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The Carbon Flame War
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Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Re: Re: Re: The Carbon Flame War-Flaming Out on 05/23/2008 01:49:46 MDT Print View

Hi Skots,

>The first two graphs from your 5/07/08 post at 9:29 are not supported by the data. The RSS data indicates that the trend line in the first graph should move upwards in 2007. The HadCRUT 3 data indicates that Jan 08 temperature anomaly in the second graph should read .56. Consequently, the figure that indicates the temp. difference between 1/07 – 1/08, is also incorrect.

The first graph was taken from a link provided by you, so if it's wrong, maybe you shouldn't have linked it in the first place. Re the second graph: As you know, moving averages mean that the figures at the end of graphs are apt to change over the following months, so if the Jan08 temp has been revised upwards in the light of data acquired after the graph has been produced, this would account for the discrepancy. This is more nitpicking and I won't bother responding to further examples of it as I think it does your credibility more harm than mine in the eyes of those who understand the data.

>How much colder than Arctic waters are those southern ocean waters that are working their way north to cool off those Arctic waters?

Arctic waters are replaced by circulation. No ice in the arctic is older than about 5 years. Logic dictates that the waters replacing those flowing out of the arctic come from further south QED.

>Denying the radiative effect of CO2 is futile, Rog.

I'm not trying to. Where does co2 get the energy that it radiates Skots? Some from above and some from below. It all comes from the sun in the final analysis though.

>I’m assuming that you’re talking about cloud albedo here. Do you have any other systems in mind?

Vegetation changes albedo too, it lightens in colour when it's hot and dry. Snow and ice is also an important factor. Clouds would seem to be the principle system though, and show an interesting relationship with temperature. Here's a flipped graph of cloud cover1985-2005:
cloud cover
And temperature for the period 1982-2008:from 1982 hadcru

Not such a bad correlation by tha reck of my eye. It's noticable that it's become relatively more cloudy in the last couple of years according to the graph. An effect of lower solar activity and the concomitant lessened solar wind in the tail phase of cycle 23 allowing more radiation flux in from outside the solar system perhaps? As you pointed out, a global graph such as this tells us little about the regional distribution in key areas at key times of year. Lots more research to be done.

>There have certainly been a large number of climate equilibriums in the planet’s history, but we, and our infrastructures, are tenuously bound to the Holoscene equilibrium. Wishing on clouds again….

>Thanks for posting the Milankovich graphs.

I may have been a bit hasty saying that there was no worries about extremes in obliquity and eccentricity at the moment. If you look at the graph again, you'll notice how frequently in the past the onset of ice ages has coincided with downturns in eccentricity. And there has (at the temporal scale of the graph)just been a downturn in eccentricity... No doubt if it gets a lot colder, there will still be those who will tell us it's due to anthropogenic global warming because we've elevated the global temperature to the point where it flips the other way. You can make up any old rubbish really. :-)

Edited by tallbloke on 05/23/2008 02:30:08 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More flameage on 05/23/2008 02:24:53 MDT Print View

Skots said:
>I understand that the seasonal annual increase of some 8w/m2 TSI, caused by the Earth’s eccentric orbit around the sun, causes the southern oceans to warm, and causes them to out-gas CO2. During the next six months, when southern hemisphere surface TSI falls by some 8w/m2, the southern oceans cool, and most of the CO2 stays airborne, while some of the CO2 returns to the cooling oceans. And the process repeats itself, year after year.

>If your figures regarding the annual increase of 2ppm of atmospheric CO 2 are correct, and if TSI is driving the trend, I would expect an equally regular annual increase in TSI over this same period. Does the TSI data support that expectation? I was under the impression that TSI stayed relatively constant

I think you may have answered your second paragraph with your first here. If most of the outgassed co2 stays airbourne there will be a year on year cumulative effect. Given the Mauna Loa data, 'most' may be a little strong however, and I suspect the carbon cycle is more dynamic than your analysis and big list of questions would suggest. I mentioned oceanic outgassing as a source for co2, but there are others controlled by that marvellously huge and poorly understood elephant-in-the-room the carbon cycle. I doubt if the signal in the Mauna Loa data is due to us turning up our central heating in the northern hemisphere winter though.

What do *you* think causes the very regular annual variation in the Mauna Loa data Skots?

And what's your prediction for near future temperatures and why? Come on, join in the Gentlemans bet before I tire of being subjected to your inquisition.

Edited by tallbloke on 05/23/2008 03:12:52 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Uh-Oh on 05/23/2008 02:59:48 MDT Print View

Rick quoted:
The acidified water upwelling along the coast today was last exposed to the atmosphere about 50 years ago, when carbon-dioxide levels were much lower than they are now. That means the water that will rise from the depths over the coming decades will have absorbed more carbon dioxide, and will be even more acidic.

"We've got 50 years' worth of water that's already left the station and is on our way to us," study co-author Hales said. "Each one of those years is going to be a little bit more corrosive."
Is this an example of concern trolling Rick?

It makes you wonder how anything managed to survive in the Cambrian era when Atmospheric co2 levels were twenty some times higher than they are now. Most of the early ancestors of the plants and animals we know today existed during the Cambrian.

Which brings me full circle to the very first graph I posted on this thread:

Graph of co2/temp

So, to sum up: In the larger perspective, global temperature is near the lower limit of the range the planetary equalibritive systems keep it within. Co2 is near a 500 million year low.

Zooming in to the last million years:
milankovitch cycles

There has been a fairly regular succession of ice ages coinciding with the cycle of varying eccentricity of the earths orbit round the sun, we are due or maybe slightly overdue the next big cooldown. Could start tomorrow, probably won't be more than 5,000 years away if the past cycles are anything to go by. Or we may be in the last cycle before a big increase in temps back towards the 22C the planet seems to sit at most of the time according to the first graph.

