Climategate Update 1: The China Syndrome*

Climategate just gets more interesting all the time doesn't it? The Guardian is reporting that the Climatic Research Unit (the U.K. research group at the center of the Climategate affair) has somehow lost critical temperature data again, in this case data from Chinese weather stations that are supposed to prove that the urban heat island effect accounts for a neglible portion of the warming trend found in temperature records. The abstract for the study published in 1990 in Nature reads:

Records of hemispheric average temperatures from land regions for the past 100 years provide crucial input to the debate over global warming. Despite careful use of the basic station data in some of these compilations of hemispheric temperature, there have been suggestions that a proportion of the 0.5 °C warming seen on a century timescale may be related to urbanization influences—local warming caused by the effects of urban development. We examine here an extensive set of rural-station temperature data for three regions of the world: European parts of the Soviet Union, eastern Australia and eastern China. When combined with similar analyses for the contiguous United States, the results are representative of 20% of the land area of the Northern Hemisphere and 10% of the Southern Hemisphere. The results show that the urbanization influence in two of the most widely used hemispheric data sets is, at most, an order of magnitude less than the warming seen on a century timescale.

The Guardian notes:

But many climate sceptics did not believe the claim. They were convinced that the urban effect was much bigger, even though it might not change the overall story of global warming too much. After all, two-thirds of the planet is covered by ocean, and the oceans are warming, too.

But when Jones turned down requests from them to reveal details about the location of the 84 Chinese weather stations used in the study, arguing that it would be "unduly burdensome", they concluded that he was covering up the error.

And when, in 2007, Jones finally released what location data he had, British amateur climate analyst and former City banker Doug Keenan accused Jones and Wang of fraud.

He pointed out that the data showed that 49 of the Chinese meteorological stations had no histories of their location or other details. These mysterious stations included 40 of the 42 rural stations. Of the rest, 18 had certainly been moved during the study period, perhaps invalidating their data.

Keenan told the Guardian: "The worst case was a station that moved five times over a distance of 41 kilometres"; hence, for those stations, the claim made in the paper that "there were 'few if any changes' to locations is a fabrication". He demanded that Jones retract his claims about the Chinese data.

Now Phil Jones, the head of the CRU and his Chinese-American colleague Wei-Chyung Wang, from the University of New York at Albany are admitting that the data are lost. Even more damningly, the Guardian reports:

The story has a startling postscript. In 2008, Jones prepared a paper for the Journal of Geophysical Research re-examining temperatures in eastern China. It found that, far from being negligible, the urban heat phenomenon was responsible for 40% of the warming seen in eastern China between 1951 and 2004.

This does not flatly contradict Jones's 1990 paper. The timeframe for the new analysis is different. But it raises serious new questions about one of the most widely referenced papers on global warming, and about the IPCC's reliance on its conclusions.

Lest the faith in the scientific consensus be shaken further by these revelations, the Guardian article hastens to add:

It is important to keep this in perspective, however. This dramatic revision of the estimated impact of urbanisation on temperatures in China does not change the global picture of temperature trends. There is plenty of evidence of global warming, not least from oceans far from urban influences. A review of recent studies published online in December by David Parker of the Met Office concludes that, even allowing for Jones's new data, "global near-surface temperature trends have not been greatly affected by urban warming trends."

On the other hand, I reported on a recent study by University of Alabama at in Huntsville climatologist John Christy which finds that improperly accounted for heat island effects may be distorting temperature trend data:

In an email to University of Alabama climatologist John Christy I asked, "Is there a possibility that the teams that compile temperature data could all be making the same set of errors which would result in them finding similar (and perhaps) spurious trends?" Christy replied that he believed this was possible and cited some recent work he had done on temperature trends in East Africa as evidence. In that article he found that using both the maximum and minimum temperature rather than the mean temperature (TMean) used by the three official data sets gives a better indication of actual temperature trends in the region.

Christy found that the maximum temperature (TMax) trend has been essentially zero since 1900 while the minimum temperature (TMin) trend has been increasing. In his email to me, Christy explained, "As it turns out, TMin warms significantly due to factors other than the greenhouse effect, so TMean, because it is affected by TMin, is a poor proxy for understanding the greenhouse effect of 'global warming'." Or as his journal article puts it, "There appears to be little change in East Africa’s TMax, and if TMax is a suitable proxy for climate changes affecting the deep atmosphere, there has been little impact in the past half-century." So if Christy’s analysis is correct, much of the global warming in East Africa reported by the three official data sets is exaggerated. Christy has found similar effects on temperature trend reporting for other regions of the world.

What could be increasing minimum temperatures? Christy's study suggests that the turbulence and thus temperatures in the lower levels of the atmophere are...

...highly dependent on local land use and perhaps locally produced aerosols, the significant human development of the surface may be responsible for the rising TMin while having little impact on TMax  in East Africa.

In any case, Phil Jones and the CRU crowd are in the process of finding out the truth of the old adage, "It's not the crime, it's the cover up" that eventually brings someone down.

*Since the Climategate story appears to be far from over, I have decided a sequential numbering of updates will help readers keep track of developments.

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  • Kent||

    I am happy to see my undergrad alma mater mentioned in the national media - especially in a positive light, but the name is The University of Alabama IN Huntsville (http://www.uah.edu/). UAB, on the other hand, is The University of Alabama AT Birmingham.

  • ||

    My dad went there. UAH, that is.

  • Kent||

    What years and what major? I got a BS in Mechanical Engineering in '79. We only had about 40 people graduating in ALL fields of engineering/year (With about that many professors - consider how many PhDs in science and engineering live in the Huntsville area.). I hear that of late they are graduating about 200 per year in electrical engineering alone.

  • ||

    Well, let me put it this way--he worked on the Apollo program before we actually landed on the Moon while in school.

  • ||

    Oh, and it was EE.

