New Detailed Analysis of Global Temperature Data Does Not Support Significant Role for Carbon Dioxide

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated that: Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations, mainly carbon dioxide.  This conclusion is based on output from global climate computer models known as General Circulation Models (GCM). 

David Douglass and John Christy, in a paper recently accepted for publication and already available on the internet, have come to a different conclusion.  By considering observed, as opposed to modelled, temperature changes and at different latitude bands they conclude that:

1. El Nino and La Nina effects in the tropics have a more significant affect on global temperature anomalies than carbon dioxide, in particular it was an El Nino event that drove the 1998 global temperature maximum.

2. Variations in global temperatures since 1978 have mostly been due to climate effects in the northern hemisphere (northern extratropics) and these effects cannot be attributed to carbon dioxide.

3. Carbon dioxide has contributed a small amount to an increase in global temperatures but without what is commonly referred to as feed-back. 

David Douglas and John Christy are practicing climate scientists from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, and Department of Atmospheric Science and Earth System Science Center, University of Alabama, respectively.  Their paper entitled ‘Limits on CO2 Climate Forcing from Recent Temperature Data of Earth’, was recently accepted for publication in Energy and Environment. 

A regular at this blog, Cohenite, comments on the Douglass-Christy paper in a fairly technical note already posted at the community webpage of this blog, and entitled ‘Temperature Trends and Carbon Dioxide’, suggests that there is no evidence for a contribution from carbon dioxide to global temperatures and that the role of the sun has been underestimated.

193 Responses to New Detailed Analysis of Global Temperature Data Does Not Support Significant Role for Carbon Dioxide

  1. John F. Pittman October 5, 2008 at 9:11 am #

    From D&C 2008 “These effects do not have the signature associated with CO2 climate forcing. However, the data show a small underlying positive trend that is consistent with CO2 climate forcing with no-feedback.”


    “The influence of atmospheric CO2 on the atmosphere is expressed by what is called a climate forcing ΔF. The mathematical expression for CO2 is discussed below. In general, climate theory defines ΔF from any source in terms of an equivalent change in net irradiance (in W/m2) referred to the top of the atmosphere [Shine et al., 1995]. This forcing is assumed to causes a change in the mean temperature of the Earth. Climate models define a sensitivity parameter λ relating ΔF and ΔT”

    Expect the usual arguments. One of the unaddressed problems for the IPCC is the proof that their assumptions for determining a global sensitivity are valid. This paper exploits this weakness.

    Arguing GCM’s without understanding vorticity only prolongs the agony.

    The question, since GCM’s are based on the assumptions D&C challenge, must be addressed. The refusal to address without resorting to GCM’s, which is a circular argument, is presently the AGW “Achilles heel”.

  2. Neville October 5, 2008 at 9:22 am #

    I hope Spencer’s wrong and this oh so obvious truth doesn’t take 3 years to be finally exposed, but who knows there are an awful lot of fraudsters, numbskulls and fanatics clinging on with their extremist zeal, plus the support of the MSM.

  3. Louis Hissink October 5, 2008 at 9:40 am #

    The EL Nino effect can be linked to temperature surges in the underlying crust as suggested by Leybourne with the Surge Tectonic theory. However this theory is based on plate tectonics, a rather flawed theory, so it in all likelyhood another mechanism is needed for the source of energy to cause the El Nino.

    As the only remaining force left to science is electricty, the strongest force in the universe, it is perplexing that it has no role to play in geophysics.

  4. cohenite October 5, 2008 at 9:52 am #

    As well as impugning the conventional wisdom about temp and CO2 the paper also provides a few other mortal wounds to AGW; DC measure temp at the characteristic emission layer (CEL), which is “typically at an altitude of 7-8km in the tropics”. At this level CO2 saturated surface boundary air has been convectively transported to the CEL in a process descibed by Chilingar. At this level Stefan-Boltzman isotropic emission occurs; in the first instance, if the temp of this air is subject to a warming of 0.56C per century, as I note in my linked post, then isotropic emission means 1/2 of that warming, 0.28CPC is subject to LDR effects of the type assumed by Philipona; that is, before a solar deduction is made; but at that height the isotropic 50/50 split is effected by underlying saturated levels which means less than 100% of the 50% LDR will reach the surface. Heating at this level of about 300mb is also drastically affected by the decline in RH; (// excluded)

    RH at 300mb has declined 21.5% since 1948. IPCC, at WG1, CHP3, Sec 3.4, p40 observes that there has been no trend in RH, while SH has increased; also at FAQ 3.1 AR4, it states that “This water vapour feedback may be strong enough to approximately double the increase in the greenhouse effect due to the added CO2 alone.”

    As DC show ‘g’ is negligible, and there has been a miniscule temp ‘response’. And IPCC’s view is exactly the opposite of what is happening; as Miskolczi predicted, compensatory mechanisms happen to maintain an equlibruim; CO2 levels have increased, and as a response, RH has declined. And this is the point about the ‘greenhouse’ that AGW doesn’t comprehend; ‘greenhouse’ is not a heating process; it is a temp moderating mechanism which works counter to temp movements, either up or down; without variations in external energy the atmospheric temp of the earth is always stabilising.

  5. spangled drongo October 5, 2008 at 10:43 am #

    If 800% increase can’t make any difference [or very little], I think the Kyoto bunch should give the game away and concentrate on the real problems.

  6. cinders October 5, 2008 at 11:11 am #

    Today sees the start of day light savings in Australia’s South Eastern states. When considering ‘climate change’ it is timely to remember that apart from War periods, the Tasmanian Government, was the first to introduce daylight saving. The government only accepted the idea because of the 1967 drought, which not only saw the devastating bushfires but effected water storage levels and hydro-electricity generation causing both water and power rationing.
    Tasmania’s 1967 drought was part of a National period of drought from 1958 to 1968. This drought was most widespread and probably second to the 1895-1903 drought in severity. For more than a decade from 1957, drought was consistently prominent and frequently made news head-lines from 1964 onwards. Perhaps this current drought will rank with this one 40 – 50 years ago!
    Daylight saving was able to reduce the demand for electricity in Tassie, and has now been adopted in other states, with WA still trialing the concept and Queensland resisting the time change. However, the Queensland Premier might change her mind at least for the South East, if she worked out just how many mega tonnes of CO2 e could be saved by just one hour of daylight saving. It would probably be more than the emissions from all the Queensland Bulls!

  7. NT October 5, 2008 at 11:26 am #

    I find it strange that the authors would expect a linear response in the monthly temperature data… That’s a very strange assumption. For a start the difference between a northern hemisphere summer and southern hemisphere summer would ruin the linear response.

  8. Gordon Robertson October 5, 2008 at 11:27 am #

    So, can we declare CO2/warming dead once and for all? There have been three papers this year that have linked warming to the natural cause of oceanic oscillations. Why was that missed by the ‘vast-majority’ of scientists?

  9. cohenite October 5, 2008 at 11:34 am #

    NT; DC assume a linear response, on pp3-4 because CO2 increase is linear and CO2 is well-mixed; as we know the logarithmic decline of the temperature response to CO2 would decrease the CO2 signal found by DC; and the variations in atmospheric mixing of CO2, which AIRS has found can be up to 25ppm, independent of seasonal fluctuations, would also lesson the CO2 signal. So, really, the linear response is the best case scenario for the CO2 signal.

  10. NT October 5, 2008 at 2:55 pm #

    The increase in CO2 in short term may appear linear, but is in fact logarithmic. CO2 response looks linear on the scales that the ice cores were sampled at, but you can’t expect a short term response to be anyhing like linear when other variables are changing. They also don’t do any analysis as to whether El Nino’s and La Nina’s will react to increased temps from increasing CO2. More importantly, many people have made recent climate reconstructions removing the effects of solar and El Nino- La nina events. They still show warming – the authors don’t address this.

    I don’t think this paper will have much impact and I doubt it will change any opinions. It looks like a pretty trivial analysis, but good on them for trying.

    Would you agree this paper is wrong if, say by 2102, we have 1998?

    Cinders, I don’t think daylight saving actually saves energy any more. And it certainly wouldn’t here in WA. Our Summers are very hot, and temperatures remain high at night – daylight saving would actually make increase usage due to people using AC for longer. Similar in QLD.

  11. NT October 5, 2008 at 3:18 pm #

    Spangled Drongo, what does the red line mean in that image? Looks like some sort of cubic spline. Certainly isn’t a moving average… Looks strange as it begins to curve down before the monthly temperature does…

  12. Tilo Reber October 5, 2008 at 3:19 pm #

    “The increase in CO2 in short term may appear linear, but is in fact logarithmic.”

    The way that I understand it is that the increase in CO2 is exponential, but currently on a very flat part of the curve. The climate response to CO2 increase is logarithmic.

  13. NT October 5, 2008 at 3:24 pm #

    Sure Tilo, yes exponential increase in CO2.

  14. spangled drongo October 5, 2008 at 3:43 pm #

    I agree. It seems a bit premature in 2007 but do you not think it ends up at the right spot?

  15. Louis Hissink October 5, 2008 at 4:09 pm #

    So now NT lives in WA.

  16. cohenite October 5, 2008 at 4:22 pm #

    NT; have you got links to those many climate reconstructions removing El Nino and La Nina? The only other one I could find, apart from Schmidt’s failed effort, was an article by Christy and McNider in Nature, Vol 367, 27 January 1994, p 325. They find a CO2 signal of +0.09C PD, but do not factor in SF.

    Tilo; the response to CO2 increase is a logarithmic decline, which has already occurred to a maximum asymptopic level, but I’m not sure where you get the exponential increase in CO2 from.

  17. spangled drongo October 5, 2008 at 4:29 pm #

    But talking of red lines, this is one I like.

  18. Luke October 5, 2008 at 4:30 pm #

    If it’s not able to be published anywhere other than E&E it’s not even worth reading. They can’t be serious surely.

  19. Malcolm Hill October 5, 2008 at 5:54 pm #

    A perfectly predictable response from Luke (BscHons).

    At least its not one of those highly credible journals that backed the Mann shonkiness etc etc.

  20. cohenite October 5, 2008 at 6:12 pm #

    As I noted above luke’s irrelevancy, Christy had published before in Nature. Of course NASA wouldn’t publish Miskolczi.

    But Malcolm, how do you know luke has an Hons degree?

  21. Louis Hissink October 5, 2008 at 6:18 pm #

    And NT, Luke, Phil Done,.. now seems to live in WA.

    Stranger and stranger our Luke becomes. Perhaps he is a resident of Shenton Park?

  22. SJT October 5, 2008 at 6:18 pm #

    “El Nino and La Nina effects in the tropics have a more significant affect on global temperature anomalies than carbon dioxide, in particular it was an El Nino event that drove the 1998 global temperature maximum.”

    They only just found that out? They must be the slow ones in the class. The IPCC and climate scientists knew that in 1998.

  23. NT October 5, 2008 at 6:22 pm #

    Cohenite, there have been a lot. I am surprised you haven’t seen them, it’s been a debate point for a while.

    Have a look around, I can’t remember all the places I saw them.


    Louis, yes I live in WA… So?

  24. NT October 5, 2008 at 6:23 pm #

    Does Luke live in WA?
    Do you still think we are the same?
    What difference would it make if we were? Why would it matter?

  25. NT October 5, 2008 at 6:25 pm #

    Spangled… Yes it’s a very nice shade of red…

  26. Louis Hissink October 5, 2008 at 6:37 pm #

    SJT:”They only just found that out? They must be the slow ones in the class. The IPCC and climate scientists knew that in 1998.”

    Since the El Nino effect is usually discerned after all the data has been collected and analysed, it somewhat strains credibility that the IPCC and climate scientists knew this before the data were collected.

    But this is unsurprising.

  27. NT October 5, 2008 at 6:38 pm #

    And if you look at this research,

    You can see that the histoprical record of El Nino’s and La Nina’s don’t actually match the temperature record. There were strong El Nino events in the past (1877 was shown to be of similar magnitude to 1998) and these haven’t really contributed to a trend of increasing temp. We have just left a moderately strong La Nina, did it change any long term trend? No, it presented as cooler temps, but still warmer than previous La Nina’s. I say there analysis looks shallow and they haven’t reviewed enough recently published material.

  28. NT October 5, 2008 at 6:39 pm #

    There were earlier El Nino events Louis, that may be why they already knew.

  29. Louis Hissink October 5, 2008 at 6:40 pm #


    You know who I am, but I not you – its called being upfront and honest.

    Oh sorry, you don’t have a moral compass – comes with being a lefty I suppose.

  30. NT October 5, 2008 at 6:41 pm #

    Oh Louis don’t be a namby pamby. This is the INTERNET… It’s a BLOG… Anonymity is part of the joy.
    And really I don’t care what your real name is. Why don’t you make up a pseudonym and see if anyone treats you differently

  31. SJT October 5, 2008 at 6:43 pm #

    We’ve just gone through a la nina, and knew it was going on when it was happening.

  32. Louis Hissink October 5, 2008 at 6:44 pm #


    You are somewhat thick – even if they did know of previous El Nino’s you cannot then say that 1998 was another El Nino when the data are not yet in.

    You really are a scientific ignoramus.

