am |

        “A typical serious typo for me in Finnish is cutting one word in the middle and continuing without space with the next one.”

        No mystery there. You think faster in your native language and your fingers have a harder time keeping up. I drop out whole words. I’ve never noticed myself dropping just a piece of a word. That’s the weasel in you that refuses to either drop a word altogether or not at all. You just can’t drive a stake in ground and that quality manifests even in the character of your typos. Classic.

      • Yes. Type of typo is precise evidence of character traits, no doubt.

        Do you think that vastly overgeneralizing from flimsy evidence is a similar proof of character?

      • best exchange in a while

      • i make typos but I’m a fairly good typist and young on average for these blogs (range: 35 to 40) so who knows how I stack up.

      • I woudn’t worry about the typos because we have Joshua and others who will not only proof read for typos but also for logical sense as well. One day we will have a super checker available and all our written output will be perfect but this will be boring!

      • I don’t proof for typos, Peter. I leave that for the typo-nannies. I do like to proof-read for logic, however, in my limited capacity.

        Speaking of which, I think that here’s a comment you might like to address:


      • peterdavies252

        Joshua, you may well be correct in your assessment of Peter L’s logical position but it appeared to me to be an issue that needs to be resolved between Pekka and Peter L.

        The amount of research undertaken by Pekka in this subject gives me pause to challenge her in the detail of her comment but I don’t have a problem with someone else who does, but he or she had better know what they are doing or else they will be made to look foolish.

        If you were to put yourself in Peter L’s position I rather think that he will probably ignore your comment in favour of responding only to Pekka. Unfortunately, point scoring on all and sundry by someone such as yourself will not enhance your blogospherical reputation.

        I am honestly interested in your take on climate science Joshua and invite you to put in your thoughts for discussion. I still don’t know what your position on AGW is, despite extensive contributions from you in this and other blogs.

  33. Benoit Mandelbrot and Nassim Taleb wrote a piece for the Financial Times describing why Gausian distributions are not appropriate in the fat-tailed financial world.


  34. Dave Springer

    The problem with this is the same as all the other climatology problems seeking to compare past trends with current. The quality of the data deteriorates as you go backward in time. You can’t fix this. This is a problem with all forensic analyses. It’s problematic in medicine. How do we determine if some disease was more prevalent in the past when our research is confounded by an increasing number of people who had the disease but were not diagnosed because people didn’t go see doctors as often. Or the classic – are there more hurricanes now than 200 years ago? How would we know when so many hurricanes never make landfall and wouldn’t have been observed 200 years ago? This applies to extreme weather events in general.

    • Indeed, call it the fallacy of detectability, where increasing detectability gives the false impression of a trend. I think this is what has hapened with mercury levels in US waters.

      • Dave Springer

        Property damage from extreme weather increases over time not because the weather becomes more extreme or more frequent but because there is more property exposed to it. My success at trout fishing improves in stocked ponds not because of improved fishing skill but rather because there are more fish. I see the fallacy of rising economic impact in absolute number of inflation adjusted dollars abused with alarming regularity. The metric for economic damage from extreme weather ought to be percentage of GDP instead of absolute dollars. Even that is still confounded by improvements in preparedness. Too many oranges among the apples being compared.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Dave Springer remarks and David Wojick agrees: “The quality of the data deteriorates as you go backward in time. You can’t fix this.”

      Please consider, Dave and David, that by effectively injecting extra noise into older observations, this mechanism acts to oppose the recent broadening that Hansen et al. observe.

      In effect, Dave and David, you are arguing *FOR* the validity of Hansen’s observations … because the signal Hansen observes is so strong, that it retains its visibility even in the face of of distant-in-time broadening.

      How may we further assist your comprehension, Dave and David?   :)   :)   :)

      • Dave Springer

        The crowd reacts to John Sidles…

        :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

  35. Joe's World


    Sloppiness of research practices of “good enough to fool the masses” is very prevalent.
    The thought of even possibly be incorrect is far from current scientists minds as they know it all and have the backing of their peers.
    When trouble of their research does come up, then the crutch of “uncertainty” will protect them as many scientists choose to be ignorant as it is not in their area of study.

    You HAVE to study MANY areas in order to generate an understanding of the complexity and interaction many areas play a part in.
    Just studying data misses what generated that data…

  36. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Neven’s post today on his well-regarded Arctic Sea Ice blog has the dry-sounding title ASI 2012 update 8: it shouldn’t, but it does. Yet despite its dry title, Neven’s analysis contains some very interesting (and important!) observations.

    In particular, Neven’s analysis very nicely illustrates the scientific themes of Hansen, Sato, and Ruedy’s notion “Climate Dice”.

    Executive Summary  To date in the 2012 ice-melting season, the Arctic weather has been unremarkable … and yet the ice-loss has been extraordinary, largely in consequence of AGW-induced ocean-warming. And therefore, if it so happens that in the next month or two we (by sheer chance) experience a “Black Swan” of Arctic weather conditions conducive to ice-melting, then the *NET* result will be what Neven describes:

    “If weather patterns start to move towards something that made 2007 so formidable, we will need a word that surpasses ‘formidable’.”

    In popular parlance, Neven is speaking of the increasing likelihood of “Dragon King” melting events in this and/or coming years.

    Hopefully Neven’s simple, clear discussion will help rational Climate Etc. skeptics to a better common-sense appreciation of how Hansen’s “Climate Dice” work. For which, Neven deserves all of our appreciation and thanks!   :)   :)   :)

    • And, for my next question, I wonder why Antarctic ice is so much above the same sort of average as Arctic ice is below it. How does CO2 differentiate between the North and South poles?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Jim Cripwell, the answer to your question is known, and indeed was foreseen by climate scientists decades ago:Shallow seas surrounded by land (the Arctic polar region) manifest the effects of AGW sooner and more strongly than land-masses surrounded by deep oceans (the Antarctic polar region).

        It is notable that recent years have witnessed a large, accelerating net loss of Antarctic ice-mass. If these trends continue, then James Hansen’s 2011 prediction of “accelerating sea-level rise this decade” will be affirmed.

        Jim Cripwell, you have asked a very good question, that nicely complements Neven’s common-sense discussion on Arctic Sea Ice weblog.

        What is your next question, Jim Cripwell?   :)   :)   :)

      • Fan, you write “Shallow seas surrounded by land (the Arctic polar region) manifest the effects of AGW sooner and more strongly than land-masses surrounded by deep oceans (the Antarctic polar region). ”

        This does not address the question. It is not a question of timing. The Antarctic sea ice is going in the opposite direction to the Arctic sea ice. How does CO2 know that it is supposed to REDUCE the amount of Arctic sea ice, while at the same time it INCREASES the Antarctic sea ice? This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

        And, incidentally, there is absolutely no evidence that suggests that the land mass of Antarctica is losing ice mass. Sure we have papers like Steig et al, but they have not stood up to rigorous scientific analysis. It is a myth that the Antarctic can lose land ice, while at the same time conditions are cold enough that it gains sea ice.

        You can rationalize all you want. Scientificly, the two poles are behaving completely differently.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Jim Cripwell, please keep in mind the scientific principle that “Nature cannot be fooled” … as we know by GRACE!   :)   :)   :)

        What is your next question, Jim Cripwell?   :)   :)   :)

      • … This study also shows average trends for the continent, East Antarctica, and West Antarctica that are half or less than that found using the unimproved method. Notably, though the authors find warming in West Antarctica to be smaller in magnitude and find that statistically significant warming extends at least as far as Marie Byrd Land. – O’Donnell et al

        So, “refuted”, but still, ahem, (whisper) warming.

        And both results, Steig et al and O’Donnell et al, are holding up to scientific scrutiny:

        The recent part of the record is in complete agreement with climate field reconstructions based on automatic weather station and satellite data, showing that WAIS Divide has warmed by more than 1°C since 1958. At NEEM, there is a 1°C temperature gradient in the firn between 20 and 80m, compared to 0.2°C at WAIS. This is evidence for an even faster rate of warming in recent decades. Significant warming inland is a concern for the stability of the ice sheets and eventually sea level rise.

      • Fan you ask “What is your next question, Jim Cripwell? ”

        I went to your reference, and could find no reference to Antarctica proper. Sure, there is evidence for ice loss on the Antarctic Peninsular, but nothing about Antarctica proper. Where are the words in your reference that shows that the bulk of the land mass of Antarctioca is losing ice? I dont say it isn’t there. I just could not find it.

      • JCH, Did you bother looking at the Orsi et al ? Do you think that the annual resolution you can get out of a snow bore hole is reliable enough to over rule nearly 60 years of Amundsen Scott records and the satellite data?

        Paleo never ceases to amaze me.

      • JCH, a little query, Why would I believe that the Antarctic has been warming since 1995? Here is just one surface station,


        Why would I think Stieg et al and Orsi et al are wrong?

        It has something to do with the way radiant gases in the atmosphere actually do work.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Jim Cripwell (and other skeptics), when Hansen and scientific colleagues go on-record as predicting <a acceleration of the rate of sea level rise this decade (2011), this essentially amounts to a foresighted anticipation that “hockey stick blades” will be stabbing upward through decadal variations, all around the world, by multiple measures of AGW. and that the oceans provide an aggregate measure of these pooled effects.

        Prediction  The ice-mass loss that GRACE is seeing in the Arctic and Antarctic strengthens the likellihood Hansen and his colleagues will be proved right.

        Rational skeptics will rejoice in this fresh strong scientific evidence, eh?   :)   :)   :)

      • A fan of *MORE* discord

        Yeah, Fanny. In 2020, when you’re long gone into hiding from the internet, we’ll all remember this prediction. Just like how Jimmy Hansen said a couple decades ago that by now the West Side Highway in Manhattan would be under water.

        This rising seas shtick of his is nothing new. If his old predictions were valid, you wouldn’t be able to flush your toilet now because the Westpoint sewage treatment plant would be under water.

        Remember that the next time you use the facilities. The only reason why you can still flush is that Hansen was spectacularly wrong in the past.

      • A fan of *MORE* discord

        P.S. :P

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        LOL … hello “discord” … it’s good to see that you still care!   :grin:

        Yeah … nowadays folks well-remember, and often re-read, and reflect soberly upon, what Hansen and his colleagues wrote 31 years ago

        But gosh-golly … no-one remembers Hansen’s critics from back then.

        Why do you suppose that is, “discord”?   :!:   :?:   :idea:   :)

      • Capt. D – you left out “why would I believe O’Donnell et al?” I think it may have even been pal audited!

      • A fan of *MORE* discord


      • A fan of *MORE* discord

        Let me be a little more to the point. You do understand, do you not, Fanny, how Nostradamus was able to make predictions that created the illusion of coming true, don’t you?

        Go study Nostradamus, and then go back and look at those so-called predictions. Maybe the light bulb will turn on, but I doubt it.

      • JCH said, “Capt. D – you left out “why would I believe O’Donnell et al?” I think it may have even been pal audited!”

        Just as I thought, no curiosity, just faith. You are a good follower.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        LOL … to gain illumination, little grasshopper “discord”, you need only post to Climate Etc. a link to any article by James Hansen, prior to Hansen’s now-celebrated 1981 article, that offers a substantially differing account of the physical mechanisms of AGW, or that makes substantially differing predictions about the future course of AGW.

        And may that illumination be joyous for you, little grasshopper “discord”!   :idea:   :idea:   :idea:

      • A fan of *MORE* discord

        By the way did you know I am a fan of Hitler?

      • Dave Springer

        John Sidles is so full of sh!t his eyes are brown.

        The reason is there’s 60-year cyclic change in the Atlantic SST which rises and falls about 0.4C above and below a mean. On the warm side when the warmer water makes it way north it accelerates ice melt from below. Antarctic is mostly land ice so there’s no way for warmer or cooler ocean water to get beneath it to change the melt rate. The difference is entirely attributable to the Arctic being sea ice and Anarctic being land ice. If it was CO2 that was responsible you would of course be right that this would change the temperature at the ice surface and effect Antarctica as much as the Artic.

