Rosegate: Rose hides the incline

David Rose is notorious for fabricating data to claim that global warming isn’t happening as well as for fabricating quotes, so this story in the Daily Mail comes as no surprise. Rose presents a graph of temperatures from BEST that purports to prove that global warming has stopped and then quotes Judith Curry

“As for the graph disseminated to the media, she said: ‘This is “hide the decline” stuff. Our data show the pause, just as the other sets of data do. Muller is hiding the decline.

At Skeptical Science Dana Nuccitelli presents a graph showing Rose’s cherry pick:

i-a93228e30bff5504fffbfa4b90498322-FullvsCurryBEST.gif

As well as the cherry picked start, Rose’s graph gets its appearance by including an April 2010 temperature drop to temperatures typical of the early 19th century. But the April 2010 value is not meaningful, being based on just 47 stations, all from the Antarctic. If you don’t cherry pick the start point and don’t include bogus values, you see a strong warming trend.

Given that David Rose is notorious for fabricating quotes you might wonder whether he has done it again.
Curry says:

With regard to the Rose article. The article spun my comments in ways that I never intended.

but also concedes

In David Rose’s article, the direct quotes attributed to me are correct.

Curry also has a go at me with this rigorous refutation of one of my posts:

tonyb:

I am somewat incredulous that you should quote Tim Lamberts Deltoid in your attempt to discredit David Rose. Tim Lambert!

curryja:

Tony, I agree with you on that one.

Now Rose has an obvious agenda, but Curry contradicts herself so often I don’t think we can accuse him of misrepresentation in this case — he just chose to report which of Curry’s statements supported the story he wanted to tell.

Tamino, meanwhile has questions for Curry, asking her to provide scientific support for her claim that:

“There has been a lag/slowdown/whatever you want to call it in the rate of temperature increase since 1998″

(Note that she’s co-author of a BEST paper that states that finds “no evidence” that “global warming has abated since the 1998 El Nino event”.)

Update And the answer from Curry is:

Note that the short time scales considered here preclude determination of a statistically significant trend at the 95% confidence level, although lack of statistical signficance does not negate the existence of a pause as defined here.

Tamino is, like me, not impressed.

Comments

  1. #1 Neven
    November 1, 2011

    Thanks for this, Tim. I’m no expert when it comes to temperature graphs, but alarm bells rang upon seeing that concoction in the Daily Mail.

    It seems Rose is GWPF’s middleman. Definitely not a journalist.

    And Curry doesn’t cease to amaze me.

  2. #2 Mike Pope
    November 1, 2011

    I have studied sufficient statistics and econometrics to understand what Judith Curry and the Daily Mail clearly do not – how to emphasize a lie, namely that global warming has stopped. This can only be shown by cherry-picking the data, the time-span used or, as in this case, both and doing it so skillfully that it is not detected. An impossible task, as many eagle eyed scientists have shown by pointing out that the Curry analysis relies on

    • Using data for April 2010 based on reports from 47 stations only, compared with >14,400 stations used previously

    • Ensuring that the data from the 47 stations is biased by selecting stations which are located in Antarctica only

    • Ignoring available data from other stations

    • Excluding data for the rest of 2010

    • Fitting a line to data covering a period (8 years) which is statistically insignificant

    • Claiming that the line proves no global warming over the period, and

    • Accusing your Team Leader (Dr Muller) of hiding that claim

    Why would Rose choose to ignore these shortcomings? Was he so poorly informed about the way in which the Curry analysis was carried out – the basis of her claim? Did he ever question Dr Curry on this aspect or on just how involved she was in the analysis of that data?

    The kindest thing that can be said for Rose is that he fully relied on Dr Curry’s veracity but given his record, that would seem to be a verdict which stretches credulity.

    Finally, why would a climate scientist who presumably joined the BEST project team because of her expertise and experience in statistical analysis of climate data make claims regarding that data which appear to be clearly unsustainable?

    Dr Muller, who had for a long time openly declared his skepicism of anthopogenic global warming (AGW) and who led the BEST team has come to a quite different conclusion to that espoused by Curry. He has declared himself to be convinced by the analysis of massive amounts of data that AGW has been demonstrated.

