RP Jr is a tosser

oglaf-dick I haven’t called anyone a tosser recently, indeed I think that RP Jr is the first 2013 winner of this most prestigious of awards. I believe that Sr was the last winner, almost a year ago. And I bestow this award sadly, because despite my naughty words I still have a deal of respect for RP (Jr and Sr). But in this instance, he’s worked himself up into a froth over nothing and is casting evil aspersions over blameless people. I’m not sure why; perhaps as ever Oscar Wilde had it right (and I don’t mean about the bat’s urine).

Before I go on, I should point out that this post is mostly just a ruder and less detailed version of DA’s post, so you could read him if you like.

Where to begin? Well, this is all about the Marcott et al. man smashing his head against the wall graph (what? You’ve heard it called something else?). The Dark Side don’t like it, of course, but even so its a bad sign that the first ref to RP’s post I found was WUWT gleefully quoting There are a few bad eggs, with the Real Climate mafia being among them, who are exploiting climate science for personal and political gain. Makes the whole effort look bad. Well, you can’t ask for much better than that, and that is why RP gets his “Tosser” award, instead of me just being bitter and sarcastic.

Continuing, this is all about the “uptick” in the Marcott plot. Why oh why this is of the least interest to anyone I don’t know, because its the one bit where the proxies (which is what Marcott are using) are of no interest [*]. We already have instrumental records for this period; and while that instrumental series is not perfect, its certainly much better than the proxy record. Somehow spinning this into However, here I document the gross misrepresentation of the findings of a recent scientific paper via press release which appears to skirt awfully close to crossing the line into research misconduct is just stupid and pointless. How can you write stuff like that and have any aspirations to be an “honest broker” or even offer unsolicited advice on how to do the same?

[*] Of no interest in reconstructing the temperature, I mean. It clearly is of interest to see how to mesh the proxies and the instrumental record, but that isn’t what M et al. is about, it isn’t what RP Jr is talking about, and it isn’t what all the voluminous denialosphere whinging is about.

Refs

* Smearing Climate Data – Tamino

Comments

  1. #1 David Appell
    United States
    2013/04/01

    I think the “uptick” is of interest only because those pushing it see it as a fruitful avenue of attack. They were going to try to destroy this paper *somehow* — it’s too important, and too easily visualized by the public, for them not to. It had to be seen to be destroyed, so the usual suspects are jumping at what they see as an opening.

    [Agreed. And I’m not going to waste my words calling AW a Tosser. But I’d hate to see RP Jr deserving to be called a “usual suspect” -W]

  2. #2 Paul Kelly
    2013/04/01

    While I’m sure RP Jr has a little too much hair up his nose, there is considerable difference between the original press release and the FAQ at realclimate, Why are press releases about scientific papers so often flawed?

    “With this step I would also like to personally protest against how the authors and like-minded climate sceptics have much exaggerated the paper’s conclusions in public statements.” (Wolfgang Wagner)

    [That was a confusing quote. You mean WW as in http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/09/resignations-retractions-and-the-process-of-science/ for example. But that’s not about a press release – that’s about a crap paper. That was the traditional septic gambit of get a fairly mild paper accepted by a gullible journal, and then wildly over-hype its conclusions. But AFAIK the M et al paper hadn’t been wildly over-hyped, or indeed over-hyped at all. There’s some poor language in the PR, but that is really very different -W]

  3. #3 guthrie
    2013/04/01

    Oh no, the Stoat reads Oglaf!
    tut tut tut. And you a nice settled family man and all. What other rude habits are hiding behind your harmless looking exterior?

    [I blame xkcd -W]

  4. #4 Aldous
    2013/04/01

    All that warming over the last 100 years sure has been terrifying! Humanity has just barely hung on!

  5. #6 David Appell
    United States
    2013/04/01

    Paul Kelly wrote:
    While I’m sure RP Jr has a little too much hair up his nose, there is considerable difference between the original press release and the FAQ at realclimate.

    Press releases are about more than the science — they help set the context as well. They are to help journalists to answer the question, why should I care about this result? In this case, anyone is naturally going to want to know how these Holocene results compare to what’s happening today. It’s the obvious question, and readers are going to want to know it too. (It may be *all* they want to know.)

  6. #7 David B. Benson
    2013/04/02

    You are too kind to RPJr.

  7. #8 Roger Pielke Jr.
    2013/04/02

    Hi William,

    You calling me names, makes me all nostalgic for 2007ish ;-)

    You write: “this is all about the “uptick” in the Marcott plot. Why oh why this is of the least interest to anyone I don’t know”

    Does the problem with interest in the uptick start with my blog post? Or do those folks who touted it in a press release and across the media bear any responsibility?

    You know they say one never really leaves the mafia ;-)

    All best …

    [No, the interest doesn’t start with your blog post. Your responsibility for reporting on it does -W]

  8. #9 Sou
    2013/04/02

    What David B. Benson said.

  9. #10 Joseph O'Sullivan
    2013/04/02

    RP Jr occasionally makes some good points about science policy and weather/climate related economic damages, but then he goes and shoots himself in the foot.

    [I agree with the former, and have said so, for example at the end of this post -W]

    Did he really have to go and write something like “Real Climate mafia”? For a guy who won’t let anyone use the term “denier” on his blog it is more than a little over the top.

    His follow-up to this will be telling. A few years ago he attributed a comment I made complementing the Environmental Defense Fund’s web site on RC to Dr Judy Curry. He never corrected it, made a simple “oops sorry about that” or admitted that he did it.

    The best I’m hoping for is RP Jr to act like a attorney in a trial who withdraws a comment after opposing counsel objects. The damage will be done, but he will act like it never happened.

    [I think its just pointless bile on his part. Its one of McI’s tricks: always use language that prevents the two “sides” coming together. I’m not entirely innocent myself, but then I haven’t written books with titles like “the Honest Broker” -W]

  10. #11 dhogaza
    2013/04/02

    “You are too kind to RPJr.”

    Yeah, I’m having trouble seeing how this is different than much of his other shennanigans.

  11. #12 Eli Rabett
    http://rabett.blogspot.com
    2013/04/02

    C’mon, he’s been doing this act since the year dot.

    (Wheelchair, it’s the wheelchair:)

  12. #13 Steve Bloom
    2013/04/02

    [Redacted. I’m sorry, and in a post with a title like this you might have thought it tolerable, but I really don’t want to end up like WUWT where regular commentators insult visitors, especially when they are the subject of the post -W]

  13. #14 Steve Bloom
    2013/04/02

    I propose a compromise: Wheelchair collides with wall, tossing out occupant who then slumps to the floor next to it.

  14. #15 NZ Willy
    2013/04/02

    Bad Stoat.

  15. #16 dhogaza
    2013/04/02

    “C’mon, he’s been doing this act since the year dot.”

    Well, Eli, I think this is the first time he’s called Realclimate the “mafia”.

    But he’s certainly hinted that mainstream climate science perpetually walks the thin line between being wrong out and outright scientific misconduct.

    Odd that Stoat’s just waking up to it.

  16. #17 Tom Curtis
    2013/04/02

    Peilke just went from my claims that:

    “Further, as regards reading comprehension, you are accusing Marcott et al of possible scientific misconduct because of a sentence that is not attributed to them in the press release. Your interpretation of that sentence is wrong, even obtuse. But regardless of that, it is extraordinary for you to be suggesting research misconduct by scientists because a press officer was not up on every nuance of their research.”

    and

    “Please note the quotation marks in bold. Please also not the absence of quotation marks in the final sentence. That indicates that the final sentence was not quoted from Peter Clark, but was the original creation of the author of the press release. It represents the author of the press release’s interpretation of the relationship between Holocene and 20th century temperatures as revealed once we add the Holocene reconstruction to what we already know.

