I am Sure That This Will Get “Fixed”

From NPR:

Some 3,000 scientific robots that are plying the ocean have sent home a puzzling message. These diving instruments suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years. That could mean global warming has taken a breather. Or it could mean scientists aren’t quite understanding what their robots are telling them.

Of course it could also mean that the global warming theories are wrong, but far be it for NPR to jump that far based on real data.  The article is fairly hilarious in that it gets quotes from people on every possible explanation for this phenomenon except that we might be misinterpreting the reason for recent atmospheric warming.  In fact the only thing the quoted scientists can agree on is that this new data has nothing to say about the accuracy of global warming theories:

Trenberth and Willis agree that a few mild years have no effect on the long-term trend of global warming. But they say there are still things to learn about how our planet copes with the heat.

My prediction is that they will hand this data over to James Hansen and he will make some adjustments and homogenizations, and then they will hand it off to Michael Mann for some of his statistical magic, and suddenly the world’s oceans will have warmed a LOT over the last 5 years.  Don’t laugh, it has happened before.

By the way, it is kind of funny to search for "NPR ocean temperatures" because the first result is this:

In Florida, the effects of global warming are evident several feet below the ocean’s surface. Marine scientists say warming ocean temperatures are taking a toll on North America’s only coral reef—an underwater ecosystem just off Florida’s Atlantic Coast. At a reef that stretches from Palm Beach through the Florida Keys, rising temperatures have led to an increase in what scientists call "coral bleaching."

Hmm, but the oceans were cooling during this study, apparently. In fact, it is interesting in retrospect that the authors of the coral bleaching study presented absolutely no data on ocean temperatures – it was just OK to assume the ocean was warming because everyone believed it to be.  This is what happens when a consensus is declared that no one is allowed to challenge – assumptions get made without actually checking the facts.

34 thoughts on “I am Sure That This Will Get “Fixed””

  1. I believe alcohol and drug rehab outfits use the term “denial” to describe the type of behavior exhibited by—in this case—an NPR journalist.

    As the AGW “data collapse” grows larger, it is becoming more and more evident that the Warm-ongers are finally awakening to the stark realization that they have wandered into a colossal trap of their own making.

    Governments, universities and formerly prestigious journals like NATURE and SCIENCE have gambled their age-old reputations on the myth of AGW—and they’re losing.

    The only way out for the typical Warm-onger (besides repentance) is to stall and deny until retirement.

  2. As always, you are either unwilling or incapable of investigating the issue and just accept the reporting at face value. This is unwise.

    What happened is this. Lyman, Willis and Gregory published a paper suggesting cooling of the upper ocean in July 2006. Why are NPR reporting this now? Who knows. Why are you trumpeting this old news as if it was new? Because you don’t do basic research. The important thing is that an erratum was published in July 2007, and it stated that the cooling reported a year previously was spurious. So you are months out of date and you look a bit foolish. Here is the whole text of the erratum

    Correction to “Recent Cooling 1 of the Upper Ocean”

    Abstract. Two systematic biases have been discovered in the ocean temperature data used by Lyman et al. [2006]. These biases are both substantially larger than sampling errors estimated in Lyman et al. [2006], and appear to be the cause of the rapid cooling reported in that work.

    Most of the rapid decrease in globally integrated 18 upper (0–750 m) ocean heat content anomalies (OHCA) between 2003 and 2005 reported by Lyman et al. [2006] appears to be an artifact resulting from the combination of two different instrument biases recently discovered in the in situ profile data. Although Lyman et al. [2006] carefully estimated sampling errors, they did not investigate potential biases among different instrument types. One such bias has been identified in a subset of Argo float profiles. This error will ultimately be corrected. However, until corrections have been made these data can be easily excluded from OHCA estimates (see http://www.argo.ucsd.edu/ for more details). Another bias was caused by eXpendable BathyThermograph (XBT) data that are systematically warm compared to other instruments [Gouretski and Koltermann, 2007]. Both biases appear to have contributed equally to the spurious cooling.

    This is yet another demonstration that your disbelief in global warming is purely political, and your scientific understanding is very limited.

