The Disinformation Cycle

Thanks to Drudge and Instapundit another round of “global warming stopped in 1998″ is making the rounds of the blogs.

It’s only been a few months since the last time and yet you only have to look at a graph of GISS temperatures to see that warming hasn’t stopped:

i-1b943873d017f8f464acd94b6e0e88aa-gisstemp.png

Falsehoods like this are able to survive and spread due to the efficiency of the disinformation cycle shown below. Notice that there is little chance of actual facts about the world getting in.

i-ab89faab5eada418172705842c8906d5-disnfocycle.png

What is particularly disappointing about this particular case was that one of the nodes in the cycle, Counterpoint was produced by Australia’s ABC and violates the ABC’s Code of Practice, which states:

5.3 Every reasonable effort must be made to ensure
that factual content is accurate and in context and
that content does not misrepresent other viewpoints.

And here is where mainstream climate science has been misrepresented:

Duffy asked Marohasy: “Is the Earth still warming?”

She replied: “No, actually, there has been cooling, if you take 1998 as your point of reference. If you take 2002 as your point of reference, then temperatures have plateaued. This is certainly not what you’d expect if carbon dioxide is driving temperature because carbon dioxide levels have been increasing but temperatures have actually been coming down over the last 10 years.”

Duffy: “Is this a matter of any controversy?”

Marohasy: “Actually, no. The head of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has actually acknowledged it. …

Duffy: “It’s not only that it’s not discussed. We never hear it, do we? Whenever there’s any sort of weather event that can be linked into the global warming orthodoxy, it’s put on the front page. But a fact like that, which is that global warming stopped a decade ago, is virtually never reported, which is extraordinary.”

Rather than present to listeners the opinions of a climate scientist, Duffy allowed Marohasy to misrepresent the science. This is particularly striking because in the immediately preceding segment he had no trouble in getting an expert on nutrition to rebut Gary Taubes’ rather unorthodox claims about diet and nutrition.

But wait, there’s more. Ken Parish criticised Marohasy for her misrepresentation of the temperature record. In her response, Marohasy pointed to this article to support her assertion that the claim that global warming had ended was not even controversial. The second paragraph of the article states:

“Global warming has not stopped,” said Amir Delju, senior scientific coordinator of the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) climate program.

This seems to me to be both hard to miss and easy to understand. Marohasy surely knew that her assertion was false.

The ABC complaints page is here.

Comments

  1. #1 Bernard J.
    March 25, 2008

    I listened to this broadcast with curling toes, and I too was amazed at the contrast with this segment compared with the reasonable treatment of the Gary Taube story. I could only wonder if Duffy and his team decided to lend balance to something which is fluff to them, so that they have a better chance of getting away with the tripe such as that presented by Marohasy.

    Climate denial is to Duffy as a flame is to a moth.

    Sadly, I predict many posts here reiterating the “warming stopped in 98 – really! (although it never actually happened in the first place)” drivel, probably followed by some oik trying to tell us that we can’t measure temperature that well, so we can’t say anyway.

    Really, what will it take for it to sink into these people’s heads?

  2. #2 Patrick Hadley
    March 25, 2008

    Great choice of graphic to illustrate a discussion about the warming trend during the last ten years.

    I can imagine a doctor showing relatives a chart like that showing that the patient had been alive and recovering for the vast majority of his time in hospital – “Never mind about that bit at the end where all the statistics flatline – they are so untypical of his condition during his stay here.”

  3. #3 Mark
    March 25, 2008

    Tim,

    You’re no better than Ken Parish so I’ll repeat my comment to him:

    You are not being very honest by using the graph that you used in your post but then again what does honesty have to do with climate alarmists? (further comment added – if we are talking about the last 10 years then let’s use a graph that is up-to-date and gives much greater detail as to the period in question).

    So let’s look at a better graph shall we which focuses on the two satellite records which are the most reliable sources of temperature data available:

    http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/MSUvsRSS.html

    It certainly appears to support Jennifer’s assertion and contradicts the claims by alarmists of an “accelerating warming”!

    The shame of it all is that the lies being propagated by the alarmists are diverting focus and resources away from legitimate environmental and humanitarian problems! You should be ashamed of yourself!

  4. #4 Harold Pierce Jr
    March 25, 2008

    Hello Tim!

    You left me out the loop!

  5. #5 Atmoz
    March 25, 2008

    Mark,

    If you look at all 4 global temperature metrics (GISS, Hadley, RSS, and UAH), they all show remarkable agreement since the beginning of the satellite record.

    http://atmoz.org/blog/2008/02/27/4-global-temperature-anomalies-say-the-same-thing/

    http://atmoz.org/blog/2008/03/10/4-of-4-global-metrics-show-agreement-in-trends/

  6. #6 melior
    March 25, 2008

    “Is the Earth still warming?”

    “No, actually, there has been cooling, if you take an hour ago as your point of reference. If you take this morning as your point of reference, then temperatures have plateaued. This is certainly not the answer you’d expect if I had any clue about the difference between weather and climate.”

  7. #7 Patrick Hadley
    March 25, 2008

    If you must have a graphic that goes back to 1850 why not use one provided by the UK Met Office Hadley Centre? That organisation is hardly a haven for sceptics and denialist cherry pickers.

    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/crutem3/diagnostics/global/simple_average/

  8. #8 Boris
    March 25, 2008

    Just like a denialist, bringing a weatherotologist to a climate fight.

  9. #9 Peter Bickle
    March 25, 2008

    Hi all

    Tim, that graph you use is shit, we all know 1998 was the warmest year, not 2003.
    Which part of the GISSTEMP, HADCRUT shows warming in the past 5-7 years? At worst it is flat. What about cooling seas the models said was not happening?

    AGWers, go find another bogus study to hang your hat on.

    Regards
    Peter Bickle

  10. #10 Peter Bickle
    March 25, 2008

    Hi all

    The graph cited above certainly looks different from this one in an earlier post in 11/07:
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/11/a_picture_is_worth_a_thousand_1.php

    I argued that this showed little warming from around 2000. See 1998 was the warmest year. Obviously you are haning your hat on the graph at the beginning of this post as it is more of an increasing trend. I can safely say that graph is bullshit.

