Friday, February 01, 2008

Off the chart

The New York Times is getting its knickers in a twist about this graph; the headline accomapnying it reads, "Earth Scientists Express Rising Concern Over Warming".

Now, I don't know who the author of the piece, Andy Revkin, is, but I assume that he is the work-experience boy; after all, I have heard that The New York Times is a half decent paper, so they wouldn't report this shit without offering any kind of comment, would they?

After all, there are some very obvious problems with this graph and Climate Skeptic points out some of the more, and less, obvious ones. I crave Warren Meyer's indulgence, as I reproduce most of them here for the delectation of readers of The Kitchen.

First, any idiot knows that that map is massively skewed. Look at the size of Antarctica for fuck's sake—it looks like it should be the most massive landmass on the planet: I mean, look at it in comparison to the size of Europe, above, and then compare it to the accurate landmass comparison on the left. Actually, it is only the fifth largest landmass, although it does contain 90% of the world's ice.

(Incidentally, temperatures in the interior of Antartica fluctuate between about -80°C and -90°C, so your starter for ten is: given that water freezes at a relatively balmy 0°C, how much ice melt will a 3°C rise in world temperature cause?)
  • Every school kid knows that this sort of projection of the world greatly exaggerates the size of the poles and Greenland. Since most of the red here is at the poles, then visually its impact is exaggerated. For example, the top row of pixels at the top which constitute a fair percentage of the map actually represent a tiny plot of land at the pole. That row of pixels represents an area at least 10x smaller than does the row of pixels at the equator. I don't have with me at work a good graphical tool to apply a spherical transform to the map, so I approximated it with a couple of linear skews. This would be a more realistic map, except it still exaggerates the area at the pole (see here to confirm it is a decent approximation)

Plus, of course, the shade of red makes the temperature increase look absolutely fucking massive (red! Warning! Warning, Will Robinson!) when, in fact, the increase is barely half a degree C.

The first graph, above, is labelled thusly [emphasis mine]:
Map shows areas in 2007 that were warmer (reds) and colder (blues) than the mean annual temperature from 1951-1980. (Credit: NASA/GISS)

The guy in charge of producing this chart, then, is our old friend, well-known climate alarmist (he was also at the forefront of the climate cooling scare in the 70s), conspiracy theorist and serial liar, James Hansen (see The Kitchen passim).

The next trick that Meyer highlights is typical Hansen.
  • Here is the next trick -- if you want to make a strong impression of growth, make sure to find the low point in the historical record and compare to that. So, lets look at history:

    Hey, what do you know? 1950 to 1980 represents a low point in the trend. Since they were trying to make a point about warming accelerating, then it might have made more sense to look at the warming since, say, 1998—i.e. over the last decade. Unfortunately, that chart would be all blue, since temperatures throughout this century have been lower than 1998.

  • There are four most frequently cited academic rollups of world-wide temperature anomaly. They are: GISS (surface), HadCrut3 (surface), RSS (satellite) and UAH (satellite). Their current values are all shown here. So, does the NY Times (and other catastrophists) take the average? The median value? No, silly. They take the outlier which shows far more warming than the other three, which is the GISS*.

Well, that really is a surprise, isn't it?

The next point is that the first graph is very complete, isn't it? Scroll up and have a look again. Those tiny wee grey areas are the bits that NASA/GISS claim that they have no data for, but they do have, apparently, accurate readings for almost the whole of the Pacific Ocean, for instance. Do you know how big the fucking Pacific is? It has a bigger surface area than all of the Earth's landmass combined and covers 32% of the planet's surface!

Meyer elaborates on this theme.
  • The GISS surface measurement system is rife with errors [see Surface Stations for examples of why—DK]. But the one I want to mention here is that, outside of the US, the temperature measurement points are very spotty. Some points in the ocean are over 1000 miles from a thermometer, but still are colored on this chart (yes, there is some grey I suppose for "no data" but that gray should be a lot more prevalent.) If you only plotted data for 250km squares where the GISS actually has the data do make this comparison, without the mythical extrapolation into unmeasured areas, the chart should look like this:

    How did they fill in all that grey area? You tell me because Hansen certainly isn't talking.

