Not long ago I wrote about how the satellite lower troposphere data diverged from the surface temperature trends some time earlier this century. I put it around 2006, just going by the charts. Tamino took a different approach and compared satellite data with that from thermometers on balloons (which I missed at the time, I'm embarrassed to say). It used to be just RSS that was the outlier, now with the latest UAH beta, both are.
There have been recent papers on the subject as well (see below), but so far the satellite researchers have not identified what is the cause (or not to my knowledge, yet).
This is not cool
Now Yale Climate Connections has posted a YouTube video by Peter Sinclair of Climate Crocks,
Anthony Watts has discovered the video and wrote an article about it (archived here, with latest, and cached here). He doesn't seem to have disputed what anyone said in the video, except for his misleading headline (which didn't really reflect what was in the video). His headline was: The Climateers new pause excuse born of desperation: ‘the satellites are lying’. Anthony lied. Nowhere in the video did anyone accuse the satellites of lying. Nor did they accuse any of the scientists of lying with the satellite data.
Then he wrote an ad hominem comment from one of his readers (Serengeti-style) followed by five photos of poorly sited US weather stations (of the thousands of weather stations in the USA), and wrote:
Riiight. Because we all know how reliable their preferred surface temperature measurements are, as illustrated by these examples from NOAA’s USHCN climate monitoring network:Why didn't he put up any photos of defunct satellites or satellites with a decaying orbit? You ask. A very good question, I say.
In any case, since no-one has found any significant problems with the US temperature record, and refinement of the global surface temperature records are an ongoing process, one wonders why he said that. (Anthony has said he has a new paper in the works that shows something or the other, but his claims so far don't seem to be reflected in what little he has revealed about his work. We'll have to wait for his paper, if it ever sees the light of day.)
Then, somewhat surprisingly, for the remainder of his article Anthony posted some of the transcript, including the segment with Carl Mears of RSS. What Dr Mears is saying is that deniers only want to pick the temperature set that has the smallest trend. What they should be doing is looking at all the temperature data, on the surface as well as up in the air, and they should also take account of other signs of global warming such as:
- melting ice
- earlier spring
- rising sea levels
- increasing ocean heat content.
|Figure 1 | Arctic sea ice minimum, sea level trends and ocean heat content. Data sources: NOAA, NSIDC, U Colorado,|
Anthony followed up his article about the video with what he called a "funny" (archived here). It was a cartoon depicting someone rejecting the satellite data as biased. He wrote:
And it seems so true, these folks keep holding on to an antiquated and highly corrected and adjusted metric (the surface temperature record) which is full of bad data, while at the same time saying essentially the same thing about the satellite record. It is the ultimate science based case of the pot calling the kettle black.I don't know of anyone calling automatic weather stations "antiquated". Nor do I know of anyone calling satellites "antiquated", except perhaps for the ones that are no longer in operation. However it's quite telling that he seems to think that the satellite record is "full of bad data" (pots and kettles are both black).
All the data is corrected and adjusted - both satellite data and weather station data. It has to be or there'd be no way of estimating global surface temperature or air temperature. Temperature data for surface records are derived from thermometers. That is, the instruments measure temperature directly, so fewer adjustments are required. By contrast (sorry for the pun), temperature data for air records are derived from measures of brightness, which then have to be converted into temperature estimates after lots of adjustments.
Comparing UAH lower troposphere with GISTemp surface temperature
Below are some comparisons. First, UAH version 5.6 and 6.0 beta 4. The new version is closer to RSS but is lower than version 5.6 in recent years.
|Figure 2 | Lower troposphere temperature - UAH versions. Data source: UAH|
Next UAH beta version with GISTemp - global. You can clearly see that it diverges in the early 2000s.
|Figure 3 | Lower troposphere and surface temperature - global. Data sources: UAH and GISS NASA|
Next a comparison of the northern hemisphere only. This time the divergence is even more marked, at around 2000/01. (The hemispheric GISTemp record is only available to 2014 at this time):
|Figure 4 | Lower troposphere and surface temperature - Northern Hemisphere. Data sources: UAH and GISS NASA|
Now the southern hemisphere. In this case UAH is a tad higher than GISTemp:
|Figure 5 | Lower troposphere and surface temperature - Southern Hemisphere. Data sources: UAH and GISS NASA|
So I'd first look at the northern hemisphere to see if the divergence between the lower troposphere and the surface was real or was because of something odd in the satellite data. The difference could be real, the air above doesn't necessarily have to follow the exact same trend as the surface at the same time. Still, it's odd that it's only diverged in recent years, particularly in the northern hemisphere.
