Tim Curtin’s incompetence with basic statistics is the stuff of legend. Curtin has now demonstrated incompetence at a fairly new journal called The Scientific World Journal. Consider his very first “result” (emphasis mine):

I first regress the global mean temperature (GMT) anomalies against the global annual values of the main climate variable evaluated by the IPCC Hegerl et al. [17] and Forster et al. [28] based on Myhre et al. [29], namely, the total radiative forcing of all the noncondensing greenhouse gases [RF]

Annual(Tmean) = a + b[RF] + u(x)

The results appear to confirm the findings of Hegerl et al. [17] with a fairly high R^2
and an excellent t-statistic (>2.0) and P-value (<0.01) but do not pass the Durbin-Watson test (>2.0) for spurious correlation (i.e., serial autocorrelation), see Table 1. **This result validates the null hypothesis** of no statistically significant influence of radiative forcing by noncondensing GHGs on global mean temperatures.

Any first year stats student or competent peer reviewer should be able to tell you that you a statistical test cannot prove the null hypothesis. But it’s far worse than that as Tamino explains:


The DW statistic for his first regression is d = 1.749. For his sample size with one regressor, the critical values at 95% confidence are dL = 1.363 and dU = 1.496. Since d is greater than dU, we do not reject the null hypothesis of uncorrelated errors.

This test gives no evidence of autocorrelation for the residuals. But Tim Curtin concluded that it does. He further concluded that such a result means no statistically significant influence of greenhouse gas climate forcing (other than water vapor) on global temperature. Even if his DW test result were correct (which it isn’t), that just doesn’t follow. …

In other words, the regression which Curtin said fails the DW test actually passes, while the regression which he said passes, actually fails.

And — the presence of autocorrelation doesn’t invalidate regression anyway.

I have to wonder what kind of “peer-reviewed” scientific journal would publish this. Who were the referees for this paper?

And do check out Curtin’s responses in comments where he insists that he didn’t get it wrong. Curtin’s understanding of statistics is so poor that he can’t recognize his own mistakes.

Comments

  1. #1 bill
    July 4, 2012

    …nis split

  2. #2 Wow
    July 4, 2012

    It’s not “Denialot”, Bernard, it’s “Denialeverything”.

  3. #3 Bernard J.
    July 4, 2012

    It’s not “Denialot”, Bernard, it’s “Denialeverything”.

    True, Wow, but “Denialeverything” doesn’t have quite the sane ring!

    Hmmm… I wonder if there’s a market for a musical about climate change denialism. The opportunities for bastardising ALW, Q&S, Queen, et al are endless…

    If no-one has previously, I call dibs on the concept! ;-)

    As Curtin has executed the Brave Sir Robin manoeuvre, perhaps we could dedicate the arse-end of this thread to exploring the choral possibilities.

  4. #4 Lionel A
    July 5, 2012

    Bernard,

    I had been, for awhile, pondering something along the lines of a Python Revival but with broader scope to encompass the machinations of the ‘clever gang’ represented by Lindzen, Michaels, Spencer, Christy and the ‘cheer leaders’ populated by Monckton, Bolt, Delingpole, Melanie Phillips etc, etc, etc. However I am not well placed to act on this initiative.

    …perhaps we could dedicate the arse-end of this thread to exploring the choral possibilities.

    Has not this thread’s ‘arse-end’ departed?

  5. #5 Bernard J.
    July 5, 2012

    Has not this thread’s ‘arse-end’ departed?

    Nah, just it’s arse-hole.

    We can still scrawl on the gluteus maximi.

    Nudge, nudge…

  6. #6 adelady
    conductor's baton at the ready
    July 5, 2012

    As Curtin has executed the Brave Sir Robin manoeuvre …… the choral possibilities.

    tap, tap, eyes front,
    waaaaait for it, biiiig breath @ 3:40,

    Ode to Joy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9V5yUsrmdg

    or maybe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpcUxwpOQ_A

  7. #7 ianam
    July 5, 2012

    “Denialeverything” doesn’t have quite the sane ring!

    Indeed it doesn’t.

  8. #8 Bernard J.
    July 5, 2012

    Adelady, at 1:15 pm 5 July.

    Re: Ode to Joy, Meep version…

    All Comments (17,657)

    Unbelievable!

    Ianam, at 4:02 pm 5 July.

    Indeed!

  9. #9 Robert Murphy
    July 21, 2012

    Tim’s at it again over at WUWT, claiming that Tyndall showed N2 and O2 to be the real GHG’s.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/21/some-thoughts-on-radiative-transfer-and-ghgs/#comment-1038788
    “The IPCC assertion that nitrogen and oxygen are not GHGs appears to conflict with the findings of Tyndall’s physical experiments (1861) which showed that N2 and O2 neither absorb nor radiate heat in the longwave infrared radiation (LIR) spectrum, even though they are transparent to incoming solar shortwave radiation…”

    Since we know he saw the quotes from Tyndall saying that without water vapor (and by extension also CO2) the Earth would be far colder, the only conclusion that doesn’t require Curtin to have mental issues is that he’s a blatant liar.

  10. #10 Lionel A
    July 21, 2012

    Robert that is astonishing.

    that old Tim Curtin be so confused.

    He still does not get the methodology of Tyndall’s experiments does he?

    What is more astonishing is that your comment is still up there.

    BTW Watts, that is two visits to your site that don’t count for much as I am not a fan. Don’t like bullies for one thing.

  11. #11 bill
    July 22, 2012

    They’re still playing ‘2nd Law’ and refusing to just accept even the basics of atmospheric physics and chemistry over at μWatts? Astonishing! ;-)

    Whatever happened to that ‘peer reviewed’ ‘paper’ that proved it hasn’t warmed, (even though they never said it wasn’t warming)? You’d almost think they were flailing around desperately…

  12. #12 Lotharsson
    July 22, 2012

    So Watts’ minions, being proud of their adherence to scientific truth, will rise to the challenge and set Tim straight on GHGs, right?

    Right?

    ;-)

  13. #13 Lionel A
    July 22, 2012

    I don’t know if Curtin is familiar with the works of Roger Penrose ‘The Road to Reality’, ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ but a more recent book ‘Cycles of Time’ hinges on an understanding of that ‘2nd Law’, and entropy, maybe Curtin should read it.

    For an insight into Penrose thinking this 1:10:34 video is interesting Professor Dr. Sir Roger Penrose on new clues to the basics of conscious mentality .

  14. #14 MikeH
    August 27, 2012

    Just when you thought that Curtin could not get any dumber here is a comment on the new Arctic Ice minimum posted at The Conversation

    Appeals to “reality” need to be backed by statistical analysis. I see none in this article. What the authors need to do to substantiate their claim that ice loss in the Arctic is propelled by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions is first to explain why the intra-annual atmospheric concentration of CO2 is always lower in August-September when the ice extent is at its lowest, and always higher in January-March or April when the ice is deepest and widest.

    There is no way I can do justice to describing Curtin’s stupidity. Dumber than a sack of hammers, thick as 2 short planks – they just don’t cut it.

  15. #15 Bernard J.
    August 27, 2012

    Appeals to “reality” need to be backed by statistical analysis. I see none in this article. What the authors need to do to substantiate their claim that ice loss in the Arctic is propelled by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions is first to explain why the intra-annual atmospheric concentration of CO2 is always lower in August-September when the ice extent is at its lowest, and always higher in January-March or April when the ice is deepest and widest.

    O.
    M.
    F.
    D.

  16. #16 Wow
    August 27, 2012

    “explain why the intra-annual atmospheric concentration of CO2 is always lower in August-September when the ice extent is at its lowest, and always higher in January-March or April when the ice is deepest and widest. ”

    And he needs to describe the causation you propose, the dumbass.

