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July 09, 2013


De chaaaahts, dey nevah lie:


Nine of the 10 warmest years on record have occurred since 1998. But forget individual years. That data is noisy. A single year can see its temperatures rocket for reasons having little to do with climate change.

Look, instead, at decades. There, the data is a little clearer, as the idiosyncrasies of any one year are balanced by its nine compatriots.

... Each one of those bars aggregates 10 years of data. And the trend, particularly in recent years, is clear: The world is getting warmer. ”The period 2000-2010 was the warmest decade on record since modern meteorological records began around 1850,” the authors write.

We DARE any of you knuckledragging science haters to deny the obvious conclusion:


Posted by Cassandra at July 9, 2013 05:37 PM

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Statistical significance != practical importance.

As much as I've railed against it, I'm actually a fence sitter on the whole GW thing.

I'm pretty well convinced that the Earth is warming. My sticking points are

1) Why?
2) How much?
3) Why is it necessarily *bad*?

Why: I'll believe it's a crisis when the people telling me it's a crisis start acting like it's a crisis and not a power grab

How much: First it was "Global Cooling", then "Warming", and now "Climate Change". You hit a prediction and stick with it, then I'll believe you have a handle on magnitude.

Bad: Many scientists are saying we are due for an ice age, it very well may be that "Warming" may be what allows us to survive it.

In any case, the "solutions" seem to be to live an agrarian lifestyle which will kill off large parts of the population. Seems that a better use of resourses would be in preperation for the change not in trying to stop it (we can't control others, but we can upgrade our own infrastructure)

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at July 9, 2013 08:01 PM

Honestly, I had no idea that Mother Nature paid such close attention to the Christian Calendar. Very handy.

Posted by: spd rdr at July 9, 2013 08:37 PM

Gosh, guess I haven't unloaded on this topic here yet; hope Cass doesn't ban me.

- we're probably still in an interglacial period of the Quaternary Ice Age, and I'm guessing the variations we are 'observing' in global temps are mostly due to that cycle, not us.
- the pretend scientists peddling this crap have willfully ignored:
- variable sensitivity
- autocorrelation
- basic data collection integrity (i.e. they used convenient temp data collection points like airports and cities, for which there is a known 'heat island' issue that has never been admitted or corrected.
- beyond the mostly public problems of admitted data 'correction,' and the economic incentives to 'find' warming in order to justify additional gov't grant funding, the plain fact is that there was never any valid data collection plan.
> an engineering approach to this physical science 'problem' would start by defining the system to be analyzed. These guys have casually assumed that their system is defined by ground level air temps. In the real world, the system should obviously include the entire troposphere (atmosphere plus whatever volume / depth of water interacts dynamically with air temps)
. . . and including water temps provides a method for analysis of the obvious variations of climate that has already been reliably observed (El Nino).
. . . the vast majority of the data used for these 'modeling' exercises is from the Northern Hemisphere.
>>> as a degreed 'Applied Scientist,' and a qualified Navy Nuclear Engineer, I am appalled that these buggers are taken seriously as 'scientists,' when they have chosen to not share raw data or model algorithms.
>>>>>> if the data ain't public, it ain't science. Quote me.

>>>>>>>> I'm at a loss to understand why these buggers haven't looked at recorded history before characterizing 'warming' as bad. The Midevil warm period saw wine grapes grown in England, and Viking colonization of Iceland and Greenland. These were 'very good times' in Europe.
The 'Little Ice Age, which was quite brutal.
> there are *VAST* tracts of land in Canada and Siberia that might become productive farmland if temps really do rise a few degrees; and these fools are worried about the loss of a few tiny worthless oceanic Islands?
. . . Stupid Beyond Comprehension.

Best Regards,

PS: OK, I'm old enough to distinctly recall these very same assholes peddling global cooling alarmism and Malthusian economics ('Club of Paris' weenies).

