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IPCC 2007: false information about Urban Heat Island effects

steven mosher says:

The following paragraph of AR4 [by Jones and Trenberth] should be changed from:

McKitrick and Michaels (2004) and De Laat and Maurellis (2006) attempted to demonstrate that geographical patterns of warming trends over land are strongly correlated with geographical patterns of industrial and socioeconomic development, implying that urbanisation and related land surface changes have caused much of the observed warming. However, the locations of greatest socioeconomic development are also those that have been most warmed by atmospheric circulation changes (Sections 3.2.2.7 and 3.6.4), which exhibit large-scale coherence. Hence, the correlation of warming with industrial and socioeconomic development ceases to be statistically significant.

to:

McKitrick and Michaels (2004) and De Laat and Maurellis (2006) demonstrated that geographical patterns of warming trends over land are strongly correlated with geographical patterns of industrial and socioeconomic development, implying that urbanisation and related land surface changes have caused up to 50% of the observed warming over land since 1979. However, the locations of greatest socioeconomic development are also those that have been most warmed by atmospheric circulation changes (Sections 3.2.2.7 and 3.6.4), which exhibit large-scale coherence. Hence, the correlation of warming with industrial and socioeconomic development may not have the level of statistical certainty those papers established.”

As the paragraph stands Trenberth and Jones simply made stuff up. There is NO study showing that Ross’s work fails to be statistically significant after accounting for circulation effects ( in fact Ross has follow-on work showing this is not the case.

To be clear, I do not think that Ross’ work is without issues ( we’ve discussed some of them on CA) but I think that the summary given by Trenberth/Jones is just wrong . Yes they finally agreed to discuss the paper. But in their discussion they dismissed the findings on grounds that have NO BASIS in peer reviewed literature.

The wrong doing is pretty clear.

“However, the locations of greatest socioeconomic development are also those that have been most warmed by atmospheric circulation changes (Sections 3.2.2.7 and 3.6.4), which exhibit large-scale coherence. Hence, the correlation of warming with industrial and socioeconomic development ceases to be statistically significant.”

That is a mathematical statement. Trenbertha and Jones claim that the correlation ceases to be significant. trenberth….. SHOW THE CITATION WHERE THIS MATH IS DONE. he can’t. jones cant. they cant because they guessed at it and did not do the math.

Here is my wish. My wish is that all skeptics would please focus on this precise detail.

Ross McKitrick says:

Responding to Stephen Mosher…

To be clear, I do not think that Ross’ work is without issues ( we’ve discussed some of them on CA) but I think that the summary given by Trenberth/Jones is just wrong . Yes they finally agreed to discuss the paper. But in their discussion they dismissed the findings on grounds that have NO BASIS in peer reviewed literature.

Excellent, excellent post, thank you Stephen. Yes indeed there are issues with my modeling work. I’ve been pushed to address many of them by critics, and no doubt there will be more to arise with new work on this topic.

I hope people realize what is at stake. The integrity of the land-based surface temperature data is essential to the IPCC conclusions regarding the rate of warming and the attribution to GHG’s. If the data are contaminated then such findings suddenly become a lot more tentative than the IPCC evidently wants to be able to claim. If the IPCC was really interested in producing solid science they would devote a whole chapter to a thorough top-to-bottom quality check of their most basic data, taking their lumps as necessary. Instead they simply wave away the issue in a few places, and in the one place they elaborate (a little) they lie about the evidence. The claims that Oxburgh or the UK Select Committee or the Muir Russell Inquiry exonerated anyone on this matter are false — these investigations sidestepped the issue or changed the topic.

Write ...anyone in a position to put Trenberth under oath and ask him whether he had any evidence to substantiate what he wrote.

 

 

8th February 2011

 

 

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