Speaking Truth to Power, and Correcting Brian Cox

IN the comments thread following my article published at On Line Opinion yesterday, someone asked:  “Does Jennifer believe that NASA and the UN are faking temperature data?”

I replied: “I don’t believe that NASA and the IPCC are faking the data: I provide compelling evidence to show this. Indeed, they, and the Bureau of Meteorology are remodelling temperature series so that they fit the theory of anthropogenic global warming.  In the case of both Amberley and Rutherglen cooling trends have been changed into warming trends without any reasonable justification.”

You can read the article here: http://onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=18459

And I’m republishing it here:

CELEBRITY physicist Brian Cox misled the ABC TV Q&A audience on at least 3 points-of-fact on Monday night. This is typical of the direction that much of science is taking. Richard Horton, the current editor of the medical journal, The Lancet, recently stated that, “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.”

Prof Brian Cox, image courtesy of the BBC

Prof Brian Cox, image courtesy of the BBC

Firstly, Cox displayed an out-of-date NASA chart of remodelled global temperatures as proof that we have catastrophic climate change caused by industrial pollution. Another panellist on the program, One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts, tried to raise the issue of cause and effect: querying whether there really was a link between rising temperature and carbon dioxide. This is generally accepted without question. But interestingly – beyond experiments undertaken by a chemist over 100 years ago – there is no real proof only unreliable computer simulation models.

Indeed, in 2006, John Nicol (a former Dean of Science at James Cook University) wrote to Penny Whetton (then meteorologist-in-charge of the climate science stream at CSIRO) asking if she could provide him with copies notes, internal reports, references (“peer reviewed” of course) which would provide details of the physics behind the hypothesis of global warming. She wrote back immediately promising to find some – which he thought was odd since he had assumed her office was stacked-to-the-ceiling with such literature.

Whetton even went to the trouble of contacting other colleagues – one of whom sent Nicol an inconsequential article in a Polish journal. After eighteen months of their exchanging letters and all of her promises to be helpful, all she could finally offer was the “scientific” section of “Climate Change in Australia 2007”. There, to Nicol’s amazement he found nothing apart from the oft quoted: “We believe that most of the increase in global temperatures during the second half of the 20th century was very likely due to increases in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide”.

“Believe”, “most”, and “very likely” are jargon, perhaps meaning “we don’t have a clue”.

The chart Cox held up on Monday night – now all-over-the-internet as proof of global warming – essentially represents a remodelling of observed surface temperature measurements to confirm a belief, that we most likely have catastrophic global warming.

The accurate UAH satellite record shows a spike in temperatures in 1997-1998 associated with the El Nino back then, followed by a long pause of about 17 years, before the recent spike at the end of 2015-beginning of 2016. The recent spike was also caused by an El Nino event. Global-temperatures have been plummeting since March, and are now almost back to pause-levels. Indeed, Roberts was more correct than Cox, when he claimed there had been no warming for about 21 years – despite the rise in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide.

The second misleading statement from Cox on Monday night concerned the nature of the modern sceptic – often harshly labelled a denier. Cox suggested that sceptics were the type of people that would even deny the moon-landing. In making this claim he was no doubt alluding to research, since discredited, funded by the Australian Research Council, that attempted to draw a link between scepticism of anthropogenic global warming and believing in conspiracies.

In fact, astronaut Harrison Schmitt – who actually stood on the moon, drilled holes, collected moon rocks, and has since returned to Earth – is a well-known sceptic of anthropogenic global warming. In short, Astronaut Harrison knows the moon-landing was real, but does not believe carbon dioxide plays a significant role in causing weather and climate change. In fact, Schmitt has expressed the view – a very similar view to Roberts – that the risks posed by climate change are overrated. Harrison has even suggested that climate change is a tool for people who are trying to increase the size of government – though he does not deny that he has been to the moon and back.

Thirdly, Cox has qualifications in particle physics, yet on Monday night he incorrectly stated that Albert Einstein devised the four-dimensional-space-time continuum. Those with a particular interest in the history of relativity theory know that while Einstein reproduced the Lorenz equations using a different philosophical interpretation, he was not the first to put these equations into the context of the 4-dimensional continuum – that was done by Hermann Minkowski. Minkowski reformulated in four dimensions the then-recent theory of special relativity concluding that time and space should be treated equally. This subsequently gave rise to the concept of events taking place in a unified four-dimensional space-time continuum.

Then again, Cox may not care too much for facts. He is not only a celebrity scientist, but also a rock star. Just the other day I was watching a YouTube video of him playing keyboard as the lead-singer of the band screamed, “We don’t need a reason”.

There was once a clear distinction between science – that was about reason and evidence – and art that could venture into the make-believe including through the re-interpretation of facts. This line is increasingly blurred in climate science where data is now routinely remodeled to make it more consistent with global warming theory.

For example, I’m currently working on a 61-page expose of the situation at Rutherglen. Since November 1912, air temperatures have been measured at an agricultural research station near Rutherglen in northern Victoria, Australia. The data is of high quality, therefore, there is no scientific reason to apply adjustments in order to calculate temperature trends and extremes. Mean annual temperatures oscillate between 15.8°C and 13.4°C. The hottest years are 1914 and 2007; there is no overall warming-trend. The hottest summer was in 1938-1939 when Victoria experienced the Black Friday bushfire disaster. This 1938-39 summer was 3°C hotter than the average-maximum summer temperature at Rutherglen for the entire period: December 1912 to February 2016. Minimum annual temperatures also show significant inter-annual variability.

In short, this temperature data – like most of the series from the 112 locations used to concoct the historical temperature record by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology – does not accord with global warming theory.
So, adjustments are made by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology to these individual series before they are incorporated into the Australian Climate Observations Reference Network – Surface Air Temperature (ACORN-SAT); and also the UK Met Office’s HadCRUT dataset, which informs IPCC deliberations.

The spike in maximum temperatures in 1938-1939 is erroneously identified as a statistical error, and all temperatures before 1938 adjusted down by 0.62°C. The most significant change is to the temperature minima: all values before 1974, and 1966, are adjusted-down by 0.61°C and 0.72°C, respectively. For the year 1913, there is a 1.3°C difference between the annual raw minimum value as measured at Rutherglen and the remodelled value.

The net effect of the remodelling is to create statistically significant warming of 0.7 °C in the ACORN-SAT mean temperature series for Rutherglen: in general agreement with anthropogenic global warming theory.

NASA applies a very similar technique to the thousands of stations used to reproduce the chart that Cox held-up on Monday night during the Q&A program. I discussed these change back in 2014 with Gavin Schmidt, who oversees the production of these charts at NASA. I was specifically complaining about how they remodel the data for Amberley, a military base near where I live in Queensland.

