Global Warming

Antarctica Warming, Says New Study

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A new study in the journal Nature, using interpolated satellite data, finds that Antarctica is warming. This is significant because the computer climate models predict that man-made global warming should be occurring fastest at the poles. Prior studies had found that most of the southern continent has been cooling for decades, rather than warming. The press release describing the new study explains:

The researchers devised a statistical technique that uses data from satellites and from Antarctic weather stations to make a new estimate of temperature trends.

Using their new statistical technique the researchers report:

For years it was believed that a relatively small area known as the Antarctic Peninsula was getting warmer, but that the rest of the continent—including West Antarctica, the ice sheet most susceptible to potential future collapse—was cooling…

The study found that warming in West Antarctica exceeded one-tenth of a degree Celsius per decade for the last 50 years and more than offset the cooling in East Antarctica.

Case closed? Some climate researchers aren't so sure about the new research. The Associated Press reports:

"This looks like a pretty good analysis, but I have to say I remain somewhat skeptical," Kevin Trenberth, climate analysis chief at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said in an e-mail. "It is hard to make data where none exist."

USA Today quotes University of Alabama-Huntsville (UAH) climatologist John Christy, who is the chief investigator using NOAA satellite temperature data:

"One must be very cautious with such results because they have no real way to be validated," says atmospheric scientist John Christy…. "In other words, we will never know what the temperature was over the very large missing areas that this technique attempts to fill in so that it can be tested back through time."

In other climate news, the National Climatic Data Center reports that 2008 was th 8th warmest year since 1880:

The combined global land and ocean surface temperature from January-December was 0.88 degree F (0.49 degree C) above the 20th Century average of 57.0 degrees F (13.9 degrees C). Since 1880, the annual combined global land and ocean surface temperature has increased at a rate of 0.09 degree F (0.05 degree C) / decade. This rate has increased to 0.29 degree F (0.16 degree C) / decade over the past 30 years.

Interestingly, the trend in global temperatures has been basically flat in recent years. See below for chart showing UAH satellite data:

UAH monthly temperature anomalies

Anomalies 1998-2008; University of Alabama (UAH)

In any case, the whole NCDC release can be found here

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  1. “In other climate news, the National Climatic Data Center reports that 2008 was the 8th warmest year since 1880”

    So what was the #1 warmest year???!!!

  2. CC: 1998 since records have been kept beginning in the mid-19the century.

  3. Unfortunately this is the same process used for the global temp in general. Climate shamans keep making adjustments to the raw data until they derive the trend they desire.

  4. Perhaps someone can fill me in on something. Being a metrologist I can be a bit picky about how measurements are made and reported. My question is how accurate are the temperature measurements that were made over 100 years ago? PRTs and thermocouples weren’t around then (AFAIK), so their measurements could easily be off by a degree or more, I would think.

  5. 1934, since NASA corrected their data errors.

  6. Sometimes I with they would use a little subtlety when cooking the books. They really don’t try anymore, I mean, now they just say “previous data contradicted the model so we replaced the data to make it agree”.

  7. sage, I think accuracies of much less than a degree could be achieved using homemade materials. of course the calibration must be done properly.

  8. A related study came out a couple weeks ago about Antarctica.

    It has been noted that the area covered by polar ice has shrunk considerably at the north pole, but expanded in area around Antarctica. This recent study looked at ice thinkness as well as area, and found that the Antarctic ice cap has been thinning even as it has been expanding. They calculated that, taking both factors into account, the volume of ice down south has increased by 1%, while the volume up north has decreased by 15%.

  9. And from my aeronautical engineering experience, the absolute accuracy on thermocouples is around a degree anyway.

  10. As far as I recall, ten years ago the satellite data showed no atmospheric warming at all. That is, until someone finally found an adjustment based on orbital decay that produced the desired upward trend in temps.

    I am sure there are equally valid adjustements that would deliver a cooling trend, but no one is working on them.

    Now we know the cause of global warming. It is simply biased adjustements to the raw data.

  11. And from my aeronautical engineering experience, the absolute accuracy on thermocouples is around a degree anyway.

    It depends on the type. A type K thermocouple is around a degree, but a type T is about half that. Of course that doesn’t take into account the accuracy of the readout, but that’s little more than a glorified millivoltmeter anyway, so it’s contribution to the error is pretty negligible.

    We’ve seen cases here where their accuracy is much better than specified. Of course you’re not allowed to say that. But…there, I said it.

  12. The global warmists have been caught juggling the figures so many times that I automatically suspect whatever they say now.
    If we’re not careful things like this could discredit scientific research in general. Then where would we be? We’re supposed to be receiving neutral and reliable data to inform our decisions, not a political agenda in scientific drag.

  13. So lemme get this straight: there really isn’t any data from the area that is now found to have been warming?

    Pretty brazen, no?

  14. Yes, the scientists are all cheating – all tens of thousands of them – and that’s why the data don’t say what you want.

    Jesus effing Christ on a pogo stick.

  15. I am denialist. I deny Antarctica exists. I think it’s just faked by filming outside in Minnesota on a typical day. It’s just a ridiculous notion. Ice continent Hoth, and oh, there’s a desert in the middle of it. You idiots will believe anything.

  16. domoarrigato: 1934 was the hottest year in the U.S.M, not the globe. Of course, this was a correction to the GISS data.

  17. These studies are getting to be like the health studies. You get one study one day saying that coffee is bad for you. A week later, a study says coffee is great for you. Then one saying it’s not so great as the previous study thought.

    And so on. As far as I’m concerned, coffee makes me jittery so I don’t drink it. I stick to green tea and energy drinks.

  18. so their measurements could easily be off by a degree or more, I would think.

    This is true, but doesn’t seem too relevant for creating the trend line. The errors would be as likely to mask the trend as amplify it over time…yadda yadda.

  19. How are global temperatures measured spatially over time? I mean I can measure outside where I live right now and its butt-freaking cold. 6 months ago, not so much. Do they measure the same locations every day, for the whole year?

    Frankly, I don’t trust the flat-earthers who think Earth is 6,000 years old who happen to work for companies that pollute heavily as part of their production. They have something to lose here. What do the scientists have to gain by predicting global warming to be man made? Besides feeling good about themselves?

