What they said: 2014-01

Harry Clarke:

I am interested to note that the same stupid statistical reasoning was used by climate denialists (many of whom get funding from tobacco companies and who promote false claims about the harmlessness of secondary tobacco smoke) to deduce there has been no statistically significant warming since 1998. This claim is also false.

BBC interview question to Phil Jones:

B – Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming
Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.

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46 Responses to What they said: 2014-01

  1. Andrew

    I think what he’s arguing is it’s false to use the argument “no statistically significant trend = there has been no change.” I have no problem with the actual premise although he has been clumsy in wording.

  2. james

    Harry rants on an older post about the newscorp “propaganda machine”.

    Roughly 9 out of 10 articles in the herald sun since 2007 with the word “climate” in them have been entirely consistent with warmist orthodoxy.

    I wonder if harry thinks this advocacy is just a part of the clever Murdoch conspiracy to suck people in.

  3. thefrollickingmole

    Ive always wondered exactly how “Da MurdoKKK” is supposed to profit from being a”denier”.

    Is there some sort of bounty system?

  4. Bruce of Newcastle

    Temperature trend has now been flat for 17.5 years in the RSS satellite data series. The advantage of the satellite data is the satellite is clearly not sited next to an airconditioner or airport runway, so there is less of an issue with UHI.

    The reason why the temperature trend is flat is because most of the temperature rise last century was caused by the Sun and the ~60 year ocean cycle. Which have now reversed to cause net cooling. CO2 does have a net empirical effect, but its small and harmless.

    If Harry would like to drop by for a chat I can give many more links to journal articles and primary data to show where sceptics are coming from.

  5. boy on a bike

    Does this mean Phil Jones is in the pay of Big Tobacco?

  6. WhaleHunt Fun

    Gave Harry the benefit of my advice. What’s the chance he will take the wonderful opportunity of paying heed? About as much as Gillard getting a Republican voting trend right. Wonder if Harry is a monarchist now Prince whatsisname reckons science supports catastrophic global warming?

  7. WhaleHunt Fun

    Perhaps big tobacco pays in kind? Maybe that’s why plain packaging had no effect. . . all the new smokers taking bribes from big bakkie.

  8. Grant B

    Bruce of Newcastle – on a phone so can’t check or post links. Maybe I’ve got it wrong but the Skeptical Science trend calculator shows no statistically significant rise for 20 years. Sure, a slight positive trend but lower 2 sigma confidence level is negative. Thus the null hypothesis of no significant trend cannot be reuted.

  9. JC

    Does this mean Phil Jones is in the pay of Big Tobacco?

    Lol.. Yea Harry. Answer that one. Is James Annan also in the clutches of big “tobacci”. Why is always big tobacci? How about small or medium sized tobacci?

  10. cynical1

    Harry Halfwit.

    In the debate, the hairshirts easily win in terms of employment and funding.

    Big tobacco? Meh. A mere gnat compared to “Big Green”.

  11. Gab

    Why would Big Tobacco pay climate skeptics?

  12. Tom

    Why would Big Tobacco pay climate skeptics?

    Because shutup.

  13. Tony Tea

    Harry means Big Tabasco. Hot.

  14. JC

    Why would Big Tobacco pay climate skeptics?

    Because small and medium sized tobacci refuses to cough up the loot.

    Hey, this is just a rough guess mind and it could be way outta the ballpark. I’m guessing Harry wouldn’t like someone smoking a cig or cigar in his home.

  15. Johno

    The science has shown the alarmists case to be pure bunk, but what is the probability that Tony Abbott will call BS on the Great Global Warming Scam before the next election? Will he still be fudging the issue and sucking up to his lefty mates. Or will he do the right thing and dump his stupid Direct Action policy?

    I reckon that probability is statistically significantly close to zero!

  16. Dan

    Bruce of Newcastle your conclusion on the role of the sun in GW is premature. Had you searched a little further, you might have happened across a paper by Sloan and Wolfendale (2011) from Lancaster and Durham Universities respectively who conclude that, “…cosmic rays play only a minor part in the global warming observed in the last century (less than 8% of the rise in temperature).”