Back in 2014, the un-adjusted mean annual maximum temperatures for Amberley – since recordings were first made in 1941 – showed temperatures trending up from a low of about 25.5°C in 1950 to a peak of almost 28.5°C in 2002. The minimum temperatures – minima are a measure of lowest temperatures – for Amberley showed cooling from about 1970. Of course this does not accord with anthropogenic global warming theory. To quote Karl Braganza from the Bureau as published by that online rag The Conversation, “Patterns of temperature change that are uniquely associated with the enhanced greenhouse effect, and which have been observed in the real world include… Greater warming in winter compared with summer… Greater warming of night time temperatures than daytime temperatures”.

So, the Bureau has “corrected” this inconvenient truth at Amberley by jumping-up the minimum temperatures twice through the homogenisation process: once around 1980 and then around 1996 to achieve a combined temperature increase of over 1.5°C.

This is obviously a very large step-change, remembering that the entire temperature increase associated with global warming over the 20th century is generally considered to be in the order of 0.9°C.

According to various peer-reviewed papers, and technical reports, homogenisation as practiced in climate science is a technique that enables non-climatic factors to be eliminated from temperature series – by making various adjustments.

It is often done when there is a site change (for example from a post office to an airport), or equipment change (from a Glaisher stand to a Stevenson screen). But at Amberley neither of these criteria can be applied. The temperatures have been recorded at the same well-maintained site within the perimeter of the air force base since 1941. Through the homogenisation process the Bureau have changed what was a cooling trend in the minimum temperature of 1.0°C per century, into a warming trend of 2.5°C per century. This has not resulted in some small change to the temperatures as measured at Amberley, but rather a change in the temperature trend from one of cooling to dramatic warming; this is also what was done to the minimum temperature series for Rutherglen – and also without justification.

NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) based in New York also applies a jump-up to the Amberley series in 1980, and makes other changes, so that the annual average temperature for Amberley increases from 1941 to 2012 by about 2°C.

The new Director of GISS, Gavin Schmidt, explained to me on Twitter back in 2014 that: “@jennmarohasy There is an inhomogenity detected (~1980) and based on continuity w/nearby stations it is corrected. #notrocketscience”.

When I sought clarification regarding what was meant by “nearby” stations I was provided with a link to a list of 310 localities used by climate scientists at Berkeley when homogenising the Amberley data.

The inclusion of Berkeley scientists was perhaps to make the point that all the key institutions working on temperature series (the Australian Bureau, NASA, and also scientists at Berkeley) appreciated the need to adjust-up the temperatures at Amberley. So, rock star scientists can claim an absolute consensus?

But these 310 “nearby” stations, they stretch to a radius of 974 kilometres and include Frederick Reef in the Coral Sea, Quilpie post office and even Bourke post office. Considering the un-adjusted data for the six nearest stations with long and continuous records (old Brisbane aero, Cape Moreton Lighthouse, Gayndah post office, Bundaberg post office, Miles post office and Yamba pilot station) the Bureau’s jump-up for Amberley creates an increase for the official temperature trend of 0.75°C per century.

Temperatures at old Brisbane aero (the closest of these stations), also shows a long-term cooling trend. Indeed perhaps the cooling at Amberley is real. Why not consider this, particularly in the absence of real physical evidence to the contrary? In the Twitter conversation with Schmidt I suggested it was nonsense to use temperature data from radically different climatic zones to homogenise Amberley, and repeated my original question asking why it was necessary to change the original temperature record in the first place. Schmidt replied, “@jennmarohasy Your question is ill-posed. No-one changed the trend directly. Instead procedures correct for a detected jump around ~1980.”

If Twitter was around at the time George Orwell was writing the dystopian fiction Nineteen Eighty-Four, I wonder whether he might have borrowed some text from Schmidt’s tweets, particularly when words like, “procedures correct” refer to mathematical algorithms reaching out to “nearby” locations that are across the Coral Sea and beyond the Great Dividing Range to change what was a mild cooling-trend, into dramatic warming, for an otherwise perfectly politically-incorrect temperature series.

Horton, the somewhat disillusioned editor of The Lancet, also stated recently that science is, “Afflicted by studies with small sample sizes, tiny effects, invalid exploratory analyses, and flagrant conflicts of interest, together with an obsession for pursuing fashionable trends of dubious importance, science has taken a turn towards darkness.” I would not go that far! I am not sure it has taken a turn for darkness – perhaps just a turn towards the make-believe. Much of climate science, in particular, is now underpinned with a postmodernist epistemology – it is simply suspicious of reason and has an acute sensitivity to the role of ideology in asserting and maintaining particular power-structures including through the homogenisation of historical temperature data.

35 Responses to Speaking Truth to Power, and Correcting Brian Cox

  1. Michael Cunningham August 19, 2016 at 6:15 am #

    Thanks, Jennifer, a good refutation which I’ve posted on Facebook. Brendan O’Neill is on Q and A next week – his take-no-prisoners approach should provide some entertainment, though his cogent arguments in favour of freedom in general and freedom of speech in particular may not sway the audience.

  2. Patrick Purcell August 19, 2016 at 9:45 am #

    Did anyone else notice that Cox tried to push the lies about extreme weather events, and also Pacific islands sinking? According to accounts I have read, many islands have actually increased in area as evidenced by satellite images. Roger Pielke Jr gave the lie to claims about increased frequency of extreme weather events and even the IPCC has acknowledged his work and dropped that particular piece of propaganda.
    Cox also seemed to be unaware of the mendacity of the claim about ” 97% of climate scientists ….”
    Unfortunately he got away with all of this because, as usual, the ABC had stacked the panel and the audience against the skeptics.

  3. George Applegate August 19, 2016 at 10:57 am #

    Thank you, Jennifer, for carrying on the fight.

  4. David Harrison August 19, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

    Jennifer, I don’t think you are going to get an invitation onto the panel of Q&A any time soon. The ABC does not like to be confused by actual facts.

  5. Dave N August 19, 2016 at 12:54 pm #

    Re “faking” of data: It’s a case of semantics. NASA are demonstrably producing data that is not measured (that’s probably the safest way of putting it without being stomped on by an alarmist).

    It’s in the data, marked as “E” i.e. “estimated”, i.e. not measured, i.e. calculated. More extreme interpretations: fabricated, fake etc. Tony Heller regularly posts on his blog () about the rising percentage of the estimated data (he reports it is now well over 50%).

    I haven’t seen anyone disputing this (although Steven Mosher claims it’s “unverifiable” – perhaps he is having trouble finding the code and data that Tony publishes), and it can be relatively easily checked by examining the data. He also reports that the estimated data accounts for all of the warming.

    This of course, does not automatically mean that the estimations are wrong, however it does call into question the reliability of the record when it relies on so much estimated data, and apparently no access to their estimation methods (I’m still waiting for anyone I’ve asked to provide links) so that they can be independently checked.

    For a science-based institution, when it comes to the temperature record, they’re very unscientific

  6. Alan Gould August 19, 2016 at 1:00 pm #

    Many thanks for this patient dismantling of Brian Cox, Jennifer. And i have always liked the Frost poem you cite above

  7. Steven Mosher August 19, 2016 at 6:53 pm #

    “NASA applies a very similar technique to the thousands of stations used to reproduce the chart that Cox held-up on Monday night during the Q&A program. I discussed these change back in 2014 with Gavin Schmidt, who oversees the production of these charts at NASA. I was specifically complaining about how they remodel the data for Amberley, a military base near where I live in Queensland.”