From the WUWT comments
The tone of the video (see above) was calm, measured and explanatory. It certainly didn't warrant the vitriol in the WUWT comments, but what's new? Any science generates overly emotional reactions from fake sceptics. They cannot bear science. It enrages them. Some are urged to write lies. Very few support their false claims with any evidence, spurious or otherwise. They behave like a primitive mob seething with vengeance.
The thread wandered all over the place as usual, from one denier talking point to another. For a while there was a focus on US temperatures.
Ktm finds anomalies utterly confusing and wants the US Climate reference network to start from zero. I think he or she probably means taking the annual average for the first year of operation as the zero baseline. That would be okay, except it would make it difficult to compare with the ClimDiv data, which is the full network reported by NOAA.
January 15, 2016 at 4:36 pm
Nick, there is no way to compare between hcn and CRN in absolute temperatures.
But after they went to all the trouble and expense to set up this pristine new “Reference Network” wouldn’t it make more sense to start measuring from zero?
Why pollute your pristine new reference network with data from 25 years before it existed that wasn’t fit for purpose in the first place by using it to set the initial conditions for all future anomaly comparisons?
AndyG55 doesn't understand anomalies either, and calls them "fudged".
January 15, 2016 at 5:44 pm
“Does that make sense to you Nick? To set your reference to something other than zero?””
They take a fudged reference point from a fudged data set.
Its totally meaningless.
KTM is quite determined that scientists keep looking for anything but CO2. For a comparison with radiosonde data, there are papers published, plus Tamino's recent article.
January 15, 2016 at 12:09 pm
Yep, that was the most glaring omission. Not one word about Radiosonde data.
They say they can’t find a natural cause, but they don’t hold their own ideas to the same scrutiny.
According to the CO2 model, it must cause the atmosphere to heat first, which then filters down to the surface and the oceans. Since the warming they claim to see at the surface and in the ocean is running far ahead of any warming of the atmosphere shown by satellites or radiosondes, then their explanation is wrong. They have exonerated natural climate variability, but since the evidence contradicts CO2 as the culprit under their own models, they should keep looking.. Kind of like OJ saying he wasn’t responsible, but would spend his time looking for the “real killer”.
They have tried to turn the scientific method on its head by saying skeptics have to disprove their assertion rather than them proving it. But there is nothing at all scientific about what they are trying to do.
Nick Stokes counters a lot of the fake sceptics' nonsense about "adjustments" by posting a chart he's used before. It shows that the UAH adjustments are a lot greater than those of GISTemp in recent years:
January 15, 2016 at 11:25 am
” fails to note anything about the “corrections” to the surface temperature data”
Here (from here) is a plot of the corrections to GISS in the last 10 years, compared to the difference made to UAH in just one change last year. Each dataset is set to the same anomaly base 1981-2010, and cover the satellite period. The GISS curves are differences (1981-2010) between current and archived versions from 2011 and 2005.
Everyone piled on in an effort to show how dimwitted is the average reader of WUWT, and how they don't brook no sciency stuff, especially not sciency stuff written by the ever-polite, almost unruffleable Nick Stokes. TG flamed along the lines of "look at all the blog hits, that means I must be right":
January 15, 2016 at 2:05 pm
Poor old St Glow- bull Nick.
You try so hard to promote the BS but there are too many sharper pencils (readers and contributors) who know the science and the tricks you and your fellow warmist are PAID to produce.
PS: WUWT = 259,459,740 views
Michael Jankowski tries to convince with an unconvincing line, given WUWT-ers regard satellite data as pristine and never question it, while they accuse all the different independent teams that analyse surface temperature data of "fudging". Heck, Roy Spencer and John Christy have yet to release the code for the changes they introduced several months ago in the new beta version, so it's not possible for anyone to scrutinize it. (I bet Anthony Watts and Evan Jones are disappointed that their efforts have been so easily dismissed by one of their fans. And what about the ruckus WUWT-ers kicked up about the NOAA paper?)
January 15, 2016 at 6:36 pm
Do those GISS adjustments contain the Y2K bug fix? Seems like this was sucha big adjustment that it basically matches the entire scale of your graph.