  17. Jim Rose

    Is this an example of the cult of statistical significance?

  18. Andrew

    Harry rants on an older post about the newscorp “propaganda machine”.

    And I’m filthy about it. Murdoch666 is a warmist – he took his papers carbon neutral by buying fraudulent carbon credits in 2007. He’s been using his propaganda machine ever since to spout that garbage. But at least he tolerates a couple of bloggers who will call out some of the more absurd claims.

  19. Andrew

    I’m puzzled by the tobacco thing too. Isn’t “Big Tobacco” Al Gore? Come to think of it, isn’t Big Oil al-Gore too?

  20. Walter Plinge

    “… false claims about the harmlessness of secondary tobacco smoke…”

    Every respectable report I’ve seen reported on says secondhand tobaccco smoke is indeed harmless. Unpleasant to be sure, but harmless.

  21. incoherent rambler

    I smoke (I pay big tobacco and big government) and I am a denier!

  22. Walter Plinge

    Oops – badly expressed.

  23. JohnA

    Andrew #1175336, posted on February 2, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    I think what he’s arguing is it’s false to use the argument “no statistically significant trend = there has been no change.” I have no problem with the actual premise although he has been clumsy in wording.

    Which simply demonstrates that you can’t conduct science debates in public media, social or anti-social.

    The argument would be that the absence of such trend means that the predictions of said trend must be revisited – the models are wrong and other factors must be involved.

    Therefore the arguments for hysterical knee-jerk reaction are not substantiated, and we should apply “da cautionary principle” to the spending of large sums of borrowed money (rubber-backed currency aka Dunlop Dollars?) on these Green Schemes.

    Especially if the predictions made under the guidance of those models, based on the trends no longer seen, do not come true.

    Alternatively:

    Deut 18:20 – 22:
    But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.”

    You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.

  24. Rabz

    OK – where’s my cheque from “Big ‘Baccy”?

    Still waiting.

    Bloody Australia Post.

  25. Rabz

    B – Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

    Yes, but only just.

    As Steyn has pointed out, Phil Jones agrees with him on the lack of ‘warming’. Jones just won’t publicly admit it.

    The quote above is as close as we are going to get to an admission.

    Enjoy it.

  26. Mr Rusty

    Why would Big Tobacco pay climate skeptics?

    Because Big Tobacco wants more CO2 in the atmosphere to make the tobacco plants grow faster and then they can make more of da evil profit.

    You need to learn how to think like a leftard.

  27. egg_

    Is this an example of the cult of statistical significance?

    Yup.
    “0.12C per decade” ± 100% error margin = 100% rubbish

  28. cohenite

    There are a lot of good analyses of the halt in temperature increase notably by Judith Curry and LM. However Werner Brozek does the best with updates.

    Werner uses the same criteria for determining climatically significant trends in temperature as NOAA and Phil Jones of the CRU at UEA. The NOAA criteria establishes whether temperature is flat and the Jones criteria establishes whether the temperature trend is not statistically significant from zero.

    The 2 criteria overlap with the second allowing for some slight warming and the first for even cooling. Given the higher statistical hurdle for the NOAA criteria the trend of flatness or even some cooling has now exceeded 17 years with RSS. 17 years is the minimum benchmark set by Ben Santer as having climatic significance.

    According to the Jones’ criteria of no statistical significantly warming RSS is now showing nearly 24 years.

    All the other indices show lessor periods then RSS but arguably RSS is the most accurate temperature record on the planet.

    It should be noted that the Jones criteria is also used by SKS to base their posts on.

    Werner has shown in a series of simple analyses, using the standard criteria and definitions of the AGW establishment, that temperature trends contradict AGW.

    Really for anyone to argue against that shows that they are not scientists but believers in an ideology.

    I don’t know Harry Clarke but if he argues against this evidence he deserves scorn and a good hissing.

  29. cohenite

    Dan, Sloan and Wofendale are 2 of several pro-AGW scientists who have opposed research which has found an effect of the Sun on climate and in particular the influence of cosmic rays. Those arguing for a cosmic ray impact on climate include Svensmark whose more recent paper is here.

