Climate Audit Comedy of Errors

Eli Rabett chronicles the Climate Audit comedy of errors.

One consequence of the error in the RSS satellite data is that the global warming skeptics switched to using RSS, and now they can't switch back without making it look realy obvious what they are up to.

Update: McIntyre has a new post where he claims:

In the same post that Rabett criticized here, as originally written, I had incorrectly missed a comment in Hansen et al 1988 saying that Scenario B was the "most plausible", an error which I picked up about 8 hours after the original posting (about 9 am EST) and immediately corrected it when I noticed it. So there was an actual incorrect statement at CA for about 8 hours. Imagine that. I didn't post up notice of the change until about 9 hours later (I was playing in a squash tournament and had to do some chores and went out after making the correction and posted the notice when I returned.) Meanwhile, a few hours after I made the correction, Lambert wrote a post on this error without mentioning that the error had already been corrected as at the time of his post.

McIntyre, of course, does not link to my post so his readers can check to see what I actually wrote.

It seems rather unlikely that McIntyre corrected the post at 9 am. At 11am he posted a lengthy comment where he continued to argue that A was Hansen's primary scenario. How did he do this after he supposedly went out for the day? At 11:29 am Roger Pielke Jr posted a comment where he pointed out that Hansen's paper did say that B was the most plausible. Why we he do this if the posted stated this?

It is possible that McIntyre made the correction in the hour between when Pielke posted his comment and when my post went up and because McIntyre did not mark it as a correction I did not notice that he had changed the text. But if I had noticed such as a unmarked correction, I certainly would have commented on it in my post.

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What goes around comes around - especially when it comes to climate! LoL!

Ain't it funny how the 'auditors' jumped in and started rooting around for an error when they found a discrepancy in lakes region surfaces station data - a discrepancy out of line with expectations and with other relevant data sets. The "audit" machine kicked in, an error was identified, and it lead to the much-ballyhooed 0.02C downward correction in global temps post 2000.

And now the RSS data gave a 2007 result clearly out of line with expectations and with other relevant data sets, and of course the 'audit' machine kicked in and started examining the RSS data set for potential errors, and their efforts led to the correction we see here.

Right? Must be, because auditors examine both upside and downside potential errors with equal care. Right...

BTW - yes, I am amused.

Hmm, makes Eli an auditor. Guess not.

Seriously, I hope the sharp downward spike in the 3.0 RSS record set off all sorts of alarm bells at RSS and they started looking by themselves, if for no other reason that the start of the year 2007 was really hot so that result looked fishy. I'm surprised they released it tho.

Seriously, I hope the sharp downward spike in the 3.0 RSS record set off all sorts of alarm bells at RSS and they started looking by themselves, if for no other reason that the start of the year 2007 was really hot so that result looked fishy. I'm surprised they released it tho.

The story's pretty silly, and I'd read it as saying that the RSS group just runs with the data, not thinking about how it will be (ab)used, because they know other groups will examine and kick them if necessary. Now that they've issued their correction, it will be interesting to see how many RWs continue to cite the uncorrected data for how many months.

I'll say that the UAH help given RSS was refreshing. Kudos to them for that.

I regularly see all four temp records mentioned at CA. In fact, that's where I learned about them.

By BillBodell (not verified) on 23 Jan 2008 #permalink

I regularly see all four temp records mentioned at CA. In fact, that's where I learned about them.

And given that they continuously say that the NASA climate scientists are guilty of fraud, blah blah blah, I suppose you're going to try to convince us that they're all treated equally?

Another way to put it, BillBodell, they've embarked with the surface station folks to try to "prove" that the surface station temps are unreliable.

Do they do the same with the UAH reconstructions? Eh? Linky?

I wouldn't expect auditors pe to inspect upside and downside potential errors with equal care. Scale matters, as does reacting to expected biases. If you were looking at mining stock claims by the mine owner, sudden upward value spikes are much more suspicious. Similarly, upward temperature corrections from the Gavin/Mann camp or downward corrections from the McIntyre/McKitrick camp should probably get more careful attention than the reverse.

By Glen Raphael (not verified) on 23 Jan 2008 #permalink

To be useful, an auditor needs to check all data identically, with no bias. A biased auditor is worse than useless, even if every one of his corrections is right. Data can be made more misleading by making it more accurate. It is better to have a dataset with random errors than one in which errors in one direction have been corrected, while those in the other direction have been missed, because this imposes systematic error.

Glen, you have obviously never sold penny stocks. If the mine has some value, pushing the price down so you can buy up other folks stock is an old and much practiced trick.

dhogaza,

I don't think that there's any question that CA focuses on looking for problems with pro-AGW studies. RealClimate pretty much serves the same purpose with AGW skeptic studies.

If CA is deserving of criticism for that then, surely, RealClimate (or Deltoid for that matter) deserve the same. There is only so much a person can do and it's natural that they'd spend more time on what matters more to them. Also, since

CA primarily reviews peer-reviewed studies and, according to the pro-AGW crowd, "there are no peer-reviewed studies that are skeptical of global warming", what would he review if he wanted to?

By BillBodell (not verified) on 24 Jan 2008 #permalink

But Bill, the main issue is that the people at climate audit don't know what they are doing. But instead of carefully going through all the science, they tend to pick up and drop subjects, and make unwarranted assumptions and basically act like they know it all already. By contrast, Realclimate is a haven of generally sensible questions.

Update added to my post:

McIntyre has a new post [where he claims](http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2648):

>In the same post that Rabett criticized here, as originally written, I had incorrectly missed a comment in Hansen et al 1988 saying that Scenario B was the "most plausible", an error which I picked up about 8 hours after the original posting (about 9 am EST) and immediately corrected it when I noticed it. So there was an actual incorrect statement at CA for about 8 hours. Imagine that. I didn't post up notice of the change until about 9 hours later (I was playing in a squash tournament and had to do some chores and went out after making the correction and posted the notice when I returned.) Meanwhile, a few hours after I made the correction, Lambert wrote a post on this error without mentioning that the error had already been corrected as at the time of his post.

McIntyre, of course, does not link to my post so his readers can check to see what I actually wrote.

It seems rather unlikely that McIntyre corrected the post at 9 am. [At 11am](http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2602#comment-199478) he posted a lengthy comment where he continued to argue that A was Hansen's primary scenario. How did he do this after he supposedly went out for the day? At 11:29 am Roger Pielke Jr [posted a comment](http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2602#comment-199491) where he pointed out that Hansen's paper did say that B was the most plausible. Why we he do this if the posted stated this?

It is possible that McIntyre made the correction in the hour between when Pielke posted his comment and when my post went up and because McIntyre did not mark it as a correction I did not notice that he had changed the text. But if I had noticed such as a unmarked correction, I certainly would have commented on it in my post.

I don't think that there's any question that CA focuses on looking for problems with pro-AGW studies. RealClimate pretty much serves the same purpose with AGW skeptic studies.

The way you state this lies at the root of the problem.

Real Climate is focused on CLIMATE SCIENCE and related subjects (paleoclimate, the relevant physics, etc). Yes, they show why bogus pseudoscience is wrong, too, but that's not the focus. The focus is on educating the public in regard to what climate science tells us.

CA is focused on trying to tear down climate science by any means possible. Including personal attacks on climate scientists such as is happening with Lonnie Thompson right now. Including continuous lying about past efforts to tear down 20 year old papers. Etc.

dhogaza wrote:

And given that they continuously say that the NASA climate scientists are guilty of fraud, blah blah blah, I suppose you're going to try to convince us that they're all treated equally?

Can you give me some links to this "continuous" accusation of fraud by Steve McIntyre?

Including personal attacks on climate scientists such as is happening with Lonnie Thompson right now.

Again, can you give some links to personal attacks by Steve on Lonnie Thompson? I've heard Steve criticize Thompson for refusing to archive his data. But "personal attacks"? I haven't seen any.

By Michael Smith (not verified) on 24 Jan 2008 #permalink

It would be interesting if someone had taken snapshots of the article that leads that thread, to document the 'unaudited' changes Stevie Mac made in the text. One of Stevie's less endearing traits is his constant willingness to edit his own history without noting that he has done so - I would even go so far myself as to call it dishonest.

"and, then inconsistently with the graphic shown on the right side only showing Scenario A out to 2050, said (p 9345) that Scenario B was "more plausible", an aside that subsequently assumed considerable significance."
is not what Stevie originally wrote - but the original text has been simply excised, and this added, with no notice that this is a correction or change.

More than once, SteveM has been called on a statement he made in the original post, changed it without comment, and then stood by without comment when other commentors pile on and attack he call from correction, saying that SteveM didn't say that in the original post. Ive seen it happen more than once that SteveM pulled ctriticisms from comments into a top post and mischaracterized what was said, then after a response challenging the mischaracterization, changed the top post to make the error look trivial and the response like whining. He can get away with it, precisely because he does not document his changes.

Some auditor.

guthrie wrote:

But Bill, the main issue is that the people at climate audit don't know what they are doing. But instead of carefully going through all the science, they tend to pick up and drop subjects, and make unwarranted assumptions and basically act like they know it all already.

Can you provide any examples of science they have failed to consider -- or unwarranted assumptions that they've made?

I see lots of accusations at this site. I see little in the way of corroborating evidence.

By Michael Smith (not verified) on 24 Jan 2008 #permalink

RealClimate pretty much serves the same purpose with AGW skeptic studies.

Denialists publish peer-reviewed studies?

Surely you mean 'the same ol' recycled denialist tripe'.

Best,

D

Michael Smith -
SteveM constantly insinuates fraud, but he's careful not to actually claim it. He's been asked directly if he thinks there is fraud, and he has carefully not answered the question.
----
This post http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=216 juxtaposes the Bre-X mining fraud, with UCAR behavior. No accusation, but what the hell is the point of the post, if not to insinuate fraud?
-----
And this:
" How could the millions thrown at scientists be anything other than a veritable inducement to misconduct? When you combine it with the innumerable honors and awards that await the next would-be secular savior of humanity, one wonders that fraud is not even more common than it appears to be.
He was thinking about medical research - I wonder what he'd think of climate research."
Its a post of an editorial from a newspaper - the ONLY point of the post is to get an insinuation of fraud into play. http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=505
-----
And here - he says the issue isn't fraud, but he spends over half his post examining a known fraud and comparing it to climate science:
Now source code in multiproxy climate studies is not the same as drill core and the major concern is mistakes, rather than fraud. But it is incomprehensible to me why the climate science community does not routinely require the archiving of data as used and source code as used, as an elementary means of quality control - just as exploration projects keep drill core.
At one time, when dendrochronologists were writing for the Tree Ring Bulletin with a circulation of (say) 100, maybe it wasn't necessary; but now there's real money involved in climate policy. Something equivalent to drill core should be routinely available.
http://www.climateaudit.org/index.php?p=33
-----
And here, the scare quotes around "lost."
"We discussed the impact of the Gasp� site on the MBH98 reconstruction in our E&E paper. It's too bad that this remarkable site is now "lost"."
http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=182
----
And here, the insinuation that Emanuel and Curry are intentionally cherry picking to avoid newer data:
"Does anyone think that Kerry Emanuel and Judith Curry each have an obligation to issue a report in Nature and/or Science on the 2006 hurricane season? Corporations can't just issue financial statements when they have good years; they have to issue reports in bad years. And let there be no doubt - 2006 was a "bad" year for hurricane alarmists."
http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=919
----

I'm not cherry picking these examples, either. I did a search on CA for "fraud", using the CA search function, and these are from the first 8 hits on that search. Steve does this all the time - it is a constant theme of CA, and indeed one sometimes feels it is the purpose of CA.

Michael smith, - I just posted several examples of StevieMac insinuating fraud, but it got held in the spam filter, probably for too many links. because there are so many examples, I got carried away with them.
He doesn't accuse fraud - he is too smart for that. He insinuates fraud, constantly. And when directly asked if he believes there is fraud, he does not respond to eitehr say yes, or to distance himself from his insinuations.

Hopefully Tim will pass the post with citations through, but do a search on CA - use their search function - for 'fraud' and think about the purpose of the StevieMac posts you retrieve.

After reading much more ClimateAudit than is good for me (to make sure I wasn't missing some horrible error made by climate scientists) I finally realized why the audit model, which is necessary in business, simply doesn't apply to to science.

For any one business, there is only one set of bank accounts, inventories, etc. All the assets (and liabilities) are private property, off limits to everyone outside the company. Outsiders can't see them, or run experiments on them. Audits are done by invitation only.

Science is exactly the reverse of that. The domain of science (the real world) is open to everyone. Anyone can take measurements and do experiments. Doesn't science rely on many people measuring things independently, and then comparing notes in public?

If the CA folks don't like the way Lonnie Thompson handles his data, they can drill their own cores (at least while the ice lasts).

Do I have any of this wrong?

By Mark Shapiro (not verified) on 24 Jan 2008 #permalink

As an impartial observer that has been following the "scenario B" correction contriversy from the beginning.

As I attempted pointed out to P. Lewis on the original thread, there is a correction in the main body of the post at the end of the "Hansen et al 1988" paragraph as follows:

[following sentence revised at Jan 17, 2008 about 9 am] Despite the graphic precedence to Scenario A in the right panel graph, Hansen mentioned in the running text (9345):

I know that that was there when I first posted on this topic here in response to P. Lewis. I made several posts trying to clarify the matter with P. Lewis to no avail (my last post was not responded to). I left the topic feeling that I had shown that McIntyre had indeed made the correction at 9 am.

However, McIntyre's response to Lambert and Lambert's response again leaves the issue in doubt. If, as claimed, McIntyre made the correction at 9 am before hurrying off to a squash tournament and returned at 6 pm when he created the post acknowledging the update and his "not defending Micheals" update, then how does one explain the lengthly post at 11 am? Tim Lambert has a valid point here and I'll post something similar at CA. (Later, I've got some work to do now. It's not like I work at NASA). ;)

By BillBodell (not verified) on 24 Jan 2008 #permalink

Micahel, thats a pretty tall order given I don't have all day.
Nevertheless, take this for example:
http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2653#more-2653

Issues with stations are very popular with CA, however, they keep avoiding several points, such as that the trend is corrected by rural stations to avoid urban heat island effects, secondly that merely pointing to potential problems does not science make, since you are not in any way checking whether there are any actual issues with the site. They (although since there are a lot of commentators we can hardly say they, since they have all sorts of individual ideas) then call for deletion of sites they deem bad, but they are not apparently in dialogue with anyone who deals with this sort of thing, nor do they appear to appreciate the various constraints. Others meanwhile don't seem to see what the problem is that others do.
Finally, in this Baltimore case, it turns out that the relevant authorities worked it out decades ago that such places were problematic, hence the various corrections and checks that are carried out.
So, why bring it up in the first place, except to spread confusion and uncertainty?

Actually, Macintyre writes in a fairly sensible manner, although calling Eli the rabbet a NASA apologist is hardly a polite thing to do.
Also, there is this concentration on HAnsens 20 year old work, which nobody will defend as up to date and totally accurate. Yet Macintyre and others spent a thread apparently trying to work out where his 20 year old predictions differed from the observations, with the aim of emphasising uncertainty. (It seems they are unhappy with Hansen not having a time machine from which to take observations of the future) When posters argue that the hockey stick is broken and that climatologists have to be watched like hawks, I am afraid that the reason for the site existing is clear.

Some of the posters are at least acting sensibly, and apparently thinking well, but others, you have to ask what they are doing there.

To those intent on throwing doubt on climate science, simply having data corrected for known problems is counted as cause to doubt it's veracity. Since their intended audience is the lay public, who aren't likely to look deeply into the matter or have enough knowhow to assess the legitimacy of such corrections, implying fraud is easy. For real allegations of fraud there are real procedures and if the allegations have no basis and malicious there are, rightly, real consequences.

Meanwhile talk of base motivations and suggestive implication features heavily in denialist material and any scientific detail will either be simplistically misleading or so complex and dense that no layperson can come away more informed or be left unimpressed. RealClimate does challenge scientific claims made, both the misleadingly simplistic and the impressively dense. Someone needs to do so or the lay public are left with no serious critiques of the critiques of climate science. Real problems always get real attention but if the criticisms have no sound basis they should be openly challenged, not ignored.

CA prints a large amount of reviews of papers, mostly without assistance from the original authors.
There will be errors. Even in peer reviewed stuff errors and omissions occur. The key point is that errors should be corrected in a timely manner, preferably without a great who ha.
A thank-you or a sorry is appropriate sometimes. But I can not really get worked up about whether a correction took 9 hours or 19 hours to post. There is just too much research being reviewed over at CA, and some much more substantial issues real or imagined.
The live threads are edited, and CA are up front about this. Blogs are not a substitute for peer reviewed papers, and properly archived data series and programs. Anyone can set up an alternative blog. Not so easy to get an alternative ice core.