      • Dave Springer

        There’s actually a double whammy and I neglected the other reason the two poles differ. Namely black carbon a.k.a. soot. Soot reduces snow/ice albedo and greatly accelerates melting. Most of the soot is generated by human and it’s predominantly in the northern hemisphere especially at higher latitudes where they use a lot of indoor heating in the winter. Slash and burn agriculture is no slouch at soot generation either.

        Soot can travel thousands of kilometers. That’s far enough for northern generators to darken the north pole but not the south pole. James Hansen at one time, prior to 1990 AR1, attributed about 33% of global warming to black carbon. He was spanked for it and learned his lesson. You see, in order to use the politics of guilt to redistribute wealth, you must convince the wealthy they have something to be guilty about. The United States leads the world in scrubbing black carbon out of smokestacks and exhaust pipes since the Clean Air Act of 1964 and subsequent amendments to make it more strict. Europe, on the other hand, has a love affair with diesel engines that blow out soot like nobody’s business in general the Eurasian and North African continents produce a f*ckload of soot. So you see, it wasn’t politically correct to say that Europe and poorer countries in general who don’t filter soot from emissions are to blame for such a large degree of global warming. So Hansen was spanked and noboby talks about the impact of soot anymore because the object is to spank the whole United States for being too wealthy, undeservedly wealthy, and weathy at the expense of poor people with old diesel smoke belchers, poor people who burn any biomass they can lay hands on for heat. You simply can’t pin any blame on them and still expect the US to pony up the foreign aid. The politics of guilt are fascinating and most people don’t even know they’re being played for fools by it. The politics of guilt and buying votes with entitlements are the principle reasons we have such a f*cked up federal government which, by and large, operates under the maxim of “punish success and reward failure”. A bit over 50% of the US workforce pays no federal taxes. That’s outrageous when you think about it if you’re one of the 49% percent who pays the tab for everyone else.

    • stevenmosher

      In the past you have pointed to this article that this post is actually about ( hansens load die ) and have praised it. I told you it was flawed and you ignored my comment. Now tamino, no statisitcal slouch he, has also criticized it. hansen made a mistake. Guess what? The world is still warming, C02 is to blame and we need to take action.

      Say that with me now. Hansen made a mistake AND the world is still warming. easy peasy.

      You see how those two sentences are not logically connected. So, join me now. The world is warming. Man’s emissions are the cause. And Robin Williams is funny. Easy peasy. Now try this
      The world is warming. Man’s emissions are the cause. And Hansen made a mistake in this paper.

      You see, just because Hansen made a mistake, does not mean that the world is cooling. How weird that you think this is the case. Or are you defending hansens mistake for another reason?

      • I think Hansen’s Bulldog (on the internet Tamino is his real name) is a person of honor.

      • There is considerable complexity to the problem – in a couple of senses. Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

        It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

        The question I have is what intellctually vacuus swamp do these trolls crawl out of?

      • A consensus troll of course – what a nice term.

      • Say that with me now. Hansen made a mistake AND the world is still warming. easy peasy.

        One of the trivially obvious consequences of Steve Mosher’s straightforward observation is that the example demonstrates that there is no global conspiracy of climatologists – even the most noteworthy can make mistakes, and they will be quickly and publicly detected and corrected.

        This is how science works, and it also shows that refinement is not the same as disproof, as Mosher takes pains to emphasise. And given that Muller is apparently making a lot of noise this weekend about how the consensus had it right all along, it might be time that the body of climate change deniers collectively release their clutching grip on their ideological blankie, and accept that humans are warming the planet.

        Easy peasy.

      • …it might be time that the body of climate change [“skeptics*”] collectively release their clutching grip on their ideological blankie, and accept that humans are warming the planet.

        Oh yeah. That’s gonna happen.

        * I changed that word because I just can’t take any more of the wails of victimization and faux politically correct outrage about the term I replaced. It just isn’t worth it.

      • :-)

      • Dave Springer

        The world is warming modestly and it’s a huge net benefit because the distribution of CO2 warming is predominantly to higher latitudes, over land, in the winter. This has the great beneficial effect of lengthening growing seasons where they most need lengthening. In addition CO2 is literally plant food and more of it makes them grow faster and use less water in the process. The earth, for most of its history, has had far more CO2 in the atmosphere and plants evolved to take advantage of higher levels. These are botanical facts that all greenhouse operators know and why many of them artificially raise the CO2 content of inside above outdoor ambient even though the equipment is costly to purchase and use. The recent (and rare in the earth’s history) ice has reduced atmospheric CO2 to dangerously low level for the primary producers in the food chain. Much below 200ppm and they die. They are not harmed by ten times that concentration and most continue to increase base productivity to at least ten times current concentration. 2000ppm has no adverse effect on animals. The air we expel from our lungs is 40,000ppm CO2. Spend lots of time in close association with your garden. You were made for each other.

  37. The whole perception that human GHG emissions are causing significant global warming, which is causing more extreme weather events is flawed, simply because it has no empirical basis, but is a hypothetical construct.

    Fancy curves or long-winded “loaded climate dice” rationalizations are unable to change this.


    • Comes up snakes eyes. The globe is cooling, folks.

    • The whole perception that human GHG emissions are causing significant global warming, which is causing more extreme weather events is flawed, simply because it has no empirical basis

      Except for the part where every single one of those things has been demonstrated empirically.

      Try again.

  38. Aren’t these people using the adjusted records, so all their dice are loaded?

    • Anthony et al at WUWT estimates that they’ve been using 12-sided dice in a 6-sided world.

  39. The claim that statistical properties of a time series have changed has been of great interest to statisticians and applied scientists who would apply statistics to the study of natural phenomena. A good example of an application is http://faculty.washington.edu/dbp/PDFFILES/wrr.pdf (“Testing for Homogeneity of Variance in Time Series: Long Memory, Wavelets and the Nile River,” Brandon Whitcher, et al, February 22, 2001) in which the authors examined a long time series of measurements of Nile River minimum water levels to understand a noticeable change in variance which happened between the earliest measurements taken before 722 AD. Their finding on p. 30 includes “Our estimated change point at 720 or 722 AD coincides well with the construction of this new instrument, and it is reasonable that this new nilometer led to a reduction in variability at the very smallest scales.”

    That is, the change in variance seems to be associated with a change of instrument and process used to make the measurements.

    From what I’ve seen of the temperature record, my suspicion that neither the amount of data available not the quality of data is sufficient to dismiss the possibility that changes in variance (or mean) for temperatures data are caused by measurement instrument and process changes.

  40. The argument seems to be that warmer temps will occur with greater frequency in a warmer world and lower temps will still occur but less frequently. Oh – and ice will melt in a warmer world.

    OK :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

    So why did the world warm? There is a spaghetti diagram here – http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/06/27/1102467108.abstract

    See – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=Kauffmanetal2011-Fig1.png

    Although this ignores ERBS and ISCCP-FD. Here for instance is Wong et al 2006 comparing sea levels and net ERBS data.


    Here is the ISCCP-FD SW – http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/zFD/an9090_SWup_toa.gif About a -2.4 W^m2 change from the mid 1980’s to the late 1990’s. Cloud radiative forcing was several times theoretical AGW – hmmm. Interesting change after that in the 1998/2001 climate shift.

    This is what the IPCC says. ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ AR4 s3.4.4.1

    Now there are a few indications of low frequency climate variability – but hell wouldn’t want to overplay the hand dealt. Here for instance is an 11,000 year ENSO proxy – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=ENSO11000.gif

    What does this mean for the future? Well there are a few suggestions of no warming for a decade or so out there in the sceptic blogosphere. Oh wait – no – make that the peer reviewed scientific literature.

  41. The thread is becoming cluttered. Let me start again.
    Fan, You are very long on hypothesis, and very short on facts. I wrote

    “How does CO2 know that it is supposed to REDUCE the amount of Arctic sea ice, while at the same time it INCREASES the Antarctic sea ice? This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.”
    No answer from you
    “How does CO2 know that it is supposed to REDUCE the amount of Arctic sea ice, while at the same time it INCREASES the Antarctic sea ice? This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.”
    No answer from you
    “I went to your reference, and could find no reference to Antarctica proper.”
    No answer from you.
    I get no answers. The best you seem to be able to come up with is

    “Prediction The ice-mass loss that GRACE is seeing in the Arctic and Antarctic strengthens the likellihood Hansen and his colleagues will be proved right.”

    though what this prediciton is based on is completely unclear; probably just wishful thinking; since climate models have no predictive capability wharsoever, it cannot be based on very much.

    How about getting down to some facts.

    The Antarctic is currently behaving completely differently from the Arctic. You have shown no facts to show that it isn’t. How does CO2 differentiate between the two poles?

    Let me take a guess. In the end we will conclude that everything that is happening with respect to our temperatures and weather is just Mother Nature changing things the way she always has. It has nothing whatsoever to do with CO2. We just dont understand how Mother Nature works.

    • It’s simple, Jim: you’re too scientifically ignorant to ask a coherent question.

      Your questions are nonsense.

      Since you’ve effectively destroyed your own credibility with your scientific illiteracy, what point is there is continuing to debate with you? You’ve already lost.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Robert, your hateful abuse is utterly shameful (IMHO).

        The correctness (or not) of your opinions is entirely eclipsed by the contemptible personal abuse that often accompanies those opinions.

        Such posts as yours contribute nothing positive to Climate Etc..

        Shame on you, Robert.   :sad:   :sad:   :sad:

      • lurker passing through, laughing

        One of the great humorous things in observing the troll consensus extremists is when you take the time to click on the links some of the trolls provide.
        It is amazing that someone clearly as ignorant derivative as “Robert” claims to track idiots.
        Yet the only consistent idiocy he seems to find is ways to demonstrate his own.
        Consensus extremists are a laugh a minute.
        Thanks, Robert, for helping a long day end with a good laugh.

      • Dave Springer

        Hey Robert, whoever you are, f*ck you, f*ck the horse you rode in on, and f*ck the boots you’re wearing.

  42. ‘AOS models are therefore to be judged by their degree of plausibility, not whether they are correct or best. This perspective extends to the component discrete algorithms, parameterizations, and coupling breadth: There are better or worse choices (some seemingly satisfactory for their purpose or others needing repair) but not correct or best ones. The bases for judging are a priori formulation, representing the relevant natural processes and choosing the discrete algorithms, and a posteriori solution behavior.’ (James C. McWilliams – Louis B. Slichter Professor of Earth Sciences – UCLA Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics and Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences – http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full )

    I have quoted this before – but hell it is just so funny. The dicrete algorithms, paremeterizations and coupling breadth sets the scene but the a posteriori brings it home. That’s right folks – they pull it out of their a posterioris. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

  43. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Jim Cripwell, to better appreciate the (many) asymmetries between the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions, a good starting point is Inland thinning of West Antarctic Ice Sheet steered along subglacial rifts.

    The broad point being, there are many more determinants of climate than distance from the equator … so many more, that climate scientists expect asymmetric responses to AGW in Arctic versus Antarctic polar regions.   :)   :)   :)

    So take a look, and then we’ll talk, Jim Cripwell !   :)   :)   :)

  44. Is there any actual theory to this dice loading speculation or is it all based again on Trenberths miniscule 4 percent increase in water vapour – or is it even just based on nothing at all except pessimism?

    And if the data – as it does – show no increase in heat waves over the entire century maybe we should then conclude that it is vastly too easy for innumerates to obtain science degrees in the USA.

  45. There is a rift valley under the Antarctic ice? How interesting. Of course we expect that low frequency naturak variation in climate has much more to do with ice melting – even the ‘unprecendented’ Greenland melting. ‘”Ice cores from Summit show that melting events of this type occur about once every 150 years on average. With the last one happening in 1889, this event is right on time,” says Lora Koenig, a Goddard glaciologist and a member of the research team analyzing the satellite data. “But if we continue to observe melting events like this in upcoming years, it will be worrisome.” http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/greenland-melt.html

    Of course – along with Prof Ol Humlum we like to get the big picture to understand the little details.

