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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Anthony Watts heroically defends cool satellites

Sou | 3:48 PM Go to the first of 55 comments. Add a comment

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, called as part of the "This is Not Cool" series. (H/t metzomagic)

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 wasThe 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,  

And it's not just temperature changes. As Dr Ben Santer said, scientists are also looking at other changes in the climate, such as rainfall, surface humidity, the cryosphere, snow cover and more. He explained that "all of this is telling an internally consistent story. And that story is that the planet is warming, and despite our best attempts to see whether natural causes can explain that warming, they can't."

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 sourcesUAH 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 sourcesUAH 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 sourcesUAH 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.

Update: I nearly forgot to add this readme file to the article. It documents changes to the UAH datasets from 1999 up until March 2015 (just before version 6 beta was released).

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.
 GISTemp differences from 2005 to 2015 are a lot smaller than UAH from v5.6 to 6.0beta.

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: (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


  1. Tiny factual correction: Peter Sinclair seemingly re-branded "Climate Denial Crock of the Week" as "This is Not Cool" a while back. So the video is actually part of that series, and not in itself titled "This is Not Cool". Other than that, spot on, as usual :-)

    Ya gotta love Judith Curry in the video: "We need to look at the satellite data. I mean, this is the best data that we have." I suppose all they have left is... framing.

    FTA, concerning the LOL, WHUT?! denizens "They behave like a primitive mob seething with vengeance." Schoolyard bullies, re-purposed.

    And, yeah, the one the fake skeptics really have to come to grips with, but they can't 'cause confirmation bias: why the big difference between UAH v5.6 and v6.0 beta? The *data* didn't change, so what did? "Adjustments", writ large.

    1. Underlying all of this is the fact that Willard and his minions still don't understand baselines and anomalies. Since the satellite data only begin 30 years after the start of the GISTEMP 1951 - 1980 baseline period (when AGW was just beginning to rev up), the satellite anomalies are going to be smaller from the get go. They always (conveniently) seem to misunderstand that.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. It comes from James Dellingpole of Breitbart. Watts just parroted Dellinpole.

  3. I'm seeing that dishonest Christy 'graphic' (also pushed by the Cato Institute's Pat Michaels) being posted a lot on forums by climate science deniers.

    1. Given it goes up to 50,000 feet and takes in some of the cooling stratosphere, I'm surprised there's any increase shown at all.

      BTW - here's the archived version of the brietbart article:

      And the archived version of the CATO article:

    2. I am actually unfamiliar with this graphic so can you explain the issues or point me to a relevant article?
      I read the Breitbart article and found it to be largely ad hom and misleading. Conflating a 25 year old NASA comment about upper atmosphere temperatures with the lower troposphere, claiming "the line taken by the alarmists is that the satellite records too have been subject to dishonest adjustments" rather than just adjusted, a fact no one disputes. It was really a sad and angry article devoid of any useful information. Seething with vengeance indeed.

    3. cog, it isn't even a "NASA comment", but a comment from Spencer & Christy themselves about *their own analysis*.

      And the graph is dishonest for multiple reasons:
      1. It is offset in a questionable way, and likely the satellite data needs to start *above* the climate model line
      2. It shows no error bars whatsoever, not of the models, and not of the datasets - and they are really big!
      3. The *mid-troposphere* temperatures are shown, whereas the models show the temperature of the surface

    4. Thanks Marco. I did not even check the alleged NASA source before. It states quite clearly that the satellites are measuring the atmosphere 1500-6000 meters above sea level. That is a loooooong way from the ground. That the temps would be quite different should surprise no one.
      I suspected that the models vs measurements were comparing apples and oranges. Very dishonest of them.

  4. The interesting thing is that there is a seeming discrepancy between surface and troposphere readings and that scientists indeed will eventually figure it out. It will likely involve more analysis, better ground stations, new satellites, and maybe even advances in theoretical understanding of the fundamental processed. This how scientific understanding moves forward.

    1. Calibrate the satellite data using weather balloon temperatures: that should fix things.

    2. I don't think that's as simple as it might appear. There isn't a whole lot of coverage of balloons, and there are a lot of things that you need to watch for, not just the pure brightness data but what it is measuring (as well as satellite drift etc).

      See the video, and Nick Stokes comment.

    3. Sadly a little too optimistic. The reality is that with the historical weather balloon and satellite data we'll never know them well enough to answer questions regarding surface / troposphere differential warming rates (although we can be confident that both are warming). There are no good, traceable, measurements available historically. The radiosonde and satellite uncertainties are both of order 0.1K/decade (at least). So they easily encompass the surface estimates (which have much smaller quantified uncertainties).

