The most recent twist on the “global warming has stopped” meme is the citation of highly respected researchers in support of that incorrect, yet somehow persistent proposition. Once again, the charge is being led by leading climate contrarian Patrick Michaels, ably assisted by Paul “Chip” Knappenberger.
Earlier this year, Michaels’ World Climate Report cited two papers (Easterling and Wehner, 2009 and Solomon et al 2010) as demonstration of mainstream acknowledgment that there has been “no warming whatsoever over the past decade”.
But a closer examination shows that Solomon et al were actually citing the earlier Easterling and Wehner, a paper itself deeply critical of skeptic “cherrypicking” of short-term trend start points. Even worse, discussion of these two papers at World Climate Report contains some of the most egregious examples of quote mining and distortions of others’ work I have ever seen.
To be sure, Solomon et al do acknowledge that warming in the 2000s has been less than projected by the IPCC model ensemble and shows flattening relative to the previous decade (hardly controversial propositions). But their analysis of smoothed observations and decadal model projections implicitly rejects the contrarian obsession with short-term trends, and points the way towards a more compelling characterization and comparative analysis of model projections and observations.
World Climate Report (hereafter WCR) does not provide author information. However, most recent cited articles (for example, at the Cato Institute) give WCR chief editor Patrick Michaels and WCR administrator Paul “Chip” Knappenberger as joint authors. Moreover the blog post in question, What’s Happened to Global Warming, is completely consistent with Knappenberger’s repeated claim that “global warming has stopped”, made recently at the Heartland Institute conference and elsewhere. So until otherwise advised, it’s reasonable to attribute the article to the pair. (It’s also worth noting the ties of these authors and World Climate Report to interests implacably opposed to the regulation of greenhouse gases, as documented at the SourceWatch links given above).
So, without further ado, here are Michaels and Knappenberger on Easterling and Whener’s Is the Climate Warming or Cooling (Geophysical Research Letters, 2010)?
Easterling and Wehner begin their piece noting that “Anthropogenic climate change is one of the most contentious scientific issues of our time. Not surprisingly the issue has generated numerous blogs and websites with a wide range of views on the subject. According to a number of these sources the climate is no longer warming, in fact, some claim the planet has been “cooling’’ since 1998”. They immediately admit that “It is true that if we fit a linear trend line to the annual global land-ocean surface air temperature” “for the period 1998 to 2008 there is no real trend”. Correct – the satellite-based, balloon-based, and thermometer-based global temperature records show no warming whatsoever over the past decade. Claims that the Earth’s temperature is rising at an unprecedented rate are clearly false – nothing could be further from reality. [Emphasis added]
Now let’s look again at that last quote from Easterling and Wehner, but this time with the rest of the paragraph that Michaels and Knappenberger don’t want you to see:
It is true that if we fit a linear trend line to the annual global land-ocean surface air temperature … for the period 1998 to 2008 there is no real trend, even though global temperatures remain well above the long-term average. The unusually strong 1997–1998 El Nino contributed to unusual warmth in the global temperature for 1998 at the start of this period resulting in only a small, statistically insignificant positive trend. However, if we fit a trend line to the same annual global land-ocean temperatures for the 1977–1985 period or the 1981–1989 period we also get no trend, even though these periods are embedded in the 1975–2008 period showing a substantial overall warming. Furthermore, if we drop 1998 and fit the trend to the period 1999–2008 we indeed get a strong, statistically significant positive trend. It is easy to ‘‘cherry pick’’ a period to reinforce a point of view … [Emphasis added]
The trends for 2000-2009 are also positive in all three surface data series. So even if one accepts the short-term linear trend as an appropriate metric, the claim that “thermometer-based global temperature records show no warming whatsoever over the past decade” is an outrageous lie. No more, no less.
Next up is the February 2010 Science article from Solomon et al, Contributions of Stratospheric Water Vapor to Decadal Changes in the Rate of Global Warming. Michaels and Knappenberger gleefully quote the opening paragraph:
…. However, the trend in global surface temperatures has been nearly flat since the late 1990s despite continuing increases in the forcing due to the sum of the well-mixed greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, halocarbons, and N2O), raising questions regarding the understanding of forced climate change, its drivers, the parameters that define natural internal variability, and how fully these terms are represented in climate models. [Emphasis added]
Michaels and Knappenberger comment:
Admitting that the trend in global temperatures has been flat over the past decade will not win any awards for this team, so we once again applaud their honesty. [Emphasis added]
Notice that “nearly flat” is now simply “flat”. They might as well have replaced “nearly” with an ellipsis “…”. That would have been so much simpler.
And, once again, Michaels and Knappenberger exploit confusion about exactly which period (which “past decade”) is being discussed.
But it gets better. For there is the niggling matter of the citation for this sentence from Solomon et al, which turns out to be – wait for it – Easterling and Wehner! But, as we have already seen, that paper points out that the trend “since the late nineties” depends very much on the selection of the start year. 1998-2008 gives a range of linear trend from 0.11C/decade (NASA-GISS) down to 0.02C/decade (HadCRUT). But if one starts in 1999, NASA-GISS jumps to 0.19C/decade, while HadCRUT is at 0.11C/decade.
So it’s even somewhat debatable whether this set of linear trends should be called “nearly flat” since the “late nineties”. But what is not debatable is the dishonesty of Michaels and Knappenberger in citing Solomon et al as further support for the mendacious claim that surface temperatures have been categorically “flat” and that there has been “no warming whatsoever over the past decade”.
That’s especially true when one considers the actual numbers. 2000-2009 saw linear trends of 0.12C/decade in NASA-GISS and 0.05C/decade in HadCRUT. But that’s only part of the story. If one looks at decadal change in 2000-2009 relative to the previous period, both NOAA and HadCRUT were an average of 0.17C above the 90s, while NASA-GISS was a full 0.2C higher.
Not that the contrarian obsession with short term linear trends figure much in Solomon et al; rather, they present a smoothed average of all three surface temperature data sets.