  3. #3 Zibethicus
    November 1, 2011

    LET’S SPIN AGAIN

    Come on you deniers, backflip now
    Yeah, you’ve got it Right!
    Gotta spin that BEST, to the Right – you guessed!
    We gotta do the spin and it ain’t no sin

    Come on let’s spin it round, in an awful hurry
    Yeah, let’s spin it round, make it look the BEST
    Blame it all on Muller – like Judith Curry
    Yeah, let’s spin again, acting ‘unimpressed’

    Yeah black is white and wrong is Right we say again
    Oh you know Muller’s ‘hiding the decline’…
    It’s true that I’m a co-author, that’s all too plain
    So let’s spin again – his findings don’t match mine!

    Come on let’s spin it round, do a backflip Right now!
    Like Tony Watts – his ‘premises ain’t wrong’!
    He’s spinning faster than a pulsar, somehow
    Yeah let’s spin again, deniers come along!

    Yeah, black is white and wrong is Right we say again
    We’ve never had the slightest shame before!
    We’ll spin it round like it’s no drastic bummer
    Yeah, let’s spin again, then tiptoe to the door…

  4. #4 Nick
    November 1, 2011

    Curry is the kind of incautious patsy that Rose snacks on. She is unlikely to generate the incisiveness this misrepresentation warrants to really clarify her position,given her modus to date.

  5. #5 Gaz
    November 1, 2011

    The deniosaurs have lost the battle over the global land temperature. Judith Curry’s intellectual death spiral is testimony to that.

    It would actually be sad if the consequences of her nonsense were no so serious.

    What I’m waiting for now is for the diniers to start attacking the sea surface temperature record in earnest.

    Who will be the first to claim that, in order to measure the sea surface temperature, scientists should follow the *same bit of water* around, otherwise it’s like moving a land station around at random?

    Or – how about this – who will be the first to argue that because some water sinks below the surface and some rises – upwelling and downwelling – that *there’s really no such thing as the sea surface, so how can anyone claim to be able to measure it*?

    The possibilities for stupidity are endless.

  6. #6 Composer99
    November 1, 2011

    Zibethicus:

    On the subject of spin, perhaps you were [thinking of this?](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUG1mo6vGqs)

  7. #7 Ark
    November 1, 2011

    After being on the receiving end of the typically dishonest thuggery of the denialist movement, I wonder if Muller is reconsidering the kind of company he plans on keeping.

  8. #8 Olaus Petri
    November 2, 2011

    Beware of the Jellyfish-hypothesis. A new paradigm?

    http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-11-jellyfish-global-climate.html

  9. #9 Wow
    November 2, 2011

    No, an old one.

    Why, for example, didn’t these jellyfish have enough of an effect to stop the PETM?

    Or is science just beyond your reach, olaf?

  10. #10 This really is my last comment
    November 2, 2011

    David Rose and Judith Curry hide the decline of their faculties — poorly.

  11. #11 Olaus Petri
    November 2, 2011

    Relax Wow, I”m not into CJGW.

  12. #12 Wow
    November 2, 2011

    You’re not into FARJSR either, olaf. Apparently you don’t know what that paradigm is, either.

  13. #13 ianam
    November 2, 2011

    How did Jonas escape his prison? Oh, by sending his sockpuppet.

    [I don’t really believe that Olaus is Jonas’s sockpuppet … Jonas isn’t nearly as stupid.]

  14. #14 Olaus Petri
    November 2, 2011

    Its always a nice and friendly ambience hear at Deltoid. By the way have you read Donna’s latest epos:

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/11/01/un-climate-warnings-are-so-1989/

    What a nerve!

  15. #15 Wow
    November 2, 2011

    No, we hadn’t.

    Is there a reason to? I mean, if science isn’t consensus, then why does it matter if there’s no consensus? What point is it saying so?

    Oh, and deltoid is a lot like Lothlorien. There’s nothing to fear here other than what you bring with you.