      Looking forwards we need to pass on to the next generation a set of measurements that allows us to answer these questions. That is where aspects such as USCRN, GRUAN, CLARREO, TRUTHS come in. These would provide a subset of traceable measures sufficient to make the problem well-posed rather than ill-posed.

    4. Hey Peter,

      Would you happen to have a citation re: the uncertainties in radiosonde and satellite data global sets? I'd like to read about it for myself.

    5. Whoops, I asked too soon. I found Sou's link to Way's work on uncertainty in the satellite measurements downthread:

      But I'm still looking for a discussion of uncertainty in the radiosondes, for both structural and statistical uncertainty. If you've got anything, please drop it here.

    6. Wind,

      Peter himself co-authored a very thorough uncertainty analysis with Carl Mears of RSS (one of Watts, Monckton et al's heroes). You can find this at

    7. maybe optimistic @Peter Thorne since I agree we are stuck with the existing instrumentation at present, and the earlier historical record is what it is. However, long-term, I believe better satellite and surface technology will bring more clarity to future measurements and some of the existing puzzles will be resolved.

    8. I do not think there is evidence for a real discrepancy between surface estimates and satellite estimates.

      They measure different things (as was pointed out in another comment).

      Gavin Schmidt posted an article about discrepancies on the RealClimate blog a while back.

      Just eyeballing the satellite curve it appears to over respond to ENSO events. So the frequency of ENSO events may be affecting the averages.

      Anyway my main issue with the satellite temperature curve is it is noisy. I did look at the trend confidence interval and it is large, even over the last 18 years or so. A longer run of data required, methinks.

  5. I have a similar issue regarding temperature measurements

    my car's (water) tempurature gauge is reading low, much lower than the correct design temps of the engine

    A working hypothesis would be that the thermostat is sticking open, allowing water to continually circulate through the radiator

    My problem (and the reality) is, the car (Audi) shows no other sign of exessive engine cooling

    The output of the car heater is "hot" air - the car gets to that hot temp in good time too

    Fuel efficiency has not decreased (as it would do if the car was running cool)

    And lastly, I have measured the oil tempurature using a VAG diagnostics program and it show the oil at normal operating tempurature

    So my actual working hypothesis is a fault temp sensor - based on the overwhelming empirical evidence

  6. To add, my next hypothesis would be a faulty tempurature gauge

  7. The satellite data is based on measured 'brightness temperature>,' but to most lay people this is misleading; brightness temperature is actually a measure of microwave radiation. The first MSU used four frequencies (50.3, 53.74, 54.96 and 57.95 GHz); the AMSU make measurements at 15 frequencies ranging from 23.8 to 89 GHz - though none of them identical to MSU.

    This brightness isn't visible light that you can derive from a photograph from space :)

  8. I've just added this readme file to the article. It documents changes to the UAH datasets from 1999 up until March 2015 (just before version 6 beta was released).

  9. The denier response to this video is very telling. They hold an almost religious belief in the satellite data. Look how upset they are! All because some of the shortcomings were pointed out? They get this mad over a completely honest, non-fraud-insinuating video?


  10. In Ted Cruz's recent Climate Hearing, one of the witnesses (I believe it was Happer) described the technique used by the satellites as basically the same as how doctors in hospitals measure a patient's temperature from his/her ear.

    That is an incomplete analogy, IMO. A proper analogy would be measuring the temperature of the entire hospital from 30,000 feet above and then having one doctor using some software he's developed himself to calculate the temperature of each individual patient.

    This doctor (and all his followers) argues that the method of having one 'daily ear-temperature measuring device' per patient increases the risk of faulty data (ie, device not properly inserted into ear, human error when transcribing data, etc.) but he fails to see that this risk is also present in his method, one which has far greater repercussions. If there are a 100 patients in a hospital and thus 100 'daily ear temperature measuring devices', even when 10% of the readings are faulty, there are still 90 good ones. But if the 'single device from 30,000 feet above' method is faulty, it instantly affects all one hundred patient's data.

    Then there's also the not unimportant issue of spotting anomalies in the data and acting upon them. If a doctor notices unusual daily swings in temperature readings directly from a patient, he can almost instantly act upon them by checking for faults and/or changing the device. It is very hard if not impossible to detect anomalies in the data obtained from a single device from 30,000 feet above when that device and its' associated soft-ware consistently puts out the same (wrong) data, let alone act upon them. And it certainly doesn't help when the '30,000 ft up' doctor methodically rejects individual readings from patients in situ.

    1. Huma - Happer was completely wrong. Doctors (nurses) use an infra red (IR) thermometer. The satellite series that everyone typically discusses is *not* IR, it's microwave radiation. RSS does produce an ocean-only SAT series that uses IR, but that wasn't the subject of Happer's comments. And IR doesn't apply to UAH at all (AFAIK).

