Rosegate

Imagine, if you will, that the emails stolen from CRU had included fawning comments from an MSM journalist to a climate scientist like this:

As a veteran member of the MSM (Vanity Fair and the UK’s Mail on Sunday) may I state for the record: Sir, I salute you. Bravo!

or this:

without Steve’s brilliant work and this magnificent website, it could not have been written.

What do you think the denialists would have said? Since a perfectly innocuous query from Seth Borenstein in the stolen emails lead to Anthony Watts calling for “AP to remove Seth Borenstein as ‘science reporter’”, you can bet that there would have been a campaign against the journalist in question.

But those comments were written by journalist David Rose and addressed to Steve McIntyre, so the denialists have ignored Rose’s obvious and extreme bias and touted his work. As you would expect from his comments, Rose uncritically accepted McIntyre’s quote mined misrepresentations about the stolen emails. Rose has form here. In 2002 he wrote a series of stories about how Iraq was behind Al Qaeda, but in 2004 was forced to admit that he had been “bamboozled” by the lies of Iraqi defectors. You’d think he would have learned.

Since his article channeling Steve McIntyre, Rose has become a full-on anti-climate science warrior.

He wrote a story that thoroughly misrepresented Mojib Latif, claiming:

The bitter winter afflicting much of the Northern Hemisphere is only the start of a global trend towards cooler weather that is likely to last for 20 or 30 years, say some of the world’s most eminent climate scientists [referring to Latif].

Latif, of course, had said no such thing, and responded

“They are not related at all,” he said. “What we are experiencing now is a weather phenomenon, while we talked about the mean temperature over the next 10 years. You can’t compare the two.”

Now he has a story on the error in the IPCC WG2 report about Himalayan glaciers, and has verballed another scientist. Rose wrote:

The scientist behind the bogus claim in a Nobel Prize-winning UN report that Himalayan glaciers will have melted by 2035 last night admitted it was included purely to put political pressure on world leaders.

Dr Murari Lal also said he was well aware the statement, in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), did not rest on peer-reviewed scientific research.

In an interview with The Mail on Sunday, Dr Lal, the co-ordinating lead author of the report’s chapter on Asia, said: “It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.”

Joe Romm checked with Lal:

He said these were “the most vilest allegations” and denied that he ever made such assertions. He said “I didn’t put it [the 2035 claim] in to impress policymakers… We reported the facts about science as we knew them and as was available in the literature.”

That’s not all that Rose got wrong:

For example, Hayley Fowler of Newcastle University, suggested that their draft did not mention that Himalayan glaciers in the Karakoram range are growing rapidly, citing a paper published in the influential journal Nature.

In their response, the IPCC authors said, bizarrely, that they were ‘unable to get hold of the suggested references’, but would ‘consider’ this in their final version. They failed to do so.

Look at what she actually wrote:

I am not sure that this is true for the very large Karakoram glaciers in the western Himalaya. Hewitt (2005) suggests from measurements that these are expanding – and this would certainly be explained by climatic change in precipitation and temperature trends seen in the Karakoram region (Fowler and Archer, J Climate in press; Archer and Fowler, 2004) You need to quote Barnett et al.’s 2005 Nature paper here – this seems very similar to what they said. (Hayley Fowler, Newcastle University)

Barnett’s Nature paper doesn’t say anything about Karakoram glaciers increasing. What it does say is this:

There is little doubt that the glaciers of the HKH [Himalaya-Hindu Kush] region are melting and that the melting is accompanied by a long-term increase of near-surface air temperature (ref. 44 and Figs 2.9 and 2.10 in ref. 1), the same level of warming we saw impacting the western USA. After 25 years of study, the China Glacier Inventory was recently released[45]. It showed substantial melting of virtually all glaciers, with one of the most marked retreats in the last 13 years (750 m) of the glacier that acts as one of the major sources of the Yangtze River, the largest river in China. In total, it is estimated that the entire HKH ice mass has decreased in the last two decades. Furthermore, the rate of melting seems to be accelerating[46]. …

It appears that some areas of the most populated region on Earth are likely to ‘run out of water’ during the dry season if the current warming and glacial melting trends continue for several more decades. This may be enough time for long-term planning to see just how the region can cope with this problem. Unfortunately, the situation here is that when the glaciers melt and their fossil water is used or lost, their contribution to the water supply of the region will cease.

Yes, the Nature paper supports what the IPCC report says.

The paper on Karakoram is Hewitt (2005), which says:

What the Karakoram expansions do not do is refute the case for climate change, nor even atmospheric warming. The former seems the only explanation of the glacier changes observed. Warming and greater transport of moisture to higher altitudes may explain other aspects of the anomaly. The central Karakoram does emerge as the largest of those very few areas where glaciers are growing today, most probably due to the great elevations, relief, and distinctive climatic regimes involved.

This was published, not in Nature, but in Mountain Research and Development (impact factor 0.347). The IPCC authors should still have been able to find it, however.

Fowler’s comments on the flap are worth reading:

Dr Fowler, a hydroclimatologist, pointed out that while winters in the western Himalayas were warmer, summers had been cooler in recent years, meaning that some glaciers in the west have been growing, not receding like others around the world.

Dr Fowler said the scale of the task of putting the report together meant that no one editor could be an expert on every aspect of each chapter. ”Given the size of literature that needs to be read to put the IPCC report together though, I am sure that occasional errors may occur,” she told the Herald. ”The good thing is that it has been spotted and will now be put right. It does not mean that all the other conclusions of the IPCC report are wrong.”

If David Rose was writing the story I imagine her comments would have been reported like this:

Dr Fowler, a hydroclimatologist, pointed out that while winters in the western Himalayas were warmer, summers had been cooler in recent years, meaning that some glaciers in the west have been growing, not receding like others around the world.

Dr Fowler told the Daily Mail that ”all the other conclusions of the IPCC report are wrong.”

Update: The Rosegate scandal grows.

Comments

  1. #1 Harald Korneliussen
    January 27, 2010

    Typo alert: Do they force you to use markdown in posts as well now? Link to wattsupwiththat appears to be in literal html.

  2. #2 Joel
    January 27, 2010

    Come on, to be a proper neo-gate you need to be reporting this a **lot** more hysterically.

  3. #3 J Bowers
    January 27, 2010

    I get the impression that many are unaware that the UK has a Press Complaints Commission. Most noteable is Clause 1 of the Editors’ Code:
    http://www.pcc.org.uk/cop/practice.html

    One case relevant to climate change was a complaint against an article by Christopher Booker on sea level rise, which produced at least a partial result even though the complainant was not named in Booker’s piece:
    Adjudication – Mr Bob Ward v The Sunday Telegraph
    http://www.pcc.org.uk/news/index.html?article=NjE4OQ==

    I somehow imagine the list of articles here and elsewhere could be challenged a bit more easily, given the documented evidence against claims made in British newspapers such as the Sunday Times, Mail on Sunday, and Sunday Telegraph, who can display distinctly partisan views on climate change.