"Place bets now!"

Zooming in again to the last 15,000 years:
holocene-present temps
From the higher temperature of the Holocene optimum when mankind had it easy, there has been a gradual decline punctuated by warm periods such as the mediaeval optimum when there was so much surplus food and labour in Europe that there was a period of cathedral building, followed by the 'little ice age' with it's nadir in the early 1700's when ice fairs were held on the Rhein and Thames, to the modern warm period with it's global warming panic.


Gap here for someone else to post graph and explaination of 20th century global warming.


Zooming in again we get to the latest years temperature graphs:

from 2007 temp

"I'm gonna soak up the sun
While it's still free
I'm gonna soak up the sun
Before it goes out on me"
-Cheryl Crow-

It's a beautiful day, I'm off for a walk.

Edited by tallbloke on 06/24/2008 07:13:22 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Correlation, please report to the lost and found on 05/23/2008 07:50:09 MDT Print View

Rick quoted:
We have examined this hypothesis to look for evidence to corroborate it. None
has been found and so our conclusions are to doubt it. From the absence of corroborative
evidence, we estimate that less than 23%, at the 95% confidence level, of the 11 year cycle
change in the globally averaged cloud cover observed in solar cycle 22 is due to the change in
the rate of ionization from the solar modulation of cosmic rays."

The Cosmic Ray-Climate Connection Reference
Kirkby, J. 2008. Cosmic rays and climate. Surveys in Geophysics 28: 333-375.

What was done
The author reviews what we know about possible relationships between variations in climate and the flux of cosmic rays incident upon the earth, which is modulated by the solar wind, the planet's geomagnetic field and the galactic environment.

What was learned
Kirkby reports that "diverse reconstructions of past climate change have revealed clear associations with cosmic ray variations recorded in cosmogenic isotope archives, providing persuasive evidence for solar or cosmic ray forcing of the climate." Despite the increasing evidence of its importance, however, he says that "solar-climate variability is likely to remain controversial until a physical mechanism is established." In this regard he discusses two different classes of microphysical mechanisms that have been proposed to connect cosmic rays with clouds, which interact significantly with fluxes of both solar and thermal radiation and, therefore, climate: "firstly, an influence of cosmic rays on the production of cloud condensation nuclei and, secondly, an influence of cosmic rays on the global electrical circuit in the atmosphere and, in turn, on ice nucleation and other cloud microphysical processes." Kirkby reports, in this regard, that "considerable progress on understanding ion-aerosol-cloud processes has been made in recent years, and the results are suggestive of a physically-plausible link between cosmic rays, clouds and climate."

What it means
Although the evidence for a cosmic ray-climate connection grows greater by the day, concrete proof remains elusive; but "with new experiments planned or underway, such as the CLOUD facility at CERN," in the words of Kirkby, "there are good prospects that we will have some firm answers to this question within the next few years." This effort is extremely important, for as Kirkby rightly notes, "the question of whether, and to what extent, the climate is influenced by solar and cosmic ray variability remains central to our understanding of the anthropogenic contribution to present climate change."

s k
(skots) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More flameage on 05/23/2008 10:20:42 MDT Print View

Good morning, Rog,

>”I think you may have answered your second paragraph with your first here. If most of the outgassed co2 stays airbourne there will be a year on year cumulative effect. Given the Mauna Loa data, 'most' may be a little strong however, and I suspect the carbon cycle is more dynamic than your analysis and big list of questions would suggest.”

I apologize for the big list of unanswered questions. I assumed that since you articulated the southern ocean seasonal out gassing as a source for atmospheric CO2, you’d have answers at the ready. I was looking to get up to speed.

I agree with you that warming ocean waters, given their carbon exchange equilibrium with terrestrial and atmosphere, out gas CO2. However, the disequilibrium caused by increasing atmospheric levels of the easily identifiable carbon isotope that results from burning fossil fuels, has resulted in a net ocean CO2 uptake, despite the long-term ocean warming trend.

>”I doubt if the signal in the Mauna Loa data is due to us turning up our central heating in the northern hemisphere winter though.”

If by “signal” you mean the numerical increase, and if by “turning up our central heating”, you mean burning fossil fuels, I think that this statement undermines your credibility. The isotopic signature is too strong. Stick to feedbacks.

>”What do *you* think causes the very regular annual variation in the Mauna Loa data Skots?”

I think the “consensus’ has strong evidence on this one. From the IPCC:

“A wide range of direct and indirect measurements confirm that the atmospheric mixing ratio of CO2, has increased globally by about 100 ppm or 36% over the last 250 years, from a range of 275 to 285 ppm in the pre-industrial era (AD 1000 –1750) to 379 ppm in 2005. During this period, the absolute growth rate of CO2 in the atmosphere increased substantially: the first 50 ppm increase above the pre-industrial value was reached in the 1970s after more than 200 years, whereas the second 50ppm was achieved in about 30 years. In the ten years from 1995 to 2005, CO2 increased by about 19ppm; the highest average growth rate recorded for any decade since direct atmospheric CO2 measurements began in the1950s. The average rate of increase in CO2 determined by these direct instrumental measurements over the period 1960 to 2005 is 1.4 ppm yr”

Regarding the seasonal increases and decreases in CO2 concentrations, the IPCC indicates that the changes represent ”cycles caused by seasonal changes in photosynthesis in the terrestrial biosphere”. The brief discussion of atmospheric CO2 origin, and isotopic signature, pages 137 - 140 in the report is worth a read The discussion also touches on the “method of determining and portioning of CO2 between the ocean and land”. For example, the report explains: “Atmospheric O2 and CO2 are inversely coupled during plant respiration and photosynthesis. In addition, during the process of combustion (fossil fuels), O2 is removed from the atmosphere, producing a signal that decreases as atmospheric CO2 increases on a molar basis.”

