The Khilyuk and Chilingar test

Earlier I wrote about Khilyuk and Chilingar

their mistake is so large and so obvious that anyone who cites them either has no clue about climate science or doesn't care whether what they write is true or not.

So who has discredited themselves by citing them?

Pat Michaels went way beyond merely citing them, writing over a thousand words about how it was peer-reviewed and how the authors were from USC and how it was a good journal and producing a description that carefully danced around the gaping hole in Khilyuk and Chilingar's argument.

And who has retrieved some credibility with a retraction?

  • None of the above.

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I hat to point out the obvious but at least Blair and Bolt have no credibility on this or any other matter (Oh except for interminable plastic turkeys)

By Bill O'Slatter (not verified) on 26 Jan 2007 #permalink

Unbelievable. Well - it should be unbelievable but we live in interesting times do we not?

Thanks for your indispensable reporting work Tim.

To be a bit fair to Ron Bailey, all that was asked for was that he show one recent peer reviewed contrary climate paper.

This he did.

Quality was not a requirement.

He was called out in regards to the quality issue too by the Libertarian readers of Reason Magazine.

I don't think he will cite the pair's paper again.

We could also include Benny Peiser in the above list (Bolt thanked him for letting him know about K&C). Citing impertinent references is normal for Peiser.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 26 Jan 2007 #permalink

Tim your one-sidedness of climate matters keeps me amazed: How about the 7m sea level rise of Al Gore?
How about the unwillingness of authors to publish their method and source data?

By Hans Erren (not verified) on 27 Jan 2007 #permalink

Hns, feel free to link to examples of people presenting Al Gore as a reliable source of scientific data.

Hans, I'm certain you know this and are only playing the contrarian, but let me nonetheless point this out. The requirement to "publish their method and source data" is determined by the individual journal.

(Hey dude. I'm guessing that you mean "algorithm" or "code" since studies usually contain this section called "methods." Have you bothered to read any journals recently?)

That being said, we would all be helped by having authors upload both data and code. But your continued attempts to impugn the integrity of scientists for simply following the standards of the journals is a bit annoying.

"Tim your one-sidedness of climate matters keeps me amazed"

I'm trying to think of who keeps me amazed.

"How about the 7m sea level rise of Al Gore?"

No doubt that it's insignificant if it doesn't happen for 500 years.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 27 Jan 2007 #permalink

OK, Hans -- spit it out. What was wrong with Al Gore's 7m sea-level rise statement? Granted, the highest projected rise assuming no new mechanisms is around 1m by century's end, but the statement in the movie -- that either Greenland or West Antarctica could cause much greater rises if destabilized -- is, simply, true. How likely is it that either ice sheet will be destabilized? No one knows, but expert opinion is, increasingly, that the possibility is not remote. Point: Al Gore.

As to the rest of the movie, Tim is on solid ground in quoting Katharine Mieszkowski. Working climatologists do tend to give AIT high marks, and that's true specifically in the case of the ice sheets. All this is offered respectfully, Hans -- of course, your mileage may vary -- but your "one-sidedness" comment seems to imply that K&C and Al Gore are equally unreliable. Is that your contention, and if so, what can you point to in AIT that's even demonstrably wrong, let alone in the same category with K&C's multiple howlers?

With that out of the way, could you also expand on your comment about "unwillingness of authors to publish their method and source data"? Who are you thinking of (as if I can't guess)?

I love the comments section on the Michaels piece (as of Dec 1, 2006):

"No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time." [and will be for all time?]


Shows some courage -- and confidence that one's science and arguments are bulletproof -- doesn't it?

JB, it's never been open to my knowledge.

Hans, through the efforts of yourself, James Inhofe, Steve McIntyre and a cast of thousands (well, if you count them in binary), Mike Mann's scientific reputation has been sullied to a point where the only venue he can get for his views is this sort of thing. Plus the AGU thinks he's so discredited that they only published him twice in Eos last year. It's really very sad.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 27 Jan 2007 #permalink

Thom, thanks for the reminder of all the time I devoted to beating my head against that brick wall. They build 'em thick in Boulder.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 27 Jan 2007 #permalink

Steve Bloom made the observation: "Mike Mann's scientific reputation has been sullied to a point where the only venue he can get for his views is this sort of thing [American Meteorological Society ]..."

...while Steve McIntyre & CO enjoy the widespread respect and admiration of their peers [eg, AAPG] and have their views broadcast far and wide on this sort of thing.

