Saturday, December 19, 2009

Open Mind: Central England Temperature

(A reader has contacted AIC with a comment from before this forum's creation, and as always, we're happy to put a post for it.  This open invitation for past rejected comments, of course, goes for any climate-related blog, whether they've had a post addressing them before on AIC or not, in keeping with our open invitation for rejected comments from ANY climate-related blogs or climate-related articles)

April 28th, 2008
The longest single instrumental temperature record, one which has recently come under scrutiny in comments on this blog, is the Central England Temperature, or CET. The primary CET record consists of estimates of monthly average temperature from 1659 to the present. Let’s take a close look.
Read the rest of the post at the source…

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  1. I created a plot of Central England temperatures for posting in news story comments. It goes all the way back to 1660 and shows no unprecedented recent warming. Last month a comment on an AGW enthusiast blog ( "trumped" me by linking to Climategate e-mailer Grant Foster's online analysis of 2007 that turned it into a Hockey Stick. After Grant allowed me to post a rookie debunking mistake and it's immediate acknowledgment along with later comments that gleefully mocked me, I figured out the real problem. Feeding sample data into his smoothing function exposes his "trick". It involves smoothing function ("filter") "end effects" in which overly-tight smoothing functions quash peaks in the middle of a plot but not at the ends. Phil Jones is quite familiar with their use in deception: "Applying the correction in real time in the future will mean that we will always be slightly changing approximately the last 15 years data - because of the filter end effects. Best would seem to be to maintain the present version we have and apply this variance correction every few years ( eg the IPCC cycle !)." Grant moderated the following post of 11-27-09, I suspect since it would have forced him to actually link to his own effective debunking that I later discovered. Leaving his original page as is allows alert commentators to continue to "trump" my extremely inconvenient point: the vast majority of very long thermometer records reject AGW theory. His spurious claim that all filter setting are equally unreliable allows him to convince his huge audience to not believe their own eyes!

    **************************************** MODERATED POST OF 11-29-2009 ********************************************************

    I don't need homework to BELIEVE MY EYES: the raw data plot does not support his claim. His smoothing doesn't follow the peaks except at the ends. I have done more homework and with a bit of help from John Ray I have reproduced Tamino's work from raw data. The two graphs used to prove his point show the opposite of what honest analysis shows. Not knowing how the black box works didn't stop me from using sample data to see how setting the big knob on top to its lowest setting effects its behavior:

    Using Savitzky-Golay smoothing of higher order confirms my point since the filter then follows peaks in the middle instead of hides them:

    Print the raw data plot and ask a kid to trace it with a big red marker to see if he comes up with a Hockey Stick. I can't. Can you?!

    Not one of the 280 comments mentioned the term "end effect". Computers were not very fast in 1964 so Savitzky and Golay at Perkin-Elmer who makes spectrometers had to figure out a way to smooth noisy spectra without much computing power. Their paper became one of the top sited of all time. From David I. Wilson's "The Black Art of Smoothing": "The SG filters suffer from end effects, but requires minimal storage."

    Overwhelming evidence may support AGW, but honest analysis shows that the longest running thermometer record does not.

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