By Sean Egan (not verified) on 24 Jan 2008 #permalink

Steve McIntyre has a nasty habit of editing in his benefit without showing the correction or the earlier mistake. Not only is it self-serving, it actually makes it that much harder to actually have a debate/discussion. And when you add in the meandering posts, the refusal to clearly concede points, it's a frigging Cold Fusionist style mess.

Mark Shapiro,

If the CA folks don't like the way Lonnie Thompson handles his data, they can drill their own cores (at least while the ice lasts).

Do I have any of this wrong?

If Lonnie Thompson used his own money or that of some private enterprise then, of course, he would be free to do whatever he pleased with his ice cores. But the fact of the matter is that most researchers are using money from governmental agencies (i.e. NSF) and public universities. This isn't necessarily enough to expect him to archive his data.

But, when the NSF agency-wide policy states that researchers are "expected to share with other researchers, at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time, the primary data, samples, physical collections and other supporting materials created or gathered." Then I think we might have a problem. Most peer-reviewed journals also have rules about archiving that are routinely ignored (whether by science in general or climate science in particular, I'm not qualified to say).

Personally, my biggest shock to date since reading up on this stuff is that data are not routinely archived. How, exactly, are others to replicate your results (a key part of the scientific method) if they can't get access to the data?

And even if none of this was the case, are we to up-end the world on the basis of studies that can not be validated? This is not to say that ALL climate studies do not have their data properly archived. If I were a politician, my first suggestion would be that all studies without properly archived data should be excluded from public policy discussions.

By BillBodell (not verified) on 24 Jan 2008 #permalink

Bodell - what data gets archived? Back wehn I was still doign science, my PhD work, I had a large data set of recorded and analyzed behavior. There was the primary recording - raw video and audio. There was the first level analysis - the result of the algorithm that detected behavioral and audio events we were interested in, and gave time and time intervals for them. There was the result of the analysis of characteristics of certain audio events and certain key behavioral markers for each event. And there was the final summary analysis for each recording - 9 key values.

We published a statistical analysis of the 9 key values, put the total data set for thsoe 9 valeus where they could be easily sent to interested parties, adn filed the remaining recordings. Anyone wanting to use them would be required to do an analysis simialar to ours, for them to be of any use.

This is standard archiving in the fields I know.

Should Thompson archive every value for every test from every instrument for every sample he took? With the controls and calibration runs? At what level downstream does he archive?

Billbodell:

If I were a politician, my first suggestion would be that all studies without properly archived data should be excluded from public policy discussions.

And if he were a real politician, he would then declare any information he liked to be "commercial-in-confidence" so that his own actions would be excluded from public policy discussions.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 24 Jan 2008 #permalink

How, exactly, are others to replicate your results (a key part of the scientific method) if they can't get access to the data?

Why, of course, collecting their own data and using your methods. Just like everyone on the planet does it.

If you want the data to crunch it yourself, ask the PR. Just like everyone on the planet does it.

I'm all for better archival methods, as is everyone else. But it's not like there is going to be an army of people going around behind, say, pHarma researchers and asking for their data. We have the free market to straighten out their studies, after all.

Best,

D

If I were a politician, my first suggestion would be that all studies without properly archived data should be excluded from public policy discussions.

In other words, you'd have them ignore McIntyre, who has never done a study and has no data to archive.

But, when the NSF agency-wide policy states that researchers are "expected to share with other researchers, at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time, the primary data, samples, physical collections and other supporting materials created or gathered." Then I think we might have a problem. Most peer-reviewed journals also have rules about archiving that are routinely ignored (whether by science in general or climate science in particular, I'm not qualified to say).

You're right, you're not qualified to say.

Yet, you say, "rules about archiving are routinely ignored".

Because McIntyre says so.

What McIntyre is *really* saying is that the data must be archived as he sees fit. There's no indication that any of the people who've paid for Thompson's work see any problem with the way he's archived his data, or shared his work, but since McIntyre says there's a problem, why, the rules are being ignored.

Personally, my biggest shock to date since reading up on this stuff is that data are not routinely archived. How, exactly, are others to replicate your results (a key part of the scientific method) if they can't get access to the data?

"getting access to someone else's data" isn't "replicating results".

Earlier in this thread it was said about Climate Audit "that they continuously say that the NASA climate scientists are guilty of fraud".

A few people have tried to support this claim, but it has not yet been substantiated by a single example of the authors of Climate Audit saying that any NASA climate scientist is guilty of fraud.

It is one thing to say that a scientist is cherry-picking, or is unreasonably reluctant to share data - but neither of those accusations are anywhere near fraud.

I have no connection with CA and I am not a scientist, just someone who wants to learn more about why the climate is changing. It would be a demonstration of a desire to have an honest debate if it was clearly acknowledged that while CA is often critical of some NASA scientists it does not continuously accuse them of fraud.

It would be a demonstration of a desire to have an honest debate if it was clearly acknowledged that while CA is often critical of some NASA scientists it does not continuously accuse them of fraud.

We don't say they CONTINUOUSLY accuse them of fraud, only that they, McIntyre in particular, HAS done so.

Indirectly, as pointed out above.

Unfortunately, Tamino's blog site doesn't archive more than a few of his threads, so I can't point you to the discussion over there in which McIntyre did so.

But the story goes that McIntyre was asked point blank if he was accusing Mann of fraud.

McIntyre didn't answer directly, but responded with a story regarding something Mann supposedly did, which, if true, would hint very strongly that Mann was guilty of scientific misconduct or fraud.

It was pointed out to McIntyre (with ample documentation) that his story was false. He was asked again, "are you accusing him of fraud, yes or no".

He didn't answer. He continued to post on the thread, but would not answer the direct question. Asked again, he still refused to.

Think about it. He posts an incriminating story, never retracts it, won't answer a direct question.

That's his MO. Or when he gets frustrated and DOES make a direct statement to that effect on his blog, he goes back and edits it out.

Now, I don't expect you to be convinced. But don't you imagine for a moment that you're going to convince those of us who've read McIntyre's rantings for years are simply hallucinating these things.

McIntyre's sentiments are clear.

Ah, here's something specific, posted by McIntyre - later edited or deleted by him, but saved elsehwere and posted on Eli Rabett's blog:

The assignment of the 1997-1998 Nino to 1997 was not just for "simplicity", but to improve the stats. It's hard to imagine that they didn't also do calculations using the preceding season indices, discarding these calculations when they didn't work as well. This sort of data snooping needs to be reflected in confidence estimates, but isn't done here."

This is a direct accusation of scientific misconduct.

By McIntyre.

It is one thing to say that a scientist is cherry-picking

This is an accusation of fraud.

And here's a post where McIntyre notes his having filed formal charges of academic misconduct against Wahl and Ammann.

Of course, if his story is 100% accurate, I'm sure they're guilty, but given McIntyre's history, I wouldn't bet a pfenning on his story being 100% accurate.

More McIntyre

The disclosure issues in our E&E article were ones that really stuck in my craw...

1) If Mann calculated an R2 statistic and it was adversely insignificant, by prospectus standards, that was mandatory disclosure.
2) Likewise with bristlecones.
3) Likewise with Gaspe and the failure to disclose the unique "editing"
4) false claim about bristlecone robustness
...

These are really misconduct issues that should have been investigated by the universities or by the learned societies...

If I were them, I'd be inclined to ask one of the learned societies to investigate the misconduct aspects of the MBH failure to disclose. That would have one real advantage: it would isolate whether the failure to disclose was a defect in disclosure standards applicable to climate science or whether it was misconduct by the individual scientists...

Note the "scare quotes" around "editing" in #3. It's clear that he's suggesting the dataset has been dishonestly manipulated.

Note the frequent use of the words "misconduct", which, in case you're unaware, is a VERY serious charge which if shown to be true can be very injurious to a researcher's career.

You still want to claim he doesn't hurl accusations of this sort around?

Sorry, my time to google for you is limited, you can find a huge number of McIntyre quotes claiming misconduct, implying fraud, etc if you only care to do the work.

This is an accusation of fraud.

Good catch by Zarquon, an accusation of cherry-picking is essentially an accusation of fraudulently choosing a subset of data to support a pre-ordained conclusion, while hiding data that undermines the conclusion.

dhogaza it was you who said " they continuously say that the NASA climate scientists are guilty of fraud".

I think it is now quite clearly established that your statement was false.

There seems to be some simple errors in logic.

1) Fraud is a form of misconduct. (true premise)

2) CA made an accusation of misconduct. (true)

3) Therefore CA made an accusation of fraud.(false conclusion)

Do I have to explain that although all fraud is misconduct not all misconduct is fraud? I could have made a similar demonstration based on the argument that just because some cherry-picking is fraud it does not mean that all cherry-picking is fraud.

You claimed that CA continuously accuses NASA scientists of fraud, yet have failed to find a single example of them doing so.

Martin,

"1) Fraud is a form of misconduct. (true false premise)

Your premise is backwards:

Misconduct (falsifying results or procedure) is a form of fraud. Cherry-picking (falsifying or dishonest selection of data) is a form of fraud. Always.

Fraud is the general case. Misconduct and cherry-picking are particular types of fraudulent behavior.

It is not uncharacteristic of CA supporters to turn logic on it's head.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 25 Jan 2008 #permalink

Martin, this is an accusation of fraud:

It's hard to imagine that they didn't also do calculations using the preceding season indices, discarding these calculations when they didn't work as well.

And accusations of non-fraud misconduct are just as inexcusable when not backed up by evidence.

Aha, in light of luminous beauty's post I retract my statement in favor of that more correct statement. I feel enlightened.

Lee

Should Thompson archive every value for every test from every instrument for every sample he took? With the controls and calibration runs? At what level downstream does he archive?

My response is that he should follow NSF policy and "share with other researchers, at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time, the primary data, samples, physical collections and other supporting materials created or gathered."

dhogaza,

Yet, you say, "rules about archiving are routinely ignored".
Because McIntyre says so.

Actually, tamino said so. When I first became aware of the archiving problem, I posted to tamino's site. He confirmed that much climate science data was not archived. Of course, he also said the usual things about "all scientists do it", "scientists are reluctant to give the data to people like McIntyre" etc.

In other words, you'd have them ignore McIntyre, who has never done a study and has no data to archive.

True. If McIntyre did a study and did not archive the data, I would ignore it. When considering a study with properly archieved data, McIntyre would be allowed to comment on it (along with any one else). Any data used by McIntyre at CA (and almost all posters) is archived and publicly available.

AGW proponents would have a lot more credibilty if they'd just say "yes, archiving is important and we believe that it should always be done". Some do and they are more credible. I'd like to see more pressure from then to encourage their others to do so.

By BillBodell (not verified) on 25 Jan 2008 #permalink

Luminous Beauty should take a course in elementary logic. All fraud is misconduct, but not all misconduct is fraud.

LB can you give me an example of fraud that is not misconduct? I can think of lots examples of misconduct, such as carelessness, tardiness, failure to archive data, ethical issues about sex or race, etc which are not fraud.

And here's Mcintyre accusing a journalist of fraud. So this sort of behavior is pretty standard for McIntyre when he disagrees with something.

BillBodell,

Yes, information wants to be free. We'd all love to see a world where that is true. But we live in the real world, not an ideal one.

'Skeptics' would be a lot more credible if they'd admit:

That researchers (and the institutions who fund them) who have hauled a ton of sensitive equipment up the side of a mountain in some remote corner of the world under extreme adverse conditions might have some interest in controlling the distribution of the product of their effort.

That there might be proprietary institutional forces that counter the free dissemination of raw information.

That "share with other researchers" does not mean open your entire collection, whether it is germane to the study of interest or not, to any dick-head who wants a peek.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 25 Jan 2008 #permalink

Martin,

Your black swan isn't a swan at all, but merely a particularly ugly duckling fashioned from straw.

None of your examples rise to the level of scientific misconduct, which is a serious charge with serious consequences. To call such things as 'tardiness' 'misconduct' is to trivialize the seriousness of scientific misconduct.

Bunko or Ponzi schemes or false advertising are forms of fraud which have absolutely nothing to do with scientific misconduct.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 25 Jan 2008 #permalink

I said

Yet, you say, "rules about archiving are routinely ignored". Because McIntyre says so.

BillBodell responds

Actually, tamino said so. When I first became aware of the archiving problem, I posted to tamino's site. He confirmed that much climate science data was not archived.

I'm speaking about rules, in particular the fact that the data, after being subjected to a minimum of processing (decadal averaging), IS archived and IS available via FTP, and the PNAS article that has McIntyre's panties in a twist mentions that data as part of the Supplemental Materials, as provided for in the very rules MacIntyre claims are being broken.

Are you following, at last?

dhogaza it was you who said " they continuously say that the NASA climate scientists are guilty of fraud".

I think it is now quite clearly established that your statement was false.

Actually, it depends on what you mean by "authors". If you mean "McIntyre", then no, he doesn't *continuously* say they're guilty of fraud. He just hints at it on a very regular basis.

If by "authors" you mean frequent posters there who McIntyre doesn't edit (and he edits quite heavily, there, so his selectiveness is meaningful), then, yes, there is a CONTINUOUS flood of accusations of fraud on the part of NASA climate researchers.

Mann and Hansen in particular, and more recently Gavin Schmidt.

Luminous Beauty makes selective use of the adjective "scientific" to try to get of the hook of making an elementary logical clanger. It does not help, and a simple apology for the error would have been better than trying to wriggle out, which is frankly rather embarrassing.

OK let's use the word "scientific":
Can you find an example of scientific fraud that is not scientific misconduct?

LB also thinks that introducing "serious" helps. It doesn't. There are countless examples of serious scientific misconduct that are not scientific fraud - do I really need to give examples? (OK then: Nazi medical experiments; turning up at the lab high on drugs; demanding sexual favours from your research assistants - would all be looked on as serious misconduct by the scientific ethics committee.)

Tamino's earlier posts are available
from the clickable link at very bottom of each page
and from the Internet Archive
and from Google's cache files
Just pick your search terms.

Determinations of what is misbehavior, etc., should come from those responsible for making those decisions. Bloggers aren't. Data is available to _other_researchers_ not to self-elected auditors, if you read the guidelines.

The war on science is illustrated again each time some new userid shows up pasting in the same cookie cutter talking points with no personal knowledge of how science works.

There have been only a very few scientists in the whole history of humankind. Most of them are alive today. How it works changes, very fast.

It's called the enlightenment. It's not typical of any human civilization before a few centuries ago and it's not typical of most of them now, nor of most people in this Internet era.

Wish us all luck keeping it.

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 25 Jan 2008 #permalink

Fraud, noun:

one definition

any deception, trickery, or humbug...

The CA meme, and McIntyre's own writings make it clear he believes this to be true, is that climate scientists are engaged in DECEPTION, a form of fraud as commonly understood in english.

Of course, the most interesting thing here, is that Martin is trying to salvage CA's reputation based on the narrowest nitpicking about choice of words.

Scientific or academic misconduct is a specific accusation that's far more SERIOUS than simply calling someone a fraud (in a non-legal context). Academic misconduct can ruin a career.

Bodell says Thompson should:
"share with other researchers, at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time, the primary data, samples, physical collections and other supporting materials created or gathered."

"other researchers" Stevie Mac is not a researcher - he has no expertise -none- in ice core sampling and preparation, in the instrumental methods by which measurements are taken from the samples, in the calibration and data checking of results from those machines, and so on.

"incremental cost" What is the incremental cost of a chunk of ice core? So, sample access for these MUST be closely guarded.

"primary data" Define primary data. This is the question I posed above, Bodell, and you just avoided it. Is the primary data the output of the instruments and the calibration and control runs? Is it the corrected, calibrated results after results for calibrations and controls are applied? This is a real question.

Martin,

Scientific misconduct is a special category of academic misconduct. It is not showing up for work on drugs nor hitting up on grad students nor Nazi medical experiments. It is any one of a number of deceptive and intentionally mis-leading practices that create false and fraudulent conclusions in a scientific study that is submitted to publish in professional refereed review.

To conflate a general definition of a word with the specific and narrow meaning being used is textbook straw man rhetoric. Your obfuscating is only too obvious.

This conversation isn't about throwing spitballs in class. We're talking about making veiled insinuations of scientists faking their results.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 25 Jan 2008 #permalink

Martin, you have now been shown multiple instances of StevieMac claiming manipulation and misrepresentation of the data by climate scientists, both explicitly and implicitly, and in fact making overt accusations of "misconduct" using that word juxtaposed with descriptions of alleged actions by the scientists. Descriptions that in fact describe alleged fraudulent behavior.

You are trying to argue that because Stevie used the word "misconduct" while he was describing what would be fraudulent behavior , that he was not actually accusing them of fraud.

Get frickin' real.

This conversation isn't about throwing spitballs in class. We're talking about making veiled insinuations of scientists faking their results.

Insinuations that could ruin their careers, as obviously Inhofe was trying to do when he ran with such claims in his McCarthy-like committee hearings a couple of years ago.

But in Martin's mind, it all depends on what the meaning of "is" is.

Not McIntyre's patently obvious actions.

