Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Somewhere Else

Somewhere is always warmer than somewhere else.
Somewhere is always colder than somewhere else.
Somewhere is always wetter than somewhere else.
Somewhere is always drier than somewhere else.
Somewhere is always sunnier than somewhere else.
Somewhere is always cloudier than somewhere else.

Somewhere else is where you live.

Right now.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Shifting the truth southward

The Sydney Morning Herald featured an article a few days ago titled Marine life on the move.
The first global snapshot of marine life shifting under climate change has found it is on the move towards the poles at a rate of about seven kilometres a year. Fish and other marine creatures are seeking cooler habitat much faster than terrestrial life, according to an international study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
Can't stand the heat, huh? Not exactly - not at all exactly in fact, as the article actually informs us, but right at the end of course, well to the south, where the truth has shifted to, well after the preceding and misleading statements have sunk in.
"The leading edge or 'front line' of a marine species distribution is moving towards the poles at the average rate of 72 kilometres per decade," Dr Poloczanska said. "This is considerably faster than terrestrial species moving poleward at an average of six kilometres per decade . . . despite sea-surface temperatures warming three times slower than land temperatures."
So it's the "leading edge" of species distribution moving poleward, not the entire distribution. In other words, the "trailing edge" is staying where it was, and the species are extending their range. They're not moving away from warmer water "seeking cooler habitat", but extending into previously cooler waters.
Dr Poloczanska, of the University of Queensland, and 18 international colleagues found no doubt about who was responsible for the greenhouse gas-related warming of the ocean's upper layers. "Global responses of marine species revealed here demonstrate a strong fingerprint of this anthropogenic [caused by humans] climate change on marine life," the paper said.
Dr Poloczanska said in Australia's south-east, tropical and subtropical species of fish, molluscs and plankton were shifting much further south through the Tasman Sea.
But they're not "shifting much further south through the Tasman Sea", they're being found further south, as your study actually found, Dr Poloczanska.
A 2010 CSIRO study found that warm surf-zone species such as silver drummer were more abundant, while the range of others such as snapper and rock flathead has increased.
In the Indian Ocean, a southward distribution of seabirds has been detected, as well as a loss of cool-water seaweeds north of Perth.
Several studies in recent years were reported as indicating a "poleward shift" of species, whereas in every case, a closer examination reveals not a shift, but an extension of range. Shifting the truth, to fit an agenda. Good science distorted by a totally misleading summary, and by one of the authors too.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Plagiarism, Lies and Bullshit - Part 2, the "Straw Man" exposed

In Part 1 I summarised results for 85 australian stations over the period 1990-2010, which the authors of "Present-to-future sea level changes: The Australian case" appear to think comprises 20 years.

For anyone who thinks I'm just moaning about a few "little mistakes" that Mörner & Parker have made (it's actually written by Mörner alone, as I'll explain later), I'll state what I've found in this "paper" - all that's in my post title. Mörner lies about his results; not selective reporting or creative statistics, simple straightforward lies. Lies that are very easy to disprove; anyone with access to the internet and with no knowledge of statistics is able so see they're lies. Disinformation, and its partner in crime, unadulterated bullshit, is present throughout, like some constant and annoying in-store muzak. The whole point of this rotten pamphlet is to attack a "straw man", aided and abetted by blatant plagiarism.

Anyone perpetrating a fraud, the representation of fiction as truth, cannot maintain a consistent story without inadvertently revealing apparently small but significant contradictions and disconnects; this "paper" contains many such. I will detail some of the most obvious, which seem to have escaped the notice of surprisingly un-sceptical and credulous "sceptics", both bloggers and comment posters who would delight in tearing apart any paper or blog post from those on "the other side" which contained so little in the way of actual results. This paper contains not even one, so I'll provide them in a full analysis of the entire 86 (actually 85) stations which Mörner and Parker claim to have analysed over the 21 years 1990-2010, which they appear to believe spans 20 years.

There's clear confusion throughout as to what constitutes periods of 10 and 20 years - a kind of "date dyslexia". The date ranges which are claimed to have been analysed are given as 1990-2010, 1990-2000, and 2000-2010. These are periods of 21, 11, and 11 years respectively, though the text mentions "20 years", "the last 10 or 20 years", the introduction "the last two decades", and the caption for the only chart included says "for the last 10 and 20 years". The short ranges are not consecutive; they overlap at 2000. With such confusion evident, one might ask exactly which periods were supposed to have been analysed - were they analysed?

Exaggeration - but by whom?

