Friday, November 02, 2007

Is there any warming?

Surely the single most crucial element in the debate over climate change is whether or not we have actually seen any warming. After all, if the world is not actually warming, then the argument is completely destroyed, isn't it?

Climate Skeptic presents the argument that the warming is solely in the adjustments made by various agencies.
Here are the NASA GISS numbers for US temperature over the last century or so:

The warming trend is hard to read, with current temperatures relatively elevated vs. the last 120 years but still lower than the peaks of the 1930's.

But the trick is that these are not the directly measured results.
These numbers, and in fact all numbers you will ever see in the press, are not the raw instrument measurements - they include a number of manual adjustments made by climate scientists to correct for both time of observation as well as changing quality of the measurement site itself. These numbers include adjustments both from the NOAA, which maintains the US Historical Climate Network on which the numbers are based, and from NASA's GISS. All of these numbers are guesstimates at best.

Though the GISS is notoriously secretive about revealing much about its temperature correction and aggregation methodologies...

Needless to say, this is not good scientific practice. How can your peers check and review your theories, ideas and data if you will not show how you arrived at them? But, then, we should all know by now that climate scientists are a dishonest bunch of bastards anyway.
... but the NOAA reveals theirs here. The sum total of these adjustments are shown on the following chart in purple:

There are a couple observations we can make about these adjustments. First, we can be relatively astonished that the sign on these adjustments is positive. The positive sign implies that modern temerpature measurement points are experiencing some sort of cooling bias vs. history which must be corrected with a positive add-on. It is quite hard to believe that creeping urbanization and poor site locations, as documented for example here, really net to a cooling bias rather than a warming bias (also see Steve McIntyre's recut of the Peterson urban data here).

Essentially, what the NOAA are saying is that their measuring sites are showing a relative cooling and that therefore they are applying a normalising positive bias. In basic terms, when they take a measurement from their stations, they are adding a few tenths of a degree because they think that that station is actually measuring things below what the scientists think they should be.

The trouble is that this is very hard to justify. As is in the process of showing, many stations are probably recording temperatures higher than they would have done a century ago because they are now based around heat-radiating substances such as asphalt; in the case of one station, it is situated right next to the heat exchangers of an air-conditioning system.

As such, one would expect the NOAA to be applying a negative bias to the measurements, to counteract the majority of the changes to the measurement stations (mostly caused by urban sprawl).

So, what happens when we remove any bias and simply make a graph of the raw data?
The other observation we can make is that the magnitude of these adjustments are about the same size as the warming signal we are trying to measure. Backing into the raw temperature measurements by subtracting out these adjustments, we get this raw signal:

When we back out these adjustments, we see there is basically no warming signal at all. Another way of putting this is that the entirety of the warming signal in the US is coming not from actual temeprature measurements, but from adjustments of sometimes dubious quality being made by scientists back in their offices. Even if these adjustments are justifiable, and some like the time of observation adjustment are important, the fact is that the noise in the measurement is at least as large as the signal we are trying to measure, which should substantially reduce our confidence that we really know what is going on.

In other words, the entirety of the warming that we are seeing from the US surface stations is effectively made up by the scientists.

Without their positive bias, the raw data shows no significant warming trend at all. Further, if we accept that many of the measuring stations are now in "warmer areas"—i.e. they are now near roads, or heat exchangers, or are in any other way affected by the warmer air of a city or town when twenty years ago they were not—surely any bias applied should be a negative one.

In other words, in terms of the raw data, there is no real warming. If we were to apply a sensible negative bias, the US data would actually show a cooling trend.

Now, Warren Meyer admits that he is only looking at the US figures, but this is because the US is the only place in the world with long-term stations, and thus accurate figures going back for a century or more.
ut the US is the one part of the world with the best, highest quality temperature measurement system. If signal to noise ratios are low here, then how bad are they in the rest of the world? After all, we in the US do have some rural sites with 100 year temperature measurement histories.

But, the irrefutable truth is that the entire warming trend is being applied after the raw data has been taken, by scientists who have a vested interest in showing a warming trend.

So, really, should we be ploughing the amount of energy, money, time and stress into this climate change idea that we are already? And does this data justify shovelling even more money into this bottomless pit? I rather think that the answer is, "no".

But as long as there are fat, ignorant turds like Johann Hari* writing poisonous, ill-informed, doomsday-scenario lies in national newpapers, people will continue to think that it is justified.

As I keep on saying, wake up: we are being lied to.

* I saw his 2002 Edinburgh Fringe play, Going Down. It was cliched, pretentious shit acted out by humourless stereotypes.


Anonymous said...

See - you have proved it - it is man made global warming - and that man's name is Hansen...

Prodicus said...

Tsk. There you go again, ruining a good read. I was paying close attention, mm-ing along with you nicely almost to the end, and then you had to go and bring me up short by mentioning the bastard Hari. It was quite a jolt.

Anonymous said...

You may like to look at the English record at

and please borrow this graphic

Anonymous said...

I would love to see the figures for 2000 to 2007 (real ones)! I have a sneaky feeling that we are heading for a cooler spell? Of course the AGW/MMGW perverts have already started hedging their bets by calling their lies "climate change". Although I think even the AGW moonies are going to have trouble explaining that more CO2 means a global cooling!
But then the AGW maniacs never did have a strong hold on reality did they?

Anonymous said...

Dk, sorry I know I'm going on but just who does sit on the IPPC? I can find no list on the net save references to very big and important boys in the upper forms who will push my head down the bog and flush it if I disagree with them.

Devil's Kitchen said...


I did actually look into that the other day. I could find no definitive names, especially as those named seem to change with every report.

I shall try to post a link tomorrow (I shall be out for the rest of tonight)...


Mark Wadsworth said...

"...we are being lied to"?

*Ahem* Preposition, sentence, end with, do not.


Hit alt+233 at just the right moment and you get "clichéd", that looks so much nicer. Or you could go one better and italicise all foreign words, but hey.

Anonymous said...


I didn't think you would fall for the 3 card trick. The enviro-fascists stoped reffering to global warming ages ago - they now refer to climate change.

Now I am sure most people with half a brain cell know that the climate is constantly changing, you only need to look at the history books to understand as muc so its heads they win, tails we lose.

However as you regularly point out our politicians don't posses even half a brain cell and they fall for it hook, line and sinker and keep stuffing our hard earned geld at them, so that even more self serving statistics can be collected.

The Great Simpleton

Anonymous said...

I think DK might be taking a walk in the woods with a penknife and half an asprin soon.Great stuff keep it up.

Anonymous said...

"However as you regularly point out our politicians don't posses even half a brain cell and they fall for it hook, line and sinker"

Politicos don't fall for it, they fucking love it. Now that socialism is a busted flush, climate change gives them all the excuse they need to pass new laws, levy new taxes, boss us all about and regulate our lives, "for the sake of the planet".

If climate change didn't exist, they'd have to invent it. Which is why the evil fuckers did just that.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: "Now I am sure most people with more than half a brain cell know that..."

Fixed that for ya. Gotta be careful about the logic in such expressions :)


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