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SPENCER WRONG NOAA Blunder Explains Claims of Warming Oceans?

Spencer on SST chart 3SCIENTISTS at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC) appear to have made a blunder with a data adjustment and splice resulting in sea surface temperatures being warmer than they would otherwise be by about 0.175 degrees C over the last two decades.

Roy Spencer, from the University of Alabama, discovered the error just a few days ago which according to meteorologist Anthony Watts, accounts for 24% of the 0.74 deg C global warming claimed for 1905-2005.

**************
UPDATE:  THE ERROR WAS ROY SPENCERS

To make a long story short, because the orbit boost caused the TMI to be able to “see” to slightly higher latitudes, the way in which individual latitude bands are handled has a significant impact on the resulting temperature anomalies that are computed over time.

The previous results I presented were for the 40N to 40S latitude band, which is nominally what the TMI instrument sees today. But before 2001, the latitudinal extent was slightly smaller than it was after 2001.

If I restrict the latitude range to 38N to 38S, which was always covered during the entire TRMM mission, I find that the divergence between the TMI and NOAA average SST measurements essentially disappears.

Even though I was processing the NOAA and TMI datasets in the same manner, I should NOT have been. This is because there were not as many gridpoints over cooler SST regions going into the ‘global’ averages before the satellite altitude boost as after the boost. So, for example, one must be very careful in computing a latitude band average, say from 39N to 40N, to make sure that there has been no long-term change in the sampling of that band.

Based upon the above comparisons, I would now say there is no statistically significant difference in the SST trends since 1998 between TMI, the NOAA ERSSTv3b product, and the HadSST2 product. And it does look like July 2009 might well have experienced a warmer SST anomaly than July 1998, as was originally claimed by NOAA. (Remember, TMI can not see all of the global oceans, just equatorward of about 40 deg. N and S latitude.)

more here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/31/spencer-always-question-your-results/

September 2, 2009
********

The mistake was made about 10 years ago following a request from the World Meteorological Organization for NOAA to standardize the period from which temperature anomalies are calculated. 

I have puzzled as to why Australian government advisors claim sea temperatures have been increasing over the last ten years – perhaps they have been referring to sea surface temperatures and focusing on this dud data.

Of course NASA started deploying free floating Argo buoys in the world’s oceans in 2000 with the full complement of 3,000 in place by 2003, and measurements from these well spread buoys indicates that the oceans have been cooling since 2003. 

People make mistakes.  In this case the mistake got through peer-review. 

Given the many mistakes made by those compiling, adjusting and averaging global temperature data including sea surface temperatures, it would perhaps be worth having one or a few reference sites against which all the adjusting and averaging could be compared.   As carbon dioxide concentrations are often reported only for Mauna Loa, Hawaii, why not also discuss what is happening here when discussing global warming and sea surface temperatures.

********************************

Notes and Links

The above graph shows the likely magnitude of the error made by NOAA with it most pronounced since 2001, more information at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/08/spurious-warming-in-new-noaa-ocean-temperature-product-the-smoking-gun/  and  http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/27/spencer-noaa%E2%80%99s-official-sea-surface-temperature-product-ersst-has-spurous-warming/ 

Interdecadal Changes of 30-Yr SST Normals during 1871–2000
YAN XUE, NOAA/NWS/NCEP Climate Prediction Center, Camp Springs, Maryland
THOMAS M. SMITH AND RICHARD W. REYNOLDS, NOAA/NESDIS National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina
J O U R N A L O F C L I M A T E, VOLUME 16

Part 1 of ‘Let’s Stop Averaging Global Temperatures’ is here: http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/08/stop-averaging-global-temperatures-part-1/ 

Related posts: http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/06/legislating-on-the-basis-of-a-scientific-theory/

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84 Responses to “SPENCER WRONG NOAA Blunder Explains Claims of Warming Oceans?

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  1. Comment from: Louis Hissink


    Luke,

    Really? How about a citation for that quote, otherwise its plainly more of your driver forced crap.

  2. Comment from: Louis Hissink


    http://www.eh-resources.org/timeline/timeline_lia.html

    Maunder minimum
    The cause of the Little Ice Age is unknown, but many people have pointed at the coincidence in low sunspot activity and the timing of the Little Ice. This so called Maunder Minimum2 coincided with the coldest part of the Little Ice Age, in particular during the period roughly from 1645 to 1715, when sunspots were a rare occurrence, as noted by solar observers such as Galileo. A minimum in sunspots, indicates an inactive and possibly colder sun and qonsequently less energy output to warm the earth.