First, I'll rebut the the accusation of "exaggeration" in the "official Australian governmental value" of 5.4 mm/year. You won't find that figure anywhere but in this paper, or in blog posts discussing it. Google it if you will. It's a simple average of the individual ABSLMP station trends to June 2011 which were tabled in an ABSLMP report (June 2011, published Sept. 2011, no overall average included), and as such cannot be "exaggerated". It may not be exactly relevant to the long-term sea-level change around Australia, but that's another matter entirely, one which I'll cover later.

Two stations in South Australia are uniquely close to one another; Port Adelaide and Port Stanvac (an ABSLMP station) are just 20 km apart. The latter was dismantled after Dec. 2010, when the adjacent oil refinery was closed and decommissioned. Their records, over the period of overlap, differ by an average of 190mm, due to different "tide-gauge zero" benchmarks in use. All tide-gauges have local benchmarks; the gauge readings are not absolute but relative to the local benchmark. Across Gulf St. Vincent, about 60 km to the west is Port Giles, though you won't find it on any map; it's a jetty and a few buildings. Its gauge record differs from Port Stanvac by some 50 mm. Using the Port Stanvac ABSLMP record (from June 1992 to Nov, 2010) as a baseline, I've plotted the adjusted record from Port Adelaide (Jan 1990 to Dec 2010) on the same chart. I repeated this for the shorter Port Giles record, Sept. 1994 to Dec. 2010.

The degree of overlap and correlation is remarkable, I'd say, much better than I'd expected. Two things are evident - that the ABSLMP station very closely reflects sea-level at the two other Gulf stations, and that the rate for Adelaide greatly exceeds the long-term rate of about 2.3 mm/year. I say "about", because an NTC report gives it as 2.2 mm/year to 2009 (more , much more, later), and the latest data to 2012 gives 2.35 mm/year; here's the chart.

Three things are evident; the moving average shows sea-level at Port Adelaide rose only a little between 1965 and 1990, there was a dip to about 1996, and after that rose more sharply than the overall trend. That's a general profile for most Australian stations, though to a greater degree for many, and to a far lesser degree for some. The rate for the 1990-2010 period for Port Adelaide is not much greater than the average for all stations, as you'll see. Here's the chart fo Fremantle, WA to 2012. The profile 1940 to 2012 is almost identical; it's the Australian story over that period, and both charts blow the "no acceleration" meme apart. The acceleration isn't due to melting glaciers or AGW in general, it's simply returning Oz sea-levels to above "normal" after decades of ENSO-induced variations, including the early-mid 1990s "dip", the result of two El Ninos; 1991-2 and 1994-5.

Much greater distances separate Wyndham, Western Australia, from Broome (ABSLMP), and from Darwin, Northern Territory (also ABSLMP); about 500 and 800 km respectively, I'd say. I've repeated the exercise for these three stations - the necessary adjustments are shown on the charts.

It's said a picture's worth a thousand words; a well-chosen moving average is worth any number of "2nd. degree polynomials", because it focusses on what's been (and is) going on.

It's now clear where the "exaggeration" originates - Mörner & Parker, henceforth referred to as "M&P". It's also clear that their claim of "No fitting produces a sea level rise in excess of 1.5 mm/year" (which would have to include these three stations) is totally demolished (although they do that rather well themselves - more later!). Of course, as the 3rd. Viscount Monckton of Brenchley might say (and has done, many times) "Don't believe a word I say" - check for yourselves; I provide NTC and PSMSL links for all stations I've analysed. His instruction also applies to M&P of course - why do so many otherwise (apparently) intelligent people believe everything they say without checking anything? Do they (particularly Mörner), have some sort of "free pass", which makes what they say and write immune from scrutiny? Isn't that kind of chauvinism both unscientific and un-sceptical, in short, partisan, exactly what sceptics criticise "the other side" for? Surprisingly, the noble lord is a great fan of Mörner's; perhaps he should pay more attention to what he instructs others to do, and be a little more sceptical himself. Rant put on hold - now for some more real data.

The actual and factual analysis

A number of stations have so little data for the relevant period they don't bear any analysis. One station has its record duplicated on the NTC page for Queensland. Strange therefore that these inconvenient facts weren't mentioned. Neither mentioned is that the remaining 85 stations include 6 which are thousands of km away from Australia; one is halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica, 4 are on the Antarctic coast, and one (Cocos Islands) is best described as being half-way between Darwin and Sri Lanka, in the Indian Ocean, and closer to the Maldives than Darwin. Relevant? Of course not.

