Green Options › Forums › Climate Change › Science › Temperatures down under spin skeptics head around
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Temperatures down under spin skeptics head around

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
There was a recent post to Watts' blog claiming there is a problem with the temperature records from Australia.  What is humorous about that is Australia is mentioned specifically in the IPCC 2nd assessment report (Section 3.2.2.1) where it has been demonstrated that temperature readings in the late 19th century in Australia were biased high.  (See, Nicholls et al., HISTORICAL THERMOMETER EXPOSURES IN AUSTRALIA, Int. J. Climatology, VOL. 16,705-7 10 ( 1996).  Interestingly, noted skeptic Warwick Hughes objected to Nicholls et al. and took a separate look at the data.  That comment can be found at: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CLIMATOLOGY, VOL. 17, 197–199 (1997).  Basically, Hughes shows in more detail what Nicholls et al. point out, that the particular type of device used in Australia in the late 1800's and early 1900's has a warm bias for temperature.  But Hughes then goes on to claim, oddly, that Nicholls needs to prove such a bias exists.  Nicholls' response to Hughes is found on page 200 of that same issue of the journal.  In it, Nicholls states:  "The extra detail provided by Warwick Hughes con®rms the point made by Nicholls et al. (1996), namely that at Adelaide the maximum temperatures measured in a Glaisher stand are substantially higher than those measured in a Stevenson screen." 

So, whoever wrote the article on Watts' blog is ignorant of scientific history or simply doesn't care about being accurate.  Who would have thought a climate skeptic would be guilty of either. 

The other thing is this suggests why the CRU e-mails take such a nasty tone towards skeptics.  Research scientists have been dealing with the sludge from the skeptics for 20 years and are sick and tired of the distraction.  At first it was amusing running the skeptics to ground and demonstrating they didn't know anything.  But the skeptics don't learn, and they keep returning with the same tired arguments.  It's like kids, they're cute at first when they backtalk, and then just annoying. 
post #2 of 14
My main issue isn't that the 'skeptic' in question doesn't understand the temperature corrections.  The issue is that when he doesn't understand them, he assumes there must be some nefarious data manipulation going on, and goes onto Watts' site to breathlessly report about it.  Then of course the Watts lovers like BB breathlessly report about it on YA and other online forums, and suddenly thousands of people are being told that data is being fudged because some random "skeptic" did an extremely amateurish analysis of the data and couldn't figure out what adjustments were being made to it.

And then deniers can't understand why climate scientists are reluctant to release all of their data to these jokers, and they can't figure out why climate scientists don't respect "skeptics".
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dana1981 View Post

My main issue isn't that the 'skeptic' in question doesn't understand the temperature corrections.  The issue is that when he doesn't understand them, he assumes there must be some nefarious data manipulation going on, and goes onto Watts' site to breathlessly report about it.  Then of course the Watts lovers like BB breathlessly report about it on YA and other online forums, and suddenly thousands of people are being told that data is being fudged because some random "skeptic" did an extremely amateurish analysis of the data and couldn't figure out what adjustments were being made to it.

And then deniers can't understand why climate scientists are reluctant to release all of their data to these jokers, and they can't figure out why climate scientists don't respect "skeptics".

This will go somewhere, bear with me for a minute. 

At lunch the other day, I was sitting with a guy who was senior scientist working on Acoustic Thermography of Ocean Climate (ATOC).  He mentioned that the N. Pacific ATOC array, which measures integrated ocean surface temperature in the top 1000 m, hadn't shown any warming over a decade.  He went on to say that this demonstrated to him that global warming was not well understood.  I told him perhaps he wasn't considering dynamical processes, thinking that the ocean is a bit deeper than 1000 m, or that something else was going on.  He said there weren't any other processes that were relevant.  But rather than get in a fight with the guy (he's a quite senior guy), I let it go. 

However, I did google the ATOC N. Pacific array data in question, it can be found here:  http://aog.ucsd.edu/thermometry/index.htm.  It doesn't take a genius to see that there isn't a trend in temperature from 1997 to 2004.  However, the largest el Nino on record dumped what can only be considered a buttload of warm water into the surface of the N. Pacific in 1998-1999.  As it mixed, this warm water input accounts for the rise in temperature from 1999 to 2000, with the subsequent cooling from the system relaxing.  Probably, if you could remove the el Nino signal you would find a small but significant warming in the N. Pacific.  So the senior guy was seeing what he wanted in the data (i.e., no warming) without going farther and trying to understand the context for the data.

The point of this is that even very senior scientists who should know better will deny evidence of climate change because they find the whole concept too scary to deal with.  Ten years ago I would have been stunned by his belief the ATOC data suggested climate change isn't real.  Now I realize it's fairly typical of how climate skeptics operate. 

Someone like BB isn't scientifically astute enough to make arguments like the guy on Watts' blog, let alone figure out whether or not they are correct, but I wonder whether the guy on the blog (or Watts himself) understands the underlying issue.  Probably not. 

But see, it doesn't matter because the e-mails show it's all a big conspiracy anyway. 
post #4 of 14
There seems to be a warming trend in SST from '97 to '04 in that area. Is that normal for the top 1000 m to show a different trend than the surface?
post #5 of 14
It's interesting that you mention he's a senior guy.  It seems as though most scientists who are 'skeptics' tend to be retired or close to it.  For example on the APS petition circulated by Fred Singer, almost all signatories were over 50 years old, including many retirees.  Reminds me of how deniers used to constantly cite Vincent Gray, who's now 87 years old and has been retired for years and years.  And coincidentally is a coal chemist.
post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawei View Post

There seems to be a warming trend in SST from '97 to '04 in that area. Is that normal for the top 1000 m to show a different trend than the surface?

