Josh on Watts and BEST


Skewered

Watts' announcement: US temperature records contaminated with urban warming


(Click to enlarge)

Wasn’t quite the bombshell I was expecting, and hardly of ‘global’ significance, but interesting none the less.

UPDATE: In my haste to post this morning, I missed a key point, which Anthony kindly writes to correct:

“This paper means that every surface temperature record national or global must now be examined. See what Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. says here.”

Apologies for the misunderstanding.

Here’s the extract from Anthony’s post:

A reanalysis of U.S. surface station temperatures has been performed using the recently WMO-approved Siting Classification System devised by METEO-France’s Michel Leroy. The new siting classification more accurately characterizes the quality of the location in terms of monitoring long-term spatially representative surface temperature trends. The new analysis demonstrates that reported 1979-2008 U.S. temperature trends are spuriously doubled, with 92% of that over-estimation resulting from erroneous NOAA adjustments of well-sited stations upward. The paper is the first to use the updated siting system which addresses USHCN siting issues and data adjustments.

The new improved assessment, for the years 1979 to 2008, yields a trend of +0.155C per decade from the high quality sites, a +0.248 C per decade trend for poorly sited locations, and a trend of +0.309 C per decade after NOAA adjusts the data. This issue of station siting quality is expected to be an issue with respect to the monitoring of land surface temperature throughout the Global Historical Climate Network and in the BEST network.

One particularly interesting point is that the NOAA adjustments increase the temperatures despite UHI effects. How can they get it so spectacularly wrong (unless there’s an agenda at work in the background – perish the thought)?

Read it all here.

Ironically, this information comes at precisely the time that Richard Muller, of BEST fame, continues to plug the line that his temperature set has “settled the science”:

CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. 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.

My total turnaround, in such a short time, is the result of careful and objective analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, which I founded with my daughter Elizabeth. Our results show that the average temperature of the earth’s land has risen by two and a half degrees Fahrenheit over the past 250 years, including an increase of one and a half degrees over the most recent 50 years. Moreover, it appears likely that essentially all of this increase results from the human emission of greenhouse gases. (source)

Call me cynical, but maybe he’s worked out which side his bread’s buttered.

UPDATE: Morano does the required demolition here. Even Michael Mann is peeved:

“My view is that Muller’s efforts to promote himself by belittling the collective efforts of the entire atmospheric/climate research community over several decades, though, really does the scientific community a disservice. Its great that he’s reaffirmed what we already knew. But for him to pretend that we couldn’t trust this entire scientific field until Richard Muller put his personal stamp of approval on their conclusions is, in my view, a very dangerously misguided philosophical take on how science works. It seems, in the end–quite sadly–that this is all really about Richard Muller’s self-aggrandizement :(

Like I said in a post a while ago, the surface temperature sets are a crock. On that point, we have consensus.

Watts Up With That – 'major announcement' due Sunday


Announcement due?

Well this has certainly got the blogosphere buzzing:

Something’s happened. From now until Sunday July 29th, around Noon PST, WUWT will be suspending publishing. At that time, there will be a major announcement that I’m sure will attract a broad global interest due to its controversial and unprecedented nature.

To give you an idea as to the magnitude of this event, I’m suspending my vacation plans. I weighed the issue, and decided (much to my dismay) this was more important. I can go on vacation trips another time, but this announcement is not something I can miss now and do later.

Media outlets be sure to check in to WUWT on Sunday around 12PM PST and check your emails. (source)

“Something’s happened” – indicates it was unplanned.

“controversial and unprecedented” – very specific language to use. WUWT rules out FOIA in an update, so it’s unlikely to be Climategate 3.

“suspending vacation plans” – wow, this is serious…

For us Aussies, 12pm PST Sunday is (I think) 5am Monday morning Sydney time. Thanks, Anthony! It had better be worth it!

Perth on track for 'coldest month on record'


Not quite snowman weather, but still…

From the Weather Isn’t Climate department.

Damn you, global warming:

Perth is on track to have the coldest month on record.

This morning the temperature dipped to 0.4 degrees at 6.24am – and at 8am, it was still only three degrees.

That is the coldest day since July 5, 2010 when 0.3 degrees was recorded in the city.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Matt Boterhoven told WAtoday.com.au that today’s minimum took this month’s tally of cold mornings to 15.

The bureau counts temperatures of less than five degrees as cold mornings.

Mr Boterhoven said the record for cold mornings was 16 in a month, which was reached in July 2010, 2001 and 1998.

He said with forecasts predicting a minimum of two degrees for tomorrow and four degrees on Friday, there was a good chance that record would be beaten. 

The days ahead for Perth: Thursday: Partly cloudy. Min 2, max 18. Friday: Partly cloudy. Min 4, max 19. Saturday: Mostly sunny. Min 5, max 20. Sunday: Mostly sunny. Min 5, max 21. (source)

h/t Ice Age Now

French earthworms discovered on vacation in Ireland


Lovely day for a Guinness…

Yes, it’s time for the climate change (non-) story of the week. Worms are on the move, apparently. Fed up with their life in France (and let’s face it, who wouldn’t be?), worms are moving to Dublin. And it’s all due to “climate change”, or perhaps, the urban heat island effect? Or maybe they just prefer Guinness to Grenache:

Scientists have discovered a thriving population of Mediterranean earthworms in an urban farm in Dublin, Ireland.

The findings by University College Dublin scientists published in the journal Biology Letters suggest that rising soil temperatures due to climate change may be extending the geographical habitat range of the earthworm Prosellodrilus amplisetosus.