    Wrong. let me speak some truth to folks who cannot read

    NASA GIS ingest data from NOAA (NCEI) that has ALREADY been homogenized by Menne’s PHA algorithm. I have reviewed the NASA code in DETAIL and the data in detail. NASA ingest GHCN V3 adj. The homogenized data from NCEI

    NASA do perform a UHI correction as described in hansen 2010 ( and previous papers as well ) This correction is ONLY applied to stations that have nightlights values greater than 10. ( see hansen 2010)

    To recap.

    1. NCEI, Not NASA, produce and distribute GHCN v3 adjusted data
    2. NASA ingests this homogenized data.
    3. NASA does a UHI CORRECTION for a SUBSET of stations

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/stdata/

    “We also provide access to the last release that was based on GHCN version 2 data. It is an archive of the GISTEMP station record from Nov 2011 when we discontinued the use of NCDCs GHCNv2 dataset and is provided only as a historical facility. The differences between this station data set and our current station dataset are due to the switch from GHCN v2 to GHCN v3.2, and the reliance on NCDC homogenizations of station data instead of our own original methodology. For details see FAQ”

    “GISS homogenization (urban adjustment)
    One of the improvements — introduced in 1998 — was the implementation of a method to address the problem of urban warming: The urban and peri-urban (i.e., other than rural) stations are adjusted so that their long-term trend matches that of the mean of neighboring rural stations. Urban stations without nearby rural stations are dropped. This preserves local short-term variability without affecting long term trends. Originally, the classification of stations was based on population size near that station; the current analysis uses satellite-observed night lights to determine which stations are located in urban and peri-urban areas.

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2010/2010_Hansen_ha00510u.pdf

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/updates_v3/

    “December 14, 2011: GHCN v2 and USHCN data were replaced by the adjusted GHCN v3 data. This simplified the combination procedure since some steps became redundant (combining different station records for the same location, adjusting for the station move in the St. Helena record, etc). See related figures.”

    Here are the datasets

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/sources_v3/gistemp.html

    “Basic data set: GHCN – ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ghcn/v3
    ghcnm.latest.qca.tar.gz (adjusted data)”

    NASA use data that has ALREADY BEEN HOMOGENIZED!

    get that through your head.

  8. Tony Price August 19, 2016 at 7:28 pm #

    I’ve been looking at GHCN V3 data from Nasa/GISS over the last few days. There have been no adjustments to Darwin data since 1968, so both adjusted and unadjusted data are identical from that year. The trend for 1968-2015 is 0.002 °C/decade, in other words, negligible.

    The homogenised data for that period, however, shows a trend of 0.146 °C/decade or 1.46 °C/century. Instant warming!

  9. JP August 19, 2016 at 8:20 pm #

    Thanks – Unfortunately though, words from a physicist who looks has a Paul Weller meets Liam Gallagher haircut are always going to cut through with the ABC crowd….

  10. Mark M August 19, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

    This is only the global average surface temperature and it’s only one measure of the climate system – and it’s a very fickle measure.

    There’s an over-emphasis on the surface air temperature. – Prof Matt England

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2016/mar/03/did-global-warming-really-slowdown-have-a-large-injection-of-nuance-and-a-side-order-of-abuse?CMP=twt_a-environment_b-gdneco

    NASA: “There is far too much focus on surface temperatures”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2016/04/14/nasa-smacks-down-climate-change-doubters-in-facebook-discussion/?postshare=7041460656502892&tid=ss_tw
    ~~~~~~
    BBC:At one point, Prof Cox produced a graph showing global surface temperatures of the past century.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-37091391

  11. Sean August 19, 2016 at 10:54 pm #

    I used to say that NASA had become a science marketing firm with engineering tech support. They are more about the agency than exploration. Perhaps that statement has to be modified now that they are a political science marketing firm using science to support an agenda rather than enlighten.

  12. Andy Pattullo August 20, 2016 at 2:52 am #

    Thanks Jennifer for a clear and sober post on a very controversial area. I have seen so much analysis now that clearly show adjustments preferentially find warming where raw data does not, and yet there is always some post hoc rationalization of why this is “appropriate”. Real science doesn’t allow one to measure and then adjust results to the expected outcome.

    If there is a valid reason for adjustments (and there may be many) a real scientist would make a plan for what adjustments appear appropriate and describe the methods and reasons for those adjustments prospectively. They would if possible designate a “gold standard” control against which to test the outcome objectively (satellite temperatures or pristine reliable surface stations?).

    They would then create a system to make those adjustments in a blinded fashion so that perceptions could not affect the outcome and then accept the results whatever their implication. They would publish all results whether supportive or not of their theory and admit when the evidence points in the other direction.

    This isn’t a high standard. It is the only standard.

  13. Dave N August 20, 2016 at 11:49 am #

    Steve: Oh dear; apologies for referring to the wrong organisation. Still no code, though? Shame.

  14. Zac August 20, 2016 at 1:31 pm #

    Thank you so much for the effort you went to in producing this article. It is one of the best I have ever read on this subject, and I will be showing this to others. Keep up the great work!

  15. Paul G August 20, 2016 at 5:06 pm #

    You wrote: “The spike in maximum temperatures in 1938-1939 is erroneously identified as a statistical error …”
    Does BoM or whoever considered this a statistical error, believe that the extended heat wave of 1938-39 did not occur, or was not as bad as recorded? It is possible verify the facts through newspaper reports, all easily accessible. The heatwave also extended into NSW and probably beyond. Well do I remember that summer, although a young school boy. At the time of the worst fires in Victoria there were fire around Sydney, NSW. We were holidaying at Collaroy and an elderly aunt staying with us was most distressed. I was able to go swimming to cool off.

    Do these young folk manipulating the data, not believe that heatwaves occurred in the past, since they have dismissed the pre-1910 records of heatwaves as well.

    “Those who ignore the past ….” do so at their peril.

  16. Todd August 21, 2016 at 1:31 am #

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RiuHOzykxC0

    A study done on climate stations.

  17. Tony Price August 21, 2016 at 6:43 pm #

    Some years ago, I considered Brian Cox to be a master at conveying scientific principles and current thinking, after watching his BBC series “Wonders of the Solar System”. Within a few years, after his unprincipled, unsupported and unscientific attacks on climate “sceptics”, my opinion had changed, to what it is now, that he’s the very model of an unthinking and ill-informed little s**t. Presenting “evidence” that you haven’t checked out yourself is both irresponsible and unscientific, as is accepting “current thinking” or some form of consensus without questioning it in any way.