Some other gems of the original chart show the whole of Antarctica warming when the satellite evidence, and the "long" land station evidence backs this up. Remember that Larsson B iceshelf, the one that was breaking off and was the size of Shropshire or something? The one that was a harbinger of doom? Do you want to see how significant it is? Pinched from Climate Skeptic again...

Antarctica is fucking huge, OK?

Anyway, as Meyer says:
  • I am no longer going to accept any climate scientist as a serious scientist (and not just a biased mouthpiece) who insists on using the faulty and patchy surface temperature record over satellite measurement. As I said previously:
    Satellite temperature measurement makes immensely more sense - it has full coverage (except for the poles) and is not subject to local biases. Can anyone name one single reason why the scientific community does not use the satellite temps as the standard EXCEPT that the "answer" (ie lower temperature increases) is not the one they want? Consider the parallel example of measurement of arctic ice area. My sense is that before satellites, we got some measurements of arctic ice extent from fixed observation stations and ship reports, but these were spotty and unreliable. Now satellites make this measurement consistent and complete. Would anyone argue to ignore the satellite data for spotty surface observations? No, but this is exactly what the entire climate community seems to do for temperature.


    There is one area warming - the relatively small Antarctic Peninsula. It should be orange in the map above (and is) but the rest of the orange in Antarctica is a mystery. Though this would not be the first time people tried to extrapolate Antarctic trends from the tip of this peninsula (Gore did it in his movie and 60 minutes did it the other day). This is a bit like measuring US temperature trends from Key West. More on Antarctica here. By the way, the GISS chart without all the extrapolation that I show only has the hot area on the penninsula. All the other hot zones comes from, where? James Hansen's imagination?

Apparently so, yes. And certainly neither the reporters of The New York Times nor any other media seem to be bothering to actually question any of this "evidence". They just get spoon-fed it and, either because it fits their agenda or because they are fucking lazy fucks, they just regurgitate it without ever thinking or questioning the crap that is being slipped, warm and slippery as a turd-oyster, down their throats.

Which is why, after we have dealt with the politicos, lazy bloody reporters will be the next to dance the Tyburn jig. And then we start on the climate scientists because, whatever their motivations, they are lying to us and quite deliberately doing so.

* You'll remember that it was Hansen's records (NASA/GISS) that had to be corrected when Steve MacIntyre spotted some... ah... administrative problems. The result was that the 40s, and not the 90s, became the hottest decade of the last century. Hansen basically stated that this made no difference and implied that it was a conspiracy between MacIntyre and big business. Hansen is a lying, paranoid fucking cunt.


cassandra said...

Why not send this data to all the MSM propaganda rags and the BBC? Maybe some may just get around to reporting on it? NOT!
Anyway so what if they choose not to report the truth?
Temperatures are falling worldwide and even the AGW loonies cannot hide that(although they will try)
You might want to pop over to B-BBC and presnt this data to David Gregory BBC(science reporter) just to hear him um&ar Etc.

Keep up the sterling work my friend as for many of us proles blogs like yours are now our only reliable news source!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations. This is the first ever use of the phrase "turd oyster" on t'internet.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Excellent research and fisking as ever, but isn't this a bit old hat? Climate change scare stories(and the fisking thereof) is sooo last century, it's global cooling we ought to be worried about AFAICS.

Roger Thornhill said...

(red! Warning! Warning, Will Robinson!)

Yup, more proof that climate scientists are ninnies and those who believe them are bubble-headed boobies!

John A said...

In regard to reportage not being checked, note that they are allowed to use search engines such as Lexis-Nexis, basically a legal-matters search, and other pay-subscriptions - but not Google or Yahoo or Ask or... By and large, the self-proclaimed "seven levels of checking" consists of asking six other people in the office if the story is readable.

So, in areas where they have no direct experience (climate, foreign affairs/policy, economics, and nearly everything else) they tie their own hands to pre-processed handouts with little recourse.

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