Wednesday 26 February 2014

THE HOCKEY SCHTICK: I am ostridge practitioner of the CAGW religion

Maybe this is the right background music to the name calling orgy the climate ostriches are throwing this month.

My comment below was not published by the Hockey Schtick (THS), which has a post about the new manuscripts of the Connelly family, below which I wrote a comment to point the readers to my post about these manuscripts.

In my post I wrote that I did not think it was a good idea that the authors of the manuscripts are also the editors and the owners of the journal. I think that at the very least, this should be made very clear on their homepage. The Hockey Schtick does not see any problems with such a pal review and praised the reviews for being open. When I explained that the editor has to make an impartial decision on whether to publish or not, THS no longer replied.

And in my post, I summarized the long discussion at the blog And Then There's Physics about one of the manuscripts about the greenhouse effect. The discussion suggests that the Connolly's do not believe in the greenhouse effect, but cannot explain for what other reason the surface temperature is 33°C higher as it would be without greenhouse effect.

In this respect the Connolly's are much more moderate as THS, who thinks that greenhouse gasses cool the atmosphere. No typo (the webcite for history).

The argument of THS uses the dry adiabatic lapse rate, would thus only work for the greenhouse gas water vapor and not for the others. And it uses the current effective radiative height as natural constant, not determined by the concentration of greenhouse gases. The result is also physically impossible, for the radiative transfer of heat radiation (cooling of the Earth), an atmosphere without greenhouse gasses is the same as no atmosphere. Whereas the theory of THS claims that in the first case, the surface is 49°C warmer and would consequently radiate stronger toward space.

My comment

For full transparency, I thought it would be a good idea to post my forbidden comment here. I am curious whether my readers also feel that I misbehaved. Feel free to be honest. (You can also comment anonymously.)

Sunday 23 February 2014

Global Warming Solved in Open Peer Review Journal

Roger Pielke Sr. pointed our attention to a new game-changer article.

If you click on the link, you come to an unknown scientific journal and a manuscript open for peer review.

Everything looks very professional and it could have been the homepage of a real scientific journal. The article looks good, lay-outed perfectly with LaTex and it surely looks like a real scientific article. Maybe almost a bit too good. The article cites the main studies on the topic. Well made.

However, if you look a little further, there are some disappointments. If you look at the list of articles, you notice that the journal is very new. They have not published any articles yet and eight manuscripts are under review. All manuscripts have been uploaded in January 2014, and all are written by Ronan Connolly & Michael Connolly or by Michael Connolly & Ronan Connolly. Father Michael and son Ronan.

Open Peer Review Journal

The journal is called "Open Peer Review Journal", subtitle: "for rigorous open peer review". Being an unknown journal, I was curious who was behind this journal, but the homepage does not mention an editorial board. Fortunately, there is also a blog by the Connolly family called Global Warming Solved. At this blog they state that they themselves have started the journal.

The idea of peer review is to give a paper more credibility, that can only be achieved by sending the manuscripts to an independent journal. Getting published in your own journal will not lead to much credibility, I am afraid scientists will not see this as different from publishing your ideas here on your blog. This will thus not create much incentive to read the eight long articles. I would advice the authors: If your ideas are strong, you should have nothing to fear with going to a real scientific journal. There is also an open review journal: Climate of the Past. If I had a controversial paper, that is where I would go.

Thursday 6 February 2014

Workshop on novel approaches to homogenization, Boulder, July 2014

By Peter Thorne.

We have long recognized that the enabling framework aspects of the Initiative (databank, benchmarks, data serving) are but one aspect of the problem. What is needed in addition are new approaches to the data homogenization so that we can better understand the data and their uncertainties. This is not something the Initiative can mandate nor something that the 10 cents coin I found following exhaustive searching down the back of my sofa will get us very far in funding. So, we have been and continue to pursue novel means to increase the number of independent groups and individuals undertaking the analysis of the data.

As one such activity, the Initiative put forward a proposal for a SAMSI (Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute) summer program activity - which got selected. Over the past few months we have been working with colleagues from SAMSI and NCAR IMAGe (Institute for Mathematics Applied to Geosciences) who joined as substantive co-sponsors to arrange the meeting logistics. We are now in a position to announce the workshop.

So, without further ado ...

Applications are invited for participation in a workshop to be held in Boulder, Colorado July 8th-16th. The aim of the workshop is to develop new and novel techniques for the homogenisation of land surface air temperature data holdings. The workshop participants will have access to the almost 32,000 stations held in the first version databank release (which will be publicly available by then) and also to several of the benchmark datasets. The workshop will mainly be practically based - with few talks and lots of coding and discussions either in plenary or in smaller breakout groups. A final agenda will be forthcoming nearer the time.

Applications are welcome from all. The final meeting is space limited to 44 people. Participants from non-traditional backgrounds, early career scientists and members of under-represented groups are particularly encouraged to apply.

Further meeting details and application form are available at

(Reposted from the ISTI surface temperatures blog, please comment there.)

Tuesday 4 February 2014

WUWT and Co. not interested in my slanted opinion, part II

The Hockey Schtick broke a story about homogenization, which was picked up by Watts Up With That? They found an article, which they claimed showed that homogenization makes the influence of an enhanced Urban Heat Island stronger. I disagreed with their conclusions, the homogenization method in the paper was designed to study the UHI more accurately and removed other effects that masked it. However, for the global data sets other homogenization methods are used that reduce the influence of urbanization.

There was one thing about this interaction with WUWT and Co, that I found interesting. Interesting in the way Judith Curry uses the word, suggestive and non-committal.

I wrote a comment (see below) on five blogs that had covered the story, quite neutral comments not to violate any comment policy. They had a link to my blog article for more information. One would expect skeptical people, in the original meaning of the word, to be interested in an alternative opinion, especially so if it comes from someone that is reasonably well informed. However, only one of the five comments was published. [UPDATE: now two comments, see below.]

The post was published on the 1st of February, at the time of writing 3 days ago.

Five blogs

The Hockey Schtick: New paper finds adjusted temperature data in China has significantly exaggerated warming
Below the post at The Hockey Schtick are two comments, but mine did not appear.
[UPDATE: After a twitter exchange, I have resubmitted my comment and it has appeared. Problem solved.]

Watts Up With That?: Important study on temperature adjustments: ‘homogenization…can lead to a significant overestimate of rising trends of surface air temperature.’
Anthony Watts thought the homogenization article was very important. My comment has not appeared yet. Last time I tried a similar comment, at least the text "[sorry, but we aren't interested in your slanted opinion - mod]" appeared.
I am on the WUWT black list and normally it takes a few hours before my comments appear, at which time the discussion has typically progressed for fresh posts and most people do not seem to notice the comment any more. Three days would be a new record.

Tips on How to Study: Important study on temperature adjustments: 'homogenization…can …
Then I wrote a comment for Tips On How To Study. Looking in more detail now, it does not seem to be an ostrich blog, but rather someone who copies articles from other blogs, mostly not about How To Study.

The Drinking Water Advisor: Beijing adjusted surface temperature data found to have exaggerated warming trends
The fourth comments was at The Drinking Water Advisor, a blog about water, fluoridation and climate change. My comment did not yet show up here.

Errors in IPCC climate science: How many times does a truth have to be told ? – UHI warming has been cemented into global temperature series by adjusting for steps outward from cities

There is one blog where my comment was posted: Errors in IPCC climate science. Chapeau. One of the bloggers, Warwick S. Hughes, has written some scientific articles and comments on station data quality. He should have been able to see the mistake in the WUWT article.


The last few month I have trouble with getting comments published, also on science blogs, but I would estimate this to affect a few percent of my comments. Getting only one [two] comment[s] out of four or five published is less than expected. Being a scientist, I will naturally assume good faith, the reason may well be some sort of spam filter. I hope my critical readers can make up their own mind.

The comment

At WUWT and Tips, I wrote the comment below. On the other blogs shorter ones with a similar tone.

The authors wanted to accurately study the influence of the urban heat island effect and thus removed the cooling effect of two relocations using a special homogenization method. Without this method the importance of urbanization would have been underestimated.

This special homogenization method is not used for global climate data, where the aim is to remove the effect of urbanization as well. Thus this WUWT post is unfortunately inaccurate. For details, please have a look at my blog.

I would personally say, that that is quite neutral. Certainly compared to the way scientists are described in the comments of WUWT.

Further reading

WUWT comes right out and says "We Aren't Interested" in facts
HotWhoppers take on the previous time WUWT was not interested in my slanted opinion.

Saturday 1 February 2014

Effect of data homogenization on estimate of temperature trend: a case of Huairou station in Beijing Municipality

The climate ostriches are having some fun with an article (Zhang et al., 2013) published spring last year in Theoretical and Applied Climatology (TAAC). According to The Hockey Schtick, the article corroborates that "leading meteorological institutions in the USA and around the world have so systematically tampered with instrumental temperature data that it cannot be safely said that there has been any significant net “global warming” in the 20th century.

And Anthony Watts writes: "From the “we told you so” department comes this paper out of China that quantifies many of the very problems with the US and global surface temperature record we have been discussing for years: the adjustments add more warming than the global warming signal itself.

Not bad!Those are huge implications for a paper about the homogenization of one station, written by a first author that can only cite one previous study written by him in Chinese and in a journal with a rather modest impact factor. I will come back to these two statements at the end.