LB it would be very easy to prove your case that misconduct is a subset of fraud if you could provide a single example of scientific fraud that is not scientific misconduct.

Dhogaza and others need to understand that "fraud" implies the intention to deceive. On Tamino's site yesterday Dhogaza said that McIntyre had demanded from Lonnie Thompson not just the data, but the actual ice cores themselves. That was untrue, but it was not a lie because Dhogaza was simply mistaken and did not intend to deceive. anyone. As far as I can see (and I am simply a lurker who, for what is worth, is convinced that AGW is real and dangerous) McIntyre himself never goes so far as to accuse anyone of fraud. For example omitting an R2 result could be misconduct without being fraud, if Mann genuinely believed it to be irrelevant to his findings (which is presumably what his supporters think happened). On the other hand if Mann had thought that the R2 blew a hole in his paper and negated some of his results then not mentioning it would be fraud. It is all a matter of motive and I prefer to think the best of people.

Dhogaza and others need to understand that "fraud" implies the intention to deceive.

So does a charge of academic/scientific misconduct.

That was untrue, but it was not a lie because Dhogaza was simply mistaken and did not intend to deceive. anyone.

And no one rational would accuse me of misconduct in the belief that doing so would not imply an intent to deceive.

No one rational would try to split this hair in the first place.

As far as I can see (and I am simply a lurker who, for what is worth, is convinced that AGW is real and dangerous) McIntyre himself never goes so far as to accuse anyone of fraud.

As we've said, he's very careful with the words he chooses.

Rather than directly say "fraud!" he says, "well, here's a similar case, that was fraud".

And then when his buddies throw the "fraud" word around right and left he'll just sit back and smile.

When asked directly, "do you disagree that it's fraud?", he shuts up.

Get real, here.

A call for auditing I can support and I'm sure all the CA people will support as well, appears in today's NYT:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/25/business/25norris.html

-----excerpt----
...
"'It's like walking blind in a minefield,' said Nouriel Roubini, a New York University economics professor who warned of an impending credit crisis at this conference a year ago. 'You have no idea if your counterparty has a lot of toxic waste, or not much.'...
...
"Until this summer, it was easy to trust the banks. The Basel II capital guidelines for banks, now being phased in around the world, even relied on the banks' own credit evaluations to decide how much capital they needed to back a given loan.

"But what appeared to be a well-capitalized financial system has turned out to be the opposite, as big bank after big bank has had to seek huge capital infusions. Securities that banks had been able to keep off balance sheets -- Mr. Roubini says regulators should never have allowed such things -- have come back just in time to provide large losses.

"'We did not,' an executive of one financial institution said, 'fully understand the extent of the risks' in some securities. For obvious reasons, he did not want to be identified.
...
"George Soros ... wants bank regulators to go in and audit the big financial institutions, and then either close them down or give them clean bills of health, with explicit guarantees of their positions. Then traders would know some counterparties were safe."
-----end excerpt------

I eagerly await the display of agreement with Mr. Soros's call for auditing where needed from the CA folks. Failure to do this could cost billions more than already evaporated.

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 25 Jan 2008 #permalink

Martin - bullpucky.

Academic misconduct does not include honest diferences in judgement or mistakes. University adacemic misconduct policy statements typically include a clause that explicitly spells this out. Here is one from Urbana-Champaign:
"Differences of interpretation or judgment, or honest error, do not constitute academic misconduct."
http://www.research.uiuc.edu/ai/definition.asp

The heart of academic misconduct is intent to deceive or to evade requirements. When StevieMac says "misconduct" about a scientist, anyone in science reads an implication of intent.

And when he juxtaposes stories of fraudulent actions with descriptions of alleged behavior by scientists that match those fraudulent actions, he is describing fraud, while carefully (and dishonestly) not actually using the word.

Your nitpicking (and incorrect - but I'll assume it is an "honest error") parsing of language is repeatedly evading these simple facts.

Your nitpicking (and incorrect - but I'll assume it is an "honest error") parsing of language is repeatedly evading these simple facts.

Martin's been given several chances in this thread to learn why his honest statements are in error.

It's time for him to honestly admit to error, and to quit pretending that his reading of such accusations has any relationship to how the real world of academic institutions, grantors, and (in the case of federally administered grants) federal watchdog agencies view academic misconduct.

Speaking of Stevie Mac's constant drumbeat of "fraud," here's a case where a guy is getting sued for claiming fraud. (The problem, of course, is that only right-wing frauds sue when they are called on fraud. So I guess that Stevie Mac is safe from Gavin Schmidt and Hansen).

January 25, 2008
Judge Reinstates Lawsuit Against UC-Irvine Professor

The saga of a paper purporting to find that prayer doubles the success rate of fertility treatment continues. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has reinstated a defamation lawsuit that he tossed out two months ago against a professor at the University of California at Irvine who has been the study's main debunker.

The lawsuit says that Bruce L. Flamm, a volunteer clinical professor at Irvine, defamed one of the authors of the prayer study, Kwang Y. Cha, a fertility expert, in a commentary in a medical newspaper. The legal wrangling comes after charges of fraud and plagiarism hit two of the paper's authors, and the third dissociated himself from it. --Lila Guterman

McIntyre has a habit of not letting himself get pinned down. He will blow off answering incisive questions or give noncomittal responses. It's a pretty slimy behaviour, but what do you expect from someone who idolizes Bill Clinton.

I am wondering about this discussion.
It is mainly concentrating about the person Steve McIntyre and it is speculating about his intentions. Let's for the sake of argument assume that he is evil and dishonest.

Who cares ? I don't.
I don't need to associate with creationists or holocaust deniers; if I ask for documentation for counterevidence I can be flooded with it. I don't need deep speculations about the character of a specific person, I can see myself
that that what he is claiming is wrong or flawed.

The evidence: Tim has linked to a blog where most of the claimed errors are currently striked-through and Eli himself admits that the RSS correction wasn't McIntyres fault. McIntyre himself acknowledges both corrections (RSS and Hansen). Tempest in a teapot.

So, can anyone provide me with *facts* where McIntyre is simply wrong, where he is lying or falsifying data ? Nothing which can be excused by human error or antagonism, but only with straight malice ?
Under Realclimate I find several discussions, but haven't found anything indiscriminating. Searching with Google in the domain www.climatesciencewatch.org with Steve McIntyre provides nil.

P.S.: Under "Post a comment" "attacks" is written with three t's.

TSK, you haven't found anything "indiscriminating" -- perhaps you're looking at the wrong blog.

Look up claims. If they aren't cited, ask for sources. Check the sources, not second or third hand quotes. Check whether they are correctly described.

You have to make up your own mind about information like this.

Otherwise you're just playing "let's you and him fight" -- you wouldn't want to do that, if you were looking for scientific information.

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 25 Jan 2008 #permalink

Lee,

I didn't say Thompson should: "share with other researchers, at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time, the primary data, samples, physical collections and other supporting materials created or gathered." The NSF did.

It sounds to me that the "primary data" would be prior to calibration and correction. Otherwise, how would one check that the "calibration and correction" was done correctly. But, I'm not a scientist, so maybe one could weigh in here on what "primary data" means.

The "incremental cost" of providing all data from the ice core would be nominal. You're going a bit over the top in suggesting that the ice core itself must be shared. Plenty of climate scientists have properly archived their data. Asking Thompson to do the same is asking him to do no more than others in his field have done.

By trying to rationalize Thompson's actons, you're losing credibility. I believe most climate scientists support archiving.

By BillBodell (not verified) on 25 Jan 2008 #permalink

So, can anyone provide me with facts where McIntyre is simply wrong, where he is lying or falsifying data ?

Yes. Lying. Filed under "Hockey stick. Broken". Endlessly repeated by McIntyre.

Who cares ? I don't. I don't need to associate with creationists or holocaust deniers; if I ask for documentation for counterevidence I can be flooded with it.

Does this mean you don't care if politically creationists manage to kick out biology and geology, and instead force schools to teach that the earth is only 6,000 years old and was created, with life fully-formed, in six days?

You can satisify yourself, with a flood of data, that they're full of crap yet AS I TYPE THIS, local school boards in Florida are engaged in a coordinated effort to get the state education board to drop teaching of evolution in high school biology classes. Based on the exact claims that you correctly point out are refuted by a flood of evidence.

The "broken hockey stick" crap was elevated to "AGW proved false" status largely because of McIntyre's efforts. It has led to accusations in the US Senate that Mann's work is fradulent.

It led to a NAS committee being formed to investigate Mann's work (which, at that point, was over 15 years old). This was done only because of the political pressure behind the "hockey stick is broken, AGW is a fraud" mantra. By that point, climate science didn't really care, because Mann's ancient, early work had been superceded by newer work (all of which confirms the basic story behind the "hockey stick").

The NAS committee largely upheld Mann's results. McIntyre and others lie about what the committee says, claiming that they agree that "the hockey stick is broken". This mantra is still being repeated endlessly in denialist circles and still, today, drives much of the political effort to forestall action on CO2 emissions.

Is that lie big enough for you?

It sounds to me that the "primary data" would be prior to calibration and correction. Otherwise, how would one check that the "calibration and correction" was done correctly

I certainly wouldn't care to release such data to an attack dog like McIntyre.

He's not qualified to deal with calibration and correction issues, and his track record shows that he *is* out simply to discredit the data. He'll come up with some "hockey stick is broken" level of sciency-sounding bullshit, tout it to the heavens, get his friends in the RW press, Congress and elsewhere, and next thing we'll be hearing is that "ice core data is bogus" blah blah blah.

I think someone like Thompson is being perfectly reasonable if he chooses not to treat McIntyre like a legitimate research scientist. McIntyre's not one. He's a political animal with a clear agenda to discredit climate scientist and those working in the field, regardless of the validity of the work.

"There's an interesting article on the non-availability of cancer study data by a statistician (Vickers) in this week's NYTimes, Science Times. Very much on point.
"

Indeed, this is significant. Certainly jibes with my experience in the bio world; people will not give you their hard-earned data until all the publications have been squeezed out of it, unless you have a close enough personal relationship that they trust you will not steal a publication out from under them, and just intend to use it as support data for something you've done yourself. Good grief, with the competition for grant money so tough and the length of your list of publications so important to your career.

Bodell,

You ignored a main point of my post - StevieMac is NOT a scientist. Not an ice core scientist, not a climate scientist. Those criteria require release to researchers. McIntyre is not one.

Thompson HAS archived his data. You don't like the level of processing at which he did so. Fine. That does not mean he didn't do so, and please stop making the false claim that he has not archived his data.

Lee:

Asking an overt and insulting liar not to do his thing is wasted keystrokes.

These downer trolls with probable TSE are not even good scrapple.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 25 Jan 2008 #permalink

We are still waiting for LB to find an example of scientific fraud that is not misconduct and for Dhogaza to find single example of McIntyre accusing someone of fraud.

What does it take for some people to admit they made a mistake?

What does it take for some people to admit they made a mistake?

The contents of this thread speak for themselves, as do your pathetic efforts at tamino's blog. Honest lurkers who might be reading here can draw their own conclusions.

If you want to be known as a dishonest troll, I certainly am not going to give a shit.

More innuendo by McIntyre

Here's an interesting op ed by philosopher David Oderburg, who says:

I venture to suggest that contemporary science is now so corrupted by the lust for loot and glory that nothing less than root-and-branch reform can save it...How could the millions thrown at scientists be anything other than a veritable inducement to misconduct? When you combine it with the innumerable honors and awards that await the next would-be secular savior of humanity, one wonders that fraud is not even more common than it appears to be.

He was thinking about medical research - I wonder what he'd think of climate research.

McIntyre makes it clear here what HE thinks of climate research.

Innuendo. Implied between-the-lines statements.

It's all there for Martin or any other honest reader to see.

So, Martin, why are you investing so much time in the defense of a provably dishonest and dishonorable man like McIntyre?

Do you share his sense of ethics?

My main testing point for Hockey Team studies is a different nuance: I don't think that most of the proxies are proxies for temperature; so they function as noise and there is no signal. Then if you cherrypick a couple of nonclimatic hockeysticks, you get a hockey stick shaped aggregate.

In science, an accusation of cherry picking is an accusation of fraud. Doesn't get any clearer than that, Martin.

The issue is not that the original data were fraudulent. I'm sure that they were what was reported. The issue is not reporting the later data.

Accusing someone of not reporting later data that refutes one's conclusion is, again, an accusation of cherry picking.

Which, in science, is an accusation of fraud, of misconduct.

Martin is just playing the sophist. Scientific misconduct is scientific fraud and scientific fraud is scientific misconduct. They are synonymous.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 26 Jan 2008 #permalink

@ luminous_beauty
: Scientific misconduct is scientific fraud and scientific
: fraud is scientific misconduct. They are synonymous.

That is plain wrong. Scientic fraud is falsifying and misrepresenting data and conclusions and therefore a subset of scientific misconduct.
Misconduct includes dubious behavior which may be entirely legal but which hinders scientific progress. Examples:

- "Salami" publishing: Even if all data is complete and the conclusion can be published in one article, it is published in several pieces and over a longer time range to "optimize" the impact factor.

- Simply copying all correct (!) relevant citations without ever perusing the article. Can be detected by citing the wrong page number and misspellings.
Some doctorands here hide intentionally bogus references to test the examiner.

- Stop a critical article as reviewer because the author is working on a competing method or presents data which invalides the reviewers pet theories. Build a "citation cartel"; that means scientists are exclusively citing their colleagues working on the same method or conclusions and never citing other scientists work.

So scientic fraud is scientific misconduct, but not otherwise.

Dhogaza: I need some time to review the debate. But what is that what you are citing ?

"Does this mean you don't care if politically creationists manage to kick out biology and geology, and instead force schools to teach that the earth is only 6,000 years old and was created, with life fully-formed, in six days?"

I don't see that answer on the blog ? Who wrote that ?

TSK,

I'm not buying it.

All your examples are acts of misconduct that defraud and deceive the scientific community. It is the defrauding and the deceiving that makes them misconduct.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 26 Jan 2008 #permalink

oh, good fricking god.

Scientific misconduct, as Ive seen it defined in every misconduct policy I've ever read, consists of acting with intent to deceive or to evade. Those are fraudulent actions - academic misconduct is fraud.

But it DOES NOT FUCKING MATTER!!!! about the nit picking parsing of the exact meaning of terms. Stevie Mac has attributed certain intentional actions to climate scientists. He has done so directly, and by implication. He does so repeatedly. Those alleged actions, if true, would constitute academic misconduct and/or fraud. He has used the word misconduct. And he won't let himself be nailed down, either to confirm that he is making such an accusation, or to distance himself from them. Take the word 'fraud' completely out of play here, as you are attempting to do, and mcintyre's conduct is still every bit as far out of line.

Arguing in the face of all that about whether mcintyre has made accusations of fraud specifically and exactly and purely by some carefully parsed definition of 'fraud' that distinguishes it from misconduct, or if he merely said misconduct, is like arguing over whether the priest at the service said that the guy in the casket is dead or if he merely said deceased.

Amusing as it is to see Luminous Beauty wriggling in the defence of an unsustainable position, I am inclined to agree with Lee's conclusion that this argument has become rather repetitive and it is time to move on.

I am surprised to find myself in the role of defender of Climate Audit, since I have been reading it for only a few weeks, and have certainly read less than 10% of the articles (I am also going through Real Climate archives at a steady pace). I certainly do not like or agree with everything on CA, but neither can I go along with the abuse that McIntyre gets for asking awkward questions.

I wonder how many of the fiercest critics of McIntyre have read Wegman's report on MBH98/99. http://energycommerce.house.gov/reparchives/108/Hearings/07192006hearin… . Unless you think that Wegman is himself a "troll" who should be ignored or worse, then his report shows that there certainly was a lot wrong with MBH98/99. It is rather odd to me that after the Wegman report the criticism of McIntyre increased. Wegman showed that there were grave errors in MBH98/99 which were missed by the peer review system until McIntyre pointed them out. Why is the climate science community not grateful for that? Or is that question answered in the section of the report showing the connections between the peer group and the authors of MBH?

Martin, I did not say the argument was repetitive. I said, more politely than now, that your argument was full of crap. I'll be blunt now, because your "wriggling in the defense of an unsustainable position" is beginning to look like it is being done with intent.

Wegman's criticism found a problem with centering. What he does NOT say in that criticism, is that the choice of how many components to include from the PCA is not made arbitrarily, but rather based on how much variance the components explain. When centered properly, it is true that the first component become flat - but the climate signal is pushed down to a lower component, and the variance spread among moee components. Note that Wegman does not show a new analysis - he only shows the first component after his new centering. Wegman knows better.

He does not talk at all about choice of components to include - he says only that Mann et all used the first component, and he shows only the first component after his new centering. He does not at show or even discuss that happens to the 2nd, 3rd, etc principle components as a result of recentering, or of criteria for selecting components. He STOPS SHORT of doing a new analysis - and a new analysis with corrected centering, including a proper set of components based on variance explained, still gives a result very similar to Mann's original.