  20. This guy on the internet said the scientists were all conspiring, and that’s good enough for me, cuz I’m a skeptik.

  21. Nick,

    Yes, stationary temperature sites across the globe, for an apples to apples comparison.

  22. The combined global land and ocean surface temperature from January-December was 0.88 degree F (0.49 degree C) above the 20th Century average of 57.0 degrees F (13.9 degrees C). Since 1880, the annual combined global land and ocean surface temperature has increased at a rate of 0.09 degree F (0.05 degree C) / decade. This rate has increased to 0.29 degree F (0.16 degree C) / decade over the past 30 years.

    With a standard deviation of…. how much? And does somebody really care? So what if mean temperatures have risen a toad’s hair each decade? How can that be important?

    Because all these collections of useless numbers makes me believe that, first, someone has way too much time in his hands, and second, that there is some sort of irresistible urge from someone or someones to try to centrally manage the climate. And we all KNOW how well people can centrally manage a complex system, right? Right? Right?

  23. The data shows Antarctica is cooling, so they used a statistical technique to extrapolate additional data points showing warming. In other words, they cooked the numbers.

  24. I mean I can measure outside where I live right now and its butt-freaking cold. 6 months ago, not so much. Do they measure the same locations every day, for the whole year?

    Essentially.

    That is why there are spatial holes in the data.

  25. AGW hypotheses aren’t, broadly speaking, falsifiable. Anything that could happen to the climate in the short-term is “not incompatible with” the theory that Mother Earth is punishing mankind for its sins, which is the same error men have made since they crawled out of the trees and wrote the Old Testament.

  26. joe, I understand the reaction, but it does seem like there is legitimate debate on the subject of the satellite data. It’s less of a scientific debate than it is an engineering problem. Having been an engineer briefly, I know it’s far from unlikely that they will screw things up and say “whoops, nevermind that data, we forgot to open the whatsyfuddle circuit” 5 years after the fact. The Scientists pay no mind, having built entire careers in the meanwhile. And precious peer review doesn’t go back after the fact and correct wrong data used in thousands of papers – nor do newspapers retract headlines.

  27. MikeB: You’re right about the correction to UAH datasets. That was done by a group called Remote Sensing Systems (RSS). Interestingly, RSS’ corrected temperature data set now shows a lower rate of warming than does the UAH data.

  28. rbailey, right you are. 1934 depression – coincidence? I THINK NOT… The global temprature must be controlled by the stock market.

  29. RSS’ corrected temperature data set now shows a lower rate of warming than does the UAH data.

    So they’re freezing the numbers? Geez you can’t believe any of these wankers!

  30. The best way to determine if a study reaches the standards of scientific rigor is to ask a simply question of the researchers:

    “How would you know if you were wrong.”

    These kinds of meta-analysis are notorious for be way off target because researchers must make assumption to interpolate the data and they have no means of testing either the assumptions nor the results. They can never tell if they’re wrong.

    A solid scientific hypothesis should have a clearly defined measurement which could invalidate the hypothesis is observed.

  31. Francisco,

    So no uncertainties reported with those numbers?

  32. This guy on the internet said the scientists were all conspiring, and that’s good enough for me, cuz I’m a skeptik.

    This guy on the internet said the scientists all agree and that’s good enough for me.

  33. This guy on the internet said the scientists were all conspiring, and that’s good enough for me, cuz I’m a skeptik.

    Joe,

    I really don’t think a large number of scientists control the raw temp numbers.

    Also, lets not forget that these numbers are produced by employees of a governement which desires to increase its power. You can’t increase a governements power without a crisis.

    Therefore, the raw numbers are bogus and only global warming supporters get grants. Talk about a serious bias.

    Don’t think it can happen. Just look at the phoney credit crisis we just had. Seems like everyone jumped on that bandwagon also.

  34. Yes, stationary temperature sites across the globe, for an apples to apples comparison.

    Actaully no…

    Neither CRU nor NOAA have archived any source code for their calculations, so it is impossible to know for sure exactly what they do. However, I am unaware of any published documents by either of these agencies that indicate that they “correct” their temperature index for UHI effect (as Gavin claims here) and so I’m puzzled as to how Gavin expects D’Aleo to be able to “know” that they carry out such corrections. And as to GISS adjustments, as we’ve discussed here in the past (and I’ll review briefly), outside the US, they have the odd situation where “negative UHI adjustments” are as common as “positive UHI adjustments”, raising serious questions about whether the method accomplishes anything at all, as opposed to simply being a Marvelous Toy.

    From here:

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=4901#more-4901

  35. sage,

    I’d say it’s been technically possible since around 1750. Mercury thermometers were invented by Farenheit in 1724 and the modern version of the Celsius scale was defined in 1744. Farenheit’s scale came first, but it used human body temperature as a calibration point, so it would have been iffy for assembling readings across multiple sets of equipment.

  36. MikeB,

    Therefore, the raw numbers are bogus and only global warming supporters get grants. Talk about a serious bias.

    The numbers may be correct, but even so, it’s a stretch to use them to support Man-made Global Warming . . . Oooops, excuse me, Climate Change.

    I agree with you that the conclusions may be correct, because without evidence of cause, jumping to the conclusion that people should stop breathing because temperatures are rising is a classic case of a non-sequitur.

  37. I really get the feeling that Climatology is as related to the science that it will eventually become as alchemy is to chemistry.

    In other words, an experts predictions are about as accurate as those randomly made up.

    Given the serious data problems, politically motivated funding, and near religious faith in AGW, I just can’t believe in it at all.

  38. MikeB,

    At first I wanted to respond about how the credit crisis is real, but then I realized how close the comparison you made really is. model based Climate Science makes the same mistakes that model based leveraged finance made: excessive reliance on dubious assumptions, overly simplistic models, serial correlation, groupthink, moral hazard, inappropriately applied linear math, widespread agreement among experts, and government intervention. Which one do you think will end up costing the taxpayer more?

  39. Sorry, the conclusions may be suspect

  40. Neu Mejican | January 22, 2009, 4:17pm | #
    so their measurements could easily be off by a degree or more, I would think.