    2. Kevin, agreed, that one comment alone destroyed Happer's credibility, revealing his position as purely ideological. All the distinction he acquired from his work on adaptive optics now carries no weight whatsoever.

    3. Happer credibility: Daily Princetonian 01/12/09 Professor denies global warming theory

      'Physics professor William Happer GS ’64 has some tough words for scientists who believe that carbon dioxide is causing global warming.

      “This is George Orwell. This is the ‘Germans are the master race. The Jews are the scum of the earth.’ It’s that kind of propaganda,” Happer, the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics, said in an interview. “Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Every time you exhale, you exhale air that has 4 percent carbon dioxide. To say that that’s a pollutant just boggles my mind. What used to be science has turned into a cult.”' (much more)

    4. Even worse, he's a pen for hire - see Greenpeace exposes sceptics hired to cast doubt on climate science for details and just how much it costs to buy favorable 'science' from these guys.

  11. I've been remiss. There have been other articles on blogs about satellite temperature lately. I've just added another to the references.

    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).

    ATTP and Eli Rabett have posted recent articles also. (See the blog roll for links to their blogs.)

  12. OT: Maybe a post on Eric Worrall's "response" at WTFUWT to Piers Sellers' NYT post on his terminal cancer? Comments are ripe for the picking.

    1. Eric's article was such appallingly poor taste that I wouldn't deign it with a response at HotWhopper. The ugly denier is just too ugly sometimes.

      Here is a link to the NYTimes op ed instead.

    2. The comments are so ripe you can smell them from here. I tried commenting but I am banned, it would seem.

    3. Thanks for that link to Piers Sellers' NYT opinion piece Sou. It is far better than wallowing in ignorance, fear and loathing.

      My father told me that true braveness was overcoming primitive fears and doing what was necessary to make the best for yourself and others out of a very bad situation.

      We all have to hope that we can be as brave and decent as Piers Sellers if and when the time comes.

      It all reminds me of the bit in the play Julius Caesar by Shakespeare.

      Cowards die many times before their deaths. The brave experience death only once. Of all the strange things I’ve ever heard, it seems most strange to me that men fear death, given that death, which can’t be avoided, will come whenever it wants.


    4. On the brighter side, some comments have provided me with a measure of entertainment:

      January 17, 2016 at 11:50 am

      I don’t pay much attention to what politicians like the UN say, so I question their plan. They started this scam with a preconceived conclusion, and everything they say and do has supported their ready-made conclusion. Any contrary facts, evidence, observations or data is either disregarded or jettisoned, leaving only what supports their confirmation bias.

      I'm also known to have a somewhat morbid sense humour.

    5. Alongside Godwin's law and Poe's law, we need a name for the law that:

      "The phrases "I never read X/I don't pay attention to XX/I'm no scientist, but" always increase the certainty with which the writer describes the true motivations of 'X/XX/scientists'."

    6. Mark,

      I think that phenomenon falls loosely under the findings of Dunning and Kruger, however Ryan's Corollary has a nice ring to it.

    7. I especially loved how he called having a ruptured appendix to "being at death's door". Yeah, right. I had a ruptured appendix about 30 years ago. I had been suffering from appendicitis for a week or more and on the night it ruptured I finally went to a Doc-in-the-Box he examined me and said "if you were in more pain I'd say you have appendicitis. If it gets any worse go to the hospital". A couple of hours later the pain got a LOT worse and I told my girlfriend to drive me to the hospital. While waiting for admission in the ER the pain got so bad that I passed out. The whisked me in put me on a demerol and antibiotic drip and did surgery early the next morning.

      If you can get to a hospital within a few hours you may be miserable, but you are not at death's door. You'll live, but you will have a big scar on your abdomen. To compare this with stage 4 pancreatic cancer is just insulting.

    8. Rattus,

      IIRC from a previous article, the way Eric tells the story is that he didn't experience a great deal of pain until after it ruptured and the infection was good and going. Raised my eyebrows, but I suppose stranger things have also happened. Who really knows but him and others who were there.

      In the same vein and FWIW, my story is that I presented with all the classic symptoms of appendicitis, the surgeon concurred, and removed my perfectly non-inflamed appendix. I was hospitalized for three weeks feeling near death with nobody able to give me a firm diagnosis about what was wrong, and one of the IV cocktails they gave me might have done me if I hadn't demanded it be pulled NOW instead of waiting for physician's orders. I don't know for sure that I would have been more comforted "knowing" for sure that I had a terminal condition, but it seems plausible. I can tell you that having serious questions about one's own survival for the better part of a month is freaky.