“Soil decomposer species including earthworms are frequently introduced into non-native soils by human activities like the transportation of nursery plants or live fish bait,” says Dr Olaf Schmidt from the UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science, and the Earth Institute, University College Dublin, one of the authors of the report.

“There have been a few recordings of the earthworm P. amplisetosus outside of its native range in the Aquitaine region of south-western France, but now we have discovered a successfully thriving population in Ireland, about 1,000 km north of its native habitat.”

Urban farms have higher temperatures than rural farms so the scientists suggest that this may have helped P. amplisetosusto becomeestablished in this new location. The mean yearly air temperature in Aquitaine in south-western France is about 3 degrees higher than in Dublin, Ireland.

The finding brings to 27 the total number of known earthworm species living in Irish soils. (source)

The last piece of information very handy for that old favourite of the trivia night, “How many species of earthworm live in Irish soils?” Now you’ll never be stuck for an answer.

Top o’ the mornin’ to yer…!

Michael Mann threatens legal action over Steyn comment


Climategate to be judicially considered?

If this goes the distance, it will certainly be worth following very closely.

Mark Steyn, writing at the National Review (backup WebCite link here), made a number of comments about Michael Mann regarding the Hockey Stick, and Mann has responded with a three-page lawyers’ letter threatening defamation proceedings (see here: page 1, page 2, page 3 – originally published on Mann’s Facebook page, reproduced here for ease of reference).

The interesting point here is that much of the letter focusses on the various investigations into Climategate as evidence that there was no wrongdoing, which inevitably means that if this matter were ever to reach court, not only would the investigations come under close scrutiny, but also the Climategate emails themselves. This would therefore be the first opportunity for an examination of the materials in a proper judicial environment.

Andrew Montford’s report (at the UK GWPF – PDF) into four of those investigations found that to a greater or lesser degree, they were “rushed, cursory and largely unpersuasive”.

In respect of the University of East Anglia investigations, Mann’s letter states that the Oxburgh enquiry (the Scientific Assessment Panel) found:

“No evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit”

and in respect of the second UEA investigation (the Independent Climate Change Email Review), that

“the scientists’ rigour and honesty are not in doubt.”

Montford, on the other hand, claims in respect of the UEA reports that they:

“avoided key questions and failed to probe some of the most serious allegations. Terms of reference were either vague or non-existent. Insufficient consideration in the choice of panel members led to a failure to ensure balance and independence.”

In respect of the UK Parliamentary Inquiry, Mann claims:

“criticisms of the Climatic Research Unit were misplaced and that its actions ‘were in line with common practice in the climate science community’.”

Montford, on the other hand, states:

“The half-day hearing by the Science and Technology Select Committee was curtailed by the impending election. Key allegations were not examined and CRU staff were cleared of some allegations without evidence. The main CRU critics were not invited to give oral evidence and much of their written evidence was not taken into consideration.”

In respect of the Penn State inquiry, Mann states that it found:

“there is no substance to the allegations against Dr Michael E Mann.”

Montford, on the other hand, quotes from an article in The Atlantic (worth reading in full) which looked in detail at the investigation:

“The [Penn State] report…says, in effect, that Mann is a distinguished scholar, a successful raiser of research funding, a man admired by his peers – so any allegation of academic impropriety must be false…

Mann is asked if the allegations (well, one them) are true, and says no. His record is swooned over. Verdict: case dismissed with apologies that Mann has been put to such trouble.”

The other three inquiries cited (by the US Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Commerce and National Science Foundation) all reached similar conclusions. How rigorously were those inquiries carried out? At this stage, we don’t know.

But it’s hardly confidence inspiring. Perhaps the only way we will ever see allegations properly tested will be in front of a court of law, which may, thanks to Mann’s threat, actually happen.

I wonder if this has been fully thought through? Commentators are raising the point that a requirement to produce documents arising from legal proceedings would be far harder to avoid than simple FOI requests, and the disclosure obligations would mean that many more documents may become public as a result. It may also confirm some of the suspicions raised in Montford’s report, namely that the inquiries were superficial at best.

It looks like opening a can of worms…

[NO COMMENTS]

No carbon tax bounce for Gillard


Is Gillard Australia’s worst PM ever?

The vultures are circling. Labor politicians are openly discussing the need for drastic action. Labor primary vote has sunk to 28%. And the carbon tax backflip has a lot to do with it, that and Labor’s desperate agreement with the extremist Greens to form a minority government:

A LABOR senator says today’s disastrous Newspoll should be a “clarion call” to the party to make dramatic changes or face a decade in the political wilderness.

Rudd supporter Mark Bishop said the poll, revealing a three point slump in Labor’s primary vote to 28 per cent, should be a wake-up call to the party to respond to the will of voters.

While stopping short of calling for Julia Gillard to stand down, the West Australian senator said it was clear there was now no prospect of a recovery under current circumstances.

“It is a very, very poor result,” Senator Bishop said.

“It can only be interpreted as a clarion call to Labor to get its house in order and be responsive to the now-firmly established views of the Australian community.

“We’ve now had almost 12 months of polls hanging around 30 per cent, sometimes a couple of points below, sometimes above.

“That pattern is now established. It won’t change. The Australian community are demanding change at a range of levels within the government, and it’s time for the government to heed that, otherwise the outcome will be the destruction not only of the government, but of the labour movement for the next 10 years.”

Despite showering middle Australia with billions of dollars in handouts, the party’s primary vote has fallen below 30 per cent for the first time in three months.

Labor trails the Coalition 44 to 56 on a two-party preferred basis.

Ms Gillard said she wasn’t interested in opinion polls.

“Government is about governing,” she told reporters in Sydney today. (source)

LOL. She can only keep up that kind of BS for so long…

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