My short periods mean more than yours

A letter appeared yesterday in the NZ Herald following Professor Chris de Freitas’ article Human interference real threat to Pacific atolls two weeks ago. It was this letter:

Letter to the Herald

My reply

The Herald may or may not publish the letter I sent them, but here’s an elaboration of it — substantially changed to take advantage of the lack of word limit here:

Sirs,

Graham Alcock claims Professor de Freitas draws conclusions about climate from short periods, quoting him as saying in the Herald “there has been no warming over the past 17 years.”

But what Professor de Freitas actually said was: “To the surprise of many scientists, sea level rise is barely perceptible in the Pacific. This is possibly because, at least in part, there has been no global warming over the past 17 years.”

Which is not the unequivocal conclusion Mr Alcock presents to us. Unexpectedly, he mocks the professor’s statement by correctly defining lack of warming: “because each year since 1998 has not got progressively warmer.” He implies disdain that Professor de Freitas should say that global warming has been absent only because there has been no global warming.

When what’s actually happening defies one’s fond belief it must be hard to accept.

Trivialise this huge failure

But the warming did not happen, Professor de Freitas said it did not happen and Mr Alcock shows he understands perfectly what no warming is, so why should the professor not say so? A look at global temperatures shows that temperatures have not risen, and has been confirmed by the UK Met Office, the chairman of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor, Professor Sir Peter Gluckman. Our PMCSA tries to trivialise this huge 17-year failure to warm as a “short-term departure from the long-term warming trend.”

Oh, good science, Professor Gluckman. Seventeen years is a gigantic short term. How do you know the warming will return (are you psychic?). Since it was warming for only about 20 years from about 1980, that’s an amazingly short long-term trend, wouldn’t you say?

So the hiatus in warming is openly recognised in high places around the world, and it’s quite put the cat among the pigeons as people try to explain it without destroying the CAGW hypothesis. The hiatus cannot be nullified, as Mr Alcock intends, by simply denying its existence. He refers to a strong El Nino and cooling La Nina events merely to distract us — note that he utterly fails to deny the lack of warming.

Empty insinuation

When he says 11 of the last 13 years were the warmest on record he makes the empty insinuation that therefore it warmed over the period. But it could well have been cooling and still be true. Oh, wait, it was cooling. The claimed “records” were by virtue of only a few hundredths of a degree and were to all intents and purposes identical.

If temperatures are to reach the range suggested in the AR5 (2013), after failing to rise for 17 years (over half the conventional period of 30 years), they’d better get a hurry on! Temperatures must now rise at an impossibly steep rate for the predictions of strong warming still to come true.

On sea level, Mr Alcock says: “The longest reliable tide gauge records in the south Pacific go back only to 1992. But the trends at the 11 island gauges range from about 3mm to 8mm a year, faster than the long-term global rate.” He seems not to know that New Zealand, also situated in the South Pacific, has reliable tide gauge records going back to the 19th century, some of the longest in the world.

Data going in his direction

But he’ll take data going in his direction wherever he can find it. This is called cherry-picking. He also ignores the caution in every monthly report on the South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project web site about interpreting trends until more time has elapsed. Time is required for all the natural cycles affecting sea level to be experienced and to pass. The caution is clear:

Short-Term Trends

It is important to stress that as the sea level record becomes longer, the short-term trend estimate becomes more stable and reliable. Observed trends in sea level include natural variability, for example, events such as El Niño and effects due to many other atmospheric, oceanographic and geological processes. Longer-term data sets for all stations are required in order to separate the effects of the different signals. Please exercise caution in interpreting the short-term trends in the table below – they will almost certainly change over the coming years as the data set increases in length.

The long-term rate of sea level rise in New Zealand is about 2.0 mm/yr (Hannah, 2004) with no evidence of acceleration. Global data from the University of Colorado show a clear deceleration between 1992 and 2010. The trend from 1992 to the end of 2000 is 3.14 mm/yr; from 2001 to September 2010 it’s 2.34 mm/yr. This represents a 25% reduction in the rate of sea level rise. [My thanks to Bob D.]