Posted by: CAPT Mike at July 10, 2013 12:08 AM

I'm a bit of scientist myself, having once created several new life forms in my gym bag. Nevertheless, I am convinced that climate change is real. Sure, we can all quibble with the self-serving data sets and doomsday graphics compiled by alarmists worthy of our skepticism and scorn. But hey, up north the ice has been melting at a pretty good clip in recently (although a bit slower this year than last). Does anyone really need a climate scientist or even a weatherman to tell him that ice melts faster when it's warmer outside? Duh.

The amateur scientist in me (I call him "Dr. Duh") isn't satisfied just knowing that it's warmer outside these days, however. Oh no, he wants to know more: 1) So what's the problem? and 2) How will this make me rich? (Like many of those involved in the study of global warming, Dr. Duh is a bit of a jerk.)

I've studied this very carefully, and after turning down venture opportunities in fireproof sandals and Greenland's burgeoning strawberry industry, I have decided that I am going to begin stockpiling coffee beans and chocolate in preparation for the coffee bean and chocolate apocalypse predicted to occur sometime around 2080. You'd be wise to jump on this, too, before it's too late for all of us.

Posted by: spd rdr at July 10, 2013 06:09 AM

Hot air and cold, cold hearts converge for stormy weather. The more things change...

Posted by: George Pal at July 10, 2013 09:21 AM

Here's what I can't get past in this "debate":

1. 120 years, viewed in the context of the entire timeline of "climate change" is a truly miniscule time slice.

2. Over that 120 years, they can't come up with even ONE DEGREE of average temperature increase? One degree?

3. The measurement issues outlined by Capt. Mike.

4. Climate changes. That's what weather does, unless of course you live in California.

I don't find the idea that technology or pollution or simply paving large parts of the earth with blacktop and concrete might affect temperatures to be at all outlandish. Great - we've established that ice is melting and average temperatures are going up by some miniscule amount.

We haven't established the cause, nor have we established that this is some kind of historical anomaly. Both of which are kind of critical before deciding whether any of the proposed remedies would:

1. Actually work.
2. Not produce side effects worse than the problem we're (blindly) trying to cure.

I don't have a problem with studying climate change, or arguing about what to do about it (assuming there is anything we can do about it, which is dubious given the lack of a global enforcement mechanism). What I do have a problem with is charts designed to exaggerate the amount of change (try charting these numbers on a scale that begins at 0 degrees), coupled with an alarming headline that screams, "NO ONE CAN POSSIBLY DISPUTE THIS NOW!!!!11!" :p

Posted by: Cass at July 10, 2013 09:30 AM

2. Over that 120 years, they can't come up with even ONE DEGREE of average temperature increase? One degree?

This one, I'll disagree with. It's a little like compound interest. Let's say that you *were* able to control the climate and you raised temperatures by as little as 0.8C. You wouldn't see any noticable changes that first year, maybe not even any the first couple of decades. But if you held it there for 1,000, 2,000, or 5,000 years, the small unnoticable cummulative effects would start to build upon themselves and would cause some pretty drastic changes.

But that's the issue, will it hold (or continue to increase) or go back down?

The measurement issues outlined by Capt. Mike.

I think Mike is incorrect in some of the specifics, but not the generality.

- Climate scientists do take into account the temps at different altitudes and not just surface temps (Studies about AGW effects on squirrel populations don't, but that isn't the universe of the research).

- There was a plan for data collection that avoided the heat dome issues (but a weather station in the middle of a feild out in the country 50 years ago is next to a suburban Wal-Mart parking lot today and no-one has bothered to check because it's *expensive* to send someone out to look at them every few years).

- Autocorrelation is fairly basic statistics not advanced/PhD level stuff so I doubt anyone is willfully ignoring it. Statisticians are a notoriously picky bunch.