He also does not say there are any errors in subsequent analyses - he points out that they share data, but the criticism he makes is not choice of data, but analysis, so that is irrelevant.

His 'social network' analysis found that climate scientists publish with climate scientists. Gee....

Lee I have no intention of responding to abuse.

I just suggest that people read Wegman, not the spin put on it by Climate Audit or Real Climate or anyone else, and make up their own minds whether or not McIntyre made a useful contribution to the debate by indentifying flaws in an influential paper. McIntyre did not accuse Mann et al of fraud, but of getting their sums wrong - I will leave it up those who bother to read Wegman to make up their own minds about whether or not McIntyre was right about that.

Of course flaws in MBH98/99 do not in any way mean that AGW is not real or of major concern. As someone who is interested in arguing the case about AGW and answering sceptics I feel that I would be helped if the climate science community were rather more willing to accept criticism where it is justified. Unfortunately the reluctance of climate scientists to do this only encourages those who believe that there is a conspiracy trying to suppress the truth.

Lee: "Wegman knows better."

Wegman's criticism found a problem with centering. What he does NOT say in that criticism, is that the choice of how many components to include from the PCA is not made arbitrarily, but rather based on how much variance the components explain. When centered properly, it is true that the first component become flat - but the climate signal is pushed down to a lower component, and the variance spread among moee components. Note that Wegman does not show a new analysis - he only shows the first component after his new centering. Wegman knows better.

Well, Wegman probably does know better, as he's a world-class statistician.

The choice of how many components to include from the PCA is actually semi-arbitrary. It is based on the amount of variance explained, but there is no hard and fast rule, rather a bunch of suggestions: scree test, eigenvalue rule, Preisendorfer etc. In some instances they will give different recommendations.

Anyway, it's a sideshow. What happened was this. Mann's PC1 loaded the North American bristlecone pine (BCP) series. When the centering error was corrected, the BCPs were shunted the low-order PC4.

Post hoc, Mann claimed that PC4 should be retained (citing Preisendorfer). As the subsequent regression step doesn't "care" how much variance is explained by the PCs, results are similar as long as the BCPs are retained. At the end of the day, MBH9x is not robust to the inclusion/exclusion of the BCPs.

Many of the subsequent reconstructions include the BCPs, and Mann's PC1 persists in recent publications.

In 2006 the NAS Panel reommended that strip-bark (BCP) series be avoided in climate reconstructions.

NRC panel member Peter Bloomfield:
"Subsequent work has carried out very similar analyses with principal components replaced by much simpler methods like simple averaging and has arrived at essentially very similar reconstructions. So the committee reviewed that and other statistical issues that had been identified in that first analysis and while finding that the issues are real but that they had a minimal effect, not a material effect, on the reconstruction."

"[Mann et al's methods] were all quite reasonable choices. I think in some cases a lot of subsequent, hard work by others in following up on that have showed that some of those choices could have been made better, but they were quite plausible at the time. I would not have been embarrassed by that work at the time, had I been involved in it and I certainly saw nothing that spoke to me of any manipulation or anything other than an honest attempt at constructing a data analysis procedure."

http://video.nationalacademies.org/ramgen/news/isbn/0309102561.rm

TSK:

I don't care if Steve M wacks off to pictures of Hill and Bill. Or rolls around with Newt Gingrich in olive oil. I agree that his proclivities are irrelevant if his points are relevant. The problem is that no one can even pin him down on what his points ARE! He doesn't write peer-reviewed papers, he doesn't write discussion papers. On his blog, he edits without telling people, he controls the debate and the head posts, he confounds issues and wanders around in usufruct/provenance filled screeds. And he won't let himself be pinned down. He's a silly blog debater. Not someone actually trying to be incisive. Most of the left is just as bad, since you all don't really want to THINK. You want to be sophists. Fuckers.

am surprised to find myself in the role of defender of Climate Audit

Watching your lame and increasingly dishonest defense of McIntyre, I wouldn't hire you to defend against a parking citation. A judge would laugh you and your attempts to shave micron-thin differences of meaning for two words whose meanings are clear and well-understood by researchers right out of court.

And, yes, you stupid twits, we know all about Wegman.

Well, Wegman probably does know better, as he's a world-class statistician.

And Wegman is willing to sully his reputation as a "world-class statistician" by agreeing, in writing, with the statement "global warming ended in 1998".

1. Choosing a starting or ending point in a data series to fit a preconceived conclusion is a classic form of cherry picking, which, as we've pointed out many times, in science is considered fraudulent.

2. Even more stupid, for a world-class statistician, is not checking that an analysis shows that the statement that "global warming has ended in 1998" is statistically defensible. It's not. You don't need to be a world-class statistician to figure that out.

So much for his reputation and his impartiality when it comes to climate science.

He's also made other ridiculous claims, like he assumes that CO2, due to its mass, is all distributed within a few meters above the surface.

How's your hero looking now, twits?

And for those of you who don't think that McIntyre hasn't put "fraud" into play, why the hell do you think that NAS member Bloomfield felt compelled to explicitly make clear that "spoke to me of any manipulation or anything other than an honest attempt at constructing a data analysis procedure"?

And note the moving goalposts by TCK. Now it's not about Wegman or the fact that his criticisms about the statistical approach taken by Mann was felt to be immaterial by the NAS review panel (despite McIntyre's continous "hockey stick is broken" lie). It's about bristlecones. Knock down that argument, and TCK will undoubtably switch to the supposed uncertainty of the land-based surface temperature reconstructions. On and on. It never ends with these twits.

As someone who is interested in arguing the case about AGW and answering sceptics I feel that I would be helped if the climate science community were rather more willing to accept criticism where it is justified. Unfortunately the reluctance of climate scientists to do this only encourages those who believe that there is a conspiracy trying to suppress the truth.

This high-sounding statement is just bullshit since your castigation of the "unfortunate reluctance" depends on the criticisms being "justified".

While, of course, they're not.

Climate scientists "reluctantly accept" Wegman's criticisms, they enthusiastically kicked the crap out of them byh showing that they weren't material to the analysis made by Mann. Something Wegman should've done himself if the attack wasn't politically motivated. Read the NAS review panel member's quote above and go watch the video, and go read other responses made by scientists.

Climate scientists haven't been "reluctant to accept" McIntyre's repeated claim that "the hockey stick is broken". They've kicked the crap out of his claims, too.

How about you?

Do you eagerly accept my charge that you've been beating your wife? Going to turn yourself in, or are you going to encourage us to think that there's a conspiracy and cover-up in play in your marriage by claiming that you don't beat your wife?

While my appeals for an orderly debate are inevitably going to be wasted on some, it will be obvious to anyone reading this thread who are the people who are using illogical arguments, common abuse, cursing, insults and ad hominem attacks.

How much better it would be if people on my side of the argument that AGW is a danger to the planet could maintain a polite and reasoned argument.

Martin ,

I have to admit that you had me on the floor with this gem:

"I feel that I would be helped if the climate science community were rather more willing to accept criticism where it is justified".

Please inform me how those in the denial lobby who are twisting, mangling, and distorting science to bolster a pre-determined worldview and political agenda are 'willing to accept criticism where it is justified'. The answer: NEVER. IT WILL NOT HAPPEN. This is because they hate the science behind climate change, as it obfuscates the agenda they are pursuing. This is why they perpetually have to twist it, and you can bet your bottom dollar that no matter how much the empirical accumulates in favor of AGW, they will stand their ground if it means a dramatic change in policy that will have repercussions for the profits of their own vested interests. This is why the corporate funded think tank brigade are investing heavily to debunk the science behind climate change. They always will.

Lastly, I am fed up with the denialists and their one track minds of latching into MBH98. It is as if every bit of evidence in favor of AGW hinges on this one study/area. But the human influence on climate change well predates MBH98 by 5-10 years. There were volumes published oin the environmental effects of AGW as far back as 1992. This is a cunning strategy of the denialists: make it look like the AGW eggs are all in one basket, and then concentrate on this and this alone. If they can cast enough doubt on the validity of this one study, then their belief is that the public's perception of climate change will also shift markedly.

Lastly, instead of relying on the crap dished out by denialist web sites, why not get to a university and read the primary literature? As a senior scientist I would not give ostensibly anti-environmental web sites the time of day. I think the internet is a great source of information but also of DISinformation. What scares me is that many apparently rational people derive their world views primarily from unaccountable sources on the www. Whereas Real Climate is run by bonafide climate scientists, and is an outstanding source of information, many others (we know who they are) are not. The most reliable source is to read the primary literature. It takes time but is the best way to hone up on the subject.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 27 Jan 2008 #permalink

Instead of relying on the crap dished out by alarmist web sites, why not get to a university and read the primary literature? As a senior scientist I would not give ostensibly environmental web sites the time of day. I think the internet is a great source of information but also of DISinformation. What scares me is that many apparently rational people derive their world views primarily from unaccountable sources on the www. Whereas climatesci.org is run by bonafide climate scientists, and is an outstanding source of information, many others (we know who they are) are not. The most reliable source is to read the primary literature. It takes time but is the best way to hone up on the subject.

By Hans Erren (not verified) on 27 Jan 2008 #permalink

Ah, we can always rely on Hans to come out of his dark casket when things get tough. Here's a guy who runs a web site attacking AGW but who doesn't seem to like to actually do research. Please tell me why Hans? Why is it when I look on the ISI Web of Science you have but a single entry back in 1991? Where's you publications? Where is your science?

Here's what I get when I type your name into ISI: a single paper - GEOLOGIE EN MIJNBOUW 70 (3): 243-252 AUG 1991. And you have a single citation for that paper! Wow!

Most importantly, please inform me as to how you think the climate science community breaks down over the climate change issue. You cite one web site. One! As if this breaks things even down the middle. How many scientists out there really back your perpsective on the issue? What about the empirical literature? The stuff being published in real journals that get a lot more than a single citation? I'd like to know what a non-expert like you who doesn't publish much research thinks.

The fact is, for the lay readers out there: its a very small minority. Tiny even. Infintisimally small. The only reason many think its larger is because powerful, well financed interests give the sceptics a veritable megaphone. Check most of the mailing petitions in which 'scientists' argue that AGW isn't happening. They're populated by the usual suspects and few are actually climate researchers. Heck, Hans, I have evem seen you list yourself as 'Doctorandus' which to the uninitiated means Hans does not have a PhD. Its the Dutch equivalent of a Master's degree.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 27 Jan 2008 #permalink

Gee, I just saw this: 'Hans Erren, Doctorandus, geophysicist and climate specialist, Sittard, The Netherlands' on the 'Signatories of an open letter on the UN climate conference', December 18, 2007. The letter was the usual garbage aimed at convincing the UN Secretary General that AGW is not a problem. Yawn. As usual, hardly a climate scientist was on the petition. You know, Hans, as I said in my last post, by this I mean the people doing actual research and publishing the results in peer-reviewed journals.

Most importantly, how do we know that Hans a 'climate specialist'? Because he says so, that's why!!!!!!

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 27 Jan 2008 #permalink

Jeff asks why denialists continue to latch on the MBH98/99. I think the reason they are able to do this is because its faults have never been properly acknowledged by the broad consensus of climate scientists. I think [the article by Richard L Smith in the American Statistical Association is pretty good.](http://www.amstat-online.org/sections/envr/ssenews/ENVR_9_1.pdf)

Nothing he writes contradicts the essential truth of arguments for AGW, but he does point out serious methodological flaws with MBH98/99. Attempts to pretend that there are no such flaws - and a campaign of abuse and misinformation against those who first identified them - undermines the reputation of climate science.

Whereas climatesci.org is run by bonafide climate scientists, and is an outstanding source of information, many others (we know who they are) are not.

Careful, Climate Auditors might take this personally.

As for climatesci.org, what in the heck is Pielke up to with WV? He's using the old denialist tricks of hyping regional and short term trends. This is the guy you trust?

Jeff (entomologist) shoots the messenger, and thus doesn't consider Pielke Sr. (to whom I referred) as a bona fide scientist.
BTW I do have an MSc in geophysics, so unlike you Jeff I can understand the subject. I submitted a comment to climate science but that was rejected, because the referee was the author. So I had to submit to E&E.

Comment On The Climate Station Of The University Of Hohenheim: Analysis Of Air Temperature And Precipitation Time Series Since 1878
ABSTRACT:
Comparison with other homogenised stations in Western Europe proves that the recent published temperature dataset of Stuttgart-Hohenheim, for which homogeneity is claimed, still has an inhomogeneity of approximately a half degree Celsius in 1937 and a non-climatic temperature trend of one degree Celsius per century.

Martin,

Wegman discovered one (1) 'flaw' in MBH98. It wasn't a 'serious' flaw in that it only changed the validation of the calculations by ~10%. A mole-hill which McIntyre has sought obsessively to elevate to Mt. Everest status.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 27 Jan 2008 #permalink

James, Mrtin:
Wegman's analysis was partial, which is suspicious of itself (and his signing of the recent 'Global Warming ended in 1998' comment suggests that his partial analysis had a cause). Agreed, many different rules of thumb exist for choosing the number of components exist, but analyses have shown that some are much more accurate than others, and thus some rules (eigenvalue = 1, for example) are only used by amateurs, professionals won't go near them, and most professionals will use several different rules (prior estimations based on previous studies, the number of components to include a specific variable, X percent of variance, distortion of results between one and another solution, fit to observed data, statistical tests). But if you're looking for signal in the data, and you've got X meaningful components, you must look at the reduced data as a whole, you don't just focus on one component. In my field (psychology) the best choice is parallel analysis, which has shown up well in other fields, such as ecological data.
Wegman may be a world-class statistician, but his partial analysis was inappropriate, and his public statements since them have demonstrated a disjunction between his statistical knowledge and his attention to the climate data.

Martin, you're copying and pasting a line of argument that amounts to Wegman's verdict, which did not please Inhofe:

(1) it could have been about ten percent better, and
(2) it was good enough for early work 20 years ago, and
(3) it's time to move on because there are real concerns

Which part of that don't you understand?

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 27 Jan 2008 #permalink

It seems McIntyre is now concentrating his smear campaign on Hansen. It will be interesting to see how this progresses and if he will claim to "break the models" the way he "broke the hockeystick"

By Otto Kakashka (not verified) on 27 Jan 2008 #permalink

Martin says:
"Jeff asks why denialists continue to latch on the MBH98/99. I think the reason they are able to do this is because its faults have never been properly acknowledged by the broad consensus of climate scientists."

Again, simple bullpucky. Martin, just what do you think is the point of all those multi-proxy reconstruction publications since then? The application of different techniques?

McIntyre is fond of pointing out that the data sets are not independent, because there is overlap in the proxy data sets they use. This is THE FRICKING POINT!!!! Different analyses, because the initial Mann et al paper was NOT assumed to be perfect and enduring for all time. Man himself points out that this is an initial analysisk and needs to be verified and improved.

Mann et al is nto standalone - it has been repeated with variations, examined, prodded, extended, improved - and yet you can sit there and try to clam that its faults have not been acknowleded Its fault is that it was the first, and it is not perfect - and its basic contention has been confirmed many times over now.

The denialists keep going after the initial paper because it is convenient for them. McIntyre has never put together a coherent review critique of the entire body of work. He makes slapdash attacks on oen paper or another, for different issues, but does nto pursue them. He seems to have dropped that part of his critique altogether of late. He hes been asked to do so many times, he has said he is writing papers - while carefully not saying WHAT papers, but implying in some cases by the location of that promise that it is a coherent review critique of this field. But he has not done so.

Wonder why?

The most reliable source is to read the primary literature. It takes time but is the best way to hone up on the subject.

It's a pity the person giving this advice doesn't follow it, i.e. actually read about a subject before making assertions about it that are wrong.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 27 Jan 2008 #permalink

The most reliable source is to read the primary literature. It takes time but is the best way to hone up on the subject.

Sorry I didn't notice there were actually two persons who wrote this advice. I was, of course, referring to the one who doesn't follow it.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 27 Jan 2008 #permalink

How much better it would be if people on my side of the argument that AGW is a danger to the planet could maintain a polite and reasoned argument.

Personally, I think you're lying when you say that you're on the pro-science (AGW is real) side of the argument.

I think you're nothing but a troll, more subtle than many, but a troll nonetheless. Which someone else pointed out like 50 posts ago but I'm a slow learner.

Instead of relying on the crap dished out by alarmist web sites, why not get to a university and read the primary literature? As a senior scientist I would not give ostensibly environmental web sites the time of day. I think the internet is a great source of information but also of DISinformation.

This from Hans Erren, who sucks McIntyre's w**-w**.