  • Kent||

    Oh, it was an extension of the Tuscaloser campus back then. It did not become independent until 1969. UAH only has two national championships of which I know - both in hockey.

  • ||

    I think he graduated in 1969 or 1970.

  • ||

    Kent: My apologies about the pesky preposition. It's fixed now.

  • Kent||

    Thanks and no problem. What really annoyed was when someone associated with UAB "corrected" my bio by changing "in" to "at." UAB formerly used "in," too.

  • Franklin Harris||

    Actually, UAH was The University of Alabama in Huntsville. Now, however, they want to be known as The University of Alabama-Huntsville. What this accomplishes apart from my having to retrain a bunch of reporters, I don't know. (UAH's own website hasn't been updated to reflect the change, and it's been nearly a year!)

  • ||

    How in the hell could they have used mean temperatures? Any idiot who has bothered to step outside and pay attention knows that it is warmer outside at night in the city than it is in the countryside.

  • ||

    That's a rhetorical question right?

    If you really mean it as a question, it's because they are lying frauds who desire to forment a crisis in order to gain fame and grant money.

    (But you already knew that...)

  • Jeffersonian||

    The trickle of fraud has become a river. This entire field is rife with it.

  • ||

    Fraud in defense of the sacred, holy mother earth is no vice. See, being in the right and being on the side of the angels justifies deceit and corruption, justifies anything. Just ask every brutal, genocidal regime that has ever existed.

  • ||

    The Guardian is reporting that the Climatic Research Unit (the U.K. research group at the center of the Climategate affair) has somehow lost critical temperature data again,...

    Holy crap, if you've lost the Guardian you've lost the war. :)

  • ||

    Holy crap, if you've lost the Guardian you've lost the war.

    That is so true that it bares repeating.

  • your 1st grade teacher||

    bears ;-)

  • Bull||

    "bares" as in bare-assed, as in the current state of climate science.

  • Bull||

    ...a conjugated form of "embarrassed," which is what they all should be, but aren't. Yet.

  • ||

    Isn't there a "bear" as in to carry or to bring forth or to support? Eh, maybe I remember wrongly.

  • Saxon||

    if you have lost the Guardian, don't despair, you still have the American MSM to carry water for the global warming cause!

  • Mad Elf||

    Man-made global warming is going to go down in history as the greatest scientific fabrication ever foisted upon humanity when all is said and done.

  • Chris||

    Don't count on it. It'll stick around as long as the people that believe in it right now are alive. There are egos involved here, and one can hem and haw enough about anything to still appear to be right, especially if those you're hemming and hawing to already believe you in the first place. Global warming won't go out with a bang, but will gradually become less and less important until people forget about it. The best approach by nay-sayers is to allow people like Al Gore and Bono a way of keeping their egos intact as they admit being mistaken. Otherwise, it's just going to be a bunch of bullshit for quite some time.

  • Zeb||

    There is also always the possibility that, in spite of all of this bullshit, they are correct about global warming. As more and more of their evidence goes down the drain, it seems less likely, but there is always that chance. The fact that a bunch of scientists fudged some shit says nothing about the actual state of affairs of the climate.

  • Chris||

    That's true.

  • Chris||

    I personally don't really doubt that the earth is getting a little warmer on average, but I'm sceptical of the amount of blame that's being placed on man, and I think in the end that's what's going to fizzle out.

  • Chris||

    skeptical

  • ||

    either on works. :)

  • ||

    *one

  • Chad||

    What else is there to blame BUT man?

    "Natural variation" is not magic or voodoo...it consists of real physical causes and effects. If you know of some *other* cause of the warming that you admit is happening, please, let us know.

  • Just passing through||

    I've heard tell that it is the sun varying in intensity that causes climate change.

  • tarran||

    Chad, sweetie,

    Circa 1900 there was a large amoutn of discussion concerning the orbit of Mercury; Mercury was orbiting the Sun with a longer period than Newtonian Dynamics predicted.

    At the time, the only explanation people could come up with was that its orbit was being perturbed by a heretofore unknown planet. It was assigned the name Vulcan and lots of ingenious experiments were done in an attempt to observe the body, based on the very painstaking calculations performed to identify the likely orbits that would produce the perturbations that led to Mercury's slower orbit.

    They found nothing.

    Now, in hindsight, it turns out that there is no Vulcan, but rather that the discrepancy is due to the fact that Newtonian Dynamics is not a good model of gravitation; the orbit is, however,, very close to that predicteed by Einstein's theory of General Relativity, which supplanted the Newtonian Model.

    However, long before Einstein came up with his General Theory, people were pointing out that something was wrong with Newtonian Dynamics since Vulcan could not be found.

    You are putting yourself in the absurd position of arguing that the people observing that there is something unexpected going on with Mercury's orbit should STFU until they come up with a better theory.

    This is a position that is incompatible with how actual science is done. It is, about par for the course for the cargo cult science practiced by the IPCC.

  • ||

    It wasn't actually Mercury's orbital period, it was the precession of it's orbit. The major axis was precessing at twice the value predicted by Newtonian dynamics. There were other explanations, such as a very small oblateness of the Sun, which would have been very difficult to detect. But Relativity provided a better answer and made other predictions that have been verified (such as the deflection of starlight near the Sun.) And by the way, Newtonian dynamics is a very GOOD theory of gravity, but Relativity works better in extreme cases.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    And by the way, Newtonian dynamics is a very GOOD theory of gravity, but Relativity works better in extreme cases.


    Indeed.

    And as far as we know, relativity itself might break down in even more extreme circumstances, like 10^-34 seconds after the big bang, or within 10^-34 Schwartzchild radii of a black hole's singularity.

  • ||

    Chad, the earth was entirely ice-free more than once in the past, and the temperate latitudes were under a mile or more of ice more than once too. Even more distressingly (I suppose), the continental interior was once MUCH MUCH hotter than we'll ever see it - back when our continents were one or two supercontinents and "interior" meant "a whole heckuva long way from the ocean." (What are we going to do about THAT, I wonder? No matter how "green" we get, we're not going to stop plate tectonics.)

