Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace

Discussion > Zombie blog - what's the point?

Steve Richards, constant adjustments are required to provide Climate Scientists with constant employment. It seems that maintaining the delusion of the science being settled, requires full time maintenance.

Sep 4, 2016 at 2:30 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

GC- And thanks for misrepresenting me yet again. And you're wroong again - The IPCC no longer rely on Jones (1990), they cite the superior Jones (2008)

Regionally, most attention has focused on China. A variety of investigations have used methods as diverse as SST comparisons (e.g., Jones et al., 2008), urban minus rural (e.g., Ren et al., 2008; Yang et al., 2011), satellite observations (Ren and Ren, 2011) and observations minus reanalysis (e.g., Hu et al., 2010; Yang et al., 2011).

Sep 4, 2016 at 2:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

so why not remove any station that could be affected by UHI, then you would be left with a truly rural dataset.

1. Why throw away good data>

2. Its been done, here's one:

Using rural/urban land surface classifications derived from maps and satellite observed nighttime surface lights, global mean land surface air temperature time series were created using data from all weather observing stations in a global temperature data base and from rural stations only. The global rural temperature time series and trends are very similar to those derived from the full data set. Therefore, the well-known global temperature time series from in situ stations is not significantly impacted by urban warming

The CGHN data is public domain - you could do your own analysis, if you were really interested.

Sep 4, 2016 at 2:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Sounds like a washing powder commercial. Do not rely on the old fashioned/wrong/discredited/fraudulent Jones (1990), try instead the superior Jones (2008) now improved and free from all defects. Capable of suppressing all known sceptics. You know you can trust us, have we ever been known to be wrong/untruthful before? Delete if not applicable.
Subject to change and adjustment.
PGuarantees now void.
UHI can be safely ignored, except perhaps in the South Downs and by weather forecasters.

Sep 4, 2016 at 3:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

Amusing. This illustrates why I've claimed for awhile that skepticism is driving climate science. McIntyre blew up Jones et al(1990) and within a year Jones produces more garbage. Similarly all the efforts to produce more hockey sticks, which Phil Clarke still doesn't understand. Similarly Gergis, similarly Karl. There are lots of other examples.

What I don't understand is why the overweening confidence that pushing a false narrative would ever succeed long term. These alarmists have little understanding of Nature and were tempting Nemesis from the gitgo. Were they only interested in short term deception? How on earth could they have believed that the narrative would not come unstuck long term.

Warming less than expected, feeding more than expected. This encapsulates skepticism and the resistance to destructive policy. Alarmists, we have a problem.

Sep 4, 2016 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

We have a whole generation entrained to believe that we are doomed and it is our fault. Yet, no doom arrives and the benefits of warming and greening are now slowly being elucidated. In their dotage, perhaps sooner, this generation will realize they've been fooled.

What's the harvest? Well, social doom.

Sep 4, 2016 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Entropic Man: "UHI would only become a problem if urban areas warmed faster than rural areas. If the rural average increased by 0.1C/decade while the urban average increased by 0.2C/decade then UHI would exaggerate the warming trend." But that's not the problem to which I alluded (albeit my allusion was perhaps not fully spelled out).

To which, ACK: "The UHI becomes larger as the town/city expands. So urban temperatures do indeed tend to increase a faster rates than surrounding rural areas."

And Phil: "As EM points out, UHI is well-understood, and if an urban station consistently reads say 2C higher than a rural neighbour then their contribution to the trend calculation will be identical. It becomes an issue when urbanisation increases (or decreases) over time and different agencies handle delta-UHI in different ways, including homogenisation, or in the case of NASA:

The urban and peri-urban (i.e., other than rural) stations are adjusted so that their long-term trend matches that of the mean of neighboring rural stations. Urban stations without nearby rural stations are dropped. This preserves local short-term variability without affecting long term trends."

Phil has correctly identified the problem, or come close to doing so, but not, I think, the solution. I appreciate that the sceptic criticism of these issues is rather of a "heads I win, tails you lose" type, because it's difficult to see what the keepers of the data can do to satisfy us (or, more accurately, to produce data that are flawless and which cannot reasonably be criticised). But that is part of the problem with producing datasets which cannot be flawless, and then announcing that they prove AGW, never mind CAGW.

Whilst I accept GW, and to an extent AGW, I'm not sure the UHI effect can ever be fully taken into account by either dropping locations which can no longer be relied upon because they were once rural but now aren't; or by adjusting temperatures to deal with sites now compromised by UHI (how can we ever know just how much adjustment should be made at any location? 0.5C; 2C?; 4C? etc). Equally, some locations, which were always urban, may now be intensely urban, so that the UHI might be ignored on the basis that "urban is urban" but the data may still be compromised because the UHI has intensified at that location.

Hypothetically, given that (I believe) around 30% of all datatsets relied on are in the USA, and many of the others are in Europe, it seems easily that up to 50% of datasets might be based on temperature measurements from sites which were once completely rural but which are now in a city or near one; or were in small towns which are now large cities, etc etc. If that has an effect of between 2-4C on their readings, but only some are discounted, or if adjustments are made of only say 1-2C for such sites to allow for UHI (but thereby failing to allow sufficiently for it), then the figures are immediately wrong and unreliable.