  33. cohenite October 5, 2008 at 6:48 pm #

    NT; the Fawcett and Jones paper you linked to about ENSO removal from the land based temp data over the 20thC is amazing; their ENSO deducted GISS temp increase for the century is over 1C; yet the uncorrected GISS temp increase for the 20thC is less than 1C; removing the ENSO increases the temp effect of the CO2 signal; we live in great times!

  34. Louis Hissink October 5, 2008 at 6:50 pm #


    Anonymity is the cowards way. In the case of SJT, stupidity is sufficient.

  35. Louis Hissink October 5, 2008 at 6:56 pm #


    Isn’t it fun dissecting the Enid Blyton science NT so loves.

  36. Steve Schapel October 5, 2008 at 7:20 pm #

    “I hope Spencer’s wrong and this oh so obvious truth doesn’t take 3 years to be finally exposed, but who knows there are an awful lot of fraudsters, numbskulls and fanatics clinging on with their extremist zeal, plus the support of the MSM.”

    “So, can we declare CO2/warming dead once and for all?”

    “I think the Kyoto bunch should give the game away and concentrate on the real problems.”

    There seems to be a sentiment here that rationality will win out.

    I personally think that this is a dangerous sentiment. Whereas it is very interesting and intellectually stimulating etc to discuss the facts and the evidence and the deliberations of Douglass and Christie, I don’t think anyone should deceive themselves into thinking that the AGW movement will be affected by the truth.

    If the truth was going to prevail, it would have done so by now.

    We have to remember that there are some very powerful and wealthy organisations with vested interests in milking this AGW hysteria for all they can.

    For example, General Electric, massive long-term supporters and funders of the AGW movement, and the owners of key elements of the US MSM, presently are having their interests directly promoted by the US Secretary of State during her visit to India.

    This is relevant. When you’ve got companies like GE in the box seat to make billions of dollars out of getting the developing nations dependent on them for nuclear power and other energy technologies, and fuelling this by appeals to the AGW deities, then arguing over the relationship of CO2 to climate change is whistling in the wind.

  37. cohenite October 5, 2008 at 7:27 pm #

    louis; it does seem like an obvious mistake; and that comparison is with the adjusted GISS data, not the unadjusted, which shows even less warming during the 20thC.

    Steve; you raise a valid point; at the beginning of this ‘debate’ all the ad hom was about big oil and how the sceptics were in the pay of the corps; it is now plain that the big money is following AGW.

  38. NT October 5, 2008 at 7:28 pm #

    That’s because La Nina has a cooling effect…
    Did you look at the ENSO paper for the last couple of centuries I linked, that should put it into context. BUT what it also shows is that in terms of TRENDS up or down ENSO is not a big factor, the strength of the ENSO signal is more or less flat. How come temps are going up generally? CO2

  39. Louis Hissink October 5, 2008 at 7:56 pm #

    NT: temps are going up because you say so?

  40. Louis Hissink October 5, 2008 at 7:59 pm #


    NT seems to think that the globally pervasive colder winters everyone is complaining/hoorahing about, (pensioners/ski fields) implies that temperatures are going up.

    Models? Well yes, they are designed to show that explicitly.

    Reality? No temperatures are plummeting.

  41. cohenite October 5, 2008 at 7:59 pm #

    Well NT, now I think you are grasping at straws; the PDO phases during the 20thC are simply the dominant climate indices; El Nino and La Nina are their proxies (apologies to Bob Tisdale who will argue that it is the other way round); I do not understand how you can similtaneously claim that the 1998 super El Nino is not a major player, dominating everything else, and then claim the ENSO signal is flat??

    The other ‘paper’ you linked to is a RC graph showing HadCrut and GISS data from the 50′s, both ENSO corrected; they are not smoothed, but just eye-balling them shows considerable levelling off, even noting the volcanic effects are still present.

  42. NT October 5, 2008 at 8:02 pm #

    Big money to AGW? Who’s paying?

    Cohenite, the thing with being “obvious” is that it rarely is. And you opinion seems to based in the logic that you have just decided they are wrong. With no investigation, no analysis. That’s cheap. Did you go and find out how many other temp reconstructions incorporating ENSO have been made? Why is this D&C analysis so much better?

    How can ENSO lead to an upward trend? Where is the energy coming from? If ENSO is creating some sort of upward trend – as D&C suggest it simply begs two questions “Have there been more El Nino’s than La Nina’s” and “What is causing ENSO”?

  43. NT October 5, 2008 at 8:10 pm #

    Cohenite, the graph was made by David Thompson at CSU, if you google his name you can read his work. I never claimed it was a paper. Again I was demonstrating that other people have already gone down the path that D&C have. Do the research yourself, you would never believe anything I posted – it’s a fools errand for me.

    Cohenite you are making stuff up re: PDO. You have just decide that it is PDO that drives ENSO. I have read for both sides, how could you possibly decide which is right? And it just begs the question what drives PDO/ENSO?

    I’ll post this again, maybe you missed it. It places ENSO in context. You can see there is no major change in the frequency of El Nino or La Nina.

  44. spangled drongo October 5, 2008 at 8:32 pm #

    Steve Schapel,
    I feel that the world climate is at a point where both sides can make a case.
    If it warms or there are minor ups and downs over a long period then the AGW machine will remain entrenched.
    If we see another decade like the last and end up with pre 1930 temps then it should be electorally difficult to sustain the AGW argument.
    But what are we going to do when it’s all settled?

  45. Bob Tisdale October 5, 2008 at 8:35 pm #

    NT: You or your linked papers are missing a well-known point about ENSO. A single ENSO event does not dictate a trend. However, if, during a given period of time, the frequency and amplitude of El Nino events are greater than the frequency and amplitude of La Nina events, global temperatures rise. Global temperatures decrease over a time period if the frequency and amplitude of La Nina events are greater than the frequency and amplitude of El Nino events.

    Trenberth and Stepaniak provide one of the longest NINO3.4 data sets available online here:

    So that YOU can determine the long-term effects of ENSO, download that data, insert it in a spreadsheet, and using the monthly data or the annual average NINO3.4 from Trenberth and Stepaniak, calculate a the running total of the data. Plot the running total. Let me know what the curve looks like.

    If you aren’t able to run through that process, let me know and I’ll post the curve.


  46. Louis Hissink October 5, 2008 at 8:38 pm #

    “Big money to AGW? Who’s paying?”

    The taxpayer. $4 billion per year globally?

  47. Bob Tisdale October 5, 2008 at 8:46 pm #

    NT, just in case I wasn’t clear: To calculate the running total of the data, the value of each subsequent year is added to the prior year total, as illustrated in the following table. I hope the table makes it through in one piece.

    Year …… NINO3.4 (deg C) …… NINO3.4 Running Total
    1871 ………. -0.42267………………….. -0.42267
    1872 ………. -0.76575………………….. -1.18842
    1873 ………. -0.76925………………….. -1.95767
    1874 ………. -1.2345……………………. -3.19217


  48. SJT October 5, 2008 at 8:58 pm #

    “Isn’t it fun dissecting the Enid Blyton science NT so loves.”

    I think your attack on accepted science elsewhere has cohenite and pompe wondering about you, Louis.

  49. SJT October 5, 2008 at 9:34 pm #

    “2. Variations in global temperatures since 1978 have mostly been due to climate effects in the northern hemisphere (northern extratropics) and these effects cannot be attributed to carbon dioxide.”

    Use 1998 as the source of all climate change queries. Check. Denier ruse #745

  50. Bob Tisdale October 5, 2008 at 9:55 pm #

    SJT: You’ve got two years written in your most recent comment, 1978 and 1998. Why? Just curious.

  51. Neville October 5, 2008 at 10:13 pm #

    It’s interesting observing the warm and cool phase PDOs over the last 100 years.
    There were really only two cool phase PDOs the first one starting in 1907 to 1918 ( 11 years ) and the second starting in 1946 to 1978 ( 32 years )
    There are 3 warm phase PDOs, the first one from 1896 to 1907 ( 11 years ) next 1922 to 1945 ( 23 years ) then 1979 to 1998 ( 19 years )
    The only reasonable la nina in the 79 to 98 period was approx 89 to 91 with the rest of the 19 years dominated by el ninos.
    The major cool phase PDO gave us very heavy rainfall in Vic during the 1950′s and 70′s and of course led the urgers to warn of a coming ice age in the 1970′s.
    But in a little over 10 years the same urgers and fanatics were warning of global warming culminating with Hansen’s address to congress in 1988.

  52. Bob Tisdale October 5, 2008 at 10:33 pm #

    Neville, regarding your comment about the PDO: If the following paper is correct in its evaluation of the relationship between PDO and ENSO and if “the PDO is dependent on ENSO on all timescales”, then the exercise I suggested for NT will be quite revealing.

  53. cohenite October 5, 2008 at 10:34 pm #

    NT; I’ve read the Cane history of ENSO; he does use Mann data; that aside he is reasonably balanced, referring to studies which see nothing historicaly unusual about the current climate phases, although he does ultimately dismiss these by referring to Fig 1 to assert that current ENSO’s are more extreme; he admits that potentially important and controlling processes such as cloud feedback, are not considered.

    The PDO/ENSO business is a bit of a chicken/egg thing; the best discussion on the role of SST, CO2 and the other variables to do with PDO is here;

    Steve Short was good value; hope the Foxy is doing ok.

    You’re right about there being a multitude of papers on PDO; 2 of the best, outside Franks’ work, are by Peter Helman on the IPO;

    Shang-Ping Xie’s 1997 paper in the Journal of Climate (the url is too long)

    My view tends towards this; as Bob says, temp movements and trends are caused by ENSO phases; whether these phases are a result of CO2 build-up or thermocline/upwelling flux and consequent SST and wind variation, or both is a damn good question; I’m pretty sure ACO2 has little to do with it, in a direct heating sense because the ‘heating’ is done by the first 50ppm or thereabouts; the effect of the extra CO2, as Sage noted, and as Steve Short argues, is to regulate massive bio-feedback. Given the problematic nature of the (isotopic) source of the extra CO2, I don’t think a case can be made for any AGW at all.

  54. Peter October 5, 2008 at 10:56 pm #

    Louis: “The taxpayer. $4 billion per year globally?”

    That’s only a very tiny part of it. In the UK we fork out ~GBP30 billion annually in fuel tax – all in the name of AGW.
    That’s why the British govt are so anxious to keep the scare alive – if AGW dried up then so would their excuse for this swingeing tax.

  55. Luke October 5, 2008 at 11:18 pm #

    Cohenite – people are “reasonably” balanced only they agree with you. Fancy using Helman who is a change believer – correct url – his IPO graph is actually detrended. There is an ongoing long term trend in sea level rise.

    Like all the speculative guff we see written up here – get published somewhere serious or not be fair dinkum. Same for “massive” bio-feedback.

    Maybe these “decadal” oscillations don’t even exist. Just El Nino or La Nina debris.

  56. Bill Illis October 5, 2008 at 11:34 pm #

    It is important to remember that for global warming to have the significant negative impacts predicted by the theory, temps have to increase by 0.2C per decade.

    Without the 0.2C per decade trend, the climate will never reach the magic 3.0C increase per doubling of GHGs predicted by the models.

    If the CO2 impact on temperatures is only 0.07C per decade, then the sensitivity figure is only 1.0C to 1.5C per doubling of GHGs.

    At this level, temps will only increase by 1.0C to 1.5C by the year 2100 (hardly a disaster) and might reach another 1.0C to 1.5C over the next thousand years as we move to the next doubling plateau (we will run out of coal and oil before we get there of course.)

    This trend is a critical number. It is the difference between a disaster and nothing to really worry about. So far the numbers say don’t worry much.

  57. Peter October 5, 2008 at 11:39 pm #

    Luke: “Maybe these “decadal” oscillations don’t even exist. Just El Nino or La Nina debris.”

    Maybe not. But, despite not knowing this, you’re still absolutely convinced that AGW does exist.

  58. Ra October 6, 2008 at 12:46 am #

    NT, what odds and fo how much money do you offer that temps will be lower in 2015?

    I’m willing to escrow $20,000 using an appropriate measure at the right odds. What are your odds?

  59. Ra October 6, 2008 at 12:46 am #

    That goes for you too SJT.

  60. Bill Illis October 6, 2008 at 3:10 am #

    Perhaps we can also infer an ENSO-corrected temperature increase by using the two biggest El Ninos we know about.

    Hadley’s temperature anomaly peaked at +0.364C in Feb 1878 at the end of the large El Nino of 1877-78. (note GISS starts in 1880 and missed this big temp spike.)

    Hadley’s temperature peaked out at +0.749 in Feb 1998 at the end of the large El Nino of 1997-98.

    That is an increase of +0.385C over 110 years or 0.035C per decade using two large El Ninos for calibration.

  61. Louis Hissink October 6, 2008 at 8:10 am #

    Jeff Id as done an excellent job the latest Mann Hockey Stick methodology – its straight out fraud.

    So why on earth do they persist?

    I think they actually believe that AGW is a proven fact, and that anything is permissible to save the planet.

    Hence the continued inability by Luke and his mates here to accept contradiction. They are on a crusade and its not nice.

    You have to conclude that when blatant falsification of a theory is dumped on the proselytisers and they continue to bleat about the ending times, then its fairly obvious we are not dealing with reasonable and rationable people. THey certainly have never understood what the scientific method entails. Hardly surprising given what is taught in Universities these days.