    Regards form New Zealand
    Peter Bickle

  11. #11 Bob B
    March 25, 2008

    Tim, you are being intellectually dishonest by showing the graph you show with the timescale you show. Not only do all 4 datasets show a leveling off of global temperatures since about 20002, but recent ocean temperatures show the same thing.
    Stop spinning and get back to science!

  12. #12 dhogaza
    March 25, 2008

    Sadly, I predict many posts here reiterating the “warming stopped in 98 – really! (although it never actually happened in the first place)” drivel

    You called it, dude …

  13. #13 Bob B
    March 25, 2008

    So dhogaza let me get this straight, are you going to argue the global temperatures have risen since 2002?

    I don;t care about temps since the 1800’s.

    Are you going to argue the data set forth by others on this thread?

  14. #14 sod
    March 25, 2008

    same story over and over again.

    advantages:

    * we know the counter arguments by heart now.
    * all relevant graphs and informations have been bookmarked and just need to be copy pasted..
    * easy argument, even when drunk and late at night.
    * with their repetition and their inability to bring on a coherent argument on the SAME TOPIC over and over again, sceptics clearly demonstrate their incompetence.
    *the argument gets weaker every time it is repeated

    disadvantages:
    * BORING AS HELL.

  15. #15 Bob B
    March 25, 2008

    So sod, the same thing. Just because you say it over and over again you can not dispute the temps have not risen on average since 2002, can you?

  16. #16 Peter Bickle
    March 25, 2008

    SOD, only telling the story of the data from NASA, Hadley Ist etc. Don’t shoot the messenger(s). No Hockey stick shape there chappy.
    Another thing, I am hearing the term Global Warming less these days, only climate change. There is no GW at present as it is not getting warmer, but due to the indoctrinantion over the past years people associate GW = Climate Change.

    Regards
    Peter Bickle

  17. #17 Patrick Hadley
    March 25, 2008

    Why not give us an interesting post on Dr Willis from Nasa telling us that the deep ocean has been on a slight cooling trend for the last five years, proving that Hansen’s “Smoking Gun” has been extinguished? Or about the Gouretski and Koultermann’s paper saying that ocean temperature gain over the fifty years before the Argo project had been exaggerated by a factor of 0.62? Or about the Nasa Aqua Satellite data that proves that clouds are a negative feedback which mitigate temperature rise?

    Perhaps if you read those impeccable mainstream sources of information and analysis you will understand why there has been no global warming recently, and stop being denialist about it.

  18. #18 Andrew W
    March 25, 2008

    It’s called noise, if you go look at any of the global surface temperature graphs you could argue that the globe cooled between 1980 and 1990, and again between 1983 and 1993, and also between 1987 and 1997. People don’t argue that such periods of apparent cooling are anything other than noise now because to do so, given subsequent warming, would be idiotic.
    Ten years is too short a period to make claims that there is a change in the trend.

  19. #19 sod
    March 25, 2008

    So sod, the same thing. Just because you say it over and over again you can not dispute the temps have not risen on average since 2002, can you?

    dear Bob et al,

    all you need to do is to click on the wonderful graph that Tim provided to you. you will end up on the NASA site, that provides the data (scrolldown a little, chose “tabular data”)

    save the text file and import it into excel. mark the numbers from 2002 and create a diagram. add (linear) trendline and the equation.

    and suprise, suprise, you will see that the slope is still POSITIVE!!!!

    yours sincerely,

    sod

  20. #20 Chris O'Neill
    March 25, 2008

    BTW, for all the ignoramuses writing here, climate is determined over a period long enough (usually about 30 years) to ensure that representative values are obtained. The issue is climate change, not weather change.

  21. #21 Lance
    March 25, 2008

    … climate is determined over a period long enough (usually about 30 years) to ensure that representative values are obtained.

    Oh, so it’s 30 years now? Are you sure you’ve moved those goal posts far enough sod?
    So where has the heat been “hiding” exactly lo these past ten years? Not in the ocean. Not in the atmosphere. Not in the ice sheets.
    Maybe it’s in that big steaming pile over at RealClimate.

  22. #22 Lance
    March 25, 2008

    Oops, meant to address that last point to Chris O’Neil.
    Apologies sod, you were instituting a completely different logical fallacy.

  23. #23 Patrick Hadley
    March 25, 2008

    It is amusing to see the global cooling denialists squirming. Chris O’Neill describes a discussion about a suggested cooling trend of ten years as an issue of “weather change”. I don’t know where you live Chris, but the weather often does not stay constant for ten minutes in the UK.

  24. #24 sod
    March 25, 2008

    Oh, so it’s 30 years now? Are you sure you’ve moved those goal posts far enough

    Lance, shall we search the internet, on what time scale shows up most when discussing CLIMATE?

    30 years, 5 years or 10 minutes (that seems to be, when Patrick thinks climate starts..)

  25. #25 dhogaza
    March 25, 2008

    Oh, so it’s 30 years now? Are you sure you’ve moved those goal posts far enough sod

    Lance, dear, the use of 30 year rolling averages has been the norm for a very long time.

    So where has the heat been “hiding” exactly lo these past ten years? Not in the ocean.

    One study and poof! everything we know is wrong! 30 future studies pointing out problems with this study, and Lance and friends will be claiming all those studies are wrong.

    Lance, you’re dishonest as hell.