>”And what's your prediction for near future temperatures and why?”

I think that this decade (2000-9) will be the warmest on record and warmest globally since well before the 1000 –1200 warming.
I think that the next decade will be warmer, based on the current stronger greenhouse effect and it’s strengthening. Aerosol regulation in Asia, if it happens, will ad to the warming.
I have no idea of the likelihood of another maunder minimum. I do buy into the more recent solar reconstructions that show a stable minimum (current TSI+/- -), so I think that TSI would remain very close to its current level. Because of the current strength of the GH effect, I doubt global temps would fall to maunder minimum levels. A minimum would be very exciting, and I would feel lucky to live during one.
Whether or not we’re near the end of long-term cycle of solar connected warming, I have no idea.
The cooling stratosphere adds validity to a stronger greenhouse effect, and makes me nervous. It probably does you, as well.
And all these thoughts are but crap from a crapper; worthy of nothing but a very, very, cheap bet.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: More flameage on 05/28/2008 02:42:51 MDT Print View

Hi Skots, great! you've joined in the fun. I hadn't really considered how much I'd bet on my prediction, but here's a fun story about a $10,000 wager:

>the disequilibrium caused by increasing atmospheric levels of the easily identifiable carbon isotope that results from burning fossil fuels, has resulted in a net ocean CO2 uptake, despite the long-term ocean warming trend.

Given that the oceans at a time when co2 levels were twenty times higher than now were teeming with life which didn't dissolve in a carbonic acid soup, you'll have to forgive me for not being too worried by this. The disequilibrium doesn't last long, it's immediately replaced by a new equilibrium.

>If by “signal” you mean the numerical increase

I don't. The question I posed you concerned the annual up-down variation in co2.

>the IPCC indicates that the changes represent ”cycles caused by seasonal changes in photosynthesis in the terrestrial biosphere”.

Seasonal changes. Ah, good, we're getting somewhere at last.

Talking of seasonal changes and records being broken. This just in from Oz:

Breaking Weather News - Record-breaking cold morning in Tasmania
Brett Dutschke, 22 May 2008

Long-term records were broken in Tasmania this morning due to the extreme cold and widespread frost across the state, according to

The coldest areas with the heaviest frost were in Central, Central North, East Coast and Lower Derwent districts.

Bushy Park broke a 46 year-old May record by recording a minimum temperature of minus six degrees, beating the previous record by more than a degree.

Fingal on the East Coast broke a 22 year-old record with a minimum of minus eight degrees, 11 below average.

Other locations to break records which have lasted 10 years or longer Cressy, Ouse and Tunnack. Cressy and Ouse both plummeted to minus six degrees and Tunnack minus five.

Hobart dipped to 0.7 of a degree, their coldest May morning in 42 years.

Tomorrow morning will generally be a little warmer. Central, northern and western parts of the state can still expect frost.

Breaking Weather News - Southeastern Australia shivers through record cold night
Tom Saunders, 23 May 2008

Charlotte Pass in the NSW Snowy Mountains dropped to a minus 13 degrees on Friday morning, equalling the coldest autumn temperature ever recorded in Australia.

Nearby, Perisher fell to minus 10 degrees, their coldest May night in at least 31 years. Bitter temperatures were not just confined to the Alps with Cooma recording minus nine degrees, 10 below average. Other notable minimums included minus five at Braidwood and minus four at Bombala.

Tasmania also froze with Lake Leake dropping to minus eight for the second night in a row, also 10 degrees below the May average.

In Victoria, Melbourne woke to just 2.7 degrees, their chilliest May morning in 27 years.

Record low minimum temperatures are again possible across NSW, Victoria and Tasmania on Saturday morning due to clear skies, light winds and very low surface moisture, optimal conditions for overnight radiative cooling.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Seattle beach fires to be banned? on 06/11/2008 02:32:08 MDT Print View

Back to the topic Dean started this thread with:

While Seattle shivers in the coldest weather for 100 years, the local Park Wardens are seeking to ban beach bonfires:

Park department staff is recommending reducing bonfires at the two beaches this summer and possibly banning them altogether next year.

The park board will hear the recommendation Thursday, and the city plans to run public-service announcements and hand out brochures later this month about the effects of bonfires on global warming.

According to a memo to the park board from the staff released Thursday, "The overall policy question for the Board is whether it is good policy for Seattle Parks to continue public beach fires when the carbon ... emissions produced by thousands of beach fires per year contributes to global warming."

Linda Garcia, a 56-year- old West Seattle resident, walked her dog and made a slightly rose-colored argument for preserving her beloved bonfires. "It's so windy around here it probably doesn't pollute that much.

"They have to try to take everything away," she said.

Sara Russell, 34, who also was walking her dog, rolled her eyes at the idea of banning bonfires to stave off global warming.

"If they really wanted to do something, they could enforce the no-cruising law, because in the summer you see so many cars cruising around here," she said.

Russell's neighbor, Debbie Nichols, said that last July Fourth, she got up at 5:30 a.m. to grab one of the fire pits. "I wrapped myself in a blanket and sat there all day," Nichols said. "We use the fire pits all year round."

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Seattle beach fires to be banned? on 06/11/2008 06:05:33 MDT Print View

>>>> "They have to try to take everything away," she said.

What will be next to go in the name of this crusade?

