Roy Spencer hides the increase

Possum Comitatus has noticed a very interesting change in Roy Spencer’s presentation of his satelite temperature data.

This is the November version:

i-b056b33caf64ebc19d679130f4dda674-UAH_LT_1979_thru_Nov_09.png

And this is the December version:

i-89f1e575b2a93d355c9302a35693ba2e-UAH_LT_1979_thru_Dec_09.png

Spot the difference!

Update: Gavin reminds me that in April Spencer was using a ridiculous degree 4 fit to the data:

i-5b9616143eedcdce1cfb290839a445e5-uah_lt_since_19792.png

If he’d stuck with that, the current graph would look like this:

i-ac82ab6c9759c4bf75c3810b965ea586-UAH_LT_1979_thru_Dec_09quartic.png

The polynomial is still decreasing at the end, but the divergence from the data is striking.

Comments

  1. #1 Stu
    January 14, 2010

    It’s his data, he can present it how he likes.

    But

    how can he change it without telling us why! He needs more transparent methods! Some other crap they might say! (What, I don’t go to climaeaudit often…)

  2. #2 Brian Schmidt
    January 14, 2010

    Normally, I’d say that a longer running average is better. In this case though, the reason for switching from 13 month to 25 months was to decrease the uptick at the end, and to be able to pretend that temps aren’t increasing for another six months longer than would otherwise have been the case. And there’s the issue of failing to tell your readers that you’re switching metrics on them.

    Something tells me this wasn’t covered at climateaudit, but I welcome contrary info….

  3. #3 Gavin
    January 14, 2010

    You should also post his older versions where he was using a fourth-order polynomial or some such thing and see how they would look now. See [March 2009](http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/uah_lt_since_19792.jpg), or [Nov 2008](http://www.weatherquestions.com/UAH_LT_since_1979.jpg) perhaps….

  4. #4 pough
    January 14, 2010

    The most interesting thing (to me) about switching from 13-month to 25-month is that you get less modern information. The first graph has the red line going half way into 2009, but in the second graph it gets bumped back to the start of 2009. Following the link to the Possum Comitatus post shows a graph that compares the two.

    Anyways, I like the cheeky title, but (unlike denialists) I’m not going to simply assume this was done for nefarious purposes. Both 13-year and 25-year averages show worthwhile information; if he decided to make a switch it had to be done some time. I’d prefer to see both together, but then I have a lot of preferences that nobody else cares about!

  5. #5 Eli Rabett
    January 14, 2010

    The interesting thing, such as it is, is that the system response to El Nino was about twice as fast as to Pinatubo, which took about two years.

    What happened in 2003-5. The change was much faster than one year.

  6. #6 pough
    January 14, 2010

    BTW, did Spencer ever comment on the “Climategate” emails? With such gems as “Christy and Spencer have made a scientific career out of being wrong” in them, you’d think he might have something to say…

  7. #7 Lassi Hippeläinen
    January 14, 2010

    Also, 1998 lost its status as the warmest year.

  8. #8 sod
    January 14, 2010

    the 25-months moving average basically removes 2009. pretty convenient.

  9. #9 dhogaza
    January 14, 2010

    The most interesting thing (to me) about switching from 13-month to 25-month is that you get less modern information. The first graph has the red line going half way into 2009, but in the second graph it gets bumped back to the start of 2009.

    The most interesting thing (to me) is what it says about Spencer’s honesty. Not that the message is new to me (nor others posting here, I imagine).

    Yes, as sod says, he basically got rid of 2009, because 2009 warmed nicely …

  10. #10 Stu
    January 14, 2010

    Dog, not that that has any bearing on whether AGW is false or true or if we’re even in a warming trend. If you’d told Spencer 12 months ago that 2009 was going to be warm, he’s have said exactly that – in the long run it hardly matters.

    So why change his smoothing method?

  11. #11 Eric Lund
    January 14, 2010

    if he decided to make a switch it had to be done some time

    True enough, and there might have been legitimate reasons for making the change. There is a right way and a wrong way to do that. The right way is to say that this change was made because blah blah blah; you may disagree with his reasoning, but at least he would be honest about what he is doing. The wrong way is to make the change without explaining that a change has been made. Spencer has left himself open to charges that he is manipulating the record for nefarious purposes, charges that he could easily rebut if he had explained his valid reasons for changing the analysis method. The undisclosed change can also fool not only people like Bolt but honest journalists and scientists who are looking at the data.

  12. #12 t_p_hamilton
    January 14, 2010

    Tim,

    You missed the best title “Roy Spencer hides the incline”.

  13. #13 carrot eater
    January 14, 2010

    I’m with pough and then Stu. Different levels of smoothing are appropriate, depending on how interested you are in the short-term noise. So long as he isn’t using the moving average as exhibit A in some sort of stupid argument about cooling, it doesn’t much matter. Going into La Nina doesn’t mean global cooling, just as coming out into El Nino doesn’t mean global warming.

    What I don’t understand is why the crazies don’t look at the entire history, while they’re staring at the last few years. Can’t they see how much variability there is? They could have been saying the same junk multiple times over the years, and been wrong each time.

  14. #14 Jon
    January 14, 2010

    So Roy clearly labels what running average he is depicting and he is “hiding” the increase? No, the 25-month average is doing that, but Roy provided that piece of information. Anyone here think that a 13-month and 25 month running average will be the same? Mountains and molehiles are what I think after reading this post, right after laughing.

  15. #15 Hank Roberts
    January 14, 2010

    … declines to …
    … not inclined to ….

    But seriously, this would benefit from one o’ them tricky Javascript slider thingummies, like
    http://hot-topic.co.nz/keep-out-of-the-kitchen/

  16. #16 el gordo
    January 14, 2010

    ‘Hide the incline’, that’s quick.

    Can we all agree there has been no net warming over the past decade?

  17. #17 MapleLeaf
    January 14, 2010

    Tim et al.,

    ‘Hide the decline’ indeed!!