The only sites where the figures can be relied on absolutely are those where the location has never changed; the nature of the location remains inviolate (i.e. no UHI effect); the readings are taken at the same time of day as they always were; the same temperature measuring equipment is used (i.e. no change to more accurate thermometers etc); etc etc. Whether any such sites exist, I doubt. Which is, why, of course, adjustments are required if we are to make sense of the numbers and for them to offer any sort of reliable record. But, however "scientific" the approach to adjustments, and however well-reasoned and well-intentioned the adjustments are, I don't believe we can say that any of them preserve 100% consistency between historic and current readings. I think that point is well made by the fact that some data sets are, I believe, on their 3rd or 4th sets of adjustment to date, and no doubt there will be more before we're finished.

In other words, without crying "fraud" and without casting doubt on anyone's intentions or bona fides, it is perfectly reasonable to be sceptical about the utility or validity of the records relied on. And if there is any doubt about the numbers, that must cast doubt in turn on the policy prescriptions that flow from the numbers and the conclusions drawn from them.

Sep 4, 2016 at 3:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Phil Clarke, the Climate Audit threads were from after ClimateGate in 2009, referring to Jones.

I may not be a statistician, but I believe 2009/10 is after 2008.

Was Jones 1990 ever withdrawn, or references to it in the IPCC? If not, then the incorrect settlement of UHI science remains as invalid as it was.

Sep 4, 2016 at 3:27 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Thanks, Mark. This is one of the reasons I rely on the satellite series, problematic as it is, its short term nature only one of them. These series have a reliable data stream. And they don't show the warming that the surface series do.

Sep 4, 2016 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Kim: "This is one of the reasons I rely on the satellite series, problematic as it is, its short term nature only one of them. These series have a reliable data stream. And they don't show the warming that the surface series do."

Quite! Which is one of the reasons why some of the alarmists, including people who should know better - like the BBC - tend to ignore or downplay them. Mind you, I believe the satellite records are themselves subject to some minor adjustments...

Sep 4, 2016 at 3:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

Right, we don't really know, do we. This enforces your point @ 3:23 that our knowledge is not fit for policy prescriptions.

Sep 4, 2016 at 3:54 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Mark I think you miss the point about some of us sceptics. Once a climate "scientist" has been shown to have acted fraudulently, or has been shown to be wrong and not acted to correct those (in hindsight) egregious errors, those people cannot be trusted. The quality of their later work matters not, they have lost credibility in the sceptical community and it cannot be repaired. Thus it is not only that spurious data was used, it was the claim that UHI did not exist or (later) that its effects were small and could be adjusted for. Both claims being shown to be wrong. Some people - Jones, Mann and now Gergis, have built up a history of doing bad science. Their work and pronouncements are treated with justifiable scorn by sceptics. I have now reached the point that I almost automatically treat anything supported here by Phil Clarke or aTTP with suspicion. Against my scientific instincts, I have become more biased.

Sep 4, 2016 at 4:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterACK

I am not sure why the satellite data is deemed so much better than the surface readings (other than they show slightly less warming, circa 0.13C/decade vs 0.16C /decade). The satellites do not measure temperature (much less temperature at the surface). They measure brightness in the microwave spectrum at a range of altitudes. The temperature is then inferred from these measurements by a series of algorithms (yes folks, a model!). There is no continuous data series from a single instrument, the series is stitched together from different instruments flying on different platforms at different times which have to be intercalibrated (like catering for switching thermometers in a ground station, only in space), the satellites do not do well over mountainous ground or when viewing at an angle so coverage over the poles is sparse (eg UAH does not cover >85 degrees North or South, and lastly the satellites gradually drift out of orbit, which is catered for by a (fairly arbitrary) adjustment.

Sep 4, 2016 at 4:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

What pressure Mears must have had to denounce his own work. Thankfully, there are two independent series, which agree.

Sep 4, 2016 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

The two 'independent' data products, UAH and RSS use the same source measurements. Glad to see confirmation that studies using the same time series can be viewed as validating each other.

Here are RSS and UAH in agreement and the surface record, HADCRUT4.

Sep 4, 2016 at 4:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Independent processing algorithms. The data stream is more reliable than thermometers, especially ones constantly re-adjusted.

Sep 4, 2016 at 5:02 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

LOL. UAH are now up to version 6 of their adjustments. Roy Spenscer described previous versions as '

a hodgepodge of code snippets written by different scientists, run in stepwise fashion during every monthly update, some of it over 25 years old

The rationale for v6 is

One might ask, Why do the satellite data have to be adjusted at all? If we had satellite instruments that (1) had rock-stable calibration, (2) lasted for many decades without any channel failures, and (3) were carried on satellites whose orbits did not change over time, then the satellite data could be processed without adjustment. But none of these things are true. Since 1979 we have had 15 satellites that lasted various lengths of time, having slightly different calibration (requiring intercalibration between satellites), some of which drifted in their calibration, slightly different channel frequencies (and thus weighting functions), and generally on satellite platforms whose orbits drift and thus observe at somewhat different local times of day in different years. All data adjustments required to correct for these changes involve decisions regarding methodology, and different methodologies will lead to somewhat different results. This is the unavoidable situation when dealing with less than perfect data.