My analysis in Part 1 is open, comprehensive, detailed and checkable, but does it prove anything about future trends in sea-levels around Australia? No, it does not; the period 1990-2010 starts at a low point in the record. M&P missed that, but it should, and would, have been obvious to anyone who'd charted the data and added meaningful moving averages. Sea-levels generally declined between the 1960s and 1993-4; any trends calculated from the early 1990s to present reflect the ENSO-driven rebound from that low period. Over the next 5-10 years, both the decline and sharper recent rise will "average out" as the record lengthens. There has indeed been an acceleration in rates in the last two decades; anyone who claims otherwise is being disingenuous at best. Anyone who claims that this unrepresentative period "proves" that the acceleration is caused by anything other than ENSO-induced change superimposed over a relatively constant underlying trend is being more than disingenuous.

In a recent post, I showed the correlation between the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and sea-level at two Australian, and several Pacific island stations; I could have cited a number of other examples, both from Australia and Pacific islands. I even attempted to remove the ENSO effect, and succeeded IMHO. At least all the "lumps and bumps" (and dips) were evened out. ENSO is the "big player" in the Pacific - underlying rates of rise are swamped by the ENSO signal. Anyone who ignores ENSO (as measured by the SOI) are fated to draw entirely wrong conclusions about what has been happening, or is happening, or will happen wrt sea-levels in the Pacific in general and around Australia in particular, in the context of this and my last post.

If I seem to be "going on a bit" about ENSO, and "over-egging the pudding", I don't apologise - it's important, very important in this context, and not just a few dips and bumps in the records.

Major disconnects in M&P's "results*

Here's the list of claimed analyses and results for Australian stations:

70 "non-ABSLMP" stations 1990-2010, linear trends: average 0.1 mm year
2nd. degree polynomials for same: none
70 "non-ABSLMP" stations 1990-2000 linear trends: none
2nd. degree polynomials for same: none
70 "non-ABSLMP" stations 2000-2010: none
2nd. degree polynomials for same: none
16 ABSLMP stations 1990-2010 linear trends: none
2nd. degree polynomials for same: none
All 86 stations 1990-2010, linear trends: average 1.5 mm year
and "No fitting produces a sea level rise in excess of 1.5 mm/year".

Now if 86 stations produce an average of 1.5 mm/ year, and 70 stations an average of 0.1 mm/year, it should be clear the 16 ABSLMP stations must have contributed rather a lot to the average; they comprise only 19% of the total. To boost the average from 0.1 to 1.5 they must have averaged very much more than 1.5. Remember "No fitting produces a sea level rise in excess of 1.5 mm/year"? That average is central to M&P's claims, yet we're not informed what it was? However, it's easy to work out the missing value for the 16 ABSLMP stations:

86 x 1.5 gives a cumulative total of 129; the 70 stations give a cumulative total of 7, so the 16 stations contributed 122, giving an average of 7.625 mm/year. The apparently "exaggerated" NTC average quoted was just 5.4 mm/year - where does the 7.625 figure come from? I thought "No fitting produces a sea level rise in excess of 1.5 mm/year"? Both station averages are fiction - the ABSLMP average to 2010 (from the NTC 2010 December report) is 4.9 m/year, and if that were used, the 70 stations would have an average of (129 - 78.4)/70 or 0.72 mm/year. In the Discussion section, Morner says
From this comparison it seems obvious to us that the Australian governmental value of 5.4 mm/year must be significantly exaggerated. The Australian data analysed by us provide a range from 0.1 to 1.5 mm/year. The same over-estimation seems to apply for individual sites when comparing our values from Darwin (their 8.6 versus our 2.2 mm/year) and from Stony Point (their 2.6 versus our -2.1 mm/year).
So the "Australian governmental" value is "exaggerated" at 5.4 mm/year, but his average figure is 7.6? I remind you that my properly derived average is 4.35 mm/year - that doesn't mean that the NTC figure is incorrect, as their trends were calculated to June 2011, rather than to Dec. 2010, start in various years from 1990 to 1993, and have a residual of a half-year of the annual cycle. Mine were calculated over the full 1990-2010 period, and so include earlier data for the 14 gauges which replaced existing installations.

And do we get some actual results at last? No we don't - the "comparisons" are sleight-of-hand - smoke and mirrors. "Their" figures for Darwin and Stony Point are for the entire length of record, not 1990-2010, and it's worth while pointing out that longer-term records for the 14 of the 16 stations contain ABSLMP data - the gauges were replaced. The other two are all ABSLMP data, so there can be no difference there either. The NTC simply extended the 14 stations with data from the new gauges.

Links to sea-level data for all charts can be found on the NTC data page.

