Well, now we know why McLean’s Reply to the demolition of their paper was rejected. In a response being published by SPPI (was it rejected by even Energy and Environment?), they claim this was because of a vast conspiracy against them. But they make the mistake of including the rejected Reply, so anyone can see that they admit that their analysis was “based on differentials between 12 month averages”, which removes any long term trend. That they don’t find a long term trend after removing does not show that there is no long term trend. No doubt the referee’s reports made this point as well, which is why, in their response, they just quote mine the reports, quoting the part that says that their Reply is rubbish without quoting the part that explained why their Reply was rubbish.

In the interest of transparency I call on McLean to post the referees’ reports in full.

Normally rejection of bad paper would not be news, but it seems that if your chairman is a Global Warming denier, it is. What is notable about Sarah Clarke’s story is that she gives McLean the last word and makes no attempt at all to work out who is right. How hard would it have been for Clarke to find an expert in statistics and ask whether taking differences removes any long term trend?

Stephan Lewandowsky has an article at The Drum on the refutation of McLean et al and what it says about the scientific consensus:


This analysis, based entirely on publicly available information, puts to rest the only peer reviewed article that was purportedly about climate change and claimed to challenge the scientific consensus, to have come out of Australia since the IPCC’s last assessment report.

This single article is no more.

What is left standing instead are, for example, the 110 peer reviewed articles on climate change that were published by scientists at the University of New South Wales’ Climate Change Research Center alone since 2007.

Yes, 110 peer reviewed articles since 2007 from just one Australian research center that add to the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change and its human causes.

110 peer reviewed articles which in the service of humanity seek ways to manage the problem.

110 to 0.

Lewandowsky is asking that scientists who agree that detrended data cannot be used to draw any conclusions about long term trends leave a comment at his article giving your name and qualifications. He writes:

One thing is certain: Journalists will take note if scientists step up to the plate and show visibility and determination in large numbers. Indeed, that in itself would be news that the ABC might pick up and report.

The link to his piece is here.

Comments

  1. #1 Dave Andrews
    April 1, 2010

    Jeff Harvey,

    Yes I can do that no problem, but I’m specifically asking you to post some links to papers that back up your assertions. You have assumed a certain aura of status over your scientific knowledge here, but I can’t recall you ever posting a link to a scientific paper.

    Generally your approach has been that of a political environmentalist.

  2. #2 Dave Andrews
    April 1, 2010

    Jeremy C,

    Ok you can tweak the models a lot and they can begin to hindcast. But they are’nt that good going forward which is why the IPCC has to use an ensemble approach. Even then the models do not begin to fully understand the effects of clouds and water vapour. And they are pretty useless at things like the effect of ENSO and describing regional climate variations.

    As all of these have a major impact on climate why should we place any confidence in the models?

  3. #3 Stu
    April 1, 2010

    Dave, the IPCC uses an ensemble approach because the internal variability in the models produces a wide range of possible outcomes over short time periods. This is only useful in certain scenarios, eg for pointing out to denialists that individual climate model runs can and do produce decadal flatlining/cooling under an AGW scenario.

    This is interesting because it’s also what we’d expect the real world to do occasionally. Who’d have thunk it?

  4. #4 Fran Barlow
    April 1, 2010

    Crtainly Eli … be my guest

  5. #5 TrueSceptic
    April 1, 2010

    100 Bruce,

    A variant:-

    Do unto others *before* they do unto you.

  6. #6 Bruce Sharp
    April 1, 2010

    TS, I think I saw that on a hat at a truck stop. Or maybe it was, “Do unto others… then run!”

    Truck Stop Religion always makes me think of my all-time favorite bumper sticker: “God was my co-pilot, but we crashed in the mountains, and I had to eat him.”

    cheers,
    Bruce

  7. #7 Fran Barlow
    April 1, 2010

    Bruce Sharp@100 said:

    I’m not a Christian, so maybe I’m not the best person to comment, but I think you’re kinda missing the essence of the Golden Rule. It’s not, “If I’m rude to you, you get to be rude to me.” It’s “Treat other people the way you’d like to be treated.” Are there times when you want to be treated rudely?

    The corpus of concepts which inform the Golden Rule (the nature of reciprocity and mutual obligation)predate Christianity by a long time and likewise developed independently of it. Iterations of it are nearly ubiquitous.

    For the record, I’m an atheist, but Hobbes expresses it not merely in the positive version you offer, but in a negative one as well, in that one should not impose upon others save in ways that one would gladly suffer. As I infer from this, while one may well be unclear as to what another will gladly suffer, one may infer this from their conduct. A person who belches in public cannot complain if others do so, with out suffering a tu quoque objection.

    If trolls take pleasure in derailing the discussion, getting angry isn’t a particularly effective strategy.

    I did suggest that might be so. It seems to me that trolls are like mosquitoes. One surely knows that when they inflict their harm, scratching can bring only episodic relief, and that at the cost of aggravation of medium term discomfort. Logically, one should not scratch, but most of us do because it feels just so damned good.

    Really one should treat them with the contempt they deserve, or if one is to remain issue driven and one has the time, point them in the direction of one of the many adequate answers that exist out there and move on.

    I’d hope that it’s possible to point that out without making those who disagree feel as if they’ve been subject to a “lecture” that they had to “endure.”