  62. Luke October 6, 2008 at 8:51 am #

    Hissink – why do you actually persist and how hypocritical of you – “Mr grenades into the blogosphere” indeed –

    “This blog is the kamikaze version of some more mundane climate sceptical views. I get fed some ideas to then throw them as intellectual hand grenades into the blogosphere. ”

    Yes Louis – we know you’re a serious scientist and aren’t political in the slightest.

    You take great care to make sure what you tell us is correct . Take a hike you toad.

  63. cohenite October 6, 2008 at 8:59 am #

    Geez luke, with all these resources at your disposal to crank open the (alleged) foibles of candidate Graeme and Louis’s grenades you’d think you could come up with something better to criticise the Douglass/Christy paper than it being published in a lessor journal. Still, we should be thankful for small mercies I suppose; occasional contributor and self-described beacon of civilised discourse, Bernard J, I see, over at Deltoid, is calling for Monckton to be beheaded; it’s all relative I suppose.

  64. gavin October 6, 2008 at 9:04 am #

    Strange stuff indeed

  65. Luke October 6, 2008 at 9:28 am #

    Cohenite – we’re not going to waste our time on E&E swamp water If you guys think that ENSO phenomena build a century of increasing temperature trend – dream on. BTW you should tell Louis & Graeme that with Irish grenades it’s not a good idea to throw the pin and hold the other bit.

  66. Patrick B October 6, 2008 at 9:38 am #

    “Enid Blyton”

    My guess this is the most complex author our Louie can deal with. He’s just about ready to more on from The Faraway Tree to the Secret Seven.

  67. Louis Hissink October 6, 2008 at 9:53 am #


    I see you are dredging statements I made some years back – and as the only counter to what I post here is your use of ad hominems, clearly I have won the intellectual battle.

    As for the verbal abuse battle, you win that hands down.

    You lose turkey, as you always do.

  68. Louis Hissink October 6, 2008 at 9:56 am #

    Patrick B.

    Really? Looks like the torrent of abuse from the usual suspects means I have scored another hit.

    Quite funny actually.

  69. cohenite October 6, 2008 at 9:57 am #

    You tell them; everytime I send them a letter I seal the envelope before I know who I’m sending it to.

    As to DC; as I said Christy, with Richard McNider, first raised the ENSO free temp trend issue in Nature, Vol 367, 27 January 1994, p325; they found a CO2 signal, before SF deduction, of +0.09C per decade. As I said to your alter-ego, NT, you can’t subtract ENSO and expect the temperature trend to be greater than when it is there just because one of the 20thC’s climate phases was a La Nina one; I mean, for christ sake, look at HadCrut, with ENSO included, for the 20thC;

    No temp increase at all; well, hardly.

  70. Louis Hissink October 6, 2008 at 9:58 am #


    I take it you have nothing to counter Jeff Id’s analysis?

  71. cohenite October 6, 2008 at 10:12 am #

    The HadCrut graph shows a temperature anomaly at 1900 of -0.24C; the anomaly at 2000 is +0.28C; this gives an ENSO inclusive (and Volcanoes as well) temp trend for the 20thc of +0.52C. According to AGW it should be +1.2C for the CO2 effect alone. You tell me what I’m missing? Apart from base period bias.

  72. SJT October 6, 2008 at 10:47 am #

    “Maybe not. But, despite not knowing this, you’re still absolutely convinced that AGW does exist.”

    There is an underlying signal. The temperature record clearly shows it.

  73. Gordon Robertson October 6, 2008 at 10:52 am #

    Steve Schapel said…”I don’t think anyone should deceive themselves into thinking that the AGW movement will be affected by the truth. If the truth was going to prevail, it would have done so by now”.

    Steve…I don’t deceive myself for one minute into thinking the AGW crowd will go away. I think this sorry mess will probably carry on for another 20 years as they move the goalposts with mind-numbing explanations for the lack of warming.

    My sarcastic (sarcastic??…moi??) comment about moving on is based on half a dozen papers that have been released in 2008 alone. Christy’s paper is the most recent and only adds to those of Tsonis et al and Keenlyside et al which infer that natural processes are behind the warming, not CO2.

    The most damning 2008 paper, however, is that of Lindzen, who has revealed the out and out corruption in the model-based, activist movement.

    He pointed out that the National Academy of Science (NAS) was a pretty exclusive club with an 85% approval rating being required by members for admission. Recently, exceptions have been made to allow environmentalists into NAS through bypassing the traditional scrutiny, and guess what they are doing? They hold a veto power to exclude anyone who holds skeptical views on CO2 based global warming. Peer review is now riddled with obstacles to skeptics getting their papers published.

    Both Christy and Lindzen have pointed out how the IPCC have made statements aimed at policymakers that are simply not true. The most recent one after AR4 was the confidence level of 90% that applied to the likelihood of humans having caused recent warming. That statement was made by 50 scientists and the Summary for Policymakers containing it was written in conjunction with politicians. Yet the implication by the IPCC was that all 4000 scientist involved, the so-called ‘vast majority’ were behind it.

    No such decision was reached by the majority, who decided not enough information was available and that a significant time was required for observation. That would have been the best approach and the most scientific. So what was the need for lying about it? The urgency theme doesn’t come from the majority of IPCC scientists, it comes from a small minority, aided by political interference. It’s obvious that a concerted effort is being made to ram this crap down the public’s throat through sheer intimidation.

    I am amused, however, at the way things unfold in life. I couldn’t stand Saddam Hussien and I was miffed that George Bush senior did not take the opportunity to move into Bagdad during Desert Storm and remove him. Bush junior went in for all the wrong reasons and did the job. I’m sorry so many young soldiers lost their lives over that but the job got done in a way most people could not anticipate. Saddam was essentially removed by the terrorists he supported after they attacked the States.

    In Canada, we are being saved from the carbon nonsense by the Tories, albeit through a minority government. We are in the midst of an election campaign right now and the best outcome would be another minority with Tory rule. We are actually being saved by a representative of the oil industry and I can’t stand those corporate types who use any excuse to raise gas prices.

    No one knows how this global warming hysteria will end and I’m still on the edge of my seat. I’m prepared for it to go either way while hoping sanity will prevail. Even though a concerted effort has been made to scare people into the AGW camp, people seem to sense that and act accordingly.

    What is going on in the US election is worrisome. McCain, the right-winger, is talking green. I’ve heard that is a rouge but I’m not so sure. What is more worrisome is his running mate Palin from Alaska. He isn’t in very good shape and she becomes president if he dies. She’s a loose cannon and reaches out to people who wear logging shirts and drink in bars.

  74. NT October 6, 2008 at 10:53 am #

    Wow, looks like I missed a lot of action last night!
    Louis, did you read your crustal contamination homework?

    Ok I did the Running Total Bob, and got a big 156 value at 2006.
    Interesting… One of the interesting things are the comparison between the 1930′s and 1970′s and now. Using this as a proxy for Global Temps would indicate that the 1970′s should be warmer than the 1930′s (60′s vs high 30′s) and that 1941 should have been toasty warm (at 73)… Have you compared the graph in detail to global temps? There are a lot of mismatches…

    Yes, it’s a very nice graph, that shows an increase.

    This, graph, however implies that high ENSO values in the 30′s 40′s 50′s and 60′s are still relevant today. You are simply adding them all up, why would you just add them up? Is there still an effect now from the 21 total I get for 1941? I think this would require a more in depth analysis.

    Again, all this does is raise the question of where the additional energy is coming from. ENSO doesn’t just ‘appear’ out of nowhere.

  75. cohenite October 6, 2008 at 11:28 am #

    “She’s a loose cannon and reaches out to people who wear logging shirts and drink in bars.”

    Gordon, you mean she’s a lumberjack?

    NT; show me the energy; so. it’s either the semi-opaque atmospheric model to explain the extra energy for ENSO or nothing? What about the ocean thermocline and upwelling oscillation? The Great Pacific Climate Shift of 1976 involved enough energy to kick off 2 1998 super El Ninos. And if you read the DC paper, unlike luke who has turned up his nose and won’t sully his eyes on the inferior thing, you will see that DC look at what is happening with LDR; the action takes place at the characteristic emission layer (CEL), which is at about 7-8kms; this is at about 300mb, which is a crucial level where IR can be radiated into space relatively unimpeded; if the temp trend here is 0.056C PD, before a deduction for SF, then, at best, isotropic LDR is only carrying 1/2 of that temp downwards; but at 300mb LDR is subject to interception by underlying layers and less than the 50% isotropic split gets to the ground; the temp at this level is also subject to reduction due to the drastic decline in RH (down 21.5% since 1948, in response to increases in CO2), so, in all likelihood, the downward heat is negligible; these factors are also responsible for there being no THS, as required by AGW.

    So, NT, the energy for ENSO is not being produced by an AGW atmosphere.

  76. Jeff Id October 6, 2008 at 12:00 pm #

    I just thought I would stop by and found my work was being criticized because my blog is too strongly worded for some.


    You seem to feel that the only science you can live with is peer reviewed science. This makes sense in a lot of cases but paleoclimatology peer review has been thoroughly corrupted. It has become a buddy network of researchers funded by my ‘researched’ estimates to be over 100 billion in government money.

    I just found out that a similar version of my article on statistical amplification of local data had been published only 2 years ago. I had just finished stating that the hockey stick methodology clearly flattened the handle through its math.

    I did this by recreating a wide variety of random proxies and sorting the data according to an analogous method.

    My work has just been independantly confirmed by another source. Instead of blindly making comments about “peer review” in subjects you don’t understand why not take a look at the data for yourself.

    I even took the time to make it simple.

  77. Neville October 6, 2008 at 12:00 pm #

    Gordon, what does Obama’s history tell us, that he is a supporter of urban terrorists and sat through 20 years of extreme racist sermons by his pastor until the heat was turned up and he ditched the moronic fool.
    Obama’s only claim to fame is his left wing activism plus his short duration as a junior senator.
    Palin by comparison is a credible over achiever and has very mainstream views and opinions, I would sleep soundly with her in control but certainly not with Obama.
    But then again I don’t like terrorism of any ilk and extreme, moronic nonsense preached from pulpits is a very big turnoff as well.

  78. NT October 6, 2008 at 12:10 pm #

    Cohenite, I would think that the energy is coming from some oceanic store. And I would think that increasing CO2 would aid in heating the oceans.
    Yes I read their paper, and as I said before it looked very lightweight, not that I am any authority.

    “isotropic LDR is only carrying 1/2 of that temp downwards” I think this is what has always been assumed as a ‘best case’.

    “but at 300mb LDR is subject to interception by underlying layers and less than the 50% isotropic split gets to the ground; ” It doesn’t have to reach the ground. If you warm the atmosphere, the ground will cool slower.

    “So, NT, the energy for ENSO is not being produced by an AGW atmosphere.”

    I think it’s a little early to be declaring this.

    As to your HadCrut, where is the missing temperature question: Yes it is intriguing, where is it? Perhaps deeper in the Oceans?
    I don’t think you can say that ENSO is additive like that. I think it’s going to involve some sort of exponential decay. You can’t say that ENSO events in the 1940s have the same contribution to present day temps as very recent ENSO events.

  79. cohenite October 6, 2008 at 12:51 pm #

    Well, this is the point; if ENSO isn’t additive, why should it be assumed that the ocean is? With a cessation of upwelling, as which kicked off the 1976 climate shift, and the El Nino dominated next 30 years; temps didn’t accumulate; they just had a step up with the GPCS of ’76 and oscillated from that high base; the ’98 El Nino is described as a super one but it is put into perspective by this comparison of recent El Nino’s;

    This article regards the ’98 El Nino rather differently from how your Cane paper does; my link looks at the effect on the immediate climate and compares the La Nina following the ’98 El Nino with other very weak and late starting ones; an El Nino can be classified weak or strong depending on the La Nina which follows.

    The ocean reservoir for storing heat and being a pipeline doesn’t make sense; ocean temp are not rising and the correlation between SST and atmospheric and land temp doesn’t seem to involve a lag;

    The graph at Barry’s post compares HadCrut, SST and UAH; surely if the ocean was storing AGW heat there wouldn’t be the symmetry between the 3 indices?

  80. Luke October 6, 2008 at 1:26 pm #

    Yep just keep reassuring yourselves

  81. NT October 6, 2008 at 1:28 pm #

    So if not the oceans, where is the ENSO energy coming from (if we assume the lat century has the ENSO energy piling up)?
    Do you think you can add ENSO for the last century and a half in the fashion that Bob Tisdale was suggesting?

    I don’t have time right now to read all that, but it looks interesting.

    I think ENSO is a big factor, don’t get me wrong. But is it the tail or the dog? Is it both? I reckon it’s a way that any kind of warming presents itself and the present preponderance of El Nino is a manifestation of AGW, but that’s just my opinion. It seems to be the focus of a lot of research so I guess we’ll find out in the next few years.

  82. DMS October 6, 2008 at 2:17 pm #

    We don’t need all this guff about ENSO energy, or even hockey sticks.

    We’ve got mudcrab proxies

  83. gavin October 6, 2008 at 3:55 pm #

    I had this up my sleve from earlier today after thinking we may soon see cohenite join the Lavoisier Group but that’s only a sideline of mine

    Outstanding in most of Jen’s threads is an apparent lack of interest in grounding all these highbrow arguments over climate science and its models with some other timeless reference.

