David Titley on Climate Denial Errors

December 10, 2015

Closest thing to David Titley getting angry during the Ted Cruz hearing the other day.

Is there anyone else that could withstand Mr Cruz insufferable demeanor as well as this?

Ars Technica:

After Senator Cruz pushed Titley to answer a question about the satellite records, which he claimed “the global warming alarmists don’t want to talk about,” Titley let loose. “Let’s talk about the satellite measurements,” Titley said. “Let’s talk about orbital decay. Let’s talk about overlapping satellite records. Let’s talk about stratospheric temperature contamination. I think Dr. Christy and Dr. [Roy] Spencer, when they’ve put this out, they have been wrong, I think, at least four consecutive times. Each time the data record has had to be adjusted upward. There have been several sign errors. So, with all due respect, sir, I don’t know which data, exactly, your staff has, whether it’s the first or second or third or fourth correction to Dr. Christy’s data. We used to have a negative trend, and then we had no trend, and now we begrudgingly have an upward trend.”



20 Responses to “David Titley on Climate Denial Errors”

  1. Ted sure likes to use the word “alarmists”. Got to commend Titley for not sinking as low as Ted and referring to him as “denier” (which is what he really is). It must be odd for Ted and his cronies to only have one cherry picked dataset to support his claim, it becomes like a solid faith to them that all other data must then be wrong. It’s good that all this is recorded so that the memory of their stalling and loonacy can be viewed for all future generations. And they can all appreciate the likes of James Hansen, Richard Alley and Titley for facing these morons with facts and science.

  2. The laughable thing is that Cruz’s preferred data set, that from satellites, is the one for which scientists have had to perform the most complex ‘adjustments’ of all (as Titley’s response suggests).

    If you were going to accuse scientists of ‘fiddling’, satellite data, by rights, would be the data set that would be the easiest to attack. That the ‘skeptics’ are so fond of it shows how twisted their minds are.

  3. This is called “results oriented research”. Start with a conclusion and then find data to support it.

  4. peterangelo Says:

    David Titley is retired from the USNavy which should have allowed him the leeway to tell Ted Cruz, Roy Spencer and John Christy to go Fuck themselves without fear of backlash. Hell if Whatshisname currentleading the GOP polls had said that to we would know be debating if that was acceptable behavior as it slowly became the new norm.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      It would have been a waste of time to try to speak any sort of truth to that slimeball Cruz or any of the other fossil fuel whores. Did everyone catch Cruz’s closing remarks?—-the “eight things that we learned” from the testimony given at the hearing? They had no basis in truth, and, like the testimony of all but Titley, were just repeats of the same denier propaganda.

      We will continue to descend deeper into the morass of AGW denial until we find some way to keep deniers from exercising their first amendment rights to spout ignorant bullshit that is based not on science but on ideology.

      IMO, they are already akin to those who shout “fire” in a crowded movie theater just because in their opinion they have a “right” to do so, and they should be prosecuted for it.

      • What about another amendment: The right to say “bullshit” whenever necessary.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          We have that right guaranteed already under the same first amendment that protects the deniers. The problem is that a significant minority of the citizenry doesn’t want to believe that anyone with the tag “conservative” speaks anything but truth.

          On top of that is the fact that a significant MAJORITY of the plutocracy and corporatocracy have spent piles of dirty money (aided and abetted by a “conservative” Supreme Court) to buy our legislators and political process, thereby keeping the bullshit flowing on many fronts, AGW being only one of them. The country, and by extension the whole planet, will be continue to be in ever-deepening trouble if we don’t get this turned around soon.

  5. neilrieck Says:

    Wow! Finally a government official talks about the bad science of Roy Spencer and John Christy. The first time I heard about them was during ClimateGate-2009 where we learned that a group at RSS had discovered algebraic errors in the algorithms used by Spencer and Christy at UAH. In 2005, RSS published their findings in SCIENCEMAG (a publication of the AAAS). Spencer and Christy acknowledged the errors to their scientific peers in the following issue but continued to deny any warming when interviewed by the media. http://www3.sympatico.ca/n.rieck/docs/climate_science.html#climategate

  6. Andy Lee Robinson Says:

    Blatant witchhunt and complete and utter travesty.

  7. Hey, if anybody wants to see a funny take on the Titley video, I highly recommend this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osTFRnjsSYc

    • dumboldguy Says:

      That is one of the best links anyone has ever posted here. Both a clear explanation of the real science and a clear expose of what a complete charlatan Cruz is and what a mockery of “legislative oversight” his sham hearing was.

      I wouldn’t call it very “funny” though—it is disturbing and saddening to me to see how low this country has fallen that people like Cruz are in positions of influence and, most sickening of all, running for president.

  8. kap55 Says:

    What I wish Titley had said …

    CRUZ: Do you dispute the satellite data?

    TITLEY: Oh no, Senator, I don’t dispute the satellite data at all. It’s just that satellite data is not temperature data. And that chart isn’t satellite data.

    CRUZ: What?

