Urbanisation, again

Via Lubos (sorry: I was looking for rumours of him leaving) I find some interesting stuff re the temperature record it China.

Lubos has misunderstood and oversold it, but the original makes for strong and interesting reading. Mind you SPM fig 4 makes it rather unlikely that any major change to the temperature record is going to be needed.


  1. #1 Sara Chan

    An interesting discussion of how the fraud affects the IPCC report is on Keenan’s site:

  2. #2 Luboš Motl

    I was leaving the communist Academia; I wasn’t leaving the planet Earth so far.

  3. #3 Kooiti Masuda

    As I understand, part of the problem comes from the policy of the country C’s government. It seems that they think meteorological data (except what they release real-time in the channel of WMO) as intellectual properties rather than public goods. Sometimes, international scientific agreements make some part of C’s data open to public, but not always. Often, scientists who use C’s data more than the open ones need to make non-disclosure agreements, formally or informally. The situation is similar to using trade secret information of private companies.

    I admit that sometimes a stronger force than the non-disclosure agreement is necessary to investigate alleged frauds. It will require due legal processes. Also, in cases like this, it will also require diplomatic considerations, for it may mean that the government of one country forcefully obtains what the government of another country claims as its intelectual property.

    It smells to me that the accuser takes advantage of the closed policy of C on one hand, and the principle of freedom of information of USA and UK on the other hand, to harras a scientist whose conclusions the accuser do not like.

    But this allegation may be unfair to Mr. Keenan. His opinion about the issue of copyright found in his website suggests that he is a friend of knowledge as global public goods and a foe of any secrets.

    I agree that scientific activity should be transparent. But it is no use to accuse the scientists who make some part of the closed information open. I hope that real promoters of liberty and transparency will join us to influence the government of C. But we should refrain from accusation, for it will make them just more arrogant. We need to persuade them with the logic that making data public and promoting global scientific cooperation is beneficial to them as well.

    (I intentionally wrote “C”, because the identification of the country does not matter, but just the attitude of the government.)

  4. #4 Adam

    “Mind you SPM fig 4 makes it rather unlikely that any major change to the temperature record is going to be needed.”

    It looks to me that a reduction in the temp record for that region would make it more consistent with other regions in that it would put the observed temperature more centrally in the model band, instead of on the high side. Might make the modellers happy.

  5. #5 Stephen Berg

    “I was leaving the communist Academia; I wasn’t leaving the planet Earth so far.”

    Typical ideological BS, Lubos. Always bringing up the “commies” and “pinkos”. Why can’t you have an actual discussion without bringing up such labels?

  6. #6 Carl Christensen

    I for one would love to hear a “tell all” tale from Lubos about the commie Harvard academia etc.

  7. #7 Marion Delgado

    Motl is part of the social evolution of science. The truth is, attitudes have shifted on the entire string theory paradigm. Criticisms that were shrugged off at first have gathered strength as degrees of freedom have increased, and predictability still never arrived. It’s amazing, for instance, that he can say Hansen is not scientific given that his 1988 prediction – the middle of 3 possible lines at that – actually predicted something, yet cling to string theory so wholeheartedly. Motl points out that he at least doesn’t cling to the anthropic principle, but it’s not an essential component. The NASA (and most of the world’s climate scientists)-type models HAVE predicted things and without fabricating undetected aspects of reality to make their theory even internally consistent – indeed, the denialists, by way of cosmic rays creating enough clouds to fudge all factors – have.

    BUT, and this is a big but, the reason I say Motl is part of the evolution of science is that he’s so clearly aligned himself with the anti-science element in society that budding physicists might read that and go, well, if that’s what string theory does to your brain, no thanks!

    Of course, Motl won’t be happy until string theory is very clearly a minority viewpoint, so everybody wins. Some people are hooked on being Galileo the way other people are hooked on crack. Produces very similar dialog.

  8. #8 Marion Delgado

    Kooiti Masuda:

    You are not being unfair in the slightest. Keenan is another denialist, as his fraudulent statement about “the hockey stick” praising McIntyre shows.

    But there’s an overarching consideration. Yes, of course, you’re going to find, eventually, errors and distortions. And if you have partisans like Keenan and McIntyre involved, only the ones that would pull climate change and global warming artificially higher will be emphasized. There’s no one at all going the other way, and there will now have to be.

    And THAT makes what was a normal scientific process, with errors either way being found essentially at random, with obvious biases in favor of open information and physical accessibility vs. some partisan angle, into a he said/she said situation more comfortable to these pseudoscientific trolls, who regard Austrian economics as the pinnacle of “real science” to begin with.

    Eventually you’ll have pro-environmentalists saying we found this, this and this all skewing the IPCC’s (xxx university’s, xxx agency’s, xxx study’s, xxx facility’s) numbers away from the true (higher) climate change, and these paid denialists and their crank acolytes pushing the other way, and you might – though it’s unlikely – achieve an eventual balance thereby. But in the process, the very data collection and analysis process moves into the realm of politics and comes into disrepute. And that, frankly, is the goal of McIntyre among others. Indeed, their whole coven has attacked first consensus, then peer review, then the collection of data. That’s WHY they’re properly labeled the war on science contingent.

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.