Chris Mooney on the report Joe Barton commissioned on the hockey stick:

I am beyond bored with the whole thing. I’m reaching the point of despair. Listen, people: This is an argument over a study that is now some eight years old. Eight years! You would think there is nothing new under the sun in climate science.

So let us recite, once again, for those who still don’t get it: *One study never definitively proves anything in science. Any single study can be attacked and criticized. Any individual piece of work will have its gaps, shortcomings, and associated uncertainties.* As for those who show no appreciation of this fact, who obsessively beat up on a single study for political reasons: By this behavior, they simply show that they approach scientific information as lawyerly debunkers, rather than by trying to accurately grasp the big picture.

James Hrynyshyn adds:

Three allegedly distinguished academics — Edward J. Wegman of George Mason University, David W. Scott of Rice University and Yasmin H. Said of Johns Hopkins University — have taken it upon themselves to to attack not just paleoclimatologist Michael Mann, whose work was largely vindicated by the National Academies of Science just the other week, but the tendency of climate scientists to rely on peer review…

But this sort of disdain for the scientific community is entirely consistent with the lack of respect for science that typifies the Republican and Bush approaches to public policy. I suggest we should be very concerned when any elected official with any significant degree of power supports the not so subtle message that scientists by their very nature, can’t be trusted.

i-e23656cf66b1806a87b0a1ca8843f545-mckitricknetwork.pngThe hijinks never end with Congressman Barton. David Appell reports:

The hockey stick hearings, held by Congressmen dripping fossil fuel money from their fat, fleshy jowls, will be viewable here, on Wednesday the 19th at 10:00 am EDT. They say the guest list is still to be determined.

I think I may have the social network graph that will be used for the guest list right here.

Comments

  1. #1 JP
    July 19, 2006

    Garhane

    Why go to CA indeed, when they will come to you, much like a bad case of the flu.

    Ian

    Many of the tree-ring series (and other proxies) used in the reconstructions do not extend to the end of the 20th century because the trees were cored and the chronologies developed well before then. Thus, the reconstructions do not extend beyond 1980. In the Esper paper they comment on how one might improve the calibration of the proxies (and potentially the performance of the reconstructions) by using tree ring series (and other proxies) that extend closer to the present day, but that would require considerable sampling and chronology development. I would also point out that the Esper paper shows remarkable agreement between several millenial reconstructions (see their Fig 1), the debate is not over the pattern of reconstructions but rather the amplitude of the variations over that interval.

    Of course MarkR and the other bright lights of the cheer squad could go out and collect their own tree ring, ice core, and speleothem data but they would rather moan about a vast conspiracy to lock up that data and shield it from the public view.

    Wegman was quite a hit, sounds like he got his science education from Ken Ring.

  2. #2 nanny_govt_sucks
    July 19, 2006

    John Cross, I don’t think Wegman said anyting about “a redistribution of weight towards the role of natural factors” or antrho ones, so I don’t know how the Esper et. al. quote disagrees with him.

    Second note what Esper says “thereby relatively devaluing the impact of anthropogenic emissions”. Would you care to put an estimate on this?

    Beside the point. If it is .1C or 10C or 10CC or CC Rider it is still “a redistribution of weight towards the role of natural factors” and a bitter pill for the AGW crowd to swallow.

    Third the way the scenarios are developed, this was already taken into account.

    You mean the Hansen A,B,C scenarios that show observed temps are closely following scenario C already, though no warmers want to admit it? A little dip and we’ll be on scenario “D” as in “Don’t you still believe us?”.

    Of course you realize that Moberg and Esper use tree rings in their work don’t you?

    Hey, they’re your spaghetti heroes, not mine. If you don’t like what they say or how they do their proxy work, take it up with them.

  3. #3 MarkR
    July 19, 2006

    Hank

    “Can you come up with a published journal article citation?”

    Certainly.

    Divergence problem:

    NAS Report pages 47, and 111

    http://fermat.nap.edu/catalog/11676.html

  4. #4 John Cross
    July 19, 2006

    NGS: I am not sure what your point is. Wegman agrees that his work changes nothing. However if the use of my word nothing bothers you then I am glad to change it to insignificant, immaterial, or trivial.

    In regards to the “redistribution” my use of the word insignificant should solve that problem. I apologize since I thought we were talking about science not bandying words about.

    Finally, I am happy to admit that we are following along close to C. Of course B&C are esentially the same up to 2000 so we have only had 5 years to deviate. The interesting thing is that you knew that because you had it pointed out to you before yet you still choose to bring it up. Are you sure you are trying to discuss the science?

    Best,
    John

  5. #5 Dano
    July 19, 2006

    Say, MarkR:

    Are there any chronologies in question that are above 55o N?

    That is, after all, where the book says the issue is. Did you read it?

    And has any denialist/contrascientist collected data to defend this hypothesis? Do let us know.

    Oh, and let me know when you want to defend “your” arguments on a dendro listserv – I’ll sign you in.

