German Experts: New Paper By Gleisner Shows 2013 Cowtan And Way Arctic Data Hole Paper Was A Lemon

German experts Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt tell at their Die kalte Sonne site us why the 2013 Cowtan and Way paper has proven to be a flop.

Failed spectacularly: Arctic data hole theory for the warming pause collapses
By Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated, edited by P Gosselin)

For quite some time climate scientists have been desperately seeking an explanation for the unexpected warming pause. On November 15, 2013 in the Süddeutsche Zeitung Christopher Schrader declared that the solution had been found: There was no pause; the data had only been missing from the Arctic.

Climate change without pause
According to the data, the earth had not warmed over the past years. However, this impression is likely related to missing data from the Arctic. And there the temperature appears to have risen much more strongly than the global average.[…] These [temperature] measurements have large holes: Approximately one sixth of the earth is not covered. Foremost in the Arctic there are not enough thermometers. But according to all signs it is warming considerably more quickly than the rest of the planet. An English and a Canadian scientist now show how this hole can be closed up with estimated values and how the supposed warming pause practically disappears. Kevin Cowtan of the University of York and Robert Way of the University of Ottawa refer to satellite data. […] Thus ultimately Cowtan and Way arrived at the result that the Arctic warmed eight times faster than the rest of the planet. Before that it had been thought that it was warming three times faster.”

Unfortunately Schrader did not mention that the two scientists were climate activists who were close to the IPCC-friendly Internet platform Skeptical Science. Yet, he still was unable to let slip out a couple of critical words about the two authors:

However the process is too complicated in order to find widespread recognition. Doubt will be stirred up among many because both authors have no name in climate science. Kevin Cowtan is a theoretical physicist and computer specialist at the Department of Chemistry at his University. Robert Way is still busy writing his doctorate dissertation.

It’s been a full year since the appearance of the dubious paper by Cowtan and Way, one that was highly praised by Stefan Rahmstorf. So just how was this pioneering paper received by the science community? On January 29, 2015 the answer from their colleagues appeared in the Geophysical Research Letters. The dodgy Arctic data fill-in model has failed spectacularly and has been soundly rejected. The answer to the pause is not to be found in the Arctic as Cowtan and Way suspected, rather it is to be found at the lower geographical geographical latitudes, as a team of scientists of the Danish Meteorological Institute in Copenhagen led by Hans Gleisner reports in a new publication. What follows is the paper’s abstract:

Recent global warming hiatus dominated by low-latitude temperature trends in surface and troposphere data
Over the last 15 years, global mean surface temperatures exhibit only weak trends. Recent studies have attempted to attribute this so called temperature hiatus to several causes, amongst them incomplete sampling of the rapidly warming Arctic region. We here examine zonal mean temperature trends in satellite-based tropospheric data sets (based on data from (Advanced) Microwave Sounding Unit and Global Navigation Satellite System Radio Occultation instruments) and in global surface temperatures (HadCRUT4). Omission of successively larger polar regions from the global mean temperature calculations, in both tropospheric and surface data sets, shows that data gaps at high latitudes cannot explain the observed differences between the hiatus and the prehiatus period. Instead, the dominating causes of the global temperature hiatus are found at low latitudes. The combined use of several independent data sets, representing completely different measurement techniques and sampling characteristics, strengthens the conclusions.

15 responses to “German Experts: New Paper By Gleisner Shows 2013 Cowtan And Way Arctic Data Hole Paper Was A Lemon”

  1. Ed Caryl
    1. Doug Proctor

      If data holes that are consistent between past and current analyses have to be filled in to show “global” warming has not stopped, then the warming is not global but regional. Regional warming is a sign of a varying energy redistribition process, which could include regional changes in cloud cover.

  2. Bob Tisdale

    The findings of Gleisner et al. (2015) sound very familiar. The title of my blog post from a year ago was “Cowtan and Way (2013) Adjustments Exaggerate Climate Model Failings at the Poles and Do Little to Explain the Hiatus”

    Here’s Figure 2 from that post:

  3. New Paper Confirms the Hiatus Is Not Occurring at the Poles, Undermining the Efforts of Cowtan and Way | Bob Tisdale – Climate Observations

    […] Pierre Gosselin of NoTrickZone reports on a paper that confirms the slowdown in global surface warming has not been occurring at the poles. See Pierre’s post German Experts: New Paper By Gleisner Shows 2013 Cowtan And Way Arctic Data Hole Paper Was A Lemon. […]

  4. John Shade

    Good. The alarm-industry, academic wing, is rotten to the core. This latest refutation of their machinations is welcome.¡

  5. Gary Pearse

    How could those who would call themselves scientists consider that its okay to take the data record as is for a hundred years and then add on to it from an under-sampled region to resolve the problem of stalled warming. And, indeed if this was the case, how are we facing a disaster to civilization when places that are at sub zero temperatures are doing all the warming of a few degrees? Indeed,the equatorial strip is virtually unchanging – if it heats up, evaporation, convection upwards, cloud formation and rains cool it.