"It's really very sad."

It's really very sad that scientists can get away with hiding data and methods.

very, very, sad.

Why does Al Gore emphasise a 7 m sea level rise, which IN THE WORST CASE is not due for another 500 years? There is more chance that the world will be struck by an asteroid in the same period.

The paper that deal with the possible dislocation of greenland states in their first paragraphs:

Greenhouse gases are accumulating in the earth's atmosphere and causing surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures to rise. It is now the consensus of the science community that the changes observed over the last several decades are most likely in significant part the result of human activities and that human-induced warming is expected to continue (NRC, 2001).

That statement is in itself already a leap of faith. This depends strongly on how much aerosols cool, how future population development is connected to economic development. How economic development is connected to Co2 emission development and future sink saturation development.

Hmmm, that is a lot of ifs.

If only pigs could fly.

By Hans Erren (not verified) on 29 Jan 2007 #permalink

As Richard Feynman once remarked, when we are talking about the real world, it is not that which is possible, but that which is probable that matters.

Sure, its possible that future popluation growth and development will actually lead to net cooling, but unfortunately, what has happened over the the past 100 years does not support this thesis since all those things that you mention have resulted in a net increase in temperature.

Once again, what we are concerned here is what is probable.

Are you suggesting that it is more probable that human effects on temperature will be negative than positive in the future?

If so, what is the basis of your claim?

Incidentally, I do not wish to get into an argument about Al Gore here. I am focusing on your claim that the NRC statement is "a leap of faith" so stick with that, shall we?

I'd have to say if anyone is making a "leap of faith" in implying that future cooling is at least as probable as future warming, it is you.

Why does Al Gore emphasise a 7 m sea level rise, which IN THE WORST CASE is not due for another 500 years? There is more chance that the world will be struck by an asteroid in the same period.

Let's just let that one sink in a bit, shall we?
Hans is actually claiming that there is a greater likelihood of a catastrophic collision with an asteroid than that sea level will rise 7m in 500 years as the result of ice sheet melting.

7m in 500 years is actually closer to the best case, Hans. Did you really mean what you wrote? In all caps?

Did you really mean what you wrote...

Don't waste your time thinking about what denialists really mean. They mean to say at the time whatever comes to mind to support their received identity chosen worldview.



Thom, you're being unfair to RP Sr. He did not cite Khilyuk and Chilingar, but was simply providing Steve Bloom with information received from Timo Hämeranta, including something from Lee Gerhard that cited to Khilyuk and Chilingar.


I'd say that Hans' statement about the asteroid hinges on how big an asteroid he is talking about.

If the statement is meant to include relatively small asteroids then he may be correct.

"With an average interval of about 100 years, rocky or iron asteroids larger than about 50 meters would be expected to reach the Earth's surface and cause local disasters or produce the tidal waves that can inundate low lying coastal areas." -- Near-Earth Object Resource compiled by James M. Thomas

The probability that such an event will occcur within any given 500 year span is very close to 1 (about .993 -- assuming the probability in any given year is 0.01).

But such an asteroid is not going to cause a global disaster. That would require an asteroid that is significantly bigger than 50m.

"On an average of every few hundred thousand years or so, asteroids larger than a kilometer could cause global disasters. In this case, the impact debris would spread throughout the Earth's atmosphere so that plant life would suffer from acid rain, partial blocking of sunlight, and from the firestorms resulting from heated impact debris raining back down." -- Near-Earth Object Resource

The probability of such an event happening within any given span of a 500 years is vanishingly small.

There are asteroids between 50m and 1000m, of course, but this provides a basic idea of how to evaluate Hans' statement.

In one regard --in how we deal with them -- asteroids do have something to teach us about the potential disasters (eg, mass population displacement) that might be associated with the sea level rise caused by global warming.

If you see a large asteroid coming years ahead of time, you don't just throw up your hands and say " There's nothing that can be done. We might as well wait and see what happens" [and then clean up after the event]

If we have advance warning of an asteroid (or other potential disaster), the wise thing to do is to try (ahead of time) to prevent it from wreaking havoc.

In the case of the asteroid, that means diverting it in it's path enough that it misses the earth.

"if an object is verified to be on an Earth colliding trajectory, it seems likely that this collision possibility will be known several years prior to the actual event. Given several years warning time, existing technology could be used to deflect the threatening object away from Earth." --Near-Earth Object Resource

In the case of sea level rise, that means reducing CO2 emissions that we know will lead to more warming.