    As I read you, this is not your practice. Your practice is precisely to imply that we should treat them as if they were not trolls, and to accord them (and thus by extension their claims) a respect they have not earned. Their chief claim is of course that “the debate” is not over, when plainly, as far as the basic science is concerned, it is. While you choose your words carefully, it seems to me that this informs and defines your proposals, which is why they seem to many of us as a lecture on treating nonsense as insight.

  8. #8 Lotharsson
    April 1, 2010

    Ok you can tweak the models a lot…

    maybe not so much.

    Despite their complexity, climate models contain surprisingly few parameters that can be “tweaked” by modelers. The dozen or so values that are subjective relate primarily to the initial state of the climate system at the onset of the model run, and the uncertainties generated by variations in initial states tend to average out after a decade or two. The effects of other parameter choices are taken into account by running a sensitivity analysis on a variety of climate models using a range of probable parameters. In general, the average result across a range of different climate models tends to be more accurate than the result of any single climate model in explaining observed climate changes.

    Read the whole thing. It also discusses major sources of uncertainty in prediction, the difference between weather prediction and climate prediction, and how well the 1988 model has done.

  9. #9 Stu
    April 1, 2010

    Off topic (but fairly interesting), the Jewish version of the golden rule was basically ‘do to other Israelites (and people of other races living among you) as you would have them do unto you.’ The Christian version is the more familiar one that includes everyone, even extended to your enemies.

    Which version should we adhere to here? There was much exposition regarding this in the ‘Empirical evidence’ thread regarding Brent. Truth Machine says ‘F*** off Brent you evil troll’, while Erasmussimo thinks we should be civil and that way we cannot be attacked on the basis of our style of argument. I wonder if Truth Machine is Jewish? (Doubt it somehow.)

    I tend to agree with Erasmussimo, even though Brent was shown via postings on other blogs to be a troll, albeit one trapped in a goldfish bowl. Still, it’s nice to be nice, and if you can do it in the face of outrageous abuse all the better because it’s funny and often surprisingly effective.

    See papertiger @49, none of us were particularly rude after that outburst, and what’s the result? Papertiger hasn’t been back, presumably because the trolling didn’t elicit the strong response they were looking for. We got rid of the troll. Ace.

  10. #10 Bruce Sharp
    April 1, 2010

    Fran, I think we’re on the same page until your last paragraph, where you say: “Your practice is precisely to imply that we should treat them as if they were not trolls, and to accord them (and thus by extension their claims) a respect they have not earned.”

    I’ve said that we should be willing to give people the benefit of the doubt, because sometimes we’re going to be wrong about who is or is not a troll. I have not, however, suggested that the benefit of the doubt extends infinitely. There are several trolls here who don’t deserve any respect, and I’ve made it clear a number of times that I’m in the “do not feed” school.

    And, contrary to your comment, I don’t believe that respect is automatically extended to someone’s ideas, just because we extend it to each other. If I were to say that a kilobyte is 1000 bytes, and Tim politely pointed out that it’s actually 1024 bytes, his decision to not refer to me as “Dumbass” wouldn’t imply that the matter really wasn’t settled.

  11. #11 SC (Salty Current)
    April 1, 2010

    Stu, why don’t you shut the fuck up? A few days ago, you began your response to a post by the criminally insane David M*bus that began “Crystal Night, Atheists!” with a statement of how he was “preaching to the choir,” then told him to go to Pharyngula because PZ would “enjoy” his ranting. Your judgment is not exactly stellar, and your little self-righteous speculation about truth machine’s religion is creepy as hell.*

    I’m so tired of people who confuse their dumb conception of blog politeness for real morality. It isn’t.

    *Not to mention ignorant. If you knew anything, you’d know that truth machine pulls no punches with friends or allies.

  12. #12 SC (Salty Current)
    April 1, 2010

    I must remember not to use asterisks here.

    Off topic (but fairly interesting), the Jewish version of the golden rule was basically ‘do to other Israelites (and people of other races living among you) as you would have them do unto you.’ The Christian version is the more familiar one that includes everyone, even extended to your enemies.

    Yeah, that’s really interesting, because Christians have historically been ever so respectful of other people’s rights, especially non-Christians’. Unlike those Jews, right?

  13. #13 Eli Rabett
    April 1, 2010

    Well, on the one side you have Hamurabi’s golden rule, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and on the other, George Bernard Shaws, don’t do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Their tastes may be different

  14. #14 jakerman
    April 1, 2010

    Dave Andrews:

    >[How much](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/well_now_we_know_why.php#comment-2393772) temperature rise do you say we can adapt to Dave, before things get very nasty? How much should we allow versus mitigate?

  15. #15 Stu
    April 1, 2010

    SC, I’m confused. What’s your criticsm of my reply to that post?

    My comment about TM’s ‘religion’ (being Jewish is as often taken as a heritage as a religion, but no matter) was a joke. Geez.

    PS I’m well aware of TM’s posting style, applied mericlessly to friend and foe. I may not particularly like it (can you tell?) but it keeps us honest!

  16. #16 Stu
    April 1, 2010

    >Yeah, that’s really interesting, because Christians have historically been ever so respectful of other people’s rights, especially non-Christians’. Unlike those Jews, right?

    Erm, does the fact that people haven’t followed it particularly well invalidate the original sentiment?