    Joy may be right but more likely is experiening groupthink. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

    It is all so unneccessary. The energy mix in 2050 will be very different . For instance – turning nuclear waste into energy and using it to hydrolise water to combine with carbon from the atmosphere to make liquid fuels. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

    It the meantime there is carbon farming, reductions in black carbon and the social progress and economic growth. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

    Perhaps this will help Joy.

    Hope is the Thing with Feathers
    By: Emily Dickinson

    “Hope” is the thing with feathers
    That perches in the soul
    And sings the tune without the words
    And never stops at all,

    And sweetest in the gale is heard;
    And sore must be the storm
    That could abash the little bird
    That kept so many warm.

    I’ve heard it in the chillest land
    And on the strangest sea,
    Yet never, in extremity,
    It asked a crumb of me.

    :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Captain Kangaroo, with sincere respect for your technological optimism, physicists do remember the 1950s faith of Soviet physicist Lev Artsimovich with regard to fusion power:

      Fusion will be there when society needs it

      Now the Soviet Union is gone and fusion is not here.   :eek:   :eek:   :eek:

      Faith and optimism are essential, and yet history teaches the sobering lesson, that sometimes faith and optimism they are not enough.

      And so we had all better give this mission — to unleash humanity from the tether of fuel (James Mattis) — our very best effort.   :)   :)   :)

      • There is a big difference between fusion and breeder reactors. In the US, building nuclear is a major pain so it is not cost effective in most cases. Should we get the chance to use eater breeders, breeder reactors that deplete fuel enough to get around Carter’s reprocessing limits, the nuclear waste disposal is value added which allows the high temperature thermolysis hydrogen for liquid fuel production, also value added. That is pretty much what it takes to make nuclear attractive in the US, high efficiency and alternate revenue streams.

        Another is small modular nuclear plants to be sited at decommission power plants to “compact” existing spent fuel never removed from onsite storage thanks to brilliant regulatory action.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        CaptDallas channels Jim Hanson. Good !!!   ;)   ;)   ;)

      • I never said Hansen was wrong on everything, just attribution, metal hydrate hydrogen storage, synfuels, sea level rise, sensitivity …..

      • Dave Springer

        John Sidles channels Paul Erlich! BAD!

        Teh crwod respondz

        :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

      • Joy,

        Fusion power is indeed a possibility and there are a couple of promising approaches ranging from laser confinement to dense plasma.


        The General Atomics design is a 4th generation gas cooled, closed cycle fission reactor of a type that has been under development for 50 years. Of course advances in theory and fuels and materials technology have seen improvements. See for instance – http://nuclear.energy.gov/genIV/neGenIV1.html

        Cutting the fuel tether is about efficiency first – no problem but that can only take you so far. It is also in eyes of the military about coal to liquid fuels to ensure continuity of supply no matter what. This in fact already happening. The EIA project an increase in liquid fuel supply to 2035. There is no reason at all why liquid fuels can’t increase indefinitely. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

        Another thing you need to know is that there are ways to both sequester immense amounts of carbon in soils as well provide an increase in food production of 70% by 2050 through conservation farming – the current green revolution. Very cool.


        If you have any question just ask. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

  46. Ormond Otvos

    It’s nice to have a place where facts make no difference, and I can pretend to be a real scientist…

  47. Muller!

  48. The next throw of the dice?
    Count down at WUWT … 14 hours ter go.
    Anthony is media savy, whatever the news, it’ll be ‘controversial and unprecedented.’ His announcement is unlikely ter be an anti climax. Might be AGW anti climatic though. Whatever it is, there’ll be some out there that are shakin’ in their boots and it’s almost High Noon.

    • The Skeptical Warmist (aka R. Gates)

      Skeptics don’t “shake in their boots”. We look for and welcome any data that would refute those things we hold as provisionally true. Very much doubt Anthony has any such data.

      This has been a rough summer for those seeking data that refutes AGW. It will get even harder from here.

      • Just try to be consistent when we get another extra cold Winter. Alas I doubt you will be…

    • Beth – You forgot that it will also be of global interest. Word has it they may put the Olympics on hold for Anthony’s announcement.

      I just can’t handle the excitemen…….


    • How convenient.

      • Anthony no doubt has a different take. If he has some preliminary stuff from the CRN network project, it could be interesting.

      • Somehow, the idea that Muller says a few years ago that the methodology was all wrong, and yet now, magically, the results are right anyway, smells like a pot of week old fish stew. Of course, this will settle nothing.

      • Muller begs to differ. From his Op-ed:

        I hope that the Berkeley Earth analysis will help settle the scientific debate regarding global warming and its human causes. Then comes the difficult part: agreeing across the political and diplomatic spectrum about what can and should be done.

        Darn scientists. SO politically unreliable.

        Of course, people in denial are not going to respond to any evidence — even the work of a “skeptic” so many of the hailed as a savior not too long ago. But ultimately it is the voters, and not a tiny denialist minority, who have to be convinced. And I have to think that the public conversion of someone who set out to show that global warming was exaggerated will help with that.

      • The world warmed? What a surprise. How much of this was anthropogenic? There is this I posted earlier – http://judithcurry.com/2012/07/27/loaded-dice/#comment-223023

        Can we look at it a different way? What if we remove ENSO in some partial and unsatisfactory way?


        Can’t say I find the worst case scenario of 0.1 degree C/ decade overly worrying. How on Earth did anyone ever get any higher results? That’s right – they pulled it out of their a posteriori.

        Did you say you are a scientist Robert? That’s right – you are a doctor. Sterling qualifications for dabbling in climate. A bit of a dilettante aren’t you? Also a line in calumny? Make you feel like a man?

        I diagnose groupthink. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:
        ‘Janis has documented eight symptoms of groupthink:

        1. Illusion of invulnerability –Creates excessive optimism that encourages taking extreme risks.
        2. Collective rationalization – Members discount warnings and do not reconsider their assumptions.
        3. Belief in inherent morality – Members believe in the rightness of their cause and therefore ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions.
        4. Stereotyped views of out-groups – Negative views of “enemy” make effective responses to conflict seem unnecessary.
        5. Direct pressure on dissenters – Members are under pressure not to express arguments against any of the group’s views.
        6. Self-censorship – Doubts and deviations from the perceived group consensus are not expressed.
        7. Illusion of unanimity – The majority view and judgments are assumed to be unanimous.
        8. Self-appointed ‘mindguards’ – Members protect the group and the leader from information that is problematic or contradictory to the group’s cohesiveness, view, and/or decisions.

        When the above symptoms exist in a group that is trying to make a decision, there is a reasonable chance that groupthink will happen, although it is not necessarily so. Groupthink occurs when groups are highly cohesive and when they are under considerable pressure to make a quality decision. When pressures for unanimity seem overwhelming, members are less motivated to realistically appraise the alternative courses of action available to them. These group pressures lead to carelessness and irrational thinking since groups experiencing groupthink fail to consider all alternatives and seek to maintain unanimity. Decisions shaped by groupthink have low probability of achieving successful outcomes.’

        I am afraid that there is no cure and the prognosis is the complete cessation of independent thinking.

        Lucky you are more a distraction than a way forward. :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

      • The world warmed? What a surprise. How much of this was anthropogenic?

        Well, Chief – looks like you’re going to have to dig into your bag o’ insults and pull out a few more for yet another pissant progressive who thrives on groupthink:

        How definite is the attribution to humans? The carbon dioxide curve gives a better match than anything else we’ve tried. Its magnitude is consistent with the calculated greenhouse effect — extra warming from trapped heat radiation. These facts don’t prove causality and they shouldn’t end skepticism, but they raise the bar: to be considered seriously, an alternative explanation must match the data at least as well as carbon dioxide does.

        Good thing you have an almost inexhaustible supply of insults in that bottomless bag of yours, eh?

      • I save my insults for blogosphere consensus trolls. Why should I not join in the fun? Are you really defending Robert the Idiot Tracker. You are a scam, a fraud and a fool. Happy? :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

        Figure 7 comparing ERBS net to sea level increase Wong et al 2006 looks pretty good to me.


        ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ IPCC S3.4.4.1

        ‘The overall slight rise (relative heating) of global total net flux at TOA between the 1980’s and 1990’s is confirmed in the tropics by the ERBS measurements and exceeds the estimated climate forcing changes (greenhouse gases and aerosols) for this period. The most obvious explanation is the associated changes in cloudiness during this period.’ NASA/GISS – http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/projects/browse_fc.html

        The change was 1.8 W/m^2 in the ISCCP-FD record from the 1980’s to the 1990’s.

        What about CERES? What are the changes here?

        It seems odd that we have a theory which is one thing but that we have data that adds dimensions to the theory.

        There is considerable complexity to the problem – in a couple of senses. Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.
        It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

        Ignoring all these things even as a possibility seems to me to be a ‘collective rationalization – members (of the groupthink) discount warnings and do not reconsider their assumptions.

      • Come to think of it – not sure what your problem is Joshua. I said the world has warmed – and the natural question to ask is how much was natural.

        Here is Judith Lean – http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=Lean2010.png – about 0.13 degrees C/decade

        Here’s one from Tsonis.


        Here is again a figure from a research project by Jordan L. Schnell.


        ‘Using a new measure of coupling strength, this update shows that these climate modes have recently synchronized, with synchronization peaking in the year 2001/02. This synchronization has been followed by an increase in coupling. This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly constant global mean temperature.’ Swanson et al 2009.

        Looks like things may be a bit more complex than Muller suggests in his blogospheric excursions.

        The rational response – regardless of the climate implications – are social and economic progress and technological innovation. We want cheap and abundant energy to power a bright future for humanity. What do you want Joshua?

      • Muller’s issues with the land based data were a little over blown. The average land surface temperature was never that far off, but adding new northern stations just highlights the land use impact. In 1750, those northern stations did not exist. Had the agricultural revolution never happened, they would still be inhospitable icy wild lands. There has been very little change is sea surface temperature which is most of the surface, but as agriculture and industry expands into formally ice and snow covered land surface, global temperature will increase. That land use and expanded land area would have an impact that would be amplified by CO2. That is the issue, mixing land apples with ocean oranges to get global fruit salad.

        Now that the ocean heat capacity has recovered, the rate of global change will reduce despite more GHGs in the atmosphere. 1995 is actually the time to start the clock since Earth is a bi-stable system.


  49. Figure 9a of Hansen et al. contains interesting information about the temperature dependence of extreme events. We can extract that information because fortunately they have broken the data up into 10 year segments for analysis. This figure differs slightly from that given in their PDF version where the area under each curve was said to be normalized to unity but was not. They chose 1951 to 1980 as a base period because that was the earliest period with good coverage by meteorological stations. Far more important reason to me is the fact that there was no warming during this period and we get a good look at what happens in the absence of global warming. As can be seen from the figure the three ten year distributions from this era fall quite accurately on top of each other and have essentially identical variance. The 1981 to 1991 distribution (light blue) shows moderate broadening of variance, most likely because by that time the reported step warming due to the Great Pacific Climate Change of 1976 is having some influence. The next distribution, 1991 to 2001, shows an even greater variance. That is because this period incorporates the super El Nino of 1998, the warmest period we have experienced within the last 100 years. And finally, the 2001 to 2011 distribution has the greatest variance because that entire period corresponds to the temperature maximum reached as a result of the step warming initiated by the super El Nino of 1998. Satellite record shows that this warming took place in only four years and raised global temperature by a third of a degree Celsius. That is half of the entire warming assigned to the twentieth century. Temperature curves showing steady warming for twenty years are false. It is important to understand this fact when assigning causes to ecological observations. Unfortunately, as Judith points out, it is not clear whether the spatial or temporal variance of Hansen’s distributions has changed. The association of increased variance with increasing global temperature, especially the curve for 2001 to 2011, makes me suspect that temperature is at least one factor controlling the frequency of these events.

