Saturday, January 22, 2011

2010 was Britain's coldest year since 1986 says Met Office

While the "rest of the world" warmed?? The "rest of the world" below seems to be oddly defined. Not only was Britain unusually cold in late 2010 but so was East Asia and much of North America. And here in Australia, we had the coolest December I can remember. In the cicumstances one must suspect "fiddled" statistics. They manage to find a few places where it was warmer (overstated -- not all of Canada and Siberia was warmer) but they could only have cancelled out the coolness in other areas not overwhelmed the results from cooler areas

A recent picture of a soldier in China on parade. The temperature was minus 32 degrees Celsius at the time

Last year was the coldest in Britain since 1986, according to the Met Office, although the rest of the world experienced one of the hottest years on record.

The new statistics show that the mean temperature in 2010 was 7.96C (46.4F), the twelfth coldest on record. The coldest year in the 100 year record is 1919 and 1963, when temperatures plunged to 7.45 (45.4F) and the next coldest is 1986 when it was 7.69C (45.8F).

However the rest of the world was warmer than ever. The Met Office said that as a whole the world was 0.50 (0.9F) hotter than the long term average of 14C (57.2F), making it the second hottest on record after 1998. The US National Weather Service NOAA and Nasa, that collect their data in slightly different ways, both think 2010 is one of the hottest years on record.

Barry Grommett, of the Met Office, said a freezing start to the year in January and February and then the coldest December ever recorded brought down the temperature in the UK.

Both weather patterns were caused by a blocking pattern of high pressure in the mid atlantic that cut off mild westerly wind and made the UK and most of the rest of western Europe colder than usual.

However at the same time the rest of the world was having heatwaves. In particular it was a warm winter in Canada and Siberia and eastern mediterraean.

Greenland lost more ice than any other year while the capital of Greenland, Nuuk, had the warmest spring and summer since records began in 1873.

Mr Grommett said despite the cold year in the UK the world is warming. “It is a natural perception to look out window and see snow and think the world cannot be possibly be warming but the UK is a small dot on the world surface and the important picture is global and in that 2010 has been a very warm year.”


What Evidence for “Unprecedented Warming”?

This is a new paper which takes a look at the statistical uncertainty of the long term warming trends by Pat Frank. He looks at the uncertainty of the data including that created by non-stationary errors and comes to the reasonable conclusion that global trends for the length of the temp record are statistically indistinguishable from zero. This has particular implications for model verification and especially to the real need for vetting errors in station measurements. Pat asked me to post on it here, and he has written a blog style explanation of his results below.

I want to copy the abstract and a bit of the conclusion here before his post just to help frame the discussion.

Sensor measurement uncertainty has never been fully considered in prior appraisals of global average surface air temperature. The estimated average ±0.2 C station error has been incorrectly assessed as random, and the systematic error from uncontrolled variables has been invariably neglected. The systematic errors in measurements from three ideally sited and maintained temperature sensors are calculated herein. Combined with the ±0.2 C average station error, a representative lower-limit uncertainty of ±0.46 C was found for any global annual surface air temperature anomaly.

This ±0.46 C reveals that the global surface air temperature anomaly trend from 1880 through 2000 is statistically indistinguishable from 0 C, and represents a lower limit of calibration uncertainty for climate models and for any prospective physically justifiable proxy reconstruction of paleo-temperature.

The rate and magnitude of 20th century warming are thus unknowable, and suggestions of an unprecedented trend in 20th century global air temperature are unsustainable.

Steve McIntyre’s ClimateAudit (CA) blog has been a terrific stimulus to zillions of its readers, including me. Back in May 2008, Steve posted on Nature’s “discovery” of the bucket-adjustment discontinuity in the Sea Surface Temperature record, three years after it had been discussed in detail at CA.

Brohan, 2006 [1] (B06) came up in the discussion of Steve’s post. Brohan, 2006 was the most recent compilation of the global average surface air temperature, HadCRUT3. HadCRUT3 was a production of the UK Met Office, which had taken responsibility from the Climate Research Unit at University of East Anglia. Warwick Hughes, a real hero in the fight to bring transparency to the global temperature record, discussed this transition, here and here.

The discussion at CA led me to read Brohan, 2006, where I noticed that they had described measurement noise as strictly random and didn’t mention systematic error at all. That seemed doubly peculiar, and that led to the analysis I’m presenting here.

Reading the air temperature literature, it became clear that this double peculiarity typified the approach to error right back through the 1980’s and before.

What I found was that Folland et al, had made a guesstimate back in 2001 [2] that the average measurement error was (+/-)0.2 C. This (+/-)0.2 C was applied by B06 and treated as random and uncorrelated among surface stations. So, following the statistics of random errors, B06 decremented the (+/-)0.2 C as 1/(sqrtN), where N = the number of temperature measurements, and as N got large the error rapidly went to zero. And that was the whole B06 ball of wax for measurement error.

To make the long story short, assessment of error methodology showed that guessing an average error is an explicit admission that you have no real physical knowledge of it. Random error is “stationary,” meaning it is defined as having a constant average magnitude and a mean (average) of zero. When one has to make a guesstimate, one doesn’t really know the magnitude, and doesn’t really know whether the error is stationary.

In short, if one doesn’t know the error is random, then applying the statistics of random error is a mistake.

But it’s worse than that. Kenneth Hubbard and Xiaomao Lin at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, showed that there is a large amount of systematic error in surface station temperature measurements [3-5]. This systematic error mostly comes from solar loading on the radiation shield and from wind speed effects. These effects cause very significant deviations in measured temperatures.

Under very ideal conditions of siting and maintenance, Hubbard and Lin found that a standard Minimum-Maximum Temperature System (MMTS) sensor produced an average daytime bias of 0.43 C away from the correct temperature, with a standard deviation (the uncertainty width) of (+/-)0.25 C.

Cotton Regional Shelters (CRS) – the usual shelter for the older mercury thermometers – produced twice as much systematic error in high precision resistance thermometers, with an uncertainty width of (+/-)0.53 C. The older mercury thermometers inside CRS shields are likely to be even less accurate and less precise. But mercury thermometers inside CRS shields provide the bulk of the 20th century temperature record.

So, at the end, I estimated a lower limit of uncertainty in the 20th century global surface air temperature anomaly record by combining the guesstimated measurement error and the ideal MMTS systematic error. To do this, one has to also propagate these uncertainties into the temperature normal used to calculate the anomalies. This all produced a lower limit of uncertainty of 1-sigma = (+/-)0.46 C.

The message is clear: including the lower limit of instrumental uncertainty, the trend from 1900 through 2000 is indistinguishable from 0 C, at the 1-sigma level.

“Unprecedented” 20th century temperatures? Hardly. It appears no one really knows the rate and magnitude of warming. Once again, climate alarm appears to be rooted in neglect of uncertainty. As with GCM projections. As with proxy paleotemperature reconstructions (which in any case aren’t even science).


Grey Literature: IPCC Insiders Speak Candidly

In February 2008 Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), addressed a committee of the North Carolina legislature. He declared to these assembled law-makers (as he has in many other contexts before and since), that:

"…we carry out an assessment of climate change based on peer-reviewed literature, so everything that we look at and take into account in our assessments has to carry [the] credibility of peer-reviewed publications, we don’t settle for anything less than that."

Someone needs to tell the committee it was seriously misled. Last April a citizen audit coordinated by yours truly found that nearly one-third of the references in the IPCC’s 2007 report cite non-peer-reviewed sources (often referred to as “grey literature”).

More recently, I’ve been examining the answers IPCC insiders provided to a questionnaire distributed by an InterAcademy Council committee that investigated the IPCC last year. These answers make it abundantly clear numerous individuals knew that Pachauri’s public statements were at odds with the facts.

The quotes below are drawn from this three-megabyte 678-page PDF. The names of those who provided these remarks were removed prior to the document being made public.

Non-peer-reviewed literature should obviously be minimized but cannot be totally avoided. (page 2)

…the length of the [IPCC report] was constrained, so the number of citations was constrained. Hence, reviews (including those in the “grey” literature) were strongly favored if those reviews cited the primary literature. (p. 7)

In some fields non-peer reviewed is the way the science is done. It just has to be carefully used and identified clearly. (p. 22)

There cannot be any assessment of impacts and possible response strategies to climate change on peer-reviewed literature only. (p. 48)

My WG III chapter depended heavily on non-peer reviewed literature and I have yet to hear a complaint about its quality. (p. 52)

Governments want the chapter to cover questions of current relevance for which there [is] often “grey literature” but little peer reviewed literature. (p. 68)

…to address some of the policy topics it is necessary to use non-peer-reviewed literature. (p. 69)

Working Groups 2 and 3 make more reference to non-peer reviewed literature…The IPCC assessments are very inclusive and include a comprehensive analysis of all existing literature… (p. 74)

Some of the most policy relevant information does not appear in peer reviewed literature. Without it the IPCC could become irrelevant. (p. 119) .....