    Now, the entire basis of your suggestions of “scientific misconduct” stem from that final sentence. Contrary to your assertion, it is not a direct quote. Unless, of course, you are claiming Clark misrepresented the research and/or background information in claiming proxies from multiple regions give a better sense of the Earth’s climate history than do proxies from a single region.”

    to claiming

    “… so you think that the source of the misrepresentation lies with NSF.”

    That is a very obvious misrepresention of my persistent claim that there had been not misrepresentation of Marcott et al in the press release; but that his “money quote” wasn’t even a quote of one of the authors.

    I think it is very clear that Connolley is being overly generous in calling him a “Tosser” rather than “a usual suspect”.

  17. #18 toby52
    2013/04/02

    Two questions:

    (1) Is someone writing a rejoinder for submission to Science?
    (2) Is anyone complaining to Marcott’s institution about scientific malfeasance, being a wise guy or whatever he is supposed to be guilty of?

    Otherwise, the discussion seems to be mostly hot air and personal begrudgery.

  18. #19 Marco
    2013/04/02

    Toby52:

    You nuts?! Of course the answer to both is “no”, at least when it comes to all those that are now complaining about malfeasance and things being supposedly “wrong”.

    I think most know that they have hardly a valid criticism on the actual science in the Marcott et al study that would somehow invalidate the study. They just don’t like the conclusions that have been drawn and thus must create doubt. This way the confusionists can point to “scathing criticisms” whenever someone brings up Marcott et al or something similar.

  19. #20 Adam
    2013/04/02

    Not sure anyone else has said it yet, but:

    “Real Climate mafia”? Classy.

  20. #21 Alex Harvey
    2013/04/02

    Those defending Marcott et al. need to explain

    1) If Pielke’s accusation is not to be upheld, then what *did* Marcott et al. do to make their “uptick”? It’s fine to say upticks really don’t matter (sure, I agree), but it doesn’t change the fact that the Marcott et al. Science article has an impressive uptick, whereas Marcott’s thesis doesn’t. When I read the FAQ it sounds to me like they are sort of saying, “oh yeah, sure, we did fudge the uptick a little bit, but it’s okay to do that, because our conclusions didn’t depend on it”.

    2) Is it really true that the uptick doesn’t matter? Marcott’s thesis shows a “divergence problem”. The figure from the Marcott et al. Science article, however, shows no divergence problem. So what’s going on here? In Nick Stokes’ opinion, no one was ever going to believe this uptick. So why doesn’t it matter – are we saying the divergence problem has been solved now and I didn’t know? (The FAQ’s Anderson et al. 2013 link goes to a paywall.) Or is the idea that because all specialists know about the divergence problem, there’s no risk of other specialists being fooled by their figure, so in that important sense, it wouldn’t be “misconduct”, even if the uptick is fudged a bit. Are there other options?

    I feel for Marcott, who is just starting his career, and has presumably been guided in this by his co-authors. But this controversy just seems to me to be so spectacularly unnecessary and avoidable. It’s not like Steve McIntyre’s statistical zeal was a secret. At what point does everyone stand up and say there’s no such thing as fudging that doesn’t matter? I think, that’s the only way to stop this happening again and again and again.

    [I think TC has mostly answered this, below. The “divergence problem” isn’t a problem in M et al. (or if it is, no-one has yet really even suggested that, let alone demonstrated same) – it only applies, errm, well, wave you hands as you like, but certainly not before 1900 -W]

  21. #22 Tom Curtis
    2013/04/02

    Alex Harvey:

    1) Marcott et al didn’t do anything to get their uptick. It is simply an artifact of the order of drop out of proxies when using a simple or weighted average. See Tamino for more details:
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/the-tick/

    Your reading of the faq i s thoroughly bizarre. Marcott et al did not simply say the uptick was not robust, but they showed a graph (Fig 1 C) demonstrating that the timing, shape and size of the uptick where all highly variable depending on the method used to generate the reconstruction from a number of reasonable methods. They also showed another graph clearly showing the uptick did not coordinate in time with twentieth century warming. The only thing they could possibly have done further to show that it was not robust was to exclude it. We know, however, that if they had, and had been a down tick (and it is just chance that it was not a down tick) they would have been as heavily criticized for excluding it, and by the same people, who are now criticizing them for including it. Don’t believe me? Just ask Keith Briffa.

    2) Yes, it is really true that the uptick is irrelevant to the paper. As Tamino has demonstrated, the uptick in Marcott et al and the failure to uptick in the thesis are entirely a product of the order of proxy drop off when using simple averaging or weighted averaging. Tamino corrected for that problem by using the method of differences; and using the method of differences is likely to eliminate most of the discrepancy between thesis and paper..

  22. #23 Marco
    2013/04/02

    Sorry, Alex, those *attacking* Marcott et al are the ones that have to explain.

    They have to explain why everything they do not like is linked to scientific malfeasance. McIntyre did it, and you do it, too, claiming the other authors made Marcott do something inappropriate and do it *on purpose*.

    I have a little challenge for you: list all the methodological differences between Marcott’s thesis chapter and the Science paper. Compare and contrast.

    After that, list all potential explanations for making those changes. You can add your share of “don’t know” and even add the “because they wanted an uptick” claim. I’m just curious to see if you can think of any reasons they made changes that do *not* include poorly hidden claims of misconduct.

  23. #24 Eli Rabett
    http://rabett.blogspot.com
    2013/04/02

    Alex, and after that please explain how you get to join the Piekesphere. Anxious bunnies are standing by.

    Sorry, Roger Pielke’s scientific misconduct has almost reached a new high. The best, of course, was when he took on James about statistics. No, Eli remembers when he went after the editor of Science for not publishing something he had submitted and it turned out he had submitted it to Nature, which also didn’t publish it. No . . . . .

    [Enough of that. We know Roger J is a tosser]

  24. #25 Jeffrey Davis
    United States
    2013/04/02

    I often wonder why deniers, Tea Partiers, etc. show so little faith in their own beliefs. A wild hare statement will pop out (on race, immigration, etc.) and then rather than embrace it, the deniers, and Tea Partiers, etc backtrack feverishly. I don’t think that George Wallace was a better man for his “segregation now … segregation forever” statement, but at least you knew what he believed. One almost longs for the day of sin without shame. Instead, here in these dread latter days, we get “suggestio falsi” and “suppresio veri” by the gross ton.

    Does the shame and timidity indicate some sort of conscience? Or is it simply that the money train of conservative fund raising demand that their public figures hoist the hems of their garments above the mud below?

  25. #26 Arthur Smith
    2013/04/02

    Don’t forget Pielke Jr getting dumped from a journal editorial board just a few weeks back and claiming it was a conspiracy rather than the obviously routine rotation of board members. How many times is he allowed to get away with stupidly manufactured accusations like this before Revkin and friends stop quoting him at every opportunity? Or are they all in the same mutually-supporting attention-seeking business? Some layer of society needs to stop paying attention to these antics or we deserve our fate…

  26. #27 G
    2013/04/02

    You’d think that Dodger who is so interested in fixing mistakes (this would also go for McAhab), that he’d have an interest in correcting his own, but I don’t even see this simple point conceded. It’s already been pointed out to him on his blog. This line:

    “In a belatedly-posted FAQ to the paper, which appeared on Real Climate earlier today, Marcott et al. make this **startling admission**: ” [stars mine]

    followed by an ‘admission’ by marcott that is neither ‘startling’, nor an ‘admission’, since this same information was relayed in the paper and afterward. Now we have a third entrant in the ‘I-cant-read’ club, Mr. Lomborg, hattip to Dave Appell’s blog, Quark Soup.

    So one must wonder why this factually incorrect information is so important that those pushing it refuse to admit this mistake. I guess this whole thing isn’t such a big deal if upticks were always not-so-robust.

