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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Roy Spencer grows even wearier...

Sou | 3:00 PM Go to the first of 47 comments. Add a comment

Some of you may remember how Roy Spencer fudges charts so he can write emotive and alarmist stuff like this (archived here):
I am growing weary of the variety of emotional, misleading, and policy-useless statements like “most warming since the 1950s is human caused” or “97% of climate scientists agree humans are contributing to warming”, neither of which leads to the conclusion we need to substantially increase energy prices and freeze and starve more poor people to death for the greater good.

Roy has just made a belated appearance, commenting on my article where I exposed his shenanigans, writing:
we aligned all of the observations so that the *5 year average* at the beginning of the record (1979-1983) was the starting point. There is NO deception here, nothing nefarious, as you suggest. You can make your own graphs to suggest we did the same as you, but we didn't.

Roy can't have read my article, because what he claims to have done is exactly what I accused him of doing except that I pointed out that what he did was deceitful. In reply I asked him to explain:
Perhaps you will explain why you chose a "five year average" at the beginning of the record and not a thirty year average. Perhaps you will explain why, since you did pick a five year average instead of a thirty year average, you picked that particular five year period when UAH was abnormally high such that it distorted the difference (as I showed above) . Why did you pick 1979-1983 2004 rather than, say 2001 to 2005. Why did you move away from your normal baseline of 1981 to 2010?

Roy hasn't explained yet. Anyway, because there were a couple of people who still apparently didn't understand Roy's deception, let's do what I suggested in my comment, and compare using a different five year baseline (2001-2005) and a thirty year 1981-2010 baseline. Here is the result - as always, click to enlarge:

Data Sources: NASA , UAH ,  Met Office Hadley Centre and KNMI Climate Explorer


It should be obvious by now why Roy chose the baseline he did. It was because in that five year period, the UAH readings were abnormally high while CMIP5 mean was on the low side compared with observations. (Compare the 1979-1983 baselined chart with the 1981-2010 baselined chart. As climate watchers know, Roy Spencer reports UAH monthly and annual observations using the 1981-2010 baseline, so his use of the unusual five-year baseline 1979-83 for this exercise is a once-off for his own purposes.)

By picking a very short window where UAH was way above (and other observations were also above) CMIP5, Roy was able to create his illusion. Effectively what Roy's little trick did, was to artificially shift the CMIP5 model runs up compared to observations, making it look as if there is more of a difference than in actuality.

Roy wanted to make the CMIP data look more divergent from observations than they actually are. He used a simple arithmetic trick. Pick an abnormally short window when UAH and CMIP5 are both more divergent from other observations, and in opposite directions, and it will make it appear that there is even more of a divergence. When in fact over the medium term (thirty four years or so) there isn't anything like the difference Roy's trick makes it appear.

What isn't obvious is, when it's pointed out to him, why Roy doesn't just 'fess up to the reason he used his trick.

47 comments:

Jaget santos said...

Roy have lost all credibility by now and is acting more and more like a paid misinformed.
A shame really - had some respect for him before.

Millicent said...

Its strange - I'd expect him to write stuff like that at sites like WUWT where the faux-sceptics would uncritically accept anything from him as a vindication even though he completely misses the point. I dunno, maybe cherry picking has become such a habitual practice at the Marshall Institute that they now confuse it with proper science.

Ernest Hurley said...

Is this the type of "trick" mentioned in the CRU emails?
If so , disgraceful...........2 wrongs do not make a right.

Sou said...

No Ernest. They are nothing alike. Roy's trick is skulduggery. The Nature "trick" is not. It refers to an accepted scientific technique. As explained on the UCS website:

University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit Director Phil Jones wasn't "hiding" anything that wasn't already being openly discussed in scientific papers. He was using a "trick"—a technique—published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature.

This email exchange from 1999 seems to refer to scientists examining past climate data and communicating with one another about it. In particular, Jones is talking about how scientists compare temperature data from thermometers with temperature data derived from tree rings. Comparing that data allows scientists to derive past temperature data for several centuries before accurate thermometer measurements were available. The global average surface temperature since 1880 is based on thermometer and satellite temperature measurements.

The "trick" is actually a technique (in other words, a "trick of the trade") used in a peer-reviewed, academic science journal article published in 1998.

Jammy Dodger said...

No, nothing like. But it still stands on its own as disgraceful regardless of anything else.

bill said...

If Roy does turn up again perhaps he could explain how the phrase 'most warming since the 1950s is human caused' is either 'emotional' or 'misleading'?

(I think we already have a rough idea of what he perceives as 'policy-useful'...)

Ernest Hurley said...

I think I read that the tree ring data was not a very efficient means of measuring temperature since there were many variables in the structuring of the rings , the most important of which was rain.So perhaps they are a better measure of precipitation than temperature?

Sou said...

You "think you read"? Where did you "think you read" that? Perhaps that's just your way of saying that "scientists don't know nuffin'"?

Your heading off topic, Ernest. However if you are interested, try working through some of these links and see if it will jog your memory. Or have a read of this paper by one of the world's top experts.

Modern weather stations are much easier to read than trees. Unfortunately they were only planted in sufficient places around the world from around 1850 onwards.

Millicent said...

Ernest HurleyMay 21, 2014 at 8:18 PM
"I think I read that the tree ring data was not...."

Scientists prefer to use direct measurements rather than proxies where they are available. If you look at the temperature reconstructions built using a wide range of proxies (and there are an awful lot of them now) they differ in detail because they include errors due to other sources of variability. But they all show the hockey stick that various clueless numpties (would that be you?) seek to deny.

BBD said...

Ernest Hurley

Why are you wittering about dendro proxies?

Please tell us whether you endorse or condemn the chartsmanship displayed by RS. There is no middle road answer here btw, so do not be evasive on this point. Endorse/condemn.

If you endorse it, please explain exactly why.

Sou said...

BBD if you look up-thread, you'll see that Ernest doesn't agree with it, he said it was disgraceful.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me Roy is so busy attacking his fellow climate scientist, that there's no time left to do his real job. There was supposed to be a version 6.0 of the UAH temperature data set by the end of 2006! And there's still no sign of it.

You'd almost think there's some major problem with the UAH data, and Roy (and John Christy) don't have a clue how to solve it. Maybe, because of that, they decided to quit doing science at all, and follow their ideology instead.

Ernest Hurley said...

Thank you for that link Sou , a whole lot of information there and very interesting too.
Mallificent I seek only to learn , I will not be swayed by insult nor will I succumb to badgering. If you wish to persuade people that you are correct then you should not start by presuming that you are talking to a cretinous troll.
It is about time people of all points of view realised that there are millions of people addressing these issues for the first time and that entrenched views of the past 30 years are redundant .This is not a debating contest as so many people appear to think but a conversation about the validity of scientific endeavor and the results pertaining therefrom. If this site , as I perceive it to be, one of the foremost sites in favour of the consensus ,cannot have a rational discussion about the facts and perceived reality ,then where does the future lie?
Perhaps it is time for a site where those who are intransigent are banned and only people with an open mind and a view to discourse are allowed to talk.
Having said that , I have been treated reasonably well here ,considering my lack of knowledge , I just wish a lot of other people could put their beliefs behind them and listen to the debate,which from my current perspective appears to be more about observed reality than Millicent's Hockey Stick .Even the IPCC do not print that anymore ,, excuse my numptiness.

PL said...

You were doing so well until the "Hockey Stick" comment. But to treat you "reasonably well", tell us what you meant to imply by it. Is the HS dead? proven wrong? Replaced by better time records? If the latter, do they disagree with the HS?

Sou said...

Ernest, the IPCC keeps updating the hockey stick with more recent data. This is the latest hockey stick in the current AR5 report:

http://hotwhopper.com/Charts/BoxTS5Fig1.png

Ernest Hurley said...

I was responding to millicent who suggested I was denying the veracity of the hockey stick. It would appear from my many forages into the issue that the IPCC no longer uses the hockey stick graph so why be so tetchy about it? Regarding the rest of your query I can only state that I have seen no better time records , I understand a lot of speculation about pictures painted in the 1600s which show grapes and or/snow along with various ice records from the previous thousands of years ,diaries, photos, whatever have all been a source of information. Since neither I nor you were around when this data was extant then is is hard to say what is correct. Tree rings appear to be a reliable source of drought and or heavy precipitation which might go along with heat or cold, I am looking at the various sites provided by Sou ,as we speak to gain a better understanding.
PL , you need to chill a bit , if the hockey stick is wrong so what? The AGW effect is not based on a graph . Your belief system can therefore remain intact until it gets colder , if it does.

