More on David Rose’s nonsense

There’s an excellent post on Skeptical Science about the latest David Rose/Judith Curry nonsense. My favorite part is this graph (you may have to click the graph to see the animation):


129 responses to “More on David Rose’s nonsense

  1. I’m not going to look but I can imagine the response by the skeptics. “Hey guys, those climate science numpties have removed the influence of solar on the climate, lets call it hide the sun”

  2. Statically is there a cycle every couple of years?- I’m aware that just because it looks like a trend [it looks like its {insert idiot comment here}] there may not be one.

  3. I’ve tried to engage with Curry over at her blog with limited success. Her argument seems to be that she accepts that over relatively short periods the warming signal can be overwhelmed by short term natural variability but that models do not predict periods of longer than 15-17 years with no warming trend and so the 16 year period with “no warming” calls the models into question. I guess that this argument is not actually contradicted by the above graph but it still seems to me to be wrong in a number of ways.

    Firstly, it is not the same argument that Rose is making and that she is defending – I don’t think that a (relatively) flat trend over the last 16 years means the same as “the earth stopped warming 16 years ago”, even if we define warming purely based on the surface temperature record. Secondly, the trend is not actually flat anyway, there is still a distinct, if relatively small, warming trend. Also, you can get a significantly more positive trend by moving the start date a couple of years either way, which suggests to me that the 16 year “flat” trend does not represent a genuine “plateau” but is rather a statistical anomaly, probably influenced by the 1998 el Nino and the couple of relatively cool years we have experienced recently.

  4. I’m thinking of becoming a house price skeptic. I shall assert that the recent downturn in house prices marks a permanent change, and that we shall soon be entering a house price “ice age”.

  5. OT, but timely. I have a commentary on the end of ‘debate season’ which may be of some interest here:

  6. Ocean heat content is rising faster in the last decade than in the previous two, according to Levitus et al 2012, implying that the TOA energy imbalance is increasing rather than declining. Loss of ice mass from Greenland, Antarctica and mountain glaciers worldwide also appears to be accelerating. Is it reasonable to conclude that global warming is still accelerating rather than remaining constant or slowing down?

    • This is the kind of point I would make. Surface air temperatures aren’t the only measures of change, and, year to year and decade to decade, not the best one to be considered representative or indicative. Certainly it would be difficult to claim, with any kind of credibility, that ocean heat content has shown lack of statistical warming over that same period, so, in order to encourage doubt and denial in the service of delay we get a “look at this” sleight of hand, that distracts attention from the elephant in the room. No matter how hard they try it cannot be made to disappear but people can be persuaded to focus elsewhere.

  7. Given that Dr. Judith Curry’s endorsement of David Rose’s claims, empirical and statistical research that supports what David saying and Dr. Curry’s breadth and depth of expertise this really should not be so casually dismissed. Dr. Curry is well known for her honesty/integrity and she has been in the relevant field of research for many years. I cannot imagine anyone of accusing Dr. Curry of either lying or being confused about such topics she is an expert in.

    [Response: I doubt her “expertise” in statistics. The evidence I’ve seen indicates that she isn’t even skilled, let alone “expert.”]

  8. This is by far my favorite part from Rose and Curry’s nonsense:

    “Prof Curry said that stripping out these [exogeneous] phenomena made ‘no physical sense’. She added that natural phenomena and the CO2 greenhouse effect interact with each other, and cannot meaningfully be separated. It’s not just that the ‘cold mode’ has partly caused the plateau.

    According to Prof Curry and others, the previous warm Pacific cycle and other natural factors, such as a high solar output, accounted for some of the warming seen before 1997…”

    So according to Curry we can’t separate the influences of ENSO etc. from CO2 when they’re causing cooling, but when they’re causing warming, well then they can quite easily be separated!

    Curry tries to play the role of the ‘open minded skeptic in the middle’, but that quote comes straight out of the book of Wattsian denial.

    • Great quote and analysis, Dana.

      One small point, though. For me at least, it is a little confusing that the second paragraph is still part of the quote. It may be that my education is a little old fashioned, but at least the way that I was taught, the beginning of each paragraph that is part of a quote should begin with a quote mark and the last paragraph both begin and end with quote marks. Otherwise a reader might miss fact that there hasn’t been a closing quote so far, and that what follows is still part of what is being quoted.

  9. Climate Weenie

    Good luck making the sun constant, plugging volcanoes and stopping ocean oscillations. You’ll need it.

  10. Lars Karlsson

    Let’s not forget that Curry has won the acclaim of such intellectual heavyweights as Oliver K Manuel, Girma Orssengo, David Springer and Richard S Courtney, DipPhil. That must count for something.

    • Muller has been a bit of a puzzle to me. He is obviously very brilliant and I have read his work with great interest to be honest. However, I am still confused as to how his latest research brought him to turn 180 degrees when it did not offer any new evidence or any significant new weight of the evidence to change his mind. Regarding Dr. Curry it appears her interpretations have taken on a more gradual and incremented shift over the past 2 years around the time, that must have motivated her to begin her blog. Tamino I would be interested to look at your discussion or the highlights of it between you and Dr. Curry before I can make any sort of further comment. However, with reading her book and her papers (most of them anyways) and following her interviews her general take on pauses seems very plausible. Again, let me look again and in greater depth the specific issues discussed between the two of you, or at least the generalities as I have performed the lit review already. How do you define Dr. Curry;s response to your question as not being credible? Thanks. Yes I have seen you do some very sophisticated statistical analysis too.