    Indeed natural variation is NOT magic or voodoo, but neither is it perfectly understood. For example, mantle convection currents are posited as the cause of what used to be called "continental drift." But no one's ever seen one; we infer their existence from the evidence that continents... well, drift, and the seafloor spreads. In the case of climate change in a non-closed system (it's basically closed from earth outwards, but energy enters the system from outside), we might be tempted to infer the existence of a massive source of energy outside the system with the ability to inject energy into the system.

    I snark just a bit, but really, isn't the sun, giant, life-giving, and irregularly-burning hydrogen furnace that it is, a better application of Occam's Razor than cars and factories?

  • ||

    You know we are overlooking something here. What about human caused continental drift? Maybe the friction of all the tires from gas guzzling, capitalist produced SUVs is causing continental drift. Just think of all the negative effects of this drift on those least able to care for themselves (women and minorities). We need to take action immediately to stop continental drift caused by the evil influence of capitalism. More regulation, taxation, and money for research to prove the link between man and drift is needed now.

  • Saxon||

    this has gotta be the thread winner!

    (btw, you have forgotten to include "the children" along with women and minorities!)

  • JB||

    Chad doesn't seem to realize that there is this thing in the solar system called 'the sun' that is responsible for 99.9% of the Earth's climate.

    He takes that variable and assumes it is constant with no basis for doing so.

    Solar science is very immature and until the sun is better understood, 'climate science' will suffer from a lack of real data.

  • ||

    Zeb|2.2.10 @ 5:24PM|#
    "There is also always the possibility that, in spite of all of this bullshit, they are correct about global warming."
    I agree, but the same could be said for the herd of Unicorns in my backyard.
    And Gore isn't pulling his forelock, trying to turn the economy over to the government for them.
    If he was, you'd expect me to round up a couple of them. Let's see that data.

  • ||

    Yes, it is possible to lie for a truthful cause. But it will take more than the word of the liar to prove to me that the cause is in fact truthful.

  • ||

    The problem is the cause ought to be to continue to unravel just how climate works (including what effects we have and don't have on it). Instead there was this rush to have Man portrayed as committing domestic abuse on Mother Earth that would inevitably lead to her murder. If that's the jumping off point, it's impossible to avoid exactly what's happening now.

    The whole thing has me concerned as I think climate study is the sort of thing that can be vitally important and can be of great benefit to mankind. But it's becoming pretty clear that's not the field these people were involved in.

  • ||

    Right! Because climate DOES change and IS changing, inevitably, and we're awfully dependent on the climate's staying reasonably close to what we have right now - so shouldn't we be trying really to understand climate change so that we can adapt? Research into cold- and hot-weather food crops, drought resistance and micro-irrigation, developing cold-weather building techniques that can be readily scaled up - these are the subjects I'd like to see climate scientists pushing. The ones that can save us, you know? If we really are, as a species, destined to be around at the end of this interglacial period - whether it ends with more ice or with complete melting?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    If we really are, as a species, destined to be around at the end of this interglacial period - whether it ends with more ice or with complete melting?


    Global civilization can survive the latter much better than the former.

  • Wildmonk||

    The interesting thing about the "killing Mother Earth" meme is how its proponents always point to more advanced economies - and economic development itself - as the cause. The West went through an extremely "dirty" period in development but emerged with a new consensus of environmental care that makes the US far more careful about the environment than, say, China or Zimbabwe. And yet, the net effect of crippling environmental polices would be to send us back toward their state of development.

  • ||

    The best approach by nay-sayers is to allow people like Al Gore and Bono a way of keeping their egos intact as they admit being mistaken. Otherwise, it's just going to be a bunch of bullshit for quite some time.

    I refuse to just let these people go. They should be mocked, ridiculed and humiliated for the rest of their lives. Al Gore should be reminded at every opportunity that he's not tarred and feathered and then sent to the jail where Bernie Madoff is kept, only because we live in an imperfect world. There is no danger anymore that these clowns will impose their craziness on us. They don't deserve unconditional forgiveness.

  • Chris||

    Whether or not they deserve it is inconsequential. If you're really concerned with just getting past all this shit as quickly as possible, you have to let them save face. That doesn't mean they'll still be respected, though.

  • Spartacus||

    yes, it does. See: Paul Ehrlich.

  • chris||

    good point

  • skr||

    people still respect Ehrlich?

  • skr||

    let me rephrase

    Reasonable people still respect Ehrlich?

  • ||

    Well, since when have we been led by reasonable people?

  • The Man||

    James Delingpole at the Telegraph is *really* pissed.:

    "... it’s payback time and I take small satisfaction from seeing so many rats deserting their sinking ship. I don’t want them on my side. I want to see them in hell, reliving scenes from Hieronymus Bosch."

  • Almanian||

    That is a delicious quote. I'm stealing it borrowing it - with attribution.

  • ||

    delingpole's a hoot!

  • ||

    Agreed. Of course, Al Gore will still have his invention of the internet to feel good about.

  • Mike M.||

    The best approach by nay-sayers is to allow people like Al Gore and Bono a way of keeping their egos intact as they admit being mistaken. Otherwise, it's just going to be a bunch of bullshit for quite some time.

    In a normal situation I would agree with you, but Al Gore has turned this crapola into a multimilliondollar personally enriching enterprise. You seriously expect him to ever admit that he was mistaken?

  • Chris||

    No, not at all. I expect him, should events unfold to make this necessary, to claim that he was misled by something or other. I'm not trying to predict anything, though. All I'm saying is that he'll only recant if he's allowed to save face. Frankly, I've hated his smug self-righteousness for a good portion of my life, but in terms of how people actually work, you should expect nothing but resistance and the perpetuation of all sorts of lies just so these people don't look bad. It's better to just let this shit go as soon as possible, because the more time the argument continues, the more money wasted on this shit. To perpetuate it just to shame some people (who will probably be shamed to some degree no matter what) is therefore just as fiscally irresponsible as GW policy is. It would be pretty satisfying, though.