So, after a short recourse on Wikipedia, Real Climate, Climate Audit, here a short list together with own conclusions:

- One of the key evidence in the debate of climate change
was in fact the "hockey stick", the change of
temperatures between 1000 and 2000 published by Mann 1998
and presented in the IPCC report 2001.
- If Mann's data would be invalid, it is neither evidence
for warming or cooling; the question needed to be accessed
otherwise.
- McKitrick and McIntyre attacked Manns claim two times
(2003 and 2005); the 1998 paper did in fact contain
errors, but the magnitude was (naturally) disputed: Mann
und NRC says their impact is neglible, McIntyre says that
it is invalid because he is able to get a hockey stick
out of noise with the method of Mann.
- Mann resisted to provide the data to McIntyre until
Barton, the Congress Chairman, intervened. He demanded
that Mann should provide his data, his computer, his
income, his connections and how many lollies he stealed
as kid. Mann provided the data. Barton set up the Wegman
Panel which confirmed the criticism.
- McKitrick and Wegner signed a petition which did no
favor to their claimed position as independent
researchers because their main objection against
countermeasures may hurt the economy. McIntyre did not
sign.
- Steve McIntyre set up the "Climate Audit" blog.
He is evidently disappointed by the mainstream science
and points that out by refering to the cloning hoax which
duped Nature and posting the citation of philosopher
Oderburg that science is corrupted.
But still he pointed out a necessary correction at the
end of the year and he won together with Phil Plait the
best science blog (which was necessary because it
degenerated into an stupid ideology contest).
My conclusion ? Climate Audit has one huge advantage which may be an explanation besides attracting GW deniers: Steve McIntyre put out *lots* of data. Even if it is cherry-
picked, it is much more than RealClimate and Deltoid together. Yes, Steve is inclined to deny GW, but he is doing that on a high level by actually bringing data sources out. If he wants to deny climate change, he could it do with much less effort on his part. Which brings us to the second possible reason why Climate Audit is popular. Some of the people here consider the public as dense which is not the case in CA.

TSK,

Show me where StevieMac has put out any data, much less "lots." He comments on other people's data, but he first isolates it from context, and he cherry picks one side only.

To clam that others don't "put out" data is absurd. Have you read the IPCC WG1 report? Nearly everyone here who is making any kind of serious comment has, and don't particularly feel the need to repeat their voluminous review. Have you read Tamino? What he does is look at key data, in context, often along with multiple relevant data sources for the question being examined, analyze it, and explain the analysis. Hae you read Stoat, or the blogs of several otehr climate scientists, where they often critique 'pro-warming' papers and arguments, but in context, so one can see teh limit of the impact taht erors hae on the understading of the field - precisely what Stevie Mac does NOT do.

To claim that people don't consider the data is simply absurd.

TSK, have you actually READ the responses of Mann Bradley and Hughes to Barton? Hint: Barton did not force the release of anything.

One of the key evidence in the debate of climate change was in fact the "hockey stick", the change of temperatures between 1000 and 2000 published by Mann 1998 and presented in the IPCC report 2001.

It doesn't take very long before TSK makes an incorrect statement, i.e. his very first one. The paper published by Mann, Bradley and Hughes in 1998 contained a reconstruction of temperatures between 1400 and (approximately) 2000. The reconstruction of temperatures between 1000 and (approximately) 2000 was published in 1999. It's probably no coincidence that a significant method in MBH99 is ignored by critics.

I hope TSK can get his facts right from the beginning next time.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 27 Jan 2008 #permalink

From the 100+ comments on this I can only shake my head in wonder at the genius who picked MBH98 as the wedge issue. 10 years later the hockey stick wars are still going on and we still get sucked into arguing the point.

Really you have to hand it to the team that came up with this strategy as it has worked beyond their wildest dreams. The USA has been kept out of meaningful CO2 reductions for this long, no real action on reducing CO2 emissions has been taken due in no small part to the actions of McIntyre and the others.

You can only wonder if that sort of program had been put in place FOR action on climate change instead of against it where we would be now in reducing greenhouse emissions. Sad really - what a waste of talent.

McKitrick and Wegner signed a petition which did no favor to their claimed position as independent researchers because their main objection against countermeasures may hurt the economy.

Actually, the main problem with that petition is its claim that global warming stopped in 1998, a claim that no professional statistician should sign because 1) even when you cherrypick 1998 as a starting point, there's a statistically significant upwards trend in temps 2) even if there weren't, cherry-picking an outlier as an endpoint is about as big a sin as one can commit in the world of science.

Actually, every point TSK can be demolished, I think, after a quick read, but why bother.

There are ignorant people who want to learn, and then there are ignorant people who take pride in their ignorance.

Hans, I never admitted that I was an 'expert on climate' as you do. You write, "BTW I do have an MSc in geophysics, so unlike you Jeff I can understand the subject".

Of course this means nix. Where are your publications in peer-reviewed journals? Where is your rigorous science? The proof of the pudding is in the eating, and your plate is empty. Moreover, I am not demeaning the qualifications of Pielke sr., but saying that for every qualified climate scientist who is sceptical of AGW, there are a thousand who believe that the empirical evidence supports AGW. The fact that there are so few bonafide researchers supporting your position is made clear every time I see one of these silly petitions that your side send to the UN or various governments. There's hardly a climate scientist on these stupid petitions, and the fact that you are on it - again with no publications to back up your contention as being a climate specialist - shows me exactly how thin on the ground the climate change sceptical community is. Heck, the next thing we'll see is that there are garbage collectors, gas station attendants and the like on these petitions.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 27 Jan 2008 #permalink

dhogaza:

AND there are the people who come here, who have a cyclical list of lies and talking points that they recycle verbatim, assuming that there's a cool-down period after they're debunked needed so the average reader might have a good chance of forgetting the earlier go-rounds.

They're not all ignorant. Most of them, IMO, are willing to tell noble lies for the cause of market fundamentalism and general conservative team boosterism. A minority are simply paid liars.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 27 Jan 2008 #permalink

At the end of the day, MBH9x is not robust to the inclusion/exclusion of the BCPs.

And no one has ever claimed otherwise for reconstructions done for before AD 1450. But in spite of this fact, credulists endlessly continue to state this strawman.

Many of the subsequent reconstructions include the BCPs,

Fair enough, if their methods are not sensitive to BCPs recent non-climatic bias.

and Mann's PC1 persists in recent publications.

Totally and utterly misleading. It does not persist in all recent publications and doesn't persist in the most important ones. See, for example, "Proxy-Based Northern Hemisphere Surface Temperature Reconstructions: Sensitivity to Method, Predictor Network, Target Season, and Target Domain" in Journal of Climate, vol. 18, July 2005. This paper uses regularized expectation maximization rather than the older principle components methods so it does not have any "Mann PC1". Why is it that credulists are obsessed with an out-of-date method (principle components) when far more up-to-date methods (regularized expectation maximization) are now used?

In 2006 the NAS Panel reommended that strip-bark (BCP) series be avoided in climate reconstructions.

They said: "While "strip-bark" samples should be avoided for temperature reconstructions". i.e. they used the word "should", not "must", which means if you are an expert and know how to deal with the issues involved then we are not commanding you to not use them. Credulists are completely reliant on misunderstanding this quotation out-of-context.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 27 Jan 2008 #permalink

Cool down, guys. I have asked Dhogaza to let me time for research and you couldn't assume that I as a newcomer get it the first time right after a few days in my spare time with no knowledge before. The list I made is more an overview what I have found out about the "Hockeystick Debate" and Steve McIntyre, the theme of this blog entry. I wouldn't have asked if I have already known all what is to know.

@dhogaza:
-The difference between "1998 is the hottest year" and "Countermeasures may hurt the economy" is that "Hottest year 1998" is a claim which can be rationally debated and *does* not collide with claimed independency. But using the
"Hurted economy" as argument of consequence indicates that there is a conflict of interests which negates the claimed independency. Nothing more.
- As you proudly claim *every* point of me can be demolished I recognized immediately your great potential and I decided that any further input of me would be a waste of time for you. I know that it is a hard time to find non-ignorant people and I hope you succeed to find people who can match your outstanding discussion abilities.

@Lee:
I used the word "puts out" in the sense of "broadcasting", I didn't claim that CA publishes own data. I neither claimed that people ignore the data nor did I use the non-specific word "others" when I refer to publishing; I used blogs as example. I even acknowledged that the data may have been "spinned". So don't think I am unaware of the work of other scientists.
RealClimate pushed out 15 articles in December 2007. 12 of them were dealing with data:
1 with linked data
4 with graphed data
7 (the AGU meetings) which are citing important facts, but don't discuss raw data.
CA pushed out 36 articles in December, 13 of them were displayed with graphed data. So don't act disbelieving, but count yourself.
No, I wasn't aware of Tamino or Stoat, but thanks for the tip.

@Chris:
Granted. But it doesn't scrape the main point, that MBH98 was used as main argument during the IPCC report 2001.

If we take my list and wikipedia as reference could someone point out some other incorrect claims or inconsistencies in the "hockey stick" debate ?

The difference between "1998 is the hottest year" and "Countermeasures may hurt the economy" is that "Hottest year 1998" is a claim which can be rationally debated and does not collide with claimed independency. But using the "Hurted economy" as argument of consequence indicates that there is a conflict of interests which negates the claimed independency. Nothing more.

Gibberish. You don't understand my point.

As you proudly claim every point of me can be demolished I recognized immediately your great potential and I decided that any further input of me would be a waste of time for you.

Agreed. Twit.

MBH9? was *not* used as "the main argument" in the IPCC TAR, and that's absolutely clear to anyone who has read the SPM, the TS, *and* the full report. What did happen (as I commented on years ago) was that they started with well-caveated research papers [which I've read], and in the progression from MBH?? to full report -> TS -> SPM, caveats necessarily got dropped, and as happens quite often, people use compelling graphics to address audiences that aren't used to error bars and multiple lines on charts. This happens quite often (for instance, in the field of computer benchmarking, where some of us have fought for 20 years to improve things.)

If you look in the TAR, page 134 (Fig 2.21) you find a chart that shows *multiple* reconstructions, with a prominent gray zone showing 2 standard errors. If I had to guess, they probably thought that was too complicated to bring forward into the TS and especially the SPM, and used the simpler Fig 2.20 instead (as TS Figure 5 and SPM first figure. I wish they had been willing to spend the couple pages of extra explanation, but I sympathize. I've given 500 public technical talks, to audiences of varying technical knowledge, so I'm familiar with the problem. What's really a pain is when a single talk (or document) has to work for people at multiple levels of knowledge.

Put another way, MBH was *not* the main rationale for the IPCC conclusions, but it was the most convenient graph for explaining things simply.

Had there been no MBH??, I think that the IPCC TAR would have had the same conclusions, although the SPM/TS presentation would have been slightly different.

But really, even Wegman said it was time to Move On. In msot areas of science, one Moves On. This is like wanting to throw out all evidence of tobacco-disease, by going back to some 1950s medical study and finding it less than perfect.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 28 Jan 2008 #permalink

Most in science have moved on. One of the unfortunate side-effects of McIntyre's smears however is that many in the general public now automatically distrust anything written by the MBH authors or any studies using tree-ring proxies. Is this what he is trying to accomplish now with his attention on Hansen and models?

By Otto Kakashka (not verified) on 28 Jan 2008 #permalink

All,

I am one of the public that is starting to follow Global Warming very closely. I read CA, RC, Tamino, Accuweather, Pielke and more. I ask questions on occasion and I have stated in the past that I agree there is warming, but am not convinced CO2 is the main driver of that warming. Tamino has always been polite as well as others.

But the discussion and the tone of it in this thread is stupid.

The assumption that many here and on other blogs make is that we (public) latches onto one person in the debate and will believe nothing else. We may not understand the science, but we also are not lacking in intelligence, give us a little credit for being able to assess arguements and data. The way you all carry on in shelling accusations and calling each other names is quite disappointing.

When I read posts that invoke name-calling, insults to political leanings, and character assassinations I will just dismiss the entire post regardless of any valid content. This is where the public is at.

Jon P

By jon pemberton (not verified) on 28 Jan 2008 #permalink

Is this what he is trying to accomplish now with his attention on Hansen and models?

Oh, yes, and more. By "discrediting" Hansen, Thompson, and other high-profile members of the climate science community, he hopes to discredit the entire field.

When I read posts that invoke name-calling, insults to political leanings, and character assassinations I will just dismiss the entire post regardless of any valid content.

Even though McIntyre, the person who's character is being accurately described (not assassinated), is guilty of all sins charged to his account?

That's not very smart.

"That's not very smart."

The way you support what you believe is not very smart either. Just think, change your tone and more people will listen and not just dismiss you.

Jon P

By jon pemberton (not verified) on 28 Jan 2008 #permalink

Joe,
If you can "assess arguments and data", then why do you doubt that CO2 is a major factor in warming? You certainly don't specify a basis for your beliefs, you just assert them. Like me, you don't have the qualifications to accurately assess evidence of warming and the sources, but unlike me you are willing to go against some pretty strong science to cling to your doubts. For myself, it's important that the climate is warming, and I trust the conclusions that the majority of genuine climate scientists (as opposed to some self-promoting windbags) have put out. Also, to carp about "tone" is one of the oldest concern troll tricks - if you don't like the tone of a conversation, don't participate. It's certainly not your place to complain about it. When you get your own blog, you can control comments to your heart's content.

Also, to carp about "tone" is one of the oldest concern troll tricks - if you don't like the tone of a conversation, don't participate.

Yes, indeed, it is. Defending those who lie by denouncing those who can't abide liars, because they're not "nice" when they document the lies.

It is somewhat disconcerting that Dhogaza should say that I am liar when I say that I believe that AGW is a real problem for the world yet think that the arguments presented to demonstrate it should be argued with correct mathematics. Is it really so unlikely that someone on the AGW side of the argument could hold such a position? Or that someone worried about AGW should want the debate conducted in civil manner?

Perhaps it is Lee, Dhogaza and Luminous Beauty who are really denialists. Maybe their mission is to infiltrate boards with: illogical arguments; the defense of papers that are indefensible; and vulgar abuse. Whether or it is their intention or not there is no doubt that their posts discredit the AGW case.

As an example of where it looks as if Dhogaza is deliberately harming the AGW cause one can see that he has posted that Wegman "signed a petition stating that global warming stopped in 1998". Since that statement is patent nonsense, which has been demonstrated on sites such as Tamino's, it would indeed be odd - and a help to the denialists - if a senior statistician had made it.

The actual quote from the letter signed by Wegman is "there has been no net global warming since 1998". That is of course true on most global temperature records, but completely different as Tamino points out, from saying that global warming stopped in 1998. I really do wonder whose side Dhogaza is on.

The actual quote from the letter signed by Wegman is "there has been no net global warming since 1998". That is of course true on most global temperature records, but completely different as Tamino points out, from saying that global warming stopped in 1998.

Are you serious? No amount of lawyering will make that statement defensible. It is downright misleading because it chooses ONE year that was a high point. Choose any other year and the argument falls apart. And you lecture the posters on this board about using "correct mathematics"? What a joke.

It is somewhat disconcerting that Dhogaza should say that I am liar when I say that I believe that AGW is a real problem for the world

I actually had McIntyre in mind when I made that statement.

However, when you defend Wegman against my accusation of dishonesty by saying "dhogaza claimed he said 'Lie A', but actually he said 'Lie B'", I do have to wonder about your honesty.

Cherry-picking is dishonest, unscientific, and exactly the sort of thing world-class statisticians should be looking for all the time, rather than endorsing.

Ah, I see that Martin was responding to the post where I did suggest he's lying about his belief in AGW's being real.

I'll stand by that statement, frankly.

Your defense of indefensible dishonesty by denialists would seem to point in that direction.

Why are you interested in defending dishonesty?

And why are you interested in defending those dishonest claims without which the entire skeptical house-of-cards falls apart?

the defense of papers that are indefensible;

And, Martin, you show your true colors with statements like this.

There's nothing "indefensible" about Mann's "hockey stick" work, indeed, it has withstood intense attack for a decade, suffering no more than a few minor dents.

We've shown you that Wegman's arguments amount to nothing, because when the centering method he deems "correct" is applied to the data, same 'ole hockey stick (which I'd lay money on his having known when he testified in the Senate).

We've shown that the official high-level review committee put together to evaluate Mann's "hockey stick" said that it was a good piece of work.

Yet you still continue to rant about "indefensible papers", as though all of that evidence (and I'm only stating a small part of it) doesn't count.

Yes, you're dishonest, there's no doubt.

Martin,

I see you have gotten the "deltoid treatment" from the likes of rabett, luminous beauty and dhogaza. They remain intransigent in the face of overwhelming evidence that Mann's hockey stick is a deeply flawed paper by a deceptive and churlish author.

If you point it out to them they hurl ad hom and invective your way clinging to a tattered fig leaf of counter evidence that probably doesn't even convince them let alone stand up to independent scrutiny.

Finally they retreat to "it doesn't matter anyway" or "its old news" as they slink away hissing and spitting.

They would have been much better off throwing Mann over board and admitting that they grabbed onto a study that told them what they wanted to hear. In the end it shows that they are much more interested in their ideological sacred cows than objective scientific evidence.

