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Saturday, June 6, 2015

The perversity of deniers - and the "pause" that never was with Tom Peterson

Sou | 9:11 PM Go to the first of 111 comments. Add a comment

Below is a TedX talk from Dr Tom Peterson on "What is Science: How it Differs from Art, Law and Quackery":

Tom quoted Stephen Jay Gould, Harvard geologist, from the video (which provided the title for this article):
Science does not deal in certainty, so "fact" can only mean a proposition affirmed to such a high degree it would be perverse to withhold one's provisional assent.

What follows is copied from a comment posted here at HotWhopper, from Tom Peterson of NOAA, co-author of the new paper in Science, and President of the WMO Commission for Climatology. The email exchange is about a subject of much recent discussion - the new Science paper, which I described here (with lots of links at the bottom for further reading).

Tom has subsequently confirmed the email exchange and kindly gave me permission to repost his comment as a blog article. Apart from remarking on Anthony's conspiracy ideation, there's not really anything more I need add. The exchange speaks for itself - and speaks volumes.

Email exchange between Anthony Watts and Tom Peterson

Dear Sou et al.,

I thought you might find an email exchange I had yesterday with Anthony Watts interesting. 16 hours ago I received this email from Anthony Watts:

Dear Dr. Peterson,
This latest paper, Karl et al. 2015 is an embarrassment to science. It epitomizes president Eisenhower’s second warning in his farewell address about science and politics becoming hopelessly intertwined, and thus corrupted.
In my last telephone conversation with you, I stated (paraphrasing) that “I believe you folks aren’t doing anything fraudulent, but you are doing what you feel is correct science in what you believe is a correct way”.
After seeing the desperate tricks pulled in Karl 2015 to erase “the pause” via data manipulation, I no longer hold that opinion. You needed it to go away, so you prostituted yourselves, perhaps at the direction of higher ups.
This will be NCDC’s Waterloo, and will backfire on all of you terribly on the world stage. Take a lesson from Yamamoto’s own observation after he bombed Pearl Harbor. Take a lesson from what is on WUWT today.
How sad for you all.
Anthony Watts
cc: [undisclosed recipients] 


14 hours ago I sent Anthony Watts this email response:

Dear Mr. Watts,
As you might imagine, my views about our paper and our motives are somewhat different than yours. To explain why, I should start by explaining my views on what science is and how it works.
is a 14 minute TEDxAsheville talk I gave in January on What is Science. While I can't do justice to a 14 minute talk in a single sentence, the bottom line is that science is the result of tests.
So let me give you two examples from our paper. One of the new adjustments we are applying is extending the corrections to ship data, based on information derived from night marine air temperatures, up to the present (we had previously stopped in the 1940s). As we write in the article's on-line supplement, "This correction cools the ship data a bit more in 1998-2000 than it does in the later years, which thereby adds to the warming trend. To evaluate the robustness of this correction, trends of the corrected and uncorrected ship data were compared to co-located buoy data without the offset added. As the buoy data did not include the offset the buoy data are independent of the ship data. The trend of uncorrected ship minus buoy data was -0.066°C dec-1 while the trend in corrected ship minus buoy data was -0.002°C dec-1. This close agreement in the trend of the corrected ship data indicates that these time dependent ship adjustments did indeed correct an artifact in ship data impacting the trend over this hiatus period."
The second example I will pose as a question. We tested the difference between buoys and ships by comparing all the co-located ship and buoy data available in the entire world. The result was that buoy data averaged 0.12 degrees C colder than the ships. We also know that the number of buoys has dramatically increased over the last several decades. Adding more colder observations in recent years can't help but add a cool bias to the raw data. What would you recommend we do about it? Leave a known bias in the data or correct the data for the bias? The resulting trend would be the same whether we added 0.12 C to all buoy data or subtracted 0.12 C from all ship data.
You are, of course, welcome to share this with your readers (or not), as you deem appropriate.


13 hours ago I received this email reply from Anthony Watts:

Thank you for the reply.
I’ll consider and advise.


And that is the last I heard from Anthony up to now.

Anthony hasn't yet taken Dr Peterson up on his offer to post his comment at WUWT. If you want to share it with the WUWT-ians, feel free :)

References and further reading

Thomas R. Karl, Anthony Arguez, Boyin Huang, Jay H. Lawrimore, James R. McMahon, Matthew J. Menne, Thomas C. Peterson, Russell S. Vose, Huai-Min Zhang. "Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus." 4 June 2015.
 doi:10.1126/science.aaa5632 (subs req'd)

Carolyn Gramling. "Lost and found: Earth's missing heat" Science 5 June 2015:
Vol. 348 no. 6239 pp. 1066-1067 DOI: 10.1126/science.348.6239.1066

From around the traps

Related from HotWhopper


  1. Has anyone at WUWT wondered why the pause wasn't disappeared at the very beginning instead of being allowed to run for X years?

    1. just one of the many flaws with their conspiracy theory they will never look into

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    3. Richard - please adhere to the comment policy. No direct links to denier sites. Nor do I want to see fibs about stolen emails, even slight fibs, let alone "science" by misinterpreted snippets of stolen emails.

