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Friday, November 27, 2009

Phil Jones Missed The Point

I’ve moved to WordPress.  This post can now be found at Phil Jones Missed The Point
NOTE: I changed the title to reflect the content of the post.

When the CRU Email Search Engine...
...was introduced last week, I searched for “watts”, since I’m a regular contributor of guest posts at WUWT, to see if any of them had received an honorable mention. Alas! One had. It was “A look at the Thompson et al paper – hi tech wiggle matching and removal of natural variables. The version at my website with larger graphics is here:
Thompson et al (2009) - High-Tech Wiggle Matching Helps Illustrate El Nino-Induced Step Changes.”

That post got mentioned in two emails.

The first was allegedly from Phil Jones to Tom Wigley with a CC to Ben Santer dated September 28, 2009.

He wrote in part:
A few thoughts
This is a link to the longer Thompson et al paper. It isn't yet out in final form - Nov09maybe
is a link to wattsupwiththat – not looked through this apart from a quick scan. Dave
Thompson just emailed me this over the weekend and said someone had been busy! They seemed
to have not fully understood what was done...

Actually, I do understand what was done. And, as I’ve illustrated and discussed in a number of posts, the relationship between ENSO and Global Temperature is NOT LINEAR, so the methods employed in Thompson et al (2009) cannot be used to remove the impact of ENSO from global temperature. I discussed this in great detail in my recent post “More Detail On The Multiyear Aftereffects Of ENSO - Part 2 – La Nina Events Recharge The Heat Released By El Nino Events AND...” In it I provide quotes from Trenberth et al (2002) "Evolution of El Nino–Southern Oscillation and global atmospheric surface temperatures”, to support my presentation of the relationship between ENSO and Global Temperatures.

Note that the Jones link to the Thompson et al (2009) preprint no longer works.

The east-west dipole in the tropical Pacific and its carryover into the Eastern Indian is well known. Refer to Figure 1, which is a .gif animation of global SST anomaly maps for the peak of the 1997/98 El Nino and the peak of the 1998/99 La Nina, the first ENSO season of the 1998/99/00/01 La Nina. Note how the SST anomalies of the East Indian and West Pacific oceans rise when the East Pacific SST anomalies drop in response to the La Nina. The methods used by Thompson et al (2009) neglect this rise in the SST anomalies for 25% of the global oceans (between 60S and 65N) during the multiyear La Nina event.

Figure 1

The effect of the east-west dipole is also very easy to see in a comparison graph of East Pacific SST anomalies and the SST anomalies of the East Indian and West Pacific Oceans, Figure 2. Note how the opposing responses of the two datasets to the major traditional ENSO events are similar in magnitude. Yet, somehow, climate researchers attempt to remove the effects of ENSO by subtracting scaled and lagged NINO3.4 or Cold Tongue Index (CTI) data from global temperatures, even though the SST anomalies of a large portion of the global oceans reacted in the opposite direction to the change in SST anomalies of the ENSO index.
Figure 2

The second email was allegedly from Phil Jones to Tim Osborn, Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt the next day, September 29, 2009.

Jones wrote in part:
is a complete reworking of Dave Thompson’s paper which is in press in J. Climate
(online). Looked at this, but they have made some wrong assumptions, but someone has put a
lot of work into it...

I wonder what wrong assumptions he claims I’m making! One thing is sure: I’m not the one assuming the relationship between ENSO and global temperature is linear, when the instrument temperature record clearly shows it’s not. Jones could use the Hadley Centre’s HADSST2 or HADISST or the NCDC’s ERSST.v2 or ERSST.v3b to reproduce the SST anomaly graphs I’ve presented in “More Detail On The Multiyear Aftereffects Of ENSO - Part 2 – La Nina Events Recharge The Heat Released By El Nino Events AND...”. The results are the same.

I’m also not the one who assumes that greenhouse gases have a noticeable effect on tropical Pacific Ocean Heat Content, when the NODC (Levitus et al – 2009) OHC data clearly shows decadal and multidecadal declines, with recharges during multiyear La Nina events. Figure 3. This was discussed in detail and illustrated in the post linked twice above and linked once again, “More Detail On The Multiyear Aftereffects Of ENSO - Part 2 – La Nina Events Recharge The Heat Released By El Nino Events AND...”. The Sources of the data used to create the illustrations in this post are listed at the end of that post.
Figure 3


H.R. said...


I never did get back over here to let you know how much I liked the change you made in “A look at the Thompson et al paper – hi tech wiggle matching and removal of natural variables."

Please pardon my delay, but I did want to let you know that the change you made in that post due to my comment (I'm sorry. I was not real polite about it) made your point crystal clear.

Now it's a bit later and we find (thanks to the freed e-mails) that the 'team' didn't get it?

Huh?!?! They soon may have plenty of time on their hands to review some issues the have glossed over, eh?

Bob Tisdale said...

H.R.: Thanks again.

And for those wondering what we're discussing, H.R. pointed out a poorly worded paragraph in the original version of the "High Tech Wiggle Matching" post. Refer to his comment at the above link to the WUWT version. I changed the version here at his suggestion.


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