Anyone that dares to question their orthodox views is called a liar or an idiot. I see you have been treated to both descriptors. Consider your recent incivil treatment here at Deltoid a lesson in the depths to which people will sink in an effort to protect their fragile worldview from unwelcome scrutiny.

In the end it shows that they are much more interested in their ideological sacred cows than objective scientific evidence.

Good thing irony isn't a greenhouse gas.

As for "objective scientific evidence" I'll just point you to the IPCC report and why not have a cup of STFU until you read it and understand it, okay?

As for rudeness, I would say that calling a respected scientist "deceptive and churlish" with zero evidence warrants a bit of name calling. Now, go peddle your conspiracy theories someplace else.

I was defending no one and I guess I am a troll, interesting.

Question for you then. I have read that man's carbon dioxide output is twice what the annual increase shows. I have read about "missing sinks" and have been pointed to the ocean. However, if man were to "magically" stop all CO2 emissions would that mean atmospheric concentration of CO2 would be declining? Yes this is a serious question.

Jon P

By jon pemberton (not verified) on 29 Jan 2008 #permalink

They remain intransigent in the face of overwhelming evidence that Mann's hockey stick is a deeply flawed paper by a deceptive and churlish author.

Another liar for conservate, libertarian politics.

Lance, a PhD drop-out who is certain that he and a two-bit mining dude know more than thousands of climate scientists put together.

That "overwhelming evidence" has been analyzed a zillion times from Sunday, and "deeply flawed" is not the official position of the NRC review panel, for starters.

C'mon, Lance, why don't you go over to Real Climate and show those stupid, deceptive, and churlish climate scientists just how smart you are.

You can probably pick up your Nobel before finishing your PhD.

Jon, your question requires a time frame. If human emissions stopped today, there would be a relatively rapid but small decline over a few years, as the excess emitted over the last years before the stop equilibrated with the upper ocean and the biosphere. Then there would be a slow decline over a period of a few hundred years to a thousand years as the atmosphere, upper ocean and biosphere equilibrated with the lower ocean, however this would still not reach the pre industrial level although it would be substantial. Finally over a period of thousands or tens of thousands of years, as the carbon in the lower ocean is subducted into the lithosphere we would get a return to the status quo ante.

There are carbon cycle models available on the net which would allow you to run the experiment.

I have read about "missing sinks" and have been pointed to the ocean.

The ocean's not missing, nor is it a missing sink. It's a *known* sink, and is slowly acidifying as it absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere.

However, if man were to "magically" stop all CO2 emissions would that mean atmospheric concentration of CO2 would be declining?

The ocean and atmosphere would reach a new equilibrium, and then, at that point, in the absence of another source of perturbation, would stay stable at their new relative concentrations.

Eli--
Link to carbon cycle models on the net? Pretty please?

(I like fiddling with over-simplified models for dynamic systems.)

The problem with you, Lance, is that you're smart enough to know better, and too dishonest to care.

BPL,

Thanks for the concern. I think I'll be OK though.

Boris,

I have read the IPCC AR4 report thank you. You know damn well that if you remove Dr. Mann's "tele-connected" bristlecone and foxtail pine series from the incestuous dendrochronology series of the other spaghetti graphs you aren't left with much evidence that supports the tenuous theory that current warming exceeded that of the MWP.

Oh and why do you suppose they don't mention the little matter of the "divergence problem"? If Dr. Mann's magic trees are accurate proxies for past temperatures why do they show a downward trend over the last thirty years? Funny how that little morsel didn't make the report.

So perhaps you should drink deeply from that beverage you are offering until you can answer that little conundrum.

Lance:

"why do you suppose they don't mention the little matter of the `divergence problem'?"

Because this "little matter" happens to come from a science idiot who in turn sourced it from the place known as Nowhere?

Denialists don't seem to have any notion of "reliability", "fact-checking", or even "consistency".

Lucia - Eli's referral will be more valuable than mine, but if you just want a place to start, you can try the model at Maryland Virtual High School. It uses the proprietary Stella simulator -- but the authors give the state equations up front, so you can reproduce the model in a framework of your choosing.
For the gory details, of course, you will want to go to Oak Ridge.
Hope this helps.

Thanks jre.
That's kind of fun. I was hoping for something where the sources and sinks were a function of the carbon levels, instead of just constants. Being dependent on levels seems to be reflected in Eli's narrative. Maybe he'll come back and suggest additional cycle models.

I've bookmarked the ORNL page so I can find that info later. Thanks again.

Jon P posts:

[[Question for you then. I have read that man's carbon dioxide output is twice what the annual increase shows. I have read about "missing sinks" and have been pointed to the ocean. However, if man were to "magically" stop all CO2 emissions would that mean atmospheric concentration of CO2 would be declining? Yes this is a serious question.]]

No, but it would probably stop increasing.

jon pemberton:

However, if man were to "magically" stop all CO2 emissions would that mean atmospheric concentration of CO2 would be declining?

This has been written about by David Archer, Ocean Chemist at the University of Chicago in "How long will global warming last?". The second sentence of this article is: "The reality is that the CO2 from a gallon out of every tank of gas will continue to affect climate for tens and even hundreds of thousands of years into the future." Some of David's articles have attracted a lot of in interest, in particular the response to "Is the ocean carbon sink sinking?" was massive. Not surprising considering how significant the issue is.

Also, don't forget to check through the realclimate index to help organize your information gathering.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 29 Jan 2008 #permalink

Oh and why do you suppose they don't mention the little matter of the "divergence problem"? If Dr. Mann's magic trees are accurate proxies for past temperatures why do they show a downward trend over the last thirty years? Funny how that little morsel didn't make the report.

there is a standard answer to such nonsense. and that is the buendgen paper:

[A 1052-year tree-ring proxy for Alpine summer temperatures](http://www.nccr-climate.unibe.ch/projects/p14/details_en.html)

Lance,

I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you simply forgot that the IPCC talked about the divergence problem. See pg. 472, the very bottom and continuing on the next page.

That cup of STFU isn't so tasty, but it does keep one's foot out of one's mouth, don't it?

If you really, honestly want to know about the divergence problem, then read the people who are studying it, especially Rob Wilson. You'll find that the DP is a multi-faceted problem whose cause is not known. Contenders include stratospheric ozone levels and global dimming as well as regional pollution effects. In fact, it's likely that all of these effects are in some way responsible.

My intent of visiting this website was: If I want to find out the weakness of Steve McIntyres arguments, I ask his most fervent critics.
After visiting some websites I see that there is indeed worrying evidence for AGW: The steep increase of Greenland temperature after a long period of cooling together with the anomalous decline of arctic ice and the global sea level rise.
Thanks to John Mashey to point out the graph. I am aware that it is pretty hard to avoid which argument is choosed out for prominence despite its conclusiveness.
But it is wrong that the later works agree with Mann; they did agree that there is evidence for global warming and the hockey stick itself is not broken, but they difer in several disturbing points.
In 1815 the supervolcano Tambora broke out and caused a volcanic winter, the "year without summer" 1816. According to historical records the temperatures were lowered several years until 1819 and it was the most severe volcano explosion for several thousand years.
Now the newer records (in the spaghetti graph Oerlemans and Moberg 2005 and the source mentioned by #154) did indeed indicate a severe spike down at this year and the temperatures gradually rise (with wiggles) from that on.

But in Manns 199? there is only a gradual cooling until 1910 with a long time filter. In the short time there is a downward spike, but there are also comparable spikes 1840/1850 and 1910. May I ask why the newer data disagrees with Mann in this point ?!

Hank, you may read my post again before throwing out an knee-jerk response. There are two *independent* things to separate which are (deliberately ?) mangled:

a) There is a hockey-stick in the temperature data.
(which I DO NOT deny).
b) Mann did severe errors in his analysis.

If a) is true (which is consensus), b) could be still true.
RealClimate defend explicitly (!) b):

------------
MYTH #4:
The second falsehood holds that there are errors in the Mann et al (1998, 1999) analyses, and that these putative errors compromise the "hockey stick" shape of hemispheric surface temperature reconstructions
[So again a) is intertwined, but...]
False claims of the existence of errors in the Mann et al (1998) reconstruction can also be traced to spurious allegations made by two individuals[...]
[So RealClimate claimed that Mann 199? DO NOT contain errors.]
------------------------------
So if Mann 199? is faultless, why is the volcanic winter of 1815/16 comparable to 1840/50 and 1910 *if there is no trace of historical evidence of extreme coldness periods in this time frame* ? Why do the new data curves contradicts the temperature curves drawn in the Mann papers in this regard ?
The link does not address this issue.

I don't know what happened to Barton's link, but knowing that it exists is most of the battle. A search of the WU site found it; Here it is.
There is a clear, concise description of each term (good!) and a link to a web-executable model that would not run for me. Perhaps it is restricted to students.

Thanks Barton Paul Levinson.

For others who might want to play with the carbon cycle model, the link is here. (Wordpress is seriously interfering with underscores in that link! )

TSK, tsk, tsk, you're copying and pasting old stuff. Science isn't like religion; flaws in the early work turn up all the time, but the current work doesn't _rely_ on the early work or fall apart based on looks backward.

Read the actual work. Question second hand claims.

Seriously, try to find primary sources. Avoid the urge to click on links to sites you know say what you want to hear.
Notice how strong the urge is to go where they say what you want. Avoid this. Look at the original papers.

Yes, those early papers' statistics could have been done better. No, it didn't make much difference in the conclusions, they were not as strong but still there. Yes, the later studies by many people using many data sets vary in details, that's why North's group called it a "Spaghetti Graph." No, that doesn't make much difference.

Try Wegman, you can look it up -- the early papers could have been better, warming is real, and it's time to move on.

[Wegman](http://energycommerce.house.gov/reparchives/108/Hearings/07192006hearin…)

[HADCRU](http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/hadleycentre/CR_data/Monthly/HadCR…)

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 29 Jan 2008 #permalink

How can Dhogaza really not understand that it is only out and out sceptics who would say that "there has been no net warming since 1998" is equivalent to "global warming stopped in 1998". The first is undoubtedly true on most global temperature records - the second is total rubbish. The first statement is a result of cherry picking, but its simple truth cannot be denied. The second is a silly distortion of the facts about the long term warming trend.

As someone who wants to convince people of the truth of AGW by good argument can I ask him, and others, to consider the effect their posts have on those who have not yet made up their minds. While I am sure he enjoys his ad hominem attacks, poisoning the well, giving silly arguments to defend the undefensible, and peppering his posts with insults and bad language - does he really think that anyone who is genuninely interested in finding out about global warming will be impressed? He should read "How to Win Friends and Influence People," if he does he will find that his methods are not recommended by the author.

"The first statement is a result of cherry picking, but its simple truth cannot be denied."

Did a human brain compose this sentence? I'm highly skeptical.

By luminousbeauty (not verified) on 29 Jan 2008 #permalink

TSK, if you are really interested in finding out the weak spots of McI, look at the places where myself, Gerd Burger, JohnV, etc. have pushed him for specificity and he has evaded.

Martin,

The simple truth of that statement gives a false impression of what is happening with the climate system. There will be periods of ten or even more years with "no net global warming;" this is the nature of internal variability being larger than the anthropogenic trend. Please stop defending statements which are meaningless and give false impressions. One might begin to question your objectivity.

"there has been no net warming since 1998" .. is undoubtedly true on most global temperature records

So what is the point of making such a statement to people who may not be knowledgeable in any scientific or mathematical field other than to dishonestly mislead them? Non-knowledgeable people would not know the difference in meaning between "there has been no net warming since 1998" and "global warming stopped in 1998".

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 29 Jan 2008 #permalink

@Hank:
Ignoratio elenchi. Please take the *original* curves of Mann, print them out in DIN A0 format and mark the 1815-1819 years. Are there other minima after that years ? Yes. Now reread my argument and answer my question: *Why* are there other minima ?!

@TCO:
Could it be more precise ? This searching and blog-hopping is maddeningly. Give me the best examples and counterevidence/counterarguments you have.

"The first statement is a result of cherry picking, but its simple truth cannot be denied."

Did a human brain compose this sentence? I'm highly skeptical.

It's an oxymoron. It's saying something is untruthful and truthful in the one sentence.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 29 Jan 2008 #permalink

FYI: I have mailed Steve before TCOs answer because I felt disappointed with the non-substantial arguments given here ("He accused scientists of misconduct") and I pointed out my problems with the discrepancy with the volcanic winter and Manns graph because I felt that the discussion after dozens of answers ceased.
So don't wonder if he seems informed about the debate.

TCH:
> mark the 1815-1819 years. Are there other minima after
> that years ? Yes.... Why are there other minima ?!

Variability -- natural variability -- explains the ups and downs year by year. This is what science is about -- how not to fool ourselves.

One year of climate data tells you nothing likely to be significant (understand what that means). Five years, almost nothing significant. Ten year trend, beginning useful. Twenty years, that gives a decent trend, useful.

[link](http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2007/05/the_significance_of_5_year_tre.ph…)

Now -- ask yourself -- why were you surprised?
You expected something different?

If you haven't read and understood the page from Stoat, please reread it. IF you've not had a Statistics 101 course, then words I've used will _not_ make sense, ask and I will find other words to try to help.

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 29 Jan 2008 #permalink

Prior response quoted (and replied to) user "TSK" not "TCH"

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 29 Jan 2008 #permalink

TSK: I'm curious about some of your questions, but for context, can you calibrate your experience with things like:

a) Professional use of statistics to analyze data, especially of datasets with missing points and/or large error bars?

b) Experience with statisticians arguing about proper data analyses?

c) Experience with simulation and modeling of real-world behaviors across multiple generations?

d) Histories of measurement of physical quantities? (Like speed of light or gravity or mass balance in Antarctica? or satellite-computed temperatures?)

By John Mashey (not verified) on 29 Jan 2008 #permalink

The first statement is a result of cherry picking, but its simple truth cannot be denied.

How many times must we explain to Martin that cherry-picking is inherently dishonest, unscientific, and exactly the kind of thing that a world-class statistician like Wegman should be on the lookout for?

It is the ACT of intentional cherry-picking in order to support a pre-conceived conclusion that is dishonest.

Martin, you have two choices:

1. Wegman knows this, in which case his signing on to this statement is an act meant to support an intentionally misleading statement based on an inherently dishonest cherry-picking of the data.

2. Wegman doesn't know this, in which case his claim to be a "world-class statistician" can safely be tossed into the toilet, and his criticism of Mann's work safely ignored.

Which do you choose? #1 or #2?

Luminous Beauty has already shown a willingness to contort logic which has led him/her to deny that the Nazi scientists who conducted experiments on concentration camp inmates were guilty of misconduct.

There is nothing inherently dishonest about cherry-picking. If cherry-picking were dishonest then An Inconvenient Truth would be a very dishonest film. When Al Gore makes a case he will show places where global warming is having its most obvious effects, and not visit places which have recently become colder. He will quote statstics which are to the benefit of his case and ignore others. He will discuss what would happen if the most extreme projections came true, and ignore the least extreme scenarios. This is what every advocate of every cause from politics to selling soap powder will do - it is not dishonest, simply advocacy.

It is a fact which cannot be denied that according to most data 1998 remains the warmest year on record. It follows perfectly logically from that fact that there has been no net warming since 1998. The way to answer that charge is not by pretending that it is equivalent to saying that global warming stopped in 1998. That is exactly what the sceptics would like one to think.

The signatories of the letter to the UN were being no more dishonest than Al Gore when they said their had been no net warming for nine years, they were simply choosing the facts they wanted to present in a way that was advantageous to their case.

Martin writes:

[[There is nothing inherently dishonest about cherry-picking.]]

YES THERE IS, FOR CHRIST'S SAKE! It's a fallacy of composition! Cherry-picking is only "honest" if the person doing it is completely ignorant of statistics! If they know anything about the subject at all, then doing something a statistics 101 class would tell them not to do it DISHONEST! Do you not understand what the word means?

[[It is a fact which cannot be denied that according to most data 1998 remains the warmest year on record. ]]

It is denied all the time. 2005 was warmer. You're just wrong.

[[ It follows perfectly logically from that fact that there has been no net warming since 1998.]]

The very criterion of "net warming" makes no sense. You're cherry-picking the start date of 1998 so you get the result you want, and that, and you, are dishonest, dishonest, dishonest.

To all,

Sorry if the above post is a little emotional. I've tried as hard as I can to stay out of this particular fight, but if I heard Martin spout off about how cherry-picking 1998 is okay one more time without responding, my head would have exploded.

I do NOT apologize to Martin. That guy needs a swift kick in the ass.

[[There is nothing inherently dishonest about cherry-picking.]]

I want to punch this man in the chest until I can see daylight coming through the other side.

By Laser Potato (not verified) on 30 Jan 2008 #permalink

There is nothing inherently dishonest about cherry-picking.

Given your propensity for lying, your inherent dishonesty, and your obvious lack of a moral compass, it doesn't surprise me in the least that you believe this to be true.

