Joe Barton (R-Exxon) vs hockey stick

Chris Mooney reports on the latest attack on the hockey stick. Joe Barton, chair of the Committee on Energy and Commerce has sent out a set of letters, supposedly "requesting information regarding global warming studies". However, if you look at the letters, you will find that the only study he is interested is Mann, Bradley and Hughes from way back in 1998 (the "hockey stick" study); and the questions are loaded ones of the form: "Can you explain why you made all the errors detailed in Mcintyre and McKitrick's Energy and Environment paper?"

It is probably just a coincidence that Joe Barton has received $574,000 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry, more than any other congressman.

Update: Reaction from:

  • Atrios: "The appropriate response to this is 'Bite me, Congessman'."

  • teece: "This is the kind of tactic you would have expected in Soviet Russia."

  • Kevin Drum: "Joe Barton is harassing scientists who have the temerity to publish results he finds inconvenient"

  • Josh Rosena: "This is an anti-climate science Congressman trying to get material for a smear against Mann."

  • john m. lynch: "The interference continues."

  • Paul from Wizbang: "I'm guessing the creators of the global warming hockey stick are --shall we say-- pucked."

  • Steve Verdon: "there seems to be a pattern with regards to climate scientists and their willingness to share data"

  • Mark Trodden: "Dear Congressman Barton, ... I am extremely concerned by the tone and implications of these letters and consider them a thinly-veiled attempt to intimidate honest scientists into avoiding work that might lead to an opinion different from the current administration on topics that are politically sensitive."

  • de Selby: "I expect industry whore congressmen to create false controversies. When they abuse their power at the expense of individual citizens, I call it McCarthyism"

  • David Appell: "This is unprecedented, as far as I know, and has the air of a scientific witch-hunt."

  • PZ Meyers: "Joe Barton is an arrogant pissant"

  • James Annan: "I suspect that a witch-hunt like this could have serious repercussions for scientific research in the USA"

More like this

Last month the National Research Council report on climate reconstructions released its report and basically vindicated the hockey stick. This was widely reported in the media. But not in The Australian. I did a search through the archives of The Australian to see what they had published about…
Chris Mooney on the report Joe Barton commissioned on the hockey stick: I am beyond bored with the whole thing. I'm reaching the point of despair. Listen, people: This is an argument over a study that is now some eight years old. Eight years! You would think there is nothing new under the sun in…
Lots of folks have been posting stuff from their prior blogs. I'm not going to do too much of that, but I would like to breathe some more life into one discovery from my old blog--a rather scandalous quote from Energy and Commerce committee chair Joe Barton on climate science. Nowadays everybody…
Joe Barton's Committee has released a report they commissioned on the hockey stick by Wegman, Scott and Said (WSS). The focus of the report is much narrower than the NRC report and the results are basically a subset of the NRC report. In particular, both reports find that "off-centre" method used…

Wow. I read the letters. Witch hunt is accurate. Never once was, say, Moberg et al. mentioned.

I surely hope someone ponies up some cash for good lawyers to slam these people hard.

Too bad the time it will take for a good defense takes away from research.

D

I'd agree that some (most?) of the requests are burdensome and should be ignored, but I don't think non-burdensome requests should be ignored, just as Benny Peiser was ethically obligated to turn over his 34 abstracts to Tim when asked.

That's a good point, Brian. I'm just hoping to make lemonade out of this situation by turning the interrogation back around and illuminate motives...

Best,

ÐanØ

If the science was honest why is there any question about releasing data and methods?

Agreed. The brunt of the letters was not "how did you get it wrong?" but more "why haven't you complied with the sharing policies of your public grant to which you agreed?". The director of the NSF was also called out because the NSF refused to enforce its own policies.

The letter to the IPCC asked how the IPCC ensures objectivity and independence as it allowed Mann to be the lead author on the section that detailed his work.

Why HAS Mann refused to answer his critics and hindered others in attempts to duplicate his work? Maybe because he understandably doesn't want to be shown in error?

Mann has never released his actual source code. How difficult could this be? Why doesn't he do it immediately?

Mann has never released his actual source code. How difficult could it be to do this? Why doesn't he do it immediately?

Mann's source code was specifically requested by his critics and he even went as far as telling the Wall Street Journal that he "would not be 'intimidated' into releasing his algorithm." To date he has not. His critics had to resort to attempting to recreate his code and probably have as they have come very close to his numbers. The letter to him from the House Committee was very pointed that he deliver the code NOW.

If his critics are so wrong, why doesn't he just release everything and prove it instead of allowing allegations to build?

Truth appears to be that he made an error in using the principle components method and this error resulted in the amplification of a single dataset. His critics maintain that if this dataset is removed, the Hockey Stick vanishes and if it is replaced by a dataset with randomly rising noise, the Hockey Stick reappears. This is strong evidence that the other inputs used for MHB98 are, in fact, superfluous to the result.

Don't take my word for it. Richard Muller, a pro-GW scientist, reported all of this in his MIT Review column. http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/04/10/wo_muller101504.asp

Latest from the Climate Audit: http://www.climateaudit.org/index.php?p=234

I apologize for the long post but apparently much of it is needed.

Wow. The bots have come out of the woodwork on this one.

I wonder if part of the agreement to go to Penn State was they had a good anti-Inquisition staff there, including lawyers and PR people familiar with smear campaigns.

ÐanØ

Yes ad hominem attacks are the best response to intelligent discourse as they demonstrate the depth of your thinking processes. You have nothing else to say except those you disagree with are full of it?

Bill, go to www.realclimate.org, all your questions can be answered. The letter sent to Mann and others was written by an oil-industry flack and the attack on Mann is meaningless in terms of the science as the "hockey stick" results have been replicated by numerous other scientists using numerous methodologies. This is intimidation, pure and simple. The answers to all of the questions posed by Rep. Barton are available in the public record. McKitrick et al are charlatans, and they should not be driving the discourse on this situation, regardless of what you want to believe.

Would any one like to come right out and say that Mann's work shouldn't be Peer-reviewed? For something that has been taken as gospel by the "consensus" it would seem that it would have been through a fine-toothed comb before publishing. However it seems that there are still questions unanswered. To ask him to come before those who funded his research and answer said questions just seems like good science.

Well, actually I have gone to realclimate.org. My personal take is that Dr. Mann is exhibit ting Nixon-like behavior. If he has made an error, and it's beginning to appear a very likely fact, he probably did so in honest error. It will prove most unfortunate that the MHB98 Hockey Stick, which provided a major impetus to the Kyoto Accord, is indeed shown to be a calculation artifact.

However, when McIntyre and his cohort originally raised their questions, I myself was interested and I went to Mann's website and, yes, some of the data were there. Strangely, they disappeared a short time after that (because of a "computer crash") and never reappeared. The data that he originally provided do not appear to be the actual data used in his calculations.

His recalcitrance in providing his data and methods is very sad. Science bases its reputation on free and open dialogue. Science depends upon constant criticism to maintain integrity. Dr. Mann has stated quite openly that answering such criticism (outside of his website) is beneath him. If it takes a letter from Congress to get him to act like a scientist, so be it. If we must pay to have our scientific policies scientifically analyzed I'm all for making sure that the process is above reproach and the answers are in fact true as far as can be determined. If Dr. Mann is about to be hung, it's because he reneged on his contracts. If Congress dislikes his message, they at least found something appropriate to use against him.

OTOH, if he HAS delivered his data, methods and algorithms what does he have to fear? Why are YOU afraid for him?

Dr. Mann has been raised to a level that he may not truly deserve. If it should be shown that he was in error it will prove quite embarrassing to him. As such, I take anything that he has to say at this time with a very large grain of salt.

I suppose none of the choir here will raise an eyebrow or be suspicious when the response from Mann et. al. in regards to code and/or data will be, "Sorry we lost it"? Of course, being able to actually do things like replicate a study is...you know...what science is about.

The bots have sh*tty talking points fed to them wrt to this topic.

ÐanØ

See the big picture.

To assault Mann et al. is to assault the pro-GW science, and it has all the earmarks of the strawman fallacy.

Straw Man, definition:
The author attacks an argument which is different from, and usually weaker than, the opposition's best argument.

Best argument of pro-GW: carbondioxide is the driver gas.
Weaker argument by pro-GW: the temp. record form a hockey-stick.

While the industry whores can do nothing 'bout carbondioxide, it is just "logical" that they assault the hockey stick graph, where the results indeed could be unclear.

I don't want to be associated with the loonies showing up here and in Chris Mooney's comments, but I think that even oil industry shills like Barton have the right to request data, if and when the request is reasonable. To the extent that it's currently available, Mann can just say "Hello? It's right here, Congressman, right in front of you," while politely saying "bite me" to the unreasonable portion. I also think a restricted request for funding information is reasonable, but not the fishing expedition Barton is on.

Try this: suppose the Democratic vice-chair of that Congressional Committee had sent a similar letter to McIntyre and McKitrick. Would such a letter be entirely inappropriate, or only inappropriate in parts, or not inappropriate at all?

Damn. Where to start?

Would any one like to come right out and say that Mann's work shouldn't be Peer-reviewed?

Of course not. Mann's work (in particular, MBH98 has been extensively peer-reviewed; that's just the point.

I went to Mann's website and, yes, some of the data were there. Strangely, they disappeared a short time after that (because of a "computer crash") and never reappeared. The data that he originally provided do not appear to be the actual data used in his calculations.

Mann et al. have published

the data
used in MBH98, along with a
detailed description of the algorithm.
I'll assume that you didn't just make up the bit about the "computer crash", but note that a search of RealClimate fails to turn up the phrase. What seems to be missing here? What do you think has changed?

... the response from Mann et. al. in regards to code and/or data will be, "Sorry we lost it"? Of course, being able to actually do things like replicate a study isyou knowwhat science is about.

Jeez, people! The data and algorithm description have both been published, an independent team has
replicated the MBH98 results, and have even published the code so you can go run it with and without bristlecones, etc., to your heart's content! Yet we continue to hear a relentless drumbeat of indignation about Mann's "recalcitrance in providing his data and methods."
The willful ignorance required to repeat this hogwash is irritating.
The laziness essential to maintaining that ignorance in the face of repeated attempts to mitigate it is infuriating.
But the arrogance of a smarmy comment like "being able to actually do things like replicate a study is ... you knowwhat science is about" made by someone who has had every opportunity to know better is maddening. It's enough to make a body downright ... shrill.

There was a long thread on Slashdot that pretty much resolved all the questions concerning Mann and his hockey stick. I'd say the senator should go read it before he begins his doomed expedition. The only doubt I think even plausible to have is anthro cause warming ~40% or ~80% of total recorded warming.

And I'd kill to get the spellchecking plugin to work on my site.

So the MBH98 dates from, umm, 1998, and the independent reproduction of their work has only been submitted for review last month ? so, umm, seven years later ?
Is this the first time anyone has been able to independently reproduce the MBH results ?
(Assuming that this new paper and code turns out to be valid - and I don't feel like taking anything much on faith right now.)

Hmmm....
This has a very deja-vuish feel to veterans of the "Kellermann never released his data!" wars, as Tim may recall.

By z of the ianty… (not verified) on 28 Jun 2005 #permalink

Mann's source code is available here.

The top-level directory to data/methods is here

By caerbannog (not verified) on 28 Jun 2005 #permalink

Re #21: The impetus for the work was the M&M attack, which is much more recent. Prior to that, there was no need for it.

My general comment on this whole controversy is that Mann should be under no obligation to respond to non-scientists like M&M who a) have done no relevant work aside from their attack on Mann, b) are happy to accept the sponsorship of fossil fuel industry fronts like the so-called George C. Marshall Institute, c) have been shown to have made numerous errors, including the famous "degrees v. radians" conflation. [McIntyre wants to make it clear the degrees/radians mixup was McKitrick's and had nothing to do with McIntyre. TL] If, on the other hand, someone like, oh I don't know, maybe Kevin Vranes were to volunteer to be Mike's full-time corresponding secretary in charge of dealing with fossil fuel industry shills, I think Mike should generously accept. To do so otherwise would be a waste of Mike's valuable time.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 28 Jun 2005 #permalink

One needs to distinguish between replication and reproduction. Replication - repeating a study using the exact same methods as the original authors - is very rare in science, IME. (There is one broad class of exceptions - what might be called "in-house replication". It is fairly common practice for a new graduate student in a research group to be assigned the task of replicating some part of a recently completed and published project. This provides good training for the student, as well as a post-facto opportunity to catch errors.) Most of the time, scientists try to reproduce the results of a study using different methods. This is generally more useful, since a different method will have different strengths and weaknesses than the original one, and often provide an opportunity to extract new information that the original study did not find. Given finite resources, scientists prefer reproduction, which tests underlying assumptions as well as mechanical details and can generate new knowledge, to replication, which merely demonstrates that the other guys did what they said they did.

The results of Mann et al. (1998) have been reproduced several times since then. Ammann and Wahl were the first to replicate it.

Re #25
Robert, in what area of science does your experience lie ?
I have always thought that the ability to replicate experiments is the very foundation of science. Without replication, you are taking the other guy's word for it. When the other guy says you can't replicate his work, and you must take his word for it - then you have moved out of science and into religion.
As an example, consider the fun and games over cold fusion a few years back. As soon as it was announced, other labs were trying to replicate the results. When they failed, it was recognised that the original experiment was in error.
If climatology regards replication, even of so important a result as MBH, as a boring job to fob off on a junior, then I would suggest that climatology does not yet have the right to call itself a science.

Freddy, my expertise is Physical Chemistry (my own work is theoretical chemistry, but I am very familiar with the experimental work as well and have done some in the past.) Very mainstream stuff.

Based on my experience, I would guess that no more than one percent of the peer reviewed papers I have read over the past 20 years have involved replication. For the reasons I gave - it is nearly always more useful to reproduce a result using different methods, than merely to repeat someone else's experiment or calculation.

Schematic example: Scientist A measures the rate of a chemical reacti on using absorption spectroscopy, and gets a surprising result. Scientist B then measures the same rate using laser-induced fluorescence, and gets a different answer. Scientist C designs a third method and agrees with A. They all go to the same conference and present their results. They try to figure out why A got different results than B and C. A goes back to his lab, and discovers a mistake. This is how it usually goes - if there was a mistake, A is much more likely to find it since he understands his experiment better. (There are huge amounts of tacit knowledge involved in scientific research, especially experimental.) Only if the discrepancy persists for an extended period, will someone eventually try to replicate the original study.

Cold Fusion was a case where the initial result was so astonishing that it demanded to be replicated right away. There are a few other examples - I know of a present-day physicist who replicated the original Millikan Oil Drop experiment, because of suggestions that M. might have fudged his numbers a bit. And fields such as synthetic chemistry, where one's goal is to make stuff rather than to understand chemical processes, involves a lot of replication, since one goal is to eventually come up with a procedure that will be used on an industrial scale.

Bill, "It will prove most unfortunate that the MHB98 Hockey Stick, which provided a major impetus to the Kyoto Accord, is indeed shown to be a calculation artifact."

The MBH curve has not been shown to be an artifact, and even more serious for your credibility, if you bother to check dates you will find that the Kyoto treaty was created 1997, before that article was even published!

BTW, who is willing to request an audit of Spencer and Christy's work? With their latest revision the way their result has changed over the years begs some serious questions. Maybe those two ought to be the naxt target of Barton's zeal.

By Thomas Palm (not verified) on 28 Jun 2005 #permalink

#28
Robert, a fair response, thank you.
It doesn't surprise me that so few peer-reviewed papers that make it to journals are about replication - after all, if Scientist B has confirmed Scientist A's work then this hardly merits a peer review. However, if Scientist B had found that Scientist A's work was grossly flawed, and A would not come clean about it, then I would suspect that B would be more likely to get published. If this is not something that happens regularly in mainstream chemistry - then I am delighted to hear it, that is how science should be.

With regard to cold fusion : as I understand it, the original MBH paper was the same sort of shock to the existing consensus. Prior to MBH98, the consensus was that late twentieth century temperatures were well below the peak of the medieval warm period, and thus could easily be explained by natural variability.
Post MBH98, when late twentieth century temperatures are the highest in the second millenium, it becomes more reasonable to blame anthropogenic factors. (Though hardly a proof - it could also be a cycle with a period longer than 1000 years, like glaciation.)
I would suggest that this was not a mainstream result, and that climatologists should have sought to replicate it immediately.
One other thought: chemistry is a real science, you are trying to figure out the distinct set of rules by which the universe works, and how to use those rules to our advantage. MBH98 is more of an exercise in mathematics, particularly in those areas that McIntyre is questioning. Saying "I've got a wonderful proof of this, but I can't be bothered to tell you the details" is something you can get away with when you are Pierre de Fermat, but I don't think Michael Mann is quite in that league.

Sorry Tim there is only one bit of code (the file named GetData) there and it is too small to do the job, and the comments suggest it is for pulling Jones and Briffa's data. No other code is available at that site. Besides, why would Mann say he is not going to give the code to McIntyre and McKitrick when it is supposedly available publicly? Is Mann a kook?

By the way, did you actually get around to looking up who pays for Mann's site at RealClimate.org? Didn't think so. Environmental Media Services out of Washington D.C. Looks like Mann is a lapdog for special interests too.

As for Wahl and Ammann, first that isn't peer reviewed work (yet)...or more accurately it was reviewed and rejected. Second, their code is not Mann's code. I know it is asking alot that Mann make his code public, but I think it is only the right thing to do...don't you Tim...or maybe Lott should have sat on his data and code too. Right?

Re #24
"The impetus for the work was the M&M attack, which is much more recent. Prior to that, there was no need for it."
Prior to MM, the MBH study became a key part of a very vocal, well-funded campaign to make major changes to the economies of the developed world. One way or another, we tax-payers will pay for those changes. Damn right there is a need for checking.

This attitude that only a member of the brotherhood of climatologists can possibly have anything to say on this subject is more appropriate for religion than science. Thanks to MBH, climatology is no longer just another academic discipline: it is one of the two key items on the agenda at next week's G8 meeting. Welcome to the big leagues.

If your only basis for judging the merit of McIntyre's work is the source of his funding, then I suggest you go and read his site. If he is wrong, say so, with details. If you don't understand the maths, then find someone you trust who can explain it to you. I am not interested in arguments about whether oil companies are more evil than aging hippy anti-capitalists; I want the data and the science.

Regarding the degrees vs radians matter: if this is true, it doesn't surprise me: didn't NASA lose a Mars lander a few years ago because its landing radar was talking yards and its landing computer was talking meters, or some such ? Mistakes happen, that's why you check things exhaustively, then get a second pair of eyes to check them again. You may be willing to accept that MBH are infallible; I am not.

I do not understand the reference to this Kevin Vranes person, and I suspect I won't care. If Mike's time is too valuable to respond to detailed professional enquiries about such a key piece of research, then I question his status as a responsible scientist.

What people seem to be forgetting is that regardless of the results of Mann, several other scientisits have independentally reproduced the results of Mann et al using different methodologies. Being able to somehow implicate Mann in wrongdoing is meaningless in regards to the science. That being said, his methods should be available and transparent for the community to examine. However, if someone has no expertise and they have been proven to be defective in basics of statistical analysis (as have M/M), why should their work and the crooked editorial staff at a newspaper be enough to drive a congressional inquiry? This inquiry has all the makings of a frivolous lawsuit designed specifically to harass where the burden of proof is somehow on the accused and not on the accuser. The Real Climate website specifically states that the scientists received donated web hosting services and that is all their remuneration. Can Rep. Barton make the same claim before G*d concerning his acceptance of oil and gas monies, given that he presumably has no expertise in this area whatsoever, yet he appears to be a blank slate for the every whim of said petroleum interests?

Yet here we all are arguing about the bloody hockey stick again. This is while glaciers are retreating, the Arctic ice is melting at at totally unprecedented rate, direct measurements show sea temperature anomalies and the permafrost in the Arctic is melting.

Look the Mann data is an interesting study but it is not the main part of the GW case. Even if it was totally wrong(which it is not) this does not mean GW is not happening. Even if there were 5000 hot periods in the past this does not mean that this one is natural as well.

GW skeptics cannot doubt direct measurements like the atmospheric CO2 level and the sea temperature. The hockey stick is simply one thing they CAN attack so they do. Like any good defense lawyer they only have to sow seeds of doubt. You cannot doubt an instrument measuring CO2. However if you 'expose' an evil plot to conceal and manipulate data it does not have to be true, just appear to be true. So you get a couple of charlatans, again it does not matter if they have any scientific credibility, to go over the data and find anything that could be construed as doubtful. Then this 'evil plot' is then trumpeted to the world as scientists manipulating data so therefore the whole GW case is doubtful. The people that pay for the charlatans have direct and traceable interests in not reducing fossil fuel use.

Lets get on with addressing the danger of rising CO2 and climat change and leave this disgusting FUD campaign alone.