  4. #4 lord_sidcup
    January 27, 2010

    The UK Press Complaints Commission is pretty toothless, but even so I hope Latif, Lal and Fowler are considering lodging a complaint. You don’t have to be named in an article to make a complaint, but a named complainant will have a stronger case.

  5. #5 J Bowers
    January 27, 2010

    The PCC may be toothless in terms of compensation, but at least they’re an impartial adjudicator and can force a newspaper to print a retraction, rebuttal, or alternative view which gets seen by the readership. As the case I posted to clearly shows, the complainant need not be named.

    The UK has some of the most draconian civil libel laws in the world, and it takes press misrepresentation pretty seriously hence the legislation and PCC. The biggest problem with these articles is that there are rarely, if ever, any corrections printed probably because they rarely get challenged using official and impartial channels. So, Dear Reader simply goes away with the impression that what they say is true and factual.

    There’s little point in only complaining on blogs like this. I also wouldn’t be quite so self-defeating on the issue. Really, what’s to be lost except a bit of typing time?

  6. #6 JamesA
    January 27, 2010

    Personally, I subscribe to the opinion that any PCC-enforced retractions should be given the exact same amount of prominence that the offending stories were originally. Same page, font size, the works. The Daily Fail and all the other British tabloids would be soooo screwed.

  7. #7 carrot eater
    January 27, 2010

    brilliant and magnificent. Could he be any more fawning?

    What an obvious case of confirmation bias. A journalist with no scientific or analytical aptitude comes across a webpage that tells him what he wants to hear, and he accepts it uncritically.

  8. #8 Marco
    January 27, 2010

    I think some people here are confusing bad reporting with libel. The UK has pretty tough libel laws, but a reporter who claims to cite someone else can never be tried for libel. At best he may be requested to correct. And that doesn’t always end up very good. For example, Booker once gladly did so…and introduced yet another attack in the progress:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/6475667/Gavin-Schmidt-a-correction.html

  9. #9 J Bowers
    January 27, 2010

    I was only pointing out that mispresenation is taken seriously, as seen with the draconian libel laws here in the UK.

    Bad or blatantly biased reporting is the issue as rightly pointed out. The more complaints then theoretically the more headaches for editors and press lawyers. At least it might prompt them to check sources and facts more rigorously.

  10. #10 carrot eater
    January 27, 2010

    J Bowers: I don’t think they care. Certain authors are out there to be provocative and to promote their own views; if they bring readers then the editors don’t care. Particularly if it’s all in line with the editorial stance of the paper.

  11. #11 David Marjanović
    January 27, 2010

    Do they force you to use markdown in posts as well now?

    Who “they”? Markdown doesn’t work on any other ScienceBlog. (Fortunately.)

    (BTW, I don’t have a blog. I just need to pretend so I can comment on Pharyngula.)

  12. #12 sod
    January 27, 2010

    very good article Tim.

    such errors are horrible. but the spreading of lies is following a system. just take a look at the D’Aleo/Watts paper:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/26/new-paper-on-surface-temperature-records/

    the 15 points “SUMMARY FOR POLICYMAKERS” is a list of lies, false statements and misrepresentations.

  13. #13 carrot eater
    January 27, 2010

    sod: sounds like a collection of already and easily debunked arguments.

  14. #14 Martin Vermeer
    January 27, 2010

    Yes, carrot eater, sod; easily debunked by those in the know. But somebody has to do it. And there’s so much of this around now, that some of it will inevitably stick with the public.

    But look at it from the bright side (if you’re a policy guy; I am not): the only reason for all this noise is the “threat” of real climate legislation, no matter how modest and loophole riddled, in the USA. Obama is doing something right ;-)

    BTW another worrisome thing: the UK parliamentary investigation:

    Look especially at this point:

    — How independent are the other two international data sets?

    Somebody’s pulling the same strings.

  15. #15 carrot eater
    January 27, 2010

    Martin: Much of the latest clownery about station numbers has been nicely addressed by this guy:

    http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2010/01/kusi-noaa-nasa/

    He doesn’t write often, but he does a pretty good job when he does.

  16. #16 Marco
    January 27, 2010

    @J Bowers:
    Misrepresentation taken seriously?
    Retractions published somewhere on page 25, in small print, are worth nothing.

    Note that many others in other fields have bad experiences with the British newspapers:
    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201001/british-newspapers-make-things
    (I’m going to plug this one elsewhere, too)

  17. #17 guthrie
    January 27, 2010

    Maybe we need a law which says that newspapers and other such publications, on and offline, must put their corrections forwwards with as much publicity as the original article.
    Which would really screw over the tabloids, hehehehe.

  18. #18 Dano
    January 27, 2010

    Has anyone checked Tom Fuller’s ululation dissemination channel to see if he is inserting RoseGate!!!! next to every noun in his text?

    Surely Tom’s intrepid coverage is playing this up, like the SwiftHack scandal he screeched about!!!!!!!!!!!

    I crack me up.

    Best,

    D

  19. #19 clarencegirl
    January 27, 2010

    Bravo, Tim! A great post.

  20. #20 Brian Schmidt
    January 27, 2010

    One lesson is that scientists should refuse interviews with David Rose unless they’re keeping their own audio recording of the interview.

  21. #21 Martin Vermeer
    January 27, 2010

    carrot eater: yes, good write-up.

    BTW this E.M. Smith character (“chiefio”) that works with d’Aleo is incredible… a Dunning-Kruger specimen that beats even Watts.
    Over at Rabett’s we looked at his surface station code:

    http://www.webcitation.org/5moIbpHAF

    1) He does integer calculus, but wrongly, resulting in 0.1 C net precision

    2) He uses temperatures, never having heard of temperature anomalies

    3) He averages stations, never having heard of areal averaging or regridding.

    Says Watts:

    First I want to say that without E.M. Smith, aka “Chiefio” and his astounding work with GISS process analysis, this paper [d'Aleo and Watts, MV] would be far less interesting and insightful. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude.

    Those two deserve each other…

  22. #22 dhogaza
    January 27, 2010

    Well, well, he publishes his code, and my oh my, all this complaining of “poorly written spaghetti FORTRAN” by the denialsphere and oh, my, his code really does suck, doesn’t it?

  23. #23 carrot eater
    January 27, 2010

    well, well. I think compsci people get overly snarky when it comes to code; people in physical science write code as needed, not to win beauty pageants. If it works, it works. But does he really need line numbers and gotos for whatever he’s doing there?

    But the bigger issue is one of a constant and continuous incompetence with respect to the concept of anomalies.

  24. #24 Marco
    January 27, 2010

    @Brian Schmidt:
    There’s actually a good chance no one actually talked to David Rose. Check also the link in #16, with an example of another scientist being “quoted” without ever having talk to the journalist (somewhere 2/3rd down). Not David Rose, not the Daily Mail, but the pattern is quite persuasive in the British press.