    A thermometer measures the temperature of its surroundings. If it’s deemed to be accurate, well sited, and another in a nearby place is also deemed to be accurate, well sited, and they record different temperatures then so be it. Adjusting the record from the first because the second record differs is unwarranted and unscientific. There can be no reason whatsoever for any adjustment. Are rainfall and barometric pressure records also “homogenised”? It can be raining on one side of the street, and dry on the other. Should the record for the dry side be “homogenised” to reflect what’s happening on the other?

    Darwin is on the coast, and even if homogenisation is in any way justified, then coastal stations should be used; it’s well known, documented and proven that coastal climate differs from climate in the immediate hinterland. Yet inland stations are included in the homogenisation process for Darwin.

    Worse, once homogenisation is done for current data, past data has to be adjusted also, to avoid introducing steps into the record. The effect ripples back through the data. This is rewriting of the past, big time.

    Some years ago, I was working on some GHCN V2 data for (I can’t remember, probably USA west coast). I accidentally overwrote a dataset I’d just downloaded, and imported into a spreadsheet. Being of sound (and tidy) mind, wanting to ensure I had the original dataset, I went back to the GISS website and re-downloaded it. On checking, all present and past data had altered; not by much, but it was certainly different. I was gobsmacked (something I wickedly have in mind for Brian Cox, should I ever come within striking distance) – I had discovered one of the worst aspects of “homogenisation”.

    Incidentally, the “UHI adjustment” mentioned above by Mosher is also flawed and unscientific. It seems GISS haven’t heard about thin cloud, varying water vapour, dust and aerosols, which reduce the apparent brightness of urban sites, which GISS uses to estimate population density for the adjustments. Neither do they seem to be aware of the moves worldwide to reduce urban “light pollution” by introducing better-shielded public lighting, which throws more light downwards, less sideways, and none upwards.

  18. miker August 22, 2016 at 5:54 pm #

    Jennifer, in your above defense of Malcom Roberts on Q and A, you have made some ‘interesting’ comments.

    Firstly, because I think you are a sensible person, I would have that thought that you would have emulated Andrew Bolt by distancing yourself as far as possible from Malcolm Roberts. Granted the fellow was democratically elected, but he fell over the line in on the back of Pauline’s vote in Queensland. The 77 votes that Malcolm Roberts obtained personally from below the line votes demonstrates that he must have a large extended family or it might be from the votes of the entire Queensland membership of the Galileo society. His pathetic vote was significantly less than that obtained by the majority of the 111 unelected senate candidates. Only 24 had fewer votes. Anyone with an ounce of sense can see from his pronouncements and his web site, why it is a good idea to stay well clear of the lad.

    With regard to your comments above regarding the role of carbon dioxide and the greenhouse effect, this one was rather strange.

    ‘Malcolm Roberts, tried to raise the issue of cause and effect: querying whether there really was a link between rising temperature and carbon dioxide. This is generally accepted without question. But interestingly – beyond experiments undertaken by a chemist over 100 years ago – there is no real proof only unreliable computer simulation models.’

    I think you need to have a long conversation with Roy Spencer, the godfather (with John Christy) of the UAH satellite data set that you later refer to so fondly of. I think his views might strongly diverge with Malcolm Roberts, and presumably yours, regarding the role of CO2, with his comments such as ‘I consider the “no such thing as a greenhouse effect” people to be wrong, and once again I will try to explain the reasons”
    See the full discussion at –
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/07/the-warm-earth-greenhouse-effect-or-atmospheric-pressure/
    and also,
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/08/suggested-backyard-experiment-to-measure-the-greenhouse-effect-of-more-carbon-dioxide/

    With regard to the UAH data, you appear to have restored your faith in this data.

    Again from above –

    ‘The accurate UAH satellite record shows a spike in temperatures in 1997-1998 associated with the El Nino back then, followed by a long pause of about 17 years, before the recent spike at the end of 2015-beginning of 2016. The recent spike was also caused by an El Nino event. Global-temperatures have been plummeting since March, and are now almost back to pause-levels. Indeed, Roberts was more correct than Cox, when he claimed there had been no warming for about 21 years – despite the rise in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide’.

    This is also strange in light of your comment some time back about the UAH data set, which you may have inadvertently forgotten as they were about 9 months ago.

    As a gentle reminder of your comment –
    jennifer October 23, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    ‘I appreciate you taking the time to draw these issues to my attention; particularly the extent of homogenization of the UAH satellite data. I have avoided using this data because I know it has been homogenized, but I was unsure of the extent’.

    from http://jennifermarohasy.com/2015/10/sceptics-and-alarmists-together-present-to-coalition-environment-committee/

    What has restored your faith in the UAH data set and what are the pause-levels you speak of? Are you referring to 1995 or some other date? As Malcolm Robert’s glorious leader was fond of saying ‘Please Explain’.

    It appears that the ‘pauseniks’ are now almost an extinct breed and his lordship, the chief protagonist, has gone missing since last October. Someone send out a search party.

    You can still find a few hold outs, hiding in the jungle, not knowing the war is over, desperately trying to massage the pause back into life. However you will not currently find a single global temperature data for either the surface or troposphere that currently shows a statistically significant pause, including the beloved satellite data UAH (all versions and betas) and RSS.

    If anyone is in possession of such a dataset I think they should blow the whistle immediately and alert the relevant authorities so that the vast climate change conspiracy can be destroyed.

    Now, my reference to the term ‘statistically significant’ may have caused some unease among your readership, which I sincerely apologize for. I am not a climate scientist but with even with my minimal Excel skills (and a mere smattering of knowledge of statistics), it is remarkably easy to calculate, the standard errors and associated confidence that can be used to determine whether a pause is statistically significant.

    Jenny, I am sure you could do it (in the unlikelihood you can’t , then surely there must be colleagues at the I.P.A. that could help) and certainly someone with engineering background of Malcolm Roberts should be able to do so as well.

    To help you along , I suggest you use the Excel LINEST function, or alternatively the data analysis add in, to check for statistical significance. You can plug any of the data sets from UAH or RSS or anywhere else into Excel. I can save you the effort required, as none of them show any evidence of a statistically significant pause for any data, but you can confirm this for yourself. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist or even an astrophysicist to use these widely available tools.

    Alternatively you can avail yourself of these two web sites that calculate the significance directly. These two sites https://moyhu.blogspot.com.au/p/temperature-trend-viewer.html and http://www.ysbl.york.ac.uk/~cowtan/applets/trend/trend.html also importantly include the effect of serial correlation of the data that cause the confidence levels to widen and the pauses become even more statistically insignificant than for the simple Excel calculations.

    I apologize for sounding so condescending, but my lack of tolerance,for the nonsense that is propagated on this site, appears to be similar to that of Steven Mosher. If this is the best that can be put up as fodder for your committed followers then Jennifer, you must assume they are all boundlessly gullible which, after reading some of the comments, could indeed be true.

    Similarly for the honourable Senator Roberts, whose comments are a major disservice to climate change scepticism .I will refrain for using the dreaded ‘d’ word to describe him despite some of his earlier bizarre comments regarding cabals, which earned him the opprobrium of Andrew Bolt . However, if you can stomach it, you can get an idea Robert’s warped mindset by checking his web site. The material at http://www.climate.conscious.com.au/docs/new/14_Appendix.pdf is particularly illuminating.