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Next to go? on 06/24/2008 06:44:14 MDT Print View

Several Congressmen according to big Jim Hansen.

"He is also considering personally targeting members of Congress who have a poor track record on climate change in the coming November elections. He will campaign to have several of them unseated. Hansen's speech to Congress on June 23 1988 is seen as a seminal moment in bringing the threat of global warming to the public's attention. At a time when most scientists were still hesitant to speak out, he said the evidence of the greenhouse gas effect was 99% certain"

Meanwhile, temperature indices continue to decline, even Hansen's own.

Here are the RSS satellite readings from the last 3 years.
RSS from 2005

And here are the readings from the UAH satellite from 1980.
As you can see we're 0.3C above the 25 year low of winter '84.
UAH from 1980

Edited by tallbloke on 06/24/2008 06:56:37 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Rog at it again on 06/28/2008 03:57:22 MDT Print View

Gee, guys, it's good to be back. I note that Rog still keeps spouting about temperatures falling, even after agreeing that there is a net warming trend.

Not matter how much you protest, Rog, I still have to doubt your motivations when you keep bringing up short-term temperature drops. What is the point? They are irrelevent. Your own chart shows a net warming trend over the past 20 years, yet you still obsess about the appearance that we are currently at the bottom of a short-term downtrend:


The temperatures on these graphs are not smooth lines- they squiggle up and down quite a bit, but still show a net upslope- net warming. There have been downsquiggles bofore, and there will be again, just as there will be upsquiggles. When the next squiggle goes up are you going to become a global warming believer and stock up on suncreen?

So, what are you trying to prove with this graph? Not to bring up a sore subject again, but the conspiracy-theory analogy really fits here, in that you have an obsession with irrelevent minor data points that you think supports what you are saying, while ignoring the elephant in the room. Many of your other arguments are good ones (the paleoclimate data comes to mind) but this one sucks, Rog. :-)

Uh, for the sake of clarity, since we have ticked one another off before, I will specify that I'm not saying you belong to the tinfoil-hat brigade. I'm trying to make a tongue-in-cheek critique of what I believe to be specious logic on your part. (Though, of course, you could just be trying to get my goat, again...)

Regarding the bonfire ban... Wow. SOMEBODY in Seattle really needs to develop a sense of perspective. Those fires make a trivial contribution to atmospheric carbon compared to, say, all the damned SUVs I saw driving around the region. I think our energies are better spent elsewhere.

Well, back to the grind. I'll talk to you all again in another month or so, then I'll disappear for most of August again.

Edited by acrosome on 06/28/2008 04:15:13 MDT.

Huzefa Siamwala
(huzefa) - M
The Carbon Flame War on 06/28/2008 08:44:32 MDT Print View

I just finished reading half the thread and may read the rest later.

I am interested in climatology but I believe the whole subject is so eco-politically influenced that its hard for me to trust anything -science journals, IPCC global warming report, Gore's movie...

A few months back I could have easily explained someone what global warming is. Right now, I have no opinion on global warming.

This debate reminds me of Richard Dawkins-Francis Collins debate. Both very rational people having contradictory views...

Anyways, I have much more interesting things to do -like hiking!

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: The Carbon Flame War on 07/01/2008 04:57:00 MDT Print View

Dean Said:
"So, what are you trying to prove with this graph?"

I'm just letting the facts speak for themselves Dean.
My post presented no theory; it consisted of a quote from a newspaper, and two graphs with short captions. Your post on the other hand is full of the usual mixture of unedifying abuse, hand drawn trend lines, and hyperbole, all wrapped up with a provocative post title.

You are the one who is "at it again"

Dean Said:
"When the next squiggle goes up are you going to become a global warming believer?"

Well if it goes up more than it's gone down over the last three years I'll certainly reassess my interpretation of the data, but the way things are going now, no. As I said in my reasoned and backed up prediction, we'll probably see a smallish upswing as we head towards 2012, followed by a steep downturn in temperatures. Don't put that heavy parka on gear swap yet - We've got another harsh winter on the way.

Huzefa: well done for reading half of it!

Edited by tallbloke on 07/01/2008 04:58:53 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Ok, I'll rephrase... on 07/02/2008 03:06:49 MDT Print View


Yeah, I gotta second Rog's remark. You are a better man than I am if you got through half of this thread. Hell, I find it painful just going back to look up what someone said earlier in the duscussion.


I guess my point was that the downsquiggle at the end of your graph is meaningless, a statement which you have sort-of agreed with when we discuss the natural variability of these graphs. Which is why I can't wrap my brain around your reasons for dwelling upon this limited trend. Sorry that I got short.

You're "letting the data speak for itself"? Well, Rog, it isn't saying anything! The intent of my "hand drawn trend line" is just pointing out what every reasoned analysis of this data is saying (and with which you DID agree)- that there is a NET warming in the 20th century. That is all that my trend line was meant to point out, and I though that it was self-evident, but obviously it wasn't. :-)

Make what predictions you will, they are not germaine to the current discussion.

So, where were you during that spike in temperature in the late 1990's, Rog? Investing in Baffin Island land speculation? Stocking up on sunscreen? :-) Sorry, I'm in a somewhat silly mood, myself, at the moment. But focusing on the downsquiggle at the end of your graph and proclaiming that global temperatures will now begin a net downward trend that will erase the previous century's rise is just as silly.

"Letting the data speak for itsef" CAN be misleading, anyway. Not in this case, because in this case it supports my argument, but it can. :-) As an example, and you're going to love this, Rog, because it is one of the arguments you use against the Temp/CO2 covariance in the paleoclimate data:


I did say that I was in a silly mood, didn't I?