  25. #25 dhogaza
    January 27, 2010

    well, well. I think compsci people get overly snarky when it comes to code; people in physical science write code as needed, not to win beauty pageants. If it works, it works.

    Note that I’ve defended both the use of FORTRAN and the quality of code in GISS Model E in may places.

    My comment was speaking to the (as always) hypocritical criticisms launched by (mostly uniformed) denialists over the quality of NASA GISS Model E and GISTEMP. Though GISTEMP is, by all accounts, a mess (but largely due to the structuring of the program in several passes due, apparently, to limitations of storage on the older computers for which it was originally developed – this is probably where the structural clean-up that will be done by the CCC people will be most useful. And it’s a structural clean-up made possible by increased capacity of cheaply available computers, not any CS-snarky stuff (they’ll do it in Python, not FORTRAN, but I think the restructuring/refactoring, not the change of language, will make the biggest contribution to readability and understandability).

    But does he really need line numbers and gotos for whatever he’s doing there?

    It’s a thing of beauty, ain’t it? :)

    But the bigger issue is one of a constant and continuous incompetence with respect to the concept of anomalies.

    Everyone here should at least quickly browse the second lucia thread linked in a previous post. It’s amazing. Lucia attempts to pound the fact into EM Smith that anomalies, not temperatures, are the goal and he apparently does not get it.

    AMAZING.

    These are the people “overturning” the work of thousands of professional scientists …

  26. #26 dhogaza
    January 27, 2010

    Oh, as to whether or not he needs those IFs, GOTOs, and line numbers, modern FORTRAN not only has reasonable IF-THEN-ELSE statments, but a CASE statement as well.

  27. #27 Eli Rabett
    January 27, 2010

    Eli doesn’t think many people remember the limitations of programming on a 32K machine that you booted from a paper tape reader. Real time data acquisition was the real horror. (Anyone remember FORTH)

  28. #28 carrot eater
    January 27, 2010

    Isn’t this guy being sold as an expert computer programmer? If he’s sitting there writing gotos and line numbers, we can have our doubts on that. We can then clearly see that he doesn’t understand the first thing about what he’s writing his code about. So what exactly is he good at?

    dhogaza: can you give the link again? not sure where to look, based on that description.

  29. #29 dhogaza
    January 27, 2010

    Eli doesn’t think many people remember the limitations of programming on a 32K machine that you booted from a paper tape reader. Real time data acquisition was the real horror. (Anyone remember FORTH)

    Yeah, I remember FORTH, and booting the computer I learned machine coding on – a PDP 8/S with 4K 12-bit words – by keying in a bootstrap loader using the binary switches and the “memory deposit” key. That loader was then used to load in the the binary loader from paper tape that was *then* used to bootstrap the computer :)

    Actually the first bit of systems software I wrote was an improved binary loader that used all eight bits of the paper tape rather than just six, shortening the tape, and splitting the binary into 128-word blocks with individual checksums, so when the paper tape reader on the teletype failed (as it invariably did every few tapes), you only had to back up to the last block and reload from there, rather than the entire tape (programs frequently took 15+ minutes to load).

    Those were the days. I don’t miss them a bit!

  30. #30 dhogaza
    January 27, 2010

    Isn’t this guy being sold as an expert computer programmer? If he’s sitting there writing gotos and line numbers, we can have our doubts on that. We can then clearly see that he doesn’t understand the first thing about what he’s writing his code about. So what exactly is he good at?

    Apparently he’s really good at not understanding why anomalies, not absolute temps, are what’s important when comparing stations at different elevations or latitude or …

    I can’t think of any other so-called “expert computer programmer” who can’t get that straight.
    Isn’t this guy being sold as an expert computer programmer? If he’s sitting there writing gotos and line numbers, we can have our doubts on that. We can then clearly see that he doesn’t understand the first thing about what he’s writing his code about. So what exactly is he good at?

    dhogaza: can you give the link again? not sure where to look, based on that description.

    Oh, drat, the lucia link is from another thread, I’ll go find it.

  31. #31 dhogaza
    January 27, 2010

    Here it is … lucia really takes him apart on a variety of things.

  32. #32 JackC
    January 27, 2010

    dhogaza and Eli – not only remember, but my Sun system monitors are Forth – and I am probably the only one in my company that (marginally, I admit) understands them.

    And dhogaza, I will go you one better by just saying that mine was a homebuilt (well – Shipboard-built as I was in the Navy at the time) IMSAI Z-80 system, but from there, yeah – pretty much the same ;-) Only mine read 5-level Baudot initially ….. ;-)

    I have had so many run-ins with “goto” people that I just gave up. One wrote a small program (under Pick – does that pull rank or anything – in maybe some odd inverse manner??) that had a SLIGHT mis-step and didn’t “goto” quite the right place – the entire program sat there for 6 hours doing the same thing over and over. I larned him a thing or two about while loops that day. Another person wrote a goto loop that I glanced at and said “Yeah – that is just a basic ‘for’ loop…” and was told that it was ENTIRELY different. Whatever.

    To parapharase: Those that cannot program upset those of us that can.

    JC

  33. #33 dhogaza
    January 27, 2010

    nd dhogaza, I will go you one better by just saying that mine was a homebuilt (well – Shipboard-built as I was in the Navy at the time) IMSAI Z-80 system, but from there, yeah – pretty much the same

    Oh, the Z-80 was microprocessor, the PDP-8 was introduced in 1965 … the 8/S somewhat later (S for serial, i.e. the arithmetic unit processed one bit at a time, 13 times (12 bit + overflow bit) for each add, rather than in parallel like the PDP-8 or other real computers).

    Pick. Ha! Never had the pleasure though I know people who did.

    To parapharase: Those that cannot program upset those of us that can.

    Which reminds me that there are only 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary, and those that don’t …

  34. #34 JackC
    January 27, 2010

    I was gonna say the “10 kinds” thing … but thought better =;-)

    I was thinking more Commercial vs HomeBuilt – but yeah – I never had the pleasure of messing around with an 8. I think I worked with a custom board for an 11 once, but never worked with the system itself. I got into this late.

    Pick was fun! (Trivia: What was it’s name BEFORE it took the name of it’s creator?) Slow as heck – but I loved it’s data structure – and it was the very first OS to run on IBM’s new RISC-6000 system back when it was born. I started working with Pick after messing about with a Revelation database system after the person that designed it became unavailable.

    I just collect weird and obsolete systems all over, don’t I?

    JC

  35. #35 lord_sidcup
    January 27, 2010

    Since the topic is bent and twisted journalism, has anyone heard about James Delingpole’s latest antics?

    Delingpole somehow got hold an email sent to a parliamentary candidate by a member of the public enquiring about the candidates views on climate change. Delingpole then published the email on his blog, including the sender’s name and postal address. Delingpole’s goons then set about intimidating the sender of the email by ‘phone and email. The blog posting has now been taken down, but Monbiot has more information:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2010/jan/27/james-delingpole-climate-change-denial

    What an animal.