  26. #26 Ken
    March 25, 2008

    Strawmen. Simplifications past the point of losing important information, prior to making a judgement. Oh they sound convincing, as long as the audience is uninformed.
    We had a wet, overcast summer here, surface temperatures were lower than average. Do I therefore believe that global warming stopped? But humid air is more warming than dry (remember H2O’s greenhouse properties) – more heat has entered the atmosphere over where I live than a graph of surface temps indicate, than would have had it been hot and dry. The ocean/atmosphere phenomena that gave us the rain and cloud – la nina – has correlation with overall global surface temperature being lower, without really changing the net heat balance of our biosphere – more heat is coming in than leaving. It only appears to be cooling, with heat building up, probably in our oceans. Did the Arctic have record loss of ice last NH summer? Worldwide losses of glacial ice? How about temperatures down boreholes rising? Are these trends?
    The denialist arguing is about the points that, on the surface, look like they support the position that global temperatures have flattened or dropped, as long as the arguments are about specific graphs, ignoring influences outside the CO2/Surface Temp graphs, like la nina, like impirical evidence of global warming (ice, growing seasons, borehole temps etc).
    I’ll keep on believing the scientific bodies charged with making sense of our climate over the detractors, who fail to do any real critique of their favoured criticisms, who do what they so loudly claim the IPCC and others do – cherry pick the data and arguments to provide the results they want (because that’s what they do, they believe that’s what our most prestigious scientific bodies must be doing). Give me NCAR, NAS, NASA, Hadley, CSIRO ahead of any of these self styled expert critics.

  27. #27 Max Lini
    March 25, 2008

    This makes no sense to argue about. The GISS trend is +.5 over the past 30 years and +.7 over the last 130 or so. Even their highest year of +.62 doesn’t exceed that. But this isn’t the first time the yearly has gone up and down, so we’d expect it to continue to trend this way. And the yearly for 2007 is the same as 1998, the last decade’s worth, and both are lower than the maximum in 2005. So what exactly is it you’re looking at when you say what the weather and hence climate are doing?

    Or as Wikipedia says:

    Climate is the average and variations of weather in a region over long periods of time. Climate zones can be defined using parameters such as temperature and rainfall.

    And quotes the IPCC:

    Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the “average weather”, or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years. The classical period is 30 years, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). These quantities are most often surface variables such as temperature, precipitation, and wind. Climate in a wider sense is the state, including a statistical description, of the climate system.

    So 10 years is certainly a valid climate period if even months can be considered. If you count the start and end years for the last 10 only, they are certainly the same number. And they’re lower than the single year peak. But if you look at the trend, the last 10 years are up.

    I fail to see what this argument is about other than semantics and what data is being looked at for what time period.

    ML

  28. #28 Dano
    March 25, 2008

    Flypaper for denialists.

    Tim does decision-makers a service.

    Hi is redirecting the small, diligent, prodigious cadre of denialists away from decision-makers and on to The Internets and newspaper comment boards. Much better, y’see. Imagine if decision-maker’s staffs had to listen to the same recycled denialist drivel every third day when Drudge flashes a red light.

    Best,

    D

  29. #29 Max Lini
    March 25, 2008

    I see, a month, that’s the period for the derived mean anomaly after all. Like what’s the climate this March versus last or last or last… Also that 30 year WMO period mentioned is just what the standard base period used is. That all makes sense.

    ML

  30. #31 z
    March 25, 2008

    well, from monitoring my remote reading outdoor thermometer, i can tell you that global warming has definitely stopped; in fact, it stopped several times during the past couple of hours, restarting each time, ending a long (12 hours) sustained warming period; and we now (8 pm) seem to have entered a period of sustained global cooling. stay tuned!

  31. #32 Jason Bintinal
    March 25, 2008

    Aren’t the daily numbers derived from the mean of the minimum and maximum temperatures for the day at each location? Do they take how long the temperatures exist and their distribution? Are the minimums getting higher, the maximums getting higher, both, neither, what? What about humidity and prevailing winds? Cloud cover. Amount of sunlight and time of year.

    It seems that if all these types of things aren’t and haven’t been taken into account the daily numbers are rather worthless in and of themselves.

  32. #33 Pico
    March 25, 2008

    Eh?!

    Mark, the data plot you presented to demonstrate that warming is not occurring (http://www.junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/MSUvsRSS.html) shows a very clear warming trend! Sure its noisy, as you expect, but the trend is obvious.

  33. #34 Tilo Reber
    March 25, 2008

    If you choose to use James Hansen’s fraudulent temperature record you can make the case the global warming hasn’t stopped. It you use RSS and HadCrut3, you can clearly see that it has.

    http://reallyrealclimate.blogspot.com/2008/03/blog-post.html

  34. #35 Dano
    March 25, 2008

    If you choose to use James Hansen’s fraudulent temperature record

    I like the instant self-marginalization.

    Thank you for tipping me off that the rest of what you say isn’t worth my time.

    Engage [kill]!

    Best,

    D

  35. #36 bi
    March 25, 2008

    The disinformation cycle diagram rocks!

    Coincidentally, yesterday I just drew up a diagram showing how global warming “debates” work. (It doesn’t have cows and monkeys in it though…)

    * * *

    Max Lini:

    I fail to see what this argument is about other than semantics and what data is being looked at for what time period.

    You do know the issue of global warming isn’t just about “semantics” don’t you? You do know that global warming is a phenomenon which has very real effects on the livelihoods — and often the very lives — of lots of people the world over, don’t you?

  36. #37 Tilo Reber
    March 25, 2008

    “Oh, so it’s 30 years now?”

    It’s the only period that the warmers can make a case out of. Longer or shorter and it all falls apart. Longer and you get inconvienient cooling phases, along with issues like coming out of a mini ice age. Longer yet and you get the MWP and the Holocene optimum. Shorter and you get no warming from 1998. So now you are suppose to believe that 30 years is the optimum predictive period. If it’s gone on for thirty years, then it will go on for three hundred. “Just trust my model!” LOL. You can smell the desperation.

  37. #38 Lance
    March 25, 2008

    Dano,

    I rarely agree with your self-important little pronouncements, but in this case I think we agree. Well at least in that Tim is doing a bit of trawling.

    Chris O’Neill (got both ‘l’s that time) and Sod, actually I’ll agree with you guys too, that thirty years is a fair period for climate trends. That doesn’t mean that heat can be hiding in your hat for ten years. It isn’t in the ocean my friends and that was supposed to be the “pipeline”.

    dhogaza, I’m even extending an olive branch to you, try not to chew it off all in one bite. Yeah, it’s only one study but it is a five year NASA study with thousands of highly accurate data points that completely refutes Hansen’s “smoking gun”.

    Ten years is ten years and there is mounting evidence that isn’t going your boy’s way. It would do your credibility some good to admit as much.