    We have this monster natural thermometer virtually under our noses. I find it curious in the extreme that nobody here goes out and regularly checks the obvious. As I said last month, sea level rise back home has become very noticeable, particularly from. On a calm day around high tide there are no beaches visible the way I remember them.

    Let’s commission Luke, NT and perhaps several others to do a local survey at other edges around this country. IMO the only requirement is to include lots of gentle slopes in the survey and imagine they are on the debris of previous high sea level erosion.

    Calibration of global temperature measurement systems, GCM’s etc must relate to the ice/water balance.

  84. gavin October 6, 2008 at 3:58 pm #

    ooops; particularly from the air!

  85. SJT October 6, 2008 at 4:10 pm #

    “NT; show me the energy; so. it’s either the semi-opaque atmospheric model to explain the extra energy for ENSO or nothing? What about the ocean thermocline and upwelling oscillation? The Great Pacific Climate Shift of 1976 involved enough energy to kick off 2 1998 super El Ninos. And if you read the DC paper, unlike luke who has turned up his nose and won’t sully his eyes on the inferior thing, you will see that DC look at what is happening with LDR; the action takes place at the characteristic emission layer (CEL), which is at about 7-8kms; this is at about 300mb, which is a crucial level where IR can be radiated into space relatively unimpeded; if the temp trend here is 0.056C PD, before a deduction for SF, then, at best, isotropic LDR is only carrying 1/2 of that temp downwards; but at 300mb LDR is subject to interception by underlying layers and less than the 50% isotropic split gets to the ground; the temp at this level is also subject to reduction due to the drastic decline in RH (down 21.5% since 1948, in response to increases in CO2), so, in all likelihood, the downward heat is negligible; these factors are also responsible for there being no THS, as required by AGW.”

    Come on Cohenite, you have no more idea of what you are talking about than I do. I’m prepared to admit it. You just act like you know, but if I was to show a scientist what you just wrote, he would laughing his head off.

  86. SJT October 6, 2008 at 4:16 pm #

    “Well, this is the point; if ENSO isn’t additive, why should it be assumed that the ocean is? ”

    Enso is an oscillation around a central point, temperature is being driven higher by an external forcing. Enso is made up of the circulation of warmer and colder water, sometimes it’s the warmer stuff up top, other times it’s the colder water. (AIUI)

  87. NT October 6, 2008 at 4:25 pm #

    SJT, it’s funny how you can read my mind… Maybe it’s beacuse we are the same person… apparently

  88. NT October 6, 2008 at 5:15 pm #

    Had a brief look at the Lavoisier website… Eek.
    I looked at David Evans’ ‘paper’ on the missing signature, why doesn’t he have any references in it?

  89. NT October 6, 2008 at 5:31 pm #

    Cohenite, here’s another take on the PDO…

  90. cohenite October 6, 2008 at 5:42 pm #

    Well, go ahead Will, show it to a scientist; the poor dears need a laugh, what with all this poncing about and guilt-tripping that AGW has thrust upon them.

    Gavin; do you read your links? One thing about Skeptical Science is that the site is always open with the comments; most of which severely dent the content of the post about Antarctica melting; this seems to be a theme with luke posting something about the calamity at the Arctic and now you with this Antarctica nonsense; and as for the stratosphere cooling, read Christy and Spencer’s refutation of the Fu paper.

    And to top it off NT is wheeling out the THS; Evans just stated the obvious; what references do you need? Despite being predicted there is no THS; do we have to do the Sherwood wind shear stuff again? Why don’t you guys just worship quietly at the Philipona shrine and leave this AGW rubbish alone.

  91. spangled drongo October 6, 2008 at 5:44 pm #

    So much for sea level rises!

  92. NT October 6, 2008 at 6:00 pm #

    Cohenite, you didn’t read all the posts did you. See they actually seem to understand how to have a discussion. They still note that there is a mass balance loss off Antarctica.

  93. cohenite October 6, 2008 at 6:01 pm #

    NT; re: your link to Skeptical Science PDO thread; ditto what I said to gavin; of especial interest is the comment about the new Spencer and Braswell paper about under-estimated internal forcings; the Keenlyside paper still is getting a thrashing from both sides of this debate.

  94. NT October 6, 2008 at 6:03 pm #

    Cohenite, I was wondering where he got his graphics from.

  95. cohenite October 6, 2008 at 6:07 pm #

    NT; the Velicogna paper is a 2006 effort and very model based; here’s an alternative for the East Antarctica;

    And an alternative for the West;

    Then we can talk about the volcanic chain under the West.

  96. Louis Hissink October 6, 2008 at 6:16 pm #


    So where is home Gavin? You are coy about it apart from pronouncing that the beaches you used to know are now eroded away.

  97. NT October 6, 2008 at 6:17 pm #

    Cohenite, you have this special talent of only looking at one side. I post a link that includes a discussion, then you post back saying some other paper has debunked it. You aren’t really ineterested in the discussion are you? That link had a detailed discussion – one that included links to the papers you are talking about. I think you need to read it in more detail.
    It also confirms that this is something that has been studied a lot and is still being investigated, which again shows how lightweight the D&C paper is.

  98. NT October 6, 2008 at 6:20 pm #

    The volcanic chain… Oh yes… That old chestnut.
    The discussion in the link Gavin sent doesn’t actually put much weight in the Velicogna paper. They see this one
    as better.

  99. NT October 6, 2008 at 6:28 pm #

    Cohenite, you need to check both the East and West Antarctic. One may be gaining ice, and the other is losing ice.

    I was wondering if the recent ‘gain’ in Antarctic sea ice may be due to increased ice from the Antarctic ice sheet. Do you have any thoughts on that?

  100. spangled drongo October 6, 2008 at 6:46 pm #

    I think Gavin lives at Noosa where the beach is always getting washed away.
    Maybe Waikiki, it happens there a lot too.

  101. Louis Hissink October 6, 2008 at 6:54 pm #


    Ah, thanks for that – now I know what is happening – its the high rise buildings close to the beach front that are affecting the wind and the long shore currents, so one view has hit.

    Mt parents had a beach front home at the northern end of Narrrabeen and severe erosion occurred as a result of the flat developments on the foreshore.

    Problem is now fixed, but the erosion has always been there – depending on storm activity etc.

    Why anyone has to build right on the beach front staggers the imagination – a decent earthquake near by and the liquification of the underlying beach sands will cause the lot to sink.

  102. cohenite October 6, 2008 at 6:55 pm #

    ME, stray from the topic? That’s rich. But ok, let’s look at the Shepherd and Wingham paper which proposes a model-based scenario of net Greenland and Antarctica ice-sheet (the only 2 that count since A has 80% of land ice and Greenland 19.9%) loss which is accelerating. These papers put a somewhat contradictory % on that contribution to sea-level increase;

    But what really contradicts the notion that the A ice-sheet is melting away despite the AGW process by which it somehow increases in part at the same time, is the fact that the surrounding A sea-ice is increasing; (// excluded)

    If the sea-ice is increasing warming SST’s of the surrounding sea can’t be increasing the ice-sheet extent courtesy of AGW facilitated evaporative processes.

  103. SJT October 6, 2008 at 6:57 pm #

    “Figure 1 shows the global temperature anomalies, ΔT, from two commonly used data sets: HadCRUT3 surface measurements and UAH_LT satellite values for the lower troposphere (LT) for the period January 1979 to July 2008. Both data sets show that ΔT reached a maximum in 1998 and has not been exceeded in the subsequent 10 years. Also evident are oscillations of period 2 to 5 years which are associated with El Niño/La Niña effects (discussed below). The data sets also show differences. The HadCRUT3 values are larger and have a generally increasing background. The MSU values have a smaller trend. This is all discussed below.’

    “SJT: You’ve got two years written in your most recent comment, 1978 and 1998. Why? Just curious.”

    I was going to agree, till I checked what they say. They are being disingenuous here, or dishonest. They refer to cycles causing the 1998 spike, then they say there hasn’t been significant warming since, the spike, which they just said was not due to CO2. Take out the spike, and it’s just the trend going along it’s course of warming at a steady rate.

  104. cohenite October 6, 2008 at 7:19 pm #

    “it’s course of warming at a steady rate.”

    And what about Lucia’s analysis?

  105. Jimmock October 6, 2008 at 7:31 pm #

    It’s all getting quite chummy as the AGW people rehearse their plea bargain shtick. But let’s not forget we are $50billion down in direct costs for this scam and its role in destroying asset values and economic confidence has been ten times more devastating.
    These people can never repay what they have cost us.

  106. Luke October 6, 2008 at 8:29 pm #

    Cohenite – you’re worshipping unpublished dross. Pullease. You’re a sucker for every new installment in denialese. Perhaps you might notice a trend – take a bunch of unpublished dross and put a staple through it.

  107. NT October 6, 2008 at 8:30 pm #

    Jimmock, you just made that number up.

    Cohenite, so you don’t think the increase in A sea surface area is from increased loss of mass off Antarctica? Fair enough.

    Wasn’t Lucia analysis only from 1998 to present? I think SJT is talking longer…

  108. spangled drongo October 6, 2008 at 8:35 pm #

    I keep telling Luke about the cold PDO of the 60s when all the cyclones battered SEQ beaches and proceeded inland to flood the MDB.
    Several times a year I used to help sandbag those Hedges Av houses that sell these days for 30 mil plus to stop them toppling into the sea.
    That caravan will soon return.

  109. Bob Tisdale October 6, 2008 at 8:36 pm #

    NT: Back when I discovered that correlation between the running total of NINO3.4 anomalies and global temperature, I first ran the running total of that NINO3.4 data set to see if there was an overall equity between El Ninos and La Ninas over the 20th century. There was not. El Ninos dominated. I plotted it to see if there was a trend. There was. The trend mimicked the global temperature anomaly curve, which you also have apparently discovered. I then used a coefficient from a Trenberth et al paper against the annual NINO3.4 data to see if it correlated with global temperature. It does from the early 1900s to present.
    Smoothed with a 5-year filter:
    I tried it with monthly NINO3.4 data from that data set and it continued to correlate with global temperature:
    As I wrote when I posted about the phenomenon on my blog, “At present, I will consider this an oddity or curiosity until someone figures out how and why this works. Also, before you run off and try this with another ENSO index, be forewarned: the effect of the running total is very sensitive to the base year.”
    That post is here:

    Something to consider before you discard it entirely. If you look at the temperature half of ENSO as a variable atmospheric and sea surface heat source, then a running total serves to illustrate the long-term effect of the heat that’s upwelled into the atmosphere and sea surface at the NINO areas. Currents, Rossby waves, and diabatic and adiabatic processes distribute that heat, or absence thereof, globally.

    With respect to your comments about an ENSO heat source, there are rumors of an upcoming paper that correlates solar and ENSO. If and when it appears, I may or may not agree with it.

    Again, the correlation between that NINO3.4 and global temperature anomaly is only a curiosity, one to keep in the back of your mind, though. And I agree that it needs a more detailed analysis. That’s why I post the oddities I find, with hope that someone will take an honest look at causes and effects.

    I’ll get back with another comment about the PDO link you provided in a moment. I don’t want to overload Jennifer’s spam filter.


  110. cohenite October 6, 2008 at 9:14 pm #

    Very interesting Bob, as usual; presumably the gnat’s bum’s difference in the 5 year filter graph between ENSO and temp is the CO2 signal?

  111. Bob Tisdale October 6, 2008 at 9:40 pm #

    Cohenite, regarding your comment about the PDO driving ENSO: The following provides my understanding of the basis for the creation of the PDO data. If you’re already aware of where and how the data originated, skip the following.

    Most NINO3.4 data sets are simply SST anomaly data for the NINO3.4 region of the east equatorial Pacific. The PDO is not SST anomaly data. It is not pure residual SST data like the AMO. It is a statistically created data set that brings out the impacts of ENSO on the North Pacific. About 9 months ago, I emailed Nathan Mantua (the keeper of the PDO data at JISAO) and asked him for the PDO recipe. In his reply, Nate Mantua referenced Zhang, Y., J.M. Wallace, D.S. Battisti, 1997: ENSO-like interdecadal variability: 1900-93. J. Climate, 10, 1004-1020 as the source of the full method of computing the PDO index. Note that they labeled the time series “the NP index”. Refer to their Figures 5 and 6. The link follows.
    Note that in this study they are trying to extract the ENSO signal from the global oceans, including the North Pacific.

    Nate Mantua then went on to describe the recipe, which I’ve included in this discussion of the PDO:

    I also posted a link above that concludes that the PDO is dependent on ENSO. I’ll provide the link again.

    The PDO and NINO3.4 data sets do correlate reasonably well, considering the processing involved to extract the PDO from North Pacific SST data. The following is a plot of the monthly PDO and NINO3.4 data together on one graph. Keep in mind, though, that in one of the steps used to create the PDO, global temperature anomalies are subtracted from the SST anomalies of each North Pacific grid, creating residuals. That step doesn’t account for the thermohaline circulation/meridional overturning circulation component in the North Pacific, which would explain some if not all of the differences between the PDO and ENSO data.


  112. Bob Tisdale October 6, 2008 at 9:42 pm #

    NT: The authors of the Skepticalscience post titled “Is Pacific Decadal Oscillation the Smoking Gun?” wrongly compare global temperature anomaly with a data set that was created to bring out the ENSO signal from the North Pacific SST anomaly data, the PDO. Refer to my comment above to Cohenite. They should be using North Pacific SST anomaly data, not the PDO:
    North Pacific SST anomalies compared with global SST anomalies:

    I’ve got to run but I’ll be back to comment on their discussion about the GISS Model E.

