Thursday, April 19, 2012

Phony graphic at National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)

Changes in NSIDC Arctic ice since this morning. At 8:00 this morning, Arctic ice was about to cross the mean for the first time in at least six years. Now it is almost 4X as far away from the mean as it was this morning.

Anthony Watts got a response back from Walt Meier at NSIDC, which simply isn’t going to fly.
Hi Anthony,

Thanks for letting us know. I have a guess at what this might be.

We’re starting to make some changes to our processing to update/improve things, including some you’ve suggested. One thing that we’ve decided to do is to change the way we calculate our 5-day average values. We’ve been doing it as a centered average – i.e., a given day’s value in the plot is actually an average of that day + 2 days before and 2 days after. This caused an issue at the end point because we’d extrapolate to get a 5-day average on the last day, which resulted in wiggles at the end that.

We’re now changing it to be a trailing 5-day average, i.e., a given day’s value in the plot is the average of that day and the 4 preceding days. This will take out the wiggle in the end of the plot (or most of it – there may be some change as sometimes we don’t get complete data and need to interpolate, and later (a day or two) we do get the data and process it.

A key point is that this change doesn’t actually change the data at all; in effect it simply shifts values two days later. In other words, the centered value for Day X is the same as the trailing value for Day X+2.

This change has been implemented in our test environment and we were going to roll it out some time in near future after we tested it for a bit we planned to announce the change. I think that by accident the test code got put into production. I’d need to confirm this, but from the plot differences, this looks like what likely happened.

We’ll look into this and get back to you. I’m traveling tomorrow, but will send a note to people and I or others will get back to you as soon as we can.


No, the key point is that it does change the data. That is why we are having this discussion.

If what Dr. Meier is saying was correct, the only change we would see is that everything (current data and mean) would be shifted equally two days to the right – and I probably never would have noticed there was a change. The current data would remain the same distance from the mean.

That is definitely not what we are seeing. The new data is 4X as far from the mean as the old data was - because there are two gross errors in the new graph.

* They removed the April 16 data

* They moved the mean data four days to the right, instead of two days to the right

I will demonstrate this with two images, The first image below is shifted two days to the left, so that the 2012 (and 2007) data line up between the old (blue) and new (pink) graphs. There are two obvious problems. The first is that the April 16 data is missing in the new graph, and the second is that the mean data is not lined up between the old and new graphs.

The next image is shifted left by four days. Now the means line up, but the 2012 and 2007 data don’t.

So basically they created a phony three day gap. NSIDC shifted the mean data by four days, but only shifted the current data by two days. This creates a two day gap between the mean and current data. The third day of the phony gap was created by leaving April 16 off the new graph.

Will they fix it?


"Hockeystick" Mann is very selective about the facts

What he says about the direct effects of variations in total solar output is perfectly true but he ignores indirect effects as pointed out by Svensmark. And Svensmark is supported not only by direct experimental evidence but also by history. That's a lot to ignore -- enough by itself to identify the hoaxer that Mann is

Pat Robertson Proves Global Warming is a Hoax: No SUVs On Mars!

There have been claims by those not-in-favor of man-made global warming arguments that recent warming trends on Mars prove that man has no stake in the whimsy of Earth’s climate. Penn State meteorologist Michael Mann calls that scapegoating (though suspiciously not answering the charge made against the argument!)
“The small measured changes in solar output and variations from one decade to the next are only on the order of a fraction of a percent, and if you do the calculations not even large enough to really provide a detectable signal in the surface temperature record,” Mann explained.

“Solar activity continues to be one of the last bastions of contrarians,” he added. “People who don’t accept the existence of anthropogenic climate change still try to point to solar activity.”

Flashback: Wheat Crops and Sunspots

IT is now more than 200 years since the great astronomer William Herschel observed a correlation between wheat prices and sunspots. When the latter were few in number, he noted, the climate turned colder and drier, crop yields fell and wheat prices rose.


Some foolish prophecies about flooding

Below is the introduction to the latest set of sea level prophecies. They assert that sea levels have risen since 1880 -- which is true. They then assume that sea level will continue to rise indefinitely at a similar or greater rate.

They are very naive mathematicians. Have they never heard of a rising curve approaching an asymptote (i.e. flattening out after a while)? And just that seems to be underway. Very recent sea level measurements indicate that the rise has ceased

Sea level rise from global warming is well on the way to doubling the risk of coastal floods 4 feet or more over high tide by 2030 at locations nationwide. In the lower 48 states, nearly 300 energy facilities stand on land below that level, including natural gas infrastructure, electric power plants, and oil and gas refineries. Many more facilities are at risk at higher levels, where flooding will become progressively more likely with time as the sea continues to rise.

These results come from a Climate Central combined analysis of datasets from NOAA, USGS and FEMA. Rising seas Global warming has raised sea level about 8 inches since 1880, and the rate of rise is accelerating.

Scientists expect 20 to 80 more inches this century, a lot depending upon how much more heat--trapping pollution humanity puts into the atmosphere. In the near term, rising seas will translate into more and more coastal floods reaching higher and higher, as sea level rise aggravates storm surges. These increases threaten widespread damage to the nation’s energy infrastructure.


German doubts: Max Planck Institute Director Admits “Physical Causes Unclear…Models Inconsistent With Observations”!

More cracks like never before are appearing in Germany’s climate alarmism.

Not long ago global warming science was considered settled here. So much so that climate protection has long since been institutionalized. Now it’s all starting to look like a very expensive mistake. The threat of a spectacular crumble is becoming real.

Michael Odenwald of warmist news magazine FOCUS has written a status report on global warming science: “Global Warming: “A Matter of Standpoint”. As the title suggests, the dispute depends on how one looks at the data, and so the science is becoming more unsettled than ever. German media is beginning to report on the growing number of contradictions.

As Odenwald describes, the big dispute raging today is whether global warming is continuing, or if it has stalled. According to HadCRUT4, global temperature has remained constant from 1997 to 2011. FOCUS writes:

"However, [David] Whitehouse explains further, the IPCC had predicted a temperature increase of of 0.2°C per decade because of the anthropogenic greenhouse effect. But this warming has not occurred. ‘We are now at a point where temperature stagnation is dominating the climate development. One cannot ignore that, even if is not 30 years,’ Whitehouse believes. ‘It is now time for the IPCC and the scientific community to recognize the temperature stagnation as reality.“

FOCUS author Odenwald then adds: With this, it is becoming very clear that the scientific debate over the greenhouse effect is not yet over.

Marotzke: Models have not been consistent with observations

FOCUS consulted Jochem Marotzke, Director of the warmist Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg concerning the reliability of climate models. To his credit, Marotzke admitted that the models aren’t what they are cracked up to be, and that the science is far from clear. FOCUS (emphasis added):

"Whitehouse points out that climate simulations, like those carried out at the Hadley Climate Research Unit, indeed show periods of stagnation lasting up to a decade. In the models they occur about every 80 years. However, none of the simulations up to now have shown a pause of 15 years. Also the models that run on the super-computers of the Hamburg Climate Research Centre also show such plateau phases. ‘The physical causes are still unclear, and our simulations show them occurring at other times. Thus the models are not consistent with the current observations.’ admits Jochem Marotzke, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg.”

So clearly the models are wrong, and what does not work in the present cannot be counted on to work for the future. Garbage now, garbage later.

Rahmstorf: There’s a warming trend – if you ignore factors

With one side claiming that warming has stalled, FOCUS reminds us that there are still some scientists who still insist warming is continuing, like Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). Here he’s caught making another one of his famous Rahmstorfian climate-speak statements. FOCUS writes:

"According to PIK scientist Rahmstorf, global warming continues. ‘If you deduct the known short-term fluctuations from volcanoes, solar cycles and El NiƱo, then there’s been a warming over the last 30 years of 0.16° Celsius per decade, which is precisely in the middle of the IPCC projections“, Rahmstorf explains."

Firstly, would someone please nominate this as the Quote of the Week at WUWT? Of course you can get any trend you want by ignoring whatever you want.

Secondly, 0.16° temperature increase per decade is not in the middle of the IPCC’s projected range of 1.9°C to 4.5°C by 2100. Rahmstorf struggles with the truth – again!


Time to start fracking

Matt Ridley writes from Britain

It is now official: drilling for shale gas by fracturing rock with water may rattle the odd teacup, but is highly unlikely to cause damaging earthquakes. That much has been obvious to anybody who has followed the development of the shale gas industry in America over the past ten years. More than 25,000 wells drilled have caused a handful of micro-seismic events that can barely be felt.

The two rumbles that resulted from drilling a well near Blackpool last year were tiny. To call a two-magnitude tremor an earthquake is a bit like calling a hazelnut lunch. Such tremors happen naturally more than 15 times a year but go unnoticed and they are a common consequence of many other forms of underground work such as coalmining and geothermal drilling. Earthquakes caused by hydroelectric projects, in which dams load the crust and lubricate faults, can be much greater and more damaging. The Sichuan earthquake that killed 90,000 in 2008 was probably caused by a dam.

So can we now get on and start a home-grown shale gas industry? The economic and environmental benefits could be vast. Just consider the effect that shale gas has had in the US. It has lowered the price of gas to a quarter of that in Europe, thus slashing the cost of energy, reviving manufacturing, creating jobs, halting the expansion of expensive nuclear power and cutting carbon emissions.

The Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science concluded in February that the surprise fall in America's carbon emissions - by 7 per cent in 2009, probably more since - was caused largely by a switch from coal to shale gas. "A slight shift in the relative prices of coal and natural gas can result in a sharp drop in carbon emissions," according to Professor Michael McElroy, who led the study.