    Thanks!

    D

  6. #6 MarkR
    July 19, 2006

    Hi Dano

    Nice cartoon about the right to remain silent.

    Mann sure did, didn’t he.

    No danger of him testifying under oath.

    Did he flee the County, or the Country?

  7. #7 Dano
    July 19, 2006

    MarkR, I ask again, as you have hand-waved yet again:

    Are there any chronologies in question that are above 55o N?

    That is, after all, where the book says the issue is. Did you read it?

    And has any denialist/contrascientist collected data to defend this hypothesis? Do let us know.

    Oh, and let me know when you want to defend “your” arguments on a dendro listserv – I’ll sign you in.

    Thanks!

    Best,

    D

  8. #8 MarkR
    July 19, 2006

    Hi Dano

    All I’m saying is that there is a “divergence problem”.

    The NAS said so.

    What is your problem?

  9. #9 Chris O'Neill
    July 20, 2006

    I really dislike people who ignore the truth.

    1. (a) They ignore the fact that Bristlecone proxies have some correlation with temperature, even when it is degraded by increases in CO2 and especially before it was degraded by increases in CO2.
    (b) They ignore the fact that Bristlecone proxies also have correlation with rainfall, which is correlated with temperature in other parts of the world.

    2. They ignore the fact that Bristlecone proxies are only necessary for climate reconstructions before 1450 and that reconstructions after 1450 made with or without Bristlecone proxies agree extremely well even though the Bristlecone proxies supposedly introduce a huge bias.

    3. They ignore the fact that when the data is calibrated to a period with no rising trend, i.e. 1856-1928, the reconstruction still passes validation.

    4. They ignore the relationship between validation measures and validation statistical significance.

    5. They ignore the fact that variations of method with the same data make no significant difference to the reconstructions, instead asserting that “the method” produces biased results.

    6. They ignore the fact that computer programs, as opposed to data and algorithms, are intellectual property and entitled to copyright status.

    7. They ignore the fact that how one person implements just one of the many implementations of the multiple methods available for solving a problem is just not significant.

    8. They ignore the fact that even if the average temperture rises or falls a degree or two, for the vast majority of the time, proxies stay within a reasonably linear range.

    9. (a repeat of point 1) They ignore the fact that rainfall that affects proxies is correlated to climate and temperature over a much larger area than the immediate area of the proxy.

    10. They ignore the fact that what was originally called a “correction” to a reconstruction and hence was being called a reconstruction is now no longer called a reconstruction.

    These are not “small errors/mistakes”.

    In all respects their research is fatally flawed, and wrong.

  10. #10 mndean
    July 20, 2006

    Bob,
    If you had any science on your side, why don’t you show it? If, like me, you are not a climate scientist, then who do you get your science from? Your assertion doesn’t make any sense since it isn’t backed up by anything. Many of the contrascience posters seem to think that science is something to be misused to their own ends – it doesn’t even have to be cited correctly or that the person citing it even understands what it means. Just so long as it might create some specious doubt. Of course, they also can’t resist the cheap smear (Beserkely? My, how ’70’s of you!), that their fellow-travelers can high-five each other and bump bellies over. I used to think, some years back, that there might be something to the denialist side. Then, when I started to read what the denialist side comprised, I quickly shed any doubts on the reality of AGW. Any denial now is wholly political.

  11. #11 Stephen Berg
    July 20, 2006

    MarkR, please read the following article thoroughly. It will silence you once and for all (hopefully, if you can actually think properly) about your criticisms of the hockey stick, criticisms which match those of M&M.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/07/the-missing-piece-at-the-wegman-hearing/

  12. #12 bob koepp
    July 20, 2006

    mndean – What is my side? Not denial of AGW; simply skepticism about some of the claims that tend to get lumped together under that label. Do I have to list the climate scientists who have raised questiones? All I’ve objected to is the way anybody who expresses even a bit of doubt, whether it’s about the extent of influence of CO2 on warming, the reliability of projections, whatever, is immediately labeled as stupid, a denier, an anti-environmentalist, a tool of big business, etc, etc. I think this is disgusting, and I don’t think it serves science well.

  13. #13 Geoff
    July 20, 2006

    Hi Stephen Berg,

    I’m not sure if you’ve been following the developments closely, but the RC piece is an embarrassment so severe it’s hard to believe they actually posted it. Anyone who has looked at the data and reconstructions closely recognizes that the only reason there is an HS in MBH9x and any other reconstruction based on similar manipulation of the proxies is the presence of a bristlecone series (or as they coyly refer to them the ” N. American tree ring network”, which the original data collectors stated were not temperature indicators, and which the NAS study said should be avoided. You will note that neither RC nor MBH have ever given any climatic reason for including the bristlecones other than “a better fit”.

    The slow but powerful earthquake has hardly begun to topple the papers that will have to be withdrawn or substantially ignored. Of course the demolition of MBH9x does not address other claimed indicators of the AGW hypothesis, but now that it has been shown that one of the iconic papers declaimed conclusions which even Dr. North admitted cannot be achieved by the methods indicated in the paper, there will be more detailed reviews of other work.