  • TMLutas||

    Actually, a threatened prison term for acts of economic fraud as an alternative will also likely result in a Gore recantation on global warming.

  • In Time Of War||

    Global warming will never "go away" until there is an equally or even more frightening man-made apocalypse available to replace it.

    That is the way of things.

  • chris||

    specifically an apocalypse in which industrialization is to blame.

  • ||

    ocean acidification...

  • Coeus||

    That one appears to have some teeth on it.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    That can be solved with crushed limestone.

  • HammeredHead||

    are we even sure the oceans have warmed. Seems to me that the only accurate data is the satellite data and that only shows 20 yrs of warming and 10 years flat.

  • ||

    The sceince is settled......unfortunately I have misplaced it. Can I get a few billion more dollars to start over?

  • ||

    I have sent Steve Smith your home address, you deserve it.

  • ¢||

    locally produced aerosols

    Lightbulb!

    I can buy a bunch of beans at the local farmers' market, eat 'em up, fart a bunch, and sell locally produced aerosol certificates to rich idiots, so they can release the exotic foreign gases urban restaurant-diversity fills them with, guilt-free.

    Fart-mile credits.

    PATENT PENDING

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    HEY BAILEY HOW MUCH IS BIG OIL PAYING YOU? I HOPE IT'S ENOUGH TO GET YOU A (CARBON-FUELED) ROCKETSHIP TO NEPTUNE BECAUSE EARTH IS GOING TO BE UNINHABITABLE BECAUSE OF YOU.

    And so on.

  • ||

    You forgot to add:

    HURR DURR HUUUURRRR HURRRR

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    No, not at all. I was honestly wishing Ron good fortunes and inquiring how profitable his business ventures are. I think a rocket ship would be a great investment.

    (The shouting was because cent left the CAPS LOCK tag open.)

  • ||

    Actually, hysterical alarmists pay much better from government funds. Big oil companies, at least, do interfere with results and publications.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Unless I'm reading it wrong, I think you're either missing a "not" in that second sentence, or that "at least" should be a "though".

  • ||

    You are right. I am missing "not". Never had a company messing up with results.

  • Brett L||

    Yeah. Amazing how that happens. Conflating man caused changes in the surface characteristics in locations where we measure temperature with a change in the temperature everywhere. A basic human error.

    Having written enough computer models, I knew they didn't have anything that supported their claims five or six years ago. I'm glad it is unraveling.

  • ||

    The author of a paper on water vapor that Bailey linked to the other day actually came on and commented. I asked him why I should believe his predictions about the next century when there are entire physical processes that you admit can affect world climate for a decade or more that you don't understand.

    His response was that I was confusing weather with climate. To which I said, we are talking about a decade pause in global warming here. That is not exactly next week's weather. His only response was that he wasn't going to get into the climate wars and there is lots out there that proves I was wrong. It was the ultimate appeal to authority.

    Science doesn't have to meet our standards of common sense. But it can only diverge from common sense when it has absolute experimental results. It makes no sense that time can run differently at different speeds, but scientists can say "screw common sense when we put a clock in orbit, it runs slower than the one on the ground". But climate scientists not only can't answer basic commons sense questions, they also can't point to one experiment or correct empirical prediction their models have made. But somehow we are all supposed to believe the science is settled and just hand them over our wallets.

  • ||

    In reading that paper, it also seemed to account for only part of the effects noted.
    So as he mentioned, they don't know what caused the water-vapor variance and even if they did, that wouldn't account for the total 'pause'.

  • ||

    Again, they can't account for decade long shifts in the world climate. Yet, we are supposed to believe their models' prediction of the world temperature (if there is such a thing) in 2100. I am sorry, that doesn't make sense.

  • Chad||

    Just like I can't account for the next roll at the craps table, but the house always wins in the end...

    l2statistics.

  • ||

    And if the question had to do with Las Vegas tables, why, you'd have a point.
    In this case, it's purely begging the question.

  • Chad||

    I don't think you know what "begging the question" means.

  • ||

    And many wonder whether you understand the difference between craps and climate.

  • Brett L||

    Actually, the house wins because they know what factors affect the dice and the exact effect produced. The point is that the climate scientists don't know all the factors. It's obvious from the fact that the models diverge from observation when run forward from the the past or backwards from the present. It means (a) they haven't accounted for all of the variables and/or (b) they've got the weight of the variables wrong.

    Its the same with any model. Try modeling gravitation as the inverse of r instead of the inverse square of r, and you'll see that your results diverge the further you get from your reference r of 1. What these people are trying to model is highly complex, but they don't know what they don't know. I don't think it means that they are insincere, evil, or particularly bad scientists. Where they've done us and themselves a disservice is pretending that they had rigorous data to back up their claims. They don't. The data series are ALL a mess. Not through maliciousness, but just how things work. Airports expand, universities undergo repairs and move their weather stations, cities grow. Sometimes researchers make approximations to try to get a feel for how things behave. Unfortunately, most of our data is by proxy, whose exact relationship to actual values is still being worked out.

    Look. Two solutions to this problem I've heard discussed by people who aren't psychotic dictators are
    (1) 2 billion people who aren't like me need to die, or at least not breed
    --or--
    (2) We need huge wealth and power transfers to supranational government entities with no direct connection to the people they will regulate

    If the problems were that big, the people in the know wouldn't be jet-setting to Copenhagen, they'd be building nuclear-powered bunkers in geologically stable rock formations a la Dr. Strangelove.

  • ||

    Actually, the house wins because they know what factors affect the dice and the exact effect produced.