    Someone should also do an expose on Spencer’s latest blog posting in which he states that “global warming predictions are based more on faith than science”, and claims that climate sensitivity to doubling is going to be +1C. Hang on, have we not already warmed by almost +1C for a 40% increase sin CO2 from pre-industrial levels?

    This is preliminary, but Spencer’s own UAH MSU data are suggesting that, globally, January 2010 could be the second warmest January on record, despite the “onset of an ice age” in Europe and N. America (please read sarc). This, after November was the warmest November record (UAH MSU).

    Spencer has gone to the dark side, he is affiliated with the Heartland Inst. A Heartland Institute press release reads:

    “The International Climate Science Coalition announced in March that it is working with Roy W. Spencer, Ph.D., principal research scientist at the Earth System Science Center of the University of Alabama-Huntsville, to create a Climate Science Coalition of America focused on fostering public education about climate change science. Spencer has agreed to chair the coalition, and the international group will provide administrative support until the coalition is up and running on its own.”

    Now the name “Climate Science Coalition of America” (CSCA) sounds innocent and honorable enough. Well, yes, and so does “Friends of Science” (CSCA provide a link to them and other contrarian blogs/sites). Nope, just another astroturf group misrepresenting itself as “scientific” while at the same time attacking the science. What I found very interesting/telling is their “core principles” link. Their core “principles” are:

    1) Global climate is always changing in accordance with natural causes and recent changes are not unusual.

    2) Science is rapidly evolving away from the view that humanity’s emissions of carbon dioxide and other ‘greenhouse gases’ are a cause of dangerous climate change.

    3) Climate models used by the IPCC* fail to reproduce known past climates without manipulation and therefore lack the scientific integrity needed for use in climate prediction and related policy decision-making.

    4) The UN IPCC Summary for Policymakers and the assertions of IPCC executives too often seriously mis-represent the conclusions of their own scientific reports.

    5) Claims that “consensus” exists among climate experts regarding the causes of the modest warming of the past century are contradicted by thousands of independent scientists.

    6) Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant – it is a necessary reactant in plant photosynthesis and so is essential for life on Earth.

    7) Research that identifies the Sun as a major driver of the global climate system must be taken more seriously.

    8) Global cooling has presented serious problems for human society and the environment throughout history while global warming has generally been highly beneficial.

    9) It is not possible to reliably predict how climate will change in the future, beyond the certainty that multi-decadal warming and cooling trends, and abrupt changes, will all continue, underscoring a need for effective adaptation.

    10) Since science and observation have failed to show that human-caused carbon dioxide emissions are causing dangerous global warming, it is premature to consider introducing financial or regulatory schemes to attempt to limit ‘greenhouse gas’ emissions.

    ** I agree with them on #6. It is my understanding that the EPA had to do that so they could regulate CO2 emissions under US law– the EPA do not really consider CO2 to be a pollutant do they?

    Re #7 Gosh golly guys, thanks for pointing that out to us. Climate scientists have not considered the impact of variations in solar forcing on our climate, problem solved. Nope no Milankovitch cycles, no solar cycles considered…..OMG.

    Anyhow, Spencer’s recent diatribes (he recently compared AGW to an “Urban Legend’ on his blog) are now beginning to make sense. We have lost another formerly reputable scientist to the dark side.

  18. #18 Nathan Myers
    January 14, 2010

    MapleLeaf: Re #6, anything can be a pollutant if excessive amounts cause a problem. Is the Hg you micturate a pollutant? About the only thing that can’t be is water, and that only because nobody can emit enough. Noah’s contemporaries might have perceived a problem, for a while.

  19. #19 MapleLeaf
    January 14, 2010

    A denilaist here spouted the old myth about there being no warming the last 10 years. Please, how many times do we have to refute that myth! Read this:

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/12/07/riddle-me-this/

    Denialists, the MSU data have many problems (read the UAH MSU ‘README’ file).

    Regardless, those UAH MSU data also show warming between 2001 and 2009 (10-yrs). So, I do not agree that it has not warmed. The data, used by skeptics, clearly state otherwise. Don’t take my word for it, go and calc. the 10-yr trend line over at Woodfortrees.org.

    The RSS and RATPAC data show warming the past 10 years, as does NASA GISS.

  20. #20 pough
    January 14, 2010

    el gordo, you could try SPAM, baked beans and [warming](http://woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/last:120/plot/wti/last:120/trend). It’s not got much warming in it.

  21. #21 MapleLeaf
    January 14, 2010

    Nathan, I agree; for example, NaCl is essential for our bodies to survive, but I would not recommend eating a mug of the stuff! Perhaps what I should have said is that I do not agree that CO2 is a ‘contaminant’ in the typical sense of the word.

    Regardless, does it need to be regulated? IMO, yes. There is a very real cost to society and the environment associated with releasing huge amounts of CO2 into our atmosphere and until now we have chosen to ignore the cost associated with doing that. Just as we ignored the huge costs to society associated with smoking and consuming alcohol for too long.

  22. #22 Joseph
    January 14, 2010

    Hang on, have we not already warmed by almost +1C for a 40% increase sin CO2 from pre-industrial levels?

    In the early 1700s, the average temperature anomaly was about -0.44C, based on the NH/SH average of the Mann et al. (2008) reconstruction. In the late 1700s, after the industrial revolution first broke out, it was about -0.34C. The record temp in HadCRUT3 is 0.546C. So yes, that’s very close to a 1C difference.

    Additionally, there’s some “warming in the pipeline,” which Dr. Hansen estimates at 0.6C.

  23. #23 sod
    January 14, 2010

    Can we all agree there has been no net warming over the past decade?

    no.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/data/gistemp/last:120/plot/gistemp/last:120/trend

  24. #24 carrot eater
    January 14, 2010

    Regarding the zombie argument about the last 10 years: I wouldn’t overstate the case the other way, either. Given the relative amplitudes of signal and noise, it’s difficult to say anything conclusive about a trend measured over ten years, taken in isolation. All you can say is that the period is consistent with expectations.