    What those reviews will find is unknown, but I would hazard a guess there are likely to be some surprises.

  14. #14 Tim Curtin
    July 20, 2006

    Chris said: “I really dislike people who ignore the truth.”

    So do I, see my corrections of your untruths in CAPS below.
    Chris also said:
    (a) They ignore the fact that Bristlecone proxies have some correlation with temperature, even when it is degraded by increases in CO2 and especially before it was degraded by increases in CO2. HOW DO YOU KNOW IN THE ABSENCE OF INSTRUMENT RECORDS BEFORE c1850? (b) They ignore the fact that Bristlecone proxies also have correlation with rainfall, which is correlated with temperature in other parts of the world. NOT SO. IN MANY AREAS MOST RAIN COMES IN THE WINTER, WHICH IS COOLER THAN SUMMER (SURPRISE SURPRISE!). EVER HEARD OF THE MEDITERRANEAN CLIMATE? (HINT: THAT CLIMATE ALSO EXISTS IN SOUTHERN SOUTH AFRICA AND AUSTRALIA, EVER BEEN THERE?)

    They ignore the fact that Bristlecone proxies are only necessary for climate reconstructions before 1450 and that reconstructions after 1450 made with or without Bristlecone proxies agree extremely well even though the Bristlecone proxies supposedly introduce a huge bias.
    NOT EVEN THE US REVIEW OF MANN BELIEVES THAT HIS PROXIES HAVE ANY MERIT BEFORE 1600.

    They ignore the fact that when the data is calibrated to a period with no rising trend, i.e. 1856-1928, the reconstruction still passes validation. BUT NOT FOR BRISTLECONES.

    They ignore the relationship between validation measures and validation statistical significance. MANN & CO HAVE NEVER PROVIDED ANY TESTS OF SIGNIFICANCE, NOR HAVE YOU OR ANYBODY ELSE IN THIS FIELD, LEAST OF ALL IPCC’S MYRIAD AUTHORS.

    They ignore the fact that variations of method with the same data make no significant difference to the reconstructions, instead asserting that “the method” produces biased results. IT DOES AS PROVED BEYOND DISPUTE BY WEGMAN.

    They ignore the fact that computer programs, as opposed to data and algorithms, are intellectual property and entitled to copyright status. NOT SO. ASK BILL GATES’ MICROSOFT JUST FINED c$400 MILLION BY THE EU FOR JUST THAT CLAIM

    They ignore the fact that how one person implements just one of the many implementations of the multiple methods available for solving a problem is just not significant.

    OH YES IT IS BOYO IF THE OUTCOME IS BS.
    They ignore the fact that even if the average temperture rises or falls a degree or two, for the vast majority of the time, proxies stay within a reasonably linear range.

    IN THAT CASE WHY DO YOU FRET ABOUT THE IPCC SCENARIOS WHICH SUGGEST A RANGE VARYING JUST BY A “DEGREE OF SO”?
    (a repeat of point 1) They ignore the fact that rainfall that affects proxies is correlated to climate – IT IS NOT, PROVIDE YOUR R2 – and temperature over a much larger area than the immediate area of the proxy. NONSENSE. TRY BIGHORN, WHERE FOR LAST 100 YEARS TREE RINGS CORRELATE ONLY WITH RAINFALL, NOT AT ALL WITH TEMPERATURE (CHECK OUT GOOGLE).

    They ignore the fact that what was originally called a “correction” to a reconstruction and hence was being called a reconstruction is now no longer called a reconstruction.

    NOW YOU ARE INTO 16TH CENTURY POETRY A LA JOHN DONNE NOT SCIENCE.

  15. #15 Jeff Harvey
    July 20, 2006

    Tim Curtin,

    Hey, Boyo, please tell me when I can expect your expert analyses to be published in the pages of Nature, Science, PNAS, or even Global Change Biology, Ecosystems, Ecology, Journal of Animal Ecology, Oikos, Oecologia, Basic and Applied Ecology etc. I just typed Curtin T and Curtin T* into the ISI Web of Science search engine and all of the hits I got revealed nothing about climate science, and all of the ‘Curtins’ were based in Europe or North America.

    Could it be true that Tim Curtin has never done any scientific research? Say it ain’t so, Joe!!!!

  16. #16 Hank Roberts
    July 20, 2006

    He’s a theorist:
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/06/the_gods_are_laughing_at_tom_h.php#comment-114050

    This is a disagreement on the fundamental science on which all other work about atmospheric physics is based.