Although the citation of mainstream science research in support of these bogus claims is a recent phenomenon, the claims themselves are not new. As summarized at SourceWatch, Michaels and Knappenberger had a previous go at this last year:
In March 2009, Michaels, under the auspices of the Cato Institute, circulated a draft advertisement that stated: “Surface temperature changes over the past century have been episodic and modest and there has been no net global warming for over a decade now … The computer models forecasting rapid temperature change abjectly fail to explain recent climate behavior.” [Link] The ad statements were analyzed and criticized in detail at the RealClimate blog. [Link]
In support of the statements, Chip Knappenberger of World Climate Report referred readers to recent testimony by Michaels to the House of Representatives Energy and Environment sub-committee. [Link] That too was responded to at length by Gavin Schmidt of RealClimate.org [Link]
The recent submission to Geophysical Research Letters of research by Michaels, Knappenberger and four others (including the surprise addition of James Annan) is bringing new attention to model-observation comparisons based on short-term linear trends. (Knappenberger’s controversial Heartland conference presentation can be viewed at the conference website [PPT presentation and video]).
There are two contextual aspects that should be discussed in assessing this initiative, which seeks to endow short-term trend analysis with some respectability.
First, it should be noted that up until recently short-term trends were rarely discussed in actual published climate science; in fact, the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report goes out of its way to eschew such discussion, preferring to present projections in terms of decadal or longer averages. For example, the medium term projection to 2030 are given in terms of a twenty-year average (2011 to 2030) relative to a twenty-year baseline (1980-1999).
James Annan has noted that the Michaels et al analysis is in line with the approach of Easterling and Wehman, not to mention that of Gavin Schmidt at RealClimate. But these initiatives were meant to rebut the overreaching claims in the blogosphere, as noted above, not as indicators of the way to the most compelling analysis. They should certainly not be cited in support of the view that much can be concluded from a linear fit analysis of ten years of observational data.
But surely if the attempt is to be made to draw inferences from such short periods, there are other ways than simply looking at a ten-year (or even shorter) trend line. An obvious flaw in such an analysis is that it ignores any consideration of the temperature record previous to the period being analyzed. A glance at the following table of various linear trends (in deg C per decade) shows why this may give misleading results:
|1990 – 1999||0.181||0.228||0.244|
|2000 – 2009||0.122||0.068||0.054|
|1990 – 2009||0.188||0.167||0.167|
| 2000s avg. increase
Clearly, there has been some “flattening” in the 2000s even if the assertion of “no warming whatsoever” is exposed for the canard that it is. But it’s equally clear that there are seeming contradictions in the data. GISS actually shows a slightly higher trend over the two decades than for the 1990-99 decade-long trend. HadCRUT’s low (but still positive trend) in the 2000s is somewhat contradicted by a more moderate reduction in the two-decade trend to 2009. And as already noted, the fact that all three series show significant increases in the 2000s relative to the 1990s should also give pause.
I’ll be returning to the implications of such considerations, and alternative analyses of decadal change, in subsequent posts. In the mean time, here is last year’s initial tentative effort at an approach using smoothing and decadal averages. The treatment acknowledges that recent temperatures have been below projections, and at the same time avoids the miasma of interpreting rapidly fluctuating short-term trends.
At that time, I wrote:
So for 2000-2008, the IPCC smoothed projection was an average of 0.33 deg +/- 0.13 deg (90% confidence interval) above the 1980-99 baseline. Both NASA GISS (0.26 deg) and HADCrut (o.25 deg) were within that range, albeit in the lower part.
It should be noted that the stated confidence interval seems fine for the smoothed observation curves, but probably understates the interval for the decadal average. But the approach seems a promising one to explore – namely develop as a test statistic the average over a period of interest (in this case, the convenient decadal projection period 2000-2009), expressed as an increase relative to the immediately preceding baseline period.
But there is a second, more disturbing, element in all of this. In his recent presentation at the Heartland climate conference and elsewhere, Paul Knappenberger repeatedly stretched his conclusions way beyond what could be reasonably inferred or interpreted from the actual analysis (and, yes, I will go into this in detail in a future post). And the categorical World Climate Report claim that there has been no warming “whatsoever” is a clear falsehood.
That yawning gap between informal commentary and published research (whether one’s own or of others) is one of the defining hallmarks of “skeptical” climate science. That’s disgraceful enough, but it also indicates a possible willingness to stretch beyond acceptable limits even within the published research itself.
Consider the following early paper by Michaels and Knappenberger, along with Robert Balling and Robert Davis. Observed warming in cold anticyclones was published in 2000 in the journal Climate Research. (This was only one of many dubious articles edited by Chris de Freitas, whose tenure eventually resulted in the mass resignation of half the journal’s editors in 2004).
As noted in the abstract:
On a seasonally weighted basis, a relatively small area (12.8%) contributed over half of the annual warming, and in the winter 26% of the area accounts for 78% of the warming. Our analysis demonstrates that this warming is almost exclusively confined to the dry, cold, anticyclones of Siberia and northwestern North America.
However, the conclusion goes well beyond anything reasonably supported by the analysis, and even invokes the meme of beneficial global warming:
Strong warming that is confined mainly to the Siberian and Canadian winter has a much different effect on society than a similarly large heating in mid-latitude urban and agricultural areas during the summer. To us, this pattern of temperature change seems a logical ‘discernible human influence’ on the climate when the interplay between greenhouse changes and moisture content is considered. Warming of this air mass type may, in fact, be benign or even beneficial, although the final valuation of global warming remains elusive.
So there is every reason to suppose that the latest Michaels et al submission may contain similarly exaggerated material in its background or conclusion. The refusal by Michaels and Knappenberger, at least so far, to release a draft of the submitted article (not even the abstract) does little to quell such doubts.
While we’re waiting, there will be plenty of other Michaels material to ponder, including his ravings at the Heartland conference. And I’ll also be posting a complete set of abstracts and links for nine of Michaels’ articles at Climate Research (all but one edited by Chris de Freitas). The above quote is just the tip of the iceberg, unfortunately.
It’s disheartening that part of the review process might require checking for potential of quote mining.
