The Admiral And The Senator
In this day and age it is way too easy to find the information to verify what you think you know. And it is so bad that even the scientists are producing information to be dispensed widely that uses deception or ignorance as the case may be to spread that information. The following is an example of a "scientist" totally butchering the scientific method either through ignorance or deliberate deception.
About five years ago there was a meeting in the Senate on the debate over how much influence mankind was having on our ever changing environment. And while both supposedly competent sides were arguing their points it was pretty obvious that there was something grossly wrong on both sides.
Senator Cruz is a politician, with degrees in Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy, Juris Doctor in Law (a lawyer)
Starting with the Senators data, the RSS dataset of temperatures, you will notice that the temperature shown here is flat from 1997 until a little bit into 2015. This flat temperature time was what the senator was trying to ask the Admiral about and of course the Admiral began to obfuscate the entire discussion.
Where the Senator messed up was that he didn’t include one third of all the temperature readings being before the temperature started leveling off and then draw a line for the CO2 on that graph and ask why on the first third of the graph when CO2 is rising and the temperature is rising why did the temperature level of and the CO2 continue to rise on the last two thirds of the graph? This would have required that the Admiral explain how the temperature could rise at the beginning while CO2 rose and then why the temperature leveled out while the CO2 continued to rise.
The reason to do this is just showing a graph with a flat line does not show that the CO2 is rising and it does not show that prior to this the CO2 was rising and so was temperature which could just be a coincidence in earlier data. Just showing a flat line means really nothing to the total story and left the Senator wide open for the shenanigans the Admiral was pulling.
Now moving on to the Admiral, should he know what he’s talking about? Well, his education level is Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from the Pennsylvania State University, Master of Science in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from the Naval Postgraduate School, Ph.D. in Meteorology from the Naval Postgraduate School. He is well educated.
He presented the following graph in opposition to the Senators graph.
I cannot find the Admiral's exact graph and the one shown in the video is not accurate enough in the video to do anything with but I did find the above graph but it does not have the data after 2012 which is not critical for an analysis of the graph (Why the information past 2012 is not important is a completely different story in and of itself. Another comedy of errors that, due to its length, requires its own post.)
There are an extremely large number of criticisms of this graph so I will list the categories of criticisms first and then talk about each one.
1. You cannot accurately determine anything when you present a combination bar graph and line graph where the line drives the bars.
2. You cannot change the color and zero point of the bars to an arbitrary point because your driving force line is one continuous line and the same color all the way through.
3. You cannot select an arbitrary zero point and color the bars which show temperature below the arbitrary zero point a “cool” color, like blue, and facing down which shows a lack of energy between the temperature and the zero point while the color bars above the arbitrary zero point are a “hot” color and facing up which shows excess energy above an arbitrary point. This very deceptively fools you into equating two different things, energy added to and energy not added to something.
4. From the RSS data that I have the black line is the actual PPM of CO2 and not the logarithmic effect of the CO2 so the scale on the right-hand side is wrong. Temperature responds to the effect of CO2 not the ppmv of CO2 and it is a logarithmic function and not a linear function so the scale on the right-hand side should have been a log scale!
So the next question is does all this really make any difference? To find out let’s start by getting rid of all the blue stuff and make all of the temperature readings red to see if it looks different.
It is amazing how much this change shows us about CO2 and temperature. We can start to see the actual difference between the black line CO2 ppmv and the bar graph temperature change. A cursory look at the right half of the graph honestly does look like the CO2 is controlling the temperature change. The left half though, there is very little one to one control shown here.
To get a better sense, we need to compare a line to a line, not a bar graph to a line graph and to do that
without going overboard our best method is to do a line based on the trend in the temperature data.
First, we are going to draw a green line that roughly has the same amount of red above it as white below it so that we are working with roughly a smooth temperature reading.
There is still a lot of confusion in this graph because now we have two lines and a bunch of red spikes all over the place. But since the green line is roughly the average of the peaks and valleys of the red spikes we can get rid of the red spikes and just use the green line and the black line. If you are writing a paper a more accurate green line would be something like a 6th degree polynomial trend line but to do that you need the actual data at each red peak which I do not have for this graph. Doing a linear trend line between the peaks and valleys will give us a less granular line but still reasonable enough for this discussion.
When we do this the graph is a lot easier to interpret without all the different colors and spikes.
And now your eyes can see that the graph no longer looks as favorable to the black line as it did before!
But should it look anywhere near similar? If, as the presently accepted model of the earth's climate requires, the change in temperature over multiple years is driven primarily by CO2 the temperature green line should be a close match to the CO2 black line, but it is not anywhere near that.
So let's begin analysis of this two line graph.
The first thing we notice is the first part of the green line is going down indicating that the temperature went down and the black line is going up indicating that the CO2 in the air was going up. It is also very evident that there is a small change in the black CO2 line. If it was the CO2 that was driving the temperature change then the temperature should have gone up a bit but it didn't, it went down and not just a little bit, it went down significantly. So this violates the fundamentals of thermodynamics (or if this was the only incident it could be just bad data, but it is not the only incident).
