[ExI] Phil Jones acknowledging that climate science isn'tsettled

Emlyn emlynoregan at gmail.com
Thu Feb 18 00:37:00 UTC 2010

On 18 February 2010 08:05, Max More <max at maxmore.com> wrote:
> Emlyn:
>> I haven't read the whole thing in detail, but one early piece stuck out
>> like a sore thumb, which is the old saw that there is no significant warming
>> since 1998. That's just flat out wrong, and it's wrong because 1998 itself
>> stuck out like a sore thumb; it was a statistical anomaly, which anyone who
>> wasn't being entirely disingenuous would agree with.
>> Here's a discussion of that issue, along with graphs showing the 1998 sore
>> thumb:
>> http://scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2006/04/warming-stopped-in-1998.php
> The source you cite (which is almost four years old now), seems to rely for
> the recent period exclusively on NASA GISS analysis. (References to CRU data
> are for other periods. I didn't see any comparison with UAH or RSS.)
> In contrast, the following piece..
> http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/03/08/3-of-4-global-metrics-show-nearly-flat-temperature-anomaly-in-the-last-decade/
> ...compares that analysis to three other sources and notes "NASA GISS
> land-ocean anomaly data showing a ten year trend of 0.151°C, which is about
> 5 times larger than the largest of the three metrics above, which is UAH at
> 0.028°C /ten years. "

You know, what struck me about all the data presented in that article
is that they include the anomolous data from approx '98, and nothing
from before it. Have a look at those graphs, and tell me if you
wouldn't see a more positive trend if you either excluded the oldest
12 months (the anomaly), or included a few more years before that?
*Clearly* that would be the case. It's just exactly the same cherry
picking as before.

Have a look at the first graph:


and look at the clear spike in the data around '98. See it rises
higher than all the other points? If you include that anomaly and
begin there, of course you'll get a flat or shallow gradient on
average over a ten year period, even though the temperature (excluding
that anomaly) is clearly continuing to trend strongly upward. The
irony here is that people are using an anomalously hot year in a
particular way to obscure the upward trend. Hilarious.

I'll bet you that in a couple of years, these kinds of "skeptics" stop
using the 10 year data, and start finding an excuse to use a 12 year
window, 13 years, etc, for some reason, *or* inexplicably keep using
the current data sets (which stop in 2007).

> Is there a good reason to rely completely on the source that seems out of
> alignment with the others? (I'm going to look at the two contrasting sources
> more closely when I have more time.)

I don't think it's out of alignment. If he'd taken the CRU data over
the same period, wouldn't it be similarly crippled by the initial

> I'm not clear whether any or all of the four sources count as showing
> "statistically significant warming" (though RSS obviously does not, since it
> shows a very slight decline), but they do at least show warming greatly
> below IPCC trend.


> To be clear: Whether or not warming since 1995 or 1998 has stopped or
> considerably slowed down is of little importance. The orthodoxy and the
> skeptics can agree that one decade is too short to show anything significant
> about long-term trends. It does, however, raise additional doubts about AGW
> models. I haven't seen a good explanation of why the models completely fail
> to account for this -- and previous multi-decade, industrial-age pauses in
> warming, if CO2 really is the main driver.
> Not only is the one-decade/12-year record of little importance, I still have
> not seen adequate reason to maintain my doubts about the claim that
> century-long warming is definitely and entirely due to human activity rather
> than to a natural cyclical recovery from a cold period.

As to that, it's a different claim, and none of the previous stuff
speaks to it, absolutely. All I was pointing out was that there is an
anomaly at 1998, and it is clearly disingenuous to include it at the
start of a period then do a simple regression. Why that is important,
is that it speaks to the motive of the person using the argument.
Someone with solid ground to stand on, with a rational basis for their
position, simply wont also include discredit arguments like the no
warming since 1998 one, because it would undermine their otherwise
grounded opinion and make them look like a liar.

> But, obviously, that must be because I'm either stupid, evil, or probably
> both. ;-)
> Max

I'd never call you any of those things, that'd be crazy. But, doesn't
the difference in styles of argument alone tell you something about
the global warming hypothesis? Doesn't the way that the no-warming
side keeps using discredited arguments, slipping from position to
position ("there is no warming" becomes "well, ok, maybe there is
warming, but it's not anthropogenic" becomes "well ok maybe there is
some anthropogenic warming, but it's too late to act"), doesn't all
that raise any red flags about what is going on here?


http://www.songsofmiseryanddespair.com - My show, Fringe 2010
http://point7.wordpress.com - My blog

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list