I'll update this post with charts for Darwin and Stony Point, and direct links to data later - I wanted to get some actual charts displayed, to confirm that the "exaggeration" claim was false, and that the "No fitting produces a sea level rise in excess of 1.5 mm/year" was also false. Watch this space

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Plagiarism, Lies and Bullshit - Part 1

Back in April this year, Anthony Watts gave prominence to a "paper" by Nils-Axel Mörner & A. Parker - Australian sea level data highly exaggerated, only 5 inches by 2100. It's clear that neither he, nor any of the commenters on that post actually appear to have read the "paper", or if they did didn't do so with a critical or sceptical eye. Are they all sceptics in the general sense, or not? I'm an AGW sceptic, and I'm also a sceptic in the general sense - I believe nothing I read until I've checked out its conclusions, claims, methodology, and sources in detail. I've done all those checks on the "paper" (I use inverted commas deliberately), and have found all that this post's title implies. The "paper" is titled "Present-to-future sea level changes: The Australian case", and can be found here.

Mörner & Parker claim that the Australian government, aided and abetted by Australia's National Tidal Centre. a branch of the Bureau of Meteorology, have adopted an "exaggerated" figure for recent sea-level rise as "official". None of their cited sources contain the figure, nor statements of recent acceleration as claimed  - it's a "straw man". Indeed, the NTC takes pains to stress the short-term nature of the trends reported for its 16 SEAFRAME stations managed by their Australian Baseline Sea Level Monitoring Programme (ABSLMP), and warns against placing reliance on the data at present. There's a term which describes making unsupported claims, as M&P have done here, especially when the cited sources actually say just the opposite.

Astonishingly, this "paper" contains no data whatsoever to support its "conclusions". Despite having claimed to analyse "86 stations", there is no list of any stations analysed, no tables of results and just one chart for Fremantle, which in fact neatly refutes one of the claimed results (and more besides). Several "analyses" are claimed to have been carried out, but aren't mentioned again, and so no results or summaries are given. Not a single station trend for any relevant period is quoted.

Even more astonishing is not even a list of the 16 "ABSLMP" (Australian Baseline Sea Level Monitoring Programme) stations, which are supposedly central to the "paper" is given. The reader is left in the dark; reproducibility, a central requirement of published papers, would be impossible without a deal of research on the part of anyone attempting the process. I'm not in that position however - I've been studying all aspects of Australian sea-levels in some depth over recent years. Because of that knowledge, and the spreadsheets and charts to hand, I knew instantly that the claimed summary results were fiction. How much of a fiction will be seen below. The author(s) appear to believe that 1990-2010 spans 20 years, a figure they mention several times.

This is their claimed methodology:
We fit linear and 2nd order polynomial lines to the sea level data recorded along the coasts of Australia in order to assess the accelerating trends and to compare with the reconstruction of Church and White[12]. 
If Y is the mean sea level (MSL) and X is the year, then clearly the sea level rise is SLR=dY/dX and the sea level acceleration is SLA=d2Y/dX2. The linear fitting gives the average SLR over the observation period. The 2nd order polynomial fitting gives the average SLA over the observation period.
There's no further mention of  any "2nd order polynomials" at all. "The 2nd order polynomial fitting gives the average SLA over the observation period." - no it doesn't, it gives the equation for a curve.

What about "rebutting" several prominent authors on sea-level rise?

Out of this highly variable spectrum, Douglas [16] selected 25 records and arrived at a mean sea level rise of 1.8 mm/year, Church et al. [11] selected 6 records and arrived at a value of 1.4 mm/year, and Holgate [20] selected 9 records and arrived at 1.45 mm/year.

The word "selected" is meant to infer some kind of "cherry-picking". However, two of the three cases, you won't find the claimed figures for number of stations "selected", and in none  the claimed statistic. Comparing Australian data to global data puts it in context, and no more.

Douglas didn't "select" anything. There were only 23 (not 25) long-term stations available to analyse, and his result was global. Douglas didn't estimate a figure for overall sea-level rise. Peltier (2001) used Douglas's data, corrected for GIA, and came up with 1.84 mm/year.

Church & White (hardly "et al." at all) used 290 stations, and don't mention a set of 6 stations in any context. You'll search in vain for the "1.4" figure, their figure is 1.7 ± 0.3 mm/year.

Amazingly enough, Holgate did actually select 9 stations for analysis; his intention was to test whether a small set of high-quality, continuous (no gaps) records to "composites" of many sets of world-wide gauge data of varying lenght and quality. His estimate was 1.74 ± 0.16 mm/year, and not 1.45.