  27. […] in the style that is too popular among RealClimateScientists: by calling Pielke names – RP Jr Is A Tosser. Not exactly Churchillian […]

  28. […] in the style that is too popular among RealClimateScientists: by calling Pielke names – RP Jr Is A Tosser. Not exactly Churchillian […]

  29. #30 Paul Kelly
    2013/04/02

    Here’s why it could be startling to some, even to those who can read. Initially, the point that the reconstruction of the modern period was not, as acknowledged by the authors, robust was denied by supporters of the paper. From a comment by Hank Robers:

    “the graph is not robust.” That’s not what the paper says.
    That’s what some second hand claims say, but it’s being repeated by people who didn’t read the paper. (Again with the nonreading)

    The paper says there are two ways to get that last bit out of the data, and they give slightly different results.
    are they all in the same mutually-supporting attention-seeking business?

    The difference between the two methods is not robust. The two different methods give almost the same result — so similar that you can’t call the difference robust. Almost the same. (We now know that this is the misreading of the authors’ words.)

    You’ll find similar comments on almost every climate blog. McIntyre, in particular, was derided for his lack of reading comprehension. So it shouldn’t surprise that Hank and the others would be startled to learn that they read it wrong and McIntyre read it right.

    [Could be (your ref is http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2013/03/11/a-reconstruction-of-regional-and-global-temperature-for-the-past-11300-years/#comment-28743). But my original point stands, that the “uptick” really isn’t relevant (as I’ve said before). Which is why I paid no attention to the arguing about it from the start, so I’m not in a good position to argue about who-said-what. Though looking back now, Paul S’s “As the paper notes, the recent period shown on the graph is not robust. Instead we would look at instrumental data to find the temperature change over the past 150 years, though the problem with a direct comparison is, of course, a big difference in temporal resolution.”, to which HR was responding, looks sensible -W]

  30. #31 Ian
    2013/04/02

    Tom Curtis states”Yes, it is really true that the uptick is irrelevant to the paper. ” It may well be to the climate science community but it certainly isn’t to the MSM who have seized upon Marcott’s paper to reinforce the climate scientist’s message to the public that global warming is right here right now and is largely due to humans. The MSM certainly won’t be interested in the comments on various blogs be they Open Mind, Real Climate, WUWT or Climate Audit. That the MSMs messages based on Marcott’s paper perhaps should now be qualified, certainly isn’t going to happen and it is that, I think, that sceptics find annoying. Because of the politicisation of Climate Science papers that attract attention by the MSM are going to get an undue amount of attention from proponents and opponents of AGW alike

    [I think you’ve missed the point. Why should M et al. be qualified? It doesn’t need to be qualified because of the “uptick” because (all together now) we know that already because of the instrumental data. I haven’t seen anything there that counts as misleading, by the standards of talking to-Joe-Public -W]

  31. #32 Marconi
    2013/04/02

    If the uptick doesn’t matter, why did they add it?

    [Search me guv. Because it looks nice? Because it accurately reflects what we know about temperature evolution? -W]

  32. #33 G
    2013/04/02

    I have no idea what you are talking about, with the Hank thing or McAhab getting something right, but the paper was pretty clear to everyone else. Even so, the mistakes are still hanging out there uncorrected (ironically by people foaming at the mouth trying “fix science”). Are you in favor of this? After all, you say, ‘ this is the misreading of the authors’ words’.

    Pretty simple fix.

  33. #34 Marconi
    2013/04/02

    But if the uptick doesn’t matter to the paper, why add it?

    [You’re repeating yourself -W]

    This is science, isn’t it?

    [What do you mean by “this”? “This” blog post? No. The M et al. paper? Yes. Do you have a point? -W]

  34. #35 Marconi
    2013/04/02

    Evidently, you can’t comprehend and/or you didn’t read his thesis.

    [No, of course I haven’t read his thesis; why would I – theses are in general long, tedious, and full of irrelevance. What you want is to see them compressed into a useful paper. You haven’t read the thesis either; all you’ve done is read other people’s biased descriptions of it -W]

  35. #36 Doug Proctor
    2013/04/02

    The uptick from instrumental data is high frequency, low error data. Prior to the instrumental data, the temperature estimates are 300-year smoothing. Whatever short-term, high amplitude variation in the pre-instrumental period existed, even if it were (!!) of the 1.0/60 year period, has been lost.

    The point is well made and legitimate that it misrepresents the warming and cooling style of the Earth during the Holocene by sticking the instrumental data at the end. And it misrepresents the modern period relative to the pre-instrumental periods by doing this. You can’t legitimately put them together as if they were birds of the same feather.

    What the addition did was give the visual impression that for 11,000+ years the world’s temperature trundled along with minor variations and then suddenly jumped up. Of course that is the intent, and it may be right, but the Marcott et al work did not bring anything to the table to support that idea.

    The uptick with instrumental data was manipulative and directed towards a conclusion reached outside of the study and not supported by the study. From their interviews it is clear that they were happy to have the recent uptick considered proved unprecedented by their work, which of course it did not.

    They were successful in what they attempted to do, which was to wave the CAGW banner regardless that they brought forth nothing that addressed it.

    It is the deliberate introduction of out-of-project material to create a misrepresentation that infuriates the skeptics. They understand the politics and money that is invovled that encourage this behaviour, but they do not appreciate it when there is so much at stake regardless of which side of the argument you are on.

  36. #37 normalnew
    2013/04/02

    What does statistically “not robust” mean?

    [What it means to me is that, although that particular thing falls out of the analysis, it only does so by chance, or rather because of particular non-necessary features of the data or the analysis. If you’d re-done the work and the noise had happened to be somewhat different, you’d have got a different result -W]

  37. #38 bratisla
    2013/04/02

    @36
    I’m sorry to say that some points seem to me unclear.

    1) “the temperature estimates are 300-year smoothing”
    Several proxies fare better than that (see supplemental material). In a reconstruction, they will drive shorter period variations.
    2) “Whatever short-term, high amplitude variation in the pre-instrumental period existed, even if it were (!!) of the 1.0/60 year period, has been lost.”
    you seem to confuse smoothing with sampling – a common error for engineers loving too much the Fourier transform. The measurements done represent averages over a certain amount of time, thus they will “sense” spikes in temperatures in the sense their values during hot spikes will be higher.
    Now the question is : how the current warming would have been seen in the proxies if it happened before ? Let’s say we have 0.8° over half a century, in order to get a magnitude estimate. If we stick to the hypothesis “it happened before”, we should have a raise during 50 years and a drop during 50 years. So we have a spike of 0.8° with a complete cycle during 1 century. So, for a proxy with 100 year smoothing, we have a value raised by 0.4° (bear in mind I do wild estimates).
    0.4° is greater than the error bar estimate. We should have seen an event like the one currently occuring if it happened.
    Even though the calculations are quite large estimates, I remain to be convinced such an event could have been unnoticed – a new estimate using assumptions a bit more complex could help me be convinced that indeed events like the one we currently live did exist in the past and were not detected.

    3) central argument about the “false impression” : Marcott et al got a more abrupt raise at the end of the reconstruction. They state it as less robust, but using other ways to calculate (for exemple, differenciation, as shown by tamino) preserve this feature, even though it is less abrupt. Something is going on according to this reconstruction, and the “arguments” of McIntyre concerning the uptick are quite not convincing.

    4) “They were successful in what they attempted to do, which was to wave the CAGW banner regardless that they brought forth nothing that addressed it”
    Curious to see what brought you to this conclusion. Please elaborate where in the article they do such waving.

    5) “It is the deliberate introduction of out-of-project material to create a misrepresentation that infuriates the skeptics.”
    Wrong, this is the study itself. Say it loud and clear, you will gain credibility.

    6) ” They understand the politics and money that is invovled that encourage this behaviour, but they do not appreciate it when there is so much at stake regardless of which side of the argument you are on.”
    Saying that won’t help you score points against a scientific study. The datas are available. Work on it, build your own reconstruction showing the Marcott et al methodology was wrong.

  38. #39 Rod
    Australia
    2013/04/02

    RP Jr is criticized for doing the lawyers’ (attorneys’) trick of saying then having to retract, but getting the message to the jury anyway. Isn’t that what the upticks do?