All over America coal and nuclear projects are being cancelled or mothballed because of cheap gas. (Declaration of non-interest: I have interests in coalmining; so shale gas is bad news for me, but good news for the country and the planet.)

Yet listening to the debate in Britain about "fracking", you would think that we were in a different universe. Tony Juniper, the BBC's favourite green, was arguing yesterday that shale gas might increase carbon emissions because of leakage of methane into the atmosphere. His evidence? A study by Cornell University that has been discredited. Not only was the study partly funded by an anti-fracking pressure group called the Park Foundation but it also made a series of elementary howlers, such as using a cherry-picked short time frame because methane does not stay in the air for long and mistaking Russian theft of gas from pipelines for leakage.

Besides, the proof of the pudding is in the data: shale gas has already cut carbon emissions in a way that wind, biomass and solar power have failed to do. Wind still produces less than 0.5 per cent of all energy and has displaced no fossil fuels. Biomass has been shown to increase carbon emissions, by encouraging deforestation. And solar power, for all its local promise in desert countries, is still an irrelevance globally and a boondoggle nationally.

What about groundwater contamination? This too is mostly hogwash. Since there is usually a mile of rock between aquifers and where the fracking happens, contamination from fracking is highly implausible. More than 25,000 wells have been sunk and there has only been a handful of potential contamination events, most of which proved to be natural.

Of course, failure of the well casing or surface chemical spills can happen occasionally, as in any industry. But the chemicals used in fracking - less than 0.5 per cent of the solution used to displace the gas - are ordinary chemicals of the kind that you find under your kitchen sink: disinfectants, surfactants and the like.

The campaign to stop shale gas proving its case in the market is political, not scientific. Behind it lies vested interests. The Russian gas industry, which is alarmed at losing its impending near-monopoly on European gas supplies, has been vocal in its criticism of shale gas. The coal and nuclear industries too would like to see this baby strangled at birth, but have been less high-profile.

Most of the opposition, though, has come from those with a vested interest in renewable energy, including the big environmental pressure groups, which are alarmed that the rich subsidies paid to wind, biomass and solar may be under threat if gas gets too cheap and cuts carbon emissions too effectively. Their entire rationale for subsidy, parroted by their dutiful poodle Chris Huhne, when Energy Secretary, is that gas would get more expensive until even wind and solar looked cheap. That was wishful thinking.

Even if you do not think carbon emissions are the highest environmental priority, there is a more fundamental reason why using gas is good for the planet. No other species needs or uses it. Every time you grow a biofuel crop, harvest timber for a biomass power station, pave a desert with solar panels or dam a river for a hydro plant, you are stealing energy from the natural world. Even the wind is needed - by eagles for soaring, by bats for feeding (both are regularly killed by wind turbines). As the only species that uses gas, the more we use it the more we can leave other sources of energy for nature.


Idiot Warmist trusts a computer poll

Even he admits that such polls can be widely out of syc with actual public opinion but he gives no information (e.g, a demographic profile or checks to see whether many of the answers come from one computer) which might tend to set such doubts at rest

Scientists may hesitate to link some of the weather extremes of recent years to global warming - but the public, it seems, is already there.

A poll due for release on Wednesday shows that a large majority of Americans believe that this year's unusually warm winter, last year's blistering summer and some other weather disasters were probably made worse by global warming. And by a 2-to-1 margin, the public says the weather has been getting worse, rather than better, in recent years.

The survey, the most detailed to date on the public response to weather extremes, comes atop other polling showing a recent uptick in concern about climate change. Read together, the polls suggest that direct experience of erratic weather may be convincing some people that the problem is no longer just a vague and distant threat.

"Most people in the country are looking at everything that's happened; it just seems to be one disaster after another after another," said Anthony A. Leiserowitz of Yale University, one of the researchers who commissioned the new poll. "People are starting to connect the dots."

The poll opens a new window on public opinion about climate change.

A large majority of climate scientists say the climate is shifting in ways that could cause serious impacts, and they cite the human release of greenhouse gases as a principal cause. But a tiny, vocal minority of researchers contests that view, and has seemed in the last few years to be winning the battle of public opinion despite slim scientific evidence for their position.

The poll suggests that a solid majority of the public feels that global warming is real, a result consistent with other polls that have asked the question in various ways. When invited to agree or disagree with the statement, "global warming is affecting the weather in the United States," 69 percent of respondents in the new poll said they agreed, while 30 percent disagreed.

Dr. Leiserowitz's unit at Yale, along with researchers at George Mason University, commissioned the survey, conducted by Knowledge Networks. That company surveyed 1,008 American adults by computer in the last half of March, with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

While many online polls are not representative of the broad public, Knowledge Networks is noted for its efforts to overcome this problem, including giving computers to households too poor to have them.



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