An open book test
In the comments over at Deltoid, note is made that Essex and McKitrick joined by one Bjarne Andresen have succeeded in getting their strangeness about temperature, Does a global temperature exist?, into the Journal of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics. This new candidate for the Chillingar and Khilyuk Cup is based on the same off the wall basic mistakes about thermodynamics and atmospheric temperature measurements that E&M put forth in their opus "Taken by Storm" and which was taken apart at Rabett Run(compare the figures to those the article), and at Deltoid and more Deltoid, and yet more Deltoid, and even MORE Deltoid (pay careful attention to Robert P's comments in the last one. Hopefully he has pen in hand at the moment to write to the journal with some of the folk over at NOAA). Still, they come back for more.
UPDATE: Hell's Handmaiden has some interesting comments on this
The test, dear mice, is to do the reading, and to explain why each of the following statements in the JNET article is a bowl of steaming crap.
To get you started, Eli will point out that there are no global temperature measurements, there are global temperature ANOMALY measurements. As is pointed out at the GISS website:
Eli is on deadline, feel free to join in. Best answers will be posted.
Our analysis concerns only temperature anomalies, not absolute temperatures. The temperature anomaly tells us how much warmer or colder than normal it is at a particular place and point in time, the 'normal temperature' being the mean over many (30) years (same place, same time of year). It seems obvious that to find the anomaly, you first have to know the current and normal absolute temperatures. This is correct for the temperature at one fixed spot (the location of one thermometer), but not true at all for regional mean temperatures.
Whereas the individual reading represents just this spot but can be very different from nearby readings, the anomaly computed from those readings is much less dependent on location, elevation, wind patterns etc; it turns out to be representative for a region that covers several square miles. Hence we can combine anomalies from various stations to find regional mean anomalies. Regional absolute temperatures however cannot be obtained from observations alone. For a more detailed discussion, see The Elusive Absolute Surface Air Temperature.
It is clear that there are many misconceptions about nonequilibrium temperatures fields. This paper serves to expose and identify them with specific reference to the measurement of climate change. They may be summarized by the following points, which are treated in detail later in the paper:
- Sums or averages over the individual temperatures in the field are not temperatures. Neither are they proxies for internal energy.
- Temperatures from a field (individually or averaged) neither drive dynamics nor thermodynamics. Instead dynamics are driven by gradients and differences, in temperatures and other variables.
- A global spatial average cannot be an index for local conditions, otherwise nonlocal dependence (i.e ”thermodynamics at a distance”) for local conditions would be required.
- The utility of any global spatial average of the temperature field as an index for global conditions has been presumed but not demonstrated.
- It is easily demonstrated that different spatial averaging rules over temperatures can have contrary trends in time (i.e. some increase while others decrease in time) when the two fields being compared have range-overlap, as they do in this context. This is demonstrated here in a basic example and subsequently with actual atmospheric temperature-field observations.
- No ground has been provided for choosing any one such statistic over the rest as the one proper index for global climate.
- If there are no physical or pragmatic grounds for choosing one over another, and one increases while the others decreases, there is no basis for concluding that the atmosphere as a whole is either warming or cooling.