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« More alarmist than thou | Main | A prayer for our times by Dominic Lawson »

The GISS graph mystery

There are lots of people getting excited by a new animation put out by Bloomberg, which seeks to persuade people that only carbon dioxide can explain the temperature history of the last century or more. It's nothing new - just a prettier version of arguments that have been put forward in the past. I have to say I am greatly amused by the fact that the models stop in 2005. I wonder why that could be?

The simulation was put together by Gavin Schmidt and Kate Marvell of GISS, using GISS Model E2, a climate simulator with a relatively low TCR of 1.5 but a rather strong aerosol forcing of -1.65 Wm-2. However, the IPCC's best estimate of aerosol forcing is only -0.9 Wm-2 and the recent Bjorn Stevens paper put the figure at just -0.5 Wm-2. What this means is that had the GISS model had an aerosol forcing in line with recent best estimates, it would have warmed much too quickly. The resulting embarrassment would have been greater still had the model data not ended ten years ago. I really would like to know why this is.

Still, it's a pretty graph.



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Reader Comments (66)

There can be no significance in the output of a single model written by humans with an agenda. Now, if you add the ability to parameterise without limit, and the use of model output as data when real data is available, you really do not have anything worth the pixels to display.

Jun 26, 2015 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

An eyeball estimate from their graph suggests less than 1C warming over a century, during which CO2 concentrations have doubled... which tends to remove the 'C' from 'CAGW' without even considering the effects of aerosols.

Jun 26, 2015 at 10:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

They use a wide base period but display no error bands for the temperature series. Even with this you can see the models cutting below the 1910-1940 warming and running above the subsequent cooling. Temperatures plotting in F. No labels on the X-axis. ..And, worked by the arrogantly dismissive, blocking Kate Marvel. Not worth it.

Jun 26, 2015 at 10:43 AM | Registered Commentershub

Natural emissions and Human Activity emissions not distinct?

My house warmed up yesterday...was that external heat or external heat plus me swiping at flies?

Jun 26, 2015 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterEx-expat Colin

So Gavin and gang are helping to answer the question "Does cliamte science exist?" in the negative.

Jun 26, 2015 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered Commenterhunter

Michael Bloomberg is one of the billionaire Patron Saints of Global-Warming. Nobody should be surprised that this is supported by companies that bear his name.

Salvador Dali was believed to have personally autographed a huge number of prints that were not his own works, probably in exchange for money.

The total Schmidt and Marvell graph may or may not be pretty. But they should not let themselves be carried off by grandeur, or even imagine they have yet reached the rank of impressionist.

Jun 26, 2015 at 10:54 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Appended to the Bloomberg article is a link to "850 year pre-industrial control experiment" data. When I eventually found a description of what this "experiment" is it turned out to be no more than another useless computer game. But, the data is precise to 12 (yes, twelve) places of decimals.

Jun 26, 2015 at 11:02 AM | Registered Commenterdavidchappell

It would be embarrassing to have spent billions on the best training and eqipment, only to have your crack marksmen shoot themselves in the foot, again and again.

Their achievements will be celebrated in Paris, as being so unbelievably good, that few will believe it's not pure climate science

Jun 26, 2015 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Humans have cut, plowed and paved more than half the Earth's land surface ??????

Jun 26, 2015 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterHenry Galt

Re Jun 26, 2015 at 10:35 AM | Unregistered Commenterrhoda

I have suggested that we need a new word to describe those who spend too much time looking at computer screens and not enough looking outside to check the results


Jun 26, 2015 at 11:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnother Ian

Steve Goddard has an interesting take on GISS data.

According to fraudulent GISS temperatures, Earth warmed 0.5C from 1910 to 1940, when CO2 rose 10 PPM. Since then, temperatures rose another 0.5C, with an increase of 80 PPM.
So we can calculate 1910-1940 CO2 sensitivity as 0.5C/10 PPM = 0.05C/PPM

Post 1940 sensitivity is 0.5C/80 PPM = 0.00625C/PPM

In other words, their imaginary “CO2 sensitivity” has dropped by a factor of eight since 1940.