A breathtaking hypocrisy

Mr Alcock creates a straw-man argument by referring to a recent drop in sea level, which the professor didn’t mention. We can be sure that when Professor de Freitas says Pacific sea level rise is almost undetectable he has observations to back it up but our fearless Mr Alcock doesn’t bother to inquire.

He castigates Chris de Freitas for drawing firm conclusions from short periods (which he doesn’t actually do), so when he himself claims that Pacific sea levels are rising faster than the global rate — citing records that he acknowledges go back “only to 1992” (20 years) — he exhibits a quite breathtaking hypocrisy.

All his arguments fail. What a waste of time.

Yours, etc.

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Mike Jowsey
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Mike Jowsey

“All his arguments fail. What a waste of time.”

LOL – that is a haiku-type ending to a perfect discombobulation of vacuous hand-waving. Thanks RT. I hope the Herald publishes it.

SimonP
Guest
SimonP

Your mocking of Prof Gluckman comes across as very odd as he doesn’t even feature in the article. He is not pyschic but he does understand the science and how contrarians pick start-points to coincide with major ENSO events.
BTW, We have just had the warmest November ever recorded: 0.77° above the global 1951-1980 mean. http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

Andy
Guest
Andy

When I watched the IPCC “out reach” session from Wellington recently, everyone there acknowledged “the pause” and there was no mention of cherry picking or El Nino events.

Magoo
Guest
Magoo

Shame it hasn’t warmed for between 16-23 yrs, and no evidence of positive feedback from water vapour in 40 yrs. According to satellite data shown at scepticalscience, it hasn’t warmed since 1990 for RSS and 1994 for UAH – hardly ‘start-points to coincide with major ENSO events.’

http://www.skepticalscience.com/trend.php

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

>”…..he [Gluckman] does understand …..how contrarians pick start-points to coincide with major ENSO events” How do you know he “understands” that Simon (it’s problematic – see below)? Does he “understand” how the IPCC picked an end point (2010) of their attribution period to coincide with a major ENSO event (El Nino) for their 2013 assessment report?. Or how the CO2-centric climate scientists perennially truncate their series short for best effect e.g Balmaseda et al (2013) ended at 2009 even though there was up-to-date data available to at least 2012, and they didn’t do a basin-by-basin analysis to boot. Does he “understand” that? You’ve got a gall Simon, and I could elaborate more but a question in regard to your statement instead. What examples (note my plural) do you have of “contrarians” who “pick start-points to coincide with major ENSO events” (note your plural) given the 1998 El Nino was 15 years ago and Santer’s criteria is at least 17 years? You might consider WUWT “contrarian” for example Simon (I consider it luke-warm but no matter), but I don’t see the offending 1998 (or any other ENSO event for that matter) start points at… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Correction – “…only the superseded HadCRUT3 reference comes close to a [slightly negative start point and GISS to a no statistically significant warming] start-point coinciding with a major ENSO event.”

Obviously these are statistical coincidences given the range of trends in each category and not overtly “picked”.

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

>”According to…………scepticalscience, it hasn’t warmed…..”

And it’s getting worse for them Magoo:

‘Climate Bet for Charity, 2013 Update’

by Rob Honeycutt

“To date, climate realists [(?) SkS – Honeycutt, Nuccitelli et al] have put up a total of $5200 and the climate skeptics have put up $2000.”

“I pulled up the UAH and RSS lower tropospheric anomalies through WoodForTrees.org and did the calculations myself. Sure enough, the average of UAH and RSS for the 2001-2010 decade comes out at 0.226C. The current 2011-present decade is running at 0.173C. That’s 0.053C below the last decade, based on, yes, three years of data. So, they actually do have this much correct.”

http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-bet-for-charity-2013-update.html

So far, looks like emotion might have crept in to the “climate realists” betting.