      [Response: You’ll have a hard time examining her statistical justification for claiming a “pause” — because as I said, there is none.

      I asked point blank, on her blog, what was her scientific justification for the claim. She made no direct answer, but a few days later did a post on the “pause” which consisted of vague generalities, with no quantitative specifics, and she generally avoided the issue.

      One cannot deny (with sanity) that when it comes to my claims of continued global warming moderated by known (and certainly unknown) fluctuations, I have been specific and quantitative. Judith Curry has not.]

      • Her sole justification is this – if you plot a linear trend over the last 16 years it is flat (even though it’s not). That’s the depth of her statistical analysis. I’ve tried to press her for a more detailed justification for her claim with no success.

      • Horatio Algeranon

        Curry “Just”ification:
        – by Horatio Algeranon

        You know,
        Our data show the pause

        But don’t ask ‘how? ‘
        It’s just because

      • I suspect that Prof. Curry’s statistical evidence for the existence of a pause lies purely in the lack of a statistically significant warming trend since 199X. Of course that isn’t a sound argument as statistical hypothesis tests are deliberately assymetrical as a guard against jumping to the wrong conclusions. An inability to reject the null hypothesis does not mean that the null hypothesis is true, it could be that it is false, but there is insufficient data to reasonably expect to be able to reject the null hypothesis when it is false (i.e. the test lacks statistical power). This is a classic misinterpretation of frequentist hypothesis testing, and it wouldn’t greatly surprise me if this were the basis of the argument.

  11. There is an update of the Foster and Rahmstorf (2011) paper using the HADCRUT4 data set. It is by Zhou and Tung, 2012, ‘Deducing Multi-decadal Anthropogenic Global Warming Trends Using Multiple Regression Analysis’, J Atmos Sci, doi:10.1175/JAS-D12-0208.1 It was just published in early inline release. Their analysis shows a large effect from the AMO on late 19th and 20th century temperature anomaly trends. Once the ‘AMO’ is filtered out, the anthropogenic increase in temperature is remarkably consistent from 1900 to 2010, about 0.07-0.08 degrees C per decade.

    [Response: No it doesn’t. It shows strong correlation with the AMO. But AMO is temperature, plain and simple. North Atlantic sea surface temperature is correlated with global temperature — who’d a thunk it?]

    • That was my first reaction – the AMO index (using the Kaplan temperatures) is defined as a linearly detrended North Atlantic sea surface temperature (SST) (

      Subtract nonlinear regional warming from global warming, and you are going to be removing signal – simply correlating temperature with temperature. Including the basic AMO Index has been known for years to alias global warming, and regressions with it show very little anthropogenic warming.

      Calculating variations from global temperatures, as per Trenberth and Shea 2006 (, or Oldenborgh et al 2009 ( {not to claim credit for finding these references – a H/T to WikiPedia}, and regressing on those disentangled AMO measures, show the significant anthropogenic warming of the last half century. Because they don’t subtract the signal by removing a regional temperature directly correlated with global temperatures.

      {I mentioned this issue at the WtfiUWT thread on this paper, with little response}

  12. Well I usually do not use wikis but:

    Many of Dr. Curry’s roles and past education requires sophisticated and in depth knowledge of statistics which she has demonstrated in her work over the years.

    [Respone: Remember when Curry criticized Richard Muller for saying that global warming hadn’t stopped? When she said there was a “pause”? When she insisted Muller had to have a “scientific basis” for his claim?

    I asked her for her scientific basis for claiming a “pause.” She couldn’t even provide a faulty response — she had none at all.

    As for her having “sophisticated and in depth knowledge of statistics,” I’m skeptical.]

    • Many of Dr. Curry’s roles and past education requires sophisticated and in depth knowledge of statistics which she has demonstrated in her work over the years.

      That’s as maybe.

      As far as I am able to discern she shows absolutely no such understanding when she comments on climate change. Rather, it’s all fuzzy waffle and prevarication – the intellectual equivalent of putting a hand over one eye and closing the other until the pig looks like a princess.

    • I’m a moderately qualified geologist. Does that mean that if I declare the earth to be flat, I can merely wave my CV and Make It So?

    • jcbmack – I’m afraid that the evidence is such that you’re going to have to choose between two possibilities:

      1. Curry doesn’t have the statistics chops you seem certain she does have.

      2. She’s got the chops and intentionally chooses not to be truthful.

      There’s no middle ground here. #1 is the more charitable conclusion but if you want to continue arguing that she’s got the chops, feel free to do so and let that argument take you to door #2 …

    • And in that CV, her “expertise” in stats is from….*what* university? Um, maybe papers published using her “sophisticated and in depth knowledge of statistics?

      “I’ll wait….

  13. Well from this graph it’s pretty obvious that global warming stopped in 1996 1997 1998. Never mind, I just realized I had my head tilted 20 degrees…. Thanx, Tamino and Skeptical Science.