    [No, because the uptick is correct. You are familiar with the instrumental record, aren’t you? So what makes you think that anyone will need to “retract” the recent warming? -W]

    Mann’s hockey stick is still a poster child for warming, even though thoroughly discredited.

    [Sigh – if that’s what you’ve got fixed in your mind, we’re not going to get it out, no matter how untrue it is -W]

    It is OK to say the uptick doesn’t matter because scientists know the facts, but Joe Public only sees the uptick and remembers it and is influenced by it and may never see a correction.

    [You’ve just repeated yourself, but I won’t bother repeat my reply -W]

  39. #40 Marconi
    2013/04/02

    Bratsila#2- 100 year smoothing? Out of thin air?

  40. #41 MikeH
    2013/04/03

    I see that McIntyre has just had his paper published via proxy in the usual place. /sarc

    http://opinion.financialpost.com/2013/04/01/were-not-screwed/

  41. #42 David B. Benson
    2013/04/03

    Yawn. The paper is ok and somebody ought to try to improve upon it. The end uptick is simply not worth dwelling upon; we do have the instrumental record since 1850 E; that has a big uptick.

    Move on.

  42. #43 Peter D. Tillman
    erewhon
    2013/04/03

    Hi WMC, you seem slow posting RP Jr.’s response. It’s #128 at http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2013/03/fixing-marcott-mess-in-climate-science.html
    — if it went astray.

    [Its item #8 in this thread. Try WP:AGF not to mention http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Competency_is_required -W]

    You’re not bothered by this blatant politicking by press release? Andy Revkin’s pretty clearly had a snootfull. Pielke Jr’s suggestions to fix this sad business seem sensible to me.

    Cheers — Pete Tillman

    [I’ve not read any of the press releases. Experience tells me that most of them are bad, but the real evil here is from people who want to deny and misrepresent the science for their own purposes, not from those who are trying to present it -W]

  43. #44 Georgie LeBonk
    2013/04/03

    William M Connolley (AKA Stoat) “Taking Science by The Throat” and choking the shit of it until it say’s what he wants.

    [I think you’ll find its “says”, not “say’s” -W]

  44. #45 blueshift
    2013/04/03

    @Marconi,

    “But if the uptick doesn’t matter to the paper, why add it?”

    By “add it”, you mean “not truncate it”. How do you think the Grand Auditor would have reacted to a paper that didn’t include all the data?

  45. #46 dhogaza
    2013/04/03

    “2) “Whatever short-term, high amplitude variation in the pre-instrumental period existed, even if it were (!!) of the 1.0/60 year period, has been lost.””

    Note that Doug Proctor is an endless proponent of the hypothesis that recent warming is due to a 60 year natural cycle. Thus his “(!!) 1.0/60 year cycle” having been lost. You know, the one that explains life, the universe, and climate change.

  46. #47 Ian
    2013/04/03

    dhogaza you may feel Doug Proctor is fixated on warming due to a 60 year natural cycle but to comment only on that on ignore some of his other points seems overly selective. Is it legitimate for Marcott et al to graft on instrumental records

    Is this comment by Proctor incorrect? “What the addition did was give the visual impression that for 11,000+ years the world’s temperature trundled along with minor variations and then suddenly jumped up. Of course that is the intent, and it may be right, but the Marcott et al work did not bring anything to the table to support that idea.”
    I won’t rewrite the rest of Proctor’s comments, which seem to have validity but for you to select one and then mock Proctor on the basis of that selection is both in poor taste and obfuscatory.

  47. #48 Tom Curtis
    2013/04/03

    It is becoming very apparent that the critics of climate science believe that non-robust data should only be displayed if it shows twentieth century temperatures lower than those shown by the instrumental record. They vilify Briffa for not showing declining non-robust data, and now vilify Marcott for showing inclining non-robust data.

    Evidently there problems are not with methods, but with the results. The concept that the 20th century was warmed rapidly is anathema to them.

  48. #49 bspin
    2013/04/03

    [Dull insults redacted -W]

    ‘Climatology’ has no more Science than ‘Astrology’ which was a so called Science many years ago.

  49. #50 Michael D Smith
    near chicago
    2013/04/03

    What part of “not significant” do you not understand?

    Why should anyone make claims that the data cannot support?

    Is there a circumstance where you would advise such a tactic? When?

  50. #51 David B. Benson
    2013/04/03

    Spikers ought to consider
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/03/response-by-marcott-et-al/comment-page-1/#comment-325945
    before continuing. No spikes at James Ross Island for the past 14,000 years.

  51. #52 Marconi
    2013/04/03

    Dhogoza and tom Curtis,
    This is not a shell game or a ‘he said she said’ forum (actually this is, but ignore that for tye moment) please speak to the science at hand.

    You are acting like AW.

  52. #53 MikeH
    2013/04/03

    #48
    “please speak to the science at hand.” Could you point to where you raised some.

  53. #54 MikeH
    2013/04/03

    #30 Paul Kelly
    Here is Aussie climate crank Neil Gibson commenting on the 25th March

    Mike believes it even when the author doesn’t .Marcott himself says the up-tick is “non-robust” .

    I can guarantee that Gibson did not get that from Marcott (tldr). It came from his obsessive reading of Watts and McI.

    http://theconversation.com/states-of-decay-complementing-the-federal-carbon-policy-12663#comment_137896

    Here is JoNova on the 16th March

    Even Marcott admits the reconstruction of the modern spike is not robust in either the Northern or the Southern Hemisphere, and where else is there? (Thanks to Steve McIntyre for asking him).

    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/03/the-marcott-hockey-stick-blurring-the-past-by-smoothing-proxies-getting-a-spike-from-almost-no-data/

    Do we need to keep going. This is another confection from the “usual suspects”. I can see why McI changed the subject to Tamino.

  54. #55 Eli Rabett
    2013/04/03

    @ 42 Georgie LeBonk: William M Connolley (AKA Stoat) “Taking Science by The Throat” and choking the shit of it until it say’s what he wants.

    Well somebunny has to get rid of the Willis Escherbach’s crap.

    Yes, Eli is a very bad bunny.

  55. #56 dhogaza
    2013/04/03

    Marconi:

    “This is not a shell game or a ‘he said she said’ forum (actually this is, but ignore that for tye moment) please speak to the science at hand.”

    OK. CO2 is a GHG. All things being equal, as temps rise, relative humidity stays the same (asbolute humidity rises), as long as sufficient liquid water is around. This is a positive feedback. 70% of the world is ocean. We know temps are rising, rapidly. Increasing CO2 causes it.

    What else do you want to know?

    Oh, right, Marcott pushes back our understanding of climate a couple thousand years, with caveats and uncertainties. That understanding makes the current record look bad. That pisses people like you off.

    So you attack irrelevant bits of the paper that the paper itself says is essentially irrelevant. And you look stupid, as a result.

    That’s an accurate summary, no?

  56. #57 Alex Harvey
    2013/04/03

    Marco, I am not a mathematician – but if you feel strongly about it, why not go ask Steve McIntyre directly? There’s no ‘bore hole’ at Climate Audit and I’m sure if you can manage to be even vaguely polite he’ll answer your questions. And if he doesn’t, then certainly your points will appear stronger. At the moment, and as often the case, the appearance is that Steve McIntyre has won this argument by default – despite all the noise, and the attacks on McIntyre’s character, a long list of technical points raised stand unanswered. So, the impression is that his points are unanswerable. So prove me wrong by posting a critique at his blog. Or have Tamino do it, or someone else.