  16. #17 Neil Bates
    November 2, 2011

    In any trend line with added statistical fluctuation, there will be shorter-term ups and even downs (not just “pauses”!) Consider a stock market in a healthy economy (ie, not ours!) that keeps growing with ups and downs, like maybe a dip in October etc. So finding “pauses” at the decadal level is complete misdirection, shouldn’t even get out of the gate as it were. Note that we can *see* that the fluctuations are basically decadal, it’s not an “assumption” used as GOOJF card. Look for example at the graph at scienceblogs.com/illconsidered/2011/10/another_hide_the_decline_momen.php , you see bigger dips in the past than now.

  17. #18 Ark
    November 2, 2011

    @ 14

    OK class, time for your reading comprehension 101 exam! Study the paragraph below and then answer which of the following best summarizes the position of Noel Brown:

    a) Noel Brown says that entire nations could be inundated by rising sea levels by the year 2000

    b) Noel Brown says that governments must reduce CO2 emissions by the year 2000 to prevent the greenhouse effect from gathering enough momentum to cause inundation of entire nations at an unspecified later date

    c) It doesn’t matter what Noel Brown says because he is an environmental official at the United Nations and is therefore a watermelon communist seeking to impose a totalitarian world government

    Remember, no part marks. Good luck!

  18. #19 Lotharsson
    November 2, 2011

    > Fantastic post I very much enjoyed it, keep up the good work.

    Tim, this post is apparently spam. Bots are going around posting generic statements of agreement in various forums. Check the link behind the posters’ name.

  19. #20 MikeB
    November 2, 2011

    Lets be honet, Judith Curry is just a perfect example of what happens when someone gets a really bad idea in their head, and refuses to let go of it, no matter how stupid it is.
    Of course talking to the DM also falls under the heading of ‘stupid’.

    It’s great fun to see the deniers twisting themselves in knots trying to get out of this one. Lets see what happens when Best says we are to blame – Delingpole’s head will probably explode, Scanners style. So thats something to look forward to…

  20. #21 SteveC
    November 2, 2011

    @ Tim re “Curry contradicts herself so often”:

    curryja | November 2, 2011 at 10:13 am | Reply

    The Mail article had several quotes from me that were not provided in full context. I am working on a new post with a clarification.

    So according to Curry Rose did misquote her, then he didn’t, now they’re not?

  21. #22 SteveC
    November 2, 2011

    above:

    they’re he’s

  22. #23 Donald Oats
    November 3, 2011

    I note that the Australian this week has C-c/C-v’ed from other news media the story on Muller’s new view of the land temperature data sets—it is just that it is a short article at the bottom left of a page in the “World” section of the paper, instead of screaming headlines on page one or page two. And, it doesn’t have a picture of some old bloke at the beach

    No doubt the Oz will use this (modest concession) as evidence against any future claims that they are biased, inaccurate reporters of climate science.

  23. #24 Hank Roberts
    November 3, 2011

    For scientists, really bad ideas are
    the ones that refuse to let go of _you_.

  24. #25 Michael
    November 3, 2011

    Touting monckton is a bit sad.

    I mentioned some of christophers more bizarre pronouncements, you know, the ones thar scream ‘CRANK’, but Curry deleted it.

    Apparently some scepticism is not welcome.

  25. #26 Composer99
    November 3, 2011

    Hank:

    I’m feeling like there’s an “in Soviet Russia” missing from [your comment](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/11/rosegate_rose_hides_the_inclin.php#comment-5726394).

  26. #27 Jason
    November 3, 2011

    It also helps that she charts the monthly data rather than the yearly averages, which helps drown the whole trend with noise.

  27. #28 Michael
    November 3, 2011

    Curry has been in fine form the last few days; deleting her own comments and now editing them after someone has responded and pointed out the problem with her argument.

    James Annan even popped in to remind Judith that her WGI critique is actually about elements in WGII. Curry has finally responded (I think Annan first raised this a year ago – but Judith thought he wasn’t important enough to talk to……..Monckton OTOH!!!!) with little more than evasion.

    Grab some popcorn and go and watch!

  28. #29 ianam
    November 4, 2011

    Has Curry ever even remotely enforced her Blog Rules?

  29. #30 Bernard J.
    November 4, 2011

    I’m curious.