  38. #39 bi
    March 25, 2008

    Longer and you get inconvienient cooling phases, along with issues like coming out of a mini ice age.

    Excuse me? Why will “cooling” be inconvenient in periods when there weren’t massive loads of anthropogenic carbon emissions?

    If there’s cooling, AGW is a myth; if there’s warming, AGW is a myth. Jeez, you guys are a bunch of clowns.

  39. #40 Tilo Reber
    March 25, 2008

    bi:
    “Why will “cooling” be inconvenient in periods when there weren’t massive loads of anthropogenic carbon emissions?”

    That’s the point. Cooling was going on just before the favored 30 year period, and while CO2 was rapidly climbing.

  40. #41 Patrick C
    March 26, 2008

    Indeed it’s not that hard to work out minimums on the time period you need to do rolling averages over.

    We know El-Nino/SO is on about a 5-7 year period. We therefore need to take averages of over 7 years to remove the effect.

    The solar cycle (currently close to a minimum) is on an 11 year period. We therefore need rolling averages of at least an 11 year period to remove this effect from the data set.

    I would speculate that it would be sensible to use some kind of window function other than a square function to get rid of any other high frequency signals, this might ultimately lead to something like a “proper” digital filter getting used – but this is beyond my expertise, except to observe that it would require even longer windows to get adequate results.

  41. #42 bi
    March 26, 2008

    Tilo Reber:

    That’s the point. Cooling was going on just before the favored 30 year period, and while CO2 was rapidly climbing.

    Oh, that. The “scientists predicted global cooling in the 1970s” fib, which has already been torn apart by Connolley et al.

    I guess that’s why you couldn’t simply give a specific time period the first time round. Hiding your specific claims, that’s the denialist way.

  42. #43 Dvaid
    March 26, 2008

    Dano said: “Flypaper for denialists.”

    Ssh! Hopefully none of them noticed, but you can’t be too careful.

  43. #44 Lee A. Arnold
    March 26, 2008

    “Shorter and you get no warming from 1998.”

    Nonsense. If you take the last NINE years of the junkscience graph, the mean-line is clearly going back uphill again.

    Just a hint of advice: I realize most of you guys are paid petro industry trolls, because true anti-science nutcases get off onto flying saucers and pyramids and stuff, instead of sticking with the same few talking-points on the revolving schedule*. But really, you ought to do it as if you meant it. As propagandists, you guys are just sad failures.

    * P.S. You may want to omit the old “Antarctica is gaining ice mass” thingy, for a while. A huge chunk of it just fell off.

  44. #45 cce
    March 26, 2008

    First of all, the satelite temperature analyses are not “the most reliable source of temperature available.” The rate of warming between the two disagree by over 20%. Add the UW and V+G analyses and they disagree even more. It is impossible for all of them to both be equally “reliable.” The GISS and HadCRU analyses, on the other hand, show virtually identical rates of warming over the past 30 years despite their different methods.

    Secondly, for anyone who believes that global warming has stopped, look at the offical RSS temperature plot from the RSS website:
    http://www.remss.com/data/msu/graphics/plots/sc_Rss_compare_TS_channel_tlt.png

    Every time that wiggly line goes above the trend is “warm.” Every time the wiggly line goes below the trend, it is “cold.” We are currently in a cold period, and there is no question that the last few months have been quite cold (compared to the trend), but it is no colder now than it was warm in 1998. We are in a strong La Nina. It is not the sun, or cosmic rays, or pixie dust. It is the weather. Noise. The global warming signal is 0.02 degrees per year lost amidst natural variability that can fluctuate up to one degree in a year depending on the month.

    Temperatures will continue to be below average for as long as La Nina persists which will likely be much of this year.

  45. #46 Bernard J.
    March 26, 2008

    After Tim’s post of this material I knew that the trolls would apparate here faster than Death Eaters at Voldemort’s rebirth, but I didn’t credit that their little Secret Squirrel communication network would chatter quite so quickly.

    It’s brought most of the usual suspects to buzz in here with their tried (tired?) but untrue chestnuts more quickly than flies swarm around a drover’s bum when he takes a dump in the bush.

    Sadly for them anyone who spends a second or two testing their propositions very quickly sees their houses of cards falling to the ground. And any observer who can’t muster even that modicum of curiosity required to confirm (read ‘refute’) the denialists’ whacky claims is probably of no consequence in effecting the changes that are necessary if the worst is to be mitigated.

    Not any more.

    I wonder how many of these trolls would be prepared to put money on their claims, using any of several web sights offering such services with carefully calculated odds?

    Eh?

  46. #47 Barton Paul Levenson
    March 26, 2008

    Tilo Reber posts:

    [[It's the only period that the warmers can make a case out of. Longer or shorter and it all falls apart. Longer and you get inconvienient cooling phases, along with issues like coming out of a mini ice age.]]

    If you do the matrix math by which the effect of Milankovic orbital cycles is calculated, you find that we passed the peak of the interglacial 6,000 years ago and should now be in a prolonged period of cooling. But we aren’t.

    [[ Longer yet and you get the MWP and the Holocene optimum.]]

    The MWP wasn’t global.

    [[ Shorter and you get no warming from 1998.]]

    There is warming since 1998:

    http://members.aol.com/bpl1960/Ball.html

    [[ So now you are suppose to believe that 30 years is the optimum predictive period.]]

    Climate is defined by the World Meteorological Organization as the regional or global average weather over a period of 30 years or more. Which part of that do you not understand?

    [[ If it's gone on for thirty years, then it will go on for three hundred. "Just trust my model!" LOL. You can smell the desperation.]]

    You really don’t get the sample size concept, do you?

  47. #48 Jeff Harvey
    March 26, 2008

    What is apparent from the denialists here is that their entire thesis hinges on what is perceived to be a long enough time scale to measure discernable change. This is especially a problem given the stupendous scales over which climate is generated (this is also true for the maintenance of biogeochemical and hydrological cycles). But these people just cannot free themselves from their internal genetic programming that makes them equate time in human years. They are trying to inject stochastic thinking into making predictions about systems and exhibit long time lags and which are very, very deterministic. What this reveals is that very few of the denialists (perhaps none on this thread) are trained scientists. I’d venture that none have papers in peer-reviewed journals. This is a challenge to the sceptical mob sadly overpopulating this thread: please state your credentials in science. This is important because it means that you might have been taught to understand the difference between determinism and stochasicity, as well as the fact that certain cycles go well beyond human life spans unless they are very significantly forced by another party (in this case, us).