    4. You didn't agree with those UK inquiries into Climategate that there hadn't been sufficient openness with data at the University of East Anglia? Shouldn't that be acknowledged? isn't the common context of the run-up to Copenhagen and Paris relevant right now?

      And isn't the Conclusion of Ross McKitrick's response to the Karl paper a good example of moderation and politeness?

      It will be interesting to watch the specialists in the field sort this question out in the coming months.

      In what way does this standalone PDF comprise a 'denier site'? Did you read Science of Doom's criticism of the use of the term denier in February? Is that link also deemed to be to a denier site? When SoD has done more than anyone to explain the basis of conventional atmospheric physics behind the claims of those concerned about the rise of CO2 in the atmosphere?

    5. "Did you read Science of Doom's criticism of the use of the term denier in February?"

      Wake up sleepy head:

      Confabulation of adjectives, whether with the worst propagandistic of intentions, or the naïvely best of intentions) does not inform the truth and relevance of the noun.

      And faux "moderation and politeness" camouflaging festering bad faith commentary does not make the carcass smell any better.

    6. Just asking questions, I see.

    7. Richard, I couldn't care less how "polite" Ross McKitrick is. He's an economist not a climate scientist, and he's a climate science denier, who couldn't find his way out of a scientific paper bag - see here.

      He can find his way to denier fests, I notice. And to denier blogs.

      I take notice of what climate scientists write about climate science, not what some Canadian economist writes about climate science.

      This NOAA paper represents and builds on probably dozens of person-years of work by scientists from all over (not just the NOAA). To think that anything some denier economist dashes off, no matter how "politely", would be of interest to anyone outside the deniosphere is ridiculous.

      And no, stolen emails have nothing to do with the subject at hand. There's always been more data available than deniers know what to do with - and what did they do with the proprietary data after CRU got permission to publish it? Nothing! Not one single thing!

      It's just like you are doing here. Adding nothing of value, while doing your best to spread FUD. You'll have more luck in that regard back at WUWT.

    8. To Richard Drake:

      Here's what one of the members of the Muir Russell Commission (the commission charged with investigating the CRU "climategate" allegations) had to say about the availability of temperature data: "Anyone competent enough to analyse the data would know where to find it".

      I'll not speculate as to whether he was referring to folks like you.

      --caerbannog the anonybunny

    9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    10. BTW - This is how Ross McKitrick's "polite" if irrelevant opinion was received at WUWT. And this collection is typical of the response. There was no need to quote-mine.

      NOAA global temperature paper prompts a torrent of paranoid conspiracies at WUWT

    11. Richard - last warning. Stay on topic. This thread is about Anthony Watts' nasty email and his conspiracy theorising, and about the NOAA science paper.

    12. Did you get Anthony Watts' permission to publish his email? The reason I pointed to Ross McKitrick's reaction is that it was intended to be published and showed the kind of restraint which I think is called for in the scientific debate of the Karl et al paper. Some intemperate remarks in a private email do not make Karl et al right.

    13. Richard Drake, did you ask that same question when Anthony Watts published the private correspondence of CRU? Did you ask the same question when Pielke Sr. published the emails of Gavin Schmidt?

      When I write NOAA I expect it to be published with the next FOIA abuse by the mitigation sceptics as punishment for inconvenient results.

    14. No. Why would I? Anthony already sent copies to who knows how many people as a bravado boast [cc undisclosed recipients]. (Just as Anthony Watts did not get my permission to publish my personal details or encourage his readers to use what he wrote to indulge in their personal fetishes and fantasies.)

      As I said in the article, Dr Peterson first posted this in the comments here and gave me permission to repost it as a blog article.

      Anthony's intemperate remarks nor the musings of any other denier (like Ross McKitrick) do not make Karl15 wrong. As all scientists I've read agree, the work is a considerable improvement on the NOAA record, and ERSST v4 is a considerable improvement on ERSSTv3b.

      The NOAA record is now more in line with other datasets. For example, here are the various trends for the period from 1998-2012 (referred to in the IPCC report as the so-called "hiatus" period):

      NOAA (as in Science) 0.086 °C +/-0.075 (from the supplement)
      NOAA (previous - old) 0.039 +/- 0.082 (from the supplement)

      Compared with:
      GISTEMP: 0.066 +- 0.156
      Berkeley: 0.108 +- 0.152
      HadCRUT4 hybrid (of Cowtan and Way): 0.136 +- 0.181

    15. A better question than Richard Drake's, would be to ask Anthony Watts why he hasn't published Dr Peterson's email response, particularly when he sought it, and was invited to publish it.

    16. Kind as McKitrick's post may be, I'm rather prone to not consider dishonesty as "polite". If Sou will allow it, I would like to engage in some selfless self-promotion:

    17. Sorry - "shameless" (or "selfish"), certainly not selfless :P

    18. Speaking of Ross' unflinching politeness:

      > I am not going to waste my time dealing with Lambert’s continued obsessive ranting about my CR paper.

      An intriguing suggestion. Should scientists heed it?