    So you can’t put your IKEA furniture together because you didn’t follow the instructions. Are the instructions now non-existant?

  17. #17 SC (Salty Current)
    April 1, 2010

    SC, I’m confused. What’s your criticsm of my reply to that post?

    Do you know what “Crystal Night” is a reference to? He was preaching to you the choir in violently ranting at atheists? If you couldn’t tell he was insane from that post, how good do you think you are at judging people’s motives such that you can advise others on who warrants what type of response?

    My comment about TM’s ‘religion’ (being Jewish is as often taken as a heritage as a religion, but no matter)

    No kidding. And of what significance is that, exactly? That’s supposed to make what you said less creepy?

    was a joke. Geez.

    Please explain the humor. I’m missing it. A joke at whose expense?

    PS I’m well aware of TM’s posting style, applied mericlessly to friend and foe. I may not particularly like it (can you tell?) but it keeps us honest!

    Yes, his brutal honesty is ethical, and needed when it comes to people like Brent, whose profound, active dishonesty does harm. And if you are aware of his style, then your “joke,” in addition to its creepiness, made no sense.

  18. #18 SC (Salty Current)
    April 1, 2010

    Erm, does the fact that people haven’t followed it particularly well invalidate the original sentiment?

    It makes the contrast you’re trying to draw meaningless if it’s had no practical significance, and I have to wonder why you would be bringing it up other than to cheerlead for your tribe. Further, you haven’t validated it with evidence. That’s one reading, and many Jewish scholars would disagree with your self-serving interpretation. (Scholars of other religions and cultures, moreover, would point out that variants existed in other places as well. It’s not exactly deep.)

    Anyway, in this context it’s ridiculous bumper-sticker “morality” that’s of zero use, and “niceness” can even be immoral.

  19. #19 Stu
    April 1, 2010

    >Do you know what “Crystal Night” is a reference to? He was preaching to you the choir in violently ranting at atheists? If you couldn’t tell he was insane from that post, how good do you think you are at judging people’s motives such that you can advise others on who warrants what type of response?

    No, I don’t know what it’s a reference to. But I could tell he’s batshit insane. When I said he was ‘preaching to the choir’, it was a tongue-in-cheek comment, because I’m a theist but obviously disagreed with his comment. I don’t rant at atheists, what would that achieve?

    Look, I use an understated style, so perhaps you missed that I was ridiculing him. But since that exchange has been deleted I can’t check exactly what I said. But maybe telling him to go to Pharyngula (where obviously he’d be ripped to shreds, turns out he was banned many moons ago) should have tipped you off though? I judged the motive just fine – please excuse me for not flying off the handle!

    >Yes, his brutal honesty is ethical, and needed when it comes to people like Brent, whose profound, active dishonesty does harm. And if you are aware of his style, then your “joke,” in addition to its creepiness, made no sense.

    Yeah okay you win. How I wish blog comments had an edit option* ;-)

    *Under SC’s close scrutiny I must clarify that I don’t wish blog comments had an edit option. That would clearly be stupid.

  20. #20 SC (Salty Current)
    April 1, 2010

    Furthermore, Erasmussimo acknowledged that he was wrong about several things on that thread and didn’t argue with many substantive points that were made to him. For you to present it as you did is less than honest. People made some important points, and it’s worthwhile to read the thread rather than accepting your summary.

  21. #21 SC (Salty Current)
    April 1, 2010

    No, I don’t know what it’s a reference to.

    Wow. Google it.

  22. #22 Stu
    April 1, 2010

    Yep people should read it for themselves. Why trust me? I’m just a blog commenter, you don’t know who I am. You don’t even know if all these posts are by the same ‘Stu’.

    Having taken your advice and googled ‘Crystal Night’, I now have a feeling I would not have been so restrained had I been better informed. Live and learn.

  23. #23 Fran Barlow
    April 1, 2010

    Bruce Sharp@110 said:

    If I were to say that a kilobyte is 1000 bytes, and Tim politely pointed out that it’s actually 1024 bytes, his decision to not refer to me as “Dumbass” wouldn’t imply that the matter really wasn’t settled.

    This is a strawman. While hurling an epithet salves the hurler it is not any kind of refutation, and I didn’t claim that it was. Of course, if you responded well Ok Tim, that’s how much you know … go look up kilo in a list of suffixes and then tell me what it means I still wouldn’t favour him calling the interlocutor a dumbass.

    The objection would be so transparently absurd to anyone with a basic grasp of the matter that one should probably assume a troll and move on.

    Yet if Tim followed up with a substantive response and then the interlocutor simply continued to perversely defend with more examples of the prefix “kilo” meaning one thousand, (s)he could then add, “well the debate isn’t settled because if it was you wouldn’t bother answering” and estoppel would then resolve that matter.

    At that point, epithets would almost certainly follow from some quarter, as pointless as they would be.

    It seems to me that in a place such as this, getting at motive is always going to be difficult. Those who seriously want to think and learn won’t be bothered at the odd harsh word, ill-deserved though it might from time to time be. Such people see that as an overhead worth paying, since real learning is rarely free of the risk of appearing stupid. Those who take umbrage are not really that interested in learning or imparting their insight.