Jun 26, 2015 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

I don't understand the "land use" component. Te graphic claims that has had a cooling effect, especially ove the 20th century. I found that counter-intuitive and thought I had read the opposite - and it is certainly the case the change from rural to urban land use warms and doesn't cool.

This from WUWT:

Among the study’s findings:

* In general, the greener the land cover, the cooler is surface temperature.

* Conversion to agriculture results in cooling, while conversion from agriculture generally results in warming.

* Deforestation generally results in warming, with the exception of a shift from forest to agriculture. No clear picture emerged from the impact of planting or seeding new forests.

* Urbanization and conversion to bare soils have the largest warming impacts.

In general, land use conversion often results in more warming than cooling.

Jun 26, 2015 at 11:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

The results from Gavin's expensively fabricated clockwork orrery should be printed out large format and hung in the Tate Modern (AKA Battersea Power Station) - that would be a suitably ironic setting.

There is - it would seem to me - a significant pressure pressure point in the CO2 debate - that, by design (GISS are ignoring it afaics) is presently getting not enough attention.

The much trumpeted Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 has been producing data since Q4 2014 - what little of that data that has been rendered to a grid (i.e. map) format and released publicly shows - to what's left of my mind anyrate - that Gavin & Co's "skillful models" are in this case - nothing of the sort.

There is I think something of an opportunity here and it's drifting by....... The bust between NASA GISS models and ACTUAL observed CO2 is extraordinary - Pierre Gosselin's piece is a rather lonely tesimony to something that's being determinedly ignored.

OCO-2 observations would appear to upset a lot of carefully arranged applecarts - that's what scince is about isn't it ? Gavin & Co are no doubt busy with moulding OCO-2 data to fit into the bin where other unwelcome spectroscopy mapper results have gone....

OCO-2 results should be floodlit front centre on the applecart - look! shiny! new! data! validation!!! - but...

What about the NASA data mystery? ! </shout>

Jun 26, 2015 at 11:37 AM | Registered Commentertomo

New release from Marvell comics, "HotMann and Gavin".

The science busting duo, dressed up in cunningly matched facial hair, will flounce through accepted scientific wisdom, wearing hi-vis, logic deflecting, lucky hotpants on the outside, to protect their fertile imaginations.

Any dissenters, will be dealt with, by a quick "Biff!" "Kersplat!" "Kerching!" by loyal henchman Santer, down a dark alley, raising alarm, and money, for another excruciating 10 years of comedy science capers.

Jun 26, 2015 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

I can only ascribe this to monumental stupidity and complete ignorance of computing on the part of the authors, and of every climate scientist who will not laugh at the graph (mind you, I am a lukewarmer - but this "science" is so bad and cretin, I might buy a Inhofe T-shirt for the holidays).

Think about it - a post-hoc computation is presented as better explanation than "anything else".

This is akin of me making a sketch of the Mona Lisa and then presenting myself as the new Leonardo da Vinci, because no Van Gogh or Vermeer or Rembrandt painting comes close to the Mona Lisa as my sketch does.

Repeat with me - models are built to model the measured temperatures - with parameters aplenty. Models that don't resemble measured temperatures as rightfully discarded. You end up with only models that somehow resemble measured temperatures. The fact that they resemble measured temperatures says nothing about how good the models are: because it is an existential assumption for the models the fact that they more or less resemble measured temperatures.

Jun 26, 2015 at 11:45 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

How much worse will this unscientific screeching become as we get closer to Paris? It is getting to the level that the best thing to do is laugh at them and their increasingly foolish attempts to create alarm.

Jun 26, 2015 at 11:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterIan W

Here's a note I posted in reply to Geary on Unthreaded yesterday:

... Bloomberg has rather masked what I'm suggesting by flattening their final graph showing GHG emissions. Here's an accurate graph (from CDIAC, the authority on these matters): LINK. From that you can see how emissions really took off after 1945. So, as I said before, what caused the warming between 1910 and 1940 (virtually exactly the same as the warming between 1970 and 2000)? How do we know that whatever caused that warming (obviously not GHG emissions which were then relatively small) didn't also cause the very similar 1970 to 2000 warming? Answer: we don't.