      There was also the time when reaching for comparisons such as Lynsenko meant something.

      Concerns about tone may better be left to Senior.


    19. Thanks Alexander. So McKitrick makes some basic blunders (again) in his statistical methods? Considering that like Roy Spencer, Pat Michaels and others that he is a member of the evangelical Cornwall Alliance, I wonder if he uses "biblically based" statistical methods?

    20. Excellent work - thanks, Alexander. Ross McKitrick makes a habit of making blunders with the numbers, doesn't he.

    21. I've not really read much of his stuff aside from the M&M paper responding to MBH99, along with the other papers published in response to it. McIntyre has been more publicly active than McKitrick, it seems; history or not, these are some rather serious oversights.

      If people are still interested, this may be my last post about this subject too; this one elaborates a touch more on the add/subtract 0.12 issue you touched on as well, and also briefly discusses Monckton's "addition".

    22. Victor Venema June 7, 2015 at 4:06 AM
      "Richard Drake, did you ask that same question when Anthony Watts published the private correspondence of CRU?"

      And Richard Drake, up to that moment so keen to discuss the CRU emails, disappears. Bizarre. Richard, how can you expect so much from scientists when you behave so pathetically in return?

    23. I have disappeared many times on this thread already. Ask the moderator about that.

    24. Nope Richard. As I see it you have not been "disappeared".

      Some of your comments have been removed because you failed to adhere to the published criteria for comments; nonetheless evidence of your presence remains (so 'No' to the "disappearing").

      Reasons are available. Explanations can be found. I can only presume that YOU do not want to "ask the Moderator about that" because you already know what you will be told.

      You cannot manufacture a non-existent scandal on the basis of your engagement here. You face a simple choice - either be silent, or provide a coherent explanation as what your point / evidence / argument is.


    25. More pathetic still. Come on Richard try and find the common courtesy to answer Victor's question.

    26. This comment has been removed by the author.

    27. Victor's question misunderstands my argument. This isn't his fault because my argument about the run-up to Paris has been deleted.

    28. Victor's question is about your immediately preceding comment asking if Sou got permission to publish the email exchange, which is why he asked about whether you made the same inquiry when Watts and such posted the emails from East Anglia. I do not see how there is extra context needed to clarify why he asked you that.

    29. Dear me Richard, you seem to be displaying the same inability to misunderstand plain english as the deniers who made false claims about the CRU emails. Has that become a habit for you?

    30. Hi Millicent, I wanted to concentrate on the Karl et al paper and the its context. I was then informed

      Richard - last warning. Stay on topic. This thread is about Anthony Watts' nasty email and his conspiracy theorising, and about the NOAA science paper.

      I've been unclear since whether if I disagree with the characterisation "Watts' nasty email and his conspiracy theorising", which I do, whether it's worth saying anything at all. Could you enlighten me?

    31. I doubt its possible to enlighten you. I think you prefer to remain unenlightened.

      But some of us would like to know how somebody who is happy with scientist's private emails being stolen and published has the hypocrisy to worry "Did you get Anthony Watts' permission to publish his email?".

      I look forward to your next evasion.

    32. Your use of the verb is incorrect.

    33. Richard, Let me enlighten you. You are no longer welcome here (your last warning was upthread). I've given you a fair amount of leeway. However, now you've shown you cannot even stick to the facts about your own comments.

      For the record: Two of your comments were deleted (not removed altogether) because 1) one included a link to a denier website and 2) one was off topic (solely about stolen emails).

      Two of your comments were removed altogether because despite a caution, you continued to link to denier blogs - in one of which you were only tone trolling about the word "denier".

    34. Note: in view of the above, no more comments to Richard Drake please, as he will not be permitted to respond.

    35. No worries Sou: I just find it fascinating how many of these people seem constrained so they cannot intelligently respond to criticism of their own side. And its great fun - when the opportunity arises - to demonstrate it and watch them wriggle.

    36. Alexander Coulter is doing a great job in the comments on the Judith Curry blog at "has-noaa-busted-the-pause-in-global-warming"

    37. Thanks Ceist—I think I may have run up against a stopping point in most of the threads. Too much arrogance from one (I certainly am a feisty young 22 year old but it astounds me how "real adults" can be so immature sometimes), and I think myself and the Captain Dallas fellow are talking past each other. I'm a bit unsure what he's talking about specifically.

    38. Alexander C

      I think myself and the Captain Dallas fellow are talking past each other. I'm a bit unsure what he's talking about specifically.

      I had to smile at this. I've long since given up commenting at JC's but I will long remember the Cap'n and his Legendary Word Salads.

  2. I've pointed out to Anthony that his comments don't seem consistent with his agreement at "That Dinner" that we should all aim for a more civil discussion!

    1. Leopards and spots, Richard :(

    2. Any time now I expect Roger Pielke Sr to show up and admonish Anthony Watts for being uncivil. Really, I am expecting that...

      ...when hell freezes over!

      And I don't think your admonishment will have any impact, Richard. Remember when you got your comment published about that nasty Tim Ball piece? Just a few days after that Anthony posted another piece by Tim Ball - its content was largely the same as the one you reacted to, just without all the nazi references.