    Again, this is not a rationale for rudeness as a strategy, but it is a rationale for dismissing claims of rudeness as germane in fora such as this, and for insisting that those who imply expertise bring arguments that seem to attest to it, if only to show the kind of respect for themselves and others that they hope to elicit in response.

  24. #24 Bruce Sharp
    April 2, 2010

    Fran at 132: “Those who seriously want to think and learn won’t be bothered at the odd harsh word, ill-deserved though it might from time to time be. Such people see that as an overhead worth paying, since real learning is rarely free of the risk of appearing stupid. Those who take umbrage are not really that interested in learning or imparting their insight.”

    Different people have different ideas of how much invective is acceptable. If Erasmussimo’s tolerance is lower than yours, does that mean you’re interested in learning and imparting your insight, but he isn’t?

    You go on to point out that “this is not a rationale for rudeness as a strategy.” But if rudeness is a poor strategy, isn’t that another reason why it’s a worthy topic for discussion?

    That said, I’ll concede that it’s not a worthy topic for discussion in this thread, as it’s not germane to McLean’s paper.

    Regards,
    Bruce

  25. #25 Bernard J.
    April 2, 2010

    Stu.

    Spoiler alert…

    I think you’ll find that SC = TM = MK.

  26. #26 Fran Barlow
    April 2, 2010

    Bruce Sharp @124 said:

    You go on to point out that “this is not a rationale for rudeness as a strategy.” But if rudeness is a poor strategy, isn’t that another reason why it’s a worthy topic for discussion?

    No, it’s not, because again, any such discussion is inevitably going to become entangled in the kinds of subjective assessment you suggested in relation to each person’s sensitivity to invective. That in turn opens the door to the tone trolling one sees so often.

    If people want to hurl epithets, then while I personally see little value in this for the group, I see greater potential systemic harm in attempts to restrain them. If the person moderating the blog doesn’t like it, let that person act as he or she sees fit.

    A person hurling epithets must reckon with the possibility that their substantive observations, worthy as they may be, will be deprecated accordingly by some whose respect they would have. That ought to be a sufficient restraint.

    One hears persistent objections from the trolls that any robust rejection of the sub-intellectual nonsense some post here in the service of their delusions over the etiology of the climate anomaly amounts to a new iteration of Stalinist patronage of Lysenko or some equivalent. The implicit idea that one could debate tone with a violently repressive autocracy, or that what happens in the blogosphere is comparable is not merely absurd but offensive to anyone who has suffered coercion for dissent.

    So FWIW, I don’t favour substantial discussions over the tone in which we should answer apparent trolling, even though, paradoxically, I now seem to be in such a discussion.

    Perhaps this can be my once around the goldfish tank …

  27. #27 Frank O'Dwyer
    April 2, 2010

    Public whining about peer review being desperately unfair seems to be the new denialist fashion.

    Now Ross McKitrick is doing it, as reported over at Bishop Hill.

  28. #28 Stu
    April 2, 2010

    Aww you’re ruining my fun Bernard. I thought I was holding my own very well, but when it turns out that my debating opponent needs sycophantic sock puppets to support themselves it’s something of a hollow victory*.

    *Yes, victory. Because it makes SC (& alter egos) look like a douchebag. Opening with ‘Why don’t you f*** off’. Honestly.

  29. #29 SC (Salty Current)
    April 2, 2010

    Stu.

    Spoiler alert…

    I think you’ll find that SC = TM = MK.

    Oh, good grief. Yes, it’s all an elaborate charade.

    Look, I know who truth machine is in real life. We’ve argued at Pharyngula for two years, including very recently. We’re different genders and ages and live on opposite coasts. He’s met PZ, and I’m friends with others from Pharyngula.

    My objection to the smug creepiness of Stu’s “interesting” historical claim and question about truth machine was general.

    Who’s the douchebag now? Still you, Stu.

  30. #30 SC (Salty Current)
    April 2, 2010

    Opening with ‘Why don’t you f** off’. Honestly.

    Honestly? What you quoted isn’t even what I wrote. And yeah, you’ve totally held your own. I’m in awe of your rhetorical skills, and your self-declared victory is totally legitimate. Don’t let anyone tell you differently, Stu, you internet warrior.

  31. #31 Jeff Harvey
    April 2, 2010

    Dave Andrews,

    All of the answers you seek are in the material that I advised you to read. It appears to me that you are just too lazy to do so and want me to spend hours online here linking peer-reviewed studies showing the cause-and-effect relationship between human actions and the functioning of ecosystems. The data exists, if you follow my instructions. Your strategy is to say that “I do not have to do anything and there is no problem; it is up to Jeff Harvey and other scientists to show me the data and if they fail to do so then they lose the argument”. This is a typical strategy of the denialati. Sit on their backsides, refuse to read material unless it is stuck right in front of them, and then, once that is done, dismiss it because they cannot understand even the basics. Lomborg is a good example; apparently he recently told a questioner at a conference that marine ecosystems are “doing just fine” in spite of volumes of evidence to the contrary. Most appallingly he did not understand what a “marine food chain” means when questioned about the fact that ‘humans are fishing down the food chain’. What this means in fact is that humans are selectively catching top level predators, and when these are extirpated, moving on to the next trophic level down (second level predators) and then on to meso-predators etc. This effect is totally undermining the structure and vitality of marine food webs. Lomborg’s apparent response to the question was to think that by ‘fishing down the food chain’ humans are selectively catching fish by age and not by trophic status. So his response was effectively that humans are only taking out the older fish, leaving younger ones. This reflects an absolute inability to understand even basic ecology. The questioner was dumbfounded when Lomborg answered him in this way. But it shows how little some people who are feted as celebrities by the anti-environmental lobby do not have a clue what they are talking about.