  14. Andrew, what do you mean by moderately qualified? And even more importantly your analogy of a flat Earth is known to be 100% false directly from the senses empirically. Warming on the other hand is a far more difficult phenomena to see and understand. Granted once upon a time we were somewhat ignorant of the planet, yet the Greeks largely believed the planet was spherical…

    • You seem to have missed his point. It really doesn’t matter what her CV is and what weight she has to put behind the Rose assertion of a pause if it’s been fairly comprehensively been shown to be a gold plated cherry pick. She can win a Nobel Prize for all we care. It still doesn’t change that.

      in 2007/2008 these claims were being made about 10 year “pause”. 5 years later we are hearing about a 15 (16??) year pause. Is it just a coincidence that the same start date is being used? Nope. The reason is simple – if you use a different start date you’ll get a different result – one that doesn’t sell newspapers.

    • jcbmack wrote:

      … Andrew, what do you mean by moderately qualified? And even more importantly your analogy of a flat Earth is known to be 100% false directly from the senses empirically.

      Not from where I am standing. And the moon landing was faked. I have proof.

    • A flat Earth 100% false? Doesn’t look like it from where I’m standing. I feel that there is a lot of uncertainty on the whole ’round earth’ front and many people with interesting viewpoints (that I may or may not endorse). Frankly, does not the whole idea that there is a scientific ‘consensus’ on round-earthism invite challenge? Especially when they invent mysterious ad-hoc, invisible ‘forces’ to stop people ‘falling off the bottom of the planet’. Have you ever seen this gravity?

      • “Have you ever seen this gravity?”

        I have. It *sucks*…;)

      • You’ll find, Andrew, that those pushing the round earth agenda (and I must ask why they use the technically wrong “round” when what they mean is spherical), have a lot of money at stake.

        By claiming that the earth is round, they imply that the total amount of real estate is limited by the 4 pi r^2 rule, thus pushing up the price. Take a look, and you’ll find most of the round earthers own real estate. You don’t need to be Einstein to put 2 and 2 together. It is one giant scam, and a travesty that corrupt scientists have bought into it.

    • Warming on the other hand is a far more difficult phenomena [sic] to see and understand.

      Erm, no.

      Scientists observe warming both present and in the geological record, and they have a very good understanding of the many and complex processes involved.

      You are simply projecting your own ignorance onto others.

      And really, if you don’t know how to use a simple primary grade plural, you’re probably not sufficiently educated to comment on much at all.

  15. The sad fact is that Judith Curry is no longer capable of rational thought or elementary logical analysis. She’s become so blinded by her “uncertainty monster” ideology and her desire to host a forum for some of the biggest nitwits on the internet (second perhaps to WUWT on climate-related matters) that she is incapable of actually dissecting a flawed argument, or thinking about the physical implications of her claims. And her ideology is biased only in one direction. Judith Curry is a fake skeptic and no longer a credible scientist. Rose using her as an authoritative figure is no different than PBS hosting Anthony Watts as a representative expert of “the other side.” Just silliness.

  16. jcbmack: “And even more importantly your analogy of a flat Earth is known to be 100% false directly from the senses empirically. ”

    We have a winnah! Congratualtions–that is precisely the point. We know with 100% certainty that it is warming. We have seen growing zones as published by the USDA move northward. We’ve seen the Arctic melt. We’ve seen glaciers melt. All of this has happend in the half century I’ve been alive, jacob. I have seen it, felt it. And having talked to people even older, they have seen even more. It is obvious to anyone who is not totally blinkered.

    • snarkrates that is the two pronged issue: warming as compared to what, and what is causing the warming. Not to mention artifacts and biases in the measuring of the temps and altered reference temps and we have some concerns not addressed. The homogenization method to even analyze the data is so flawed it makes the whole warming claim at least questionable.

      Chris, what bothers me is the certainty on your side that the warming not only exists but is so extreme without direct evidence.

      [Response: If you want to spread the meme that “the whole warming claim” is questionable, find somewhere else to do it. I suggest the Arctic.]

      • Go on, jb–wave your hands some more. It looks so purty.

      • *ALL* of your specious claims (it’s warmed before, we cannot know how much, we don’t have the records) is all covered on skeptical Science…assuming (big if) you are a true skeptic, or just one of the Wattsian noise-makers.

      • jcbmack,
        Citation needed.

        Do you deny that the planet is losing ice at a rate of about half a trillion tonnes a year?

        Do you deny that the USDA had to redo its climate maps shifting everything north by about half a zone?

        Do you deny that CO2 is a greenhouse gas?

        Do you deny that greenhouse gasses warm the planet by about 33 K relative to what it would be in their absence? How do they produce that much warming in the absence of positive feedback? Why should the positive feedback magically stop at 282 ppmv for CO2?

        See all the trouble you get into when you start denying evidence, Jacob?

  17. “Taking a global perspective, MIT’s Rob Stoner, in his talk, “Grid Access and Renewables in Developing Countries,” presented a plot that showed a negative correlation between a country’s electrification and the percentage of its poor. ”

  18. Is jcbmack perhaps Curry playing a type of concern troll? Hard to tell, sadly because it is not beyond Curry nowadays to spout the same fallacies as jcbmack and appeal to her own authority. Let us remember that “skeptics” have used sock puppetry before to defend their ludicrous claims. Remember Nigel Persaud (a.k.a Steve McIntyre)?