    3. Richard

      As you know I met up with Anthony in Bristol the day after your dinner and he was full of enthusiasm for a new start. I don't know what has happened since as the sort of email he sent was quite unnecessary and not in the spirit of building better relationships.

      I have perfectly civil discussions with a number of scientists, including those at the Met office.. Its easier to be civil than unpleasant and yields much more satisfactory results.


    4. Marco

      "I don't think your admonishment will have any impact"

      Well it led to a very long and revealing twitter exchange, which led to a new blog post by Sou…. ;)



    5. Richard, I was of course referring to a potential change in behaviour of Anthony Watts (and for the better).

      It's not like Sou needs any further inspiration - just about every new WUWT article lends itself to some form of debunking.

  3. "You needed it to go away, so you prostituted yourselves, perhaps at the direction of higher ups." - Wow. He is as nutty as his constituency.

    1. Yeah. And what sort of numpty thinks that the politicians want to have their failure to protect humanity made even more stark?

    2. he actually thinks that "higher ups" might have sent a literal message to the researchers that their next project was to get rid of the pause.

      He doesn't see how infeasible such a setup would be.

    3. A numpty that has sold his/her soul to the devil. I can think of a few who had to have sold their souls to the devil. Grandpa Bush made a fortune financing Hitler and grandpa Koch made a fortune working for Stalin.

  4. Wow, What a nasty delusional poisonous little email from Watts. No science, just insults.

    Brilliant response from Peterson, and a great video.

    Thanks for posting it Sou. I think it should be spread wider than this blog.

  5. As I said in response to the original comment posted by Thomas Peterson:

    "...consider and advise..."?!

    This, from a demonstrated incompetent who doesn't even understand that the selection of a particular anomaly baseline doesn't change the actual magnitude of movement in the anomalous parameter?

    Watts has delusions of grandeur on top of his Dunning-Kruger.

    It's interesting indeed though to see that Watts is happy to accuse Thomas Peterson and his co-authors of fraud. I hope that endeavour grows legs.

    1. Does someone want to repost this email exchange on Judith Curry's blog? I doubt it would last more than a few seconds at WUWT


    2. Was the commenter JCH seriously comparing Peterson to a "psychic surgeon" and Watts to a "real" surgeon? He's beyond deluded.

    3. No!

      Willard = utter nutter psychic insult climate dog
      Peterson = real climate scientist

      Look at his other posts, note the 'cheer leading' for anomalies of 0.8C in May and 0.9C in June, look for trends of 0.2C per decade or 0.3C per decade, once one buys into a proposition, part of the baggage that comes along with that deal is intellectual ownership (you just want it to happen so badly, especially before you die).

    4. By "Willard", you are referring to Willard Tony, I presume, Everett.


      Willard (@nevaudit)

    5. Yes. Now go back to Judy's 'unmoderated' Dungeon of Deadbeat Deniers and bother them some more. I have to take a shower now, I'm feeling so unclean right now.

      Note to self, Judy will be best known, historically speaking, for running a chop shop of climate science denial.

  6. Oh, to be a fly on a pub wall.... with a small group of climate-scientists working their way through their 4th pitcher of beer, and then someone mentions Anthony Watts.

    --caerbannog the anonybunny

  7. Why is anyone surprised. This is what NOAA scientists said in 2008 when ERSST v3 was released:

    Because ships tend to be biased warm relative to buoys and because of the increase in the number of buoys and the decrease in the number of ships, the merged in situ data without bias adjustment can have a cool bias relative to data with no ship–buoy bias. As buoys become more important to the in situ record, that bias can increase. Since the 1980s the SST in most areas has been warming. The increasing negative bias due to the increase in buoys tends to reduce this recent warming. This change in observations makes the in situ temperatures up to about 0.1°C cooler than they would be without bias. At present, methods for removing the ship–buoy bias are being developed and tested.

    1. Thanks David. So I wonder if Watts will ever answer Peterson's question?

  8. I have a multiple linear regression model called CSALT which incorporates warming impacts due to effective CO2 increases and natural variability factors such as ENSO.

    Two regions have always been problematic in arriving at a quality regression fit --(1) the WWII years between 1940-1945 and (2) the last decade. I have thought that the war years were mainly due to calibration issues as military personnel took over measurements from civilian during a period of time.

    And now the Karl paper certainly provides a basis for understanding any recent calibration issues.

    BTW, the duh-nihilists hate the CSALT model.

    1. yeah they would hate it, it makes sense and doesn't show what they want to believe

  9. Remember, we are mostly talking about mostly old white men (looks in mirror, oops).

    As to this latest NOAA cons piracy theory:

    So, with respect to the 1st link (blue box) anyone with under or deputy and secretary would be political appointees. So I count 3-4 in that chart as political appointees, all the rest would be career civil servants, mostly at the Senior Executive Service level.

    I use to be (a relatively low level) career civil servant. It's a job, we get paid and we do our jobs.