NO temperature data set is as transparent or gets more scrutiny than the satellite data. NO set has as much coverage. NO set can avoid localized effects better. And both RSS and UAH come to a very similar agreement.
Needless to say there were conspiracy theories galore. dp isn't shy about owning up to being a fully paid up member of the climate conspiracy club:
January 15, 2016 at 11:01 am
I have no doubt there is a lie involved in this (again). And it looks like the alarmist experts on prevarication are on the job.
JohnWho is another paid up "climate hoax" club member, nastily writing:
January 15, 2016 at 11:05 am
“Dessler: I don’t want to bash them, because everybody makes mistakes, and I’m going to presume everybody’s being honest,…”
Everybody except you and your fellow cohorts who don’t admit that the satellite data remains better than the heavily distorted ground station data, most likely since that doesn’t match the narrative you wish to peddle.
madmikedavies seems to think that someone forced Carl Mears to say what he did. Thing is, he's not saying anything he hasn't already written:
January 15, 2016 at 7:48 pm
Did anybody else notice Carl Mears body language, he didn’t believe what he was saying and appeared under duress
Is Aphan saying he forgives John Christy and Roy Spencer for their past big mistakes, or is he unforgiving? (He's a denier, so this comment of his is very odd.)
January 15, 2016 at 3:44 pm
“everybody makes mistakes?” Yeah, every body does. But some of those mistakes matter a whole lot, and some of them don’t. I make a mistake in my checkbook. You make a mistake about what size of shirt to buy your kids I get the wrong shampoo or recipe ingredients. No big deal.
But scientists who use OUR MONEY to put large, metal objects into the SKY over our HEADS, and then attempt to use the data from those satellites to CONTROL our daily lives should NOT be making mistakes about that. And HONEST scientists who are shown to be mistaken are expected to ADMIT it and revise their former theories accordingly!
Just some guy - wants a bit more detail - he could try this article :)
January 15, 2016 at 11:08 am
I would like it if someone with expertise could make a detailed blog post describing the pros and cons of both satellite and ground-based measurements. Videos like the one above are obvious one-sided bs. But since both are subject to adjustments (and therefore both have the potential for human bias), it makes it difficult for laymen such as myself to make informed judgements as to which graphs are better.
Okay, I've read enough, and I expect you have too. Another thread for the psych researchers to pore over and ponder the weird and woeful world of science denial.
References and further reading
New Video: Can We Trust Satellite Temperatures? - video and article from Peter Sinclair
Surface Temperature or Satellite Brightness - a recent detailed article by Kevin Cowtan at SkepticalScience, which discusses uncertainty as well as maps out the steps involved in working out upper air temperatures (there are a lot). There are some very good comments, too.
Steven C Sherwood, Nidhi Nishant. "Atmospheric changes through 2012 as shown by iteratively homogenized radiosonde temperature and wind data (IUKv2)." Environmental Research Letters, 2015; 10 (5): 054007 DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/10/5/054007 (open access)
Stephen Po-Chedley, Tyler J. Thorsen, and Qiang Fu, 2015: "Removing Diurnal Cycle Contamination in Satellite-Derived Tropospheric Temperatures: Understanding Tropical Tropospheric Trend Discrepancies." J. Climate, 28, 2274–2290. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-13-00767.1 (subs req'd)
Sherwood, Steven C., John R. Lanzante, and Cathryn L. Meyer. "Radiosonde daytime biases and late-20th century warming." Science 309, no. 5740 (2005): 1556-1559. DOI: 10.1126/science.1115640 (pdf here)
Ted Cruz: Just Plain Wrong - article by Tamino on upper air satellite vs upper air balloon thermometers, 11 December 2015
Ted Cruz fact check: which temperature data are the best? - article by Dana Nuccitelli at the Guardian
Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences. A Report by the Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research, Washington, DC. (2006) Editors: Thomas R. Karl, Susan J. Hassol, Christopher D. Miller, and William L. Murray
From the HotWhopper archives
- The surface compared with the lower troposphere and the Daily Mail's big blooper - January 2016
- Three hottest evers in succession for lower troposphere - January 2016
- Nine Denier 101 Techniques: Anthony Watts gets into a hot spot in the tropical troposphere May 2015
- About that tropical "hot spot" - May 2015
- A reality check of temperature for Wondering Willis Eschenbach - October 2014
- On GISTemp, baselines and anomalies - June 2013