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Category Archives: climate change
Reader “fiq” recently asked some questions about sea ice, in particular, whether or not Arctic sea ice decline can rightly be called “staggering.” That’s fine, they were good questions. But when he didn’t find the answers to his liking, he spent “a few minutes looking at the data” and decided to accuse climate modelers of institutionalized incompetence, liken me to a monkey who “sees a short stack of bananas on the next tree and reports to the other monkeys that all the bananas are going extinct,” and refer to my regular readers as “fawning uncritical thinkers,” the kind who “believes you without demanding evidence“.
Regular readers might well take offense at that. Regular readers also know my regular approach.
Let’s look at the data.
Given how rapidly global temperature was rising prior to 1998, what’s the most surprising thing about global temperature since 1998?
Most who call themselves “skeptics” of global warming would probably say “No global warming since 1998!” Under the name “hiatus” or “pause,” it features prominently in public discussion and even in senate testimony (e.g. from Judith Curry). In truth, such a “pause” or “hiatus” is not that surprising, neither from a statistical point of view nor based on climate model output. But there is one thing about post-1998 temperatures, compared to the pre-1998 temperatures, that is quite a surprise.
Let’s be crystal-clear what the issue is. The issue is temperature in the Arctic, not some sector of the Arctic, not some season in the Arctic, and the real issue (the point of dispute) is: temperatures since 2000 compared to temperatures in the 1930s (and/or 1940s if you wish). Don’t let anybody — not Judith Curry, not me — get away with avoiding the issue.
We’ve been looking closely at the written testimony from Judith Curry before a recent meeting of the Environment and Public Works committee of the U.S. Senate. What we’ve seen so far argues against relying on Curry to give accurate and relevant information.
I’ve read the written testimony from Judith Curry before a recent meeting of the Environment and Public Works committee of the U.S. Senate. There’s plenty of stuff that gobsmacked me, but let me tell you what astounded me most on my very first reading.
How bad was the stuff published in the now-defunct journal Pattern Recognition in Physics? So bad, that Anthony Watts and his crew are raking it over the coals.
They have roundly criticized what passed for “peer review” at that journal. Now they’re even criticizing individual papers on purely scientific grounds. Here for example is Willis Eschenbach taking to task one of those papers (by R. J. Salvador) which amounts to nothing more than “mathturbation.” He even used the word “mathemagical” to describe the wishful-thinking aspect (I prefer my own term).
I have heard some criticism of this (in private circles), basically amounting to the implication that they’re only doing so out of nefarious motives (to distance themselves from this fiasco, or to don a cloak of legitimacy). I say, let’s not do that. Criticizing the faulty peer review, and the faulty papers, is the right thing to do. Let’s not assume that they’re doing the right thing for the wrong reasons just because they are our scientific adversaries.
Judith Curry was recently a witness testifying at a hearing before the Environment and Public Works Committee of the U.S. Senate. Her written testimony is available here.
Some of you may have heard of the “journal” Pattern Recognition in Physics. It’s a new journal (only 2 issues), but already many of us have come to regard it as nothing but a mouthpiece for some rather loony climate denier nonsense.
It’s published by Copernicus Publishing, an otherwise reputable outfit. Have they undermined their credibility forever?
In AR4 (the 4th assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) the trend in Antarctic (southern hemisphere) sea ice was reported as small (5.6 +/- 9.2 thousand km^2/yr) and not statistically significant, but in AR5 (the 5th assessment report) it is reported as both statistically significant and much larger (16.5 +/- 3.5 thousand km^2/yr). Even at this rate the Arctic is still losing sea ice 3 times as fast as the Antarctic is gaining it, but the larger trend is still surprising; such a large rate of increase is, more and more, turning out to be incompatible with computer model simulations.
A new paper submitted to the Cryosphere Discussion (Eisenman, I., Meier, W. N., and Norris, J. R.: A spurious jump in the satellite record: is Antarctic sea ice really expanding?, The Cryosphere Discuss., 8, 273-288, doi:10.5194/tcd-8-273-2014, 2014) suggests that much, if not most, of the upward trend in southern hemisphere sea ice may be due to a spurious jump caused by an undocumented change to how the data are processed. It also explains the dramatic difference in the state of affairs between what was reported in AR4 and what was in AR5 just a few years later.