    Actually, the house wins in all gaming because they write the freakin' rules.

  • ||

    Man-made global warming is going to go down in history as the greatest scientific fabrication ever foisted upon humanity when all is said and done.

    Except for that "moon landing" escapade.

  • ||

    I think communism has got it beat by a light year.

    Global warming is only a slightly bigger fraud then the population bomb

  • ||

    As far as I know, there are still plenty of people who believe in "the population bomb".

    And I'm fairly sure the Club of Rome is still publishing their "we're running out of ____" papers too.

  • ||

    It's easier for me to keep track of the data they haven't "lost"; that seems to be a much smaller set.

  • ||

    All this research is publicly funded and it not national security related. So, why is the not all of data not publicly available?

  • ||

    Everbody, don't forget the satellite data (from UAH) do show a global warming trend of +0.13 degrees Celsius per decade.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Well that's mighty few decades to track.

    There weren't any satellites orbiting around up there in the year 1900

  • ||

    Per decade from 1978. That is only thirty years ago. And further, much of the forensic temperature reconstructions that have been done were brought into question by the climate gate e-mails.

    It takes a lot more than "we have warmed .13 degrees see for three decades" to prove the case.

  • ||

    what is the satellite trend for the past 10 years?

  • HammeredHead||

    Ron,

    I mentioned that earier. 20 years up and 10 years flat is not a trend.

  • HammeredHead||

    and one should mention there is no standard deviation given. From a quick look at the data it could be as high as 1 degree, which means .13 has no significance.

  • ||

    Hammerhead and all: With trepidation, I note that most climatologists think that the atmosphere has warmed up an average of +0.8 degrees Celsius since the mid-1800s. But perhaps the real question is when does a trend become a trend?

  • Chris||

    The real question is when does a possible trend become dogma? And when does this dogma justify the spending of billions of dollars and the altering of the course of the natural progression of economies and historical trends?

  • Chad||

    What makes our current economic course "natural"? Is most surely is not, by any rational definition I can come up with.

  • ||

    What makes our current economic course "natural"?

    You're a useless, scum-lapping shitbag. That's what.

  • Mr. J||

    Who cares if the theory is correct, right? We need an excuse to impose our statist world view!

  • ||

    That's rather true, in that the intimate connection between price and value has been interrrupted in so many areas.

  • ||

    But Ron, we only know how much is has warmed since 1850 if we know what the temperature actually was in 1850. Those records are pretty sparse. And the tree ring method for reconstructing temperature seems kind of dubious method. Unless and until you can show me that the temperature given for 1850 is anything but a SWAG of the lowest order, I am not even buying that.

  • ||

    One other thing. I would say coming within a .5 degrees Celsius of the correct world temperature in 1850, given the records available, would be a staggering accomplishment. Hell measurig the world temperature today is one hell of an accomplishment. Yet, we are supposed to believe that the reconstructed temperatures of 1850 is accurate enough to make the .08 rise meaningful. I am sorry. I don't see it.

  • Tman||

    Even more to the point, if we are going to believe that there is a concrete way of measuring what the temperature was in the 1800's, and it does show a 0.8 degree increase over the last 120 years, there remains an ENORMOUS leap of logic to then somehow tie this increase in to something other than natural processes.

    It's ridiculous enough that people are claiming that sort of temperature accuracy from 100 years ago, but then to say they can tell not only the temperature from that time but the percentage of CO2, water vapor, methane, etc. in the atmosphere to an equal degree of accuracy seems pretty far fetched.

    When you add in the level of outright lying that many of these climate scientists have engaged in (which is troubling ethically on its own) I can't see how it's possible to ask the middle class to add another ginormous tax burden on to their budget so as to appease this supposed problem.

  • Chad||

    Wrong. It takes a much BIGGER leap of logic to relate the observed temperature increases with a mystical, magical unknown "natural" process than an understood anthropogenic one.

  • ||

    For starters, what makes a static climate "natural"?
    And, strangely, one of the authors of the 'pause' paper who posted here last week didn't claim the 'pause' is caused by anthropomorphic cooling.
    While the causes are probably 'mystical and magical' to you, his admission was simply that unknown processes were at work.
    But then if you have managed to define and quantify every 'natural' cause (whatever in hell *that* is) of climate change, why, you probably ought to write a paper on that.
    BTW, don't lose the data; it doesn't help your case.

  • Chad||

    Ron L|2.2.10 @ 8:31PM|#
    For starters, what makes a static climate "natural"?
    And, strangely, one of the authors of the 'pause' paper who posted here last week didn't claim the 'pause' is caused by anthropomorphic cooling.

    LoL! You got your entire argument *backwards*. You guys were trying to claim that the "cooling" WAS an anthropomorphic negative feedback, even though there is in fact no data indicating it is a feedback of any type. You guys really crack me up sometimes.

    Yes, the cause of the not-really-a-pause is not completely known, and therefore it is utterly irrational to assume that these whatever these uknown causes are will continue as is, rather than eventually reverse and compound AGW, as they regularly do.

  • Chad||

    Btw, it is not "the" data. It is a "tiny fraction of the data".

    There is a huge difference, so much so that just saying "the data" is a lie, which in turn condemns you to eternal hellfire and all that jazz.

  • Chad||

    Scientist: According to every level of theory, A causes B. A is happening. B is happening. We checked alternative explantations C, D, and E, but they didn't pan out. We checked the historical data, and A and B are highly correlated. Therefore, it is pretty safe to assume that the current incidence of B is being caused primarily by A. Since B is bad, we should think about stopping further A.

    Skeptic: No! I don't want to stop A. It must be G, H, or I that is causing B. It just has to be!

    Scientist: Let me check...nope, it isn't those either. Got any more ideas?

    Skeptic: Well, it must be some mystery factor X that is causing B, because it couldn't be A, because that is not what I want.

