Analysing the complete hadCRUT yields some surprising results

Analysing the complete hadCRUT yields some surprising results” (2011-08-04). Anthony Watts learns from a post by right-wing “Global Warming Policy Foundation” lobbyists about a post by Luboš Motl that proves that 30% of the Earth has cooled. Run from the Ice Age! Or something like that.

After five years of denialist pretense that the data was being hidden from them (because they had to go to the trouble of requesting it from the various national meteorological organizations that owned it) the unified release of the global data set used by the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia has forced them to switch to a new fake numbers game. Expect a lot more of this kind of transparent misdirection, designed to keep the uninformed public distracted. Expect Anthony to make a big fuss about it each time.

Luboš Motl's plot of HADCRU3 data showing historical warming or cooling trend.

Look at how much of that cRaZy blue there is!

So if we are to believe Motl, the Earth is actually 30% cooler than it was 77 years ago. Run from the Ice Age! No wait; some places have cooled even though most other places have warmed, so it’s not global warming. No wait, it’s that the HadCRUT3 temperature data comes from weather stations that only represent particular small areas, so it can’t tell us anything about global temperature. (Dang! They should have just used that one temperature station that records the whole planet.)

Err, maybe this is why scientists use statistics? To collect and objectively interpret large data sets with complex trends and arrive at an objective understanding.

Hold on. Is Motl really trying to make the point that unless every station shows a warming trend then we can’t claim that there is global warming? Is his point really so dogmatically stupid? Maybe, because in spite of his self-declared brilliance Motl has to admit that he got “standard deviation” mixed up with “root mean square“. Unfortunately he says “I don’t have the energy to redo all these calculations – it’s very time-consuming and CPU-time-consuming” but I’m sure it’s a wash, huh?

Anthony Watts and the “Global Warming Policy Foundation” are certainly happy to overlook this, because to them the fact that 30% of the recording stations show a cooling history apparently makes their heads reel. Not climate scientists however. Only an idiot would expect a trend to be uniformly expressed throughout a complex natural system.

Oh, that’s right. We’re talking about Anthony Watts, aren’t we?

21 thoughts on “Analysing the complete hadCRUT yields some surprising results

  1. First comment by Steven Mosher

    “errr.. we’ve known this for quite sometime.

    REPLY: Mosh, are you locked into being a permanent downer these days? A lot of people DON’T know about it, which is why I repeated the post here. – Anthony”

    Of course the entire point of the post was that now they have the full data and it yields “surprising” results. In the very first comment Anthony concedes there’s nothing surprising about it at all and chastises Mosher simply for ruining his fun.

    The post sure isn’t about “Here’s what we knew before the data release and nothing has changed”.

    [Exactly. - Ben]

  2. “Is Motl really trying to make the point that unless every station shows a warming trend then we can’t claim that there is global warming?”

    Yes, that’s definitely one of the points. If the ratio of the number of stations that were warming and those that were cooling is similar to the ratio of the Democratic and Republican lawmakers in a particular chamber of the U.S. Congress, like 2:1, it is obviously untrue that a warming, whatever you mean by that, was global.

    Obviously, a similar evolution we saw in the past will also occur in the future. A part of the globe will be getting warmer in the next 50-100 years and a comparably large part will be getting cooler.

    It would be totally wrong for someone to think that it is nearly certain that his place will be getting warmer. The probability is at most “more likely than not”: it is not even “very likely” that a particular place on the globe will be warming.

    All plans and policies and scientific theories that assume that a given place on the globe will warm up by 2050 or 2100 are standing on sand because such an assumption is almost equally to be false as it is that it will be right.

    [Oh my god. You really are just waving your arms in the air! - Ben]

  3. He’s waving his arms because somebody turned off the oxygen to his helmet.

    The really funny thing about Lube bottle is that he thinks there is nothing to Climate science, in his words “it’s not Rocket science”, of course he can’t explain warming, so maybe Lube just ain’t so smart after all.

    Please Lube job lets hear some extreme right wing ranting from you, how Brevik is really on to something, you disgust me.

    • If either of you is truly incapable of understanding the elementary comments above, extracted from the HadCRUT3 data, you should ask your doctor for some happy drugs. Without them, you’re no longer acceptable in polite company.

      [I get the feeling that the only human being that is "acceptable in polite company" is you... - Ben]

  4. This is a new one on me: representing global ocean temperature anomalies only from land stations, on islands or the nearest mainland.

    “The areas are chosen according to their nearest weather station – that’s what the term “Voronoi graph” means.”

