Monthly Archives: November 2011

Further Documentation Of Inappropriate Behavoir By A Subset Of Members Of The CCSP 1.1 Committee And The NRC Review Committee

The released e-mails provide a glimpse into  inappropriate behavior by members of the CCSP 1.1 Committee and Phil Jones.  The CCSP 1.1 report Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences was published in 2006.  My view of that report was, and remains, that while there is useful and scientifically valuable information in it, it avoided discussing a number of substantive questions , including  the robustness of the multi-decadal land surface temperature data of NCDC (Tom Karl), CRU (Phil Jones) and GISS (Jim Hansen).

From my understanding on the committee, we were supposed to keep our discussions internal to the committee. Indeed Phil Jones writes in one of the e-mails ” I’m not supposed to talk to anyone of the report authors !” [the exclamation point was in the e-mail].

In terms of the individuals mentioned below:

1. Phil Jones, Judy Curry and Jim Hurrell  served as committee members of the NRC committee reviewing a draft of the CCSP 1.1 report

2. Tom Peterson, Tom Wigley, Tom Karl, Ben Santer and I were members of the CCSP 1.1 committee

My involvement in the CCSP 1.1 terminated with my resignation in August 2005 as documented on my weblog; e.g. see where I summarized the reasons:

1. There was an inappropriate narrowing of the focus of the CCSP charge to the committee in the report;

2. The circulation of an alternative version of Chapter 6, in which I was Convening Lead Author, in order to enforce this narrow view;

3. The premature reporting of selected versions from the report to the media and policymakers prior to its actual finalization and public release.

I provided a formal response with respect to my resignation in

Pielke   Sr., Roger A., 2005: Public Comment on CCSP Report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences“.  88 pp including appendices.

The e-mails that present the inappropriate behavior of a subset of CCSP 1.1 committee members and Phil Jones this include [highlight added]from [] where excerpts read [highlight added]

12:51:12 2005
from: Phil Jones <REDACTED>
subject: News travels fast as you might have guessed
to: John Christy <REDACTED>

REDACTED Heard back from several sources about the Chicago meeting. Similar sentiments from Jim Hurrell. Email from Tom Peterson below and Jim’s bit pasted in below. It seems that not all was solved – re his last sentence about Pielke !

From JH
Sitting in the CCSP meeting, but I wanted to let you know of what I believe is really remarkable progress. And I give much credit to Roy Spencer. He has admitted UAH Tlt has a negative bias, accepting the RSS argument the diurnal cycle correction is of the wrong sign

Date: Wed, 18 May 2005 14:07:44 -0400
From: “Thomas C Peterson” <REDACTED>
User-Agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 1.0.2 (Windows/REDACTED
X-Accept-Language: en-us, en
To: Phil Jones <REDACTED>
Subject: Latest MSU results
X-Spam-Score: 0.5
X-Spam-Level: /
Hi, Phil,
I just thought I’d send my CCSP trip report on to you too as it discusses the latest developments in MSU VTT matters that I’m sure you will be addressing in IPCC.


16:50:45 2005
from: Phil Jones <REDACTED>
subject: Re: This and that – and CCSP
to: Tom Wigley

Thanks for that. I was just about to get around to rewording that and sending it back. I had to read the first draft of the comments on the Executive Summary from one of the other panel members. Although there is a lot to do, I think you’ll like some of them. Many of the other chapter authors may not, though ! Maybe we’ll end up with some more dissenters ! A lot relate to Fu et al as you might have guessed. We have a conf call next Friday at 4pm my time, when hopefully we’ll get something towards closure on this. I’ve only had emails from two people on the panel and the secretary since I left Chicago. Unfortunately Mike Wallace doesn’t seem to have had time to look through Ch 5 (well very briefly). He was only on the conf call in Chicago for 30 minutes. He didn’t say much.

At 16:12 11/03/2005, you wrote:

Phil Jones wrote:

REDACTEDIn Asheville this week but now back. Had a brief work with Tom K. on the VTT work. So he got a summary like you. I’m not supposed to be talking to anyone of your group except through Tom K. I’ve just got comments on your exec summ from Dennis Hartmann. I’ll go through these this weekend. I think I’ve effectively signed off on Chapters 3 and 5. REDACTEDYou’ll likely have to rewrite the summary to pick up the bullet points from the other 6 chapters. Hopefully you’ll get comments before May 1. We have to finish by April 1 (there is a conf call on the 18th), which will hopefully be it for me. REDACTEDAt the moment the NRC person is having difficulty with my following comment –

There is an issue related to land-use/land-cover (LULC) changes that >could be addressed here or maybe elsewhere in other chapters. This is >that in the modeling discussion (in Chapters 5 and 6) LULC is considered >to be a forcing


that is in some models and not incorporated in others as >the forcing and its history is uncertain.

If it is a forcing


(and we >think it is

‘IS’ OR ‘IS NOT’ — AMBIGUOUS IF NOT CAREFULLY WORDDED), then we should not be worrying that it influences the
>surface or tropospheric temperature record.

If it is a forcing


then it >needs to be in the data


in the order that it might be found. You can’t >have it both ways – the data are affected by it, so they are somehow >wrong, yet it is omitted from many models.”


I do need to work on the English a little


, but it should be understandable. Tom K is also very fed up with Pielke !
PS Have you been getting postcards from Thomson publishing (?)


about essential science indicators. I have 3, for 3 papers saying they’ve been heavily cited. The 3 are fromREDACTEDand have been cited 57, 68 and 41 times !


3 articles in the top 1% of the field. Articles are the one with Anders Moberg in 2003, one in Science on the last millennium
in 2001 and the one on error estimates from 1997.

At 23:46 10/03/2005, you wrote:

THanx Phil. Some comments in caps ….
Phil Jones wrote:

REDACTEDOff tomorrow and not back in CRU till March 10. I’m not supposed to talk to anyone of the report authors ! There was a lot of odd things said after the presentations in Chicago last week. We’re charged with writing a report, which will be published but you get to rewrite the report and no-one sees the one we looked at ! What is the point of publishing it ! REDACTED Roger Pielke didn’t come out of it too well. Some thought he had some good ideas but didn’t express them very well.Most thought he just didn’t express them very well. All thought Ben’s was the best chapter. Almost all think RSS is right. Also why is Fu et al. dismissed as controversial?


Likely most work will be needed on Ch 6 and 1, then 2-4 and least for 5. The Exec Summary was deemed OK, but it isn’t a summary of the report,


so you’ll have to do some major reworking. REDACTED Remember I didn’t tell you all this. Lots of details to come – not sure when. Seems a long-winded process.



Thus, while there are science issues discussed in these e-mails, it was an inappropriate interaction between members of the CCSP 1.1 committee and the NRC review panel. These exchanges occurred only with a subset of the CCSP 1.1. committee members.

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Filed under Climategate e-mails

Conflict Of Interest Process with Respect To An NRC Review Panel Of A Draft Of The CCSP 1.1 Report

As those of you who have followed my weblog know, I concluded that Tom Karl, the Editor of the CCSP Report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences“, abused his position as Chair in preparing that report. I have documented this in

Pielke Sr., Roger A., 2005: Public Comment on CCSP Report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences“. 88 pp including appendices.

E-mail Documentation Of The Successful Attempt By Thomas Karl Director Of the U.S. National Climate Data Center To Suppress Biases and Uncertainties In the Assessment Of Surface Temperature Trends

The release of the new set of e-mails [Climategate #2] has provided another glimpse into the inappropriate handling of this CCSP report by Tom Karl.

The relevant e-mails  [from Climategate 2 FOIA 2011 Searchable Database] include where Phil Jones is asked to participate in a review by the National Research Council [part of the US Academy of Sciences] of a draft of the CCSP report and is asked about his conflict of interest. There is, of course, nothing wrong with participating even with a conflict of interest, however, it needs to be honestly reported. Phil Jones did not do that, and Tom Karl and Tom Peterson of NCDC, among others on the Committee, knew that Phil has closely worked with them and with  NCDC.

Examples of their interactions prior to the CCSP report include

1. IPCC Second Assessment Report: Climate Change 1995 (SAR)  where Tom Karl one of Lead Authors Phil Jones a  Contributor.

2. David R. Easterling, Briony Horton, Philip D. Jones, Thomas C. Peterson, Thomas R. Karl, David E. Parker, M. James Salinger, Vyacheslav Razuvayev, Neil Plummer, Paul Jamason and Christopher K. Folland, 1997: Maximum and Minimum Temperature Trends for the Globe Science. 18 July 1997: Vol. 277 no. 5324 pp. 364-367 DOI: 10.1126/science.277.5324.364

3.Thomas C. Peterson, David R. Easterling, Thomas R. Karl, Pavel Groisman, Neville Nicholls, Neil Plummer, Simon Torok, Ingeborg Auer, Reinhard Boehm, Donald Gullett, Lucie Vincent, Raino Heino, Heikki Tuomenvirta, Olivier Mestre, Tamás Szentimrey, James Salinger, Eirik J. Førland, Inger Hanssen-Bauer, Hans Alexandersson, Philip Jones and David Parker: Homogeneity adjustments of in situ atmospheric climate data: a review (pages 1493–1517) Article first published online: 18 DEC 1998 | DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0088(19981115)18:133.0.CO;2-T

Parikhit Sinha replies [highlight added]

At 15:06 11/02/2005, you wrote

Thanks Phil.