    Regarding CO2 being a pollutant: Different people may use ‘pollutant’ in different ways, but in the legal context it is defined by the Clean Air Act, and the Supreme Court has decided that the shoe fits.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts_v._Environmental_Protection_Agency

  25. #25 carrot eater
    January 14, 2010

    Let me try that URL again.

    [CO2 is a pollutant, so far as the Clean Air Act is concerned](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massachusetts_v._Environmental_Protection_Agency)

  26. #26 Paul Murray
    January 14, 2010

    By that reasoning, salt is not a pollutant either. Of course, some farmers with inland salinity problems might disagree.

  27. #27 Bernard J.
    January 14, 2010

    [Mapleleaf](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/01/roy_spencer_hides_the_increase.php#comment-2204831).

    If one considers, amongst other things:

    1. the negative impacts that significantly increased atmopsheric CO2 has on the nutrient content of many plants, and on the subsequent ecological sequelæ
    2. the impact that significantly increased atmopsheric CO2 has on many plants’ ecological competitiveness/functionality
    3. the impact that significantly increased atmopsheric CO2 has on ocean pH

    one is forced to admit that CO2 is a pollutant, at concentrations to which the biosphere is not adapted.

  28. #28 MapleLeaf
    January 14, 2010

    Please don’t get me wrong, I agree that we need to urgently reduce GHG emissions, primarily CO2– b/c that will lead to higher levels of CH4 though positive feedbacks.

    There seem to be a number of definitions out there as to what exactly constitutes a pollutant and under which conditions and concentrations that point is reached, and that is causing confusion.

    Anyhow, thanks to all for giving some reasons to counter the infamous “CO2 is not a pollutant it is plant food” next time I encounter a denier. I point out that all the CO2 in the world is not going to help if soil moisture reaches its permanent wilting point, or if the plant experiences heat stress (even if soil moisture is abundant).

    I’m glad Bernard J brought up the problem of lowering the oceans’ pH– that is going to be a big one.

    In other “happy” news, just read over at New Scientist that researchers are concerned that the Pine Island Glacier (PIG) in the WAIS has recently exceeded a tipping point. In part b/c of an increase in ocean levels.

  29. #29 MapleLeaf
    January 14, 2010

    Clarification. I said “Please don’t get me wrong, I agree that we need to urgently reduce GHG emissions, primarily CO2– b/c that will lead to higher levels of CH4 though positive feedbacks.”

    I meant higher levels of CO2 will lead to higher CH4 though positive feedbacks (e.g., from melting permafrost)– so we need to reduce CO2 emissions to reduce the amount of warming.

  30. #30 Brian Schmidt
    January 14, 2010

    Just getting my predictions in now:

    1. Spencer will try this trick again, this year. Maybe in 6 months he’ll switch to a 31-month average. It will give him a little more time before the warming trend hits everyone over the head, although it becomes less effective as he uses longer averages.

    2. Bolt won’t notice, again.

  31. #31 Bernard J.
    January 14, 2010

    Mapleleaf.

    Jeff Harvey, myself, and a number of others on Deltoid have, on a number of occasions, linked to a wide array of primary literature that demonstrates various negative impacts of excessive CO2 on plant physiology and on ecological functions. Unfortunately I have no bookmarks for the links, and they are not jumping out at me on a cursory search of Deltoid’s pages.

    Perhaps someone else here might be able to place a finger on relevant postings?

  32. #32 MapleLeaf
    January 14, 2010

    Thanks Bernard. Don’t fret if you can’t find them.

  33. #33 Tim Lambert
    January 14, 2010

    I’ve updated the post with Spencer’s earlier fourth degree fit.

  34. #34 Kevin Johnstone
    January 14, 2010

    Tim (& Gavin) thanks for the reminders of Spencer’s previous presentaions. His desperate re-jigging of his smoothing to keep the endpoint as low as possible is transparent but sadly representative of his recent work. Whatever credibility he once had, has been gone for some time now.

  35. #35 carrot eater
    January 14, 2010

    Wow. A fourth order poly fit? That isn’t dishonest; it’s just incompetent. The sort of thing you learn not to do as a freshman in undergrad, if not high school.

  36. #36 Bernard J.
    January 14, 2010

    [Carrot eater](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/01/roy_spencer_hides_the_increase.php#comment-2205289).

    Wow. A fourth order poly fit? That isn’t dishonest; it’s just incompetent. The sort of thing you learn not to do as a freshman in undergrad, if not high school.

    You may have missed it, but believe it or not there have been [worse](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/01/sixth-degree_polynomial_fits_j.php).

  37. #37 David irving (no relation)
    January 14, 2010

    He probably stopped using the 4th order polynomial fit because he got mocked to within an inch of his life here (and other places).

    I don’t think it’s incompetence, carrot eater, otherwise he would have stuick with it. It’s staggering intellectual dishonesty.

  38. #38 carrot eater
    January 14, 2010

    Sixth order? Oh dear. Sounds like a village idiot somewhere just learned how to use Excel.

    As for Spencer, whatever it is, it’s the sort of thing that loses you credibility.

  39. #39 David Kane
    January 14, 2010

    1) I agree that a fourth degree polynomial is stupid.

    2) Assume that your null hypothesis is that global temperature has followed a random walk over the last 30+ years. Is there anything in this data that would lead you to reject that null? Not that I can see . . .

    What statistical tests would folks suggest?

  40. #40 stewart
    January 14, 2010

    David, a simple linear regression would do it. Or, comparison of 5 year blocks for a linear trend. Both do the trick nicely. (oops, I said trick, I meant job, or work, or some other term that wouldn’t offend the hypersensitive). Alternatively, we could look at forcings in the historical record, remove them, and see what we get. WWTD?
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/12/31/exogenous-factors/#more-2150
    (What Would Tamino Do?)