I'll stop using up bandwidth by noting my take is here (the left is overreacting to the oil industry shill, accountability is a two-way street, and it's the job of the good guys to react responsibly to provocation).

BTW, who is willing to request an audit of Spencer and Christy's work? With their latest revision the way their result has changed over the years begs some serious questions. Maybe those two ought to be the naxt target of Barton's zeal.

Thomas, the "sceptics" will soon be after Spencer and Christy if the "rumours" about the currently being performed corrections are correct. Don't want to pre-empt the revisions, other than to say they will be cold comfort to the sceptics.

Guess the sceptics can always move onto straight denial...

David

By David Jones (not verified) on 28 Jun 2005 #permalink

Steve,

  1. "Algorithm" is not the same as "code". Mann has released the algorithm, which is all you need to replicate his work as Ammann and Wahl were able to do.
  2. Using a forum provided by an environmental group does not make you a lap dog for special interests any more than McIntyre speaking at oil-industry funded events makes him a lap dog. Getting directly paid with over half a million dollars does, however.
  3. If Ammann and Wahl's replication has been rejected by a journal, that helps show you why scientists usually don't do replications -- you can't get them published because they are not original.

"Algorithm" is not the same as "code". Mann has released the algorithm, which is all you need to replicate his work as Ammann and Wahl were able to do.

Okay fine, nice semantical dodge, but McIntyre has been asking for code and Mann has been refusing it. Wny? Without the code it is much harder to make sure that Mann et. al. didn't make a mistake which is what McKitrick and McIntyre are trying to answer.

Using a forum provided by an environmental group does not make you a lap dog for special interests any more than McIntyre speaking at oil-industry funded events makes him a lap dog. Getting directly paid with over half a million dollars does, however.

And you've looked at all of Mann's funding? You seem to think looking at funding is legit...so why not Mann's?

Steve, poster #23 seems to have the links you're looking for, although I can't judge if the info is complete.

I don't see any links in comment #23. I do see some in comment #21, but again there isn't much there. For example, if you go through Mann's FTP site long enough you'll find a bunch of files labled pca-*.f (comment #25 has a link as well to the pca-noamer.f file which appears to be identical to pca-soamer.f). These files are all the same from what I can see. McIntyre wanted to look at the code to make sure it matched up with his. He is pretty sure he has it right, but wants to make sure. But Mann just wont cooperate. Makes me think he is hiding something.

Steve - The fact that Mann 'won't release his code' is irrelevant. The data is there that he used. It is up to the competent investigator to conduct whatever analysis of the data that he/she sees fit. Mann chose PCA analysis. Any competent scientist can whip up a bit of code to automate this lengthy process. This, I guess, is what Mann has done. It is probably no more that a couple of lines of perl or bash script that runs the PCA program with the various datasets.

If you draw sinister conclusions from whether or not Mann will release the code he used is entirely up to you. It is probably that M&M are not functioning scientists doing real research and have not 'paid their dues'. I am not a scientist however I can think of it this way. A top keyboard player will give you lessons however there is no way in the wide world he would allow you to copy his special sounds that he/she has spent years compiling. If you are too lazy to make your own library of sounds then as far as he/she is concerned you do not deserve a head start.

If you cannot make head nor tail of the data then I suggest you study the subject until you can.

I'm impressed by the size of the balls of the sceptics that continue continue this BS even when the top science academies of the G8 came out and said there was no longer any doubt.

The Royal Society what would they know!

How are we to move onto solutions we these guys are still whipping this dead horse? There is no point asking for the best science om the subject they'll won't accept anything unless it toes their position.

Re #39: I just love rumors like that, and look forward to the denouement. Any idea as to when?

By the way, Pat Michaels has prepared the way for a two-pronged skeptic fallback position: 1) Sure, global warming is happening and human-generated GHGs are at fault, but we don't need to do anything about because the worst it will get is the low end of the IPCC range and 2) at that level, the benefits of global warming (increased fertility, e.g.) will outweigh any harm.

Re #34: You said (in reference to M&M's demand for information): "If Mike's time is too valuable to respond to detailed professional enquiries about such a key piece of research, then I question his status as a responsible scientist." Mike has done just that. Or perhaps you meant to say amateur, not professional.

When I say Mike has done just that, I visited his personal site just now for the first time and found details of a 2003 controversy (of which I was only vaguely aware at the time) that resulted from a couple of shoddy papers that Soon and Baliunas had produced attacking the hockey stick. Unlike M&M, S&B are at least professionals (although by no means paleoclimatologists), so they got a full response. Not only did a dozen other paleoclimatologists join Mike in rebutting them, the American Geophysical Union (which has endorsed the hockey stick since 1998) itself issued a press release promoting the article (see http://holocene.evsc.virginia.edu/Mann/news/news.html and links at the bottom of that page). So, Mike has already been through the mill on this stuff and has received full backing from his colleagues. I now understand even better his lack of patience with M&M.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 28 Jun 2005 #permalink

"Not only did a dozen other paleoclimatologists join Mike in rebutting them, the American Geophysical Union ... itself issued a press release promoting the article"

Yes but they're all obviously part of the conspiracy too.

I bet when they aren't faking evidnece of global warming their finding new ways to prevent the desperately needed use of DDT in developing countries.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 28 Jun 2005 #permalink

I'm a glacial geomorphologist and am convinced that GW is happening (that's way mountain glaciers all around the worls are in recession) and am (mostly) convinced by the argument that most of it is anthropogenic. However, it seesm to me that the best way to spike the guns of the deniers would be if Mann agreed to their requests at this time. Once it is shown that MBH were right, then the deniers will have even less ground to stand on.

By stephan harrison (not verified) on 28 Jun 2005 #permalink

Steve (#41) - it's not a "semantical dodge". If Mann et.al.'s work is incorrect, with the algorithm it's possible (and in fact for this algorithm, not overly difficult) to invalidate their work. All you have to do is code it up, which shouldn't be too hard in something like matlab.

If you seriously believe there's an error in their code (which I infer from the tone of your comments), why don't you go and do this?

And McKitrick wants to check the code "matches up"? The easiest way to see if it matches up is just to perform the same analysis, and see if identical results pop out. Modulo numerical errors, they should be identical. If they're not, publish it!

By Patrick Caldon (not verified) on 28 Jun 2005 #permalink

Re #39 again, the satellite data revision appears to be much more than a rumor: http://climate.uah.edu/may2005.htm. The degrees C per decade number at the top seems like the critical one, and now it's been jacked up to .12. End of controversy?

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 29 Jun 2005 #permalink

By the way, Pat Michaels has prepared the way for a two-pronged skeptic fallback position: 1) Sure, global warming is happening and human-generated GHGs are at fault, but we don't need to do anything about because the worst it will get is the low end of the IPCC range and 2) at that level, the benefits of global warming (increased fertility, e.g.) will outweigh any harm.

Steve, I have been told that Spencer and Christy have withdrawn their data, or are dicouraging its use, though it seems to still be on their webpage??? The problem relates to an incorrect sign on their correction of diurnal drift of satellites; Fu et al have been hinting at a problem like this for a while, and it has finally been found.

Whatever happens, one hopes Spencer and Christy do not have to tolerate the none sense Mann has recieved. All scientists make mistakes, but the very great majority are trivial, and that goes for the Mann98 - after all the only real difference between M&M and Mann98 is that the M&M reconstruction develops wild oscillations around 1600.

The bigger issues with the work of Mann et al (as I understand them) appear to be decreased variance (typical of all regression approaches), and a possible underestimate of low frequencies in tree ring data. Both are well known, and are being addressed in improved versions of these early analyses. If anything, new work such as by Mohberg (sp?) suggest the recent warming is even more anomalous, as the little ice age was rather cooler...

BTW you don't have to go to the US to see this repositioning by the sceptics. It is already happening in Australia with Carter and co. The new argument is that we can't be sure the warming is anomalous until it is bigger than anything else seen before... trouble is by the time it is bigger we'll be having beach holidays at the north pole.

Regards,

David

Steve, the Spencer and Christy note is curious... it almost suggest that the reconstruction is only partially complete???

Regardless, the trend has gone up by 50%.

Fancy that, the modellers, theory, and mainstream climate scientists said the troposphere would warm all along.... and it has. Mainstream science 1 - sceptics 0 .

Steve, what would be the point of someone else running exactly the same code as MBH and presumably get exactly the same answer? The real issue is if the program is correct, and the best way to be sure of that is to have someone else write a similar program. It's a lot harder to look at code and make sure it is correct, because errors can hide in ways that look very reasonable.

David, you think that S&C doesn't deserve the treatment MBH are getting. I'm not so sure. Jump over to Tech Central Station and read what Spencer has written there. He has dug a pretty deep hole for himself by accusing Nature and Science of being 'gray scientific litterature' for the crime of not letting HIM review all their articles of the MSU data.

By Thomas Palm (not verified) on 29 Jun 2005 #permalink

Mann's response to repeated requests for source code is similar Kerry's response to requests for his military records during last years presidential campaign. Alternately claiming all records have been released and then saying he won't sign the form to release all his records.

The reason the global warmers are so upset about Congressman Barton is that this episode has the potential of being a "Waterloo" event.

The letter that was sent to Mann wasn't the important letter. The letter that was sent to the IPCC is the one that will cause the global warmers the most trouble.

Prediction: The IPCC will dump Mann and claim they were deceived by an unscrupulous scientist. They will also claim just because there have been significantly hotter and colder periods in the past 1,000 years it is irrelevant to the cause of them saving the world.

By Reid of America (not verified) on 29 Jun 2005 #permalink

Sorry Tim, I don't gamble.

The problem with the letter to the IPCC is that they have to respond or they will get into a funding battle with US Republicans. That's a fight the IPCC will easily lose. The Barton letter contains precise questions that can't be glossed over with "consensus" talk and other talking points. Hence, faced with the fact that they haven't abided by their own data quality standards they will do the politically expedient thing. The will sacrifice Mann and claim they need more funding to peer-review their "consensus" science.

It is obvious that Mann won't cooperate with his detractors because his study can't withstand real scrutiny. Mann would have knocked out his opponents long ago if his work wasn't fraudulent. Not just wrong but fraudulent.

By Reid of America (not verified) on 29 Jun 2005 #permalink

Not just the IPCC but the NSF as well.

I think fraudulent may be too strong a word. I for one am willing to think this was honest error. In many ways the error is subtle. I've done quite a lot of data massaging myself. It's easy to get fooled when the numbers meet your expectations. I've been lucky enough to learn to see that as a sign of possible error. Mann, et al. may not have been so lucky. I think they realize the errors now. The real problem is saving face. The problem may be unsolvable.

Re #56: What errors? Be specific.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 29 Jun 2005 #permalink

Steve, BillBud has no idea.

And Reid of Murrica, Mann's data is available. You may want to revisit your talking points.

D

Dano, if Mann has nothing to hide then Barton and his Congressional commitee will get nowhere. Problem for Mann and the IPCC is that specific questions have to be answered with specific answers. It is going to be both hillarious and sad to watch scientists arguing that full disclosure is not required for peer review. Or that consensus trumps the need for peer review. Orwellian!

M&M claim "the withholding of R2 and other verification statistics, the impact of the presence/absence of bristlecones (the CENSORED directory)"...

Mann may have originally made honest mistakes, I have my doubts, but he should have done the scientifically honest thing and withdrawn his study once it was found to be statistically untenable. Instead he crossed over into fraud and refuses to engage in peer review science.

The worst outcome of this affair for global warmers is if the general media picks up the story. It hasn't yet but if it does it will severely hurt the global warming movement.

By Reid of America (not verified) on 29 Jun 2005 #permalink

It is going to be both [hilarious] and sad to watch scientists arguing that full disclosure is not required for peer review.

Barton is not a peer. Nor are M&M. Nor is the study statistically untenable, as other papers have similar results.

HTH your clue-finding,

D

I've been avoiding doing this for quite some time, but I finally girded my loins and paid a visit to McIntyre's Climate Audit site. Contrary to the impression I had gotten, and as is reflected at http://www.climateaudit.org/index.php?p=240, McIntyre is demanding far more than just a few lines of code. I haven't had a chance to pursue it in detail yet, but at least half of this stuff seems to be demands to get inside Mike's head; i.e., not for data or code or algorithm, but for what Mike's basis was for making decisions about how to handle the data. Put another way, it's pretty clear from the linked post that McIntyre already has more than everything a scientist would need to critique Mike's work. Instead, McIntyre is demanding a step-by-step of everything Mike used, thought and calculated.

When it was just "a few lines of code" I wondered if Mike wasn't being a little unreasonable in not coughing it up. Now that I see the whole picture it's clear that McIntyre's sole project is to permanently harass Mike (and not so much his co-authors, which is perhaps significant) and that it's pointless for Mike to cooperate with him any further.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 29 Jun 2005 #permalink

it's pretty clear from the linked post that McIntyre already has more than everything a scientist would need to critique Mike's work.

pssst, Steve, you're dangerously close to calling Mac a scientist.

Thought I'd point that out, sir. :o)

Best,

D

Steve, it has been clear for a long time that M&M has only been interested in harassment. Every time Mann responds to one demand or explain one error they made they just change their story and come up with some other supposed error in the MBH article. They are reasonably skillful at bullshitting so that it sounds like they know what they are talking about, but that's just about it.

Lambert's finds about KcKitrick in posts like these are hilarious:
http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2004/10/mckitrick8.php
Someone who doesn't even understand the fundamentals about what average temperature means has no business doing this kind of stuff. He should go back to school first.

By Thomas Palm (not verified) on 29 Jun 2005 #permalink

Sorry for any such implication! I hope it's clear to everyone that McIntyre is no scientist. His site even includes a remark from him to the effect that he has no interest in doing climate work aside from trying to discredit Mike. One wonders what he would do with his life if he ever felt that he could declare victory. Since he's such a consistent fellow, maybe set up a site devoted to crucifying Spencer and Christy?... nah. :)

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 29 Jun 2005 #permalink

Facts is ugly things. All the needed code is at ftp://holocene.evsc.virginia.edu/pub/MBH98/. You have to crawl up and down the ftp site to find the various programs that were used, but the programs and the eigenfunctions and the pcs are all there. So is the data. The programs all have an extension .f The files which specify the data used by the programs have an extension .inf output files have extensions .out.

It is not necessarily organized for the convenience of the reader and you have to look through the FORTRAN and the various data files to figure out what is going on, but, having done so it appears relatively straightforward.

So much for that.

Second NONE of the data belongs to Mann. He used data measured by others. There were a few errors in the data list originally published, and M&M picked up on them in the shrillest possible way, but most of the errors were obvious, and given the .inf files in the Holocene ftp site, easy to find. Most of the original data is archived at the NOAA paleoclimate site referred to in the Nature article (at least the correction, the site moved around a bit). A few pieces are elsewhere.

The archive has been there for at least a couple of years since I first found it. There is more stuff at umass (or at least there was).

Now, unknot your pants, take a deep breath and relax.

By Eli Rabett (not verified) on 29 Jun 2005 #permalink

Mr Reid of America - you can retreat into your state sponsored Lysenko-ism and deny climate change all you want. Dr Manns data has been scrutinised and confirmed.

If you are wrong and the climate does change your group will no doubt be the first ones on their hind legs whining "why didn't you damned scientists do anything about it"

This FUD campaign that your government (and ours unfortunately) is complaisant in is helping to slow action on Global Warming. By the time you and your kind are finally defeated it will be far to late and the die will be cast, if it is not already.

Welcome to the new world, Mr Reid, that you helped create.

BTW Tim - love the spell checker

Antiscientists or simple dupes who may have been considering joining the team of inept economist Ross McKitrick against Michael Mann and the field of climate science, would be well advised to first pay Tim Lambert the compliment of reading his very excellent past posts on McKitrick's bumbling and bumptious efforts at criticizing things he knows nothing about before tucking themselves any more tightly into bed with their hero.

It should be clear to any scientist who looks at his work that McKitrick is one of the greater fools and narcissists alive in the world today, but nobody has demonstrated McKitrick's scientific failings, or pricked his conceits, more elegantly and concisely than has Tim. Oh - and Tim shows excellent manners in the process, too, so delicate flowers needn't fear exposure to coarse language or anything nasty in his treatment of young Ross.

Go ahead Bill and Reid, why not check out Tim's education of Ross McKitrick? It's not Tim's fault that the lesson hasn't taken, some students are just irremediable (and some bear allegiance to things other than the pursuit of learning and truth).

Reid wrote: "The problem with the letter to the IPCC is that they have to respond or they will get into a funding battle with US Republicans. That's a fight the IPCC will easily lose."

Reid, what makes you think the US is currently providing significant funding to IPCC?

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 29 Jun 2005 #permalink

Re #57: What errors? Be specific
RE #61: When it was just "a few lines of code" I wondered if Mike wasn't being a little unreasonable in not coughing it up.

It's a bit much to ask that the errors be detailed here. Without a background in statistics and PCA in particular, any brief answer simply invites endless rounds of argument. There is insufficient room here to give adequate explanation.

What M&M are asking is quite reasonable. The MHB98 study was based on a large amount of detail and the data weren't simply plugged into a simple piece of code and certainly not into an integrated program. To show full understanding of the methodology and tools, an accrutae reproduction is required (replication). Only then can you say specifically where processing occurred.

Attempts at recreation have led to deeper and deeper questions. The rational for the M&M request of Mann have been detailed in MM03 and MM05. Links can be found at the link you included. They are located in a sidebar.

Mann is being most disingenuous. He has stymied attempts at replication by gathering up all of his files and effectively delivering them in a paper bag sans any real documentation -- assuming he hasn't omiitted files. It's an old law trick: if you must deliver damning evidence to the opposition, make sure it's buried among ten thousand irrelevant pages.

Make no mistake: M&M are gaining acceptance one scientist at a time. Yes, I know, MHB98 has been replicated at UCAR but for science to proceed it will require more that one replicator.

Here's an interesting link on N-Rays, which were all the rage at one time. Blondlot's results were duplicated by more than one investigator. The only problem was that they never existed!

http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~ken/Langmuir/langB.htm

It is part of: http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~ken/Langmuir/langmuir.htm

Interesting reading.

Re: post 67

winston-

I understood Ross McKitrick quickly responded and corrected the degrees/radians gaff found by Mr. Lambert in the non-Mann critique related paper - part of review process post-publication. I also understood he modified his original conclusions based on the relevant corrections.

Has Dr. Mann responded credibly to the assertion that:
There is/are bristle-cone pine proxy/proxies that drive the hockey stick blade characteristics of the MBH'98, '99, and Corrigendum plots.

It is also charged that the code used to implement the MBH'98 and '99 has an inherent bias towards the hockey stick blade -- in effect, one could plug in Mickey Mouse and out comes the hockey stick blade.

This rather inflammatory attack seems the easiest of all to dispel by MBH, by simply releasing all of the code, the data, and the output of the code to drive this powerful and easy-to-remembr assertion away forever!

Finally, there is an unrelated (to Barton) request that proxy verification and (possible) recalibration be done -- updating the mid/late 70s terminated proxies to better correspond with actual atmospheric and satellite readings from then to present.

Again, this seems reasonable given the at least the satellite data available from that period to present. I know it costs money, but it appears we're spending more in time and money arguing about the how much it will cost. If the 1990s were the warmest in the modern record (industrial revolution), or the 600 or even the 1000 year record, let's find out what the proxies have to say about it? Again, this doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

Your comment?

By John McCall (not verified) on 29 Jun 2005 #permalink

Re #67:Go ahead Bill and Reid, why not check out Tim's education of Ross McKitrick?

I'm afraid it is you who may be the dupe. Tim is showing a deep misunderstanding of what has been said or he really doesn't care. For example, the PCA method used by Mann, while valid if properly applied, uses RMS and not simple arithmetic mean in it's basic operations. Using Tim's logic, or what I think his logic is, the application of PCA itself must have been incorrect. Surely he isn't trying to say that.

In reality, no one, least of all M&M, is actually denying the existence of GW. What is in dispute is that MHB98 is showing (or claiming, anyway) unprecedented recent warming. Part of that recent "warming" vanishes if you consider the Medevial Warm Period, which itself seems to have vanished in MHB98.

Mann's methodology in the application of PCA is suspect. M&M have shown that the MHB result can be obtained through misapplication of PCA and difficult to obtain otherwise. This raises serious questions about the MHB result.

Regardless of anything that may have been said, this is the most important M&M finding. MHB has been used to shore up a very expensive program largely because of the depiction of unprecedented recent warming and the absence of the MWP for comparasion. It is wise to investigate and resolve these questions in due haste.

Mann is not the proper agent to use in reaching a resolution (although he should certainly aid the effort). The questions must be resolved independently. You can't get much more independent than M&M. If Mann has made serious blunders that somehow have passed the peer review process, it raises even more serious questions. It behooves us all for an investigation also to be independent of those who supplied the reviewers. You certainly shouldn't be taking Mann's word for his correctness.

