2011-06-22 15:15:33Is this graphic fair to Easterbrook?
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
71.137.108.93

So here's the deal.  Don Easterbrook put together this global cooling prediction:

easterbrook

But he doesn't explain what temperature data he's plotting, or what his methodology is for creating those temperature predictions.  In his graph, he's got average global temp at about 0.55°C in 2000, but that's higher than in any of the land-ocean data sets.  It's possible that he's plotting land-only data for some reason, but it's hard to say.

But since we only care about the predicted temperature changes, we adjusted Goddard's graph downwards about 0.15°C to match the GISTemp land-ocean 5-year running average in 2000:

easterbrook epic fail

I also plotted an adjusted Hansen Scenario B, because we're going to highlight the difference between a physics-based prediction, and Easterbrook's stupidity-based prediction.

So the question is, are we okay to just shift Easterbrook's plot downwards like that.  Does anyone see any problems with this graphic?

2011-06-22 15:49:08Representing Easterbrook's predictions
James Wight

jameswight@southernphone.com...
112.213.150.176

We should represent Easterbrook’s predictions as faithfully as possible, so we can’t be accused of fudging it. If that means his prediction starts 0.15 degrees above the actual temperature, then that only serves to emphasise how silly it is.

Do you know where his global temperature observations line comes from? It must be one of the surface datasets because it goes back to 1900. Is it a 5-year average or what? Is he using a different zero point to usual?

If I’m reading Easterbrook’s graph correctly then the line you’ve labeled “1800 or 1650” is actually “1880-1915”. The “1800 or 1650” line drops down to the bottom of the graph by 2020.

I’d cut the Hansen annual line as it’s just model noise – the 5-year average is more representative.

2011-06-22 17:22:09Hansen's prediction
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.9.229

It seems cheating to display Hansen's tweaked prediction - you should show the original prediction. The obvious criticism otherwise would be "yeah sure, you make the alarmist prediction look accurate... AFTER you fudge it". So it would seem a more bullet-proof approach would be to show the Hansen original prediction then point out while it was based on basic physics, it also overestimated climate sensitivity - now we have 3 decades of additional data clarifying sensitivity of 3C.

I superimposed Easterbrook's original over your plot:

Over early 20th century, track fairly close. Latter 20th century, they seem to diverge. Consequently, his predictions are offset compared to ours. The solid line is marked as global so dunno. Could it be HadCRUT?

2011-06-22 17:29:23Title for series?
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.9.229

BTW, Dana asked what we would call this series. Firstly, we'll only do this as a series if we can compile enough predictions. Secondly, it's important we neutralise the counter attack of "failed warmist predictions" so that needs to be considered in advance.

Anyway, what about this idea for the series:

Physics-free predictions

The core message, the take-home, is that climate denier predictions ignore the laws of physics. They revel in statistical jiggery pokery, what Tamino calls mathturbation, and thus try to distract people from the simple fact that heat is building up in our climate system.

So in our response, we need to remind people of this elephant in the room that deniers try to avoid - that our planet is in energy imbalance, more heat is coming in than going back out, driving global warming. Any internal variability, ocean cycles, etc, will merely be superimposed on the long-term trend driven by the physical reality of accumulating heat.

Note the use of concrete terms to counter the statistical abstractions of deniers. Will be posting on this tomorrow on the forum as our third "Made to Stick" technique. :-)

2011-06-22 17:32:03
Dikran Marsupial
Gavin Cawley
gcc@cmp.uea.ac...
139.222.14.107

I would say just shifting it up or down is fine, provided it is made clear it is an anomaly (where the offset is irrelevant).  As to whether it is fair, you could always email Easterbrook and ask him.  It seems to me that we should always be open in our criticism and willing to engage with the skeptics; if they choose not to respond or be "difficult", that would merely highlight their lack of confidence in their position.  It has been my experience that the skeptic scientists are generally rather more reasonable than their blogsphere followers.

2011-06-22 17:36:09
Dikran Marsupial
Gavin Cawley
gcc@cmp.uea.ac...
139.222.14.107

John, I think we should be open about failed warmist predictions, it is just part of science to make testable predictions and learn from the outcome.  Errors are fine as long as you learn from them.  I found a good quote from Francis Bacon the other day: "Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion", which seems pretty apt!  The failed warmist predictions are normally the result of ignoring the stated uncertainty of the prediction, one thing I have noticed about the skeptic predictions is that they very rarely have any indication of the uncertainty of the prediction.

2011-06-22 17:54:28Learning from predictions
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
121.222.9.229

Good point - that can be a theme throughout - what do we learn from the failed prediction. From Hansen's underestimation, we learn that he overestimated climate sensitivity. From Easterbrook's failed prediction, we learnt that you need to take into account physics when making predictions - handwavy natural cycles do not cut it.

Do you think it worthwhile trying to contact Easterbrook before posting?

2011-06-22 18:02:42
Dikran Marsupial
Gavin Cawley
gcc@cmp.uea.ac...
139.222.14.107

I do think it would be a good idea to contact Easterbrook, and to post any criticism he has of the article. You never know, he may even say "yes, I got that one wrong".  I have contacted several skeptic scientists regarding their work, and all of them have been reasonable and willing to discuss the issues (up to a point); we can be critical without being hostile, anybody used to having their stuff peer-reviewed ought to be fine with that.

2011-06-23 01:15:55
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

He's definitely not using HadCRUT3.  My best guess is that he's using land-only data, because none of the land-ocean anomalies are that high in 2000.  I'll try to find an email address for him to see if he'll tell us what he's using there.

Maybe I'll just take Hansen off of there.  I don't really think it's that helpful to include it - maybe more of a distraction.  We could do a seperate post on Hansen, but it wouldn't fit if we call the series "physics-free predictions", although I do like that title.  Maybe just "Evaluating climate predictions"?

James - I think you're right about the incorrect label on the bottom Easterbrook prediction.  I'll correct that.