Here's a list of claimed analyses, and results given for the Australian stations:

70 "non-ABSLMP" stations 1990-2010, linear trends: average 0.1 mm year
2nd. degree polynomials for same: none
70 "non-ABSLMP" stations 1990-2000 linear trends: none
2nd. degree polynomials for same: none
70 "non-ABSLMP" stations 2000-2010: none
2nd. degree polynomials for same: none
16 ABSLMP stations 1990-2010 linear trends: none
2nd. degree polynomials for same: none
All 86 stations 1990-2010, linear trends: average 1.5 mm/year
and "No fitting produces a sea level rise in excess of 1.5 mm/year".

Those last two claims alone demonstrate that the "results" aren't results at all. - they're fabricated. If the average of the 86 is 1.5 mm/year, then some must have been lower, and some higher, but we're told none was higher than 1.5 mm/year. Therefore they must have all been identical at 1.5 mm/year, yet we're told that 70 of the 86 averaged 0.1 mm/year. Also, of the 70 stations that averaged 0.1 mm/year, some must have been higher, and some lower, with many negative. Now that would have been remarkable, in the scientific sense - news to broadcast. M&P haven't even realised the implications of their laughable "statistics".

Check out that last claim against my analysis of the "86 stations" - actually 85. Six stations are so remote from Australia they aren't relevant at all - thousands of km away. I've included them however, to get overall statistics to compare. I've started my list beginning on the north Queensland coast in the Gulf of Carpentaria, progressing clockwise via Tasmania to Milner Bay, Northern Territory, which is also on the Gulf, ending with the remote and decidedly non-Australian stations.

Station 32 is Sydney, which we're told had a "negative trend", though we aren't informed what it was -  details later.

Stations  65-79 are on the W and NW coasts; 66 is Fremantle, 77 is Darwin. 80-85 are "off the map" and very distant. Spaces on the charts indicate that no meaningful analysis for those stations was possible because of very limited data for the period. There were no zero trends, and none was negative.

Full station details are shown in the table at the end of this post.

The average for all stations is 4.05 mm/year, with standard deviation 2.51, minimum 0.17 mm/year, maximum 9.38 mm/year. The average for the 16 ABSLMP stations is 4.35 mm/year (not quoted by M&P, though central to their theme), and that for "non-ABSLMP" stations is 3.90 mm/year. Contrast those figures with the claims of M&B-P, 0.1 mm/year for the "non-ABSLMP" stations, and 1.5 mm/year overall.

There's a claim that the trend fo Sydney was negative over this period, but In fact it's positive over 1990-2010, and more positive over the actual 20 years 1991-2010. Here's the proof, with both trends:

Trends for Sydney, 1990-2010 and 1991-2010                                            Data Source: NTC
Strangely no trend figure is given for one of the most analysed stations worldwide, though perhaps not so strange because it must by now be clear that M&P haven't analysed any Australian stations over "20 years", nor over 21 years either. I intend to keep this post reasonably short and to the point, but what about the "plagiarism" and "bullshit"? Disinformation, and its partner in crime, unadulterated bullshit, is present throughout, like some constant and annoying in-store muzak. Here's a glaring (and hilarious) example:
The sea level changes along the Australian coastline have been measured at many locations starting in the late 1800s. In the early 1990s, the Australian Baseline Sea Level Monitoring Project was designed in order to monitor the sea level changes around Australia and to identify decadal trends with respect to the enhanced greenhouse effect. A sequence of SEAFRAME[36] stations (SEA-Level Fine Resolution Acoustic Measuring Equipment) was installed on 16 South Pacific islands to measure the sea level and to record meteorological parameters (both at stations previously covered by standard tide gauge equipment and stations previously not covered by tide gauges). The vertical stability of the gauges is surveyed by State organizations using GPS.
That's novel, installing tide-gauges on Pacific Islands to measure sea-level around Australia. This gives "telemetry" a whole new meaning. I'll poke around in some more ordure in Part 2 which will follow very shortly.  What about plagiarism? surely not? On page 3 is stated (my bold):
Previously , the National Tide [sic] Centre analyzed all tide gauge data from stations having more than 25 years of recording. This survey ended in year 2003, and was replaced by the ABSLMP data set containing the measurements restricted to the 16 ABSLMP stations. Nowadays, NTC neglects all the data previously measured at these stations as well as at other sites, many of which exceed 25, and sometimes 50, years of recording.
The NTC replaced the National Tidal Facility of Australia (NTFA ) in January 2004. Why is he scolding the NTC for ceasing the issue of reports at all? Why is he bemoaning the loss of reports with linear trends? Trends which he says are "misleading"? His charge against the NTC is that they produced a "misleading statistic" concerning the ABSLMP stations. They did not, and would not have done, as I'll explain later - his citations are fake - they don't contain what he claims, nor anything remotely resembling what he claims.