I'm not sure where the guy who made this graph got his data, so don't take it for granted. But, presenting this data WITHOUT reasoned analysis is ridiculous. Obviously, a lack of pirates does not lead to global warming, nor does increased temperature lead to a reduction in mean pirate density. :-)

Not to mention your choice of scale on your axes, as well as the time period covered, presents the data in an arguably misleading way that exaggerates the downsquiggle at the end. Now, before you get your feathers ruffled, I'm not saying that you are being INTENTIONALLY misleading. We all choose axes to prove our points. Well, here is another of your graphs, of HadCRUT3, from several posts ago:

HADCRUT before

So, the slope up from 1900 to now is rather more obvious, and your downsquiggle at the end now looks like what it is- pretty meaningless. If your argument is based on that little squiggle then, frankly Rog, it is weak.

Incidentaly, the 20th century warming is probably more than we previously thought...

Ever since I found out that my hospital's library subscribes to Nature I've been stopping by and glancing through it. What a wonderful publication! Lots of interesting stuff from many fields. (Though it seems there is a slight bias in favor of publishing physics and materials papers.)

Anyway: Thompson et al, Nature, vol 453, may 2008, pp646-49, shows that there is a systematic error in the HadCRUT combined STT and land surface air temperature data, related to changes in instrumentation in the 1940s. (Mainly a change from uninsulated buckets to insulated buckets.) There appears to be a sudden drop in global temperatures around 1940-1945 because of this. Thus the temperature rise from 1900 to 2006 is AT LEAST 0.3C more than we had previously thought. Compensating for this pushes the 20th century rise above 1C. (Going by the data presented in the paper, which cites a previous estimate of 0.75C.) Other known systemic errors in the data have been corrected, but evidently this one hadn't been recognised previously.

As a very simplified explaination, your graph could be corrected thusly:


Hmm. Actually, to be more accurate I should have probably moved the graph before 1940 DOWNWARD, instead up moving it UPWARD after 1945. But I'm sure that you get my point.

This was done freehand using MS Paint, so I make no representations about fine accuracy. I'm just trying to explain what I mean by the correction, when you remove the big drop from the instrumentation change. (Though, if anything, I tried to err on the side of minimizing the change so as not to rile Rog. I could have extrapolated from the TOP of the 1940 spike, when the instrumentation change started, rather than partway down the drop.)

I had to make this visual aid myself, as there is no such graph in the paper. The paper was just about explaining and proving that the systemic error in question existed, not about presenting corrected data. (Apparently the Hadley center was impressed enough with these results that they are working on just such a correction.) The authors also mention that the 0.1C drop in the 1960s may be a similar error, brought about by a change from ship-based to buoy-based measurements, as the buoy measurements are biased cool. (I'm not sure why.) I suppose another paper may be pending...

Edited by acrosome on 07/02/2008 05:37:25 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Climate data: quality, manipulation and interpretation on 07/03/2008 03:53:50 MDT Print View

Hi Dean,
MS paint huh? Impressive. :-)

Here's a graph done slightly more scientifically which shows the effect of adjusting the HadCru SST data in the light of the bucket adjustment fiasco.

sst - adjusted

This shows, among other things, that the increase in temperatures of the second half of the C20th are much more linear than previously thought, which should give the "runaway accelerating global warming" believers pause for thought.

The Nature article to which you refer was written by Phil Jones of HADcru et al, and is more than a little disingenuous, as the 'discovery' had already been highlighted by Steve McIntyre at his excellent site 'Climate Audit' the previous year. Phil Jones could hardly be unaware of this as Steve had been in email contact with him on this very topic. Read all about it here:
Nature “Discovers” Another Climate Audit Finding

And for an in depth and fascinating discussion of sea surface temperatures in general, including lots on the bucket adjustment fiasco see here:

HADcru on their website have now glossed over the bucket adjustments with a minor upward shifting of the curve between 1940-60. The correctness or otherwise of this is very much open to interpretation. For example, there is much evidence that buckets were in use until well into the '70's.

Phil Jones and NASA's Jim Hansen of GISStemp are biased players in the game and as I said earlier in the thread, it's high time the control of the data was removed from the hands of those who have particular axes to grind in the climate debate. This seperation of data control and theorists is standard practice in many other fields. You may think this is evidence that I am under some sort of delusional conspiracy theory. I think it just shows that I like to see science being practised properly. Others will decide for themselves.

Frankly, the secrecy surrounding the way the raw data is manipulated by GISStemp and HADcru has gone from comedy to farce, and has become a standing joke in the circles of those who analyse it closely. It doesn't do climate science's credibility any good at all when Jim Hansen keeps revising the temperature of weather stations in the distant past. Phil Jones responded to a scientist who made a request under the freedom of information laws in the Uk for a list of the stations he was using by saying:
"Why should I reveal the basis of 25 years of work when you'll only try to find something wrong with it."

Well yes indeed! Isn't that what science is all about?

Now, rather than MS painted trend lines, lets look at a more scientific method of taking some of the squiggly noise out of the data:

loess curves

The smoothed curves are derived using Loess regression techniques.

read the full article here:

Anthony Watts site is now getting more hits than by the way. ;-)
Anthony also runs the temperature station monitoring site

So, in summary, downward squiggle not meaningless, loess regression curves more meaningful than MS Paint, climate, cooling down currently.

Now, why would the climate be cooling down when co2 is being chucked into the air in massively increasing quantities by the Chinese, Indians, Americans and Europeans?

The inescapable conclusion is that carbon dioxide is a far weaker climate driver than we have been led to believe by Organ grinder in chief and carbon credit salesman Al Gore, Jim Hansen (Gore's climate advisor) and the monkeys at

So, if it's not carbon dioxide forcing temperatures up AND DOWN, what is?