  36. #36 SCM
    January 27, 2010

    I actually knew Dave Rose a little, many years ago, through a shared interest in caving/potholing. So weird to see the way he’s jumped the shark – he used to be a proper journalist once, writing investigative law and order stuff for the Grauniad.

    It seem where he wanders into areas he knows little about he is easily suckered by charismatic people (eg Iraq/Al Quaeda and here by McIntyre) and has gotten too lazy to cross check. Probably if you write for the Daily Mail it doesn’t really matter – its all about selling newspapers.

    As a scientist though I feel really unsettled by the denialist backlash. It is so NOT grounded in science and yet they seem to have everyone’s ears. The lunatics are taking over the asylum.

  37. #37 Dave Andrews
    January 27, 2010

    Tim,

    Carry on tilting at windmills. The real story that will come out is the money and resources that Pachauri and others have secured for their institutes etc on the back of the IPCC. This is already beginning to surface in India and will soon become more widespread. Once it does the IPCC is doomed.

  38. #38 dhogaza
    January 27, 2010

    Once it does the IPCC is doomed.

    We know it’s all about politics with Dave Andrews, but …

    Watcha goin’ to do when it all melts on you?

  39. #39 guthrie
    January 27, 2010

    Dave Andrews – is that wishful thinking on your part or what?

  40. #40 Vince Whirlwind
    January 27, 2010

    Dave Andrews,
    could you please provide a date for your “the IPCC is doomed” prediction?

  41. #41 theblob
    January 27, 2010

    Rosegate lol. Come on readers, it’s your responsibility to trawl the internet now dropping references to “rosegate”. Every forum, every blog, let them know.

    Also grin and bear as I critique Joseph D’Aleo and the SurfaceSmear project:

    http://climatewtf.blogspot.com/2010/01/joseph-daleo-and-his-technically-flawed.html

  42. #42 Michael
    January 27, 2010

    @35

    Astounding stuff from James Dellingpole and the sheep-like trolls that are attracted to denialism.

  43. #43 guthrie
    January 27, 2010

    Thats what confuses me – is Delingpole seriously brain dead, or just evil? What sort of moron puts anyones name and address or other contact details up online without their permission, especially when critiscising their personal correspondence with their MP?

  44. #44 MapleLeaf
    January 27, 2010

    So David Andrews, you don’t give a shit that many journalists can’t do their f%%cking job properly. For example, Rose using fallacious ‘arguments’, misinformation and distortion to refute what he sees as ‘junk science’? Does the hypocrisy not register with you? Sadly no.

    Honestly, people like you blow my mind. No wonder Fox is doing so well David, you and your ilk are not only gobbling up conspiracy theories and BS put forward by ideologues b/c and but you then then participate in the dissemination of said BS. Denialists are showing themselves to be amongst the most mean spirited, draconian, myopic cults walking the planet. Just see the example provided by lord-sidcup @37, or the death threats against Santer and Jones and WIlson and others. You and your ilk are apparently just out for blood, and don’t give a shit about the science. It is easy to be cavalier when one thinks of the IPCC scientists as mere targets, but they are actually people with families.

    If it were Rose twisting and distorting your beloved McI’s words then I’m sure you’d have something to say. Enjoy this ride while you can, b/c a few decades from now you’ll regret being so willfully ignorant.

  45. #45 WotWot
    January 27, 2010

    Thats what confuses me – is Delingpole seriously brain dead, or just evil?

    They are not mutually exclusive options.

  46. #46 b_nichol
    January 27, 2010

    @13 Sod: in the comments from your link, in response to a keen-eyed reader who spotted an extra ‘the’:

    “REPLY: We plan to keep this as a living document, with version numbers as we update, so yes such things are welcome. We are depending on all of you for our “peer review”. Check your inbox for an email, send there. – A”

    Ah, so that’s what peer-reviewed means to the blog scientists at WTFIUWT.

  47. #47 b_nichol
    January 27, 2010

    Oops: make that @12

  48. #48 Daniel J. Andrews
    January 27, 2010

    Good post, Tim. I like how it summarizes the glacier flap that has antiscience folks trumpeting the final nail (yet again) in the coffin of AGW.
    –Dan (not Dave) Andrews!

  49. #49 Bernard J.
    January 27, 2010

    [Lord Sidcup](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/01/rosegate.php#comment-2231733).

    Delingpole’s behaviour is reprehesible in the extreme.

    Is there no media regulation in Britain that proscribes the publication of names where it is not in the public interest, and especially when such publication involves the breaching of the rightly-expected privacy of the correspondent?

    And what of Edwin Northover?! Is it tolerable behaviour in Britain for a political candidate to give private correspondence, pertaining to a routine matter of constituency, to the press? And with the identifying details of the correspondent included? Surely this breaches both privacy and electoral laws?

    I’m rather sure that in Australia both would be facing charges: perhaps a local legal eagle, (or even a buzzard – cohenite, you’ve been quiet of late…), could clarify?

    Northover and Delingpole have both exihibited despicable and endangering behaviour. Their punishment at the least should be to have their addresses, email details, and ‘phone numbers publicised as well, in the good Old Testament fashion so beloved of the Tories…

  50. #50 P. Lewis
    January 27, 2010

    It seems almost certain (to me) it was in contravention of the provisions of Data Protection Act (DPA). The Guidance on dealing with requests for MPs’ correspondence relating to constituents intimates as much, though this document relates more to FoI requests from MPs than constituents’ letters to MPs than the DPA angle itself. That said many of the points, and particularly points 2, 6-8 and 11-13 bear reading.

    And then there is this verbose exchange between a Conservative MP and the Deputy Leader of the House and the ensuing debate on the question of confidentiality of constituents’ communications with their MPs.

  51. #51 J Bowers
    January 27, 2010

    OH FFS! No wonder the other side of the fence is winning the PR battle. Think some “sceptics”/contrarians even hesitate about making complaints? Stop being a bunch of whusses.

  52. #52 MapleLeaf
    January 27, 2010

    Folks, it is all good and well complaining here, but we have to follow through and actually complain. It does not take that much time. Yes, the press councils may not have teeth, but who gives a shit (sorry, I’m not in a good mood)? And besides, that is not the bloody point, the point is to send a message that people are taking note and for there to be some level of accountability. I challenge all of you living in the UK to file an official complaint against Delingpole, and/or Rose and/or Northover. One could also complain directly to one or more of the papers’ largest advertisers/sponsors.

    Really, I’m getting pretty sick of we scientists playing “Mr. nice guy”. There are formal mechanisms out there to process complaints. Unless Delingpole and Rose become liabilities, they will have a job and continue to spout crap and even, in the case of Delingpole, endanger people’s lives.

  53. #53 J Bowers
    January 28, 2010

    Let the scientists keep doing the science. They’re too honourable, though. The IPCC needs to bare its teeth a bit more.