    However, we do have this precedent:

    Hansen would have been at the SES level (different agency NASA, but hopefully you get the drill), if I'm not mistaken.

    So following the guilt by association informal logical fallacy, if Dubya did it, then Obama did it, or some such.

    Willard Anthony Watts could write his CA senators:

    So those two are definitely non sequitur's for old white men (not because their female but because they are D's who have certain positions on climate change diametrically opposed to Willard's thoughts).

    Willard does have an R as a representative:

    So, I'm sort of guessing that guy would take Willard rather seriously.

    Finally, we can't forget FOIA, so I'd expect many FOIA requests with respect to Karl15 and NOAA.

    So this particular incoherent fabrication of a con piracy theroy has legs, in the minds of Willard, et. al.

    Old white men (looks again in mirror, oops), saving up all the hate-racism-sexism-discrimination for humanity's sake.

  10. There is so much just factually incorrect in Anthony Watts' strawman (in addition to offensive obviously) I wouldn't know where to begin, but a few quick observations:

    The driving rationale for this work was entirely internal. There was no external funding or directive involved. While I was at (then) NCDC I arranged (I think via UK FCO funding if memory serves) for Colin Morice to visit NCDC to give a talk on the as yet unpublished HadCRUT4. It was important to know what the new UK effort would look like and that was the only seminar in my time there attended by many senior management. After that it was decided that it was necessary to revisit the SST as well as the land which was already being worked on. Then to revisit the merge and interpolation. Karl et al. is simply a waymark in a long-term process of analysis, investigation, reanalysis and improvement. Which is as it should be. There continue to be efforts to substantively improve the holdings and the analysis methods to strive for the best possible products. And long may that continue as we should strive for best understanding.

    At no point in any of the discussions around development of the ERSST product was the effect on the hiatus raised. The driving rationale was actually to better do centennial scale bias adjustments and better recover late 19th / early 20th Century ENSO behaviour. It was also necessary to address the various insights raised in the literature in the intervening decade. Of which the buoy bias viz. ships was obvious and replicated in multiple independent published analyses. It would have been perverse to ignore this and unlikely to have passed muster in peer review had the new product chose to ignore this effect.

    ERSSTv4 is published and analysed in two substantive papers which go into great detail to justify and analyse the impact of the changes made. On the land side the ISTI databank is fully documented as is the PHA method across several papers. Karl et al should be considered in combination with these (referenced therein) preceding pieces.

    1. This article by Zeke Hausfather has some interesting detail.

      "While NOAA uses the ERSST ocean temperature series, other groups like the Hadley Centre in the UK have their own record, HadSST version 3. They also make adjustments for buoys in recent years and changes in ship measurement practices, but end up with a somewhat different estimate than ERSST. The figure above shows the old ERSST 3, the new version 4, and HadSST side by side. ERSST 4 and HadSST differ noticeably between 1920 and 1970, but are rather similar before 1920 and between 1970 and the late 1990s.

      Since 1998, during the period of reported slowing-down of warming, data from ERSST 3 was noticeably lower than from HadSST. The new ERSST 4 increases temperatures after 2006 to be the same as HadSST, mostly because of the new buoy corrections, but is still lower between 1998 and 2006. This difference explains why global temperature records based on HadSST tend to show flatter temperatures over the past 17 years, while the new NOAA record shows a more rapid trend."

      See the chart comparing HadSST3, ERSST3 & 4 here.

      Full article here

    2. Peter makes some important (if understated!) observations.

      Those who don't understand the science could take note and learn - if only their susceptibility to the Dunning-Kruger effect wasn't operating.

  11. I have to admit that Watts surprised me by how pompous and insulting he can be in correspondence.

    But as hinted by Sou, he was probably writing for an audience, not to Peterson in good faith.

    1. He's learning from the master of pompous and insulting- "Moncky!"

    2. I also just got some mail from someone from this demographic. It had 11 people in the CC:.


    3. Are you willing to share what they wrote Victor?

    4. If I would, I would already have written so. :-)

      Germany has freedom of research and thus no FOIA harassment. Thus for me email still works for informal scholarly discussions. Then I should not destroy that without good cause myself.

      Just found the large number of CC's interesting, could be a pattern.

  12. Watts has just posted about another Richard / Tamsin moment he recently had with Bill McKibben. It's a desperate stab at ameliorating the affects of his appalling conduct toward Tom Peterson and his co authors.

    1. Coincidentally his big lunch was probably only an hour or so after Anthony wrote that first email. Did he write it to help him get up the courage to meet a real live climate hawk?

      Now start the countdown for the next snide WUWT article about Bill McKibben. Last time Bill was gracious to Anthony after Anthony falsely accused him of deleting a tweet, it took eight days.

      There's another coincidence I just noticed. In his response to Bill he used almost identical words: "I’ll look again and advise. – Anthony"

    2. The "I will look/consider and advise" phrasing appears to be a passive-aggressive patronisation intended to elevate Watts to the level of an intellectual, reputational and/or magnanimity equal.

      To anyone with a clue though it just makes him look as though he is trying far too hard to be something that he patently is not.