I suggest that you not take one person's word for anything -- including mine. Perhaps you understand PCA, perhaps not. In any case, it is wise to fully understand waht underlies the argument and withold opinion until you truly do.

John McCall: While a decentered method produces "hockey sticks" the eigenvalues for these sticks are very small. Their influence can be shown by looking at the results when using M&M centered and the de-centered methods. The final plots are almost identical and a good portion of the difference can be attributed to the calibration (the M&M method over-specifies the calibration period). I notice that this argument has been absent in recent times and for a good reason, it is not a strong one.

Bill Bud: When you talk about the application being suspect, are you talking about the de-centered approach of Mann. That is the only part that I know of that is in question. If so, I would not call it an error. As I said above the centered and de-centered give almost identical answers. Also, you can make an argument for using the de-centered method since it reduces the number of degrees of freedom in the calibration period.

Regards,
Y.

Re#72: As I said above the centered and de-centered give almost identical answers

Your saying it doesn't make it fact. Mann also appears to have used higher order terms in places. These lead to instabilities in further calculations so must be applied with care.

As I said before, I am not going to provide a detailed list here. If you really want to know the answer to what M&M are saying I suggest you start with them. You should not consider me nor anyone else the proper source for that information.

Re#72:the de-centered method since it reduces the number of degrees of freedom in the calibration period.

Choice of origin in no way reduces the number of degrees of freedom which depends only upon the number of axes.

Mr Lambert, given that you express disdain for McKitrick's mistake regarding degrees and radians, are you able to also express the same feeling for Michael Mann for his calculation of temperature principal component series weighted by the cosine of the latitude instead of (correctly) by the square root of the cosine of the latitude ? If not, why not ?

Re#72: would not call it [decentered approach] an error.

Actually its a grievous error. The whole idea behind PCA is to normalize the data so datasets with varying scales and correlations can be compared with each other. It does this by first normalizing each component to unit variance. If you choose something other than the mean of that component as reference you have automatically introduced a bias in the form of high variance into your data. This is a beginner's mistake but can also be used for intentional fraud.

PCA is not horribly complicated (except perhaps for computing the rotation Jacobian) but it involves concepts not discussed much outside of statistics. Many popular math workbenches provide it as an adjunct but sometimes that's the mathematical equivalent of providing a loaded handgun to a child. One really needs to understand tools before using them.

Bill I only came to make a general comment about the fitness of Ross McKitrick for scientific work - by self demonstration he has none - and not to enter debate on Michael Mann. For discussion of the relevant Mann papers and his methods I'm happy to leave it to RealClimate and their peers to grapple with the odd fair effort at criticism.

I bear in mind that before he approached Mann with requests for data and code, etc, in fact back in February 2003, bumptious McKitrick had aleady published his deepest thoughts on climate science in "Taken by Storm". His subsequent requests of Mann may be seen to have been in spectacularly bad faith when you take a look at what McKitrick had already written on Mann's field of expertise. McKitrick's book contains more stupidity than I'm prepared to revisit just now, but stuff such as "... There is no theory of climate. There is no known physical meaning for adding up data and dividing by the number of data that everyone insists on adding up and dividing by. Furthermore once they have this number, no scientific basis exists to show that its behavior has any implications for our lives. There is a lot of hand waving and gesticulating, but no science. The people who like these statistics have a burden that they have not been made to bear. You have to prove a proposition in both directions in order to make an equivalence...." blah, blah, blah exemplify it. I guess people who think McKitrick has a clue could be puzzled by Mann's bad reaction to him.

So to repeat, I'm suggesting that people like Ross McKitrick or Congressman Big Oil are not "peers" of any scientist in any way that makes sense to me. Consequently I'll be listening to scientific opinion on the issues, not theirs (other than for amusement or provocation, let's say).

A note on full disclosure and scientific research.

No scientist is obligated to publish ancillary notes, code, etc., regardless of funding source. All that is required is enough data and methodology to enable others to reproduce the work. The rationale behind this is purely pragmatic, journal space is limited and publishing an implementation of an already described algorithm would be considered redundant. It would probably also put most articles well over the maximum word count.

Of course, most researchers will be happy to provide example code to anyone who asks. Mike put at least some of it on his ftp site. However, this is at their discretion and by no means mandatory. And in this case, given McKitrick's history and general rude demeanor, I'm not surprised Mike's ignoring him. As a tax payer, I'm personally glad he's focusing on his research rather than attempting to appease the cranks.

Sigh ... it didn't go through, so let's repeat this.

Straw Man, definition: The author attacks an argument which is different from, and usually weaker than, the opposition's best argument.

Best argument of pro-GW: carbondioxide is the driver gas. Weaker argument by pro-GW: the
temp. record form a hockey-stick.

Other than that, Coop:
"Mike put at least some of it on his ftp site. However, this is at their discretion and by no means mandatory. "

I'm inclined to disagree. Taxpayer funded research are IMO, public record, at least morally. Unless the gov't hasn't specifically ruled it secret as is the case with defense related studies, or if the gov't has another reason the specifically declare a study secret.

Let's not keep debating in generalities about this stuff. Appended below is McIntyre's list of wants from http://www.climateaudit.org/index.php?p=240#more-240. In my opinion, all, or almost all of it, falls into the categories of "I've shown that X is a mistake; prove to me it wasn't" or "I've shown that Y is a discrepancy; explain to me why it wasn't" or just "I've shown that Z calculation is wrong; show me your work so I can point to your exact mistake" and not "missing data." Of all of these 5 might be missing data and 21 might be a needed clarification about data used, although I haven't looked at them in enough detail to know one way or the other. The rest appear to fall into the categories I outlined. Data or not, is it reasonable to ask Mike to provide this type of information?

  1. the selection of proxies which was supposedly done according to "clear a priori" criteria. The "clear a priori" criteria were not reported and have not been disclosed in response to inquiries. Without a statement of these "clear a priori" criteria, it is obviously impossible to replicate the proxy selections of MBH98.
  2. the selection of tree ring chronologies listed in the original SI according to the criteria listed in Mann et al [2000] (which expanded on MBH98 information); here
  3. the explanation in the Corrigendum for the discrepancy between the tree ring sites listed as being used in the original SI and the tree ring sites actually used. The exclusion of the excluded sites (and the inclusion of included sites) cannot be replicated according to the stated criteria. here
  4. the data set archived in July 2004 does not match the description provided in MBH98 or in the Corrigendum SI. here
  5. the proxy rosters in each calculation step from pre-Corrigendum information, including a total of 159 series said to have been used in MBH98 [Mann et al , 2003] here
  6. the use of 24 proxy series in the AD1450 step as reported in MBH98 here
  7. failure to use 6 available proxy series in the AD1500 step (including 5 series used in the AD1450 step) here
  8. the selection of the 1082 "dense" gridcells and 219 "sparse" gridcells according to the selection criteria stated (for the first time) in the Corrigendum SI. here
  9. the archived "sparse" and "dense" instrumental series here
  10. the number of retained temperature PC series in each calculation step. The number retained appears to depend on short-segment standardization, which we criticized in connection with tree ring series. The number retained cannot be replicated with non-erroneous PC methods.
  11. the number of tree ring PC series retained in each network/calculation step according to the retention policy (Preisendorfer's Rule N) reported at realclimate.org [link] in December 2004. No information was provided in MBH98, the Corrigendum talked about a scree test being used as well. I can replicate the illustration at realclimate for the AD1400 North American network, but as soon as you try other networks/periods, the criterion can't be replicated. here
  12. the Corrigendum states that PC series were re-calculated for each calculation step, but this is not correct. The actual selection of steps in which fresh calculations are made is impossible to replicate.
  13. is there an unreported step commencing in 1650? If you plot the confidence intervals, there is a step here, but there is no mention anywhere of a step commencing in 1650 in MBH98 or the new SI. An archived reconstructed PC also begins in 1650: what's going on here? here
  14. the 5 archived RPCs cannot be replicated. Here I wish to emphasize that my emulations of the RPCs were identical to those of Wahl and Ammann. However, they are content if their emulation is roughly similar to MBH98; I am not. here
  15. why does the RPC replication deteriorate in the early 15th century. The 15th century is obviously a problem area. Given other issues with the 15th century, I'm really interested to see what's going on here. here
  16. the reconstructed NH temperature series from the RPCs here
  17. In MM03, we reported collation problems in the data set archived at Mann's FTP site to which we were originally given access. After publication of MM03, Mann made the duplicate accounts available and a new FTP site appeared. Mann said that the collation errors in the previous accounts did not exist in the actual accounts. However, Rutherford referred to a file pcproxy (retrieved from the Wayback machine) long before our inquiry. I think that it's quite possible that the collation errors in the first data set did not exist in the actual data set (and not much turns on this in terms of the final results), but, for good order's sake, I'd like to see code demonstrating that collation errors were not made. I have a sneaking suspicion that they were made and that this is one of the reasons why Mann is so reluctant to show his code.
  18. MBH98 and Mann et al [2000] both stated that MBH results were "robust" to presence/absence of all dendroclimatic indicators. A fortiori, this entails that MBH98 results are "robust" to the presence/absence of the bristlecones (and the PC4). Wahl and Ammann do not report that they have replicated this result - I wonder why not?
  19. MBH98 stated that they had done R2 cross-validation tests and Mann told Natuurwetenschap that his reconstruction passed an R2 cross-validation test. Again we can surmise the answer - I presume that Wahl and Ammann have replicated the catastrophic failure of the R2 test and have similarly replicated MBH withholding of this information. This is not really the type of replication that one wants.
  20. confidence interval calculations in MBH98 here and here
  21. data citations for instrumental series. These are currently attributed only to NOAA, which is not an adequate citation.
By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 30 Jun 2005 #permalink

Re#77:

Tim, I seem to have missed where the issue of centered/non-centered is addressed in that link except for comment #2 that seems to agree with what I said: if you do not center the data on it's mean, you automatically increase variance. Unless you meant main point (4) which I discuss below.

Have you ever done a PCA? One of its principal [pun intended] values is that it can be used to remove high frequency noise that seems omnipresent in measurement. In statistical terminology, you are discarding irrelevant variance. Unfortunately, PCA does little to solve the question of what's mundane and what is not.

All of the datasets used in MBH98 are supposedly measuring the same thing, namely, global temperature. Removing one or two should not change the observed trends.

Tree ring data is at least once removed from actual measurement of the desired item. Each dataset may exhibit trends of some variables unrelated to temperature -- available water for instance. Hopefully, when taken as an aggregate, local variations in the unrelated will appear in the higher, discardable PCs provided that you have at least the same time period for each in each dataset and that the datasets have been properly normalized.

Problems begin to arise when the datasets don't overlap as when they are separated in time or place.

RC Point(4) as promised: In general, one of the underlying assumptions involved in PCA is that the mean of each dataset is zero. Using the mean of the dataset means may be valid if all of the datasets properly overlap but the validity of this must be verified. The significance criteria (3) cannot be used for this purpose. For example, if the minimum of all data was used as reference instead of the mean, all of the PCs would pass (3). Using anything other than the dataset mean when the datasets do not overlap is highly questionable. Subsequently grafting them raises eyebrows about competence. Grafting non-overlapped datasets that used different measurement techniques is .... Well, you figure it out.

In fact, comparing two datasets that do not have overlap is questionable. Tree ring data do not simply reflect temperature. The main observed trend may not be driven by temperature at all. The significance criteria described in point (3), while statistically correct, do not provide aid in distinguishing the underlying cause of any particular PC. It's quite possible that the causes of PC1 and PC2 could be exchanged between datasets.

Indiscriminately applying or improperly applying statistical methods can quickly lead to GIGO.

re: Chill

I've worked on many taxpayer funded research projects. It is not now, nor has it ever been, required that PI's, or their staff, offer full disclosure to the general public. We simply don't have the time or resources. There are also privacy issues at stake here. Just because I'm paid with public funds doesn't give you the right to read my email, look at my white board or go through my desk.

The reality of contemporary research in the information age is that work with a high visibility will eventually attract the attention of those with an agenda. Often its merely personal gain or ego-stroking, but in some cases the motives are more sinister. Regardless, scientists are by no means obligated to indulge the whim of every crank with access to email. If they did they would not have any time available to get any real work done.

re:Steve

Some of those requests might be reasonable, from one of Mike's peers. From someone not only not in the field, but also lacking a formal science education, less so. Mike is under no obligation to provide a free education in paleoclimatology to Canadian economists. If M&M are so interested in the field, by all means they should invest some of their donations from the petroleum industry in a quality science education. After they've gotten their four year degrees, done graduate work, performed original research and received their PhD's in a relevant field I'm sure the community would be more than willing to work with them. Hopefully they would learn something about humility and respecting the work of others in the process.

re: Coop

One of the first things learned in engineering is that you should be ready to explain what you are doing to your paycheck provider. "Explain" might as well be "educate" with regard to most providers.

If you are using public funding, the public is your paycheck provider. Saying: "Just give me money and don't worry about what I do with it," is plain arrogance.

True, Canadians may not have provided him with money, but it seems that one of his paycheck providers is now demanding answers.

It remains to be seen if he flips one toward the money tree or actively tries to kill it.

re:Bill Bud

I agree with you totally. Barton is clearly answering directly to his paycheck providers in the petroleum industry. I'm sure they are thrilled to death with his minimizing the risks of their products, but that really has no bearing on the legitimacy of Mann's research.

I notice poor Bill Bud is sorely underread, or someone gave him cr*ppy talking points.

Bill: there are numerous other studies that have the same conclusions.

The peer review process has been done. Educate yourself in how it works, else have someone give you talking points that aren't cr*ppy, 'cause no one here buys your story.

Bill Bud:

Re: "Choice of origin in no way reduces the number of degrees of freedom which depends only upon the number of axes."

With a de-centered approach you only need 2 PCs to capture the data. With a centered approach you need 5. Thus the number of degrees of freedom will change.

My saying that the two reconstructions are almost identical does not make it so, but me, and Mann and M&M and W&A all saying they are is a pretty good start.

Finally, you make a valid point about scientists being accountable for public funding. Now, will you join me and agree that they are not accountable to the public for private funding. In which case why should the committee ask for it?

Regards,
Y.

Afraid I disagree with you on some of the parts of your post, Yelling.

Moving the reference point will change the magnitude of the variance but will not move it toward zero unless most of the points are near that value which would likely make it the mean.

Last I heard, M&M are saying that the Bristlecone data are the source of the HS and that the other sets are essentially random. IOW: they average toward zero so the Bristlecone data shines brightly. I don't have time to go there every day. If they have rescinded this claim could you show me where?

I do agree that they should not be held accountable for private funding. However, if you are referring to the committee request for additional funding, I presume it's to establish how much of Mann's work came from the public trough.

Mann isn't the only one to use legal tricks. A good lawyer never asks a question to which the answer is not already known and every question should build your case. Rest assured that answers to the questions asked of Mann, et al. and the NSF have already been established. The committee is rubbing their noses in it.

For the past 15 years the global warmers with a weak hypothesis and a string of cherry picked studies and custom ordered computer models have managed to sideline the sceptics. The media have portrayed the sceptics as cranks and tools of industry.

Most sceptics are neither cranks nor tools of industry. Many are far left politically but know junkscience when they see it and have the integrity not to join the charade. The House investigation into Mann is just a start. Expect the GCM's cited by the IPCC in the 1990's to be investigated to see how well they have worked.

We have reached the inflection point. It is all downhill to oblivion for the Kyoto central planners. Kyoto is collapsing due to non-compliance. Any follow-up treaty to Kyoto will likely be a European only affair if a treaty is negotiated at all.

And climatalogy will stop being a political science and return to being a physical science.

By Reid of America (not verified) on 30 Jun 2005 #permalink

Thanks, Reid of Murrica, for rolling up, into one place for us all to see, all the current agitprop phrases being used today.

Well done!

D

Reid: "It is all downhill to oblivion for the Kyoto central planners."

Reid, have you ever actually READ the Kyoto Accord?

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 30 Jun 2005 #permalink

91 Reid, have you ever actually READ the Kyoto Accord?

No. So what?

It expires in 2012. So far attempts to achieve a follow up agreement have been a disaster. Italy has said it won't sign on to a post-Kyoto agreement. The US, China, India, Brazil, Mexico, etc. will not accept any carbon restrictions.

The German opposition leader Merkel, who is the likely next German PM, said Kyoto will have to be renogiated for Germany to remain in. The National party in New Zealand, who has a good shot at taking power, said they will pull out of Kyoto.

The future of mandatory carbon controls is bleak. Any advanced nation adhereing to Kyoto will devastate their economy. Even the Europeans aren't that foolish. Expect a complete Kyoto collapse long before it expires in 2012.

You can bet on that Tim.

By Reid of America (not verified) on 30 Jun 2005 #permalink

Tim, when Mann said that he "would not be 'intimidated' into releasing his algorithm", what do you think that he was talking about - if he's already released his algorithm, as you say he's done? Surely by "algorithm" Mann was talking about source code and you are attempting to a make a distinction without a difference. Nigel

I was curious as to whether your claim that Kyoto was based on "central planning" was based on sheer ignorance or a failure of comprehension.

The Kyoto Protocol does not prescribe how countries meet their targets. It DOES set up a series of market-based mechanisms, such as emissions-trading and the Clean Development Mechanism, which are designed specifically to maximise fleixibility and ensure that the market rather than governments determine how and where emissions are reduced.

It may also surpise you to know that there's also no "Godless Asiatic hordes will eat your babies" provision in there.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 30 Jun 2005 #permalink

Reid of America - "For the past 15 years the global warmers with a weak hypothesis and a string of cherry picked studies and custom ordered computer models have managed to sideline the sceptics."

This is absolute and utter crap and simply shows your total ignorance of the subject. You seem to have only a Fox News knowledge of the subject of global warming. The platitudes that you spout are just generalisations designed to fool the ignorant.

In all of this time will tell. Climate Change may well be the final nail in the coffin of the USA. Lets have this conversation in 20 years and see how you are going. The nations that embrace climate change and embrace renewable power will be thriving while the dinosaurs perish. The USA should be leading this global warming fight. With the USA and Europe we could be making real cuts and forcing China and India to do the same. Instead we have this crap.

If you look at the simplicity of the science behind the idea of global warming then you will realise how hollow and foolish your words sound.

Ender -

If the nations that embrace climate change and renewable power thrive economically relative to carbon economies I guarantee the US, China, India, etc. will follow. Guaranteed! But that won't happen without big advances in energy and power technology. And when new economical technology becomes available there will be no need to have any carbon restrictions. Carbon fuels will then be abandoned.

But until that new economical technology is available the only thing that will get abandoned are fossil fuel use restrictions.

By Reid of America (not verified) on 30 Jun 2005 #permalink

Bill Bub:

No need to be afraid to disagree with me - my wife does it all the time!!!

Your comments about moving the reference point seem like the argument about the hockey stick bias introduced by the de-centered. If so, I can agree with you in theory but point out that the eigenvalues of the associated eigenvectors are very small.

Second, I don't think that M&M ever said that the whole hockeystick was based on the BCP series. I believe that it only dominates in the early 15th. Also, they are very careful to say that it is the characteristic shape of the BCP that shows up in the reconstruction. They know that you can't trace a dataset to a PC.

You really lost me with your comments about private funding. You said that you agree that they should not be accountable for private funding but then say it is acceptable to the committee to ask for it!?!

Your last paragraph is quite troubling to me. It clearly demonstrates that you feel that this is political based and not a legitimate request for clarification on science and in fact the committee already knows the answers. Does this not make it harassement?

Regards,
Y.

At least two times, I have seen the allegation here that M&M are in the pay of the fuels industry. The "link" the ad hominem arguers make is that they made a presentation of their work to the Marshall Institute, which has received some money from that industry. O the horror! But if you go to the National Geographic News website, as ardent a global warmer site as you're likely to find, you'll see that it's funded by none other than (trumpet fanfare, please) -- ExxonMobil. The mandatory funding disclosure in M&M's published articles state that no external funding was used for their work and none was solicited.

People who make this silly argument need to stop and realize that it takes very little money to reanalyze data that already exists, which is what M&M did. All that's needed is expertise in the statistical methods that were used, which M&M have, and a computer program.

The ad hominem arguers also need to realize that the same statistical procedures are used in nearly all analytical fields, including economics, which means it's not necessary to be a climate scientist to determine whether a climate scientist applied the right statistical procedure to his data and did it correctly.

Speaking as a cheerfully non-boffin kinda person but as an professional expert in rhetoric, sophistry and general logic-chopping, this sort of debate so often seems to devolve into one party saying "We seem to be losing hair, shouldn't we find out where, how and why and then do something about it?" and another party responding by splitting individual hairs and then proclaiming "Hah! there's two of 'em now. What's the problem?"