    Scientist: Well, it is possible that is the case, but one should not base one's judgements on unknown factors that *might* randomly save the day.

    Skeptic: You lie.
    Look, there is a smear on page 46 of your lab book and one number is smudged. LIAR! FRAUD! No wait! If I leap through fourteen steps of association, I see that your brother's uncle's college roommate might make a buck if your data is accepted! LIAR! BIAS! Oh, and we on the skeptic side clearly have no bias...none at all...not a whee bit of Exxon cash anywhere....nothing to see here....move along.

  • ||

    Strawman A: "X"
    Strawman B: "Y"
    I'll make sure to keep your 'argument' in mind.

  • ||

    Oh! Oh! Look! Chad can correct a typo! Oh, Chad, you must be.........................
    infantile.

  • ||

    "LoL! You got your entire argument *backwards*. You guys were trying to claim that the "cooling" WAS an anthropomorphic negative feedback.."
    No, you're lying. Or selecting data; probably the former.
    Cite please.

  • Chad||

    So you aren't arguing that this new stratospheric water vapor anomoly is a negative feedback? What the hell where you arguing then, as negative feedbacks are precisely what you guys so desparately need to find. You have epically failed so far.

  • ||

    Actually the stratospheric loss of water vapor is right in line with Dr. Ferenc M. Miskolczi theory of The Saturated Greenhouse Effect.

    http://www.friendsofscience.or.....Effect.htm

    It totally invalidates your understood AGW theory.

  • ||

    Chad you need to read up a bit more on the role of clouds in the AGW theory. Your folks believe that clouds will have a positive feedback (high level cirrus clouds trapping heat). This is contrary to most understanding of clouds as being a cooling factor. Low level clouds reflecting radiation back into space.

    And since the ERBE/Ceres satellites supports this view all the models used by the IPCC are exactly opposite what the real world data shows as true.

    You can start reading here:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/20.....ate-system…but-amplify-global-warming/

    You can then go to:
    http://reason.com/archives/200.....-global-wa

    Observations of upper tropospheric water vapor over the last 3-4 decades from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction/National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCEP/NCAR) reanalysis data and the International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) data show that upper tropospheric water vapor appears to undergo a small decrease while Outgoing Longwave Radiation (OLR) undergoes a small increase. This is opposite to what has been programmed into the GCMs. The predicted global warming due to a doubling of CO2 has been erroneously exaggerated by the GCMs due to this water vapor feedback.

  • ||

    Chad meet tautological argument. Tautological argument meet Chad. "The antropromorphic process is understood". "How so?" "Because the antropromorphic process is understood"

    God you are stupid Chad.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    Jebus Kraut, that may be the most idiotic statement that I've heard on this subject.

    Question: Did humans cause the Holocene? Yes or No. If yes then 100,000 human campfires changed the climate of the entire planet. If no then it must have been some "mystical, magical unknown "natural" process "

    ... Hobbit

  • Mr. J||

    I guess solar variation, cosmic rays, precession of the earth's axis, volcanic activity, methane clathrates, ocean currents, continental drift, asteroid impacts, and nearby supernovae could never influence the earth's climate at all...

  • .||

    Well not as much as all the hot air being blown by the Left.

  • Chad||

    Oh, they *could* and *have*.

    Which one is happening now, to an extent and manner consistent with the observations? None of them.

  • Mr. J||

    Are you really this dense? It's not *one* variable. Your precious AGW models also diverge from observation for this very reason.

    Volcanic activity -> ongoing and sporadic
    Earthquakes -> methane clathrate release
    Precession of axial tilt -> gradual but constant change
    Solar variation -> constant variation

    CO2 is nothing more than a cog in a big machine. Climate is not one or even a handful of variables.

  • HammeredHead||

    That is probably true and also a natural oscillation. We had the medieval warming along with a cooling period that ended in the mid-1800s. The one thing that appears to be missing is accelerating warming, which I believe is predicted by global warming theorists. Also, from the satellite data, the south pole is cooling. I believe that climate theories predict greater warming at the poles than the tropics. The past failure of climate models was a very glaring hole in the theory. Now the revelation of fabricated land temp and glacier data, the theory is dead.

  • ||

    I note that most climatologists think that the atmosphere has warmed up an average of +0.8 degrees Celsius since the mid-1800s.

    How well did that network of thermometers work in 1875 compared to the network of today's thermometers that apparently do not work in china?

    The only record we have of global temperature trends that is even remotely reliable are from satellites. ie about 30 years worth.

  • mark||

    I always like to point to this page when discussing surface temperature records. Those are all rural stations and they don't show any warming trend at all. You can also look at this comparison between two stations merely 40 miles apart, one rural and one urban. It's the example Michael Crichton used in State of Fear.

  • LibertyGal||

    Ask climatologist expert Patrick Michaels @ Cato.

  • ||

    This does not disprove anthropogenic climate change theory. It doesn't change my assessment of the theory. i.e. it's correct in general, the predictions are much guesswork and other climate factors are not all accounted for.

    What it does show is inexcusable hubris and unethical behavior among some who have championed the theory.

    Science will trudge on in spite of the all too human practioners engaging in it.

  • ||

    practitioners - Duh!

  • ||

    I now prefer "practioners", actually.

  • ||

    It is not a particularly important theory. It doesn't really change our understanding of much or challenge any established law or theory. In scientific terms, AGW is really minor league. It only became important when leftists got ahold of it and tried to loot the world economy with it.

  • .||

    ...leftists got ahold of it and tried to loot the world economy with it.

    For sure.

  • ||

    It doesn't change my assessment of the theory. i.e. it's correct in general

    Minute increases in CO2 in the atmosphere will, despite mild temperatures for the past 10,000 years, cause a cascading unstable event that releases gigtons of water vapor into the air causing uncontrolled global warming....

    Your bullshit detector needs some tuning.