    Sick of “bloggers” pretending to know more than the pros who spend every waking moment (according to the so-called Climategate emails) doing the real science in their heads. Dreaming it, thinking it, eating it. Worrying about their grandchildren (if one actually bothers to read the emails).

  54. #54 Former Skeptic
    January 28, 2010

    DELINGPOLEGATE

    I propose we all use that term until the Telegraph releases all internal memos related to Delingpole’s deleted blog post.

  55. #55 lord_sidcup
    January 28, 2010

    # 49

    I don’t know that Edwin Northover is directly involved in forwarding the email to Delingpole. Delingpole actually credits and names someone else as doing this – someone subsequently identified as a Conservative Party activist and one time candidate in local council elections. I think I was originally wrong about Delingpole revealing the email address, but he does reveal a name and postal address. It is claimed that one of Delingpole’s goons subsequently revealed the telephone number in a comment posted to Delingpole’s blog.

    I haven’t managed to track down any comments to the blog posting, but the text of Delingpole’s blog (with personal details removed) is:

    “Conservative candidates stalked by eco bullies

    By James Delingpole Politics Last updated: January 24th, 2010

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100023508/conservative-candidates-stalked-by-eco-bullies/comment-page-1/#comment-100145013

    The Warmists are looking increasingly foolish and wrong. But they aren’t going to go down without a fight. Consider, Exhibit A, this nauseating email currently being sent out to Conservative candidates. It seems that in the last week a couple of hundred Tory candidates have received variations on the theme below. Note that these emails do not come from a named organisation but from an individual voter in the prospective parliamentary candidate’s constituency. (Hat tip: X. XXXXXX)

    “From: XXXX XXXXXXXX
    Date: 2010/1/22
    Subject: Conservation Query
    To: lwconservatives@googlemail.com

    Dear Edwin Northover

    I was concerned to note the results of a survey of 140 Conservative candidates for parliament that suggested that climate change came right at the bottom of their priorities for government action.

    I hope you can reassure me that you recognise the importance and success of climate change action by the UK government at home and internationally.

    Can you clarify that:

    You accept that climate change is caused by human activity?

    Do you support the target to achieve 15% renewable energy by 2020?

    Do you support the EU imposing tougher regulation to combat climate change?

    Kind Regards

    XXXXX XXXXX
    XXXX XXXX XXX London

    One would like to think that any true Conservative’s answer to all these questions would be “No.” Or better still, a two-word answer beginning with “F-” and ending with “Off.” Unfortunately, that would be to confuse Dave Cameron’s current crop of brainwashed, career-safe, Blair-lite, eco-fluffy, Kool-Aid drinkers with the genuine article.

    Meanwhile, if anyone can give me the low-down on which disgusting eco-fascist organisation is sponsoring these “spontaneous” emails, I should be most interested to hear.
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100023508/conservative-candidates-stalked-by-eco-bullies/comment-page-1/#comment-100145013

    I would have thought the local Conservative Association is in breach of the UK Data Protection laws. I did send an enquiry last night to the Conservative Party asking if, following this incident, they can guarantee personal details held by party associations are securely kept. No reply so far.

  56. #56 JasonW
    January 28, 2010

    I find this data protection breach with the more or less implicit call to harassment by Delingpole disturbing. It does have very distinct parallels to developments in a certain Central European country in the mid-30′s. Or to developments in a certain Central African country in the mid-90′s. Noteworthy is especially the spiteful and inflammatory vocabulary. And I invoke these parallels very sparingly.

  57. #57 lord_sidcup
    January 28, 2010

    Delingpole is now trying to limit the damage:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100024152/monbiot-an-apology/

    It still does not explain why a Conservative Association office is sharing private information about a constituent with Delingpole.

  58. #58 guthrie
    January 28, 2010

    Lord Sidcup – last night the whole thread of Delingpoles idiocy was in google cache. I saved it if you can’t find it there. It was cached after Delingpole removed the contact details from the original post, but not from the comments, and demonstrates clearly that he put up enough info to make the person traceable. For one allegedly so intelligent he has the internet sense of a 9 year old.

  59. #59 Mal Adapted
    January 28, 2010

    I find this data protection breach with the more or less implicit call to harassment by Delingpole disturbing. It does have very distinct parallels to developments in a certain Central European country in the mid-30′s. Or to developments in a certain Central African country in the mid-90′s.

    Heh. In addition to Godwin’s Law, it appears an equivalent “law” referencing the Central-African instance may be needed.

  60. #60 JasonW
    January 28, 2010

    Mal Adapted, I was waiting for that. Are you actually aware of the full and diverse definitions and exceptions to Godwin’s Law? You might check out that Wiki article thouroughly. I’ll be very happy to hear your reasoning why my comparison is unsuitable. Mind you, I might have chosen any or all right- or left-wing extremist organisations for comparison – the shrill, hyperbolic tone is always the same. Read the cached Delingpole article provided above, and then come back. While mulling over your response you might wish to consider the use of labels such as ‘eco-fascist’ which Delingpole introduced in his blog post. You might also wish to consider exactly the circumstances in, for instance, Rwanda in 1993. Google “Radio Milles Collines”.

  61. #61 Mal Adapted
    January 28, 2010

    JasonW,

    Aw, calm down. I have read that wiki article thoroughly, but “Godwin’s Law” is still just a handy allusion arising from a humorous observation about Internet discourse. It was never intended to be either a sword or a shield.

    My reaction to the events in Rwanda is pretty much the same as my reaction to the Nazi Holocaust. I don’t have anywhere near the same reaction to some snark on the Internet about a denier journalist.

  62. #62 JasonW
    January 28, 2010

    Ah, Mal Adapted, but that Law, like the ad hominem argument, is often misused and abused to kill discussion. *That* I take issue with. Sorry if I misconstrued your intention thusly. And let’s differentiate here: My intent is not comparing Delingpole to the Holocaust, that would be ludicrous! But the role he’s playing in riling up his readers and denouncing and defaming citizens exercising their democratic rights is very similar to the role the *media* has played before. Maybe a more adequate comparison is to the Axel Springer publishing house in the late 60ies here in Germany. Their constant stream of inflammatory andpolemic anti-left articles contributed to an atmosphere of tension that ultimately led to the death of a protester. In this, I see no difference to Delingpole at all, except in scale.

    But ultimately this thread is about Rose and while he’s your typical misinforming denier journo, he’s no better and worse than others of the kind. Indeed, his contribution at realist blogs such as Delotid and Climate Progress is to be commended – he might well, though he wouldn’t admit it, actually learn one or two things. I’m not holding my breath waiting for any salutes here though.

  63. #63 Raving
    January 28, 2010

    > 15 Martin: Much of the latest clownery about station numbers has been nicely addressed by this guy
    >
    > http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2010/01/kusi-noaa-nasa/
    >
    > He doesn’t write often, but he does a pretty good job when he does.

