Global Warming Skeptic Proves Global Warming is Real?!

Well, not really. A simple blog post is never going to be much proof of anything. *

However, this blog post has four graphs. Two of the graphs, the third and fourth, are really quite useless. However, despite the author’s assertion, the first two graphs are actually quite a good demonstration that global warming is real. Of course, a longer trend would actually be better. But, even with this 140 year graph, the trend is abundantly obvious. The author has merely misread his own data.

So, please check out the graphs on this blog page, even though, like this page, it’s just a blog page.

January 2008 – 4 sources say “globally cooler” in the past 12 months

The author’s first graph makes it very obvious that the downward deviation of 2007-2008 is less than the upward deviation of 1997-1998. Neither of these indicates a trend in and of itself. In fact, if one were really looking for a trend honestly, there would be a moving average curve on these graphs. That would smooth out the big bumps and valleys like 1998 and 2007.

So, moving to the second graph. Does anyone not see that the overall trend is still strongly up? In fact, the second graph is quite scary!! Not only does this particularly cold year still come out solidly above the zero mark, whatever the zero mark is supposed to represent, but the coldest year since about 1990 is still warmer than the warmest year before about 1925. Yikes!! To me, that says that even our coldest years now are warmer than our warmest years from about 1920 and earlier. What point was this graph supposed too be making again? I forgot.

Now onto the third and fourth graphs. Does anyone here think that 4 years indicates a trend in a global climate scheme? Even if you stretch it out and add a couple of months, 50 months is not going to show us any long term trends. We’re not looking for weather patterns. Clearly these two graphs are just noise. I mean, they’re real. But, what are we going to learn about global warming from just 50 months? (It’s a rhetorical question. Let’s hope we can all answer “not a damn thing!”

This is a La Niña year. They’re typically colder. Duh. BTW, the link is to an article in Reuters that cites some scientists who not only forecast the La Niña but also forecast that many non-scientists would mistake this as a sign that global warming is false. It isn’t.

So, two points to take away. One, don’t believe blogs. Neither I nor the guy on this other blog are climate scientists, clearly. Get your information from peer reviewed sources. That said, don’t just skim the data. Really examine it for yourself. Sometimes even the lay people among us can pick out a steaming mound of dung when we see it.

Update: I just checked. The guy is a former TV weatherman. Weather and climate are not the same. Ability to read the weather on TV does not qualify one as a climate scientist. Neither does selling home weather gadgets. I don’t want to disparage the man’s work. He was a weatherman for 25 years and probably does know more about weather than I do. The problem is that we’re discussing climatology. Meteorology is a much different science and is at most a very small subset of climatology. It is possible that it is not even really a related field. From the wikipedia page on climatology:

Phenomena of climatological interest include the atmospheric boundary layer, circulation patterns, heat transfer (radiative, convective and latent), interactions between the atmosphere and the oceans and land surface (particularly vegetation, land use and topography), and the chemical and physical composition of the atmosphere. Related disciplines include astrophysics, atmospheric physics, chemistry, ecology, geology, geophysics, glaciology, hydrology, oceanography, and volcanology.

Whew!! That’s a long list for proper understanding of climate science. I’m just guessing here, but the list to become a meteorologist probably consists of meteorology, which is not even in the above list.

* That does include this page. If you disagree with my statements, please feel free to check up on me. I strongly suggest using google scholar as an excellent way to search for real peer reviewed information. Even then, check the type of publication. I’ve been seeing that sometimes people publish global warming articles in medical journals to get peer review status for their articles. Real climate scientists publish in climatology and related publications.

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11 Responses to Global Warming Skeptic Proves Global Warming is Real?!

  1. Misanthropic Scott says:

    The author of the main blog page referenced here has asked that I include this chart as well. This seems to be a map of surface stations in the U.S. and their error. It’s mildly interesting. However, most of the data is now from satellite since they fixed the problems with satellite temperature measuring years ago. Further, we’re looking at global trends here, not U.S. trends. Lastly, global warming is also confirmed by plants blooming earlier and expanding their ranges away from the poles. We’ve also got birds and other animals expanding ranges away from the poles and migrating earlier. We’ve got severe reduction in the cryosphere (ice) worldwide, except in a few places where the warmer weather is increasing snowfall. So, we’ve got abundant confirmation even with some error in some of the ground based observatories.

    Lastly, what is the source of his information chart? I have no idea. But, he asked that I post it thinking it makes some point. You decide.

  2. wattsupwiththat says:

    the source is this project:

    http://www.surfacestations.org

  3. Misanthropic Scott says:

    wattsupwiththat,

    Odd. That entire organization and website is based on attempting to correct problems identified in just two research papers published by the same author, Roger Pielke. In a letter to the Royal Society he has flatly stated that he is funded by ExxonMobil. While I’m all for free speech, it certainly occurs to me that research funded by ExxonMobil can’t possibly be unbiased. So, I’m sorry if I fail to see the importance of any research funded by them.

    Here is a link to the site on which he made his statement about Exxon funding.

    http://tinyurl.com/2arkxc

    From the above link, Pielke essentially states that he is an employee of ExxonMobil. This is one damning reply of his:

    Bob-

    Thanks much for this further information. Let me be a bit more direct with my question. You write that in the document that you refer to the RS was

    “critical of both ExxonMobil and Greenpeace for releasing information into the public domain, via their websites, that was inconsistent with the scientific evidence, as summarised by the IPCC.”

    Here on our WWW site we have “released information” on disaster costs and scenarios of sea level rise that are clearly “inconsistent with the scientific evidence, as summarised by the IPCC.” (In my view the IPCC made glaring mistakes on these issues.)

    Do I have to worry that the RS is going to ask my funders to cease funding our work? If not, why not?

    Thanks!

    Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr. [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 5, 2006 12:48 AM

    Given that he has stated this in his own words, I feel that it severely discredits the man’s research. Perhaps if he were funded by a company that was not actively offering money to scientists that dispute global warming. Or perhaps if I had not previously researched so many papers and write ups by so many organizations who contradict global warming and found that the money always traces back to ExxonMobil I would not be so suspicious.

    But, it nearly always does.

  4. I’ve noticed that meteorologists tend to outright poo-poo global warming, whereas climatologists can’t really deny the evidence that’s in front of them. But I find it curious that meteorologists would be opposed to global warming theory, rather than just indifferent.

    Of course, the public tends to look at weather more than climate. For example, though this year is going to be one of the warmest on record, it is still predicted to be cooler than the last five years (El Nino or La Nina, I think, though I’m not sure). And we’ve had a lot of snow this year, whereas in past years we’ve gotten nothing of note. And sure enough, everywhere I go, I hear people saying, with relief in their voices and on their faces, that see, global warming isn’t real, because we’ve had four snows this year! (I want to hurl myself or them out the nearest window…)

  5. Misanthropic Scott says:

    Hi Becky,

    I’m not sure why meteorologists feel the need to chime in on global warming. It is clearly outside their area of expertise. It is only a tangentially related field at best. Heinlein said years ago, as accurately as I can remember, “Expertise in one field does not carry into another. But, experts often think it does. The narrower their field of expertise, the more likely they are to think so.”

    (El Nino or La Nina, I think, though I’m not sure).

    La Niña this year. El Niño tends to be hotter, as with 1998.

    I hear people saying, with relief in their voices and on their faces, that see, global warming isn’t real, because we’ve had four snows this year! (I want to hurl myself or them out the nearest window…)

    It comes from the human inability to see longer term trends. That’s why I like the charts on this skeptic’s page. His own chart, far from proving his own point, proves the point of global warming. We’ve shifted the temperature of the planet so far that annual fluctuations no longer even overlap. A cold year now is still warmer than a warm year less than a hundred years ago. That is really scary. The rate of increase is highly observable in human time frames, rather than geological ones.

    If I thought this would only affect humans, I’d say, well, we’re getting what we deserve. But, since this has a very strong possibility of causing an extinction on the order of magnitude of the prior record holder, the Permian/Triassic boundary 250 million years ago, we’re talking about taking a huge number of innocent species with us. And, we’re talking about rendering the planet barely habitable for the few species left, which won’t include us, for tens of millions of years! This is unconscionable.

  6. Mister Fusion says:

    Scott,

    Two comments.

    I totally agree with your point about not taking anything at face value. It seems forever at DU I have been fighting those who look at the headline and get their panties in a knot over some instance that is total bull.. These are the same ones that cry “sheeple”. I think the DU editors occasionally resort to this in order to get more reaction.

    On Sunday the temperature got up to the low 50s. By looking at the weather patterns I could easily see that this was transient and sure enough woke up Monday to 20F. It is still winter here in the Mid-West. We’re due for 4” overnight and a few more inches Thursday and Friday. Moral of my point is that while the climate says we will have “swings” between cold, dry, Arctic air masses and warm, moist, Gulf air masses, the the weather is predictable.

    *

    Very true about the difference between weather and climate. It’s like a three foot flame. (NOTE: 3′ flame = “You know what burns my butt? Flames about this high”) I am not so sure that a meteorologist can not also have some expertise with climate and climate change as well. As you quite rightly said though, meteorology will not make someone a climatologist.

    From the propagandist view though, choosing a meteorologist to promote their viewpoint has its advantages. From the uninformed publics view, he is an expert. Usually, he is physically attractive and presentable. Not to mention that he will often be publicly known and somewhat trusted. And the final advantage for the propagandists is meteorologists will come cheaper as they won’t be doing much original research.

  7. […] Plait, the Daily Kos, Misanthropic Principle, Climate Progress, and others have all posted responses to this latest bit of pure rhetoric, but I […]

  8. Misanthropic Scott says:

    Mister Fusion,

    Really good point about the use of TV weather personalities in promoting anti-global warming propaganda. I hadn’t thought of that.

    Ryan has a good post over on his ideonexus blog above. I recommend the read. He noted an interesting point about this guy’s definition of year, which appears to be 13 months.

    Funny, I was just on the verge of determining that all of the pingbacks I’d received were unrelated and a form of spam and was going to disallow them. This was the first good use of cross-linking with them I’ve seen. I guess I’ll keep the feature enabled and check the link carefully each time.

  9. Ralph says:

    I see nothing wrong with critiquing someone else’s data/conclusions, but claiming someone can’t contribute to science because they are black seems like discrimination.
    (for the obtuse readers, my statement is metaphoric)

  10. Misanthropic Scott says:

    Ralph,

    Would you provide a bit more background? To what statement are you referring?

    If my guess is correct, it’s about meteorologists versus climatologists. I would not claim that a meteorologist cannot contribute to science, only that they are not in the field of climatology. It’s a different field. If you show me some peer reviewed publications by meteorologists regarding climatology, rather than meteorology, perhaps I will change my tune a bit. For now, I stand by the statement that meteorology is not even a related field to climatology. This is an extremely important point when people cite meteorologists’ non-peer-reviewed opinions as if they are on par with peer reviewed climatology papers.

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