    This is true, but doesn’t seem too relevant for creating the trend line. The errors would be as likely to mask the trend as amplify it over time…yadda yadda.

    Wrong

    In a 2007 press release on Antarctica, NASA’s describes their measurement error at 2-3 degrees, making Steig’s conclusion of .25 degrees Celsius over 25 years statistically meaningless.

    “Instead, the team checked the satellite records against ground-based weather station data to inter-calibrate them and make the 26-year satellite record. The scientists estimate the level of uncertainty in the measurements is between 2-3 degrees Celsius.”

    That is from this 2007 NASA press release, third paragraph.

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8239

    Also in that PR, NASA shows yet another satellite derived depiction which differs from the ones above. I’ve added it.

    Saying you have a .25 deviation over 25 years (based on one-tenth of a degree Celsius per decade per Steig) with a previously established measurement uncertainty of 2-3 degrees means that the “deduced” value Steig obtained is not greater than the error bands previously cited on 2007, which would render it statistically meaningless.

    From here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/21/antarctica-warming-an-evolution-of-viewpoint/#more-5224

  41. I do enjoy the numbers-massage at work here. I don’t discount the potential of anthropogenic-sourced climate impact of one kind or another, but anything that is a “crisis” that can only be solved by me giving more money and authority to the likes of Barney Frank is suspect out of the gate.

    That angle to this – that concept of global warming as a “problem” needing a “solution” – is the biggest hit in my mind on the validity of anthropogenically-driven global warming.

    Behind virtually every pro-warmer bit out there is a drumbeat for some State appropriation of my sovereignty and my wallet somehow as a “fix.”

    I wonder if the warmer-proponents can cook up a scheme to “fix” the problem via some mechanism that does not involve the government getting to tell me what to do by coercive fiat while taking my money without any risk to themselves? If such a scheme were to show up and the likes of Al Gore and Co. endorsed, I would give a lot more credibility to their scientific claims because it removes their own interests from those claims.

    Of course the warmer proponents tend to agree there is no other solution than the dilution of my money and rights by State appropriation in some fashion, which is why I don’t believe their pseudoscientific bullshit.

  42. In a 2007 press release on Antarctica, NASA’s describes their measurement error at 2-3 degrees,

    Holy crap. See that’s what I was getting at. How can anyone look at statements like this from Ron’s post:

    Since 1880, the annual combined global land and ocean surface temperature has increased at a rate of 0.09 degree F (0.05 degree C) / decade. This rate has increased to 0.29 degree F (0.16 degree C) / decade over the past 30 years.

    and say “uh, plus or minus 1.5 degrees” with a straight face?

  43. Ron Bailey,

    Does this mean we’ll be able to see all those lakes and mountains that are underneath that two mile deep Antarctic ice cap?

  44. “Does this mean we’ll be able to see all those lakes and mountains that are underneath that two mile deep Antarctic ice cap?”

    We can use the stimulus-crack for time-shares on the shores of Lake Vostok here pretty quick, kind of like a Boca Raton that just appreciates in value as the temps go up. Economy solved!

  45. It’s Fucking SUMMER down there.

  46. “This guy on the internet said the scientists all agree and that’s good enough for me.”

    Nahh, but when all the scientists in the IPCC, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences, Joint science academies’ statements, American Geophysical Union, Geological Society of America, American Meteorological Society, Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, Royal Meteorological Society (UK)
    , etc., all issue statements of agreement, then yeah, that’s good enough for me…

  47. sage,

    I see your point – I think the deal here is that the satellite data (which is available over the interior of the continent) is 2-3 degrees accuracy – they used some land based data (from the peninsula most likely) to “anchor” it – supposedly increasing the accuracy of the satellite data.

  48. Am I committing a faix pas in admitting that I don’t give a flying rat’s gangrenous left testicle about global warming or climate change or whatever the fuck it is being called this afternoon?

    I believe that it exists at the very least level as a topic of rather heated debate or perhaps even as something tangible, but I just honestly don’t care about it at all.

    Am I a bad person?

  49. ^^^faux

  50. It’s warming because of the deep magic.

  51. It’s Fucking SUMMER down there.

    Yes, but the models, see, say that it should get even warmer, and that Antartica will lose all its core ice and we will be all drowning….

    Kind of what scientist predicted in the 1820s about rail transportation – that any speeds over 25 MPH would make people bleed through their ears. And they probably had models to show for, just not the pretty and leggy kind (doomsayers are mind numbingly boring anyway, especially AGW fanatics.)

  52. “They have something to lose here. What do the scientists have to gain by predicting global warming to be man made? Besides feeling good about themselves?”

    Research dollars.

  53. domoarrigato, I guess the credit crisis is true based on your definition. The fact that banks will no longer lend to poor credit risks is not a crisis. We are in a recession however.

    I do find the similarities between macro economics and climatology to also be quite stricking. Both struggle to provide near term predictions and appear useless in the long-run.

    Both also have useful rules of thumb. Increasing money supply -> inflation, increasing CO2 –> warming. However, defining anything beyond a very crude level is not possible.

    Which one will cost more? Hard to say. It does seem like the credit crisis was nicely timed to coincide with waning interest in AGW.

  54. I think discounting the politics and the economic incentives around this is a mistake. The analogy to the credit “crisis” or to nutritional studies is apt. And there isn’t anywhere near consensus on the details or even on the anthropogenic piece of the warming trend. Let alone on what we should be doing about it. I’m willing to be convinced by the science, but I’m not willing to be convinced by people making unfounded claims.

  55. Just like every time I read a Global Warming article pro or con…. I’m so confused

  56. Kind of what scientist predicted in the 1820s about rail transportation – that any speeds over 25 MPH would make people bleed through their ears.

    Have you ever ridden Amtrak? It’s not your ears I would worry about…

  57. “Yes, but the models, see, say that it should get even warmer”

    Models? What the hell do they know? You ever date a model? They’re all liars. Oh they say things are really gonna get hot when we get back to the crib, but most of them just put down a bottle or two of crisp and then pass out on the couch before they even get started. Models, shit. Lying bitches.