    I was in Lagos Nigeria in the 1960s during an earth cool period and the temperature there was the same as it is now. I wouldn’t look to the tropics for the warming (or cooling) either. A dozen well placed thermometers just in the temperate zone would signal any dangerous trends for the planet that might appear over time. Probably the Central England Temperature record is sufficient for the whole planet.

    If sea level is going to rise 5 metres or whatever the number is these days,it wouldn’t be necessary to run down the sea with a micrometer to measure it and make fractions of a millimetre adjustment for crustal rebound. Tide gauges all by themselves would be more than sufficient for the purpose if they are accurate within a foot or two.

  6. Papertiger

    Goss, you are still the man, baby. Kickin their butts from one side of the world to the other.

  7. Crowbar

    Just an observation (I’m in no position to judge these things):

    Bob Tisdale calls his blog post on this topic:

    “New Paper Confirms the Hiatus Is Not Occurring at the Poles, Undermining the Efforts of Cowtan and Way.”

    To me (a novice), this wording suggests that the Poles are still heating (i.e. a hiatus not occurring at the Poles). If I have understood this story, Bob’s blog post heading would be:

    “New Paper Proves the Hiatus Also Exists at the Poles, Undermining the Efforts of Cowtan and Way.”

    Have I misunderstood?

    1. Papertiger

      Yeah. I think Tisdale is showing that some people have a way with words and others … Um. Not have way?

      Cowtan and Way says that satellites can’t measure the temperature over the poles, and that’s where global warming is hiding.

      Of course, they’re lying, making half baked excuses to keep the gravy train running on time.

  8. DirkH

    NOAA mentions absolute average global temperature, completely forgetting that they did so before. Hilarity ensues.

    “NOAA settled science: Earth at 58.24F in 2014 was allegedly hotter than Earth at 62.45F in 1997 ”

    1. DD More

      I originally saw this posted to the blog story –

      Nick February 10, 2015 at 6:14 am

      I reposted a couple of times elsewhere, with H/T to Nick.

      1. DirkH

        I have even more.
        I found out that from JAN 2014 to 2015, NOAA managed to heat up the 20th century as a whole by 1 deg C.

        1. DirkH

          Maybe it depends on the intern who writes the according annual report.

  9. richard

    Just flicking through papers from the WMO and came up with the following.

    The WMO gives a zero for quality from Urban temp data .
    and admitting that there may be no climate change-

    “These changes can also occur to weather stations that are still in rural locations and are often harder to detect. For instance, the growth of trees around a farmstead that maintains a weather station alters the local wind flow and temperature patterns, and so reduces extreme wind speeds and the incidence of frosts (where they occur). The trend in the observations reflects the changes in the microclimate of the farmstead while the general climate may not have changed.

    The World Meteorology Organization goes on to say and i hope these stations are not estimating temps up to 1200 kilometers away-

    “The representativeness and homogeneity of climatological records are closely related to the location of the observing site. A station sited on or near a steep slope, ridge, cliff, hollow, building, wall or other obstruction is likely to provide data that are
    more representative of the site alone and not of a wider area”
    it gets worse-

    “A station that is or will be affected by the growth of vegetation, including even limited tree growth near the sensor, growth of tall crops or woodland nearby, erection of buildings on adjacent land, or increases (or decreases) in road or air traffic (including those due to changes in the use of runways or taxiways) will provide neither broadly representative nor homogeneous data”


    “The nature of urban environments makes it impossible to conform to the standard guidance for site selection and exposure of instrumentation required for establishing a homogeneous record that can be used to describe the larger-scale climate”

  10. richard

    the WMO goes on to say

    “The rate of variation of climatic elements across an area will differ from element to element. A sparse network is sufficient for the study of surface pressure, a fairly
    dense network for the study of maximum and minimum temperature”
    not so good in all the areas that need to be estimated”

    “Errors in measurement tend to occur more frequently in certain parts of the year, generally in the summer months”

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