Meanwhile the hairline keeps receding.

Reid: "And when new economical technology becomes available there will be no need to have any carbon restrictions. Carbon fuels will then be abandoned."

Tell me, Reid, dio you have ANY knowledge of economics at all?

I don't mean have you read Ayn Rand and Bob Heinlein and accepted the invisible hand of the amrket as your personal savior, I mean have you ever actually studied the academic
discipline of economics?

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 30 Jun 2005 #permalink

Re#97:

Yelling,

Politically based? Probably. Congress Critters are political entities. Acting non-politically is against their religion. The whole issue of GW has become a political football. That's why this website is here.

But I find nothing sinister in this. Mann's research was funded with public money. Politics is behind giving it in the first place. Politics is the price of accepting it.

Yes, I think the request for information about other funding is a fair one. The majority of Congressional members are lawyers so they think and act like lawyers. The question is a "foundation" question, nothing more. Without it, the committee investigation will forever be open to the counterclaim that Mann's work was really privately funded. The answer will lay such counterclaim to permanent rest.

Of course they know the answers! That's the way lawyers think and act. They have been trained in being that way as court cases are conducted in question-answer mode. The questions are used to build the case. Those letters were written by lawyers. Think about the order of the questions.

Is this harassment? Depends upon your definition. I think having to go to traffic court is harassment. It certainly isn't an investigation. Mann seem to have been a bit flip in his actions and the NSF was negligent in enforcing the terms of its grant to him.

Despite what Bement may think, it was his job. This isn't an investigation, it's a reprimand at best. The person in most danger here is Bement -- not Mann. Bement is the one with the potential dereliction of duty charge dangling over his head.

For Mann, it's nothing but a good finger wagging. However, the letter was quite specific. If he is still prone to uncooperation, he's about to discover its consequences such as a Contempt of Congress charge.

Of course there may be other motives behind the letters, too. A good lawyer is like a good chess player. Every move has at least two purposes. Mann, etc. may have made some very bad moves.

Coop: "We simply don't have the time or resources."

Don't talk that crap to me. There are webpublishng programs available.

Coop: "Just because I'm paid with public funds doesn't give you the right to read my email"

Strawman. Your e-mail is private but your studies are public record. If you hamper against publishing when asked, hello subpoena, and you lose.

Ender:

"The nations that embrace climate change and embrace renewable power"

Climate change yes, but nations with the windmills are then bankrupt and global laughing-stocks, and nations that invest in nuclear are the winners.

Bill Bub:

So we move out of the science and enter the arena of politics. Sorry, you will have to continue the disucssion with others since I much prefer to stick with the science.

Regards,
Y.

As do I. Perhaps another time?

BB

Chill:

Ignoring lunatics is right everyone, including Michael Mann, is allowed. I will demonstrate this by ignoring you.

"If you look at the simplicity of the science behind the idea of global warming then you will realise how hollow and foolish your words sound."

Posted only from clueless to how complex the deterministic GW/AGW/NGW forcing allocation problem really is. Such a statement also exhibits a near complete ignorance of how poor the models are/have been at predicting temp rise. If it is/was all so simple, why are the models so far off? And they are RIDICULOUSLY FAR OFF, by recent past and contemporary applied science standards.

Still waiting for response to Q's in post 70: especially

  • the BCP proxy series still drives MBH's "warmest of the last 6 (and 10) centuries!"
  • the models are biased toward hockey stick. Mr. Yelling's calibration point is 2 edged, since accepting is argument means small variations of calibration precision are substantial contributors to output bias.
By John McCall (not verified) on 01 Jul 2005 #permalink

"If you look at the simplicity of the science behind the idea of global warming then you will realise how hollow and foolish your words sound."

If you are looking for simplicity look at the correlation between solar radiance and atmospheric temperatures on planet earth. The correlation is near perfect. In fact, I would call it both simple and elegant.

By Reid of America (not verified) on 01 Jul 2005 #permalink

John McCall:

I don't think you understood my point about the calibration degrees of freedom.

To begin with, while hockeysticks are produced out of random noise they do not have a large associated eigenvalue and are thus not important contributions.

The key point is that if you use either a centered or a de-centered method you get very similar results. The small differences can be explained by a number of factors, the change in degrees of freedom being one of them. You suggest that this is a small change, but it may very well be significant.

Reid:

DO you have a reference for your assertion of solar changes driving temperatures.

Regards,
Y.

Reid:

Just quick since I am on my way out the door.

The second link does not work.

The first points to the work of Friis-Christensen and Lassen which has been corrected so the relation changes in the last bit. If no one has posted a eference before I get back I will.

Regards,
Y.

Reid and others - Of course the temperature of the Earth varies with solar irradience. This however gives no clue as to how much more heat is trapped between the peaks and troughs and the long term temperature TREND. The analysis is designed to average these ups and downs to get the long term heating trend.

The simple science behind all the crap is that CO2 traps heat from the sun, that the sun produces lots of heat, and that burning fossil fuels releases CO2. More CO2 means more trapped heat. That heat has to go somwhere so it goes into the Earths systems.

What we do not know is what the heat will do. That is the complicated bit as models are not perfect and the atmosphere is a complex system that is not linear.

The science behind Global Warming is really really simple. Predicting the results is incredibly complicated.

I do have a sound grasp of the GW basics as this is high school chemistry and physics. The other stuff I can only wonder about as no scientist in the world can predict the outcome.

"I do have a sound grasp of the GW basics as this is high school chemistry and physics."

Oh? How about responding to simple inquiries -- name as many verified/measurable GW contributing factors as you can (both natural and anthropogenic)? Same question for suppressors of GW?

I promise I won't ask you to quantify (through published, peer-review estimates) or rank their order of contribution or suppression. That data and mix changes often, but the list of positive and negative forcing factors -- consistent for many years.

By John McCall (not verified) on 01 Jul 2005 #permalink

Correction: I want to rescind one aspect of my promise -- of the top 5 GHG's introduced to the geo-system each year, roughly how much are naturally introduced and how much are anthropogenic?

By John McCall (not verified) on 01 Jul 2005 #permalink

No -- it's not. Dr. Hansen only speaks to GHG's, plus he fails to break down rough % of natural vs. GHG. Even with GHG's he takes the erroneous position of ignoring water vapor, as a does RealClimate in their arguably weak argument that ignores fossil-fuel combustion of gasoline, a primarily heptane+octane mix:

1 C7H16 + 22 O2 = 7 CO2 + 8 H20
1 C8H18 + 25 O2 = 8 CO2 + 9 H2O

Their argument tends toward 2 things, natural H2O vapor is evaporated into the atmosphere in the result of GW (which BTW, is also true for CO2 -- another reason why atmospheric CO2 is a lagging indicator), and that this #1 GHG H2O thermodynamically (both natural and man-made) is retained ~10 days, where as atmospheric CO2 is around many times that. The thermodynamics these 2 GHGs differ substantially both in heat retention/capacity where H2O is king of the GHGs, and in retention in the geo-system where water vapor is recycled much fast than CO2!

But all this is still only a small part of the GCM factors which must include GHGs (natural and man-made), natural geothermal sources from volcanoes, ridges, subduction zones to radioactive decay in the earths crust, mantle and even core (and no I'm not talking about J. Marvin Herndon's controversial theory that inspired "The Core". Let's not forget solar and cosmic irradiance (solar and cosmic cycles, the 1st have some models, the second still not understood well enough to model. Then there's earth orbital characteristics/eccentricities, albedo and other reflections from clouds, snow, and particulates. And we must talk about plant-based absorption of CO2 & H2O in photsynthesis, CO2 recapture in H2O through earth sediments. And we haven't touch on land-use factors such as UHIs and deforestation ... nor did we even consider man and animal generate heat, directly into the atmosphere (many sources).

Now I know I've left some out, and I know all factors aren't equal contributors and suppressors -- but the freakin GCM model is a mess with controversial assumptions -- and all of these factors and more are varying at different rates (flux) of output and input and over different short-term to 100,000 years or more cycles and non-cycles (at least as far as we know).

Needless to say, Dr. Hansen himself has changed his own position many times since his most public statements in 1988, and has change others after the 2001 paper you cited. And many here will point out that such and such should be considered a background factor (low magnitude), or that something else is already well modeled -- some of which is true, some false, and some argumentative. But the fact remains that CO2 is but a small part of the GW/AGW/NGW picture, and to glibbly make the claim you did is just plain silly.

In summary, this isn't something where you can just claim "CO2" or "GHG" Q.E.D. (as you did in essence) and expect reasonable experts or even laypeople to accept it!

Sorry for the rather disorganized spew here -- I'm headed out for the holiday, and will likely find at least a few(?) arguments/corrections/questions/clarifications, when I return? It's a very bright group on this board -- with expertise greater than mine. A great place to mix it up!

By John McCall (not verified) on 02 Jul 2005 #permalink

Correction:
1 C7H16 + 22 O2 = 7 CO2 + 8 H20
1 C8H18 + 25 O2 = 8 CO2 + 9 H2O

By John McCall (not verified) on 02 Jul 2005 #permalink

John McCall is epitomizing (epitomising) what Nabokov said above. The WV was my clue, plus using just one GCM. Hint: carbon cycle.

ÐanØ

A number of points for John McCall:

  1. As good a place as any for a quick look at factors which are contributing to changes of global temperature is http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/fig6-6.htm This is no mystery (but the graph is also 5 years old).

Another good place to look is
http://www.nap.edu/books/0309095069/html/1.html
2 Where you find the following distinction between a forcing and a feedback: "A climate forcing is an energy imbalance imposed on the climate system either externally or by human activities. Examples include CHANGES (my emphasis added, because this is obviously a point that JM misses-er) in solar energy output, volcanic emissions, deliberate land modification, or anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, aerosols, and their precursors. A climate feedback is an internal climate process that amplifies or dampens the climate response to a specific forcing. An example is the increase in atmospheric water vapor that is triggered by an initial warming due to rising carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations, which then acts to amplify the warming through the greenhouse properties of water vapor."

That shold make it clear to you why Hansen did not include water vapor as a forcing. If you don't understand that, perhaps you should look at http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=142 .

  1. Gasoline is not a simple mixture of octane and heptane. For the interested see http://www.faqs.org/faqs/autos/gasoline-faq/part2/preamble.html . More to the point of your post, they contain a fair amount of aromatics. See also http://www.epa.gov/earth1r6/6en/xp/lppapp6a.pdf While this may appear picky, it is rather typical of your display. Basically you are not even wrong, you have heard and can repeat a few words, but you don't really appear to understand the situation. Such may be charming in a child, but not in an adult, especially when coupled to an attitude.
By Eli Rabett (not verified) on 02 Jul 2005 #permalink

John McCall - While reading your post I am reminded of the childs nursery rhyme "There's a Hole in My Bucket". You have raised some worthy questions needing research. Again it just shows how complicated simple ideas can get.

The original point to this whole thread is a scientist being threatened for the research he is carrying out. The hole in the bucket.

After 119 posts of "he said she said" we come full circle back to "with what shall I get water" verse. You raise some questions that need answering. What part do the various parts play, are the GCMs accurate etc. Yet where is your evidence to counter Dr Hansen's research? Also Hansen does include natural forcings. I have not found the position changes that you refer to only other people referencing this paper. Where is your research and data to conclude that the forcings you refer to are significant and that water vapor should be included. These are questions will only be answered by research.

We are now back to the hole. Senator Barton is intimidating a scientist in a totally unprecendented manner. This sends a message to the scientific community in the USA that climate science is a hot topic and will cause researchers to shy away from the topic for fear of falling foul of the Bush Adminstration's agenda. So how is this research to be done then? I can't really argue the science with you as I am not a scientist just an interested layman with a grip of the essentials. How is the bucket to be fixed then?

In 20 or 30 years the question will be answered for sure. But what good will the solution be then?

Re #121
Ender, you are still pre-judging that MBH are blameless, and that Barton is motivated solely by base aims.
If, as looks possible, Barton's audit reveals that MBH have been appallingly shoddy in their working practices, and have then tried to cover it up ... well, yes, that will send a message to the scientific community : sharpen up your act.
OK, I am pre-judging that Barton intends to do a clean audit, but that is all we have seen so far. If the evidence changes, I'll change my opinion.

Freddy - I am not pre-judging Barton at all. MBH have already been audited by peer review and other studies using the same data coming to the same conclusion.

Ender, I am seeing a lot of posts sheepishly admitting that peer review is a long way short of an audit.
And as for other studies replicating with the same data, have a look at what M&M have to say :
http://www.climateaudit.org/index.php?p=240
In short, they haven't.

Freddy - The ones sheepishly admitting peer review is a long way short of an audit are usually the ones that sheepishly will not submit their papers for peer review.

It is a bit like losing at football and blaming the ref.

And despite what M&M say the other studies have confirmed it. If you want 2000 posts saying "yes they did" and "no they didn't" then carry on however, this is the last post I am putting in regarding this.

This thread is about politians attacking free science and restricting research to fit a Party line.

Minor point. Barton is a member of the House of Representatives, and he is referred to as Rep. Barton. The US Senate is another thing.

I have seen a number of non-US folks miss this.

By Eli Rabett (not verified) on 03 Jul 2005 #permalink

re:121 & 120

Doesn't even take a nursery rhyme for me, Mr. Ender -- your answer is no! Your tendency toward oversimplification is now obvious.

Re: "gasoline" -- not a "simple mixture of heptane and octane" (except I didn't say "simple", I posted "primarily", as in "at first; originally"). But I'll take you at your word (you didn't want to be "picky", which I took as "semantic"), which I agree to also ... got it! "Simple" enough?

Re: "water vapor" -- not a "forcing", but is a feedback (source RealClimate, among others AGW proponents who justify the rejection of water vapor, solar output, and other inconveniences in their arguments) ... RIIIIIIIGHTT (in mt best Cosby voice)!

We'll ignore the fact that I intentionally posted as the water vapor additions, combustion of "gasoline" er' heptane and octane, which I know is an extremely small contributor to total generated water vapor in the earth system, but is also the same CO2 AGW GHG mechanism in this example for fossil fuels. THAT IS THE POINT -- cause the CO2 that comes from said combustion, is even a smaller factor than the H2O generated in that mechanism -- dwarfed by the other H2O sources. This is a common mistake of Dr. Schmidt at RealClimate and AGW proponents like you. Got it? NOTE: But it is an interesting, convenient and telling mis-interpretation of thermodynamics?

Re: "Ender" -- simple is as simple does! Got it! Why am not surprised? Dr. Mann et al deserves your support -- consensus interpretive rejection of inconvenient science to espouse a simple theory based primarily on selective proxies. Got it!

To get out of the "Hole in the Bucket" loop -- the point of the M&M position, and many who see some of the validity of their argument is that sloppy science is in evidence here. And that sloppy science was used significantly, to propose and initiate policy having significant cost and impact to us all. Under that premise (which I happen to agree with M&M), the GW/AGW/NGW dynamics become secondary -- something even von Storch and others agree with (and with endorsing M&M).

By John McCall (not verified) on 03 Jul 2005 #permalink

Correction: something even von Storch and others agree with (and withOUT endorsing M&M).

By John McCall (not verified) on 03 Jul 2005 #permalink

Well I am glad I got something through (totally ignoring irony).

And yet still you get it wrong. Dr Manns study was not used to initiate policy. As has been repeated again and again Dr Mann's work is but a tiny part of the overall GW picture. It only places recent warming in a historical context which is interesting, but not essential, piece of evidence to support the anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis.

I am sure you have read his post on Real Climate "What if the Hockey Stick Was Wrong" so I will not post the link.

Mu understanding is that each of the greenhouse gases re-absorbs infrared radiation at a specific set of frequencies.

There's already enough water vapor in the atmosphere to effectively absorb all re-radiation at the frequencies reabsorbed by water vapor.

Hence, while water vapor is a more important greenhouse gas than CO2 in toto, its MARGINAL contribution to additional warming is minor.

At least that's what my brain says at 3.00 AM.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 04 Jul 2005 #permalink

Re: "initiate policy" Oh -- and from what was announced recently, you can assure us that neither the Governor of California nor any influential nor policy making member of his staff used the IPCC'01 TAR or other content directly or indirectly relating to the hockey stick? Would you make the same claim of the Prime Minister of Great Britain? Do you feel the same way about the President of the United States, and that published of Drs Seitz, Linzen, Michaels or any of what is collectively become known as the "handful of skeptics?

Quite simply, I'm among those who agree with Representative Barton's initiative in the hopes of greater visibility into the flawed review process, and in spite of the suspiciously revisionist(?) IPCC member claims of minor reliance on MBH'98 and '99, that it was "too new." Similarly I would welcome relevant oversight into credibly disputed work published by "the skeptics." And "credibly disputed" need not be born in the RealClimate or IPCC circles, for the same reason that I respect and applaud our host's critiques into the publishings on gun rights, GW, and other areas when he observes can make a scientifically/mathematically flawed case. Not being an insider in those areas, does not disqualify our host as a credible source in these debates.

For background, most of us who are still cautious about embracing AGW and principally anthropogenic CO2 as a/the leading threat, regularly read RealClimate among the spectrum of information sites in this debate. We also know and endorse why RealClimate must exist, and especially why "What if the Hockey Stick Was Wrong" had to be written ("wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more!"). We're just careful about citing any of it in argument. But I can assure you; we do hold a special place for those readers/posters who can't make an argument without citing RealClimate or its contributors - not unlike like the SEPP-only armed posters of the other extreme.

By John McCall (not verified) on 04 Jul 2005 #permalink

I am trying to understand how seriously I should take any comments by Mr. McCall. Can John please post his CV, sources of funding, peer reviewed papers, and all other information that would be helpful in establishing whether he is qualified to comment on Global Warming? Absent this I must assume he is just another lay person spouting off.

By Mark Schaffer (not verified) on 04 Jul 2005 #permalink

Correction: Lindzen

By John McCall (not verified) on 04 Jul 2005 #permalink

John McCall - Do you really think that that people look at the 'hockey stick' and then decide instantly that AGW is true? I do not know how I can say this any other way. The MBH study is an interesting study that places recent warming in a historical context. It it not the centre or the heart of the IPCC 01 report that mentions it, nor is the whole evidence for the the AGW hypothesis.

The opposition to AGW, including this extraordinary attack by Rep Barton, is in part and parcel being driven by US opposition. The Bush Administration that seems most strident is almost entirely composed of fossil fuel people. Australia's chief scientist advising Mr Howard recently resigned and returned to his day job on Rio Tinto. The main opposition to AGW cannot claim to be unbiased and interested only in scientific truths as you seem to claim. The leading skeptics that you claim as authority have clear and documented financial links to the fossil fuel industry who stand to lose the most if CO2 output is reduced by the amount needed to stabilise warming and prevent climate change.

(Stopping here before degrading this thread any further.)

Last word from me:
The MBH study is an interesting study that places recent warming in a historical context. It it not the centre or the heart of the IPCC 01 report that mentions it, nor is the whole evidence for the the AGW hypothesis.

John, gasoline is not PRIMARILY a mixture of heptane and octane. Read the gasoline FAQ.

Typically gasolines have about 1% each of heptane and octane, Maybe 10% of branched (methyl groups) C7 and C8 pentanes, hexanes and heptanes. The major reason for this is that gasoline must vaporize in the piston before ignition and neither pure heptane nor octane will easily do so under normal operating conditions.

To repeat myself, while this may appear picky, it is rather typical of your display. You are not even wrong, you have heard and can repeat a few words, but you don't really appear to understand the situation. Such may be charming in a child, but not in an adult, especially when coupled to an attitude. It might get you over in a discussion over a drink with friends who are not particularly well informed, but as you are seeing, this is a rather faster crowd. Get with the reading program or you are going to look increasingly foolish.

The distinction between a climate forcing and a response was from a US National Academy of Science report. Like it or not these folk ARE the experts. THEY make the distinction which says that water vapor is a response.

If you really want to learn about forcings there is probably nothing better than the National Academy report at http://www.nap.edu/books/0309095069/html/1.html especially the second chapter
If you don't like realclimate as a source, there are some textbooks you might want to take a look at, but the base argument is simple.

As you learned in the second semester of General Chemistry, the saturated vapor pressure above a liquid (water in this case) is determined by the temperature. Given that there are rather substantial oceans covering 2/3 of the earth if somehow there is a sudden increase in water vapor pressure imposed on the atmosphere, for example by combustion, precipitation and condensation back into the oceans will rapidly return the vapor pressure to its original value. On the otherhand, if there is a strong forcing (in either direction) that decreases or increases the temperature of the ocean surface (say a change in the solar constant), then the vapor pressure of water will change in the same direction and reinforce the effect of the external forcing. Thus the vapor pressure of water is a climate feedback not a forcing.