  3. The only argument about the Argo instruments is how much cooling they detected – not whether cooling occurred. The ocean temps are not rising as we would expect based on AGW theory. The temperature profile over the last 8 years confirms this.

  4. or, you could actually read the article. it says “no warming” not “significant cooling” as per the original lyman piece.

    the article itself gives an awful lot of space to reasons the measurements could be incorrect, including issues with the data. but neither it, nor the 2007 errata dispute a slight cooling over the period measured.

    “There has been a very slight cooling, but not anything really significant,” Willis says. So the buildup of heat on Earth may be on a brief hiatus. “Global warming doesn’t mean every year will be warmer than the last. And it may be that we are in a period of less rapid warming.”

    this is pretty much what lyman/willis says in the errata you quote and given that willis was likely interviewed after his errata was published, this would make sense. Most of the decrease was from error. not ALL the decrease. not “now it shows warming”. most. this implies that there is still cooling, though slight, just as described in the article by one of the authors themselves.

    NPR reports it now because it can be explained away. what you really ought to be asking is “why didn’t they report the “significant cooling” result in 2006?”

  5. What coverman is saying, is that Hansen and Mann did not make the corrections to the data to fit the consensus. Someone else did.

  6. So; no ‘cooling’ to 2007, but then again; no ‘warming’ either by the look of things. Either the ‘battle against climate change’ is won and there is no cause for further panic measures, or there was never a real threat in the first place.

    All the measurements ‘prove’ is that mankind is a very thin scum on this particular biosphere, and suffers from delusions of global grandeur.

  7. The erratum also states that the bias was present not only in the Argo instruments, but also in the XBT instruments, which are “inexpensive probes were not designed to provide climate-quality scientific data. Nevertheless, data from these instruments make up a large fraction of historical ocean temperature measurements, and efforts have been made to remove systematic biases such as those caused by errors in the equations used to model XBT fall rates [Hanawa et al., 1995].” Well, I’m convinced… the science really is “settled”…

    Can we conclude that NO ONE knows what the ocean temps are now or historically? Or is the conclusion that we know the oceans are warmer today than 30 years ago because the IPCC tells us so? How about compared to 1934? Or do we just know that the oceans are warmer since the sea level has risen 1-2 mm/yr in the last 100 years? (BTW, -serious question- how accurate was the instrumentation that was used to measure global average sea level 100 years ago?). Or, can we just not draw any conclusions yet? The premise of this blog post is still valid; no serious consideration is given in the article to there being a potential flaw with the AGW theory.

    Well, I guess the MSM only gets stories wrong when it is anti-alarmism… Obviously, since “Scientist” would never believe an MSM story that perpetuates the AGW theory without checking all of the sources, or the sources of the sources. I guess it’s foolish to expect the MSM to get something right, except when they are reporting the North-American Striped Frog-Flees are hatching 2 days earlier than they were in 1852, wreaking havoc on a fragile ecosystem perched on the precipice of certain doom… having untold horrific impacts to human life as well, unless we act by Friday. The horror! Expect pictures of bunnies being eaten alive by these nasty fleas, pulling at the heart strings of school children…

  8. What gets me is that if one is going to set out to measure temperature, you’d think you’d endeavor to properly calibrate and characterize your measuring instruments beforehand, rather than discovering these problems after the fact. How hard would it have been to take of the little robots, put it in a bath of water of a known temperature, and take a reading? Increase/Decrease the temperature by half a degree C and repeat. Do this for a random sample of the instruments to verify that they are at least consistent amongst themselves, and that any observed systematic measurement error can be corrected by simple adjustment curve.

  9. True Joshv… Calibrating your instruments before performing an experiment isn’t exactly “rocket science”. Unfortunately, “climate researchers” don’t seem to make a very good job of doing any form of science!

  10. Scientist,

    You wrote:

    “What happened is this. Lyman, Willis and Gregory published a paper suggesting cooling of the upper ocean in July 2006. Why are NPR reporting this now? Who knows. Why are you trumpeting this old news as if it was new? Because you don’t do basic research. The important thing is that an erratum was published in July 2007, and it stated that the cooling reported a year previously was spurious. So you are months out of date and you look a bit foolish. Here is the whole text of the erratum”

    This is not old news. This is very new, and current news. If you had read the article closely you would have seen that the article states:

    “These diving instruments suggest that the oceans have not warmed up at all over the past four or five years.”

    Well, these weren’t deployed until 2003, so the only way they can report on 5 years of “no warming” is if the most recent data comes from 2008. In fact, in answer to your question “Why are NPR reporting this now?” is that Argo is reporting it now, because 5 years of data collection is a significant threshold.

    You keep harping on an error that was made and caught a year or 2 ago. That was very public, and most people here are probably well aware of that. It got plenty of mileage at the time. But that was then, and this is now. Even with the correction of the Argo buoys, the oceans have cooled slightly since 2003. Willis and Trenberth don’t deny that fact. They only make weak efforts and hand-waving it away.

  11. “Scientist” is of course totally wrong in his comment on this thread. If he had read the story properly or visited the Argo website he would know that the story as reported is new and correctly quotes the NASA and NCAR scientists telling us that the oceans down to a depth of 3,000 feet have not warmed at all over the last five years.

    As a true believer in AGW he will of course reject these findings out of hand since they do not fit in with his Faith. He knows that AGW as described by the IPCC is perfect Settled Science and that it is absolutely impossible that any research finding, no matter who undertakes it or what it comes up with, could ever cast even the slightest doubt on it.

  12. Patrick Hadley is of course just a moron.

    Aaron Wells – harp on? I posted once. At the time I posted, I couldn’t find any evidence of a new publication and assumed they were referring to the old one.

    A. McIntire – that’s not true. Biased records are excluded.

    A question to everyone who is yapping delightedly. What do you make of the fact that sea levels are rising faster than this heat content measurement can account for?

  13. Orthodox alarmist position as described by the IPCC: the seas are warming and this causes the sea levels to rise.

    Argo finding: seas are slightly cooling, but sea level still rises.

    True believer’s response: this finding is a problem for sceptics, and only serves to confirm what the IPCC has been saying.

    Whatever results the researchers come up with will be regarded those with the true Faith as confirmation of Settled Science.

  14. Dear Scientologist,

    You know when I said earlier that you seemed more polite than the average AGWer? Well, I take that back. Now that I’ve see playground insults like “Patrick Hadley is of course just a moron” and some foul language being put forward as supposedly intelligent debate, I think we’ve found your intellectual level. How disappointing that we are reduced to this.

    “What do you make of the fact that sea levels are rising faster than this heat content measurement can account for?”

    Sea level is a complicated subject. Measurements from tide gauges have to be corrected with many corrections. Glacial rebound, subsidence, sedimentation, tectonic activity, and so on. In general, the corrections are on the same order of magnitude as the changes, and a lot of them are not measured but come from computer models based on the local geology. Those that are measured are subject to some uncertainty. There are not all that many of them used for the IPCC results, about 25, I think. (Incidentally, speaking of the IPCC, you might like to look at fig 5.19 in AR4. See which way the graph is going at the end.) There are also satellite measurements, but again these are subject to many modelled corrections, and are at the limits of their estimated accuracy capabilities. Their actual measurement accuracy is about 5 mm, and this has to be averaged over long periods to get the sort of 0.1 mm/yr figures quoted, during which systematic drifts in error could occur.

    Sea level is not spatially homogeneous. Some parts of the ocean are rising while others are falling – sometimes by several times the global average rate of change. This has a lot to do with changes in ocean currents, local changes in temperature or salinity, and the weather. One of the biggest components of the variation is ENSO – the El Nino oscillation. The 1997 El Nino raised sea levels by about a centimetre. There are also contributions from the PDO and AMO on a decadal timescale. Not only the temperature variations, but also the pressure systems of the passing weather can affect the results. Sea level rises under low pressures, so if you have more low pressures than usual it could affect the average. There are also local effects in the neighbourhood of the tide gauges due to coastal erosion or port engineering, changes in river outflow affecting salinity, urban heat islands from industrial discharge into rivers, and so on. Most of these effects are poorly quantified.

    It has been reported by one of the IPCC reviewers that the raw data from satellites showed no trend, but that corrections were added based on surface tidal gauges (to correct the satellite biases from orbital changes, so it is claimed) that introduced almost all of the visible trend. Whether you pay any attention to a professor of paleogeophysics and geodynamics or not depends on whether you agree with his views, I suppose. Maybe he’s making it up?

    And of course there are all the statistical issues to consider. As noted above, there are only about 25 tide gauges used – so if the sea level change isn’t geographically uniform, are these sites representative? Sea level data is also strongly autocorrelated and shows lots of lumps and bumps – sudden rises and falls on the scale of years to decades. It has to be heavily smoothed to be able to see what is going on. It isn’t immediately clear that trends of the size proposed would be detectable against the background of noise and ‘corrections’. The same issues that plague temperature trend measurements also apply here.

    So to address your question – Can I resolve the disparity between reported sea level rise and lack of temperature change? No. Do I find it believable that there could be such a resolution with the temperature results turning out to be the more correct? Yes.

    Both sets of numbers are still very uncertain – so as a sceptic I wouldn’t break out the champagne just yet – but the disagreement does demonstrate a point we’ve made often: the science is not settled, and on a lot of these questions we just don’t know.

  15. Scientist said

    “What do you make of the fact that sea levels are rising faster than this heat content measurement can account for?”

    See Willis et al (In Press), 2008: “Assessing the Globally Averaged Sea Level Budget on Seasonal & Interannual Time Scales: Journal of Geophysical Reasearch- Oceans”.

    Quoting on this article direct from Roger Pielke Sr’s, Climate Science site, Feb 15, 2008.

    “[The abstract reads

    “Analysis of ocean temperature and salinity data from profiling floats along with satellite measurements of sea surface height and the time variable gravity field are used to investigate the causes of global mean sea level rise between mid-2003 and mid-2007. The observed interannual and seasonal fluctuations in sea level can be explained as the sum of a mass component and a steric (or density related) component to within the error bounds of each observing system. During most of 2005, seasonally adjusted sea level was approximately 5 mm higher than in 2004 due primarily to a sudden increase in ocean mass in late 2004 and early 2005, with a negligible contribution from steric variability. Despite excellent agreement of seasonal and interannual sea level variability, the 4-year trends do not agree suggesting that systematic long-period errors remain in one or more of these observing systems.”

    An important conclusion from the paper is that

    “Despite the short period of the present analysis, these results have important implications for climate. First, from 2004 to the present, steric contributions to sea level rise appear to have been negligible. This is consistent with observations of ocean surface temperature, which show relatively little change in the global average between 2003 and 2006 [Smith and Reynolds, 2005, see NCDC global surface temperature anomalies]. It is in sharp contrast, however, to historical analyses of thermal expansion over the past decade [Willis et al., 2004] and the past half-century [Antonov et al., 2005; Lombard et al., 2005; Ishii et al., 2006]. Although the historical record suggests that multiyear periods of little warming (or even cooling) are not unusual, the present analysis confirms this result with unprecedented accuracy.”]”

  16. Stupid – generally you have to talk to people in the language they understand. A good clue as to what language will be comprehended is what kind of language is being used. I tend to respond in the manner in which I’m spoken to. Up until now, our conversations were rather more sensible and somewhat more grounded in science than most people here are capable of. But if you’re going to call me ‘scientologist’, I’m going to call you stupid. Let’s see how much sensible discussion we have now.

    Geoff Larsen – yes, that is the main thing we have to take from this – either the sea level measurements or the ocean heat measurements, or both, are in error, over the last four years. What we should not take from this is that global warming is not real or ongoing. There is plenty of other evidence for that. The trend in global temperatures is upward, CO2 keeps on being pumped into the atmosphere, glaciers keep melting, spring keeps coming earlier and no fundamental science is called into question by this nonetheless interesting paper.

  17. When faced with results that do not match the IPCC model Scientist tells us:

    “yes, that is the main thing we have to take from this – either the sea level measurements or the ocean heat measurements, or both, are in error.”

    Did he even for a second consider the possibility that it could be the IPCC that was in error?