  17. #17 Stephan Harrison
    July 20, 2006

    It seems that, with very few exceptions, few sceptics are scientists and even fewer publish in the refereed scientific literature on relevant topics. From my own standpoint I have two observations. First, whether or not the MWP or LIA were global in extent has nothing to do with AGW, which is based upon the known radiative effect of greenhouse gases and the amounts we are pumping into the atmosphere. Second, hockey sticks occur using other proxies (glaciers for instance) and these clearly have nothing to do with C02 fertilization, bristlecone pines etc. I’m glad to see that the (sensible) sceptics have moved from “there is no warming” through “the record is contaminated by urban heat islands” and are now agreeing that warming is happening. It won’t be long before they are on board the attribution argument too!

  18. #18 Dano
    July 20, 2006

    MarkR,

    All I’m saying is that there is a “divergence problem”.

    The NAS said so.

    What is your problem?

    That you don’t know what you’re talking about, yet you spread FUD.

    IOW, you have no clue on the subject, can’t speak to it when questioned, and must hand-wave to continue to comment here.

    Can’t wait ’til the astroturfer’s energy wanes!

    HTH,

    Best,

    D

  19. #19 bob keopp
    July 20, 2006

    If, eventually, I do come onboard the attribution argument, it won’t be because I’ve been insulted, had statements attributed to me that I’ve never made, or otherwise succumbed to bullying tactics. It will be because I’ve been persuaded by the scientific arguments.

    As for those who accept or reject scientific hypotheses on the basis of whether they comport with one’s political agenda, a pox on both your houses.

  20. #20 Chris O'Neill
    July 20, 2006

    I see Tim Curtin has taken some time out from high school study of molecular weight.

    “They ignore the fact that Bristlecone proxies have some correlation with temperature, even when it is degraded by increases in CO2 and especially before it was degraded by increases in CO2. HOW DO YOU KNOW IN THE ABSENCE OF INSTRUMENT RECORDS BEFORE c1850?”

    It is actually possible to reconstruct temperature at the location of Bristlecone proxies without using Bristlecone proxies back to 1450. That would give plenty of time to check their correlation before 1850. But much simpler than that is to compare them with the Northern treeline series which correlates quite well before 1750.

    “They ignore the fact that Bristlecone proxies also have correlation with rainfall, which is correlated with temperature in other parts of the world. NOT SO. IN MANY AREAS MOST RAIN COMES IN THE WINTER, WHICH IS COOLER THAN SUMMER (SURPRISE SURPRISE!).”

    It doesn’t matter whether it’s positive or negative correlation. The only thing that matters is that there is some non-zero correlation with rainfall.

    “They ignore the fact that Bristlecone proxies are only necessary for climate reconstructions before 1450 and that reconstructions after 1450 made with or without Bristlecone proxies agree extremely well even though the Bristlecone proxies supposedly introduce a huge bias. NOT EVEN THE US REVIEW OF MANN BELIEVES THAT HIS PROXIES HAVE ANY MERIT BEFORE 1600.”

    Oh that’s a peer-reviewed paper is it? How about we just stick to papers that at least have the credibility of a peer review such as for example http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/ammann/millennium/refs/WahlAmmann_ClimaticChange_inPress.pdf

    “They ignore the fact that when the data is calibrated to a period with no rising trend, i.e. 1856-1928, the reconstruction still passes validation. BUT NOT FOR BRISTLECONES.”

    Passes with 95% or more statistical significance with or without Bristlecone proxies.

    “They ignore the relationship between validation measures and validation statistical significance. MANN & CO HAVE NEVER PROVIDED ANY TESTS OF SIGNIFICANCE, NOR HAVE YOU OR ANYBODY ELSE IN THIS FIELD”

    Just to start you off in your long journey from ignorance read http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/05/how-red-are-my-proxies/ There’s not much point knowing how red your proxies are unless you’re doing statistical tests of significance.

    “They ignore the fact that variations of method with the same data make no significant difference to the reconstructions, instead asserting that “the method” produces biased results. IT DOES AS PROVED BEYOND DISPUTE BY WEGMAN.”

    Yeah sure, Wegman talks all about Regularized Expectation Maximization, doesn’t he Tim?

    “They ignore the fact that computer programs, as opposed to data and algorithms, are intellectual property and entitled to copyright status. NOT SO. ASK BILL GATES’ MICROSOFT JUST FINED c$400 MILLION BY THE EU FOR JUST THAT CLAIM”

    Yes that’s right Microsoft is worthless.

    “They ignore the fact that how one person implements just one of the many implementations of the multiple methods available for solving a problem is just not significant.
    OH YES IT IS BOYO IF THE OUTCOME IS BS.”

    Even if it was BS why not just use a public domain implementation that gives the same result and which is much easier to follow?

    “They ignore the fact that even if the average temperature rises or falls a degree or two, for the vast majority of the time, proxies stay within a reasonably linear range.
    IN THAT CASE WHY DO YOU FRET ABOUT THE IPCC SCENARIOS WHICH SUGGEST A RANGE VARYING JUST BY A “DEGREE OF SO”?”

    I was talking about the past.