  41. #41 t_p_hamilton
    January 14, 2010

    David Kane tries to get mathy:”2) Assume that your null hypothesis is that global temperature has followed a random walk over the last 30+ years. Is there anything in this data that would lead you to reject that null? Not that I can see . . .”

    The mean of a 1-D random walk is zero. This data ain’t even close to zero slope. You let a 1-D random walk go longer, it has no effect on the result of an expected mean of zero. The more points in the graph, say GISTEMP for 100 years, the stronger the signal is.

    A proper null hypotheses would account for known influences. Tamino shows that by accounting for exogenous factors of volcanic forcing and El Nino/La Nina, then you only need 10 years to establish a trend in the recent climate data. Even the last 10 years of “cooling”. The result is that 2009, after these factors are accounted for, is the “hottest year” yet.

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/12/31/exogenous-factors/

  42. #42 dhogaza
    January 15, 2010

    2) Assume that your null hypothesis is that global temperature has followed a random walk over the last 30+ years. Is there anything in this data that would lead you to reject that null? Not that I can see . . .

    Yeah, so you’re blind …

    What statistical tests would folks suggest?

    What statistical test did you apply that leads you to believe that the fact that this decade’s warmer than the last, and the last warmer than the one before it, is a “random walk”?

    It’s more like a walk by someone being pushed by a 100 mph wind to the warmward side…

  43. #43 el gordo
    January 15, 2010

    A rumor is circulating that the NCDC and GISS have been caught improperly manipulating data to make 2005 ‘the warmest year on record’.

    http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=30000

    Lucia says that Monckton tweaks the IPCC AR4 projections to ‘obtain higher trends than those communicated to the public…by the IPCC Report.’ Sounds like a trick to me.

  44. #44 Dappledwater
    January 15, 2010

    A rumor is circulating that the NCDC and GISS have been caught improperly manipulating data to make 2005 ‘the warmest year on record’. – The Fat One

    Hell, if it were that easy, why not do it every year?. Why piss arse around?.

  45. #45 jakerman
    January 15, 2010

    el gordo,

    Your latest off-topic propaganda belongs either [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/open_thread_37.php) or more suitably [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/new_zealand_climate_science_co.php).

    Spamming threads does not improve your argument, and is [not appropriate](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/01/the_australians_war_on_science_43.php#comment-2202904) attention seeking behavior.

  46. #46 el gordo
    January 15, 2010

    Phil Jones said in an email dated 21 Feb 2005: ‘The sceptics seem to be building up a head of steam here. Maybe we can use this to our advantage to get the series updated. Odd idea to update the proxies with satellite estimates of the lower troposphere rather than surface data.’

    Odd idea?

    For Christ’s sake Janet, I’m an unemployed journalist. ‘Attention seeking behavior’ is not my style.

  47. #47 Michael Ralston
    January 15, 2010

    Evidence suggests otherwise, gordo.

  48. #48 JBowers
    January 15, 2010

    To Mapleleaf: “Jeff Harvey, myself, and a number of others on Deltoid have, on a number of occasions, linked to a wide array of primary literature that demonstrates various negative impacts of excessive CO2 on plant physiology and on ecological functions. Unfortunately I have no bookmarks for the links, and they are not jumping out at me on a cursory search of Deltoid’s pages.

    Perhaps someone else here might be able to place a finger on relevant postings?”

    Here’s one on the 3 year Stanford experiment:
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/12/021206075233.htm
    “Climate Change Surprise: High Carbon Dioxide Levels Can Retard Plant Growth, Study Reveals
    ScienceDaily (Dec. 6, 2002) “

  49. #49 sod
    January 15, 2010

    A rumor is circulating that the NCDC and GISS have been caught improperly manipulating data to make 2005 ‘the warmest year on record’.

    wattsup has links to that TV show. it is horrible. Coleman doesn t have the slightest clue. you don t need to watch more than two minutes. (“Co2 warming is a myth”)

  50. #50 Dan R
    January 15, 2010

    The official page for Spencer and Christy’s data set is [here](http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.2).

    To my knowledge, (unlike NASA, NOAA, Hadley, and RSS), no official graphic of the UAH data is available, which is why people need to rely on Spencer’s blog, and whatever statistical analysis he decides he likes best in any given month.

    It’s important to remember though that the official page, linked to above, includes a long term linear decadal trend, clearly published at the bottom of the data table. According to the UAH data set, the long term linear trend for warming of the lower troposhpere is 0.127K per decade.

    John Christy acknowledges this warming as much in [this footage](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEv_72VmJTk&feature=related), where he states the following: (2:15)

    “I am writing the American Meteorlogical Society’s report on upper air temperatures, I have seven data sets in there. Turns out they’re all very, very close together. So the planet is warming about 0.14oC per decade right now.” – Feb 2009.

  51. #51 Dan R
    January 15, 2010

    The official page for Spencer and Christy’s data set is [here](http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.2).

    To my knowledge, (unlike NASA, NOAA, Hadley, and RSS), no official graphic of the UAH data is available, which is why people need to rely on Spencer’s blog, and whatever statistical analysis he decides he likes best in any given month.

    It’s important to remember though that the official page, linked to above, includes a long term linear decadal trend, clearly published at the bottom of the data table. According to the UAH data set, the long term linear trend for warming of the lower troposhpere is 0.127K per decade.

    John Christy acknowledges this warming as much in [this footage](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEv_72VmJTk&feature=related), where he states the following: (2:15)

    “I am writing the American Meteorlogical Society’s report on upper air temperatures, I have seven data sets in there. Turns out they’re all very, very close together. So the planet is warming about 0.14oC per decade right now.” – Feb 2009.

  52. #52 sod
    January 15, 2010

    if you really want to force yourself to watch a part of the coleman “weather” show, look a t part 4.

    http://www.kusi.com/weather/colemanscorner/81559212.html

    A computer programmer named E. Michael Smith and a Certified Consulting Meteorologist named Joseph D’Aleo join the program to tell us about their breakthrough investigation into the manipulations of data at the NASA Goddard Science and Space Institute at Columbia University in New York and the NOAA National Climate Data Center in Ashville, North Carolina.

    like in my first discussion with Smith, i can t get rid of the feeling that he doesn t understand the grid approach to global temperature at all.

    the good agreement with satellite data basically kills their case.

    but when have facts bothered denialists?

  53. #53 carrot eater
    January 15, 2010

    [sod](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/01/roy_spencer_hides_the_increase.php#comment-2205924)

    “the good agreement with satellite data basically kills their case. ”

    Which means they’ll eventually turn on their own, and go after the UAH record. Oh wait, Monckton already did.

    WUWT put up a copy of Spencer’s response to the Monckton statements, and when I looked, in 60 some comments, only 2 people even addressed the question of why their hero-Lord was spreading information that is easily shown to be wrong. One of them was chiming in to claim that his Lord never said such a thing in the first place.

  54. #54 Eli Rabett
    January 15, 2010

    Oh yeah, Eli got a stub up on the Coleman stuff, it’s not even retreads, and the “programmer” is a FORTRAN fossil who truncates the station temperatures back to integer rather than rounding them, or keeping the actual precision which would be even more mathematically.

    They got the news release spread over the world. We need to go out and stomp on this latest idiocy in short pithy words wherever it shows up.

    Ignorance accumulates unless you trash it.

  55. #55 MapleLeaf
    January 15, 2010

    @48 Thanks JBowers.

  56. #56 MapleLeaf
    January 15, 2010

    Coleman, another aging curmudgeon.

    Good grief, and no disrespect to reasonable grey-haired scientists/professionals and people posting here. But just what the hell is it with grey haired men and denialism about AGW?

    I just love the hypocrisy, Coleman et al. using lies, faulty data manipulation and distortion to refute alleged “lies, manipulation and distortion” by NASA. Also an example of Dunnnig-Kruger gone wild.

    I agree with Eli, enough is enough. These guys needs to have a severe rapping of the knuckles, and that is putting it very politely.

    PS: How much were Smith and D’Aleo paid for said ‘work’? Or did they do it out of the “goodness of their heart” and for the “pursuit of truth”. This move by Coleman is beginning to smack of the fabricated “swiftboat” scandal.

  57. #57 dhogaza
    January 15, 2010

    Coleman, another aging curmudgeon.
    Good grief, and no disrespect to reasonable grey-haired scientists/professionals and people posting here. But just what the hell is it with grey haired men and denialism about AGW?

    Just to be clear, Coleman’s not a gray-haired scientist, he’s got a journalism degree, it seems. One more degree than Watts, but not one in any science, not even meteorology.

    EM Smith is an idiot.

  58. #58 FB
    January 15, 2010

    Spencer seems to be, er, “selective” in how he presents things to the public.

    I attended his AGU talk in December. He got two harsh critiques afterward. One of them raised the point that his results go away if you use a more realistic model (the RealClimate objection, IIRC). Spencer responded by saying he didn’t claim to be able to estimate feedbacks correctly, that he was just merely calling attention to a neglected issue that should be accounted for (stochastic forcing).

    Um, no. He has made some rather strong claims that climate sensitivity is likely lower than IPCC estimates. He can’t dodge criticism by claiming he’s not producing feedback estimates. If you want to make that kind of claim, your quantitative estimates of feedback strength and how you get them absolutely do matter.

    Then he went to his blog and posted about how the critiques at AGU were “weak” (no details given), followed by a self-congratulatory list of people who likws his talk. (He also said that there were “only a few” objections to his presentation, without noting that there was only time for two direct responses and both were objections. I suppose he’s counting the fact that nobody came up to argue with him after the session, but that hardly constitutes an endorsement of his work.)

  59. #59 MapleLeaf
    January 15, 2010

    Dhogaza, I really do need to write more clearly. I did not even suspect for a nanosecond that Coleman is a scientists or even has a relevant degree. Sorry for the confusion. I was trying my best not to offend grey-haired reasonable scientists/professionals who post here.

    Dhogaza, I really enjoy your candid posts and efforts to knock some sense into blathering idiots. Everyone is complaining about the gross misinformation in the media, but I do not see anyone taking the likes of Coleman to task. That is, hitting them with some kind of official complaint. I’m not condoning harassment or a witch hunt like those at ClimateFraudit engage in, but if we do not get more proactive and aggressive with these nutters they will win the PR war. I would do something but my moniker shows what my nationality is, so I can do squat when it comes to US litigation or filing official complaints to press councils or the relevant ombudsmen.

  60. #60 MapleLeaf
    January 15, 2010

    FB@ 58 ” I suppose he’s counting the fact that nobody came up to argue with him after the session,”

    They probably reckoned that they were wasting their time. Have you read Spencer’s latest blog posting FB? Unbelievable; it reads like something Monckton would write. Also, read my post at #17 where I list the core “principles’ of the CSCA, the group with which Spencer is affiliated.

    Unless, there is a dramatic downturn in the MSU temps in the second half of this month, Spencer’s 4th order polynomial fit to the data is going to look especially bad for January. The divergence will be huge.

  61. #61 dhogaza
    January 15, 2010

    Dhogaza, I really do need to write more clearly. I did not even suspect for a nanosecond that Coleman is a scientists or even has a relevant degree. Sorry for the confusion. I was trying my best not to offend grey-haired reasonable scientists/professionals who post here.

    Ahh, OK, many assume that TV meteorologists have at least a BS in the discipline, and to get certified today you need one (or “equivalent experience”, but I’m sure most/nearly all get some sort of meteo/broadcast journalism degree at least). Older TV weather forecasters found it easy to get certified without degrees (thus Watts).

    I would do something but my moniker shows what my nationality is, so I can do squat when it comes to US litigation or filing official complaints to press councils or the relevant ombudsmen.

    First Amendment rights make it far more difficult to litigate here in the US – remember (or learn, if you’ve not heard it before) that Fox one a lawsuit which in essence ruled that news organizations are under no legal obligation to tell the truth.

    Standards for broadcast news are higher, since in essence they’re licensing part of the public radio spectrum, and have to agree to certain restrictions in order to do so.

    (in other words, there’s a reason that Faux News is on cable)

    As far as press councils or the like … good luck with that :(

  62. #62 MapleLeaf
    January 15, 2010

    Dhogaza, thanks for the insight. Yes, I am somewhat familiar with first amendment rights in the USA. I was hoping that there was a flip side to that. The USA after all has quite the reputation for lawsuits of very kind, surely a good lawyer could find a loophole…..

    Re Faux news, OMG. For crying out loud is there no justice in the world today?!

    As a prominent climate scientists recently told me– “we are fooked”. Well, maybe not ‘we’ so much as our children and their children.

  63. #63 carrot eater
    January 15, 2010

    As I’ve said before, trying to get these people in legal or professional trouble is misguided – and it makes you look bad, as they can try to claim they’re being persecuted.

    Just forcefully respond when you see stupidity. That’s all. We all benefit from free speech.

  64. #64 ScaredAmoeba
    January 15, 2010

    Re: 31 Bernard & 32 Mapleleaf,

    I’m not sure these are the ones Bernard was thinking of, but here are some that I found:

    Taub, Daniel R.; *Miller, Brian and *Allen, Holly (2008). Effects of elevated CO2 on the protein concentration of food crops: a meta-analysis.
    Global Change Biology 14: 565-575.

    Growth and nutritive value of cassava (Manihot esculenta
    Cranz.) are reduced when grown in elevated CO2
    RoslynM.Gleadow 1, John R. Evans2, Stephanie McCaffery2 & Timothy R. Cavagnaro2,3
    Plant Biology ISSN 1435-8603
    http://www.biolsci.monash.edu.au/staff/gleadow/docs/gleadow-2009-cassava-online.pdf

    Changes in Nutritional Value of Cyanogenic Trifolium repens
    Grown at Elevated Atmospheric CO2
    RoslynM.Gleadow & Everard J.Edwards & John R. Evans
    J Chem Ecol (2009) 35:476–478
    DOI 10.1007/s10886-009-9617-5
    http://www.biolsci.monash.edu.au/staff/gleadow/docs/2009-clover-cg-co2.pdf

    Hope this was the sort of thing you were hoping for.

    Tim, Apologies for the O.T. post.

  65. #65 MapleLeaf
    January 15, 2010

    Carrot, I was expecting to hear you respond on this matter. We have had this discussion on other threads. Quite honestly, I do not care how the denialists perceive my actions, whether those actions be at a scientific level or legal. I’ve tried setting the record straight and it a) gets incredibly tiresome b) one can’t address all the misinformation c) it does not prevent them fro doing it again. Sometimes one has to fight fire with fire to get justice– these guys are counting on the fact that we will not be aggressive. Do you not see that? Besides, who cares what they think, they twist and distort regardless of what one does.

    Also, I’m not sure we benefit from free speech very much when the likes of Pat Robertson is free to state that Haitians are being punished for “making a pact with the devil”. Free speech has its good points, but it also has an ugly, ugly downside. People should have good reason to think twice about what they say in public. My American friends might disagree with that statement, but that is how many others around the world see it; and no, it has nothing to do with stifling free speech. Free speech comes with a lot of responsibility, or at least, it should, otherwise it is just abused.

    Anyhow, this is way OT, so best to move on.

  66. #66 dhogaza
    January 15, 2010

    For crying out loud is there no justice in the world today?!

    Serious question … was there justice in the world yesterday? :)

    The USA after all has quite the reputation for lawsuits of very kind, surely a good lawyer could find a loophole…..

    Perhaps, but I’m doubtful … also, mostly they’re putting forth their crap as *opinion*, which is very strongly protected here in the US. After all, if someone says “I think climate science is fraudulent”, it’s probably a true statement. However, when someone says “Climate science is a fraud”, they’re on weaker grounds (unless placed on a newspaper’s opinion page, which by definition is opinion). So, especially under UK law, I should think the publisher of “Bishop Hill”‘s new book which is being advertised as detailing the fraud (as though it’s an established fact) could get someone in trouble.

    Carrot eater:

    they can try to claim they’re being persecuted.

    They already do, that’s why they can’t get jobs as climate scientists or published in journals, remember?

    The difference being that having lost a libel lawsuit, they’d be making that claim with less money in the ‘ole bank account. Attacks on the ‘ole pocketbook can have a chilling effect.

    But, it won’t happen here. Libel’s nearly impossible to win.

    Oh, and if they ever catch the person who cracked the CRU server, when he (most likely) is put on trial, they’ll make similar “persecution” claims. Should the UK authorities not try the cracker because of this?

  67. #67 dhogaza
    January 15, 2010

    I’ve got a response hung up in moderation (which is unusual here, I wonder what word tripped it?). Maybe Tim will free it. (free my post! the denialsphere can’t function without it! :)

    Free speech comes with a lot of responsibility, or at least, it should, otherwise it is just abused.

    Well, the principle holds here in the US that your freedom to swing your fist stops at the point where it touches my nose. But the emphasis is strongly on the freedom to swing that fist, and proving harm is very difficult in practice here when it comes to libel.

  68. #68 carrot eater
    January 15, 2010

    “Libel’s nearly impossible to win.”

    I feel strongly that this is how it should be.

    If certain venues continue to spout nonsense, despite being shown it is nonsense, that’s up to them. People with any sense will view them as the National Enquirer, or somesuch. If some people are inclined to believe them anyway, that can’t be helped. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t force it to not be an idiot.

  69. #69 el gordo
    January 15, 2010

    The GISS manipulation will take some proving, but everyone is doing their best.

    http://www.rockyhigh66.org/stuff/USHCN_revisions_wisconsin.htm

  70. #70 John Mashey
    January 15, 2010

    1) Someone with the time and skill. 13 months and 25 months seem like arbitrary numbers, the same reasoning that led me to do SLOPE charts of HADCrut, 5, 10, 15, 30 years, but even better would have been an interactive version with a slider bar that let you play with the interval.

