A Few Things Ill Considered

A layman's take on the science of Global Warming featuring a guide on How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

send this to... Digg it! | Technorati | Del.icio.us | Reddit | Furl | Spurl

The Temperature Record Reliability Attack

(Part of the How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic guide)

This article has moved to ScienceBlogs

It has also been updated and this page is still here only to preserve the original comment thread. Please visit A Few Things Ill Considered there. You may also like to view Painting With Water, Coby Beck's original fine art photography.



  • At April 08, 2006 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At April 08, 2006 7:47 PM, Blogger coby said…


    Your comment was completly off topic for this article and a word for word duplication of a comment you made elsewhere so I deleted it.

  • At June 30, 2006 2:41 PM, Blogger Co2emissions said…


    I got thrown a new one the other day and thought you'd like to add the response I used with any additional info you need.

    What about the Divergence Problem?

    Q: The basis of the temperature reconstruction in the Hockey Stick graph is the varying thickness of tree growth rings, the thicker the ring the higher the temperature but the tree rings for recent years don't get thicker, they get thinner. Now the fact that tree rings get thinner when the temperature is too high and thinner when its too low, calls into question the basis of this graph which purports to show that the present temperature rise is unprecedented.

    A: The recent NRC Report addressed these concerns, and it turns out that divergence is yet more evidence that recent warming is exceptional compared to the warming in the middle ages.

    The evidence shows not only that divergence does not affect tree ring data below 55N, but that the divergence witnessed since 1950 has not been seen since at least 900 (i.e. it is not present in the record during the medieval warm period). A suggestion was made that the current increase in ring width in the high latitudes might be due to CO2 fertilisation as well as higher temperatures, but this is unsupported by research.

    Feel free to elaborate and add to your collection.

  • At July 01, 2006 4:39 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Thanks for that, but I don't have the energy to get involved in the HS debate at that level of detail! When this goes wiki, others can handle all of those arguments, as clearly they will not go away.

  • At July 14, 2006 5:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You seem to be leaving out the ocean temperature data, as additional evidence for global warming independent of the urban heating effect:


  • At July 14, 2006 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Global warming is also indicated by the ocean temperature record. This is another independent line of evidence. Perhaps you should add that to the list.

  • At July 15, 2006 1:56 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Thanks, have added the ocean temperature as well, though if anyone knows of an institutional page somewhere that keeps an up to date analysis it would be appreciated!

  • At August 27, 2006 11:35 AM, Blogger Environ-Mental said…

    please, take a look at the following link. There is still a lot to do in climate research and one thing is to understand the natural variability. As long as this is not covered, there will be skeptics and as long as there will be side-interests using science, there will be skeptics


    The latest research news (2006):

    the OCEANS are cooling! It looks like the solar-physicist are right? They are the only one predicting this.

  • At August 27, 2006 10:22 PM, Blogger coby said…

    Thanks for that link, a very interesting thread. All I can say is I'd be careful what conclusions I draw from it, it is a single paper, it is an obseration absent any proposed physical mechanism.

    I don't know what you mean about solar physicists having predicted this, the sun's output is best measured directly, not by discerning sea temperature changes. I don't believe there is any data showing a significant decline in solar irradiance. And certainly given such a short timescale, one must not forget the 11 year cycles.

  • At January 31, 2007 7:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    ^^^This is your link, boreholes, it disproves Greenhouse Gas inspired global warming. Thanks for the help.


    ^^^This link, total glacier volume, is entirely fabricated data. It is impossible to even estimate the total volume of glaciers.


    ^^^^ 1970-2007, not enough data, time span too short.


    ^^^^ 1994-2007, not enough dta, time span way too short to make any conclusion about anything.


    ^^^^yay, circular logic.

  • At November 16, 2007 3:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Please help me explain this data to a sceptic:

  • At November 16, 2007 8:56 AM, Blogger coby said…

    Hi Antonio,

    Those graphs show how temperatures are rising in the troposphere, the layer of earth's atmosphere that we live in, and falling in the stratosphere, the next layer up. This pattern of change is only consistent with enhanced GH effect warming. Solar driven warming would cause temperatures to rise throughout.

  • At November 18, 2007 6:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    " Solar driven warming would cause temperatures to rise throughout."

    BS. ANY kind of heating of the atmosphere would heat the top of the atmosphere less than the bottom, simply because there are more molecules in the atmosphere to heat up, the lower you go.

    The problem with this silly blog is that you use your imagination to make up 'refutes' to 'skeptics'. If you were actually looking for the truth, you wouldn't be trying to defend nonsense and rail against debunkers (debunk = remove the bunk from something that is FULL OF BUNK)

  • At November 18, 2007 7:10 PM, Blogger coby said…

    I said solar driven warming would cause temeratures to "rise throughout" I did not say "rise uniformly throughout". Less heating is still heating and the stratosphere is not heating so the warming can not be driven by increased insolation.

  • At December 12, 2007 5:56 PM, Blogger Will Nitschke said…

    This is a much better post that the last couple of I've read, but once again this article suffers from the same 'straw man' problem I've commented on before. It's not global warming that an intelligent sceptic (sceptic = critical scientist or lay-person) is questioning, but whether it's caused by human activity.

    There are numerous problems with land based measurements and in fact if only land based measurements are used, there is no unambiguous evidence of any warming in large regions of the world, such as the USA, South America, Africa, etc.

    For more information on this topic a good link is:


    As these records may not be as reliable as we would want them to be in consideration of the small degree of warming we are trying to measure, it is perhaps better to rely on other measures, which are more accurate, and do show a recent warming trend.

  • At February 22, 2008 3:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Its true that there are a number of indicators that indicate warming, but they mostly indicate way less warming than you'd expect from the surface measurements.

    Absent the surface measurements, while it may be true that there is evidence for warming, there is not evidence for an amount of warming that should worry you, or confirm human origin.

    For example, the satellite and radiosonde measurements indicate something like 1/3 as much, and in fact even this is only true after they have been corrected.

    Another problem is, that you are selecting data that show warming, but in fact there are other studies that don't. For example,

    Harrison, D.E., and M. Carson. 2007. Is the World Ocean Warming
    Upper-Ocean Temperature Trends: 1950-2000. Journal of Physical
    Oceanography, 37, 174-187.

    After a detailed study they conclude the data do not support claims either that the oceans have warmed or cooled in the period

    Also, the scientists themselves may be being fooled by the fact that they are looking for warming. It is well known in science that you should do double blind experiments, because otherwise you naturally wind up finding what you expect.
    Well, these experiments are not double blind. For example, the satellite data actually did not show even as much warming as it did now, until a correction was discovered and implemented.
    Now, the correction that was found seems likely correct, but there may well be other corrections that would make for less warming. They searched for some way to correct the data that would show warming, and they found one.

    The fact that you don't see the kind of embarassment about the ridiculous surface record that you should from the fact the 70% of the sites are so poorly chosen you'd expect at least 2 centigrade degrees of error
    (and the whole claimed effect is only a fraction of a degree), shows how corrupt and disinterested in truth the public discourse is.

    The bottom line is, while there are probably more reasons to see warming in the data than not, there is room for controversy-- the whole thing could be a giant placebo effect. And if there is warming, there is not a lot, once you remove the ridiculous surface record. Not enough to be concerned about.

  • At May 29, 2008 12:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Well it seems the warmers like Hanson appear to want to protect their secret algorithm that teases out the UHI effect in urban temperature data.

    To be able to see signs of global warming linked to CO2 you need two things (1) accurate CO2 data and (2) accurate temperature data. There is accurate CO2 data but only since 1958 at Mauna Loa, as for temperature, well there are thousands of high quality rural weather stations throughout the world and especially in the US and the northern hemisphere that have long histories and NO UHI bias. These stations are totally uncontaminated and provide temperature data from a totally natural environment like Mauna Loa supposedly does for CO2.

    What do warmers such as Hanson/Giss do, well, they compare data from a highly UHI contaminated urban city weather station with CLEAN data from a neighbouring RURAL station. They then Use some secret algorithm put all the data through a computer which then gives them the result in degrees C. The odd thing is that the result always shows a steep rising temperature trend when the neighbouring CLEAN RURAL data shows only a flat or a slightly rising trend.

    Would it not have been more logical and possibly more honest to have discarded the contaminated data from the Urban stations and used only the clean data from the Rural sites.

    It would be cheap and easy for a study such as the above to be undertaken in the US and as US data is viewed as the Gold standard, the study could be used world wide.

    The problem is, if this was achieved it would be difficult to massage the data as is the current practice.

  • At July 04, 2008 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    All these articles read like propaganda and spin. They say, Yes, you were correct, but from a certain angle and a certain way of thinking AGW is still happening. I still haven’t found the link that explains away the relationship between observed sun-spots and the emanated radiation which results interrelating with cosmic rays to affect cloud cover and so follows Earth’s service temp. The graph of the before mentioned much more closely correlate with observed temp change. I noticed the proposed “carbon tax” is carefully avoided, and the push for world government is not mentioned. This web-site is clearly one-sided and political. I see a lot of extra words that make the sentences convoluted. I do not sense straight talk. This web-site stinks of wrong-doing.


Post a Comment

<< Home