We are in an extended period of solar minimum, with an almost completely quiet sun which has shown only three groups of reverse polarity sunspots since solar cycle 24 'began' in January. All solar activity indices are off the bottom of the charts. Predictions for the Rmax of solar cycle 24 are being revised downwards. The last time the sun did this was around the time Charles Dickens was writing 'Hard Times'. Google Dalton Minimum. Conversely, during the C20th, the sun was more active than it had been for hundreds of years. 20% increase in the solar wind and 30% increase in solar storms since 1880. Highest peaking sunspot cycles since the onset of the little ice age which coincided with a sudden cessation of sunspot production similar to the one we're experiencing right now...

Edited by tallbloke on 07/03/2008 04:43:22 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Loess lines on 07/03/2008 05:48:43 MDT Print View

Well, Rog, I think that it speaks volumes that even the nay-sayers on that blog you cited are disputing the utility of Loess lines. That analysis is used primarily for short-term trends, and even the people on your cited blog (great source) seem to agree that it probably only has utility in predicting short-term trends.

I refer you to your own link.

In addition, when challenged about his cherry-picked timescale on the blog, the guy whose graph you posted said a mea-culpa and produced this:


Interestingly, note how the Loess line is actually warmer than the linear regression at the right end of the graph. This doesn't mean much, i will grant- beyond that choosing your endpoints has drastic effects on what is meant to be a short-term statistical analysis.

At any rate, the poster then backpedaled vigorously and claimed that he only meant a short-term trend.


Well, I give him points for intellectual honesty, in producing the second graph. But, I also suspect that such a line drawn for 1900 to 2008 would look even sillier, actually. It's just not a good technique for this data.

I am fascinated by your attacks regarding what are utter non-issues. I gave all appropriate disclaimers about my amateurish graph, did I not? (A graph, mind you, which was only meant to clarify my explaination of how the graph might be addjusted.) Or do you just feel that you must attack me personally? And, not that I'm defending Al Gore, but when you call people "organ grinders" and "monkeys" you really come across as a zealot, Rog. You also love to bring him up when he is not relevent to the discussion, and I still can't figure out why.

I will repeat myself: I NEVER SAID THAT SOLAR FORCING IS TRIVIAL. A reduction in insolation right now may, in fact, flatten the temperature curve for a brief period. But- and here's MY prediction, Rog- there will still be a net increase on a longer scale. For argument's sake, I'll say by the end of the next 11-year cycle.

Let's comapare notes in 2020.

Are we done yet?

Edited by acrosome on 07/03/2008 06:09:55 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Loess lines on 07/03/2008 07:13:51 MDT Print View

I might be gently taking the mick out of your colouring crayons approach to climate data Dean, but this hardly constitutes a personal attack along the lines of implying that someone is a "conspiracy theorist" or a "zealot". This last term is actually an indicator that proponents of anthropogenic global warming theory have actually elevated their belief to the status of a religion.

Loess lines are marginally better than straight trend lines in that they do at least give some clue to the acceleration AND DECELERATION of trends, but at the end of the day, there's no better data than the data itself, which in the case of global temperature data as secretly manipulated and presented by Jim Hansen and to a lesser extent Phil Jones, is supect anyway. However, the satellite measurements and HADcrut agree that this year is colder than 1980 so far.

Going back to what you said about the bouys giving colder than expected readings. Has it occured to you that this might be because the oceans are getting cooler, rather than "the bouys must be faulty because our preferred computer model says the oceans should be getting warmer"? Are you aware that global sea level average has fallen for the last two years? Simple thermodynamics indicates this must mean cooler oceans, but as with all things related to climate, it's never simple.

Anyway, thanks for agreeing that solar forcing/internal variation is stronger than co2 forcing. I guess that this means we are indeed done with our debate for now. I'll continue to post what I see as informative, interesting, and illuminating snippets though, and of course, you should do the same. I suggest we do so without wasting space criticising each others contributions. Let those who read decide for themselves.



Edited by tallbloke on 07/03/2008 09:22:48 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Zealotry, Idolatry, and Panspermia on 07/04/2008 01:39:45 MDT Print View

"Zealot." "Religion."

Rog, you used the religion analogy long before I did in this debate- we can all go look back through the posts. I maintain that the deniers' position more closely resembles an article of faith than that of the GHG camp. Also I have stated that I am 80% sure of GHG forcing as a significant effect, but you certainly seem 100% certain of your position, which smells more of faith as well. If I had called you a "heretic" you would have more of a case... :-)

And if you had really meant the whole MS Paint commentary to be friendly, well, then I'm a jackass. My bad. I didn't get that impression, especially after I gave my voluminous disclaimer in an attempt to fend off all of the petty objections that I could see coming. And I'm going to be the last guy to cry about calling politicians names, but in my defense I did merely say that you were "coming across" as a zealot. I was trying to hint that your arguments will be taken more seriously by everyone (including me) if you cease the puerile name-calling. Actually, it sounds more like the old communist propaganda, doesn't it? "Capitalist running-dogs!" etc. This is why you have never heard me engaging in snippy name-calling against the folks who run and other denier blogs. It makes one look like a child and, except for the other True Believers who are behaving equally childishly, everyone ignores what one is saying. The other True Believers already agree with you, Rog.

"Anyway, thanks for agreeing that solar forcing/internal variation is stronger than co2 forcing."