  • Chad||

    Josh! You passed high school chemistry
    s, and now understand that water evaporates more when it is warmer. Holy Cow! Next thing you know, you might hit the college level books.

    Or are you being sarcastic, and still in the camp that believes that you can set a pot of water on your stove and observe no difference as you turn up the heat?

  • Brett L||

    I'm a chemical engineer. I know more about steam/water vapor than 99% of the world. We use it because it takes a lot of energy to turn it from water to steam. What you forget is that if the heat goes INTO the evaporation it comes OUT OF the surroundings. This is why sweating works. If the water vapor in the mid levels of the atmosphere is increasing after a period of warming, that would indicate either more heat coming in or lower surface temperatures. The most probable answer is that the oceans act as a giant damper on the whole process. When more heat comes in, the equilibrium forces heat into the oceans. Think sweating on a hot, humid day. You sweat more because the relative humidity is higher. Even though you're putting off way more heat energy, less water evaporates. When the cooling starts, more water can evaporate (sweating on a cool, dry day).

  • Chad||

    Ding ding ding ding!

    You are right. The oceans are a "damper" and suck up most of the heat. And guess what...THEY KEEP GETTING WARMER. And unlike air temperatures, the ocean temperature rises in a more constant manner. Problematically, the oceans are actually such a big damper that slight variations in ocean currents (eg, El Nino) can have big impacts on the net heat flow between the oceans and the atmosphere, which is why it is difficult to predict average air temperatures over the medium term. Here is a graph of global ocean heat storage. Note the abscence of a "pause".

    http://climateprogress.org/201.....cientists/

    Btw, the same holds true for the ice we see melting everywhere. That also takes heat energy, much of which comes out of the local atmosphere. But when you simultaneously see water warming, ice melting, and rising air temperatures, you darned well know that a ton of heat must be entering (or being retained in) the system.

  • Brett L||

    NO. If water vapor is coming into that layer which is not in contact with liquid water or ice to any large extent, it must be coming in from below. You wouldn't expect to see that in a mid-layer unless the energy from outside (ie. the sun) had increased. The amount of energy carried into the layer is WAY more than the energy contained in the absorption spectrum of either CO2 or H2O. It DOES look exactly like what you'd expect if the PDSO turned negative and there was significant energy being released from the Pacific to the atmosphere.

  • iowahawk||

    The secret weapon that will finally bring down the North Korean regime: Scantily clad South Korean pop girl groups loyal to Iowa Hawkeye football!

    http://iowahawk.typepad.com/io.....-dots.html

  • iowahawk||

    (oops, wrong thread. My bad.)

  • ||

    I wonder if that one Korean girl is a natural blonde.

  • billy-jay||

    I'm pretty sure that content is relevant to any thread.

  • ||

    An iowahawk link is appropriate for any thread.

  • Almanian||

    Oh no, you're in the right place. That was a TOTALLY deus ex machina post! Excellent!

    Now, back to "Climate Gate, Part Deux Vingt".

  • robc||

    Stealing from EDSBS (and many days late to boot)?

  • ||

    But perhaps the real question is when does a trend become a trend?

    When does that trend become meaningful?

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    A trend becomes a trend when the grant money says it does.

  • Chad||

    Yes, it is clearly the UHI. Which explains why the Arctic is warming the fastest...errr....Did I miss something in my geography lessons about the megacities of Siberia?

    Ron, you are wasting your time with the argument that it ain't warming. Thousands of thermometers, a couple of specially-designed satellites, hundreds of ice caps and glaciers, and several thousand species are all arguing against that point and with one voice.

  • HammeredHead||

    The Antarctic is cooling and its glaciers growing. The data from the thousands of thermometers has been manipulated with adjustments pulled out of peoples asses. Glaciers are not melting, apparently that was recently found to have also been made up. Satellites only show 20 years of increases and ten years of stable temps. Species die all the time thankfully as it is an efficiency improvement thing called natural selection.

    You haven’t been paying attention.

  • Chad||

    Paying attention to what? Random crackpot chatter? I have no idea where you are getting your data from, but I would assume it starts with "Rush Limbaugh" and ends with "Anthony Watts"

    Try something a little less partisan for once.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_Antarctica

  • ||

    Citing Wikipedia as a source is probably your best joke idiocy yet. Well done, whoever is behind Choad.

  • Chad||

    You know you have jumped the shark when you start arguing with an encyclopedia.

    Have a nice swim...

  • Just passing through||

    Using Wikipedia as source = jumping the shark.

  • Mr. J||

    Wikipedia bias on climate change is well documented.

  • Chad||

    Citation, please. From a cite less biased that an encyclopedia only.

  • ||

    Chad wikipedia is not an encyclopedia. It's editors are not professional editors and it has been shown to not have the NPOV it claims to have. How is this for a citation?

    http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/.....sh107.html

  • Michael Ejercito||

    An editor of Wikipedia was caught deleting references about the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age.

  • mark||

    Which explains why the "value-added" surface temperature record of the Arctic is warming the fastest...

    FTFY

  • In Time Of War||

    I'll believe the sea levels are rising once the folks in Kennebunkport and Hyannis Port sell their compounds and move further inland. I don't see any Re/Max signs going up.

  • ||

    Chad|2.2.10 @ 6:38PM|#
    "...Thousands of thermometers, a couple of specially-designed satellites, hundreds of ice caps and glaciers, and several thousand species are all arguing against that point and with one voice."
    I agree with this. And it's looking like all the warming is exactly as important as the 'population bomb'; a "crises" the left is using to gain government power, and dangerous for that reason. But pretty much irrelevant otherwise.

  • ||

    And Mann himself will prove this, except he lost the data.

    Science, Choad, could you possibly be more of a tool?

  • Almanian||

    Choad, take the thermometer out of your rectum - it distorts the data, you cheek monkey!

  • Almanian||

    I meant "cheeky" monkey, but I like what I typed better - so I stand by my original post.