    Not for the squeamish.

  19. Mack August 22, 2016 at 10:21 pm #

    @ Steven Mosher,
    “NASA use data that has ALREADY BEEN HOMOGENISED!”

    Yeah, homogenised data…pastuerised data..whatever. It’s done by either one pack of corrupt, “cause” driven, govt trough feeding “scientists” or another.

    get that through your head.

  20. Jennifer Marohasy August 23, 2016 at 2:23 pm #

    Just filing this here: The self-belief of Malcolm Roberts was put to the test in last week’s ABC panel discussion, Q&A, and the newly minted One Nation senator for Queensland came out with flying colours.

    There was laughter in the audience and indifference from the panel at his claim that the world is not warming and there is no human link to climate change, but that only seemed to stiffen his resolve.

    He did not blink when he said most climate scientists do not believe humans cause warming or that global climate models are “hopelessly wrong” or that sea level rise is “natural and normal” or rising carbon dioxide levels are a result of warming, not a cause.

    When British physicist Brian Cox ran through a string of broken climate records, culminating in a NASA graph showing unprecedented global temperatures, his composure was something to behold.

    He cited a 2014 claim by a Steven Goddard that “the 1930s were warmer than today” and that NASA had manipulated temperature data to reduce temperatures in the 1930s and inflated them in recent years, adding, “that’s a fact”. Saying “that’s a fact” does not make it so.

    Goddard (a pseudonym – his real name is Tony Heller) has never authored a paper on climate change in a peer-reviewed science journal, and his claims about NASA corruption have been supported only by the most rusted-on contrarians.

    Roberts would wear that badge with pride. If we want to understand his self-assurance, a good starting point is an Australian group in which he has been the leading voice, the Galileo Movement.

    To Roberts, scientists who do not share his views are dogmatic ideologues suppressing truth and threatening freedom.

    In the early 1600s, when the Catholic Church was teaching that God made Earth the centre of the universe, Galileo’s observations of the heavens led him to write that Earth revolved around the sun. He was not the first to say so but he is the one Roberts wants us to remember.

    In 1633 the Roman Inquisition found Galileo guilty of heresy and ordered him to recant, which he did. Contrary to the views of some he was not executed nor tortured or thrown in a dungeon.

    He died an old man after living out his days under house arrest at his Tuscan villa.

    Galileo defied the orthodoxy of his time and was ultimately vindicated. In the 21st century Roberts has sought to take on that mantle, but it is not a good fit.

    The Galileo Movement says it honours Galileo’s achievement in replacing religious doctrine with “solid observable data” and standing up to “entrenched, dogmatic religious and state beliefs suppressing the truth”.

    “He was enslaved that we could be free,” says the movement’s manifesto. “His greatest gift is beyond his science, it is our freedom … That is now threatened as ideology seeks to replace science and control seeks to replace freedom.”

    To Roberts, scientists who do not share his views are dogmatic ideologues suppressing truth and threatening freedom.

    That sentiment has motivated a string of hectoring letters he has written over a decade (posted on his website) to scientists, their employers, bureaucrats and politicians.

    The spirit of the Inquisition lives on, as Roberts says. Ideology is being used to mask inconvenient science and protect entrenched positions.

    He would have us believe that the modern equivalent of the Inquisition, manipulating the public debate about climate, is the established scientific order, represented in Australia by universities and bodies like the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO.

    Dan Brown or Michael Crichton could not have come up with a thicker plot: Brian Cox as front man for a bunch of grand inquisitors hellbent on taking over the world (via the United Nations) and ruining the global economy on the false pretext that burning fossil fuels is bad for us.

    It sounds funny, but Roberts, mining engineer, is soon to be sworn in as Senator Roberts. Alongside his party leader Pauline Hanson and two other One Nation senators he can now bring his zeal to Parliament, already home to a cohort of climate change deniers.

    The spirit of the Inquisition lives on, as Roberts says. Ideology is being used to mask inconvenient science and protect entrenched positions.

    But the inquisitors of today are not to be found in the Brian Coxes of this world.

    Cloaked in certainty and impervious to criticism, they come in the likeness of Roberts himself.

    Peter Boyer began his journalism career at the Mercury. He wrote about Antarctic science for many years before training as a climate change presenter. In 2014 he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services to science communication.

    Published at: Talking Point: Laughable conspiracy theory set to be peddled in Parliament

    PETER BOYER, Mercury
    August 23, 2016 12:10am

  21. MikeR August 24, 2016 at 4:19 pm #

    Jennifer,

    I gather from your last post directly above that you have sensibly distanced yourself from Malcolm Roberts.

    A wise move, but what is it about Queensland politicians? Maybe it’s the heat? Which may mean it’s going to get worse. God help us.

    Rather than invoking Galileo. I think one should go back further to ancient Rome to the days of senator Incitatus to find something comparable to this latest fruitcake.

  22. Bob fernley-Jones August 24, 2016 at 5:37 pm #

    Re Peter Boyer,
    He’s new to me but here we have another journalist earning a living in “Science Communication”. It seems a pity that amongst his awarded skills he didn’t notice that Prof Cox brandished a graph of unstated provenance and coverage. Cox also did much arm waving and theatrically spluttered and shouted various misleading statements and importantly evaded valid scientific challenges. In brevity we have:

    Within the first few minutes Malcolm Roberts twice expressed astonishment that Cox does not follow “The Feynman Principle”. Unfortunately, the other panellists, the chair, and maybe 97% of the stacked audience apparently had no clue what that important scientific principle is. Roberts was cut off by everyone including Cox who didn’t blink an eyelid at that inconvenient point, and there was no response other than frequent bulk audience applause.

    Also early-on before Cox childishly threw the mystery graph at Roberts, the Senator asked about that strange bump in the middle centred on about 1940. If he had been allowed to continue, perhaps Roberts could have elaborated that there was a sharp warming period beforehand very similar to that up to about the end of the 20th century. However, the increase in atmospheric CO2 did not really get going until the heavy industrialization during WW2 and subsequent population growth etcetera. Yet, it marked a cooling period from 1940 that even caused some alarmist climate scientists in the seventies to warn of catastrophic cooling.

    Cox also seemed incognisant of the significance of the 2015/16 El Nino, a major natural spike over underlying trends, and that it has fallen away much faster than the previous Super El Nino* of 1997/8. (Both RSS and UAH satellite datasets show July 2016 to be significantly cooler than July 1998, nineteen years ago). *http://www.alternet.org/third-ever-super-el-nino-underway-heres-what-north-america-can-expect

    It is true that some of the comments by Roberts were controversial such as the length of “The Pause” that is now disrupted (but which it seems may well resume say next year apparently heading towards a typically “corrective” La Nina) but he should be admired for remaining calm in the face of such hostility from Cox and all (BTW Cox is not even an Earth Scientist but a not-on-this-Earth Particle Physicist turned TV personality and self-admitted political activist).