    Interestingly it was Europe and North America that we have data for – what happened elsewhere on the planet?

    New Zealand saw the extinction of the Moa which the Maori reckon was caused from fire from the Sky.

    Ted Bryant of Wollongong university pin pointed a tsunami that swamped the eastern seaboard of Australia at the time and there is some data that a meteorite impacted between New Zealand and Australia at the time.

    The Korean Choson annals point to many climate disasters to the period, so the LIA was essentially global, and my idea that the LIA might have been caused by the Earth passing through a meteorite swarm seems supported by the data.

  3. Comment from: oil shrill


    Luke.

    If we are “men and women of science not witchdoctors” please tell me what falsifiability tests have been passed by the hypothesis that human caused emissions of CO2 is causing “climate change”.

    As an aside, please define what “Climate change” is and how I would recognise it.

    Once you have defined “climate change” and what it is, please advise what amount of “climate change” is caused by humans and how much is natural variation.

    Please show me you are not a witchdoctor.

  4. Comment from: Louis Hissink


    In addition:

    “1. Introduction

    During the 17th century, there was a long-term drop in overall global temperatures, which led to a sharp reduction in agricultural production. This, in turn, brought about widespread famine and epidemics and had major social and political repercussions. The extended abnormal temperature drop of this period has been recognized by natural scientists, who have called this the “Little Ice Age.” However, little research has been done on the cause or causes of this temperature drop beyond John A. Eddy’s work on the decline in sunspot activity. After I came across the 17th-Century Crisis theory in the works of Western scholars, I felt that the Annals of the Chosôn Dynasty (Chosôn wangjo sillok in Korean; hereinafter referred to as the “Annals”) could potentially be a valuable source of reliable information for this time period. The scribes who compiled the Annals were faithful and meticulous in recording all natural and unusual (often seen as supernatural) phenomena, in accordance with the distinctive Confucian view of nature. Because of this, I believed that these records could provide much valuable insight into phenomena that attended and perhaps led to the Little Ice Age. After ten years of research, I can demonstrate that my initial expectations were correct.

    At first I concentrated on records from the 17th century, but in tracing the frequencies of the various natural phenomena, I had to push the starting point back to the end of the 15th century. I also covered the records for the period immediately after the Little Ice Age for comparative reference, so in the end, I examined records spanning 470 years in the Annals. Based on these records, I have concluded that the Little Ice Age began as early as the end of the 15th century and lasted until the middle of the 18th century. Furthermore, the data suggests that the cause of the Little Ice Age is linked to the abnormally high number of meteors which fell over an extended period of time.

    I am still in the midst of processing the massive amount of data obtained from the Annals–some 25,000 separate records. Therefore, I ask the reader to excuse the fact that I am presenting a work which is not entirely complete, in the hopes of enhancing my research results and analysis with input from other researchers who are working in different but related areas. I welcome healthy debate as well as constructive criticism and will update this paper as a need to arises. (Last revision: 04/16/99)

    Source http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/korea/

    All rather inconvenient for the standard explanation, hey Luke.

  5. Comment from: Louis Hissink


    May as well rub it in:

    “If the records on meteors are understood as was described above, then there is a high probability that the large number of meteor appearances from Period 3 to 7 had a large influence on the other phenomena which also occurred during that period. Altogether, about 3,330 relatively large meteors were observed over the 250-year period just in Seoul, which means that the number of meteors which enter the atmosphere throughout the world must have been enormous. If that many meteors fell to the earth concentrated during the designated period, the dust given off as they burned or exploded would have had a considerable effect on the other phenomena.”

    Same link as above – and why is this observed physical explanation not in any of the mainstream explanations for the LIA? Some of us do know what caused it and the Earth passing through a meteor swarm is simply one of those things the Witchdoctors in the IPCC don’t want to know about because they can’t model it.

  6. Comment from: el gordo


    The IPCC says the sun is only a bit player in climate compared to CO2. They are simply wrong. There will be no ‘bounce back’ to a Maunder just yet, but a Dalton minimum looks promising.

    From the depths of the Dalton (1796-1830) it has been a bit like climbing a mountain, straight up then level off before going up again. Until finally reaching the modern climate optimum a few short years ago.

    As David Archibald said, it’s the length of the solar cycle that has the greatest impact. At the moment the sun remains blank and there is now speculation that Solar Cycle 24 won’t pick up much. This will be a litmus test for some contemporary theories on climate change.

  7. Comment from: SJT


    “The IPCC says the sun is only a bit player in climate compared to CO2. They are simply wrong. There will be no ‘bounce back’ to a Maunder just yet, but a Dalton minimum looks promising.”

    The IPCC says that the climate forcings can vary in intensity. At present CO2 is stronger, but that is certainly not always the case.

  8. Comment from: janama


    “At present CO2 is stronger”

    what does a 2007 report know about the present?

  9. Comment from: Louis Hissink


    SJT

    Another non sequitur? The largest weather forcing is the diurnal solar influence but you, on authority, state that it’s the invisible background effect of a slight change in atmospheric chemistry, that forces climate change.

    ?????????

  10. Comment from: sod


    no news on the Spencer claim?

    Phil (as so often) wrote a very interesting comment on WuWt: ( Phil. (22:09:31) : )

    Isn’t the point that NOAA changed the base period in 2001 in accordance with WMO practice and that accounts for the step which you noted. Shouldn’t the anomalies prior to 2001 be adjusted for the change in mean?

    is there anything in what Spencer wrote, that supports that the new data is too high (and not the old data too low)???

  11. Comment from: SJT


    “Another non sequitur? The largest weather forcing is the diurnal solar influence but you, on authority, state that it’s the invisible background effect of a slight change in atmospheric chemistry, that forces climate change.”

    Louis, your understanding of the case for AGW is so poor and bizarre, there’s no use replying to anything you write.

  12. Comment from: Louis Hissink


    I should have spotted this earlier but:

    “SCIENTISTS at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center (CPC) appear to have made a blunder with a data adjustment and splice resulting in sea surface temperatures being warmer than they would otherwise be by about 0.175 degrees C over the last two decades.”

    That’s a change in temperature of (0.175/20) degrees C per year, which is not capable of being measured, but could be from calculation. In any case it’s a prediction that cannot be measured by existing technology, let alone the gross errors made from wrong aggregation methods.

    Real or spurious?

    Any change in a variable less than an instrumental detection limit, is “noise” but so much NOISE is produced by the AGW brigade over NOISY data, that one wonders whether their critical faculties have be NOISED out by the data NOISE.

  13. Comment from: Louis Hissink


    SJT: “Louis, your understanding of the case for AGW is so poor and bizarre, there’s no use replying to anything you write.”

    Good, I was not relying on your self confessed scientific ignorance as a reply to my posts.

    Why not save yourself even more effort by leaving here and living at Lambert’s?

  14. Comment from: dribble


    I agree. Piss off SJT, go back to believer blogland where you belong. All you do is drag that believer blog crap over here and parrot it out of your arse anyway. If we wanted to read that crap we know where to go to find it.

  15. Comment from: cohenite


    “No external mechanism”! luke, the ‘external mechanism’ for ENSO caused temperature trends is the reduction in cloud cover over the upwelling surface; this allows more insolation to reach the ocean surface maintaining and increasing SST; that there is less clover during the El Nino period is well documented [see Wielicki et al, 2002; and Palle et al, 2005]; the radiative connection between the ocean and PDO is also the subject of the recent Douglass and Knox paper;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/11/ocean-heat-content-and-earth%e2%80%99s-radiation-imbalance/#more-9865

  16. Comment from: el gordo


    A new article on ‘global dimming’, which puts one of my theories in the shade. The interesting observation is that ‘there was around 10 percent more carbon stored in the terrestrial biosphere between 1960-1999′ because of global dimming.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/30/global-dimming-and-brightening-in-the-context-of-solar-radiation/#more-10381

    While you’re there check out the letter from Michael Mann in the comments page (originally published in the UK Telegraph) where he criticises Christopher Booker. Something to do with a hockey stick.

  17. Comment from: SJT


    “Good, I was not relying on your self confessed scientific ignorance as a reply to my posts.”

    LOL. You accuse me of ignorance because I point out your ignorance. Even Hunter had to cast you adrift with your lunatic denial of plate tectonics.

  18. Comment from: SJT


    “I agree. Piss off SJT, go back to believer blogland where you belong”

    Once again, you have nothing.

  19. Comment from: Luke


    Hey SJT – I’m trying my new alarmist Gravatar. I call him Alarmist Scum. I was depressed nobody ID’ed the last one, although I think Jen liked it.

    Sorry I had to go out with Phil.

    Sinkers – Phil sends hugs. Well virtual ones as you know he has been unable to use his hands since the accident with the Mixmaster and the goat.

    BTW was that ol’ Sinkers flashing a bit o’ the old scholarly facts & figures. Must be 3 year since we’ve seen anything but quips. So should we respectfully engage him or just put shit on him like he does to us. Interesting but those circumstances no longer exist so lah de dah.

  20. Comment from: dribble


    Thats the problem with being the village idiot SJT, you don’t know you’re the village idiot. Even when it is patiently explained to you that you are the village idiot there is no comprehension on this point.

  21. Comment from: SJT


    “Thats the problem with being the village idiot SJT, you don’t know you’re the village idiot. Even when it is patiently explained to you that you are the village idiot there is no comprehension on this point.”

    Still nothing.

  22. Comment from: dribble


    The village idiot speaks. Next he will jump around spanking his own bottom.

  23. Comment from: SJT


    “The village idiot speaks. Next he will jump around spanking his own bottom.”

    Nothing.

  24. Comment from: dribble


    Nothing from a nothing. That about sums up SJT.

  25. Comment from: Louis Hissink


    SJT: “LOL. You accuse me of ignorance because I point out your ignorance. Even Hunter had to cast you adrift with your lunatic denial of plate tectonics.”

    Plate Tectonics is consensus science, as is AGW.

  26. Comment from: Louis Hissink


    For those with an open mind – a demonstration of the fatal problems Plate Tectonic theory has can be found at this comment I just posted. http://geoplasma.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!C00F2616F39D0B2B!792.entry.

    There are links to other published peer reviewed research for those interested.

  27. Comment from: SJT


    It was Roy Spencer’s goof. Going to update the topic, Jennifer?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/08/31/spencer-always-question-your-results/#more-10433

  28. Comment from: Luke


    Do my eyes deceive me SJT. So Spencer now says !

    AND IT DOES LOOK LIKE JULY 2009 MIGHT WELL HAVE EXPERIENCED A WARMER SST ANOMALY THAN JULY 1998, AS WAS ORIGINALLY CLAIMED BY NOAA

    “People make mistakes. In this case the mistake got through peer-review.” said Jen.

    Or maybe Spencer can make mistakes? Perhaps peer review is a good thing ?

  29. Comment from: Louis Hissink


    “Based upon the above comparisons, I would now say there is no statistically significant difference in the SST trends since 1998 between TMI, the NOAA ERSSTv3b product, and the HadSST2 product. And it does look like July 2009 might well have experienced a warmer SST anomaly than July 1998, as was originally claimed by NOAA. (Remember, TMI can not see all of the global oceans, just equatorward of about 40 deg. N and S latitude.)’

    In other words, nothing happened in a globally statistically thermal sense.

  30. Comment from: sod


    well, Spencer did admit his error, which at least i think was a honourable thing to do.

    many of the “sceptics” posting here, swallowed the false SST claim with hook and sinker. truely sceptical, most of them made really embarrassing comments about those of us, who were indeed sceptic of the Spencer result.

    how many of them will admit that they were wrong as well?

    or will at least take back insults like “village idiot”?

  31. Comment from: toby


    Good to see that when a mistake is made it is acknowledged….come in mann, hansen, gore, flannery………..sorry was that the sound of………

  32. Comment from: toby


    IPCC…….

  33. Comment from: dribble


    “or will at least take back insults like “village idiot”?”

    Being the instigator of the claim that SJT is the village idiot, I fail to see any problem with this issue. My statements were completely unrelated to Spencer’s claims concerning the July sea temperature. In fact I confess that I had no idea of what this particular thread was about when I made this claim as to the inadequacy of SJT’s mental capacity. It was a general claim made by me in relation to SJT’s general misunderstanding of the complexity of the issues related to climate science.

    I stand by my claim completely that SJT is the village idiot as far as this blog is concerned. I have seen nothing in his comments that would convince me that he has any comprehension of the issues beyond the level of a 14-year old with an average education. I might add that these inadequacies are common to the collective of believer trolls on this site. I personally have no interest in reading the regurgitation of believer blog crap from poorly informed believers. If I wanted to read that sort of crap I already know where to find it.

  34. Comment from: SJT


    It was a general claim made by me in relation to SJT’s general misunderstanding of the complexity of the issues related to climate science.

    My irony meter just exploded. You called me the village idiot after you repeatedly restorted to name calling, and I pointed out you had nothing to say but name calling. The IPCC reports are not blog crap, but science you don’t understand. It’s the old “If I can’t understand it, you can’t prove it” problem.

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