You might also ask why there was essentially no warming between 1945 and 1970 when emissions were really taking off.

Jun 26, 2015 at 11:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterRobin Guenier

Why does anybody with his crap? We all know the GCMs do not work and can never work. The IPCC said so, thus it must be correct.

Jun 26, 2015 at 12:14 PM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Climate scientists do have a problem with sensitivity, replication and reproducability. Will they be the first sub-human species to become extinct?

Jun 26, 2015 at 12:45 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"seeks to persuade people that only carbon dioxide can explain the temperature history of the last century"

Argumentum ad Ignorantiam. They can't explain it, so it must be the carbon dioxide.

Jun 26, 2015 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterGamecock

A model that's too sensitive to CO2 that recapitulates warming during periods when there was less CO2 attributes non-CO2 warming to CO2.

Jun 26, 2015 at 1:00 PM | Registered Commentershub

I have to say I am greatly amused by the fact that the models stop in 2005. I wonder why that could be?

Be patient! Wait until the seemingly inevitable adjustments to the post-2005 data have been made.

Jun 26, 2015 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Very professional PR, very AMATEUR science @Shub says no proper labels on the graph axis ..the final measurements obscured by label blocks etc.
It's as if someone is constructing a narrative rather than presenting honest data.
- Always ask : Is it real world or green fantasy world ?
... Is it science or is it dirty PR tricks ?

BTW - anyone got any comments on this PR piece/graph from the NOAA website that the BBC is using
How do they make the last years go up so steadily and smooth down the 1998 peak ?
@Robin already noted that the 1910-1940 trend is steeper than the one they show for todays ..meaning that past eras CO2 emissions were much higher than today !!! if their logic holds up.

Jun 26, 2015 at 1:14 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

" Tate Modern (AKA Battersea Power Station)"

The Tate is actually in Bankside, taking us back to an era when London really did have pollution problems with the previous power station on the site.

Can't they get more funding to add the 10 most recent years of curve fitting to the end. (or more giving a prediction)

Jun 26, 2015 at 1:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterRob Burton

Bloomberg promotes dodgy science.

Dodgy science relies on Bloomberg.

Bloomberg seek your faith in their financial expertise, for their continued success.

Jun 26, 2015 at 1:35 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

That 'Dr Dooms' hand picked replacement is up to his old tricks is hardly a surprise, indeed you could even ask are 'the Team ' able to do anything else .
But added Bluethooth to sh*t still leaves you with sh*t , so creating animations from rubbish data still leaves you with rubbish data.
And to think there are still many days to Christmas and Paris , therefore there is plenty of shopping time and many more of daysf0f BS to come.

Jun 26, 2015 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered Commenterknr

knr, do you think that January 2016 in Paris will see a sale of UNwanted junk science? A lot of computers going cheap, only ever used for simulated game playing? Unopened bottles of suntan lotion? UNused Nobel Prize acceptance speeches? Untested polar bear repellant beach clothing for UN endorsed summer cruises in the Arctic?

Could be some real bargains in UNapproved science closing down sale.

Jun 26, 2015 at 2:43 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

My own suspicions are that, as they are dealing with completely different measurements and units (also – °F? Surely, even American scientists can handle decimals by now?), they have simply adjusted the scales so that the graphs fit so nicely. No data adjustments required. Simples.

Jun 26, 2015 at 3:02 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

I wondered if the graph stopped in 2005 because so much cash had ben used to fix the FIFA World Cup, that UN approved scientists had not been able to fix, and refix world temperature records since. They should have stuck to more flexible glue, which allows repeated refixing, even after you have previously announced with a high level of confidence, that you have stuck it in exactly the right place.

Jun 26, 2015 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie


They probably assume radiative cooling from increasing albedo (vegetation is generally darker than bare soil). I don't know if evapotranspiration changes are considered.