In the words of those quoted above, the use of grey literature is essential, necessary, and unavoidable in the preparation of IPCC reports. According to these people, the IPCC has relied on grey literature extensively for some time.

This means that the chairman of the IPCC has systematically misrepresented the process by which his organization produces reports. His declaration that the IPCC does not settle for anything less than peer-reviewed sources is a steaming pile of manure.

Equally troubling is that hundreds – perhaps thousands – of people involved in the IPCC process have clearly been aware that Pachauri’s claims are false. Yet the average journalist – and the average member of the public – remains in the dark.

There have been many open letters, many organized public declarations by climate scientists over the years. Why has no effort been made – not even a dozen people signing a letter-to-the-editor of Nature or Science - to set the record straight?

We’re often told we should believe in dangerous human-caused global warming because science academies from around the world endorse the idea. So why have those same academies remained silent with regard to this matter?

Does no one care that the IPCC’s leadership has been dead wrong about something this simple and straightforward? I mean, IPCC reports are only among the world’s most important documents.


IPCC Nobel Laureates Lack Scientific Credibility

IPCC insiders say many of those who shared in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize have weak scientific credentials. They were chosen because they are of the right gender or come from the right country.

Earlier this week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suffered another self-inflicted wound. An Argentina-based activist group called the Universal Ecological Fund released a report predicting improbably rapid climate change. The media, taking the accompanying press release at face value, told us the report had the blessing of “Nobel Prize-winning climate scientist Osvaldo Canziani.”

An Argentinian meteorologist, Canziani was one of two co-chairs for the Working Group 2 section of the 2007 IPCC report. When the IPCC was awarded the 2007 Peace Prize (along with Al Gore) for helping raise awareness about global warming Canziani was one of the many scientists who shared in the Nobel glory.

Even though the Peace Prize is not a science award, there’s nothing stopping an activist group from employing a little sleight-of-hand, from implying that anyone connected to the IPCC is ipso facto a “Nobel laureate.” In this case, the gullible media fell for it.

Since everyone involved with the IPCC (except the expert reviewers) is now technically a “Nobel laureate” – and may well get described as such by journalists – just how awkward could this matter become? Actually, rather awkward indeed.

Last year, when a committee of the InterAcademy Council investigated the IPCC, 232 people filled out a questionnaire. Their remarks were later anonymized and released in a massive 678-page PDF. The quotes below are drawn only from the IPCC insiders who answered the questionnaire:

IPCC works hard for geographic diversity. This is one valuable criterion, but it is not sufficient to choose a lead author. The result is that some of the lead authors (generally although not always from developing countries) are clearly not qualified to be lead authors and are unable to contribute in a meaningful way to the writing of the chapter. (page 16)

…two [lead authors] on our chapter (one from a developing country and one European) never wrote a word or contributed much to discussions – nevertheless they remained credited. I felt this was unfair on those that actually wrote the text. (p. 35)

…it is clearly noticeable that the [author nomination] process occasionally brings authors with poor knowledge or poor motivation into [lead author] positions. p. 46)

The need for geographic and gender balance in selecting the bureau and [working group] Chairs is a problem. The [working group] Chairs from developing nations do not carry half the load – most are incapable of doing so. (p. 50)

The problems caused by requiring geographic and gender balance are equally important at the lead author level. The developing nation participants on my Chapter team had limited understanding of developments outside their region and limited resources to obtain better understanding. (p. 50)

The calibre of the participants has been declining. For the Second Assessment Report, the WG III policy chapter had a Nobel Laureate in economics (Kenneth Arrow) and a future Laureate (Joseph Stiglitz). For the Third Assessment Report, the WG III policy chapter had full professors of environmental economics and law from three prestigious universities – Peter Bohm, Stockholm; Thomas Heller, Stanford and Robert Stavins, Harvard. For the Fourth Assessment Report this had fallen to one full professor of environmental economics – Charles Kolstad, UC Santa Barbara. (p. 71)

Since I have been selected for several IPCC reports, I have no personal prejudice (or grouse) on the process. However, regarding the selection of Lead Authors, I am more worried since the distortions, opaqueness and arbitrariness that is lately creeping into the process seems alarming. It seems that knowledge and scientific contributions are increasingly at discount in selection of authors compared to the personal connections, affiliations and political accommodations. (p. 78)

In the present process, there are four meetings where the IPCC Authors primarily meet. Many authors are absent and also some hardly contribute. The report therefore is finally prepared by a few… (p. 79)

In WGI AR4, my judgment is that about 20% of the authors did very little, but the 80% who actually wrote the report were excellent. The 20% included some lazy people who just wanted the honor of being [a lead author] without the chore of actually doing the work. (p. 83)

The selection of lead authors is based on a mix of competence and politics. The result unfortunately is usually a chapter team that has 3-5 people who do most of the work… (p. 117)

There are far too many politically correct appointments, so that developing country scientists are appointed who have insufficient scientific competence to do anything useful. This is reasonable if it is regarded as a learning experience, but in my chapter in AR4 we had half of the [lead authors] who were not competent. (p. 138) .....

To sum up, therefore, a significant number of IPPC insiders believe many of their colleagues possess inferior scientific credentials. They believe these people’s participation in the IPCC is a result of concerns that have nothing to do with science.

Instead, they were chosen because they are of the right gender or the right nationality. They were chosen because they are pals with the person who makes such decisions in a particular country. They were chosen because they are considered politically “safe” by their own governments.

All of these people – no matter how little they actually contributed to the IPCC process – are now Nobel laureates.


T.J. Rodgers: Just Say No to Subsidies and Global Warming

He warns investors, “Run like hell when you hear ‘green jobs, green economy, double bottom line or carbon tax.’ “

T.J. Rodgers is the Founder and CEO of Cypress Semiconductor, a force in Silicon Valley, an early equity investor in SunPower and a vintner. He spoke on Thursday morning at the CleanEdge/IBF cleantech investor forum and was introduced as "an unabashed free-market capitalist."

Rodgers is a wry, in-your-face speaker. He walked into the lions' den of green investors and environmentalists at this event to debunk the "religion of climate change" and warn the crowd to not get too reliant on government subsidy programs.

He does not accept human-induced global warming as reality nor the data of global warming adherents.

"Run like hell when you hear 'carbon tax'"

Rodgers acknowledges that he has a conflict of interests in discouraging dependence on subsidies -- solar subsidies have allowed SunPower to provide a 22.4 to-1 ROI for Cypress' investors. More subsidies mean more money for SunPower and its investors. That said, he provided the audience with some advice:

* Do not rely (for long) on government funding or subsidies.

* Be a global warming skeptic (Rodgers most certainly is).

* "Run like hell" when you hear the terms "green jobs, green economy, double bottom line or carbon tax."

* Believe in the free market and freedom of the individual.

* Believe in the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment and the Tenth Amendment.

Hanging over Rodger's office desk is a letter from Milton Friedman who also advised Rodgers, "Get everything they [shareholders] are legally entitled to and still argue for an end to government subsidies."

As for the concept of green jobs, Rodgers insisted that "green jobs are almost all offshore -- you ain't gonna make them in Fremont, just ask Solyndra."

He questioned the sense of Germany installing solar panels, considering their solar resource, but was happy to have Germany as a SunPower customer.

Rodgers cited surveys that indicate that the average consumer does not care about global warming. He railed against environmentalists converging on the climate talks in private jets and limousines, calling environmentalism "a secular religion, a non-god-based religion." He also chastised the press, saying, "The press is uncritically on their side."

Rodgers said, "Attacks on free markets are not new." He quoted from Paul Ehrlich's book The Population Bomb, with its doomsday scenarios that could only be remedied by a "coercive utopia" with "socialism replacing free markets," and "altruism replacing individuality even in family matters." Ehrlich's predictions concerning global starvation, over-population and escalating commodity prices have turned out to have been patently wrong and cannot survive critical inspection.

Rodgers spent a considerable portion of his presentation examining and in some cases debunking the data from Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth and the data from the IPCC, The International Panel on Climate Change. Here are some of his points. [I will try to post his presentation shortly.]

"Al Gore's movie An Inconvenient Truth was politics, not science"; Rodgers challenged the facts and interpretations of the movie at length.

He noted the rise of CO2 in the atmosphere but challenged the causality of temperature rise and increase in CO2. He suggested that the rise in CO2, in some cases, lagged temperature rise.