The second line goes up indicating the temperature went up and the CO2 went up which is what should be happening if CO2 is the primary driver. This change in temperature is rather severe because if we extend that small change in CO2 all the way up to the top and adjust for the logarithmic change we will still be many pages above where we are now in temperature which is not anywhere near the reality we are living in. In other words that real small change in the black CO2 line should result in an increase in temperature but not near as much of an increase as actually occurred.
The third green line is going down indicating that the temperature went down and the black line is going up indicating that the CO2 in the air was going up. And since there was a small change in the black line which was the CO2 that was driving the temperature change then the temperature should have gone up but it went down and not just a little bit, it went down significantly. This violates the fundamentals of thermodynamics again.
The fourth line goes up so the temperature went up and the CO2 went up which is what should be happening if CO2 is the primary driver. This change though in temperature is rather severe because if we extend that small change all the way up to the top we will be many pages above where we are now in temperature which is not anywhere near reality.
The fifth green line is going down indicating that the temperature went down and the black line is going up indicating that the CO2 in the air was going up. And the small change in the black line which was the CO2 that was driving the temperature change then the temperature should have gone up but it went down and not just a little bit, it went down significantly. So this violates the fundamentals of thermodynamics again.
If you remember when you first looked at the Admirals multi colored graph the characteristics of the first five lines did not stand out like the match between the sith and seventh line to the black CO2 line did it.
The sixth line goes up so the temperature went up and the CO2 went up which is what should be happening if CO2 is the primary driver. This time the change in temperature is in line with the rise in the CO2 and our only problem here is that all the other rises were more severe than this which just indicates a difference between the previous rises and this rise so one of the two has to be wrong.
And the final seventh line goes up so the temperature went up and the CO2 went up which is what should be happening if CO2 is the primary driver. This change though in temperature is in line with the rise in the CO2 and our only problem here is that two of the other rises were more severe than this which just indicates a difference between those previous rises and this rise so one of the two has to be wrong.
Now looking at all of these differences and errors one would think that there is not a good indication that CO2 is the primary driver of the temperature change. So what else could possibly be wrong with this graph?
Well let's look at the scale on the left-hand side, the temperature scale. You will notice that it is a linear scale. In other words each inch that you go up is the same temperature change every time.
Then we look at the right hand side where the CO2 anomaly in ppmv is also shown in a linear scale in other words each inch up is the same change in ppmv. Exactly why someone would do that I do not know.
It is a well established fact that the temperature induced by a change in CO2 is a logarithmic change not a linear change. Someone went through all this effort to produce the wrong type of graph (bar and line), colored it to produce a deceptive result, did not analyze the full graph, only the last one half, and did all of that on the wrong scale for CO2 EFFECT.
So why did I go ahead and analyze this if I knew scale was wrong? That's because if you accept that CO2 produces between a 0.5°C and 1.5°C per doubling temperature rise its curve would be very similar to the ppmv curve shown and it would have just taken relabeling the right hand ppmv scale and stating that the IPCC report says that it could be 1.5°C per doubling and they just use that as the matching condition. But the IPCC report says to expect between 1.9°C and 5.2°C for a doubling of CO2. And if you listen to the information being put out right now by the media who are saying they are just repeating what the “97% of scientists are saying” the actual value is closer to 3°C to 4°C for a doubling of CO2. And even that figure will vary from day to day and media outlet to media outlet.
Moving on, there is also a problem on the macro scale of the temperature change.
The earlier part of the temperature readings makes dramatic changes that are completely not associated with the change in CO2 to any significant degree. What the extreme rates of change of temperature compared to the change in CO2 tells us is that there is something else driving the temperature and it has a much greater effect than the CO2.
But then from 1952 until 2009 the temperature graph seems to follow the CO2 graph reasonably well.
And according to the Admiral's testimony to the Senate hearing he said he can't help but see how the rising CO2 matches with the temperature rise. He also said, with a snarky attitude, he was a "simple sailor" even though he is (was) a Rear Admiral when in the Navy.
The Admiral also said something to the effect that they don't look at a fifteen year or an eighteen year or even a twenty year data set, implying they look at the entire data set. How can you look at this entire data set and come to the conclusion that it is the CO2 that is the primary driver?
To summarize all we have found about the Admiral’s graph and testimony is that the combination bar graph and line graph he either chose to use or made to use hides a lot of inconvenient information so maybe he was just confused? And of course if he was just confused then he obviously does not understand enough to be speaking on the subject. And if he produced the graph then there's a real good chance that he is either totally incompetent at producing proper graphs or he is a deliberate fraud and again should not be acting as an authority.
Not knowing the exact source of the graph I cannot say for sure what his motives were in using it, but I can say that his results are the result of someone that is either ill-informed or deliberately deceptive. You don't do a bar graph and a line graph! It hides too much information and more specifically in this case it hides the information that would negate his proposition.
Putting all this information together we get the following.
It is hard to say what "scientists" the mass media and social media are relying on for their information on the global warming question. If this and even some of the scientific papers I have read are a representative sample of what the scientific community has done then it is indeed be a sad situation.
The source for this blog is the video titled “Watch This Retired Admiral Destroy Ted Cruz’s Climate Myths” by Climate Desk and can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCSnKNoyWtw