Video analysis and scene replication suggests that Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project fabricated their Climate 101 video “Simple Experiment”

Video analysis and scene replication suggests that Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project fabricated their Climate 101 video “Simple Experiment” (2011-09-28). Some awesome CSI-style investigation by Anthony Watts hisself! The recent CO2 “experiment” (well, demonstration) on Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project was all fake! Also the Algore is fat and Bill Nye wears a lab coat.


Come on Anthony, say it! “Zoom in. Now… enhance.”

After Anthony’s Zapruder-style analysis and mail-order recreation of the “fake” CO2 set-up he declares:

The only conclusion one can make from these four points is that the video of the “simple experiment” is a complete fabrication done in post production.

You know, he’s hit in the only possible explanation. Thus proving once and for all, again, that Global Warming is a lie! After-all The Longest Day, Gone with the Wind and Titanic were (probably) done in a single continuous take, why not every other piece of video?

Buried in Anthony’s howling about fake experiments not proving that CO2 is a “greenhouse gas” is the quiet admission that CO2 is actually a greenhouse gas. Because only a complete scientific illiterate would claim otherwise. But pay no attention to that awkward detail, huh?

So after Anthony’s furious nitpick accusations and his reader’s chorus of “brilliant!”, what are we left with? Anthony Watts hates Al Gore with a terrier-like obsession. Treat his occasional pleas for civility and objectivity as the fig-leaves they are.

Footnote: Want to see a 96 minute single take film? Check out Russian Ark.

Update 2011-10-01: There are some entertaining comments on Anthony’s efforts over at Media Matters, I like this one: “If you’re shocked to find out that real volcanoes have NO baking soda inside them, you just might be a Republican.”

Do We Care if 2010 is the Warmist Year in History?

Do We Care if 2010 is the Warmist Year in History?. The new denialist talking point emerges! Who cares if 2010 was the warmest year ever? Ira Glickstein says (well, suggests) that it’s all because of lying corrupt climatologists making malicious adjustments anyway!

Keep talking about that, but remember to add a caveat like:

“What does this all mean? Is this evidence of wrongdoing? Incompetence? Not necessarily.”

A few years ago there was debate about whether 1998 or 1934 was the hottest year ever, but the climatologists made 1998 the hottest year with their evil adjustments! They’re probably doing it again.

Next problem.

Analysis of NSIDC August 4 News

Analysis of NSIDC August 4 News. Steven Goddard still thinks that he can use Photoshop to disprove Global Warming! Friendly advice for Anthony Watts: I know Steven helps fill your blog with denialist arguments of varying quality, but his premises are invariably based on either stubborn ignorance or deliberate analytical flaws. Although perhaps you don’t care?

So what’s Steven’s “analysis” this time? He claims that the NSIDC’s (National Snow and Ice Data Center) Sea Ice News has a deceptive chart of Arctic Sea Ice Extent because his pixel counting from an NSIDC map shows 10% more ice now that in 2007. That’s not what the chart shows! Although it goes right over Steven’s head, Dr. Walt Meier of the NSIDC charitably explains;

Our sea ice maps are not an equal area projection. Thus one cannot compare extents by counting grid cells – this is probably the reason for the 7.5% vs. 3% discrepancy. Steve has been alerted to this issue in the past, but seems to have forgotten it.

Photoshop also proves that Arctic multi-year ice is doing just fine, sort of, even though the NSIDC says that it is melting in the southern Beaufort Sea. So there.

Finally, Steven lets us know that Sea Ice Extent is increasing in the Antarctic, naturally disproving Global Warming. Too bad Antarctic Sea Ice Extent is driven by ocean current patterns and glacial outflow and not temperature.

Goddard notes grandly that he has “alerted Dr. Meier to most of these issues by E-mail.” Another trophy for the lunch-room bulletin board I suppose.

A color scheme change for the SST map

A color scheme change for the SST map“. Steven Goddard still thinks that diddling around in Photoshop is scientifically meaningful. Today he tries to jigger the color scheme to reduce the global temperature anomalies by using a “cooler” color for small positive anomalies.

Of course he had to hunt around the NOAA site to find the Coral Reef Watch group’s variation on the master Sea Surface Temp anomaly map to find a chart that he could make look bad. Note to Steven: Charts are representations of data, they are not data. What you are doing is discarding the data that you don’t like.

Here's a real NOAA SST Anomaly Map, for August 4, 2010.

Using the same logic Steven “proves” in the comments that, by geographical area, President Obama only got 28% of the 2008 Presidential election vote.

New carbon dioxide emissions model: “carbon dioxide emissions must be reduced to around zero by the end of the century”

New carbon dioxide emissions model: “carbon dioxide emissions must be reduced to around zero by the end of the century”. How dare those Europeans tell Anthony Watts what to do! Wait, the copied-and-pasted  Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science press release is simply saying this:

Meteorologists have determined exactly how much carbon dioxide humans can emit into the atmosphere while ensuring that the earth does not heat up by more than two degrees.

CO2 emissions calculated by the model (left, in gigatons carbon/year) and the temporal development of the global mean annual temperature (right). For long-term stabilisation of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, fossil carbon dioxide emissions must be reduced to around zero by the end of the century. Black lines represent the observed values. Source: Max Planck Institute for Meteorology.

The practical truth is that if we want to limit the global temperature increase to the 2°C rise that has been agreed is a wise target, we’re going to have to start acting now. There is a significant “inertia” to our climate’s response to inputs such as CO2 emissions, it’s not as if we can just “turn off the tap” when it suits us.

Anthony leaves the wise observations that we’d “better stop breathing” and howls about taxation, socialist vegetarian conspiracies and population control to flourish uncorrected in the comments.

GISS Polar Interpolation

GISS Polar Interpolation. Like the Wandering Albatross, Steven Goddard returns once more to complaining that because the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) doesn’t have 5000 weather stations on the Arctic sea ice their global temperature analysis is a lie composed of “incorrect, fabricated data”. James Hansen even admits that !

Steven cherry-picks June 2010 from the Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) model for comparison because it’s the only month he can use to “prove” that the Arctic is colder than GISS reports. Steven loathes any kind of “modeling” because they let scientists ‘manipulate the truth’, but the DMI model suits his purpose today so its OK I guess. The DMI model uses a different set of records and different assumptions, in particular with a cold bias due to inclusion of Arctic buoy readings, so naturally it gives a slightly different result. This is useful to Steven.

Daily mean temperature north of 80th northern parallel. Steven likes June 2010 here. It's the only month he can play games with. Source: DMI.

It’s always fun to work yourself up into a nice lather, but if data isn’t available scientists will try to find ways to compensate. It’s called research and it doesn’t involve playing games with Photoshop. Just because it suits Steven’s purpose doesn’t mean that, for example, rejecting the interpolation of temperature beyond 250 km is legitimate. GISS explains their choice clearly:

The correlation of temperature anomaly time series for neighboring stations was illustrated by Hansen and Lebedeff [1987] as a function of station separation for different latitude bands. The average correlation coefficient was shown to remain above 50 percent to distances of about 1200 km at most latitudes, but in the tropics the correlation falls to about 35 percent at station separation of 1200 km. The GISS analysis specifies the temperature anomaly at a given location as the weighted average of the anomalies for all stations located within 1200 km of that point, with the weight decreasing linearly from unity for a station located at that point to zero for stations located 1200 km or further from the point in question.

So what if there was a fatal flaw in the GISS temperature analysis? Well there are several different estimates of global temperature trends, based on different sets of temperature records and different assumptions. They all show a similar pattern of warming, so howling about the specific flaws of one or the other of these analyses is really just meaningless noise.

I can’t let Goddard’s final statement that “GISS Arctic anomalies are high by as much as 4 degrees, and yet he claims a global record measured in hundredths of a degree” go unchallenged. This is plain scientific ignorance (or the pretense of it). The significant digits of a result can be much higher than the accuracy of the individual measured values if the sample size is large. Guess what? In this case, it is.

GRACE’s warts – new peer reviewed paper suggests errors and adjustments may be large

That's a spicy meatball! Credit: U of Texas Center for Space Research

GRACE’s warts – new peer reviewed paper suggests errors and adjustments may be large“. Anthony Watts copies-and-pastes a post from CO2 Science (the website for those tired of “alarmist global warming propaganda”). They report that denialists can safely ignore any troubling conclusions based on the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite, because there are “errors and biases” and “the GRACE data time series is still very short”. And of course any adjustments to correct these things are simply ‘tricks’.

Actually, that’s what the GRACE scientists themselves are saying in their 2010 Geophysical Journal International article, Uncertainty in ocean mass trends from GRACE. CO2 Science is taking routine scientific discussion about how to improve data analysis out of context and trying to use it to discredit that very effort. Here’s Quinn & Ponte’s abstract:

Ocean mass, together with steric sea level, are the key components of total observed sea level change. Monthly observations from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) can provide estimates of the ocean mass component of the sea level budget, but full use of the data requires a detailed understanding of its errors and biases. We have examined trends in ocean mass calculated from 6 yr of GRACE data and found differences of up to 1 mm yr−1 between estimates derived from different GRACE processing centre solutions. In addition, variations in post-processing masking and filtering procedures required to convert the GRACE data into ocean mass lead to trend differences of up to 0.5 mm yr−1. Necessary external model adjustments add to these uncertainties, with reported post-glacial rebound corrections differing by as much as 1 mm yr−1. Disagreement in the regional trends between the GRACE processing centres is most noticeably in areas south of Greenland, and in the southeast and northwest Pacific Ocean. Non-ocean signals, such as in the Indian Ocean due to the 2004 Sumatran-Andean earthquake, and near Greenland and West Antarctica due to land signal leakage, can also corrupt the ocean trend estimates. Based on our analyses, formal errors may not capture the true uncertainty in either regional or global ocean mass trends derived from GRACE.

So the controversy is… what exactly? That is a cool warty globe though.