  57. #58 Ian
    2013/04/03

    You really don’t get it do you dhogaza.? What pisses people off is that this paper was seized upon by the MSM because of the uptick

    [Nah, don’t believe you (in two ways: firstly, what pisses off the denialists is that this is yet more science pointing in a direction they really hate. But leaving that aside:). The MSM are certainly pretty poor, but even they are capable of realising this is mostly a palaeo paper. The point about this is the (correct) contrast between a relativly stable holocene and the rapid change now and into the future. But if you can find a few refs to support what you’re saying, that would better than a large pile of words from you -W]

    which is subsequently stated by thew authors to be a great deal less significant than it might have at first appeared. But this belated gem of information was long after the MSM had ramped up tales of catastrophic global warming with shrieking headlines blaming it all on human consumption of fossil fuel and dire predictions of a parched and wasted earth. Of course by the time the authors issued their caveats the MSM had long moved on and so these caveats will never come to the attention of the majority of the population. They will remain alarmed making remarks such as “Haven’t you heard there’s a paper out that states earth is hotter now than at any time in the last ten thousand years. It must be true its on TV and in the paper”. So dhozaga it’s that trumperting by the MSM of results later found to be less than they appeared to be at first glance that really pisses people off. And if you don’t get that dhogaza, to use your own quote “you look stupid, as a result”.

  58. #59 bratisla
    2013/04/03

    @40 Marconi : I don’t quite grasp the meaning of your question, so let’s browse the possibilities :
    “where did you get this value ?” Directly from Marcott et al : “Published temperature anomaly reconstructions that have been smoothed with a 100-year centered running mean,”

    “why did they choose a 100 year smoothing ?” If you had read the supplemental material, you would have known that lots of proxies have different sampling “rates” below 100 year. Smoothing to 100 year allows for a better averaging, instead of having points at different places for different proxies (the ultimate goal of mixing proxies is to enhance the common factor – temperature variation – over specificities for each proxy)

    And, to close the chapter of hot spikes, Marcott et al specifically adressed the point of the sensitivity of their method against hot temperature spikes. I let people read for themselves, it’s the third paragraph below the first figure (damn Sciencemag format)

    @Alex Harvey : I didn’t see what points were raised at climateaudit, despite some dissection of one proxy and comparison with other reconstructions. Could you please list the critics ? I’m afraid McIntyre is not clear enough for an infrequent yet curious reader like me.

  59. #60 Ian
    2013/04/03

    Dr Connelley I guess they’re comments from you inserted into my lasty post. As requested here’s a couple of examples of what I was talking about from the NYT:

    Headline: Global Temperatures Highest in 4,000 Years
    Text: Global temperatures are warmer than at any time in at least 4,000 years, scientists reported Thursday, and over the coming decades are likely to surpass levels not seen on the planet since before the last ice age.

    The modern rise that has recreated the temperatures of 5,000 years ago is occurring at an exceedingly rapid clip on a geological time scale, appearing in graphs in the new paper as a sharp vertical spike.

    Recent heat spike unlike anything in 11,000 years

    From Associated Press
    A new study looking at 11,000 years of climate temperatures shows the world in the middle of a dramatic U-turn, lurching from near-record cooling to a heat spike.
    Research released Thursday in the journal Science uses fossils of tiny marine organisms to reconstruct global temperatures back to the end of the last ice age. It shows how the globe for several thousands of years was cooling until an unprecedented reversal in the 20th century.

    I hope these will suffice

    [I think they suffice to show what you mean, but not to prove your point. Take Global temperatures are warmer than at any time in at least 4,000 years, scientists reported Thursday, and over the coming decades are likely to surpass levels not seen on the planet since before the last ice age. That seems entirely reasonable to me. Do you think its false? Or unproven? I think its true (to the usual degree that things are “true” when relying on past obs: if there had been a great deal of improbable variation that happened not to show up then it might be false) -W]

  60. #61 Steve Bloom
    2013/04/03

    No insulting RP Jr. Hmph.

    I will say, based on what I see of his efforts these days, it seems to be starting to dawn on him that what he once thought was a likely path to fame and fortune isn’t working out well. It brings out the bitterness, it does.

    bratisla, FYI Alex has spent much time defending LIndzen.

    Arthur, re Revkin, you may not be recalling the official swallowing of the kool-aid back in 2007, and some months later this re-swallowing. If Revkin weren’t able to quote RP Jr., he’d find others to say the same thing.

    Eli, I disagree strongly that RP Jr. can be guilty of scientific misconduct. Him being a political scientist, I think academic misconduct is the correct term.

  61. #62 MikeH
    2013/04/03

    This is like the Lewandowsky article which drove the cranks into a frenzy. They are obsessed to the point where they cannot read what is in front of them.

    Seth Borensteins AP piece does in fact say

    A new study looking at 11,000 years of climate temperatures shows the world in the middle of a dramatic U-turn, lurching from near-record cooling to a heat spike.
    Research released Thursday in the journal Science uses fossils of tiny marine organisms to reconstruct global temperatures back to the end of the last ice age. It shows how the globe for several thousands of years was cooling until an unprecedented reversal in the 20th century.

    but goes on to say

    “Marcott’s data indicates that it took 4,000 years for the world to warm about 1.25 degrees from the end of the ice age to about 7,000 years ago. The same fossil-based data suggest a similar level of warming occurring in just one generation: from the 1920s to the 1940s. Actual thermometer records don’t show the rise from the 1920s to the 1940s was quite that big and Marcott said for such recent time periods it is better to use actual thermometer readings than his proxies.

    Here is Nick Stokes pointing it out on the 18th March

    No, the excitement from Borenstein et al was based on Fig 3 in the paper which compares the distribution of proxy temperatures with two decades of instrumental; 1900-9 and 2000-9. Here’s SB saying that:

    “The decade of 1900 to 1910 was one of the coolest in the past 11,300 years — cooler than 95 percent of the other years, the marine fossil data suggest. Yet 100 years later, the decade of 2000 to 2010 was one of the warmest, said study lead author Shaun Marcott of Oregon State University. Global thermometer records only go back to 1880, and those show the last decade was the hottest for this more recent time period.”

  62. #63 Steve Bloom
    2013/04/03

    Oh yeah, for those who don’t recall the sort of tripe RP Jr. was pushing when he was in full flower may find these passages (from a 2005 paper with frequent co-author Dan Sarewitz) instructive:

    But the claim that action to slow climate change is justified by the rising toll of natural disasters–and, by extension, that reducing emissions can help stanch these rising losses–is both scientifically and morally insupportable.

    And in case anyone missed the point, doubling-down in the conclusions:

    Those who justify the need for greenhouse gas reductions by exploiting the mounting human and economic toll of natural disasters worldwide are either ill-informed or dishonest.

    Hasn’t aged too well, has it?

  63. #64 Paul Price
    Dublin
    2013/04/03

    Tom Curtis:

    Well said. The level of critique of Marcott et al is indeed pathetic. It is very difficult to believe that educated deniers do not see this in their own response and hard to believe that they are not driven ideologically, given their attempts to avoid discussing the consequences of the science by trying to obscure the science.

    Pielke’s basis seems to be that he did not like the press release. In the media Revkin did not like the Q&A because it was released on a Sunday. It would be funny if the reality of the implications was not so serious.

    Based on Hagelaars combination of Marcott, Shakun, and IPCC have extended implications here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5NgIqKD_aX4RWF1MGZ4YjhDVzQ/edit Happy to hear comments. Would like to put in a CO2 emissions in TtCO2 down the right hand side. Write up at http://www.climie.blogspot.ie/2013/04/our-choice-rocket-to-warming.html

  64. #65 Marco
    2013/04/03

    Alex,

    What do you think will happen when I gently point out that the thesis chapter only contains the RegEM reconstruction, and not the “standard” reconstruction (the one with the big uptick)? That there are some other differences, too?

    Based on the discussions so far, I am willing to bet that several commenters (perhaps nudged by McIntyre himself) will then claim that this standard reconstruction and/or the other differences were added *because* it created the large uptick. I already know that YOU believe this, as you articulate that in the end of your first comment on this thread.

    I am not so naive to think that I can talk McIntyre out of that notion and accept any other explanations that do not include misconduct allegations.