  113. cohenite October 6, 2008 at 10:00 pm #

    Thanks Bob; I had read the Newman paper previously; the thing which interests me is the role of the ocean upwelling in this; Zhang and McPhaden and Guildersen and Schrag have all noted the 1976 upwelling cessation; a great deal of the AGW thesis rests on the idea of the ocean as a pipeline and storage of AGW heating; it seems to me that the ocean is quite capable of providing energy sufficient to produce warming and cooling periods just by the thermocline oscillation periodicity, without any assistance from AGW stored warming. The PDO/ENSO relationship may be a reflection of that fundamental process.

  114. NT October 6, 2008 at 10:46 pm #

    Bob I made the graph myself and commented on it way up the page.
    I asked why you thought that an ‘added’ ENSO meant anything at all? Why would you say that the big ENSO values of 1941 would be equally weighted with the high ENSO values of 1998. You may have found an interesting graph that mimics the Global temp, but I don’t see that it means anything. I also pointed out that the global temps in the 30s should be lower than the 70s, You can see that in your five year running totals.
    I think you made an interesting graph but until you can explain why you can add ENSO values (with no decay for time) it is not really that meaningful.
    Does a running mean of the ENSO show the same?

  115. gavin October 6, 2008 at 10:48 pm #

    I will thank Bob now for his thoughts above without running through all those links.

    After replying to Gordon on the “More problems with computer models “ thread I reckon it’s time to flag something quite different and it’s about knowing when to knock off

    Today I visited the National Museum’s exhibition of Utopia artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye Starting from the end of their guide with this outstanding final work I suggest she learned quite quickly how not to muddy the image. Note the clarity of color and tone from her incomplete brush strokes.

    Constantly reworking the original thought fails in the end to convince anyone. This is all about transition from timeless experiences to instant communications. Go back to the beginning and follow carefully her steps of elimination.

    Time eventually becomes the main driver in each search for meaning. From thousands of dots can come some very useful illumination.

    No stats or science for this lot hey. Privately I know a chap who recently spent considerable time with this community and when he mentioned their activities re above I had no concept of this colossal work in reality. I can however now relate to the speed of production and that is all about fluency with both subject and medium.

    IMO recognition of climate characteristics, causes and change should not be too much of a challenge for anyone with a fully developed sensitivity.

  116. Louis Hissink October 6, 2008 at 11:13 pm #


    You have actually written naught to the issue here.

  117. Robin Edwards October 7, 2008 at 12:04 am #

    I’ve just come across this forum (today) and have read it with interest. What strikes me most (apart from the mutual attacks by many of the authors!) is the preponderance of opinions that seem to be based on the work of other people (apart from those expressed by Bob Tinsdale, who has clearly been at work on some basic data with his computer).

    I’ve worked on climate related time series of many types since 1992, and discovered some years later that some “scientists” appeared to be introducing their own opinions/biases into how they interpreted the data. As I belong to no organisation or institution – a long retired industrial scientist – I have no particular agenda to promote, and this has enabled me to form relatively independent opinions, based /always/ on what I have done with the huge amount of numerical data that is available, not on what I have read of other people’s analyses. What has emerged very clearly from the thousands of analyses I’ve done is that “climate” tends to change by steps rather than gradually. The typical scenario is a regime of effectively stable conditions punctuated at seemingly random intervals by very rapid and short lived phases, when changes of up to 2 deg C can occur within a month or two/three.

    This is not to say that steady changes do not occur. They do, but I have found that step changes (or very rapid short-lived changes to a new regime) seem to account for much of the observed climate change.

    This “abrupt change” phenomenon seems to be occurring world-wide, ever since the instrumental age arrived, in 1709. It is common, too, in proxy data The prime example of this is in Mann et al 1998, where the “hockey stick” effect was generated. I use this word carefully. It was generated, not discovered. If you do not hold this view I advise you to collect his data (112 columns, up to 593 rows) and examine them yourselves. Apart from perhaps half a dozen of the data series there is clearly no HS effect. This processing could all be done fairly easily in a spreadsheet – I use statistical software – by writing some code. First, standardise the data columns to mean zero, variance one. By this means all columns will have equal weight in further operations. You can now sensibly average whatever standardised data columns you wish, generating the means and Std Devs.
    You will spot from their names that the columns form groups of related types of observation, which form natural groups to work with. Try plotting some of these average values, and also compute the cumulative sums of the individual columns and the groups. The outcome may come as a surprise – it was to me – but you will then be in a position to comment from real knowledge on the attitude of governments, the establishment in general, the media and the general public, and not least the “Greens” and other environmental pressure groups.

    I am quite sure that these influential groups have never had any face to face contact with the data that they discuss and use so freely. If you know otherwise I would be delighted to get some references.

    I look forward to some comments.

    Robin, Bromsgrove, UK

  118. Bill Illis October 7, 2008 at 12:04 am #

    I don’t think you can accumulate the ENSO effects for any period of time.

    It does appear that global temperatures lag the ENSO by about 3 months.

    Global temps peaked in Feb 1998 while sea surface temperatures in the 1997-98 El Nino peaked in Dec 1997 for example. Other events follow this pattern as well.

    If anything there is a simple change in the level of global temperatures (+/- 0.7C maybe) as a result of ENSO (with no accumulation and lagged 3 months.)

  119. Bob Tisdale October 7, 2008 at 1:31 am #

    NT: I assumed that you had created the graph from your 10:53am comment. You also asked if I had compared them to global temperature anomaly and I provided graphs in my 9:40pm comment. You asked a number of other questions and there were too many to respond to at that time. Let’s try a few more now.

    You asked why an added ENSO meant anything at all. Then you ended your more recent comment with, “Does a running mean of the ENSO show the same?” I assume your first use of ENSO refers to NINO3.4 SST anomaly (the SST component of ENSO) and that you’re referring to the SOI (the atmospheric component of ENSO) in your second. I’ll answer the last question with, no, I haven’t looked at the SOI.

    Why should a running total mean anything?

    The answer’s not simple. In order to answer it, I’m going to try to change your visual perspective for a moment. Everyone fails to see the relationship between NINO3.4 data and global temperature because one data set represents an oscillation while the other doesn’t. Yet most people understand that, on a year-to-year basis, an El Nino will raise global temperature by x amount and a La Nina will lower it. So maybe we need to look at the annual change in global temperature instead of the time line of its values when comparing it to NINO3.4 SST anomaly. To that end, I created a data set of the annual change in global temperature anomaly by subtracting the prior year value from the current year value and continued the process for all years in the HADCRUT3GL data set. Here’s the graph:
    If I compare the annual change in global temperature with NINO3.4 anomaly data, the two correlate quite well, though the NINO3.4 signal is much larger. Note that the NINO3.4 data is also shifted one year to account for the lag in global temperature response.
    Trenberth et al identified the global temperature response to the 97//98 El Nino in this paper.
    Using a coefficient derived from that response, I adjusted the NINO3.4 data. Refer to:

    Here’s where the running total comes into play:

    In order to convert the data set of the annual change in global temperature back to a time-series data set, you need to use a running total. And if you apply a running total to the coefficient-adjusted NINO3.4 data at the same time, it creates the same effect.
    That’s the best I can do to explain why a running total of NINO3.4 data means anything.

    You’ll need to clarify or elaborate on your 1940 El Nino question. Use one of the graphs as a reference, please.

    But now I’ll turn the questions back to you, why wouldn’t there be a cumulative global surface temperature effect from a periodic upwelling of warm or cool water at the NINO regions in the Pacific that is known to impact atmospheric and sea surface temperature, especially when you consider the decay rate of the global temperature response to that upwelling? Regardless of where it comes from, heat’s been added to the atmosphere and sea surface (or subtracted from them) that wasn’t there previously. And based on the historic record of the SSTs for the NINO3.4 region, more heat has been added than has been subtracted.


  120. Peter October 7, 2008 at 4:18 am #

    NT: “I was wondering if the recent ‘gain’ in Antarctic sea ice may be due to increased ice from the Antarctic ice sheet.”

    The numbers don’t come close to adding up. Just a one-million sq Km increase in sea ice would imply, if the ice were 1m thick, a 1000 gigaton loss from the ice sheet.

  121. gavin October 7, 2008 at 7:49 am #

    Fascinating stuff Bob

    Louis; I don’t expect you to comprehend anytime.

  122. Bob Tisdale October 7, 2008 at 7:49 am #

    NT: In an earlier comment you linked to the SkepticalScience link with the title “Is Pacific Decadal Oscillation the Smoking Gun?”
    I had originally thought the graph in Figure 4 was a comparison of GISTEMP and the output of the GISS Model E, since I’d never seen anyone attempt to correlate a graph of Net Forcings to global temperature. Their attempt was folly. They claim the two curves correlate well, when, in fact, only the basic curves of the two data sets appear close to one another, and they achieved that by tweaking climate sensitivity. According to their graph, a 1 watt/meter^2 change in Net Forcing results in about a 0.35 deg C change in global temperature, which is much too high. What gives it away: The four outlying negative spikes in the net forcing curve are the effects of volcanic eruptions. Based on the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption, the authors from SkepticalScience are implying that that eruption caused over a 0.9 deg C drop in temperature, when in fact the estimates of the drop in global temperature are between 0.2 and 0.5 deg C. If they were to correct their mistake by adjusting the climate sensitivity to where it should be, bringing the volcanic eruptions back in line with their actual effects, the basic curves wouldn’t come close to matching. SkeptcalScience should have used the output of the GISS Model E in a comparison to global temperature instead of Net Forcings, but the GISS Model E has its own curiosities.

  123. cohenite October 7, 2008 at 8:08 am #

    Well done Bob.

  124. SJT October 7, 2008 at 8:15 am #

    So where does this leave Singer’s unstoppable warming. Is Singer wrong? :)

  125. Louis Hissink October 7, 2008 at 8:49 am #


    I must admit to never understanding nonsense.

  126. NT October 7, 2008 at 9:31 am #

    Bob, thanks for your explanation. I still don’t see why adding the Nino 3.4 numbers mean anything. I think it is poorly weighted. In your system you are weighting Nino 3.4 anomalies that happened 100 years ago equally with ones that happened 1 year ago – that seems less than realistic. This is why I thought a running mean may be better. Probably the best way is a system that progressively weights previous Nino 3.4 anomalies less and less.
    I do acknowledge that there would be a lingering effect from previous anomalies, but why would the 1998 ElNino still be affecting global temps now? We just came out of a moderately strong La Nina, shouldn’t that have effectively canceled the 1998 anomaly out? Why would get a La Nina if the 1998 El Nino was still a factor? I think you need to further explore how the energy is dissipated, if there was excess energy in the atmosphere from an anomalous Nino3.4 (a large El Nino) wouldn’t the atmosphere release energy at a faster rate than if there was a neutral Nino 3.4 (of course I understand that it wouldn’t compensate completely or else we wouldn’t get higher temps). I would think that once the system has switched back to La Nina, the previous El Nino’s effects are gone from the system.
    If you think that the high Nino 3.4 in 1941 is still affecting temps today you need to invoke a storage mechanism for the energy (I suppose the Oceans would do?), however it just begs the question of where did the energy for the Nino 3.4 anomaly in 1941 come from in the first place.

    I think the discussion below the article discusses the forcing and the sources of the graph.

  127. NT October 7, 2008 at 9:53 am #

    Bob looking at your posts briefly I saw your question regarding fig 9. I think the volcanic forcing is decreasing because the 20th century had fewer very large eruptions. The 19th saw both Tambora and Krakatoa, two massive eruptions. We haven’t seen anything as big as them since.

  128. Luke October 7, 2008 at 11:13 am #

    If you really want something interesting on the theme for contrarians:

  129. cohenite October 7, 2008 at 11:20 am #

    NT; you seem to be missing the point; with a partial cessation of the upwelling that leads to an increase in SST and thermocline variation and hence El Nino, the situation is, a constant, or slightly increasing for most of the 20thC, source of solar energy and the loss of one of/the major mechanisms of dissipating that energy; the lags are minor, as Barry Moore’s graph showing the correlation between SST land and atmosphere temp demonstrates, but, all things being equal, the temp regime, after the initial step-up (which occured in 1976, for instance), means temps will tend to trend slightly up over the period of the El Nino dominance. In this respect the 1998 El Nino is not effecting temps now, but it does still have a statistical imput, depending, as Bob notes, where you start the running mean. For instance temps from 1998 are flat; from 2001 they are declining because the La Nina are dominating (and insolation is declining). Also, don’t forget the artificial trending which occurs due to base periods. When these factors are amalgamated the CO2 signal is minor.

    Anyway Miskolczi has a new paper looking at the different lapse rates, dry adiabatic (Chilingar) and wet, and how the water feedback moderates any heating or cooling.

  130. Bob Tisdale October 7, 2008 at 11:43 am #

    NT: I thought I answered your question about intent of adding the monthly or annual NINO3.4 values. It’s a significantly positive number, so the dominance of El Nino events over La Nina events implies that ENSO is not an equally weighted oscillation and that it contributed to the rise in global temperature over the term of that data set.

    I understand your other concerns with the concept of the cumulative effects of El Nino/La Nina events. I too have my doubts, but it is something that needs to be evaluated much further, and not by a simple blogger like me. The correlation between the two curves is much too close for it to be a simple coincidence.

