Jihad

It’s official. After five recent posts criticizing Michael Mann, a half dozen criticizing Skeptical Science, another half dozen criticizing the work of Stephan Lewandowsky, and several others criticizing various people, I’ve gone to war… with Steven Goddard.

Weird, right? I mean, I’ve written one post about him, and even then I said I didn’t want to have to write it. That, plus some comments at his blog hardly seems like the opening salvo to a war. Still, I’m told that’s all the precursor there was to today’s declaration:

Even the friendly user Foxgoose described this as a war:

I don’t get that, but whatevs. Let’s roll with it. Today’s combat began when I saw a message on Twitter which said Sun News had a story about NASA fudging historical temperature data. I was curious, clicked on a link and found Marc Morano had given an interview on television about the issue, using talking points from Steven Goddard.

I scrolled through the post discussing Morano’s interview and almost immediately spotted a problem. The fourth picture was introduced:

NOAA/CRU/NASA erased the post-1940 cooling, just like they said they were going to do in their private E-mails.

The primary quote offered for this said:

if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 degC, then this would be significant for the global mean

The problem I spotted almost immediately is the discussion was about an ocean blip, yet the image offered was this one:

goddard_no_ocean

Notice the figure is titled Global Temperature (meteorological stations). If we go the page Goddard’s image originated from, the description of the image says, it’s for an “analysis using only meteorological station.” We do not have meteorological stations scattered throughout the ocean.

Even if NASA adjusted ocean temperature data to fit some preconceived bias, that wouldn’t have any effect on an analysis which didn’t use ocean data. That means Marc Morano got on live television and pointed to a graph which couldn’t possibly show what he claimed it showed.

But it gets worse. They claim a warming blip of the 1940s was removed by NASA altering ocean temperatures. It’s true there was no blip in the analysis which doesn’t use ocean data, but it is in the analysis which includes ocean temperatures:

goddard_ocean

How does one explain that? I don’t know. I don’t know how Steven Goddard picked a graph which doesn’t use ocean data as showing ocean data was manipulated. I don’t know how Goddard missed the graph on the very same page which included ocean data and showed the blip he was focusing on. I also don’t know how Marc Morano failed to catch such an obvious problem.

What I do know is this is not some exception. Morano also used this image from another one of Goddard’s posts:

goddard_trick

That’s a damning image as long as you don’t look closely. If you do though, a problem becomes obvious. Goddard’s red line does not stop where one would expect the original line to stop. Goddard’s red line extends up to and on top of the y-axis. We’d expect the original line to stop before the y-axis. It does.

You can’t tell that from the image because Goddard aligned the two series at the end of the original line. The two lines meet at that point, but you could never tell one ended there. However, you can tell where the endpoint is in the original source. That source also gives us the answer as to what Goddard’s trick was. Part of the image Goddard cut off at the top was the title: “Observed temperature, (5-year running mean).”

If you were plotting a five year average for 1980, you’d need data for 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1982. Hansen only had data in his series up to 1980. That meant he couldn’t plot a five year running mean past 1978 (which uses data from 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1980). That’s why Hansen’s graph ends before the y-axis labeled as 1980. Steven Goddard, on the other hand, had data into the 21 century. That meant he could plot as much as he wanted, and he did:

goddard_trick2

His line shows points up to about 1981, meaning he used data from as late as 1983 (1979, 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1983). That means he’s claiming past temperatures were altered by comparing an 1880-1980 series to an 1880-1983 series.

If there was warming in the four years he added, it’d make the new series look warmer than the old one. Given his line goes up at the end, we know those years were warmer. That means we know his results were caused, at least in part, by him comparing current data after 1980 to old data before 1980.


Steven Goddard claimed an ocean warm blip was removed by citing a series that didn’t use ocean data. The series which did use ocean data showed the blip he claimed was removed. Steven Goddard claimed past temperatures were adjusted to make current warming seem bigger than it is. He made a graph which hid the endpoint of the old series while showing the new series well beyond that endpoint (reminiscent of this).

Despite those problems being relatively obvious, Marc Morano repeated them on live television. I pointed them out, and the responses I got all suggested I should just ignore the issue and focus on other things.

That is not okay. If being a skeptic means anything, ridiculous arguments like these should not be tolerated. They’re every bit as bad as the “tricks” global warming proponents use. If they’re the public face of skepticism, how are skeptics any better than alarmists?

On a related note, the responses I’ve gotten to my criticisms of Steven Goddard’s arguments have been practically indistinguishable from the ones I’ve gotten to my criticisms of Michael Mann. The same is true of when I criticized Christopher Monckton and Cook et al.