  65. #66 Alex Harvey
    2013/04/03

    Bratisla, #59,

    Yes if you’re not a mathematician Steve McIntyre’s blog is often quite boring, and I think that’s a large part of the reason he gets ignored.

    His latest post presents a long list of issues that McIntyre believes have not been answered.

    Usually, Nick Stokes is the only critical commenter who ever challenges McIntyre on at Climate Audit. In the case of this Marcott et al. controversy, Nick Stokes doesn’t even seem to be defending Marcott. And the defences made here at Stoat seem odd – I feel we’re splitting hairs on language and tone but can’t see that anyone disputes that Marcott et al. have essentially mined for an uptick using an invalid mathematical procedure, although no one will countenance my phrasing “mined” or “invalid” (I’ll bet). But WMC @ 32 wonders if the uptick is there “because it looks nice?”. Yes, I also think it’s there because it looks nice – it’s an artwork, not science, published in Science, and broadcast across newspapers the world over, as a startling discovery. I’m wondering how long it takes before people stop defending this and say, mm, yeah, they probably shouldn’t have done that.

  66. #67 Sou
    2013/04/03

    Until now I hadn’t realised quite how dishonest McI, Pielke and Curry and other disinformation merchants could be in their exploitation of the 8% dismissives. I knew Pielke and Curry were bad, but to sacrifice any professional reputation they have left just to appease a bunch of loony deniers is pretty dumb. (McI doesn’t have a reputation to sacrifice.)

    I also learnt that McI’s buddy McK is on the advisory committee of the Cornwall Alliance, which forbids him accepting any climate science research, biology or geology (except where it means digging up stuff and burning it),

  67. #68 bratisla
    2013/04/03

    @66 I did my fair share of maths, thanks you very much. I did not practise that much statistics (apart the notions needed to realise inversions and timeseries statistics, basic job of a seismologist) but I am eager to learn.

    So I went to the post you linked.
    I’m terribly sorry (lousy comprehension), but I only saw doubts cast on 3 proxies (out of 73) and a somehow intriguing sentence “Now that Marcott et al concede etc.” – the comments on the robustness of the twentieth century were already done in the original paper … I don’t get his point.

    Maybe you could be of some help and point me out where the math/statistic questions are ? It could help me tremendously to get McIntyre’s point.

  68. #69 Hal Javert
    florida
    2013/04/03

    Lets see: 11,500 years of high-quality (?) proxy data with 300-year smoothing appended to a few years of spikey instrument data – this wouldn’t get a passing grade in high school, and Pielke has hair in his nose?

  69. #70 Marco
    2013/04/03

    Alex, McIntyre gets largely ignored because he ALWAYS packages his “math” in innuendo, with either claims of incompetence or of malfeasance (or both).

    As Tom Curtis pointed out, what do you think McIntyre would have said if they had removed the spike, because that part was not robust. Imagine the outcry of removing data! Oh wait, the problem now is that they DID include all the data, and somehow acknowledging that part is not robust is suddenly conceding something, even though that SAME comment is already present in the paper itself. This is illustrative of McIntyre’s modus operandi: cast doubt on the motives of the scientists, and ignore any and all potential explanations that do not include potential malfeasance or incompetence.

  70. #71 xmarkwe
    2013/04/03

    David B. Benson 2013/04/03

    Said: “..Yawn. The paper is ok and somebody ought to try to improve upon it. The end uptick is simply not worth dwelling upon; we do have the instrumental record since 1850 E; that has a big uptick. Move on…”

    David, have you ever stopped to consider what the Marcott curve throughout the entire Holocene would look like if it were precision instrumental data instead of a 300 (plus!) year smoothed proxy?

    Yep… spikes up and down everywhere … I warrant you would not even notice a recent instrumental derived spike in the noise.

    1. Marcott’s spike is an artifact.
    2. Separately, it is not legitimate to graft a brief period of high resolution instrument data onto a smoothed proxy and claim you have observed a sudden departure from the norm.

    [This discussion is going round in circles. Everything you’ve said has already been said (this doesn’t just apply to your comments, BTW). What’s the point? This isn’t a vote -W]

  71. #72 Marlowe Johnson
    2013/04/03

    one wonders how RPJr can have a post titled ‘raise your integrity’ featuring none other than ross mckitrick and expect to be taken seriously.

  72. #73 David Appell
    2013/04/03

    xmarkwe: Suppose a higher resolution version of Marcott *did* shows lots of upward spikes throughout the Holocene.

    That just makes a bigger case for why we should control AGW, because in addition to our current CO2-warming we’d have to worry about short-term spikes that could make it all worse.

    So the paper strengthens the case for action.

  73. #74 Mark Bahner
    2013/04/03

    @56dhogaza:

    “We know temps are rising, rapidly.”

    What we need to know is, “What will the temperatures be in 2030? 2070? 2100?”

    Here are the NASA GISTEMP global surface temperature anomalies since 1880: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

    What does science say they’ll be in 2030? 2070? 2100?

    And what does science say is the optimum temperature of the earth?

  74. #75 Doug Proctor
    2013/04/03

    bratisla
    2013/04/02

    @36
    I’m sorry to say that some points seem to me unclear.

    “They were successful in what they attempted to do, which was to wave the CAGW banner regardless that they brought forth nothing that addressed it”
    Curious to see what brought you to this conclusion. Please elaborate where in the article they do such waving.

    You are right, some points are unclear and I did confuse/misuse the terms of smoothing vs data that is a combination of a long time period.

    Let us just stay at the “representation” level as shown by the happy interviews and the pickup by the MSM. The Holocene representation of temperatures reflected that on average over running 300 year period. A 60 year rise as we have had, given that some of the 1880 – 1950 period was recovery from the LIA, would not show up in the reconstruction of the Holocene because the data sampling or natural temperature smearing of the analyzable record doesn’t allow that.

    [You’ve made that up. I’m tempted to ask you for proof, but since I know you have none I won’t bother. You’re also behind the times, because proof of the contrary is available: http://tamino.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/smearing-climate-data/ -W]

    So we’re on the same page here despite my inadequate words or detail understanding: even if a temp spike as we are worried about had occurred during the Holocene, the Marcott study could not have found it.

    That being said, Marcott et al decided to add the modern instrument data. They did this for the purpose of showing that the modern record shows a warming rate that is “unprecedented” in the last 11,000 years while knowing that you cannot compare the two data sets and say anything about one from what you see in the other. The addition was purposeful as it was not in the original thesis: something ELSE was being said that was not desired to be said in the thesis.

    You do not need to have words on the page to understand what is going on. And the interview showed it clearly: the intention was to gain CAGW coverage, credit and MSM attention. That succeeded.

    Now why do I say we understand money and politics? Because university and research foundations and private companies have gone well over to the “policy relevant” position wrt research. This should not be in dispute. So we/I understand completely how these days you bend your direction for that purpose. You don’t need to read many papers to see the twist that makes a study climate change relevant.

    The instrumental data addition was known to be apples added to oranges and not “robust” but one heck of an eye-catcher. You don’t need an FOIA or e-mail trail to understand that. And it worked. Good for Marcott et al. But not good for those who are trying to have science demonstrate that indeed we have been seeing a temp rise since about 1965 that is substantially different and UNIQUE to CO2 emissions.

  75. #76 Mark Bahner
    2013/04/03

    @73 David Appell:

    “Suppose a higher resolution version of Marcott *did* shows lots of upward spikes throughout the Holocene.”

    Yes, let’s say that the higher-resolution version of Marcott showed upwards and downwards spikes lasting less than 80 years, with peak amplitudes of 1-2 degrees Celsius.

    Don’t you think that would create significant uncertainty about what the temperatures would be over the next century?