    You ask where the energy from the 1941 El Nino comes from. I’ll broaden the question. Where does the energy from any El Nino come from? My understanding of the El Nino evolution is that the Pacific Warm Pool builds up heat over a few years and that it’s transferred to the NINO regions, where it upwells during an El Nino. How much of the heat that’s upwelled during an El Nino is then collected back at the PWP to be transferred and upwelled again in the next El Nino? How much of the heat in the PWP is new, added by changes in solar irradiance or by thermohaline circulation/meridional overturning circulation in other parts of the Pacific?

    You asked a lot of other questions in your most recent reply, so I’ll single one out. You asked, “We just came out of a moderately strong La Nina, shouldn’t that have effectively canceled the 1998 anomaly out?” The NINO3.4 SST anomalies changed from negative to positive in March of 1997, so I’ll use that as the starting point of the comparison. Since then, the sum of the El Nino values is greater than the La Nina values. That of course assumes that the cumulative effect means anything.

    I did a post on the step change in global temperature following the 97/98 El Nino that might help answer your other questions.

    But I think I’ve eaten up enough of this thread on that topic.

    You wrote at the end of your comment, “I think the discussion below the article discusses the forcing and the sources of the graph.” I assume that’s about my comments the SkepticalScience post. To that end, I fully understand where those forcings come from, and as I pointed out, the SkepticalScience comparison is bogus.

    Regarding your comment about Figure 9 in my post on the GISS Model E: My Figure 9 illustrates that GISS is increasing the negative forcing associated with volcanic aerosols in recent years, not decreasing it.

  131. cohenite October 7, 2008 at 12:06 pm #

    Robin Edwards; you raise some fair points; speaking for myself; time and a lack of statistical expertise prevents me doing many of the analysis first-hand; that is where people like Bob or Steve McIntyre or Lucia, and there are others, do a good job. I think this issue is too important for lay-people not to have an imput, although the elitism of some of the AGW proponents would have it otherwise. With the Mann efforts another issue is raised and that is the, IMO, deliberately obscurantist statistical approach taken not just by Mann (although he is a standout) but by many of the official AGW outlets; the GCM’s are a continual source of wonderment. With this in mind, what were your surprising outcomes after dealing with the Mann ‘data’?

  132. cohenite October 7, 2008 at 12:18 pm #

    Bob; the step-up is fascinating, and I think, answers the issue of accumulation due to El Nino variation (along with the Trenberth paper estimating the effects having a lag only up to a year and mainly a few months); the 1976 step-up was a major one, and I wonder whether you have looked at it; here is McLean and Quirk’s take on it; Fig 4 is the relevant one;

  133. Louis Hissink October 7, 2008 at 12:33 pm #


    The energy for the El Nino etc phenomena can be explained by thermal surges in the uppermantle, linked by an electromagnetic connection to the sun.

    It’s the plasma connection and its totally ignored.

  134. Gordon Robertson October 7, 2008 at 2:41 pm #

    Robin Edwards said…”The prime example of this is in Mann et al 1998, where the “hockey stick” effect was generated. I use this word carefully. It was generated, not discovered. If you do not hold this view I advise you to collect his data (112 columns, up to 593 rows) and examine them yourselves”.

    I hope you’re using the term “hockey stick” very carefully. Mann’s work was heavily critized by McIntyre and McKitrick (M&M), so much so, that the IPCC backed off. You’ll have to check:

    under ‘hockey stick’ to see what was done.

    It is admirable, Robin, that you do your own analysis and I’m sure you are aware of the term ‘reinventing the wheel’. I’m not so sure you would have found the errors in Mann’s work unless you knew about bristlecone proxy and had an in-depth ability to analyze statistical data. By the time M&M were finished, they reckoned any data fed into Mann’s equations would have produced a hockey stick.

  135. Gordon Robertson October 7, 2008 at 3:00 pm #

    Neville said…”Palin by comparison is a credible over achiever and has very mainstream views and opinions, I would sleep soundly with her in control but certainly not with Obama”.

    I don’t have a particular issue with Palin and I’m relieved that she at least talks about oil exploration. I know we have to get off our oil fetish eventually, and the sooner the better, but I’m tired of being held hostage by Mid-East oil and oil companies in general.

    My main concern is that she’s may be a little too much of a rube. I was born in a very small town and I have a fondness for those kinds of people to an extent. However, I would not want to see them running a country the way they run their households.

    My gut feeling is that I don’t want Obama to get in at this point. It bothers me that McCain is talking Green but I don’t think the Republicans would let him get away with that to the extent it is being advertised. He’ll be no more a leader than Bush, I figure.

  136. Gordon Robertson October 7, 2008 at 3:13 pm #

    cohenite said…”Gordon, you mean she’s a lumberjack”?

    I’m sure you have your own bars in Oz where you don’t dare go in. I remember bars in Auckland, around Grey Lynn and Posonby, where you’d be peacefully drinking a beer and a big Samoan would take a swing at you just for the heck of it. There are many such bars in North America, and many of the locals can be found wearing those heavy, checked shirts once associated with lumberjacks. Those were the kind that came to mind when Palin gave her preferences for people.

    I’m sure you remember the build up to the Lumberjack Song, as Michael Palin refered to the mighty rivers of British Columbia. That’s my backyard. You wouldn’t want to sing those lyrics out loud in the kinds of bars here, or in Palin’s Alaska, habituated with the logging-shirt types I’m talking about. :-)

  137. cohenite October 7, 2008 at 3:46 pm #

    So, Gordon, is it true what they say about the test to become a Canadian involving a Polar bear, Eskimo and a bottle of Bourbon?

  138. Gordon Robertson October 7, 2008 at 4:20 pm #

    cohenite…about the test…yes it’s true but many people get the test mixed up and try to do thing with a polar bear you shouldn’t do. Also, killing people is frowned upon in Canada. These days it will get you at least six months in the slammer, especially if you’re young and claim stupidity or a bad upbringing.

    BTW…we don’t drink Bourbon in Canada, we drink rye or Scotch Whisky. You haven’t lived till you’ve had a CC and 7. That’s a shot of Canadian Club mixed with 7 UP. I use diet Sprite. Don’t forget the ice. An alternative is Bacardi with 7.

    Bourbon is a Yank name for rye.

  139. Malcolm Hill October 7, 2008 at 5:17 pm #

    To Luke Bsc Hons

    This url you gave above, with a passing comment that contrarians will find it interesting, is certainly the case.

    When one reads the list of things that now Needs to be done, is by inference saying quite explicitly, what they DONT dam well know.

    How in the hell can the white coats advise Govts and the citizens of the world that we should bugger up our economies.

    What an indictment of the incompetence of the white coats

  140. cohenite October 7, 2008 at 6:06 pm #

    Malcolm, you will notice the 3 comments which follow this quite sanctimonious article are all suitably condemning; IMO, there is a yawning (luke often yawns when he has been out-argued) gap, a cognitive dissonance, between the attitudes of the officials of AGW and the lack of understanding by them of the economic and social consequences which would flow from the implementation of the AGW prescribed measures. All of which is aggravated by the fact that AGW is based on a totally failed theory which not only has contributed to the current economic meltdown, but which has undermined the reputation of science and provided a distraction from real environmental issues as described in the thread about animal extinctions above. One hopes that, at the very least, the UN and in particular, the IPCC, will have its reputation eventually and deservedly shattered after this disgraceful exercise in zealotry and egotism runs its course.

  141. Bob Tisdale October 7, 2008 at 6:28 pm #

    cohenite: I noticed the Great Pacific Climate Shift in the SST for the Northern and Southern East Pacific data sets a few weeks ago.
    Raw data:
    With before and after linear trends:
    Those graphs are Figures 5 & 6 from this post at my blog:

    I found that 1976 shift in a few other data sets and will be posting on it in the future.


  142. Louis Hissink October 7, 2008 at 7:44 pm #


    Given the massive funding for AGW, and given the fact that governments consume wealth, then I start to wonder where the money comes from.

    The IPCC and the political left will simply drop things and start a new game to squander our taxes on.

    I’m a little ambivalent over species extinctions since most species that ever lived are fossils. We still have no idea how new species appear, and if the recent discoveries that nuclear decay is variable, then the absolute time scale and the necessity of an enormous time span to allow natural selection to operate also becomes problematical.

    AGW has indeed started a reappraisal of science and most of it is 24 carat pseudoscience.

    Only a scientific dark age would use such nonsense ideas as black holes, dark matter, dark energy, string theory impling multi-dimensional realities, and of course CO2 forced global warming.

  143. cohenite October 7, 2008 at 7:49 pm #

    But Louis, there are multi-dimensional realities; I saw some of the inhabitants in Darlinghurst recently.

  144. NT October 7, 2008 at 7:57 pm #

    Bob and Cohenite, you have missed the point of my question. Why is a Nino 3.4 anomaly from 1941 still worth as much to climate as the one from 1998. If you just sum them you are weighting them all equally, you need to add some sort of time decay.
    It’s an interesting attempt, but it’s not particularly robust.

  145. Luke October 7, 2008 at 8:03 pm #

    Sitting in the Kimberley dust Louis knows better…. LOL

    No bites on AHS eh ? hmmmm…

  146. cohenite October 7, 2008 at 8:27 pm #

    Geez, NT, it’s not; read Bob’s and my comment about step-ups; there is negligible lag, as the Trenberth paper shows; but when the precurser conditions for an El Nino occur, you get sudden step-ups in temp which statistically create the upwards temp trend; if there is a significant step-up as in 76, plus a continuation of the El Nino conditions, and no subsequent La Nina, then the trend will be up; the 98′ step-up was followed by sufficient La Nina’s to produce a downward trend; so was the 41 El Nino; so, it is not an accumulation but a continuation which produces the upward trend, and vice-versa for the downward trend; as to what causes the upwellings and general ENSO oscillations, well take a pick; plasma activity, cynoabacteria, SF variation; it can’t be CO2 because there is no correlation between the increasing CO2 and ENSO.

  147. NT October 7, 2008 at 8:33 pm #

    “In order to convert the data set of the annual change in global temperature back to a time-series data set, you need to use a running total.”

    I see now. I missed that in your response previously. So you treat the Nino 3.4 anomaly like you would the annual change anomaly.

    Why then do you end up with a value of 150 – what does that actually mean? Obviously it is not 150 degrees hotter, so just summing those values probably isn’t right. What you should probably do is sum the monthly change in Nino 3.4 anomaly to find a grand total ‘anomaly’.
    I haven’t got the data here , it’s at work.

  148. NT October 7, 2008 at 8:39 pm #

    Bob, I think I worked out why I get crazy numbers for the total anomaly.
    Nino 3.4 is already a running total. So by simply adding them you are making a running total of a running total.
    The Nino 3.4 should probably be just compared directly to the various anomaly datasets.

  149. NT October 7, 2008 at 8:43 pm #

    Cohenite, when you add the Nino 3.4′s up you get 150. What does that mean?

  150. NT October 7, 2008 at 8:58 pm #

    The recipe I found is this:

    * Compute area averaged total SST from Niño 3.4 region.
    * Compute monthly climatology (1950-1979) for area averaged total SST from Niño 3.4 region, and subtract climatology from area averaged total SST time series to obtain anomalies.
    * Smooth the anomalies with a 5-month running mean.
    * Normalize the smoothed N3.4 by its standard deviation over the climatological period 1950-1979.

    The original task you assigned me was:”So that YOU can determine the long-term effects of ENSO, download that data, insert it in a spreadsheet, and using the monthly data or the annual average NINO3.4 from Trenberth and Stepaniak, calculate a the running total of the data. Plot the running total”

    So this is why I was asking questions. Obviously what you asked me to do wasn’t actually relevant. Hence my assertions that the running total abnormaly favoured past years.

  151. NT October 7, 2008 at 9:31 pm #

    Bob, why didn’t you just stick with Trenberth et al 2002, Figure 3?
    It shows the Global temp anomaly with the ENSO signal removed (based on Nino 3.4)

  152. SJT October 7, 2008 at 9:47 pm #

    “NT: I thought I answered your question about intent of adding the monthly or annual NINO3.4 values. It’s a significantly positive number, so the dominance of El Nino events over La Nina events implies that ENSO is not an equally weighted oscillation and that it contributed to the rise in global temperature over the term of that data set.”

    That is weird. An oscillation is by definition something that is not what you are describing.

    “is the repetitive variation, typically in time, of some measure about a central value ”

    An El Nino is not a forcing. If there is a positive change, it’s from some external source. Maybe a forcing. Maybe CO2?

  153. NT October 7, 2008 at 9:55 pm #

    SJT, why must you make it so obvious you are my sock puppet… Sheesh. :)

  154. SJT October 7, 2008 at 10:02 pm #

    Your doing my best. :)

  155. cohenite October 7, 2008 at 10:03 pm #

    Trenberth’s ENSO deducted temp trend is ~+0.0925C per decade; before allowing for SF; DC obtained +0.07C per decade prior to deducting SF; as I noted earlier, in a 1994 analysis DC had obtained an ENSO free trend of +0.09C per decade; Lucia’s ENSO removal from 2001, is of course still a -ve trend. NT, after you add the 3.4′s up why don’t you divide them by the number of years?