    I’ve seen the same vacuous logic applied by the sceptical know-nothings on the debate of habitat loss versus extinction rates. They perceive that the effects of habitat loss on extinction must be instantaneous, or nearly so. In other words, ‘loss of habitat patch x’ should result in the loss of ‘species population y’ virtually instantaneously, which would mean within a few years. But if these people knew a shred about population genetics, as well as more complex social aspects including behavior, they’d realize that the ‘extinction debt’ can manifest itself over decades and even centuries after the initial change. In other words, the loss of primeval forests in the eastern United States during the middle 18th century is still rippling through ecological communities today. Tilman and May, in their 1994 Nature paper, argued that some effects of habitat destruction from as far back as the 1500s are probably still only now being manifested in ecological communities.

    The main point is that the current changes in global climate patterns are most likely the result of processes generated several decades ago at the very least, and perhaps even before then. Bernard J has summed up much of what I feel in his excellent post above (#46). To reiterate, its more and more clear to me that Charles Darwin was correct when he said that “Ignorance begets confidence more often than knowledge”.

  48. #49 Bernard J.
    March 26, 2008

    I heartily second Jeff Harvey’s challenge in #48 for the deniers here to state their bona fides when they see fit to specifically refute the science of the best in the field. Without doing this they are merely taking cheap pot-shots and leaving behind a smear of implied equality of expertise, when none in fact exists at all.

    How many of the sceptical crowd will rise to this challenge?

    I also want to put on record a resounding reiteration of Jeff’s comments about the difference between determinism and stochasicity, about the length of cycles in the biological and geological realms, and about the complex nature of feedback, response, and equilibrium in living and in non-living systems. I have witnessed with complete helplessness the march of extinction debt through the taxa with which I have worked, and the ripples that Jeff mentions that were propagated in the past will be as nothing compared with the waves to come from modern human activity. And if any of the oiks here want to stand toe-to-toe and deny this, I’m sure that I and many others here would be delighted to rub their faces in their ignorance. Remember, bring your bona fides with you. Oh, and if you want to use Lomborg as some authority, I would suggest in advance that you make this a very considered decision indeed…

    I do have a gripe with Jeff though – I was saving Darwin’s quote for a juicy moment myself! As a consolation, I would encourage the trolls on this thread who may not have made it to the discussion of Beck’s highly dubious graphing abilities to also take on board Lister’s comment that I quoted there.

    The two concepts go well together…

  49. #50 P. Lewis
    March 26, 2008

    It beggars belief: 30 years and more of an upward trend is not good enough one way, and yet is too long to wait the other way.

    And to some we undoubtedly have that about 7 years (or less) of an upward trend would mean nothing with regard to warming but does mean everything to cooling.

    What we have from the colderistas is prima facie evidence … of double standards.

  50. #51 Bernard J.
    March 26, 2008

    Bugger.

    The link in #49 should have led to here, where the quote is at the end.

  51. #52 Tim Curtin
    March 26, 2008

    This whole thread is a furphy. First, there were no GISS temp stations anywhere in the tropics in 1885 or 1900, contrary to Lambert’s dishonest graph. What were the measured temps in Panama, Kinshasha, Kampala, Port Moresby etc in 1885 and 1900? So the “globe” according to Jim Hansen, the world’s 2nd biggest liar after only our Al and closely followed by Tim Lambert, was jolly cold in 1900, which produces that gratifing upward trend in the GISS graph. Secondly, Anthony Watt has shown how nearly all GISS temp sites in the US and South America are fatally contaminated by being located in carparks or under aircon etc (in the US because GISS could not pay for fat Americans to go check the measurements in greenfield sites, so from 1999 all have been located within 20 metres of air con & buildings which do not require fatsos like Hansen and his mates to waddle to the green field sites to take the readings). This explains the rise in GISS temps since 2000 which are totally unsupported by either Hadley CRU in the UK or the satellite record since 1980

  52. #53 Bob B
    March 26, 2008

    So I see no one answered my post. So we must be in agreement that since 2002 there has been no warming. Basil has an analysis on Watts that shows a clear breakpoint at that time:

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/03/13/to-tell-the-truth-will-the-real-global-average-temperature-trend-please-rise-part-2/

    And Lucia shows the projected trajectories based off current fits:

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2008/ipcc-projections-overpredict-recent-warming/

    And Dano, if you don’t know the GISS temp record is crap, then you haven’t been keeping up with CA taking the RC hockey team to the woodshed. Answer me this? Why is the GISS records always changing? Look back over history and you will see a constant changing (cooling) of past temperature records. Is there time travel involved?
    NO—Hansen keeps on splicing records of faulty stations (reads Watts analysis of on 10% stations complying with standards). While he attempts to match satellite measurements, his spilicng is forcing the temps of the past to get colder—pure crap!

  53. #54 guthrie
    March 26, 2008

    Bob B- nobody has answered because it appears you are incapable of comprehending the answers. Only someone like you will listen to Watts, and as for climate audit, they are a joke. Basically, you havn’t a clue.

  54. #55 Bob B
    March 26, 2008

    Guthrie, I laugh in your face. CA has taken Hansen and Tamino to the woodshed several times and they keep on walking away with red faces. Hansen was forced to correct his records. That is the JOKE! And the RC response? Well it wasn’t important any way–that is the joke! Hansen has past records changing with time. That is scientific? Tamino is getting his butt kicked left and right as he tries to resurrect Mann. I think it is funny how RC and you guys try to wish Steve would just go away. But every time Steve does an analyis you guys are forced to listen.