  76. #77 David B. Benson
    2013/04/04

    On artificially introduced spikes in the 73 proxy record of the Holocene:
    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/smearing-climate-data/

  77. #78 David B. Benson
    2013/04/04

    If there were higher resolution proxies with better distribution around the globe I would expect to see a much smoother global SST except at 8.2 kya and possibly at some of the larger volcano eruptions.

  78. #79 Nick
    2013/04/04

    #76, can you give a plausible mechanism for creating a 2C excursion in a regional average temperature in eighty years?
    And refer to #77 for a test of your question re Marcott et al.

    Then consider the copious literature on Holocene glacial fluctuations.

  79. #80 David Appell
    2013/04/04

    Mark Bahner wrote:
    Don’t you think that would create significant uncertainty about what the temperatures would be over the next century?

    Of course. So what? Uncertainty is not a reason to do nothing.

  80. #81 dhogaza
    2013/04/04

    Mark Bahner:

    “And what does science say is the optimum temperature of the earth?”

    Science doesn’t. What ever made you think science does?

    That particular canard’s been around for at least a decade.

    Surely you can do better.

  81. #82 Mark Bahner
    2013/04/04

    @dhogaza:

    I asked you what “science” says the global surface temperature anomaly will be in 2030, 2070 and 2100. What do you think science says those global surface temperature anomalies will be? You can give me the five-year averages centered around those years…to take the year-to-year variations.

    [Its a weird question, because you know what the best-available answer is: its in the IPCC reports. If you haven’t managed to read them after all this time, what’s the point of answering you? -W]

    I asked, “And what does science say is the optimum temperature of the earth?”

    dhogaza resplies, “Science doesn’t. What ever made you think science does?”

    So science doesn’t know that temperatures in the Little Ice Age were worse than they are now? What do you think George Washington would have said about that in Valley Forge? How about the people of London today? Do you think they would prefer that the Thames was completely frozen over, so every year, so that they could resume their Frost Fairs?

  82. #83 Mark Bahner
    2013/04/04

    I asked, “Don’t you think that would create significant uncertainty about what the temperatures would be over the next century?”

    David Appell responds, “Of course. So what? Uncertainty is not a reason to do nothing.”

    Some of the longest-running predictions for temperatures in the 21st century come from James Hansen’s 1988 work. As I pointed out on Roger Pielke Jr.’s blog, Dr. Hansen’s predictions for global surface temperature anomaly for the year 2012 were:

    Scenario A: 1.17 deg. C.
    Scenario B: 1.07 deg. C.
    Scenario C (complete flat-line of all GHG atmospheric concentrations starting in 2000: 0.60 deg. C.

    The actual value was 0.56 deg. C. So imagine if the world had gone through the near-infinite pain of actually reducing CO2 so much that the concentrations had stayed flat starting in 2012. And that’s only 24 years into the future.

    Massive pain for completely uncertain gain is not likely to be a persuasive public policy argument.

  83. #84 David B. Benson
    2013/04/04

    Mark Bahner — The preferred temperature is that most conducive to the practice of the current industrialized agriculture. That temperature range is rapidly being left behind.

  84. #85 JBL
    2013/04/04

    Christ, better trolls needed.

  85. #86 Mark Bahner
    2013/04/04

    “Mark Bahner — The preferred temperature is that most conducive to the practice of the current industrialized agriculture.”

    That would be one reasonable criterion.

    “That temperature range is rapidly being left behind.”

    So you think the global temperature has already passed the optimum? Do you know of any research that looks at what the globally averaged optimum temperature is for “modern industrial agriculture” and comes to the conclusion that that temperature has already been exceeded?

  86. #87 Mark Bahner
    2013/04/04

    This figure doesn’t appear to suggest that the optimal “temperature range is rapidly being left behind”:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg2/en/figure-5-3.html

  87. #88 David Appell
    2013/04/04

    Mark: Climate models don’t predict, they project.

    The point of making models is to make better models. This process is never ending.

    You got a better way to determine future climate?

  88. #89 David Appell
    2013/04/04

    @Mark #86:
    Lobell and Field Env Res Lett (2007) finds that for three major crops — wheat, maize, and barley — increased temperatures are already counteracting the increased fertilization effect of CO2, with warming causing > $5B/yr in losses as of 2002.
    doi:10.1088/1748-9326/2/1/014002

  89. #90 dhogaza
    2013/04/04

    “What do you think George Washington would have said about that in Valley Forge? ”

    Peace is better than war. But that’s always true. Troops in war suffer in deserts, in winter, in fine spring days in Flanders where they died by tens and tens of thousands a day.

    Surely you’re not suggesting that we think about climate change based on how a single army in a single location might be impacted by local, variable weather?

    Well, you just did, so you probably are.

  90. #91 dhogaza
    2013/04/04

    Bahner:

    “So you think the global temperature has already passed the optimum?”

    The poster didn’t say “optimum”. Read closer, for comprehension, please.

  91. #92 dhogaza
    2013/04/04

    “This figure doesn’t appear to suggest that the optimal “temperature range is rapidly being left behind”:”

    Some of the studies do, some don’t. You’d have to look at the various studies to decide which are most credible. A couple of them suggest exactly the opposite of what you suggest.

    On the other hand, the US is finding itself in the throes of another drought year, with good evidence that it is being exacerbated by warming.

  92. #93 dhogaza
    2013/04/04

    “What do you think George Washington would have said about that in Valley Forge? ”

    Following on … warm enough, and he would’ve been damning malaria …

  93. #94 David B. Benson
    2013/04/04

    Mark Bahner — Probably the worst effect of increased temperature is the change in precipitation patterns. There is an increased likelihood of either too little precipitation or else vastly too much. The (simplified) theory offered in Ray Pierrehumbert’s “Principles of Planetary Climate suggests this should occur and various global precipitation studies seem to indicate that is indeed beginning to happen.

  94. #95 Marco
    2013/04/04

    I see Mark Bahner is also trying out the Thames-freezing-over-canard. I would not be surprised if it STILL would freeze over today, if it weren’t for the significant changes made to the flow of the river (it flows much faster due to the embankment) and changes around London Bridge.

    The heralded MWP has seen the Thames freezing over in 1063 and 1076, for example.

    As JBL notes: better trolls needed.

  95. #96 Eli Rabett
    http://rabett.blogspot.com
    2013/04/04

    Ah, but Mark is Roger’s fan boy of choice

  96. #97 Mark Bahner
    2013/04/04

    @88 David Appell writes: “Mark: Climate models don’t predict, they project.”

    OK, so what do the models “project” the global surface NASA GISTEMP temperature anomalies will be in 2030, 2070, and 2100 (5-year average centered on the years in question)?

    And since dhogaza mentions malaria in #93, what does “science” say will be the number of people worldwide who die from malaria in 2030, 2070, and 2100?

    [This is degenerating into trolling. Unless you start making sense, your comments will be deleted -W]

  97. #98 dhogaza
    2013/04/04

    “And since dhogaza mentions malaria in #93, what does “science” say will be the number of people worldwide who die from malaria in 2030, 2070, and 2100?”

    Let me predict where Mark wants to lead this … unless we cover the entire planet with a meter-deep blanket of DDT, billions and billions and billions of people will die of malaria in 2030, 2070, and 2100 …

  98. #99 David Appell
    2013/04/04

    Mark Bahner wrote:
    OK, so what do the models “project” the global surface NASA GISTEMP temperature anomalies will be in 2030, 2070, and 2100 (5-year average centered on the years in question)?

    Is there some reason you can’t look these things up yourself?
    http://cmip-pcmdi.llnl.gov/

  99. #100 David Appell
    2013/04/04

    Mark: Also, you can read here:

    IPCC 4AR WG1 Chapter 10: Global Climate Projections
    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10.html

  100. #101 American Idiot
    2013/04/04

    “OK, so what do the models “project” the global surface NASA GISTEMP temperature anomalies will be in 2030, 2070, and 2100 (5-year average centered on the years in question)?”