By Eli Rabett (not verified) on 04 Jul 2005 #permalink

Tim, yet again, Michael Mann made an error in MBH98, he confused the square root of the cosine of the latitude with the cosine, and wrongly used the cosine. This has not been corrected. Is hypocrisy the reason you have not treated him the same as McKitrick ? Caerbannog care to comment ?

Eli, like to retract your definitive earlier assertions that ALL of the code was already available ? Remember your own words, repeating it is a lie.

I demand M&M reveal the name of the "scientist" that allegedly sent them this oft cited e-mail:

". . . I was one of a myriad of 'reviewers'of the IPCC 2000, prior to its publication. One of the major concerns I expressed was the high level of credence given to the Mann et al temperature history, without it having been seriously subjected to testing. I strongly recommended that this had some dangerous implication, should the reliance upon that research prove premature . . ."

John - the only time that I can see that the cosine of the latitude comes into it is where M&M tried to show an economic reason for warming. They got it wrong as they used the angle in degrees rather that in radian.[McIntyre wants to make it clear that the degrees/radians mixup was McKitrick's error and had nothing to do with McIntyre. TL]

I cannot find a cosine error in MBH98 you will have to enlighten me.

The area of one of those grid cells is proportional to sin(lat1)-sin(lat2) where lat1 and lat2 are the latitudes at the top and bottom of the cells. If lat=(lat1+lat2)/2 then cos(lat) is going to be a good approximation of the correct weighting. Clearly sqrt(cos) is wrong.

Looks like Mann is right and Ed Snack is wrong.

A bit of searching finds this statement in the supplementary material for von Storch at al's paper "Reconstructing Past Climate from Noisy Data" DOI: 10.1126/science.1096109:

Our implementation of the MBH method essentially follows their description in their original
paper (S17). The statistical model was calibrated in the period 1900-1980. Monthly nearsurface
-temperature anomalies were standardized and subjected to an Empirical Orthogonal
Function Analysis, in which each grid point was weighted by (cos φ)^(1/2), where φ is the latitude
(Mann et al. 1998 erroneously use a cos φ weighting).

Looks to me like von Storch is the one who is wrong here. [Correction: see here]

I also looked at Moberg et al and they try cos lat weighted and unweighted averages and say that the weighting doesn't matter.

Depends upon the rationale behind the weight. I haven't read von Storch's paper. Presumably, it's to account for solar radiation with the max at the equator and less at the poles. But then, cos(latitude) doesn't make sense either as cos(90 deg)=0 unless θ=(90deg-lat). Also, the Earth is tilted so, if SR was the rationale, the weighting needs further adjustment.

In any case, using cos(θ)^(0.5) flattens the curve by inflating result values.

Rats! Hit the button too early!

Tim is right about the approximation value of cos(lat).

FWIW, I agree with Moberg. The purpose of a PCA, or at least in so far as it is being used here, is to examine variance. Any weighting of the data prior to PCA is the equivalent of a change in units which should come out in the wash.

Any weighting of PCs, however, would be highly questionable.

Bill, it says AREAL weighting in all cases. That means by normalizing by the area, not sunlight or anything else. That is the rational. If you want to compute a global average, you make sure that you either use measurements in equal areas or you weight by the area of each unit.

You are reaching.

By Eli Rabett (not verified) on 09 Jul 2005 #permalink

Mr. Rabett -- I read your earlier post and reference, and had narrowed my "gasoline" usage to "heptane and octane" combustion in post #124 paragraph 4. Apparently you didn't read it, or failed to understand it's implication -- in addition to your obvious lack of reluctance to be "picky!" Agreement no longer accepted ... and I would add, your precision critique appears selective and must not extend to AGW proponent views like that espoused in MBH'98 and '99, and Dr. Mann's authored sections in the IPCC'01 TAR? This says even more about you and your (shall we call it) "selective demands for rigor" in post content.

For the record, 2,2,4-Trimethylpentane (one of your "10% methypentanes" you also termed as "C8 pentanes") is known as "isooctane" - it is an OCTANE ISOMER, which makes it an "OCTANE" with the identical chemical combustion equation as I posted earlier. I suspect you already know this and are merely projecting a condescending tone while trying to appear smart or adult or both. If my suspicion is incorrect and you are actually unaware of (or just plain ignorant about) what Trimethylpentane is, then it would appear that it is you who have heard and can repeat a few words, but don't really appear to understand the situation. To complete our disagreement, IMO such behavior is not charming in a child or adult, especially when coupled with an attitude.

Although gasoline mixtures in the past were higher in isooctane then they are now, and since you appear to have some trouble reading what's implied, I will now "explicitly" concede that gasoline is not primarily heptane and octane. If I were to amend my earlier post without changing the point that more H2O than CO2 is released in gasoline combustion, I would just add the shorter chain alkane H-C combustion equations for butane through hexane and nonane (longer chain), including their isomers. The argument and the point is the same

Now on to what inevitably happens when 2 or more AGW proponents get together - they chant the ever popular, "Water vapor - it's a magnifying feedback, not a forcing!"

By John McCall (not verified) on 09 Jul 2005 #permalink

Re#145:

Eli,

I guess I'll have to do some more reading.

It still seems to me that if I want to take a global temperature, I would put up a bunch of thermometers (or find appropriate proxies), preferably equidistant, and then average the measurements. Since I'm after trends, I would difference measurements from the same thermometers and average the differences.

Now it might be true that, if one locale has a lot more thermometers (say 10:1) than another, I might want to give more weight to the locale with the most thermometers to avoid unrepresentative measurement bias. OTOH, a lot of adjacent locales with a lot of thermometers would swamp other locales with less thermometers.

Weighting by the "area" raises an eyebrow. The arbitrary latitude says nothing about about the amount of area surrounding the measurement. In fact, any measurement taken is likely to be a point measurement. A single measurement taken in a 1000 sq km block is no more nor less valid than a single measurement taken in a 500 sq km block. Assigning lesser weight to one of the blocks is questionable.

So when was this adjustment applied? If it was before the PCA, it was largely a waste of effort. If afterward, it suffers the inverse problem as the Mercator projection where Greenland looks bigger than Texas. Why should Greenland measurements be given more weight than Texas measurements (or vice versa)?

Using the cos(latitude) gives 100% weight to equatorial measurements and those taken at 18 degrees are discounted by 5% and those at the pole are completely discarded (as if it wasn't enough trouble getting tree ring data from there :). Why is this a good thing? Isn't this inverted if one is looking for areal equivalence? After all, a one degree "square" at the equator has more sq km than does a one degree "square" near the pole.

At least the root of the cos method reduces this effect.

Bill, see

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/

http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abstracts/1999/HansenRuedyG.html

http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abstracts/2001/HansenRuedyS.html

You get some right and a lot wrong, mostly because of issues you have not thought of.

There is a huge amount of "stickiness" in climate measurements, for example the weather today in Cleveland is very much like the weather tomorrow in Washington, DC. This extends over huge distances.

Besides which, global temperature records are really global temperature anomaly measurements. Read the papers to see what that means

By Eli Rabett (not verified) on 11 Jul 2005 #permalink

Eli,

Hansen1999 & 2000 are rather long. I probably won't be able to get to finish them until this weekend. The first link seems to be devoid of anything useful.

Some initial comments though.

H99 seems to be concerned with station data
As yet, the only method that I've seen in the paper is that a 2 degree square was placed over a station. How the 2 degree value was determined was left unspecified. It's not clear whether this means 2 degrees along a great circle or if the local latitude and longitude were used. A 2 degree arc along a great circle is 120 naut. mi. or 222km. I'll just take their word for it that a single station centered in such a big square is representative of the temperature of that square but, where I live, this seems contrary to experience.

I didn't see any mention of weighting by using cos(latitude). Please understand that any such weighting is just plain wrong. The value of latitude of any point on the Earth is what it is largely because of historical accident. The latitude of a measurement has nothing to do with how much area the measurement supposedly covers. By using such weighting, a big box is arbitrarily placed around equatorial measurements and a smaller box around measurements closer to the poles. Whatever could be the rational behind this? Are measurements in Norway somehow less representative of the surrounding area than measurements in Italy or Egypt?

Suppose, instead of the equator, we choose another great circle such as the one that runs through the Greenwich Meridian? Would we get a different answer? You betcha! What about a great circle that's 45 degrees to the other two? A third answer!

I would think the proper way would be to assign the same size box around each measurement then take steps to eliminate overlap. H99 seems to be doing that, although I wonder about the 1200 km range.

The definition of "anomaly" in H99 seems to be the delta from a particular value. Did I miss something here? All temperature measurements are referenced to something. It just means that the numbers aren't the same as those from a thermometer. Though using something else than the zero of a thermometer does have the effect of chart zooming without appearing to do so.

In H99, they used the 1951-1980 mean. An interesting choice as that period experienced a decreasing temperature trend. A mere coincidence that all subsequent "anomalies" (you just gotta love that loaded word) will have mostly plus signs? In fact, the decreasing trend of the baseline period lead to many claims of an impending ice age (see Newsweek, Apr 28, 1975, "The Cooling World"). From whom do you suppose the media got those ideas?

Anyway, I haven't finished reading my assignments yet.

Later?
BB

PS. I read H99 a little further. They do mention discounting NORTHERN data because of the over abundance of stations/data and a dearth of same in the SOUTHERN hemisphere. So how did they deal with this lack of data? They guessed! No, I'm sorry, I have to take that back. They didn't guess. They let a computer guess for them! Sheesh! So now the study matches the model output. And, well, the model matches the study results, so both must be OK.

Back in University lab we used to call that fudging.

Bill, here is a simplified version of what they did: Divide the surface of the earth into cells using lines of latitude and longitude. The cells are not equally sized -- they are bigger near the equator. In fact, the size of each cell is proportional to the cos of the latitude. Average the anomalies for all the stations in a cell to get a cell anomaly. Then you have to average these to a global anomaly. That is where you need to weight by cos lat because the sizes of the cells are all different.

Tim,

You're right, doing this might be logical if all of the measurements were such that the entire globe is covered. But this isn't the case. There seems to be a disturbing tendency in this field to over-extrapolate data into unknown territory. Hansen1999 did this. Maybe there really is a network of stations spaced every 1000 km around the globe but I doubt this, especially considering their concern about the lack of sufficient southern hemisphere data.

But Hansen, et al. were trying to get a global temperature value. Mann, et al. started on a much more realistic endeavor but ended on much shakier ground than Hansen.

1) He's already starting with a proxy and one with multiple interpretations as temperature is only one of the things that affect tree growth.

2) Extrapolating from an extrapolation (which is what a proxy really is) always causes problems. He must have been extrapolating if he's using this cos(lat) weighting. Or do I have him confused with someone else?

3) Did he extrapolate across the poles, too? If so, how'd he do that? If not, what's he using area for? Bet he had the same problem with ocean values also.

Why would he need a global temperature anyway? All he really needed to do was look for trends in somewhat different locales, which is what he basically presented, but he went about it in a bizarre way. A bunch of data points was all that was needed. The number of datasets should have covered any concerns about universality. If the temps are going up here, here, here and here, they probably are going up everywhere.

Instead of just showing that the trends were essentially identical in all of the datasets, he (they, really) took the data and massaged the hell out of it. Why?

I think I know why but I'm a cynic.

"Anomaly" is such a cute word. Why don't they use the word "difference?"

My simplified description above does not involve any extrapolation. If you don't have any measurements for a cell you don't include it in the global average.

OK here's a partial basketball score: Pittsburgh 42.

If you are dropping cells, then I maintain it's not a global temperature but an average of what ever area you've got. If you've only data from Lancashire, you have a Lancashire average. I might go along with dropping a couple of points but large areas like the oceans, the poles and Central Africa? Nah!

In any case, to go from tree ring data to sector cell temperature, it is necessary to extrapolate. It involves an assumption that, for trend information, is totally superfluous.

Maybe I haven't looked at tree ring data closely enough but if latitude information is available, I suspect that getting the actual coverage area of the dataset wouldn't be too difficult -- and more realistic than cos(lat) estimate. If needed, it might perhaps be broken into smaller areas.

I repeat: in MHB98, a simple determination of trend would have sufficed.

The Deltoid readers anxiously await the great Bill Bud's groundbreaking paper, due out in Nature next month.

D

Now on to what happens when 2 or more AGW proponents get together - that mystical chanting of, "wa-ter va-por - a mag-ni-fy-ing feed-back not a for-cing!" Here again as picky as you (our agreement nullified), you are in error! In my narrow example of H-C combustion and the NAS definition, "forcing" GHG water vapor is HUMAN-generated. It exists anywhere from the brief time it is not recycled near the ocean surface, to the longer persistence upper-atmospheric and stratospheric combustion or migration, where H2O vapor can exist and absorb IR for years and at many times the effectiveness of CO2. And yes I know this is a very small portion of earth's H2O vapor creation, but then we're being "picky" aren't we (at least with everyone but MBH, the IPCC and the NAS)?

With the inability of AGW followers to look at this issue critically, they've failed to realize the glaring inconsistency in the RealClimate and the NAS positions/definitions:
1) CO2 released by human-activity fossil-fuel combustion plus that released naturally as part of the huge lagging CO2 increase (documented by Monnin et al) as temperatures rise naturally, are all lumped together as "forcing," while
2) H2O released in fossil-fuel combustion and in evaporation from the world's oceans, are all lumped together as "feedback" -- H2O named so, because some of it (sniff!) doesn't last long enough! And if that glaring inconsistency weren't enough, this debate has rules that are even more fixed. Modelers are directed to assume/model that H2O vapor is a "net magnifying feedback", theoretically linked to the small incremental warming associated with A-CO2 - this even when some (notably Dr. Lindzen) disagree with this "net magnifying H20 vapor" presumption of AGW proponents, in the first place.

One might question, why the inconsistency of treatment between natural and anthropogenic forms of CO2 and H2O? For the same reason that MWP had to be erased as a global event, how can AGW proponents "Schneider" the public into action if it was naturally warmer prior to the industrial revolution?

The AGW camp isn't the least bit suspicious of this 2-pronged debate rules fix -- even when it sounds very similar to what MBH'98 did to hijack a legitimate discussion of whether A-GHGs were measurably significant in their contribution to GW? In that paper: first the MWP was killed (localized), and then it looks like they mined for BCP proxies that can turn even data lacking correlation into a hockey stick? In this latest debate, H2O vapor is marginalized as an independent factor in GW by proposing an arbitrary persistence standard - then H20's GH effect is used to magnify A-CO2's forcing affect by leveraging H2O vapor as a magnifying feedback contributor.

GIVE US A BREAK: in other words, without the "900 pound gorilla" of H2O vapor magnified feedback in GCMs, there's no Schneider-like CO2/GHG scare to jumpstart the public into Kyoto's arguably ineffective protections. This isn't science - it's a marketing campaign, complete with Dr. Mann's own RealClimate, masquerading as independent verification of everything from MBH'98 through the IPCC'01 TAR and beyond! No wonder the AGW camp is so willing to give MBH, the NAS (& their definitions) and the IPCC a free pass, when Congress attempts to oversee what U.S. citizens have paid for.

Fortunately, the AGW debate continues... hopefully now with more supervision.

By John McCall (not verified) on 12 Jul 2005 #permalink

What - Bud and Macca still frothing it up here at Deltoid? Where do they find the time to work on their joint submission to Nature, Dano? Oh, wait, the peer reviewed literature would be beneath their intellectual abilities and is also corrupted by lack of ideology 'n stuff of course. So we enjoy the honor and privilege of hearing them at play here at Deltoid, all day every day. Huzzah.

Good thing Tim encourages them by explaining something to them, simply and effectively, so that they can throw it back into play in their frolickin' fun with science way. Where else would you go in 2005 to learn about the world, than right here with Bud and Macca?! Oh, right.

John I think that there is a fundamental idea that you are not getting. There are in effect 2 greenhouse effects.
1. The normal greenhouse effect that water vapour plays a major part in along with CO2 and methane. This contributes about 33 degrees of warming and is essential to life.

  1. The Enhanced Greenhouse Effect caused by human interference with natural processes. We are adding CO2 to the carbon cycle at the same time as reducing carbon sinks (forests etc) that are supposed take the CO2 out. The oceans are already getting slightly more acidic with the extra CO2.

Water can condense into a liquid and it then ceases to be a greenhouse gas - CO2 cannot. The extra CO2 that we release and that is not being absorbed because the carbon sinks are shrinking, accumulates in the atmosphere and causes the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect that we are so worried about. The water vapour still cycles around as we are not interfering as much with the water cycle - about the same amount of rain falls now globally now. There is no global buildup of water vapour comparable to the buildup in CO2.

Basically the 900 pound gorilla is staying the same weight and still doing a great job.

Ahhhh...it's fun to watch John McCall test-market the next astroturf campaign.

How's the reaction on your talking points so far, John?

Personally, myself, I don't care for the: 'mystical', your putting in quotes 'forcing' (it makes you look too much like a kook), your saying RC is a masquerade without evidence, your dopey forgetting about the carbon and water cycles.

That's enough for now. Your phrasing needs work - you look like a FUDbot. Work on not looking like a kook, and instead fitting into the mainstream.

That would mean most of your talking points don't work, but hey.

Hope this helps your market research, John.

D

"Personally, myself, I don't care ... phrasing needs work"

Good post -- an unimpeachable demonstration of your critical skills in grammar and science!

=====

As for Mr/Ms Ender's claims -- it is he/she that is mistaken, for dissolved CO2 in liquid water, snow and ice is NOT a GHG anymore the condensed water is. Only upon release during increased temperatures, a natural feedback, does lagging CO2 and H2O vapor become a GHG again.

And since Mr. Dano, the grammar king and H2O and CO2 cycle novice did/does not know this, it would appear his claims of weather/climatological insight into well known cycles is suspect/absent as well.

The ocean's ability to absorb CO2 is diminished by solubility at temperature, which decreases on a temperature upturn -- this is what has firmly established a NATURAL 200-800 year LAGGING increase of CO2 in the climatic record. As for deforestation impact on CO2 absorption -- I mentioned as much in my earlier post.

We haven't discussed phytoplankton based photosysnthesis (CO2 sink), which is over half of the photsynthesis on earth -- but then studies from folks like Frouin and Iacobellis (at Scripps) suggests an increase in phytoplankton may actually cause the Earth to grow warmer, due to increased solar absorption. Yet phyton-plankton are decreasing in the world's oceans in some studies -- so using Frouin and Iacobellis, that should cool things? Yet another feedback that is arguably positive or negative. That's why model development is so suspect.

We do know it's about 300 years from the last global minimum around 1690, so we're due for a CO2 increase -- good thing fossil-fuel A-CO2 has a signature, we should be determine how to allocate blame, right? Maybe that will happen about the same time the proxies are finally recalibrated from the late 70s -- you know, for "the warmest decade in the last 1000 years?"

By John McCall (not verified) on 14 Jul 2005 #permalink

Whoops -- forgot to mention that when trees and phytoplankton die, the decay releases CO2 and other GHGs. So what is the latest theory -- photosynthesis CO2 sink or not? Too bad there are peer-revied studies arguing both sides of that one too! But at least there is a consensus ...

By John McCall (not verified) on 14 Jul 2005 #permalink

Yes John but the CO2 is not all dissolving in the oceans or being absorbed by plants or phytoplankton as the indisputable rise in the measured CO2, from 290ppm to 330ppm, that lingers shows. What is your expanation for this measured rise?

Also it is not just phrasing or terminology the EGE and the GE are 2 different phenemonon that often get confused by skeptics such as yourself.

Boy is there a lot of anti-greenhouse none sense on this page. It is the typical scatter gun approach adopted by the sceptics, when faced with the fact that the enhanced greenhouse effect and global warming are simply observational facts (see Harries et al. 2001 in Nature).

Bill Bud, suggest you read M&M's work a little more closely. They do not show that the decentralised PCA leads to a hockey stick like that of Mann. They simply show that the PC score for the first decentralised EOF has a tendency to have a hockey stick shape. It is predictable that the higher EOFs will in fact have an anti-hockey stick shape... strangely they don't comment on this issue in their paper.

Reid of America Says: July 2nd, 2005 at 9:35 am There articles below contain superimposed graphs of solar radiance and earth temperatures. Simplicity. http://solar-center.stanford.edu/sun-on-earth/varsun.html

Friis-Christensen, E., and K. Lassen (1991) work on the relationship between solar cycle length and northern hemisphere temperatures was demolished last year in EOS.. see http://www.realclimate.org/damon&laut_2004.pdf . Read this article and one certainly smells a rat... The "apparent" relationship was never taken very seriously by climate scientists as it had no physical basis.

The solar constant has shown essentially no secular change over the last 3-4 11 year cycles, during which time surface temperatures have risen by around 0.4-5C. E.g. http://www.john-daly.com/cprssnyr.gif . Indeed, the globe should have cooled slightly if anything, but of course it has not...