  156. Bob Tisdale October 7, 2008 at 10:05 pm #

    NT: Sorry, I can’t spend a lot of time now, but I’ll be back in a couple of hours. I posted a detailed description of that process of converting the Global SST to annual change, etc., here:

  157. cohenite October 7, 2008 at 10:07 pm #

    “Maybe CO2?” Right, off you go Will; get a correlation; don’t get lost in space.

  158. cohenite October 7, 2008 at 10:08 pm #

    Will; “an El Nino is not a forcing.” But its precursor, the upwelling ‘oscillation’ is.

  159. NT October 7, 2008 at 10:39 pm #

    Bob, thanks for the discussion.
    I’ll look over your plots in more detail tomorrow.
    I am thinking that this whole issue comes down to what is driving what. Is El Nino an ‘embedded’ cycle that is driven by historic temps, or TSI, or a cycles within the ocean, or if the additional CO2 is preventing the oceans from ‘cooling’ like they used to. This is a pretty complex question and won’t be answered soon I fear.
    Either way I would be suprised if there wasn’t evidence of the ENSO signal in the global temps, it would be more surprising if it wasn’t there.

    Thanks again, it is pleasant to have a reasoned discussion and I hope you haven’t viewed my posts as antagonistic, as they weren’t meant in that fashion.

  160. NT October 7, 2008 at 10:45 pm #

    Cohenite, you may need to look at your definition of Forcing.

    I know this is from Wikipedia, but it’s probably closer to correct than not:

    “In the context of climate change, the term forcing is restricted to changes in the radiation balance of the surface-troposphere system imposed by external factors, with no changes in stratospheric dynamics, without any surface and tropospheric feedbacks in operation (i.e., no secondary effects induced because of changes in tropospheric motions or its thermodynamic state), and with no dynamically-induced changes in the amount and distribution of atmospheric water (vapour, liquid, and solid forms).”

    So for the upwelling to be a forcing it would have to be sourced from some external source.

  161. Bob Tisdale October 8, 2008 at 1:39 am #

    SJT: Thanks for correcting my use of the word oscillation. However, until they change the phenomenon known as El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) to El Nino-Southern Random Noise (ENSRN), I will continue to use the word oscillation in my comments. (sarcasm off)

    Regarding your comment about El Nino and La Nina events not being forcings: I checked this thread and can’t find that I made any reference to El Nino-La Nina events being forcings. Also, if your view of the factors that determine global surface temperature (as determined by measured sea surface temperature and land surface air temperature) are limited to radiative forcings, then maybe your view needs to be expanded. Thermohaline circulation/meridional overturning circulation is known to effect global temperature, yet it would not fit the definition of a climate forcing that NT posted. In fact, RealClimate, in its definition of one of the THC/MOC phenomena, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), writes this: “This pattern is believed to describe some of the observed early 20th century (1920s-1930s) high-latitude Northern Hemisphere warming and some, but not all, of the high-latitude warming observed in the late 20th century.”

    With respect to your attempts to tie El Nino to greenhouse gases, I suggest you research the topic. Here, let me help:
    Refer to Bill Kessler’s (NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory) answers to questions 16 and 26.

    Now you could research it a little further and find papers that state that there is an AGW footprint in ENSO and I could provide others that say there’s not. Do we need to do that? I hope not.

  162. Robin Edwards October 8, 2008 at 8:14 am #

    Thanks for your comments, Cohenite, Oct 7th.

    I’ll just say that I do understand enough about statistics to have written a general purpose stats program, and sold perhaps a 1000 copies. Thus I hope I can legitimately make some statistical comments.

    I’ve had some direct communications with Steve McIntyre, who originally provided me with Mann’s 1998 data set that he had managed to discover, and even with Mann himself! – though not by email. I sent him an old-fashioned airmail and got an immediate email reply with URLs for his data! I’m also been in contact with various other climatologists (Vinther, Moberg, Phil Jones, Christy and Spencer, Will Alexander and so forth, who have been and still are very forthcoming).

    The findings I believe I’ve made from Mann’s 1998 data are totally independent from those discoveries of Steve, and are not in any way dependent on knowledge of the bristlecone pine story, fascinating though that is. I started from the premise that the data have to be accepted as they were, whatever reservations one might have about their validity or relevance. I thus presumed that Mann et al had the attributes of honesty and transparency. Although there is some doubt about the clerical accuracy of the published data – disclosed originally by Steve McIntyre – I have accepted all Mann’s data as being genuine observations (or proxies if instrumental observations were not available) which he had chosen as being as far as possible representative of the Earth’s climate state for the years in question. If you have ever looked at the actual data you will no doubt have been astonished at the tremendously diverse scales, both in values and dispersion, that he used. I could write a long essay on them.

    I merely standardised all the data, allotting them equal weights (though I have worked with the column weightings that Mann gives), and then computed the standard statistics (as if they were independent observations, not time series) to give a feel for their relative dispersions, etc, and using the column names I assembled them into what I deemed to be “homogenous” groups (eg ice cores, coral fluorescence, temperatures, precipitation, etc), and averaged over the members of each group. The average data can be plotted, their variance computed, and further operations carried out, in the knowledge that no individual series can dominate the outcome /unless/ it is strikingly different from the other members of the group.

    As you might expect, not all groups produced the same signal, and indeed the standard plots were not all that informative, due to large year to year differences.

    However, using the industrial quality control technique of forming the cumulative sums of historical data the messy patterns resolved into understandable plots, making it possible to understand at least in part, what might be gleaned.

    If you’ve followed Steve’s analyses you’ll be familiar with the problems of diverse time periods and the bizarre “calibration” method Mann used, and which Steve comprehensively demolished in his paper in E & E. The calibration seems to have been necessary to enable the final ordinate values (of the composite series) to have a label “Temperature” put on them. However, looking simply at the behaviour of the standardised data wrt time, the units are of no consequence. Thus the non-dimensional units of averaged standardised values are sufficient to disclose any interesting feature of the data. Making the simplest separation into groups can be done by putting all the actual temperature data (in fact all but one of the 13 columns had been manipulated before being included in the data base – but no matter, they were all subsequently standardised – ), and allotting the remaining 99 columns to the “proxy” data. What emerged? First, for the purposes of this very short report, I used only those years for which all 112 columns were complete. Well, the standard time series plots were rather nonedescript, as you might expect, but the cumulative sums are a revelation. Most striking is that the two groups show the same general pattern. Taking the temperature data first (as being the more reliable), from 1820 to about 1887 there is no discernible trend (the cusum plot is effectively straight). Then a sharp upward event takes place, with stable temperatures until the early 1920s, when another more gradual upward change occurs, being complete at about 1930. From there until about the mid 1970s a stable period ensued, briefly interrupted by years 1939 to 1942 (the war years which were cold). Then a downward event occurred together with some mixed signals to the end of the data (1980).

    With the amalgamated proxy data the period 1820 to 1868 was stable, and then an abrupt upward event occurred, to be followed by about 45 years of stability. Another slightly less sharp upward change occurred beginning at about 1922, followed by a very stable period to the end of the data (1970).

    There is a most striking similarity between the two plots, though the first temperature data change took place about 30 years later than the proxy average.

    From the “hockey stick” perspective the most striking thing is the tremendous stability of both sets over the period 1920 to 1970/1980.

    Thus, Mann’s actual data show no sign whatsoever of “catastrophic” increases in this period, in total contrast to his very sharply increasing temperature plot.

    How on earth did he generate his HS from these data except by making some sort of blunder? It just does not exist.

    I cold expand indefinitely on this topic, with much more detailed analyses (I did them years ago) using small subsets of the data, such as coral fluorescence values (columns 1-9), or treeline data, etc. Unfortunately I have no idea how to post GIFs for you to look at :-((

    So there you are – some of my findings to contemplate or ridicule, as you see fit. If you can discover anything different in Mann’s data I shall be really keen to see it, and to learn of your analytical methods.

    Cheers, Robin

  163. cohenite October 8, 2008 at 8:19 am #

    NT; re: forcing; what Bob said; in addition, how can CO2 which has been dug up, sometimes very close to the surface, and then emitted into the atmosphere by Al Gore’s jet engines be any different, in a forcing sense, from deep cold water which comes from kilometers beneath the sea surface, when, if that upwelling ceases, then SST increases with consequent change to the CO2 partial pressure and the sea surface becomes a net emitter of CO2?

  164. Derek D October 8, 2008 at 8:27 am #

    I love the fact that so many scientists are so socially inept. You guys argue and one-up each other as if all the science in the world had the influence on people or governments that tens of billions of dollars does. For all of your intellegence you all miss the point, and stick to arguing from a familiar place, just like the common idiot. And despite your assertions of dominance many of you are all clearly desparate for approval and viciously defensive to anyone that threatens it.

    AGW is crap. You’re an idiot if you believe it. A big freaking out of touch dumber than dumb totally snowballed IDIOT. It’s about money and power, not science. And even if it was about science, scientists are easily bribed with money. If you can’t follow the money, and see the attempted power grab, then you are so freaking dumb, all the climate knowledge in the world won’t help you tie your shoes.

    And I could give two craps who agrees or disagrees. I’m smarter than all of you because I said so. Argue that…!

  165. Robin Edwards October 8, 2008 at 8:42 am #

    Hello, Gordon (Robinson),

    Perhaps you’ll see my Looong message to Cohenite, where I try to answer some of the points you raise. I’m not re-inventing the wheel, because I use entirely different and totally independent methods. Incidentally,I did all this stuff years ago, when Steve McIntyre and Ross McItrick. were just beginning their investigations. I’ve followed their work closely for years, and have discussed it face to face with Ross in London. I’ve not done anything connected with Mann’s data for several years now, and had to dredge up the plots I made long ago in order to answer Cohenite appropriately . I’m up to speed, I think, with Steve’s current work, and his thinking on Mann’s latest publication. Unfortunately, the scale of the data sets used puts my methods, using totally different software that lacks a high level statistical language (Steve uses “R”)
    which is too heavy going for me, though I can read most of the code but NOT write it :-(( ) at a considerable disadvantage because of the necessary manual interventions.

    What I would really like to find is the actual numbers that Mann et al used at the final stage of the plotting process to generate their (in)famous curve, but I’ve been unable to locate anything numerical at all. The plot itself is useless to me, lacking a digitiser, and anyway the scales that I’ve seen printed are far too difficult to digitise.

    Can anyone help, please?

    Cheers, Robin

  166. cohenite October 8, 2008 at 8:48 am #

    Robin; fascinating; you are, no doubt, aware of the Ian Jolliffe kerfuffle about MBH’s inappropriate use of PCA? What are your views on that? Also, no doubt, you have looked at Mann’s 2nd paper and the statistical methodology he uses in that, which has been occupying SM’s time (I must say in respect of Mann’s 2nd report, that is the closest I’ve seen Steve come to being really angry); the flaws I’ve read about being manifest in the 2nd HS paper are too many to note, but my favourite is how a proxy is not discarded if an instrument correlation cannot be found in the proximate grid; rather a grid instrument from anywhere can be used. Your thoughts? And may I suggest that a commonsense post on the exotic statistical methods used by Mann would be a pleasure to read, so why don’t you do one and submit it to Jennifer?

  167. NT October 8, 2008 at 9:32 am #

    Cohenite. I assume because that CO2 would have been secured otherwise. Coal, gas and oil, where in no hurry to return to the surface. In fact over geological time there has been a progressive loss of carbon from the biosphere due to burial. The only CO2 that was returning was either through volcanic events or through orogenic activity.

    Robin, better still why don’t you write a paper, and submit it to a journal. Not many people read this blog and if it is as important as you say you need to disseminate it to as wide an audience as possible.

    Bob, thanks for the link. No I don’t want a paper duel, If you go back to what I wrote, I stressed that there was more work to be done. Then I stated my opinion.

    Bob, I don’t make the definitions of forcings. I have no power over the people at RealClimate.

  168. NT October 8, 2008 at 1:35 pm #

    Guess this all means the DC paper that started this thread is pretty lightweight and will deservedly be ignored.

  169. cohenite October 8, 2008 at 1:48 pm #

    NT; as I noted DC obtain pretty much the same CO2 signal as Trenberth, he of the Eddington semi-infinite model that AGW is predicated on; but if we look closer we see Trenberth got a SF undeducted CO2 signal of ~ +0.092C per decade for the period 1950-98; DC got a SF undeducted CO2 signal of +0.07C per decade for the period 1979-2008; lucia got a SF undeducted CO2 signal of ~-0.045C per decade for the period 2001-2008; now that’s a trend. Bob’s work shows that there is a strong correlation between ENSO and temp trend with no need for a lag, which again, according to Trenberth, is minimal anyway. HadCrut show there was a temp increase of +0.52C from 1900-2000, or +0.052C per decade; that trend was not correlated with CO2.

    Jan Pompe; if you’re reading, I just got hold of a report by Dr Ir. E. van Andel which details that Rob van Dorland Miskolcz confirming experiment; it’s being distributed by Ray Evans so I presume you’ve got a copy; again front page news stuff doesn’t even make the msm. AGW is definitely not about the science.

  170. SJT October 8, 2008 at 4:31 pm #

    “he of the Eddington semi-infinite model that AGW is predicated on”

    A lot of standard physics is based on your obsession with ‘semi-infinite’, whatever that means. My understanding is that if it’s only partly infinite, it must be finite. Perhaps you don’t understand that many concepts are ‘infinite’, but converge, or the ‘infinite’ components become vanishingly small. PI would be an example, perhaps. It’s well and truly infinite, in the number of digits you can give it, but those additional digits after the decimal point are purely of academic interest after the first ones, depending on the precision you need.

  171. SJT October 8, 2008 at 4:34 pm #

    “I just got hold of a report by Dr Ir. E. van Andel ”

    What does he say about this theory?

    “Now, I must confess that I cannot follow FM in his terms “radiation pressure”, his “Virial theorem” or his “Kirchhoff law”.”

    :) Comedy gold.

  172. Jan Pompe October 8, 2008 at 5:50 pm #

    cohenite: “I just got hold of a report by Dr Ir. E. van Andel which details that Rob van Dorland Miskolcz confirming experiment; it’s being distributed by Ray Evans so I presume you’ve got a copy;”

    HE probably got it from David Stockwell that’s a fuller (draft) of the material I mentioned earlier. Ken Gregory and I have found some typos in it I’m still going through it there is some Dutch English that needs cleaning up. (I grew up with parents fluent in Dutch English). I’m bit short of time at them moment.

    His difficulty with Ferenc’s terminology notwithstanding his analysis of the atmospheric profiles shows that the downward radiation is equal to the radiation absorbed in the lower atmosphere.

    As for the virial Ferenc’s term is not strictly related to the Clausius virial theorem and he was surprised when I ran an analysis on the TIGR profiles and found it held to .5%. He then clean up my calculations with a better calculated profile and more accurate planetary radius etc and found it holds to 40 ppm. I guess it makes a good sanity check for atmospheric profiles that the USST76 fails miserably which a result that is out by a factor of 85%.

  173. cohenite October 8, 2008 at 6:04 pm #

    Jan; I like his finding that CO2 IR absorption exhausts at about 65cm; that would be about the height of some of the AGW gnomes.

    Will, what’s this about PI; I don’t do Personal Injury law, but you’re right, it is an infinite source of clients; people just keep falling flat on their faces; must be all the CO2 at about 1/2 a metre.

  174. Louis Hissink October 8, 2008 at 7:04 pm #


    Ray Evans got it from David Stockwell?


  175. SJT October 8, 2008 at 9:27 pm #

    “HadCrut show there was a temp increase of +0.52C from 1900-2000, or +0.052C per decade; that trend was not correlated with CO2.”

    That’s because CO2 has been building up over the century, and other forcings have to be taken into account. Read the IPCC report on attribution.

  176. Robin Edwards October 8, 2008 at 10:36 pm #

    Replying again to Cohenite, no, I don’t have any access to Jolliffe’s work, so can’t comment. In fact the peculiar PCA procedures used by Mann et al don’t really worry me at all. I simply disregard all the complex and debatable maths and rely solely on the numbers that have been published. I /never/ apply any smoothing techniques, having learned long ago that any attempt to sanitise data on these lines simply loses information rather than enhances it. Thus I have to confess that the chief topic in this blog at the moment leaves me rather cold! I have to to say that my software includes three smoothing mechanisms, put there at the request of a client, but I just don’t use them apart from the moving average facility, which can be informative from time to time for complete data sets or to check the published work of others. Cusum technology is remarkably robust to occasional shortcomings in data, such as the ubiquitous missing value syndrome or a grossly strange value. What it does very successfully is to provide what my employers used to term the “helicopter viewpoint”, meaning that it addresses the long term propensity of the data to change (or not). It has absolutely no useful predictive ability, and I never attempt to forecast the future ;-)

    Regarding your suggestion about writing something on Mann’s methodology and computing I could not possibly do that. All that you could ever wish to know has been (and is being) reported by (mainly) Steve McIntyre on ClimateAudit, which is most interesting site.

    I’ll keep reading this site – very intriguing.



  177. Jeff Id October 9, 2008 at 5:56 am #


    I have been working on demonstrating a serious flaw in the math used to sort temperature proxies and create hockey sticks. What I am doing that is new is demonstrating how the method demagnifies historic data in relation to the calibration range.

    I think when this becomes fully developed and published it could force the recalculation or retraction of every hockey stick graph.

  178. Gordon Robertson October 9, 2008 at 8:14 am #

    Derek D said…”I’m smarter than all of you because I said so. Argue that…!”

    No you’re not.

  179. Gordon Robertson October 9, 2008 at 8:31 am #

    Robin Edwards said…”So there you are – some of my findings to contemplate or ridicule, as you see fit. If you can discover anything different in Mann’s data I shall be really keen to see it, and to learn of your analytical methods”.

    Interesting analysis, Robin. Have you looked at the recent work of Loehle? He omitted the tree ring data because he felt they had problems, namely, tree ring width can reduce in warmer weather due to a lack of rainfall.

    There’s a link on that page where you can download the PDF file. Loehle claims he found ample evidence of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. Of course, realclimate. org cherry-picked the results and Loehle corrected them. You may have to look for the corrected version as well.

    I’d be interested on your take of Loehle’s work.

  180. Bernard J. October 9, 2008 at 12:06 pm #

    Comment from cohenite
    Time October 6, 2008 at 8:59 am

    “Bernard J, I see, over at Deltoid, is calling for Monckton to be beheaded”


    I have never suggested that Monckton be beheaded, nor have I implied any other violent act be perpretrated on Monckton. Nor have I described myself as “beacon of civilised discourse”.

    You are promoting mendacious lies.

  181. Bernard J. October 9, 2008 at 1:36 pm #

    I would like to tip my hat and acknowledge that Cohenite has addressed my complaint over at Deltoid:

    It seems that both he and I have a deficit of irony-detection at times, because my French revolution metaphor was taken by him in a way that I hadn’t intended it to be taken, just as he was apparently being somewhat Socratic with his ‘beacon’ statement.

    I withdraw my comment about mendaciousness, but I continue to think that Cohenite was being somewhat mischievous in his post above in not explaining the context of my comment. To be expected from a lawyer I guess, although I would have thought that the context of my comment would be passed on in any reference to my Deltoid post.

    I would not have ever guessed that anyone would seriously suggest from reading my post that I was countenancing beheading and pass this message on to others, especially as in my mind I was referring to Monckton perhaps being tapped on the shoulder and told to be a little more circumspect in how he draws unfavourable attention to the UK peerage.

    However I admit that my allusion to guillotines was a metaphor that could easily be misconstrued even by people not being mischievous, and that I should have been more explicit in the tenor of my intended meaning.

    For future reference though, I do not support violence, and if anyone ever imputes such from any comment I make, whether clearly ironic or not, I suggest that they do so with reference to the context of any statement.

    This is my Deltoid response:



    Well spotted, but I was actually referring to the aristocracy dissociating themselves from their colleague lest they lose favour with the commoners and find a republic is a serious attraction to the UK public.

    My very bad though for picking a metaphor that included the French revolution and ‘beheading’. However, as a wise man once said, I thought my revolution comment “would be taken with the necessary grain of ironic salt; I stand corrected.”

    Seasoning aside, if the British blue-bloods persist in allowing such muddled-thinking amongst their ‘best’, the weight of history may one day not be able to prevent a dissolution of the country’s current sociopolitical structure.

  182. Robin Edwards October 11, 2008 at 1:47 am #

    Gordon Robertson wrote “I’d be interested in your take on Loehle’s work”.

    Well, I’ve downloaded it all, thanks to your link, and have to say I’m a mite disappointed! I can of course reproduce his conclusions about the MWP ad LIA by simply looking at the plot of his data. They look quite reasonably spiky, as one expects from anything related to climate, but when I looked at the cusum plot it was /instantly/ obvious that the data were not “as found”, but heavily smoothed. This pretreatment is always recognisable from cusum plots merely from /their/ lack of spikiness. Then I read the summary of his paper – can’t get at the whole thing – and saw that the data had all been treated by using a 30 year smoother. Unfortunately, this ruins what can be deduced from cusums about sudden change. That of course is what smoothing of any sort is all about! It is used to disguise unpalatable amounts of noise, disregarding completely the fact that the most interesting signal may be in the noise that the smoothing system takes out, and that we cannot know what the cause of the noise is. It could be old-fashioned iid “gaussian” with mean zero, but it could be a reflection of the vicissitudes of the complex and unforecastable things that are caused by the drivers of climate. Further, the more you smooth the greater are the problems with the start and end of the series. Inevitably you have to resort to guessing.

    Another problem is “outliers”. No doubt you’ve addressed this one, probably without reaching an acceptable conclusion. Again, in my software I’ve implemented a couple of procedures, but in reality the only reason for discarding data is knowing that it is in error from sources other than the data values themselves. A typical scenario is the transposing of digits, which happens to result in a “strange value”, say 28 instead of a more reasonable 82. This stranger may indeed by picked up by suitable outlier detection techniques but if you don’t contact the owner of the data with your suspicions you really have no proper grounds for rejecting it.

    You’ll guess that smoothing frustrates me. If I need it I can do it myself, but with a heavy heart. Simplification of real data for the convenience of those who choose not to try to understand that nature is not all smooth curves or linear models is an unwelcome aspect of current popular science, in my opinion. It tries to gear things to the level of science correspondents of newspapers, whose editors further manipulate them to form headlines, or to make them “understandable” to politicians, who are very seldom proper scientists.

    So, where are the original data, I wonder. Those are what I’d really like to see.

    Cheers, Robin

  183. Jeff Id October 11, 2008 at 6:00 am #

    Robin Edwards and Gordon Robertson,

    I also have checked some of Loehles work out. The difference between his papers on climate and others is that he isn’t doing any post data sorting. Therefore smoothing just makes it easier for your eyes to see trends.

    Not that smoothing is correct, all I’m saying is that smoothing hasn’t affected the overall trend as in a Mann paper. The data were pre-calibrated and therefore scale was unaffected by smoothing.

    His approach is pretty minimalist as far as typical data molestation in this field. Craig is a forester by trade so he has an excellent handle on tree growth. He has also recently issued papers on the non-linearity of tree response to temp.

    As far as my two cents, these are the best representations of climate I can find. The number of proxies is not complete enough to draw conclusions from and the calibration was done by other scientists so I couldn’t review that.

  184. Robin Edwards October 11, 2008 at 7:44 am #

    Thanks for your comment Jeff. It’s good to know that the Loehle data are reliable, and collected by an expert. Thanks.

    No doubt the true main signal is coming through after smoothing, tho’ I’d still really like to see the untouched data!

    Cheers, Robin

  185. Jeff Id October 11, 2008 at 2:07 pm #

    Me too. I don’t think that even Craig Loehle had access to that though. (Just guessing)

    BTW: I just did a post which I used Mann’s favorite CPS method to extract positive and negative hockey sticks from his groups own proxies.

    I also demonstrated temp rises and falls in historic points as well as sine waves just for fun. All of it used the M08 group math and data sets.

  186. Robin Edwards October 12, 2008 at 5:39 am #

    I’ve looked at your post, Jeff, and replied there. Really great stuff. Surely there must be a case for trying to construct something publishable in a mainstream climatological journal. If not, E & E would surely be pleased with it.

    I’ve often contemplated writing something about the tendency of climate to change in steps from one regime to another. I did try once, with “Weather” the journal of the Royal Meteorological Society – must have been about 8 years ago, I suppose, but the referee clearly didn’t like my conclusions, though the editor did! I don’t think the ref understood what I was doing. Must use smaller words next time.

    Cheers, Robin

  187. Gordon Robertson October 12, 2008 at 12:27 pm #

    Robin Edwards said…”I did try once, with “Weather” the journal of the Royal Meteorological Society… but the referee clearly didn’t like my conclusions…”

    Peer review sucks. It’s initial motivation was to keep nutcases out of scientific journals but it has now focused on supporting popular paradigms. Of course, Einstein would be rejected out of hand these days.

  188. Jan Pompe October 14, 2008 at 11:48 pm #

    Robin and Gordon: ” It’s good to know that the Loehle data are reliable, and collected by an expert. Thanks.”

    I think the important thing about Loelhe’s data is that the proxies have been validated as actual temperature proxies. Tree rings are uncertain to be temperature proxies as there is a band where temperature is optimum above which there is slow growth.

  189. Robin Edwards October 17, 2008 at 6:32 am #

    I’m still hoping for some clues about how to access Craig’s primary data. I have seen some articles to blogs by him, but of course no contact details there. Must be patient, I suppose.

    Meanwhile I’m still enjoying Jeff’s amazing work, and hope to read even more eventually.

    Cheers, Robin

  190. franko December 10, 2009 at 7:24 pm #

    To help beginners get this propaganda into perspective, it is desirable to look at the data. One independent statistician (at Cardiff University) recently decided to do just that, with data from the past 30 years or so around the world. He used technical forecasting expertise to project it five years to produce forecasts. He has not found ANY EVIDENCE OF WARMING. I sorry to shout that last bit. Beginners should also note, that although CO2 emissions are based on very rough guesswork, and we could no doubt do with some quality assurance checks on CO2 measurements, it is generally accepted that atmospheric CO2 levels have been increasing during this 30 year spell. The IPCC (pxss be on it) models projected very substantial temperature rises in this circumstance. Now, beginners, where should we go from here? Massive distortion of our economy? Massive injection of resentment across the world against industrialised whitey? Big conference in Copenhagen?

    Here is the report from that statistician, not infected with Climate Munnchausen Syndrome:


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