Rodgers suggests, "It is not clear that 380 ppm of CO2 is bad," adding, "Why would you pick 280 ppm as the correct number?" He also asked audience members to ponder whether the world in a high ppm environment might actually fare better.

He pointed out that IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) data was less than rigorously vetted and, in some cases, crucial trends such as the medieval warming period were either glossed over or ignored.

* Hurricanes and extreme weather are not increasing.

* Antarctic ice is getting thicker, not thinner.

* There is a growing body of scientists questioning the evidence of global warming.

Mr. Rodgers' incendiary talk was ill-received by many in the large, green-leaning crowd -- there was some less-than-complimentary post-speech chatter. I'm reasonably sure that Rodgers doesn't care about the critique from these "higher life forms" as he referred to people with elitist world views. Rodgers also quoted H.L. Mencken, the Sage of Baltimore, which warms my heart.


Both sides of the climate controversy recently heard on Australia's public broadcaster

And was the Warmist a picture of illogic! All he could point to was the undisputed rise in CO2, as if that proved his case. Since the rise in CO2 was, by his own admission, accompanied by FLAT temperatures (1998, 2005 and 2010 all the same), it does the exact opposite. He assumed what he had to prove (that CO2 causes warming) and then failed to see that the evidence contradicted his assumption!

And the guy is a big cheese among Warmists too. Being a "secretary-general" sure sounds like hot sh*t

TONY EASTLEY: The United Nations weather organisation has confirmed that 2010 was one of the three hottest years on record.

The World Meteorological Organization says that last year was as hot as 2005 and 1998 and that Arctic Sea ice cover was the lowest in recorded history.

The Organisation says last year was also marked by extreme weather events in Europe, Russia, Asia and South America.

Meredith Griffiths reports.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: After a wet and cool few months in parts of Australia and those paralysing snowstorms in the northern hemisphere, this news may come as a surprise to some.

MICHEL JARRAUD: We can indeed report that 2010 is now going to rank as the warmest year on record, at the same level as 2005 and 1998.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Michel Jarraud is the secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization.

It says those three years recorded the highest temperatures since 1850, about half a degree warmer than average.

MICHEL JARRAUD: The latest decade is the warmest on record. So year after year this trend is confirmed, actually it's being strengthened year after year.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Last year also saw Arctic Sea ice recede to its lowest level.

Mr Jarraud says these new statistics should silence those who don't believe that greenhouse gases are changing the world's climate.

MICHEL JARRAUD: The sceptical position, it's untenable. You cannot escape the fact the concentration of greenhouse gases have reached record levels and this is not hypothesis these are facts, they can be measured with great accuracy.

The laws of physics are also very solid, greenhouse gases cannot contribute to cool the atmosphere, more greenhouse gases can only do one thing: warm.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: He also noted that last year was characterised by a number of extreme weather events like the heatwave in Russia and the floods in Pakistan.

MICHEL JARRAUD: With the global warming, some of these events will become more frequent, or more intense. So let me take for example, the Russian heat wave. You cannot say uniquely it's due to global warming, but what you can say is that what is right now totally exceptional will happen more frequently in the future.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Geologist Bob Carter from James Cook University says Mr Jerraud has no evidence for that.

BOB CARTER: Lots of scientists have been looking for that evidence but to date there is nothing in the scientific literature which says we have more climatic emergency events at the moment than in the past or that these are more frequent or more dangerous. There is no scientific evidence for that.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Professor Carter says it's not surprising that last year was one of the warmest, but says that doesn't mean greenhouse gases are the blame.

BOB CARTER: The question is not whether it causes warming, the question is how much warming? Since 1998 we've had three warm years - 1998, 2005 and 2010 - and each of those years is associated with an El Nino event which causes or is related to the warming. Okay, but there's no trend, 2010 is not significantly warmer in any way than 1998.

So we have a warm period over a period of 12 years. Over those same 12 years we have a five per cent increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The carbon dioxide is supposed to cause more warming. Well this data that we've just discussed tells you that human carbon dioxide emissions are not causing dangerous global warming, indeed they're not causing any warming at all at the moment.

MEREDITH GRIFFITHS: Professor Carter says the last 150 years have been among the coolest in the past 10,000 years of the Earth's history.

TONY EASTLEY: Meredith Griffiths reporting.

Two leading US agencies, NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, recently reported too that 2010 was also the wettest year on record.



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