  58. Pro Libertate
    “I’m willing to be convinced by the science” like when all the scientific professional associations agree?

    “but I’m not willing to be convinced by people making unfounded claims” like people on a political sites comments thread?

  59. “Am I a bad person?”

    Is a dumbass a bad person?

  60. Relying on an argument from authority, as fun as it is, is always just trying to shame those who disagree with you with the Revealed Truth from Big Chief White Lab Coat.

  61. American Meteorological Society, Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, Royal Meteorological Society (UK)…

  62. not caring about AGW/CC makes one a dumbass?

  63. MNG, do all those organizations agree that climate change is caused by human activity?

  64. “most of them just put down a bottle or two of crisp and then pass out on the couch before they even get started.”

    which prevents what, exactly?

  65. How are global temperatures measured spatially over time? I mean I can measure outside where I live right now and its butt-freaking cold. 6 months ago, not so much. Do they measure the same locations every day, for the whole year?

    Yes. The data is an aggregate of the entire year to create an ‘average’ temperature for a region.

    When trying to calculate weather, it’s meaningless. Tell your local Las Cruces Chamer of Commerce that.

    However, for ‘global climate’, it’s valid. Ie, if I create an average temperature of area X, over decades that temperature will go down, go up, or stay the same.

    -=snark: Al Gore says they should stay the same where real science says that it will move either up or down over time.

  66. “Also, lets not forget that these numbers are produced by employees of a governement which desires to increase its power. You can’t increase a governements power without a crisis.”

    And deniers of global warming have no ulterior motive whatsoever. Nope those oil companies employ all the true scientists.

  67. “which prevents what, exactly?”

    I’m both a rapper and a gentleman. And I’m really into pegging.

  68. Skepticism might be warranted … if giant Rhode Island-sized slabs of ice weren’t falling off of Antarctica every couple of years.

  69. “Nahh, but when all the scientists in the IPCC, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences, Joint science academies’ statements, American Geophysical Union, Geological Society of America, American Meteorological Society, Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, Royal Meteorological Society (UK)
    , etc., all issue statements of agreement, then yeah, that’s good enough for me…”

    First off, the IPCC? The U.N. has conceived of so many scientific committees that have been so wrong so consistently for so long that if you could short their stock, my first question is “Where do I buy with my TARP hit?”

    Fifty wonks telling me something is true based on a un-testable computer model is not credible. Also, the organizations cited above do not claim that globally rising temperatures are real. They claim temperatures are rising, and that the cause is primarily anthropogenic in nature. Its like the old skeptic’s saw about UFO’s: Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. The claim these outfits you cite is far, far more extraordinary than the evidence they present. I would like to see one of these computer models as currently loaded up – without any data and algorithm massaging – run hotglobe.exe from say, oh, 1850 and see what it thinks the earth should be like in 2008 using the same data-set of real temperatures, carbon emissions, all of it. I bet the results on at least some of the models would not be “wrong” but hilariously wrong. It would not be a question of which one was “right” it would be a good measure of which one is the least wrong. I bet the solidarity of all those organizations would rapidly decay into an Ivory Tower flame war if you could actually score the various models, each one different and cherished by its creators.

    I’ve never seen a press release or anything like that with such a claim of accuracy from one of these silicon spincycles being back-run against a known data set….not one.

    String theory is a similar critter in the Ivory Towers right now, an abstract notion that describes all the physical properties of the universe, no matter which universe you happen to be in and basically unprovable from an empirical point of view in any of those universes. That’s not science anymore, that’s nerds playing Dungeons and Dragons with a thicket of Yukawa interactions and SU3 manifolds in lieu of dice. But they’re all professors, so its gotta be right!

  70. HAL-9000,

    It’s not just computer models, although that’s what every rightwing GW skeptic seems to think. Just because we don’t know everything doesn’t mean we know nothing.

    Sheesh everyone’s a scientist when they are convinced of the opposite of what most scientists believe. Just like evolution deniers all of a sudden became experts in bacterial flagella.

  71. So for a decade, the existing data suggested the Antartica is cooling. Then statistians generate data with a new technique where no actual measurements exist. This new data reverses the analysis so that the results now match the theory. Sound too convenient to me. It’s probably a case of the statistical technique making data out of a theory and then using the data to validate the theory.

  72. “It is hard to make data where none exist.”

    No it’s not.

  73. Skepticism might be warranted … if giant Rhode Island-sized slabs of ice weren’t falling off of Antarctica every couple of years.

    As they have been doing for the past 10,000 years.

    Or is it your belief that slabs of ice never fell off Antarctica before we had satellites?

  74. Tony,

    My ecology and evolution department had two modeling experts. Both of them said they believe in global warming but with a grain of salt. All the professors without computer modeling experience talked about global warming as if it was the Gospell. From what I’ve seen, the people with the least knowledge are the biggest global warming advocates. They don’t know enough to actually weigh the evidence and see that the proof is mixed at best. They just read a headline and repeat it.

  75. It is very simple. Climatologists have yet to make a future prediction and have it validated. Therefore, like string theory mentioned previously, it is not science.

    In fact, it appears that every prediction has failed and caused them to rework their models to accurately predict the immediate past.

    Sure AGW may be true. However, as of today there is no more evidence than a questionable extremely minor warming trend well within the margin or error.

    Warming hasn’t been proven, yet many are sure that man is responsible.

  76. “not caring about AGW/CC makes one a dumbass?”

    Yeah, I think not caring about something that experts are saying will have a negative effect on the well being of humanity, including perhaps many deaths, makes one a dumbass.

    I mean, really, literally thousands of PhDs, from literally dozens of large professional associations from literally dozens of nations around the world all are just conspiring evil genuises or colossal stupid fools who can’t analyze the relevant data as well as dudes sitting around on a political comments section.

    Yeah. I mean, you’re asking us to believe in some INCREDIBLE shit there.