    “They ignore the fact that rainfall that affects proxies is correlated to climate and temperature over a much larger area than the immediate area of the proxy.- IT IS NOT, PROVIDE YOUR R2 TRY BIGHORN, WHERE FOR LAST 100 YEARS TREE RINGS CORRELATE ONLY WITH RAINFALL, NOT AT ALL WITH TEMPERATURE”

    You’re just not getting the point. Even if a proxy only responds to rainfall, that rainfall depends on the climate which is related to temperature over a much larger area. So even just a rainfall proxy can be useful in reconstructing global climate and temperature.

    “They ignore the fact that what was originally called a “correction” to a reconstruction and hence was being called a reconstruction is now no longer called a reconstruction.
    NOW YOU ARE INTO 16TH CENTURY POETRY A LA JOHN DONNE NOT SCIENCE.”

    Missing the point as usual. I was referring to M&M’s supposed “correction” (that’s what M&M called it) of MBH’s reconstruction. It can’t be a correction to a reconstruction unless it is also a reconstruction. Now however M&M don’t want to call it a reconstruction anymore. M&M realise their mistakes sometimes but unfortunately not often enough. Just like you Tim.

  21. #21 Tim Curtin
    July 20, 2006

    O’Neill: “It doesn’t matter whether it’s positive or negative correlation. The only thing that matters is that there is some non-zero correlation with rainfall.” Classic IPCC-speak, as well as an indication that your econometric studies are not progressing well. So we now have tree rings proving AGW via CO2 either because they are positively correlated with precipitation which is/is not correlated with heat, or because they are not and it(rain) is or is not correlated with heat as the case may be. Anything goes and that is why the IPCCs FAR, SAR, and TAR lack credibility. The Big Horn data on rings, temps, and rain is on the web and available for your multiple regressions. Even simple regression would suffice to show that temps and rain are not correlated there, but no doubt there are places with summer rain that is more plentiful in hotter seasons, albeit not the UK at present or ever when I lived there. Globally MBH had to be ring-selective to avoid the Big Horn problem. Very scientific!

  22. #22 Stephen Berg
    July 21, 2006

    Re: “Classic IPCC-speak, as well as an indication that your econometric studies are not progressing well.”

    First of all, Tim, it would be an honour to sound as scientific as the IPCC, since this is exactly what we are dealing with: climate SCIENCE.

    Secondly, we are NOT dealing with econometrics. What do tree rings and the IPCC assessments have to do with econometrics? NOTHING!

    It’s all about CLIMATE SCIENCE, and judging by your bio on your website, you have no publishing history in climatology.

    You certainly would have the qualifications to speak with authority about economics/econometrics. I say this even though I would tend to disagree with your assessments of economic development issues.

    However, your bio does not sound authoritative in climate science one iota, especially in comparison with a scientist like Dr. Michael Mann.

  23. #23 Hank Roberts
    July 21, 2006

    Hey now, remember, the applicability of Gresham’s Law to Atmospheric Physics was first described by Dr. Curtin, you know, not long ago and right here:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/06/the_gods_are_laughing_at_tom_h.php#comment-114050

    “… what we are told by IPCC is that the atmospheric concentration of CO2 – repeat, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 – repeat, the atmospheric concentration of CO2 – has gone up by 100 ppm since 1750, which can ONLY mean that non-CO2 by ppm MUST have decreased by the same amount – repeat, non-CO2 by ppm MUST have decreased by the same amount. Like the other clowns in the IPCC you can redefine the terms of the debate, but if plain English and arithmetic mean anything (which clearly they do not on this Blog), you have to account for the 780 bn tonnes of non-CO2 that have gone missing.”

    “Posted by: Tim Curtin | June 20, 2006 07:08 AM”

  24. #24 Lee
    July 21, 2006

    Tim Curtin –

    uhhhh…. your logic fails here.

    Let us imagine that in a med climate, where winters are cold and wet and summers are hot and dry, that the average annual temperature goes up by 1C, and rainfall increases by 1″.

    Winters would still be cold and wet, and summers hot and dry, and there would ALSO now be a positive correlation between average annual temperature and average annual rainfall, even if SEASONAL rainfall is still negatively correlated with temperature. Seasonal patterns and annual averages are different kinds of categories.

    Seasonal variations have next to nothing to do with annual averages, and that was a pretty basic error of categorization you made. I found myself unable to take the post seriously enough to read further after that error – care to fix it and repost it, and I’ll try again?

  25. #25 Lee
    July 21, 2006

    Having just read the last post by Hank Roberts –
    Tim Curtin, do you imagine that the volume of the atmosphere is constant?

  26. #26 Tim Curtin
    July 21, 2006

    Having just read the last post by Hank Roberts – Tim Curtin, do you imagine that the volume of the atmosphere is constant?

    Posted by: Lee | July 21, 2006 09:14 PM

    Ask IPCC, who cite CO2 in ppmv, not in absolute amounts. Try this thought experiment: assume volume of atmosphere was 100^20 of whatever 100 years ago, with CO2 at 280 ppmv, and that as you suggest, it has expanded to say 100^30, with CO2 at 380 ppmv, that is even more CO2 than IPCC implies – but it also means that non-CO2 has increased in absolute terms by much more. Now what? back to your cave my friend.

