Putting the Nazi boot on the other foot!
This evening I replied to a post by Ray Ladbury at Real Climate regarding his comments on whether the data used in climate research is tainted or not. He implied that the data is pristine and beyond reproach. His comment can be found by clicking on the following link: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/cru-hack-more-context/comment-page-3/#comment-146514
My reply was, that in the case of the CRU data products , one cannot determine whether the data are tainted or not as the original raw data provided by world Meteorological agencies had been discarded in a move to the new CRU building ostensibly to save space. I stated that there is not audit trail from any of their data products back to the raw data. Can you believe that?! So I described the data control and management by the CRU as a dog’s breakfast (a not too insulting comment) and that CRU is too incompetent to be placed in charge of a repository of the world’s weather station data.
Apparently, these comments were too much for Gavin Schmidt and he deleted my post from the moderation queue. It appears that the team are very sensitive to the data issue and they will brook no criticism. You really do know when you are getting close to the jugular with these people because they moderate you out of existence. Of course this is common for RC, Climate Progress, and Open Mind as well as most other alarmist blog sites.
Thin skins indeed!!!
Today, a new post by Grant Foster (Tamino) has looked at the claim that some have declared that global warming has stopped since 1998. He titled his thread “Embarrassing Questions”. This would have to be one of the poorest threads that this unabashed disciple to global warming has produced. Not because of the statistics (which are ok despite his lack of rigour in not using monthly data), but because of what he had to say about Senator Steve Fielding and one of his advisors Dr. Bob Carter.
Foster claims that Steve Fielding is a fellow “denier” of Bob Carter. Fielding was neutral on this issue until now. The fact is the Steve Fielding (who happens to be a scientist in his own right) is probably the only politician in Canberra (Australia) to actually come from a position of blind belief of global warming to one of informed decision by actually finding out for himself, from both sides of the debate, the state of play with regard to global warming. What Foster does not tell you, is that Fielding when he visited the US he also sought advice from President Obama’s climate change advisors. He was summarily ignored (such is the arrogance of these AGW people).
Fielding met with Australian climate change minister Penny Wong to have three questions on global warming answered. Accompanying him were four scientists; Dr. Bob Carter, Stewart Franks, David Evans and Robert Kinninmonth. With Ms Wong were Australia’s chief scientist Penny Sackett and the head of the Australian National University’s Climate Change Institute, Will Steffen. As the questions were put and discussed, the result was that minister Wong and her advisors had to retire and prepare a formal written reply as they could not answer the questions immediately. So much for easy to dismiss and amateurish questions that Foster implies they are. If the chief scientists and a boss of a climate change institute could not dismiss them summarily then I think Foster has no chance of doing so.
Foster denigrates Carter in particular and cites his and others document in answer to Minister Wong’s replies. Most of the content of that reply to Minister Wong is based in sound science. Foster is just plain wrong and is so because of his own unscientific bias. Foster is a good statistician and a “piss poor” scientist.
Subsequently, Foster proceeds to do a little statistical analysis of GISS surface temperature data to support the argument that global warming has not stopped. Well, I agree with him that if one chooses the period 2000-2009 there is a significant increase in temperature over that period. What he does not show you is that from 2001-2009 the warming stops and is not statistically significant. He has done a little cherry picking himself. The fact is that 2000 was a year when the temperature was very much lower due to the strong La Nina that followed the 1998 super El Nino. It is well documented that strong La Ninas will follow strong El Ninos. Below is the graph for the period 2001-2009 that Foster will not show you (remember, climate does not follow the Gregorian Calendar):
This figure shows that the warming trend for 2000-2009 shown by Foster is only significant because 2000 is unusually cold. He even alludes to the fact when he said of his box plots: “The outliers are plotted as small circles. Only the 2000s have a potential outlier; the year 2000 was quite a bit cooler than the rest of the 2000s.” From 2001, the warming trend is no longer significant (GLM p>0.5). The satellite data also confirm this.The caveat on all of this is that, of course, a period of eight years is not enough to confirm climate change. However, if the trend continues as many think it will, here, here and here, then the future is bleak for the AGW lobby.
In summary. His posting is just basically rubbish that is nicely cherry-picked to suit his argument. His assessment of Senator Steve Fielding is from a position of total ignorance of the man. His use of the term “denialist” is the typical mantra of zealous AGW believers to denigrate anyone who questions. He denigrates a scientist in Bob Carter by saying and I quote:
““scientist” Bob Carter. I put “scientist” in quotes because in spite of Carter’s scientific credentials, his statements regarding global warming are so amateurish as to cast doubt on his qualifications to opine on any scientific topic.”
This is a man that has forgotten more science than Foster could hope to fit into his limited intellectual landscape. The amateur is Foster, not Bob Carter. And his thread should be treated with the contempt that it deserves.
I am a regular visitor and contributor to the blog site open mind which is run by a person under the nom de plume of Tamino. Tamino is a dedicated proponent of Anthropogenic Global Warming. Nothing wrong with that of course. However, he is also not reticent to censor my contributions, not because they are abusive or defamatory, but because they seem to trigger some unknown offence switch which is known only to Tamino. My post on ocean acidification to his blog Open Thread 12 in reply to one Ray Ladbury was pulled without warning or notification. I think the offending language was something to the effect “even committed warmers like you” (to Ray Ladbury not Tamino). If so, such trivial censorship is a denial of right of reply. Therefore, such censorship must not be condoned and must be exposed for what it is: stacking the argument. Tamino is not reluctant to use this tactic and he usually uses it when he knows that he or his coterie is on shaky ground. Your thoughts.
The satellite data for march from Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) has been released. The results indicate that for two months in a row the data have shown a downward trend. This is by no means momentus however the longer term trend over the last five years continues to be in a downward phase. The latest graph is presented below.
As you can see from the Loess functions, the trend for the last five years shows a general downward trend. However, the period of the 2000s is still substantially higher (statistically significant) than the other decades (i.e. 1980s and 1990s). The persistent trend downward in recent years places in doubt any declaration that global warming is accelerating or even increasing at the moment. A pdf copy of the graph can be downloaded here.
Peer review is the process by which the sciences and other professions subject the work of members of those professions to scholarly review (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_review). The purpose for this process is to determine the quality and scholarly depth of the researchers work. Other researchers in the person’s area of expertise usually conduct it. In the more modern scientific era where work is published in journals the process is known as refereeing.
The article by Steig et al (2009) in Nature this month has had quite a few people talking. In their letter to nature titled; “Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year” they have made the startling claim that the East Antarctic is in fact warming and it is warming significantly (statistically speaking). It has long been regarded that East Antarctica has not warmed significantly in past decades. It has been well accepted that the West Antarctic has warmed significantly in recent decades (more on this later).
What did Steig et al. (2009) do that was different to other studies? In effect they interpolated the temperature of the continent as a whole by infilling gaps in the instrumental records (very large ones in this case) with data from satellites. They used Thermal Infra-red (Tir) data from the NOAA satellite using the AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer). The Tir data measures the temperature at the surface (i.e. the ground and not the atmosphere above it). This can be fraught with incorrect readings of temperature due to the varying characteristics of the surface topography and makeup. However, Steig et al 2009 argue :
“Although it has been suggested that such interpolation is unreliable owing to the distances involved, large spatial scales are not inherently problematic if there is high spatial coherence, as is the case in continental Antarctica.”
Steig et al (2009) used the RegEM algorithm to combine data from weather stations and the Tir satellite information. They did this because most of the weather station data is centered on the coastal regions of the continent and therefore they tried to interpolate the interior temperature profile of the continent with the satellite data.