    Was I wrong to make fun of him as a True Believer who would instantly reject any finding, no matter who comes up with it, if it casts doubt on his Faith?

  18. Scientologist,

    ROFL! Do you really think I care?! Your childish reply confirms what I said to be true.

    And as we’ve repeatedly told you, sceptics generally do not claim (for centennial timescales) “that global warming is not real or ongoing”. On a decadal timescale the warming has clearly stopped, but whether this is a permanent change of behaviour is unknown. Statistically there is no way to tell, and our speculations about which way it will go next are no more or less valid than yours. But even if it were still warming, it would not matter to our case. What is disputed, in varying degrees, are that it is know to be mostly anthropogenic, that it is as accurately measured or understood as is claimed, or that the results of future warming will be catastrophic for mankind. You continually construct strawmen arguments and then seem frustrated that we are unpersuaded by your strings of fallacies and non sequiturs.

    The point of this post is that AGWers have long claimed ocean heat capacity as a possible explanation as to why the observed warming doesn’t match their calculations. If it turns out that there might be no such warming, then it also pulls the rug out from under the consistency of the ‘evidence’ for the modelled climate sensitivity, on which a lot of the predictions of imminent doom depend. It means that the degree of scientific certainty in AGW has been exaggerated. Which we all knew already, but it’s nice to see it being confirmed yet again.

  19. “The point of this post is that AGWers have long claimed ocean heat capacity as a possible explanation as to why the observed warming doesn’t match their calculations.”

    Very true. And scientologist tried to use that same argument just last week.

    I said this:

    “In other words, if the climate is super-sensitive to CO2, temperatures should have risen a lot more by now than they actually have.

    Apparently pro-AGW folks get around this problem by hypothesizing that there is many-year lag due to oceans. However, as far as I know, this entity has never been shown to exist.”

    Scientologist said this:

    “dreamin – your simple estimate would be wrong because that’s not how you calculate climate sensitivity. And you don’t believe that water has a high heat capacity? Oh dear. “

  20. It is interesting to read the Argo booklet, published a year or so ago. http://w3.jcommops.org/FTPRoot/Argo/Doc/Argo_new_brochure.pdf

    This tells us that the thermometers on each float are accurate to 0.005 degrees Kelvin. The floats also measure salinity and monitor ocean currents and circulation below sea level. The results are regularly sent by satellite, and are available online. While errors are always possible one would imagine that the operation has some sort of calibration system to check that the data remains reliable. New sensors are constantly been added to the system, so if there were a bias creeping into the older instruments it would be possible to discover it. The programme costs $20 million a year, with each of the 3,000 floats costing $25,000 over its five year life span. It is worth it because “Argo has become the climate warning system.”

    Must be a bit embarrassing for the AGW crowd, who have pinned their hopes on this system, to find that it makes nonsense of their beliefs.

  21. Yes, it hasn’t warmed up over the last 5 years in the ocean, but that’s the same thing the sattelite and surface temp measurements show. A failure to warm for 5 years DOES NOT disprove GW. Nor would 5 years of warming PROVE it.

  22. TCO, I thought the same as you when I first heard of the Argo findings. There is ample evidence that the surface of the sea has cooled over the last five years, so why is it a big deal that the deep ocean has cooled also? – Is that not what you would expect? I also know that five years is not all that long in climate trends etc. etc.

    However after reflection I realised that this really is a potentially very big story. While weather can change quickly and are unpredictable the deep oceans are vast and can only respond very slowly. For years Hansen has been talking about the oceans acting as a store for all the extra heat that is absorbed by the planet because of the increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. He claims that there is “thermal inertia” in the oceans which is going to inevitably cause further heating in the future – he likes the word “pipeline”. All the models are based on this assumption. A cooler deep ocean means that the models must be wrong. If the heat landing on the surface because of more greenhouse gasses is not going into the oceans then where is it going? Back out to space? That is exactly what the sceptics want to believe.

    The Bulldog had a post about this last year, when he was still able to argue that the most recent evidence from Argo was that the oceans were warming.


  23. Patrick,

    Five years is too short a time to prove anything, either way. For all the reasons I gave to Scientologist in this and an earlier discussion, there are too many different factors at work contributing noise on long timescales to isolate any single factor that way. The warming contribution might be there and temporarily cancelled by some other factor we don’t know about that itself will average out to zero in the longer run. Or it might be that the Argo results will turn out to be wrong. It’s happened before.

    We can go so far as to say the expected evidence for the pipeline hypothesis is absent or conflicting, and therefore that the degree of scientific certainty in it (and everything that relies on it) is exaggerated. We can’t use this to say the ocean heat capacity hypothesis is disproven. Our confidence in it must be weakened, but only by a relatively small amount as yet.

    However, if the effect persists, and is not shown to be a misreading, it could all get very interesting.

  24. Stevo, I would agree that it would be wrong to assume that five years of 3,000 Argo robots’ accurate temperature readings of the deep sea really do show everything that there is to know about heat storage in the oceans.

    Five years is not a very long time, when set against 40 years of data which show a steadily rising temperature of the deep seas. However did you ever come across the paper by Gouretski and Koltermann that was published by the American Geophysical Union in Geophysical Research Letters (Jan 2007). That paper, (which seems to be fully accepted by climate scientists as far as I can tell) says: “Using bias-corrected XBT data we argue reduces the ocean heat content change since the 1950s by a factor of 0.62.” In other words 62% of the AGHG heat stored in the oceans which was proclaimed by Hansen as the “smoking gun” did not really exist.

    This must have big implications for the climate models – rather more than even the biggest estimate of the UHI effect has on land temperatures.

  25. Patrick,

    I’ve heard of the result, but haven’t been able to look into the details. The impression I’ve got is that previous to Argo the measurements were rather patchy, and that the correction they apply is a simple offset in response to one known fault, with a fair amount of estimating going on. As a general rule, I don’t like the idea of applying “corrections” to historical records of known-to-be-faulty data. You’ve got the original uncertainty, plus the uncertainty about your correction, plus a lack of confidence from knowing that if you missed one problem before you might have missed others. You usually can’t go back to the original experiment to find out. It’s often all you’ve got and better than nothing, and there are even circumstances when your new understanding of exactly what was done and what went wrong is so solid that you really can get a good measurement from old data, but that sort of thing has to be treated with caution. (And bear in mind we’re trying to measure the average temperature change of about a billion cubic kilometres of non-uniformly heated water to an accuracy of fractions of a degree per decade by sampling. It’s an intrinsically hard question.)

    If it’s right, I’d say it was significant, but I’m not sufficiently confident that it’s correct yet. Like this one, it’s an interesting result and demonstrates that Hansen’s claims are at the least scientifically unfounded (which is not to say necessarily untrue) but I’d have to examine it a lot more closely before saying it disproved anything.

  26. Pat:

    Yes, the energy is going back out to space. Also, it doesn’t make sense that that extra energy can be getting down to a lower layer of the ocean, while the sea surface is cooling. What makes sense is that for the past few years, total heating of the system has been negative (i.e. nrg going out to space). Note that this does not immediately disprove AGW as the system has the capacity to wobble back and forth like this and it is a rather complex system with seasons, hemispheres, clouds, ice caps, currents, air currents, etc. etc. (And note that not disproving does not = proving…this is a logic flaw that both “sides” seem to have.)

    I guess it’s possible that the lack of heating of the lower ocean could mean something if we presume that the upper ocean was ALREADY so hot that it ought to be continuing to transfer heat down below (and that the cooling in last few years was not radical). You really have to look at this numerically though, considering mixing rates, heat transfer coefficients, how deep you measured, what the profiles were, etc. (it’s really a bore hole type of problem). I’d be very interested in the details of that. Unfortunately, our popularizing host has not bothered to have that sort of explication (and doesn’t seem to want to do that sort of examination of things…rather just jumping and running with any sound bite de jour that he thinks helps him.

  27. “The trend in global temperatures is upward”
    Except for the past 8 years

    “CO2 keeps on being pumped into the atmosphere”
    which doesn’t appear to be having the effect that AGW believers crow about

    “glaciers keep melting”
    except for the ones that keep growing

    “spring keeps coming earlier”
    except that many, many places around the world have had the coldest and snowiest winter in over a century. In fact, as I speak, it’s snowing in North Georgia where I live. That’s only happened a few times since 1930.

  28. spring keeps coming earlier

    Typical catastrophist: “spring is here! oh the horror, run for your lives!”

    I guess the next signs of doom will be the sudden appearance of rainbows, bunnies, and kittens.

  29. Stevo – what a tosser you are, really. Thought you seemed moderately intelligent at first but now you’re just being really stupid. You think it’s very hilarious to call people names, and then accuse them of being childish. How very pathetic. Then in one short paragraph you say that even the most moronic deniers actually believe that global warming is real and ongoing, and then you say actually it’s stopped. And then you claim that your predictions of the future are as valid as anyone’s. Well, Stevo, unfortunately, predictions which have no scientific foundation are entirely irrelevant. Now try growing up a bit, eh?

    JimBeaux – yet another denier who can’t understand the difference between weather and climate! There’s no shortage of them, is there. 8 years is far too short a time to measure a meaningful trend from. Stevo doesn’t understand that, you don’t, in fact pretty much everyone here doesn’t understand that. I’ll say again what I said before. Make yourself a spreadsheet. Construct a series of numbers following a linear trend, increasing by 0.2 every 10 units. Add a random number of between -0.5 and +0.5 to every number in the linear series. Plot a graph of the series. Plot some eight-unit ‘trends’. Consider what you see.

  30. The more that Earth’s heat content (measured by ocean temps) diverges from the IPCC model projections, the less credible (and useful) those models become. The clock is ticking. Atmospheric CO2 goes up, up, up, while temps go down. Not a good sign for scientologists and climate alarmist orthodoxies.

  31. Scientologist,

    I would have thought it was obvious by now that I’m only doing it because it makes you react in a way that totally discredits yourself. You call people morons, and then are utterly amazed that people could take that amiss, and regard it as totally unreasonable and evidence of stupidity that they might insult you in turn. You can dish it out, but evidently can’t take it. If you were a little more respectful of people with who you differ, and a little less arrogant about the supposed superiority of your own expertise, it wouldn’t be half so entertaining to wind you up. 🙂

    The term “global warming” refers only to the temperature change, not to the mechanisms thought to be causing it. It is a fact that the temperature goes up and down. It was up in the medieval warm period, went down for the little ice age, came up in the first half of the 20th century to about 1940, levelled off or went down until around 1980, went up until 1997 and then levelled off again. It is a clear fact that the temperature has gone up since the start of the 20th century, and if you describe that as “global warming”, it’s something that even the “moronic deniers” as you so charmingly call them understand and accept. (And why does that sort of language not make you “stupid”?) The 20th century change in warmth is real and ongoing, but the warming is intermittent and has currently stopped. On a centennial timescale there is warming, on a decadal timescale there is not. This is not hard to understand.

    You make an excellent suggestion to JimBeaux, I’d like to suggest that you perhaps follow it yourself, but with an additional twist. Instead of making the noise independently distributed at each point (which is clearly contradicted by observations), I propose you use red noise instead. You can construct a Box-Jenkins AR(1) red noise sequence by taking r(0)=NORMSINV(RAND())/(1-alpha^2) and recursively defining r(i)=alpha*r(i-1)+NORMSINV(RAND()) where alpha is an adjustable constant between 0 and 1 and NORMSINV(RAND()) is Excel’s way or generating normally distributed random numbers. Start with alpha around 0.95, generate a few series of about 100 points, and then add them to various linear trends – positive, negative, and zero. The noise at every point has exactly the same unchanging distribution, it is normally distributed with mean zero and variance 1/(1-alpha^2). The noise has no trend.

    Seriously, try it, and consider what you see. Look at regression lines first for 10 points, then for 30 points, and longer, and see how much data you actually need to measure the slope of your added linear trend to a given accuracy. How low must alpha be before your intuitive expectations are restored, and you can distinguish a 0.02 gradient from zero by looking at 30 points?

  32. Who cares how people take stuff? I AM CALLING YOU a pole-smoking pussy. Come and get me, mother fucker!!!!!

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