    Is anyone who actually visits Curry’s blog archiving it as they read?

    I don’t usually go there, but Iwould love to see a record of what she’s been censoring.

  30. #31 Rick Bradford
    November 4, 2011

    > Curry has been in fine form the last few days; deleting her own comments and now editing them after someone has responded and pointed out the problem with her argument.

    Must have been taking lessons from John Cook of SkS.

  31. #32 Wow
    November 4, 2011

    Why’s that?

    Are your meds kicking in again, Dick..?

  32. #33 doskonaleszare
    November 4, 2011

    @20

    I strongly suspect we will never see Curry’s “clarifications”.

    Instead, she will seed several new “technical” discussion threads about, say, the Dragon Slayers or something like that, and then she will be “too busy” moderating another 1000+ comments to respond to the valid criticism of her own claims.

  33. #34 David Graves
    November 4, 2011

    Tim Lambert!

  34. #35 SteveC
    November 4, 2011

    “Must have been taking lessons from John Cook of SkS Anthony Watts of WTFUWT.

    FTFY mate.

  35. #36 SteveC
    November 4, 2011

    Curry has a new post up, entitled Pause (?).

    It seems – to a layman like me – long on waffle and short on much else.

    This statement made me blink:

    Note that the short time scales considered here preclude determination of a statistically significant trend at the 95% confidence level, although lack of statistical signficance does not negate the existence of a pause as defined here.

    So it’s a pause Jim, but not as we know it.

  36. #37 Ark
    November 4, 2011

    @ SteveC, 35

    This one jumped out at me:

    “Santer et al. argue that “Our results show that temperature records of at least 17 years in length are required for identifying human effects on global-mean tropospheric temperature.”

    So in this context, starting the analysis in 1998 is not unreasonable.”

    Can she even add?

  37. #38 Chris O'Neill
    November 4, 2011

    Can she even add?

    Delusion has a pretty powerful effect on people.

  38. #39 Bernard J.
    November 5, 2011

    >So in this context, starting the analysis in 1998 is not unreasonable.

    Failure in grade-school addition aside, does Curry not understand why “starting the analysis in [sic] 1998″ is completely unjustifiable?

    Is Curry actually in control of her intellectual faculties?

    Seriously?

  39. #40 Mikem
    November 5, 2011

    I’m just a layperson, and have nowhere the level of formal tertiary education Judith Curry has.

    But some of what she says is pretty stupid, even by my lowly educational standards.

  40. #41 SteveC
    November 5, 2011

    Sorry, got diverted while typing and came back to realise I missed something.

    One of the principal points (as far as I understand it) of many people’s objections to Curry’s claims wrt her interpretation of the BEST data (including “There is no scientific basis for saying that warming hasn’t stopped”) was they lacked sound statistical backing (see for example Tamino & Nick Stokes) – indeed, that selecting time spans as short as 10 years would almost preclude saying anything meaningful about trends simply because there is so much uncertainty. Following several pointed questions on that theme, Curry’s response is to say that just because you can’t call statistical singificance doesn’t mean there isn’t something there.

    I mean, wtf? If this was Joe Blow on a media blog somewhere it’d be predictable (if not acceptable). But Curry is Professor and Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at GIT, not some numpty who failed year 10 maths.

  41. #42 Dave H
    November 5, 2011

    @SteveC

    This is a valid point in a way – just because you haven’t met the standard for statistical significance, does not mean that you have shown that what you are testing for does not exist.

    Two things fall out of this however.

    a) The logical thing to do would be to expand your analysis in some way eg. by including more data, to show more conclusively whether the effect you are testing for does or does not exist – at which point it becomes obvious that Curry has advanced a self-refuting argument.

    b) Curry has just demonstrated why everyone that ever hopped on the “Phil Jones says no warming since 1995″ idiot train is wrong.

  42. #43 Tim Lambert
    November 5, 2011

    **Update** And the answer [from Curry is](http://judithcurry.com/2011/11/04/pause/):

    >Note that the short time scales considered here preclude determination of a statistically significant trend at the 95% confidence level, although lack of statistical signficance does not negate the existence of a pause as defined here.