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

For chuckles: ‘IPCC’s Confidence Grows as Models Get Worse’

http://www.energyadvocate.com/gc1.jpg

Magoo
Guest
Magoo

That’s a good one.

SimonP
Guest
SimonP

Here is a good discussion on the pause / hiatus / random variation:
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/12/the-global-temperature-jigsaw/#more-16547

Andy
Guest
Andy

They managed to get a model run that showed the pause, and then accelerated to 4 degrees of warming by 2100

Mike Jowsey
Guest
Mike Jowsey

Models can do anything!

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

They found ONE run, from ONE model, from the superseded CMIP3 – why not “state-of-the-art” CMIP5? And where’s the historical observations comparison? This is just a coincidental random walk RC have “picked” because the majority of models (both CMIP 3 and 5) don’t exhibit an early 21st century hiatus and ENSO is “stochastic” (random) in the models. Rahmstorf says: “First an important point: the global temperature trend over only 15 years is neither robust nor predictive of longer-term climate trends” Then how about (from up-thread)? No statistically significant warming for between 16 and 20 years: For UAH: Since November 1995: CI from -0.001 to 2.501 For RSS: Since December 1992: CI from -0.005 to 1.968 For Hadcrut4: Since August 1996: CI from -0.006 to 1.358 For Hadsst3: Since May 1993: CI from -0.002 to 1.768 For GISS: Since August 1997: CI from -0.030 to 1.326 Rahmstorf goes on: “…the current CMIP5 simulations run from 2005 in scenario mode (see Figure 6) rather than being driven by observed forcings. They are therefore driven e.g. with an average solar cycle and know nothing of the particularly deep and prolonged solar minimum 2005-2010.” Then they had… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Corrections:

“i.e. just one weak 11 yr solar cycle minimum does not make [a significant difference in century scale terms], and [the full effects of SC23] “deep solar minimum” (as Rahmstorf puts it) [wont be observed for at least a dozen years after it].

“The effects of 2005-2010 wont be fully observed until at least [2015]-2020”

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Yet another correction:

“…the SC24 peak right now in 2013 is the weakest in 100 yrs, we wont know all about the effect of that until after [at least 2023]”

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Heh!

[Rahmstorf] – “By the way this example refutes the popular “climate skeptics” claim that climate models cannot explain such a “hiatus” ”

In your dreams Stefan. What causality EXACTLY, did the SINGLE MRI model run (not “models”) “explain”?

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

>”…SINGLE MRI model run…”

This model has probably been run in the same configuration a number of times. How many times does it exhibit an early 21st century hiatus in that configuration?

I’m guessing once if the UKMO’s decadal forecast is anything to go by.

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

>”…if the UKMO’s decadal forecast is anything to go by”

Figure 1:………………..The blue lines show the evolution of the 10 individual forecasts which constitute the ensemble.

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/news/decadal-forecasting

Embiggen the Fig 1 graph to see the full effect. See also:

‘Tracking down the uncertainties in weather and climate prediction’

http://www.easterbrook.ca/steve/2010/07/tracking-down-the-uncertainties-in-weather-and-climate-prediction/

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

>”And where’s the historical observations comparison?”

Here:

http://www.mri-jma.go.jp/Dep/cl/cl4/yosoku/fig1.gif

Didn’t mimic 1865 – 1905 (40 yrs) or 1920 – 1970 (50 yrs) i.e. 90 out of 150 yrs were out of whack.

Other than that, it did quite well.

Andy
Guest
Andy

Off topic, but…

Reddit’s science forum banned climate deniers. Why don’t all newspapers do the same?

http://grist.org/article/reddits-science-forum-banned-climate-deniers-why-dont-all-newspapers-do-the-same/

Most excellent droning about “deniers” by some ecofacist cretin.