    Furthermore, unlike you, Mr. Andrews, I am a scientist with experiments to conduct, students to supervise and papers to write. Start learning some basic environmental science before demanding I come on here with peer-reviewed articles; I did this last week (see studies by Both, Visser et al. on the relationship between warming and phenological effects in insectivorous birds, their prey and food plants) as well as studies by Eric Post and many others. Also read some of those books I listed and the Milennium Ecocosystem Assessment which contains reams of data on the consequences of eroding ecosystems and ecosystem services.

  32. #32 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    April 2, 2010

    Stu.

    Spoiler alert…

    I think you’ll find that SC = TM = MK.

    Now that right there is funny.

  33. #33 Bernard J.
    April 2, 2010

    [Dave Andrews](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/well_now_we_know_why.php#comment-2393668) said:

    I don’t deny that temperatures appear to have increased, in stages, since the 1850s and that this may have some consequences to which we will have to adapt – just like people had to adapt to the cold of the 300 years of the little ice age.

    Strawman.

    What has happened in the past is a different kettle of fish to what will happen in the future, all the more so for the fact that the bulk of warming from human emissions to date, and into the future, has yet to materialise.

    0 out of 10 for poor logic/thinking/’analysis’.

    Then:

    They managed that ,amazingly, without the help of the internet and computer generated climate models. Incredible don’t you think?

    No, once again I think “strawman”.

    Europeans in the ‘little ice age’ were generally more self-sufficient than Western urban people are today, and thus inherently better-equipped to survive as communities.

    They also had less complex societies, which brings with it a greater resilience to extreme events. And the nature of the temperature change experienced in the LIA is vastly different, and overall less malignant, than the changes that are likely with a business-as-usual warming resulting from unfettered human CO2 emissions.

    Further, many people in the LIA did not do so well…

    And then there’s the fact that there is certain to be a large number of folk in the future – some of whom will likely be our decendents, by the way, in case it hasn’t registered with you – who will not “manage”, even though current generations do have the “help of the internet and computer generated climate models”. I have a feeling that folk who might have had such resources ahead of the LIA would have done somewhat more with them than our self-indulgent societies are inclined to today.

    No matter which way you look at it, your arguments are poor piss-poor completely without any substance – even piss…

  34. #34 Stu
    April 2, 2010

    >Honestly? What you quoted isn’t even what I wrote. And yeah, you’ve totally held your own. I’m in awe of your rhetorical skills, and your self-declared victory is totally legitimate. Don’t let anyone tell you differently, Stu, you internet warrior.

    I was tired. So sue me.

  35. #35 Bernard J.
    April 2, 2010

    One clarification.

    I should have more accurately said:

    They also had less complex societies than ours

    To a degree complexity actually serves as a resilience buffer, especially in the natural world. However, in the development of human society this axiom fails beyond a certain point. This is hardly the place to engage in a treatise on complexity theory: suffice to imagine what might happen with a fuel- or an energy-crisis, and how such would have had an effect a century ago, and how such might have an effect a century hence…

  36. #36 SC (Salty Current)
    April 2, 2010

    I was tired. So sue me.

    I think I prefer to ignore you. I have to work anyway. And you have more hyperventilating to do, no doubt. Try not to wear yourself out again – Tone Trolls Local 287 needs you, Stu!

    (Oh, and Brent has reappeared on the other thread. Why don’t you head over there and politely explain to him the errors in his recent post. I’m sure he’s just confused, and once you set him straight about weather vs. climate he’ll never make that mistake again.)

  37. #37 Bernard J.
    April 2, 2010

    McLean seems to be caught in a recurvsive loop that goes something like this*:

    I am tiring of utterly specious comments like “your analysis explicitly removed the underlying trend in the global temperature response.”

    Read our paper, read our response to comments, read my response to Lewandowsky.

    to which countless people reply:

    We have read your paper and conclude that your analysis explicitly removed the underlying trend in the global temperature response.

    to which McLean replies:

    I am tiring of utterly specious comments like “your analysis explicitly removed the underlying trend in the global temperature response.”

    Read our paper, read our response to comments, read my response to Lewandowsky.

    to which countless people reply:

    We have read your paper and conclude that your analysis explicitly removed the underlying trend in the global temperature response.

    to which McLean replies…

    *See time-stamp 02 Apr 2010 10:28:05am at The Drum:

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2861936.htm

  38. #38 Bernard J.
    April 2, 2010

    Waddaya know?! [My question](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/well_now_we_know_why.php#comment-2395074) on The Drum was posted, and even answered by McLean:

    It’s not exactly relevant to Lewandowsky’s comments or my response but I’ll answer you.

    The ENSO system does move heat, from the tropical Pacific, around in a quasi-periodic manner. The real question is where the Pacific Ocean’s heat comes from. This seems to be an area of research at the moment. It’s all very well describing symptoms or observations, but these are different to the drivers and right now there’s a lot of uncertainty about what those drivers are.