The reason for his charge of "neglect" will soon be clear. Figure 1 in the "paper", is said to represent the full-record rates for 39 stations with "long-term" (25 years or more) of data in 2009. If data was available to end 2010, you might ask as I did, why quote the number of such stations for 2009 if you had data for "all stations" to 2010? Also why analyse that data to 2009 - a long-term station in 2009 is also a long-term station in 2010. "many of which exceed 25, and sometimes 50, years of recording" - doesn't he know how many in each category? In fact it's most, not many which exceed 25 years in 2010, and it's just two which exceeded 50 years - Fremantle and Sydney.

Here's Figure 1, with the legend "AUSTRALIA" in large friendly letters, in case anyone might be unable to identify what it represents.

There's already a problem - Mörner&Parker (Parker is actually Alberto Boretti, more in Part 2) couldn't have analysed the 39 stations on that map; one of them (Port Adelaide Inner Harbour) ceased operation after 2008, and since the data was virtually identical to Port Adelaide Outer Harbour (hardly surprising!) the NTC pulled the record from the data webpage in 2010, well before M&P say they accessed the data. How do I know that the station is represented on the map? Is my knowledge of Oz stations encyclopaedic? Yes and no, it's extensive (ahem!), but I know exactly which stations that map shows, because as it happens, I have a copy of the map myself, a nice crisp and unfuzzy one, along with a table of station results, in a July 2010 report produced by the NTC. It's a report which M&P (or just Mörner?) took pains to claim (above) wasn't produced after 2003, and is titled "Australian Mean Sea Level Survey 2009"; the graphic is on page 8:

Note the caption - Mörner's map is captioned
Figure 1 : Distribution of tide gauge station [sic] in Australia. Location and average rates of the 39 tide gauge stations in mainland Australia having a period of recording of at least 25 years. The mean rate of all 39 stations is 0.9 mm/year.
That caption implies by omission that the 39 figure is the most recent, though it applies to 2009 only, as the text states. Ignoring the fact that "mainland Australia" on the map includes three islands (Tasmania's hard to miss, and the names "Booby Island" and "Lord Howe Island" are a bit of a give-away). Mörner's graphic is fuzzy, with degraded colours and showing all the signs of having been taken from a screenprint, with aliasing artefacts in the image. I'll compare sentences (in sequence) from the two paragraphs preceding Mörner's map (M&P) with bulleted points from page 1 of the NTC report (NTC) reproduced below. You'll note from the page shown below that the sequence of statements is identical:
M&P:  In 2009, there were 39 sites on the Australian mainland (Figure 1), where relative sea levels had been measured for at least 25 years and with the average length being 42 years .
 NTC:  There are 39 Australian locations where relative sea levels have been measured for at least 25 years. The average length of these records is 42 years.

M&P:  The average trend of all the 39 stations is 0.9 ±1.9 mm/year.
NTC:  The average trend from all 39 stations is 0.9 mm/yr with a standard deviation of 1.9 mm/yr.

Following that statement, the NTC report says
Some of the stations exhibit unrealistic trends due to undocumented datum shifts. A more realistic average trend obtained from 29 stations within 1 standard deviation of the mean is 1.4 mm/yr with a standard deviation of 0.7 mm/yr.
Mörner missed  that bit out. I wonder why?

M&P:  The geographical pattern of relative sea level trends around the Australian coastline is fairly uniform (Figure1).
NTC:  The geographical pattern of relative sea level trends around the Australian coastline is fairly uniform in general.

M&P:  Parts of the Australian coastline are strongly affected by the ENSO events.
The longest sea level records show quasi bi-decadal sea-level oscillations.
NTC:  Annual mean sea levels around the Australian coastline are strongly correlated with the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) signal. Annual mean sea levels generally fluctuate in accordance with the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI).
The longest sea level records show decadal sea-level oscillations with periods of around 20 years.

NTC: The Australian Mean Sea Level Survey is updated annually.

There's nothing wrong of course, with using graphics, nor quoting text, from someone else's publication(s), if citations are given. In this case however, Mörner has not only failed to cite the source, he's explicitly said it doesn't exist! There's only one word for that - plagiarism, compounded by a blatant lie to cover his tracks. He's simply pinched the summary stats from the NTC report to 2009, including the standard deviation. None of the other claimed results include a standard deviation. Plagiarism is intellectual theft, and when blatant lies are added, the result is fraud.

Would a "sea level expert" really need to lift almost an entire page from a NTC report? From an organisation he's criticising? The hypocrisy is staggering! Not only that, but the number of long-term stations, and the statistics themselves, which apply to the period to 2009, and aren't exactly relevant here. Data was available to 2010, so why not do the trends and quote results to 2010? Mörner claims to have analysed 86 stations to 2010, so the spreadsheets should have been available. I say "claims", because there's not one scrap of evidence any such analyses were done, in fact just the opposite.

