Sunday, May 8, 2011

Complexity, Understanding and Magic: Smoke and Mirrors by Climate Experts!

There a lot of complex things in life we deal with some way or another. The chart above is a simple look at the complexity of CO2 "enhanced" climate change. The squiggly lines are temperature data collected by microwave sounding units mounted on satellites in geosynchronous orbit the Earth. Two main groups, RSS and UAH produce the temperature products. Determining the temperatures of the different levels of the atmosphere with a radar receiver is complicated. The products match pretty closely with the surface instrument data as you may be able to see in this chart from Wikipedia.

As you can see, my chart does not exactly match the Wikipedia chart because I start and end at different points. My chart uses all the data, the wiki chart linear regression starts in roughly 1982 and ends about 2009, mine starts in 1979, the first full year of data and extends to 2100 (2097 actually so that 1998 is easy to spot on my chart). The zero for the wiki chart is at a different point than my chart also. My chart uses the unadjusted values of RSS surface data and their zero value. Since I am not using the direct surface data, I had no need to do any offsetting to match the two. So I made a new version to compare the two charts.

Other than the offset, the new dark red line matches the wiki green RSS line. I still have the natural log line in my chart to show roughly what should be happening because of enhanced CO2. The other regression lines in my chart are intended for me to see the acceleration in warming. Not that I am special or any thing, I just have my own way of looking at things. So let me make a new chart to try to show a little better the magic of enhanced greenhouse warming.

Now the original blue line shows the trend of all the RSS data. It is a little hard to see, but the warming trend with all the data is a little less than the section of data used in the Wikipedia chart.

UPDATE: We interrupt this boring post due to a rather odd magical manipulation of the data in the Wikipedia chart. The linear regressions end in 2005, but the lines on the chart indicate they end in 2009? This requires and new name for the post!

Wikipedia gets updated nearly as fast as things happen in the world. So why is the Wikipedia chart not updated to show the latest RSS data? Why does the Wikipedia linear regressions not use all the earlier data? The simplest answer is that the data range chosen shows the most warming without picking an obviously biased range. To get the maximum slope, we could start in 1982, throwing any nearly 10% of the range and end in 1998, but ending in 1998 throw away another 10 years or 33% roughly of the data range. Instead, they end the regression in 2005, throwing away nearly five years worth of data. Oddly, the regression in the chart appears to be from 1982 to 2009. According to the chart page though it ends in 2005. So does the range picked in the Wikipedia overly bias the chart? No, but it tends to be a little deceptive, magically pushing the boundary of ethics without crossing the line.

Why would they do this? "Note: In the above figure, there is still a significant discrepancy between the very earliest satellite measurements and the ground based measurements at that time. For this reason only the interval 1982-2005 was used in calculating each trend. Including the earliest years leads to a wider dispersion , with trends of 0.170°C/decade, 0.116°C/decade, and 0.192°C/decade for the surface, UAH, and RSS data respectively. The origin of this discrepancy is unclear. This figure was prepared by Robert A. Rohde from publicly available data and is incorporated into the Global Warming Art project. ", from the wikipedia Satellite Temperatures.png page.

So am I being a devilish skeptic bending the data to my will to prove my point? No, I just used all the data and broke the data range at the rough mid-point to see how recent natural variability may have changed the trajectory of enhance global warming. Trying to figure out how potential bad enhanced global warming is, is the biggest concern in climate science. What I did is a pretty damn simple way to look at the situation.

So why would I do what I did and the mainstream climate scientists not do what I did and not keep us up with the most current data? That is the question of the century! The simplest answer is that they are enslaved by their political beliefs. Natural scientific curiosity would inspire them to figure out why things are happening. The other choice is they are incompetent.

Wikipedia is neat in that it offers discussion of the content and ratings of the content quality. The wiki satellite article I got the chart from is rated C. Here is a comment on the articles usefulness, "Useful to a casual reader, but would not provide a complete picture for even a moderately detailed study." So if you are into C quality work, these authors are the guys to go to, The Climate Change Task Force. So what is the "Task" of the Climate Change Task Force? It appears to be to change climate. Your bullshit detector, never leave home without it!

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