    Regardless, I sense that jcbmack, whoever they might be, is trolling this forum.

    [Response: Trolling perhaps. But I doubt that jcbmack and Curry are the same person.]

    • jcbmack has played much the same trolling/disinformationist game at SkS.

      • “jcbmack has played much the same trolling/disinformationist game at SkS.”

        Well, there goes my *perfectly* reasonable post to have the concern troll go to SkS. Teach me to pay attention…;)

  19. David B. Benson

    That’s some graphic!

  20. I have tried to engage with her, and she is adept at sounding reasonable, but she has been totally unwilling to address follow up issues. I expressed a concern that a 2°C global temp increase seems very likely and a 4°C increase quite plausible. he actually agree with that position but said she did not think that meant there would definitely be serious negative consequences . I asked her if she had read any of the research done that showed such negative consequences (IE at Stanford and other academic and private groups) and if so what he objections were to their conclusions. She did not answer.
    the other thing I find fascinating is hwo she does not take issue with even the most fantastical or blatantly false claims in her site from commenters, and how the most ardent deniers give her a free pass when she DOES make statments like she did with me, ie – acknowledging a potentially huge global temp increase.
    Also she has made many ridiculously biased commments that seemed aimed at the denialist crowns, mostly Ad hominems agaisnt cliamte scientists. If that was the only thing I might be inclined to ignore it becuase she has been heavily attacked by leading climate scientists, but I really get the feeling this is all part of a game for her. I am not sure she is interested in the truth as much as being a center of controversy

    • I expressed a concern that a 2°C global temp increase seems very likely and a 4°C increase quite plausible. [s]he actually agree[d] with that position but said she did not think that meant there would definitely be serious negative consequences .

      In my not so humble opinion to accept the lunacy of the denialist fringe pseudoscience and to simultaneously ignore the large body of evidence that indicates that 4 C will be stupendously catastrophic to the biosphere as we know and need it takes some serious psychological scotoma, or professional malfeasance, or both.

      I asked her if she had read any of the research done that showed such negative consequences (IE at Stanford and other academic and private groups) and if so what he objections were to their conclusions. She did not answer.

      Hmmm. She’s exihibiting behaviour that would make any first year university student blush, had they any intellectual/ethical integrity.

    • Tony,
      The scientists and denialists are playing different games. Scientists are bound to follow the scientific method. Denialists are playing Calvinball. When your only core claim is a negation (“It’s not CO2–la-la-la-la…”), there is no requirement to maintain any pretense of consistency. It’s kind of like Mitt’s campaign.

  21. Tamino, if I could offer a suggestion.
    The “skeptics” like to look at 10-15 year windows and then proudly trumpet the lack of “statistically significant” warming during that time, or declare a “pause” or what have you. Using their logic, one could chop up the 20th Century into 10-15 year blocks, analyse the trend over each of those periods individually, and find no “statistically significant” warming for the last 100 years. The SkS escalator is a good way to show how irrational this argument is, but I wonder if you could also do a numerical analysis to show that taking a 15 year period in the past when we KNOW warming has occurred (e.g. 1980-1995) will not necessarily give you a significant trend. This would show that the past 15 years hasn’t seen any meaningful deviation from the trend – how a Rose/Curry article written in 1995 might say that there has been a “pause” in warming since 1980, but that clearly isn’t the case.
    I hope I’m explaining myself clearly, it’s been a while since I’ve done any statistics.

    • Better still would be a graph that shows, for any year over the temperature record, how many years prior are required to identify a significant trend to that point.

  22. John Archington

    While it is true that the 15-years period is not long enough to demonstrate a real change of the warming rate (the most obvious reason being that the average amount of warming during 15 years is significantly smaller than the random fluctuations around it ), isn’t there nevertheless also potential flaws in the argument “the warming has been constant when other influences are removed” ?

    Because removing the other influences needs to compute their relative importance, by some sort of fitting and “maximal correlation”. But the fit itself is done by fitting a linear increase + other influences, so the methodology makes it certain that the final result is “as close as possible” to a straight line, meaning that any possible acceleration or deceleration could be (at least partly) incorporated in the “other influences” (by the correlation itself) and spuriously removed.

    [Response: What is removed is what correlates with known temperature influences. If any acceleration or deceleration is aliased by those known influences, I don’t see how to disentangle them.]

  23. My suggestion is that we insist that “No significant warming since xxxx” should always have to use 1995 as the starting date, as I’m sure we all recall when Phil Jones was forced to concede that there had not been statistically significant since 1995. It was good enough for the “skeptics” then. It should be good enough for them now.

  24. Horatio Algeranon

    “Ain’t No Warming”

    Horatio’s parody of Bill Withers (Ain’t no Sunshine)

    Ain’t no warming when it’s gone
    It’s not warm, when it’s away
    Ain’t no warming when it’s gone
    And it’s always gone too long
    Anytime it goes away.