I never disagreed with this, Rog. Once again you are trying to claim that I said something ridiculous, so that you can "seem" to disprove me. Actually, you keep claiming this over and over about the same subject, i.e. solar forcing, the existance of which i have never disputed. The Earth gets it's heat from the sun. Duh. HOWEVER, the direct solar component has not been changing in a way that adequately explains the temperature rise in the last century. On the other hand, GHGs have been, thus indirectly leading to better retention of that solar heating. Also duh.

"Are you aware that global sea level average has fallen for the last two years?"

Are YOU aware that the Antarctic is having such a heat wave that crews are shedding their clothes to keep cool??

See, I can make random claims with little scientific meaning, too. So that's my "informative, interesting, and illuminating snippet", of the same quality as those that you keep posting. But, egad, I can't believe that you finally got me to stoop to that level.

Remember how I learned to spell "egad" a few pages ago? :-)

"Going back to what you said about the bouys giving colder than expected readings. Has it occured to you that this might be because the oceans are getting cooler"

Has it occured to you that changing instumentation is bad science precisely because it leads to systematic errors? Actually, you cited the systematic error issue with some of the air temperature data. I can only assume that your objection to the bouy correction is rooted in some other cause. Who is dismissing data that doesn't fit their model, now, Rog? So, when you compare the ship readings and the buoy readings in the same place and time and discover that the buoy readings are always a little colder then, no, I would not say that this was because the oceans are miraculously cooler in the 6 feet of water surrounding the buoy. Actually. No kidding. Some systemic error is going on with one of the two readings. And either way that you correct for it you get more net warming in the data. And even with the error in place the oceans are not getting cooler- they are merely warming at a tiny fraction less precipitous of a rate.

"the bouys must be faulty because our preferred computer model says the oceans should be getting warmer"
"in the case of global temperature data as secretly manipulated and presented by Jim Hansen"

You're sounding quite zealous, again, Rog. This response of yours is truly getting old. It is one of your stock answers to findings that you don't like- 'The Vast Environmental Conspiracy is at it again!' And even if we ignore the buoy error the data STILL says warming- a very small fraction less of it, but still warming. And, I refer you to my previous paragraph viz dismissing data that doesn't fit your worldview.

And as matter of fact, yes, testing models is a part of "science". If data and model predictions don't fit, you investigate. Usually, you find an error or a bad assumption in your model that you can correct. (This is how our climate models keep getting better, Rog, rather than just tossed out because you don't like them.) But occasionally you find a data collection error, such as switching instrumentation.

And what are you doing denying warming, anyway ??? You have agreed that there is warming !!! Arrgh!!! I'm pulling my hair out trying to understand you, Rog! Maybe I should just accept that your irrationality is inherently different than my irrationality, and go have a beer...

"Loess lines are marginally better than straight trend lines in that they do at least give some clue to the acceleration AND DECELERATION of trends"

Well, I'm glad that you agree that Loess lines are only good for analyzing the change in slope over short trends. Whew! (Sorry, I had to throw that solar forcing jibe back at you... :-)

"the satellite measurements and HADcrut agree that this year is colder than 1980"

I don't care if this year is colder than 1980. Or 1862, 1492, or 1066. That's my point. You can't pick any two years you like, compare them, and make bold assertions about long-term trends as you are. (Or choose an arbitrarily short period.) Unless you are willing to let me play, too. For example: Gee, last year was warmer than 1900. What does that mean? Answer: Alone, it means nothing! I'm trying to look at ALL relevent data. You will reply that the paleoclimate data is relevent, too. I will then AGREE, that it deserves rational consideration. But we have been over this ad nauseum, and we disagree on conclusions about it. I am willing to let it go at that.

"I suggest we do so without wasting space criticising each others contributions"

Of course, Rog. But by proposing that we stop sniping at one another you have claimed the right of last snipe. How gracious of you. :-) Also of course, I'm not sure how to resolve this, as leaving me with the last snipe is probably just as annoying to you. Perhaps we could both try to post a truly saccharine-sweet post for the next round and end on a good note? Actually, we tried to do that a while ago, didn't we, and it didn't work...

To get back to something I started to say a couple of paragraphs ago: I have said on many occasions that you have many points that are worth considering, and that I may be able to weaken but cannot yet dismiss. (Actually, after your challange on page 1 I read more about the Azolla event and ancient glaciations and I now know much more on the subject- including that the Earth *probably* had at least two snowball phases before Azolla.)

I am willing to disagree with you about the strength or meaning of your points, and the conclusions that we reach. I'm willing to stop! Really! But if you keep popping up and posting stuff that I think is bollox, I'm going to call you on it, ESPECIALLY if you call me out by name. What do you expect?!? I admit that the last time it was you trying to stop instead of me (unlike the prior times) and I got prissy about it. I still don't think that I was totally unjustified, but I did get prissy.

I apologize. I should have been a better man and let things end then. Because we can certainly go back and forth about this until the (very warm :-) end of time.

Edited by acrosome on 07/04/2008 02:35:28 MDT.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Re: Zealotry, Idolatry, and Panspermia on 07/04/2008 03:20:04 MDT Print View

Hi Dean,
OK, I'll leave it to others to decide who has been doing most of the name calling and personal attack stuff and stick to the science.

"the direct solar component has not been changing in a way that adequately explains the temperature rise in the last century"

The jury is still out on this. The effects of increased solar wind velocity and solar erruptions on climate via the interplanetary magnetic flux are not yet sufficiently well understood to judge this issue. I agree that insolation alone will not account for the change in Temp.

" If data and model predictions don't fit, you investigate. Usually, you find an error or a bad assumption in your model that you can correct"

Lets take a case in point which covers this, and the sea temps, bouys and buckets, and computer models all in one go.