    It might be that the drop in easterly winds allows the ocean to absorb more solar energy, compared to normal and La Nina conditions when the winds push that warm surface water over to the western Pacific and allow cold water to rise to the surface. But why would the winds drop?

    A paper by a Russian scientist, Timoniev (or similar) in which it claimed that Antarctic winds underwent a change about 3 months prior to an El Nino developing. He suggested that solar winds interfered with terrestrial polar winds and that these set up the circumstances for an El Nino. Correct or not? I don’t know. I’ve seen no supporting papers nor any raw data that I might analyze to test his claim.

    I think at this stage it’s fair to say that no-one really knows how ENSO events are triggered. Of course this also means that they really can’t be modelled very well, and it logically follows that claims that climate models are accurate are nonsense.

    I note that McLean admits that ENSO moves heat around, but he is more circumspect about where the heat that’s warming the planet comes from. It’s just not coming from greenhouse gas activity, apparently…

    Of course, his ‘analysis’ cannot lead to that conclusion, but this does not stop McLean from saying that it can, or at least [from avoiding saying that it can't](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/well_now_we_know_why.php#comment-2397617). He actually does explicitly make the claim once or twice on the thread at The Drum, although I’ll be stuffed if I have the patience to wade through the horrid formatting there to find the post(s).

    It’s all over for further discussion there with Johnny though. Mike Ashley and several others were merciless in their hammering home of the deficiencies of MFC09, and McLean spat the dummy and left.

    Aside from the last-post-first-replies-first-to-last bouncy reading method imposed on the reader by the format, it was actually an entertaining thread: a bit of a change for ABC blogs. I suspect that McLean thought that he was going to get a free ride, with a coterie of science-illiterate lapdogs woofing his praises and drowning out serious criticism, but in the end he was pretty well pasted.

    Perhaps the Denialati vacated for Easter, leaving the hard-working (atheistic?) science types beavering away without pause…

    He should have posted in early January – most science professionals are away then!

  39. #39 Stu
    April 2, 2010

    >I think I prefer to ignore you. I have to work anyway. And you have more hyperventilating to do, no doubt. Try not to wear yourself out again – Tone Trolls Local 287 needs you, Stu!

    >(Oh, and Brent has reappeared on the other thread. Why don’t you head over there and politely explain to him the errors in his recent post. I’m sure he’s just confused, and once you set him straight about weather vs. climate he’ll never make that mistake again.)

    Ignore me if you will, but I’ll be gracious enough to say that I’ve learned something from our exchanges. So thanks – really.

    I’m going to take a ‘don’t feed’ approach to Brent (and, yes, other trolls unless for amusement value) and not only because opening a 1200 comment thread slows down my computer…

    Back on topic, McLean cut a sad figure at The Drum. Round and around he went. I started to think he hadn’t actually read his own paper, and was just projecting.

  40. #40 luminous beauty
    April 2, 2010

    Stu, Salty, et alia; I’m following this discussion with the fascination one feels witnessing a car wreck.

    Call me anything you want, just don’t call me late for dinner.

    [Peace Out](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01iCyBaZnPU&feature=related)

  41. #41 Gaz
    April 2, 2010

    Bernard J. 138:

    It’s all over for further discussion there with Johnny though. Mike Ashley and several others were merciless in their hammering home of the deficiencies of MFC09, and McLean spat the dummy and left….
    I suspect that McLean thought that he was going to get a free ride, with a coterie of science-illiterate lapdogs woofing his praises and drowning out serious criticism, but in the end he was pretty well pasted.

    There appears to have been a disitinct shift in this regard since the CRU hack. And about time. No more free rides.

  42. #42 Dave Andrews
    April 2, 2010

    Stu,

    Here are a few random quotes from Nature published earlier this year.

    ” However such models cannot reproduce some important atmospheric phenomena such as circulation trapping and cannot be validated against real climate behaviour over decadal timescales

    (Editorial, vol483, issue 7283, 16Feb 2010)

    ” reseachers are wrestling with how to mimic the clouds and currents, trees and tundra and the myriad other aspects of the planet that can amplify or diminish global warming”

    “Parameterizations are a necessary evil that can introduce error into models. Perhaps more bothersome, though, are the random errors

    “In fact every model has a weak spot.”

    ” Although the new models are better from an academic perspective, they do notnecessarily produce results that are more useful for policy makers wrestling with how to plan for the future

    (All, News Feature, vol463, 25 Feb 2010)

    Seems the models might not be all they a ‘cracked-up’ to be!

  43. #43 Fran Barlow
    April 2, 2010

    Once more around the goldfish bowl…

    Seems the models might not be all they a ‘cracked-up’ to be!

    said Dave Andrews

    Exactly what are they “cracked up to be” Dave and on what sources do you base this opinion?

  44. #44 Stu
    April 2, 2010

    >Stu,

    >Here are a few random quotes from Nature published earlier this year.

    >”However such models cannot reproduce some important atmospheric phenomena such as circulation trapping and cannot be validated against real climate behaviour over decadal timescales

    Hmmm, that sounds vaguely similar to what I actually said:

    >Dave, the IPCC uses an ensemble approach because the internal variability in the models produces a wide range of possible outcomes over short time periods.

    I only objected to a statement you made that I thought was misleading. There are many valid criticisms of climate models, indeed, consider this point: if there weren’t valid criticisms of climate models, no one would be working on improving them any more.

    Anyway, your point that the IPCC use ensembles because the models aren’t good going forwards depends entirely on the timescale in question. They’re not meant to have much predictive power over 5 or 10 years, over which timescales internal variability trumps external forcing. Using ensembles gives the models some value over these shorter timescales.

  45. #45 Neil White
    April 3, 2010

    Has anyone else wondered how John Mclean came to be first author on this piece of rubbish (I mean the original paper, not the response to the comment). Why is an “independent climate analyst” and well-meaning, but bumbling, feeder of misinformation to the likes of Andrew Bolt the first author, while two “climate scientists” were second and third authors. Clearly Mclean has no idea.

    Was this a setup – it was worth the gamble and if it worked, they got a paper into the peer-reviewed literature, complete with a few political points. If it went pear shaped (as it now has) then clueless McLean (“the patsy”) cops all the agro.

    Nice friends!

    Neil White

    PS I’m not normally into conspiracy theories. Honest.

    PPS McLean should go back to feeding misinformation to Andrew Bolt. He was good at that.

  46. #46 Bernard J.
    April 3, 2010

    Ah, Easter, and time on my hands to muse about what-ifs…

    With Eli and Tamino having recently harpooned two of the Denialati’s favoured groups of chums, I can’t help but wistfully wonder what the world might have been like had Tim actually published a peer-reviewed refutation of [McKitrick's clanger](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2004/08/mckitrick6.php)…

    I would have paid to see that.

    Meandering to a point though – [Neil White](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/well_now_we_know_why.php#comment-2399224), Chris de Freitas was the editor at the journal Climate Research who let through both the Soon and Baliunas paper that resulted in half of the editorial board resigning in protest, and the McKitrick and Michaels paper I mention above. In my view, de Freitas would hardly be a first option for a first author…

    And Carter? Well, does one really need to say anything at all?

    For any real scientist, it’s extremely frustrating that such incompetent scratchings are dignified with the title ‘peer-reviewed’: all the more so for the fact that non-trained Denialati imagine that these ‘papers’ are actually in any way worthy. They’re not, and they go flaccid the first time that the lights are turned upon them.

    …I really wish that Tim had published…

  47. #47 John Mashey
    April 3, 2010

    re: #146
    re: de Freitas, Soon, etc.

    Actually, it’s worse than that.
    In PDF at DeSMogBlog, look up de Freitas (p. 117 in V1.0), and timeline on p.22, starting 2002.03.28.

    Briefly, de Freitas submitted a climate paper to the BULLETIN OF CANADIAN PETROLEUM GEOLOGY, edited by his brother Tim, who (properly) recused himself. They did find two sterling reviewers in Willie Soon and Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, names familiar here. His article was
    Are observed changes in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere really dangerous? Would anyone care to bet on the answer provided? He references 4 Soon & Baliunas papers,

    A few weeks later, Soon & Baliunas submitted the infamous paper to de Freitas, so he was reviewing that paper while Soon was reviewing his…

    Brother Tim later wrote here, p.27:

    “Climate change and the role of CO2 were discussed in detail by C.R. de Freitas. Since he is the brother of the
    present CSPG Editor, the paper was handled by one of our most capable Associate Editors, Dale Leckie, and
    review by Willie Soon, an Astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Sonja
    Boehmer-Christiansen, the scientific editor of Energy and Environment and a climate scientist at the University
    of Hull, UK. These individuals are recognized globally for their contributions to climate research. They also
    recommended publication of the paper with minor revision. However, their names were not included in the
    acknowledgements at the end of the paper, which was an oversight.”

    H/T: Deep Climate

  48. #48 Bernard J.
    April 4, 2010

    [John Mashey](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/well_now_we_know_why.php#comment-2400147).

    Thank you for the salient reminder of this under-acknowledged and very interesting part of the background to this saga.

    Given the hue and cry about ‘collusion’ that the Denialati raised following the theft of the CRU emails and data, one wonders with complete bemusement about the logs blinkering their own sight whilst they pick at the specks in the eyes of others…

  49. #49 truth machine, OM
    April 6, 2010

    I think you’ll find that SC = TM = MK.

    Folks at Pharyngula, where SC and I have spent a lot of time (and earned our OM’s) knows that we are not at all the same and that the suggestion is ludricrous and then some. But I doubt that being so grossly wrong will phase you.

    The right side of that equation, OTOH, is valid, but I’ve dropped using the MK moniker here, and never used the two at the same time.

  50. #50 truth machine, OM
    April 6, 2010

    I wonder if Truth Machine is Jewish? (Doubt it somehow.)

    That you think that is relevant shows poor inferential judgment, as does the fact that you happen to be wrong. (I was raised in a reform-conservative Jewish household but was an atheist by the time of my Bar Mitzvah.)

  51. #51 truth machine, OM
    April 6, 2010

    I tend to agree with Erasmussimo

    Erasmussimo’s arguments were ripped to shreds by many posters.

    even though Brent was shown via postings on other blogs to be a troll, albeit one trapped in a goldfish bowl. Still, it’s nice to be nice

    That’s either a tautology or irrelevant. It’s also nice to be nasty.

    and if you can do it in the face of outrageous abuse all the better because it’s funny and often surprisingly effective.