That said, data collection is conceptually easy, but is *expensive*, time consuming, and easy to screw up unintentionally. Combine that with the admittedly sloppy data retention (the raw dataset was deleted? Really? You F**&ing Idiots!!! If my employer did that our regulators would make us turn off the models immediately and start over from scratch. We must maintain our datasets, code, and documentation for 7 years *after* the model is turned off and you deleted them while in the development process?! Oh and there's no documentation about how you created your "value added" dataset?! And everybody on God's green Earth is using it! Jesus H. Christ on a stick you f*&^ers are morons.)

AGW may very well be real, but *this* data isn't capable of showing it one way or the other. OK, temps are going up. A sine way increases from -90 to +90 too, but extrapolating from that will yeild some big suprises the further out you go.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at July 10, 2013 10:18 AM

We haven't established the cause, nor have we established that this is some kind of historical anomaly. Both of which are kind of critical before deciding whether any of the proposed remedies would:

1. Actually work.
2. Not produce side effects worse than the problem we're (blindly) trying to cure.

Well! Aren't WE the demanding Little Princess! You want remedies that actually work, eh? Well then. let's start with what I like to call "The CO2ke Cannon." First, you collect all of the flat Coca-Cola and Diet Coke left in half-finished cans, (saving the cans, of course) and dump into the Grand Canyon (which first has to be plugged at both ends, of course). Then, you begin pumping the flat Coke into large stainless steel vat with pipes sticking out of it on top. One of those pipes is connected to another tank (which doesn't have to be stainless steel, but can't be wood either) which is full of carbon dioxide that has been pulled from the air and compressed using a fuel efficient 1963 Volkswagen (air cooling is important). Once the flat Coke vat is full, a valve is opened and the CO2 is blasted into the flat Coke vat, thus re-energizing the once-discarded soft drink. After about a minute you can commence pumping the "New CO2ke" mixture from the reanimation tank into the automated canning system where the cans saved in step one are reused and resealed. RECYCLE! Of course, since the once-flat Coke used in the process was comprised of about 27% warm spit, the resulting "New Co2ke" mixture is probably not currently marketable as being fit for human consumption. That's where the "cannon" part of the "Co2ke Cannon" come in. The cans coming off the line are fed directly into the chamber of the Co2ke Cannon, which is actually a collection of open tubes pointing upwards...think pipe organ. These specially crafted cylinders work like your standard potato gun: Load the projectile (the can) into the tube, add hair spray, ignite the fuel/air mixture and POW! blast the can into outer space! In one swell foop you have not only rid Mother Earth of unwanted flat Coke and unhealthy greenhouse gases, but have also provided future generations of space explorers with a ready source of aluminum and tasty, refreshing soft drinks! (We won't say anything to them about the spit, okay?) Not only that, but it's FUN!

So why aren't we already doing this?
One word: Sequester. Dammit.

Posted by: spd rdr at July 10, 2013 10:28 AM

if the data ain't public, it ain't science.

Actually, I'll disagree with this too. If I paid good money to collect my data, I ain't giving it to you for free. Go get your own. Science is repeatable, go repeat it yourself. I'm under no obligation to pay for your research. That is still Science.

When the Navy conducts science improving their weapons systems, I don't expect them to hand over their data to the public (i.e. Iranians, Chinese, NorK, etc) and then say it isn't science when they don't.

That said, when you take taxpayer money and then propose public policy effecting those taxpayers, well, then *we* bought the data it's *ours* not *yours*.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at July 10, 2013 10:28 AM

mr rdr:

Every time I consider wiping this site off the face of the Internet, the thought of never reading another comment like that one gives me pause.

Whether that's a *good* thing or not, I leave to others to decide.

Either way, you guys are the best :)

Posted by: Cass at July 10, 2013 10:50 AM

Oh yeah... side effects include migraines.

Posted by: spd rdr at July 10, 2013 10:53 AM

OK, gotta respond:

to spd rdr, a hat tip for applying humor appropriately.

to YAG, three points:

1. My issue wasn't simply about elevation, nor even the failure to collect data systematically in sufficient geographic locations to achieve sample(s) representative of the entire population.
The point is that the troposphere needs to be sampled across it's entire elevation cross section; that means from at least a few hundred feet down across *all* oceans, and above ground into the atmosphere at least up to the jet stream.
> yeah, that's a huge technical challenge, but just because it's hard doesn't mean that is isn't necessary to obtain a valid data set.