    3. Bert from ElthamJune 7, 2015 at 5:00 PM

      Is that his BEST response?

    4. Ssssshhh! Don't mention the name BEST to Watts - it gives him heart(land)burn.

  13. I noticed this tweet from McKibben about an his article in the Washington Post.

    "Why 'engagement' with the likes of Exxon is a really pathetic sham--a few thoughts of mine from the Wash Post …"

    He should probably take his own advice in relation to Anthony Watts. By meeting with Watts, he lends his considerable credibility to a nasty and vicious crank.

  14. "Richard DrakeJune 7, 2015 at 3:43 AM
    Did you get Anthony Watts' permission to publish his email?"

    Did Anthony Watts get permission to publish CRU's emails?

  15. So Tom Peterson admits in his response to Watts [ We also know that the number of buoys has dramatically increased over the last several decades. Adding more colder observations in recent years can't help but add a cool bias to the raw data.]
    So when exactly does a trend become a bias?

    1. Bert from ElthamJune 9, 2015 at 9:10 AM

      A trend cannot become a bias as a trend is time dependant and a bias is time independent. Bert

    2. Bert from ElthamJune 9, 2015 at 9:40 AM

      Another way of saying this is that a trend is the derivative with respect to time of the function in question. The derivative of a bias or constant with respect to time is zero. This is elementary year eleven calculus. Bert

    3. Bert from ElthamJune 9, 2015 at 10:35 AM

      Perhaps anon you could relay this information to gonzoman at the Guardian. Bert

    4. To elaborate a bit, a bias is a systematic variation from a mean. If you all of a sudden flipped from 100% ship measurements to 100% buoy measurements, you'd see a step down because buoys on average read cooler than ships do. The bias would thus appear as this clean-cut feature in the data. On the other hand, we have been integrating buoy measurements ~slowly over the past couple decades, so that the bias creeps in to full view only over time and disguises itself as a change in a longer term trend. It's just masquerading though.

  16. Bert...Just a quick note: bias can be time dependent as well. That is why we must control for autocorrelation in many time series.

    That isn't the problem here, of course.

    1. Bert from ElthamJune 10, 2015 at 9:30 PM

      Do you mean that all the study of partial differential equations and integrals were all a waste of time on my part.
      Bias is only variable if there is a ratio of the number of measurements done differently that varies with time.
      Such as ship measurements and Argo measurements where the Argo measurements are changing with time. It is a false signal.

  17. Off topic and may be a language issue. Various biases based on time dependencies are common in time series. Seasonal effects, other cycles, time-dependent survival analyses, and the like all are common. In climate, besides seasonal cycles we also have all the other cycles--primarily at the sea-air interface--we are getting ever more research on.

    Unless there is drift over time (common in survival analysis situations, for example), this does not bias the mean at all. But such bias very much (can) bias the confidence intervals.

    Surely with all your calculus you know this! You may call it by a different name than statisticians, but it most definitely applies to biasing certain parameter estimates in an analysis!

  18. Bert from ElthamJune 12, 2015 at 6:46 AM

    Anon or should I say gonzoman you are just confusing the issue with the difference between trends and biases with a Gish gallop of unrelated variations due to totally different effects that are irrelevant. This attempt to confuse and cast doubt is the hallmark of the seemingly scientifically poorly educated denier who's target is the poorly educated.
    I have explained it to you once. If you are too stupid or unwilling to understand I will not bother with you again.
    It is very clear to me that you are trying to conflate time dependant trends with instrument biases. The motive is to cast doubt on the valid data adjustments by Tom Peterson et al. Bert

  19. Uh Bert...not sure if you are talking to me or not.

    First, sorry about anon--I do not post here preferring other places like tamino, RC, and SkS so did not include my usual handle for what I thought would be a quick comment. But another anon has appeared that may have confused things.

    My posts assert no "Gish Gallop" I merely pointed out a single slight, but important, overstatement of your own which is key in time series analysis--one which is routinely ignored by deniers to misinform. Therein lies this anon's "motive". I have no reason whatever to disagree with Peterson et. al. and for those statistical parts I am competent to judge absolutely do not.

    I also specifically stated the overstatement did not apply to this case, so this anon can hardly be accused of all the additional things you add which do appear to be a direct reply to my anon.

    Your single overstatement is overlooking that time dependent parameter bias can be, and very often is, a problem in time series analysis. No, not the estimates of the trend generally (except under specific conditions highly likely not applicable here). But the estimates of the CIs very much so. This parameter is part of the regression solution as well.

    I can understand that deniers drive you crazy. They drive me as a stats person (not in climate) crazy as well.

    Why is this important? Well, as one example, ignoring autocorrelation effects--i.e. ignoring time dependent parameter bias--leading to a false conclusion, one need only note that failing to correct for that bias in the temp record is part of the general denier strategy in wrongly proposing a "pause". Correcting for that bias shows the "pause" to be even more expectable as natural variation than OLS (which itself is highly equivocal in showing any such thing). This sort of thing is the only reason to point out the overstatement in the first place.