    Tamino is, like me, [not impressed](http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/11/05/the-real-problem-with-the-global-warming-debate/).

  43. #44 SteveC
    November 5, 2011

    @ Dave H

    This is a valid point in a way – just because you haven’t met the standard for statistical significance, does not mean that you have shown that what you are testing for does not exist.

    Point taken. I think I let my astonishment at Curry’s response swamp what little facility I have for clear thought.

    The other criterion that Curry makes that me think “wtf?” to is that any trend < 0.17 – 0.2 C/decade is a “pause”. So if the planet warms at 0.16C/ decade, that’s not warming, it’s … err…

  44. #45 Michael
    November 5, 2011

    Tim,

    especially since Curry’s whole schtick has been about arguments being backed by credible and detailed statistical analysis…….now that’s all irrelevant when she wants to argue some point.

    I’d be amazed except that the one rule for scientists and another for Curry and her skeptics has been the MO for a while.

  45. #46 Anna Haynes
    November 5, 2011

    IMO there’s something else afoot. There has to be.

  46. #47 Bernard J.
    November 6, 2011

    Heh.

    I was literally just over at Curry’s and cottoned on to that quote of hers.

    [This is what I said by way of response](http://judithcurry.com/2011/11/04/pause/#comment-133663). I reproduce it only for expedience – I don’t think that she’d actually moderate it away:

    Curry’s statement:

    Note that the short time scales considered here preclude determination of a statistically significant trend at the 95% confidence level, although lack of statistical signficance does not negate the existence of a pause as defined here

    is curious for what happens when one presents it thus:

    …short time scales… preclude determination of a statistically significant trend at the 95% confidence level, although lack of statistical signficance does not negate the existence of [warming] as defined here.

    Remember Phil Jones’ much lauded (by denialists) claim that there was “no warming since 1995“? Well, this is no different, except that Jones was prepared to use the convention and state explicitly that statistical significance was not achieved with 15 years, and therefore similarly prepared to not over-interpret data from short periods of time. The rephrasing of Curry in the preceding paragraph says exactly was Jones was saying.

    Tellingly, Jones also noted (but was not quoted by the denial movement) that the probability of the 15-year period showing a warming trend that refuted a null hypothesis was 0.94, and further that another year would likely increase to significance the power to discern signal from noise. I’m curious to know what p-value Curry has determined her approach might produce, and also what the 1-β value of any such analysis would be.

    Or to put it another way, compare and contrast…

  47. #48 Lotharsson
    November 11, 2011

    Ethan Siegel [calls Curry out for **fraudulent** scientific claims](http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2011/11/exposing_a_climate_science_fra.php), based in part on Tamino’s analysis.

  48. #49 Lotharsson
    November 11, 2011

    And in comments at Siegel’s blog, he notes that Curry’s site has a thread apparently *accusing others ([including Siegel, in comments](http://judithcurry.com/2011/11/10/disinformation-vs-fraud-in-the-climate-debate/#comment-136758)) of running a disinformation campaign]*.

  49. #50 lord_sidcup
    November 20, 2011

    Rose thinks he is on a roll. This week he has a really thin [story](http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2063737/BBCs-Mr-Climate-Change-accepted-15-000-grants-university-rocked-global-warning-scandal.html?ito=feeds-newsxml) that goes Hadley>CRU>£15000>BBC>climate change>scandal!!!!

  50. #51 lord_sidcup
    November 21, 2011

    Interestingly, the David Rose article I linked to in 49 has now vanished. It has also vanished from the GWPF website where it had been reproduced. Has Rose got The Mail into legal hot water?

  51. #52 Bernard J.
    November 21, 2011
  52. #53 lord_sidcup
    November 21, 2011

    Bernard

    Yes, the article seems to be back now – apparently without any changes.

  53. #54 lord_sidcup
    November 29, 2011

    The BBC’s Roger Harrabin (that’s ‘Mr Climate Change’ if you’re David Rose) has written a response to Rose’s increasingly inhinged reporting.

    [The flak’s been flying again over BBC coverage of climate change](http://www.bbc.co.uk/ariel/15937222)

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