  50. Beth Cooper

    This is my continuing diary of weather in Melbourne, Oz. I’m contributing to the long historical record of regional and climate diversity, y’know.
    Long term historical records like Tony Brown’s, longer term ice core records like Vostok, i’d say, give a different, (truer?) picture of climate to the narrow focus of Hansen et al…

    Diary entry fer 29/07/12. “Well here in Melbourne after days of heavy rain, ( SAM the climate dog is off his leash again,) the great contest between the Yarra River and the flood plain continues … so far the river is winning, two games ter nil. Lawlessness prevails :-) In the night the river god steals territory from the land by stealth, he ain’t going ter be contained by no boundary rules. Even ducks in the river are exceedin’ the speed limit.
    And yer know, it’s happened before … and before that, …and …”

  51. Beth Cooper

    Re yr video, Captain K, it seems logical to be using the tidal and wave power of the oceans as an energy source if the repair requirements are cost efficient. Compared to on again off again wind turbine efficiency, the video claims tidal technology is several hundred times more efficient.

    The proposed 400 wind turbines covering 100 square miles of the Thames Estuary would only provide about 390 MW of energy, enough to provide 5 kw power for 78000 homes, about enough to power an electric kettle and a toaster. According to the video, a wave farm, covering 420 square Km of ocean, would provide enough reliable energy to power every home in the UK. And as partly submerged systems, wave farms would be less obtrusive than 200 ft high wind turbines with their 100-150 ft long blades, dominating the country side and killing birds.

    • Beth me darlin’,

      Just checked the BOM national radar loop. – http://www.bom.gov.au/products/national_radar_sat.loop.shtml – Looks like you have a bit of rain to come yet. Mostly showers but ya never know,

      Found a new report on the 2010/11 La Nina. Record breaking? Perhaps but ENSO varies much more than that over a much longer period.

      Yeah – nice video. If they work commercially without subsidies – great stuff. The power available is a function of the density of air compared to water. I’m guessin’ the guy on the rig with the walkie talkie is not a pissant progressive. People in flouros and hard hats tend not to be.

      Best regards
      Captain Kangaroo

      • Oh right – the BOM report.

        ‘The 2010–12 La Niñas were two of the most significant events in Australia’s recorded meteorological history. This publication explores these extraordinary events and their effect on the weather and climate of Australia during 2010–12. Structured in two parallel streams, the ‘background’ stream explains some of the major factors that drive La Niña events and how they influence Australia’s climate and the ‘story’ stream illustrates the
        significance and widespread impacts of the two events.’


      • Dave Springer

        The back to back La Ninas haven’t yet broken the drought record from the 1950’s here in Texas but one more would do the trick. All because the trade winds speeding up and slowing down not CO2. Who’d of guessed?

  52. Beth Cooper

    Thx, Captain K, … climate events of significance.
    The old seesaw of climate change; from the 1998 major El Nino to the historic 2010-11, 2011-12 most significant La Ninas in Oz recorded meteorological history! And 6 hours count down to Anthony Watt’s intriguing ‘announcement.’ Interesting times we’re livin’ in.

    • Must admit I am much more interested in Lauren Mitchel in the floor routine than Anthony Watts. The girls just marched off hopefully to a final. The girls double sculls did excellent too. And Stephanie Rice. Go Steph.

      The mens 4 x 100m freestyle up soon. The Americans are the challenge for what it’s worth. Not much.

  53. How to tell if you are a Have-It-Both-Ways skeptic.

    1) You get angry and defensive whenever you are forced, eg by Richard Muller, to face the fact the Earth has warmed, “Of course it warmed! Is anyone surpised! we all knew that! the issue is the cause! you and your strawmen!”

    2) At other times try to pretend the data is so screwy we don’t know whether the Earth has warmed, “Instrumental temperature data for the pre-satellite era (1850-1980) have been so widely, systematically, and uni-directionally tampered with that it cannot be credibly asserted there has been any significant “global warming” in the 20th century.” (That’s the key conclusion made in the “SUMMARY FOR POLICY MAKERS” in an SPPI report authored by Anthony Watts and Joseph D’Aleo)

    • How typical of you – creating strawmen and then attributing them to others.

    • Dave Springer

      I face the fact the earth has warmed in the past 33 years by satellite data which is the only system we have capable of measuring global average temperature with the precision and accuracy to a tenth degree C per decade.

      Can you face the fact that in that 33 years the past ten has not warmed?

      Can you face the fact without modeled adjustments to the pre-1979 surface thermometer record that warming and cooling cancelled out and there was no trend in either direction?

      Can you face the fact that the past few decades when we actually had instruments capable of the measuring the warming that it may have simply been measuring the 30-year warming side of a 60 year cycle that includes 30 years of cooling?

      I don’t think you can face any of the above. You’re the denier not me.

  54. Yay. Countdown to Anthony. First thing I thought of when I woke up this morning. I need therapy.

    As to Muller’s NYT’s “Amazing Grace” piece (I once was blind but now I see), here’s a comment by poptech on Bishop Hill:

    The Truth about Richard Muller


    “I was never a skeptic” – Richard Muller, 2011

    “If Al Gore reaches more people and convinces the world that global warming is real, even if he does it through exaggeration and distortion – which he does, but he’s very effective at it – then let him fly any plane he wants.” – Richard Muller, 2008

    “There is a consensus that global warming is real. …it’s going to get much, much worse.” – Richard Muller, 2006

    “Let me be clear. My own reading of the literature and study of paleoclimate suggests strongly that carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history. It is likely to have severe and detrimental effects on global climate.” – Richard Muller, 2003

    • Dave Springer

      Don’t feel bad. It was one of my first thoughts this morning too.

      • Dave Springer

        First thought of course is what the hell are the dogs barking at, second thought is did I leave any coffee in the pot from yesterday, and third thought was I can hardly wait to find out WTF has Anthony Watts’ panties in such a wad.

      • Lol Dave. Truth in advertising. My actual first thought was as usual something like:

        “hmmff.. ack…gag…wtf…oh christ.”

    • that’s how we got here. no scrutiny at all.

    • “I was never a skeptic.” – supposedly said by RIchard Muller

      When you follow the link, what you get is a quote by a newspaper reporter. He says Muller said he was never skeptic.

      Never a skeptic of what?

      “I certainly feel that there is lots of room for skepticism on the human component of warming,” Muller said.

      Although Muller estimates 2 in 3 odds that humans are causing global warming, “the fact that the original conclusion of Mann et al. is ‘plausible’ is damning with faint praise,” he said. “Theories are plausible; discoveries are supposed to be proven.”

    • pokerguy –

      That’s a pretty one-sided collection of Muller’s comments. We are told over and over that “skeptics” are not monolithic, and that they aren’t all screaming lunatics, and yet the rhetorical quest is to now say that Muller hasn’t embraced “skeptical” arguments about AGW?

      What does that really tell you? Does it give you information about Muller, or about “skeptics” who are selectively culling his previous comments?

      • Hey Josh…I’m feeling expansive this morning for some reason. Could be the Southern Comfort I dumped into my coffee a little while ago.

        But I’m not sure of the nature of your objection as it doesn’t seem to apply. Those are 3 pretty unambiguous quotes that directly contradict his current invitation in the NYT’s to “call (him) a converted skeptic.”

        How many quotes would you say I’d need to cast doubt on his sincerity,

      • “How many quotes would you say I’d need to cast doubt on his sincerity”

        Just one — from you, expressing doubts about Muller’s sincerity BEFORE Muller teased his preliminary results.

        Without that, selective quotations of a guy whose results you don’t like are never going to be persuasive.

      • Another obscure reply that I’m just not following. The guy said he’s now a “converted skeptic.” I’m simply challenging that statement on the basis of 3 unambiguous previous statements…which pretty clearly indicate that he was never a skeptic in the first place. Which everyone knows anyway…

        So help me understand Robert/Josh.

      • In other words, you can’t show any evidence of your “skepticism” about Muller before he came out with result you don’t like.

        It would seem you’re in denial about your denial — a common malady.

        As for your cherry-picked quotations — YAWN.

        I’ve told you what you need to do to establish credibility for the revisionist version of events.

      • Hey PG –

        Surprised you have any left over from last night…

        The quest to brand him as a “skeptic, like the question to brand him as not a ” “skeptic,” like the quest to brand him as a “warmist,” or someone of low character, or someone who isn’t sincere, or as a back-stabber, etc., reflect nothing other than what we already knew: The debate is characterized by juvenile banter, and people have a binary mentality when it serves their purpose and focus on nuance when it serves their purposes.All you need to do is watch how the camps switched how they characterized him contingent on the results of his research.

        Not having met the man, I’m reluctant to judge his character. In truth, it doesn’t matter how people might want to see him labeled, or even how he might label himself – except as a window onto the dynamic of the debate.

      • I see, Josh. Ok. But let’s not forget, these are his terms: “skeptic/”converted skeptic.” Whether his position is more nuanced than that…and with muller it seems to all depends on who he’s talking to. And let’s also not forget, that’s also the point the NYT’s is wanting you to take away. That a previous “skeptic” has, upon further reflection and much energetic research, changed his mind. Both sides want apostates, because there testimony has more weight.

      • Though not sure you can call a “converted skeptic” an apostate since skepticism is not a belief per se.

      • PG –

        My point is that simplistic reduction and assignation of labels is facile, and only serve rhetorical or ideological purposes – doesn’t really matter who does it.

        Let me apply that thinking to your concerns about the NYTimes.

        If there is something meaningful in Muller’s work, it’s that his group studied the data to control for variables that some “skeptics” said needed to be controlled.

        You can construct an interpretation of the NYTimes’ intent, and I can construct an interpretation of Willis’ intent in impugning Muller’s character, and that’s all well and good, but it is not scientific. It’s speculative, and the problem, (IMO), is when people confuse the two. And when smart people suffer from that confusion, I think it serves as an object lesson in how to observe the debate.

        I just read that Judith didn’t put her name on the recent BEST papers due to differences of opinion over attribution (and methodological disagreement) – so same old, same old, in that regard. I guarantee that we will read arguments attributing deep significance behind Judith’s decision from both sides of the debate – but there will be, absolutely, nothing new there; just more of people repeating the same behaviors and thinking, somehow, that it’s meaningfully different in some way that what the see proves their beliefs to be something other than just beliefs.

      • We’ve seen these sudden falls from grace before. It resembles a pathopsychological phenomenon called “splitting”:

        Splitting is a term that came out of classical (psychoanalytical or psychodynamic) schools of thought and refers to an unconscious ego defense mechanism by which a fairly complex entity cannot be accepted into consciousness in its entirety because it contains aspects that are both acceptable to a person as well as unacceptable. Relatively underdeveloped personalities, most especially borderline personalities, have a hard time incorporating into consciousness seemingly contradictory aspects of the same person or thing. So, they unconsciously separate or “split” objects into two categories, seeing the “good” side of a person or thing as the part they find acceptable and the “bad” side of the person or thing as the part they find painful or unacceptable. And, it’s much more than just seeing both a good and a bad side to everything. They actually “split” a single entity into two opposing realities, conceptualizing for example a mother who has both a gentle and a terrifying side as alternately “good mommy,” or “bad mommy.” As a result, they will often alternate between over-idealizing and devaluing the same person.

    • These quotes are being distorted. Tortured.

      Muller: Global warming. There is a consensus that global warming is real. There has not been much so far, but it’s going to get much, much worse. The thing I would tell the president is that the global warming, according to the global consensus — that’s the IPCC

      In the above he is not saying he thinks it is going to get much, much worse; he’s saying it’s the IPCC/consensus is that it is going to get much, much worse.

  55. Joe's World


    The precipitation events this fall on the west coast of North America should be VERY interesting with the hot air over the cold water with the planet tilting back!

  56. Beth Cooper

    On the record, time-line of ‘Thoughts of the day, ( ‘or year’) from Richard Best.

    2003/06/08, as per pokerguy’s post. RB says ‘Global warming is real and getting worse.’
    2009/11/12 as Bishop Hill Blog: 2009, as recollected by RM in 2012: There were ‘problems that threw doubt on global warming.’2009,’ Call me a converted skeptic.’ Then – ‘ 2011; ‘I was never a skeptic.’ Now – 2012: ‘as a result of careful and objective analysis through the BEST project, I’ve concluded global warming is real.’