In a "paper" which claims to have analysed "all 86" Australian stations, 39 overall and 86 over the last two decades to 2010, amounting to some 297 trend analyses and 258 polynomial fittings, you'd expect several tables, a few sample charts, even a list of stations at the very least, wouldn't you? They're supposed to be there to inform the reader, summarise the results, and not least to show evidence that the work's been done, and that the summary results are valid. The sum total is one long-term chart for Fremantle, and a rather small bunch of totally unsupported statements. Statements which don't in fact  reconcile. And this heap of crap was given prominence on WUWT, of which a commenter there recently said "Everyone knows nobody gets away with bad science or math here".

Why on earth try it on to this extent? Mörner's relying on his target audience being uncritical and chauvinistic, generally ill-informed about sea-level in general, Australia in particular, and he's also confident that not one of them will check on anything he writes. None of those characteristics apply to yours truly. I've found evidence that Boretti-Parker is not an honourable man either, inclined to bend truth into fiction. He (as Boretti) is listed on the Principia Scientific website as a contributor - it's the lair of the "Sky-dragon slayers". Enough said, I think.

There are other claims in the "paper" - it might have been sub-titled "This paper is bought to you by the number 1.5", including a ludicrous claim to have analysed "all 2059 PSMSL stations". I'll shred that in Part 2. What's really ironic is that along the the Pacific coast of N & S America, tide-gauges do indeed show very low rates of rise, even a fall over recent decades, something Mörner denies. That's a strange contradiction, as he also denies any increase in global sea-levels. Unfortunately, no-one informed all the other tide-gauges worldwide of this "great truth"; for them it's "business as usual".

The M&P "paper" isn't just bad science - it's a total lack of science backed up by no data whatsoever - science fiction. The clues, in the form of "bad math", inconsistencies and disconnects are evident to anyone with a critical and sceptical eye. Those on WUWT, posters and commenters, who uncritically accepted a "paper" so thin you can read small print through it, need to re-examine their critical and sceptical faculties and motives.

Part 2, in which I turn over the ordure with a long stick, and explode more Mörner myths, coming very soon.


NTC data for all stations here, and PSMSL data and charts here - search the page for Darwin; stations are listed clockwise from there. Values are mm/year.

Averages for all stations, clockwise

1 Mornington Island, QLD Insufficient data 8.61
2 Karumba 7.94 7.94
3 Weipa 6.92 7.43
4 Booby Island 6.25 7.04
5 Goods Island 7.67 7.20
6 Thursday Island 2.00 6.16
7 Turtle Head 6.96 6.29
8 Ince Point 8.20 6.56
9 Port Douglas 3.85 6.22
10 Cairns 1.83 5.74
11 Mourilyan Harbour 1.40 5.30
12 Lucinda 3.11 5.10
13 Townsville 2.63 4.90
14 Cape Ferguson * 2.78 4.73
15 Abbot Point Insufficient data 11.7
16 Bowen 2.29 4.56
17 Shute Harbour 2.33 4.41
18 Mackay 2.08 4.27
19 Hay Point 1.24 4.09
20 Rosslyn Bay * 3.36 4.05
21 Port Alma 1.60 3.92
22 Gladstone 1.43 3.79
23 Bundaberg 0.94 3.66
24 Urangan 0.28 3.50
25 Mooloolaba 1.52 3.41
26 Brisbane 3.19 3.41
27 Gold Coast Seaway 3.22 3.40
28 Norfolk Island, NSW 7.04 3.54
29 Yamba 0.93 3.44
30 Lord Howe Island 3.41 3.44
31 Newcastle 1.66 3.38
32 Sydney 1.25 3.31
33 Botany Bay 2.45 3.28
34 Port Kembla * 1.6 3.23
35 Eden 1.23 3.17
36 Stony Point, VIC * 1.71 3.13
37 Lakes Entrance Insufficient data
38 Hovell Pile 5.31 3.19
39 Melbourne 2.38 3.17
40 Point Richards Channel Insufficient data 5.14
41 Geelong 2.29 3.14
42 Point Lonsdale 0.35 3.07
43 Port Welshpool Insufficient data
44 Queenscliff 2.93 3.07
45 West Channel Pile 2.30 3.05
46 Lorne * 2.46 3.03
47 Portland * 2.84 3.03
48 Devonport, TAS Insufficient data
49 Low Head Insufficient data
50 Spring Bay * 3.11 3.03
51 Hobart 0.17 2.96
52 Granville Harbour Insufficient data
53 Burnie * 2.98 2.97
54 Victor Harbor, SA 2.02 2.94
55 Port Stanvac * 4.52 2.98
56 Port Adelaide 5.08 3.02
57 Port Giles 4.40 3.05
58 Wallaroo 2.53 3.04
59 Port Pirie 6.96 3.12
60 Whyalla 0.59 3.07
61 Port Lincoln 3.34 3.07
62 Thevenard * 3.34 3.08
63 Esperance, WA * 4.10 3.10
64 Albany 4.50 3.12
65 Bunbury 3.47 3.13
66 Fremantle 5.27 3.16
67 Hillarys * 7.84 3.24
68 Geraldton 6.12 3.29
69 Carnarvon 5.69 3.33
70 Exmouth 6.42 3.38
71 Onslow 6.93 3.44
72 King Bay 6.83 3.49
73 Cape Lambert 7.43 3.55
74 Port Hedland 8.12 3.62
75 Broome * 9.32 3.71
76 Wyndham 9.38 3.79
77 Darwin, NT * 7.78 3.85
78 Gove Harbour 5.69 3.87
79 Milner Bay * 7.54 3.92
80 Cocos Islands * 7.86 3.98
81 Macquarie Island 6.84 4.02
82 Casey, ANT 6.22 4.05
83 Commonwealth Bay Insufficient data
84 Davis 2.29 4.02
85 Mawson 5.59 4.05
All stations average 4.05
ABSLMP average 4.35
Other stations average 3.90
Standard deviation 2.51
Minimum 0.17
Maximim 9.38