    As this UK analysis of that Q&A show puts it, he did well under such pressure. http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/08/18/prof-brian-cox-gorgeous-lips-lovely-smile-crap-scientist/

    It’s yet another case that a “Science Communicator” prefers to uphold the big scare than to actually communicate to the public on some important scientific principles such as that by Feynman.

    In fact, in Boyer’s Mercury article there is very little “Science Communication”. For instance, he wrote seven paragraphs on Galileo’s stand against the Catholic religious consensus in the 1600’s in which the centrepiece is this:

    “Galileo defied the orthodoxy of his time and was ultimately vindicated. In the 21st century Roberts has sought to take on that mantle, but it is not a good fit.”

    Erh the last seven words are inherently contradictory to true science which is not determined by voting for a paradigm.

    Lookup Alfred Wegener on Continental Drift (grudgingly accepted later as Tectonics) or more recently Helicobacter Pylori a previously IMPOSSIBLE bacterial cause of stomach ulcers.

    It seems to me that together with other “Science Communicators” Peter Boyer has a vested interest in maintaining scare stories.

  23. Bob fernley-Jones August 24, 2016 at 6:04 pm #

    Sorry,

    I corrupted the first link above by not separating the *

    http://www.alternet.org/third-ever-super-el-nino-underway-heres-what-north-america-can-expect

    Oh and BTW someone anonymous above wrote:

    “The 77 votes that Malcolm Roberts obtained personally from below the line votes demonstrates that he must have a large extended family or it might be from the votes of the entire Queensland membership of the Galileo society. His pathetic vote was significantly less than that obtained by the majority of the 111 unelected senate candidates. Only 24 had fewer votes. Anyone with an ounce of sense can see from his pronouncements and his web site, why it is a good idea to stay well clear of the lad.”

    WTF has his poor electoral vote got to do with Robert’s understanding of science??????

    He is an engineer which is a field of applied science involving physics and whatnot.

    For instance, the so-called rocket scientists who ‘put man on the Moon’ were predominantly engineers FFS.

  24. jennifer August 24, 2016 at 7:17 pm #

    Bob F-J,

    You are a champion! And I very much appreciate all your efforts over at OLO.

    I’m told the article at OLO has been viewed/opened/read by over 13,000 people as of yesterday: a good number.

    Jen

  25. hunter August 26, 2016 at 12:11 am #

    It is the persistence of the climate committed in sticking to their claims no matter how often proven false and no matter how divorced form facts that makes the like of Cox interesting.
    I wonder what mental tricks he sues to appear to have integrity when his argument contains so little of the same?
    Keep up the good work, Jennifer.
    I was at a talk by a famous Nobel Science prize winner a few years ago. He announced that he was part of a group raising awareness of the climate catastrophe. He used out of date charts, made false claims about extreme weather, etc. I politely and respectfully asked him as we happened to be walking out in the same direction, if he was aware that much of what he spoke about had been disproven or was out of date. He smirked and walked away.
    I doubt if a light weight like Cox will permit himself a moment’s reflection or critical thinking on this. He has found a good gig, after all.

  26. hunter August 26, 2016 at 12:15 am #

    MikeR August 24, 2016 at 4:19 pm # ,
    Thanks for demonstrating the mental capacity of the climate catastrophe true believer so clearly.

  27. MikeR August 26, 2016 at 3:19 pm #

    Bob Fernely Jones-

    Do you mind if I call you Bob for short, if that is indeed your name? From your contributions, I would have definitely opted for anonymity You do know this material stays on the net for ever and a day. As Sir Humphrey would say ‘a brave decision’.

    On other matters , according to Bob above , the ‘mystery graph’ shown by Brian Cox has unstated provenance and coverage. Quite astounding! it should have been obvious to anyone who has any familiarity with the subject, what was shown was NASA GissTemp data – see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrumental_temperature_record#/media/File:Global_Temperature_Anomaly.svg .

    The ‘strange bump’ in the graph from the early 40s happened to correspond to world wide events which presumably even Bob has heard of. A possible explanation for this bump (remember the Feynman principle that you have to consider every possibility) is that during this period there was a change in the way sea temperatures were measured see- https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn14006-buckets-to-blame-for-wartime-temperature-blip .

    By the way the transition to LA Nina is proceeding at a very much slower rate than it did in 1998 so a comparable drop in temperatures may take longer than it did then. Recall that satellite temperatures are delayed about 4 to 5 months after the ENSO but remember the adage ‘ be careful about making predictions especially if they are about the future’..

    I hesitate to argue from authority the credibility chasm is so enormous I will make an exception in this case. A list of publications for Professor Cox can be found at http://www.manchester.ac.uk/research/brian.cox/publications . Even more impressively he has also recently became a Fellow of the Royal Society. There are less than 20 fellows in Australia so I doubt if our Malcolm is on the list.

    However a quick search on Google scholar for Malcolm Roberts returned an impressive 98 publications on climate science. Unfortunately it was a Malcolm J Roberts who works works at the UK met office Hadley centre.

    Google scholar returned zero publications for a Malcolm I. Roberts. He has had one paper published, other than his own website and on the Galileo web site. In 2005, Roberts wrote a paper for the Australasian Coal Operators’ Conference titled: “Understanding Organisational and Personal Behaviours to Sustain High Productivity and Safety”. I am not sure if it was peer reviewed.

    Near the end of his first comment above Bob stated –
    ‘Lookup Alfred Wegener on Continental Drift (grudgingly accepted later as Tectonics) or more recently Helicobacter Pylori a previously IMPOSSIBLE bacterial cause of stomach ulcers.’

    Yes, there have been numerous cases where the orthodoxy has been overthrown and a paradigm shift has occurred. These scientists were involved working in their field or an allied field ( look up https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Wegener and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Marshall and were well credentialed scientifically.

    I am not sure why Bob mentioned these names in the context of a discussion about Senator Roberts. Is he seriously suggesting that Senator Roberts is of the same calibre?

    As well as these outliers there have also been scientific failures at such as cold fusion and poly-water which were sometimes supported by well credentialed scientists and then there are the cases of blatant academic fraud see http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Modern_frauds_in_science

    Likewise for those who have little formal scientific training the record is not good. .There have been outright frauds such as the infamous Firepower scam that snared gullible businessmen and politicians (why do scientific illiterates gravitate to politics?) . There have also been an almost infinite number of cranks who publish either online on their web site or have YouTube videos,. There is a whole genre on YouTube of eccentric individuals claiming to have invented perpetual motion machines. Usually a succession of videos in which they say that the just need to remove a bit more friction from their machines and it will definitely work!

    In summary, for everyone who has fought the scientific and sometimes religious establishment and has prevailed and consequently revolutionized science, there are countless more that have failed miserably (Lysenko comes to mind). In the broader realm outside of formal ,science the number of cranks to geniuses is several orders of magnitude greater.

