Tuesday, May 08, 2012

UAH satellite temps being corrected by others. Knock me over with a feather

Here it is:

One popular climate record that shows a slower atmospheric warming trend than other studies contains a data calibration problem, and when the problem is corrected the results fall in line with other records and climate models, according to a new University of Washington study. 
The finding is important because it helps confirm that models that simulate global warming agree with observations, said Stephen Po-Chedley, a UW graduate student in atmospheric sciences who wrote the paper with Qiang Fu, a UW professor of atmospheric sciences. They identified a problem with the satellite temperature record put together by the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Researchers there were the first to release such a record, in 1989, and it has often been cited by climate change skeptics to cast doubt on models that show the impact of greenhouse gases on global warming.... 
"There's been a debate for many, many years about the different results but we didn't know which had a problem," Fu said. "This discovery reduces uncertainty, which is very important." 
When they applied their correction to the Alabama-Huntsville climate record for a UW-derived tropospheric temperature measurement, it effectively eliminated differences with the other studies.... 
Once Po-Chedley and Fu apply the correction, the Alabama-Huntsville record shows 0.21 F warming per decade in the tropics since 1979, instead of its previous finding of 0.13 F warming. Surface measurements show the temperature of Earth in the tropics has increased by about 0.21 F per decade..... 
Usual cautions apply - maybe this correction will turn out to be incorrect.  If not, this will be the second time the UAH series will turn out to have a mistake that bias it to underestimate warming.

Probably just a coincidence.

UPDATE:  post title revised per comments.

UPDATE 2:  per John Mashey, more than twice. See p.100, and especially see "Corrections made" table in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UAH_satellite_temperature_dataset showing there are 4 ups and 3 downs, not counting the latest up. Ups tend to be bigger than downs.

UPDATE 3:  thinking maybe I'm a bit too snarky here.  When's the last time I created a satellite temperature series?  Anyway, yet another case of observations falling in line with standard theory.

UPDATE: Eli:  Strictly speaking this paper is about the TMT product, the mid-trop, not the TLT, the lower trop, however since both use the same satellite, and TLT is a mix of detectors using some majic software that Roy and John have not shared, if the Fu fits, Roy can wear it.


dhogaza said...

Qiang Fu's been on the job for years ...

stuff like this.

carrot eater said...

Yeah, Fu has a bunch of papers in this line. I suggest Brian change the title, which (to me, at least) suggested that Christy/Spencer had accepted they need to make a revision - which, while it has happened before, is what would really be newsworthy.

Nick Stokes said...

According to David Appell, UAH is up by 0.295°C for April. TempLS (surface) was up by 0.2°C; MSU-RSS by 0.26°C. Map of warming here.

EliRabett said...

Ben Santer has pointed out (and Eli has dropped a few hints) that UAH really needed to make their software model public so that others could look at them. You might enjoy a talk with Lucia on the matter.

dhogaza said...

"thinking maybe I'm a bit too snarky here. When's the last time I created a satellite temperature series? "

When was the last time you created a satellite temperature series and immediately publicized it as being the "wooden stake through the heart of global warming"?

Ahhh, you never did. But a couple of well-known (now, not then) researchers at UAH did ...

And it took a couple of years before Christy finally 'fessed up to the errors, and while serving on the NAS committee appointed to study the problem during Bush's first term, to agree that the ground temperature record was largely as accurate as the (corrected) satellite record, both showing warming.

And after saying so officially, unofficially he continued with the same blather about UHI and this and that and the other, and we all know what Christy thinks about global warming today.

All the snark in the world is appropriate.

dhogaza said...

"You might enjoy a talk with Lucia on the matter."

I'm absolutely stunned that McIntyre and Mosher haven't been all over UAH about this for years and years.

Stunned, I say.

Did I say stunned?

Heh heh heh ...

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

I cannot wait until I find out what John Mashey's personal vendetta has been against Singer and Seitz.

"Singer claimed Frederick Seitz as Chairman for two years after his demise and 20 years after a Philip Morris staffer had written in 1989:

“Dr. Seitz is quite elderly and not sufficiently rational to offer advice.”

Source: Desmogblog (http://s.tt/1982E)

ho ho, what a terrible thing Dr. Singer did there. What did Dr. Singer gain by claiming Seitz as the chairman 2 years after he died?

Secondly, I don't know feel that the anonymous Phillip Morris staffer is in expert in psychological evaluations for Dr. Seitz, and especially not for someone who is far smarter.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

Oh and not that anyone here cares but many people doubt the dangers of second hand smoke, the studies on it are dubious.

Frankly I don't want people to quit smoking because smokers fund schip, a children's health program. Now before you sink your teeth in, I think smoking is bad but given that the government is incapable of handling money, I don't want my taxes raised. If there is a large loss of revenue in SCHIP due to decreased tobacco tax revenue, you can bet our taxes will go up.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.


yeah I'm stunned too. At least they aren't practicing revisionist history, that would be your team.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

@John Mashey

just curious but how does the government raising taxes on cigarettes help you? Correct me if I'm wrong but you don't see any of that money so really it doesn't effect you, but its a feel good environmental cause so you embrace it with open arms?

J Bowers said...

"but its a feel good environmental cause so..."

...so you're confusing environmentalism with public health issues. What about them UAH figures. Bang goes another neosceptic's favourite. Those dominoes just keep tumbling.

EliRabett said...

Because it's cheaper to pay Medicare and SS than for lung cancer treatment.

EliRabett said...

Oh yeah, also holds down the dry cleaning bills

Anonymous said...

dhogaza said...

"I'm absolutely stunned that McIntyre and Mosher haven't been all over UAH about this for years and years."

Actually McIntyre did touch on this ~3yrs ago:



It's basically looking for abrupt changes in the residuals between UAH and RSS/NOAA. One of his comments at the time was:

"Here is one more interesting graphic from Christy et al 2000 showing the differences between instrument temperature for different satellites up to 2000 – something that has to be adjusted for. Could errors of 0.2 deg C arise in this standardization? Seems possible to me. Could three errors all be of the same sign? Sure, they could."

It seems that McIntyre's focus has been on other things lately, so I doubt that he will return to the subject.


Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

"Because it's cheaper to pay Medicare and SS than for lung cancer treatment."

maybe for you but I'm told that social security will be gone by the time I qualify for it. I am 26yrs old.


well my argument against global warming centralizes around the fact that because GAT and average atmospheric co2 are below average, scientists cannot measure the human contribution.

Frankly, the adjustments being made to everything have gotten way out of hand.

its mann graph vs. h.h. lamb


there was an ice age during the ordovician vs. no there wasn't.

1934 vs. 1998

so I have disappointment in both sides. I think the best thing that could happen would be for Dr. Held and Dr. Lindzen to issue a statement.

John Mashey said...

Although it is minor in comparison to the human death toll, albeit with longer-lasting effects:

WHO on growing tobacco, which has the rough area of hectares per country and notes on deforestration, since not only do they cut down trees to grow tobacco, afterwards, many places cut down more trees to burn to cure it.


4.2M hectares of tobacco, which likes "rich soil."

See also "environment" about nutrients.

My favorite book on tobacco, Golden Holocaust pp.516-518, mentions tobacco-climate connections, including fires.

J Bowers said...

"...its mann graph vs. h.h. lamb"

The latter being a simplistic plot of 50 year averages only going up to 1950, with temperatures having gone up by 1C compared to Lamb's last datapoint.

Jaybird's arguing for building higher sea walls, but Jaybird's thicker than two short planks and doesn't know it.

Steve Bloom said...

Not near snarky enough as dhogaza says. Add to this the other recent crap publications by Spencer and Christy, and I think we need to pass beyond mere snark into out-and-out derision.

EliRabett said...

J darlin, that's what they told Eli. They lied. Nothing new

However, assume that they did not, how much have you paid for your parents health care?? and their retirement. In the good old days they would be movin in with you.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.


well than that pisses me off even more.

willard said...

I point at


and I point at the clock.

That is all.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Over at Watts place S+C fire back, telling us that PCF just don't understand this stuff because it is way too complex. Hmm, Fu seems to have written several papers analyzing MSU temperature records. Maybe they are just throwing mud.

How long did it take them to correct their record once the orbital decay problem was found?

Anonymous said...

Snow Bunny says"

Excuse me, weren't the orbit changes "too complex" for S&C? That's ABCs of NASA satellite data processing and I speak as one who HAS processed satellite data for NASA.

Anonymous said...

Jay Cadbury's comments on tobacco smoke & cigarettes are, well, nutty. Who does he work for anyway? He goes down the line with professional denying.

Some points need to be made, even if way off topic:

The research establishing the dangers of second hand smoking is solid and validated in hundreds of studies by now. The indoor air pollution from tobacco was worse than outdoor air pollution and I for one am dam glad to be rid of it. Restaurants found an awesome increase in patrons once they got rid of smoke.

Taxing cigarettes deters children from starting to smoke because they are price sensitive. New smokers are nearly entirely children; adults have too much sense.

Cigarette taxes do not begin to pay their way in health costs. Don't forget non-smokers pay just as much for health insurance as people who cost a lot more. I don't have time right now to provide references.

I am angered afresh at "Dr." jay's ravings. He believes Singer, who is entirely dislikable. Doesn't improve when you meet him in person. Not unreasonable of John Mashey to dislike him at all.