The ATOC data is from the Hawaii to K transect.  This goes east from Hawaii to San Diego.  Your map shows slight surface cooling in this region.  I suspect that the GISS/Hadley SST data have el Nino removed from them.  Maybe not. 
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dana1981 View Post

It's interesting that you mention he's a senior guy.  It seems as though most scientists who are 'skeptics' tend to be retired or close to it.  For example on the APS petition circulated by Fred Singer, almost all signatories were over 50 years old, including many retirees.  Reminds me of how deniers used to constantly cite Vincent Gray, who's now 87 years old and has been retired for years and years.  And coincidentally is a coal chemist.

Yes, he is the classic example of a climate skeptic.  Older guy in his 60's with strong libertarian tendencies, an acoustician mainly, doesn't really do oceanography in the sense of using the ATOC data to understand ocean dynamics. 
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawei View Post

There seems to be a warming trend in SST from '97 to '04 in that area. Is that normal for the top 1000 m to show a different trend than the surface?

Not sure about that.  The ATOC data is integrated down to 1000 m, which is well below the level considered SST.  The Hadley SST set may also have had the effects of el Nino removed, but I am speculating wildly here. 
post #9 of 14
very interesting gcnp. does 'libertarian' mean right wing libertarian specifically, in america? i imagine so, as 'liberal' seems to mean 'communist' 
post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerda View Post

very interesting gcnp. does 'libertarian' mean right wing libertarian specifically, in america? i imagine so, as 'liberal' seems to mean 'communist' 

I think if you asked most of "libertarians" they would say they are neither right wing or left wing.  However, their interests as far as the mechanics of government go nearly always align with the right wing of the Republican party in that they dislike any sort of government regulation.  For lack of a better term, these are cowboys who believe that the world would be better off if it functioned like the American Wild West in the late 1800's popularized by Hollywood, where you did any damn thing you pleased and shot those who disagreed with you.  That the idea that this era was full of free rugged individualists controlling their own destiny is largely a myth is irrelevant.  Oddly, some of they are liberal socially and will support choice and right-to-marry, although more are socially conservative and seem to think that government regulations controlling personal lives is just fine. 

In a lot of ways, they are scared men that feel somehow, something out there made them less virile (and that something could be government, women, minorities, gays or some combination of any or all, depending on individual psychoses).  So if they could just go back in time and remove the crushing weight of regulations and restrictions dragging them down, they would be able to stand straight and tall again.  That most men never were free, even in the absence of any government, totally escapes them and if we did revert to anarchy they would be cannon fodder for a local warlord just the same as all of their ancestors in feudal times. 

Libertarianism is not a well thought out political position in my opinion.  But then, that's true of almost all political positions, including my own. 
post #11 of 14
"Libertarian" generally refers to people who want as little government regulation as possible.  Ron Paul is an interesting example of a politician who is a member of the Republican Party, but I believe used to be a libertarian.  He's crazy, and has said he wants to eliminate all kinds of government agencies from the IRS to the Department of Education.  He was interviewed once on The Colbert Report, as I recall.  Colbert reeled off a bunch of government agencies asking if Paul wanted to eliminate them, and Paul responded yes to every single one. 

That strikes me as the epitome of what we consider "libertarians".  As gcnp said, it doesn't seem to be a very well thought out position - they just hate the government and want to get rid of it.  They're almost anarchists.  I had a roommate in college for about a year who was a libertarian - very weird dude.

Also to echo what gncp said, some extend this anti-government philosophy to issues like abortion and gay marriage, and basically feel that people should be allowed to do whatever they want.  But others conveniently feel that it's okay to impose their personal moral beliefs on others, and do favor restrictions on gay marriage and abortion, etc.  Those are the real nutty ones who are really nothing more than very extreme Republicans.  I think they're just so anti-government that they don't want to be associated with one of the main political parties.

Bill O'Reilly seems like one of those people.  He claims he's not Republican (might even claim to be libertarian), but his views sure match up with the Republican Party pretty darn well.  I try to avoid exposure to Glenn Beck as much as possible, but I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if he considered himself a libertarian.
post #12 of 14
İf İ go to a libertarian site, a extreme green site, or an extreme conservative site İ expect to (and usually do) find the same kind of stories.

Generally a small amount of truth mixed in with a fantastic amount of fiction.

 
post #13 of 14
I might as well toss in my two cents, being an American who follows our political environment!  I would only add that the term "libertarian" has been hijacked by Republicans in an effort to distance themselves from the policies of George W. Bush.  Since he left office and left the country in a disasterous mess, many of his supporters are hiding behind the term libertarian.  I guess they hope nobody will notice they still support failed Republican policies if they brand themselves something different and wrap themselves in the flag.  These people are not actual libertarians (who, as others have pointed out, are an entirely different set of loons).
post #14 of 14
Agreed captaint, As with most labels people bend it to mean what they want which often has little to do with logic or the dictionary meaning of the word.

 
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Science
Green Options › Forums › Climate Change › Science › Temperatures down under spin skeptics head around