The Bias of Climatology – Pulling Recent Strands Together

David Evans has provided a succinct explanation of why climate scientists’ theories, ignore some fundamental data. The views that feedbacks amplify the effects of CO2 (see Evans’s diagram below) is due to a highly selective reading of the data in a number of different ways.

Now we need to pull the recent strands together.

On actual temperature history we are getting evermore examples of data manipulation, whether on US temperatures (A Watts), Australian Temperatures (See Jo Nova), or the GISSTEMP global surface temperatures (Steven Goddard).

On past temperature history, we have the famous hockey stick graphs, starting with Mann et al in 1998 and culminating in the recent Gergis et al Australasian temperature reconstruction. All need a combination of one, or a few, very poor data sets that are promoted to prominence by statistical techniques unique to climatologists, and ignoring better quality data sets.

Something else needs to be added to the mix to obtain the high role for feedbacks – climate modelling. If recent temperature trends are exaggerated AND past temperature fluctuations smoothed out, then running a model that tries to look at relative influence of natural and anthropogenic factors on temperature will massively over-estimate the anthropogenic over the natural influences.

But go the other way. Look at the more accurate satellite data for recent temperatures and the temperature rises do not track the CO2 rises nearly so well. Go back to the raw data from the thermometers (adjusting properly for UHI), along with homogenization techniques developed by professional statisticians and the C20th warming deflates.

Then take the widest range of proxy records over a long period (even leave in the lowest quality ones) and suddenly the picture looks very different.

Then look at the role of feedbacks from a number of different perspectives, like Sherwood Idso, (possibly further corroborated by Esper et al 2012) and the real picture becomes clearer. Global average temperatures have increased in the last 200 years. Not quite as much in recent years as the temperature records maintain, but are now significantly higher than in during the 17th century. Furthermore, there is circumstantial evidence that a part of this increase (even up to 0.4 Celsius if non-C02 GHGs are included) has been due to the human greenhouse gas emissions. But this is a curiosity for a few academics to ponder, whilst the thrust of the research effort is put into improving the accuracy and integrity of the data.

Defence of the Consensus

The response of mainstream climatology (and with it a vast array of hangers-on) is not to improve the standards and moderate their wilder comments. Instead it has been to shut down debate by attacking the opponents. Australia has the unfortunate achievement to be home to two of the vilest the proponents of this assault on dissent. Prof Stephan Lewandowsky’s latest instalment is publishing a survey which associates climate skeptics with the worst of the conspiracy theorists. John Cook, a climatologist, ignores expert etymologists to justify calling his site

Climatology does not rank as a true science, as it has long since abandoned the search for challenging questions and improvements in quality of answers. Rather than explain the anomalies and meet the challenge of alternative explanations, climatology protects itself by employing intellectual bully-boys.


  1. Brian H

     /  03/08/2012

    The more scientists (and bloggers) decline to be intimidated and silenced, the lamer and more blatantly circular the consensus position is shown to be. Even elections are starting to reflect its loss of credibility.

    Australia still has to suffer another year for its bad gamble on giving the ‘balance of power’ to Greens and independents, though state elections are doing what they can in the interim till next summer’s deletion of the offenders. Canada reduced its previously dominant center-left party to also-ran status.

    Europe has few electoral levers for the public to use any more, but the brass-knuckle battering the economy is taking from The Invisible Hand is forcing some walk-back of the stupider Green programs.

    UN conferences continue to assert the inevitability of enlightened global financial and political governance to save us all, but big players like China and the US and India are joining Canada et al. repudiating its ‘binding’ suicide treaties.

    Stern’s Law: “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”

  2. Gai

     /  03/08/2012

    I posted this over at Jo’s website too.

    The theory assumes that humidity and clouds amplify the warming directly due to CO2 by a factor of three: extra CO2 warms the ocean surface, causing more evaporation and extra humidity. Water vapor, or humidity, is the main greenhouse gas, so this causes even more surface warming.

    That is really easy to disprove and therefore should have shut down this whole hoax long ago.
    First The Relative Humidity has been DECREASING since 1948 not increasing GRAPH: %RH vs Height in mb

    The second part is where does the energy stored in the oceans actually come from?
    Take a close look at the absorption of sunlight spectrum Graph from notice the oceans absorb at the high end of the spectra that is the wavelengths for visible light and up into the Ultraviolet and not at all in the infrared.

    Here are two more graphs dealing with ocean energy absorption
    Solar Radiation intensity vs Ocean depths
    Absorption Coefficient vs Ocean Depth

    This Energy vs wavelength graph for Solar & Earth emissions and this graph of the CO2 absorption bands makes it pretty darn clear that the energy from the sun completely overwhelms the little bit of energy absorbed by CO2 and bounced back to the ocean that does manage to get absorbed.

    The real clincher is the IPCC AR4 intentionally keep out of the report the fact the energy from the sun was INCREASING!