    Wonder this time where it’s gone
    Wonder if it’s gone to stay
    Ain’t no warming when it’s gone
    And this graph just ain’t no laugh
    Anytime it goes away.

    And I know, I know, I know, I know,
    I know, I know, I know, I know, I know,
    I know, I know, I know, I know, I know,
    I know, I know, I know, I know, I know,
    I know, I know, I know, I know, I know,
    I know, I know,
    Hey, I oughtta leave graphs alone
    But ain’t no warming when it’s gone

    Ain’t no warming when it’s gone
    It’s not warm, when it’s away
    Ain’t no warming when it’s gone
    And it’s always gone too long
    Anytime it goes away.
    Anytime it goes away.
    Anytime it goes away.

    • Horatio, as a musician who’s Muses seem to be on permanent sabbatical (but ah gots a purdy voice!) I stand in absolute *awe* at your ability to do these ‘covers.’ If ever you have a real set of lyrics and want a tenor to put them to guitar fretboard and/or voice, I’m yer boy!

      Not to mention how you slice up the denialistas in a wonderfuly wordsmithy way!

    • That is just too, too apropos.

    • Its nice to know there is no need for me to attempt witty song lyrics when Horatio does it so well. But I’m hoping Horatio go the number of “I knows” right!

    • Horatio Algeranon

      Click here for Horatio’s no budget version of “Ain’t No Warming.

      …and Horatio don’t know if he got the number of “I knows” right (and don’t really care)

  25. I often wonder how much the Indonesian forest fires impacted the 1998 El Nino (yes I know it’s recorded that El Nino impacted the fires) and also how much it reset the baseline for temperatures post 1998. There was a clear rise well above the 1990’s levels after those fires.

    Just a thought. If it’s true it is also another key piece of evidence for the argument proving AGW. Namely that single year events, if high enough, can impact the climate, proving the model and the impact of human activity.

    Anyway, it’s pretty clear that if any year had been chosen before 1997, as the index point, the signal would have been warming and plenty of it….

    Making the lie clear.

  26. No, I am not Dr. Curry, and Tamino and I have agreed and disagreed for a few years now since about 2009. Second while I strongly disagree on a number of issues based upon different data sets and interpretations this does not mean I have little or no respect for Tamino… there have been times where Tamino has told me thanks for a compliment and times he has told me I am clueless. This is fine–we both have thick skin–some of Tamino’s calculations are elegant and I have been able to replicate too. I can even point to a few of his blog posts over the years that I liked. I am not against reducing air pollution, alternative energy or cleaner refinement methods either. A couple of years ago Kevin McKinney gave me kudos for correcting bloggers at Watts about C02 that it does in fact rise due to turbulent flows. I am not scared of a little warming or cooling, but the measurements needed to be so precise and accurate to actually show a warming and the predictive modeling robustness needed to show any sort of catastrophic warming is still lacking.

    Oh on one question: yes C02 is a greenhouse gas but it operates differently in a semi open system than in a closed one, that’s all. I hope Tamino publishes this–not trolling just discussing. You think me stupid only after my position has altered from 2009, well, nothing I can do about that.

    • Jcbmack: “yes C02 is a greenhouse gas but it operates differently in a semi open system than in a closed one, that’s all. ”

      This is utter twaddle. As near as I can tell it is devoid of meaning–pure technobabble. Jacob, do you write dialog for CSI?

    • jcbmack,

      Your skepticism concerning the instrumental temperature data is fine, and many other people have been skeptical about it to. That’s why people have looked at it instead of doing the Curry-like “it’s all unsolvable!!” People have tested the robustness of the instrumental-shown warming trend in a number of ways, and have continuously put out new products (GHCN v3, CRUTEM4, the introduction of the Berkley group) and corrected for known problems in a number of independent ways, and everyone is agreeing on what the global-mean signal looks like. But if you don’t like surface stations, look at the satellites of the weather balloons or the ocean heat content measurements. Or look at the consistent physical responses like ice loss and sea level rise. You need to come to the table with more than “measurements needed to be so precise and accurate to actually show a warming…” if you want to be taken seriously by people who have actually looked at this.

    • KeefeAndAmanda

      “…the measurements needed to be so precise and accurate to actually show a warming…is still lacking”

      Who says other than you?

      Name names.

      Prediction: You will not name names.

      Side note: One name you cannot name and perhaps you used to name is “Muller”. In case you are like those in the US Congress who thought that he was such a name until that big “Oops!”, have you seen his latest? See this:

      Quote: “Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.”

  27. Has anybody extended the Forster and Rahmstorf analysis to contain all data available up to now. I haven’t done that but I have looked at the MEI and TSI data. Based on that short look the impression is that the period since the beginning of 2011 deviates significantly down from what one would expect from the fit. The solar activity has become clearly positive and MEI has also been rather neutral or even slightly positive (steeply up from the last point of Forster and Rahmstorf), but the average surface temperature has not gone up accordingly.

    On the other hand it appears important to take into account the really large variability in the winter temperatures at high Northern latitudes. These temperatures vary here in Finland more than 10C from year to year for the three month average and that’s huge variability in comparison with what we see elsewhere or even here during other seasons. The continental areas affected by this exceptional winter time variability are large. This kind of variability is not directly dependent on overall warming but could rather be considered as serious source of noise. Data that excludes Northern winter should remain essentially valid for trend estimation but significantly less noisy.