    So is Malcolm just another crank amongst the many or a misunderstood genius?

    This is the question. I think one can only answer in terms of the balance of probabilities. Due to the numerical disparity , between cranks and bona-fide geniuses, the odds are against Malcolm being in the latter group. Accordingly if you use conditional probability, in light of the deranged material he publishes on his web site, the odds for Malcolm become vanishingly small

    With regard to your last statement regarding engineers and moon landings. Malcolm’s credentials as a mining engineer may or may not be very good I but I was unaware, until Bob pointed it out, that he was involved in the Apollo program.
    There has been talk of mining the moon for minerals in the future so maybe Malcolm’s talents could be utilized in a productive way. Maybe he could join the proposed Mars expedition. Don’t tell him its a one way trip.

    Finally I was also curious about Bob’s use of the term FFS which may be an acronym for a vulgar expression. But due to the obvious intellectual capabilities and refinement of Bob I think he may have inadvertently left out the letter ‘E’ before the ‘S’ so really it was FFES he meant. I think he may have been referring to fellowship of the organisation http://www.theflatearthsociety.org which I suspect he thinks is as prestigious as being an FRS.

    p.s. by the way Bob, the reason I pointed out that there were only 77 votes explicitly for Malcolm R was as a reassurance that the kind of psychopathology on display only appeals to a very limited, number of fringe dwellers. I wasn’t using it to disparage Malcolm’s understanding of science. His own comments suffice.

  28. Robert R Thomson August 26, 2016 at 5:48 pm #

    Hello,
    Does anybody know whether Mr. Cox is reading any of this?

    I don’t have a Twitter or Facebook account.

    Has somebody or can somebody forward a URL or
    two along to one of his social media sites?

    Get a URL from JO Nova and then there are the comments
    in Watts up with that. Send that URL as well.

    Thanks
    Robert
    Brisbane

  29. MikeR August 27, 2016 at 6:37 pm #

    I see from above that Bob has received an endorsement from Jennifer for his work on On Line Opinion.

    Seeing I had a bit of time on my hands, I went over there and had a look for myself. I read Bob’s first comment (see http://forum.onlineopinion.com.au/thread.asp?article=18459&page=3 ) with much bemusement .

    Before tackling his nonsense it may be a good idea to reintroduce the concept of statistical significance which I referred to above in my first comment.

    Particle physicists, like Brian Cox, are particularly obsessed with statistical uncertainty, witness 5 sigma results required for statistical significance to confirm the discovery of the Higg’s boson.

    In contrast, in the field of climate change quackery the usual methodology does away with such notions and typically involves a reliance on cherry picking.

    Measurement of the statistical significance is a good way of confirming or rejecting this nonsense. Usually the number of cherry picked months to locate a pause are very limited. Consequently if you change the starting month by one or two months then the pause evaporates.

    The test for statistical significance is in effect telling you how sensitive the result is to the choice of starting date. Needless to say the claims of pauses in the global data are so dependent on cherry picking that any mention of the statistical significance of the claim is usually greeted with silence by those who have an emotional investment and naïve belief in the pause .

    Returning to Malcolm for a moment . If he had been involved in the hunt for the Higg’s boson, using his engineering nous, he would have announced it on day one from the first uptick in the data, rather than meticulously accumulate data for a year or more to confirm the this. He would had Higgs bosons coming out of every orifice..

    Like Malcolm , I can’t believe Bob has been anywhere near a scientific paper that has been peer reviewed or published in a reputable journal (I don’t include in the term reputable, those open access publisher of last resort which seem to predominate in the climate denial field). I may be wrong and if so Bob should kindly provide a link to his peer reviewed paper.

    Now returning to Bob’s statements, two of which statements are very, very silly..

    Here is the first –

    ‘If Senator Roberts had been allowed to continue he might well have been able to point out that clearly it does not correlate with the CO2 curve’ and ‘. There is no correlation between El Nino and CO2’.

    Now this definitely deserves a full on FFS of the vulgar variety . Who in their right mind would try to correlate the relatively short term variations with a single monotonically increasing (except for small inter-annual variations) function like increasing CO2?

    If you ever wanted a prime example of a straw man argument, this one is a beauty.

    Bob should try and fit a straight line to a sine function and see what results he gets by changing the start and end points of his fits. He could report back with his results and maybe, if his Excel skills are up to it, he could be more sophisticated and add a linear trend to the sine wave. He could then attempt to work out, using the cherry picking techniques, the underlying trend. Give it a go, Bob.

    In fact the long term behaviour of the temperature record does correlate reasonably well with CO2 in the long term (longer than the semi-regular modulations due to ENSO and other shorter term forcings and the duration of intermittent one off events such as volcanic activity) . For a fit between UAH global temperatures and CO2 since 1979 until the present , see https://s20.postimg.org/gf2r8ivvh/UAH_and_CO2.jpg .

    In contrast the El-Nino(ENSO) signal is flat for the period 1979 until the present so that it cannot account for the long term upwards trends in temperatures for all data sets. For those who prefer MEI, it is actually decreases over this period.

    So the correlations depend strongly on the time period. ENSO does correlate to a certain extent with shorter term variations of global temperature, especially if you correlate ENSO with the appropriate 4 or 5 month delay in the case of the satellite data, see https://s20.postimg.org/jqn9wljh9/UAH_and_Nino34.jpg

    In his second silly statement Bob also complains about the fact that GISS (it’s all a conspiracy) does not show the 1998 El Nino as prominently as the UAH and RSS satellite data.

    To quote –
    ‘If you compare this with today’s GISS graph you may notice a strange thing that the formerly known “1998 Super El Nino” so very prominent in the satellite records has also been disappeared by GISS’.

    This has been noted on many occasions, such as at https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/05/14/satellite-temperatures-and-el-nino/ and at https://www.carbonbrief.org/explainer-how-surface-and-satellite-temperature-records-compare (Bob you should read more widely) that El-Nino and La Nina affect the tropospheric temperatures much more strongly (and correspondingly satellite data ) compared to the surface based temperature records such as GISS.

    For instance the correlation coefficient (R2) for the linear fit to GISS from 1979 until the present is currently running at R2 =0.63 compared to 0.34 for UAH and 0.39 for RSS. This does not mean that the surface data is ‘better’ than the satellite data.

    It just means the variations due to ENSO and other short term variations cause much larger departures from linearity for the satellite data. This is also the reason that the satellite data is beloved by some many followers of the ‘holy pause’ because these larger departures allow many more opportunities for cherry picking.

    To reinforce this idea for those who are less mathematically inclined, a very simple illustration is at http://climatica.org.uk/climate-science-information/uncertainty . In this context, the most useful illustration is the dog on the leash at the bottom.

    If you just follow the path of the wandering dog and not the person ‘forcing ‘ the dog via a leash (CO2) , you should be able to draw some conclusions about the presence or absence of a leash and/or a driving force .If the leash is long (UAH) then it is hard to tell whether the dog is restrained or not for a significant time after they start the walk. In contrast for a dog on a short leash (GISS) you can be confident after a short interval that the dog is being led, and for a long enough time to be almost certain.