    IPCC “Consensus” on Solar Influence was Only One Solar Physicist who Agreed with Her Own Paper

    …Objection to this was raised by the Norwegian government as shown in the AR4 second draft comments below (and essentially dismissed by the IPCC): “I would encourage the IPCC to [re-]consider having only one solar physicist on the lead author team of such an important chapter. In particular since the conclusion of this section about solar forcing hangs on one single paper in which J. Lean is a coauthor. I find that this paper, which certainly can be correct, is given too much weight”…

    Judith Lean, along with Claus Frohlich, are responsible for the scandalous rewriting of graphs of solar activity. Satellites showed that the TSI (measured in watts) between 1986 and 96 increased by about one third. Judith Lean and Claus Frohlich (authors of the single study noted above) “manipulated” the data. People who were in charge of the satellites and created the original graphs (the world’s best astrophysicists: Doug Hoyt, Richard C. Willson), protested in vain against such manipulation. Willson: “Fröhlich has made changes that are wrong … He did not have sufficient knowledge of (satellite) Nimbus7 … pmode composites are useful for those who argue that global warming may be primarily due to anthropogenic causes.” [cautionary note English->Czech->English translation of Willson]

    …Since the appropriate questions were not asked, the IPCC knows little about the sun. While the rest of the IPCC AR4 is rich in graphics, there is not a single graph of cosmic radiation, solar cycle lengths, or geomagnetism – which is very strange because they are important indicators of solar activity…

    On the same subject Luboš Motl comment is even more revealing. It seems the IPCCs pet “Solar Physicist” isn’t even a Solar Physicist!

    Judithgate: IPCC relied on one solar physicist

    (Her CV lists some lower-grade institutions and reveals she didn’t get an academic job at some point. And her education is in environmental and atmospheric sciences only – no solar physics etc.)

    The Whole Hoax does not stand up to even a bit of a look see at the real world data.

    • manicbeancounter

       /  04/08/2012

      Thanks for your long comment. The principle point to get across is that climatology is seriously “underdetermined”. That is, for any piece of data, there are numerous theories or explanations that might all be valid. Climatology needs a number of underdetermined hypotheses in sequence to be valid. The same goes for policy to mitigate the alleged effects.

  3. Reblogged this on BIGTIX.

  4. As for Gai’s linked graphs,

    >> “GRAPH: %RH vs Height in mb” <> “Graph from” <> “Solar Radiation intensity vs Ocean depths” <> “Absorption Coefficient vs Ocean Depth” <> “Energy vs wavelength graph for Solar & Earth emissions” <>> that is goal number one.

    Here’s a chance to both learn a little about what the science says about your claim and for Gai to point out examples of what he/she finds unfair or misleading about SkS treatment of the topic. Despite all the trash talk from denialists.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    “Is the CO2 effect saturated?”

  5. dear me, guess I better not play with those brackets… let me try that post again:

    As for Gai’s linked graphs,

    “GRAPH: %RH vs Height in mb”
    label on the graph says:
    “Global Relative Humidity 300-700 mb”

    No other information, or source, is offered.

    Stinks of cherry picking
    ~ ~ ~

    “Graph from”

    Again, a graph, no source or explanatory information is offered.
    ~ ~ ~

    “Solar Radiation intensity vs Ocean depths”
    Title: “Solar radiation intensity and wavelengths at ocean depths”

    So what does that graph tell us? That only a top thin portion of the ocean gets direct heating from the sun (or atmospheric back radiation). No big surprise there. Don’t you know other mechanisms distribute that near surface warming to deeper layers.

    And what’s that got to do with the impact of greenhouse gases adding extra “insulation” to our atmosphere which in turn causes our planet to retain more heat?
    ~ ~ ~

    “Absorption Coefficient vs Ocean Depth”

    Here again what can a graph with no sources or explanatory tell us, that we are supposed to trust Gai’s interpretation at face value?
    ~ ~ ~

    “Energy vs wavelength graph for Solar & Earth emissions”
    ditto –
    no citation, no attempt to explain, just a claim we are supposed to accept at face value.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    As for mbc’s emotional comments about and the Lewandowsky study – Ironically, the science-skeptics (WUWT, etc.) near hysterical reaction to Lewandowsky does more to prove his point, than to undermine his study.

    As for – as with any “warmist” who speaks out, they are ruthlessly attacked – which of course is the politician’s preferred tactic. Whereas scientist may disagree, argue, even call each other names when it get’s downright heated – yet in the end it is the learning they are after – the culling of solid information to build learning on — that is goal number one.

    Here’s a chance to both learn a little about what the science says about your claim and for Gai to point out examples of what he/she finds unfair or misleading about SkS treatment of the topic. Despite all the trash talk from denialists.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    “Is the CO2 effect saturated?”

  6. Sorry,
    another booboo, guess it was mbc who was trash talking

    • manicbeancounter

       /  16/07/2013

      Why is this trash? There are a whole lot of comments made here. All what I can see it that you start from the belief that you are right, and therefore I am wrong.

    • manicbeancounter

       /  12/09/2013

      Academic disciplines used to substantiate comments. Even compare and contrast the arguments.
      Climatology seems to have retrogressed, ignoring the fundamental principles that mature science, the medical profession and the judicial process in democracies employ. Instead self-appointed people, like “citizenschallenge” make dogmatic assertions, based on the opinions of groups, who base it on the opinions of others. Then they do not encourage people to evaluate the evidence for themselves, as they know that there is nothing of substance.
      If somebody denied the holocaust, or denied that HIV causes AIDS, or asserted NASA faked the Moon Landings, I would be able to quickly find the overwhelming evidence that they were wrong. In a similar way I find that is unable to look up in a dictionary to define “sceptic“.

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