2010-08-10 18:57:06Basic rebuttal for 6: "Are surface temperature records reliable.
John Russell

jr@johnrussell...
82.70.63.102
I've started work on this basic rebuttal and I hope to have finished a first stab at it within the day.
2010-08-10 23:56:39First attempt.
John Russell

jr@johnrussell...
82.70.63.102

Here's my first attempt at basic rebuttal 6. 

Surveys of weather stations in the USA have indicated that some of them are not sited as well as they could be. This calls into question the quality of their readings.

However, when processing their data, the organisations which collect the readings take into account any local heating or cooling effects, such as might be caused by a weather station being located near buildings or large areas of tarmac. This is done, for instance, by weighting (adjusting) readings after comparing them against those from more rural weather stations nearby. 

More importantly, for the purpose of establishing a temperature trend, the relative level of single readings is less important than whether the pattern of readings are increasing, decreasing or staying the same from year to year. Furthermore, since this question was first raised, research has established that any error that can be attributed to poor siting of weather stations is not enough to produce a significant variation in the overall warming trend being observed. 

It's also vital to realise that warnings of a warming trend -- and hence Climate Change -- are not based simply on ground level temperature records. Other completely independent temperature data compiled from weather balloons, satellite measurements, and from sea and ocean temperature records, also tell a remarkably similar warming story.  Confidence in climate science depends on the correlation of many sets of these data from many different sources in order to produce conclusive evidence of a global trend.  

I hope that's cracked it.

I must say working on these basic rebuttals is very intense work. I'm learning a huge amount.  

Best wishes,

JR   

2010-08-11 00:37:53
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
24.224.230.112
Hello John,
I was thinking here are two links for which you should include adding in which weren't in the original rebuttal number 6 (in fact I think number 6 should be revamped even in intermediate).

Note (show graph) how numerous reconstructions done by independent researchers find the same result
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Assessing-global-surface-temperature-reconstructions.html

and note (show graph) that the changes in humidity match very well with temperature changes as would be expected in warming.
http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/08/08/urban-wet-island/


Good job on the post though.

2010-08-11 09:07:59Nice, one suggestion
doug_bostrom

dbostrom@clearwire...
184.77.83.151

"whether the pattern of readings are increasing," --> "whether the pattern of all readings from all stations together is increasing,"

Point being to emphasize it's the aggregate being spoken of.

2010-08-15 16:35:05Some side issues
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
81.152.239.255

Hi John - a couple of things you could mention to flesh out the rebuttal, which already works very well in my opinion. The first is the reference network set up as a corrective to UHI - and whose readings confirm that the weighting is appropriate and produces reliable results. The other thing - and it always makes me chuckle - is the way Watt's Surfacestation data was used to demonstrate the older stations were under-reporting the temperature increases.

Personally, I would move the comparative argument - that satellites are not affected by UHI is how I like to put it, somewhat irreverently - to the top, because although what you say about trends, weighting and siting, the real point is, as you end with, that it is only one of a range of data sets in use, and the others show very similar trends. This is what JC calls the take-home point, and I think it's important for every rebuttal to have one, a bit like the one-liner rebuttals that others have been writing.

Also, in this instance, I would personally like to see a graph of the main temperature data sets, showing how much they agree - UHI or no.

2010-08-17 15:37:35Bump
doug_bostrom

dbostrom@clearwire...
184.77.83.151

This is languishing.

I say let it go out; there's no rule that says these can't be revised once released so unless there's an egregious error and/or omission, perfection may be the enemy of the good. 

2010-08-17 17:12:20Languishing
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
86.156.59.156
Doug - I know what you mean (having this problem myself, as you commented elsewhere). I'm just waiting for John to have a chance to respond either way before giving it the green thumb...
2010-08-17 21:24:33Apologies
John Russell

jr@johnrussell...
82.70.63.102
Sorry to have been a sluggard. I spent quite a bit of time over the weekend assisting George Monbiot with today's Guardian article on 'Vertical Farms'; and then went out gardening -- the world's not just about climate change you know! Anyway this new rebuttal is now revised and updated. Thanks for the comments!
2010-08-17 21:59:47Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
24.224.230.22
John I think including a graph of satellite temperature measurements from RSS for example would be good for showing that "independent" analysis shows the warming.
2010-08-17 22:45:38Satellite graph
John Russell

jr@johnrussell...
82.70.63.102
I agree it could be good -- but you'll need to point me at something. I hate to sound helpless but I ain't no scientist! People always assume from the way I write that I must be intelligent!  
2010-08-17 23:52:51Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
24.224.230.22
Hello John, see below


2010-08-17 23:54:49Image can be found at
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
24.224.230.22
You can find the image here
http://www.skepticalscience.com/pics/RSSTemperatures.JPG

data can be found here
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams-state-of-the-climate/2009-time-series/?ts=troposphere

Just click on the title of the series in each graph and the subsequent data comes up
2010-08-18 00:08:43graph
John Russell

jr@johnrussell...
82.70.63.102

Looking at it with a not very bright sceptic layman's hat on, that graph seems to show just that it's been cooling since 1998! I think I'd rather leave it out!

Is there a graph that combines satellite, ground and ocean temperature data to produce a 'smoothed' image of the trend? If not can someone produce one? Or are we combining apples and pears?   

Best wishes,

JR

2010-08-18 01:04:25Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
24.224.230.22
You're Combining Apples and Pears. Complete different measurement systems which don't exactly measure 100% the same thing. There are other independent ways of showing the surface record is reliable such as using the multiple reconstructions that John had shown in a post somewhere on the topic. That being said,  I don't think its a big deal to look at this graph for individuals because it still shows the overwhelming warming. Either way if there's any other graph you can think of... perhaps my one from the forum on sea ice, one like that but showing the three different temperature measurement groups (NOAA, GISS and HADLEY) or using a graph of relative humidity showing it is increasing (I can do that) and explain simply that humidity goes up as air warms up. So a good way to see if its actually warming is to look at the relative humidity...
2010-08-18 01:05:18Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
24.224.230.22
Correction, specific humidity
2010-08-19 02:08:54Alternative Graph
John Russell

jr@johnrussell...
82.70.63.102

Mean temperature anomalies

Three graphs, from three organisations, showing globally-averaged annual mean temperature anomalies (degrees C), for the period 1910-2007. Note how closely the shape of the lines match. 

Can I use this graph, Robert, or something similar (preferably a simplified version)? I've rewritten the title (and it's probably hoplessly un-scientific) but I'm sure you can see where I'm coming from. Help gratefully received.

Best wishes,

JR

2010-08-19 16:06:56Opinion on graphs
doug_bostrom

dbostrom@clearwire...
184.77.83.151
I don't think graphs are necessary for a basic rebuttal here. John's explanation is quite easy to read for somebody coming at this with an open mind. On this topic when we start pulling out graphs ipso facto it means we're dealing with people actively suspicious of what they're hearing. Why else would we have to refer to "independent" parties?
2010-08-19 21:40:06Comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
24.224.230.22
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Assessing-global-surface-temperature-reconstructions.html

See above link for many graphs that could fit your point maybe more nicely then the one above. I think its important to have a graph of independent observations myself personally just to rid any doubt from a person's mind.
2010-08-19 21:44:30To Graph or not to Graph; that is the question. Whether 'tis nobler...
John Russell

jr@johnrussell...
82.70.63.102

I'm happy to take Doug's point and not include a graph.

This is languishing while we procrastinate my friends! 

Do I see some green thumbs? 

Best wishes,

JR

2010-08-19 21:52:22comment
Robert Way

robert_way19@hotmail...
24.224.230.22
http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1980/to:2010/mean:12/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1980/to:2010/trend/plot/rss/from:1980/to:2010/mean:12/plot/rss/from:1980/to:2010/trend

Here's one that you ould easily edit to show satellites versus ground trend

If you prefer not to include a graph that's find too. Its a good link to have regardless.
2010-08-21 18:28:24Here's mine...
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
217.44.86.17
Let's hear it for the thumbs!!!
2010-08-25 18:13:52More Bumps
gpwayne
Graham Wayne
graham@gpwayne...
217.44.86.17
Bump...
2010-08-26 04:06:21
Anne-Marie Blackburn
Anne-Marie Blackburn
bioluminescence@hotmail.co...
212.139.81.253
Aye, definitely ready to go
2010-08-27 04:10:09Looks perfect to me!
Niamhaill

niamhwynne@yahoo.co...
109.255.157.58
Fly free little rebuttal!
2010-08-28 20:03:56Published
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.187.125.135

Works well without a graph although personally I love a good picture that tells a visual story. Imagine a skeptic jumps out at you from a dark alley, says "don't trust surface temperature record", you whip out the iPhone and bring up this argument. Nothing would convince more than a graph showing surface temperature records alongside satellite records - two completely independent datasets giving the same result.

Am happy to add this to the rebuttal after the event, even if the blog post is already done and dusted. Remember the rebuttals are a constant work in progress so it's quite okay to tweak them after publishing.

2010-08-29 16:46:32Satellite temperatures graph
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
58.105.164.221

What about this from Global Warming Art?

I can't figure out how to paste it into here.