    Possible reasons for puzzling inconsistencies in above time line:

    A RB suffers from mood swings.
    B Has annual short term memory loss.
    C Is playing a deep Machievellian game.
    D Could be afflicted with cracked brain syndrome.

  57. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    There is a vast medical literature upon the topic of denial, and this literature indicates that the forthcoming WUWT/Anthony Watts announcement can relate to WUWT’s denial syndrome in two characteristic ways:


    Alternative 1  Deepening of climate-change denial

    This alternative plausibly might include some new conspiracy theory relating to climate change science, or an integrative version of several conspiracy theories, or the formation of new conspiracy-centric political organizations to combat the conspiracies, commonly including “Show Trials” to expose the conspiracies.


    Alternative 2  Recovery from climate-change denial

    This alternative might begin with an acknowledgement of the strengthening scientific evidence that climate change is real, serious, and accelerating, an acceptance of responsibility for engaging the reality of climate-change, and an apology for prior bad behaviors associated to denial syndromes. The preceding all are elements of the well-regarded 12-step programs for recovery from denial.


    Will WUWT deepen its commitment to climate change denial, or begin a responsible retreat from it? At the present time, both alternatives are plausible.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Hmmm … per Richard Mulier’s essay today The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic, we know that Dr. Muller and his colleagues in the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project, have — wisely and responsibly — selected Alternative 2.

      Perhaps today’s announcement is that WUWT and Anthony Watts — and Willis Eschenbach too? — have determined to travel the same wisely responsible path as BEST and Dr. Muller.

      That would be good, eh?   :)   :)   :)

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      It is you who is the denier => http://bit.ly/OsdxJf

  58. Mornin’ Joy..I’d say the chances of the latter are about on a par with one of our backyard squirrels knocking on the back door and politely inquiring as to whether we mind if he plays some chopin on our piano….

    • That is to say, the chances of his “climate change denial” softening.

      • Still not sure if we have a bet, or even what we’re betting on. I’m a gamer though. You name it, and we’ll work it out.

        Funny how Doctor Jeb, Superhero PhD Extraordinare seems to have disappeared after I offered to let him be the final arbiter as to who wins in a proposed bet with me….after he implied he wouldn’t take a bet because there’s no way the denizens could be fair.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        LOL … PokerGuy, for fearlessly sharing your love of animals, I hereby stipulate that you are the winnder our bet (no matter what it was), and therefore, I hereby pledge to donate $10 to your favored charity, PETA. For the simple reason, that under no circumstance should PETA be the loser by our wager!   :)   :)   :)

        In tribute to which, let it be poetry hour here on Climate Etc. ;…

        Walking the Dog

        Two universes mosey down the street
        Connected by love and a leash and nothing else.
        Mostly I look at lamplight through the leaves
        While he mooches along with tail up and snout down,
        Getting a secret knowledge through the nose
        Almost entirely hidden from my sight.

        We stand while he’s enraptured by a bush
        Till I can’t stand our standing any more
        And haul him off; for our relationship
        Is patience balancing to this side tug
        And that side drag; a pair of symbionts
        Contented not to think each other’s thoughts.

        [ … verses unlikely to pass the filter  …]

        Whereon we both with dignity walk home
        And just to show who’s master I write the poem.

            — Howard Nemerov

        Thank you, Pokerguy!   :)   :)   :)

      • And I will do the same, Joy. 10 smackeroos for the critters from each of us.

        Meh, on the poem. But I give you points for your love of the game. And I have to admit, as I find myself so comfortably bathed in the warm light of our mutual love for animals, that much of what passes for poetry these days is well beyond me. I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a New Yorker poem. I sometimes seriously question if there’s any there, there. Because the honest truth is, I mostly don’t know.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Agree 100% on the dubious merits of much modern poetry … for me good poems encourage us to look outward not inward, and toward the future not the past. We humans can take a lesson from our dogs in this regard!   :)   :)   :)

      • “good poems encourage us to look outward not inward, and toward the future not the past”

        That hardly describes poetry of any era, let alone classical poetry which is usually about the past.

        Modern poetry can tend towards the introspective, but that’s hardly universal. Most art in any age is crap, which is why the study of the classics is so rewarding — the classics are simply the bestseller list after hundreds of years of separating the wheat from the chaff.

      • Robert

        Very perceptive description although I would add that SOMETIMES it is possible to recognise the worth of modern material immediately

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        “Good poems encourage us to look outward not inward”

        Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions

        No man is an island,
        Entire of itself.
        Each is a piece of the continent,
        A part of the main.
        If a clod be washed away by the sea,
        Europe is the less.
        As well as if a promontory were.
        As well as if a manor of thine own
        Or of thine friend’s were.
        Each man’s death diminishes me,
        For I am involved in mankind.
        Therefore, send not to know
        For whom the bell tolls,
        It tolls for thee.

           — John Donne (1624)

        “Good poems look toward the future not the past”

        The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

        Ask the questions that have no answers.
        Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
        Say that your main crop is the forest
        that you did not plant,
        that you will not live to harvest.

        Say that the leaves are harvested
        when they have rotted into the mold.
        Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.

        Put your faith in the two inches of humus
        that will build under the trees
        every thousand years.

        Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
        though you have considered all the facts.

        So long as women do not go cheap
        for power, please women more than men.
        Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
        a woman satisfied to bear a child?
        Will this disturb the sleep
        of a woman near to giving birth?

           — Wendell Berry (1991)

        Your honor, the defense rests!   :)   :)   :)

      • How about a special Muller/Watts-themed edition:

        “Good poems look toward the future not the past”

        Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
        Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
        Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,

        With loss of EDEN, till one greater Man
        Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
        Sing Heav’nly Muse, that on the secret top
        Of OREB, or of SINAI, didst inspire
        That Shepherd, who first taught the chosen Seed,
        In the Beginning how the Heav’ns and Earth
        Rose out of CHAOS: Or if SION Hill
        Delight thee more, and SILOA’S Brook that flow’d
        Fast by the Oracle of God; I thence
        Invoke thy aid to my adventrous Song,

        — John Milton, “Paradise Lost”

        “Good poems encourage us to look outward not inward”

        Now is the winter of our discontent
        Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
        And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house
        In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
        Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
        Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
        Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings, 7
        Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
        Grim-visaged war hath smooth’d his wrinkled front;
        And now, instead of mounting barbed steeds 10
        To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
        He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber
        To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
        But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
        Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass; 15
        I, that am rudely stamp’d, and want love’s majesty
        To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
        I, that am curtail’d of this fair proportion, 18
        Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
        Deformed, unfinish’d, sent before my time
        Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
        And that so lamely and unfashionable 22
        That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
        Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
        Have no delight to pass away the time,
        Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
        And descant on mine own deformity: 27
        And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
        To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
        I am determined to prove a villain
        And hate the idle pleasures of these days.

        — William Shakespeare, Richard III

  59. Judy quits. Irrelevant.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Reality of AGW. Face it.   :)   :)   :)

      • Joy

        I am sincerely glad that the link you cited confirms my own research (linked to below) as regards the amount of warming since 1760–which was of course measured from a sharp downturn in temperatures.


        I am sure you will also find it interesting that the records show that CET, which seems a reasonable proxy for global temperature (if that means anything) has shown a downturn over the last decade and the current anomaly is the same as in the 1730’s.

        Now that you agree with my research Joy, we can move forward together to determine the reasons for the ‘long slow thaw’ which dates back to at least 1660, with the surprising hump of warmth around 1730 to levels very similar to today.

        I feel my work has neen worthwhile now that you are on board, so perhaps we can get your good friend James Hansen to join with us in further research? (We will need to use his funding of course)


      • Who is Joy?

      • JCH

        Fan first manifested herself as Joy(ce) Black on these pages some months ago, complete with loads of smilies.

      • we can move forward together to determine the reasons for the ‘long slow thaw’ which dates back to at least 1660, with the surprising hump of warmth around 1730 to levels very similar to today.

        Hi Tony
        It may be shown soon that you have had the evidence since the summer of 2010. There is a rumor that a Stanford’s scientist is now speculating on the same lines, not to mention couple of geo-physicists from NASA.

      • Vuk

        I think that it is very likely they will give me a very big grant to work on this project. If its any more than £10 Million I will recruit you to help. :)


  60. I wonder what week evidence of attribution Judy is doing her best to review.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Meanwhile, Kim, ‘m wondering if WUWT is going to leek juicy details

      • I’m amused that the formers of settledness feel the need for reform of skeptics. This is strong cognitive dissonance, sadly exemplified by Richard Muller, who has moulted into a, wait for it, grub, perhaps larva of some beetle.

  61. Hansen, et al, say that it’s obvious that the dice were loaded, since there were events whose probabilities were otherwise negligible? Doesn’t that fall into the “my special blade of grass” fallacy? (I.e. that a baseball you threw into a field landed on a particular blade of grass, and given that there were millions of blades of grass in the field the odds were millions to one against you hitting that particular blade of grass, therefore a miracle occurred!)

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Wayne2, thank you for your excellent question.   :)   :)   :)

      Imagine a casino who dice tables yield one big winner per week.

      Then one summer, the tables start yielding ten big winners per week.

      Common-sense conclusion:  Someone’s loading the dice.

      The folks who quibble about mathematical details are willfully blinding themselves to this conclusion’s solid common sense, eh?   :)   :)   :)

  62. Joshua writes: “My point is that simplistic reduction and assignation of labels is facile, and only serve rhetorical or ideological purposes – doesn’t really matter who does it.”

    And: “You can construct an interpretation of the NYTimes’ intent, and I can construct an interpretation of Willis’ intent in impugning Muller’s character, and that’s all well and good, but it is not scientific.”

    Josh, I don’t mean to be dismissive, but you spend so much time on issues that are essentially self-evidently true and hence, I”m sorry to report, a tad vapid. Of course I can’t argue with the things you say here. Who could? Naturally my opinion on the NYT’s intent is not scientific. I think we denizens should come up with a term to describe these “joshua-isms.”That is tedious, trivially true assertions that smother otherwise stimulating conversation like a moldy old blanket…

    I know you’re a smart guy Joshua, and I know you don’t see yourself as a blowhard, and I bet you aren’t one in person. But on the Internet Josh, well, let’s just say you bump right up against it.

    All that said, you’re one of the few true believers I rather like. I think a lot of your participation here is to test your own intellect and I can appreciate that. I do that too sometimes, often finding in the process that I’m even dumber than I feared.

    • Not interested in the science, a sophist searching for a gullible audience.

      • I think that’s true to a certain extent. Yes. Josh, what do you do? I’m guessing you’re a teacher of some sort. College professor? I think you mentioned you’re getting up there in the age department. Are you retired?

    • pokerguy –

      First, it is logically inconsistent to repeatedly respond to my posts and then apologize for being dismissive. Maybe you should give that some thought.

      I agree that much of what I point out is self-evidently true. No need to worry about calling what I discuss vapid. To some degree, I agree completely.

      It is precisely because people don’t acknowledge those “vapid” and self-evident truths, and/or incorporate that realization into their analysis, and/or seek to control for those trivial realities in what they say, that I write my comments. (As to whether there is any real point in doing so, I think it is definitely an open question, with most evidence suggesting that there isn’t.)

      Anyway, let’s look at an example of what I just described:

      And let’s also not forget, that’s also the point the NYT’s is wanting you to take away.

      Really? Where is your evidence showing that the NYT “wants?” You’re characterizing an entity comprising thousand of people as having a singular “want?” How would you, then, account for Rivkin’s article today?

      It was a facile statement, PG. Calling me a blowhard or my posts vapid won’t change that. I’m sure that your statement may reflect some portion of a complex reality, but you simplified that reality to make vapid statement, in order to reaffirm your bias. If you agree that it is only an opinion that you can’t prove with anything approaching a scientific analysis, then why bother stating it as fact?