They are still busy trying to find the correct data

OCO-2 is pleased to announce that starting with data day May 28, 2015, a new OCO-2 data collection, v7, is being delivered to the GES DISC as forward and retrospective processing. This new data collection includes a correction for inconsistencies in calibration.

It seems that data in hf and netcdf are available:
But I haven't managed to visualize any of them, all my netcdf or hf viewers report errors.

Jun 26, 2015 at 3:20 PM | Registered CommenterPatagon

Radical Rodent (Jun 26, 2015 at 3:02 PM), the text say 1.4 degF (i.e. 0.78 degC) but the graph's scale is in degrees Celsius and suggests a reasonably constant rise since about 1910. Their problem is that such a small rise does not support the idea of future catastrophic warming, even if it could all be attributed to man-made CO2!

I think this sort of 'evidence' clearly undermines the CAGW thesis and, more importantly, demonstrates that AGW is driven by other factors (e.g. aerosols) that will essentially be ignored during the upcoming meeting in Paris.

Jun 26, 2015 at 3:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt

Snipped response to deleted troll comment. BH

Jun 26, 2015 at 3:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton


Jun 26, 2015 at 3:46 PM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

Green Sand, Dumbo graphiti? Animated comedy cartoon with a flying elephant in the room

Jun 26, 2015 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

So they are now claiming all temperature rise since 1880 has been manmade? Not what the IPCC says!

Of course this model that discounts all natural factors as negligible is utterly incapable of predicting any and all historical natural cycles (ice-ages, Younger Dryas, Bond events, pdo, amo, etc).

All they really did was compare the 20th C part of the model output with the 20th C data they had tuned it with in the first place and then truncated the 21st C predictive (& thus validatory) part of the output because it diverged mightily and thus proved the model wrong. An object lesson in how not to do science!

Jun 26, 2015 at 4:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Pretty kindergarten pictures...

Only the volcanic influence looks way overstated. I assume volcanoes were part of the aerosol forcings?

I kept looking, but couldn't find the graph that said "Hansen and gavinator adjustments".

I also noticed that they didn't put plain simple CO2 and temperature graphs up, only their fanciful crayon drawings; just bloomerburg's level.

Given that the pics stop in 2005, I assume that Manniacal will probably add them to his far outdated presentation?

Jun 26, 2015 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterATheoK


hmmmm.... I was aware of the archives and have read + re-read and x-ref'd the data manuals etc ... I've got HDF Viewer 2.11 (Win 7) and just clawing my way up the learning curve (or rather acquainting myself with HF5 format) . Data downloaded but I've yet to manage to display a .HF5 file yet .... my fingers (and available time to tinker) I thought....

I was thinking to tweak the pixel colour values to mimic the GISS animation and blob the two together to run concurrently in a single animation - on the grounds that it'd really p!ss 'em off :-)

I think this merits some investigation - a discussion topic? - any other takers out there?

Jun 26, 2015 at 8:07 PM | Registered Commentertomo

golf charlie post Paris I expect a world wide shortage of BS meters , given all the current ones have been broken by going of the scale so far and so fast .

And the death of small forest which will required to print all the 'reports' that will come out of it.
On the plus side the delegates will have plenty of time to get their Christmas shopping in , at normally quite time of the year Paris's five star hotels and expensive restaurants will do some very good business and there should be more than enough capacity for the fleet of private jets which will be 'required ' for the celebrates , high and mighty .

And if St Gore turns up , Paris may even get snow , which would be nice.

Jun 26, 2015 at 8:11 PM | Unregistered Commenterknr

I like the wide uncertainty of "orbital changes" at a 95% confidence level. I did expect orbital changes to be known to an extreme precision. All that accuracy is lost when converting it to modeled temperature changes.