    Also of interest are 2 German scientists, Dr Sebastian Lüning and Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, who have produced a startling correlation between cosmic rays and temperature trends on Earth.

  30. Bruce of Newcastle

    Had you searched a little further, you might have happened across a paper by Sloan and Wolfendale (2011)

    Dan – Sorry had to be elsewhere so couldn’t immediately reply. Sloan and Wolfendale compare the Climax mine neutron montitor rate with the GISS temperature record (see their Fig 2).

    GISS adjusts their temperature data rather severely in ways which do not resemble reality, or sanity. Ken Stewart looked at GISS adjustments in some detail for Australian sites and his comment was “Wow- when they adjust, they don’t muck around!” If you trend their adjustments back in time you will see that tropical Queensland emerged from under the glaciers in about 1200 AD. Most sites that GISS have got their paws into are similar, especially pristine A class sites. Complete crap.

    If you use HadCRUT 3v, which is still quite contaminated with siting issues and adjustments you will see a better result.

    I personally use HadCET which being a historical data series with long tradition is much less affected by these issues. Harder to monkey with. Using Butler & Johnston 1996′s analysis of solar cycle length vs temperature over the long time base their data fits the CET very well once you include the ~60 year cycle. The residual is consistent with a 2XCO2 of about 0.6 C/doubling, which is not much.

    That is the problem. If you compare such data with corrupted temperature records you will not draw the correct inferences. The primary scientists responsible for the GISS series are Dr James “coal death trains” Hansen and Dr Gavin “make the data as impenetrable as possible” Schmidt. Who runs RC, which censors anyone who sins against their cause by quoting scientists like Prof Rao, who is arguably the most prestigious scientist in India.

    I can provide links for everthing I mention here – but I keep at 3 because otherwise the comment goes to moderation. If you want specific, please say so and I’ll give you the link or citation.

    When you have activists running data collection why would you believe its veracity?

  31. Docket62

    Have you considered using the hardcrap v3 results used by the greens? Apparently well all be consumed by our own arseholes..at least that’s the theory. I suspect it may be true as the long term trends available through the empirical data suggest were all fucked.

    Sorry but that as technical as I can get. Bruce, you have the floor

  32. Bruce of Newcastle

    Docket – sorry mate, yep a bit much for a Sunday night. You can find Sloan & Wolfendale 2011 here. Don’t hold back.

  33. Crossie

    I’ve had a gin and tonic and that explanation still doesn’t make sense.

  34. Crossie

    Dan, Sloan and Wofendale are 2 of several pro-AGW scientists who have opposed research which has found an effect of the Sun on climate and in particular the influence of cosmic rays. Those arguing for a cosmic ray impact on climate include Svensmark whose more recent paper is here.

    Cohenite, I remember weather reports in the 70s predicting heat waves by charting sunspot activity and then the sun slowly disappeared from the meteorological radar somewhere in the 80s when they started pushing the greenhouse effect.

  35. AndyG55

    The really interesting thing is what has happened since things settled down after the 1998 ElNino !

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/plot/rss/from:2001.1/plot/rss/from:2001.1/trend

  36. Rabz

    I remember weather reports in the 70s predicting heat waves by charting sunspot activity and then the sun slowly disappeared from the meteorological radar somewhere in the 80s when they started pushing the greenhouse effect.

    Of course – that would have been around the time a global ice age was going to descend on us, according to the same hysterical imbeciles.

    Charlatans – evidence free idiots.

    Listen to them – lose some of your brain.

    Believe them – they’ve made you a moron.

    Enough.

  37. Bruce of Newcastle

    Crossie – GISS’s temperature series is fiction. No one trusts it, not even them. They cool the past without any justification. So S&W are comparing the neutron data to a frankesteinian creature with no resemblance to reality.

    You can’t hide current temperatures since you can read ‘em off a thermometer. But if you “cool” the past with “scientific adjustments” its hard to catch because the historical data is not easy to get. Sometimes they get caught.

  38. Bruce of Newcastle

    As I said up top the Sun caused about half the warming last century. The big babe in the sky has changed direction (women are so fickle) and is now in cooling mode. The global temperature is cooling as AndyG points out with his link. That can happen only if CO2 has little effect.