Large slice of bad faith there about Ray Mears, I guess the relevant soundbite is

 A similar, but stronger case can be made using surface temperature datasets, which I consider to be more reliable than satellite datasets they certainly agree with each other better than the various satellite datasets do!

From <>

Sep 4, 2016 at 5:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Heh, recent slowing rise of global temperatures. Not as expected, eh? Where is that Karl?

Sep 4, 2016 at 8:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

It would be a lot cheaper and simpler to scrap the last 25 years of Climate Science, and NOT start again.

Sep 4, 2016 at 9:49 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

ACK & kim, remember how the Gergis thread started?

"Actually, it is the Gergis Australia study, Joelle and her team have corrected the various issue and resubmitted the study and it has been reviewed and accepted, in the face of the usual denier unpleasantness.

Conclusion:"Overall, we are confident that observed temperatures in Australasia have been warmer in the past 30 years than every other 30-year period over the entire millennium (90% confidence based on 12,000 reconstructions, developed using four independent statistical methods and three different data subsets). Importantly, the climate modelling component of our study also shows that only human-caused greenhouse emissions can explain the recent warming recorded in our region."

Add it to the list.

Jul 11, 2016 at 10:46 PM | Phil Clarke"

Phil Clarke, I think it has been added to the list of failed climate science.

Sep 4, 2016 at 10:07 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

And Karl, now the subject of a Congressional investigation of NOAA, is what made the models not seem to run as hot as they were doing.

False, false, false, and Phil defends this.

Sep 4, 2016 at 10:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Heh, recent slowing rise of global temperatures. Not as expected, eh?

Heh. Dated 2014. Add another 0.1C/decade to the trend since then.

Sep 4, 2016 at 10:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil Clarke

Heh, Karl, and a fleeting El Nino.

Sep 5, 2016 at 12:34 AM | Unregistered Commenterkim

ACK, respectfully, I don't think I miss the point about sceptics - after all, I am a sceptic myself. We are, I think, as one in our scepticism and general approach to the subject, though we may have arrived at our scepticism and mistrust of climate science via different routes.

I agree that if any climate scientist has been caught out in bad science (I hesitate to use the "f" word),then thereafter everything they do should be treated with a great deal of suspicion. Trust is essential - a commodity that is very difficult to win, but which can be lost in the blink of an eye.

Like you, I am sceptical of everything ATTP says, and of any links he provides, on those occasions when he wants to make a point rather than just be offensive to we people with whom he disagrees. Phil, I am sure, is better, and I read his links with interest, but with scepticism, What I am trying to do these days, though, is also be to be a "more rounded" sceptic (not a reference to my waist line). I think I have been too eager in the past to accept what I am told by sceptic websites, and I want my thinking to be challenged. In truth, I just want to know the truth, but I fear there are plenty on both sides who are keen to obscure it, whether for sincere and well-intentioned reasons or otherwise.

One problem I have with alarmists (or true believers - it's difficult to come up with a term that describes them without sounding offensive) is their reluctance to stay focussed on any point which encapsulates why we are sceptics, and the weakness in the "consensus" case. I think UHI is an extremely good example of the poverty of climate science and of the arguments leading to drastic policy prescriptions, yet Phil's response is not to engage with it, but to try to move the discussion onto a criticism of satellite data sets instead. I haven't claimed that satellites are wonderful for measuring temperature, rather I criticised the appalling weakness of our existing temperature datasets. Instead of engaging directly with that point (an argument I think he cannot win) he shifts the argument onto ground where he feels stronger.

I don't know if that's deliberate or instinctive. I've mentioned on an earlier thread on this site that it's a tactic I'm well used to observing from witnesses on the stand from my time as a practising solicitor. The defence mechanisms used when caught in a line of argument from which there is no escape are many and varied. We sceptics bring many different disciplines to the discussion (making us, as a group, more rounded, knowledgeable and powerful than the insular world of climate science) and we need to work together to shine a light on this area.

Real life is going to intrude for the next week or so, and therefore I won't be commenting over that time period, but I will look forward to reading the ongoing comments when I next get the chance.

Sep 5, 2016 at 8:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson


Like you, I am sceptical of everything ATTP says, and of any links he provides,

Fine by me. My intent isn't to provide what would make people happy; my intent is simply to present what I happen to regard as the most credible information I can provide. If you don't like it, that's entirely your choice, and not my problem in the slightest.

on those occasions when he wants to make a point rather than just be offensive to we people with whom he disagrees.

Given that you appear to appreciate what is presented on cliscep, I suspect we have very different ideas as to what qualifies as "offensive" and what is not.

Sep 5, 2016 at 9:08 AM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics