Tuesday, 22 July 2014


The temperature at night time on the earth does not fall as rapidly as it would otherwise do if there was no greenhouse effect.The surface of the moon cools rapidly at night fall.

Tuesday 12 07 2014 Alberto Miatello describes in simple terms why he believes that lunar surface cooling rate refutes the theory of the greenhouse effect (GHE). This was published in Principia Scientific where you can read this article. It seems that a few simple yet astonishingly serious errors have been made here playing with data.

Here are two of his main arguments:-

Point 1:-
 “The highest temperature ever recorded (in the Death Valley, California, USA) was just 56°- 57°C, a meager highpoint when compared to the Moon’s equator where the temperature normally reaches 117°C (390K) . That is more than double the value, although – as we know – the quantity of solar irradiance is the same: 1367 W/m² in both places.”

“we have observed that on the Moon it takes 14.75 terrestrial days = 354 hours (!), at the lunar equator, to “cool off” from the highest temperature (117°C = 390K) to reach the lowest i.e.
 -173°C = 100K”

Somehow the writer implies that this information somehow refutes the greenhouse theory as stated in the title. However in support of his claim he focuses on criticizing a comment that apparently appeared in a “skeptical science blog” which he quotes as saying
“when the sun ‘goes down’ on the moon, the temperature drops almost immediately, and plunges in several hours down to minus 110 degrees C (-166F).”

He doesn’t succeed in disproving this either.

Let us look at both of the points above.

It takes 14.75 terrestrial days to cool from maximum temperature?

Really? The moon has the same face towards the Earth as it rotates. This means that a night or day on the moon is 14.75 terrestrial days.


How long would it take for a substance to cool from its maximum value to its minimum value? Exactly the time it takes to cool from its maximum value to its minimum value and assuming the moon’s surface heats and cools approximately symmetrically this will be half a moon day.
Has the second point actually said anything? Not really. This second point says nothing about the initial rate of cooling after the sun “goes down” which is more than likely similar to that quoted by the skeptical science blog. This would be greater than the extremely slow rate towards the end of the cooling period.
The writer then works out a meaningless average rate of cooling which to no surprise ends up less than the average rate of cooling on Earth..simply because the Earth has shorter days.
It should now come as no surprise that it takes 14.75 terrestrial days for the surface of the moon to warm from its minimum to its maximum temperature.

How fast does the surface of the moon cool?
In fact most of the cooling takes place not in 14.75 days but in the time the moon is eclipsed by the Earth. In that time the surface of the moon cools by 190C!
It looks like the skeptical science blog was quite accurate but Miatello has gotten this badly wrong as he works out a meaningless average rate.

 The temperature doubles!:-
The doubling is that on the centigrade scale not the Kelvin scale. If the temperature difference was 0.1C to 1 C, would that represent a 10 fold difference? The temperature in Death Valley is 330K.
330K to 390K is not double. Notice Miatello omits the 330K but not the 390K !

A planet with an ocean and an atmosphere.

The Earth of course transports heat, reducing the magnitudes of both maximums and minimums, and this is perfectly consistent with a GHE theory that can increase the average air temperature.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Sea Level and Ice Melt

Both present sea level rises and ice melt are well documented but it has been claimed (by some) that this information has been misleading or scaremongering. Is this claim justified?

Predicted sea level rise.
Here is “my prediction” (figure 1) of sea level rise by the year 2100.Useless isn’t it?

Figure 1 A prediction of sea level rise.

I am using the estimate for the average depth of the oceans to be 14 000 feet (http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/oceandepth.html) I think you will agree that my graph above (figure 1) is quite useless, unless my intent was to say don’t worry sea level is hardly going to rise. From the graph you may be hard pressed to say the increase was somewhere between 0 and 2%. That is somewhere between 0 and 280 feet; somewhere between no ice melting and all the ice on Earth melting. This is not the way to present data and so here (figure2) is the data presented in a way that is meaningful:-

Figure 2 Present rates of sea level rise. (July 2014  Nasa)

Using this information you can easily work out that if this present trend continues, without further acceleration, the sea level will rise by about 27 cm by year 2100. (This is at the lower end of the recent IPCC report 2013).

Presentation of data.
I think you will agree that the NASA presentation of data is far more useful than the kind of presentation depicted in figure 1. Most people are not really interested in the average depth of the ocean or have any natural “feel” for the significance of this. However sea level rise above what we experience is easily understood. Surely if one were to argue that the data should be presented as in figure 1, looking at the whole depth of the ocean, then it would get little support. However this is the type of claim being made here by  E. Calvin Beisner and J.C. Keister posting on WUWT.

Ice melt.
Unlike sea level, people in general don’t have an intuitive feel for either the total amount of land ice (on Greenland, Antarctica and mountain glaciers), or the amount of ice that is melting.  Thus claims that information on ice melt being hyped up may be believed by the casual reader, whereas if we use the same reasoning to sea level rise the claim would be easily spotted as unjustified. The Land ice melt information from NASA is given below. (figure 3)

Figure 3 Land Ice

Choice of presentation.
The data should be presented in such a way that it useful. Claiming that this sort of information as given in figure 3 is “lying with statistics” where information (which shows ice anomaly) is easily obtained, should really be compared to the proposed presentation as given in the form of figure 1 (which shows absolute values). This later form of presentation, exemplified by figure 1, can lead the reader to believing there is nothing to be concerned about whether there is or isn’t a case for concern.

I think if the National Climate Assessment or NASA presented their data in the way suggested by  E. Calvin Beisner and J.C. Keister it would be quite rightly criticized. It seems that the claim of “playing with Statistics” could be more appropriately aimed at the writers of this claim. These writers would seem to prefer the data to be presented in a way that no useful information could be obtained; no way of seeing if the data was consistent with other data; and no indication of whether there was need for concern or not.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Intent to Deceive

Manipulating data can be done in such a way, that although technically correct, it can then be displayed to appear to say something that is quite false. Here I will look at a blatant attempt to deceive by such a practice.

C3 headlines set out to show that there was no significant global warming but merely shows there is an insignificant decline in the rate of warming.

First of all the information before it has been manipulated.
This concerns the global surface air temperature and CO2 levels over the last 35 years.

Figure 1 Met Office data.
The latter part of this graph (red box) shows the global temperatures changes over the last 35 years of about a 0.5 C rise. Can this be manipulated to imply a temperature drop of about 0.04C per century over this same period?  Here is one such attempt by a site that in fact does this…

…. and then incredibly goes on to say:-

“The political agenda of "global warming" is so important to government-sponsored scientists that massive fabrication of temperature warming is required to convince policymakers and the media”.

Figure 2 copied below from this site above uses similar data to figure 1, but presents it in such a way to make this implication described above.

Figure 2. Satellite data manipulated.

Both the vertical axes have been presented in such a way as to hide any useful information and encourage the reader to make false inferences. Look no changes in the temperature and massive changes in CO2 (“statistically significant, ZERO”) and trend/century = -0.04C.

6 Month temperature anomaly change.
This of course is a measure of the rate of change of temperature. We can see from figure 1 that the rate of change of temperature is greater in the first half of this period of time but there is a lot of natural variation superimposed on this. The rate of temperature therefore has marginally declined but statistically by an insignificant amount.

If the temperature had risen linearly without variations how would a 6 month anomaly graph appear?

Figure 3 above shows how a 6 month anomaly graph would appear if there was no natural variability and the fraudulent implication would be easily recognized. However the natural variation possibly and hopefully distracts the reader from observing this fraud.  Why 6 months. A 6 month anomaly maintains the natural variability while keeping the familiar scale and still keeps a small enough offset value to give maximum deception.

The cumulative Atmospheric CO2 level.
It is common among climate “skeptics” to play down the amount of CO2 that has accumulated over this time. However in figure 2 the technique is to play up the CO2 level; to make it appear as large as possible to compare with the deceptive downplay of temperature changes.

The technique is to get CO2 increases to go from the bottom left of your screen to the top right of your screen. This is easily achieved now by assuming a starting value of zero and adjusting the independent CO2 scale accordingly.

Comparing a rate of change to absolute values.
There is nothing wrong with using this technique to show that two variables are related when this makes it clearer. For example one might speculate that the rate of loss of ice during a de-glaciation part of a cycle is related to the insolation received in the northern hemisphere during the well known Milankovitch cycles. However to use a rate of change or any other manipulation of data to obscure a relation or to attempt to show that variables are not connected is not in any way useful unless it is your intent to deceive.

This article set out to show that there was no significant warming but merely showed an insignificant decline in the rate of warming.