      What does it tell me? It tells me that someone who identifies as a skeptic, who takes scientific analysis seriously, dips into “skepticism.” Do you disagree? Perhaps that you did so is an entirely trivial point – it does happen all the time (not just with you, of course). But on the other hand, maybe the fact that it happens all the time proves that the phenomenon isn’t trivial, but reflects a very important characteristic that (underlies and) undermines much of the climate debate.

      Naturally my opinion on the NYT’s intent is not scientific.

      Then why did you state it as fact? Why didn’t you discuss, even in a cursory manner, the complexity of the situation? Did you even consider what might be plausible counter-arguments? What is the purpose in stating, as fact, things that you made no attempt to prove? I would suggest the reason is that you have gotten into the habit of accepting phenomena as factual without requiring evidential support.

      Will making such statements convince someone who disagrees with you on the facts of the matter? Will it affirm the position of someone else, who likewise, hasn’t bothered to argue the assertion on its merits?

      You like precision in the use of language, and you like art in the use of language. Be precise. Be artful.

      And let’s not forget what started this exchange. You posted a selective group of quotes, used to suggest that they invalidate the claim that Muller is a “skeptic.” You owned that point by posting the comments. I pointed out what I considered to be a logical fallacy embedded in the selective criteria used to collect those quotes – thus invalidating the rhetorical point being made – and then you began to discuss with me whether or not my point was valid. Have you effectively refuted my point?

      You wandered into this discussion on your own volition, and now you want to blame me because you think it is vapid? I’m responsible for “snuffing out” your “stimulating discussion” (exchanging like views with people who make similar statements of fact without supporting evidence, no doubt?) because you responded to my post?

      I may be a blowhard, but even in my self-important, egomaniacal, and braggart self, I don’t think I have the power that you’re attributing to me.

      I think a lot of your participation here is to test your own intellect…

      Of the many times I have been told why I participate here, that is probably the closest explanation to the truth that I have seen.

  63. To be more explicit, look at your sentence: “My point is that simplistic reduction and assignation of labels is facile, ”

    Josh, again, you don’t just repeat yourself, you do it in the same sentence. Tautological, hence vapid. Hence tedious and boring.

    • To be more explicit, look at your sentence: “My point is that simplistic reduction and assignation of labels is facile, ”

      Josh, again, you don’t just repeat yourself, you do it in the same sentence. Tautological, hence vapid. Hence tedious and boring.

      Divorced from context, I would agree. And I didn’t make the context clear in that particular sentence you extracted, but I think the context should have been clear.

      In case it wasn’t: You attempted to label Muller in a facile way (not all labels are facile). You tried to simplistically reduce a diverse collection of views he has expressed to a useless caricature (not all simplification or reduction is lacking value). I

      Do you disagree?

      • Muller has made a cartoon character of himself. He’s picking petals off a flower, skepticism loves me, skepticism loves me not.

      • Why the focus on Muller personally? Is he more or less consistent than any other climate combatant? If so, please tell me who you’re thinking of. If not, what can we learn from your obsession, of that of others who have never met him, don’t know him personally, with his character?

        What’s relevant is the science his team produced.

        IMO, they (at least to some degree) deepened the control over the data for biases. Combatants will use that effort of his team, as well as their other work to confirm their biases. Same old, same old.

        That you want to focus on his personality (just as PG’s interest in focusing on mine) is information.

        Use it well.

      • Heh, focussing on character, not personality. What God whispered attribution in his ear, but to no one else?

      • Fine. I stand corrected.

        You are focusing on him personally – by obsessing over his character (not his personality).

        If you think that elevates the relevance or value of your focus, given that you’re assessing the character of someone you’ve never met, so be it. Undoubtedly, it is information.

        Me, personally? I try not to draw conclusions about someone’s “character” (or how they should be labeled) on the basis of whether or not there are some consistencies between different things they say at different times. Why? Because IMO, everyone does it, myself included.

        I’m glad for you that you are capable of differentiating character on that basis (no doubt because you’re immune). I am proud to post on the same blog as someone of your “character.” Maybe I can hope for the possibility that just by nesting a comment under yours, some of your “character” will trickle down to me.

      • Free the blueprints for the character elevator.

      • JOsh, sometimes I get the feeling that when you’re not getting the better of a discussion (which happens a lot), you just keep prolonging it in the forlorn hope that the other guy will make a mistake you can pounce on.

        Well, because he’s making misleading statements. And given his supposed status as a “previous” skeptic, these statements carry greater weight. This “I once was blind but now I see” stuff carries great import for true believers of all stripes.

        Thus, It’s one thing or MIchael Mann to announce that the end of the world is nigh, because he was born with a tree ring in his mouth nobody pays much attention. But Muller, whether by design, or because he simply can’t make up his mind, or because he’s not telling the truth, or because he’s got Alzheimer’s, or God know what, keeps insisting he “used” to be a skeptic.

        Look, it’s the same thing with JUdith. The team despise her, and fear her (as well they should) because she used to be one of them.

        Apostasy rules, Josh. That’s why the focus.

      • PG inadvertently admits the basis for the attack on Muller: He “despise h[im], and fear[s] h[im] (as well [he] should) because [he] used to be one of them.”

        Gotta love the projection. Yes, indeed “Apostasy rules.” Only it is denialism that seems to be losing its ever-scarce scientific folks to the apostasy of following the evidence . . .

      • JOsh, Well, I’d say my process was simple, which is not the same as simplistic. I’m simply rebutting Muller’s own assertion, by offering into evidence previous statements that are at odds with that assertion.
        So yes, simple as a pimple. I like simple. It suits my limited intellect. But I don’t see that simplicity in and of itself weakens an argument. To the contrary.

        Syllogisms are simple, but their conclusions are by definition, inescapable..

        Joshua is a sophist.
        All sophists are tedious.
        Joshua is…..

      • PG –

        I’m simply rebutting Muller’s own assertion, by offering into evidence previous statements that are at odds with that assertion.

        Sorry, I’d say that you’re doing more than that. You are disagreeing that he is a “skeptic.” In fact, you are ridiculing him for making the assertion that he was a “skeptic” (and now reformed). You aren’t simply questioning the determination of what a “skeptic” is. You clearly have an argument contextualized to Muller’s label.

        And further, I’d say you are wrong. Is someone, who has made the kind of statements Muller has made, not a “skeptic?” Make your case. How do you define the term.

        What are the parameters of being a “skeptic?” What are the measurement criteria?

        Shall I offer comments of his that are completely congruent with those of, say, Anthony Watts? Does he have to be completely congruent in everything Anthony says in order to be a “skeptic” – even when Anthony contradicts himself when he talks about what “skeptics” believe?

        How is your conclusion anything other than an opinion? Isn’t stating an opinion as fact, facile?

        Anyway, PG – gotta go. Which is probably a good thing. This convo has really deteriorated (starting from when you began to personalize the discussion).

      • “What are the parameters of being a “skeptic?” What are the measurement criteria?”

        Easy, if you don’t accept this or similar (more or less the official/consensus position):

        then you’re an A(GHG)GW skeptic.

    • If the quotes are suspect, the character focus switches feet.

  64. See I did it myself. It’s contagious. Tedious= Boring.

  65. T- 118 minutes and counting. I can’t believe I’m actually nervous. Come on Anthony, I’m pulling for you. Make it good, because if it’s a dud you’ve set yourself up for a major drubbing.

  66. Tectonic sounds much better to me, as that would imply a fundamental, lasting shift. I’ll take tectonic. I’m rooting for tectonic.

  67. Here’s tectonism in action. If this crazy attribution of Muller’s is correct, think how cold the globe would be now. It’s incorrect, but the dawning realization that it is a double edged sword hanging over them, must make them fear earthquakes.

  68. Doctor C,
    How about a separate Anthony Watts thread? Bound to be plenty of conversation.

    • She’s promised a BEST related thread tonight. I’m anticipating this even more than Anthony’s revelations.

    • Anthony is only testing his newly installed server, it’s bound to collapse under weight of demand.

  69. Dave Springer

    pokerguy | July 29, 2012 at 7:18 am | Reply

    As to Muller’s NYT’s “Amazing Grace” piece (I once was blind but now I see), here’s a comment by poptech on Bishop Hill:

    The Truth about Richard Muller


    “I was never a skeptic” – Richard Muller, 2011

    “If Al Gore reaches more people and convinces the world that global warming is real, even if he does it through exaggeration and distortion – which he does, but he’s very effective at it – then let him fly any plane he wants.” – Richard Muller, 2008

    “There is a consensus that global warming is real. …it’s going to get much, much worse.” – Richard Muller, 2006

    “Let me be clear. My own reading of the literature and study of paleoclimate suggests strongly that carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history. It is likely to have severe and detrimental effects on global climate.” – Richard Muller, 2003

    Everyone that knows Berkeley knows there are no skeptic professors there which includes Muller but I had no idea the lying bastard was so blatant about it. Thanks for providing the proof of what an evil lying sack of sh!t he is.’

    • Thank God Anthropogenic Global Warming has had powerful and beneficial effects on global climate, at least according to the views on attribution by the Good Doctor Mulller. So why would he think the future effects will be different than the past ones?

      Methinks he hasn’t worked it all out yet, bewildered as he is by the temperature record.

    • PG –

      Everyone that knows Berkeley knows there are no skeptic professors there which includes Muller but I had no idea the lying bastard was so blatant about it. Thanks for providing the proof of what an evil lying sack of sh!t he is.’

      Couldn’t quite get out w/o noting this comment.

      There you go.

      Noting this type of statement is vapid? (If I argued that it was only present among those I disagree with, it would be).

      Ignore it and consider it irrelevant all you want. I consider it to be an extension of the logic of your earlier statements, and I consider it to be information worth noting.

      • Josh, You win. Note it in your special notebook, or wherever you make your special notations of invidious skeptical goings on, that I’m a simplistic boob and you’re a boy genius. I’m in too good a mood to care.

      • Dave Springer

        Heheh… play you like a fiddle I do.

    • The attribution of some of those quotes to Richard Muller appears to have major problems.

      “Richard Muller is not who he says he is. He is an advocate of the theory of man-made global warming,” wrote a columnist in The Charleston Daily Mail. “The skeptic who claims to have debunked climate skepticism never was a skeptic,” declared the folks at JunkScience.com.

  70. Xtra! Xtra! Read all about it.

    Muller’s attribution announcement was to preempt Anthony Watts announcement later on today that BEST says…attribution cannot be assigned. So Muller gets out in front two days early with his, and his daughter’s opinions, about man & CO2 causing global warming.

    Now I wouldn’t be so sure of the Muller/BEST/Watts announcements hadn’t Muller testified before Congress a year ago about preliminary BEST results, prior to November 2011 Durban Conference.

    Muller is like Vice President Bidden, and Sarah Pallin in the last General election: attack dogs, spin doctors, message makers.

    I think it would have been spectacular if Watts had the FOIA code, but he dispelled that speculation. This coming Watts announcement falls in line with “hide the decline. the handle is straight. redefine peer-review…….”

    On the back of page 29 are all the disclaimers, amongst the legal notices.

    • I suspect Watts announcement will be that he’s entered the 100 meters at the Olympics.

      • The Special Olympics, presumably.

      • Dave Springer

        Ah, then you’ll be competing with him.

      • andrew adams

        Well if we’re on an Olympic theme… imagine if the world had tuned in on Friday night for the opening ceremony lured by rumours of Danny Boyle’s spectactular display and in fact there was one guy in the middle of the field holding a sign saying “WELcOme TO teH OlyPMics” and playing “Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner” on the banjo. That’s what the “skeptics” must be feeling like right now.


    A reanalysis of U.S. surface station temperatures has been performed using the recently WMO-approved Siting Classification System devised by METEO-France’s Michel Leroy. The new siting classification more accurately characterizes the quality of the location in terms of monitoring long-term spatially representative surface temperature trends. The new analysis demonstrates that reported 1979-2008 U.S. temperature trends are spuriously doubled, with 92% of that over-estimation resulting from erroneous NOAA adjustments of well-sited stations upward. The paper is the first to use the updated siting system which addresses USHCN siting issues and data adjustments.