  39. doug z

    Andrew wrote:

    I think what he’s arguing is it’s false to use the argument “no statistically significant trend = there has been no change.” I have no problem with the actual premise although he has been clumsy in wording.

    You should have a problem with the premise and the argument. Global Average Temperature is not something that can be measured directly – it is a statistical construct. It’s not even a simple average of measurements taken at stations around the world because there are, for example, discontinuities in the data, among other things. No statistically significant trend therefore effectively means no trend, and it’s not just a case of clumsy wording but basic ignorance on the part of Clarke.
    As for Jones – he can’t use that excuse, so it sounds more like deliberate deception. A longer time period might show a statistically significant trend, but it might be a cooling trend.
    The bottom line is that we don’t have enough data to support the kind of policy action that is being demanded by global warming activists.

  40. cohenite

    Global Average Temperature is not something that can be measured directly – it is a statistical construct.

    Not only that it is a bad construct as Essex, McKitrick and Andresen showed. This is a seminal paper in the AGW debate.

    It’s importance is to do with the fact that what is important for climate is how much radiation is trapped in the atmosphere providing energy for climate. Energy is emitted or released from every surface according to its temperature; Stefan-Boltzmann describes this. In effect therefore a large temperature increase at the Arctic [which has happened] could be offset by a much smaller decline in a warmer part of the world [which also appears to have happened]. For those who like such things this other seminal paper by Pielke Snr goes into the detail. The relevant section is:

    “[6] At its most tightly coupled, T is the radiative temperature
    of the Earth, in the sense that a portion of the radiation
    emitted at the top of the atmosphere originates at the Earth’s
    surface. However, the outgoing longwave radiation is proportional
    to T4. A 1C increase in the polar latitudes in
    the winter, for example, would have much less of an effect
    on the change of longwave emission than a 1C increase
    in the tropics. The spatial distribution matters, whereas
    equation (1) ignores the consequences of this assumption.
    A more appropriate measure of radiatively significant surface
    changes would be to evaluate the change of the global
    average of T4.”

    The relevant equation is:

    A + B)^4 > A^4 + B^4

    What this means, if you are relying on a Global Average Temperature [GAT], is GAT can increase because with all areas averaged the increase in the Arctic can add more to the GAT than a slight decline at the Tropics can deduct. BUT because that Arctic increase releases LESS radiation than the reduction at the equator the amount of radiation in the Earth’s atmosphere can decrease even though the GAT has increased.

  41. cohenite

    Damn, left out a bracket!

    (A + B)^4 > A^4 + B^4

    (A + B)^4 is the GAT part with all parts of the globe combined and then SB is applied to give the amount of radiation released from the surface into the atmosphere. A^4 + B^4 is the correct way of calculating the radiation or energy release, which is by calculating at each temperature site before adding them together.

  42. Myrddin Seren

    The always-interesting E.M. Smith is back posting regularly after a lean period for work commitments.

    He has written a couple of interesting posts about the moon and climate eg

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/a-remarkable-lunar-paper-and-numbers-on-major-standstill/

    In Conclusion

    In short, the Moon moves, and that then moves the oceans and the weather. It moves more than we expect (than NASA expects in their computer models) and those changes are greatest near Major Standstill. (This also implies that further changes in Major Standstill from very long term changes of the lunar orbit not considered in the article would have similarly large effects.) The Sun moves the Moon. The Moon moves the tides, water and more. They move the weather and longer term “average weather” that is mistakenly called climate. The Moon changes more than we have observed in recent times (since our lives are very short) and old musty history and old musty un-adjusted data matters.

    The posts either side of this one are interesting too. I defer to the experts to battle out his proposition, but it makes sense to me that that often big object in the night sky will have tidal impacts.

  43. Jim Rose

    see http://www.amazon.com/The-Cult-Statistical-Significance-Economics/dp/0472050079

    “McCloskey and Ziliak have been pushing this very elementary, very correct, very important argument through several articles over several years and for reasons I cannot fathom it is still resisted. If it takes a book to get it across, I hope this book will do it. It ought to.”
    —Thomas Schelling,

    it is the size that matters.

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