The conflict of interest question relates to the following: whether you have any funding from or appointments with the study sponsor (NOAA) that would be adversely or positively affected by conclusions from the NRC review.

I’m guessing your answer is no, but let me know about this. I’ll also let you know what transpires during the conference call. See you in Chicago. Thanks.


from: Phil Jones <REDACTED>
subject: RE: NRC Temp Trends — CCSP executive summary
to: “Sinha, Parikhit”

The answer is No. As you might guess, I get no money from NOAA. I am on one of their panels (CCDD run by Tom Karl) that meets every year, but we just discuss research directions.

This answer about his conflict of interest indicates a limited interaction with NCDC. This is clearly false as they have even published together which was not disclosed to Parikhit Sinha in Phil Jones’s e-mail.

The e-mail continues

At 18:43 08/02/2005, you wrote:

Dear all,

Please find attached the executive summary, preface, and glossary for the CCSP report on Temperature Trends that you will be reviewing. We recently received these items from the sponsor. Please include them in your briefing book. We would like all of you to bring written comments on the executive summary to the upcoming meeting in Chicago. We will send you the last remaining report item, Appendix A, once we receive it from the sponsor.
<> <> <>
Parikhit Sinha, Ph.D.
Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate
National Academies/National Research Council
REDACTEDFifth Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
web: [2]

From: Phil Jones [[1]REDACTEDREDACTED]
Sent: Friday, FebruaryREDACTED:46 AM
To: Sinha, Parikhit
Subject: Re: NRC Temp Trends — CCSP executive summary
Dear Ricky,
REDACTEDThe parcel has arrived and I also have the Executive Summary, so I’m all set for my trip tomorrow and have lots to read. REDACTEDSend me a summary of any relevant points from your conference call on Feb 15. I don’t think I have any conflicts. I know ben Santer and Tom Wigley very well and most of the other authors as well. Peter Thorne was my PhD student – completed about 3 years ago. REDACTEDSee you on Feb 22 or 23. I will check my email on Feb 20/21 and maybe in India.

Phil writes ” I don’t think I have any conflicts“, yet identifies close connections with at least three of the panel members and has published with them.

In this response, the NRC should have recognized that Phil did have a conflict. Phil was properly disclosing these specific conflicts.

Even more importantly, however, since the focus of the CCSP report was to reconcile surface and tropospheric temperatures, the NRC committee was supposed to examine the robustness of the surface temperature  trends, of which Phil Jones’s group provides one of the global analyses [CRU].  Tom Karl, Director of NCDC is chair of the CCSP committee while Tom Peterson of NCDC was on the Committee. Tom Karl and Tom Peterson lead the NCDC global surface temperature assessment and have worked closely with Phil Jones for years, as illustrated by the joint publications.  In addition, Peter Thorne was one of Phil Jones’s Ph.d. students and is also on the Committee.

In addition, as  I documented in

E-mail Documentation Of The Successful Attempt By Thomas Karl Director Of the U.S. National Climate Data Center To Suppress Biases and Uncertainties In the Assessment Of Surface Temperature Trends

Peter Thorne is the person is who rewrote (supposedly in just a few hours) the chapter that I was lead on. As documented in those e-mails, and in my Public Comment,  Tom Karl was strong arming me to replace the chapter that we had almost completed with Peter Thorne’s version.  Peter claims that he did this independently of  Tom Karl and other members of the CCSP committee. but in light of the cozy relations between Tom Karl, Tom Peterson and Phil Jones, and that Peter was Phil’s student, this claim of independence is suspicious.  In 2010, Peter Thorne was hired by Tom Karl at NCDC.

Returning to the issue of the conflict with respect to the NRC review of the draft CCSP report, the resulting inappropriate manipulation of the NRC report is clearly shown in the e-mail below (Dick Lindzen was also on the NRC panel)

This e-mail is from

10:30:20 2005
from: Phil Jones <REDACTED>
subject: HC
to: Ben Santer <REDACTED>


REDACTEDTom was here yesterday. He said you were going to the CCSP meeting for a day in Chicago, then flying on to the UK for the HC meeting May 18-19 (and 17th evening). Do you still want to come on up to Norwich afterwards?
Glad to hear from Tom you’ve been writing up your CCSP chapter and extending it significantly. He gave me a brief summary. I signed off yesterday on the CCSP report. You should be getting it through Tom Karl later today, or by Monday. As I did Ch 5, if you want to check anything with me feel free to. I wasn’t able to stop some comments being put in by Lindzen, but Tom has a paper as does Myles which are enough to ignore his and the Douglass papers.

Prof. Phil Jones
Climatic Research Unit TelephoneREDACTED3 592090
School of Environmental Sciences FaxREDACTED3 507784
University of East Anglia

Ben Santer was also on the CCSP committee and clearly briefed Phil Jones on the report. This was clearly inappropriate behavior. Tom here is presumably Tom Wigley, who was also on the CCSP committee.

Thus, these e-mails further document that Phil Jones provided an incomplete statement on his conflict of interest with the CCSP report. Tom Karl, Tom Peterson,  Tom Wigley, Peter Thorne and Ben Santer clearly knew about this conflict. For whatever reason, they sacrificed an opportunity for an independent assessment of the CCSP report.  The NRC did not properly vet the individuals on the NRC committee.

The released e-mails show a behavior that appears to be systemic throughout much of the leadership with respect to climate assessments such as performed by the IPCC.

source of image

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Comments by Gerhard Kramm On Nicola Scafetta’s Paper “A Shared Frequency Set Between The Historical Mid-Latitude Aurora Records And The Global SurfaceTemperature”

Let me start with a quotation of Eddy’s (1976) famous paper on the Maunder Minimum. In the section “Aurorae” of his paper Eddy stated:

 »Records of occurrence of the aurora borealis and the aurora australis offer an independent check on past solar activity since there is a well-established correlation between sunspot numbers and the number of nights when aurorae are seen. The physical connection is indirect: auroral displays are produced when charged particles from the sun interact with the earth’s magnetic field, resulting in particle acceleration and collision with air molecules in our upper atmosphere.«

From this point of view it could be possible that the records of mid-latitudes of the occurrence of aurorae reveal a physical link between climate change and astronomical oscillations, as argued by Dr. Scafetta. Generally, I do not decline that the observations of aurorae and sunspot numbers provide useful information about the sun’s activity. However, I challenge the physical link between climate change,characterized by the variation of the globally averaged near-surface temperature, and the astronomical oscillation.

There were various attempts to directly relate the solar constant to the number of sunspots (e.g., Ångstrøm 1922, Solanki et al. 2005) because the solar constant is a measure for the annually mean irradiance at the top of the atmosphere, and hence, indispensable for global energy balance studies. As illustrated in Figure 1 recently published by Butler et al. (2008), such a relationship seems to be likely (see also Liou, 2002).

Schneider and Mass (1975) reported about such an attempt because they tried to relate the variation of the global surface temperature trend to the variation of the solar constant. They used the empirical formula proposed by Anders Ångstrømin 1922 to express the solar constant as a function of the sunspot number and mentioned that Kondratyev and Nikolsky get good agreement with this formula. Ångstrøm’s empirical formula is shown in Figure 2. I inserted the formula into his figure for the purpose of convenience.

Apparently, the data base is small (205 data for 1915 – 1917). Note that a value of 1.903 cal cm-2 min-1 corresponds to 1327 W m-2 and the maximum of 1.953 cal cm-2 min-1 to 1362 W m-2.For 2003, when TIM was launched,Ångstrøm’s formula provided a solar constant of S = 1361.6 W m-2. This value is in substantial agreement with the TIM value (see Figure 1). This means that Dr. Scafetta’s remark “that the solar irradiance reconstruction proposed by Schneider and Mass in 1975 is considered today to be severely obsolete” is not justified.The results of Schneider and Mass may be obsolete, but the true reason is that their global energy balance model will reflect a planetary radiative equilibrium for the earth’s surface if steady-state conditions are achieved. Such a planetary radiative equilibrium does not exist in case of the earth-atmosphere system.

Ångstrøm’s figure suggests that a threshold value exists beyond that the solar constant decreases with increasing sunspot number. Based on the empirical formula the threshold value is of about 84. Ångstrøm, therefore, discussed two different phenomena working in opposite directions. It seems that Ångstrøm’s formula is unsuitable for low sunspot numbers as the concurrent observations of sunspot numbers and the satellite observations of the total irradiance (TSI) document.

The observational data used by Ångstrøm may, therefore, not be accurate enough compared with to current day information, but his hypothesis regarding the two different phenomena working in opposite directions is worth to discuss. If we try to relate the solar constant to sunspot numbers, then it is important to confirm or falsify Ångstrøm’s hypothesis.Based on Ångstrøm’s formula, I calculated the results illustrated in Figure 3. Also shown in this figure is the global temperature anomaly with respect to the climate normal 1961 – 1990 (HADCRUT3 data, see Brohan et al., 2006). It seems that there is some similarity between the minimum values in the predicted solar constant and the maximum values of the temperature anomaly. However, the correlation is not sufficient. Figure 4 shows another attempt performed by Solanki (2002) to relate the global temperature anomaly to the reconstructed solar constant.