2. OK, I'll clarify 'public data.'
These guys are claiming to be doing basic science, much of it publicly funded.

3. My Nuclear Navy obsessed over collecting and analyzing key data for reactor plant safety and nuclear weapons reliability and safety. It was a serious pain in the ass and (*VERY*) expensive, but is was priceless in credibility.

Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at July 10, 2013 07:35 PM

I have often noticed that any discussion about global warming generates more heat than light. I do love a bad pun on occasion.

Anywho, when NASA was putting up a satellite for measuring some of this stuff I was at a range safety meeting at the Cape. I was having lunch with some of the folks who were going to be using the satellite data and I mentioned that maybe global temperature might not be the way to go.

Ya know it's kind of an integral, spatial, temporal, and discrete non-related causes are all in there. Sacre bleu, off with his head.

But, I suppose my main thought about the matter is why are you trying to sell me that same old Trabant for a different reason?

Posted by: Allen at July 10, 2013 07:39 PM


This is why I said I agree in the generalities, even if not the specifics.

The point is that the troposphere needs to be sampled across it's entire elevation cross section;

And it is. Not in every study, certainly. And the coverage is not as dense as I would prefer if I were the modeler (I can build you a decent model on a couple thousand records, but I much prefer a couple hundred thousand), but it isn't being ignored either. It's expensive and it takes time. Sometimes you can't wait until the dataset is as large as you prefer. "Better than yesterday" is sometimes good enough until you can get to tomorrow. And getting data across the atmosphere across the globe for the last 100 years is simply impossible much less for the last 1mm years (which is what you would really need to do it "right").

These guys are claiming to be doing basic science, much of it publicly funded.

Again, agreed in the generality. But technically, the Navy is publicly funded, too. The difference, to me, is that putitivly, we fund the Navy to do things to *other* people and that requires a level of secrecy. We knew this when we funded it and accepted it. Putitivly, we fund the Climate Scientists to provide *us* with information, but *now* they don't want to deliver the information we paid for? Nah uh, bub. That's not how this works. Hand it over.

It has nothing to do with whether it's "science" or not. They aren't delivering the goods we paid for.

My Nuclear Navy obsessed over collecting and analyzing key data...

Oh, we do too. Garbage in, garbage out. The data must be clean and representative. But sometimes, because of expenses, you have to build your model from the 1,000 records you can afford and not the 10,000 or 100,000 records you'd prefer. Doesn't make it bad science, just expect the error terms to be wider.

Depending on what you are doing, that may or may not be acceptable. On a nuclear reactor that's probably a bad tradeoff, a sales forecast is a different story.

The issue is that when dealing with millions of years of history, thermometer readings across the entire atmosphere and subsurface just don't exist and never will. Assumptions and extrapolations must be made. These can be done in good faith and still be wrong.

Climate models are models built on models built on models built on models built on models ...

There's just no other way to do it. There's really no way to judge before hand whether the models are any good until they are backtested. The ones we have so far, haven't faired very well. That could be because there's no "there" there. It could be that's it there, but we haven't found the right solution yet. So I remain on the fence.

What I object to is spending Trillions of dollars on a coin flip when we aren't sure of the cause, the magnitude, that it's necesarily bad, or that if it is bad, that it'll work.

Russia's not exactly going to object to GW. It'll unlock vast amounts of resourses for them. Not really bad for Canada either, but they're to polite to say this out loud. They *want* GW. How, exactly, do we plan to convince them to act against their own interests?

Seems to me, we should be spending money on ocean de-salinators and large scale irrigation infrastructure. Turn Death Valley into a freakin' lake. :-)

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at July 11, 2013 09:35 AM