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

The RC “example” is MRI A2 Run 5 here: http://www.scilogs.de/klimalounge/files/MRIscenario1.png “Run 5” tells us there’s at least 4 other runs – what did all the other 4(+?) runs exhibit? But more to the point, according to Run 5 (assuming the Run 5 “hiatus” is anything other than wishful thinking on the part of Rahmstorf), from the low at about now in 2013 there will be a huge 0.8 C spike up to 2015. Why? The phenomenon that could produce this is a reversal from La Nina to strong El Nino similar to 1997 – 1998 which was actually a 0.8 C spike, see HadCRUT4: http://www.woodfortrees.org/graph/hadcrut4gl/from:1990 Run 5 has a 0.5 C spike 1994 – 1995 but no 0.8 C 1998 El Nino spike. In other words, the start of Rahmstorf’s “21-year model ‘hiatus’ 1995 – 2015” has no real-world validity. Neither is the end of the Run 5 “hiatus” realistic. We are currently in ENSO-neutral conditions, slightly negative, but the temperature is not abnormally cool relative to the decade prior (see HadCRUT4 above). In fact it’s right on the average. But if for arguments sake we take the current low as 0.3 on… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

The peak of the Run 5 spike looks more like 2016 than 2015 on second look i.e. 0.8 C rise 2013 – 2016, but the argument remains the same.

Andy
Guest
Andy

A piece by Brendan O Neill on the Reddit decision to censor those that don’t toe the party line

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/brendanoneill2/100250918/reddit-has-banned-climate-change-deniers-and-ripped-its-own-reputation-to-shreds/

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

The RealClimate post by Stefan Rahmstorf up-thread has it’s roots in the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) i.e. by now, this association should be tantamount to need-we-say-more-? Reminds me of the NTZ post with the news that Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, founding Director of PIK, has been dissed by the German govt junior coalition partner, the FDP, who moved to have his reappointment as Chair of the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) blocked: ‘Schellnhuber Rejected! Why The German Government Is Moving To Overhaul Its Climate Advisory Board’ By P Gosselin on 3. Mai 2013 http://notrickszone.com/2013/05/03/schellnhuber-rejected-why-the-german-government-is-moving-to-overhaul-its-climate-advisory-board/ Why? Among other things (see post), Pete explains: “In Schellhnhuber’s and the WBGU’s mind, the climate science was settled and CO2 was going to warm the planet some 6°C by 2100 unless their plan for drastic reductions was implemented. To curb CO2 emissions, Schellnhuber and the WBGU introduced in April 2011 its “Masterplan” for “The Great Transformation” of global society, read here, which called for a more authoritarian global government, watered-down democracy, and the marginalization of climate science dissidents and skeptics. Prof. Hans von Storch called this sort of arrangement where citizens and society have no… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Lüdecke and Puls write that these IPCC scientists should serve as:

“warning signals that should never be forgotten. This is especially so when an eco-dictatorial planned “Great Transformation” of avoiding CO2 is being propagated.”

Lüdecke and Puls of EIKE then remind readers that such threat was seen already once early in the 20th century.

Andy
Guest
Andy

The last interview recorded with Carl Sagan foresaw a lot of the issues we are facing with unchallenged science and an uneducated public and government (2.5 minutes – video)

http://www.upworthy.com/a-science-icon-died-17-years-ago-in-his-last-interview-he-made-a-warning-that-gives-me-goosebumps-5