    2) I’d love to see something like that for this data.

    3) And as for libel of scientists,people may know of Ben Santer, attacked strongly by Fred Seitz & co, via Wall Street Journal. (And Wikipedia understates it, I know some more history).

    Google: ben santer climate criminal

    I know other climate scientist who’ve gotten threats of physical harm, hate-mail, and threatening phone calls.
    I just heard yesterday from a reliable source that (recently):

    Ben heard noise downstairs, went down and opened front door, saw an SUV speeding away, and found an eviscerated rat on his doorstep.

    I do invite people to learn more about British libel law… It will likely get modified somewhat, but it is rather plaintiff-friendly.

  71. #71 cohenite
    January 16, 2010

    An eviscerated rat; how unimaginative; wouldn’t a rat in a cage have been more appropriate? Poor Ben. As to your graphs; do you think the 30 year smoothing best represents the temperature history?

  72. #72 sod
    January 16, 2010

    cohenite, that graph does not show, what you think it shows.

  73. #73 cohenite
    January 16, 2010

    What do you think I think it shows sod?

  74. #74 sod
    January 16, 2010

    you thought it showed a “temperature history”.

  75. #75 cohenite
    January 16, 2010

    Well spotted sod; would a ‘temperature trend’ please you?

  76. #76 sod
    January 16, 2010

    great, you managed to figure this out. (sorry, but your use of terms “smoothing”, “temperature history” show your error. no need to hide this pal!)

    now you can perhaps answer your own question:

    do the 30 year slopes give better information than the 5 year ones?

  77. #77 cohenite
    January 16, 2010

    For measuring this, yes;

    http://cses.washington.edu/cig/figures/pdoindex_big.gif

    For measuring UAH and whether there is a pipeline potential this may be better;

    http://landshape.org/enm/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/3polyglobals.png

  78. #78 carrot eater
    January 16, 2010

    El gordo: Since you’re so taken by the cold snap, you must think January will be historically cold, no? At the very least, you should think that the global temp anomaly would be negative compared to GISS’s or CRU’s baseline, no? Want to make a bet on those terms?

  79. #79 sod
    January 16, 2010

    For measuring UAH and whether there is a pipeline potential this may be better; http://landshape.org/enm/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/3polyglobals.png

    i don t really dare to ask, but what sort of polynomial did you fit???

  80. #80 Tim Lambert
    January 16, 2010

    That looks like a cubic to me.

  81. #81 TrueSceptic
    January 16, 2010

    17 MapleLeaf,

    When has Spencer not been on the “dark side”?

  82. #82 TrueSceptic
    January 16, 2010

    19 MapleLeaf,

    2001-2009 inclusive is 9 years and gives a downward trend. 2000-2009 inclusive is 10 years and gives an [upward trend](http://woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/plot/uah/from:2000/trend/plot/uah/from:2001/trend)

  83. #83 TrueSceptic
    January 16, 2010

    66 dhogaza,

    This is not about science, but look how often people win when they take action against s**t spreaders like [The Daily Mail](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daily_Mail#Libel_lawsuits). Look how trivial some of those are, yet libelled scientists just let them get away with it.

  84. #84 TrueSceptic
    January 16, 2010

    70 John,

    See my link about libel in ‘The Daily Mail’.

  85. #85 jules
    January 16, 2010

    Spencer answers on his own site : Is Spencer hiding the increse ?

    (…) on the latest update, I switched from 13 months to a running 25 month average instead. It is this last change which has led to accusations that I am hiding the increase in global temperatures. Well, here’s a plot with both running averages in addition to the monthly data. I’ll let you decide whether I have been hiding anything:

    [the two graphs, overlaid on eachother]

    Note how the new 25-month smoother minimizes the warm 1998 temperature spike, which is the main reason why I switched to the longer averaging time. If anything, this ‘hides the decline’ since 1998…something I feared I would be accused of for sure after I posted the December update.

    But just the opposite has happened, with accusations I have hidden the increase. Go figure.

    Of course Spencer doesn’t say antything about the effect the switch has on the end side of the graph.

    And if he *really* feared to be “accused” of something as he is writing, giving an explanation for the switch would’ve been a logical thing to do. At least that’s what i would do if i would fear to be misunderstood.

  86. #86 carrot eater
    January 16, 2010

    “Of course Spencer doesn’t say antything about the effect the switch has on the end side of the graph.”

    It’s meaningless, either way, so it really isn’t worth worrying about.

  87. #87 sod
    January 16, 2010

    If anything, this ‘hides the decline’ since 1998…something I feared I would be accused of for sure after I posted the December update.

    this is just stupid. why would any reasonable person worry about an attack based on a completely irrelevant cherrypick?

    the main problem here also is the “sceptic” blogosphere. they simply ignored this shift. like everything that supports their point of view.

  88. #88 TrueSceptic
    January 16, 2010

    87 sod,

    What I don’t get is that no one has commented on how much it removes the winter 2007/8 trough. I think that it’s an improvement overall, and any effect on the end of the graph (“now”) will soon change as time goes on.

  89. #89 dhogaza
    January 16, 2010

    This is not about science, but look how often people win when they take action against s**t spreaders like The Daily Mail. Look how trivial some of those are, yet libelled scientists just let them get away with it.

    Yes, but that’s the UK, not the US. I was speaking of winning libel cases in the US (thus the First Amendment bit).

    Winning libel suits in the UK is easier than in any other of the countries whose legal system is rooted in the english legal tradition, in particular, the United States. I think it’s fair to say that it’s harder in the US than in any country in that class (I know nothing of libel law in countries whose legal roots lie in the French or other systems). In other words, the UK and US lie at opposite ends of the spectrum in regard to winning libel suits.

  90. #90 MapleLeaf
    January 16, 2010

    TrueSceptic, @81 and 82. Yes, I can’t count– thanks for pointing that out. I must have used 2000-2009, b/c I got a positive trend.