    The new improved assessment, for the years 1979 to 2008, yields a trend of +0.155C per decade from the high quality sites, a +0.248 C per decade trend for poorly sited locations, and a trend of +0.309 C per decade after NOAA adjusts the data. This issue of station siting quality is expected to be an issue with respect to the monitoring of land surface temperature throughout the Global Historical Climate Network and in the BEST network.

    Today, a new paper has been released that is the culmination of knowledge gleaned from five years or work by Anthony Watts and the many volunteers and contributors to the SurfaceStations project started in 2007.

    • That’s it, huh? After a bunch of papers, including his own, found NOAA’s results to be confirmed, he’s done yet another reanalysis and thinks he’s found the Holy Grail of UHI.

      I doubt this will pull much attention from Muller’s apostasy. Rather a damp squib.

      • The rural mmts might be a major deal. When you move from a CRS with nice widely spaced legs to a galvanize metal pipe shoved up the butt of a tiny plastic beehive, the conductivity of the metal pipe might just impact the accuracy of the device a touch, since heat is known to rise. Rural land use tends to compact soils and impact soil temperatures which would impact the heat conducted to the tiny shelters with the conductive metal rod shoved up their butt.

        Part of that though is legitimate anthropogenic warming. That legitimate anthropogenic warming, land use change, would be amplified by athropogenically released green house gases, both from burning fuels and depleting soils. Simples, just look at the ocean versus land data sometime.

      • “The rural mmts might be a major deal.”

        Anything’s possible, but I doubt it. If you read the release, it’s “submitted,” not peer reviewed and not accepted. It’s in direct contradiction to several other recent studies, including Watt’s own. My guess? Just like the original paper, by the time it clears peer review all these startling claims will have evaporated.

        This really seems like Watts trying a little razzle-dazzle to avoid the obvious question: he said he’d stand by BEST’s results:

        “I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong.”

        Now Muller brings us the results: hockey stick warming, caused by humans. Watts doesn’t want to address that, so he’s trying to change the subject to his own spin of the results, which will likely not stand up but may keep some weak-minded people from rubbing his nose in the earlier statement.

      • It’s all good, Robert; people will understand the current cooling better now that they understand they’ve been lied to about warming. There’s even hope for you.

      • have you not read the new papers by Watts and Muller. If you had you’d realize there is no cooling.

      • Muller? There are some people whose papers I will no longer read.

      • because you want to believe the world is cooling?

      • lolwot, the cooling is “in the pipeline” :)


        How much? Even Kim doesn’t know :)

      • Heh, it might be all down to those pesky sunspots. I feel like I’m picking pedals off a flower; sunbeams love me, sunbeams love me not. Every time I look, though, there are more pedals than the flower started out with.

      • Oops, got foot in mouth, there. Petal me, petal me mucho, when, oh when will this awe full charade grind to a stop? Pedal me out of this mischief, before we all drown.

      • 3 month running mean of UAH shows temperatures last year and now are higher than in past El Ninos of 2002-2007. ENSO neutral periods higher than past El Ninos? Not very consistent with global cooling is it?

      • lolwot, why a 3-month running mean? Why not 1, 2, 4, 5, or 6-month running mean?
        If you don’t wish to be accused of cherry-picking then don’t cherry-pick.

      • lolwot, or, for that matter, why not a 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12-month running mean?
        Or why not stick to a 3-month running mean and use a different series?
        More cherries anyone?

      • Robert, it is not whether it is submitted, published or used to line a bird cage. The issue is that the impact be recognized instead of glossed over. That is part of the sciency thing right, verifying assumptions?

      • What impact?

        A meteorologist with a long history of having to walk back false or misleading claims is back with another set of claims. Peer reviewers will evaluate them, and until then, you can only judge the fruit by the tree; probably it won’t stand up. Impact, at the moment, is zero.

        “That is part of the sciency thing right, verifying assumptions?”

        Which assumptions? Land temperature trends and station siting issues have been the subject of intense study. The result is a set of findings, not assumptions. If you or Watts think you have found something that should revise our understanding, go ahead and publish it.

      • What impact? last time I looked land use is modeled as a cooling or negative impact. That is mainly because the albedo of most farm land is lower than trees and such that would have been there before the farms. If average soil temperatures on farmland is 2 to 3 degrees higher than the average forest floor, does that make sense?

        Not only does Climate Science not know the sign of cloud feedback, they may not even have the sign of land use feed back correct. Wouldn’t that be embarrassing? Of course, there are a lot of people that don’t have letters behind their names saying stuff like that. Y’all should just ignore them or include them in the idiot tracker.

      • Dave Springer

        Robert, I personally dislike Watts but your assertion he has a history of misleading and backing off is totally lacking in merit. You’re a damn liar, imbecile, and an anonymous coward. And that’s the most charitable description I can think of.

      • So you would be referring to the “impact” of the paper on people who don’t understand albedo feedbacks . . . that the paper will confuse them further?

        I’m not sure y’all need to play chase the squirrel with Anthony to confuse yourselves. You’re pretty self-sufficient in that respect.

      • Dave —


        Pity you’re in denial about Watt’s record . . . I’d be happy to list some references, but if that were the point you wouldn’t be trying to make it personal, would you?

        Do a little research yourself into Watt’s long history of dishonest propaganda. Myself, I’ve been all the way back to the beginning, and it’s not pretty.

      • Robert, perhaps you have missed the saying, “all models are wrong, but some are useful.” Given that all models are wrong, often the useful part is looking into the areas where they are consistently wrong. So instead of tossing out a few ad homs, an intelligent person might want to check into those little discrepancies. Weird little things can be clues, like variance decreasing with increased mean, changes in the rate of change which appears to be related to a heat capacity, less than expect increase or greater than expected increase in some variable, it is a puzzle with pieces that should not be forced to fit.

      • Capt, among the many papers on climate that become available each week, I chose to focus on the ones that have actually been published. They tend to be a better use of my time.

        Watts has a long and hilarious history of getting science horribly wrong. (Considering his credentials and his record is not “ad hom.”) Thus the impact of his paper is likely to be nil. The smart move is to see what, if anything, survives peer review.

        Now if you want to muck around in the pre-print, feel free. He doesn’t know what he’s writing about; you don’t know what you’re talking about, maybe it will be a good fit.

      • captdallas:

        The generalization that “all models are wrong” is necessarily wrong, for there are counterexamples. One of the models that is not wrong is thermodynamics.

    • Pretty much what I thought.

  72. Hah, BEST blows up in Muller’s face, Judy picks up the pieces tonight. I wanna hear moshe’s take.

    • “it’s basic physics, GHGs warm”

      • Get that poor innocent Carbon molecule out of the laboratory and let it into the atmosphere where it can strut its stuff.

    • Me too Kim, This is wonderful stuff.

      “The new rating method employed finds that station siting does indeed have a significant effect on temperature trends”

      “Watts et al 2012 has employed a new methodology for station siting, pioneered by Michel Leroy of METEOFrance in 2010, in the paper Leroy 2010, and endorsed was endorsed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Commission for Instruments and Methods of Observation (CIMO-XV, 2010) Fifteenth session, in September 2010 as a WMO-ISO standard, making it suitable for reevaluating previous studies on the issue of station siting.”

      • Even class 1/2 stations are contaminated by the local warming effect, IMO. But this might be an important first step.

    • Moshe’s mumbling incoherently at WUWT. Something about something, as near as I figure.

      • Doesn’t like the choice of network. Must understand all the ‘settled science’ based on that network, and must understand that ‘lukewarming’ is the best we can get, if we’re lucky.

      • Dave Springer

        His response was uncharacteristically brief and more than a bit on the sackless excuse-making side.

        Steven Mosher says:
        July 29, 2012 at 12:22 pm

        Data Problems

        1. Uses GHCN Version 2.

        2. In our urban-rural comparisons we use the Urban, Semi-Urban, Rural classifications provided by NASA.


      • GHCNv2 and NASA’s urban-rural classifications have been attacked by skeptics. I think what Mosher is saying is “hey why do you guys accept work based on things you don’t accept?”

        As for a brief response, what do you expect he probably has only had time to scan the paper.

      • You might be lolwot, but I don’t think moshe is that confused.

      • well enlighten me then. I saw his comment as a light challenge to justify the use of GHCNv2 and the NASA urban-rural classifications

      • Ah, how could a skeptic enlighten you?

        The question now is were the NOAA adjustments deliberate or ignorant. Always the same question, the same question: Incompetent, or disingenuous.

      • No Kim I am still asking you what you thought Mosher was saying. You haven’t replied. I am genuinely interested in how you think I misinterpreted what he said. Can you not just simply explain?

      • moshe can interpret moshe for himself, because I can’t. I merely doubt your interpretation, because it is confused.

      • what part of it is confused? what’s the beef?

      • I’ll give you a clue in the form of a question. Did Watts ‘accept work based on things he doesn’t accept’?

      • Dave Springer

        Watts, McIntyre, Evans, and Christy used the GHCN siting specifications and their own quite extensive onsite research to select only those stations which met the class 1 or 2 GHCN siting requirements. The metadata about station siting was bullsh!t. I don’t recall offhand how many stations were visited and photographed around the world but it was many many hundreds with over 500 individual volunteers documenting station quality. NOAA was negligent in inspecting its stations for compliance with siting criteria. Watts was competent and used his documented list of class 1 & 2 compliant stations which needed no homogeneity adjusments for the reanalysis. He used the other adjustments such as TOBS without modification or comment although he promised to look into that as well because the remaining half of the warming trend is entirely due to TOBS adjustment. Somehow we’re supposed to believe that around 1950 every station decided to change the time of day it reset its min-max thermometers.

        So let’s review. Watts surveyed hundreds or thousands of GHCN stations around the world and selected those for reanalysis that verifiably met Class 1 or 2 station siting criteria. Doing this avoided any need to apply the Station Homogeneity Adjustment Procedure (SHAP) which everyone who’s read me very much already knew accounted for half the warming in the record. Watts promises to next examine the TOBS (time of observation bias) adjustment which produces the other half of the GHCN warming trend. I’m not sure what his plan is but I’d guess it’s to somehow throw out those stations which require adjustment just as he threw out stations that didn’t verifiably meet Class 1 & 2 siting criteria.

        Is there any part of that you don’t understand?

      • My impression was that Mosher was challenging those commenters at WUWT who accept the paper uncritically.

        There have been attacks on GHCNv2 and NASA’s urban/rural classification, to the point that many would claim they were junk. Yet we witness no commenters on WUWT complaining about the choice of data used.

        I think Mosher picked up on this when he read the WUWT comments and has cleverly highlighted it by playing the very role that is conspicuously missing throughout that WUWT thread.

        Still maybe I am confused, but you haven’t offered a better alternative interpretation of Moshers comment or explained why my impression is confused.

      • Dave Springer

        what loltwat is trying to say, I’ll use popular vernacular instead, is that Watts accepted BEST before he rejected it.

        There is some truth in this and it’s one of the reasons I personally dislike Watts. Watts is bending over backwards to avoid the appearance of holding Muller in contempt. Sometimes people SHOULD be held in contempt and I consider it dishonest to conceal it for political purposes. So I hold them both in contempt. But just because I hold someone’s character in contempt doesn’t mean I won’t acknowledge when they get their facts right and conclusions logically following therefrom.

      • I think Dave Springer is confused.

      • Dave Springer

        Correction. Watts didn’t use his own survey data in station selection. He used Leroy 2010 site rating criteria which, according to him, has been recently acceepted as the standard by WMO-ISO (World Meteological Organization – International Standards Organization). This replaces Leroy 1999 which had been used by BEST and others. The application of Leroy 2010 to remove stations whose metadata doesn’t meet the standard erases the warming trend (about 50% of total trend) produced by the SHAP adjustment. I might add I’ve been quite dubious of SHAP since I learned of it a few years ago. Adjustments like these should only improve data on the margins. Of course trying to pull decadal trends accurate to a tenth of degree from glass mercury/alcohol min-max thermometers is ALL marginal to begin with IMO although trends are easier to identify than absolute temperatures. But the whole thesis underlying better data through quantity instead of quality is based on the presumption that sources of error are random and cancel out. SHAP and TOBS should therefore only marginally improve the data while largely cancelling out.