  77. In other climate news, the National Climatic Data Center reports that 2008 was th 8th warmest year since 1880:

    The combined global land and ocean surface temperature from January-December was 0.88 degree F (0.49 degree C) above the 20th Century average of 57.0 degrees F (13.9 degrees C). Since 1880, the annual combined global land and ocean surface temperature has increased at a rate of 0.09 degree F (0.05 degree C) / decade. This rate has increased to 0.29 degree F (0.16 degree C) / decade over the past 30 years.

    Oh Jesus NOAA…give me a break those guys don’t even attempt to adjust for urban heat. Let alone exclude stations with non-weather warming biases.

    Anyone believing that 2008 was the 8th warmest since 1880 is an idiot.

  78. Jtuf
    You think all of the thousands of PhD’s who have signed on to statements agreeing with basically what the IPCC has found did what those two profs you mention did? I mean, even if you are right about a third of them then that is far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far, far more than are denying it (even if we assume none of them are guilty of the same thing!).

  79. Yeah, I think not caring about something that experts are saying will have a negative effect on the well being of humanity, including perhaps many deaths, makes one a dumbass.

    You’re conflating “AGW happens” with “AGW will be a disaster”.

    Color me a dumbass too, but until someone demonstrates a “but-for” or “cause and effect” outlay and prove the definite effects beyond a reasonable doubt, I won’t care either.

  80. You know one thing that gets me about this denying stuff is that in a strange way it seems to deny something I would think libertarians would be likely to trumpet: the amazing power man has developed through technology and machines. I mean, look at the amazing things the industrial revolution has wrought in what is historically a small amount of time. It’s not a stretch to think that exercising all that power could be effecting the frigging atmosphere. And it would be as strange as those who deny the amazing benefits of that process (and I mean absolutely amazing) to think it could not possibly have had any negative effects…

  81. Is it so hard, though, before advocating reigning in that amazing wealth-engine we call the market, that somebody somewhere simply state:

    “If we do not cut C02 by W amount, X number of people will die in Y manner in Z years”.

    That’s all I ask.

  82. “Color me a dumbass too”

    Well, of course, I have long ago.

  83. ooh, how original.

  84. The IPCC projected with “very high confidence” that millions of people will be effected by flooding triggered by IPCC.

    But I’g guessing you’re looking for the kind of statistical “but-for” or “cause and effect” 100% proof that, say, no pro-libertarian social science study has ever nor will ever achieve. But the latter you believe in, the former you don’t.

    But then your philosophy is strangley protean, taking shape to apologize for what you felt all along anyway from what I can tell, so why buck that here?

  85. Tony,

    “It’s not just computer models, although that’s what every rightwing GW skeptic seems to think. Just because we don’t know everything doesn’t mean we know nothing.

    Sheesh everyone’s a scientist when they are convinced of the opposite of what most scientists believe. Just like evolution deniers all of a sudden became experts in bacterial flagella.”

    The only tools I have seen the AGW crowd use to predict the future (a dark, Venus-lite future) are their beloved computer models. The other component is the data-set they feed into said computer models. You speak of them having more. I am curious what it is.

    All the empirical examples of warming (the disappearing glacier of Kilimanjaro, for instance) tells me the planet’s temperature gradient changes over centuries of time (something the scientifically literate have known for at least a hundred years). I have never seen a piece of empirical observation (barring one) that rising temps are anthropogenic in their origin.

    And since we are using these computers to predict the future, the scenario I mentioned of testing the model against a known data-set of temperatures over time starting in the past is perfectly reasonable.

    The fact no one seems to do this, or at least trumpet the results half as loudly as the “tweak” to “fix” the Antarctica “problem” in some computer program, somewhere this week, I find telling about how much confidence the eggheads have in the methodologies – computers and otherwise – they are using here.

    And as far as the comment relating to unqualified people becoming “experts” in something totally outside of their field, have you ever heard of Al Gore?

  86. TAO
    You have’nt read the IPCC’s full report huh?

  87. You know one thing that gets me about this denying stuff is that in a strange way it seems to deny something I would think libertarians would be likely to trumpet

    Find a way for us to blame the government and to cut our taxes and then we will all believe in global warming.

  88. oh no, MNG is insulting me again.

    Hmmm, should I argue with him for the thousandth time so he can insult my mother, my intelligence and my status in life?

    No thanks. I have actual friends to get to.

  89. “In other climate news, the National Climatic Data Center reports that 2008 was th 8th warmest year since 1880:

    The combined global land and ocean surface temperature from January-December was 0.88 degree F (0.49 degree C) above the 20th Century average of 57.0 degrees F (13.9 degrees C). Since 1880, the annual combined global land and ocean surface temperature has increased at a rate of 0.09 degree F (0.05 degree C) / decade. This rate has increased to 0.29 degree F (0.16 degree C) / decade over the past 30 years.”

    Key words here people: surface temperature. The surface temperatures are almost completely worthless due to all the different kinds of equipment used to measure data, the conditions of the weather mesuring equipment (located on parking lots sometimes!), human error, and the haphazard attempts to massage the data to get a “correct” answer. A single bad point can corrupt the rest of the data. Recently there was a weather station on the fritz in New Mexico that was located in a recently-paved parking lot, causing a huge temperature spike over a whole area of the southwest.

    I only trust satellite data.

  90. JC
    You have spoken the truth. The denial is all about people not liking the implications.

  91. . . .pro-libertarian social science. . . .

    It’s a new field, but I’m too humble to say more.

  92. Haven’t read it, huh TAO?

    Notice that I did not mention TAO, but shortly after I came on the thread he popped up and addressed me? Then he gets mad and stomps away “you’re picking on me and I don’t need this.”

    What a puss.

  93. To quote a great movie:

    “Run away, run away!”

  94. Uh, no, I was just reminding myself that you have never argued anything on a good-faith basis and that wasting my time on you is a Lucy/Charlie Brown/Football exercise in futility.

  95. And TAO I’ve never insulted your mother.

    I don’t think people should even discuss folks that neither person even knows.

  96. The guy with no philosophy or principles calls out the good faith of another!

    Priceless!

  97. Your problem TAO is that you have this idea that if someone isn’t convinced by your arguments, then they must not be arguing in good faith.

    It’s incredibly arrogant, and from the arguing skillz I’ve seen you display pretty unwarranted bro.