    Re Spencer, you may be right. Perhaps he is just getting more and more vocal– I’m relatively new to the AGW “debate”. Anyhow, he has certainly become more vocal and unreasonable since working with CSCA and Heartland.

    He has not provided a satisfactory answer to questions as to why he decided to change the averaging scheme now. He has, to my knowledge, not used a 25 month avg. before has he? An what is the physical basis for a 25-month average, if any? I can’t think of any reason for using a 25 month avg. for these type of data.

  91. #91 TrueSceptic
    January 16, 2010

    89 dhogaza,

    I know. I was following up on your mention of Montford’s book and the possibility of action in the UK.

  92. #92 el gordo
    January 16, 2010

    CE: January probably won’t be historically cold, while February is traditionally the coldest month and this one will be a shocker.

    The public don’t understand the science and aren’t interested anyway, so showing graphs of anomalies won’t have much of an impact in the heat of an election.

    Public perceptions about the weather will determine election outcomes and I’m confident this UK Spring will be cool and wet.

  93. #93 cohenite
    January 16, 2010

    It is indeed a cubic and the point of using it is basically the same as Spencer’s for changing from a 13 to a 25 month smoothing; Spencer wanted to deemphasise the 1998 spike and to reveal any other longer term variations; a 25 month smoothing would tend to deemphasise ENSO as it is shorter than 25 months; he has made it plain he did not intend to mask the recent upturn in late 2009.

    People tend to use what ever statistical tool will best manifest whatever point they are seeking to make; the 3rd poly for instance is useful if you want to demonstrate that there are 2 fluctuations, valleys or hill, in the data. it is arguable that between 1976 and 2010 there were 2 phase shifts in PDO and therefore 2 breaks in the temperature ‘trend'; the 3rd order poly of the SST, land and atmospheric temperature shows that that is likely and the similar trends also shows that there is not any stored heat left in the system.

    I’m not sure why Spencer would use a 4th order poly though although it does look nice.

  94. #94 dhogaza
    January 16, 2010

    I know. I was following up on your mention of Montford’s book and the possibility of action in the UK.

    Ah, OK. I’d love to see the hammer drop in the UK on these turds.

  95. #95 MapleLeaf
    January 16, 2010

    Cohenite @93 “Spencer wanted to deemphasise the 1998 spike and to reveal any other longer term variations; a 25 month smoothing would tend to deemphasise ENSO as it is shorter than 25 months; he has made it plain he did not intend to mask the recent upturn in late 2009″

    He has known, of course, about the 1997-1998 El Nino since it happened, why only change now? It took him that long to figure out that a 25- month avg. would be appropriate? I do not buy it; it is more likely that he has changed the avg. for the reasons stated by Tim, and as any credible scientists would do, he would have announced what he had done and explained why. It is easy to try and concoct an excuse/reason (as he did in this case) after the fact.

  96. #96 TrueSceptic
    January 16, 2010

    92 el gordo,

    Where is February “traditionally the coldest month”, and how do you know it will be a “shocker”?

  97. #97 el gordo
    January 16, 2010

    TS: I don’t have the latest super computer, but the agricultural records of Britain are a better guide as to what is going on. It is traditionally colder in February after a buildup of snow and ice from the previous months.

    There are cycles within cycles and 2010 will be cooler than average, but the UK Met predicts ‘it is more likely than not that 2010 will be the warmest year in the instrumental record.’

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2009/pr20091210b.html

    We both can’t be right.

  98. #98 Stu
    January 16, 2010

    El Gordo,

    If the snow was still on the ground I’d agree, it’s been keeping daytime temps very close to freezing despite airmasses that would usually lead to 5-6C daily maxima. But now the snow in the UK has melted except over the hills and mountains (it mostly melted yesterday). If you’re referring to other parts of the globe too, well the US plains are have had a big warmup, with a Chinook ‘eating’ the snow in Canada too. Interesting forecast anomaly plot here: http://wxmaps.org/pix/temp2.html

    Now of course this is weather, and may well have little bearing on Feb’s temps. It’s also regional. Is Feb going to be ‘shocking’ only in the NH land masses, or globally, in your opinion?

    More to the point, why did you suddenly switch from talking about the UK for February to the whole globe for 2010?

  99. #99 MapleLeaf
    January 16, 2010

    Re92 & 97:

    “I don’t have the latest super computer”
    Do you even have an old supercomputer?

    “There are cycles within cycles”
    You could not be any more vague if you tried.

    “There are cycles within cycles and 2010 will be cooler than average”
    Globally? In the UK? Did you say the same about 2009 (which was warmer than average)?

    The UK met office is talking globally, and you seem to be talking about the UK. What happens in the UK has very little, if any, bearing on global SAT anomalies. Two recent examples, January 2010 globally will be above average (the AMSU lower trop and near surface temps so far this month are the highest on record), and globally, December 2009 was well above average as well.

    Someone is using the same tactic as Watts to single out every single cold weather outbreak or cool spell over a region to to deceive others into thinking that the globe is cooling. According to NASA GISS 2009 was the second warmest on record, and according to NCDC it was the fifth warmest, and according to JMA it was the third warmest on record. You should got o Hansen’s web page and read his latest report.

    “Public perceptions about the weather will determine election outcomes and I’m confident this UK Spring will be cool and wet.”
    Alas for you, people in the UK are more worldly and educated than you would like for them to be. Besides, you are getting pretty desperate if you are hedging your bets on people being ignorant. Well, at least you are being honest about that.

  100. #100 TrueSceptic
    January 16, 2010

    97 el gordo,

    The UK is not the whole world. You didn’t answer my question.

    But anyway, I’m a Brit and I refer you to the CET. You’ll find that Jan and Feb are about equally likely to be coldest.

    And snow stopped being a yearly regular here in the 80s.

    WTF is “cycles within cycles”? Another of your fantasies?

    Wanna bet on 2010?

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