    Correlation is not causation, is what he started on DEMANDING (despite it having been given multiple times), but now there’s just a demand that some correlation is needing to be explained (which has been again). Is there any proof that this bonkers lunatic will listen to any answers to his demands?

    No.

  17. #17 Lionel A
    August 27, 2012

    Curtin is a bloody fool if he thinks that because CO2 levels are lower at the end of NH summer that there should have been a cooling effect apparent over the period of declining CO2. This also shows that Curtin still, despire all our exhortations to educate himself, has little NO grasp of Earth’s physical processes.

    It just goes to show why statistics and economics say nothing about the physical processes of nature, only the deluded would think otherwise.

    Curtin find yourself a book on Oceanography for starters, hint there is much more to this than the name implies. One excellent example is ‘Oceanography: An Invitation to Marine Science’ by Tom Garrison. Look out his lectures here:

    Dr. Tom Garrison Oceanography Lecture Part 1

    Another good starter for the Earth’s systems and the context of global warming and climate change is Global Catastrophes: A Very Short Introduction by Bill McGuire . Check out McGuire’s ‘Waking the Giant: How a Changing Climate Triggers Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanoes‘ too.

    The reason for lower CO2 levels at the end of NH summer has been explained to him before here but he is too stupid to take this in. Curtin has no capacity for critical thinking whatsoever.

    PS. I failed to find that Conversation article you allude to MikeH. I have looked out the obvious ‘Arctic’ and ‘Climate xxx’ threads under ‘Hot Topics’ and found nothing under Environment & Energy or Science & Technology.

  18. #18 MikeH
    August 27, 2012

    Sorry, should have provided the link.
    http://theconversation.edu.au/groundhog-day-the-ice-extent-in-the-arctic-ocean-reaches-a-new-minimum-9070
    Knowing Curtin, he will double down so the entertainment is not finished yet.

  19. #19 Lionel A
    August 27, 2012

    Thanks MikeH.

    Looks like Jonti Horner has wiped the floor with Curtin. Will Curtin be silly enough to reply?

    Do we have another volunteer Black Knight?

  20. #20 Lotharsson
    August 28, 2012

    …explain why the intra-annual atmospheric concentration of CO2 is always lower in August-September when the ice extent is at its lowest, and always higher in January-March or April when the ice is deepest and widest.

    Gold. Pure nu[gge]tty gold.

    I commented at RealClimate a while back that trying to analyse climate science without grounding your analysis in, you know, physics and stuff, leads you to idiotic conclusions. Back then I used a different Curtin example but this is even more illustrative…

  21. #21 Lotharsson
    August 28, 2012

    Will Curtin be silly enough to reply?

    Based on past trends I’d say the answer is probably yes.

  22. #22 Lotharsson
    August 28, 2012

    BRB. I feel the precautionary need to stock up on popcorn.

  23. #23 Bernard J.
    August 28, 2012

    Regarding Curtin’s preposterous muddle-headedness about the apparent lack of short-term relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature, someone who posts on The Conversation might like to point Tim Curtin to this:

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/7/3/034015

  24. #24 Lionel A
    August 28, 2012

    Interesting Bernard,

    Climate response to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide and solar irradiance on the time scale of days to weeks

    Tim should pay attention to that final sentence in the Abstract. The likes of Michaels and now Christy paying particular attention to this bit: from the abstract, my emphasis:

    However, the physiological effect of increased atmospheric CO2 on plant stomata reduces plant transpiration, drying the boundary layer and decreasing precipitation

    .

  25. #25 Lionel A
    August 30, 2012

    Looks like we can put that popcorn away, Curtin has remained quiet on that Conversation thread. Reduced to a hit-and-run merchant are we Curtin?

  26. #26 Bernard J.
    August 30, 2012

    Curtin’s not actually as stupid as the USKMS. Timmy can (only) do regressions, and as silly as he usually is in applying them, he’s probably realised that any regression of Arctic sea ice points down.

    Of course, the implication of his silence is that Curtin actually knows when he’s wrong, which rather makes any denialist pronouncement of his all the more egregious.