    Forgive me for being a dense simpleton. In an earlier life, I did enough science to know

    * Publication in peer reviewed journals often requires appropriate statistical analysis.

    * Trusting one’s intuition as to how data might be is unreliable.

    * Inappropriate statistical analysis can mislead and obscure.

    From [Hausfather's article](http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2010/01/kusi-noaa-nasa/) in “The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media” blog as provided in the link by Martin above

    > **There actually is a fairly easy way to test if the absence of more recent data from a number of stations has a significant effect on temperature records.** If stations were purposefully dropped in favor of those with greater warming trends, one would expect to see **cooler temperatures in the stations that do not have temperature records available** in the last few decades than in those stations with a continuous record up to the present.

    > … Of the 1,419 temperature stations containing data for this period, available at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, 1,017 continue up to at least the year 2000, and 402 stop. …

    Specifically,Hausfather claims …

    > *There is no significant difference between the temperature from discontinuous and continuous stations*, suggesting that there was no purposeful or selective “dropping” of stations to bias the data. …

    From the [Figure that is provided](http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/pics/0110_Figure-23.jpg) , I don’t see it. In time interval from 1890 through to 1950 the blue line of ‘dropped stations’ is predominantly below the red line which indicate *retained stations*

    The period from 1890 – 1950 is 60% of the the time interval.
    The elimination of 402 ‘cooler’ locations to provide a reduced pool of 1,017 sample locations represents 39% of the final sample population.

    Repeating …

    > **If stations were purposefully dropped in favor of those with greater warming trends, one would expect to see cooler temperatures in the stations that do not have temperature records available**

    The figure that Hausfather provides suggests *exactly that.*

    Hausfather goes on to claim

    > If anything, discontinuous stations have a slightly higher trend over the century than continuous stations.

    Isn’t such a trend indicative of the evolving microclimate in a growing center of urban population?

    Wouldn’t the growth in a large, established region of population have less of an immediate impact on their microclimate than the impact caused by growth to the microclimate of a newly seeded point of nucleation?

  64. #64 Nick
    January 28, 2010

    After your pointed statements about caution with statistics,you don’t seem keen to apply that to your own musings. The blue line of dropped stations is insignificantly different to the red of the retained,and the agreement and trend is near identical over the century. And of the 402 discontinuous stations,what have you presented of their individual locations that we can speculate about site issues with any confidence?

  65. #65 Martin Vermeer
    January 28, 2010

    Raving: what Nick said. Your cautionings apply even more to E.M. Smith’s misguided amateur stuff. We know why he is getting nonsensical results: it’s because of working with temperatures instead of, as would be appropriate for robust trend analysis, with anomalies. Do you understand this point?

    The differences between the blue and red curves on Zeke’s plot are well within the noise. They are meaningless. And they are of magnitude 0.05-0.1K, i.e., roughly an order of magnitude less than the global AGW signal. What is more, we (and that includes Zeke, see the comments there) also understand the main source of this noise: the failure to do a proper areally weighted station averaging (Smith’s analysis has the same problem).

  66. #66 MapleLeaf
    January 28, 2010

    Martin (and others in the know about global SAT data analysis and GISS) @ 65:

    I’d appreciate your thoughts on Smith’s (D’aleo’s and Anthony’s programmer buddy) wild allegations made over at WUWT.

    You can read his rebuttal of some of the accusations at:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?p=3&t=154&&n=123

    Go to comment 150 by MarkJ.

    I’m not familiar enough with the GISStemp code to know if he has some valid points or if these are just the ramblings of a mad man. I’d really appreciate someone in the know speaking to his allegation that:

    “The PAPERS that support the Reference Station Method and the anomaly process may well have done “selfing” but that is NOT what is done in GIStemp. This is a common delusion among warmers and one they cherish dearly.

    The reality is that a thermometer anomaly IS calculated against a “basket of others”. It is also a reality that this is done long after all the ‘in-fill’, homogenizing and UHI calculations. Basically, the “anomaly” can not protect you from all the broken bits done before it is calculated.

    Until they get past the fantasy of what they believe is being done and look at what the code actually does do, they will get nowhere.

    This “Belief in the Anomaly” is just that. A “Faith Based Belief” in how they think the world works. It is not based on an inspection of what the GIStemp code actually does. ”

  67. #67 Raving
    January 29, 2010

    Re: 64, 65

    > Anomaly – Temperature relative to a reference median VERSUS Temperature absolute

    > A persistent magnitude difference of .1 degree K and declining

    I would say significant and not so meaningful.

    Weather changes. Climate changes as well. The CO2 factor may or may not provide a discernible contribution to the observations. My intuition tells me that the Figure&Discussion are as indicative of systematic sampling bias as the overall trend indicates CO2′s influence on climate.

    I don’t worry so much about the sampling bias. As with the glacier argument, it’s all relative. The value is in the ‘direction’ of the arguments.

    Overall I would label myself as a “Warming Denier”. I’m strongly driven to forceful resistance by the strident insistence of those use every emotional and subjective tool that might be conceived.

    Most strongly of all, I am appalled to see other scientists having to fall back on frantic, intense posturing and advocacy. They appear so helpless.

    For me, “intuition” is the best argument that global warming has going for it. It is natural to expect increasingly prodigious emissions of CO2, heat and a myriad of other things to have consequential, accumulating effect.

    But that is only intuition. Demonstrating that CO2 emissions are increasing is a formidable task. Taking it a step further and demonstrating that the gas accumulates and persists is all that more difficult. Linking it all to a trend of increasing temperature may be the hardest challenge of all.

    Suppose we are already there. Granted as given! Here and now, the prodigious release of CO2 has caused 2 deg. C of global warming.

    What does that mean? How does it bode for the future?

    It means that the temperature has gone up by 2 deg. C. Life and humanity live in a harsh, diverse range of climates. Some will be less comfortable. Others will be more comfortable. Some may starve of famine. Others may drown. Humans have suffered such calamity from the outset.

    Those who claim that our children’s future are at stake, that we risk destroying humanity forget that ‘brutal’ in the norm for life. They also forget that almost all of the threatened misery is linked to our industrial, technical skill of increasing and sustaining high population densities.

    As I see it, nobody understands climate. Then again “K dependent” population selection isn’t understood either

    Evolution isn’t understood.
    Cognition isn’t understood.
    Biological process isn’t understood.

    Maybe weather is understood ‘somewhat’?
    Our understanding of climate in it’s infancy. We don’t begin to understand it.

    Running off half cocked vowing to change things massively is very premature. It is very likely to have strong, wasteful, counterproductive effect.

    One such negative effect is …

    * Environmentalists lack credibility now. The worthwhile approach deserves gaining rather than losing ground

    * Rational, physical scientists are also losing credibility.

    No one has the answers yet.

    I might not know about weather, nor about climate. What I do know is this …

    The earth and life have been around for a very, very long time. During that interval, the earth has been subjected to various massive, catastrophic, forcing distortions which loom far greater than humanities persistent, progressive release of CO2 gas.