  27. #27 Lee
    July 21, 2006

    Curtin – WTF?

    How on EARTH did you get that I’m suggesting that the atmosphere increased in volume by 10 orders of magnitude? Where in the F*** did **you** get the idea that the atmosphere increased in volume by 10 orders of magnitude?

    If you add 100 ppmv CO2 to the atmosphere, the atmosphere increases in total volume by about 1/10,000 (a negligible change in the denominator of the ppmv calculation), and CO2 increases by about 35%, a very substantial change in the numerator. And NOTHING needs to “go missing’ from the atmosphere – certainly not “780 Bn tonnes of non-CO2.”

    Is your ‘analysis’ an example of the kind of arithmetic they teach you in econometrics school?

    Sheesh.

  28. #28 Tim Curtin
    July 22, 2006

    Lee, you seem to have difficulties with language as well as numbers. I did not say you said what you say I did. The numerator is not just the CO2 but the other emissions that arise from burning fossil fuels, like H2O. Tell us about them. What is the total increase in the atmosphere from burning 100 tons of fuel? – but then you also overlook the question of increasing concentration. As you put it, there is none, the extra CO2 simply expands the atmosphere. But then there would be no rise from 270 to 380 ppm. As you are so coy about your own identity and CV it seems fair to assume that you are another sockpuppet who never did go to school.

  29. #29 John Cross
    July 22, 2006

    Tim: Here is a thought experiment. You have a glass of water and some food colouring. You put a drop of food coloring in the water. Now what happens to the volume of the glass and the concentration of food colouring. Extra points for discussing which effect would be easier to observe.

    Regards,
    John

  30. #30 Tim Curtin
    July 22, 2006

    John: You will enjoy this, but beyond it I cannot help you.

    http://www.transbuddha.com/mediaHolder.php?id=1147

  31. #31 Hank Roberts
    July 22, 2006

    “… carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning (about 26 billion tonnes per year, 7.2 GtC)…”
    http://www.uic.com.au/nip24.htm

    — 7.2 billion tonnes of carbon added to the atmosphere per year; the carbon came from underground, e.g. as coal, pure carbon. The oxygen was in the atmosphere.

    Carbon dioxide is increasing faster than all the natural sinks can absorb so the concentration (parts per million) in the atmosphere is increasing as noted.

    Oil and natural gas are hydrocarbons so from those some fossil hydrogen is also burned, making some water. But water vapor condenses back to water over a few days; it’s not accumulating in the atmosphere the way carbon dioxide is.

  32. #32 Geoff
    July 22, 2006

    Hi Dano,

    I’m having trouble understanding your comments about the divergence problem. This is well documented in the literature. Perhaps one example would help:

    ” in many tree-ring chronologies, we do not observe the expected rate of ring density increases that would be compatible with observed late 20th century warming. This changing climate sensitivity may be the result of other environmental factors that have, since the 1950s, increasingly acted to reduce tree-ring density below the level expected on the basis of summer temperature changes. This prevents us from claiming unprecedented hemispheric warming during recent decades on the basis of these tree-ring density data alone”.

    Ref: K. R. Briffa, T. J. Osborn and F. H. Schweingruber, Global and Planetary Change, Volume 40, Issues 1-2 , January 2004, Pages 11-26 available http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_aset=V-WA-A-W-A-MsSAYVW-UUA-U-AACZADUYAZ-AACBDCAZAZ-AYUYVCYY-A-U&_rdoc=1&_fmt=summary&_udi=B6VF0-49G5SBP-1&_coverDate=01%2F31%2F2004&_cdi=5996&_orig=search&_st=13&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=1280086&md5=e809dd32250724e0183d81c0322f34b4 here (for a fee).

    I’m sure any conprehensive dendro listserv participants could come up with many more.

    Or perhaps you had a different point?

  33. #33 Hank Roberts
    July 22, 2006

    “this “divergence,” which for now is considered unique to the 20th century and to areas north of 55°N (Cook et al. 2004).”

    http://fermat.nap.edu/openbook/0309102251/html/104.html

    “… Bristlecone Pine Forest … Schulman Grove (37° 23.129′ N, 118° 10.745 W, 9985 ft) & Patriarch Grove (37° 31.645′ N, 118° 11.889′ W, 11293 ft).”

    http://www.tim-thompson.com/vacation_2001.html

    “…lines of latitude are circles of different size. The longest is the equator, whose latitude is zero, while at the poles–at latitudes 90° north and 90° south (or -90°) the circles shrink to a point.”

    http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/stargaze/Slatlong.htm

  34. #34 Lee
    July 22, 2006

    OK, Curtin, how does one deal with an argument as jaw-droppingly stupid as this one is.