Marco said...

Funny to see Ernest Hurley the tone troll here. What did you say over at Andrew's place?

"warmista ballerinas", eh?

Yep, let's not assume you are just a cretinous troll...

corey said...

"This is not a debating contest..."

"...I just wish a lit of other people could put their beliefs behind them and listen to the debate..."

My favorite:

"[This is] a conversation about the validity of scientific endeavor and the results pertaining therefrom."

That sounds like a perfect conversation for a Wattsian blog. I'm not sure that there's room for questioning the validity of scientific endeavor here (not that it's my call). I quite enjoy learning from Sou and the contributors on this site, without having to scroll through an abundance of ignorance and anger.

Sou said...

the IPCC no longer uses the hockey stick graph

You are wrong. The IPCC temperature reconstructions are still a hockey stick, Ernest. See the link I posted above. The blade gets sharper and steeper as time goes by.
http://climatedesk.org/2013/05/the-most-controversial-chart-in-history-explained/

ligne said...

"It would appear from my many forages into the issue [...]"

...none of which, it would seem, actually involved reading the sodding IPCC reports. i think what you're mistaking for "tetchiness" is in fact exasperation at your criticising research on subjects you clearly have no understanding about, nor any apparent interest in understanding.

Millicent said...

Ernest Hurley
May 22, 2014 at 1:53 AM
"I was responding to millicent who suggested I was denying the veracity of the hockey stick."

I asked if you were - which seemed reasonable given your post about tree rings. And now you came back with the incredible piece of numptyism that the IPCC no longer uses the hockey stick.

So that's a Bingo! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ugpg8XruhVk

Well, some people do describe it as more of a brick wall these days, but that's hardly your point.

Jammy Dodger said...

Not quite Sou. He says it is disgraceful conditional on something else. Weasel words I think.

bill said...

This constant argument-by-repeated-assertion regarding Mann is truly funny. How's do you all manage to breathe in your epistemic bubble?

Look at Sou's link above, dummy! And thanks for being such a pathetically easy target! It;s [sic]

numerobis said...

As for the BS claim about the hockey stick not being in the latest IPCC report, here's chapter 5:
http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_Chapter05_FINAL.pdf

We've got a hockey stick for temperature in Figure 5.7 (p409), Figure 5.8a (p413), and Figure 5.12 (p419).

There's an inverted hockey stick for the PDSI (droughts) in Figure 5.13c (p423).

Figure 5.17e (p429) is some kind of a bent stick relating to sea level change.

numerobis said...

Also, Table 5.A.6 says where they got the hockey sticks. Mann's reputation is so demolished that he gets two relevant citations as primary author (from 2008 and 2009), whereas everyone else only gets one.

Joe said...

"two citations" - well said numerobis. This is becoming such a fun thread to watch!

ligne said...

[deleted comment redacted]

IPCC AR5 WG1, Figure 5.7. p409 of the report.

took me all of 2 minutes to find on the IPCC website.

Joe said...

[deleted comment redacted]

Hahaha!!! Oh come on, you're just trying to get some wiggle room after being proven wrong.

Keep on, it's fun to watch.

bill said...

I'll point out that I was responding to the same deleted comment.

This ludicrous tribal-myth - both Mike Mann's reputation and his Hockey Stick having been 'demolished' - is such an extraordinary feature of identity in Clan Denial it's got to be worth a few psychology PhD's! Paging Prof. Lewandowsky...

But you're not cranks living in an invented reality*, or anything! No Sirree...

*The Happy Heartland? Kochworld?

Sou said...

Sorry Bill. When a comment gets deleted all the replies get deleted with it. I guess I missed retrieving a couple.

Bernard J. said...

"Mallificent I seek only to learn , I will not be swayed by insult..."

Whilst I'm deeply guilty myself of barbed comment the overweening hypocrisy here is breathtaking.

"If you wish to persuade people that you are correct then you should not start by presuming that you are talking to a cretinous troll."

If you take umbrage at being treated like a cretinous troll you shoulf first stop behaving like one.

