Heartland’s James Taylor hits new low with defamatory false accusations against NOAA

The NOAA’s National Climate Data Center recently announced that the last 12 months were the warmest on record in the “contiguous” U.S., extending the 2011-12 hot streak that has now eclipsed the previous record in 1999-2000 by a half degree Fahrenheit. Apparently, that was just  too much for the Heartland Institute’s James Taylor who used his regular column in Forbes magazine to accuse the NOAA of “doctoring real-world temperature data”. According to Taylor, the “alarmists” at NOAA “simply erase the actual readings and substitute their own desired readings in their place”.

But it turns out that Taylor’s source is none other than hapless climate blogger Steven Goddard, who recently leveled incoherent and unsupported false accusations against James Hansen and NASA’s Gistemp record, as well as NOAA.  Goddard also relies on the same reviled NOAA data in his botched attempt to buttress his case that NASA is “hiding” an 80 year cooling trend. Never mind that the U.S. “lower 48″ represents less than 2% of the Earth’s surface area in any event, or that past attempts to show U.S. cooling have been proven utterly wrong.

If Forbes has a shred of integrity, this  sorry episode will surely result in an abject retraction and apology to NOAA, along with the banishment of Heartland from the magazine’s pages.  And it’s also high time reputable commentators in the mainstream media called out the irresponsible behaviour of Forbes and other right-wing media.

James Taylor’s rant is a swift descent into weirdness, paragraph by paragraph, until arriving at his central thesis:

The bureaucracy at NOAA and NASA who report the U.S. temperature data undertake what they term “correcting” the raw data. These corrections are not just one-time affairs, either. As time goes by, older temperature readings are systematically and repeatedly made cooler, and then cooler still, and then cooler still, while more recent temperature readings are made warmer, and then warmer still, and then warmer still.

In covering the latest Forbes debacle, Jocelyn Feng of Media Matters gives a good summary of the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN), the 1200 station climate data network used by NOAA in to track climate across the U.S.  She also contacted NOAA scientist David Easterly, who mildly observed that the “conclusions of the column sound like pure speculation on the part of the writer.” I’ll say.

In fact, the corrections applied to the station records of the USHCN are both reasonable and necessary to correct errors introduced in the original observation process, as explained in the above USHCN link, and summarized in a 2007 NOAA bulletin describing version 2 of the USHCN.

These artificial changes include station relocations, different instrumentation, and changes in the landscape surrounding the station (e.g. urbanization, removal or planting of vegetation, etc.). Some of these changes may result in “random” changes to the data. For example, even small station relocations can result in temperature readings that are either slightly cooler or slightly warmer than what would have occurred at the former site. Other changes, such changes in urbanization in the vicinity of the station or changes in observing times, can systematically affect temperatures, e.g., add an urban warming bias to the temperature trends. Research has shown that the data from these kinds of changes can be corrected to a large degree based on physical and statistical methods (e.g., see Peterson 2006).

The bulletin goes on to explain that improved correction schemes for station moves and urbanization had been recently introduced as part of version 2 of the USHCN. This gives an excellent opportunity to see the NOAA correction process in action at that time. The following chart compares the NOAA annual US temperature record before (version 1) and after (version 2) these changes.Sure, some of the recent years have become ever so slightly warmer, but so have many of the years between 1910 and 1940. In fact, the impact on the actual long term trend was minimal.

These small differences in average temperatures result in minor differences in annual rankings for some years. The new correction scheme has virtually no impact on the long-term temperature trend as annual temperature trends in Version 1 from 1895-2006 were 0.112°F/decade and in Version 2 the trends were 0.110°F/decade.

Got that? The change in long term trend was infinitesimal. But it actually decreased (if only by 0.002°F)!

This example also makes clear that corrections are not systematically applied to the whole data set, as claimed by Taylor; rather, the correction procedures, which have all been researched thoroughly and published in the scientific literature, are applied to new data as it arrives, with apparently very negligible “ripple” effects back in time. After all, even when the whole data set was updated in 2007 with the advent of version 2 of the USHCN, the effect was negligible. So much for the supposed adjustment of the record “systematically and repeatedly” to show warming.

Still, logic and facts count for little in the Heartland alternate universe. And if I’ve learned anything in my time blogging about climate science, it’s always revealing (and sometimes entertaining) to chase down the actual sources of tinfoil hattery. This time proves to be no exception. Here’s Taylor again:

Science blogger Steven Goddard at Real Science has posted temperature comparison charts (available here, and here) showing just how dramatically the NOAA and NASA bureaucrats have doctored the U.S. temperature data during the past several decades.

Ah, Steven Goddard – well, that explains a lot, although his sudden elevation to a  Heartland go-to source is a bit mysterious, given his only previous Heartland connection was the short  2008 “analysis”, A Tale of Two Thermometers. There Goddard finds cooling in the HadCrut temperature record, among other hilarious claims. Goddard’s parting shot discusses the NASA Gistemp temperature record.

The data has been systematically adjusted upwards in recent years – as can be seen in this graph, reproduced below. Temperatures from the years 1990 to present have more than one-half degree Fahrenheit artificially added on to them – which may account for most of the upwards trend in the NASA temperature set.

Here Goddard is referring to the USHCN corrections discussed above (and to which we shall return). There is no explanation as to how these adjustments to U.S. station data, comprising only 1.6% of the Earth’s surface, could possibly account for “most” of the global trend. Apparently, that has been left as an exercise for the reader.

But Tale is a PhD thesis compared to Goddard’s recent outings. The first link above points to a Goddard post exposing some supposed “corruption” of the NASA Gistemp temperature record by “Hansen et al”. Goddard posts a blinking graph purporting to show substantial post-hoc changes in the 20th century U.S. temperature data. But there are no explanations of which data sets are being compared, so there is no way to even tell if they are equivalent, or represent different stages of processing. And I suspect this might also involve differences introduced after a mismatch in Gistemp’s U.S. data  (originally identified by Steve McIntyre a few years ago) was corrected. If so, Goddard has failed to also show the changes in years after 2000 – all of which  moved down relative to the preceding decade.

The full text of the post, interspersed between three graphs reads:

So what about since 1999? Temperatures have also cooled in the 12 years since Hansen corrupted the US temperature record. …

[shows NOAA trend from 1999-2011]

Bottom line is that the US has been cooling for 80 years, and Hansen et al have completely corrupted the data set.

Lack of evidence aside, there are (at least) two problems with this.

  1. The NOAA U.S. short term linear “trend” was indeed down from 1999 to 2011, as seen in NOAA’s interactive climate summary tool. But the long term trend actually increased after 1999; NOAA has 1930-1999 at only 0.02 F per decade, while the 1930-2011 trend stood at 0.13 F per decade. The 1999-2011 period is simply too short to meaningfully assess temperature trend.
  2. If NOAA “bureaucrats” are “systematically and repeatedly” bumping up recent temperatures, how did they ever allow that short term downward trend?

Now let’s move on to Taylor’s final “evidence” which invokes the Urban Heat Island  and brings us back full circle to the USHCN network and its set of corrections.

Ironically, the government overseers of raw temperature data are doing just the opposite. As Goddard shows here, they are doctoring older temperature readings (when urban heat island effects were minimal) in a manner that makes the older temperature readings seem colder than was reported in the real-world data. At the same time, they are doctoring more recent temperature readings (when urban heat islands are more pronounced) in a manner that makes the more recent temperature readings seem warmer than the real-world data report.

It’s a good thing Goddard has Taylor to interpret his nonsense for him. In the linked post entitled Government Scientists Add Half A Degree, Then Claim That Temperatures Are Above Average, Goddard quotes a CNN report about the smashing of the U.S. temperature record, and then has this (and only this) to say.

Here in the US, these same good people at NOAA have been adding half a degree on to all temperatures for the last 326 months. Then they tell us that we need to have our taxes raised, because their inflated temperatures have been above average for the last 326 months.

As evidence, Goddard presents a single chart from NOAA itself from more than ten years ago, adding a highlight for the last 25 years (with the last, blank decade  left as another exercise for the reader).

Not only are NOAA scientists “doctoring” the “real” temperature record, but they are brazenly broadcasting the fact on their own website!

It turns out that this chart comes from the USHCN description I pointed to at the top. But now we’re ready to take another look. As mentioned before, a series of corrections is applied to the USHCN raw data. In order these are (following NOAA’s more elaborate and referenced summary):

  1. QC: Quality control (removal of “suspects” and “outliers”).
  2. TOB: Time of observation adjustment to adjust for differing and changing observation schedules.
  3. MMTS: Correction for bias introduced by changeover from regular thermometers to the Maximum/Minimum Temperature System at certain stations.
  4. SHAP: Station history adjustment to achieve homogeneity across station moves.
  5. FILNET: Adjustments to infill missing data as well further adjustments for overly frequent station moves.
  6. FINAL (UHI): Final adjustment for urban warming using a regression approach.

Taken together, these adjustments result in the overall effect seen in the above chart. So, as I’ve already shown above, the Goddard-Taylor argument really boils down to an unsubstantiated objection to the correction algorithms themselves. NOAA supplies the following chart that shows the effect of each adjustment step.

If one is interested in trends since 1970, clearly the TOB adjustment is having the largest effect, going from 0 to 0.3 deg F between 1970 and 1990. This adjustment accounts for changes in observation times, which apparently have gone largely from late afternoon to morning at many stations, leading to a cooling bias if left uncorrected.

If Goddard or Taylor wants to argue that this adjustment is too large, surely one would expect some evidence or at least mention of the issue. But as far as I can tell Goddard has never even mentioned this and other USHCN corrections, let alone discuss or analyse them, even to the limited extent I have above. Meanwhile, NOAA provides excellent short explanations, with pointers to all the papers for would-be auditors to knock themselves out.

For example, why did net station history adjustments go up in the second half of the twentieth century?

Application of the Station History Adjustment Procedure (yellow line) resulted in an average increase in US temperatures, especially from 1950 to 1980. During this time, many sites were relocated from city locations to airports and from roof tops to grassy areas. This often resulted in cooler readings than were observed at the previous sites. When adjustments were applied to correct for these artificial changes, average US temperature anomalies were cooler in the first half of the 20th century and effectively warmed throughout the later half.

As for urban warming adjustments, these have also been incorporated. But the magnitude has only reached about 0.1 deg F. Again, though, this is in line with others’ research on the topic, including the contrarians’ last, BEST hope.

[Update, June 22: In USHCN version 2urbanization effects are accounted as "local" trend changes in the "change-point" analysis step for each station, along with the station history changes. The Reno, Nevada record gives a nice example, with both a step change correction (move to the airport) and an apparent UHI downward correction. However, as already mentioned, the overall impact of the change to version 2 on the temperature trend was negligible. ]

One final observation on the various adjustments: All the curves are fairly flat through most of the 90s as they approach 2000 (the first year not shown). This suggests that the adjustments may well have stabilized so that the average difference between adjusted and raw temperatures has remained steady or even declined in recent years. But Taylor’s accusation implies that this difference should be ever growing as recent temperatures are “systematically and repeatedly” adjusted upward.

In summary, Goddard’s wild and uninformed misinterpretation of NOAA’s own documentation notwithstanding, there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever for these accusations of “doctoring” temperature data.

It would be easy to laugh it all off, were it not for the accessibility to a mainstream media platform that Forbes has provided for this outrageous conspiracy theory. Fortunately, few others have picked up on it so far.

However, it should also not be forgotten that Joe Barton’s harassment of climate scientists was inspired by a Wall Street Journal article that  greatly exaggerated the importance of McIntyre and McKitrick’s 2005 critique of the MBH “hockey stick”. That’s why, as far as I’m concerned, the issue is not just Heartland or other like minded think tanks. Even more disturbing is the continuing complaisance of supposed mainstream media like Forbes and Fox News that continue to peddle defamatory propaganda.

Meanwhile more responsible media still buy into  a false balance between climate scientists and contrarians, or else simply look away.

============================================

[Update, June 21: As I noted in a comment below, many of the relevant papers can be found in USHCN version 2 repository (along with raw, TOB-adjusted and fully adjusted USHCN data sets).]

[Update, June 22: The UAH satellite  "USA48" trend agrees more with NOAA's USHCN record, contradicting the naysayers' claims of flat or even cooling temperatures in the contiguous U.S.

  • 1979-2011 USHCN-NOAA: 0.25 C/decade (0.45 F/decade)
  • 1979-2011 Usa48-UAH LT: 0.20 C/decade (0.36 F/decade)

It should also be pointed out that the satellite record trend  tends to be more volatile and reflects ENSO swings more strongly. So even that relatively small discrepancy is likely to narrow or even disappear during the next El Nino event. Already the USA48 trend has risen to 0.24 C/decade five months into 2012.

Ironically, it was a comment by "Paul S " on Roy Spencer's proposed U.S. Population Density Adjusted Temperature Dataset (PDAT), that led me to this comparison (see also Tamino's Roy Spencer, Man of Mystery post). PDAT has a large downward UHI adjustment leading to an essentially flat trend, which is contradicted by UAH Usa48, Hadcrut  and USHCN. But that contradiction with the data set Spencer himself founded didn't deter him from launching a critique of USHCN a week later. And - surprise, surprise! - it turns out James Taylor used Spencer to level even more far-fetched accusations of NOAA emperature data "doctoring" back in April.

However,  that's a story for another time. ]

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50 responses to “Heartland’s James Taylor hits new low with defamatory false accusations against NOAA

  1. The GISS data sources for everything are included in my article. Your article is an impressive stream of ad homs, in lieu of anything intelligent to say.

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/uncorrupted-us-temperature-data-showed-cooling-from-1930-to-1999/

    [DC: This comment was fished out of the spam filter at 12:28 PM EDT on June 22, about 16 hours after it was posted. ]

  2. James M. Taylor is a Libertarian probably a friend of Koch so no surprise here:
    http://www.libertarian.to/NewsDta/templates/news1.php?art=art2475

    Also Forbes Media is in trouble and it may just take care of itself in the next couple of years:
    http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/tag/forbes-media/

  3. So what you are saying is,, if (Karl, et al. 1986) and Karl and Williams (1987) ) didnt write papers on “Time of Day adjustments” and “The homogeneity adjustment scheme” The continental US would be cooling? Do you know what these papers are based on? I cant find them on the internet.

    • I’m saying these are the kinds of issues that have to be dealt with, before one can estimate a robust long-term trend. So that’s what they did.

      Many of the relevant papers can be found in USHCN data repository (along with raw, TOB-adjusted and fully adjusted USHCN data sets).

      If you mean to ask what the result of simply calculating the trend of the “raw” data set, it would still show warming from 1930 to present, but the trend would be underestimated, because the identified biases would remain uncorrected.

    • Karl, et al. 1986 was only tested on 28 indepentant stations. Is that robust enough to adjusts all stations 0.2 F?

    • The TOB adjustments are applied to individual stations according to the specific changes in time of observation. There is no adjustment to “all stations”; the figure you quote is the overall cumulative effect of the individual TOB adjustments. They are only applied to stations where and when warranted.

  4. renewable guy

    Thank you for a very thorough analysis. Sooner or later this garbage should not be tolerated.

  5. Amazing that every single adjustment in past weather temperature for the past hundred years is colder

  6. Michael D Smith

    I wonder what Steve Goddard would have to say about this. Oh. I guess I can just look at his blog since you aren’t man enough to post his responses here.

    • Goddard commented at Deep DoDo Climate. Different blog, mate.

    • Michal D Smith said:

      “I wonder what Steve Goddard would have to say about this.Oh. I guess I can just look at his blog since you aren’t man enough to post his responses here.”

      What responses? Goddard has never commented here.

      [Edit: As noted below, the comment was caught in the spam filter.]

    • After it came to my attention that Steve Goddard was accusing me of “censorship”, I checked the spam box and found his comment (among 100 or so others). I have no idea why his comment was caught by the spam filter. See above for his comment (it was the first one).

      For the record, Goddard has never been blocked or moderated here and as far as I know this is the first time he has attempted a comment.

    • Oh, he’s got a post up about how his response never got past moderation here. His screengrab’s cropped, so difficult to tell if, based on past performance on most things climate, he got it right anyway.

  7. I think the 0.1 F used for UHI needs to be updated.
    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/heat-island-sprawl.html.

    • NASA has a different algorithm for UHI and so may not match NOAA. Also note the 0.1F overall adjustment is for 2000 and may well have changed since.

  8. DC, have you considered adding Really Sciency to your blog list?

  9. Interesting to note that not only is Taylor being handed his backside in comments at Forbes, but NOAA have commented there as well.

  10. This is a very amusing, but actually quite important and revealing comment, at Forbes. (Permalink didn’t work so I’ll post the salient part):
    _________________________________________________________
    cyruspinkerton 6 days ago

    Last week Jimbo was pushing the story that global warming is a really terrific thing with all sorts of benefits. He even claimed that global warming is responsible for higher crop yields. Hooray!

    But this week, it’s a different story. Jimbo babbles that “raw temperature data show an 80-year cooling trend.” What? There’s been no actual global warming? So according to Jimbo, those higher crop yields are the result of a plant placebo effect? Wow!

    According to Jimbo, crop yields are higher because plants think it’s been getting warmer, even though it really hasn’t. Those poor gullible plants have been fooled by devious NOAA scientists into producing higher yields. Truly amazing!….

  11. The fact is Rio +20 was a waste. No one of importance showed up why? because the scam is up. Why should any temp records be changed? Who in NASA or NOAA has the experience to know what and why adjustments need to me made. How can adjustments be made to .0001 degree. How can global temps be deternined with little to now temp stations on a vast major of the known land surfaces. And I have read and seen the temp articles and changes from Goddards site. You are subject to your own opinions but the facts shown on his site are just that facts.


  12. Who in NASA or NOAA has the experience to know what and why adjustments need to me made. How can adjustments be made to .0001 degree. How can global temps be deternined with little to now temp stations on a vast major of the known land surfaces….

    Anyone who is a reasonably competent programmer/analyst can figure out the following in just a few days of programming/data-crunching:

    1) “adjustments” to raw temperature data hardly change the global-average results (the adjustments pretty much cancel each other out with global-scale averaging). Perform a straightforward area-weighted average of the GHCN raw data (with no adjustments), and you will get results remarkably similar to the results NASA publishes.

    2) You don’t need thousands — or even hundreds — of stations to compute decent global-average surface temperatures. A few *dozen* stations, scattered around the world, will give you results remarkably similar to the NASA results. Dense coverage of land surface areas is *not* necessary. Raw data from just a handful of stations on each continent will produce results very consistent with the results that NASA produces from *thousands* of stations.

    3) An on-the-ball student can learn all the techniques needed to accomplish the above in just a couple of semesters of programming coursework.

    If Steve Goddard weren’t such a lazy, incompetent hack, he would have figured all this out *years* ago.

  13. Outrage at James Taylor in Forbes, ho-hum :-)
    Try PDF @ Fake science,….

    He’s run pictures like the dandy one of the guy blissfully puffing smoke a foot or two away from young girl looking on (first page, next to Taylor’s picture.).

    Look at p.1.4-5, maybe 82-85, and then pp.99 for Taylor background,
    “I studied atmospheric science and majored in government at Dartmouth
    College. I obtained my Juris Doctorate from Syracuse University.”

    Then search for: EPA panel pushes
    That will take you to an article summary from 2001.
    Now do repeated searches for Taylor to calibrate his prolific output in Heartland’s Environment and Climate News, produced by a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) and sent to most US legislators.
    If you can stand it, follow a few choice links and read through a few newsletters. There is a cornucopia of Taylor-written/edited material, but for a small sample, see:
    Feb 2007
    or
    July 2008.

  14. [Update, June 22: In USHCN version 2, urbanization effects are accounted as "local" trend changes in the "change-point" analysis step for each station, along with the station history changes. The Reno, Nevada record gives a nice example, with both a step change correction (move to the airport) and an apparent UHI downward correction. However, as already mentioned, the overall impact of the change to version 2 on the temperature trend was negligible. ]

  15. [Update, June 22: The UAH satellite "USA48" trend agrees more with NOAA's USHCN record, contradicting the naysayers' claims of flat or even cooling temperatures in the contiguous U.S.

    * 1979-2011 USHCN-NOAA: 0.25 C/decade (0.45 F/decade)
    * 1979-2011 Usa48-UAH LT: 0.20 C/decade (0.36 F/decade)

    It should also be pointed out that the satellite record trend tends to be more volatile and reflects ENSO swings more strongly. So even that relatively small discrepancy is likely to narrow or even disappear during the next El Nino event. Already the UAH USA48 trend has risen to 0.24 C/decade five months into 2012.

    Ironically, it was a comment by "Paul S " on Roy Spencer's proposed U.S. Population Density Adjusted Temperature Dataset (PDAT), that led me to this comparison (see also Tamino's Roy Spencer, Man of Mystery post). PDAT has a large downward UHI adjustment leading to an essentially flat trend, which is contradicted by UAH Usa48, Hadcrut and USHCN. But that contradiction with the data set Spencer himself founded didn't deter him from launching a critique of USHCN a week later. And - surprise, surprise! - it turns out James Taylor used Spencer to level even more far-fetched accusations of NOAA temperature data "doctoring" back in April.

    However, that's a story for another time. ]

  16. sydney bridges

    What a surprise that, as the evidence grows, the denialists revert to more and more blatant lies. When your only remaining card is mendacity, I suppose that you play it to the utmost of your ability.

    [DC:Outright mendacity is hard to prove, and I would urge caution in this bald assertion (yes, that's a warning). In most cases, sheer incompetence, extreme bias and willful ignorance can explain contrarian nonsense like Taylor's. That doesn't excuse the refusal of Taylor and his ilk to correct obvious errors and distortions, nor their continuing defamatory accusations stemming from those errors and distortions. ]

    That the overall adjustment is tiny and in fact in “their” favour, means nothing.

    [DC: The adjustments do account for some change in the USA 1.6% (but *not* globally) over the last century and most of the adjustments remove cooling biases at various points in the "raw" records. ]

    After the Heartland’s recent self-immolation act, I guess it’s only outlets like Forbes and their right-wing friends who will publish this slanderous drivel.

    As a Brit, who has been staying in Colorado with friends after an ordered evacuation from where I was working, due to the massive High Park Fire, I suggest perhaps Mr. Taylor would like to come out here to northern Colorado and see how this area is being affected by “global cooling.” We are at 5000 feet and it’s over 100F today. Obviously the start of the next Ice Age. Them thar thermometers have a Librul bias, you know.

    I am at present reading Raypierre Humbert’s “The Physics of Planetary Atmospheres” – an excellent read – and he’s inflating all these temperatures by adding 273.15 degrees to every reading!!! You see it is a conspiracy! Are NOAA and NASA doing this too? That would give Goddard and Taylor conniption fits.

    Of course as a foriegner it has long been obvious to me that the Right here thinks that the US is 98.5 percent of the Earth and the rest of us are the 1.5 percent.

  17. Sydney:
    Since you’re in Colorado, you may be familiar with bark beetles there.
    Given the “cooling trend” claimed by Taylor, it’s odd that they have spread far North though British Columbia, and into Alberta, with the boreal forests across Canada next on the menu.

    In any case, for consistent misrepresentation over a decade+ in Taylor’s E&CN, see PDF @ Fake, science, Appendix Y.1 Global Satellite Temperatures.

  18. sydney bridges

    OK, I’ll assume that it is just incompetence by Taylor. Just as the Heartland was incompetent or ignorant over smoking and health, freons and ozone and radon in basements. However, a repeated pattern of getting things wrong, when it suits the people who are paying you, meanwhile vilifying people like me who believe in global warming as the equivalent of terrorists, does not pass my sniff test. As Oscar Wilde said: “To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.”

    Not ownig up when you are proved wrong is par for the course. I haven’t always been the swiftest to acknowledge my own mistakes and I have seen people in my own country languish in jail for years because the justice system would not acknowledge its errors.

    It’s not only me who suspects that the Right is maybe a tad “truth challenged.” See for example (from The Guardian back home in England ). http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/12050-romneys-bid-to-become-liar-in-chief

    As a single person in my sixties, perhaps I should have just enjoyed the party that has lasted most of my life and not considered the future of others younger than myself and those yet to come. However, these are the people who will pay the price for the Heartland’s (highly remunerative) ignorance and incompetence. They may not judge so charitably.

    Keep up the good work!

    • I have no idea to what extent Taylor believes his own twaddle. But don’t get me wrong: even if he believes everything he writes – in spite of all the contradictions, demonstrable errors and blatant illogic – that doesn’t excuse his misrepresentations over many years, bought and paid for by extreme right-wing industrialists.

      I certainly don’t expect Taylor to suddenly admit and correct his errors. But Forbes is another matter. Clear factual errors, even when made in opinion pieces, should be corrected, especially when these misstatements are used in despicable smear campaigns. The refusal of Forbes, Wall Street Journal or the National Post to do so is an utter disgrace. And so is the silence from responsible media.

    • Gavin's Pussycat

      Taylor has “admitted” his error on the satellite record (which Singer was pushing, and still is) by it quietly not being included any more in the latest version of the “not-the-IPCC report”. They may not have shame, but they do have embarrassment.

    • Gavin's Pussycat

      > maybe a tad “truth challenged.”

      Not just the right… the ‘left’ is capable of it too, given the right circumstances.
      Monbiot unearthed a golden example of this:

      http://www.monbiot.com/2012/05/21/see-no-evil/

      It just so happens that climate change pushes Republican buttons right now. It wasn’t that way with Margaret Thatcher — or today with Angela Merkel. It’s sad, because if any issue ought to be non-partisan, it is this.

    • John Mashey

      GP:
      Here is the May 2012 issue of E&CN.
      p.20 still carries satellite graphs that manage to avoid mentioning the trends found on last line of UAH files, while using the data just previous.
      Fake science, Appendix Y.1 shows how the current style evolved.

    • The 0 in the last E&CN graph (Vostok) is not the same baseline as the 0 (“normal”) in the UAH charts. UAH is now 1979-2010 average; the Vostok graph is probably 1950 (1950 is usually used as “present” for long-term graphs).

  19. sydney bridges

    John,
    Yes the beetle kill is all too obvious round here with huge areas of dead trees. Once the fire touches them it races away. And I read recently that “global cooling” is allowing two generations of bark beetles a year to emerge. They must be drinking antifreeze! See:
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/04/30/446908/global-warming-is-doubling-bark-beetle-mating-boosting-tree-attacks-up-to-60-fold-study-finds/
    Also I saw this recently on http://mountain-pine-beetle.blogspot.com/
    2012-05-22
    Troublesome beetles spotted close to Yukon border
    The Yukon Government continues to monitor the Mountain Pine Beetle as it moves north through B.C.

    The beetle has been spotted as close as 50 kilometres from the border, putting Yukon’s pine forest at risk.

    Territorial officials will soon host a meeting on the issue as the government prepares for the infestation.

    So maybe they are poised to strike both east and north.

  20. Is there actually a Steven Goddard these days or is the moniker more of a brand, along the lines of Kentucky Fried Chicken and “Colonel Sanders?” I ask because “Real-Science” and “StevenGoddard.com” often seem to be run by different people.

  21. Sydney:
    Unfortunately, the generate their own anti-freeze. To kill them, one needs either a cold spell in Fall (before anti-freeze), or a colder spell in Winter.

    We see the effects when we fly to Kelowna, B.C. to ski.
    The lumber people certainly know why the beetles are out in force.

  22. sydney bridges

    John, I remember reading many years ago, that some insects use inisitols as antifreeze. Maybe these beetles do. Or they might just store a little D-mannitol from their food as I’m sure the trees have plenty of that along with other sugars and polyhydric alcohols.

    And, Gavin’s Pussycat, I agree that the Left has often been just as egregious on environmental matters. The environmental record of Communism was abysmal. There was a tendency-and probably still is with some on the doctrinaire Left -to see environmental issues as “bourgouis” attempts to preserve things for elitists while denying the workers their rightful share. It’s interesting that that same argument is now used by the one percent against environmentalists.

    Mrs. T certainly recognised the threat of global warming, unlike her erstwhile “advisor-on-something-or another” Christopher Monckton.

  23. You might want to take a look at the recent paper regarding Asymmetric Seasonal Temperature Trends by Judah Cohen et. al. in GRL from February 2012. The paper came up in one of the comments on this blog post:
    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2012/06/message-from-unknown.html
    Here is a draft:
    http://web.mit.edu/jlcohen/www/papers/Cohenetal_GRL12.pdf

    Looking at the figures in the paper, the winters have cooled in mid-latitudes of North America, springs are mixed, but summers and autumns have heated up substantially. The winter and spring cooling could be caused by the shift in autumn/winter jet stream Rossby waves due to loss of Arctic ice pack in late summer and autumn (based on the work of Jennifer Francis discussed in the blog post).

    This surprising result should likely shift the framework for viewing US temperature anomalies.

  24. What might actually be interesting is to look, station by station of how the kreiging of the Berkely record agrees with the NOAA corrections as a quality check on both. The Berkeley method has the advantage that you don’t need metadata

    • Yes, that’s true, and it helps that the initial BEST record used only the same stations as NOAA. However such a check would necessitate access to the comparable BEST intermediate output.

  25. Not only do I doubt Mr. Goddard’s scientific credentials; after doing a thorough search for any details about Steve Goddard and his professional background, I’m beginning to doubt that there’s really any such person.

  26. Great lot of jibberish. Unfortunately what you have said as I read it is that 1 degree of warming in the data since 1930 is adjustment rather than raw data. Exactly what the post you are ripping stated and charted. You just wasted more words. Then you go on to say the adjustments are good. When the adjustments are overseen by a zealot who has suggested that all “deniers should be hung” I have my doubts on the impartiality. Given the crappy state of our current weather stations and the difficulty in knowing exactly what the site effects are over time and when actual readings were taken 100 years ago I am glad they were able to find pretty much the entire warming in adjustments since the raw data shows nearly nothing.

  27. just check out James Taylor’s profile from forbes: http://www.anony.ws/i/2013/10/28/rEYq.png

  28. According to Taylor, the “alarmists” at NOAA “simply erase the actual readings and substitute their own desired readings in their place.

    So by relying upon an anti climate change bloggers unsubstantiated, and not surprisingly, all but made up assertion, Taylor managed to erase the actual facts, and substitute in his own. In order to write a Forbes column – not a blog column, a FORBES column – falsely or at the very least incorrectly alleging that NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, erased the actual facts, and substituted their own.

    So he all but did what he wrongly accused NOAA of doing. While harming NOAA and undermining general climate science even more.

    “If Forbes has a shred of integrity, this sorry episode will surely result in an abject retraction and apology to NOAA, along with the banishment of Heartland from the magazine’s pages.”

    Maybe this should not be reliant upon Forbes “integrity” but is the story itself,and it is incumbent upon other sources to provide it to the media,including Forbes, but also other sources, just like Taylor manages to massage and feed the media. SO do the same. Only, accurately. Which would separately make into a bigger story – the pattern of mistakes and errors.

    Such as, in terms of that pattern, or at least a wild example of it, a Forbes piece I reference (and link to) here http://theworldofairaboveus.blogspot.com/2014/07/roy-spencer-exhibit-that-climate-change_26.html where Taylor uses “alarmists” for climate scientists throughout the piece. Which sure isn’t journalism, but which even yahoo picked up and posted with a major headline that turned out to be highly misleading as well.

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