Philip D. Jones
- Climatologist at the University of East Anglia
- Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences
- BA in Environmental Sciences from the University of Lancaster
- MSc and PhD from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne
- Research in instrumental climate change, palaeoclimatology, detection of climate change and the extension of riverflow records
- Published papers on the temperature record of the past 1000 years
- Maintained the time series of the instrumental temperature record
- His work was featured prominently in both the 2001 and 2007 IPCC reports, where he was a contributing author to Chapter 12, Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of Causes, of the Third Assessment Report and a Coordinating Lead Author of Chapter 3, Observations: Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change, of the AR4.
- An ISI highly cited researcher
- Awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal from the European Geophysical Society in 2002
- Awarded the International Journal of Climatology prize of the Royal Meteorological Society for papers published in the last five years in 2001
- Awarded the Outstanding Scientific Paper Award by the Environmental Research Laboratories / NOAA
Phil Jones is the cream of the crop. He is one of the top climate scientist in the world. Our leaders listen to him to make decisions on our laws and regulations. His ideas are taught in our classrooms to our children. We rely on exceptionally smart people like this to make decisions for us, to better our lives and our planet.
BUT, as shown in the below e-mail, Phil Jones doesn't know how to make a simple chart in excel, then right click and add a trend line. He can't do it. He needs someone else to do it for him. This seems rather astounding to me. He is so smart that he can predict the temperature of the earth 50 years from now, but can't make a simple chart?! Really?!
So the regular engineer sitting at his desk (me) is better at crunching data than the world renowned climate scientist!
It made me think. All these people we hold up as so smart and so important, they are not. They are normal. And they shouldn't be making decisions for others.
The policeman in a small town is better at making security decisions than Janet Napolitano, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
The single mother with three kids is better at making her children's education decisions than Arne Duncan, the Secretary of the Department of Education.
The local family doctor is better at making my health decisions than Kathleen Sebelius the Secretary of The Department of Health and Human Services.
The pastor at the local church is better at making charitable decisions than the Welfare Office and Food Stamp Programs.
The career councilor at the local college is better at making job decisions than President Barack Obama and Congress.
Freedom, capitalism, individualism, conservatism. These ideas are based on the truth that millions of people, making millions of personal decisions, will ALWAYS make better, fairer, faster decisions than a few all powerful people at the top. The people at the top simply don't have the access or capability to process all the data on all the people and know all the consequences of the actions.
We need to stop looking at the "leaders" to fix our problems. We have the ability to fix them. In fact, we are much better at it!
From: Phil Jones
Sent: 20 December 2007 13:58
To: Bob Ward
Subject: Re: More nonsense on climate change
Quickly re-reading this it sounds as though I’m getting at you. I’m not – just at the idiots who continue to spout this nonsense. It isn’t an issue with climatologists. All understand. If I tried to publish this I would be told by my peers it was obvious and banal. I will try and hide it in a paper at some point. I could put it on the CRU web site. I’ll see how I feel after the Christmas Pud.
I would have thought that this writer would have know better! I keep on seeing people saying this same stupid thing. I’m not adept enough (totally inept) with excel to do this now as no-one who knows how to is here.
What you have to do is to take the numbers in column C (the years) and then those in D (the anomalies for each year), plot them and then work out the linear trend. The slope is upwards. I had someone do this in early 2006, and the trend was upwards then. It will be now. Trend won’t be statistically significant, but the trend is up.
This is a linear trend – least squares. This is how statisticians work out trends. They don’t just look at the series. The simpler way is to just look at the data. The warmest year is 1998 with 0.526. All years since 2001 have been above 0.4. The only year before 2001 that was above this level was 1998. So 2cnd to 8th warmest years are 2001-2007
The reason 1998 was the warmest year was that it resulted from the largest El Nino event of the 20th century in 1997/8. We’ve not had anything resembling a major El Nino event since – they have all been minor.
Using regression, it is possible to take the El Nino event into account (with a regression based on the Southern Oscillation Index). This accounts for about 0.15 deg C of 1998′s warmth. Without that 1998 would have been at about 0.38.
There is a lot of variability from year-to-year in global temperatures – even more in ones like CET. No-one should expect each year to be warmer than the previous. The 2000s will be warmer than the 1990s though. This is another way of pointing out what’s wrong with their poor argument. The last comment about CET is wrong. 2007 will be among the top 10 warmest CET years – it will likely be 2cnd or 3rd.
Thanks for responding so comprehensively. I have plotted the data before, and as you observe, the trend is up but the result isn’t statistically significant, which I think makes it open to attack. I think the problem is that NOAA made the following statement in its report on the 2006 data:
“However, uncertainties in the global calculations due largely to gaps in data coverage make 2006 statistically indistinguishable from 2005 and several other recent warm years as shown by the error bars on the global time series.”
I’m not sure how to argue against this point – it appears to imply that there is no statistically significant trend in the global temperature record over the past few years.
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