"It is about time people of all points of view realised that there are millions of people addressing these issues for the first time and that entrenched views of the past 30 years are redundant ."

Who are these "millions of people" who have any valid capacity for overturning science? You're not referring to the army of science denialists, are you? Having many people being wrong doesn't make being wrong, not wrong. You're indulging in logical fallacy.

And on what basis are the "entrenched views" (which is apparently your propaganda code for "professionally derived, tested, and established science") redundant? Are you able to provide any actual expamples with reference to papers, analysis, and defensible conclusion?

"This is not a debating contest as so many people appear to think but a conversation about the validity of scientific endeavor and the results pertaining therefrom [sic]."

So why then do you Denialati debate science with ignorance, illogic, and untruth?

And why do you refuse to accept the consensus on the validity of the science, especially when it is patently apparent that you doen't understand even basic science in the first place?

"If this site , as I perceive it to be, one of the foremost sites in favour of the consensus ,cannot have a rational discussion about the facts and perceived reality ,then where does the future lie?"

The key word here is "rational". Your filtering and misrepresentation of the science is not rational.

"Perhaps it is time for a site where those who are intransigent are banned and only people with an open mind and a view to discourse are allowed to talk."

The problem is that you have a view to a particular discourse - one that ends in the parking lot of your ideology rather than of scientific parsimony.

And on open minds...

"Even the IPCC do not print that anymore ,, excuse my numptiness."

Considering how wrong this comment is as has been repeatedly demosntrated above, no, your numptiness cannot be excused.

Sou said...

Oh, I love that cartoon, Bernard. The differences between that and the numpties I often come across at WUWT are:

a) he's somehow become aware he's lost his mind and

b) he's making some effort to retrieve it.

Ernest Hurley said...

Well you should have stopped after my post and not read the comments from the gang. Unfortunately we are in different time zones so I cannot be here at your convenience.
This business over the hockey stick is puzzling , I will grant you that. a google search on the subject "The Hockey Stick Climate" reveals thousands of sites some of which are actually about real hockey sticks.
As per usual the comments have descended into the typical name calling which i seek to diffuse , but what the hey!
As they say , "great minds think alike and fools seldom differ".

Sou said...

This business over the hockey stick is puzzling

I suppose that's progress of a sort. Thing is, it isn't puzzling at all. The measure of the importance of any aspect of climate science is the vigour with which dumb deniers protest it.

Temperature reconstructions are important to deniers because they show very clearly that we will soon, if we haven't already, made the world hotter than it's been since civilisation began. That has big ramifications for the production of food, feed and fibre. It also has big ramifications for human settlement. Within the next few decades, millions of people will probably need to relocate. On a planet in which land is considered private property, that will mean a lot of social disruption.

Remember Marcott13. Anthony Watts posted more than thirty articles protesting that work. Others hopped onto the protest wagon as well.

Cognitive science is another area that deniers protest a lot, dreaming up all sorts of conspiracy theories in the process.

Deniers also mobbed to protest the fact that 97% of papers attributing a cause to climate change show that it's predominately from human activities.

The bigger the protest the more important is the work. It's a fairly simple metric and one where the rare exception (if there is one) proves the rule.

numerobis said...

The converse is not true though: more important work doesn't necessarily raise the noise machine's hackles. It's just the papers that have a clean and easily understood warning that get the special treatment, and then only if the press publicizes them.

Ernest Hurley said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
BBD said...

Lots of trolling on this thread.

An interesting response to Spencer's misleading graphs.

One intellectual dishonesty begets another.

Two wrongs do not make a right...

Ernest Hurley said...

could you explain the following?
[redacted denier link - see comment policy - Sou]

This is just one of hundreds of sites which display some sort of anomaly with the graph. The IPCC have run versions of the original , one with the WMP one without and one where it is reinstated, what kind of a graph can be subject to such reviews? Surely if the first graph was valid ,it would still be printed ? Anyway since I do not wish to appear in court with Mr Mann I shall refrain from further discussion on the subject which appears to be litigious enough.
I quite enjoy learning from Sou too! I also think that the contributors are very interesting if a bit rude at times !

Sou said...

Read my comment below and stop treating denier sites as if they could ever present facts. They don't. The purpose of denier sites is to mislead and deceive.