    • Here’s further text that I posted as a response at Climate etc. The subthread started from a reference (by BBD) to the paper of Cohen et al.. I give some links to Finnish data in this comment to support my statements on the variability.


      The global average surface temperature as calculated by the various groups is an indicator of the warming of the system that includes the oceans, the atmosphere and the uppermost layers of ground. These temperature time series are not the only possible indicators and it’s always worthwhile to ponder whether better indicators could be found or the present indicators improved by some methodological choices.

      When an average is calculated to cover all year and all parts of the surface where measurements are available, different parts of the whole contribute both to the average (or its trend) and to the variance of the result. If some area is for part of the year exceptionally variable this particular data may add greatly to the variance of the average while it tells little of the actual warming defined by energy flows.

      The surface temperature is in Northern winter often excessively dependent on weather conditions and circulation patterns in such a way that the temperature changes many times more in comparison with changes in the heat content of the Earth system than it does under other conditions. Using this kind of data in the calculation of the warming indicator makes the indicator worse, i.e. more noisy and less accurate over short or medium long periods. Only over many (five or more in my judgment) decades do these variations average out well enough to make these temperature values potentially useful for the determination of an indicator for warming.

      If we are not looking for an indicator for warming but are really interested in the average surface temperature itself then we must naturally include all data points.

      The selection that I propose is not based on the trend these data points show but on the year-to-year variability. Due to this great variability we cannot even tell what the trend really is for these data points for periods of less than 50-100 years. (And for these periods the availability of data is very limited for wide areas like Siberia.)

      It’s possible that there are some energy balance based negative correlations between the data dropped and data left. Such a correlation introduces a bias, but my own judgment is that such a bias is not significant.

    • Pekka – I extended something like the Foster & Rahmstorf fit back in February in this post:
      – see the last figure – the cooling in early 2012 wasn’t too out of line, and La Nina was deeper and lingered longer than expected, but GISS temperatures should have come back to around 0.7 by now – so there might be something amiss here that this method is leaving out, or perhaps it just doesn’t have the predictive power it seems it should. It’s not hard to do the math anyway…

      • The Antarctic Anomaly this summer (SH winter) dragged down the global temperatures in June and July considerably. Add that to the NH winter anomaly and we have 4 months of natural variability (?) in one direction. Hard to make up for that. Aug/Sep with 0.6 close to where it should be … with Oct perhaps spot on. Who knows. The rest is aerosols (stratospheric and tropospheric), which the method does not account for whatsoever. They both vary quite considerably too …

      • Arthur,
        Thanks for your comments.

        I decided to do the analysis for one case and picked GISTEMP for that. The source that I have for TSI starts from early 2003. Thus my exercise starts from that. I calculated the adjustments using coefficients from Fig. 3 of Foster and Rahmstorf. The outcome for 12-month moving average can be seen here:

        The coefficient of the trend line is from F&G. The absolute level is chosen to agree with data for the average of 2010.

        We see that the year 2011 is still close to the trend line but the deviation has grown during the latest 12 months. That’s still a very short period and the deviation is comparable to the changes in 2007.

        There’s always also a possibility of some error in such an exercise, but assuming that it’s correct, it’s interesting to see, what happens in near term future. That may tell more about the value of that kind of adjustments to the time series.

    • Pekka-san,

      Please direct me to your TSI source? My data ends in 2007.

  28. Horatio Algeranon

    The Rose
    — Horatio’ parody of Bette Midler

    Some say warming is a sea-wave
    That drowns the coastal town
    Some say warming is a heat-wave
    That wilts the cornfields down
    Some say warming’s what CO2 gave,
    A blanket on the ground.
    I say warming is a “Gore rave”
    The science is not sound.

    It’s the skeptic afraid of faking
    Who never learns the dance.
    It’s the nerd afraid of hacking
    Who never takes the chance.
    It’s the one who is forsaking,
    Who doesn’t even try,
    And the soul afraid of lying
    Who never will deny.

    When the fight has been too lonely
    And the warming’s been too long,
    And you think denial is only
    For the plucky and the strong,
    Just remember in the Daily Mail
    Where the scientist never goes
    Lies the creed that with the Curry love
    From a thorn becomes a Rose

    • Another winner.

      (The only shame is you get so much material to work with.)

      • Horatio Algeranon

        Horatio has looked through a hidden window and now can not look away (unfortunately)

        …and what he has seen scares the bejebus out of him.

        For it is a near certainty (99.9999% confidence, uncertainty monsters notwithstanding) that many (if not most) popular songs were originally written with climate change denial in mind.

        In Horatio’s humble opinion, it simply can not be just coincidence that all it takes is just a few key words changed here and there.

      • Philippe Chantreau

        Now THAT is a conspiracy…

      • Susan Anderson

        Horatio nails it again. Too much material, bejebus. That’s why we made god in our image.

    • Susan Anderson

      What’s truth got to do with it! (nothin’ but a second rate emotion, like love via Tina Turner)

  29. Lars Karlsson

    Behold! UAH trends for 1979 to 1995: flat! UAH trends for 1995 to now: upwards! This is evidence of accelerating global warming!