      I DO think, on the main, the WHUTTers are living up to their deserved reputation of being boorish overly self-important malcontents.

    9. Yeah, I was in for a week but I never felt that I was at death's door, in fact the Demerol drip after surgery was sort of nice... I don't know when mine ruptured, but I was in a lot of pain for quite a few days. By the time I was in the ER stuff was messed up. They had to cut me open but good to "clean stuff out" as my surgeon told me -- to this day I have a 6 inch scar to show for it.

      Did you ever find out what your diagnoses was?

    10. This comment has been removed by the author.

    11. They had me on morphine for three days until being dopey got old and I had them pull it. There were at least three diagnoses, only one of which I remember because I thought it was the most likely: a mesenteric aneurysm, which was consistent with the excess fluid they saw in the MRIs and my small bowel shutting down (which could also have been the morphine). I'm not totally convinced it wasn't just a reaction to the general anaesthesia from the appendectomy.

      I did some follow-ups with the GI doc and checked out fine. 15 years with no further issues. One of those things.

      I do feel lucky to not have a 6-inch abdominal scar for my troubles.

    12. On Piers Sellers

    13. Eric's article was such appallingly poor taste that I wouldn't deign it with a response at HotWhopper. The ugly denier is just too ugly sometimes.
      And yet, it's the first time I've mentioned a WUWT post for a very long time :-)

      It's really because I find the whole "scientists shouldn't speak out theme" interesting, but also silly and a blatant attempt to delegitimise perfectly valid viewpoints from being expressed by those who have expertise in an area.

    14. Your articles are terrific, ATTP and Eli. (I wasn't suggesting that no-one else could do the subject justice.)

    15. I just found it amusing that the WUWT post you found in too poor taste to comment on, is the first I've mentioned for a long time :-)

    16. :) I might be suffering WUWT overload. Too much nuttery and denier nastiness addles the brain. (I branched out today into some forty-year old science history, which was both invigorating and depressing.)

  13. Echo that, very poignant and thoughtful article

    My thoughts go to him and his family

  14. Well, well, what a lot has happened over the last 12 months. This time a year ago there was a huge ruckus about "fraudulent" claims for 2014 being the warmest year in the temperature record. All that stuff on WUWT and elsewhere about it there only being a 40% probability. So obviously then the surface record was still being taken seriously by "sceptics". Now, a complete volte face, with only the surface data being credible.

    As Nick Stokes pointed out at the time of Spencer's publication of his version 6.0 data, Spencer himself was guilty of a volte-face in embracing the diurnal correction that he had previously dismissed. Furthermore, nobody, apart from Spencer has any idea whether Spencer's data are valid - no peer reviewed paper as yet. So the soi disant sceptics are relying on "grey literature" for their claims, since the last peer-reviewed UAH dataset agreed well with surface data. Anyone else remember the outrage when IPCC AR5 was found to contain grey literature references?

    1. Just give 'em a little time, the initial numbers for 2015 GMST haven't come out yet!

  15. I've added another link to the references, about a new and very good article by Dana Nuccitelli.

    Ted Cruz fact check: which temperature data are the best? - article by Dana Nuccitelli at the Guardian.

  16. There seems to be a pretty large lack of skepticism of the satellite datasets and adjustments made to them by those seeking to downplay or ignore climate change.

    What has been the response to, discussion of and further research regarding this article, which I was thinking about the other day "Uncertainty of AMSU-A derived temperature trends in relationship with clouds and precipitation over ocean"

  17. Interesting.
    I've just had the following post fail to get through moderation at Spencers site.
    Didn't expect that.
    As follows.....

    Yes, very funny. I know some "sceptics" find attacking/ridiculing the messenger so.

    However "Despite the fact that all the radiosonde data sets correspond much more closely to the satellite data than the surface temps they insist are the most accurate." does not bear critical examination....

    From the above....

    "This suggests that something happened around 2000 to cause these data sets to diverge. Thermometers didn’t change how they measure temperature, nor balloons how they rise through the atmosphere. But satellite instruments have gone through many changes, satellite orbits have altered, and the satellites themselves change over time. I strongly suspect that there’s a serious problem with the satellite data after about the year 2000, as indicated by their divergence from thermometer data."

    Now what happened around 2000? would that be a new Sat and AMSU? (Noaa-15).

    What would be funny is if UAH were "corrected" to match RSS when UAH was more correct in v5.6.


    I don't see any serious deviation here from ~2000 - so no, your claim that sonde data matches UAH/RSS beer than surface data (GISS/Hadcrut).
    In fact the contrary.

    1. No one expects the Spanish Inquisition.

  18. "Didn't expect that."

    One wouldn't, would one?



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