I don’t understand why a scientist of the quality of a Patrick Michaels cannot/ does not look beyond a 10-year trend. Interestingly, in his keynote speech during the 2007 or 2008 Heartland conference, Michaels validated the long term trend since 1880.
[DC: Please don’t exaggerate. The latest study goes all the way up to 15 year trends. ]
In any event we are talking about a few decimals of a degree point. Nothing to be concerned about, is the message one should take from all of this. The temperature increase, if any is clearly nominal and well within global norms.
In any event I am really enjoying the news reports that have taken a much more sceptical look at the science. Now that the MSM has tuned out it will be next to impossible to galvanize the public around any drastic action.
When there is some actual quantifiable warming let us know. Until then I look forward to some more articles that read much like a literalists interpretation of the bible. On message to the end to keep the flock on their toes. Keep up the good work, the end is coming!
Derek Schweinsgruber, I’m not sure you should be surprised. This:
is just one thing that might be mentioned.
It is typical to release a submitted copy of a manuscript for public consumption while it is in the review stage? I thought most publications frowned on that (but, admittedly, it has been a while since I checked the fine print).
However, in collegial correspondence with an eye towards getting some comments and perhaps adding some improvements, I’ll be glad to provide you privately with a draft of the paper.
Please email me and we can discuss.
[DC: As far as I know, AGU permits release of the submitted paper at the authors’ own website. This has been done with certain high profile articles or comments. You have released the main parts of the analysis in a highly publicized venue, along with several statements and informal comments interpreting the results. So why not release the whole thing?
For a number of reasons, I don’t feel it would be appropriate for me to review the paper privately.
Since you didn’t object to my attribution of the WCR article, I take it that you assume responsibility for the WCR statements discussed. In my opinion, a correction and apologies to the authors cited would be in order. But I’m not holding my breath. ]
Actual trends are here:
Click to access gistemp2010_draft0601.pdf
in case someone wonders.
The decade of zeros (2000 – 2009) was about .19 kelvins warmer than the 1990’s. Solomon’s paper tells us it could have been worse – perhaps .23.
[DC: That sounds about right. As noted above, the global surface average temperature increase ranged from 0.17C to 0.20C. ]
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“In any event we are talking about a few decimals of a degree point.”
The comparison graphs show that large areas of the far north are over 6C warmer.
NOTE: This is completely analogous to using the warmest temps of the warmest area during the medieval period as the warming to beat to pass the MWP.
The average temperature is 0.15C per decade and there’s only a 3degree difference between a cool interglacial and glacial. 200 years. Of which we’ve gotten ~1/3 already. And accelerating.
None of this is “a couple of tenths of a degree”.
Of course, you’ll ignore any warnings until you’re in trouble, then you’ll complain bitterly how much you’ve paid in taxes but the government doesn’t help you.
“In any event we are talking about a few decimals of a degree point. Nothing to be concerned about”
One curious side effect of arithmetic is that adding more and more “few decimals of a degree point” eventually produces a full degree. and beyond.
As this is part of an on-going research project, I guess I am more comfortable (at least for the time being), in working through the details privately. I don’t think this is an unusual request.
I am a strong believer in publishing in the peer-reviewed literature, so until there seems a more formal way in going from open review to publication, I am resisting simply an open blog release and discussion of the actual paper.
Again, I’d be happy to have private discussion about the details and any comments/suggestions that you may have. Our goal is a formal paper that is of interest to the greater scientific community. As there are several similar papers that have been published on the topic (notably Easterling and Wehner, 2009; Knight et al., 2009), it seems like the there is some out there for this type of analysis.
[DC: With all due respect …
As long as you and Patrick Michaels refuse to withdraw such clear falsehoods as “no warming whatsoever over the past decade” and “the computer models … abjectly fail to explain recent climate behavior”, I could not possibly contemplate a private discussion with you about your research.
That’s only one reason, albeit the most important one. However, I will continue to offer public critiques of your analysis, and your interpretation thereof, which you may or may not find useful.]
I think you will find, from my slide 8 (surface) and slide 9 (MSU LT), that through December 2009, there are several trend lengths of a decade or more than are negative (i.e., not warming).
Besides the difficulty that you have with me overlaying the observed trends on the model probability field, do you find the concept of deriving the model probability field itself unuseful?
Let’s look at the figure for surface.
I’ve already noted that the 10-year trend is positive in all three surface data sets (not that such a short trend length tells us anything meaningful). So is the 11-year.
But you can get a negative trend at 12 years (without statistical significance of course), which happens to start with the super El Nino of 1998. This sort of cherrypicking is exactly what Easterling and Wehner criticized.
So your statement concerning “no warming whatsoever over the past decade” is wrong, even with the dubious reliance on linear trend over the past decade (i.e. 2000-2009). And then you try to wriggle out of it by cherrypicking trends that include 1998.
Even worse, though, is that this obsession with short-term trends obscures the true extent of decadal change in the surface tempearture record, as I’ve already explained in excruciating detail.
I don’t think the short-term trends are meaningful, so as far as I’m concerned you are deriving the wrong model probability field.
If one wanted to take a preliminary look at AR4 models and decadal change, the decadal average increase is a much better statistic to examine.
And, yes, there continued to be significant warming in the past decade, relative to previous decades.
It is very well known that one requires 20-30 years to obtain stat. sig. trends in the noisy SAT records? So why stop at 15 years? What was your scientific motivation for stopping at 15 years? How about comparing mean decadal temperatures?
I would encourage you to extend your analysis to include trends up to 20 plus years.
There are several problems with extending the analysis to 20 years. The first is that the observed record has a big volcano about 20 years ago–a forcing type that is not included in the A1B scenario. The second, is that the warming rate from A1B is not constant, so we can’t really use the projections much past the year 2020 and claim that they fairly well represent expected temperature evolution during the current period. And using only model projections from 2001-2020 limits the degrees of freedom a bit in our trend distributions (i.e. we only have a single realization from each model run). The latter issue is not a killer in and of itself–so it is the former (Pinatubo) that presents more of a problem.