    Both strategies can be both funny and effective. None of which in the slightest supports any of Erasmussimo’s blather.

  52. #52 truth machine, OM
    April 7, 2010

    No, I don’t know what [Crystal Night] is a reference to.

    You need an education, especially if you’re going to go around erroneously characterizing Jewish principles and making negative comparisons between those and your own precious Christian ones. Don’t forget this one — Gott mit uns.

  53. #53 Pete Ridley
    April 7, 2010

    I posted the following on the Rabett Run blog “Too Bad to be Believed” thread and it seems relevant here. If you find it of interest then I can post follow-up comments from the same thread. There are also comments here waxing enthusiastically over the UK Commons committee political enquiry which whitewashed “Climategate”. One even suggests that little is being said about the UK, but that’s a mistake. Take a look at my blog postings “Politics, The Media & The UK’s “Climategate” Enquiries “ and “CAN THERE BE AN INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION OF IPCC? “ at http://globalpoliticalshenanigans.blogspot.com. Comments are welcome as long as they are not insulting like some posted here.

    QUOTE:
    Eli, I see that the refutation of the McLean, et al paper “Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature” (Note 1) by Foster et al. (published on 23rd July 2009) to which you linked (Note 2) was drafted on 27th October 2009 but corrections to the original paper were published on 16th Oct. Do you know if the corrections take into consideration any of the points challenged by Foster et al?

    I get the impression that McLean et al. tried unsuccessfully to get the AGU to publish their response to the criticisms of Foster et al. In their article “Censorship at AGU: scientists denied the right of reply” (Note 3) they conclude QUOTE: We are left with the unanswered question as to whether this situation has arisen from editorial ineptitude at the JGR, or whether the journal, in avoiding publishing our reply, was responding to coercive pressure from influential supporters of the speculative hypothesis of dangerous human-induced climate change. UNQUOTE.

    Others, although agreeing that some of the statistical manipulations used by McLean et al. are inappropriate, do appear to support the view that natural global climate processes and drivers account for most of the claimed global temperature changes during the past 100+ years. One of these is Dr. David Stockwell (Note 4) in his article (Note 5) at “Niche Modeling”. He also provides a link to a very interesting article (Note 6) “Reproducing Global Temperature Anomalies With Natural Forcings” by Bob Tisdale

    Please excuse me for shooting off at a tangent here but am I correct in thinking that Foster is known as Tamino? In his criticism (Note 7) of the original paper Tamino makes the point that QUOTE: In their figure 7, they represent GTTA by splicing together two different data sets. Up to the end of 1979 they use RATPAC-A data…. From 1980 to 2010, they use UAH TLT data instead. Not only is it problematic (not completely invalid, but problematic) to splice together different data sets, if you’re going to do so you need to account for the fact that they might have a different zero point. UNQUOTE. I don’t see a similar criticism in his comments only a year earlier in “Brand New Hockey Sticks” (Note 8) covering QUOTE: Mann et al. 2008, Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia UNQUOTE. I could find no mention of the splicing of proxies to dubious “global” temperature measurements which have been subjected to dubious statistical manipulations. Maybe I read it too quickly ans=d missed it but being a sceptic I suspect that it was more to do with Mann’s paper providing support for The (signiciant human-made global climate change) Hypotjesis.
    UNQUOTE

    Notes follow

  54. #54 Dave R
    April 7, 2010

    Pete Ridley:
    >being a sceptic

    [That word doesn't mean what you think it means](http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/feb/22/climate-change-sceptics).

  55. #55 Stu
    April 7, 2010

    TM,

    I was serious when I said I’d learned something from SC and thanked him; not knowing what Crystal Night was, I suppose, is forgiveable – I’d never heard of it. However, I now realise that my comments sound bigoted and frankly stupid in that light. For which I apologise. But did you really need four posts in a row detailing my stupidity?

  56. #56 SC (Salty Current)
    April 7, 2010

    Stu,

    I’m a woman. [As previously implied.](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSpfS2b6d4w)

  57. #57 Stu
    April 7, 2010

    Soz m’lady. Noted for the next time.

  58. #58 SC (Salty Current)
    April 7, 2010

    :)

  59. #59 truth machine, OM
    April 7, 2010

    But did you really need four posts in a row detailing my stupidity?

    Do you really need to whine about it? The first one wasn’t even directed to you.

  60. #60 truth machine, OM
    April 7, 2010

    Unless, of course, Bernard J. is your sockpuppet.

    (See, sometimes I have afterthoughts.)

  61. #61 luminous beauty
    April 7, 2010

    TM,

    A hearty עִמָּנוּאֵל unto thee. Also.

  62. #62 Stu
    April 7, 2010

    I wasn’t whining, indeed I had hoped that you’d catch my self-depricating humour. These things do get lost along the intertubes though.

    Sockpuppetry is best left to those who cannot defend themselves… or don’t apologise and retract when shown to be in an indefensible position (as I certainly was).

  63. #63 Stu
    April 7, 2010

    And, as an afterthought of my own, the second half of the above post is not intended as an accusation directed at anyone here.

  64. #64 truth machine, OM
    April 7, 2010

    Ok, cool; sorry for misinterpreting your comment and jumping on it.