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

PIK/Rahmstorf relevant excerpts: Smearing of Jan Veizer and Nir Shaviv In 2003 the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) led a smear campaign against Slovakian geoscientist Jan Veizer and Israeli astrophysicist Nir Shaviv. Both are renowned scientists and have won many awards. In July 2003 Veizer and Shaviv published a ground-breaking paper on the climate impacts from the Earth’s orbit through the galaxy titled: ”Celestial Driver of Phanerozoic Climate?”. […] EIKE writes: The climb-down to near yellow journalism by the PIK’s press action had absolutely nothing to do with scientific etiquette and debate. Of the PIK press release signatories, many are known to readers as Germans and Swiss AGW activists and are still preaching ‘end-of-the-world’ by CO2. Dr. J. Beer, EAWAG, ETH Zurich Prof. U. Cubasch, Institut für Meteorologie, Berlin Prof. O. Eugster, Weltraumforschung und Planetologie, Bern Dr. C. Fröhlich, Weltstrahlungszentrum, Davos Prof. G. Haug, GeoForschungsZentrum, Potsdam Dr. F. Joos, Klima- und Umweltphysik, Bern Prof. M. Latif, Institut für Meereskunde, Kiel [3] Dr. U. Neu, ProClim, Schweiz. Akademie der Naturwissenschaften Prof. C. Pfister, Historisches Institut, Bern Prof. S. Rahmstorf, Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung [4] Dr. R. Sartorius, Schutz der Erdatmosphäre, UBA, Berlin Prof.… Read more »

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

Latest PIK scaremongery:

‘Global water scarcity predicted to rise by 40%’

by Lydia Hales

Global water scarcity already on the rise due to exploding global populations may be amplified by up to 40 per cent due to climate change.

Research carried out by the German-based Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has found significantly more people throughout the world will struggle to find the water needed for the basics of life as the planet warms.

Modelling for the study suggested the spread of water scarcity could be intensified by 40 per cent across the planet as a result of global warming, and in some scenarios could be more than 100 per cent.

As a result the institute projects that between five and 20 per cent of the world’s population may face “absolute” water scarcity as the climate changes. How far water scarcity will extend will depend on the rate of population growth and warming.

The findings are the result of a comprehensive study, produced in collaboration with research groups around the world, using 11 hydrological models driven by five climate models.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/water-issues/global-water-scarcity-predicted-to-rise-by-40-20131218-2zke9.html#ixzz2ntDFWhBR

Andy
Guest
Andy

Gore also supports the Reddit ban on “deniers” and wonders why all news sources don’t follow suit.
http://www.climatechangedispatch.com/11971-al-gore-applauds-reddit-s-decision-to-ban-critics-of-man-made-global-warming.html

Richard C (NZ)
Guest
Richard C (NZ)

>”e.g Balmaseda et al (2013) ended at 2009 even though there was up-to-date data available to at least 2012, and they didn’t do a basin-by-basin analysis to boot”

Bob Tisdale does the analysis for them:

‘If Manmade Greenhouse Gases Are Responsible for the Warming of the Global Oceans…’

“…then why do the vertical mean temperature anomalies (NODC 0-2000 meter data) of the Pacific Ocean as a whole and of the North Atlantic fail to show any warming over the past decade,”

“Additionally, Kevin Trenberth and associates say the recent series of La Niña events are causing the Pacific Ocean to warm at depths below 700 meters, and as a result, global warming continues. See:

* Meehl et al (2013)
* Balmaseda et al. (2013)
* Trenberth and Fasullo (2013)

Why then has the annual vertical mean temperatures of the Pacific Ocean (0-2000 meters) failed to show any warming over the past decade?”

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/19/if-manmade-greenhouse-gases-are-responsible-for-the-warming-of-the-global-oceans/

Andy
Guest
Andy

Off topic, the UK parliamentary submissions by various people (including Barry Brill) can be accessed fem here:
http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2013/12/18/ar5-inquiry-written-evidence.html

The submission by Nic Lewis is particularly good, and explains the problems with the climate sensitivity issue in a very succinct manner.

Andy
Guest
Andy
Ian H
Guest
Ian H

Too long and so not a hope of being published. Newspapers really don’t care. All they want is readible material in reasonably packaged quantities to fill up the spaces between the advertising.

Richard Treadgold
Guest

You’re quite right, Ian, though the version I sent the Herald was a lot shorter. Trying for two birds with one stone — a blog post plus a letter! Cheers.

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