Fake Time

Over at the WUWT blog, Philip Lloyd objects to the fact that temperature data for Capetown, South Africa have been homogenized. He objects to being unable to find documentation for the homogenization, but when it comes to providing actual evidence for his own claims (about things being hotter in the 1930s), he has none but vague speculation.

But what’s really funny, truly hilarious, an absolute scream in fact, is that, to demonstrate his claim that the 1970s “were indeed cold,” he offers … covers from Time Magazine. I wasn’t aware that Time Magazine was a scientific journal. But most interesting is that one of the covers is this one:


This Time Magazine cover, an integral part of Philip Lloyd’s “evidence,” and truly representative of the level of “scholarship” at the WUWT blog, is a fake. Yes, it’s a fake.

Says who, you wonder? Says to Time Magazine, that’s who.

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21 responses to “Fake Time

  1. To make the fake even more fun.

    Willis Eschenbach: “So I fear I can’t replicate any of your graphs.

    Someone who does not know that most of the homogenisation is performed by NOAA’s pairwise homogenisation algorithm comparing a candidate station to its neighbours, but thinks it is done by GISS, which only applies inconsequential urbanization corrections, should not be blogging about homogenisation.

    But it is apparently good enough for WUWT. Ignoring Willis they wallow in their conspiracies and how their leader Trump will fix this and make the world like they would it to be.

  2. What’s fun is that this post is also an example of “adjusting” data–in this case, to correct a spurious ‘reading.’ (Or should I call it an ‘artifact’?)

  3. methane madness

    I feel sorry for them, now that Rump has ended the Greenhouse effect, where now to find the heady joy’s of group think and the easy expertise of spongy science?

  4. Excellent. Deniers can’t do anything right (I suppose by definition). A comment on that site says that the other supposed cover is also a fake.

  5. There are three Cape Town stations with daily GHCN data:
    SFM00068816 -33.9650 18.6020 CAPE TOWN INTL
    SF000207760 -33.9300 18.4300 CAPE TOWN FIRE STATION
    SF000210550 -33.9200 18.5300 CAPE TOWN MAITLAND (CEM)
    I wanted to see, whether or not Lloyd’s dataset was simply three moved stations concatinated and Lloyd could not be bothered to look.

    Unfortunately, http://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov is down. I hope this is just a temporary hick-up and not a Trump order.

  6. The other cover he showed is a misrepresentation too. It’s a real cover, but the story is about the 1973 oil shortage, not weather.

  7. Unfortunately yet another version of cherry picking, or more precisely differential standards. If the data shows something the “sceptic” doesn’t like then it MUST be wrong or rigged. And if it shows something they do like then OF COURSE it is reliable, and even basic scrutiny need not apply. Sigh….

  8. Note that this grand proclamation on the planet Wattsupia was not made by any old Tom Dick or Phil but by none other than “Prof Philip Lloyd, Energy Institute, CPUT, SARETEC, Sacks Circle, Bellville.” (My bold)
    This professor & acolyte of the petrochemical industry describes himself as “half nutty professor” and half “very serious” climate denier. So presumably half his comment will be him having a laugh and the other half will be pure delusion.
    The GISS data adjustment for Cape Town is shown back to 1880 & the adjusrtment is corroborated by the BEST data for Cape Town which use independent adjustment methodology and provides a record back to 1857. I feel it does take “very serious” denial for a professor, nutty or not, to ignore such evidence.

  9. I must stick my head above the parapet here and make an observation. As a teenage nerd in the 1970s I was reading randomly and erratically and in a very undisciplined way. And I’m sorry, but I do recall talking to my geek friends about the coming ice age and we had all picked up on the idea and were quite sure that it was coming. I also recall the idea being in quite a few sci-fi stories I read. So somewhere along the line the idea that the planet was going to cool and that we were due an ice age had got into the air. Looking back and thinking between the lines I suspect that what had happened was that we’d picked up on the idea of the Milkanovitch cycles which, had humans not intervened, be now tipping us into an ice age. Those of us who live in the facts based universe of course now realise that the important fact is that humans did intervene so the next ice age has been cancelled. I feel however that in talking about what was predicted in the 1970s we need to distinguish between what climate scientists were thinking and what, at least some, interested members of the public were picking up.

    [Response: None of which alters the fact that Philip Lloyd’s “evidence” for his claim included a Time magazine cover which is a fake.]

    • If you read Science and Nature, etc. back then, you would find your memories do not correspond with scientific reality. Popular reality was a bit different. Why? There was one group in particular–I forget now who it was–that was quite concerned about aerosols which do in fact cool. But by far the scientific majority was on the side of warming. Broeker 1975 for example in Science which I read at the time (open access source: http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/files/2009/10/broeckerglobalwarming75.pdf ) was state of the art in 1975.

      It is interesting to contemplate the world as it might be if the western world had not largely dealt with aerosols. Almost certainly it would be cooler, yes. But many of the forests and much freshwater would be dead as well. Public health (witness China now) would be at a point of likely millions of excess early deaths. Not the best tradeoff.

      • and not forgetting that cooling due to aerosols is a validation of AGW anyway – as it simply shows a change in the composition of the atmosphere has a measurable effect on global climate

    • jgnfld:

      There was one group in particular–I forget now who it was–that was quite concerned about aerosols which do in fact cool.

      AFAIK, the most visible proponent of that concern was Reid Bryson.

    • MightyDrunken

      “The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus” http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2008BAMS2370.1

      There were calculations around the time that if aerosols continued to increase at their 1970s rate then it could create ice age like conditions in the future. Overall though scientists figured that was unlikely to happen and that the increasing CO2 would be harder to stop and have a large effect, in time.

    • Nigel Mawhinney:

      …And I’m sorry, but I do recall talking to my geek friends about the coming ice age and we had all picked up on the idea and were quite sure that it was coming.

      Given the well-accepted understanding of the glacial-interglacial cycle over the last ~1 million years of the Pleistocene epoch, there would have been no scientific expectation that a glacial maximum* was approaching for at least the next several millennia.

      The current interglacial period, the Holocene, is about 11,500 years along. To compare, the previous interglacial period (the Eemian interglacial) lasted about 15,00 years (~130-115k years BP), and the named one before that (the Holstein interglacial (~340-325k BP) also lasted about 15,000 years.

      Although I can’t find any detailed reference to it, or even a name, there appears to have been an interglacial period that started about 245,000 years ago. It also seems to have lasted about 15,000 years.

      For the last 1,000 years prior to the start of the Industrial Revolution the planet cooled about 0.4 °C. On this basis the Earth should probably have cooled about 0.1 °C since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and perhaps another 1.0 °C or so over the next few thousand years, but there would be no scientific expectation that the glacial maximum would occur within the lifetimes of many generations of humans to come.

      With the current emissions of CO₂ humans have already cancelled out all the cooling that might be expected prior to the real onset of the next glacial maximum, and we’ve probably whacked away the front end of the actual glacial maximum, too. It’s possible that around 10,000 years hence a glacial maximum might suddenly kick in as the bulk of our fossil emissions are eventually sequenstered by the biosphere, lithosphere and hydrosphere, but if we continue to emit CO₂ at our current rate for many more decades even the tail end of the next due glaciation might be no more than a squib.

      The real problem is in what should have been the tail end of the Holocene: our emissions of CO₂ are such that we’ve completely swamped the natural forcings of climate, and have initiated a warming push at a rate that the biosphere has not experienced for many millions of years, and that very likely (almost inevitably) will soon exceed even the maximum temperatures experienced during the Eemian. That combination of high rate and extreme thermal maximum spell Serious Trouble for many of our ecosystems and ecosystem functions, and any distant and filtered recollections about what the media might have said (and filtered…) about global cooling are moot.

      And for the record, even as a small boy in the late 70s I was aware of the growing scientific concern about global warming. I remember in 6th grade hearing explanations that it was a much greater problem than an “ice age”, so obviously the cooling meme was not getting traction amongst those in the know, even back then.

      [*We’re already in an ‘ice age’, and have been for about two and a half million years. It’s called the Pleistocene or Quaternary Glaciation. Correct terminology matters.]

  10. Turns out this piece of photoshopping was also used by “Awarding Winning Journalist” (sic) David Rose in a print article in the Fail On Sunday in 2013. See this image. Seems that, despite his award, our David is none too bothered about fact checking …

  11. Rose is one of those post-modernists–all too common in the English-speaking world–who view facts as mere inconveniences that only inhibit their creativity. Based on his oeuvre, I would contend that his creativity should be inhibited as much as possible.