    First, if you are calculating concentration of CO2 as the volume of CO2 in the volume of the atmosphere, then H2O and other gasses are not part of the numerator, as you said, but part of the DENOMINATOR. Volume of CO2 is in the numerator, and total volume of the atmosphere is in the denominator, if you want to calculate the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Those other gasses change (negligibly) the total volume of the atmposphere (denominator), they do not change the total volume of CO2 (numerator). Only CO2 changes the volume of the CO2 (numerator). My third-grade son can handle this arithmetic.

    Second, you are arguing as if doubling the volume of a trace gas in the atmosphere will double the volume of the atmosphere overall. This has been explained quantitatively to you, many times now, and your argument simply is not true. But let me explain it again – I’ll even continue to include explicit labels for the numerator and the denominator, to make it easy for you:

    If you include all the other human emissions that contribute to the total volume of the atmosphere (denominator), they make negligible changes in the total volume (denominator) when calculating the increase in concentration of the TRACE gas CO2 (numerator), because they are only a miniscule fraction of the total volume of the atmosphere (denominator). This is especially true for water, which simply rains out and is removed from the atmsphere within a couple weeks, and then no longer contributes to anthropogenic changes in the total volume of the atmosphere (denominator).

    Once again, here is the change.

    Numerator:
    280 (previous CO2) + 100 (new CO2) = 380 (total CO2).

    Denominator:
    1,000,000 (previous volume) + 100 (new CO2) – 100 (consumed O2) = 1,000,000 (total volume).

    Water is negligible (it rains out within a couple weeks). Other trace gasses (and the tiny fraction of water that resides for that first 2 weeks or so) may add a few parts to the total volume, so for purposes of demonstration let us overestimate and add another term: + 100 (other trace gasses), making the denominator 1,000,100, instead of 1,000,000.

    Quick, Curtin (yes, this is an arithmetic test): what are the absolute and percentage differences between 380/1,000,000 and 380/1,000,100? And if you adjust the second fraction so that the denominator is precisely 1,000,000 (for presenting as ppmv) what is the new value of the numerator?

    As for my identity, I’m a biologist – I guess biology graduate programs require a better 2nd grade arithmetic education than whatever economics program you attended?

  35. #35 Hank Roberts
    July 22, 2006

    Dr. Curtin, you’re an academic, associated with a teaching institution. Please talk to someone in Physics there. This material would not have been taught when you were an undergraduate — it is now.

    To understand the issues about fossil fuels, you need to learn what the atmospheric physicists mean when they describe changes in CO2 in parts per million.

    Someone at your university will have taught this and will be willing to take the time needed to explain.

    It’s important, because:

    “Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known, we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge or error, and is personal.
    Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible. In
    the end the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.”

    http://www.indiana.edu/~jkkteach/smp98.html

  36. #36 Chris O'Neill
    July 22, 2006

    At least Tim Curtin no longer disagrees with the fact that using Bristlecone proxies in global temperature reconstructions before 1450 produces a statistically valid result that agrees with reconstructions not using such proxies after 1450. However he still has difficulty imagining any physical process that could make such a statistically valid result possible (although heaven knows how there could be a statistically valid result without some physical process occuring, even if we don’t know it). Considering his difficulty with physical chemistry*, this is not surprising.

    “Even simple regression would suffice to show that temps and rain are not correlated there”

    For Tim’s benefit, I’ll repeat: “Even if a proxy ONLY responds to rainfall, that rainfall depends on the climate which is related to temperature over a much larger area. So even just a rainfall proxy can be useful in reconstructing global climate and temperature. An example is El Nino where the world on average becomes hotter but not everywhere, while rainfall increases in some places and decreases in others. The rainfall can be affected in places where the temperature doesn’t change much, e.g. the western United States.

    * “what we are told by IPCC is that the atmospheric concentration of CO2 – has gone up by 100 ppm since 1750, which can ONLY mean that non-CO2 by ppm MUST have decreased by the same amount – repeat, non-CO2 by ppm MUST have decreased by the same amount” followed by “you have to account for the 780 bn tonnes of non-CO2 that have gone missing.”

    Yes, volume measured in tonnes, interesting. To avoid giving Tim too much physical chemistry to think about at once, just imagine that the non-CO2 was O2 that was consumed by burning C. So for every O2 molecule consumed by burning C, one CO2 molecule is produced. Net result: O2 decreased by 100ppmv while CO2 increased by 100ppmv. This isn’t the whole story but it’s enough for Tim to handle at one time.

  37. #37 Tim Curtin
    July 22, 2006

    O’Neill: “Yes, volume measured in tonnes, interesting.”

    Ever read the IPCC? “..”pre-industrial CO2 was about 280 ppmv corresponding to an atmospheric amount of 594 gigatonnes of carbon (1ppmv CO2 equals 21.2 GtC and 7.8 GtCO2), IPCC Scientific Assessment, 1990, p.9.

    I trust you will write John Houghton pointing out the error of his ways.