Often, it is argued that the satellite-observed TSI data are the most trustful data we have. As illustrated in Figure 1, there is a variation of the satellite-observed TSI from up to S = 1374 W m-2 in 1978 (ERB) to S = 1361 W m-2 in 2005 (TIM). It seems that this variation can only be attributed to an improvement in sensor calibration, rather than to the sun’s activity. Dr. Scafetta mentioned this uncertainty in the satellite observations, but this uncertainty is much larger as illustrated by his figure.

So far, so bad. Let me explain what “bad” means. We try to indirectly relate the number of sunspots and/or the frequency of their occurrence recorded over four centuries to the globally averaged near-surface temperature and/or its variability with respect to time. To me, it is like looking for a black cat in a dark room, but we do not know whether this cat is inside or not.

The reasons are two-fold. On the one hand, we have to consider the sun as the energy spender, the characteristics of the earth’s elliptical orbit (i.e., the orbit of the Earth-Moon barycenter)around the sun, and the orientation of the earth’s equator plane. Since we know the laws of celestial mechanics in an appropriate manner, we can predict the TSI at the TOA, and, hence, the corresponding solar insolation as a function of Julian day, longitude, and latitude. Such a prediction can also be extended to Millions of years as done, for instance, by Bergerand Loutre, (1991).

The solar insolation is the dominant energy input into the system earth-atmosphere. This radiative input is affected by the atmosphere in various ways (e.g., absorption and scattering). Only a portion of about 47 percent (@ 161W m-2), on global average, is absorbed by the earth’s surface (strictly spoken, in the layers of the land masses and oceans directly beneath the surface). This percentage was already mentioned by Fortak (1971) and recently confirmed by Trenberth et al. (2009). Note, however, that Fortak assumed a planetary albedo of 36 percent (Trenberth et al. 30%) and an absorption of solar radiation by gaseous and particulate atmospheric constituents of 17 percent (Trenberth et al. 23%). The results of Trenberth et al. suggest that only 239 W m-2, on global average, are energetically relevant for the earth-atmosphere system and 78 W m-2are directly absorbed by gaseous and particulate atmospheric constituents. Globally averaging of flux densities (called fluxes hereafter) for the TOA and the earth’s surface is in substantial agreement with physical laws.

On the other hand, the near-surface temperature at a station of a meteorological network is governed by the local energy conversion and the advection of air masses. This local energy conversion is customarily characterized by an energy flux budget in which the absorption of solar radiation and down-welling infrared radiation at the earth’s surface is approximately balanced by the fluxes of sensible and latent heat, the emission of infrared radiation, and the transport of heat in the soil layers and water layers, respectively.Note that the difference between the infrared radiation emitted by the earth’s surface and the down-welling infrared radiation is called the IR net radiation. Furthermore, a portion of the solar radiation reaching the earth’s surface is reflected, where the reflectivity depends on the surface conditions and the zenith distance of the sun. This means that the solar radiation absorbed at the earth’s surface also depends on the surface conditions. Moreover, the fluxes of sensible and latent heat are usually not directly observed because eddy covariance measurements of wind vector, temperature, and humidity would be required. Thus, these fluxes have to be parameterized for using mean observations of wind vector, temperature and humidity. These parameterizations are only valid on a local scale.Consequently, any attempt to link the near-surface temperature observed at a network station to the physical processes of local energy conversion and the advection of air masses is not a simple one.

If we consider a column of air at such a meteorological station reaching from the earth’s surface to the TOA, then we have to recognize that an energy flux balance at the bottom of this column may exist, but not at its top. This means that a radiation balance (it means the energetically relevant solar radiation is balanced by the infrared radiation emitted into the space) at the TOA only exists, if at all, in the sense of a global average, where, in addition, an averaging period of, at least, one year is required. We may also find global averages for the solar radiation absorbed by the earth’s surface (@ 161 W m-2), the IR net radiation (@ 63 W m-2), and the fluxes of sensible and latent heat (@ 97 W m-2, in total). Note that the numbers are taken from the paper of Trenberth et al. (2009). As already mentioned, globally averaging of fluxes for the TOA and the earth’s surface is in substantial agreement with physical laws.

Of course, we may use the temperature observations of the meteorological network and satellite observations to compute a global surface temperature.Unfortunately, this temperature cannot be related to global energy balance schemes for the earth-atmosphere system in a thermodynamic manner. From a physical point of view, this globally averaged near-surface temperature is a bloodless quantity. Neither the globally averaged fluxes of sensible and latent heat nor the emission of infrared radiation by the earth’s surface can be related to this global surface temperature. Probably, many climate scientists will strongly disagree with the latter. However, it is true. The power law of Stefan and Boltzmann must not be applied to a mean temperature. The reasons are simple. This power law requires a local formulation because its derivation is not only based on the integration of Planck’s blackbody radiation law, for instance, over all frequencies (from zero to infinity), but also on the integration of the isotropic emission of radiant energy by a small surface element(like a hole in the opaque walls of a cavity) over the adjacent half space. It is indisputable that the latter corresponds to the integration over the vector field of radiation intensities. In Dines-type two-layer models of the global energy flux balance the IR net radiation flux is related to the global surface temperature and a global temperature for the atmosphere. It can simply be shown that many different temperature pairs provide the same IR net radiation of 63 W m-2.Therefore, a physical link between climate change and the astronomical oscillation, as suggested by Dr. Scafetta, is, at least, doubtful.

Since a couple of years I wonder why this bloodless quantity “global surface temperature” seems to be so important. There is only one reason: It is used to define the so-called atmospheric greenhouse effect, but this definition is not a unique one.Thus, the trend of the global surface temperature is related to the notion ‘global climate’ the debate on climate change is mainly focused on global climate change.Let me quote a paper of Kramm and Dlugi (currently in press):

»The notion ‘global climate’, however, is a contradiction in terms. According to Monin and Shishkov[11], Schönwiese[12] and Gerlich[13], the term ‘climate’ is based on the Greek word ‘klima’ which means inclination. It was coined by the Greek astronomer Hipparchus of Nicaea (190 – 120 BC) who divided the then known inhabited world into five latitudinal zones – two polar, two temperate, and one tropical – according to the inclination of the incident sunbeams, in other words, the Sun’s elevation above the horizon. Alexander von Humboldt in his five-volume ‘Kosmos’ (1845 -1862) added to this ‘inclination’ the effects of the underlying surface of ocean and land on the atmosphere [11]. From this point of view one may define the components of the Earth’s climate system: Atmosphere, Ocean, Land Surface (including its annual/seasonal cover by vegetation), Cryosphere, and Biosphere. These components play a prominent role in characterizing the energetically relevant boundary conditions of the Earth’s climate system.«

Note that the bibliography numbers are related to the paper of Kramm and Dlugi. What I described before about the local and global energy flux schemes is in substantial agreement with this cited paragraph. It characterizes the scope of the discipline of physical climatology. I strongly recommend reading the paper of Monin and Shishkov (2000). (Monin was on of the five dozens scientists who took part on the climate conference on which the GARP Report # 16 is based).  A global surface temperature plays no role in these considerations.

The final question is the following: Does the global surface temperature play a role in the discipline of statistical climatology? To find an answer it is reasonable consider the definition of climate by the World Meteorological Organization (International Meteorological Vocabulary, Sec. ed. WMO-No. 182. Geneva, 1992, p. 112):

»Synthesis of weather conditions in a given area, characterized by long-term statistics (mean values, variances, probabilities of extreme values, etc.) of the meteorological elements in that area.«

What are the weather conditions of the whole earth? Even in the discipline of statistical climatology the notion global climate is unfavorable. Therefore, I do not recommend the use of the global surface temperature in discipline of physical climatology.


Ångstrøm, A. (1922), Solar constant, sun-spots and solar activity, Astrophysical Journal55, 24-29.

Berger A. and M.F. Loutre (1991), Insolation Values for the Climate of the Last 10000000 Years. Quaternary Science Reviews 10, 297-317.

Brohan P., J. J. Kennedy, I. Harris, S. F. B. Tett, and P.D. Jones (2006), Uncertainty estimates in regional and global observed temperature changes: A new data set from 1850, J. Geophys. Res.111, D12106,21pp.,doi:10.1029/2005JD006548.

Butler J.J., B.C. Johnson, J.P. Rice, E.L. Shirley, and R.A. Barnes (2008), Sources of differences in on-orbital total solar irradiance measurementsand description ofa proposed laboratory intercomparison,J. Res. Natl. Inst. Stand. Technol.113, 187-203.

Eddy J.A. (1976), The Maunder Minimum, Science192,1189-1202.

Fortak H. (1971) Meteorologie. Deutsche Buch-Gemeinschaft, Berlin/Darmstadt/Wien (in German).

Gerlich G. (2005), Zur Physik und Mathematik globaler Klimamodelle, in Presentation before the Theodor-Heuss-Akademie: Gummersbach, Germany.

Kramm G. and R. Dlugi (2011), Scrutinizing the atmospheric greenhouse effect andits climatic impact (in press).

Liou K.N. (2002) An Introduction to Atmospheric Radiation – Second Edition, Academic Press, San Diego, CA.

Monin A.S. and Y.A. Shishkov (2000), Climate as a problem in physics,Uspekhi Fizicheskikh Nauk.170, 419-445.

Schneider S.H. and C. Mass (1975), Volcanic dust, sunspots, and temperature trends,Science 190.741-746.

Schönwiese C.-D. (2005), Globaler und regionaler Klimawandel – Eine aktuelle wissenschaftliche Übersicht. J.-W. Goethe University: Fankfurt, Germany.

Solanki S.K. (2002), Solar variability and climatechange: is there a link? (Harold Jeffreys Lecture). Astronomy & Astrophysics43, 5.9-5.13.

Solanki S.K., N.A. Krivova, and T. Wenzler (2005), Irradiance models, Advances in Space Research35, 376–383

Trenberth K.E., J.T. Fasullo, and J. Kiehl (2009), Earth’s global energy budget,Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 311-323.

Figure 1: The 2005 TIM value for absolute TSI was about 1361 W/m^ whereas the ACRIM III and VIRGO (DIARAD + PM06V) absolute TSIvalues are about 1366 W/m^ during the same time. The proposed work aims to understand this difference. (Graphic adapted from Greg Kopp’spresentation entitled “TIM Accuracy,” presented at TSI Uncertainty Workshop atr NIST, July 2005.) This diagram is adopted from Butler et al. (2008).

Figure 2: Solar constant vs. sunspot numbers (adopted from Ångstrøm, 1922).

Figure 3: Solar constant as a function of year. Three cycles of sunspot numbers can be seen in Figure 1, but the data used were taken from the website of the Solar Influences Data Analysis Center (SIDC) at the Royal Observatory of Belgium. Ångstrøm’s formula given in Figure 2 was used for predicting the solar constant. Also shown is the record of the global temperature anomaly with respect to the climate normal 1961-1990 (HADCRUT3 data; see Brohan et al., 2006).

Figure 4: Two reconstructions of total solar irradiance combined with measurements, where available (inclosing the red shading) and two climate records (inclosing the yellow shading) spanning roughly 150 years (adopted from Solanki, 2002).

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Documentation Of A Cozy Interaction Between An AMS BAMS Editor And Phil Jones

In one set of e-mails at

Climategate 2 FOIA 2011 Searchable Database

there is an  exchange of e-mails between an author and an Editor of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Association [Chet Ropelewski].  The paper was eventually published in

Mahmood, R., R.A. Pielke Sr., K.G. Hubbard, D. Niyogi, G. Bonan, P. Lawrence, B. Baker, R. McNider, C. McAlpine, A. Etter, S. Gameda, B. Qian, A. Carleton, A. Beltran-Przekurat, T. Chase, A.I. Quintanar, J.O. Adegoke, S. Vezhapparambu, G. Conner, S. Asefi, E. Sertel, D.R. Legates, Y. Wu, R. Hale, O.W. Frauenfeld, A. Watts, M. Shepherd, C. Mitra, V.G. Anantharaj, S. Fall,R. Lund, A. Nordfelt, P. Blanken, J. Du, H.-I. Chang, R. Leeper, U.S. Nair, S. Dobler, R. Deo, and J. Syktus, 2010: Impacts of land use land cover change on climate and future research priorities. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 91, 37–46, DOI: 10.1175/2009BAMS2769.1

but a key recommendation of ours was required by the Editor to be diluted.  I viewed then (and still do) that this was an inappropriate action by the Editor, and the just released e-mails suggests why Chet made this decision.

I have reordered the newly released e-mails so they are from the earliest to the latest, as well as highlighted in a few places.  The exchange started innocently enough when Phil Jones was asked to review a submitted manuscript by Chet Ropelewski. However, as the exchange continued Phil Jones slams the paper but without being a formal referee, and the Editor starts making his own review comments before he had received reviews from others. Phil should have recused himself from any comments on the paper.

I have interacted with Chet Ropelewski  in other venues  and thought him quite objective. However, this exchange exposes a coziness which is inappropriate for an Editor. It provides a good example of the “old boys” club even among those who are otherwise not tainted by the bias and prejudices we see is systemic in the leadership role in climate science.

The Climategate #2 e-mails are presented below

At 16:24 17/02/2009, you wrote:

Hi Phil,

Among the jobs that I can’t seem to retire from is Climate  Variability/Change Editor of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS). I’m asking for your help as a reviewer. The submission is “Impacts of Land Use Land Cover Change on Climate and Future Research Priorities” by R. Mahmood and 37 co-authors. Given the number of co-authors and their affiliations it is a challenge to find un-conflicted reviewers who know the subject.

My comment:  While Phil Jones is certainly well-qualified to debate aspects of our paper, he is not an “un-conflicted” referee.

The paper is actually a conference summary, fairly broad ranging, running 25 double-space pages. I would need comments in about 4 to 5 weeks.

If you are not able to serve as a reviewer I would appreciate  suggestions for alternatives, preferably outside the U.S. given the extensive list of authors, almost all of them from the U.S. I hope that all is well with you. I’ve “retired” after about 10 years at the IRI. I accepted a visiting scientist position at NOAA’s Climate Program Office and doing more program management than I’d bargained for. The plan is to go to a reduced schedule about a year from now and perhaps return to more  scientific endeavors.

-Chet Ropelewski

Phil Jones wrote:


Bit busy – as always – for the next few weeks. Can you send the abstract and the author list, to help me make some suggestions?



At 17:25 17/02/2009, you wrote:


Per your request. Abstract below. Auhor list attached. Thanks for your help.



Human activities have modified the environment for thousands of years. Significant population increase, migration, and accelerated socio-economic activities have intensified these environmental changes over the last several centuries. The impacts of these changes have been found in local, regional, and global trends in modern atmospheric temperature records and other relevant climatic indicators. One of the human influences on atmospheric temperature trends is extensive land use land cover change (LULCC) and its climate forcing. Studies using both  modeled and observed data have documented these impacts (e.g., Chase et al. 2000; Kalnay and Cai 2003; Feddema et al. 2005; Christy et al. 2006; Mahmood et al. 2006b; Ezber et al. 2007; Nunez et al…. Thus, it is essential  that we detect LULCCs accurately at appropriate scales and in a timely manner to better understand the impacts on climate and provide improved prediction of future climate.

The National Research Council (2005) has recommended the broadening of the climate change issue to include LULCC processes as an important climate forcing. The findings of this report state: “Regional variations in radiative forcing may have important regional and global climatic implications that are not resolved by the concept of global mean radiative forcing. Tropospheric aerosols and landscape changes have  particularly heterogeneous  forcings.

To date, there have been only limited studies of  regional radiative forcing and response. Indeed, it is not clear how best to diagnose a regional forcing and response in  the observational record; regional forcings can lead to global climate responses, while global forcings can be associated with regional climate  responses. Regional diabatic heating can also cause atmospheric teleconnections that  influence regional climate thousands of kilometers away from the point of forcing. Improving societally relevant projections of regional climate impacts will require a better understanding of the magnitudes of regional forcings and the associated climate responses.”

In short, the above discussion clearly identified the  importance of LULCC in the climate system.It has also been established in the literature that biases, inaccuracies, and imprecision have been introduced to the climate monitoring systems because of meteorological station moves, instrument changes, improper exposure of instruments, and changes in observation practices (Davey and Pielke 2005; Pielke et al. 2007a, b; Mahmood et al. 2006a). Hence, we also need strategies that will help us to detect and overcome these biases and thus lead to improved understanding of the role of land use forcing within the climate system.

This paper has two main objectives. First, it highlights LULCC and its role within the climate system. Examples include both long-term systematic change (e.g., agricultural land use change, deforestation) and short-term abrupt change (e.g., rapid urbanization). Second, the paper proposes a series of recommendations related to detecting LULCC from observed climatic records, as well as  modeling to improve our understanding of LULCC and its impacts on climate. The latter also includes discussion on why and how LULCC needs to be considered as a climate forcing and why it must be  included as a first-order effect in all climate assessments.

Phil Jones wrote:


I just knew it had to contain Roger Pielke Sr! It also has many  authors the same  from a paper in JGR that David Parker and others sent in a comment  about  that was accepted a few weeks ago. I can guess it will say the  same sorts of things.

 A lot of the things they are saying have been established haven’t. They are not as important as this paper will claim!

So David would be a good reviewer. I’d just get too stroppy with  them, as Roger never listens to anything said to him.

David is  David Parker Met Office Hadley Centre FitzRoy Road EXETER EX1  3PB UK  E-mail: REDACTED  Tel:REDACTED6649 Fax:REDACTED5681

 Don’t tell David I suggested him!

 Tom Peterson would be another good reviewer, but I can see there is at least one person from NCDC on the list. Another would be Kevin Trenberth, but again there is someone from NCAR in the author list.


Note inserted here. I did not know what “stroppy” means and others might not as well. It means “easily offended or annoyed; ill-tempered or belligerent”.

At 13:22 18/02/2009, you wrote:


Thanks for your suggestions. You confirm some of my concerns about this submission.I hope that we can cross paths again before I really retire. Best


Phil Jones wrote:


Glad to hear you have concerns about the paper! A lot of the issues  relate to the NCEP/NCAR Reanalyses producing temperature trends that are less than in the HadCRUT3/NCDC/GISS surface temperatures from the late 1950s. There is a paper by Kalnay and Cai (2003) that claims these differences result from Land-use/Land-cover effects – which is total rubbish. Once the Reanalyses (ERA-40 as well) get better after the satellite data start coming in all the differences disappear.

Attached is a nice paper on all this with ERA-40.

It would be nice to meet up again – are you back in the DC area?  If you are I should tell you when I’m next in the area. I’m assuming  you’re not planning a holiday in the UK at any time!


My Comment: I am inserting a side note here. The ERA-40 analyses that Phil refers to was subsequently shown to have major problems, as was discussed in the post

Indictment Of The ERA-40 Reanalysis In A New Paper “Erroneous Arctic Temperature Trends in the ERA-40 Reanalysis: A Closer Look” By Screen and Simmonds 2011

The e-mails continue

2009 08:51:20 -0500
from: Chet Ropelewski
subject: Re: Request for a review
to: Phil Jones <REDACTED>


Thanks for the informal comments and reprint. They will be useful for the review. I fear this submission is going to be a struggle.

Yes, I’m in the DC area again. My office is in Silver Spring. Give me a head’s up the next time you expect to be in the area. I planning to go to a reduced work schedule (3-days a week) early next year and expect to keep a hand in the game for a couple of years.

Our paper was published but implications from our meeting summary were required to be diluted. In our original submission we had a conclusion that read

The monitoring of existing climate metrics also needs to be significantly improved, as is discussed in our article. With respect to surface air temperatures, for example, there needs to be an improved quantification of the biases and uncertainties in multi-decadal temperature trends, which remain inadequately evaluated in assessment reports such as CCSP (2006).  We also recommend that an independent agency (such as the NSF) with scientists involved that are without a vested interest in the data, evaluate the robustness of these temperature trend estimates. In other words, this helps to overcome any concern regarding the same agencies that collect and analyze the data, also report on the accuracy of the data in climate assessment reports.

However, in the letter from Chet regarding his decision, he wrote

Finally, the last paragraph is not acceptable for publication in BAMS as it stands. A minor point is that this paragraph refers to this Essay as an ‘article” which is a very different kind of BAMS publication.  More importantly, the last two sentences un-necessarily imply that the scientists who have the responsibility for monitoring the climate are somehow “cooking the data”.  This kind of statement doesn’t belong in a professional journal.  I have no objection if you wish to suggest that an independent agency evaluates the “robustness” of the trend but do it in a way that doesn’t cast aspersions on our colleagues.

Thus, while our paper was accepted, we had to modify the letter with respect to the need to have an independent assessment of the quality of the surface temperature trend analyses.  We never implied that they “cooked” their data.

Our last paragraph in our paper became

The monitoring of existing climate metrics also needs to be significantly improved, as is discussed in  our essay. With respect to surface air temperatures, for example, there needs to be an improved quantification of the biases and uncertainties in multidecadal temperature trends, which remain inadequately evaluated in assessment reports such as from the Climate Change Science Program (CCSP 2006). We also recommend that independent committees (perhaps sponsored by the National Science Foundation) conduct these assessments.

This-mail exchange shows how much of an “old boys” network, the review process is. 

source of image

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An E-Mail Communication Between Phil Jones and Ben Santer Indicating Inappropriate Behavior By The US National Research Council


Pielke Sr., Roger A., 2005: Public Comment on CCSP Report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences“. 88 pp including appendices.


E-mail Documentation Of The Successful Attempt By Thomas Karl Director Of the U.S. National Climate Data Center To Suppress Biases and Uncertainties In the Assessment Of Surface Temperature Trends

I documented the prejudicial handling of this report by Tom Karl, who was its chair.

The first set of released e-mails  further documented the clear inappropriate and biased preparation of this CCSP report, as discussed in

Do The CRU E-Mails Provide Further Documentation Of A Conflict Of Interest In The Preparation Of A CCSP Climate Assessment Report?

This CCSP report was a major resource used for the 2007 IPCC report.

The new Climategate e-mails made available at Climategate 2 FOIA 2011 Searchable Database provide further evidence of this behavior. From [highlight added]

date: Mon Feb 28 08:58:57 2005
from: Phil Jones <REDACTED>
subject: Re: CCSP report review period
to: Ben Santer <REDACTED>


Good to see you if briefly last Wednesday ! The rest of the meeting was rather odd. Some very odd things said by a few people – clearly irked by not having got a couple of proposals recently ! I’m not supposed to be contacting you ! I would urge you to write up what you presented on the day and in the report. It was the most convincing presentation and chapter of the report. You should have less to do than the other chapters. Not yet sure how the summary will fare.
We didn’t discuss the email evidence (as you put it) nor Pielke’s dissent. We shouldn’t and we won’t if the NRC people have their way.

I was never really sure what the point of the review was.



 This is a remarkable e-mail  since it indicates that the NRC was in collusion with Phil Jones  to suppress issues that I brought up as lead author on the CCSP chapter 6. Chapter 6 was tasked to focus on what further research issues need to be explored to reconcile surface and tropospheric temperature trends. Chapter 6, as it was on August 11 2005, is given in Appendix B of my Public Comment.

The e-mail also documents an inappropriate communication between a member of the CCSP committee (Ben Santer) and a member of the NRC review committee (Phil Jones).

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Important Paper “Remote New Paper “Sensing Of The Urban Heat Island Effect Across Biomes In The Continental USA” By Imhoff Et Al 2011

There is a paper on the urban effect on temperatures that relates to the BEST claim regarding the role of urban areas in determining the global average surface temperature trend [h/t to Marshall Shepherd].

This paper shows how spatially variable temperature effects are with respect to the details of urban areas.  Sampling of multi-decadal surface air temperature trends at specific fixed locations within this urban areas will be significantly affected as this landscape changes over time. 

Marc L. Imhoff , Ping Zhang, Robert E. Wolfe,and Lahouari Bounoua, 2011: Remote sensing of the urban heat island effect across biomes in the continental USA  Remote Sensing of Environment 114 (2010) 504–513

The abstract reads [highlight added]

Impervious surface area (ISA) from the Landsat TM-based NLCD 2001 dataset and land surface temperature (LST) from MODIS averaged over three annual cycles (2003–2005) are used in a spatial analysis to assess the urban heat island (UHI) skin temperature amplitude and its relationship to development intensity, size, and ecological setting for 38 of the most populous cities in the continental United States. Development intensity zones based on %ISA are defined for each urban area emanating outward from the urban core to the nonurban rural areas nearby and used to stratify sampling for land surface temperatures and NDVI. Sampling is further constrained by biome and elevation to insure objective intercomparisons between zones and between cities in different biomes permitting the definition of hierarchically ordered zones that are consistent across urban areas in different ecological setting and across scales.

We find that ecological context significantly influences the amplitude of summer daytime UHI (urban–rural temperature difference) the largest (8 °C average) observed for cities built in biomes dominated by temperate broadleaf and mixed forest. For all cities combined, ISA is the primary driver for increase in temperature explaining 70% of the total variance in LST. On a yearly average, urban areas are substantially warmer than the non-urban fringe by 2.9 °C, except for urban areas in biomes with arid and semiarid climates. The average amplitude of the UHI is remarkably asymmetric with a 4.3 °C temperature difference in summer and only 1.3 °C in winter. In desert environments, the LST’s response to ISA presents an uncharacteristic “U-shaped” horizontal gradient decreasing from the urban core to the outskirts of the city and then increasing again in the suburban to the rural zones. UHI’s calculated for these cities point to a possible heat sink effect. These observational results show that the urban heat island amplitude both increases with city size and is seasonally asymmetric for a large number of cities across most biomes. The implications are that for urban areas developed within forested ecosystems the summertime UHI can be quite high relative to the wintertime UHI suggesting that the residential energy consumption required for summer cooling is likely to increase with urban growth within those biomes.

The conclusion reads

“…. this research highlights a significant positive relationship between the urban heat island magnitude, the size of the urban area, and ecological setting estimated entirely from remotely sensed observations. The use of ISA as an estimator of the extent and intensity of urbanization is more objective than population density based methods and can be consistently applied across large areas for inter-comparison of impacts on biophysical processes. Overall, our results suggest that remotely-sensed land surface temperature provides an adequate characterization of both the magnitude and spatial extent of the urban heat island and allow objective comparisons of urban heat island effects around urban areas of different sizes at continental scales without the significant bias encountered in conventional ground observations.

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Tom Peterson Of NCDC And Climate Science Baloney

I have started to go through the new set of e-mails that have been made available.  I have comments on one of them, which has a science issue focus. It also shows how  Tom Peterson handles dissent from his views, which is a serious issue as Tom is in a leadership role at NCDC. The e-mail discussed here is from [and a h/t to this website Climategate 2 |FOIA 2011 Searchable Database for making the new e-mail set searchable.

The e-mails I am discussing are given below with my comments inserted after items in the text that I am referring to. These e-mails are with respect to our paper

Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2007: Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 112, D24S08, doi:10.1029/2006JD008229.

which they were preparing a Comment on that ended up with

Parker, D. E., P. Jones, T. C. Peterson, and J. Kennedy, 2009: Comment on Unresolved issues with the assessment of multidecadal global land surface temperature trends. by Roger A. Pielke Sr. et al.,J. Geophys. Res., 114, D05104, doi:10.1029/2008JD010450.

Our Reply [which appeared after completion of their Comment] was

Pielke Sr., R.A., C. Davey, D. Niyogi, S. Fall, J. Steinweg-Woods, K. Hubbard, X. Lin, M. Cai, Y.-K. Lim, H. Li, J. Nielsen-Gammon, K. Gallo, R. Hale, R. Mahmood, S. Foster, R.T. McNider, and P. Blanken, 2009: Reply to comment by David E. Parker, Phil Jones, Thomas C. Peterson, and John Kennedy on “Unresolved issues with the assessment of multi-decadal global land surface temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 114, D05105, doi:10.1029/2008JD010938.

I also published the reviews in the weblog post

Reply By Pielke Et Al To The Comment By Parker Et Al. On Our 2007 JGR paper “Unresolved Issues With The Assessment Of Multi-Decadal Global Land Surface Temperature Trends”

where one of the referees wrote in the text from the review [highlight added]

Parker et al. [2008] has raised two issues with the analysis of Pielke et al. [2008] on the surface temperature trends utilizing climate data records. In response to that criticism, the authors has dwelled on the details on how Pielke et al. [2008] conducted their analysis and arrived at their conclusions on two major aspects of their analysis. Also, the authors argue how and why Parker et al. comments are biased and present examples from the literature in support of their arguments.

Based on the arguments presented by the authors, I do believe Parker et al. [2008] was incorrect in raising the issue of the degree of dependence in the analyses presented by Pielke et al. [2008].

In regards to SST trends that was presented by Parker et al. [2008], the authors provide very convincing arguments and cite several reported trends that were documented in the literature. As stated by the authors, I personally agree that it is difficult to extend the findings of temperature trends over land to that of ocean or vice versa. At the outset, on the second issue about LULC effects on the surface temperature trends, I stand by the authors’ statement that the near-by land-use changes impact the surface temperature trends.

The newly released e-mail follow [highlight added].

At 18:12 13/03/2008, Thomas C Peterson wrote:

Hi, David,

My first thought is well, we’ll just have to cut it way back. Then I pulled out Pielke’s paper and saw that mountain of baloney and thought where do we draw the line?

There is so much there that should be refuted.

To be pithy, we could just hit the central points with little elaboration:

1. Definition of global temperature (a) Roger gives a definition related heat content and climate feedback. We give this definition: the average temperature of the earth.

My Comment: This debate on this issue continues.  I do not, however, see how this is “baloney”.

(B) Roger says we shouldn’t use minimum temperatures because they can be impacted by wind. We say temperatures in the nocturnal boundary layer are temperatures that the world, including plants, animals and us, experience and are therefore can not be left out of global average surface temperature or it is no longer global average surface temperature.

My Comment:  The use of the minimum temperature trends as part of the diagnostic to monitor global warming as been shown to a poor choice, as trends are a strong function of height near the surface. See, for example,

Steeneveld, G.J., A.A.M. Holtslag, R.T. McNider, and R.A Pielke Sr, 2011: Screen level temperature increase due to higher atmospheric carbon dioxide in calm and windy nights revisited. J. Geophys. Res., 116, D02122, doi:10.1029/2010JD014612

where we write

“Our more complete model does support the PM05 result that the response to a change in surface forcing is a strong function of height. Thus, PM05 made a good point when they raise the question whether screen level observations are a good measure for assessing long‐term temperature increase.”

REDACTEDLack of photographic metadata. Roger says this is a major omission because, if we had them over time, they might document local changes unrelated to larger-scale climate signals. We say they would be nice but they don’t exist world wide and particularly back through time, therefore we’ve developed statistical tests that identify undocumented changes in the local environment and adjusts the data to account for them.

My Comment:  Unless they can show that statistical data analyses can document changes in local siting over time in blind tests (which has not been done to my knowledge), they are just cavalierly dismissing this issue.  Since Tom wrote the e-mail, however, NCDC  has come around to recognizing this is an important issue; e.g. see 

 Menne, M. J., C. N. Williams, and M. A. Palecki (2010): On the reliability of the U.S. Surface Temperature Record, J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2009JD013094.


Fall, S., A. Watts, J. Nielsen-Gammon, E. Jones, D. Niyogi, J. Christy, and R.A. Pielke Sr., 2011: Analysis of the impacts of station exposure on the U.S. Historical Climatology Network temperatures and temperature trends. J. Geophys. Res., 116, D14120, doi:10.1029/2010JD015146.Copyright (2011) American Geophysical Union

we found that

Temperature trend estimates vary according to site classification, with poor siting leading to an overestimate of minimum temperature trends and an underestimate of maximum temperature trends, resulting in particular in a substantial difference in estimates of the diurnal temperature range trends.

Statistical adjustment processes have not be able to adequately correct  for poor siting.

REDACTED Surface water vapor. Roger says “ignoring concurrent trends in surface air absolute humidity therefore introduces a bias in the analysis of surface air temperature trends”. We say baloney. Paying attention to them would introduce a bias. Like clouds and solar energy, water vapor can impact the temperature. But the temperature is the temperature no matter what the cause so do anything other than ignoring water vapor would bias the record.

My Comment:  Paying attention to concurrent trends in surface air specific humidity does not introduce a bias, but more accurately measures the heat content of the surface air. Tom has apparently corrected his view on this since 2008 since he co-authored the paper

Peterson, T. C., K. M. Willett, and P. W. Thorne (2011), Observed changes in surface atmospheric energy over land, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L16707, doi:10.1029/2011GL048442

in which he wrote

“….surface temperature…… is only one component of the energy content of the surface atmosphere

Tom did cite our papers on this subject, which documents that we were the source for recognizing this issue. This papers are

Pielke, R. A. Sr., C. Davey, and J. Morgan (2004), Assessing “global warming” with surface heat content, Eos Trans. AGU, 85(21), doi:10.1029/2004EO210004

Davey, C. A., R. A. Pielke Sr., and K. P. Gallo (2006), Differences between near-surface equivalent temperature and temperature trends for the eastern United States: Equivalent temperature as an alternative measure of heat content, Global Planet. Change, 54, 19–32, doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2005.11.002

REDACTED Uncertainties in homogeneity adjustments. Roger says there are uncertainties and potential improvements that could be made in homogeneity adjustments. We agree, which is why homogeneity research continues (reference, e.g., the Hungarian series of conferences). But we should also note that the same is true with magnetic resonance imaging in doctors’ offices but we still rely on those data because the current processing is the best that is currently available and gives reliable results.

My Comment:  The analogy between magnetic resonance imaging and the diagnosis of global warming using land surface temperatures is a poor one.  I hope they do not use “homogeneity adjustments” in adjusting data from an MRI. :-)

5. Degree of interdependence. Roger quotes an off the top of his head answer to the question rather than conducting any real assessment of the interdependence of climate data to point out that of course they give the same answer. We should note that (a) studies of subsets of the data have revealed essentially the same signal and (b) MSU data are 100% the same but different groups come up with different results. So processing can make big differences. Therefore, the fact that different sfc temp analyses show the same thing supports the view that the signal is robust.

My Comment: The “top of his head answer” on the degree of interdependence of the surface temperature data is not my answer, but is that of Phil Jones who communicated as reported in Pielke et al (2007) that

“The raw surface temperature data from which all of the different global surface temperature trend analyses are derived are essentially the same. The best estimate that has been reported is that 90–95% of the raw data in each of the analyses is the same (P. Jones, personal communication, 2003).

In the report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences Final Report, Synthesis and Assessment Product 1.1” on page 32 it is written

“The global surface air temperature data sets used in this report are to a large extent based on data readily exchanged internationally, e.g., through CLIMAT reports and the WMO publication Monthly Climatic Data for the World. Commercial and other considerations prevent a fuller exchange, though the United States may be better represented than many other areas. In this report, we present three global surface climate records, created from available data by NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies [GISS], NOAA National Climatic Data Center [NCDC], and the cooperative project of the U.K. Hadley Centre and the Climate Research Unit [CRU]of the University of East Anglia (HadCRUT2v).”

These three analyses are led by Tom Karl (NCDC), Jim Hansen (GISS) and Phil Jones (CRU).

The differences between the three global surface temperatures  that occur are a result of the analysis methodology as used by each of the three groups. They are not “completely independent”. This is further explained on page  48 of the CCSP report where it is written with respect to the surface temperature data (as well as the other temperature data sets) that

“The data sets are distinguished from one another by differences in the details of their construction.”

On page 50 it is written

“Currently, there are three main groups creating global analyses of surface temperature (see Table 3.1), differing in the choice of available data that are utilized as well as the manner in which these data are synthesized.”


“Since the three chosen data sets utilize many of the same raw observations, there is a degree of interdependence.”

The chapter then states on page 51 that

“While there are fundamental differences in the methodology used to create the surface data sets, the differing techniques with the same data produce almost the same results (Vose et al., 2005a). The small differences in deductions about climate change derived from the surface data sets are likely to be due mostly to differences in construction methodology and global averaging procedures.”

6. Relationship between obs and reanalysis. Roger says obs are wrong because they don’t agree with reanalysis for trends. However, a body of experts (ccsp 1.1) says it doesn’t trust reanalysis trends for many valid reasons.

My Comment:  In the paper

Compo GP,Whitaker JS, Sardeshmukh PD, Matsui N, Allan RJ, Yin X, Gleason Jr BE, Vose RS, Rutledge G, Bessemoulin P, Br¨onnimann S, Brunet M, Crouthamel RI, Grant AN, Groisman PY, Jones PD, Kruk MC, Kruger AC, Marshall GJ, Maugeri M, Mok HY, Nordli Ø, Ross TF, Trigo RM, Wang XL, Woodruff SD,Worley SJ. 2011. The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project. Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. 137: 1–28. DOI:10.1002/qj.776

it is written

“Some surprising results are already evident. For instance, the long-term trends of indices representing the North Atlantic Oscillation, the tropical Pacific Walker Circulation, and the Pacific–North American pattern are weak or non-existent over the full period of record. The long-term trends of zonally averaged precipitation minus evaporation also differ in character from those in climate model simulations of the twentieth century.”

7. Influence of land cover change. Roger says land cover changes can impact temperature. We agree. If they are major regional changes, land cover produced changes in temperature would be part of [the] signal we want to capture. If they are local, then the latest homogeneity adjustment methodology has been shown to remove them (Menne & Williams I believe).

My Comment:  Local land use change is often gradual and their ‘latest homogeneity adjustment methodology” will not be able to assess the role of land use change on the surface temperature trends. He is presumably referring to this paper

Matthew J. Menne, Claude N. Williams Jr, 2009: Homogenization of Temperature Series via Pairwise Comparisons . Journal of Climate Volume 22, Issue 7 (April 2009) pp. 1700-1717

but it does not fit with his claim. Indeed, such a study could only be accomplished if concurrent local land use changes were correlated with the observed surface temperature trends.  An example of the limited research that has been completed on this subject is given,  in

Brooks, Ashley Victoria. M.S., Purdue University, May, 2007. Assessment of the Spatiotemporal Impacts of Land Use Land Cover Change on the Historical Climate Network Temperature Trends in Indiana. Major Professors: Dev Niyogi and Michael Baldwin.

Conclusion: Roger is full of baloney.
There you go, David. Add in a few references and we have a paper!

My Comment:  Tom Peterson has clearly failed to engage in constructive scientific exploration. Indeed, he has trivialized scientific issues associated with the monitoring o multi-decadal temperature trends.   He has even reversed himself on several of the issues that we have raised.

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Interesting Quotes By Two Major Climate Scientists – John Nielsen-Gammon and Peter Gleick

UPDATE: John has sent me this response

Roger –

   Sure!  You can post this, thanks!

   First, assuming something is correct doesn’t make it so.  I simply regard it as so much more likely to be correct than incorrect that it’s a more effective use of my time to assume it’s correct unless I’m aware of some shortcoming.  Second, Roger seems to equate the NAS with the IPCC; I do not. For example, NAS tries to populate its committees with a broad balance of high-quality scientific perspectives, while the IPCC tries to ensure that its authors represent a broad balance of geographic origins.  This is a consequence of the IPCC being simultaneously a scientific and political organization.  

 Since I’m in-discipline, I can evaluate the IPCC reports for myself.  Generally, I find them to be right about 95% of the time.  

 I actually was on an NAS panel that reviewed one of the CCSP reports, and there were two interesting aspects of that experience that are worth noting.  First, the NAS actually submitted our review for review!  Tell me any other agency that is so rigorous!  Second, unlike conventional peer review, the agency responsible for the CCSP report was under no constraint to change their report in response to our review.  There was no editor tasked to ensure that the authors of the CCSP report made appropriate corrections.  So just because a CCSP report underwent NAS review doesn’t make it as reliable as an NAS report.

– John

in response to my e-mail to him (and one to Peter also)

Hi John

Would you like to send me a guest post on my weblog in response to mine? It would provide a counterpoint to my presentation.

Best Wishes for Thanksgiving!



In today’s post, I am presenting quotes from two well respected climate scientists. I also provide my perspective on what they have said.

First, John Nielsen-Gammon


The Crackpot-Einstein Scale 

he writes

“Eventually, especially if there’s still some dispute about a particular set of findings, the new results might become the subject of a review article by a group of scientists or, even better, a report from the National Academy of Sciences. The latter type of report is quite reliable because it represents a unanimous opinion by a group of qualified scientists with diverse viewpoints. When I’m reading science outside my field, where I can’t judge for myself whether it’s right, I’m quite happy to assume that anything that comes out of the National Academy of Sciences is correct. Their committees are wrong so rarely that it’s usually not worth worrying about.”

My Comment:

The assumption that “I’m quite happy to assume that anything that comes out of the National Academy of Sciences is correct“, is what, in my view, has resulted in the blind acceptance of the IPCC reports.  My personal experiences are quite different from the rosy picture that John presents. I have documented this, as just one example, in my comment on the CCSP 1.1 report [which was used for the USA input for the 2007 IPCC report; this CCSP report was reviewed by a committee of National Academy of Science appointees] 

Pielke Sr., Roger A., 2005: Public Comment on CCSP Report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences”. 88 pp including appendices

where I summarized in the Executive Summary

The process for completing the CCSP Report excluded valid scientific perspectives under the charge of the Committee. The Editor of the Report systematically excluded a range of views on the issue of understanding and reconciling lower atmospheric temperature trends. The Executive Summary of the CCSP Report ignores critical scientific issues and makes unbalanced conclusions concerning our current understanding of temperature trends.

The process that produced the report was highly political, with the Editor taking the lead in suppressing my perspectives, most egregiously demonstrated by the last-minute substitution of a new Chapter 6 for the one I had carefully led preparation of and on which I was close to reaching a final consensus. Anyone interested in the production of comprehensive assessments of climate science should be troubled by the process which I document below in great detail that led to the replacement of the Chapter that I was serving as Convening Lead Author.

Future assessment Committees need to appoint members with a diversity of views and who do not have a significant conflict of interest with respect to their own work. Such Committees should be chaired by individuals committed to the presentation of a diversity of perspectives and unwilling to engage in strong-arm tactics to enforce a narrow perspective. Any such committee should be charged with summarizing all relevant literature, even if inconvenient, or which presents a view not held by certain members of the Committee.

John fails to see that such conflicts of interest compromise balanced assessments in climate science, and, presumably also in other fields where we do not have expertise.

John also states

“So I would venture to say that a large fraction, perhaps the majority, of the science that people hear about on the news will turn out to have something seriously wrong with it.”

In this comment, I agree with John! This is a candid much needed statement that I hope the media works on.

For the second set of quotes, I refer to a news article in the November 1 2011 issue of the AGU publication EOS

Meeting basic human needs for water remains huge challenge, expert says by R. Showstack

where Peter Gleick states

Since the 1998 publication of the first volume of The World’s Water, a biennial report on freshwater resources from the Pacific Institute, some significant strides have been made in improving water management and quality. However, there has also been a continuing stream of bad news about the state of water in many parts of the world. With the 18 October publication of volume 7 in the series, two stark statistics stand out to lead author Peter Gleick: More than 1 billion people still lack safe drinking water, and more than 2.5 billion lack adequate sanitation.

My Comment

I agree with Peter on this. This is a focus of one of our books (with Faisal Hossain as Editor) for Elsevier where we are presenting examples of using the bottom up, resource-based contextual vulnerability approach to assess risks to water, food, energy, human health and ecosystem function.  Our overarching theme is the 5 volume set of books, which will appear in 2012, is

“There are 5 broad areas that we can use to define the need for vulnerability assessments : water, food, energy, health and ecosystem function. Each area has societally critical resources. The vulnerability concept requires the determination of the major threats to these resources from climate, but also from other social and environmental issues. After these threats are identified for each resource, then the relative risk from natural- and human-caused climate change (estimated from the GCM projections, but also the historical, paleo-record and worst case sequences of events) can be compared with other risks in order to adopt the optimal mitigation/adaptation strategy.”

Peter is also reported as saying

“Global climate change is going to have very dramatic impacts on water resources because the hydrologic cycle is such a fundamental part of the climate cycle,” Gleick told Eos. “We know we are going to see changes in snowfall dynamics. We know we are going to see changes in extreme precipitation events. We know that higher temperatures are going to increase evaporation rates. We know that rising sea level is going to contaminate more coastal aquifers with salt water. I find the climate debate and specifically the issues around water frustrating, because the science is clear. There are plenty of uncertainties, but not everything is equally uncertain. We know more than enough, and we’ve known more than enough for decades, to act. And we’re not acting. And that’s irresponsible.”

My Comment

Unfortunately, this is an example of applying a top-down global model perspective (i.e. outcome vulnerability) which we have shown is seriously flawed in

Pielke Sr., R.A., R. Wilby, D. Niyogi, F. Hossain, K. Dairuku, J. Adegoke, G. Kallos, T. Seastedt, and K. Suding, 2011: Dealing with complexity and extreme events using a bottom-up, resource-based vulnerability perspective. AGU Monograph on Complexity and Extreme Events in Geosciences, in press. 

Peter is perpetuating a misleadingly narrow perspective of relying on the IPCC-type global model predictions to inform the impact community of risks to water resources in the future.  Indeed, I have challenged Peter in  a series of e-mails between us over a month ago to inform us what confidence he has in these model predictions, but he has not answered this question yet.  For myself, I have no confidence that these models can skillfully predict changes in climate statistics in the coming decades.

Peter than further is reported as saying

Gleick said he doesn’t know whether there could be movement on this issue during this time of government gridlock. “I’m a scientist and not a politician….”

Peter is very much in the politics, and should candidly admit this. Otherwise, he is acting as a “stealth advocate” as discussed in the book

The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politics by Roger A. Pielke Jr

Peter continues in the news article

 “…I know that people care about water. It’s the highest-polling environmental issue consistently. I know it’s still difficult to remove politics from water, but Republicans and Democrats played together very well in passing our water quality laws, and I think we can do it again. I don’t know if we will, but I know that we have to.” The U.S. government, Gleick said, also has to do a better job at integrating water management strategies, responsibilities, and policies at the federal level. He noted that more than 20 federal agencies currently are responsible for dealing with different aspects of the nation’s water, such as agriculture, ecosystem protection, water quality monitoring, and climate forecasting. “I’m not saying that there ought to be a department of water. But I am saying that we need to do a better job at the federal level of managing water as an integrated challenge.”

My Comment

I agree with Peter on this, except that what he lists as “climate forecasting” should be “seasonal and longer term weather forecasting“.  As Judy Curry has so effectively summarized on her weblog post The wrong(?) conversation

What if we had devoted all of those resources to making better probabilistic predictions on timescales of 2 weeks to 3-4 months?  Farmers would be able to make better choices about what crops to plant.  Water resource managers could make better choices.  Energy generation and demand could be made more efficient.   Etc.  Most of the developing world doesn’t have weather forecasts beyond two days, and often these forecasts do not anticipate extreme weather events (think Pakistan floods, Severe Cyclone Nargis).   Anticipating extreme weather events by a week or two, or even a few days,  could make an enormous difference in the developing world.

This is what Peter should be urging support for.

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Another Excellent, Well-Explained Post By Bob Tisdale Titled “Satellite-Era SST Anomalies: Models Vs Observations Using Time-Series Graphs And 17-Year Trends”

I want to alert readers of my weblog to a post by Bob Tisdale on his weblog Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations. He has posted another effective analysis of multi-decadal global climate model predictions titled

Satellite-Era SST Anomalies: Models Vs Observations Using Time-Series Graphs And 17-Year Trends

In Bob’s conclusions, he writes

So what impression is the casual observer left with if he or she were to investigate how well climate models can hindcast and project sea surface temperatures over 17-year periods, a time span that is appears to be acceptable to the who’s-who of climate scientists that helped prepare the Santer et al (2011) paper? Not a very good impression. They can see that the observed Sea Surface Temperature trends and those projected by the climate models only appear to come close to matching one another on a global basis, but that the match is only good for the first 17-year period of the satellite-era Sea Surface Temperature data. They can see that the models do not come close to matching observations in either hemisphere during the first or last 17-year periods.

 His analyis and conclusion should be further examined by rigorous statistical analyses such as performed by Lucia Liljegren at The Blackboard. Real Climate or other weblogs that are supportive of these models as having multi-decadal prediction skill should show how Bob’s findings can be refuted.

 I would be glad to repost such analyses and their discussion on my weblog.

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Comments On The Physics Today Article “Communicating The Science Of Climate Change” By Richard C. J. Somerville and Susan Joy Hassol

Last week I posted on the first of two articles in the October issue of Physics Today (see).  Today, I am commenting on the second article in that issue

Richard C. J. Somerville and Susan Joy Hassol, 2011: Communicating the science of climate change. Physics Today.  October 2011.  ISSN: 0031-9228

As presented in the article Richard Somerville is a professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, and the science director of Climate Communication, a nonprofit project based in Boulder, Colorado. Susan Joy Hassol, who works with climate scientists to communicate what they know to policymakers and the public, is the director of Climate Communication.

The abstract reads

It is urgent that climate scientists improve the ways they convey their findings to a poorly informed and often indifferent public

The article starts with the text

Over the past half century, the powerful new science of climate and climate change has come into being. Research during that period has settled a fundamental climate question that had challenged scientists since the 19th century: Will human beings, by adding carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere, significantly affect climate? The answer, debated for decades, is now known to be yes. Scientists now understand clearly that humankind is no longer a passive spectator at the great pageant of climate change. They have established that the climate is indeed warming and that human activities are the main cause. Every year brings thousands more research papers containing new knowledge of the many aspects of climate change.
The text contains statements that deliberately obscure the actual complexity of the climate issue. They write
Americans are also unaware of the strength of the scientific consensus. At least 97% of climate researchers most actively publishing in the field agree that climate change is occurring and that it is primarily human-induced.
My Comment: The statement that “climate change is occurring” is trivial to show. No credible climate scientist is going to disagree that climate changes and that there is a human role. The fundamental error made by the authors (as with the Sherwood article that I posted on last week), is their assumption of the dominance of added CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases in climate change.
The authors present reasons for the “confusion” on the public and others accepting their view of climate science. They write [highlight added]
There are many reasons for the large-scale public confusion. (See the article by Steven Sherwood on page 39.) Acceptance of the science of climate change appears to track with the strength of the economy. In difficult times, people seem more likely to reject the science. That may be because they believe that policies for addressing the problem might harm the economy. And perhaps people can only worry about so many things at a time.
A second major factor is the well-organized and well-funded disinformation campaign that has been waged against climate science for decades. As documented in numerous books, the campaign seeks to sow doubts about the science. Motivations for that campaign range from ideological to financial. Some fear that policies to address climate change will limit individual freedoms and the free market. Some in the oil and coal industries fear for their short-term profits. Among the purveyors of the disinformation are public-relations masters who have succeeded in crafting simple, clear messages and delivering them repeatedly. The public’s failure to perceive the scientific consensus seems to reflect the success of that campaign.
It helps the disinformation campaign that a small number of climate scientists disagree with the widely accepted central findings of the field. That there are a few dissenters is not surprising; all areas of science have outliers. But the mainstream scientific conclusion that climate change is occurring and is mostly human-induced has been endorsed by professional societies and science academies worldwide.
A third factor is widespread scientific illiteracy, which is related to the fact that people trust and believe those with whom they share cultural values and worldviews. Opinion leaders who espouse the notion that global warming is a hoax are, for some people, trusted messengers. A fifth factor is that for most of human history, people have seen weather as the province of God, and some simply cannot accept the idea that humans could affect it. We still call weather disasters “acts of God.”
Yet another factor is the way the media handle the topic. They often portray climate change as a controversy, presenting the opposing sides as equally credible. The current crisis in journalism has also resulted in fewer experienced reporters with the requisite expertise, which leads to coverage that can be inept and misleading.
My Comment:  The authors use a disinformation approach to present their view. They write “the mainstream scientific conclusion that climate change is occurring and is mostly human-inducedwhen what they really mean is that their view is that “climate change is occurring and is mostly human-induced CAUSED BY THE ADDITION OF CO2 AND A FEW OTHER GREENHOUSE GASES”.   They deliberately confuse this statement.  This is NOT a viewpoint accepted by 97% of climate scientists!
 Also, they use the term “opposing sides” when it reality there is a continuum of viewpoints on the climate issue. It is these viewpoints that need to be reported.  
The article concludes with the text
The science tells us that meeting the policy goals requires urgent action. But given the limited public understanding, the need for scientists to communicate better also becomes urgent. Many scientists have expressed interest in communicating climate change science. Workshops aimed at improving those communication skills are increasingly popular at professional-society meetings and other venues.
We must find ways to help the public realize that not acting is also making a choice, one that commits future generations to serious impacts. Messages that may invoke fear or dismay—as projections of future climate under business-as-usual scenarios often do—are better received if they also include hopeful components. Thus we can improve the chances that the public will hear and accept the science if we include positive messages about our ability to solve the problem. We can explain, for example, that it’s not too late to avoid the worst; lower emissions will mean reduced climate change and less severe impacts. We can point out that addressing climate change wisely will yield benefits to the economy and the quality of life. We can explain, as figure 5 shows, that acting sooner would be less disruptive than acting later. Let us rise to the challenge of helping the public understand that science can illuminate the choices we face.
My Comment: This article is a tutorial on advocacy of a perspective on policy that really should not be in a journal such as Physics Today. It is an example of a set of individuals using an article (not an op-ed) in a professional science journal to promote their particular views on policy. 

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