  • Banana-eating Jungle Monkey||

    I'm not offended.

    "Cheek monkey" is entirely acceptable.

  • ||

    And this isn't the first time the one voice has been raised.

    From the New York Times, 128 years of looming polar doom:

    • 1881: “This past Winter, both inside and outside the Arctic circle, appears to have been unusually mild. The ice is very light and rapidly melting …”

    • 1932: “NEXT GREAT DELUGE FORECAST BY SCIENCE; Melting Polar Ice Caps to Raise the Level of Seas and Flood the Continents”

    • 1934: “New Evidence Supports Geology’s View That the Arctic Is Growing Warmer”

    • 1937: “Continued warm weather at the Pole, melting snow and ice.”

    • 1954: “The particular point of inquiry concerns whether the ice is melting at such a rate as to imperil low-lying coastal areas through raising the level of the sea in the near future.”

    • 1957: “U.S. Arctic Station Melting”

    • 1958: “At present, the Arctic ice pack is melting away fast. Some estimates say that it is 40 per cent thinner and 12 per cent smaller than it was fifteen years [ago].”

    • 1959: “Will the Arctic Ocean soon be free of ice?”

    • 1971: “STUDY SAYS MAN ALTERS CLIMATE; U.N. Report Links Melting of Polar Ice to His Activities”

    • 1979: “A puzzling haze over the Arctic ice packs has been identified as a byproduct of air pollution, a finding that may support predictions of a disastrous melting of the earth’s ice caps.”

    • 1982: “Because of global heating attributed to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from fuel burning, about 20,000 cubic miles of polar ice has melted in the past 40 years, apparently contributing to a rise in sea levels …”

    • 1999: “Evidence continues to accumulate that the frozen world of the Arctic and sub-Arctic is thawing.”

    • 2000: “The North Pole is melting. The thick ice that has for ages covered the Arctic Ocean at the pole has turned to water, recent visitors there reported yesterday.”

    • 2002: “The melting of Greenland glaciers and Arctic Ocean sea ice this past summer reached levels not seen in decades, scientists reported today.”

    • 2004: “There is an awful lot of Arctic and glacial ice melting.”

    • 2005: “Another melancholy gathering of climate scientists presented evidence this month that the Antarctic ice shelf is melting - a prospect difficult to imagine a decade ago.”

    Try reading up on the AMO and PDO.

  • Paul||

    The Guardian is reporting that the Climatic Research Unit (the U.K. research group at the center of the Climategate affair) has somehow lost critical temperature data again

    Mmm yes, lost the data like so much Michael Bellisiles...

  • Almanian||

    Hey, speaking of Lost, I understand that in tonight's season opener, they reveal what happened to the Climate Gate data.

    I'm pretty sure Ben had something to do with it....

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    All this research is publicly funded and it not national security related. So, why is the not all of data not publicly available?

    The data comes from many, many sources all over the world and is supplied to the climatologists under a variety of conditions, including some non-disclosure agreements.

    The result is not in keeping with the pure Platonic Scientific Method. ::sigh::

    My business has similar restrictions on few underling data sets, so I understand, but it is a real problem when questions about the veracity of the analysis come up, isn't it?

  • robc||

    Not a problem at all. Just make refusal to release data disqualification from publishing in a peer reviewed journal (obviously, it would be the individual journals implementing this policy, not some law or something).

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Every time a Climate Change denier masturbates it makes Gaia cry.

  • Binky||

    Better on the ground than on the belly of Al Gore.

  • .||

    Hasn't she been getting any lately?

  • ||

    Wow, I guess thats one way of looking at it! LOL

    jess
    www.web-privacy.cz.tc

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    Anon Akabar!!

  • ||

    Ha,

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    Anon Akabar!!

  • ||

    ha!

  • bleephole||

    I'm sure Tony will say this is some kind of Big Oil plot to discredit the global warming hucksters.

  • ||

    Who knew there were so many UAH grads lurking around this neighborhood. I got my BA there. Go Chargers!

  • ||

    While I understand the temptation to allow Al Gore and Co. to quietly fade into the sunset (with or without sunspots)a large number of these folks did, in fact, commit fraud. At least that is what it would be called if I generated false data in order to receive money. The fact that it was "grant" money rather than a scam to rob the widow and orphans fund really doesn't matter. Every time I see that stupid ad about the polar bears disappearing (and how we should send money to help save them) I want to call the State Attorney General's office and file a complaint. The increase in PB populations has been well documented - to claim otherwise in order to solicit funds is criminal.

  • Brett L||

    Who delivered less value for investment money, GoreCo or Enron? Life in Prison!

  • ||

    The current GLOBAL HISTORICAL CLIMATOLOGY NETWORK v2_mean file, which contains monthly mean temperatures for the globe, has about 134 stations that represent the United States, 92% of which are airports. Airports are known to be contaminated with UHI. The UHI effect is going to be more pronounced in areas with high humidity and with lots of tarmac. There may not be much UHI in areas with low humidity but that will depend upon the siting of the thermometer in relation to the tarmac.

    At any rate, my point is that the official GHCN for the United States is measuring climate at airports (that these sites are contaminated with UHI is not disputed) starting as of April 2006. That's when they dropped about 1040 stations for the U.S. from the data set.

    Anyone can import this data and verify it for themselves. Stations that begin with "425" represent the U.S.

    My question is why airports?

  • JB||

    This isn't science...it's fraud.

    Until these people are kicked out of their universities, the whole enterprise should not be referred to as 'climate science'.

  • ||

    Please watch my video images

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7I_eFoIk64

    It's about climate change, earth catastrophe and our planet as we lives in.

    Thank you.

  • ||

    For those interested in the urban heat island effect in the U.S., a short but fascinating YouTube video that shows the effect rather dramatically has been made by a young man (middle school age, I think), with help from his father:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_G_-SdAN04

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