You are also taking this thread way off topic. This is the last OT comment from you that will be tolerated. If you are interested in discussing the medieval warm period, you can comment on an article about the subject, such as one of the following:

http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2013/12/medieval-anthony-watts-reveals.html

http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2014/01/resurrecting-fred-singer-and-mwp-at-wuwt.html

http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2014/05/when-deniers-have-nothing-they-recycle.html

PL said...

Ernest, some history.

What I said: "You were doing so well until the "Hockey Stick" comment. But to treat you "reasonably well", tell us what you meant to imply by it. Is the HS dead? proven wrong? Replaced by better time records? If the latter, do they disagree with the HS?"

Your response: "PL , you need to chill a bit , if the hockey stick is wrong so what? The AGW effect is not based on a graph. Your belief system can therefore remain intact until it gets colder , if it does."

So, I give you a chance to explain your point. All you had to do was answer easy questions. "if the hockey stick is wrong" isn't an answer to anything; doesn't help me understand your point. How do you discuss the "HS" without defining it? You seem to want to define it as the original plot from a specific Mann et al. publication. But, if so, why would people continue to use that if a more complete, updated plot is available? Once we'd agreed on that, we could have moved on.

Then you infer, for no apparent reason, that the HS is integral to my "belief system". However, I work in climate science: I don't have a "belief system", I accept and interpret the facts. The HS is not even integral to my acceptance of the validity of AGW, although it seems to be quite important to yours.

Jammy Dodger said...

"Surely if the first graph was valid ,it would still be printed ?"

I am not quite sure what you mean by this. Are you being serious or just trolling? I assume you are talking about the original Mann hockey stick graph. From 1998? Are you really suggesting this graph would not change after 25 years with new data, improved understanding and new techniques?


Bernard J. said...

[Heavy irony warning...]

Mr Churlish said:

"Anyway since [sic] I do not wish to appear in court with Mr [sic] Mann I shall refrain from further discussion on [sic] the subject which appears to be litigious enough [sic]."

I am vehemently opposed to the use of titles in everyday life, and this goes for most scientists I know (but not all...).

However, when you use the prefix "Mr" rather than "Dr" or "Distinguished Professor" for a person who very conspicuously is not a "Mr" the only person you diminish with this petulant pettiness is yourself.

Either you are a baby, or so completely ignorant of the facts of this whole subject that you are unable to contribute anything sensible. Either way, you should just slink off and moulder silently in a dark corner.

Bernard J. said...

"I also think that the contributors are very interesting if a bit rude at times !"

There's a very simple solution to this - stop "contributing"...

Daneel Olivaw said...

I don't get what all the fuss is about. Why not just make a scatterplot of models vs. observations? That way the choice of baseline is irrelevant as it just offsets the whole graph in the X or Y axis. Here's the CMIP5 model mean vs. HadCRUT4 with a loess smooth (to make a more apples to apples comparison):

http://i.imgur.com/kbb11eQ.png

jqb said...

"Is this the type of "trick" mentioned in the CRU emails?
If so , disgraceful...........2 wrongs do not make a right."

The "trick" mentioned in he CRU emails was neither disgraceful nor wrong.

jqb said...

Ernest, we're all well familiar with the arrogance and ignorance of your type ... it's no "assumption".

David Piepgrass said...

For people that are used to looking at climate models superimposed, the immediate red flag in Spencer's graph is that all the dozens of models coincide exactly at 1983. In reality, of course, the models do not coincide in 1983, they actually vary a lot - more than 0.5°C.

There's no doubt, though, that satellite troposphere readings were below most model projections. This is shown by Gavin Schmidt's analysis:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2016/05/comparing-models-to-the-satellite-datasets/

I say "were" since the record high global temperature in 2016, combined with the new RSS dataset, brings satellite troposphere observations back in line with the models. As Zeke Hausfather said, “If you don’t like adjustments, you really shouldn’t use the satellite record.” Interpreting those records is really hard, so they keeps getting changed retroactively after accounting for sources of error and cross-checking with other records.

Unfortunately while most climate scientists publish peer-reviewed papers first and communicate their findings with the public second, guys like Spencer want to communicate any and all anti-AGW arguments directly with as many members of the general public as possible, scientific literature be damned. Because for him it's not a scientific debate but a political one.