  55. #56 Bob B
    March 26, 2008

    Also guthrie, tell me have you ever heard of gauge R&R?
    It’s pretty basic in most fields–except for apparently climate science. What is an absolute joke around the world is how Hansen blindly uses crappy measurement techniques–laugh that away:

    http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/03/24/how-not-to-measure-temperature-part-54-los-angeles-the-city/

    Nothing like a little leg work and data to shows GISS temo is crap!

  56. #57 Bernard J.
    March 26, 2008

    Tim Curtin and Bob B.

    Do you believe that glaciers are melting at rates different to those observed historically?

    Do you believe that the bioclimatic envelopes of plant and animal species are shifting to different regions compared with those seen historically – or where such envelopes are geographically dynamic, at rates different to those seen historically?

    Do you believe that the timings of plant and animal life-cycle events are shifting compared with those seen historically?

    Do you understand that such events are reliable integrators of multiparameter systems? Do you understand what this concept actually means?

    I am very curious.

  57. #58 Boris
    March 26, 2008

    And Dano, if you don’t know the GISS temp record is crap, then you haven’t been keeping up with CA taking the RC hockey team to the woodshed.

    Come on, Dano, the fact that Climate Audit has posted complaints about RealClimate PROVES that the GISS temperature record is fraudulent. This is simple denialist logic, man. Plus, there’s a weatherman from San Diego who has all kinds of theories on Neptune’s warming and how the carbon dioxide is coming from the oceans.

    So, three blog posts show conclusively that the Earth has entered a cooling period, that CO2 does not cause warming, and that the socialists are out to tax our babies. You’re not for taxing babies, are you, Dano?!?!?!?!?!?

  58. #59 Boris
    March 26, 2008

    CA has taken Hansen and Tamino to the woodshed several times and they keep on walking away with red faces

    What kind of perverted shenanigans are going on in that woodshed?

  59. #60 Bob B
    March 26, 2008

    Boris, the fact is the weatherman is doing real science, you know the kind where you actually go out and look at the stations themselves. You are the denier and are just throwing out jabs because you have no scientific answer for that. You are not using any facts to base you emotional post on. Go on follow the weathermans’ post I linked to and tell me that Hansen should rely on that temperature station.

    Bernard, I am not a biologist. But I do know (new) vegetation was found recently under glaciers in Greenland:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2514

  60. #61 guthrie
    March 26, 2008

    Bob B- you bluster like a fat overweight bully who runs back to his mother every time someone says “boo”.

    Tell you what, why don’t you show us where tamino is being beaten up? (The addiction to violence on your part is telling). And where have CA shown anyone to be wrong at all?
    And as for guage R&R, what has that got to do with climatology?

    As for the CA piece that you link to in post #60, it is irrelevant wibbling with no relationship to actual science.

  61. #62 Boris
    March 26, 2008

    Looking at pictures of weather station:real science::looking at picture of naked women:real sex

  62. #63 Bernard J.
    March 26, 2008

    Just in case Marohasy et al try to wring a little more out of the ‘climate is actually cooling’ bogie-man again – and perhaps by extension also try to say for the umpteenth time that the world of science actually predicted an ice-age in the early 70s, but then changed its collective mind, which proves that they know nuthin’ – John Fleck and William Connolley over at Real Climate have pinned the tail well and truly onto this donkey.

  63. #64 Bob B
    March 26, 2008

    guthrie you just made my point!

    “And as for guage R&R, what has that got to do with climatology?”

    guthrie, you try to fit simulations and models to data–right?. Don’t you think it matters how you collect the data? Do you think measurement accuracy, resolution, repeatabilty matter? Do you think it matters that Hansen’s GISS data set could be way off?

    As far as Steve at CA goes–here is a sample of unanswered questions:

    “The question for Tamino. Which is incorrect: the information on retained PCs at the Corrigendum SI? Or the claim that the algorithm illustrated at realclimate was used in that form in MBH98? If there is some other explanation, some way of deriving the Vaganov AD1600 and Stahle/SWM AD1750 using the realclimate algorithm, please show how to do it. I’ll post up data and code for my implementation to help you along. C’mon, Tamino. You’re a bright guy. Show your stuff.”

    crickets chirping at open mind

    CA made Hansen correct his GISS data set which showed 1934 as the warmest year in the US

  64. #65 bigcitylib
    March 26, 2008

    Well, I admit to having a soft spot for Drudge. On this issue, he practices pure “on the one hand, on the other hand journalism”. The upside is he is very quick with new stories about the latest research and etc. The downside is he balances them off with a fair heaping of crap.

  65. #66 Chris O'Neill
    March 26, 2008

    It is amusing to see the global warming denialists squirming. I pointed out that events lasting less than 30 years are too short to be called “climate”. Patrick Hadley doesn’t seem to realize that ten minutes is shorter than 30 years.

  66. #67 Bob B
    March 26, 2008

    Chris, why 30yrs? Shouldn;t you be using something much longer? 30Yrs doesn’t cover PDO cycles.

  67. #68 Tilo Reber
    March 26, 2008

    “I guess that’s why you couldn’t simply give a specific time period the first time round.”

    I didn’t realize that I needed to push your nose into the obvious. And I’m not talking about the news stories of the 70s. I’m saying that if you go longer than 30 years, and include that cooling period, you will get much less of a warming trend.

  68. #69 bi
    March 26, 2008

    Bob B:

    Chris, why 30yrs? Shouldn;t you be using something much longer? 30Yrs doesn’t cover PDO cycles.

    So where’ll that leave the “global warming stopped in 1998, and 2007″ folks?

    Oh, never mind. Denialist logic doesn’t have to make sense.

    – – –

    Bernard J.:

    I heartily second Jeff Harvey’s challenge in #48 for the deniers here to state their bona fides when they see fit to specifically refute the science of the best in the field. [...] How many of the sceptical crowd will rise to this challenge?

    None, apparently.

    Now, to give the denialists one less excuse to throw mud: I have studied basic statistical theory, and I know what a t-test is, and I know (informally) what’s a Markov chain.

    Unfortunately, when I explain why Douglass et al. (2007) is bogus because it treats model output as raw observations (in its ?[SE] calculation), the response from denialists is simply `la la la la la la la’ followed by an unrelated talking point. Make what of that youw ill.

  69. #70 Tilo Reber
    March 26, 2008

    Levenson:
    “you find that we passed the peak of the interglacial 6,000 years ago and should now be in a prolonged period of cooling. But we aren’t.”

    How do you know. On a longer time scale the 20th Century may well be noise.

    “The MWP wasn’t global.”

    Yes, it was.

    “There is warming since 1998:”

    No, there isn’t.

    http://reallyrealclimate.blogspot.com/2008/03/blog-post.html

    “Which part of that do you not understand?”

    What part of “Warmers don’t get to pick their own periods of significance” don’t you understand?

    “You really don’t get the sample size concept, do you?”

    Yes I do. What part of “Warmers don’t get to pick their own periods of signigicance” don’t you understand?

  70. #71 Chris O'Neill
    March 26, 2008

    Bob B:

    CA made Hansen correct his GISS data set which showed 1934 as the warmest year in the US

    both before and after the correction. So your point in mentioning 1934 was ….?

  71. #72 Tilo Reber
    March 26, 2008

    “Looking at pictures of weather station:real science:”

    Apparently that is more than Hansen has ever done. The moron thinks that a site is pristine if there are no lights and the population is low. But the station could be sitting on a slab of blacktop and Hansen would never know it.

  72. #73 Tilo Reber
    March 26, 2008

    Bob B.
    “So we must be in agreement that since 2002 there has been no warming.”

    There is no warming since 1998.

    http://reallyrealclimate.blogspot.com/2008/03/blog-post.html

    But if you want to look at what has happened since 2002, try this.

    http://reallyrealclimate.blogspot.com/search/label/6%20Year%20Temperature%20Anomolies

  73. #74 Bob B
    March 26, 2008

    #71, Someone said CA was a joke. I responded by saying they forced Hansen to make corrections. Further I contend that Hansen splicing the likes of the LA surface station is making past temperatures cooler. So can you PROVE to me your graphs are worth the space taken up on your posting. I think Hansens whole GISS set is pure crap. Prove me wrong.

  74. #75 John Cross
    March 26, 2008

    Bob B and Tim C: (Hey, its nice when the deniers have cute rhyming names.) You both brought up the documentation of the surface records as an issue. I assume you are both aware of John V’s analysis – after all he posted it over on ClimateAudit. So what do you think of the results?

    Regards,
    John

  75. #76 Chris O'Neill
    March 26, 2008

    Tilo Reber:

    I’m saying that if you go longer than 30 years, and include that cooling period, you will get much less of a warming trend.

    I don’t know what he means by “much” less (that cooling period amounted to 0.1 deg C) but certainly as we go back further and further we would expect the trend to become less and less because the rate of accumulation of CO2 becomes less and less.

  76. #77 Chris O'Neill
    March 26, 2008

    Bob B:

    71, Someone said CA was a joke. I responded by saying they forced Hansen to make corrections. Further I contend that Hansen splicing the likes of the LA surface station is making past temperatures cooler. So can you PROVE to me your graphs are worth the space taken up on your posting. I think Hansens whole GISS set is pure crap. Prove me wrong.

    So your point in mentioning 1934 was ….?

  77. #78 Bob B
    March 26, 2008

    # 73

    What a hoot. Really Real Climate LOL

    Were they founded by a socialist Marxist organization as well:

    Domain ID:D105219760-LROR
    Domain Name:REALCLIMATE.ORG
    Created On:19-Nov-2004 16:39:03 UTC
    Last Updated On:30-Oct-2005 21:10:46 UTC
    Expiration Date:19-Nov-2007 16:39:03 UTC
    Sponsoring Registrar:eNom, Inc. (R39-LROR)
    Status:OK
    Registrant ID:B133AE74B8066012
    Registrant Name: Registrant Organization:Environmental Media Services
    Registrant Street1:1320 18th St, NW
    Registrant Street2:5th Floor
    Registrant Street3:
    Registrant City:Washington
    Registrant State/Province:DC
    Registrant Postal Code:20036
    Registrant Country:US
    Registrant Phone:+1.2024636670

    The story behind Environmental Media Services

    http://www.activistcash.com/organization_overview.cfm/oid/110

    is very interesting.

  78. #79 guthrie
    March 26, 2008

    Bob, you really havn’t got this argument thing learnt yet, have you? You have to demonstrate that your claim is in fact valid and relevant before there is any point in us answering it.

    Same goes for Tiler, but since I know what he is like from the dot.earth thread, I don’t expect him to listen.

  79. #80 luminous beauty
    March 26, 2008

    Bob B,

    If you and Watt are right about Gistemp, it makes a net difference of ~0.0055C.

    Thine own crap is the purest of all crap. It’s such a tiny piece of crap, yet you believe you can extrapolate an entire pony from it.

  80. #81 Bob B
    March 26, 2008

    guthrie, I’m done here. This site is a bunch of alarmist that can’t argue with real data.

    You asked me about gauge R&R and I told you. How on earth can you measure temperature to tenths of a degree when your measurement tool is shown by data (fact) to not be accurate to within 5 degrees? Go read all the posts on Watts up. No one can argue his findings–only people who don’t understand measurement accuracy and it’s implications
    .

  81. #82 Tilo Reber
    March 26, 2008

    Lee:
    P.S. You may want to omit the old “Antarctica is gaining ice mass” thingy, for a while. A huge chunk of it just fell off.

    ROFL. Are these the kinds of fairy tales that make an alarmists day? Get a more complete story here.

    http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/002869.html

  82. #83 Boris
    March 26, 2008

    I think Hansens whole GISS set is pure crap. Prove me wrong.

    I think Bob B. is a shoplifter. Prove me wrong.

  83. #84 Tilo Reber
    March 26, 2008

    Chris:
    “that cooling period amounted to 0.1 deg C”

    It also includes time. The trend is based on both.

  84. #85 guthrie
    March 26, 2008

    So, as expected, Bob B flounces out of the thread, having presented no useful evidence in support of his hobby horses.

  85. #86 Laser Potato
    March 26, 2008

    “The story behind Environmental Media Services”
    Activist Cash?! Berman & Co?!!!
    You’re actually trying to back up your shaky claim by referencing a TOBACCO FRONT GROUP?!!!
    Man, that’s too funny.