Friday, 2 August 2013

The effect of ENSO on sea-level in the South-western Pacific and Australia

In a previous post, I explored the connection between ENSO ((El Niño/La Niña Southern Oscillation) and sea-levels at Darwin and Fremantle on the west coast of Australia, in particular, the remarkably close correlation between smoothed monthly average levels and a smoothed, trended multiple of the SOI (Southern Oscillation Index).

It had already occurred to me that if the correlation was so convincing, that perhaps it might be possible to adjust monthly average data by the multiple of SOI to remove its effect and reveal the underlying pattern and trend of sea-level change at such strongly-affected locations. First attempts showed that the tenfold multiple I'd used to show correlation was too high, and that a multiple of 7 was "just right" for ENSO adjustment. Lower multipliers didn't reduce the variability ("lumpiness") sufficiently, and too high a value increased variability in the opposite direction. Lucky 7 turned out to be the "Goldilocks" factor. Here's my revised chart for Darwin:

... and with 7 times SOI subtracted from monthly values

The revised chart for Fremantle for the same period

... and with 7 times SOI subtracted from monthly values

Those two removals are quite convincing, I'd say - "extreme ironing" indeed. Note that the trends for both removals are slightly higher than the originals, despite the post-1990s upticks having been removed. It's because the earlier trend from the mid-1970s was down, which effectively pulled the trend-lines down.

High rates of rise in the western Pacific (as shown by satellite sea-level maps) have been a thorn in the side of some sceptics for some time. They conveniently ignore the fact that sea-levels along the Pacific coasts of the Americas show low or negative rates on the maps, supported by tide-gauge data, and that the high rates in the west are also supported by tide-gauge data, when exactly the same time-spans as the satellite maps are compared. They also ignore the reasoned, researched and informed voices which explain that both phenomena are effects of ENSO.

The island of Pohnpei (Federated States of Micronesia) is in that western "hotspot", and using PSMSL data for the two tide-gauges covering the period I've been able to recreate the record from 1974-2012.

The "ENSO profile" being clear, I went ahead and adjusted the monthly data as before.

Majuro atoll is in the Marshall Islands group, and I've extended my previous reconstruction to end 2012, and added the SOI plot. Note that sea-level is lagging SOI on the extreme right.

Kwajelein is also in the Marshall Islands, not that far from Majuro. Sea level is clearly leading SOI on the right.

The uptick is the subject of a couple of recent posts on wattsupwiththat.com, ENSO not being very high on the list of possible reasons under discussion. Nils-Axel Mörner thinks it's due to subsidence because of recent building, but then he would, he doesn't understand ENSO and the magnitude of its effects. Here's the latest data to June 2013 for Majuro from the South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project.

As you can see, the uptick has now reversed, following the SOI back to zero.

Pago Pago, American Samoa, shows a less-satisfactory correlation overall, but it's still reasonably convincing. It also shows  the sharp recent uptick.

I've had a look at correlation on the eastern side in California, but it's less clear. California is well north of the equator, and ENSO is the Southern Oscillation after all. I'll see if I can find an SOI widget (or make one) for my sidebar. I'll add captions with source data links very soon.