    TITLEY: Satellite data is not temperature data. It’s microwave brightness, at various wavelengths. Now there are a lot of things that can affect microwave brightness, and temperature is just one of those things. So if you want to get temperature from satellite data, you need a very complex algorithm. So that chart is the output of an algorithm. The problem is we have no idea if that algorithm is correct or not, because it’s never been published, it’s never been peer-reviewed, and nobody knows just what it does except Dr. Christy and Dr. Spencer, and they’re not telling. So that chart might be right and it might be wrong, and nobody really knows.

    • Is that true? Haven’t the algorithm for that data been disclosed for peer-review? Although you are perferctly right about it not measuring temperature, and needs a serious case of data-massaging to become an indicator of such. If I wanted to get the temperature of the planet I certainly wouldn’t have used this dataset but one from actual thermometors as they were built to measure temperature. Obvioulsy Cruz does not agree for some well known reason…

    • neilrieck Says:

      Well in 2003 Mears and Wentz at RSS some how acquired the algorithms used by Spencer and Christy at UAH. They were found to contain algebraic errors (one of the algebraic terms used the wrong sine). This was published by RSS in SCIENCE in 2005 where Spencer and Christy admitted the errors to their scientific peers.
      However, they continued to tell popular media outlets that their science proves the Earth is not warming.

      Now the team at RSS corrected the UAH dataset which is why this chart shows a jump in 2005.

      Now what you just said is essentially correct. The satellite is actually measuring EM (electromagnetic) radiation given off by gases in the atmosphere. This EM radiation is supposedly proportional to temperature (think about a microwave oven in reverse) but there are a few wrinkles. For example, each gas molecule gives off different EM frequencies which means you need to look at all of them to get the actual final temperature. IIRC this satellite sensor only looks at EM radiation coming from oxygen. When the UAH experiment started returning data in the 1990s it was thought that the ratio between the gases was relatively constant but we now know they are not. Secondly, the three sensors are side looking which means that it is not possible to determine the exact altitude of the temperature being recorded. If CO2 is producing a “green house effect” by heating only the lower troposphere, the middle to upper troposphere would cool (because all the heat is being retained at a lower level). But a side-looking lower-tropospheric sensor in space needs to look through the upper and middle troposphere. The actual lower measurement is produced by subtract the middle and upper from the actual reading. This means that the data from this satellite needs a lot of manipulation which is why this data was always published with LARGE error bars. Spencer and Christy never mentioned these error bars on FOX or the Rush Limbaugh

      • Again, what baffles me is how people in denierville so easily accept all the complex math and use of satellite data, while not accepting a fundamental and much easier to understand theory of global warming based on simple physics. I mean even the electronics inside those satellites is endlessly more complex than the essentials of global warming physics. Well, actually it doesn’t baffle me because there is simply no amount of evidence that would turn them away from finding some way of not accepting real climate science.

        I had a long heated debate with a guy in Norway on a forum, one who is a part of “klimarealistene” a well known denier group here. When confronted with simple questions about physics used in other cases like how we create computers and shuffle electrons at incredible speed and precision – he simply evaded replying whether he “believed” in electrons. I could mention lots of very complex uses of physics and chemistry that we have mastered, including some very essential to their survival, but somehow the simple elementary school knowledge of greenhouse gases draws down the iron curtain – and there seems to be no way into their rational mind (if they have any at all). It is clearly just plain belief/faith and politics or any other denial of reality they can come up with to further their own agenda.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Well put!

  9. […] I’m just a simple sailor,but it’s hard for me to see the pause on that chart. […]

  10. In the US…..the oil and gas companies are already well into their “election propaganda” for the elections in 11 months. They (fossil fuel companies, and individuals like the Koch Brothers) are trying to BUY THE ELECTION.

    So I hope those of you in the US…are ready for the next 11 months….and you better start now…..because Cruz, Trump, and Rubio (the 3 players who have a chance of winning the Republican nomination) are ALL DENIERS. Trump and Cruz are the worst….but Rubio is right behind them.

    The truth NEVER goes away….but there is ALWAYS a lot of money willingly thrown around to try and hide that truth for as long as possible.

    Cruz is looking to get the Koch Brothers funding for the upcoming elections (Koch’s have not yet thrown their dollars into the election ring YET).

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Thank you for the heads up, Buddy—-we in the USA had NO idea that anyone was trying to “buy” the election! Thanks to you, we may just get moving in time to save the country and the world!

      Just kidding. Where are you located in the world? What’s going on in the USA must seem quite strange to “foreigners”—-it seems very strange to those of us who live here, and we’ve been watching the cancer spread since the 1980’s and Reagan.

      In actuality, the Kochs HAVE been throwing their dollars into the election, although they seemingly haven’t picked a candidate for president yet. Hard to know, since they can hide so much of it. Google “Daily KOS Koch spending on 2016 election” for some informative links.

      There is also some “conspiracy” type talk that they don’t really care about who wins the presidential race—-that Trump and the Repugnant Circus clowns are a good distraction from their real goal—-continuing to take over the state legislatures and governorships and consolidate their ownership of the Supreme Court and Congress. A Democrat in the White House can be tolerated for a few more election cycles until the corporate feudal state is firmly established from below. (You DO know that feudalism is the most successful social and economic system ever to exist on the planet, don’t you?).

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