    Well, I see no reason why my analysis should be given any less credence ¨than Rose’s and Curry’s. I basically took the longest flat interval starting from 1979 that I could find, and made the end of that the point where the trend changes. And I get to pick what temperature record I like, right?

  30. Judith can be rather evasive. She claims “the IPCC [AR4] said 0.2C/per decade for two decades. Then there is 15 years without warming. 15 years out of 20. What is the problem here?” (see reaction to the first comment).

    Chris Ho-Stuart points out the problem.

    “But AR4 was published in 2007! So no, there HASN’T been 15 years “without warming” (or with reduced warming) since the prediction you are citing.”

    Also pointing out that the IPCC [FAR] stated “The rise will not be steady because of [the influence of] other factors.”.

    These points are clear, yet Judith does not want to address them at all.

    • That would get in the way of her narrative! She can’t acknowledge any IPCC statement of uncertainty because her entire career depends on pretending that she is the only person in the world who has ever seen an error bar.

    • Susan Anderson

      You are too kind. It’s my belief that she has found the tactic of attacking the questioner is broadly useful in hiding her inability to answer properly. It also makes her a hero to the fake skeptic fandom.

      • My theory is that Judy could aspire to useful idiot…if only she were more useful.

      • In all seriousness, I think Susan and snarks have it correct: At one time, Judith was a respected scientist, but now…what with the ‘adulation’ of the denialati? She’s hooked on it…and someday, she will regret having been sidelined by that. t will be difficult for her to regain any credibility in the rational science world, if ever. Sad.

  31. Horatio Algeranon

    Judith Curry seems to have her pause in everything these days.

  32. Horatio Algeranon

    Lookin’ for Pause

    — Horatio’s rendition of Johnnny Lee (Lookin for love)

    I spent a lifetime lookin’ for Pause
    Error bars, uncertainty monsters, n’ Santa Clause
    Playing a fools game, hopin’ to win
    Tellin’ those sweet lies and losin’ again.


    I was lookin’ for Pause in all the wrong places
    Lookin’ for Pause in too many cases
    Searchin’ the graphs, lookin’ for traces
    Of what I’m dreamin’ of
    Hoping to find a trend that is lower
    I’ll bless the day I discover,
    Another heart, lookin’ for Pause.

    I was alone then, no pause in site
    I did every thing I could to make it come out right
    Don’t know where it started or where it might end
    I’d turn to Rich Muller, just like a friend.

    Graph came a knockin’ at my chart store
    It’s everything I’ve been lookin’ for

    I was lookin’ for Pause in all the wrong places
    Lookin’ for Pause in too many cases
    Searchin’ the graphs, lookin’ for traces
    Of what I’m dreamin’ of
    Hoping to find a trend that is lower
    I’ll bless the day I discover,
    Another heart, lookin’ for Pause.

  33. Horatio Algeranon

    should have been “Lookin’ for pause in all the right places”


  34. Horatio Algeranon

    “Curry on Wayward One”

    — Horatio’s paroty of Kansas (Carry on Wayward Son)

    Curry on my wayward one
    Higher temps when you are done
    Lay your weary “Pause” to rest
    Don’t you lie no more

    Once Dave Rose promoted noise and confusion
    Hard to get an inch beyond his delusion
    He was Klooring, a denier
    With a trend to deny

    Though his eyes could see he still was a blind man
    Though his mind could think he wasn’t behind Mann
    He hears the voices when he’s meming
    He can hear them say

    Curry on my wayward one
    Higher temps when you are done
    Lay your weary “Pause” to rest
    Don’t you lie no more

  35. > jcbmack | October 23, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    > Muller has been a bit of a puzzle … as to how his latest research
    > brought him to turn 180 degrees when it did not offer any new evidence

    Muller didn’t trust other people’s work; Muller did trust their group’s work.

    • Muller has apparently joined the “it’s too late to stop it” crowd (if this article is fair):

      “As far as global warming is concerned, the developed world is becoming irrelevant,” Muller insists in his book. We could set an example by curbing our emissions, and thus claim in the future that “it wasn’t our fault,” but about the only thing that could stop it would be a complete economic collapse in China and the rest of the world’s developing countries…”

      • arch thanks for that—this may shed light as to Muller’s thought process., if is is a fair assessment like you discussed. Of course Hank I am not completely in approval of Muller’s methods either. He is no dope, but his work is not conclusive or a huge weight of evidence… if only I and oil tycoons thought this way then we could be dismissed but those active in research and teaching in climate science do not trust Muller’s results based upon their different results and questions of methodology…of course Muller will speak skeptical of them too. Muller’s team analysis leaves plenty to discuss and ask why did you analyze that way and interpret in that manner. In this Muller too has been elusive.

      • jcbmack,
        Yeah, right. Muller’s temperature reconstruction is not controversial. It reproduces that results for every other major temperature series AND the reconstructions via a broad variety of methods. Slither on back to Aunt Judy’s.

  36. Erm, jcb?

    “…but his work is not conclusive or a huge weight of evidence… ”

    IIRC, Muller studied right around 1.6 BILLION pieces of data, which had been compiled by THOUSANDS of researchers, and in the end, reached what can be fairly called the *exact* same conclusions as those researchers had been asserting for nigh on 20 years…and you say “…his work is not conclusive or a huge weight of evidence… ”

    Wow. cognitive dissonance ain’t *never* been so well defined.

    Cue Horatio…..

  37. snarkrates this is simply incorrect that Muller’s reconstruction are not controversial, they in fact are. Hey, prove me wrong:)

    [Response: This is the kind of silly, useless game which serves no purpose and offers no insight. Go away.]

    • Climate change denialists certainly excel in creating ‘controversy.’

    • snarkrates this is simply incorrect that Muller’s reconstruction are not controversial, they in fact are. Hey, prove me wrong:)

      Muller’s ‘BEST’ work is only controversial amongst those denialists who can’t stomach the results of scientifically valid work.

      Within the scientifically-literate community, Muller’s results are entirely non-controversial, and generally regarded as late to the party.

    • KeefeAndAmanda

      You are the one who needs to prove something here.

      Prove your claim that it “is simply incorrect that Muller’s reconstruction are not controversial, they in fact are.”

      That is, meet the challenge I put to you earlier in these comments of this article, which is, in the context of asking who says what you say other than you:

      Name names.

      But again, I also give the prediction that you will not.

      But if you do meet this challenge to name names, then I’m sure that many will want to know who you think are expert enough to back up your claims. Who would these people be?

      Cranks with their crackpot “arguments”?

      Quote: “Common synonyms for “crank” include crackpot and kook.”

      Especially those cranks who have never published something but even if they have, whose qualifications to even just speak on the topic in question – as, say, an expert in a court of law – are nonexistent since for example they have not even just a fully accredited undergraduate degree in at least something? (But I do note that generally speaking even PhDs in a field in question can be cranks.)

      [Response: Seriously, I’m really not interested in hosting yet another stupid back-and-forth with yet another stupid denier.

      The temperature record from the Berkeley effort is, it seems to me, almost entirely the work of Robert Rohde — not Muller or Curry or anybody else. It agrees so well with other global temperature estimates that the only “controversy” is the fake kind, generated by those who don’t want to accept the result.

      As for the existence of controversy, there’s just as much over evolution. All the “controversy” idiots create, won’t change the truth of the matter one whit.]

      • KeefeAndAmanda

        “Seriously, I’m really not interested in hosting yet another stupid back-and-forth with yet another stupid denier…As for the existence of controversy, there’s just as much over evolution. All the “controversy” idiots create, won’t change the truth of the matter one whit.”

        I do apologize, but that they are the same type of science deniers as the evolutionary science deniers is why I believe that when those of us who are not experts in the field see their claims and wish to counter their claims, we need to counter their claims the same way we need to counter the claims of the evolutionary science deniers, which is in ways that the voting general public (who cannot understand technical arguments) will be able to understand.

        [Response: No apology necessary. In fact, that’s part of why this blog exists. But … sometimes, when someone like jcbmack gets uber-stupid, I get a bit annoyed. I guess that’s when I really need to get strong.]

        The type of questions and challenges I put to such deniers are more rhetorical than anything else, and I note that they rarely publicly actually try to answer such questions and challenges. I believe that this is because they know full well that if they more and more were to try to answer such questions and challenges in public, then their intended audience the voting general public would more and more see their claims as “spayed” or “neutered”.

        Reaching the voting general public for the purpose of changing things for the better is what fighting this very serious political war against those who are waging very serious political war against science is about. (And it is not just one area of science but many: They deny not just evolution and climate science but also deny epidemiological science and mathematical economics when these areas of science say that more government is needed in certain ways to change things for the better.)

        [Response: Thanks for the reminder that this fight is worth fighting.]

      • Tamino you know full well I do not deny evolution, epidemiological science or basic medicine. I am an Obama supporter too, I am not fond of the Romney doctrine.

        [Response: But your statements about global warming are ludicrous. This are many forums which will welcome your beliefs. This is not one of them. Farewell.]

  38. Yeah, I am not sure what came over Jacob. He was an occasional commenter over at Realclimate for a couple of years, and while he occasionally missed the boat in understanding the science, he wasn’t a joke. Now it appears he has bought into the absurdity over at Aunt Judy’s and Uncle Roger’s. It is as if he is unable to accept the math and so refuses to consider evidence.

  39. For your information Tamino, there is a blog post from a Swedish professor where he attacks you.

    Check this sentense out. “Here we see how the temperature curve meanders like a snake (see how the snake HadCRUT4 has opened its mouth to devour Tamino.)”

    I think it will be comprehensive through Google Translate – language wise that is.

  40. The latent heat content of the atmosphere has been increasing, Thus, the heat content of the atmosphere (eg global warming) can continue with no change in temperature if the relative humidity increases.

    And, as air temperature crosses from below freezing to above freezing, its ability to carry latent heat increases dramatically. Near surface environmental air, a fraction of a degree above freezing likely carries a lot more heat than similar air a fraction of a degree below freezing. By relying on temperatures and not considering latent heat, we are understating global warming, and Arctic Amplification in particular.