Jun 26, 2015 at 8:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterCurious George

Perhaps Bloomberg may also add to the GISS graph

Obvious one World Population 3 to 7 Billion
Financial growth in the World Economy
OPEC Oil production
Non OPEC Oil production
Infant Mortality ,Infant Literacy
Disease Control and Eradication
Mortality life expectancy generally
Growth in Air Travel IT Blah Blah
Television Consumer Goods Tourism etc etc
War Political Strife.counter with growth of Democracy persons eligible to vote .

and Finally they like counting Tree Rings is anybody actually counting trees
Greening of the Planet and food production.

In a week of Tragic news from South Carolina ,France ,Tunisia and Kuwait perhaps it might give a more hopeful optimistic reflection on the future for Humanity

Jun 26, 2015 at 8:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

jamspid (Jun 26, 2015 at 8:37 PM), why not just point people to this 'animated graphic'...
...and remind them that all this progress was only made possible by the availability of cheap energy (i.e. fossil fuels).

Jun 26, 2015 at 9:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave Salt


I have made a quick inspection of the files with h5dump (linux) and tried visualising them with idl, but i haven't succeeded yet. There are other files in netcdf also accessible via dds. I have tried grads and ferret (NOAA software), but no results yet.
The documentation does not make it very easy either. I will keep trying, but it is one of the most obscure datasets I have found at NASA.

Jun 26, 2015 at 9:31 PM | Registered CommenterPatagon


HDFview isn't throwing any errors yet - but I'm still at very early stages of driving it.... it has a GUI "dump" facility which is where I've spent my time up to now poking about in the data structures.

Time constraints have truncated my efforts thus far. I'd expect to be able to generate georeferenced pixel maps and set an arbitrary palette mapping for CO2 concentration - but I have not reached that level of familiarity with it all yet ....

The released imagery is tantalising ... the presence of large CO2 plume features over Brazil and central Africa isn't something that's supposed to be there and of course, NASA GISS's sin plumes from northern industry seem rather weak (or.. ahem... not there at all !) They can't put the distribution morphology down to calibration ;-p

Jun 26, 2015 at 10:11 PM | Registered Commentertomo

It is interesting how they can twist themselves inside out with computer models but as the post by SandyS @ 11.47
shows ,someone like Steve Goddard can demonstrate using their own data and mental arithmetic ( or at least a home calculator) what they come up with from their models is plainly garbage.

Jun 26, 2015 at 11:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoss

Hi all,

Completely off topic, but this article lead to me visiting to have a look at the current trends. It's something I look at regularly, and the HADCRUT4 global mean from 2001 to the present has had a trend of 0.02°C per century for several months now.

So, I was very surprised to find that the trend, when I checked today, had *leaped* to 0.39°C per century!

Can someone else have a look, in case I'm having some sort of seizure.

If you get the same, can anyone explain the sudden huge jump? Have I missed something? Is this down to a change at Woodfortrees? Or has the Met Office really changed their data?

Jun 27, 2015 at 12:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterAmancalledchuda

I think this is an awesome set of graphs. By now, though, the makers of these graphs have lied so much about so many things and have been wrong so many times about nearly everything that was not an outright lie, that only the fanatically faithful will claim to believe them and, even them, they will do so knowing in their hearts that it is just another manipulation.

There should have been food riots by the 90's, we were told. There should have been ice-free summers in the arctic by now, we were told. From chocolate to bees, there should have been mass extinctions planet-wide, we were told. The seas should have risen, flooding cities around the world and causing millions of climate refugees to flee, we were told...

Jun 27, 2015 at 12:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrute

They forgot to add the world GDP per capita trend:

Jun 27, 2015 at 1:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterChris Hanley

As I suspected.

Bloomberg are covert, Trotskyite, fanatical Luddites who want to send us back to the stone age. Aren't they ? They probably have a wind turbine for every employee and a solar panels for every PC.

Jun 27, 2015 at 4:19 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff


They probably updated to the newest version (hadcrut4.3) and included the latest data (to 2015.33), which were not included before (only to 2014 or so).

Jun 27, 2015 at 9:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterEdim

They make it up as they go along.

Jun 27, 2015 at 10:21 AM | Registered CommenterMartin A

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