Thanks for clarifying Chip.
I’m surprised that no-one has yet made reference to Hansen’s new paper (a work in progress), in which they state (referring to their Fig. 21):
“On the contrary, we conclude that there has been no reduction in the global warming trend of 0.15-0.20°C/decade that began in the late 1970s.”
I am also surprised that Knappenberger is upset with your critique of his work, work that he has elected to place in the public eye. If it is out there, then surely it is fair to critique it, especially when it is known to misrepresent the work of scientists (e.g., Solomon et al.).
I agree with DC, Knappenberger and Michaels should retract the falsehoods contained within the WCR.
You say I am not on point, but fail to support that assertion. You introduced Knight et al. (2009), I was addressing your misinterpretation of their work.
You say “for some reason, most folks in this thread seem to think that I don’t think the world has been, is, and will continue to warm.”
IMO, you only have yourself to blame for that. For example, why on earth do repeatedly say (most recently at the Heartland Conference) that that “global warming has stopped”? That is an inaccurate, premature and grossly misleading statement. Not to mention irresponsible.
I personally have no issue with scientists looking into noise/short-term variability in the climate system arising from internal climate modes. I do have an issue when that research or the results are blown out of proportion or not applied in the correct context as was done in the WCR.
I also take issue with you and Michaels misrepresenting the work of Solomon et al. and Easterling and Wehner.
I have asked you this before, but do you plan on issuing a correction/retraction?
After re-reading the full article, I am not really as bothered by the handling of Easterling and Wehner and Solomon et al. in the WCR article as you all are.
So, honestly, I have no intension of altering it.
I’ve always maintained that contrarians make good lawyers and poor scientists. This post reveals several textbook examples of that, including 2 dodgy responses by Knappenberger. Contrarians, like lawyers cherry-pick evidence and phrases to support a weak case.
So presumably you have the same difficulty with Knight et al. 2009. But I can’t seem to find your discussions about that work. Perhaps I am overlooking something.
If not, then it would seem that it is more the message that you object to rather than the methodology. So had I reported that all was well with the models you’d be supportive of my methods?
You seem to be trying to detract from the fact that you were caught misrepresenting the work of Solomon et al. (and others) by making some baseless accusations, and by introducing the red herring of Knight et al. (2009). In the interest of professionalism, honesty and integrity do you plan to issue a correction or have the WCR retract the offending/incorrect phrases?
I think you choose to ignore the underlying message and key observations made in Knight et al. (2009). So yes, you are “overlooking something”. Specifically,
1) Their data covered the period 1999-2008–well, we now have data until May 2010. The first decade of the 21st century was the warmest in the instrumented record, with 2009 the second warmest (after 2005) in the GISTEMP.
2) Knight et al. (2009) state “Near-zero and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or less in the <b<simulations, due to the model’s internal climate variability.”
3) Knight et al. (2009) state “Over most of the globe, local [observed] surface temperature trends for 1999–2008 are statistically consistent with those in the 17 simulated decades”
4) Also, from Knight et al. (2009) “These results show that climate models possess internal mechanisms of variability capable of reproducing the current slowdown in global temperature rise.
5) And last, but note least, Knight et al. (2009) state that “The simulations also produce an average increase of 2.0°C in twenty-first century global temperature, demonstrating that recent observational trends are not sufficient to discount predictions of substantial climate change and its significant and widespread impacts. Given the likelihood that internal variability contributed to the slowing of global temperature rise in the last decade, we expect that warming will resume in the next few years, consistent with predictions from near-term climate forecasts (Smith et al. 2007; Haines et al. 2009)”
So despite your assertions, Knight et al. are not claiming that AGW is a non-issue b/c of short-term climate variability. Their assessment also flies in the face of your fallacious statement that “the computer models … abjectly fail to explain recent climate behavior”, as does the research of Tamino who has also shown the models used for AR4 to be in good agreement with the observations:
Knight et al’s statement regarding the recent trend statement is not entirely consistent with that made by Hansen et al., but they are not looking at the same time windows, nor are they looking at the same SAT records (HadCRUT versus GISTEMP), and the HadCRUT is known to not capture the significant warming which has been observed north of the Arctic circle in recent times.
You seem to by under the incorrect impression that we should expect a monotonic increase in global SAT with increasing GHG concentrations; that, or perhaps you are happy to try and continue perpetuating that myth and/or keep muddying the waters.
Anyhow, one should not expect a monotonic increase and that fact has been stated ad nauseum, yet contrarians jump on every short-term slowdown and/or cooling period with glee.
The (appropriate) long-term trend is up and is statistically significant in all the global SAT records, as well at the satellite data. It is really that simple.
You are not even close to being on point.
I am aware that my conclusions are somewhat different than those of Knight et al. But my method is similar. And since you seem to embrace Knight et al.’s conclusions, you must think their methods are OK.
For some reason, most folks in this thread seem to think that I don’t think the world has been, is, and will continue to warm. I am not sure where this notion comes from. Our current research project is aimed at quantifying the rareness of recent short-term temperature behavior from a model standpoint. If it is rare enough, then it would seem prudent to look into the possible reasons why.
Who would disagree with such an inquiry?
An honest analysis of global temperature data shows warming of nearly 0.2°C per decade. Cherry-picking short-term trends from noisy data, when such trends vary wildly in sign and magnitude, is a blatant and cynical deception. I commend the author of this post for exposing such dishonesty. I have a web page which explains the issue in more detail, here.
Thanks for that, it’s good to see.
Here’s something slightly similar using HADCRUT3
And I emphasise “slightly”. Very slightly.
Here is another really cool (and interactive) tool developed by Colin Sharples which one can use to determine the impact of using varying time windows to calc. trends in the SAT (HadCRUT and GISTEMP) data:
Sorry about the missing link in my earlier post about Dr. Hansen. The quote was from:
Top banana. Ta 😉
Good grief, sorry people! I will, eventually (!) get the Hansen link right. Third time lucky?