    The earth and life survived those many, various substantial onslaughts without runaway instability. It was not good fortune

    A complex and as yet unrecognized suite of interactions **strongly regulate climate**

    We ignore or deny the implicit existence and understanding of such hidden, background self-regulation at our own peril.

    CO2 goes up …
    Temperature goes up …

    … but then what happens?

    Not knowing is most foolish.

    I feel that know nothing. I change my opinion each time I examine a situation. Most of the time I feel that I’m a raving idiot.

    Please call me a ‘denier’ or an ‘inept amateur’. When I see you saying these things of others, I immediately recognize that you are projecting yourself on to others.

    ‘Inept amateurs’ have the making of great scientists.
    Being able to discover one’s own “self-denial” is greart skill.

  68. #68 Johnmacmot
    January 29, 2010

    Good grief! “My intuition tells me….” is not going to produce much of value, is it?

    Raving, I am not a scientist. I’ve been doing some intensive reading around the net and a through few decent books recently, and my informed “intuition” tells me a few things, with great clarity.

    - The denialist “arguments”, “evidence”, science” are bollocks compared with the large body of scientific research and evidence on climate change. there is no realistic doubt that things are warming, and that there is good understanding of the core mechanisms involved.

    -The denialist camp includes a weird mix, from loons and cranks, compulsive mavericks, the odd actual scientist who’s got out on a limb with the theories being pursued, average people who would rather not take on board the disturbing realities that the research reveals, and , at the dark core, an unholy alliance of ideological and business interests who will use any tactics at all to cast doubt abd confusion.

    Those denialist tactics are dredging deep in the mud – smears, personal attacks, blatant twisting of facts, distortion, and more than a few outright lies. Essentially PR and propaganda. This thread follows some examples of these things.

    If you are genuine in your comments (and I really have my doubts – you look like a concern troll to me), then do some honest work, and reading, and go by the evidence. You don’t sound like a fool, but you are likely just playing games.

  69. #69 jakerman
    January 29, 2010

    Raving writes:

    >*Repeating …*

    >>*If stations were purposefully dropped in favor of those with greater warming trends, one would expect to see cooler temperatures in the stations that do not have temperature records available*

    >*The figure that Hausfather provides suggests exactly that.*

    Raving, If you are saying the difference between the [warming trend](http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/pics/0110_Figure-23.jpg) between the discontinuous and the continuous stations is “significant” (your word) than which has the “significant[ly]” greater warming trend?

    If discontinuous stations show lower temperature anomalies pre-1950 and equivalent (roughly half higher and half lower) in the post-1950 temperatures anomalies, then what does that confirm? Removing the discontinuous stations means that the most up-to-date anomaly figures have not yet factored in the the stations with the greater warming trend.

    Was that the point you were hoping to re-emphasize?

  70. #70 Martin Vermeer
    January 29, 2010

    MapleLeaf,

    I’m not ‘in the know’ about GIStemp. Someone like Nick Barnes would be, having, in the CCC project, written his own version in Python of the GIStemp code… ask him ;-)

    I am also not a SAT expert, just a not-completely-dumb geoscientist, who knows that you have to go through anomalies if you want to get non-ludicrous results. Everybody does it! It’s elementary.

    As for ‘ramblings of a mad man’: more precisely, ramblings of someone found out doing something verry verry stupid and trying to bluster his way out of the embarrassment.

  71. #71 MapleLeaf
    January 29, 2010

    Thanks Martin. I like your conclusion.

  72. #72 Raving
    January 29, 2010

    > 68: If you are genuine in your comments (and I really have my doubts – you look like a concern troll to me)

    A ‘concern troll’? – No.
    A **’confused’ troll**? – Yes, much more so. …

    The thought of ***being ‘troll’* in *’Science’*** is intriguing. Trollism provides tools for escaping ‘subjective imprisonment’. …
    > – playing the devil’s advocate
    > – asking awkward questions
    > – attempting to twist and distort the ‘intended meaning’
    > – playing stupid

    When ‘Science’ is *susceptible to trollerism*, the ‘Science’ might possess a weak foundation. The *Creationist* attacks upon *Evolutionary Theory* is a good example. The criticism has some rudimentary credence, thus the criticism persists and remains ineffectively answered. The weakness in *Evolutionary Theory* does not reside with *Natural Selection*. It is most easy to forget that *Natural Selection* is the intensely physical, dead and non biological sector of *Evolutionary Process*. The other sector, the aspect which is hidden and ignored because it is fragmented, distributed and multiply directed is difficult to engage and describe in a reduced form. Put simply, it is indescribable. That doesn’t imply that it is magical. How much of reality are we oblivious in regard, simply by virtue of our inability to **describe it**?

    ‘Holistic’ type process (fragmented, distributed, multiply directed) present a “show stopping” challenge. Possible strategies include. (I have no alternate approach. I see that all these paths are followed). ..

    > – Sincerely blather in an effort to express the indescribable. Exit the blithering idiot.
    > – Use rhetoric and posturing to create the appearance of *confident expertise*. In the absence of a persuasive alternative, this path becomes successful by default.
    > – Work to construct a plausible description which renders the process in tractable, proper form. Although it is productive, progress is slow and it requires a monumental effort.
    > – Avoid the topic altogether because analytical methodology is ill suited to the situation. There are more practical challenges, ***even* for physicists**

    Haven’t you noticed that many of the ‘experts’ in *Evolution, Ecology, Economics* and *Climatology* are excellent communicators? When there is a paucity of reliable, objective content, the great communicators rush in to fill the void.

    Not much is know about *Climate Science*. We are in the early days of sketching in a few fragments. Forcing the issue is unfair. Being dismissive is unfair. Rushing to conclusion doesn’t mean much.

    > 68: Good grief! “My intuition tells me….” is not going to produce much of value, is it? Raving, I am not a scientist. I’ve been doing some intensive reading around the net and a through few decent books recently, and my informed “intuition” tells me a few things, with great clarity.

    Value your “intuition” and read whatever suits your mood.

    Without possessing tools which permit you to explore and ‘construct’ from *that which you already know* **implicitly** you will lose sight of what you have previously ‘assumed’ (‘assumed’='intuition’)

    To my own reckoning, there an insufficient density and distribution of **nuggets of objectivity** so as to establish a *Chain of Continuity*

    Without *continuity* the situation is indescribable or rather *nonsense*. Hence …

    > Good grief! “My intuition tells me….” is not going to produce much of value, is it? Raving,

    Nonsense can be worthwhile. It is painful and a huge challenge to engage it to appropriate effect.

  73. #73 Raving
    January 29, 2010

    jakerman writes:
    > Removing the discontinuous stations means that the most up-to-date anomaly figures have not yet factored in the the stations with the greater warming trend.
    >
    > Was that the point you were hoping to re-emphasize?