      • lolwot, you have tried to shoehorn moshe’s wonderfully apt standard critique of uncritical skeptics into a situation it does not fit. moshe usually makes sense, therefore, you are confused.

      • Why doesn’t it fit the situation?

      • Dave Springer

        Mosher’s mention of NASA urban, semi-urban, and rural classifications is offered as a defense (read excuse) not making a point that BEST 2012 used the same guidance as Watts 2012. From what I can gather (so far) the NASA rural classification was based on Leroy 1999 and included airports so long as they weren’t urban airports, which is to say it included almost all airports. Leroy 2010 must exclude airports due to heat pollution from tarmac and jet wash as Watts specifically mentions the exclusion of stations located at airports.

        Watts was never happy with the site selection criteria employed by BEST and felt betrayed as he’d secured a promise from Muller that site selection criteria would be revisited and revised based on Watt’s GHCN survey results. Muller broke that promise. I guess some might feel that Watts not calling Muller a lying sack of contemptible pig sh!t is a positive character trait. I consider it a weakness and reason for holding Watts in contempt too, although from as comtemptible as Muller. Watts is merely a wussy while Muller’s a pig.

      • I don’t see how you think Mosher’s comment was a defense. It looked to me that you thought it was an attack.

        But I don’t think it was either of those things. I think it was a criticism of the lack of skepticism on the thread.

      • hah!

  73. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Dave Springer asserts:%nbsp; “Everyone that knows Berkeley knows there are no skeptic professors there which includes Muller but I had no idea the lying bastard was so blatant about it. Thanks for providing the proof of what an evil lying sack of sh!t he is.”

    Dave Springer, upon reviewing the faculty of the Berkeley Mathematics Department, I am unable to identify even one person who matches your vivid description with regard to the traits “***” and “***” and “*** *** of ***”.

    Perhaps it will lessen our confusion here at Climate Etc. if you will please post your complete “Enemy List”, Dave Springer!   :)   :)   :)

    Also Dave Springer, who exactly is it, that you mean by “everyone”?   :)   :)   :)

    • John another

      It is common knowledge that Muller profits from his own ‘Green’ consultant company. What kind of mind could ever think that he was ever a skeptic?
      I wrote off BEST the moment I found out what the B stood for.
      Nothing that actually questions the politically correct status quo that permeates Berkeley (the California of California) and most other institutions could ever see the light of day.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        “John another”, thank you for your partial explanation of the global AGW conspiracy. We’ll mark you down as an apostle of Alternative 1.

        In your world-view, is Dr. Muller a now-unmasked leader of the global AGW conspiracy, or does he take orders from the shadowy higher-ranking “***” and “***” and “*** *** of ***” (in Dave Springer’s colorful phrasing)?

        Your clarifying explanations are eagerly awaited, “John another”!   :)   :)   :)

      • Points for effective sarcasm, however, is does seem JOy, that having green business interests just might cloud a climate researcher’s judgment.

      • Pokerguy, that’s not sarcasm it’s pure condescension. Very ugly. I would never engage that guy in a conversation

      • John another

        Well, it seems Alternative 1 and 2 are a wash Mr ‘discourse’. And judging from the response of Michael Mann, Connolley, Revkin, etc. they’re not too impressed with the Muller paper either.
        Regarding your question; Dr Muller is now the unmasked leader of his own ego. With the medias help, this will no doubt drive business to his consulting company and it gives fodder for fools for taxation. but this in no way establishes him as a leader of a movement that requires no leader anymore than it needs to sit down with all of the editors and producers of MSM in a deep dark dungeon to say “Hey folks, this is how your gonna do it”.
        Common ideology begets common behavior begets common funding begets common self preservation begets common lies begets……well lets just put it this way; seven of the ten richest counties in the United States of America geographically touch the District of Columbia (Washington DC if you are one of the one in five in America who are not aware that the earth revolves around the Sun or one of half of the remaining eighty per cent that don’t know it takes a year to do so but somehow have a right to vote; thank you for progressive education and teachers unions). Does that seem right to you.
        Meanwhile, back to common ideology begets common behavior, did you ever hear of the expression ‘useful idiot’?
        When was the last time you ever heard of someone of your philosophical bent needing, let alone actually requesting an FOI of the skeptics or the realist? What do you have to hide when so much is at stake? If the science is settled then bring it on, worts and all. We don’t care if truth is ugly or pretty.
        Posted previously, but once again what is the ideal temperature of this specific planet and how many species will thrive or perish at this temperature your bureaucracy has deemed politically correct?
        Transparent and falsifiable data…………….more please and thank you.

      • He had one moment in the sun when he took the hockey stick crew to task. I’m pretty sure he knew just what he was doing all along. Build some skeptic’s “cred” on something that’s so obviously fraudulent it wouldn’t stand for long, even among many warmists, then after much research and soul searching and hand wringing, decide “Hey you know what? You alarmists were right after all.”

        “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. I once was lost and now I’m found.”

      • Dave Springer

        John another | July 29, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply

        It is common knowledge that Muller profits from his own ‘Green’ consultant company. What kind of mind could ever think that he was ever a skeptic?
        I wrote off BEST the moment I found out what the B stood for.
        Nothing that actually questions the politically correct status quo that permeates Berkeley (the California of California) and most other institutions could ever see the light of day.

        Exactamundo! +1

        I’m on record predicting that BEST reanalysis would not significantly differ from its predecessors for exactly the reasons you mention. Sweet.

      • I knew the BEST reanalysis would not significant differ from it’s predecessors simply because if you keep doing 1+1 you will keep getting 2.

        What Muller did was to yet again reveal (after many people already had) that global warming is not simply due to adjustments in the records as many skeptics were claiming.

      • If they have successfully pushed back the start date for reliable instrumental records, that would be very helpful, not just to get a better picture of our recent past, but to have more overlap with which to calculate proxies.

      • Sure although I am not sure I buy the accuracy of the early part of the record.

    • Dave Springer

      “Also Dave Springer, who exactly is it, that you mean by “everyone”? ”

      By everyone I meant every honest person with a triple digit IQ who is familair with the history of UC Berkeley.

      Thank you for asking for clarification. What is the next question I may answer for you, Professor John Sidles of the University of Washington Medical School?

      :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

  74. Speaking of loaded dice, there is just something wrong with the USA women’s beach volleyball team playing in long sleeve tee shirts.

    • Agreed. What’s the deal? So what if it’s in the 50’s? (another broiling hot barbecue summer for the uk?)

    • Dave Springer

      WHAT!!!??? That’s blasphemous!!!!!

  75. Steve Milesworthy

    In case anyone missed it amongst all the WUWT hoopla, Chris Forest has responded to Nic Lewis in the Forest thread.


  76. Re: Watts’ paper. It is worse than we thought. Urban areas are warming twice as fast as rural ones, and most people live in urban areas, and it is undoubtedly anthropogenic too. What to make of it? Should we move out of cities, or just move our thermometers out there to avoid seeing this effect?

    • Maybe we could quit demonizing CO2 for the effect of crowding, and save the world’s economy and culture while we’re at it.

    • Jim, I can’t believe you’re saying that! Are you’re trying to sell urban heat for global warming? Yes, there’s LGW.

      • Sorry, LAW.

      • or ALW.

      • Watts did not demonstrate that changing urbanization since 1979 leads to warming, only that current urban areas have had more warming than rural areas since 1979. Why would that be? I am just asking. Is he suggesting that all these urban stations were once more rural?

      • …and when I say “once”, I mean as recently as 1979. I looked at Watts’ draft, and he says nothing about urban sprawl doing this.

      • Well, they were for sure less urban in 1979. The issue is complex and should be studied properly, without the A(GHG)GW confirmation bias.

      • I also need to see more. I suspect a majority of these stations are in the old downtown, and not directly in urban growth areas, so the expansion affects them only indirectly.

      • Dave Springer

        He specifically mentions encroachment by heat pollution sources which are defined in Leroy 2010 and have been adopoted in the new WMO-IMO station classifications superceding Leroy 1999.

      • How much could these have changed since 1979? We had quite big cities back then too.

      • Dave Springer

        As a general rule there’s less water available for evaporation in urban settings due to impermeable ground cover. When there is water available for evaporation it cools the surface. This is aslo why you sweat water instead of sand. There’s a saying among evolutionary biologists that nature is smarter than you are. In some cases this sentiment is painfully true.

      • So, as I said, any background heating may be amplified in an urban setting.

      • Also, 0.15 degrees per decade for rural areas is in line with the expected CO2 effect since 1979, but that is a whole different issue.

    • Dave Springer

      We should start by not allowing them to use fossil fuels directly or indirectly to heat their homes in the winter and cool them in the summer nor allowing them to vacation away from the city unless they travel by carbon-neutral means. They can have an exemption if they sign a statement saying they will not complain about fossil fuel use by anyone else. Practice what you preach is what I say.

  77. I miss Fred M. This would be a perfect spot for ‘ol Fred to step in and explain (but only if you go into the back room with him for private tutoring) why the fact that the U.S. temp trends for the period have been mistakenly doubled, and that the same errors likely apply to the rest of the world….just doesn’t matter.

    • Dave Springer

      Curious about what happened to Fred I had a look. I discovered his wife passed away in April of this year at the age of 84. He has my condolences and in my prayers a request that he may find solace.


    • Brandon Shollenberger

      pokerguy, because oceans cover so much more area than land does, Anthony’s paper cannot cause enormous changes in observed temperature trends. It can’t prove there is no global warming.

      On the other hand, if it decreased temperature trends by say 10-20%, that would be significant. The effect it would have on climate modeling alone would make the paper one of the most important papers of the year.

  78. Pielke Sr weighs in:

    “Anthony has led what is a critically important assessment of the issue of station quality. Indeed, this type of analysis should have been performed by Tom Karl and Tom Peterson at NCDC, Jim Hansen at GISS and Phil Jones at the University of East Anglia (and Richard Muller). However, they apparently liked their answers and did not want to test the robustness of their findings.”

    “In direct contradiction to Richard Muller’s BEST study, the new Watts et al 2012 paper has very effectively shown that a substantive warm bias exists even in the mean temperature trends….”

  79. Pileke Sr.

    “This paper is a game changer, in my view, with respect to the use of the land surface temperature anomalies as part of the diagnosis of global warming”

  80. Dave Springer

    lolwot | July 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm |

    “I think Dave Springer is confused.”

    I think you’re an imbecile so, considering the source, I’ll take that as a compliment.

    • It’s not imbecilic to confuse ‘accept’ with ‘critique’. It’s illiterate and illogical.

    • None of your replies to me remotely followed from the comment you were replying to. Which is why I stated you were confused, which was a tongue-in-cheek description given that the topic you evidentially didn’t follow concerned whether of not *I* had been confused.

  81. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Lolwot the pioneering synthetic biologist Craig Venter MD knew he had arrived in the top leagues of science when a high-ranking NIH official told him “We judge people by the quality of their enemies, and son, you have some of the best.”

    Lolwot, please be aware that a perennial concern here on Climate Etc is that Dave Springer’s burgeoning “Enemy List” has become insufficiently exclusive, and overly abusive, as to confer any discernible status upon its members.  :)   :)   :)

    • Yep – I can just see numbnut sequencing the human genome. Oh – no – wait – that’s right he was lining up his m&m’s and thowing out the w’s.
      :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool: :cool:

  82. The highest temperature ever recorded on earth was recorded in Aziziya, Libya in 1922. If the premise of this paper is valid, then surely this temperature would have been exceeded by now, especially with the vastly increased amount of weather stations and scientists looking for ever more sensationalist evidence of warming.
    Now I know that it is ridiculous to read much into one individual reading, but just imagine the headlines if the 1922 record was exceeded this year!

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