Click to access gistemp2010_draft0601.pdf
The very fact that short-term trends are variable is precisely the reason we undertook our analysis. That is, to quantify the expected variability in short-term trends as produced by the climate models, and then see how the observed trends fit within the model distributions. This is one way to assess how good a handle a handle that models have on short-term variability.
> the reason we undertook our analysis
Now are you talking about the analysis WCR posted, described in the first post above?
Or are you talking about the paper that’s going to be published?
Are the two consistent?
I am interested in discussing the paper, but other seems to interested in the WCR article, that is not as bad as everyone thinks it is if they were to read the whole thing.
The statements that everyone seems hung up on are a minor part of the article.
PS, to the author of the WCR piece — you’ve failed cite checking that would get an undergraduate marked down and an attorney a strong lecture from a judge or worse.
Use an ellipsis before a period to indicate omission of the latter part of a sentence.
Place the period inside the closing quotation marks.
Otherwise you mislead the unwary reader.
The original looks like this:
“… for the period 1998 to 2008 there is no real trend, even though global temperatures remain well above the long-term average.”
Correctly indicating alteration:
“… for the period 1998 to 2008 there is no real trend ….”
Note the space before the ellipsis; together they tell the reader something has been omitted from the quoted sentence.
“for the period 1998 to 2008 there is no real trend”.
Look how widely your error spreads:
Result: PR, misinformation.
This is why I can’t stand reading WCR; like CO2Science, it’s just dizzying. You have to check every sentence for sloppy mistakes.
You have correctly ascertained that we no longer employ a copyeditor.
We will gladly accept contributions to help rehire one.
I see two conclusions:
1) These two gentleman understand the difference between noise (short-term) and trend (long-term) and they are intentionally misleading those that do not.
2) These two gentleman do not understand the difference between noise and trend so they should not be discussing such topics in a journal article but instead should be taking a few math courses.
The evidence for global warming is all around us.
There are multiple lines of evidence for AGW, not the least of which is the coupling of tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling.
There is no global cooling.
Shame on them.
Scott A. Mandia, Professor of Physical Sciences
Global Warming: Man or Myth?
My Global Warming Blog
“Global Warming Fact of the Day” Facebook Group
I don’t think you’ve read much that we have written.
For instance, this sentence from our WCR article follows immediately after the first long pull quote in DC’s original post:
“We fully understand that the climate system produces substantial natural variation and even with a robust upward trend, there will be periods of no trend or even cooling.”
And again later in our article:
“We agree – expecting a monotonic increase in global temperatures is inconsistent with historical temperature records, model predictions, and our general understanding of the climate system.”
Nor do I think that you have familiarized yourself with our latest research. James Annan gives a pretty good synopsis here.
I think our math is pretty solid.
I don’t think you’ve read much that we have written.
Nor do I think that you have familiarized yourself with our latest research. James Annan gives a pretty good synopsis here.
False. I read the whole enchilada there before this post. Nothing there changes my mind that describing a decade has anything to do with the long-term trend. Especially when it is atmospheric T that is being measured. Why not include the ocean heat content and the cryospheric trends?
You know, it was dark last night so maybe, just maybe, the sun has disappeared. Shall I blog on why this darkness raises questions about the sun?
Re: the sun. You don’t need to blog about the sun if it rises tomorrow within a few seconds of when you expect it to. But if it rises a minute or two late, it may make you wonder why.
Our research is suggesting, using this analogy, that the sun is somewhere between a few seconds to a few minutes late in rising–late enough to start to wonder why.
Perhaps it will turn out to be nothing, or perhaps tracking it down will lead to improved models and better forecasts. It seems foolhearty not to investigate.
Fair enough, Chip. Good reply. I just worry about the “spin” that may occur by claiming no warming in a decade. We have seen that spin many, many times.
Correction, they did not discuss this in a journal article. Silly me, it would never have made it through the review process. Well, maybe at E & E.
Perhaps a dictionary definition will help Chip understand?
“–verb (used without object)
to cease; come to an end.”
“global warming has stopped” is totally contradictory to your claim that you believe that the world has been warming, and will continue to warm.
Which do you believe? If you don’t believe global warming has stopped, as you say you don’t, perhaps you shouldn’t say it has stopped when giving presentations in public.
the last ten years. such a short time in establishing a point on warming. What is the important issue is WHY the climate has appeared to have stabalized in the last ten years. Until someone understand Why the last decade results have changed you can’t state that the climate is changing for the positive.
The reason for this important point is that what is causing the anolimety (global cooling) can change quickly
To late with all these record warms recorded in 2010 it looks like the change has occured already.
are you ready?
“What is the important issue is WHY the climate has appeared to have stabalized in the last ten years.”
Is this supposed “stabilisation” not being confused with a straightforward, every few decades, statistical “lull” as seen throughout the climate record? A bit like when waves at the sea wall lose their momentum before the next waves come crashing in, yet the tide is still rising, and it’s all in very, very slow motion.
Two people have linked to a data oriented paper
Global Surface Temperature Change
J. Hansen, R. Ruedy, M. Sato, and K. Lobut 2010 *Draft*
but more than a link seems needed.
From the conclusions:
First note the long term trend (Figure 21). The trend is up. It is nicely shown as month based moving averages so you can see that it is still up.
“(5) we suggest a new procedure for use of satellite SST data that takes advantage of the high spatial resolution and broad coverage of satellite observations but avoids the bias in the temperature trend in satellite data [Reynolds et al., 2002, 2010]. We adjust the satellite data by a small constant such that the monthly temperature anomalies of satellite and in situ data are equal over their common area. This procedure is used in our current ERSST+OI analysis. We continue to also provide our HadISST1+OI analysis, without such adjustment, as our standard data product. Because of a cold bias in unadjusted OI data, global warming in ERSST+OI exceeds that in HadISST1+OI by about 0.04°C by 2010. Further study is needed to verify which
of these data products is superior. It is likely that other improvements of the ocean data sets will be available in the near future. For example, none of the publicly available global data sets corrects as yet for a data discontinuity that occurs near the end of World War II [Thompson et al., 2008]. Note that none of these adjustments or uncertainties is large enough to alter any of our major conclusions in this paper.