    Finally, I have to repeat something I have used previously when addressing the deficiencies of another of Jennifer’s resident experts ( I think it was the Man of Iron Carbide). I apologize but it resonates so well with the extreme silliness of Bob’s contribution.

    Bob’s first contribution to the OLO site reminds me of the story of a learner driver being tested who, after mounting the footpath and knocking over a number of pedestrians, then complained to the instructor that the test has been cancelled without demonstrating how brilliant he was at reverse parking.

    Similarly I think I have seen more than enough to judge Bob’ abilities.

    I also believe that stupidity is a communicable disease and until someone provides empirical evidence to the contrary, I will now remove myself from all danger.

    Before doing so, I yet again encourage the readers of this blog and comments to do their own investigations. Don’t naively believe what your read here , even my contributions. It is easy to check, if you have most basic Excel skills and generate your own empirical evidence to test the veracity of the claims made here. The material can be downloaded easily.

    If you don’t do this or develop the skills, then you are in danger of being sold a pup (and probably a mongrel) and I am not referring to the dog on the leash example above.

    The very last thing I want to say, at least for the moment, is to thank Jennifer for allowing this old contrarian, despite my dissenting views , to contribute to the debate here. I think you would agree that there is nothing more boring than an echo chamber comments section. It also reminds me of one of my pet hates, that is watching a pollie on the T.V. giving his spiel surrounded by a supporting cast of head nodders. Highly irritating.

  30. Steve Richards August 28, 2016 at 4:53 am #

    It was good to get Mr Moshers input – to summarise:

    NOAA collect the terrestrial temperature data and homogenise it

    NASA then run the UHI ‘adjustment’ on it and publish to the world.

    Can we be sure that all ‘adjustments’ are valid, not conflicting with each other and are reasonable?

    I wonder why the BOM does not want its methods audited?

    And thank you to MikeR August 27, 2016 at 6:37 pm, if MikeR is his real name?

    Is it impossible for someone who types so much can understand how the pause is calculated? Without throwing the word ‘cherry picking’ about?

    His “Measurement of the statistical significance is a good way of confirming or rejecting this nonsense. Usually the number of cherry picked months to locate a pause are very limited. Consequently if you change the starting month by one or two months then the pause evaporates.” demonstrated first class team membership!

    Starting from todays date, traverse the data set, calculating the trend until you find the first month with a positive slope. Simple! Even a first class team member such as your self, MikeR, should be able to accomplish this with a few months practice.

    He was getting somewhere when he? stated “So the correlations depend strongly on the time period. ”

    Perhaps ‘MikeR’ time periods potentially upset a correlation then we should wait until a stronger case develops.

    Perhaps the ‘climate’ signals that we see are not what we think they are?

  31. MikeR September 1, 2016 at 10:24 am #

    Hi Steve Richards,

    No MikeR is not my real name. Does it matter? It could be Zaphod Beeblebrux for all it matter.

    Apologies for taking so long to get back to you (are you in a different time zone to us Aussies? Or are you an insomniac?).

    It did not take a few months practice. I just had to write a bit of code this morning.
    Here are graphs relevant to what you requested – https://s20.postimg.org/6bpkg9j31/Pause_Buster.jpg .

    They are trendback curves for UAH v6 global and GISS with upper and lower confidence intervals (C.I.). To calculate confidence intervals I have used unbiased estimators of C.I. and adjusted them for serial correlation assuming AR(1) serial correlation. This was based on the paper by by Foster and Rahmstorf , see – http://tinyurl.com/zoq29p3 .

    I am getting hungry so later after breakfast I will get back to you to explain the significance of the graphs with respect to pauses and from how far back you can determine when positive trends are statistically significant.

  32. MikeR September 1, 2016 at 3:44 pm #

    I have had a long lunch, but for those who may need assistance in interpreting the Pause Buster graphs I linked to above, the following should be of assistance.

    A significant positive trend is indicated when the lower confidence interval (blue dashed line) is above zero. This indicates at a sigma of 1.96 (95 % confidence level) that the trend is positive for a trend line starting at the corresponding year. In contrast a statistically significant pause would be indicated if the upper confidence interval (green dashed line) was below zero or equal to zero.

    These graphs indicate that for the UAH satellite data there has been statistically significant warming for periods longer than 23 years with a starting date prior to about 1993 (until the present) . For the NASA GISS data the corresponding period is about 14 years with a starting date around 2002.

    In contrast, unfortunately for those who believe in the pause (and fairies at the bottom of the garden), the green dashed line never even gets close to zero for either data set. Even for the magic cherry picked dates around 1997 to 1998 when the trend is the lowest for the UAH data.

    The lack of statistically significant warming in the UAH data has been noted by Werner Brozek on WUWT see – https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/08/08/will-2016-set-satellite-records-now-includes-june-and-july-data/ (see Section 1).

    However either the subtlety that ‘ no significant warming since 1993’ does not imply a statistically significant pause was lost on him, or he has been deliberately misleading.

    Steven Richard’s is suggesting above (I think?) that we need to wait for a longer period than the 37 years so that we can all be sure that it is warming (or cooling).

    Currently the narrowest gap between the upper and lower confidence levels, is unsurprisingly, the trend from the start of the satellite record in 1979. The best we can say is that for the UAH record, there has been statistically significant warming at rate of 0.12 degrees C per decade (between 0.06 and 0.18 degree C per decade at 95% confidence levels) . Similarly for the GISS data, the trend since 1979 is 0.17 degrees C per decade (between 0.13 and 0.21 degrees C at 95% confidence levels).

    if 37 years is not enough, how long does Steve think we should wait? Maybe until hell freezes over.

  33. Geoffrey Williams September 2, 2016 at 11:36 am #

    Great blog Jennifer; You are as always honest and concise about what you have to say. Brian Cox should stick with astronomy or something more popularist such as full time facebook. Unfortunately for himself Cox’s poor knowledge far exceeds his intellectual ability.
    Geoff W – Sydney

  34. Ian George September 4, 2016 at 7:01 pm #

    Maybe someone can help me here.
    I’ve been checking the August max mean anomalies for NSW. The BoM gives a max mean figure of +0.35 – yet if you check the 148 sites listed, you find the following:
    * the average anomaly comes out at around -0.2C;
    * 95 sites out of the 148 are below average or average;
    *27 out of the 38 districts were below average or average;
    * the gridded map shows areas above average where most of the sites within that are are actually below average (i.e. NW NSW).
    The BoM anomalies in the climate summaries seem to be based on the actual full-time averages of each site (although some appeared to be averaged on the last positional change if over 20 years).
    The BoM also state that anomalies are calculated using the 1961-90 averages. ACORN is also mentioned. This may be why there is a disparity. I have asked the BoM why might these discrepancies occur but as yet have received no reply.
    Summary here.
    http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/month/nsw/summary.shtml

    Keep up the good work, Jennifer.

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