Either both “sides” have similar problems and dislike me for pointing them out, or I’m a terrible person who nobody likes.

Judging by my social life, I think I know which it is.


February 17th edit: In response to a user on Twitter, I’ve edited this post to add an image showing where Goddard’s trick is directly relevant.

The point I was unclear about previously is when Goddard aligned the lines at 1978, he made it look as though they met at that point and continued on together. They did not. Only one line continued on. That hid the fact most of the apparent disagreement in his figure was just a matter of what baselines he used.

Had he used a different alignment, such as the one in the image I added, the past disagreement would have been much smaller (note, he doesn’t show the past when he aligns the series at 1940). There also wouldn’t have been much disagreement in the ~1980 period if he stopped his line at the same point as Hansen stopped his. I’ll add an image showing this as soon as I work out the kinks in overlaying the images.

Image Update: These images are rushed and not the best quality, but they should show the point effective. The first image is my attempt at replicating Steven Goddard’s. They’re similar, but you’ll notice his is more exaggerated than mind. I have no explanation for that. I’ve checked both figure’s values against the data files themselves, and his are off.

Regardless, I adjusted the baseline of the current temperature record to show the visual impact of his choice of baseline (this image is not displayed) if you leave the extra data in. I then did the same but removed the extra data so both lines end at the same point. I think the figures speak for themselves:

test

test3

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38 comments

  1. Brandon,

    There is rank dishonesty within your post, in failing to mention the full contents of Wigley’s email:

    “If you look at the attached plot, you will see the land also shows the 1940’s blip (as I’m sure you know).”

    In my opinion, Goddard (or whoever) highlighted the next paragraph, in order to show that Wigley et al have intent to tamper – note “reduce”.

    Goddard and I made you aware of this in recent tweets. Yet you still proceeded to post this emotional blog.

    My tweet reference to ‘Land blip’ : https://twitter.com/JWSpry/status/435091626948427776
    Goddard : https://twitter.com/SteveSGoddard/status/435089925872967680

    Would you not agree the blog and it’s analysis are therefore highly selective? Or to coin an alarmists favourite, you’re indulging in classic “cherry picking”?

    Re Monaro – you wrote “That means Marc Morano got on live television and pointed to a graph which couldn’t possibly show what he claimed it showed.”
    >> when did Marc Morano claim the tampering was a result of ocean adjustments?

    I’m not sure what your problem with Goddard is. But it most definitely is not scientific and is a waste of energy and time, time better spent on your more valued “Mann Series”.

    Your whole premise for ‘making people (sceptics and alarmists) responsible’ is a noble one for transparency in the debate. But get it right first Brandon.

    Cheers,
    Jamie

    @JWSpry

  2. Jamie, accusing a host of dishonesty in the first sentence of your first comment is a bad way to introduce yourself to a blog. This is especially true when your case is without merit. You accuse me of dishonesty because I didn’t quote one part of an e-mail, yet the blog post by Steven Goddard says (and is copied by the other source nearly verbatim):

    NOAA/CRU/NASA/Muller have erased the post-1940 cooling, just like they said they were going to do in their private E-mails.

    The quote you accuse me of being dishonest for not showing does nothing to show the authors of the e-mail intended to alter the land records. More importantly, both Steven Goddard and the post discussing the Marc Morano interview explicitly state:

    They did exactly what Wigley was suggesting, removing more than 0.15 C from 1940′s global temperatures. This tampering is what made the hockey stick possible.

    Which is a direct reference to the quote I provided in this post.

    There is nothing in either remark which references any discussion of adjusting land temperatures. Both remarks refer to discussions of altering ocean temperature records. As such, the description I gave in my post is completely accurate while the other posts were wrong. Additionally, when Marc Morano blamed the lack of an ocean blip on adjustments he said were carried out in accordance to discussions we can see in e-mails, he was wrong.

    For someone who claims I am wasting time and energy on a non-scientific pursuit, it’s remarkable how little you actually have to offer. If one strips your comment of personal remarks, all that remains is a single, out of context quote that doesn’t show anything about any adjustments, intended or otherwise. I’d suggest you try to refrain from personal attacks if you wish to convince people you’re right.

    Of course, if you don’t wish to convince anyone of anything, feel free to stick with them.

  3. One thing that is really weird to me is where they got the idea that GISS or NCDC for that matter, did anything with the “ocean blip” or even that it had anything like the effect the are claiming it did.

    First of all, the only group that has actually done something with the “ocean blip” is HadCRUT. Second of all? It strengthens the mid twentieth century cooling, making in more continuous rather than sudden. Third, this is like one time an adjustment has made past data warmer. Not colder.

    The problem with Goddard is that he’s a real bloody shirt waver, and he cannot be made to understand when he’s wrong.

    I cringe at his stuff being propagated. Everything is all about deliberate fraud and deception, he never stops to ask why anything was done, it just must be for nefarious purposes.

    Embarrassing is what he is.

  4. Andrew,

    Serious charges against the post-1945 scientific establishment are provided with figures of precise experimental data to back up the charges in my autobiography.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Chapter_2.pdf

    The common thread is deception about the source of energy in cores of:

    1. Heavy atoms like Uranium
    2. Some planets like Jupiter
    3. Ordinary stars like the Sun
    4. Galaxies like the Milky Way

    To verify this for yourself, ask any member of the UN’s IPCC, the UK’s Royal Society, the US or any other National Academy of Sciences, or the Swedish or Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee to publicly address three figures of precise experimental data (Figures 1-3, pages 19-27, my autobiography).

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Chapter_2.pdf

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  5. Andrew, I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels that way. I had never paid attention to Steven Goddard before, and I had barely even seen his name. I regret that as it appears he’s having a notable influence on the skeptic position (or at least how that position is viewed).

    I don’t care much about the existence of nutjobs in general. They exist, and there’s basically nothing you can do about it. The problems arise when nutjobs are taken seriously. The idea people I might normally talk to think Steven Goddard does good work disturbs me (I’m looking at you Foxgoose).

    The worst part is how obvious his nonsense is. Not only are his mistakes obvious to anyone who checks his claims, his responses make it clear what kind of person he is. Despite responding to me dozens of times, not once has he attempted to rebut anything I’ve said. He’s just insulted me instead.

    If Goddard were a climate scientist, everyone at WUWT would enjoy villifying him. Instead, because they like what he says, they celebrate him. Ridiculous.

  6. Thank you, Brandon, for your tolerance.

    Belatedly I realized that the inhabitants of planet Earth will all stick together and share information honestly, or . . .

    We will die separately. – oliver

  7. Andrew said: “First of all, the only group that has actually done something with the “ocean blip” is HadCRUT”

    Did you read the email that was in reference? It was to Phil Jones the head of the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia. CRU is integral in producing the HadCRUT (thats where the CRU part comes from) along with the Met Office of the Hadley Center (http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/monitoring/climate/surface-temperature). So Wigley was discussing with Phil Jones to lower SSTs by 0.15 degrees which would have a corresponding reduction in land temps of 1.5 – 2 times that. This was exactly Goddard’s point – that they were working to reduce the 1940s – 1970s cooling by making the 1940s cooler than it really was. They knew they couldn’t adjust the 1940s land temps down if the SSTs did not go down too. This is why the Climategate emails are so important.

  8. Facts, reality, etc. are neither mine nor yours nor private property of anyone else.

    They are ours to share. To the extent that we do that, we will have a good life.

    To the extent that we view the world through the selfish view of Me and Mine, we destroy our own chance to live happy, joyous and free.

  9. The warma nostra will carry on until well into the next ice age, after we have all moved to the equator, and they are still up here claiming that the oncoming ice sheet is a sign of global warming.

  10. You are splitting hairs and willfully adopting pedantic tunnel vision that seems to amount to attention grubbing, merely. The clear evidence is that brazen scientific fraud lies at the very core of climate “science” as they clearly indicate general land/sea intent to manipulate data to fit theory, illegally and immorally. Fraud in seeking public grant money and pumping up green investments and monstrous hundred million dollar level grants to green boondoggle companies as well as purposefully misleading congress are grave crimes against humanity that push policy into emergency level worldwide energy rationing that murders millions. But you want to harp on about one out of context sentence in thousands of e-mails that demonstrate sickening corruption of peer review and data fudging that clearly appears in Orwellian fashion in real data plots? Whateva indeed.

    -=NikFromNYC=-, Ph.D. in carbon chemistry (Columbia/Harvard)

  11. Is [-=NikFromNYC=-, Ph.D. in carbon chemistry (Columbia/Harvard)] aware that Nobel Laureate William Fowler doubted our understanding of element synthesis in stars because the C-12/O-16 ratio is too high relative to the yields expected from He-4 fusion?

  12. This post is titled Jihad and talks about going to war with Goddard. I think NikfromNYC comment goes to that. He says you are splitting hairs regarding how SG demonstrates data manipulation/fraud by some climate scientists. Yet you say he didn’t address anything in this topic?

  13. Andrew said: “First of all, the only group that has actually done something with the “ocean blip” is HadCRUT. Second of all? It strengthens the mid twentieth century cooling, making in more continuous rather than sudden. Third, this is like one time an adjustment has made past data warmer. Not colder.”

    The letter to Phil Jones says – “if we could reduce the ocean blip, by, say 0.15 degC, then this would be significant for the global mean –”

    You said the adjustment made the past data warmer. The email clearly stated – reduce the ocean blip. The first sentence of the email talks about correcting SSTs to explain the 1940s warming blip. The adjustments they were discussing did not make the past data warmer as you state, they were designed to lower the temperatures, through “adjustments” (in the data records) of a warm period in the past.

  14. Glacierman, I said NikfromNYC did not address anything that’s been said in this topic. That is true. He may have addressed some ephemeral concept related to the topic, but that’s no more responsive than simply posting, “You’re a liar.”

    Incidentally, I think you need to work on your sense of humor. You say I talk “about going to war with Goddard,” but my post is clearly mocking the idea I’m doing that.

  15. Brandon,
    My sense of humor is fine. If I find you are good with satire, irony, and sarcasm, you and I will get along great. Also, your catch on the 4 years of data added to the one dendro series in MBH99 – awesome.

  16. HughMcdonough, that’s true. I pointed that out on Twitter, but I didn’t see a good way to fit that in here. To be honest, if I hadn’t seen Steyn link to Goddard’s work, I might not have written these last two posts. I was trying to focus on the Michael Mann topics so help people understand things in relation to Steyn’s case, but I couldn’t do that while ignoring Steyn promoting horrible work.

    That said, I don’t know how often Steyn has done this or how seriously he takes Steven Goddard. I only saw one link that I can remember.

  17. @Glacierman-“You said the adjustment made the past data warmer. The email clearly stated – reduce the ocean blip. The first sentence of the email talks about correcting SSTs to explain the 1940s warming blip. The adjustments they were discussing did not make the past data warmer as you state, they were designed to lower the temperatures, through “adjustments” (in the data records) of a warm period in the past.”

    Sorry, you are just wrong. Read the actual paper:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadsst3/part_2_figinline.pdf

    Look at the black versus the red data. They made the past warmer.

  18. David Appell, I don’t forbid insults here, but I do ask users to try to contribute while making their insults. The most obvious way is to discuss the actual issues at hand, but I’m also a big fan of contributing via humor.

    Being witty with one’s insults isn’t just good for the community. It’s also more effective.

  19. Brandon –
    For what it’s worth, I recall a WUWT post where Goddard made a simple mistake (can’t remember what) but just couldn’t seem to acknowledge it, despite several commenters pointing it out. I lost patience with him after that.

    I like his news clippings about past climate warnings. But his hobby-horse of “temperature adjustments — must be fraud!” without (as far as I can tell) examining the methodology, is just Luddite. It’s worth looking into, sure. But wild claims, which get amplified by the noisier parts of the spectrum, only serve to marginalize the more reasoned criticisms.

    By the way, I just checked his current post, which is about about “data tampering”. In his lead graph he aligns on a single data point; you can see that the y-axes (anomalies relative to 1951-80) don’t line up. How silly is that?

  20. HaroldW, that doesn’t surprise me. Since I wrote this post, I looked at some of the topics at WUWT about his work. It seemed the same there as at his blog. I didn’t read the comments sections though because I was already disturbed enough by what I’d seen. Him being favorably promoted at WUWT does a fair bit to justify the criticisms of WUWT.

    As for the post you discuss, it is bad (in an obvious way), but it’s not as bad as this recent post. In that one, he abused a trick I discussed in this post even worse. Goddard used the same old graph as here which shows five year averages. Since it only used data up to 1980, the rolling average ended in 1978. However, Goddard draws a line at that point and refers to it as the “1980 temperatures.”

    He then compares that to the modern record whose five year running average extends well past 1978. For this graph, he points to actual the 1980 data point. Of course, since that includes a couple more years of data than the old graph, it is significantly warmer. Had he actually compared the same points on the two graphs, the difference he found would have been smaller. He he also used the GISS temperature series which includes ocean data, his argument would have practically vanished.

    So his response to having been directly told of his deceptive tactics is to double down on them.

    (By the way, I’ve been unable to replicate a number of his figures. I think whatever method he uses for combining graphs is distorting his data.)

  21. There is nothing wrong with the graphs. I aligned the five year running means at the most recent common time period. This shows the total extent of the data tampering.

    Can you people please stop being so stupid?

  22. Steven Goddard, nobody in the world will be convinced by comments which are nothing but insults. If you want to continue relying entirely upon them, you can, but all that will happen is you’ll drive people away from you.

    If you want to be a skeptic, engage in actual conversations. If you want to be a hack, don’t.

  23. One of Steve Goddard’s missions is to highlight data “adjustments” that achieve the nefarious goals clearly expressed by IPCC climatologists behind closed doors (in climate-gate emails). Without exception, every adjustment cools the past, and most also warm the present. Are these “scientists” (NOT) carrying out a conspiracy to commit fraud? It certainly walks like a duck and quacks like a duck.

    I personally believe these climatologists all belong in jail. Brandon, if you disagree, the easiest and best way to refute Goddard is to clearly and succinctly explain how NASA adjusts temperature data, and provide your opinion regarding the scientific integrity/legitimacy of these adjustments. Be sure to include justification for the following adjustments:

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/cheating-down-under/
    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/more-cheating-down-under/
    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/a-consistent-pattern-of-data-tampering-across-the-planet/
    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/gavin-wins-the-2014-world-cup-of-data-tampering-in-brazil/http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/spectacular-january-data-tampering-by-our-friends-at-ncdc/

  24. “Without exception, every adjustment cools the past, and most also warm the present” . . .

    . . . Is a track record that needs to be addressed.

  25. Brandon –
    If there’s any truth to the stories of an afterlife in which one receives one’s just rewards, Steven Goddard and Dana Nuccitelli will spend eternity in a room together, looking at each other’s graphs.

    That said, I want to return to your 8:27 comment. I agree that Goddard compared the trailing 5-year mean of Hansen et al. (1981) to the centered 5-year mean of the current GISS chart. Goddard highlights the 1980 centered mean, at 0.25 K anomaly. However, the last year likely included in the Hansen1981 graph is 1978; the trailing 5-year mean (using current values) is 0.03 K. So that accounts for over half of the “revision”.

    You also commented, “[Had] he also used the GISS temperature series which includes ocean data, his argument would have practically vanished.” While this may be true, I think that Hansen would have been using the met-station-only data in 1981; I think the land-ocean temperature index came later. If that’s so, then the land-only version is the correct comparison to make.

    As to the relative merits of two graphs, both of which I find misleading, I will not comment. Eye of the beholder and all that.

    On a tangent, the graph which Goddard used in the post which you criticized comes from Hansen et al. (1981), which I had occasion to look at recently. The first words of its summary are, “The global temperature rose by 0.2°C between the middle 1960’s and 1980…” The graph which Goddard reproduced is the 5-year running mean of global temperatures. It’s apparent that — according to that graph — values were fairly similar from ~1960 to ~1980 except for a large dip in the mid-60s due to the Agung eruption. So the lead statement in the summary is a cherry-pick. A venerable tradition, it would seem.

  26. I would like to amend my comment of 12:41 pm above.
    Upon looking in greater detail at figure 3 of Hansen et al. 1981, I don’t think its “running 5-year means” are trailing means as I wrote above. Rather, they seem to be centered means, with the last point representing the mean of 1976-1980, plotted at an abscissa of 1978. Using the current met-station-only dataset, that is 0.14 K. Goddard’s comparison is to the 1980 centered mean of 0.25 K; thereby introducing a discrepancy of 0.11 K. This is not “more than half” of the revision which he claims (as I wrote before), but it’s still significant.

  27. HaroldW, it’s always handy when someone catches their own mistake. As for your remark:

    You also commented, “[Had] he also used the GISS temperature series which includes ocean data, his argument would have practically vanished.” While this may be true, I think that Hansen would have been using the met-station-only data in 1981; I think the land-ocean temperature index came later. If that’s so, then the land-only version is the correct comparison to make.

    I disagree with the notion one or the other is “the correct comparison to make.” The primary data set from GISS uses ocean data. That makes it the series of primary interest. This is especially true since the e-mails Goddard cites discuss wanting to change ocean data. There is no legitimate reason not to look at it.

    That said, I have no problem with comparing the land-only record to the 1981 temperature record. I might not even mind making only that comparison if it was made clear that’s what was being done. Imagine if Goddard had prefaced his graphs by saying, “This temperature series not discussed in the e-mails I quoted, which is made by excluding a large amount of data and isn’t considered to be the primary GISS result, has been tampered with.”

    That would have made his post far more accurate. It would also have made it seem far less significant. And it would have made people wonder, “What if he had used GISS’s primary temperature series?” – a question whose answer he doesn’t want them to know.

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