(6) global warming on decadal time scales is continuing without letup. Figure 8, showing
decadal mean temperature anomalies, effectively illustrates the monotonic and substantial warming that is occurring on decadal time scales. But because it is important to draw attention to change as soon as possible, we need ways to make the data trends clear without waiting for additional decades to pass. Figure 21 shows the 60-month (5-year) and 132-month (11-year) running means of global temperature. The 5-year mean is sufficient to minimize ENSO variability, while the 11-year mean also minimizes the effect of solar variability. Figure 21 gives the lie to the frequent assertion that “global warming stopped in 1998”. Of course it is possible to find almost any trend for a limited period via judicious choice of start and end dates of a data set that has high temporal resolution, but that is not a meaningful exercise. Even a more moderate assessment, “the trend in global surface temperature has been nearly flat since the late
1990s despite continuing increases in the forcing due to the sum of the well-mixed greenhouse gases” [Solomon et al., 2009], is not supported by our data. On the contrary, we conclude that there has been no reduction in the global warming trend of 0.15-0.20°C/decade that began in the late 1970s.”
Solomon, S., K. Rosenlof, R. Portmann, J. Daniel, S. Davis, T. Sanford, and G.K. Plattner.
ScienceExpress, 10.1126/science.1182488, 28 January 2010.
Thompson,D.W.J., J.J. Kennedy, J.M. Wallace, and P.D. Jones, A large discontinuity in the mid-twentieth century in observed global-mean surface temperature, Nature, 453, 646-649, 2008.
What then of Tom’s Riddle?
How can one explain the appearance (data notwithstanding) that the climate has stabilized?
Easily. That appearance is generated by certain people who say it over and over.
Tom and Chip, Hope this helps.
As if to punctuate this thread, NASA announces May 2010 tied for the warmest May ever, following after the warmest April.
“How can one explain the appearance (data notwithstanding) that the climate has stabilized?”
By noting that there is noise in the system and, as Latif noted ages ago (and was ridiculously misquoted and even unquoted but had words put in his mouth) that a noisy data set can *appear* to have leveled when it hasn’t.
Just because you’re now rolling lots of 2’s doesn’t mean the dice is no longer fair.
That headline will become commonplace this decade as we come out of the deepest solar minimum in 100 years. It is clear as day to most of us here now but I have to think that after this decade has passed, it will be very difficult for even the most skeptical person to doubt AGW.
Will it be too late by then?
“…but I have to think that after this decade has passed, it will be very difficult for even the most skeptical person to doubt AGW…”
Don’t bank on it, Scott. Troofers are troofers no matter what the subject, and ideology often overrides reason. Given the number of “troofer enablers” getting famous and making money out of the willing and impressionable, I’m personally convinced this’ll be going on for some time.
communicating your message in such a politically sensitive research field must be very difficult. I can understand that if you are skeptic of AGW every leveling of the temperature rise will (briefly?) affirm your statements. Warmists will use rapidly rising periods for their view. Anyway, I think Chip will agree (correct me if I’m wrong) that we have been having quite a significant temperature rise for a relatively long period. Combined with current estimates of “known” forcings, this is somewhat worrisome (at least). However, one thing (well, there are others too) that is missing in our understanding is why the global temperature shows these decadal variations and how they are caused. I’ve been discussing this with quite a few scientists and they too find it puzzling. There are many candidates for decadal variability (aerosols, natural variability etc etc) but they are poorly understood. Though it is not likely, nobody knows if this “leveling” of global warming in the past decade will continue and for how long, or that we will see another period of rapid rising temperatures. The temperature record of the previous century shows many “levelings” and upticks of the warming trend on several time scales. Maybe a better understanding (including more and better ways of obtaining measurements) of “where the energy goes” in the Earth’s climate system can provide answers (if that is even possible).
Arjan, I understand that you are trying to nice about it all, but since nature and science are not democratic I ask you consider data. Please look at the Hanson et al. paper that has been linked three times now. This paper has the specific point of laying out and explaining the temperature record during the instrumental period.
Note (Figures 10 and 6) a very strong El Niño in 1998, raising the temperature briefly far above preceeding years. Next, note that La Niña brings the temperature back to the 1995 level. Skipping over the next record year after 1998 (2005) note the La Niña of 2008. It is not hard to see that if you choose a period starting with 1998 or shortly before, and ending with 2008, the short term trend is quite unlike the long term trend. This is cherry picking. It makes a poor impression on people who look at the data. “But still, what explains it?” The behavior, or the short term trend? The explanation of the latter is ENSO.
You say “Warmists will use rapidly rising periods for their view.” But no. Data and physics oriented people look at the period 1880 – present. There is another serious problem with your wording. Denialism is now a recognized set of tactics. There has been a published paper on it and even a book. The best source on the subject is still the Denialism Blog, and the Denialist’s Deck of Cards which is found there. Everyone should become familiar with the cards for self defense. On the other hand, “warmist” is just a cutesy-smartsy term. It is not a defined general term like “denialist” and cognates. Arjan, it gets worse. Are you familiar with the business of manufacturing doubt? See Doubt is our product. Climate change has been very good for this business.
Has the doubt campaign had at least some success with you? You go on to discuss global temperature change over the last century as if it is less understood than it is. Again, see Hansen et al. If you read that and the Thompson et al. paper I mentioned earlier (you can get it from his web site), you will understand that the “hump” in temperature during WW2 is not real. Considering that and other factors mentioned in Hanson et al., you can see that the trend over the last century is not so mysterious.
You refer to “… this “leveling” of global warming in the past decade….” Look again at the data graphs and keep in mind that for several decades now, each calendar decade has been warmer than the previous one, and by an increasing amount. The naughties (2000 – 2009) were no exception. Is “leveling” what it would be called if money and politics were not involved?
Arjan claimed:”Warmists will use rapidly rising periods for their view.”
ORLY? Name some.
Chip Knappenberger said:
“The statements that everyone seems hung up on are a minor part of the article.”
The statement that I am most “hung up on” is the one “there has been no warming whatsoever over the past decade”. This is simply one version of the message that Michaels and Knappenberger repeat over and over, most recently with the Heartland statement that “global warming has stopped”. An oft-repeated crollary is that the “models are failing” (also put forth at Heartland).
The statements fly in the face of the evidence of continued significant warming at the decadal and longer timescale as I and many readers have pointed out.
Moreover, it’s hard to square these statements with Knappenberger’s belated assertion that he thinks “the world has been, is, and will continue to warm.”
Which is it? Has the world been warming and does it continue to warm? Or has global warming stopped?
Frankly, this sounds less like a scientist and more like a lawyer acknowledging that the position he is paid to defend is untenable.
“The statement that I am most “hung up on” is the one “there has been no warming whatsoever over the past decade”. This is simply one version of the message that Michaels and Knappenberger repeat over and over, most recently with the Heartland statement that “global warming has stopped”. An oft-repeated crollary is that the “models are failing” (also put forth at Heartland).”
Exactly both of which I’ve confronted only today elsewhere, within a few posts of each other. The memes are certainly working, but they’re also fun to knock down. It is interesting how quickly the dog-whistles are propagated and go viral, though, even at MSM comment sections.
Pete Dunkelberg you missed my point altogether. I wasn’t trying justify this cool decade but it’s anoliminty can’t be reliable in advancing any climate model. The cause of this seemingly global cooling can change suddenly.
Then if we look at the first 1/4 of 2010 and all the records we have so far, the tipping point may have been reached.
What is most alarming is that over the last ten years we have not had any noticable evidence of global warming. this has lead many into a false sense of lax importamce on global warming.
BUT! the historical records show something much more ominous conditions that may effect the world very shortly. IF it is not already here
What makes this a tragic because of the false cooling recently, The world is far from ready for this event that’s about occure.
Your post @ 1:30 pm is confusing. Could you please tell us exactly what this imminent event is that we are not prepared for?
Here’s a graph I posted some time ago that highlights the problem with the analysis of short-term linear fits.
Notice the apparent decline from 2001-2009. And yet the long term trend actually rose over the same period!
“I wasn’t trying justify this cool decade but it’s anoliminty can’t be reliable in advancing any climate model.”
It can’t? Where did you get your nonlinear mechanics PhD???
Go look at the GISS temperature graph.
Plenty of cases where the graph “goes down” yet they are still going up.
You’re using your eyeball and your wishes to audit the data.
“What is most alarming is that over the last ten years we have not had any noticable evidence of global warming.”
Except that each month this year has broken records for temperatures.
You know, evidence of global warming.
If it makes you all feel any better, perhaps this World Climate Report article from December 2008 may be of interest.
It includes this in the lead paragraph:
There is no sign of any corresponding pause in sea level rise, and since sea level rise is only caused by two things – thermal expansion of sea water and melting of land ice – this is strong evidence that there has been no pause in global temperature rise either. Hence the apparent lack of warming in our data series must be due to shortcomings in our measurement systems rather than a real pause in warming, which (as I understand it) is exactly what Trenberth was saying in his widely and wilfully misunderstood ‘travesty’ comment. The warming is there, as it has to be because of the continuing energy imbalance of the planet (more energy being absorbed from the sun than is radiated away to space) but we’re not yet able to measure where it is being stored in the climate system (although the deeper ocean is pretty much the only place it can be).
I think it should be made clear that Trenberth was not referring to “shortcomings” in the surface temperature data. Trenberth discussed difficulties in establishing changes in global energy budget in recent years, based on a wide variety of ocean, sea level and other measurements.
(TOA refers to “top of the atmosphere” and CERES refers to the Clouds and the Earth’s Radiant Energy System, which has only been updated to 2005. )
An imperative for climate change planning: tracking Earth’s global energy by Kevin E Trenberth
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 2009, 1:19–27
Click to access EnergyDiagnostics09final2.pdf
2008 was a La Niña year. That’s natural.
The year of a strong La Niña was also the tenth warmest year on record. That’s man made.
2008 will add another to the growing recent string of years during which time global average temperatures have not risen. Does this mean that pressure of “global warming” fuelled by increasing greenhouse gas emissions from human activity has abated?
The answer is a qualified “no”—it seems that natural variations have been flexing their muscles and offsetting anthropogenic warming.
Reasoning like that has led many a college freshman to the purgatory of academic probation….
There has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995. What little warming there has been was purely random fluctuation.
[DC: To establish significant warming in the HadCRU data set you have to go all the way back to … 1994. NASA Gistemp does show significant warming since 1995. Tamino covered the topic very well in his classic “How long” post.
I covered the the genesis and other aspects of this particular version of the misleading talking point previously.
DC, it may be better to show the actual value of the slope and the 95% confidence interval. It appears our ‘skeptics’ don’t understand the little fact that there is an equal probability that the slope actually is twice as large as the probability that the slope is flat.
[DC: The slope for the HadCRUT annual series from 1995-2009 was 0.115 deg C per decade. The 95% confidence interval was [-0.01, +0.24]. ]
The Economist calls you a liar. So do I.
[DC: To be scrupulously fair, it should be pointed out that the Daily Mail actually had a headline “No warming since 1995”, which goes further than the trick question/talking point that Phil Jones answered.
AGW Skeptic just doesn’t know any better, so he may not have the awareness necessary to support such a charge. I’d be inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt on that score, but of course that doesn’t change the fact that the “no significant warming since …” meme is a crock. It is depressing that so many think this is actually a valid argument.
Marc Morano has a lot to answer for. And, yes, I would not hesitate to call him a liar. ]
DC, you may be right, but the dead certainty with which he makes his statement suggests that he has done his homework. At the least I am entitled to assume so 😉
Gavin’s Pussycat, I state with dead certainty that Morano is a deluded nutcase who is lying to ensure his retirement.
Given all the proof you need is dead certainty in the statement, this should be proof I’ve done my homework and my statement is correct.
Oh, you were talking about (not a) AGW Skeptic.
“DC, it may be better to show the actual value of the slope and the 95% confidence interval.”
