Comparing apples with oranges

Joe Bastardi with a salient observation about temperature measurements that are not like for like and why the accuracy of the Met Office figures can be called into question.

So the UKMET number is based on the 30 year means ending in 1990. I understand why, because they will probably change in 2020 again. But now wait a minute and this is why I assumed they werent using that. About 2/3rds of that is measured one way, the other 3rd has to take into account satellite data. So my question is why not just use the 30 year means just ended, its all done with a better measuring stick. I actually assumed that is what they were doing. But since they are not, and the increase since the period they are using is about .2, then I guess their number would be .24 against the past 30 years. Mine is normal. there is still a big difference…. 2 decades worth of warming.

Read the whole thing here ‘Okay here is the deal‘ at the bottom of the page before it scrolls off…

10 Responses to “Comparing apples with oranges”


  1. 1 Martin Brumby 07/02/2011 at 8:35 am

    It is hard not to like Bastardi. What he lacks in the quality of his prose is more than compensated for by his enthusiasm, his common sense and his obvious honesty.

    He is far more credible than Mystic MET.

  2. 2 Tufty 07/02/2011 at 2:40 pm

    Statistical treatments of natural phenomena always come up against the problem of human choice. Someone somewhere has to choose how the numbers should be handled and for every choice there are always other possibilities.

    Joe Bastardi comes across as a real scientist who knows this perfectly well. The Met Office comes across as a moribund institution with a large annual budget to defend.

  3. 3 Vernon E 07/02/2011 at 3:19 pm

    I have followed all the usual climate blogs with great delight over the years but it seems to me that not nearly enough attention has been paid to the temperature measurement itself and the derivation of the so-called “averages”. I am absolutely sure that there are no universally agreed rules and procedures for how these are to be calculated and from what. At the superficial level it is clear that there is no concurrence between the various claimants, but the nmore one thinks about the subject the more complex it becomes. At the first level it must be established that there is one single agreed set of readings; the number and locations must be invariable over the duration of the record and the measuring instrument at each location must not change nor be subject to varying influences. Then the procedure for averaging – timings, weightings and so on and on – the mind boggles. We all know that statistically the average american has one tit and one ball and that the average belgian has less than two legs.

  4. 4 GP 07/02/2011 at 4:21 pm

    Vernon E,

    I agree with your wish but lets face it the periods of reading we are dealing with will never provide for constancy or consistency of anything at all – equipment, readers or locations, in the recording of surface temperatures. Satellites may be marginally better – or perhaps better at the margins.

    Moreover I suspect that no one working in the field would be happy if they did provide consistency. Just as in the money markets, names, reputations and fortunes are to be made from chaos rather that stability, and those personal objectives apply also to varying degrees in between.

    In matters of human development this sort of situation has always been normal but the potenrial for major cockup through unintended and unforeseen consequence must be huge for this one.

    But then – are they really unintended and unforeseen?

  5. 5 PaulH 07/02/2011 at 4:34 pm

    I like Joe’s work.

    And I suspect that many more folk would like it – if his writing style didn’t require lots of re-reading.

    But maybe that’s just me…

  6. 6 Robert 07/02/2011 at 6:53 pm

    Bastardi in his blog says that there is a consistant temperature measure and that is the satellites. Trouble is they have only given 30 years or so of data so far. The MET office has cherry picked the data to give them their results they seem to want. They will not be able to do this in the future.

    Although a bit long this blog gives some interesting pointers to temperature measurements.

    http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Curious.htm

  7. 7 Derek Reynolds 08/02/2011 at 10:00 am

    On his grammar and spelling – he’s an American, with Italian ancestry – a work in progress.

    He’s enthusiastic, and sees things based on historic evidence from the past, combined with observance in the present. Such actions and abilities are inclined towards success.

    Something that bothers me; the warmists all are claiming everything is running in their favour, even though their errors are profound. Their stance is however, not as weak as one would suppose. As nature continues on its unchangeable ways, and if and when the cycles of global climate do cool, then the warmists will shout success for their emissions reduction schemes as having cooled/saved the world. In their eyes they are in a win-win situation, for like religion, their belief will conquer all, and their pockets will be filled.

  8. 8 sidewinder 08/02/2011 at 2:24 pm

    Bastardi doesn’t make sense

    “So the UKMET number is based on the 30 year means ending in 1990. I understand why, because they will probably change in 2020 again.”

    Maybe they will, but why is that probable? (or even necessary)

    “But now wait a minute and this is why I assumed they werent using that. About 2/3rds of that is measured one way, the other 3rd has to take into account satellite data.”

    No it doesn’t. The UK MET Office 30 year mean is the mean of surface data, not satellites.

    “So my question is why not just use the 30 year means just ended, its all done with a better measuring stick.”

    It wouldn’t make any difference to the warming trend.

  9. 9 Span Ows 08/02/2011 at 9:23 pm

    sidewinder 08/02/2011 at 2:24 pm

    Maybe they will, but why is that probable? (or even necessary)

    It’s not necessary. he is just wondering aloud about their choice of data. If they’re using ABC why not keep the ABC updated.

    It wouldn’t make any difference to the warming trend.

    I don’t think he is implying it would; he is just questioning their parameters.


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