    Good bye

  38. #38 Lee
    July 23, 2006

    Curtin, the word “corresponding” has meaning in that sentence. As in: if one translated ppmv into absolute quantities (conceptually, by multiplying by the volume of the atmosphere) this is the absolute value one derives.

    I note that in response to a couple of detailed posts outlining exactly where your lack of understanding lies on this basic issue, that you home in on the least substantive phrase you can find that you can point t and imply an error, and ignore everything else.

  39. #39 Tim.Curtin
    July 23, 2006

    Lee: yes that is a useful trick, it’s one I learned here from TL and JQ, eg their coverage of the Wegman report.

    Bye

  40. #40 Hank Roberts
    July 23, 2006

    There’s another classic troll — the forged name (note the dot in that last one).

    I trust someone’s keeping track of the IP addresses being used for the forgeries.

  41. #41 Tim Lambert
    July 23, 2006

    Tim.Curtin comes from the same IP as Tim Curtin and uses the same email. Interestingly [this comment by “Rex”](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/07/the_australians_war_on_science.php#comment-174646) also somes from the same IP.

  42. #42 Tim Curtin
    July 23, 2006

    Lambert: that point was inadvertent, arising like Rex from your decision to expunge me from automatic listing prior to posting, requiring retyping. No bans etc, no subterfuge.

  43. #43 Gareth
    July 23, 2006

    I think the position is quite clear. When seeking clarity on climate issues, Tim Curtin is not your man. If seeking clarity on econometric issues, given his inability to understand simple arithmetic, then he’s probably not your man either.

    I pity any clients he may have.

  44. #44 Tim Curtin
    July 23, 2006

    Lambert: I also note that you only “disemvowell” and reveal pseudonyms of those you disagree with, eg per but not Dano. You abuse your power as webmaster by that selectivity. Teachers’ pets like Gareth can say anything they like and retain anonymity (though he does seem to have something to do with truffles/trifles).

  45. #45 Tim Lambert
    July 23, 2006

    I revealed per’s name because he used multiple ids to back himself up — ie sock puppets. People who agree with me seem to more willing to follow my commenting rules than you do. If you like vowels in your comments then just follow my rules. Can’t you control yourself?

  46. #46 per
    July 23, 2006

    Dear Tim
    it is noteworthy that you also revealed my name as John Brignell !

    Of course, sock puppets have nothing to do with your patent animosity. That is why you try to guess my name.

    That is also why you are quite happy for Dano, and others, to routinely transgress your “rules” about personal abuse.

    What you cannot stand is losing the argument. That is why you invented a rule about multiple posting for MarkR. That is why you banned me when I didn’t know the definition of a computer science technical term.

    you are a bully.

    yours

    per

  47. #47 Gareth
    July 23, 2006

    “Teachers’ pets like Gareth can say anything they like and retain anonymity (though he does seem to have something to do with truffles/trifles).”

    In what way does publicly linking to my own blog constitute remaining anonymous?

    You can be as grumpy as you like, but until you show a better grasp of simple physical concepts, expect to get your shortcomings pointed out – especially in a public debate.

  48. #48 Dano
    July 24, 2006

    That is also why you are quite happy for Dano, and others, to routinely transgress your “rules” about personal abuse.

    You are just mad that I point out your tactics, such as throwing ad hom around everywhere.

    Your weak arguments might have more merit if the accusation were something that occurred across the board, rather than occasionally directed at those who blatantly purvey FUD.

    That is: the argument here is the standard whine about lack of ‘scientific dialogue’.

    IOW, try harder.

    Best,

    D

  49. #49 Chris O'Neill
    July 30, 2006

    “pre-industrial CO2 was about 280 ppmv corresponding to an atmospheric amount of 594 gigatonnes of carbon”

    The above statement has a definite meaning unlike the following statement:

    “you have to account for the 780 bn tonnes of non-CO2 that have gone missing.”

    What substance is this non-CO2 that made up 100ppmv of the atmosphere and had a mass of 780 bn tonnes? By an incredible coincidence it had the same molecular weight as CO2 and yet it couldn’t have been CO2 because as we all know the CO2 has increased by 780 bn tonnes. There must be some genius at high school chemistry out there who can help us, especially the person who wrote the second quote because he certainly needs it.

  50. #50 Hank Roberts
    July 30, 2006

    I hope Dr. Curtin watched Dr. Mann and Dr. Christie during the second hearings when they both talked about the experience of having their errors corrected.

    I hope you’ll go over to your school’s Physics Department, and ask someone there to look over your idea of how these calculations are done.

    You don’t want to be left out of these discussions because you aren’t doing the basic addition the same way as everyone else, do you?

  51. #51 Hank Roberts
    May 8, 2008

    The link I posted in 116 above is broken because the underscores are interpreted as italic codes. Belatedly cleaning up after myself here, Markdown’s “literal” feature apparently works — putting a backtick around each underscore should give a link that will work and look right. If the whole line below is the same color, it ought to click and work; if not, copy and paste it to navigate

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/06/the_gods_are_laughing_at_tom_h.php#comment-114141

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