  98. joshua corning | January 22, 2009, 4:39pm | #
    Neu Mejican | January 22, 2009, 4:17pm | #
    so their measurements could easily be off by a degree or more, I would think.

    This is true, but doesn’t seem too relevant for creating the trend line. The errors would be as likely to mask the trend as amplify it over time…yadda yadda.

    Wrong

    Well, I ain’t a statistician, but the yadda yadda was meant to indicate that things are more complicated.

    What is needed to have a meaningful discussion here is some indication of the effect size and the confidence interval around that effect size, the power of the study to detect a difference, etc…

    Looking at the point estimate of the difference in temperature and comparing it to the measurement error doesn’t get you all the way to the “meaningless” claim that your quote provided.

    As usual, the devil’s in the details. I assume that any publication that got past peer review would have to demonstrate that the effect seen (increased temperature) was both statistically significant, and had a meaningful effect size. If the peer review process did not demand this of the study, then I would be very skeptical of the journal.

  99. jtuf | January 22, 2009, 5:46pm | #
    Tony,

    My ecology and evolution department had two modeling experts. Both of them said they believe in global warming but with a grain of salt.

    My father did computer modeling of complex events for Sandia Labs for his whole career and, actually, his group was responsible for developing many of the techniques currently used in computer modeling. He was not convinced until fairly recently that the climate models were up to snuff. Last time I talked to him on the subject, with that grain of salt that should always be given to any claims based on a model, he thinks that many of the current computer models are appropriately used for making the claims they make at the level of accuracy that they make the claims.

    Again, devil’s in the details, which model, which claim…yadda yadda.

  100. TAO, if talking with me is so very pointless, then how come when I appear on any thread and have a conversation not mentioning or addressing you at all it takes about 10 seconds for you to rush in and respond or mention me?

    Is it the Axe body spray the wife bought for me? Be honest…

  101. MNG | January 22, 2009, 6:19pm | #
    JC
    You have spoken the truth. The denial is all about people not liking the implications.

    No i was exposing poeple, like you, who liking the implications invent circumstances to fit them.

    Sort of like manufacturing data to turn a 30 year measured cooling trend in Antarctica into a 50 year estimated warming trend.

  102. Two of us tried to examine a skeptical and pragmatic view of global warming a while back:

    Part 1

    Part 2

  103. At least you have to give HAL-9000 credit, he points to some other scientific area in which he thinks the consensus is wrong. If all these arm-chair experts were such great scientists that they could see things in the data that hundreds of Phds working daily in the field could not, then you’d think they would give us some other growing scientific consensuses they’ve disproven.

    Of course, there is no growing consensus about the truth of string theory, but it’s at least nice of him to have some pretence at sanity.

  104. If the peer review process did not demand this of the study, then I would be very skeptical of the journal.

    It was published in Nature…so be assured the peer review demanded nothing but the name Michael Mann signed on as a co-author.

  105. JC
    You’re kidding right.

    What possible implication of AGW would I like?

    I’m a union man, and measures to address AGW are going to suck balls for the unions.

    I am for the poor, and measures to address AGW are going to suck balls for the poor (not as bad as drowning from flooding will, but there will be hardships).

    It’s goofy for you to think liberals want to see government grow just for the sake of seeing it grow, but what’s worse, do you think all the members of those scientific organizations think that way?

    Really?

  106. I mean, measures to address AGW are going to kill union workers in the UAW, UMW, etc.

  107. Really, I only buy into the AGW stuff because so many of the experts in the relevant fields do. They say it’s going to effect mankind in these negative ways and I think it would be stupid not to address it, because I’m against me and my kids and other people and their kids suffering and such.

    The money and time that will go into addressing
    it I’d love to see go into other things (like tax rebates to me, or funding the NLRB and various consumer protection agencies more, and some health care reforms). But there’s that whole suffering thing I mentioned supra…

  108. joshua corning | January 22, 2009, 6:58pm | #
    If the peer review process did not demand this of the study, then I would be very skeptical of the journal.

    It was published in Nature…so be assured the peer review demanded nothing but the name Michael Mann signed on as a co-author.

    Well, it is more stringent than that…

    Nature receives approximately 10,000 papers every year and our editors reject about 60% of them without review. (Since the journal’s launch in 1869, Nature’s editors have been the only arbiters of what it publishes.) The papers that survive beyond that initial threshold of editorial interest are submitted to our traditional process of assessment, in which two or more referees chosen by the editors are asked to comment anonymously and confidentially. Editors then consider the comments and proceed with rejection, encouragement or acceptance. In the end we publish about 7% of our submissions.

    Nature may not have the strictest peer-review in the world of science, but it does have peer review.

    As Dr. T and others will remind you. Peer review is a pretty low bar, so be skeptical of peer reviewed articles…but be double skeptical of sources that haven’t even bothered to step over it, and triple skeptical of those that limbo under it.

  109. Good job NM.

    Peer review doesn’t mean “oh, it’s proved!” like people who get mad when I emphasize its importance.

    But its better than what passes for it among political think tanks and the like.

  110. This seems relevant:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/01/state-of-antarctica-red-or-blue

    A couple of us (Eric and Mike) are co-authors on a paper coming out in Nature this week (Jan. 22, 09). We have already seen misleading interpretations of our results in the popular press and the blogosphere, and so we thought we would nip such speculation in the bud.

  111. MNG


    The money and time that will go into addressing it

    . . . is the main issue I have; I can’t help but think it could be put to better use elsewhere as I have never seen anything convincing that tells me what (or how much) effect reducing greenhouse gases will have on future temperatures.

  112. I think we should refer to the paper’s lead author, Michael Mann, as Michael “Disproven Hockey Stick Graph” Mann, just as I refer to NASA’s James Hansen as James “Can’t Do Math” Hansen.

  113. Michael Bellesiles | January 22, 2009, 5:43pm | #

    “It is hard to make data where none exist.”

    No it’s not.

    FTW.

  114. The IPCC projected with “very high confidence” that millions of people will be effected by flooding triggered by IPCC.

    So we should… just disband the IPCC. Problem solved.

  115. Matthew
    Have you read the IPCC report?

  116. I think we should refer to the paper’s lead author, Michael Mann, as Michael “Disproven Hockey Stick Graph” Mann, just as I refer to NASA’s James Hansen as James “Can’t Do Math” Hansen.

    Okay, given that you demonstrate the mathematical errors in the article, and/or how the conclusions the authors draw are unwarranted.

    Otherwise we’ll just have to refer to you as Franklin “cheap shots from the bleachers” Harris.

  117. MNG,

    All the sources you mentioned. Or organizations. Or scientific communities. Do they all agree that climate change is caused by human activity?

  118. Nature 442, 627 (10 August 2006) | doi:10.1038/442627b; Published online 9 August 2006

    Authors were clear about hockey-stick uncertainties

    Raymond S. Bradley, Malcolm K. Hughes & Michael E. Mann

    Sir

    Your News story “Academy affirms hockey-stick graph” (Nature 441, 1032; 2006) states that the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) panel “concluded that systematic uncertainties in climate records from before 1600 were not communicated as clearly as they could have been”. This conclusion is not stated in the NAS report itself, but formed part of the remarks made by Gerald North, the NAS committee chair, at the press conference announcing the report.

    The name of our paper is “Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the past millennium: inferences, uncertainties, and limitations” (Geophys. Res. Lett. 26, 759-762; 1999). In the abstract, we state: “We focus not just on the reconstructions, but on the uncertainties therein, and important caveats” and note that “expanded uncertainties prevent decisive conclusions for the period prior to AD 1400”. We conclude by stating: “more widespread high-resolution data are needed before more confident conclusions can be reached.” It is hard to imagine how much more explicit we could have been about the uncertainties in the reconstruction; indeed, that was the point of the article!

    The subsequent confusion about uncertainties was the result of poor communication by others, who used our temperature reconstruction without the reservations that we had stated clearly.

  119. Otherwise we’ll just have to refer to you as Franklin “cheap shots from the bleachers” Harris.

    Hey, there’s a certain je ne sais quoi about cheap shots from the bleachers. Bleachers is all some of us can afford, anyway.

  120. Paul,

    Yeah, but don’t you hate that moron in your section that’s always cussing out players or coaches (like he could do better) while you’re trying to watch the game?

    Sit the fuck down and watch the game for chrissake.

  121. Global warming as a thesis peaked when Al Gore won the Nobel Prize.

    These sorts of concerns over some mass catastrophe that “punishes” mankind’s hubris have historically been associated with periods of peak optimism (and, when stock markets have existed, bull market peaks).

    Too bad there’s no liquid Intrade contract to short AGW.

  122. joshua corning wrote: “Sort of like manufacturing data to turn a 30 year measured cooling trend in Antarctica into a 50 year estimated warming trend.”

    Antarctica is, like, a big place, you know?

    The cooling was in Eastern Antarctica. The warming is in Western Antarctica, and was more significant than the cooling.

  123. Graphite wrote: “Too bad there’s no liquid Intrade contract to short AGW.”

    Buy beachfront real estate in Bangladesh.

  124. We’re supposed to be receiving neutral and reliable data to inform our decisions, not a political agenda in scientific drag.

    I doubt this political agenda involves legitimizing above-ground nuclear testing.

  125. First, a couple of nits to pick, then a question.

    Didn’t the current trend of “global warming” start ~12kya, when mankind was still in the hunter-gatherer stage? In that sense “global warming” caused civilization, not the other way around. So, the earth has been getting warmer without man’s help, anyway. The arctic ice would disappear, and melting continental snow would raise the ocean levels. This would have happened whether man helped or not. But I will concede that increasing CO2 levels are going to accelerate this process. So it seems to me that the correct term would be something like “mankind accelerated global warming.”

    End of nits, now the question.

    Worldwide efforts are going to be made to combat this. What is the yardstick that will be used to judge its effectiveness? In other words, what will be considered “success”? Global average temperature of 22C from now on, forever and ever? That would entail not only reversing the effect of man’s influence on the climate but also that of the entire earth.

    You cannot start something without knowing your endpoint.

    .. Hobbit

  126. Well said. If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll wind up someplace else.

  127. Ron Bailey, you need to subscribe to Anthony Watts’ blog, Watts Up With That.

    In particular, see:
    Antarctica warming? An evolution of viewpoint

  128. MNG,

    Oh, I don’t doubt that we are in a warming trend (for better or worse we’ve been exiting a ice age for some time now, with that little ice age as a sort of a bump in the process). I’m skeptical that we know how to reverse that trend in any sort of appropriate manner, and I’m not quite sure why we would. After all, most of Earth’s history has been far warmer than the past three million or so years when we actually got ice caps, etc. Who is to say that a warmer planet is a worse planet? Why not carve a chunk out of Central America, get that old global warm current going and let’s see! 🙂

  129. MNG,

    Plus, rising sea levels would really spur on the development of awesome sea cities.

  130. Antarctica is, like, a big place, you know?

    The cooling was in Eastern Antarctica. The warming is in Western Antarctica, and was more significant than the cooling.

    Only according to one study…this study in fact that invented data.

    Furthermore the trend of continental warming only appears if one looks at a 50 year trend (with the manufactured data cuz continent wide data did not exist 50 years ago) not the last 30 years which is a cooling trend. One would think the trend for the last 30 years with higher CO2 in the atmo would show a warming trend No?

  131. It’s goofy for you to think liberals want to see government grow just for the sake of seeing it grow

    it would be goofy considering that liberals want to see it shrink….oh wait i see now…you are confusing liberals with the left.

    Yes the left does want to see government grow.

  132. Given that this web site calls itself Reason this article and the responses of most of the commenters is oddly incongruous. Most of them rely on conspiracy theory. Many others depend on a simple broad assertion that virtually all of the experts in climatology are simply wrong. One of them quotes a letter submitted to a journal that was rejected by that journal because the “survey” was a completely unscientific one using rather vague phrasing in its questions and was subject to self-selection bias.

    Actually there’s many more mistakes in these posts, more than I can take the time to refute. Besides, it’s not like any of these posters making these claims and mistakes are actually open to reason.

  133. Actually there’s many more mistakes in these posts, more than I can take the time to refute.

    Then why the fuck did you bother to post?

    Given that this web site calls itself Reason

    Oh yeah, and DRINK!

  134. “Then why the fuck did you bother to post? ”

    Yeah, I don’t get it why people do that either.

  135. Joshua Corning,

    Only according to one study…this study in fact that invented data.

    You don’t seem to appreciate the difference between the data & the results of this study.

  136. Ron Bailey, you need to subscribe to Anthony Watts’ blog, Watts Up With That.

    Why? Pray tell. The guy’s a TV weatherman

    Wouldn’t a better subscription be something like Journal of Climate of the AMS?

  137. “Yes, the scientists are all cheating – all tens of thousands of them – and that’s why the data don’t say what you want.”

    Can you provide this list of tens of thousands of independent climatologists (are there even 10 of thousands of climatologists?) all doing independent work all coming to the same conclusion. Or are there 100, with tens of thousands research assistants signing some retarded paper saying “i agree with them, I’m a scientist dammit, a bonifide high school biology teacher.

    Really, the list please, with links to each one’s independent research. Can’t do it can you. Here comes the link to the massive sign on sheet. ohhhh, ahhhh, impressive.

  138. The many, many problems with the GISS data have been well-documented, and historical reconstructions of temperature are conflicting enough that one could find a warming or cooling trend depending on the data used. We only have 30 years of reliable temperature data, from satellites. They show a very small warming trend.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/

    The most likely global warming scenario is 1-2 degree increase in temperature over the next 100 years, with little to no impact on our lives.

    Also, claimatology as a field pretty much only exists to prove global warming. You might as well cite the tens of thousands of theologians as proof of God.

  139. The IPCC projected with “very high confidence” that millions of people will be effected by flooding triggered by IPCC.

    Millions of people are affected by flooding every year anyway. This is like predicting the sun will rise.

  140. This is not he tiem for questions. I am attempting to unite americans and all you cynical divides are destroying our momentum. If we don’t pass some global co2 taxes immediately then we will have more terror attacks err hurricanes and sand will be washed away on beaches everywhere…the waves will keep pounding away and people will starve from droughts.

  141. Scientific literacy. Get it people. I was willing to give Reason the benefit of the doubt that it’s not mostly populated by ideological Republicans who happen to be atheists, but I’m not so sure now.

    You do know that practically every anti-AGW talking point originated in oil company marketing departments? Filtered dutifully through Republican puppets in government and their surrogates on the radio and on FOX news. That’s a real conspiracy. Scientists don’t engage in conspiracies to deceive people. You succeed by proving others wrong in science, not by championing a status quo. But data is data. You have to consider it ALL, not just outliers that you happen to like.

  142. Jim,

    You’re right that was an online survey and it was rightly rejected by Science.

    I’m open to reason. I’m just skeptical of this science. It’s not a “conspiracy theory” to suggest that perhaps people have a natural inclination to blame mankind for a coming catastrophe, and this instinct has infected the science (with politics and institutions providing feedback effects) and certainly has affected reporting on this issue, in which even serious news publications and programs compete to have the most alarming story.

    A more reasonable reporting on the climate change issue would discuss at least briefly the issues of:
    1) Can humans affect the climate and how much, and compared to what and over what time period in the Earth’s history?
    2) Can the theory of AGW even be tested?
    3) If there are problems with the data being used, that should be reported. The issues raised at climateaudit.org are valid. The general public typically does not understand statistical regressions or what the words “very likely” mean when the IPCC uses them but that should be reported and analyzed too.
    4) Are the interventions proposed likely to do anything for/to the climate, and at what cost? The Economist frequently reports on the “leadership” America should be taking on this issue, but rarely talks about the reality that India and China are the main polluters and there is little chance of getting them to change. A climate change treaty is basically “economic disarmament” and should be analyzed as such.

    But instead, the reporters’ biases in these stories sometimes border on ridiculous. It’s like they actively try to remain ignorant on the issue or deliberately obfuscate or omit important facts.

    And don’t get me started about Al Gore. Showing ice melting and hurricanes in his documentary was irresponsible and, if you believe AGW is a myth, malicious.

  143. It’s also concerning that the political goals of energy independence and environmental protection have become so linked. If you want to reduce oil imports you increase usage of coal and find a way to keep the air clean and free of radiation at the same time. Or go nuclear. Or something else reasonable like a gasoline tax.

    If you want to stop manbearpig you shut down coal plants, prevent further coal plants from being built, and talk about a “clean coal” technology very different from the one I mentioned above. CO2 is clean, soot and radiation are not. But that doesn’t stop politicians from preaching about almost nonexistent “clean coal” carbon capturing technologies.

  144. Finally, the politicization of climate science and the associated alarmism in the media causes normally reasonable people to behave and think irrationally. For instance, observe this quote on a Starbucks cup:

    The Way I See It #289
    So-called “global warming” is just

    a secret ploy by wacko tree-

    huggers to make America energy

    independent, clean our air and

    water, improve the fuel efficiency

    of our vehicles, kick-start

    21st-century industries, and make

    our cities safer and more livable.

    Don’t let them get away with it!

    – Chip Giller
    Founder of Grist.org, where
    environmentally-minded people
    gather online.

    Read the comments on a blog post about that quote.

  145. And don’t get me started about Al Gore. Showing ice melting and hurricanes in his documentary was irresponsible and, if you believe AGW is a myth, malicious.

    The hurricane tact is irresponsible, but given the well documented glacier loss currently underway, how is ice melting an irresponsible image to use?

  146. Fuck Antarctica. You think I’m getting anything from those goddamn penguins? Fuck no, not even a legal defense fund contribution.

  147. Here’s a lot of images of ice melting: Larry King: Bill Nye vs. Richard Lindzen

  148. “rbailey, right you are. 1934 depression – coincidence? I THINK NOT… The global temprature must be controlled by the stock market.”

    I think you have the causation wrong. Global warming causes economic depressions. And cancer. As well, as famines, floods, plagues of locusts, the suddent breaking out in boils, and the turning of all water into blood.

    And hemarrhoids, too.

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