Perhaps Reid or John, might care to explain how the recent large global warming has happened - flapping of fairy wings, perhaps???

BTW John, your reference to water vapour as the dominant greenhouse gas is a pathetic smoke screen. No one doubts the importance of water in the natural system, what is at issue is whether adding CO2 increases the natural greenhouse effect, and Harries et al. (2001) show without any doubt that the answer to this question is yes.

Prehaps it is time for the sceptics to move back onto the "safe" topic of the MSU2 data... you have at least a couple of weeks left before the revised dataset appears in science.

Regards,

David

Correction to 159: "for dissolved CO2 in liquid water, snow and ice is NOT a GHG anymore THAN condensed water is."

and "photosynthesis"

By John McCall (not verified) on 14 Jul 2005 #permalink

re: 182 "relationship between solar cycle length and northern hemisphere temperatures was demolished last year in EOS.. see http://www.realclimate.org/damon&laut_2004.pdf . Read this article and one certainly smells a rat The "apparent" relationship was never taken very seriously by climate scientists as it had no physical basis."

Your definition of "climate scientist" must exclude many including those in related studies including Solanki at the Planck Institute and Rasmussen at NCAR in Boulder. Around the time of the Damon release, Solanki et al published studies of unmatch solar output of late (as in the lat 8 millenium) -- 8 millenniums must be outside your reach of credibility, while MBH's 1000 years fits just fine?

I don't apologise for a scatter gun approach when it comes to GCMs (where I plead guilty) -- because there are too many variables (in the opinion of many) for the models to be credible -- a scatter gun is what is required. Ignore that complexity at ones peril -- a separate issue from the popularity of presuming that A-CO2 be modeled with net magnifying H2O vapor feedback, without which the warming is minimal (just like the reliance on BCPs in MBH'98 & 99, drove the hockey stick). Side request (one more time) -- calibrate the proxies covering the "unprecedented warming" of the 90s!

But I don't use a scatter gun on the "hockey stick" and IPCC'01 TAR disaster, where I've been consistent and focused in my points of contention, especially as it relates to the topic of this thread.

All this gets away from why IMO congressional oversight is appropriate -- the point of this thread. They are enough mistakes on both sides of this debate. With that we're fortunate that action has stalled in either direction until the PM of Great Britain and the rest of us received a pointed reminder last week, that of PM Blair's "two greatest threats facing the world," only one is a clear and present danger. In a tragic twist, this was good near term news for MBH, the NAS (and the IPCC) - for now Rep. Barton's memo will most likely be ignored for a while. Unfortunately, the cost of such reminders (as always) was too damn high.

One more observation - sometimes it's hard to tell whether it's a "faster crowd" here on this board, or if some are just quicker to parrot what they take on faith, or just haven't challenged critically. It's obvious that the climate science background of many of the AGW Theory cosigners on this board is suspect -- cause dissolved (natural or man-made) CO2 in water, snow and ice is not a material factor in either GH or EGH (a term invented by AGW proponents), while its dissolved. But like the CO2 and H2O cycles, their shortcomings in understanding "stands out!"

By John McCall (not verified) on 14 Jul 2005 #permalink

John... Just another typical long-winded Rant. Prehaps you might enlighten us with how long we can wait before it becomes to late to prevent dangerous climate change? If you are on a low tropical atoll, or an operator of a lower level ski resort, the anthropogenic change we have seen is already dangerous. I can be quite certain that never of thse situations apply to you...

Will pick up on the primary point... The length of the solar cycle does not equal solar output. This was always a critical problem with the paper of Friis-Christensen, E., and K. Lassen (1991). You also conveniently ignore the fact that their "relationship" only works for the northern hemisphere temperatures? I guess the sun does not operate south of the equator???

As I have already commented, the past 50 years have seen constant or slightly declining solar output, but accelerating global warming? Prehaps you might care to explain this contradiction before smoke screening with claims of "unmatched solar output"? Conventional climate science has an explanation... its called the enhanced greenhouse affect.

Looking fowards to your informed "sceptic" explanation.

BTW, the enhanced greenhouse affect is an observational fact. That it has a name is hardly suprising. I suppose you would prefer we just ignore this observational inconvenience, and abolish its name, since it doesn't fit so well with your faith based beliefs.

David

I like John's hand-waving. The test marketing isn't working, and your canned talking points need work, son. Tell your team leader to work harder. Maybe Heritage should pay Lindzen to write the talking points, rather than folk like Singer and Baliunas.

Oh, BTW, Solanki showed there IS NO relationship(*) between solar output and recent temp rise. Ya'll stop yer lyin' and FUDdin' about now boah.

ÐanØ

(*)

After 1980, however,
the Earth's temperature exhibits a remarkably steep rise, while the Sun's irradiance displays at the most a weak secular trend. Hence the Sun cannot be the dominant source of this latest temperature increase, with manmade greenhouse gases being the likely dominant alternative.

The thing is as far as I can see it is that CO2 requires active systems to scrub it out of the air. It needs chemical reactions, like the ocean, or active biological processes. Both of these things are being changed in some degree by human activities. At the same time we are releasing to the atmosphere CO2 that has been previously scrubbed.

Water on the other hand will condense, freeze and melt as a function of its immutable physical properties without any active system involvement because the Earths average temperature is at the triple point of H2O and not CO2.

This for me is the critical difference and the reason that CO2 is a part of the enhanced greenhouse effect and not water vapour.

Dano -- I suppose I should expect you to get personal and accuse me of lying, after you've had your head handed to you technically on so many threads -- includes this one with your overly simplified, if not complete misunderstanding of the CO2 and H20 cycles.

You really should provide the ENTIRE last paragraph in your "IS NO relationship(*)" link above, for the benefit of those here who actually read, and want to observe how you cherry-picked that quote to support your point. You also spent time on Dr Solanki's 2002 paper, rather than the papers of the time I referred to in my post, perhaps you should reference his updated 2003 & 04 works:
http://www.mps.mpg.de/homes/natalie/PAPERS/asr2004.pdf
supported by these related press releases in Oct'04:
http://www.mpg.de/english/illustrationsDocumentation/documentation/pres…
http://www.mpg.de/english/illustrationsDocumentation/documentation/pres…

"Good correlations between solar magnetic activity and the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere have been found by ... also a correlation over a solar cycle between
the cosmic-ray intensity, which is modulated by the strength of the Sun's interplanetary magnetic field, and the coverage of low-lying clouds. In spite of this there have been indications that in recent years the correlation between the secular variation of solar quantities and the evolution of global temperature has waned* ..."

And this from the Dr Solanki et al conclusion:
"We have compared records of three solar quantities considered to be candidates for influencing the Earth's climate. We have extended the observed records of these quantities to earlier times by combining them with reconstructions taken from the literature. In all but one case, namely the measured total irradiance record following the intercalibration due to Willson (1997), the reconstruction and the data agree relatively well with each other during the period over which they overlap. These combined records of the solar total and UV irradiance as well as the cosmic-ray flux are then compared with climate records ... we have shown that even in the extreme case that solar variability caused all the global climate change prior to 1970 it cannot have been responsible for more than 30% (50% for the intercalibration by Willson, 1997) of the strong global temperature rise since 1970."

One doesn't even need to be picky to see that your statement of "NO relationship to solar output and recent temp rise" is absurd, in the dated reference you chose -- even worse when you use the updated ones from the time I referred to in my earlier post!

  • NOTE: Even in the most friendly to your view sentences, the word "waned" means "to decrease gradually in size, amount, intensity, or degree; decline." Hardly "NO relationship to solar output and recent temp rise" now, is it? And we haven't even spoken to the statistical significance of a 30 year solar output plateau in the global climatic record, have we? So perhaps you could answer why AGW proponents attempt to shoot down the documented natural 200-800 lagging release/increase of atmospheric CO2 in a warming period, but are so quick to embrace for AGW support, Dr Solanki's solar output plateau with temp rise over ~30 YEARS? Too bad Dr Solanki didn't include his confidence interval analysis, or a reference to support such a strong closing statement in support of AGW.

Now, would you prefer to be served on the silver, gold, or platinum platter this time, Sir?

By John McCall (not verified) on 15 Jul 2005 #permalink

John are you sure that you have read the paper.

This is the last sentence of the abstract:
"We show that in the recent past(since about 1970)the solar influence of climate cannot have been significant."

and in the conclusion:

"We have shown that even in the extreme case that solar variability caused all the global climate change before 1970 it cannot have been responsible for more than 30% (50% for the intercalibration by Wilson, 1977) of the strong global temperature rise since 1970"

This does not seem to support your argument .
BTW I could not cut and paste from the PDF so if I made a mistake transcribing the quotes it is unintentional.

Yes -- unlike Dano and some posters here, I read and reference (or post) text, good and bad to this argument -- even that found AFTER the abstract, and BEFORE the conclusion. Cherry-picking statements from the abstract, introduction, or conclusion is not appropriate, IMO - one must look for the qualifier statements in context, or in the body or footnotes of the article itself.

Dano said in his post that there is "NO relationship to solar output and recent temp rise!" Even with Dr Solanki's un-/weakly supported APPENDED sentences that AGW proponents focus on (like the ones you referenced), Dr Solanki does NOT eliminate solar output variability as a factor in climate change during the period. He can't, because some like Willson'97 found measurable (though smaller than the period before) solar increase during parts of the period -- others like Frohlich'98 did not.

Dr Solanki does conclude that solar contribution is much less than AGW due to GHGs in the 70s to present period; but no where in the paper are the usual GHG suspects and data, or their contributions even stated/referenced/footnoted so that we can compare rank of contribution. The paper just does not even speak to GE or EGE (if you will) except in the conclusions of press releases, where (you make up your own mind) it looks tacked on. He just minimizes (again, not ELIMINATES) the solar contribution of that 30 year period --- his choice of course; it is his study and press releases on historic solar output.

But as I said, it's too bad he did not add/reference a confidence interval analysis to support this appended conclusion, promoting the leading contribution status of AGW from GHGs for this ~30 year period! I would have hoped that he had addressed the statistical significance of such conclusions (from this ~30 year period of arguably stabile solar output), against the period of the industrial revolution or even the last 8000-11000 years (and to be greedy, the last 1000 years coinciding with MBH'99).

Maybe some day, Dr Solanki can publish a multi-century solar output study over the time of the MWP that actually supports/refutes a material solar output contribution to the MWP?

By John McCall (not verified) on 16 Jul 2005 #permalink

What the! Cherry-picking the conclusion and abstract!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I stated the researchers conclusion - that is not cherry picking.

Also this is a statistic study and he ASSUMED that all warming prior to 1970 was caused by solar variations. There is NOTHING in this paper that confirms your hypothesis at all.

I should have known that your background was inadequate, when you presumed only "active systems" could scrub CO2 out of the air.

No -- cherry picking STATEMENTS OUT OF the abstract, introduction or conclusion, as you and Dano have done. Dano's claim/hypothesis was there is "NO relationship to solar output and recent temp rise!" It is his hypothesis, and yours if you agree to share it with him, that is absurd.

By John McCall (not verified) on 16 Jul 2005 #permalink

"These data* show clearly that the Sun is in a state of unusually high activity, for about the last 60 years. The time interval for which this statement can be made has been tripled by these new investigations, for now the reconstructed sunspot numbers extend back to 850 AD. ANOTHER PERIOD OF ENHANCED SOLAR ACTIVITY, but with substantially fewer sunspots than now, OCCURRED IN THE MIDDLE AGES FROM 1100 TO 1250 (JM emphasis). At that time, A WARM PERIOD REIGNED OVER THE EARTH (JM emphasis again), as the Vikings established flourishing settlements in Greenland."

*JM addition -- from Greenland and the Antarctic ice core analysis.

"A warm period reigned over the earth?" But MBH a-and RealClimate insist th-that th-the MWP w-was a l-local/regional event -- is s-somebody m-m-mistaken or f-f-f-fibbing?

BTW -- in the very next paragraph (hopefully, with no emphasis needed from JM):
"The Sun affects the climate through several physical processes: For one thing, the total radiation, particularly that in the ultraviolet range, varies with solar activity. When many sunspots are visible, the Sun is somewhat brighter than in "quiet" times and radiates considerably more in the ultraviolet. On the other hand, the cosmic ray intensity entering the Earth's atmosphere varies opposite to the solar activity, since the cosmic ray particles are deflected by the Sun's magnetic field to a greater or lesser degree. According to a much discussed model proposed by Danish researchers, the ions produced by cosmic rays act as condensation nuclei for larger suspension particles and thus contribute to cloud formation. With increased solar activity (and stronger magnetic fields), the cosmic ray intensity decreases, and with it the amount of cloud coverage, resulting in a rise of temperatures on the Earth. Conversely, a reduction in solar activity produces lower temperatures."

Cherry picking only for what you want, just doesn't pay -- you got to read and understand it all!

Message from the cook: "Orders up -- two platters ready to go!"

By John McCall (not verified) on 16 Jul 2005 #permalink

Wow -- in the 2 weeks from 18-JULY-04 until 02-AUG-04, Dr Solanki changed how he frames his "highest solar activity in 8000 years?"

from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/07/18/wsun18…

""The Sun has been at its strongest over the past 60 years and may now be affecting global temperatures.

"The Sun is in a changed state. It is brighter than it was a few hundred years ago and this brightening started relatively recently - in the last 100 to 150 years."

Dr Solanki said that the brighter Sun and higher levels of "greenhouse gases", such as carbon dioxide, both contributed to the change in the Earth's temperature but it was impossible to say which had the greater impact."

And from the mpg release I offered up in an earlier post http://www.mpg.de/english/illustrationsDocumentation/documentation/pres…

"These findings bring the question as to what is the connection between variations in solar activity and the terrestrial climate into the focal point of current research. The influence of the Sun on the Earth is seen increasingly as one cause of the observed global warming since 1900, along with the emission of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, from the combustion of coal, gas, and oil. "Just how large this role is, must still be investigated, since, according to our latest knowledge on the variations of the solar magnetic field, the significant increase in the Earth's temperature since 1980 is indeed to be ascribed to the greenhouse effect caused by carbon dioxide," says Prof. Sami K. Solanki"

Maybe this helps explain how Dr. Solanki came to append a clear rank of GW contribution to CO2, during that two weeks? The Telegraph and others (PhysOrg) were interpreting his research in a bad (anti AGW?) way? I wonder how that stalwart of news insight, The Guardian, handled this?

=====

I may have found something from Solanki and Krivova on the significance of the ~30 year solar output tracking and whether one can draw longer term conclusions. From page 9 in the Conclusions section http://www.mps.mpg.de/homes/natalie/PAPERS/irradmod.pdf

"The invaluable record of total solar irradiance measurements now covers about
2.5 cycles. HOWEVER, IT REMAINS TOO SHORT TO ALLOW DEFINITE CONCLUSIONS REGARDING THE SUN"S INFLUENCE ON CLIMATE (is JM EMPHASIS, and that 2.5 solar cycles is ~30 years). However, it remains too short to allow definite conclusions regarding the Sun's influence on climate. Also, the question about the presence of a secular change during the period of observations is still open (Frohlich, 2003; Willson and
Mordvinov, 2003; Dewitte et al., 2004). This calls for models of solar irradiance
on both short, days to decades, and long, decades to millenia, time scales. Direct
observations cover the shorter time scales allowing the models to be tested against
measurements and thus the mechanisms of the variations to be understood. Recent
models reproduce observed irradiance variations with high accuracy suggesting that a good understanding of these mechanisms has been gained."

NOTE: Since I need to study this more and look to see if there are other papers, and since this paper appears to be pre-publication, one shouldn't run with this...

By John McCall (not verified) on 16 Jul 2005 #permalink

Correction -- looks like the above Irradiance Models article is in press at Advances In Space Research.

Conspiracy theorists might speculate whether these two were initially threatened by the AGW camp, in 2004 -- you know to reframe their conclusions less competitively to the AGW consensus? Perhaps not -- maybe they just used their science, have outgrown the intimidation, or are now the recipients of separate funding from that evil petroleum industry -- a lil' conspiracy pie for everyone to bite into, eh?

As for David and his dated solar "cycle length" argument against an earth climate change link, will be returning to your argument soon -- even pre-ordered another platter;)

By John McCall (not verified) on 16 Jul 2005 #permalink

I am sorry John I did not want to type the whole bloody thing out. I can if you like - it still does not support your hypothesis. The conclusion is what the author intended to say in his paper - I am not cherry picking as you insinuate but restating the conclusion the researcher came to when reporting on his research.

When I say active systems I mean chemical or biological processes that lock CO2 in an different chemical compound or within its physical makeup. Water vapour condenses into a different state of matter, from gas to liquid, and remains H2O or am I wrong here as well?

Water vapor condenses, liquid water evaporates, but the amounts of each remain roughly constant as does the interchange between the two forms. Details at 11.

By Eli Rabett (not verified) on 17 Jul 2005 #permalink

Mr. Ender - in the first place, you did not have to restate the conclusion and "type the whole bloody thing out" in your post 169. I had already cut and paste the entire quote in my post 168 (okay, with an elipsis or 2), including the EXACT concluding sentence you copied in post 169. Like I said, I post the good and the bad in my full context posts; but I've noticed many followers of the AGW camp often just like to drill into only the sentences that support your side, while ignoring the context that may weaken that support. I concede there are many skeptic followers that do same. So in fairness, you also included a sentence from the abstract that I did not post (because the abstract already is an abstract, and need not be abstracted further). And so the selective sentence focus of you and Mr. Dano is a Q.E.D.

=====

Now on to "active systems" (biological and chemical) that lock up CO2? So H2O vapor that condenses in the presence of CO2 does not dissolve CO2? And rain that falls through CO2 in the atmosphere, does not dissolve CO2 enriching the surface water so that phytoplankton in the (slightly alkaline) ocean, can use this CO2 for photosynthesis? So just how does a submerged phytoplankton get its CO2? There's no atmospheric respiration, the phytoplankton is totally submerged - unless you think the stuff hops out of the ocean for a quick gulp of CO2? I know - it must be a reverse active biological or chemical system that unlocks the CO2 in the phytoplankton for subsequent photosynthesis.

Come on people - CO2 also dissolves in H2O without an active biological or chemical mechanism (is 3.48 g per L at 0 oC and 1.45 g/L at 25 oC). It dissolves more when pH is higher (alkaline), and when the temperature is lower (colder), and at higher pressure (like at the earth surface). CO2 is released (comes out of solution or solid) when pH is lower (feedback that raises pH of the ocean), when the temperature rises (feedback that lowers the temperature of the ocean or ice), and at lower pressure (feedback that fights to increase pressure back into equilibrium).

In case you haven't noticed, you AGW folks already have physicists (especially some astro's and thermo's with skills, but even some "string" and semiconductor folks), plus mathematicians (including some stat folks) crawling all over your AGW arguments. Many of these folks are pretty smart too, and most do stat work all the time - they're not the part-time statisticians some climatologists are. Are you now inviting the biologists into this argument too - they may not be as good at the math and physics as the others, but they all know how water plants get food 'er CO2?

By John McCall (not verified) on 17 Jul 2005 #permalink

Looks like there's some breaking news to block Rep Barton from getting any answers -- the leadership of the AAAS is now running interference (as if there wasn't enough already).

Well -- gotta go pick up my petroleum industry subsidy, fight some terrorism, beat back the rising oceans and provide for my family. Decisions, decisions ...

David -- looks like our little discussion will have to wait for a while.

By John McCall (not verified) on 17 Jul 2005 #permalink

Correction to post 178, para 2:
There's no atmospheric photosynthesis (respiration), the phytoplankton is totally submerged - unless you think the stuff hops out of the ocean for a quick gulp of CO2 (O2)?

By John McCall (not verified) on 17 Jul 2005 #permalink

Yes John it does dissolve in water however when it does so it is not strictly speaking CO2 but ions:
From http://www.azgardens.com/newCO22.php

"CO2 gas dissolved in water can take the form of bicarbonate or carbonate. These three forms are in chemical equilibrium. Which form is present in what amount depends on the pH.

Dissolved CO2 <=> bicarbonate ion <=> carbonate ion

In the pH range favorable to water plants, pH 6.4-7.2, a percentage will be present as dissolved CO2 and the rest as bicarbonate ions.

From pH 8.0 to pH 8.8 there will be almost no dissolved CO2, a large amount of bicarbonate and a small amount of carbonate.

Well, actually CO2 dissolves a little bit in water, but more importantly water reacts with CO2 in the oceans to form a buffer system involving CO2, H2CO3, HCO3- and CO3-2. The net effect is that the ability of the ocean to absorb atmospheric CO2 is limited, and is even more limited the higher the atmospheric CO2 mixing ratio (this is the so called Revelle buffer factor, discovered by Roger Revelle and Hans Suess in ~1957).

The real issue is that the plankton and other sea creatures die. When they do, they sink to the bottom of the deep oceans carrying the carbon in their cells and shells (carbonates mostly) with them. This is the major path for moving carbon from the atmosphere to the lithosphere via incorporation in deep sea subduction trenches.

By Eli Rabett (not verified) on 17 Jul 2005 #permalink

Eli - Thank you for explaining this properly. John is correct in saying my science knowledge is a bit deficient. However I learn more everytime I come to this site which is why I like it so much.

CO2 dissolves in H2O at 3.48 g/L at 0C but I suspect this is with a gas pressure of 1 atmosphere. The partial pressure of CO2 in the air is now about 0.000380 atmospheres so this means the CO2 from the air dissolves in H2O at 0.00132 g/L at 0C.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 18 Jul 2005 #permalink

Steve McIntyre has some more references on the area weighting thing. From here:

Generally, when performing and EOF analysis on observations over the globe or a portion of the globe, the values are weighted prior to calculating. This is usually required to account for the convergence of the meridions (area weighting) which lessens the impact of high-latitude grid points that represent a small area of the globe. Most frequently, the square root of the cosine of the latitude is used to compute the area weight. The square root is used to create a covariance matrix that reflects the area of each matrix element. If weighted in this manner, the resulting covariance values will include quantities calculated via:
[x*sqrt(cos(lat(x)))]*[y*sqrt(cos(lat(y)))] = x*y*sqrt(cos(lat(x))*sqrt(cos(lat(y))

Note that the covariance of a grid point with itself yields standard cosine weighting:

[x*sqrt(cos(lat(x)))]*[x*sqrt(cos(lat(x)))] = x^2 * cos(lat(x)).

So that to weight by area, the input to PCA has to be weighted by the square root of area. I retract my sugestion that von Storch might have been mistaken -- he found an error in MBH98, though he does not seem to think that it was important.

Eli,

that is an interesting comment about dead plankton and subduction zones - any physical evidence for the accumulation of limestone etc on present sea floors that are being subducted?

If your understanding is correct all major ocean floors should have extensive carbonate deposits on them.

Should be easy to verify should it not? The Pacific ocean floor is Jurassic of age, so plenty of time for what you assert to be evident.

By Louis Hissink (not verified) on 23 Jul 2005 #permalink

Oh an additional point about subduction zones - sediments which are swallowed into subduction zones do not result as sediments when the subducted material returns to the surface. The slight problem of metamorphism, partial melting etc confuses the issue.

All the sedimentary basins in the stratigraphical record are not the result of subduction, nor are the extensive carbonate deposits found in them the result of subduction.

Nor has geoscience a clue what formed the stratigraphically extensive dolomite deposits either (Magnesian carbonate) because they are certainly not forming now. Though they do contain biota, they seem like extensive chemical precipitates - and then how?

By Louis Hissink (not verified) on 23 Jul 2005 #permalink

Let us just say, Ed Snack 1 (or perhaps von Storch), Michael Mann 0, Tim Lambert -1.

Eli, still waiting for the retraction on your untruths. Eli, have you looked lately, Mann has published MORE CODE. Funny, I would think with your record of "mistakes" Lambert would have ripped into you with his normal thoroughness.

For a reprise, what about a speculation on the r2 stat for MBH98. IF it was calculated, and it was a "bad" result, should it have been disclosed ? If it was good I am sure we would know all about it by now.

Ed, from the way you vanished from this thread, it is pretty obvious that you didn't know what you were talking about on the weighting issue.

I will simply note that the covariance is not the average. If you are calculating the average over an area on a spherical surface, cos does it because you are calculating the average of a quantity. If you are looking at covariance then it makes sense to use the sqrt because what you are calculating in a sense is an average of squares of the quantity.

The sentence from MBH98 is
"Northern Hemisphere (NH) and global (GLB) mean temperature are estimated as areally-weighted (ie, cosine latitude) averages over the Northern hemisphere and global domains respectively"

By Eli Rabett (not verified) on 24 Jul 2005 #permalink

re: #138 "John - the only time that I can see that the cosine of the latitude comes into it is where M&M tried to show an economic reason for warming. They got it wrong as they used the angle in degrees rather that in radian. I cannot find a cosine error in MBH98 you will have to enlighten me."

Mr. Ender -- you meant this for Ed? You appear to be one of the rare few here, consistently open to learn all sides of the AGW debate. M&M (McIntyre and McItrick) did not make the degrees/radians error (nicely discovered by Mr. Lambert) M&M (MICHAELS & McItrick) did so in an economics correlation paper (as you mentioned) -- they have acknowledged and corrected the error, and reanalyzed their paper with the changes.

So the Michaels and McItrick degrees/radians error is unrelated to M&M's analysis of MBH'98 and now Rep. Barton's requests; however the COS(lat) error (vs the correct, COS (lat)^.5) does have interest to M&M on MBH (and Rep. Barton). Mr. Lambert now acknowledges in #186 (end) that both von Storch and (I read more reservedly) that M&M were right about MBH's COS(lat) error, and that he (and MBH) was (were) not. Maybe the MBH response will come in RealClimate.com, just as the Michaels and McItrick degrees/radians error was so prominently highlighted?

BTW, I believe this COS(lat) error was also found in some of the recently released MBH'98 code, requested by Rep. Barton - a good thing, don't you think?

Mr. Ender - I have to ask you; don't you want to see it all released; so that among many things, including the MBH'98, '99 and even the Corrigendum data (with Monte Carlo analysis) can be done side-by-side?

By John McCall (not verified) on 24 Jul 2005 #permalink

Correction:
McKitrick

Mr. Ender - I have to ask you; don't you want to see it all released; so that among many things, the MBH'98, '99 and even the Corrigendum data (with Monte Carlo) analysis can be compared side-by-side?

By John McCall (not verified) on 24 Jul 2005 #permalink

Lambert wrote on climateaudit:

John A, when I make a mistake I correct it. When can we expect to see a correction from you for your mistake about entropy?

But I haven't made one. You've made at least two serious beginner's mistakes in fundamental thermodynamics, much more serious than McKitrick not using an unfamiliar function call correctly.

And the whole Internet can watch you squirming. It's delicious.

This is my first and last post on this blog.

Bye bye Tim.

John - I do like all information released as Mann et al did from the beginning.

I am learning about all this and do not claim to be an authority however I try wherever possible with my meagre knowledge to counter the fear, uncertainty and doubt campaign that is being waged to blunt any action on AGW.

John A:

That was your only post on this Blog and Steve won't let anyone other than youy comment on it at his site. Where can we discuss your views on entropy. I keep trying but it almost seems like you aren;t really interested in discussing it.

Regards,
John Cross

I think I'd talk about a three year old child's "mistake" in reading aloud from Shakespeare about as readily as I'd glorify John A's comprehension of thermodynamics by suggesting that he may be a little "mistaken" in it. If he's not going to post here again where I might have found myself reading him ... I'll just have to cope somehow, I guess.

Carbonate pump:

  1. Carbonate pump - involves some ocean chemistry:

Eli,

Fail.

By Louis Hissink (not verified) on 25 Jul 2005 #permalink

So Louis, where do you think all those exoskeltons and sheels go?

By Eli Rabett (not verified) on 25 Jul 2005 #permalink

Did Tim Lambert REALLY write, "John A, when I make a mistake I correct it."

????!

Bwahahahahaha!

Say, Tim, have you ever gotten around to correcting THIS mistake (regarding the relationship between energy in the atmosphere and its temperature):

"Wow. I guess we'll just have to ditch the entire field of thermodynamics then. In fact, Temperature T and internal energy U are related by the formula
U=Tmc
where m is the mass and c the specific heat."

http://markbahner.typepad.com/randomthoughts/2004/05/freemoney_offe.html

No? I didn't think so. That would take some class, wouldn't it?

So that to weight by area, the input to PCA has to be weighted by the square root of area. I retract my sugestion that von Storch might have been mistaken — he found an error in MBH98, though he does not seem to think that it was important.

Those calling MBH's failure to wait by latitude an error are kidding themselves. Both area weighted and non-area weighted PCA are used freely in climate because which is prefered depends on your goal. If you simply wish to perform a data compression (reduce the DOF) of a dataset such as was the primary goal of MBH98 this is more precisely achieved through non-weighted PCA rather than weighted PCA.
This trivial issue is nothing compared to M&M's radian versus degrees blunder...[McIntyre wants to make it clear that the degrees/radians mixup was McKitrick's error and had nothing to do with McIntyre. TL]

BTW can someone explain why the sceptics are still so focused on a nearly 10 year old study, when 8 subsequent studies have broadly confirmed Mann et al, and all contradicted M&M's fanciful recontruction.

David

BTW can someone explain why the sceptics are still so focused on a nearly 10 year old study, when 8 subsequent studies have broadly confirmed Mann et al, and all contradicted M&M's fanciful recontruction.

Do you mean besides mindlessly parrotting predigested talking points, David?

No.

D

Eli, IIRC Mark argued that in general the internal energy of a gas is a function of its chemical composition as well of its temperature, so that Lambert's formula was incomplete. That's correct as far as it goes, although I do not think it goes very far - since the major constitutents of the lower atmosphere are well mixed except for water vapor, the only consequence is that one might want to take relative humidity into account when averaging temperatures. (Put another way, the effective heat capacity depends on relative humidity.) My guess it that the effect of this would be pretty small compared to other uncontrolled factors. I suppose sea-surface temperatures would get a larger weight while desert stations would get a smaller one when one computed the "average global temperature", but the trend of the curve with time ought to be pretty much the same.

By Robert P. (not verified) on 27 Jul 2005 #permalink

Tim Lambert writes (regarding my free money offer):

"Ah, your silly free money offer. You don't actually know the answers to the questions you asked, do you?"

Heh, heh, heh! Good one, Tim! Ever the arrogant twit, eh? But seriously:

1) Yes, I think I do know the answers to the questions I asked you.

2) But I'm even more certain that you DON'T know the answers.

3) And I'm even more certain, your arrogant twittering aside, that I've forgotten more about thermodynamics than you've ever learned (especially as related to the questions at hand).

4) Finally, I'm quite certain, your laughably hypocritical assertion aside, that you will NEVER admit your error.

As a result of those 4 items, I'm prepared to make you an Even More Astounding Free Money Offer:

1) I will raise my offer to $30 if you will even ANSWER my questions, plus this additional question: Which has more internal energy: a cube of atmosphere 10^12 kilograms in mass, in the northeast wall of a Category 5 hurricane, or cube of air of equal mass at the same temperature on a clear calm day over Phoenix, Arizona?

Note that you do NOT have to answer ANY of the questions correctly to get this $30you just have to attempt to answer them.

3) I will send you $10 if you can offer me solid evidence that you've ever taken university-level course in Thermodynamics. (Solid evidence might include the approximate dates you took the course, the name of the university, and the professor's name, or the textbook name, or something like that.) And I will send you $40 if you can send me similar evidence that you've ever taken a university-level course in Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. (THAT'S $40 that's completely safe...or else you slept through the entire course!)

3) I will send you $30 if you ever write: "I wrote (regarding the relationship between internal energy in the atmosphere and temperature) that: 'I guess we'll just have to ditch the entire field of thermodynamics then. In fact, Temperature T and internal energy U are related by the formula U=Tmc where m is the mass and c the specific heat.' I realize now that I was wrong. Furthermore, I realize I also was wrong when I told Mark Bahner that, 'The equation I gave is actually a very (close) approximation. Do you also complain that Newtonain physics is the wrong way to describe the atmosphere because it doesn't account for relativistic effects?' So I was (at least) twice wrong.'"

So there you have it. I'll give you: 1) $30 if you'll even attempt to answer my questions (you don't have to get the answers right), 2) $10 if you provide evidence of university-level coursework in Thermodynamics, and $40 more if you provide evidence of university-level coursework in Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, and 3) $30 if you admit that you were (at least) twice wrong in this matter.

Finally, I have a bit of free advice: when you're stepping out of your particular areas of expertise, you might do well to have a bit more humility, and be a bit less condescending.

Robert, technically, Cp includes the effects of composition, so Tim's formula was correct, it is just that the value of Cp is a function of composition. However, as you point out this is a distinction without a difference.

We can, of course, dial in the numbers for dry and wet air. For dry air, at sea level the specific heat is 29.10 J/mole-K (essentially 3.5 R. The vibrational contribution is well under a tenth of a percent.) The specific heat of water vapor is 33.16 J/mole-K (essentially 4R).

The maximum saturated vapor pressure of water vapor is less than 4%. Assuming 4% the heat capacity of the saturated air would be 29.26 J/mole-K. That is a difference of 0.5%. Splitting hairs.

By Eli Rabett (not verified) on 29 Jul 2005 #permalink

Tim,

Feel free to get all the help you want from your friends (e.g., Eli Rabett) on these questions:

1) Which has more internal energy, a kilogram of air at 20 degrees Celsius and atmospheric pressure that is a) dry (i.e., 0% relative humidity[RH]), b) at 30% RH, or c) at 80% RH?

2) Which has more internal energy, a kilogram of air at 30 degrees Celsius and at atmospheric pressure that is a) dry (i.e., 0% relative humidity, or RH), b) at 30% RH, or c) at 80% RH?

3) How much internal energy would need to be removed to bring a kilogram of air at 30 degrees Celsius and atmospheric pressure down to 20 degrees Celsius if the air is: a) dry, b) at 30% RH, and c) at 80% RH?

4) Which has more internal energy: a cube of atmosphere 10^12 kilograms in mass, in the northeast wall of a Category 5 hurricane, or cube of air of equal mass at the same temperature on a clear calm day over Phoenix, Arizona?

quote "Ed, from the way you vanished from this thread, it is pretty obvious that you didn't know what you were talking about on the weighting issue." Gee thanks Tim. Just so obvious you knew all about it by your first reply. As for it being important or not, why don't you work it through and find out ? Same goes for david, and it is not as if this was the only error in MBH is it, there is a whole corrigendum full of specific errors. And that doesn't cover the problem of using the Bristlecone Pine records as a temperature proxy, or the concealing (or non-release) of unfavourable statistical tests.

There's plenty of meat for you to get your teeth into Tim, why don't you ?

And, just a quick note, Eli, are you still sure that Mann had released all his code ? Even our Tim no longer thinks that, and he is unwilling to correct his commenters although he does ask that others do so.

Ed, the fact McIntyre hasn't bothered to work out the effect on the reconstruction is evidence that he doesn't think it likely that it makes much difference.

I specifically refered you to my comment where I corrected Eli on releasing all the code. Your next comment you claimed that it did not correct him. As far as I can tell, you have knowingly made a false statement. Please explain your conduct.

Tim Lambert writes, "As far as I can tell, you have knowingly made a false statement. Please explain your conduct."

Tim, why all this insistence that other people correct (what you think are) THEIR false statements, when you completely refuse to correct your OWN false statements? (Especially since you insist that you DO correct your false statements!)

Let's review one more time (from my first fabulous free money offer to you):

1) Lambert quotes Paul Georgia of Tech Central Station:

"Moreover, temperature and energy aren't the same thing. The internal energy of a system can change without changing the temperature and the temperature can change while the internal energy of the system remains the same. In fact, this occurs all the time in the climate because the two variables are fundamentally different classes of thermodynamic variables and there is no physical law that requires that they move together."

2) To which Lambert responds:

"Wow. I guess we'll just have to ditch the entire field of thermodynamics then. In fact, Temperature T and internal energy U are related by the formula

U=Tmc

where m is the mass and c the specific heat. It is true that it is possible for internal energy to change without affecting the temperature if there is a phase change, but the atmosphere stays way above the temperature of liquid nitrogen, so this makes almost no difference to temperatures."

3) After I pointed out your response was wrong (your "nitrogen" comment was particularly hilarious!), you responded to me:

4) "I mentioned nitrogen because that is what the atmosphere mostly is. Water vapour is less than 0.5% of the atmosphere. And the equation is true for water vapour as well if there is no phase change. The equation I gave is actually a very (close) approximation. Do you also complain that Newtonain physics is the wrong way to describe the atmosphere because it doesn't account for relativistic effects?"

5) However, you have refused to answer any of my followup question, even when I've offered you money to do so, and have completely withdrawn the requirement that your answers even be CORRECT in order to get the money!

Do you STILL insist that the temperature and energy of the atmosphere are directly related by your magical equation, to a degree of accuracy that's as close as neglecting relativistic effects?

Or have you realized that Paul Georgia was basically right, and you are wrong? If so, why haven't you ADMITTED that you are wrong?

Mark, I never wrote that the accuracy was the same as ignoring relativistic effects. That's your misinterpretation.

In order to encourage you to answer your "free money" questions, I make my own "free posting" offer: Answer your questions and gain the privilege of being able to post comments here.

Until then, you may not post here.

re: 203 "This trivial issue is nothing compared to M&M's radian versus degrees blunder"

You mean like your blunder of attributing a Michaels and McKitrick error (now corrected) in one paper, to McIntyre and McKitrick in another.

Care to name the 8 subsequent studies that "have broadly confirmed Mann et al", I presume they're independent of MBH and RealClimate ---- what you define as "broadly confirmed Mann et al" -- and what you define as "all contradicted M&M's fanciful reconstruction" -- and can you show, McIntyre & McKitrick's or is it Michaels & McKitrick's reconstruction that you are referring to?

Have you actually read these papers in entirety, or are you like Mr. Connelley, proud of that he hasn't read them?

By John McCall (not verified) on 31 Jul 2005 #permalink

Tim Lambert writes, "In order to encourage you to answer your "free money" questions, I make my own "free posting" offer: Answer your questions and gain the privilege of being able to post comments here. Until then, you may not post here."

Heh, heh, heh! You're a hoot, Tim!

I offered you *****$30***** just to answer my questions! That offer is good even if you don't get a single answer correct! Are you willing to make me the same offer? If not, why not? Is it because you know that I do know the answers?

What in the world are you afraid of? In responding to Paul Georgia, you made a big deallike you knew thermodynamics cold (so to speak)! What's the problem? Is the problem that you really are completely clueless regarding thermodynamics, such that all you know is what you read on Wikipedia?

If so, why don't you ask one of your friends who does know, like William Connolley?

Or is it that you DO know the answers, and know that they'd utterly destroy your argument that your equation closely models the relationship between energy in the atmospere and temperature?

Oy, vey!

But I'm a very generous man, (Far more generous than you, obviously.) Not only will I keep the offer of $30 in place for you to answer the questions—whether your answers are RIGHT OR WRONG!—I will even be so generous as to answer question #4 for you.

  1. Question: "Which has more internal energy: a cube of atmosphere 10^12 kilograms in mass, in the northeast wall of a Category 5 hurricane, or cube of air of equal mass at the same temperature on a clear calm day over Phoenix, Arizona?"

Answer: The cube of atmosphere 10^12 kilograms in mass, in the northeast wall of a Category 5 hurricane...obviously! (How hard can that be to answer, even for a clueless amateur?)

Mark, here's a definition of internal energy (my emphasis):

The total kinetic and potential energy associated with the motions and relative positions of the molecules of an object, excluding the kinetic or potential energy of the object as a whole. An increase in internal energy results in a rise in temperature or a change in phase.

Well, to the precision given in the "problem" statements and excluding all condensed phases in the various chunks of air, the answer is that the internal energy of the masses of air compared is the same in most of Markies' fables, including the "hurricane and Phoenix". That one has a precision of one decimal unit, ie, 1 E 12 kg so the internal energy is 1 E 12 kJ in both cases.

OTOH because we are given no guidance as to the presence of condensed water, supersaturation, etc. several of the problem statements are unclear and you could play with them to give different answers. Kind of like the "physics student and the barometer" http://oldeee.see.ed.ac.uk/~slm/barometer.html

The reason, of course, is that the saturated vapor pressure of water at non-Venusian temperatures is less than 4% and the difference in heat capacity between water vapor and oxygen or nitrogen is about 1/8 the heat capacity of dry air. Multiply those two together and you get an upper limit for the heat capacity difference between dry air and hot air at 100% relative humidity of about 0.5% in favor of the wet air, but that is pretty small.

Another thing to think about is that the same volume of wet air weighs less than dry air, because H2O has a molecular weight of 18, N2 28 and O2 32. Comparison of wet and dry air on a mass basis rather than a molar** one, slightly shifts the heat capacity ratios towards the wet air.

The big energy transfer process that water vapor brings to the atmosphere is, again of course, condensation. If one mole of water vapor condenses to liquid water the net decrease in the internal energy is -44 kJ/mol, or -2442 kJ/kg. By comparison, cooling a kg of water vapor 10 C changes the internal energy of the water vapor by -10 kJ/kg.

If someone wants to throw a tortoise, a hare, perhaps an ogre or two into the hurricane we have the makings of a fractured fairy tale here.

**For those who have forgotten their general chemistry a mole is Na=6 x 10^23 molecules. If you divide the weight of a chemical in grams by Na you get the weight in atomic units (now called Dalton) of a single molecule. Na, Avogadro's number, allows us to "count out" the number of molecules by weighing them. It forms a bridge between the lab, where we weigh things, and the nanometer molecular basis where chemicals react. This costs a lot less then trying to count molecules one by one.

By Eli Rabett (not verified) on 03 Aug 2005 #permalink

With all due respect, and I hope this isn't taken the wrong way Tim, but why does anyone engage Mark Bahner except to see what kind of rant he'll produce?

Best,

ÐanØ

Eli, I get the same result using a slightly different methodology: the difference between the molar heat capacities of dry air and saturated air at 298 K comes out to about one half of one percent.

In general terms (Eli knows this but I thought a summary for lurkers might be helpful): the internal energy of a general thermodynamic system can be expressed as a function of its temperature, volume, and chemical composition:

E = E(V, T, N1, N2, N3, ....)

where N1 is the number of molecules of type 1, etc. (The answers.com article only considers the case of a single-component system.) So in general, it is quite possible to change the energy without changing the temperature, by varying one of the other parameters.

However, we're not interested in "general thermodynamic systems" here, we are interested in air. At atmopheric pressure, air behaves like an ideal gas at our level of precision, and a fundamental property of an ideal gas is that its internal energy does not depend upon its volume. The dependence on total number of particles is trivial, because E is extensive: two moles have twice the energy as one mole. That leaves chemical composition: the relative number of molecules of each type. Now different molecules have different heat capacities, so the internal energy of an ideal gas mixture does depend on its chemical composition. However, it once again comes down to almost nothing. All of the major components of the earth's troposphere are well-mixed - the chemical composition is the same everywhere - except for one, water vapor. Water has a slightly different heat capacity than oxygen or nitrogen (because it is a triatomic rather than a diatomic) but when you put in the numbers, as Eli and I did, you end up with a difference of 0.5 percent between dry air and air saturated with water.

By Robert P. (not verified) on 03 Aug 2005 #permalink

Tim Lambert writes, "Mark, here's a definition of internal energy (my emphasis):"

...blah, blah, blah. (You simply quote Wikipedia.)

Wonderful, Tim! I see you can copy/paste from Wikipedia! Why don't you use your (Wikipedian) knowledge to ANSWER MY QUESTIONS? (My emphasis.)

MY answer to question #4 was "yes." Is YOUR answer to #4, "No, they have the same internal energy"?

If so, I have an IMPORTANT NOTE TO CLUELESS AMATEURS (my emphasis): I don't know what planet you live on, but here on the planet earth, "a cube of atmosphere 10^12 kilograms in mass, in the northeast (eye)wall of a Category 5 hurricane" has quite a bit of WATER in it, in both VAPOR and LIQUID form! Again, emphasis is addedjust in case that changes your answer!

Once again, MY answer to #4 was "yes." Is YOUR answer to #4, "No, they have the same internal energy"?

And if your answer to #4 is "no," why don't you go ahead and answer the first three questions:

1) Which has more internal energy, a kilogram of air at 20 degrees Celsius and atmospheric pressure that is a) dry (i.e., 0% relative humidity[RH]), b) at 30% RH, or c) at 80% RH?

2) Which has more internal energy, a kilogram of air at 30 degrees Celsius and at atmospheric pressure that is a) dry (i.e., 0% relative humidity, or RH), b) at 30% RH, or c) at 80% RH?

3) How much internal energy would need to be removed to bring a kilogram of air at 30 degrees Celsius and atmospheric pressure down to 20 degrees Celsius if the air is: a) dry, b) at 30% RH, and c) at 80% RH?

Eli Rabett writes, "OTOH because we are given no guidance as to the presence of condensed water, supersaturation, etc. several of the problem statements are unclear"

Heh, heh, heh! Good one, Eli! You must live on the same faraway planet as Tim Lambert! (See my previous comments to Tim.)

Here on EARTH, you have been given "guidance" when someone writes, "a cube of atmosphere 10^12 kilograms in mass, in the northeast (eye)wall of a Category 5 hurricane" versus, a "cube of atmosphere of equal mass at the same temperature on a clear calm day over Phoenix, Arizona."

If you can't figure out how those two situations differ, you need to visit our planet! (Or at least watch The Weather Channel.)

Heh, heh, heh!

You can go back to your calculations now.

P.S. Does my telling you that clouds are made of water, and that hurricanes have lots of clouds, change any of your calculations at all?

Robert P. writes, "However, it once again comes down to almost nothing. All of the major components of the earth's troposphere are well-mixed - the chemical composition is the same everywhere - except for one, water vapor. Water has a slightly different heat capacity than oxygen or nitrogen (because it is a triatomic rather than a diatomic) but when you put in the numbers, as Eli and I did, you end up with a difference of 0.5 percent between dry air and air saturated with water."

Please see all my comments to Tim Lambert and Eli Rabett, in case that changes your mind, Robert P. But in the event it doesn't, do I correctly understand YOUR answers to be as follows?

1) "A kilogram of air at 20 degrees Celsius and atmospheric pressure that is a) dry (i.e., 0% relative humidity[RH]), b) at 30% RH, or c) at 80% RH all have the same internal energy."

2) "A kilogram of air at 30 degrees Celsius and at atmospheric pressure that is a) dry (i.e., 0% relative humidity, or RH), b) at 30% RH, or c) at 80% RH all have the same internal energy."

3) "The amount of internal energy that would need to be removed to bring a kilogram of air at 30 degrees Celsius and atmospheric pressure down to 20 degrees Celsius if the air is: a) dry, b) at 30% RH, and c) at 80% RHis ?????????" (Presumably the same value?)

4) "A cube of atmosphere 10^12 kilograms in mass, in the northeast (eye)wall of a Category 5 hurricane, and a cube of atmosphere of equal mass at the same temperature on a clear calm day over Phoenix, Arizona both have the same internal energy."

If I understand YOUR answers to be as shown above, please confer with Tim Lambert, and get him to either agree or disagree that those are HIS answers. (It's important, because I offered him $30 if he would answerREGARDLESS of whether or not the answers were correct. But first I want to make sure he really HAS answered. So far, all he does is quote Wikipedia.)

P.S. By the way, I'd like to get your/Tim's number (or numbers) for item #3, where there are question marks.

Dano writes, "...but why does anyone engage Mark Bahner except to see what kind of rant he'll produce?"

Oh, brother.

I can tell you why YOU should "engage" me, Dano. You might learn something.

Like remember how you used to go into spasms of ululation every time I mentioned my probabilistic predictions for methane atmospheric concentrations, CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentrations, and resulting temperature increases? You would bray that predicting such things was like predicting the results of the Powerball?

Remember how I very patiently and generously explained and showed you that the Powerball are random, and that atmospheric methane concentrations, CO2 emissions and atmospheric concentrations, and resulting temperature increases are....um....

NOT?

Did you learn anything from that, or are you still just as clueless?

P.S. Speaking of probabilistic projections, maybe y'all could explain to Kevin Vranes how it might be "relevant" as to whether there is a 99% chance of the earth warming less than 1.4 degrees Celsius, or a 99% chance of the earth warming more than 5.8 degrees Celsius?

Mark, the definition of internal energy I quoted comes from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright 2004, 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.

It does not come from Wikipedia.

The only one of your questions that is even relevant is question 3 and we both know the reason why you don't want to post the answer -- the differences are small enough that they are usually ignored.

Ah yes, old Mark again. As we pointed out the answer to your first and second question is that to to the precision of the stated problems (two significant figures) they all have the same internal energy. The difference is in the fourth significant figure.

The answer to the first two parts of the third question is the same. The answer to the third part depends if condensation occurs or the air is supersaturated.

As to the fourth you are contradicting yourself as atmosphere refers to the gas phase inspite of your posturing. I suggest you consult a dictionary before blathering.

http://www.m-w.com

Main Entry: at.mo.sphere
Pronunciation: 'at-m&-"sfir
Function: noun

Etymology: New Latin atmosphaera, from Greek atmos vapor + Latin sphaera sphere

1 a : the gaseous envelope of a celestial body (as a planet) b : the whole mass of air surrounding the earth

2 : the air of a locality

3 : a surrounding influence or environment

4 : a unit of pressure equal to the pressure of the air at sea level or approximately 14.7 pounds per square inch (101,325 pascals)

5 a : the overall aesthetic effect of a work of art b : a dominant aesthetic or emotional effect or appeal.

Me, I'm a humble sock puppet, but Robert, he knows for sure what he is talking about. Mark, you don't

By Eli Rabett (not verified) on 03 Aug 2005 #permalink

Tim Lambert writes, "The only one of your questions that is even relevant is question 3 and we both know the reason why you don't want to post the answer — the differences are small enough that they are usually ignored."

Please, Tim, do NOT try to characterize what is relevant and what isn't. As I pointed out, according to Kevin Vranes, it isn't "relevant" whether there's a 99%+ chance that the earth will warm by less than 1.4 degrees Celsius in the 21st century, or a 99%+ chance that the earth will warm by more than 5.8 degrees Celsius. So I do NOT agree with leftists' characterization of what is or isn't "relevant."

Do I correctly understand your answers to the FIRST TWO questions (let's at least get SOME questions answered) to be:

1) "A kilogram of air at 20 degrees Celsius and atmospheric pressure that is a) dry (i.e., 0% relative humidity[RH]), b) at 30% RH, or c) at 80% RH all have the same internal energy."

2) "A kilogram of air at 30 degrees Celsius and at atmospheric pressure that is a) dry (i.e., 0% relative humidity, or RH), b) at 30% RH, or c) at 80% RH all have the same internal energy."

????

And what about the fourth question, do I correctly understand your answer to be:

4) "A cube of atmosphere 10^12 kilograms in mass, in the northeast (eye)wall of a Category 5 hurricane, and a cube of atmosphere of equal mass at the same temperature on a clear calm day over Phoenix, Arizona both have the same internal energy."

?????

Finally, on the third question, do I correctly understand your answer to be:

3) "The amount of internal energy that would need to be removed to bring a kilogram of air at 30 degrees Celsius and atmospheric pressure down to 20 degrees Celsius if the air is: a) dry, b) at 30% RH, and c) at 80% RH...are all within...less than 3 percent of one another?"

????

If you say that I correctly understand all your answers, I'll send you the $30. (Though I gotta tell you, I wouldn't hire you as a consultant, given your extreme reluctance to actually provide definitive answers!)

Tim,

Based on the history of this thread, I'd say Dano has a point. So far, I've been unable to discern any coherent train of thought in Mr. Bahner's comments that is relevant to the original subject, and he's been abusive and downright juvenile. Short of using profanity and making death threats I'm not sure what else he could do to qualify for Troll status. I'd welcome any thoughts he has regarding global temperature trends and the relevance of Barton's inquiries to the Hockey Stick controversy, provided they're offered with civility and professionalism. But unless this is forthcoming, this thread is going to get sucked into a pit of troll quicksand before anything constructive can be accomplished. I'd say it's time to implement the Troll Filter. What do you think?

All the best.

Mr Church sir,

a much more likely explanation is that Mark's caps lock is merely stuck, rather than there being a swirling descent into trollishisms.

I'll bet you $30 it's so.

Best,

ÐanØ

Scott Church writes, "So far, I've been unable to discern any coherent train of thought in Mr. Bahner's comments that is relevant to the original subject,..."

I came to this thread because I saw Tim's false statement, "When I make a mistake, I correct it."

But you're right, this exchange is getting tiring. Tim Lambert has completely refused to answer my simple questions. I've even gone so far as to provide what I think his answers are, based on his cut/pasting of definitions from a dictionary.

Since it's been more than 24 hours, and you haven't even confirmed or denied the answers I thought you were making, Tim, I count you as being unresponsive. Therefore, you do NOT get the $30.

NOTE: It's very interesting to me that Robert P. ALSO didn't confirm or deny what I thought were HIS answers. That's a little surpising, because I thought Robert P. was actually going to respond.

Since y'all have not responded, I have no reason to give all my answers, but I will anyway. You'll notice that I'm changing the wording, from "internal energy" to "enthalpy." That's the term that Paul Georgia should have used:

1) At 20 degrees Celsius, a kilogram of air at 80 percent relative humidity has more enthalpy than a kilogram of air at 30 percent or zero percent relative humidity.

2) At 30 degrees Celsius, a kilogram of air at 80 percent relative humidity has more enthalpy than a kilogram of air at 30 percent or zero percent relative humidity.

4) A cube of atmosphere 10^12 kilograms in mass, in the northeast (eye)wall of a Category 5 hurricane, has way, way, way, WAY more enthalpy than a equal mass at the same temperature on a clear calm day over Phoenix, Arizona.

3) Cooling 1 kilogram from 30 degrees Celsius and 80 percent relative humidity to 20 degrees Celsius and 80 percent relative humidity requires...

*****3.5 TIMES AS MUCH ENERGY*****

...to be removed as cooling 1 kilogram at 30 degrees Celsius to 20 degrees Celsius, if both are dry (at 0 percent relative humidity).

I assume you all agree with all 4 of my statements?

(Hint: You should, because I actually know what I'm talking about. As compared, for example, YOU, Tim Lambert.)

You seem to be confusing internal energy and enthalpy. Internal energy is NOT enthalpy. When you heat a gas at constant pressure, some of the heat energy goes to doing work in expanding the volume and some to internal energy. Your problems were stated in terms of internal energy.

Second, your answer to problem 3 assumes that some of the water vapor will condense when cooled. Almost all of the energy difference comes from the condensation, not the cooling of the vapor.

And yes, we did answer your poorly stated problems. And now we have read your incorrect answers. Thanks for the giggles.

By Eli Rabett (not verified) on 05 Aug 2005 #permalink

"And yes, we did answer your poorly stated problems. And now we have read your incorrect answers. Thanks for the giggles."

Please identify which one of my statements was incorrect. You can't. They were all absolutely correct.

Eli Rabett writes, "And yes, we did answer your poorly stated problems."

Yeah, right, Eli.

OK, if you feel cheated, I'll give you $10 if you can correctly label these assertions as "true " or "false":

"Surface air temperature alone is inadequate to monitor trends of surface heating and cooling. The SI units for temperature are degrees Celsius, and the SI units for heat are Joules. The surface temperature can go up while the enthalpy goes down or remains the same. The surface temperature can go down while the enthalpy goes up or remains the same. The surface temperature can remain the same while the enthalpy goes down or up."

And I'll give you another $20 if you correctly answer by what percentage the enthalpy of a given mass of air goes up or down if:

1) It goes from 20 degrees Celsius and 50 percent relative humidity to 30 degrees Celsius and:

a) 10 percent relative humidity, or
b) 30 percent relative humidity.

2) It goes from 20 degrees Celsius and 30 percent relative humidity to 15 degrees Celsius and:

a) 80 percent relative humidity, or
b) 60 percent relative humidity.

3) It stays at 20 degrees Celsius, but the relative humidity changes from 40 percent to:

a) 20 percent, or
b) 70 percent.

I'll be working/playing this weekend, and I won't have time to bother with this. So you can take your time, and get your answers right.

Actually the SI unit for temperature is the Kelvin, not the degree Celsius.

This is, of course, a minor nit-picking point but no more so than most of your own.

By Ian Gould (not verified) on 06 Aug 2005 #permalink

Mark, thanks for answering some questions, even though it took you over a year and you changed the questions.

You claim that

"At 20 degrees Celsius, a kilogram of air at 80 percent relative humidity has more enthalpy than a kilogram of air at 30 percent or zero percent relative humidity."

I am not convinced that your answer is correct. Please state what you think the actual value of the enthalpy is for theose three cases.

Actually, Tim (and Mark and Eli), Mark's first two questions do not have a unique answer. In thermodynamics, energies and enthalpies are not absolute quantities - their numerical values are defined with respect to a standard state. For pure substances there is a single convention for the standard state - the stable state of the substance at 1 bar pressure - so one can compare enthalpies of pure substances without ambiguity. For mixtures, however, more than one standard state is in common use.

For a solution of two components that have more or less similar properties, such as oxygen/nitrogen or ethanol/water, the usual choice of standard state is the pure components. That is, the enthalpy (and energy, and free energy) of the solution is measured with respect to the enthalpies of the pure solvents in their stable states at 1 bar pressure. The "heat of solution" then comes out to be the difference between the enthalpy of the solution and a weighted average of the enthalpies of the components.

If the two components have very different properties, however, and if one component is normally present in low concentrations, a different reference is commonly used. The standard state for the solvent is again taken to be the pure solvent in its stable state at 1 bar, but the standard state of the solute is defined in terms of an extrapolation of the solute's properties to infinite dilution. This is sometimes called the "Henry's Law standard state", because it amounts to using the properties of the solute in the regime where Henry's Law is accurate (high dilution.) This is what's generally done for solutions of solids in liquids, e.g. sugar in water (ionic solutions involve further complications.)

So if we ask, "what is the enthalpy of humid air", we need to specify what standard state we are using for the water. If it's the pure substance, then the standard state is liquid water, and the enthalpy of humid air differs significantly from the enthalpy of dry air, the difference coming almost entirely from the heat of vaporization of the water. If we use the Henry's Law standard state for the water, the standard state is water vapor and the molar enthalpy of humid air differs from that of dry air by about 0.5 percent, the difference coming from the slight difference in heat capacities between water and O2 or N2.

The two choices can be thought of as referring to two different experiments. In the first, you take a small amount of liquid water and let it evaporate into a large volume of air, large enough so that it evaporates completely. The air temperature will decrease in order to make up for the heat of vaporization. If you then heat it back up to its original temperature, the amount of heat supplied is the difference between the enthalpy of humid air and dry air. In the second experiment, you take a corresponding amount of water vapor and let it mix into a volume of air. Substituting water molecules for air molecules changes the enthalpy only very slightly.

Mark's first two questions are a bit of a distraction, therefore. His third, however, is very much to the point. Let me restate the point, as I see it, by considering a variant of Tim's original argument way back when. Suppose we thermally link two volumes of air, one dry and one humid, at different temperatures. What will the final temperature be ? If condensation does not take place, then the final temperature is a simple weighted average of the initial temperatures. The weighting is primarily given by the masses, with a very small correction arising from the heat capacities. If condensation occurs, however, you need to take into account the heat of vaporization as well when you calculate the final temperature. The final temperature is still a linear function of the original temperatures, but there will in addition be a constant term.

By Robert P. (not verified) on 08 Aug 2005 #permalink

There is a lot of posturing here and trying to put people on the spot by quizzing them vice making assertions. If either of you is so convinced of your thermo that you can make an argument, please go ahead and do so. I'm a little worried that neither of you really feels confident on the nitty gritty (which can be tricky). That said, I think JohnA came accross as the silliest. (But I don't have the thermo down nat's ass either...would appreciate a bit of exposition/teaching vice all the posturing...)

It seems to me that this entire 5 page long thermodynamic debate misses the point. The original subject of this thread was Joe Barton's inquiry into the activities and funding Mann et al, their Hockey Stick work, and whether or not his pursuit of them constitutes a witch hunt. The subject of the research being challenged is historical temperatures and whether or not the Hockey Stick represents them accurately.

Internal energy, enthalpy, moist vs. dry air and all aside, temperature is a "state" function. In other words, 50 deg. F is 50 deg. F regardless of the path taken to get to that point (the same is not true of entropy or enthalpy change for instance). Regardless of whether we're discussing dry air, moist air, peanut butter, personal lubricant, or whatever, 50 deg. F is 50 deg. F. It is entirely meaningful to speak of average temperatures on a zonal, hemispherical, or global basis without bringing up the thermodynamics of moist vs. dry air. The real difference is that at 50 deg. F water and moist air will both hold more total energy then dry air. Thus, they will be a better medium for transferring latent heat from one location to another. Alternately, it will take more energy to produce a given temperature change in them (which is of course, why coastal climates tend to be more moderate than inner continental ones). But either way, 50 deg. F is still 50 deg. F. Tim has already dealt at length with the failure of McKittrick's claim that there is no basis for the concept of average temperature. That discussion does introduce thermodynamic concepts into the debate, but McKittrick's claims would fail whether these were mentioned or not.

Furthermore, the whole argument is rendered moot simply by considering the entire earth/ocean system. Globally averaged temperature increases will raise the total energy content of the complete atmosphere/ocean system regardless of how energy is distributed regionally within it. It's straightforward to show that increases in the total global energy content of the atmosphere will result in an increase of the global average tropopause height. Evidence suggests that this is in fact occurring (Santer et al., 2003, Science 301). Likewise, the total global energy content of the world's oceans is also increasing (Hansen et al., 2005, Science 308; Levitus et al., 2000, Science 287; Hansen et al., 2002, J. Geophys. Res. 107).

Unless Mr. Bahner and other Barton supporters are prepared to argue that a meter is not really a meter and there's no meaningful definition of altitude, these facts remain no matter how many capital-letter laden challenges and bet spectacles they indulge in.