It’s as true to say that there has been 0.24C warming since 1995.
Funny how you don’t go there, isn’t it.
“What little warming there has been was purely random fluctuation.”
There’s about a 2.5% chance that random fluctuations would have had the same effect.
There’s about a 97% chance that it couldn’t.
The confidence levels DO NOT mean the slope was due to random fluctuations.
However, there is a continuing need amongst self-styled skeptics to fail to know what statistics means. Along with anything else that could prove them wrong.
There’s about a 2.5% chance that random fluctuations would have had the same effect.
And there’s about a 0% chance that AGW will mean TEOTWAWKI, as you alarmists are always bellowing from the masthead
[DC: Please confine your comments to the topic at hand and refrain from irrelevant and tendentious generailizations. You might also want to review the comment policy before posting again. Thanks! ]
“And there’s about a 0% chance that AGW will mean TEOTWAWK”
And your proofs of this is where?
(note: please make sure you clean it up before handing it to someone: it’s a health hazard)
And your proofs of this is where?
Since you alarmists are the ones who want the rest of us to change our lives to suit your agenda, the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that global “warming” will mean the end of the world as we know it. It’s called the null hypothesis.
[DC: This is utter nonsense. However, I think the discussion has reached an end and I will accord myself the last word. No more on this line of discussion. Thanks to all! ]
If I could just add: not-a’s post is rather unskeptical over the statement “there will be no problems”, isn’t it? Just takes it as gospel truth.
The admission that no net warming for the past decade doesn’t mean warming has stopped seems like a disclaimer that the intended audience will simply fail to take real notice of but leaves the authors with a valid sounding response if someone such as DC makes a fuss. As seen above.
But on reflection I think that context matters and the context for this is being one voice and argument amongst many; the line ” this, by itself doesn’t prove that AGW has stopped” becomes the straight line for the next, equally deceptive and misleading argument, which may not, by itself prove that AGW has stopped either but together…
Admitting that AGW is real is surely followed by a variation of ‘but it is much less of a problem than warmers make out, is probably self limiting and should not be cause to take action to reduce emissions etc”. None of which can be considered an honest interpretation of the entire body of data and scientific reasoning. But, for people who choose to be associated and aligned with Heartland the entire body of data and reasoning is something to be picked through for cherries.
“The admission that no net warming for the past decade doesn’t mean ”
Anything because there has been no admission that there is no net warming for the past decade.
This is called “fail” on the internets.
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> Chip Knappenberger | June 9, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
> You have correctly ascertained that we no longer employ a copyeditor….
That’s no excuse. Say you no longer employ a janitor.
Do you not empty your own trash and clean your own toilet?
Getting quotations right is your responsibility.
When “errors” mislead people to think your argument is stronger than it is, you’re likely to fool yourself. When you lay off a copy editor, your responsibility is to check more, not ignore the work needed.
[regarding the need for ellipses]
Even Young Earth Creationists — like Appleton out of Australia who become something of an institution — typically know enough to add ellipses and do so. It is just that what they have omitted generally has a rather dramatic effect on the meaning of what they are quoting. But being a godly people they are conscientious enough to flag their dishonesty. I must say I am surprised World Climate Report can’t hold itself up to the same standards as an aging YEC in the Outback.
And as it’s been a while, the above refers back to
Lack of a copy editor is no excuse. Make mistakes; post errata. Don’t let people copy and repost your mistakes to further mislead readers.
Oh, do _these_ guys fail.
Rechecking for new misuses of that truncated text, I found this in a filing in the big multiparty suit against the EPA over the CO2 regulations.
Click to access document_gw_03.pdf
… temperature did not correlate.21 RTC 3-4 (“if a linear trend is fitted to annual global surface temperature data for the period 1998 to 2008, there is no real trend”) (Ex. 11).
Someone ought to be slapped down for this.
No doubt they’ll blame a copy editor.
Key rule: when the text quoted is “deliberately incomplete”
Chicago Manual (16th ed.)
13: Quotations and Dialogue
13.50 When not to use ellipsis points
Ellipsis points are normally not used … after the last word of a quotation, even if the end of the original sentence has been omitted, unless the sentence as quoted is deliberately incomplete (see 13.53).
But let’s look at the planet:
This one might be pretty useful wrt. UHI effect.
I’ve only scratched the surface with Michaels and Knappenberger, and will return to them in due course.
It may well come as a surprise to James Annan and others, that Michaels was co-author of no fewer than seven Climate Research articles greenlighted by editor (and Friends of Science “scientific advisor”) Chris de Freitas, whose work eventually led to the mass resignation of editor-in-chief Hans von Storch and three other editors. Friends of Science, of course, is the “astroturf group” used by then APCO Worldwide operative Tom Harris to spread propaganda on behalf of anonymous corporate clients. (University of Calgary political science professor Barry Cooper’s research fund was used as a tax-deductible conduit to support the production and promotion of the Friends of Science film “Climate Catastrophe Cancelled”. )
Tom Harris is also the prime force behind the International Climate Science Coalition and its sister organizations in New Zealand and Australia. De Freitas continues to be one of the key figures in the Harris network, as seen in the McLean et al ENSO-responsible-for-global-warming controversy.
Social network analysis, anyone?
Anyway, I would submit all seven of Michaels’s Climate Research articles deserve to be scrutinized fairly closely. Perhaps we can all do that together soon.
Meanwhile, for some of Michaels and Knappenberger’s recent work check out this thanksgiving present, a panegyric to CO2. Presumably the resemblance to Denial Depot is ironically unintentional. You can’t make this stuff up.
One wonders when Andy Revkin will ever get around to critically assessing these two, instead of giving them a semi-regular platform to spew their intellectually bankrupt and venomous nonsense.
“… Eric Berger, the SciGuy for the Houston Chronicle …. begins, as skeptics usually do, by saying that the globe has not warmed in ten years ….
But according to David Easterling, of the National Climate Data Center, and Michael Wehner, of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and their paper in the most recent GRL, called Is the Climate Warming or Cooling?, this statement is flat wrong….”