Here's an exchange which took place on the sci.geo.oceanography newsgroup in 2002:

1] Warming of the World Ocean. Levitus et al, Science vol 287 2000
2] Anthropogenic warming of Earth’s Climate System. Levitus et al,
Science v 292 2001

Has anyone else here used the data presented in these papers? A
colleague and I have, but we cannot reproduce the net heat gain of
18.2 x 10^22 J in the worlds’ oceans for the period 1955-1996 which
was mentioned in [2].

According to [2], this number comes from a straight line fit to the
5-year averaged ocean data from 1957.5 to 1994.5 (the year index
refers to the mid-point of the 5 year averages), extrapolated out to
cover the original 41 years 1955-1996. Ie a trend of 0.44 x 10^22 J
per year. The data are presented in Fig 4 of [1], and available from
the authors.

We get a much lower answer of 13.5 x 10^22 J, ie 0.33 x 10^22 J per
year. It’s only a least squares fit, so I don’t see what we could have
done wrong. But our number is a long way off the published value, and
also a long way short of the model result (which was 19.7 x 10^22 J).


> Have you contacted the authors?

Yes, I got the data from one of them in the first place, and he
explained how they had calculated the figure (the description in the
paper isn’t brilliant). But as soon as I pointed out the error, he
stopped replying.

You can see the exchange here:

This wouldn't have been too important if the author concerned, Syd Levitus was not a lead author with the IPCC and if the climate models did not use the 25% overegged warming figure in their predictions. As it is, The journal never corrected the error, and it stands to this day. This is part of the reason the models consistently overestimate the greenhouse effect.

So you see Dean, errors in maths like this one are allowed to remain in the literature because they fit the world view of the publication and the IPCC, and now the policy direction of the major powers which will lead us up this expensive blind alley while we could have been getting on with more important stuff.

"Physics names winners and losers

The Integral mission will lose operational support
UK scientists studying high-energy light from space and the connection between the Sun and Earth are to lose funding on a number of their projects.

The body overseeing UK astronomy and physics says some of its programmes will be cut back to save £81m by 2011.

Areas that will lose money are those deemed to be a low priority in a recent programmatic review.

They include support for the Integral space telescope and the Veritas observatory, both of which are concerned with the investigation of gamma-ray light; and Bison, an observatory network pursuing solar-terrestrial physics.
Jodrell's eMerlin project still needs additional funds

Astrogrid, which ties together astronomy datasets for research, will also lose its financial support."

There's a good discussion of different statistical methods on Anthony Watts blog today:

Edited by tallbloke on 07/04/2008 03:45:17 MDT.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
The blogosphere et al on 07/04/2008 14:29:54 MDT Print View

"The effects of increased solar wind velocity and solar erruptions [sic] on climate via the interplanetary magnetic flux are not yet sufficiently well understood to judge this issue. I agree that insolation alone will not account for the change in Temp."

I am honestly surprised, Rog- no sarcasm intended. Ok, I can leave it at that if you can. Obviously we disagree, as I believe that the GHG component is more than nontrivial, but I can leave it at that.

On to other matters...

James Annan, the guy who wrote the sci.geo.oceanography post you quoted, is actually a global warming proponent. He has a standing bet regarding temperature predictions as a challenge to any skeptic, but notes that when he confronts any of them they all back down. There are two exceptions- two Russian solar physicists who have bet $10,000. On a blog that Annan runs he mentions that he did in fact write a short letter to the journal in question, which was not published- not because of some cover-up but because the editor simply didn't think it was worth publishing. Annan admits that the data in question have since been superseded by better data, thus rendering the whole issue moot. (Levitus's papers are still listed in IPCC's comprehensive bibliography because they were first, and because of their conclusions, but other data are there, too.) Annan still sounds a little bitter about the whole issue, because he is evidently a statistics purist, but still doesn't contest the CONCLUSIONS. In fact, his entire blog is a rant against sloppiness in science on ALL sides in many different disciplines. He didn't think that Levitus was WRONG per se, he just raised hackles at the (evidently minimally significant) mathematical error.

I propose, Rog, that you give Annan a call and put up your ten grand. (Tongue in cheek, there...)

I'm not going to expend much time to research the Levitus paper, because frankly this issue bores me and, as mentioned above, it is now dated by better data. An EXTREMELY brief google search didn't find any published criticisms, though. (There may be one- I wasn't trying very hard- so if you wish to produce one, please do so.) And papers do get published with mathematic errors in them, obviously. For that matter, there are dishonest scientists out there- look at Hwang Woo-Suk. But shooting holes in one oceanography paper does not discredit similar papers, just as the Korean scandal didn't mean that we would never induce pluripotent human stem cells. (As in fact we have. Probably.) Scientists argue and infight all the time. This is neither unusual nor sinister. I am CERTAIN that I can produce sloppy papers supportive of the deniers, but I'm not going to claim conspiracy.

So needless to say I don't find the blog to be a very convincing deal-breaker. :-)

I haven't time to follow your UK astronomy link and dig a little into it at the moment, but superficially it just looks like another budget-cut victim. Unfortunately, astronomy is an easy target for the policy-makers at budget time, since the argument is often (erroneously) made that the discipline produces nothing concretely useful here on Earth. I don't think that one can assume a hatchet-job from what you posted. Perhaps there is more on your link. I'll be back later after I've read it, but it may be next week.



Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Dr Roy Spencer's congressional hearing testimony on 07/23/2008 17:15:47 MDT Print View

Interesting and important reading:

Dr Roy Spencer explains before congress why he had to keep quiet during the 20 years he was employed by NASA, and how the latest research shows that the climate has low sensitivity to greenhouse gases through negative feedback systems.

Edited by tallbloke on 07/23/2008 17:46:43 MDT.