    Discontinuous sites have been pruned. That fact alone introduces a systematic sampling error bias that my be revealed in the Figure that Hausfather has provided. The error is plausibly indicative of discontinuous sites being cooler and trending upwards more rapidly.

    65 Martin Vermeer wrote:
    > … the failure to do a proper areally weighted station averaging (Smith’s analysis has the same problem)….

    Yes, that is the whole point isn’t it. The average point 1K temperature differential crudely translates into 10 meters worth of height differential due to adiabatic lapse rate. All the data would be normalized to factor out station altitude.

    Station altitude is so influential that … a 10 meters adjustment in altitude (.1 deg C) carried over the interval of a century starts to come close to revealing isostatic rise. For example, Post-glacial Scandinavia increasing in height at the rate of 3-4′ per century.

    The point 1 degree K discrepancy trending upwards for discontinuous locations is trivial in sense of ‘absolute’ relative to the global average.

    That the discrepancy is clearly discernible in the data and is relative with respect to retained versus pruned sample location *might* speak otherwise.

    In my experience anomalies-of-anomalies are important and revealing. They are suggestive of ‘sub-sampling’ artifact. In this situation the artifact is systematically subtracted out of the data set. The end result might go either way. It can either mitigate pre-existing distortion or amplify what is already present.

    What criteria would set ‘discontinuous’ sites apart from continuous locations? I would expect ‘discontinuous’ sites to be …

    > – More recent locations in new and/or growing population centers.
    > – Later to begin collecting data and quicker to be discarded in favor of established, facilities in central locations that have a high recognition factor.

    Sure, I am ‘playing to the data’ but nevertheless the followup ramifications seem plausible …

    > – New population centers evolve a microclimate more rapidly than large urban regions. I assume that microclimate has a scale dependent aspect relative to growth in size. This inherent differential scaling in growth might explain why discontinuous sites have an increased upward trend.

    > – Older population centers tend to be sited in coastal and low lying regions. Civilization seems to progress inland and upwards towards harsher and more isolated opportunities.

    The gravitation of site location towards earlier established population centers is an artifact generated by the increase and subsequent abandonment of monitoring locations.

    It is difficult to see how such a peculiar contraction of data location ‘trended over time’ can avoid introducing trending distortion into the temperature record.

  74. #74 jakerman
    January 29, 2010

    Raving writes:

    >*The error is plausibly indicative of discontinuous sites being cooler and trending upwards more rapidly.*

    We [now seem to agree](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/01/rosegate.php#comment-2235177).

    That is if you are agreeing that the bias (how ever slight) introduced by the lag in incorporating all stations is biased (if anything) against warming. I.e. that is if you are agreeing that:

    >*The [bias] is plausibly indicative of discontinuous sites [showing a cooler anomaly pre-1950] and trending upwards more rapidly.*

    Which is the point that Hausfather [was making](http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2010/01/kusi-noaa-nasa/) when he looked to determine:

    >*If stations were purposefully dropped in favor of those with greater warming trends*

    They arn’t, and the bias if anything is in the counter direction that that hoped for by D’Aleo and Smith and their supporters.

  75. #75 Raving
    January 30, 2010

    jakerman wrote:
    > I.e. that is if you are agreeing that:

    >> The [bias] is plausibly indicative of discontinuous sites [showing a cooler anomaly pre-1950] and trending upwards more rapidly.

    Yes.

    For me it enough that a bias is apparent. That in it’s own regard is compelling and worthwhile.

    What this systematic bias infers and how it influences the past, present and future outcome is unclear to me. There are many different ways of rolling and re-sampling the data.

    Notice that I am careful to avoid any suggestion of ‘for or against’. I really don’t know what the effect might be

    The systematic bias exists. It is unexpected. It introduces sufficient uncertainty, confusion, enhancement and alternate possibility that reconsideration and elaboration is appropriate.

  76. #76 Chris O'Neill
    January 30, 2010

    Raving:

    Notice that I am careful to avoid any suggestion of ‘for or against’.

    That’s not what you’re doing in this sentence:

    The [bias] is plausibly indicative of discontinuous sites .. trending upwards more rapidly.

    By the way:

    Wouldn’t the growth in a large, established region of population have less of an immediate impact on their microclimate than the impact caused by growth to the microclimate of a newly seeded point of nucleation?

    is entirely irrelevant to long term temperature trends because global long term temperature trend results do not depend on thermometers affected by changing UHI.

  77. #77 Martin Vermeer
    February 1, 2010

    MapleLeaf:

    there is a good description in a blog post by Nielsen-Gammon: http://tinyurl.com/yec3ads . It turns out that GISS uses a variant of anomaly averaging, where the average is computed sequentially with a dynamic reference period. At the end the average is transformed to 1951-1980. This is even better than vanilla anomaly averaging with fixed reference period.

    Nielsen-Gammon also comments on the d’Aleo-Watts “report”, committing cruelty to animals ( http://tinyurl.com/ykfy8aa ):

    Meanwhile, lest we get the impression that the IPCC is the source of all, or even most, errors, a contrarian document has conveniently been published online … It turns out to represent a refreshing change from the IPCC reports. While it’s necessary to dig and dig to find errors in the IPCC reports, the errors in what I’ll call STR are right there on the surface, easy to spot.

    … and go to the end for the turning of the knife…

  78. #78 Robin Levett
    February 4, 2010

    @Raving #67:

    For me, “intuition” is the best argument that global warming has going for it. It is natural to expect increasingly prodigious emissions of CO2, heat and a myriad of other things to have consequential, accumulating effect.

    But that is only intuition.

    Pausing there – it isn’t intuition – it’s well known science. We’ve known since the late 19th century (Svante Arrhenius did some science on the topic) that CO2 is a potent greenhouse gas, and that it, with the other greenhouse gases, are responsible for the fact that the Earth’s surface temperature is some 30K higher than it would be in the absence of the atmosphere.

    It is the proposition that increasing the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere would not have consequential effects that is counter-scientific. That it is also counter-intuitive is but icing on the cake.

    Demonstrating that CO2 emissions are increasing is a formidable task.

    Really? Just look at fossil-fuel consumption figures; do you think we are using more or less fossil fuel in 2010 than in say 1950. Rising emissions is however not the immediate issue; CO2 residence in the atmospehere is.

    Taking it a step further and demonstrating that the gas accumulates and persists is all that more difficult.

    You do now that we can measure atmospheric CO2 content, don’t you – and have been doing so directly for many years (does the name Keeling mean anything to you?) and indirectly for much longer.

    Linking it all to a trend of increasing temperature may be the hardest challenge of all.

    We have increasing CO2; we have a demonstrated mechanism whereby increasing CO2 will cause an increase in retained thermal energy within the atmosphere. If there is an increase in global temperature – and there has been – the choice as to cause is between pretty well-understood science, some unknown mechanism that despite its magnitude hasn’t yet registered on the radar (and is at the same time masking the CO2 driven rise that we would expect) and magical thermometer pixies. Where’s your money?