  86. #87 Alec Campbell
    March 26, 2008

    A poster in this thread made the point that during the period when ST was declining, ice caps were also declining. This suggests that the truly useful measurement would be the thermal energy of the biosphere, rather than temperature measurements. Elementary thermodynamics tells us that when ice melts, a very large amount of thermal energy is transfered from the surrounding environment into the resulting liquid water. It seems very probable that when the Artic ice cap ceases to decline, ocean and land surface temperatures will snap back dramatically, as the cap melt will no longer be sinking all that thermal energy.

  87. #88 Chris O'Neill
    March 26, 2008

    Bob B:

    Chris, why 30yrs? Shouldn;t you be using something much longer? 30Yrs doesn’t cover PDO cycles.

    It’s an arbitrary choice depending on the practical purpose. But for something like determining the sensitivity to CO2, obviously the longer the better but even periods significantly longer than this are affected by other variables as well. Of course, people who try to read something into variations over 5 years or even 10 years are just idiots.

  88. #89 bi
    March 26, 2008

    ROFL. Are these the kinds of fairy tales that make an alarmists day? Get a more complete story here.

    Yeah right, the Antarctic ice isn’t melting, and even if it is, it’s not our fault, and no it’s not melting! It’s growing!

    It’ll be nice if the denialists apply the same logic to the global temperature drop from January 2007 to January 2008. But of course, it’s due to a “global cooling” trend. It’s not due to La Nina… or maybe it is, since Watts himself says so. And it’s obviously due to “global cooling”, since Daily Tech says so. Notice how again denialist logic doesn’t need to make sense?

  89. #90 Tim Lambert
    March 26, 2008

    Bob B cited [activistcash.com](http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=ActivistCash.com) as a source. Enough said.

  90. #91 Chris O'Neill
    March 26, 2008

    Bob B:

    This site is a bunch of alarmist that can’t argue with real data

    like 1934?

  91. #92 Chris O'Neill
    March 26, 2008

    Tilo Reber:

    Chris: “that cooling period amounted to 0.1 deg C”
    It also includes time. The trend is based on both.

    Tilo obviously didn’t realize that when I said “as we go back further and further” I was talking about time.

  92. #93 saurabh
    March 26, 2008

    Hey Tim, is there any way for you to fix that comment-posting bug in which urls containing underscores replace text with italics? It makes it very hard to follow people’s links. Or is this just scienceblogs’ bad code?

  93. #94 Ian Forrester
    March 26, 2008

    Lance (#21) said: “So where has the heat been “hiding” exactly lo (sic) these past ten years? Not in the ocean”.

    Well Lance, for some one who claims to be a scientist you do not do much research on the many “claims” that you make.
    If you had done a little bit of research on the ARGO data you would have found that there were a number of errors in the data the floats were accumulating.

    Here is a quote from the ARGO website: “it has just been learned that Argo profiles from SOLO floats with FSI CTD (Argo Program WHOI) may have incorrect pressure values. Profile data may be offset upward by one or more pressure levels, resulting in a significant cold bias for these instruments”.

    Mmmm could that be where the “heat is hiding”?

    Here is another error which was found, it too had a cooling bias: “While studying the pressure offset errors, a related problem was discovered in a group of WHOI/SBE profiles. Reported pressures from these instruments corresponded to the bottom pressure of bins rather than to the mid-bin pressure. This ½ bin pressure offset error is generally less than for the profiles noted in (1) above”.

    More details can be found at:

    http://preview.tinyurl.com/2tlluo
    and
    http://preview.tinyurl.com/2kc9mu

  94. #95 Ian Forrester
    March 26, 2008

    Saurabh (#93), when I encounter this problem or if the url is very long, I switch to tinuyurl to solve the problem.

    Hopefully other people will try this too.

  95. #96 Patrick Hadley
    March 26, 2008

    Ian Forrester it is good to see an alarmist even acknowledging that Argo exists. The dates mentioned on the sites where errors are described are 10 October and 14 September (no year included). Are to suppose that Dr Willis was not aware of those errors in his recent statements that there has been a cooling trend over the last five years?

  96. #97 Dan Pangburn
    March 26, 2008

    If you are actually curious about findings funded by neither government nor industry see http://www.middlebury.net/op-ed/pangburn.html .

    Significant recent warming of planet earth ended in 1998. If it wasn’t for the 22 year period from 1976 to 1998 when the atmospheric carbon dioxide level and average global temperature happened to increase at the same time, the term ‘greenhouse gas’ would be virtually unknown and Kyoto and the rest of the Global Warming Mistake would never have happened. It is going to take a long time to un-brainwash much of the public and get some climatologists and the IPCC to abandon their self serving agenda.

  97. #98 cce
    March 26, 2008

    The LA temperature record is urban and therefore does not factor into any of the trends that go into the GISTEMP analysis. Furthermore, the correction at that site adds warming in the PAST. Finally, JohnV’s analysis shows that despite all of the Auditors work, a dataset using only the highest quality sites produces a temperature record with trends virtually identical to GISTEMP.

    Anyone who wants an example of a “crap” analysis, need only look to the nearest Spencer or Christy paper.

    Since sea level rise has continued during the supposed “cooling” of the ocean, and since thermal expansion is the biggest chuck, there are a few possibilities: 1) The heat is going deeper 2) The ice sheets are melting far faster than anyone imagined, thus picking up the slack. 3) The measurements are faulty.

  98. #99 luminous beauty
    March 26, 2008

    “Are to suppose that Dr Willis was not aware of those errors in his recent statements that there has been a cooling trend over the last five years?”

    What does Willis say?

    Abstract. Two systematic biases have been discovered in the ocean temperature data used by [Willis], Lyman et al. 2006. These biases are both substantially larger than sampling errors estimated in [Willis] Lyman et al. 2006, and appear to be the cause of the rapid cooling reported in that work.

    oceans.pmel.noaa.gov/Pdf/heat_2006.pdf

  99. #100 luminous beauty
    March 26, 2008

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