    “In mathematics, a Voronoi diagram is a special kind of decomposition of a metric space determined by distances to a specified set of objects in the space, e.g., by a discrete set of points.” (Wikipedia)

    His cooling trend (in blue) is mostly oceanic, which brings into question his short cut methodology for estimating ocean temperature anomalies.

    Will the cooling trend still exist, if HadSST2 sea surface temperature anomalies are used?

  5. @Luboš Motl

    Did you check if neighboring stations have the same cooling trend? Some of this trends are fake due to inhomogeneities.

  6. No, it appears to me that he is saying that if you have a republican congress you have a warm winter and vice versa. And further it appears that he’s stating that if every citizen of a democratic country would be like him there would be no discussions of weather since every one would disagree with him, as this is their right. I don’t know if this kind of censorship would be accepted in a democratic society, so I’m not certain if Lube wants to live in one.

  7. The “unless every station shows a warming trend then we can’t claim that there is global warming” trope can be framed in an infinite number of ways. Montford was using it on drought the otherr day : “… rainfall will increase in a warming world. This being the case, one should presumably conclude that drought is not an issue we should worry about”

  8. ha ha ha – I don’t believe it. That has to be someone just pretending to be Motl, doesn’t it?

    (I know he’s wacko but I thought he had a bit of grey matter up top. Hasn’t he spent his working life tying strings or something?)

    [Well, it's a .cz IP address. - Ben]

  9. First we are told, all government sources of climate information, which are coincidently used by all real climate research scientists are tainted and completely corrupt meaningless databases that should now be treated like the bubonic plague.

    Now, we are told a few very brave individuals, such as Lubos Motl, have gone where no mortal may dare, looking for the odd rare cherry buried deep, in a ten mile high hay stack sized pile of invalid and corrupt data!

    This is so confusing, what next? Will the so called armchair pseudo junk blog climate change denial head in the sand ersatz scientists, mysteriously out of thin air, wave a magic “Harry Potter Wand” to repeal all the known laws of reality and thus the only planet we can live on, cease to exist in this dimension or time line?

    Who benefits, from snake oil salesmen selling pseudo junk science ?

  10. Next?……….Just wait for it. WUWT will begin a campaign questioning the accuracy of shipboard measurements of ocean temperature, as currently used with HadSST2 for inclusion in the HadCRUT3 combined land and sea temperature anomalies.

    Then Roy Spencer and Murry Salby will collaborate, and then preview their paper proving that Lubos Motl’s Voronoi graph estimates of ocean temperatures, from island and mainland station data, are actually more accurate than HadSST2, and should replace it.

    In due course it will be reviewed and shot down, but not before they get their 15+ days of defamation.

    [There's a certain truculent predictability to it isn't there? - Ben]

  11. Problem solved. We all move to the Arctic region.

    It’s warming twice (or more) as fast there as the average. So if all of us are there, everyone will be somewhere where it _is_ warming.

    I bags first vacant rooms in Barrow.

    [I think you're on to something! I have fond memories of the Igloo Hotel in Resolute. - Ben]

  12. Whew! Maybe it’s just too late, but outside of the heavy dose of
    ridicule here, I find this very hard to follow.

    I was thinking that you might have a piece on why University of
    Virginia should not release Michael Mann’s data and communications — paid for by public funds. I don’t get, at all, the
    idea that something of such burning importance to the future of the planet should be hidden from A LOT of scrutiny. Isn’t that what science should be about? What, in heavens name, should be the point of hiding this?

    ….and when Geo Mason University released what’s-his-names communications that was ok? And, it was ok to ransack through 24K messages Sarah Palin wrote as Governor of Alaska? What are the rules here? ……Lady in Red

    [Your cut-and-paste line breaks are a bit off. You've got to learn to pay attention to the details if you want to maintain the illusion that you're coming up with these questions yourself! I'm afraid I missed the secret meeting where we voted on who would have to reveal their e-mails and who wouldn't, so I can't speak to your concerns. Have you considered which "communications" of Mann or Wegman were private and which were not, or which were related to "public money" and which were not? Or perhaps if there was any legal basis for the demands or even jurisdiction? - Ben]

    • ‘Lady in the the red light’…the Koch brothers obviously not paying you enough to keep up quality of cut’n paste, suggest more time on the corner.

  13. Sorry, Ben, I was not clear. My question:

    Geo Mason University released all requested pertaining to the Wegman review for Congress of Michael Mann’s work. No question, no incident.

    The state of Alaska released 24K of Sarah Palin’s private correspondence when governor of Alaska. No question. No incident.

    Folk (Union of Concerned Scientists….? UVA….? Michael Mann….?) are fighting tooth and nail NOT to release Mann’s correspondence and data when he was at UVA. Why?

    You write: “I’m afraid I missed the secret meeting where we voted on who would have to reveal their e-mails and who wouldn’t, so I can’t speak to your concerns. Have you considered which “communications” of Mann or Wegman were private and which were not, or which were related to “public money” and which were not? Or perhaps if there was any legal basis for the demands or even jurisdiction?”

    What’s the difference, Ben? A smoke and mirrors evasion of the question accomplishes little. Is there an answer beyond the obvious: Michael Mann has a LOT of stuff he wants hidden?

    ……Lady in Red

    [Here's some homework for you, "Lady", in place of your rhetorical posturing:

    1. Describe the material actually being requested in each case.
    2. Summarize the "ownership" of the material requested in each case.
    3. Summarize the legal basis for providing or withholding the material in each case.

    Let us know what you find when you set aside your smoke and mirrors. I bet they aren't as similar as you infer. Fer instance Sarah Palin would conduct state business through her personal email account, in an attempt to avoid public records laws, or through her husband (many of his messages are still being withheld even though he was deeply involved in Palin's public duties). The release was also as printed pages to hinder analysis.

    Yet you claim "No question. No incident." Seems you want it both ways: people you like are doing the right thing whether they were or not, people you don't like are doing the wrong thing no matter what the facts are.- Ben]

    • I think Lady in Red is also mixing loads of things up. George Mason University has not released any e-mails. There are claims going around the echochamber that UVA released e-mails from Pat Michaels (who now also is part of GMU), and this is most likely what LiR is referring to.

      This claim is, however (how surprising), false. Greenpeace tried a FOIA, received Michaels’ CV and a spreadsheet with some grants, and that was it. If they wanted more, not only would they have to pay $4000 as a base charge, it was possible nothing would be released, and there would be no cap on the amount Greenpeace would have to pay.

      See for details here: Mann stays in the hot seat

  14. How to get from Motl to Palin in one easy step. Wonder if either of them appreciate the linkage :)

    [Any publicity is good publicity! - Ben]

  15. “The newest hockey stick” (WUWT, Aug 12, 2011)

    “Wegman” was the only familiar name that I encountered when looking into a recent WUWT post about retracted scientific papers – The Newest Hockey Stick.

    Roger Pielke jr and Anthony Watts present some articles about the retractions of MEDICAL/LIFE sciences papers, apparently hoping that careless readers will assume that they reflect upon the climate sciences.

    PNAS, Science, and Nature are specifically mentioned. But from the titles of the PNAS and Nature articles it is obvious that they are exclusively in the medical/life sciences.

    This is also true for all of the Science papers for which a title is given (one third). For the Science articles without titles, there weren’t any recognizable climate scientist names in the author lists.

    Wegman’s situation merits a blogpost on a year-old website, Retraction Watch, that covers all fields of science. His “controversial study of how relationships between climate change scientists may affect the field” was the only ‘climate science’ article there.

    [Wegman's climate work has swung from a barely plausible denialist "triumph" to an embarrassment. Maybe they'll have better luck with "everyone does it!" - Ben]

  16. Wow, Ben!

    That reasoning is sooooooooooo compelling! Why *now* I understand why it makes so much sense to keep Mann’s data
    secret. Wow! /sarc off/

    Ya know: I tried. I tried to imagine what would make someone devote time to a site like this….. what was the anti-Watts science?

    I tried.

    Sorry, but there’s no there there. Just ridicule. It’s like those who aren’t saved in the blood of Jesus Christ ain’t getting into heaven. You can’t have a conversation with them. They just KNOW.

    No need to post this. I just wanted you to know I really was asking honest questions.

    But all your answers have something to do with being saved in the blood of Michael Mann and AGW. There’s no reasonable conversation there.

    I wish you well, I guess. I hope you pay more and more attention to the real science that happens on WUWT. As a lay person, I find it fascinating, do not understand how any thinking person can deny it…. or Judith Curry.

    Anyway. ….Lady in Red

    [So... Not going to back up any of your claims? Just declaring victory as you run away. - Ben]

    • “another moment of truth.”Thank you, Oliver, for illustrating the mis-named “skeptics” blind, unquestioning faith in the truth of whatever they want to believe.No paper, no slides, no evidence . . . but that’s not a problem for a true believer.

  17. Dear socialist woman:

    Wegman promised to release data, methods, code, whatever on his website quite a while ago.

    I don’t think he ever did.

    I just searched for his website or pages and got nothing. Some information he had there helped the plagiarism investigation. Did he put a lid on eveything to stop the bleeding?

    I have read Mann’s data online: do you know how to read?

    John McManus

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