Tips and OT

A place for ideas, tips and off-topic comments – coz it seems the blog needs one

47 Responses to Tips and OT

  1. peter azlac says:

    Verity. Steve Mosher has a recent post where he analyses the BEST data and claims to show that the UHI effect either does not exist or is minimal. I pointed out to him that Hadley have used an adjustment of 1.5 C or more for UHI to the minimum temperatures in the CET data – which is supposed to be the “gold standard” representative of European if not World climate change – to which he did not respond. I also asked what would be the effect of his analysis if he only took the 30% of stations shown by BEST to have cooled and if he further applied Harmonic or EMD analysis to that data and the rest would it show why. Again no response.
    He dismissed my questions by saying I had misunderstood the BEST analysis as well as my comment about this being confirmed by Lubos Motl ( and Tony Brown ( and shown to be global in extent – Frank Lanser has shown differences in trends between coastal, interior and elevated stations.
    According to Mosher it is a matter of different start dates but if that is so it throws doubt on the whole BEST analysis as well as that of Hadcrut, GISS and NOAA as stations come and go! This is also shown by Motl who finds that the claimed warming trend in these series is due to selecting different start dates – 1850 or 1880, depending on the series:
    Since Harmonic or Empirical Mode Decomposition analyses do not find any significant underlying trend that can be linked to increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide but rather a series of short to long cycles that can be linked to ENSO (2-5yrs), solar, (11 & 22 yrs), lunar (18.6yrs), ocean oscilaltion – astronomic barycentric harmonics ( 150, 179, 500, 1500 yrs etc) I consider any analysis of temperature series that assumes some linear response and analyses it for UHI or any other effect on that basis to be flawed.
    I would be interested in your and/Tony’s response

    References to harmonic / EMD are:

    Click to access 1105.3118v1.pdf

    These analyses fit with the recent papers by PaulK at Lucia’s blog:

    [Reply – Peter thanks for commenting. I had come accross Mosh’s post the other day and read his follow up one this morning. I have been corresponding with Frank Lansner too. There is something in the start dates issue – I’d expect a lot of the ‘cooling stations’ to have start dates in the relatively warm 1930s or 40s, although I think Mosh’s use of ‘long’ stations may preclude that. The issue then is why, for some stations the recent years are not warmer. I need to get caught up with this whole thing again – if I can (time available being job-dependent). There is no ‘quick’ response or follow up to this as analysis and checking (and rechecking) requires time, but I’ll start by reading, or re-reading the links you’ve provided. Thanks, Verity]

  2. peter azalc says:

    Hi Verity

    Mosher has now done a follow up on cooling stations that does not show a start date issue. He is now claiming, at least for his example station, that it is station site change. But it occurs to me that, from his example of a rural rice growing site becoming urban, the cooling sites may differ in water values – moist soils, irrigation etc as well as changes in crops with differing respiration rates, all of which provide cooling via evaporation. Similarly for Frank Lanser’s coastal versus inland . I have been struck by the fact that whilst the IPCC AGW theory requires increased evaporation of water the Pan Evaporation sites linked to irrigation have shown no such trend during the latter half of the last century. The other feature I see from Mosher’s latest on cooling sites is that in the USA they are along the line of cold air coming from the N Pacific down to the S E. So I would expect a more rational evaluation of the surface temperature trends would arise by evaluation against climate zone or land areas linked to the PDO, NAO etc – we know that CET is linked to the NAO and European temperatures. If this is so then I read recently that the de Vries cycle affects different regions on differing timescales such that my suggestion to Mosher that he divide the BEST series into long term warming and cooling series and evaluate them by harmonic analysis could be revealing.

  3. peter azlac says:

    Hi Verity A follow up to my last comment: Mosher has now produced an interesting evaluation of UHI in which, at least to me, water plays a dominant role. I have responded to him pointing out the need in comparing rural versus urban stations to calculate UHI to allow for changes in crop type and yield that affect evapo transpiration rates – Pielke Sr comments on this. This could be an explanation as to why cooling and warming sites are so intermingled in the SE USA. Also Professor Salby (see YouTube video) in evaluating the annual variations in atmospheric carbon dioxide, as measured at Mona Loa, finds that they are linked to changes in land temperature anomalies and surface water content (measured by satellite) and are correlated with ENSO and other ocean oscillations.

    The importance of variation in surface water with respect to AGW “theory” can be seen from the Pan Evaporation data – I missed out the reference: – that does not support the claim that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide will give a large increase in temperature due to positive feedback from water vapour. Clive Best has provided support for this view in his comparison of the effects of water vapour at sites with low soil moisture and high:

    Like Pielke Sr, I do not consider global temperature anomalies as valid metric when considering energy balance as they take no account of the varying heat capacities of the surface. If they are to be used they should be on the basis of areas of homogenous heat capacity i.e. oceans – but even there Eschenbach has shown from Argo buoy data that due to ocean currents there are considerable variations and Tisdale has shown differing temperature trends by ocean basin that argues for zonal rather than global evaluations – it seems logical to me that since the World has differing climate zones (Mediterranean, Temperature etc) that reflect the climate that this should be so. The BEST data should allow this type of evaluation to take place though in spite of the large number of samples the weighting is still towards areas affected by UHI

  4. peter azlac says:

    Hi Verity. I had no sooner finished my comment to you and switched to another site when I came across this paper by Gunter that covers temperature trends at rural Arctic stations covering Russia, Norway, Canada and Alaska USA.
    The paper is interesting in that it does what I proposed in my earlier comment – to examine temperature changes by zone and apply harmonic analysis. In this case Gunter finds that the “best fit” is sinusoidal with an 80 year cycle and underlying linear trends that are positive in most cases but insignificant in five. I recall that the 80 year cycle is linked to the NAO whereas the PDO cycle is 60 years. I therefore expect that if harmonic analysis is applied these sub cycles will emerge and it will be found that the long term trend is also sinusoidal – possibly the 115 year cycle found by Scafetta in his recent paper or a combination with other longer cycles.. To do such analysis is beyond my meager computing skills but may perhaps interest you or Tony Brown.

  5. peter azlac says:

    Verity You will not find the talk by Professor Murray Salby at the Sydney Institute on YouTube as it is unlisted. You have to run it directly from this link:

    A synopsis of his talk is here:

    Planetary temperature controls CO2 levels — not humans

  6. peter azlac says:

    Hi Verity: No need for a response as I am just passing on some thoughts in the hope that you, Tony Brown or others will take them up. Mosher has already started to look more closely at UHI using the BEST data so there is hope yet.
    On that topic I have had another thought – Clive Best published a “paper” recently looking at water vapour feedback in which he compared two sites (Sahara and E Asia) at the same latitude but differing in water vapour values:
    The same approach could be used to get a better handle on UHI since heat capacity of the surface is a key factor – Mosher agrees and quotes Oke. So a comparison of rural versus urban is misleading unless it accounts for changes in rural land use that affect water vapour flux : deforestation, irrigation, change in crops with differing respiration rates etc as outlined by Pielke Sr. So one approach would be to pick urban and rural sites on the same latitude that differ in this respect and calculate the UHI effect. For example by picking 39 N we have eight US cities and areas that represent differing urban and rural micro-climates (Columbus Ohio, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Denver, Reno, Baltimore, Cincinnati and Kansas City; Beijing, Tianjiin and Wonsan China; Ankara Turkey; Valencia Spain and Cagliari Italy. These should be enough to allow for other factors such as wind, nearness to the coast or mountains etc and should have reliable data.. You published an article by Tony Brown containing a graphic of cooling sites that encompassed many of these cities so he must have the data to hand:

    • Verity Jones says:

      thanks for all the detailed comments above. I’ve now had a chance to look at all of the links. The PNAS paper you linked to in the first comment is very interesting, and I had completely missed the two posts at Lucia’s as I have so much less time these days to keep up with climate blogs.

      Going back to Tony’s “cooling stations”. He had a list of 116 stations across the world with various start dates that he’d found from looking at GISS graphs etc. Of these 59 were cooling right from the start date, whereas 93 began to cool from some determinate date after the start. The whole idea of cherrypicked stations was a little uncomfortable. Tony had wanted me to get data and check it against various other sources to verify that the cooling trend he was seeing was real, and to add a cooling rate to it. Tony had wanted to show them on a map on his site ( To be honest the cyclic trend that came out of the data was the most interesting aspect and I don’t think I’d have written it up as a post here without that.

      For me the message and questions from the data were (and still are):
      – was the 1930s-1940s period warmer or at least equivalent to today in some parts?
      – how ubiquitous was the post-1940s cooling period and was it climate or aerosols?

      Regarding UHI, I see the temperature record as potentially highly contaminated with it for all of the reasons you mention, but disentangling real (or perceived) UHI effects from real climate-induced warming is very challenging. I applaud Roy Spencer’s recent efforts and I’m amazed that people like him and Jim Googridge can get such results. I’m equally amazed that Mosh finds no UHI signal.

  7. Peter

    You said above;

    “If they are to be used they should be on the basis of areas of homogenous heat capacity i.e. oceans – but even there Eschenbach has shown from Argo buoy data that due to ocean currents there are considerable variations and Tisdale has shown differing temperature trends by ocean basin that argues for zonal rather than global evaluations – it seems logical to me that since the World has differing climate zones (Mediterranean, Temperature etc) that reflect the climate that this should be so. The BEST data should allow this type of evaluation to take place though in spite of the large number of samples the weighting is still towards areas affected by UHI”

    I think this notion of differing climate zones is an interesting one and in fact I made two references to it in my article ‘The long Slow thaw’ from which this extract is taken;

    “……Due to its longevity CET is probably the most scrutinized instrumental data set in the world, which makes it especially valuable as a useful resource. As much of this paper is concerned with instrumental records deriving from thermometers it should be noted that in Chapter 5 of his book ’Climate History and the Modern World’, Lamb makes many good points about the relatively limited accuracy of instrumental records. As observed in my own article on the same subject, at best we can believe in the general direction of travel of the local instrumental record-especially when backed by such things as crop records/ observations-but not in their accuracy to tenths of a degree (17)

    ‘Global’ records are much less reliable than local ones due to the manner in which they are assembled, and the reality of a meaningful single global temperature is the subject of much debate, as observed by French climatologist Marcel Leroux. ‘Yet, they know very well that there is not one “global” climate, but a large variety of climates, depending on latitude, geographic conditions, and atmospheric dynamics.’ (18)

    Brown and Jones commented on the many instances of local cooling trends, seemingly recording different- and cooling- climates to that observed in the global – and warming- record (19)

    The Berkeley earth surface temperature project ( BEST) also confirm that one third of the Globes weather stations show a cooling, not warming, signal again demonstrating that no single global climate prevails. (20)

    Consequently Leroux’s comments seem a reasonable premise, and the attempt to find a warming signal in every piece of data somewhat counter-productive.”

    Taken from;

    In this connection links 18 and 19 are especially interesting and yes, the Brown and Jones is Verity and myself.

  8. peter azlac says:

    Tonyb: Some thoughts on Zonal Climate on which I would appreciate your comments.

    It is clear that a major factor in “climate change” is the activities of the Polar and Sub -Tropical Jet Streams e.g. N American weather systems:

    Vukcivic has some interesting graphics linking CET to Arctic and Global temperature but also to sunspot number and geomagnetic flux. It is the latter that I find interesting since I long ago noticed that there was a link between geomagnetic activity and the Pacific hotspot. His graphic sclearly links this to geomagnetic activity:
    Link between CET,GISS and SSN,NAP, AMO and NAO:
    Links between polar vortexes, geomagnetic field and AMO, Arctic Temperature ).
    The solar wind interacts with the GMF in the stratosphere to form a double magnetic N Pole – one over Beaufort Canada and the other over Siberia: i.e.
    The flow of the plasma from the solar wind and solar flares affects the S Pacific warm pool as well as other warm areas that we see on global satellite images. In my opinion it is these spots that create the zonal climates:
    This links back to CET through relationships between Daily Ap, Bz and SSN
    They track the summer and winter CET values and solar cycle length and period.

    and the Arctic cell
    GMF & Arctic temperature
    These ideas are considered controversial in some quarters but to me they give a clear indication of how the climate works: solar energy into the oceans at the Equator with long term heat storage in the S Ocean. Distribution from the Equator is dependent on wind speed and direction for ocean currents and atmosphere and this is controlled by position, speed and direction of Sub-Tropical Jet Stream and interaction with Polar Jet Stream. The relative strengths govern the position and types of clouds hence albedo and SWR at the surface. Jet Streams are controlled by ozone level in the stratosphere and heating by variable solar cycle UV flux which in turn is determined by solar-planetary interactions and modulated by lunar influence. Geomagnetic flux is a derivative of the latter and directs energy flow in the stratosphere causing polar lows and highs, hence movement of Jet Streams.
    Recently we have a paper by Jan-Erik Solheima and colleagues that confirms these ideas but goes further to present claims that these factors also affect the North Atlantic Deep Water Cycle (Ocean Conveyor) giving a time lag of 30 to 130 years for the complete cycle via pacific, Indian oceans and back to the Arctic Ocean with a further lag in the Arctic gyre before the response is seen in the AMO/NAO and then CET. This heat distribution cycle could be another factor in zonal climates:
    There are other interesting facts that I will leave you to read yourself.
    Hathaway also has an interesting paper showing a between the long record of the Armagh Observatory and solar cycles denoted by Ap values:

    Click to access WilsonHathaway2006c.pdf

    The Armagh series is available at

  9. Peter

    I have regular contact with Vuk so I’ve put your comments to him and will get back to you in due course.


  10. peter azlac says:

    Verity Roy Spencers’ study of iSH records versus CRUtem3 is interesting in the contenxt of the study done by the Australain statistician Lowe on BOM records. He compared the Australian temperatures series produced by averageing Tmax and Tmin with ones using the three hourly
    He found that “almost all of the warming occurred between 6am and noon” and that it is linked with cloud cover and hence the hydrological cycle – see paper by Philip Bradley that discusses Lowes’ results:
    Thus, it seems to me that global temperature anomalies – whether surface or satellite – mix up heat capacity effects with energy flux that we need to measure to determine whether the Earth is retaining more energy and therefore may be heating up – energy can also be retained as PE in water and ice in glaciers. So, if we have areas within a grid that have differing soil types, rainfall, irrigation or crops with varying transpiration we do not have homologous heat capacities and the incoming SWR will have differing temperature effects and the inevitable heat transfer lag giving differing rates of loss at night or with seasonal cooling. In the days when I lived in your part of the World we had night storage heaters of firebrick that were heated by off peak electircity at night and released the heat slowly during the day – that is what the Earth does but modified by atmospheric transrers of heat from the tropics etc. This is why I would use the data from the Class A evapotranspiration units as they give a standard surface that responds solely to energy flux from the SWR together with the effect of wind on evaporation rates that is measured at the same time. Computer models exist for these effects in advising farmers on irrigation needs and hence crop responses that are a sensitive indicator of climate change – see the Tom Wigley response to man and his Hockey Stick:
    Priceless ClimateGate email 682: Tom Wigley tells Michael Mann that his son did a tree ring science fair project (using trees behind NCAR) that invalidated the centerpiece of Mann’s work

    • Verity Jones says:

      Very interesting. As I’m only winding down after a late flight home I’ll re-read this when I get the chance over the weekend and hit the links then. I have started to write-up some more UHI thoughts – I planned to finish and post it yesterday evening in the hotel, however I forgot to pack a socket adaptor for the laptop lead so I couldn’t recharge the battery until I got into the office this morning.

  11. Pingback: Examining Urban Heat Islands – Part 1. | Digging in the Clay

  12. peter azlac says:

    Verity. Following up on my earlier comments re climate zones and heat capacities, Clive Best has now divided the 5500 stations contributing to CRUTem4 into Arid and Wet zones using the Koppen-Geiger classification and finds a difference in the trends for the temperature anomalies that look to be as much as 0.25 oC in the warm cycles but very similar in the cool cycle of the 1940 to 1970 period. He shows that this supports a negative feedback from water vapour.
    This demonstrates, at least to me, that heat capacity is the dominant factor – explaining the reason why “global warming” is low in the SH compared to the NH in spite of it receiving more TSI is because of differences in ocean mass, hence heat capacity. On this basis, the warming detected in the NH is mainly due to the changes in heat capacity brought about by urbanization and changes in the landscape due to farming and other human activities – as shown by Pielke Sr. Yes the urban areas do have increased heat capacities due to all the concrete and tarmac but compared to wet soils gives it up more readily at night – explaining why “global warming” is largely a feature of changes in night time temperatures – and unlike soils and the crops growing on them where evapo-transpiration and evaporation have cooling effects. It would be interesting to further sub divide the Arid and Wet categories into all the climate zones and to see where the 30% of long term cooling stations fit. And to compare temperature trends in urban areas with differing heat capacities, say Berlin with its lakes, rivers and canals with a city of similar size but devoid of these features.

  13. peter azlac says:

    Verity. Serendipity is at work. This paper by Jin (reported in Hockeyschtick) is very relevant to my comments re water and heat capacity effects on UHI.

    Click to access Tskin-UHI-jclimate-finalaccepted.pdf

  14. peter azlac says:

    Veriy. Re my earlier comments on using Class A Pan Evaporation data to measure the Earths’ energy budget, the presentation by Professor Jan Veizer at EIKE Munich contains relevant data:

    Taken from:
    You may need to go to this video via the hockeyschtick link.
    In addition, there are some other papers in this area you may find of interest.
    An examination of the precipitation map for the USA 1895 to 2009 gives some explanation for the differing temperature anomalies in apparently similar rural areas of population:
    Also this reference gives a link between global temperature trends and rainfall:
    Though pre satellite the World coverage for rainfall records was as sparse as that for temperature with similar errors:
    Since increased carbon dioxide is linked to increased global biomass – around 6% so far (though this is not the only factor since water dominates but also plant breeding, nutrient supply, agro chemicals, planting date etc are the determining factors in yield) – then it must increase cooling through higher amounts of transpiration and ground cover:

    [Reply – thanks again Peter! If my ‘big oil money’ every comes through I’ll hire you as a research assistant since it feels as if you are doing that job for me anyway 😉 I am doing my best to keep up with and read all the links you are providing – honest. Verity]

  15. peter azlac says:

    Verity. Nice thought but I gave up being a research assistant in the 1960s when I earned my PhD. in agricultural sciences in your part of the World. Since then I have been active both in “hands on” research and research management in many areas of the World, including a spell in Africa where I was responsible for one of those meteorological stations that appears on the BEST map – I would like to assure Professor Jones and others at NCDC, GISS etc that we could read a thermometer and that no corrections are required.
    In the days when I did my training it was impressed upon us that any hypothesis required backing from empirical data and that those who did the experiments should not decide which statistical analysis to use or do that analysis – the concept of the double blind test. Now it is sad to see that science in the climate areas has descended to the point where the empirical data is “invented” to meet the demands of the hypothesis.
    I first came across this “post normal” science when funding projects into US Universities where on several occasions we were blatantly asked what results we wanted – all due to the pressure on assistant professors there to come up with their own funds or they were out. Under the “Iron Lady” the UK went to pot in the same way, though not in all areas of science, in pursuit of her philosophy that she adopted from Friedman that “greed is good” and that has led directly to the present parlous state of affairs the country is in. Fortunately I left her shores many years ago and can only shake my head in disbelief from afar, or at least from the Mediterranean.

  16. peter azlac says:

    Hi Verite -back again! Just a couple of references of interest from your “research assistant”.
    The first refers to a comment that reflects my views on temperature anomalies. Since they do not reflect the period for which a high or low temperature holds in what way do they reflect energy flux, especially since they take no account of heat capacity or evaporation rate etc? Just what do these temperature anomalies mean, if anything? Sure they give a general view of warming and cooling cycles that reflect changes in solar TSI but not to the precision claimed where Trenbarth goes looking for his “missing heat” in the deep oceans.
    The second refers to the concept of homogenization, especially the GISS use of a distance of 1200 km, when this reference shows warming and cooling stations within 5 km – similar to the study of Frank Lanser where he finds differences between coastal, inland and elevated stations. Such differences due to water vapour also explain (IMHO) much of the difference between cooling and warming stations in the SE USA and elsewhere:

    • Verity Jones says:

      “…including a spell in Africa where I was responsible for one of those meteorological stations that appears on the BEST map – I would like to assure Professor Jones and others at NCDC, GISS etc that we could read a thermometer and that no corrections are required.”
      That should be repeated over and over, anywhere there is an opportunity.

      Homogenisation – I have a lot to say on that too – I’ll get to it eventually – in another busy period currently with not much time for blogging.

  17. mwhite says:

    Met Office 3-month Outlook
    Period: April – June 2012 Issue date: 23.03.12

    Click to access A3-layout-precip-AMJ.pdf

    “The forecast for average UK rainfall slightly favours drier than average conditions for April May June as a whole, and also slightly favours April being the driest of the 3 months.”

    You just couldn’t make it up

    [Reply – thanks – good one! Verity]

  18. Bloke down the pub says:

    Hi Verity, I recently read an excellent book called Bad Science. It is an interesting take on the problems with science and with it’s reporting in the media. The author is a medical doctor and columnist, so most of the examples come from the field of medicine and pharmacology, with self proclaimed nutritionists and homeopathists coming in for particular attention. Pretty much all of the faults brought to light will be familiar to readers here and other blogs such as wuwt and the bishop. The influence of funding on research; the acceptance by the media of press releases as being equal to published papers; the shortcomings of the peer review system; the inability of some scientists to publish data and show their method fully; flakey statistics; and the failure to state what an hypothesis predicts and then show proof that that prediction has come true: these, along with many other flaws which we recognise from the realm of climate science are covered in a thorough and entertaining way. I would recommend anyone with an interest in the world of science to read this book, so it may come as a suprise when I say that the person in most need of reading it and accepting the tenets that it puts forward, is its author, Ben Goldacre. It was Goldacre, whose column is in the Guardian which might explain a lot, who was recently quoted along the lines of ‘he’d rather slam his cock in the door than engage with climate sceptics.’ This raises the question as to what level of cognitive dissonance an educated person such as Goldacre can stand before his head explodes. If he doesn’t realise that climate science breaks so many of the rules of good science that he supports then what’s he been doing all this time? He should wake up and smell the coffee.

  19. mwhite says:

    Maldives combating rising sea levels. Make your island higher

    What to use?

    “The Maldives are known as an unspoilt, paradise island destination for upmarket tourists but the BBC’s Simon Reeve has paid a visit to a part of the Maldives that tourists do not see – a huge island waste dump.”

    • Verity Jones says:

      I saw the whole programme last night. Quite shocking, but not at all surprising. The cost of shipping it off is higher and noone wants to pay unless it is forced on them.

  20. peter azlac says:

    Hi Verite

    As your “research assistant” I have come across a few interesting papers that you might like to peruse.
    The first is one of a series by Clive Best in which he is examining the role of water in global temperature anomalies on a zonal basis, as we have discussed previously.
    The second is by Fred Haynie in which he shows that the relationship between OLR, SST, precipitable water and precipitation rate is dominant and that atmospheric CO2 has little impact.

    Click to access CO2OLR.pdf

    The third is also by Fred Haynie in which he drives a stake through the “heart” of CAGW “theory” by showing that natural cycles not atmospheric carbon dioxide explain climate change:
    Future of Global Climate Change Fact and Fiction – Changes in atmospheric CO2 are linked to natural climate cycles not anthropogenic emissions.

    Click to access climate.pdf

    The last two papers are thanks to:
    David L. Hagen says:
    June 2, 2012 at 4:58 pm
    “For some detailed CO2 data and analysis with latitude and time see:
    Fred H. Haynie, Future of Global Climate Change
    And CO2 & OLR”:
    This was a comment on a recent article in WUWT on the Mona Loa CO2 measurements by Lance Wallace.

  21. peter azlac says:

    Verite – Location Location Location

    An idea of how true this is can be found in the recent paper by Vincent Gray in which he reanalysis an earlier study of Tom Karl on the distribution of warming/cooling by region in the period 1901 to 1998.
    “It is found that the data show large differences in the temperature change between 1901 and 1996 for different geographical and political regions. The extreme ranges (6.17°C between individual 5°x5° boxes, and 1.96°C between regions) are large enough to cast doubt on measurements, such as those from ice cores and tree rings, taken in only a few places, and also on values for mean temperature change from the data considered here, which omit several important regions.

    The paper details large differences in temperature anomalies between SH and NH and within these hemispheres by region or zone that do not support the IPCC claim that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is the driver.

    On this latter subject, Muller at BEST claims he is now a convert to AGW “theory” as a result of his curve fitting between increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature.

    It would be interesting to see how this works out for each of the regions studied by Gray but on a more mundane level an examination of the BEST curve by eye suggests that carbon dioxide increases lag temperature as per the ice core data and so confirm that the latter is the driver – in this case the increased ocean heat resulting from the highest solar output in over 700 years that lasted at least till the 1980’s and with an established c.a. 18 year lag in heat transfer from the southern ocean where it is most accumulated. Confirmation of this view comes from a recent paper by Tomes of the Cycles Research Institute who finds that in this same period rate of change of temperature precedes rate of change of atmospheric carbon dioxide, thus confirming the work of Salby that recent increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide are largely a result of increased ocean heat from solar activity.

    Muller is being lauded as an eminent scientist and he may well be in his own field but in climate science he has produced in BEST a data soup that hides the real changes taking place in the climate on a regional and zonal basis and so misses the opportunity to examine why this is so.

  22. tsuhtt1 says:

    Moved here from
    The US rivals Saudi Arabia in Fossil Fuel resources with enough Oil, Coal and Natural Gas estimated to last 600 years into the future. However, because of President Obama’s Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Theory (CAGW) aka [Climate Change] beliefs he has just declared war on the use of these valuable resources decreeing their costs should “skyrocket”. I wonder if he cares that his Climate Change Policies will hurt the poor the most? It seems the only people being enriched by President Obama’s Green Energy policies are the greedy rich. If these resources were freed up for use they would solve our unemployment problems, grow our economy, eliminate our debt and improve the lives of millions of poor people. So are there any viable alternatives to the proven and cheap power source Fossil Fuel provides? For example Green energy: wind turbines, bio fuel and solar? The dirty little secret is Green Energy is unreliable, more costly, does quite a bit of harm to Mother Earth and can provide only fraction of the energy fossil fuel does. President Obama’s belief in Man Made Climate Change is not based on empirical data. It is based on Models. Models that do not take into account the impact of the Sun, Ocean and Clouds on the Climate The real world data shows that the AGW models were wrong. As CO2 has risen the temperatures have not as the models predicted. Given these facts President Obama should reevaluate his belief in Climate Change and start taking advantage of the vast energy resources available to us. The use of these resources would improve the lives of millions of people. especially the poor. Is President Obama’s dream for American one of desolation and hopelessness not growth and prosperity? Do they mirror the dreams of Greenpeace that do not reflect the dreams of the American people for a better more prosperous life?

  23. John Bell says:

    Hello again, below is a little article I wrote a few years ago, maybe it could be a guest post at Digging in the Clay. I can tweak it a bit if you want, or maybe it does not suit your blog, it may be too political, perhaps there is another blog it would suit better, your call.
    Best regards,
    John Bell

    How Green Thy Expo?
    By John Bell

    Rochester, Michigan held an Earth Day Celebration Expo, on April 18 to 20. ( The web site notes, “150+ covered exhibits of earth-friendly, healthy products & services.” and that, “Since its inception in 1970, Earth Day has grown into the world’s largest annual secular event, observed in 150 countries by over one billion people.” That is all fine with me, at face value I am all for it, but I sense something gone awry. This is the Rochester, Michigan where a million electric lights are hung on Main Street in the winter.

    First, the claim that it is a secular event. One exhibitor, the Couple to Couple League, is a Catholic group. It is partly due to their church that the world is so over populated that we need to worry about trying to “Save the Earth” at all. We certainly need to save the Earth from organized religion.

    Some exhibitors use the words natural, earth-friendly, eco-friendly and herbal to describe their products or services. These words have no specific meaning and are vague marketing buzz words and cause warning lights to flash on the dashboard of my mind.

    What caught my attention was the “Wellness Tent”. Whenever I see the words “wellness activities”, “holistic” or “well-being” I smell a scam. Be wary of the words “complimentary” and “alternative medicine”. Quacks who offer “treatments” that give a “sense of well-being” are by definition giving a placebo. You feel better for a few hours, but it is all in your head. Penicillin works even if the patient is in a coma, but with placebo treatments, the person must be awake and aware of receiving the treatment. Trick or treatment?

    Three exhibitors, “Natural Awakenings”, “Healing Garden Journal” and “Mind Body Spirit Guide” publish free magazines chock full of nutty new age notions of every stripe; channeling, psychic readers, séances, magnet therapy, reflexology, reiki, energy balancing, ayurvedic, aromatherapy, naturopathic medicine, chi energy, spiritual healing, craniosacral therapy, chiropractic, quantum energy, therapeutic touch. All the popular quackery in one place. How does any of this rubbish connect to a “brighter, greener future” that the Expo touts?

    One exhibitor, “The Biomat Company” ( has the most ridiculous claims for their electric heating pad products. The pads are claimed to offer “quantum healing energetics, negative ions, far infrared” and claim a connection to a Nobel prize awarded to Neher and Sakmann in cellular chemistry. The word “quantum” is a sure sign of a scam. When the pads can warm up without being plugged in is when they may use the word quantum. The organizers of the Earth Day Expo help legitimize quackery when they allow this kind of exhibitor to prey on people.

    As a mechanical engineer, I know enough about energy, chemistry and technology to see past the hype. At least one electric car on display claimed “zero emissions”. That really insults my intelligence. To build a car makes emissions, and making electricity in the US means burning coal. I have nothing against making electricity, but here again the claims ring empty.

    The expo should carry the notice “FOR ENTERTAINMENT ONLY”. A stellar example of this is the $19,000 Hammacher Schlemmer pedal car built for seven people, a nice gee-whiz gadget, but of no practical use. The Expo is a study in Greenwashing and irrational exuberance. Most, if not all offerings are placebos, ways to look and feel green, but without substance.

    To be sure, people want a source for green products and services, where they can feel good about their purchases and think that they are making a difference. They want fast gratification without the work of digging past the claims. At the end of the day they get in their SUVs and return to their heated homes, air conditioning, electricity, plumbing, kids and dogs. I can’t blame them. As Americans, we are all oil addicts, no matter how “green” you think you are. One can do very little without giving up a comfy life style. It is virtually impossible to make anything or do anything in a meaningfully “green” manner; it will always use a resource and create carbon dioxide. You can not make an omelet without braking eggs. We can recycle some things, drive a smaller car, compost yard waste, but we don’t want to cause ourselves any pain. And it would take a whole lot of pain to make any difference.

    If you really want to be green, live like the Amish. No phone, no lights, no motor car, not a single luxury, like 1793, it’s as primitive as can

  24. mwhite says:

    “The energy company EDF is seeking more than £5m in damages from a group of more than 20 activists who occupied one of its power stations for a week last year,”

  25. peter azlac says:

    Hi Verity
    Now that it is accepted by the alarmists that global temperature has paused, if not decreased over the last five or so years, and that the global climate models have little merit, the reduction in alarmist “noise” should allow more intelligent voices to prevail. The following are of interest.
    This work, separating the oceans into basins, recognizing that climate change is zonal, and, using the more sensible dT/dt (ala Chiefio), finds support for the harmonic analysis of Scafetta linking SST to lunar-solar influences: Bob Tisdale has also found that different ocean basins have differing rates of heat flux.
    They say research means we have to go back 50 years to make sense of the current situation and that is so in this situation if one thinks of the work of Rhodes Fairbridge and others. It is due to the practical knowledge that research advances with funerals as the old scientists who have dominated the literature for the past 50 years retire and die off; though there are many exceptions like Freeman Dyson, Lindzen etc.
    Looking back still further we have the work of Hurst on water flow in the Nile and the recent work of Ruzmaikin and Joan Feynman (sister to Richard) – real scientists – who have linked it to solar activity.
    “The researchers found some clear links between the sun’s activity and climate variations. The Nile water levels and aurora records had two somewhat regularly occurring variations in common – one with a period of about 88 years and the second with a period of about 200 years.
    “Our results characterize not just a small region of the upper Nile, but a much more extended part of Africa,” said Ruzmaikin. “The Nile River provides drainage for approximately 10 percent of the African continent. Its two main sources – Lake Tana in Ethiopia and Lake Victoria in Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya – are in equatorial Africa. Since Africa’s climate is interrelated to climate variability in the Indian and Atlantic Oceans, these findings help us better understand climate change on a global basis.”
    Also linked to the work of Hurst is the recent use of Hurst ReScaling by Outcalt to show how the temperature series for Boulder Colorado have been fudged. It would be interesting if you or TonyB could apply this technique to the other temperature series.

  26. peter azlac says:

    Curvilinear Climate Sensitivity

    There is an important paper at ClimeteEtc and response at the Blackboard.
    Time-varying climate sensitivity from regional feedbacks
    Kyle Armour, Cecilia Bitz, Gerard Roe

    Click to access Armouretal_EffClimSens.pdf

    And the comment on this paper by PaulK at the Blackboard
    Armour et al make a key statement:
    “The paper sets a new hurdle for assessing the reliability of estimates of ECS from the GCMs. As a necessary (but still not sufficient) condition the relationships between net-flux and temperature and between temperature and time in each latitude band need to be consistent with observed data; ideally this should be true for land and sea separately. Matching just global average temperature is revealed to be a very weak test of model validity.”
    Whilst this is a good step forward, in my opinion it is a misstep – because it concentrates on latitude bands rather than climate zones. We already know from other work that temperature response depends among other factors on surface moisture – because of the cooling effect of evaporative convection – and this is best represented by climate zones, and sub-zones, as per the Köppen climate classification – see Wikipedia. This is why plants are the best indicators of climate change – we know for certain that the Medieval warm Period was warmer than the 20th century because of the undisputed fact that the Vikings cultivated grains in Greenland and that the zone in which they can be grown moves N-S by c.a. 170 km per 1C increase of decrease in temperature as interpreted through degree days.

    This means that homogenization, krieging etc based on uniform surface grids is just plan BS, as is the use of a global temperature anomalies (BEST soup) to calculate climate sensitivity. If it is to be done with any meaning, as per Armour et al, it requires the use of temperature anomalies calculated and integrated across the areas of the climate zones, including differences for the differing ocean basins. The graphic below shows why the current temperature series show some correlations with solar activity – because they are heavily weighted towards the three climate zones that are common across northern latitudes, but they underweight the zones of N Africa+Australia, northern S America + mid Africa etc.

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The analysis by PaulK suffers from the same problem of assuming that temperature and response times should be assigned by latitude rather than zone and this leads to his “polar amplification” result that supports a curvilinear response in climate sensitivity whereas a more appropriate analysis would find the same type of response “scattered” globally linked to desert areas, humid zones etc. This would then give much lower long term climate sensitivity than the 3.2 C suggested from this and previous evaluations by PaulK.

  27. peter azlac says:

    Climate Sensitivity

    To continue my comments on the papers at ClimateEtc and the Blackboard: the curvilinear climate sensitivity claimed by the Armour et al paper due to “polar amplification” will doubtless be taken by supporters of AGW “theory” as support for their claims that in the long term we are all “gonna fry” – unless we pay oodles of money for renewable energy and to support Green NGOs etc etc. This view is amplified in the analysis paper by Paul K, though to be fair he does state:
    “I would emphasize that the fact of there being a good explanation for the curvilinear relationship in outgoing flux exhibited by the GCMs does not per se mean that such a relationship must hold in the real world. And if the relationship in the real world is curvilinear, there is no reason to believe at present that any model has the correct degree of curvature.”
    What I find interesting is that the time scale he finds for this polar amplification is 195.07 years for the NH polar region – what precision! But is this a real possibility or if it is, is it the real explanation? I think not, the evidence points at solar activity acting via ocean and stratospheric cycles.
    This is seen in part in the next paper at ClimateEtc, by Ka-Kit Tung and Jiansong Zhou that links the long term Global temperature trends to the cycles of the AMO – though this has been shown to only be correlated with summer temperatures, with the NAO linked to winter temperatures. They also make a misstep by ruling out a solar influence even though the trends in the AMO have been directly linked to cycles in the solar wind.
    This highlights a fundamental flaw in the official climate debate of ignoring the impact of solar events in the stratosphere as major drivers of events at the surface, especially ocean cycles and heat flux. This has been addressed by several sceptic scientists and laypersons, most recently by Nils Axil Morner in a paper at the Tallbloke site: Solar Wind, Earth’s Rotation and Terrestrial Climate Change.

    Click to access morner-2013a.pdf

    This paper shows that TSI flux is not the major solar factor but changes in the solar wind, UV flux and wavelength, and the impacts of resulting changes in geomagnetism. These effects are manifest over solar cycles linked to planetary tidal effects: “…. solar dynamo models with periodicities in solar activity such as the 88 year (Gleissberg), 104 year, 150 year, 208 year (de Vries), 506 year, 1000 year (Eddy) and 2200 year (Halstatt) cycles.” The 197 year period noted by Paul K is close to the 200 year de Vries cycle.
    These changes in solar activity are manifest in the Arctic with links between the AMO and geomagnetic flux, such that we do not need any radiative input from CO2 to explain polar amplification.
    On the contrary, as explained by the Virial Theory and Limits to Forcing paper of Miskolzci, and confirmed by empirical data, any increase in opacity from CO2 is offset by a reduction in the level of water vapour, at least where it matters most in the tropics.
    The initial analysis from the BEST project claimed a strong link between the temperature series and NAO but then later switched to claiming the major link was to changes in atmospheric CO2 – this is to be expected as the level of atmospheric CO2 follows temperature with a lag of around 9 months. A recent paper, Changing Sun, Changing Climate by Bob Carter, Willie Soon & William Briggs also shows that solar activity explains the Arctic temperature change and what is interesting is that they do so using BEST data – using the less UHI biased daily maximum values that more closely accord with temperature changes in the troposphere:

  28. peter azlac says:

    To follow on from my last comment on Bob Carter, Willies Soon and William Briggs linking the BEST maximum daily Arctic temperatures with solar activity; it would be interesting to redo the BEST UHI analysis using only the daily minimum temperatures that most reflect this effect. This should remove most of the convective cooling effect at rural sites linked to soil moisture and daily maximum temperature. Has anyone attempted this?

  29. Pål Brekke says:

    Made a promotion video about our book and some of Fredriks images and time lapse movies. With music! Check it out and enjoy…

  30. Tonyb says:


    My wife and I returned from Iceland this very morning where we went to see the northern lights.
    This is a fascinating country that will reward those who can only spend a few days away from work. That’s a fascinating image posted above

  31. D Cotton says:

    [snip – Tips and Notes is not a platform for you to promote your writing. Verity]

  32. D Cotton says:

    The Uranus Dilemma

    Consideration of the planet Uranus very clearly indicates that radiative models (and any type of “Energy Budget” similar to those produced by the IPCC) can never be used to explain observed temperatures on Uranus. We can deduce that there must be some other physical process which transfers some of the energy absorbed in the upper levels of the Uranus atmosphere from the meagre 3W/m^2 of Solar radiation down into its depths, and that same mechanism must “work” on all planets with significant atmospheres..

    Uranus is an unusual planet in that there is no evidence of any internal heat generation. Yet, as we read in this Wikipedia article, the temperature at the base of its (theoretical) troposphere is about 320K – quite a hot day on Earth. But it gets hotter still as we go further down in an atmosphere that is nearly 20,000Km in depth. Somewhere down there it is thought that there is indeed a solid core with about half the mass of Earth. The surface of that mini Earth is literally thousands of degrees. And of course there’s no Solar radiation reaching anywhere near that depth.

    So how does the necessary energy get down there, or even as far as the 320K base of the troposphere? An explanation of this requires an understanding of the spontaneous process described in the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which is stated here as …

    “The second law of thermodynamics: An isolated system, if not already in its state of thermodynamic equilibrium, spontaneously evolves towards it. Thermodynamic equilibrium has the greatest entropy amongst the states accessible to the system”

    Think about it, and I’ll be happy to answer any questions – and explain what actually happens, not only on Uranus, Venus, Jupiter etc, but also on Earth.

  33. D Cotton says:

    [Moderator: If you wish to publish this as an article, you may do so by inserting this comment before the last paragraph of the previous comment.
    Douglas Cotton, Physicist and Climate Science researcher]


    The IPCC (in its Glossary of Terms under “Greenhouse Effect”) refers to a “radiative forcing” effect which is by no means adequately explained in terms of physics. The concept of all radiation coming from a certain altitude is pure fiction. In fact the peak radiation comes from where water vapour is most prolific, somewhere around an altitude of 3Km. Radiative flux is quantified with the Stefan-Boltzmann Law, and it is nothing like a nice linear function declining with altitude. Quite a bit comes from the surface straight to space anyway. The altitude at which equal amounts of outward radiation come from above and below (including the surface) can be shown to be about 3.0Km to 3.5Km. The whole plot rotates around this pivoting altitude such that it has a less steep gradient in moist regions, and thus intersects the surface at a lower temperature.

    Now, it is blatantly obvious that a planet’s atmosphere does indeed lead to the surface being hotter than it would have been if it only received the same amount of incident Solar radiation but had no atmosphere. Venus would receive only 10W/m^2 and would thus be far colder without an atmosphere. Uranus would receive nothing from the Sun, and would thus be colder than 3K. Even if it received all of the Solar radiation reaching its TOA (about 3W/m^2) it would be colder than 60K.

    So it is very clear that the concept of energy budgets supposedly balancing energy and, in effect, instantaneously determining surface temperatures is fictitious. The energy required to maintain these surface temperatures has built up over the life of the planet from just a small amount of the daily dose of Solar radiation, most of which, but not quite all, was radiated back to Space.

    It is not a day to day balancing act, and so all radiative forcing and all energy budgets, even for Earth, are totally irrelevant.

    The Sun is not heating the atmosphere and outer crust from zero K each day. Thermal energy has built up over many years and is trapped by the gravity effect which keeps more of it closer to the surface than to the top of the troposphere. It does so by the spontaneous evolving process described in the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Heat can and does flow up the very shallow thermal gradient which represents the thermodynamic equilibrium described in the Second Law of Thermodynamics. In doing so, flowing away from a new source of energy which is disturbing the thermodynamic equilibrium, it is merely acting with a propensity to restore the thermodynamic equilibrium, just as the Second Law says it will.

    That is how some of the incident Solar radiation absorbed by the atmosphere as night becomes day makes its way towards the surface, maintaining the thermal gradient determined by gravity (and reduced a little by inter-molecular radiation) so that the base of the troposphere is kept warm and thus “supports” surface temperatures. This is a non-radiative convection process which has nothing to do with radiative forcing. Radiative models are simply not relevant.

    [Reply – Doug, I have no interest in publishing this as an article. I suggest you create your own blog. It takes a long time and a lot of hard work to build up a relationship with readers and commenters who WANT to read and comment on a blog. You need to learn that art for yourself and I will not allow you to just pontificate here. I will not ban you, but from now I will only allow you to INTERACT with others on what THEY wish to discuss. I will SNIP – ruthlessly – any part of your comments that are pushing your agenda* or referring back to your disagreement with Roy Spencer or Principia etc. You need to learn manners and earn the goodwill of others. *On that basis I have marked you last two ‘comments’ as spam. Verity]

  34. Bloke down the pub says:

    The Chiefio has been off the scene for a while. Does anyone have any news of him?

    • Verity Jones says:

      Yes he has been uncharacteristically quiet. As I posted on T12 at his place, I hope it is for positive reasons. I think gallopingcamel
      has a mobile number for him.

    • Verity Jones says:

      I was in two minds whether to register as I’ve no leave to take in September and it is a bit far to travel otherwise. There is a possibility of being near Bristol anyway so I’m going for it. I can always relinquish one or other ticket later if I can’t go.

  35. ralfellis says:

    Re: Modulation of Ice Ages via Precession and Dust-Albedo Feedbacks

    A new paper proving that CO2 is a minor player in the drama that is the Earth’s climate.


    We present here a simple and novel proposal for the modulation and rhythm of ice ages and interglacials during the late Pleistocene. While the standard Milankovitch-precession theory fails to explain the long intervals between interglacials, these can be accounted for by a novel forcing and feedback system involving CO2, dust and albedo. During the glacial period, the high albedo of the northern ice sheets drives down global temperatures and CO2 concentrations, despite subsequent precessional forcing maxima. Over the following millennia CO2 is sequestered in the oceans and atmospheric concentrations eventually reach a critical minima of about 200 ppm, which causes a die-back of temperate and boreal forests and grasslands, especially at high altitude. The ensuing soil erosion generates dust storms, resulting in increased dust deposition and lower albedo on the northern ice sheets. As northern hemisphere insolation increases during the next Milankovitch cycle, the dust-laden ice-sheets absorb considerably more insolation and undergo rapid melting, which forces the climate into an interglacial period. The proposed mechanism is simple, robust, and comprehensive in its scope, and its key elements are well supported by empirical evidence.

    Ralph Ellis

  36. E.M.Smith says:

    Take a look at:

    You might find the link of wheat to lupus of interest, and the link to Irish genetics…

    DQ2.5 and the linked DR3 are associated with probably the greatest frequency of autoimmune occurrence relative to any other haplotypes. The haplotype is positively associated with coeliac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis, juvenile diabetes, Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS), Sjögren’s syndrome, and autoimmune hepatitis (although significant proportion of the risk is secondary to coeliac disease). DR3 and/or DQ2.5 are linked to the following diseases: Moreen’s ulceration,[5] “bout onset” multiple sclerosis,[6] Grave’s disease[7] and systemic lupus erythematosus.[8]
    The highest risk for coeliac disease is in Western Ireland and overlaps one of three global nodes of the DQ2.5 haplotype in Western Europe. The DQ2.5 haplotype is linked to DR3 and DR3 is not linked to DQ2.2.

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