    First you need to recognize the difference between weather and climate. You should read an article by Sean Lovejoy in the 1 January 2013 issue of Eos, entitled “What is climate?” I don’t agree with everything he says but it will give you a useful introduction the issue. Hope this is useful for you.

    The tl;dr version: A “5-year average centered on the years in question” is irrelevant to climate, much less climate change.

  101. #102 Neven
    http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/
    2013/04/04

    Is it our turn yet for some counter-trolling? :-)

    Mark Bahner, can you tell us how much Arctic sea ice there will be in 2030, 2070 and 2100? Can you tell us what that will mean for the jet stream, rate of sea level rise, and methane release? You will probably want to hide behind mainstream science, because it has been very wrong so far.

    I know how you guys on the laissez-faire-business-as-usual side of things love Arctic sea ice, as you write so much about it, all the time. I’m sure you can tell us lots of interesting things about it. For instance how many times the Arctic has been ice-free since human civilization evolved. Explain to us how normal it is for it to be totally gone in September within one human lifetime.

  102. #103 Mark Bahner
    2013/04/04

    “This is degenerating into trolling. Unless you start making sense, your comments will be deleted -W”

    It’s very simple. in comment #56 […and so on. I got bored. If you must troll, be more imaginative. Yes, I should have deleted everyone else’s replies to your trolling, and will scrub any more -W]

  103. #104 David Appell
    2013/04/04

    Mark, climate science alone is insufficient to answer your question, since it depends on the emissions of GHGs between now and then, changes in solar irradiance, and possible volcanic eruptions.

    Pick an emissions scenario, then look up the projection (with uncertainty) from your favorite climate model. It will still depend on factors no one can predict, but mostly it will depend on the emissions path.

  104. #105 John Mashey
    2013/04/04

    Mark has no problem making very clear predictions, such as 2100AD per capita income of $1,000,000, i.e., ~90X increase from his circa-2012 $11,600 . But his table has many more.

  105. #106 Jeffrey Davis
    United States
    2013/04/05

    I’m late to the party on the issue, but I just thought I’d point out that 3 years ago, Russia and Australia lost the bulk of their agriculture to drought and the same year Pakistan lost theirs to flood. Russia, Australia, and Pakistan are among the largest agricultural producers on the planet. Last year, temps got so high (114F) in Kansas that fields of corn died and went gray overnight. That’s after .9C of global warming. We have (best estimate) at least 1.6C of more warming to come.

    So, yes, I think optimum temps have been passed.

  106. #107 John Mashey
    2013/04/05

    The idea of an optimum temperature for Earth is an irrelevant strawman.

    On the other hand, there is very likely a narrow optimum temperature range for human civilization, which we’ve had over the last 8,000 years or so, and which we are committed to departing.
    There is certainly an optimum temperature range for the existence of sea-level places like Seattle, Galveston, New Orleans, MIami, Karachi, Mumbai, Shanghai, St. Petersburg, Rotterdam, etc, etc and for the precipitation patterns that have allowed people to live in places like Arizona and not be flooded out to often in Missouri.
    There is a temperature range that stops bark beetles from chewing up the trees there, and Colorado got above that a while back, and the beetles have been working their way through British Columbia for a while.

  107. #108 Bob Kutz
    2013/04/05

    [PA redacted -W]

    You stoop to new levels every time I turn around.

    Aside from eliminating all dissent on a popular internet reference site,

    [If this is a ref to wiki, you need to wake up and face reality: there is plenty of dissent there. You’ve been lied to, and you haven’t bothered verify the facts for yourself – another “skeptic” who is really merely credulous -W]

    you now resort to using ad hominem attacks as the headline for your blog article.

    [Now? You’re asleep. I’ve been calling people tossers for years -W]

    For you to hang on to this study as proof of your chosen religion is sad enough, but for you start hurling insults instead of trying to defend that which is statistically indefensible is a perfect demonstration of your evil nature.

    How come Marcott has basically been forced to admit that his paper does not support what he told Revkin?

    And yet, rather than back off, you hurl insults? How do you look at yourself in the mirror?

    [If you think M et al has been dented, you again need to get out more. Put down the denialist blogs and get out a bit more. Open Mind, perhaps. Or is you want to discuss something – instead of pointless whinges about naughty words – come armed with actual facts to dispute, or refs to other people’s arguments, if you have none of your own -W]

  108. #109 Neven
    Austria
    2013/04/05

    Still no comment on Arctic sea ice? What’s wrong? Nothing to copypaste? No Gish Gallop anywhere with some useful disinformation?

    [IJIS doesn’t look very exciting at the moment, but then this time of year isn’t a good guide -W]

  109. #110 Susan Anderson
    Boston
    2013/04/05

    Wow, not quite done with comments. Excellent overall. But there is one thing that doesn’t get talked about much.

    The Marcott choice of proxies was mostly cores, if I understand correctly. The top of the cores are the most recent. They are the least accurate, not having had time to settle (please correct me if I’m wrong) and being affected by a variety of other earthly events. So it makes complete sense that this particular data set is only reliable as it goes further back in time.

    Though the paper makes no attempt to tie these temperature records to the more accurate and differently measured recent temperature record, but it’s just common sense that temperature is temperature. This jiujitsu will continue as long as any of them are breathing.

    I’m not sure (a) this layperson is accurate and (b) this obvious point will be anything but laughable to people who don’t want to think but to believe their “friends” and preferred advocates.

    RPJr sure did the big stupid by providing a brief sound byte: “climate mafia” forsooth!

  110. #111 Mark Bahner
    http://markbahner.typepad.com
    2013/04/05

    “Still no comment on Arctic sea ice?”

    Comments were posted yesterday on my blog.

  111. #112 Steve Bloom
    2013/04/07

    #108, yet another unthinking geezer who doesn’t understand what ad hominem means.

    So let’s see, does incorrectly accusing someone of ad hominem itself qualify as ad hominem? So it would seem.

  112. […] 2013/04/01: Stoat: RP Jr is a tosser […]

  113. […] of blog posts attacking a study because its results seem inconvenient is not real skepticism.  Comparing climate scientists to the mafia is not real skepticism.  Nitpicking minor details in press releases and media articles while […]

  114. #115 Brian Schmidt
    United States
    2013/04/10

    Somewhat OT, but I think an optimum climate could be defined, and it’s the one that maximizes subsistence farming production in the short and medium term future. It’s more about precipitation than temps, and more about keeping the climate to what the farmers are used to/were used to in the previous 2-3 decades. This is the outcome that minimizes malnutrition and leads to the fewest deaths, esp of children.

    Alternative optimum is one that minimizes ecological stress – probably not an immediate reversal to pre industrial climate because ecologies have already started adapting, but certainly at least a partial reversal would maximize the indefinite survival of endangered species within their current ranges.

    Not that either of these will happen. First one won’t until after subsistence farming has ended everywhere. The second won’t happen until the mid or late 2100s, maybe.

  115. #116 Hank Roberts
    2013/04/17

    since this has expanded to other tossers besides the first-named of the year, here’s:

    Perpetuating Crichton’s version of the DDT hoax
    “Steven Milloy, campaigning to be the greatest DDT/malaria hoaxster in history, even bleeds his hoax over into his anti-warming hoax: “Michael Mann now a DDT expert; Defends indefensible Rachel Carson – Rachel lied, millions died (and are still dying)” (junkscience.com) (Not a single claim in Milloy’s piece has any passing acquaintance with truth.)…”

    [Milloy doesn’t rise high enough to aspire even to Tosser-hood. Critchon maybe -W]

  116. […] Hank Roberts on RP Jr is a tosser […]

  117. […] of blog posts attacking a study because its results seem inconvenient is not real skepticism. Comparing climate scientists to the mafia is not real skepticism.  Nitpicking minor details in press releases and media articles while […]

  118. […] of blog posts attacking a study because its results seem inconvenient is not real skepticism. Comparing climate scientists to the mafia is not real skepticism.  Nitpicking minor details in press releases and media articles while […]

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