    1. Bert from ElthamJune 12, 2015 at 2:54 PM

      I understand all that. Dana Nuccitelli's article from the Guardian on this paper. A screen grab of the comments

      Looks familiar? Same talking point as anon1. gonzoman was all over this comment stream. Bert

      Yes I was confused by two anons. I was up all night collecting astro data in my observatory. My mind was not as clear as it could have been. Sorry.

      This is precisely what these deniers do. Bert

  20. Unabated planetary warming and its ocean structure since 2006
    ~Nature Climate Change 5, 240–245 (2015)

    ARGO data taken at 5 meters by 4000 precision instruments spread around the global ocean shows 0.05C/decade warming since 2006.

    Failure to use ARGO data to "correct" lesser instruments including ship engine intake temperature and bucket measurements makes Karl 2015 into an obvious attempt to deceive the public in my view.

    Why on earth did we pay so much money for the ARGO floats, the only instrumentation actually designed for the task of measuring global ocean temperature accurately to hundredths of a degree, if we don't use the data?

    1. DaveScot,

      I think you are jumping to conclusions without looking at the facts. Answer these questions first:

      - does ARGO collect the type of data the study used in it's analysis?

      - does the ARGO data cover the periods of time the study used in it's analysis?


      Yes ARGO 5-meter overlaps the depth used by ship engine intakes.

      Buoys in general do not cover the entire temporal range of ERSST. The intent of the paper was to discount "the pause" and ARGO covers approximately half of that period.

      Surely you are not arguing for exclusion of the only global instrumentation specifically designed for the task of recording ocean temperature all over the globe at depths ranging from the surface to 2000 meters.

    3. DaveScot,

      you haven't answered those two questions.

      You are now accusing Karl et al of having an agenda.

      And what is with the rhetorical "Surely you are not arguing...". I said nothing of the sort, straw manning is not considered an honest way to discuss something.

    4. I answered both your questions. ARGO takes temperature measurements at 5-meters which is a depth within the range of ship engine intakes used in ERSST. ARGO covers approximately half the period of the pause. The pause is the period of greatest interest as evidenced by the title of this blog article.

    5. Since I answered your questions you can respond in kind by answering mine. Are you arguing for exclusion of ARGO data? If so, why?

    6. "Failure to use ARGO data to "correct" lesser instruments including ship engine intake temperature and bucket measurements makes Karl 2015 into an obvious attempt to deceive the public in my view."

      "Why on earth did we pay so much money for the ARGO floats ... if we don't use the data?

      You obviously have not read the paper and you struggle with basic arithmetic. There in itself is a good reason for not getting misinformation from climate crank blogs like WUWT.

      They do in fact use the buoy data. Increasingly. Because it is more accurate.

      From the paper. The new ERSST4 temperature series includes an

      "(i) an increasing amount of ocean data from buoys, which are slightly different than data from ships; (ii) an
      increasing amount of ship data from engine intake thermometers, which are slightly different than data from bucket sea-water
      temperatures; and (iii) a large increase in land-station data ..."


      "More generally, buoy data have been proven to be more accurate and reliable than ship data, with better known instrument characteristics and automated sampling."

      Because they are now using increasing amounts of data from the buoys, it has amplified an existing and known bias between the new buoy data and the old ship intake data of around 0.12C. This is not a new discovery - the bias adjustment already exists in HadSST version 3.

      They applied a correction of 0.12C to the buoy data but given we are looking at temperature anomalies, it could have been equally applied by reducing the ship intake data by 0.12C.

      If arithmetic is not your strong point as seems apparent, a more complete explanation can be found here.

    7. " Are you arguing for exclusion of ARGO data? If so, why?"

      Did this question come to you in a dream? I am not arguing anything, you are.

      You still have not said anything about the data ARGO collects, and whether it can be used in the analysis Karl et al did.

      Saying that ARGO should have been used, is an obvious attempt by you to get different results, because you personally do not like the results of the Karl et al study.

      And if ARGO does collect the same data as ERSST, what is the justification for using it if it does not cover the periods 1998-2012 and 1951-2012?

    8. It's my understanding that the ARGO system is for the sub-surface down to some depth, not the surface. The are for profiling down to around 2000m, so they spend more time under the surface than on it. Buoys on the other hand, like ships, float on the surface.

      This paper by Woodruff et al is quite good for describing how sea surface temperature (etc) is monitored: The Evolving SST Record from ICOADS

      SkS has a good article on HadSST, which describes the sources for observations, too. It also provides a link to Kennedy et al (2012)

      Here's another article that might help - from Woods Hole.

    9. There's another recent paper by Abraham et al that's helpful, too.

      A review of global ocean temperature observations: Implications for ocean heat content estimates and climate change
      JP Abraham, M Baringer, NL Bindoff, T Boyer, LJ Cheng, JA Church, ...Reviews of Geophysics 51 (3), 450-483. It's open access.

      It's more about ocean heat content that sea surface temperature, from a quick scan.

    10. Well at least Sou knows that ERSST doesn't incorporate ARGO data. Hopefully others will read the links you provided.

      So Sou... ARGO samples at 5 meters and ship engine intakes sample both above and below that depth depending on ship size and whether the deep or shallow sea chest is selected.

      Unlike other systems ARGO distribution is purposefully global and the largest system of its kind. Each float takes temperature/salinity profile from surface to 2000 meters once every ten days. Times 4,000 floats that's 400 high precision "surface" (within the ERSST definition of surface) measurements each day. All available online in real time.

      From the source:

      "Why do we need Argo?"

      "Lack of sustained observations of the atmosphere, oceans and land have hindered the development and validation of climate models. An example comes from a recent analysis which concluded that the currents transporting heat northwards in the Atlantic and influencing western European climate had weakened by 30% in the past decade. This result had to be based on just five research measurements spread over 40 years. Was this change part of a trend that might lead to a major change in the Atlantic circulation, or due to natural variability that will reverse in the future, or is it an artifact of the limited observations?

      In 1999, to combat this lack of data, an innovative step was taken by scientists to greatly improve the collection of observations inside the ocean through increased sampling of old and new quantities and increased coverage in terms of time and area.

      That step was Argo."

      I understand that ARGO has been fully operational only since 2007 but its mission is explicitely to provide data to qualify climate models. Your readers either are or are not interested in validation of climate models. If they are sincerely interested in that then one might anticipate they'd embrace the past 8 years of ARGO data. That data is the best we have and it shows global SST has, in fits and starts (see figure 1 here: ) risen at a pace of 0.05C/decade.

      This is good data and the article I cited from top shelf literature; Nature Climate. Rejection of it is almost certainly indicative of an ideological agenda whether it's rejected for being too little or too much to suit the agenda.

    11. Thanks Sou for the links. I read them all. In general they're too dated for ARGO but I learned a few things about other SST sampling methods. The bottom line for me remains that ARGO is the instrumentation of choice for knowing what's going on with regard to change in ocean heat content from surface to 2000 meters. No other system comes close with regard to spatial coverage, consistency, accuracy, and precision. The mixed layer of the ocean is currently warming at 0.05C/decade. This is in good agreement with top-of-atmosphere energy imbalance measured by satellites such as CERES. Global warming is real it just isn't real fast according to the best data we have and is well short of climate model projections. Denial is rampant but the bulk of it these days seems to have shifted into denial that climate models have unresolved problems.

    12. Dave, I'm glad the references helped. (For lurkers, they illustrate why different instruments are used for different purposes like surface temperature and ocean heat content - eg surface instruments vs instruments at depth vs satellites).

      I don't agree with you about the "not real fast". It's not just the land surfaces that are getting hot, the oceans are shoring up heat rather quickly..

      Still, we're drifting off the topic of denier's conspiracy theorising about scientists sea surface temperatures. Here are a couple of articles on the topics you touched on to whet your appetite - till I undoubtedly write more on both at some stage:

      A lot more heat is found in the ocean

      The relevance of (climate) models - increasing understanding

      Gavin Schmidt & Co have been reconciling climate models and surface temperature observations

    13. Dave Scot, if you want to convince me your proposed Argo correction is oh-so-good and important, please show me that the trend in the Argo data is different from that of the engine intake measurements. If they are not, it really does not matter, because it does not matter whether the SST right now is 20.5 degrees or 20.1 degrees.

      Do remember the differences in surface coverage of the engine intake and Argo data (including changes over time).

      That should keep you busy for a while, we all know how long it took the Hadley center and NOAA to look at all the small details.

    14. Thanks for the clarification Sou. I was aware of the buoy network but assumed that it was being extended by Argo.

      This site has some useful information on the extent of the data buoy network which apparently the target deployment extent in 2005.

      Dave Scot - now that Sou has clarified the data sources, would you care to retract your accusations of malfeasance and conspiracy

      "...makes Karl 2015 into an obvious attempt to deceive the public in my view."

    15. I would like DaveScot to just answer those two questions I proposed above.

      It might then prove that he isn't a troll out to waste people's time here.

      Other than that, he appears to have picked up some of Dr Judith Curry's nonsense.

    16. Harry, DaveScot doesn't need Curry to talk nonsense. He's been Dembski's 'attack dog' for quite some tim, so he's been well trained.

  21. Marco.

    Are you saying DaveScot is THAT DaveScot - one of the people who got bored with Intelligent Design anti-science so they shifted over to Climate Change Denial anti-science.

    I would rather debate with a room full of ChemTrail supporters! (they too look up in the sky and see things that no one else can... )

    Well I already had him marked as a troll. And a "burden of evidence" shifting troll at that.

    For any "lurkers" who are puzzled about what I am on about. There is a type of troll who goes from group to group, framing "skeptism" in such a way as shift the burden of evidence onto anyone responding, and having them do all the homework.

    It is all fine and good, some people like doing the homework as an intellectual challenge. But what I discovered when I did this in the past, regardless of what you say they will just REPEAT what they said in their original post. So their interest in your response is zero.

    1. Yes, he very likely is *that* DaveScot.

      I am not sure he got tired of ID.

    2. He stopped by my blog for a one-off but I haven't heard back from him after I replied.


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