Hello John:
a) You can assume that I understand most of the necessary statistics: data characteristis (mean, median,stddev,skew etc.) regression, smoothing, correlation and FFT.
Missing datasets must be interpolated if an estimate is necessary. The choose of the method depends on the intentions of the interpolator: Chebyshev Polynomials for minimizing error over the whole range, Splines for the "smoothest" curve.
If you have large error bars and/or much noise, you must weight the points according to their errors and/or filter the data to get the valuable signal.
In that case you must always ask yourself if the method is precise enough to give *any* valuable information.

b) Statisticians are mostly glad if you just want to know
how probable a claim is. But unfortunately people demand
Yes/No answers and while these are decided on
significance (2 stddev) the outcome is highly dependent
on the assumed data distribution, on the include of
outliers, if the answer is meaningful in both directions
(one-tailed, two-tailed) etc. pp.

c) No practical or theoretical experience, but you can assume I can understand the modeling and the use of differential equations.

d) Relatively good knowledge.

Concerning the volcanic winter I have now found a probable solution. That it "leveled out" as suggested by Hank is not acceptable because it occurs in other data. But if you see the data for Europe, you can see that the cooling period centers in the west/south and begins already at 1809 (sorry, only german, but you can use the graphics):

http://www.winterplanet.de/Sommer1816/Jos-Teil3.html

So the impact of hunger and several bad years before together with the anomaly on the Northeastern coast of the USA in the folklore may skew the historical significance
of the "year without summer".

On the next page XXX/Jos-Teil3.html you see the tree ring data for 1000 years given by
Clive Oppenheimer, Ice core and palaeoclimatic evidence for the timing and nature of the great mid-13th century volcanic eruption, International Journal of climatology, Vol. 23, 2003, S. 417 ff

The tree ring data in the Northern Hemisphere is comparable with the data by Mann and the HadCRU data which indicated a low in 1910. Fine, but the super spike downwards of Mann in 1450 disappeared ??! Eh, what is going on ?

There's nothing inherently dishonest in lying.

[There is nothing inherently dishonest about cherry-picking]

Eh, *that* is something I wouldn't sign. While cherry-picking may be used in a movie to understrike the consequences and don't put the people into the sleep, it gets incredibly hairy if you touch scientific questions. If you cherry-pick experimental data, you will be hanged, drawn and quartered.

[It follows perfectly logically from that fact that there has been no net warming since 1998]
You are a baseball pitcher and this is your distance record:
40.0,45.0,47.0,90.0 (perfect hit), 49.0,52.0,55.0 etc.

It follows logically that you are not getting better over time ? Look under "moving average".

While cherry-picking may be used in a movie to understrike the consequences and don't put the people into the sleep, it gets incredibly hairy if you touch scientific questions.

And do keep in mind that Gore, in AIT, uses the word "IF" a lot, and also the phrase "some scientists believe that...".

This isn't cherry-picking, this is speculation, and while some might not like the fact that he did speculate in the movie, that fact is that speculation, when labeled as such by the use of qualifying language, is not dishonest.

Boris,

I was wrong. (A little humble pie if not a full cup of STFU.)

The divergence problem is indeed "mentioned" in the report. I should have said adequately addressed. The one paragraph dismissal, not even in the "Key Uncertainties" section, is just an attempt to sweep it under the rug.

It is clearly inappropriate to leave out the part of the reconstruction that actually has instrumental data available for comparison because it doesn't agree with your hypothesis. Then to make unsupported post-hoc explanations as to why the actual data, which was omitted from the reconstruction, doesn't agree with your conclusions is inexcusable.

Boris, you can be a reasonable chap, unlike others I could name.

This doesn't bother you at all?

There is nothing inherently dishonest about cherry-picking.

Wow. This thread just jumped the shark with that statement.

Lance,

If you had walked the same route to work every day for ten years until one day the sidewalk was torn up for road work, would it be reasonable to conclude that you couldn't have walked that route before?

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 30 Jan 2008 #permalink

LB,

I guess I'm too dense to follow that analogy. Are you claiming that the divergence problem is caused by unknown conditions that existed ONLY in the last half of the 20th century and therefore it is OK to throw out the data that doesn't fit your hypothesis?

The problem is of course there is no credible evidence that any climate "bull dozer" has plowed up the recent data that the authors find distasteful.

If you claim that a proxy correlates with past temperature and then you find that data from your proxy series that overlaps the observed temperature record not only does not agree with these measured values but actually "diverges" in the opposite direction is it logical to assume that the series has problems only in the period where there is observation data to compare it too and still represents an accurate proxy for long periods of time for which no measured values exist?

If you said yes you have a very odd idea of what constitutes a valid scientific study.

Climate "bull dozers":

AGW has emerged from natural variability at exactly the time when the 'divergence problem' begins to be a 'problem'.

Carbon fertilization.

Acid rain.

Bark beetles.

Etc.

Are all these empirically demonstrated phenomena well enough understood to make a definite quantified statement explaining the 'divergence problem'?

No.

Is it hand-waving to dismiss these possible explanations as 'no credible evidence'?

Yes.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 30 Jan 2008 #permalink

Lance,

According to this study, one consequence of examining the 'divergence problem' is to generate a more reliable and robust data set for climate sensitive tree rings:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/wilson2007/wilson2007.html

Fancy that. Science is improved by researching problems in prior science. Who'd a'thunk it?

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 30 Jan 2008 #permalink

there has been no net warming since 1998

is equivalent to saying that global warming stopped in 1998

to

Non-knowledgeable people (who) would not know the difference in meaning

by definition.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 30 Jan 2008 #permalink

Are you claiming that the divergence problem is caused by unknown conditions that existed ONLY in the last half of the 20th century...

There is evidence that the divergence problem is a recent phenomenon and would not affect the reconstructions for the MWP. This is because the divergence problem is limited geographically to high latitude NH forests, and limited even more to certain regions, as I believe Wilson has done a few reconstructions selecting for the best temperature proxies. Something like 6 of the 18 recons showed a DP, if I recall correctly. So the DP is likely not a global problem.

LB,

More questionable tree ring divination.

Here is a study using proxies that actually correlate to temperature.

The study uses previously published proxy data, from 18 different non-tree ring studies, collected independently by various climate scientists.

Loehle finds that these proxy data paint a somewhat different picture of paleoclimate than the dendro based studies.

To cut to the chase, the MWP is shown to be as warm or warmer than the current warming period within the statistical error of the study. A somewhat "inconvenient" fact for alarmists.

Don't feed trolls. Not even cherries.

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 30 Jan 2008 #permalink

Otto,

Try to keep current, and maybe read something not prescreened by the climate priests at RC. The link you post to is out of date. Loehle took the criticism of Gavin, and others, and updated his study.

The link I posted is to the amended study. It still preserves the MWP and points to the fact that there is nothing "unprecedented" in the warming of the last 100 years.

TSK:

In #156, you said:
But it is wrong that the later works agree with Mann.
and in #158:
"Why do the new data curves contradicts the temperature curves drawn in the Mann papers in this regard ?"

Hence, I asked the questions that I did, especially as I had read the original MBH98, MBH99 papers.

I suggest:
A) When one sees a time-series, that is clearly noisy, and that has substantial error bars, understanding the error-bars is *more* important than arguing about jiggles in the line.

Go back to Figure 2.21 in the TAR, which has various takes on reconstructions, plotted against a gray background of smoothed error-bars derived from MBH99.
Plots make various different assumptions.

Unsurprisingly, the error bars are larger before 1600 (and to be honest, I don't understand why they aren't larger yet before 1400AD, but it turns out to be irrelevant).

Even though there are various differing assumptions and analyses, most of the plots fall within the gray zone most of the time. if one used the errobars from the other studiers, the same thing would happen.

Do you understand what that means, statistically? If so, could you explain why you assert that it is "wrong" that later work agrees with Mann and that later work "contradicts" Mann? Those are not mathematical statements...

B) Now, here's why I asked the questions I did.
1) Anyone who really uses statistics knows how hard it is to extract firm conclusions from partial data, and anyone good uses error bars to calibrate the level of uncertainty. People who don't use statistics get all excited about the lines, as though they actually meant more than they do.

I used to work at Bell Labs, contemporaneously with the great John Tukey, and he and his lab fought a neverending battle to get the rest of us to use statistics well. (Inside Bell labs, papers for external publication had to be reviewed by other groups, and inevitably, papers with stat went to Tukey & co. Others learned to consult them early. :-)) The quotes from his Wikipedia entry are typical:

* "Far better an approximate answer to the right question, which is often vague, than the exact answer to the wrong question, which can always be made precise."
* "The combination of some data and an aching desire for an answer does not ensure that a reasonable answer can be extracted from a given body of data."

All of these temperature reconstructions are approximations, and the authors' own errorbars say they understand that. No matter how badly people want it, nobody has a time machine to go back 2000 years and set up thermometers around the world. Even though methods improve, I'd be amazed if they could ever halve the errorbars around 1000AD.

2) Statisticians are always arguing about details, just as computer architects argue fiercely about 1% effects in computer design. Almost anyone else should ignore these arguments.

3) As computer technology improved, simulations have become more and more accurate, up to limits that may be:
- computer power & memory
- science knowledge
- data availability

No amount of the first two can compensate for lack of the third, i.e., if there is relatively little data available, no matter how well you know the science, and how many supercomputers you have, the error bars will stay large, which is what Tukey was saying.

4) In the case of simple measurements, one usually find that science works as successive approximations, and over time, the approximations get better and better, as happened with the speed of light. But temperature reconstructions are way more complex, and like I said, I expect big error bars, although those are certainly consistent with lots of other evidence. [I especially like "The Winelands of Britain" with the lovely map: http://www.winelandsofbritain.co.uk/lecture.htm ,
although it's a little out of date, as there are even getting to be a few Yorkshire wines... Although I won't live to see it, the auhtor rhapsodizes about the fine wines to be expected at the future Loch Ness wineries...

BUT, for temperature reconstructions, the problem is complicated enough, and the data scare enough, that when I see reconstructions with big error bars, I COULD CARE LESS about individual jiggles, or the fact that individual reconstructions don't line up perfectly. The "spaghetti diagram", inside a big gray zone, is *exactly* what I'd expect, and I don't find that it is contradictory at all, it's what always happens when there isn't enough data to shrink the confidence interval.

C) And in any case, it doesn't matter one bit, since I understand the physics that says:
a) The Greenhouse Effect is real.
b) There are really long-term-effects (Milankovitch), medium-term effects (solar radiation), short-term cycles (~11-year sunspots), and random jiggles like volcanoes, El Ninos, etc... and other human effects like sulfates and land-use ... but in general, more GHG => higher temperatures, and the recent numbers fit.

To disbelieve there is no effect of CO2 (and other anthropogenic GHG) since the Industrial Revolution got going:

(a) Perfectly contemporaneously with major increases in human emissions:

(b) Some unknown effect that had not been previously active started at the same time, and grew at just the right rate to cancel anthropogenic emissions' effects.

(c) Some other unknown effect that had not been previously active also started at the same time, and grew just at the right rate to simulate the effects ascribed to the well-known physics of GHGs.

(Of course, you could always say some of the effect of is from human GHGs, but that still means that there exist two mysterious offsetting effects that cancel part of the GHG effect and then replace it.)

D) Put another way, suppose the Fig 2.21 chart started at 1800. We'd know the temperature was going up, and we'd know why, and we'd know it was going to keep rising [with the jiggles as always]. Exactly what difference does it make whether we know the world's temperature (+/- .1C) on Jan 1, 1000AD? I don't ever expect to know. Does it matter if it was hotter 10K years ago? Several millions of years ago? What exactly, would change about the temperature in 2050 if we had a perfect reconstruction over the last 2M years? [A: nothing.]

Arguing endlessly about lines with big error bars, for 10-year-old papers, is just a waste of time and a diversion ...

By John Mashey (not verified) on 30 Jan 2008 #permalink

John Mashey,

Arguing endlessly about lines with big error bars, for 10-year-old papers, is just a waste of time and a diversion

Well, if that paper is seriously flawed and the centerpiece of an argument for changing the entire world's energy budget, maybe not so much.

Lance,

The paper isn't seriously flawed and it isn't the centerpiece of AGW. Paleoclimate reconstructions are useful as an empirical estimator of climate sensitivity and internal variability. If past unforced variability is greater than our best estimates (Loehle is interesting, but a long, long way from becoming a reasonable, much less best, estimate) it suggests we should expect future AGW effects to be even stronger than we now do. AGW isn't an argument for changing the entire world's energy budget, but changing human energy resources over to renewable and sustainable resources.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 30 Jan 2008 #permalink

Excellent post.

[Email sent to webmaster asking how to repost the link from the timestamp without the blog software mangling it!]

-- that one is worth referring people to. Someone should elevate it to a main item on a climate blog. John Mashey's made it very clear.

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 30 Jan 2008 #permalink

luminous beauty,

As a scientist the behavior of many supporters of AGW I find most disturbing is the ability to enlist any possible datum as proof of dangerous climate change.

Your statement...

If past unforced variability is greater than our best estimates (Loehle is interesting, but a long, long way from becoming a reasonable, much less best, estimate) it suggests we should expect future AGW effects to be even stronger than we now do.

...employs a twist I must admit I hadn't anticipated. It presupposes that even if it can be demonstrated that increases in temperature of the same magnitude or greater than that of the last hundred years are consistent with natural variability it is actually worse news for the planet rather than evidence that nothing unusual is really happening.

Wow, I didn't see that coming. I took the more conventional view that if the natural record showed that similar increases in temperature had occurred without man made CO2 that maybe the manmade CO2 might just be noise in comparison to the much larger natural signal.
Your strategy is pure genius!

Hey, it occurs to me that even a decline in temperature will not be enough to offset your bias, since you could always claim that it would be a whole lot colder if the natural underling variability were the only signal.

It's the old heads I win tails you lose gambit. It's hard to falsify this kind of theory. Good political strategy but lousy science.

As a scientist

You're not a scientist, you're a drop-out. A very dishonest one, to boot.

Lance, as a self-proclaimed scientist, you actually think that E&E is a credible source for anything other than politically-driven screeds? Despite the editor's stated publication policy?

As I said. Dishonest.

Lance
See if you can follow this reasoning.

CO2 absorbs radiation in the colder infrared but not visible radiation (100 year old physics)

Thus adding CO2 to the atmosphere will insolate the earth from the cold that is outer space without decreasing the amount of heat coming in from the sun.
(like putting another blanket on the bed). The amount of warming from the CO2 released will be 3 C direct (without feedbacks)

It is know that the historical swings from glacial to intra-glacial periods were cause by slight changes is the wobble of the earth on its axis. Such changes had a direct affect of about 1.5 C. It is the feedbacks that gave us the significant changes.

You are arguing that the feedbacks are much larger than previously thought. That means we are screwed, and your best bet is praying for the rapture.

In order to disprove Global warming, you have to disprove the 100 year old physics. You might as well try to disprove the law of gravity.

Perhaps, Lance, you should give up on the whole PhD in Physics thing and practice your
"would you like fries with that"

Try to keep current, and maybe read something not prescreened by the climate priests at RC. The link you post to is out of date. Loehle took the criticism of Gavin, and others, and updated his study.

"prescreened by the climate priests ..."

This insulting description of scientists with a huge number of published papers (unlike our resident drop-out physicist-wannabee) is being applied to folks who Loehle admitted had uncovered substantial errors in his first effort.

Hilarious.

It's interesting how denialists like our wannabee-physicist will deny the work of thousands of scientists while eagerly touting a single paper which has already had to be corrected once as being gospel.

Why does he do so? Because he likes the political implications of the single paper he thinks is "right".

Also, Lance dishonestly claims that

Loehle took the criticism of Gavin, and others, and updated his study.

The truth, as usual, is not quite as Lance claims...

Loehle has issued a correction that fixes the more obvious dating and data treatment issues, but does not change the inappropriate data selection, or the calibration and validation issues.

I did a quick skim and didn't even see any acknowledgement of other problems having been identified.

And the interesting thing is that Loehle's corrected reconstruction only extends to 1935. Why is that a problem? There has been about .5C warming since then which puts current temps above his MWP (which he claims is about .3C above 20th century values).

By Rattus Norvegicus (not verified) on 30 Jan 2008 #permalink

dhogaza,

The only reason you know that I have not finished my PhD is because I told you. How nice of you to constantly throw it in my face.

What scientific credentials do you posses? Of course this is playing a meaningless game. Appeals to authority are illogical.

dhogaza, check the posting over at 'in it for the gold' a while back on not getting provoked. You lose if you start speaking to the unchanging posters instead of to tomorrow's readers who find the thread.

Or as a friend put it long ago:

Don't get flushed even if they yank your chain really hard. Once you do that they will just keep using you.

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 31 Jan 2008 #permalink

So Hank, it's my behavior not dhogaza's that is the problem on this thread? Have I called anyone a liar lately or used foul language or impugned anyones character? Do I continuosly substitute personal invective for rational discussion?

You may want to step back and take a good look at the company you are keeping Mr. Roberts, or do you condone reprehensible behavior so long as you are in agreement with the politics of the offender?

Thanks John.
-------
Arguing endlessly about lines with big error bars, for 10-year-old papers, is just a waste of time and a diversion ...
-------
I do not question AGW, so we don't need that. What really counts is that Tim Lambert started this thread with an attack on CA. Steve McIntyre is widely vilified and painted as a crank. The reason is obvious: He attacked Manns "hockey stick graph" and raised a blog in which he pursues his agenda.
The question is what technical arguments can be raised against him. During this whole time on this blog (many,many posts) *noone* was able to come up with a proven lie or data fabrication. TCO said he and others "pushed him where Steve evaded" but was not able to give links.
Feeble at all.
Now lets get back to the graphic in IPCC TAR 2001. I searched for calibration points, severe deviations ("volcanic winter") which can be used to compare historical records with the graph. But to my disappointment the severity of the climatic influence can be diminished by multiproxies, historical exaggeration etc. etc.
The winter does show up on the different climatic graphs, but in different severities. So no cigar on my part.

Lets look at the graph 2.20.
You not only see Manns reconstruction, but also Briffa and Jones. Mann added a linear trend curve from 1000 to 1900, right ?
This trend curve is declining, indicating that until 1910 the temperature drops.
The standard error area is not (as in physics) simple deviation (68%), but double deviation (95%), meaning that Mann is very cautiously and contrary evidence should still be inside that area.

What is bothering me and which is not so explainable by "jiggles" is that with the exception of MBH99 other curves
go consistently *upward*. 1850 is the last time cooling occurs there before the 1950s. While Briffa scrapes the (2dev !) error area in 2.21, Jones even drop outside it.
And Jones is not alone:
Esper 2002 outside
Moberg 2005 outside
Darrigo 2006 outside
Hegerl 2006 outside

Oerl, Juckes and Huang are climbing steadily in contrast to Mann. I know that Hadcru indicates a low in 1910, but it is not or very hard discernible by the proxy data.

Are you still ready to put your head on the line that Mann has committed only neglible errors which don't affect *his* outcome ?

Oops.
The first two lines were cited with "---" above and beyond,
they are deleted. The part between "Arguing" and "diversion..." is from John.

A meta moment on formatting links, just in case the problem's just in this thread.

Reposting a link I tried earlier to test whether it still gets broken when pasted in:

http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2007/05/the_significance_of_5_year_tre.php

(Trying to demonstrate the problem for the software's help people, who aren't seeing it)

Hmmm, looking back, the place I tried to post a URL, and another place where Barton tried to post a URL, both of us thought our links were broken and rewrote them.

And both originals work now -- both show as the word "link" in the text; there's HTML formatting behind the page visible with 'View Source'that adds 'nofollow' -- is the software coming along after us and cleaning up, with a time lag? I understand the reason, I'd do it myself, but it seems to be happening automagically. Sufficiently advanced blognology?

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 31 Jan 2008 #permalink

TSK:

I can supply links.

> Mann has committed only neglible errors
> which don't affect his outcome ?

That's what the people the House Energy Subcommittee brought in, both the independents and the National Academy of Science, said. It's time to move on, they also said.

You appear to be stuck in, er, neutral. Metaphorically.
Why is it so hard to look past the earliest work?

Do you have complaints about the early work in any other science subject area? Ocean pH? Hydrology?

Are you saying that the first paper with Mann's name on it either had to be so good that he should have stopped doing research and publishing, or done something besides continuing to improve on his subject?

Have you looked at the sequence of publications? At all?
By him or any other scientist you care to talk about?

Tell us why this matters so much to you. If you must.

Do you understand how science works?

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 31 Jan 2008 #permalink

"...the depths to which people will sink in an effort to protect their fragile worldview from unwelcome scrutiny." -- Lance

"Have I called anyone a liar lately or used foul language or impugned anyones character?" -- Lance

Enough said.

Oh, and I thought the denialists (um, "skeptics") keep saying that climate models can be made to fit any data. So why's it that the same denialists are saying they can't get Hansen's model to fit the historical climate?

Maybe it's because the denialists are full of junk, as they've always been?

Lance, I see you do not have an answer to my comment about the Loehle's corrected reconstruction. Is this because it does not fit with your preconcieved notions? If this is the best that the contraian reconstructions can supply aren't your arguments about paleo recons fairly weak? Not to mention the contemporary evidence all around you; melting glaciers, procession of the seasons, movement of ecosystems to a more northerly (or southerly, depending on your frame of refernece) climes. These and many other symptoms of anthropogenic climate change are pretty much undeniable. There are more disturbing observations too, would you deny all of the changes which are being observed?

By Rattus Norvegicus (not verified) on 31 Jan 2008 #permalink

Lance sayeth:

As a scientist the behavior of many supporters of AGW I find most disturbing

Then whines:

The only reason you know that I have not finished my PhD is because I told you. How nice of you to constantly throw it in my face.

Lance, if you quit claiming to be a scientist, I'll quit telling people you are NOT a scientist. Because I only do so to make clear to people that you have a tendency to misrepresent your credentials.

Let's face it, honesty is not your strong point.

Deal?

dhogaza,

I have completed my BS and have enough credits to qualify for a masters degree, if I chose to apply. I teach at university, all be it part time at the present, and have been collaborating on research that will probably be published in the next year.

I believe that I can safely call myself a scientist.

I believe I could call you many things, but honest is not one of them.

Rattus,

I would be glad to discuss Loehle's paper with you if you had taken the time to actually read it and understand it.

It is clear that you have done neither.

Well, my academic background's pretty much identical, though I never entered a PhD program, but did take every graduate CS course offered at the time by my university (it was a long time ago, that would be hard to do today).

I chose to found my own compiler technology company instead.

But I'd never represent myself as a "computer scientist". Lambert's a computer scientist, I'm a grunt. By choice.

And, if I were in your shoes, I certainly wouldn't represent myself as a "scientist". Though come to think of it, I've done plenty of field work and have reviewed a couple of published papers in ornithology, being named as a result.

Maybe I should puff myself up, just as you do.

Hank Roberts:

>And both originals work now -- both show as the word "link" in the text; there's HTML formatting behind the page visible with 'View Source'that adds 'nofollow' -- is the software coming along after us and cleaning up, with a time lag? I understand the reason, I'd do it myself, but it seems to be happening automagically. Sufficiently advanced blognology?

Alas, no. I fixed them manually. Please do not put bare URLs in comments. Instead, turn them into proper links. Eg, type

Use [markdown](http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/dingus)

which will give you:

Use [markdown](http://daringfireball.net/projects/markdown/dingus)

Ah, thanks Tim. I was reading "You may use ... for style"
(as an option to prettify plain text).

I now read that as "Thou shalt use .... so thy link worketh without Tim's cleaning up after thee" -- and glad to be told.

"You may" use markdown to avoid screwing up posting links.

Got it. Lesson learned. Clue appreciated.

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 01 Feb 2008 #permalink

Lance said:

Well, if that paper is seriously flawed and the centerpiece of an argument for changing the entire world's energy budget, maybe not so much.

No Lance. Paleo-reconstructions of temperature, can, at most, be supporting planks used to test a theory. Moreover, statistical test related to individual hypothesis, so:

1) Whether right or wrong, Mann's results would only test hypothesis about the historical temperature record, not specifically the cause for the record.
2) The centerpeice of for the theory of Anthropogenically induced Gobal Warming (AGW), an argument based on physics , and physical chemistry (and I suspect partly biology. But I know nothing about biology.)
3) There are many individual sub-theories and hypotheses that are thought to be correlaries of the over all theory. These get tested against data.
4) No test of an individual hypothesis becomes the centerpiece. (Though some convince more people.)

The issue at any point in science, whether climate science or engineering science or social science is generally decided by the balance of the evidence. Currently, the balance supports the theory of AGW, and rather strongly.

Could this change? Possibly. This isn't quite as strong as Newton's laws of mechanics that, though modified by Einstein, still remain intact for most purposes. But, the balance of the evidence is that recent warming is caused by human activity.

I have a gripe in the various blog discussions is that, collectively, (not necessarily individually) both sides appear embrace error bars when its convenient and deny the other side similar use of the error bars. But this behavior happens in all fields-- not just climate science. (I also have a gripe with labels like "climate priest". It would be best if you cut that out. )

Martin: Yes. There is something dishonest about cherry-picking. It should never be done intentionally, and one should scrutinize ones data choices to be sure it's not done unintentionally.

Lucia, of course it is always wrong for a scientist undertaking research to "cherry-pick" from their results so that they get the conclusions they want. That is serious misconduct.

On the other hand the same expression can also be used to describe the normal and legitimate practice in which an advocate for a policy in a film or a letter or a speech will choose examples and data that best illustrate the point they wish to make. It was in the context of advocacy - in the letter to the UN, and An Inconvenient Truth - that I said that cherry-picking is not inherently dishonest. I am surprised that you do not see the point I was clearly making - others appear to be being obtuse in order to make a silly debating point.

Martin, not credible.

Claiming your work is "advocacy science" does nothing to legitimize lying. You're cherrypicking to try to justify cherrypicking.

Take a lie, say it's advocacy; say advocacy is puffery; say puffery is okay because nobody expects it to be credible; present puffery as scientific information.

Wrong. Get it?

You may not realize this. You're parroting an old, discredited, failed industrial PR idea about how to manage science in court cases.

Look it up, please. This is much written about, and different court systems in different countries approach the issue in different ways. And looking at the outcomes you can see which approach works in practice.

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 03 Feb 2008 #permalink

Earlier, Martin said...

It is one thing to say that a scientist is cherry-picking, or is unreasonably reluctant to share data - but neither of those accusations are anywhere near fraud.

Now martin says, after being beat up frequently, that ...

Lucia, of course it is always wrong for a scientist undertaking research to "cherry-pick" from their results so that they get the conclusions they want. That is serious misconduct.

A totally different story, which he justifies by saying ...

It was in the context of advocacy - in the letter to the UN, and An Inconvenient Truth - that I said that cherry-picking is not inherently dishonest.

which just proves his inherent dishonesty.

Dhogaza said about Climate Audit "that they continuously say that the NASA climate scientists are guilty of fraud". Despite being unable to find a single example of Climate Audit even once accusing someone of fraud, he has failed to admit that he was wrong. In his defence he has tried to argue that "misconduct" is identical to "fraud", but this is not going to convince anyone with either a knowledge of the English language or a dictionary.

Dhogaza then argued that the statement "there has been no net warming since 1998" is equivalent to "global warming stopped in 1998". Since a true statement cannot be equivalent to a false statement that was another elementary error in logic; but again he has yet to acknowledge his error and move on.

Now he is tying himself in knots in an attempt to blur the difference - which is obvious to anyone - between a scientist deliberately cherry-picking data in a piece of research, and an advocate for AGW choosing facts that best illustrate his case in a letter, film or speech. Why does he bother? How can he imagine that anyone takes his posts seriously after his refusal to admit errors?

Bye, Martin.

By Hank Roberts (not verified) on 04 Feb 2008 #permalink

Martin,

Dhogaza is often over the top, and sometimes pisses me off with his somewhat shrill responses. But he is not being dishonest - you are.

McIntyre has made overt allegations of misconduct. He insinuates fraud continually - he posts stories about proven frauds, and throws in side comments in those same threads about 'the team' over and over. You have been shown this. In return you keep offering this absurd parsing of whether it is fraud or misconduct being alleged. Stop making a fool of yourself.

There has been net warming since 1998. 2005 was hotter. Even absent that, though, the choice of 1998 is cherry picking, the intent is to hide the fact that regression, even including the cherry-picked start point, shows continuing warming. That statement by that person is an overt and intentional attempt to make people believe something that the speaker knows not to be true. That is dishonest. As are you, for defending it.

Cherry picking is dishonest whether for 'scientific' or 'advocacy' purposes. What you are arguing in effect is that it is ok to be dishonest for advocacy, and that doing so is not dishonest. Crap. People ARE often dishonest when doing advocacy - that doesn't make them less dishonest, it only makes the dishonesty relatively common.

Martin, please stop defending dishonesty.

Martin:

How can he imagine that anyone takes his posts seriously after his refusal to admit errors?

What a hypocrite.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 04 Feb 2008 #permalink

[Mann has committed only neglible errors which don't affect his outcome ?]

That's what the people the House Energy Subcommittee brought in, both the independents and the National Academy of Science, said.

I was seriously peeved, so I waited until my wrath cooled down before answering. Please read the NRC report, chapter 9 pp.90 ff. and chapter 11, p.112 ff.
The NRC report does not vindicate Mann, it actually acknowledged (!) McIntyres criticism. They confirmed AGW because other people got similar independent curves, not because Mann was correct. If I use an ill-advised method, but get accidentally a correct result, is that an, erm,
*vindication* ?
Who of you pseudoskeptics actually read the NRC report ?!

You appear to be stuck in, er, neutral. Metaphorically. Why is it so hard to look past the earliest work?

Because I have other reasons to ask here than informing myself about the latest progress and cognitions in climate science which are a whole different area. This article don't discuss the newest findings, it specifically attacks the ideas of a specific person.

Do you have complaints about the early work in any other science subject area? Ocean pH? Hydrology?

Now that sounds for me that climate science wasn't invented before 199x. But it builds on relative stable areas of knowledge like meteorology, geology, hydrology, statistics
and dendrochronology which are much older. The problem is not errors; errors have been rampant since the invention of science and noone couldn't be hold responsible for small or
big errors.
But the way how scientists handle criticism and how they acknowledge errors is a whole different area. And here I notice unfortunate shortcomings.

Are you saying that the first paper with Mann's name on it either had to be so good that he should have stopped doing research and publishing, or done something besides continuing to improve on his subject?

Have you looked at the sequence of publications? At all? By him or any other scientist you care to talk about?

Do I sense hurted feelings that I dare to decry the work of a scientist which gave so much valuable work to its field ? Are you aware how much self-restraint and reluctance many
colleagues of you displayed while badmouthing and ridiculing criticism ? For me this reproach sounds hollow.

TSK, it wasn't a question of his being wrong and accidentally getting the right answer, as you appear to believe. His method had some mistakes in it but was sound overall, which is exactly what the NAS report said. Other people, using his data and improved methods, get essentially the same results. It's not a question of being peeved; it's a question of anti-AGW political partisans ganging up on a scientist McCarthy-style because they didn't like what he was saying. Your side has the narrow-minded suppressors of the truth, not our side.

They confirmed AGW because other people got similar independent curves, not because Mann was correct. If I use an ill-advised method, but get accidentally a correct result, is that an, erm, vindication ? Who of you pseudoskeptics actually read the NRC report ?!

All of us, I suspect, and the report and follow-on comments by the authors who make it clear that you are grossly misrepresenting the report.

The point about the statistical analysis was that it wasn't the BEST way to analyze, but not "wrong" in any material sense. And this was in view of hindsight. Denialists like yourself take "not the best approach" to mean "junk", "fucked up", "broken", etc, which is not the case here.

Mann's PCA approach gave reasonable results. The "best" approach gave - essentially the same results.

Case closed.

It's a fucking bitch that you continue with this misrepresentation that's so egregiously wrong that members of the NRC committee felt compelled to point out that their conclusions were being MISREPRESENTED by the denialist community.

And still are. By the likes of you.

"Oh, and I thought the denialists (um, "skeptics") keep saying that climate models can be made to fit any data. So why's it that the same denialists are saying they can't get Hansen's model to fit the historical climate?"

Good point. Right up there with "There is no warming, it's an artifact of sloppy measurement techniques, and it's caused by the sun".

"Mann's PCA approach gave reasonable results. The "best" approach gave - essentially the same results.
Case closed."

C.O.S.

M.W.P. N.I.C.
S.M.D.
QED

Before anyone here further embarasses yourself, READ the report. READ it NOW. Don't give a damn about what press reports, academics or whoever claimed what is standing there.
Read the page numbers I cited before:
The link is [here](http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11676&page=R1)

If you can't understand what it says, then don't argue about it. If you still convinced that the report reports
a "overall sound methodology", "neglible errors" etc. cite the relevant passages directly from the report. Thank you.

Before TSK further embarasses him/herself, I suggest he looks at the lecture presented on Tim's thread by Naomi Oreskes. It pretty well demolishes the arguments of the sceptics by showing how they have massively politicized the issue by twisting and mangling the underlying science to promote their own agendas, and shows that concern over the burning of fossil fuels in driving climate change go back more than half a century. She highlights research by the likes of Revelle and Keeling in the 1950s and how they forewarned of the consequences of pumping huge quantities C0 2 into the atmosphere. This warning was repeated many times in following years, well before James Hansen spoke up in the late 1980's.

TSK, you are doing exactly what the sceptics want you to do: focus your wrath on one small piece of evidence in a gigantic scientific puzzle in which the evidence for AGW is massive. Concern over AGW pre-dates the proxy reconstructions of Mann et al. by many years. But if the think tank brigade and their foot soldiers can convince the public that the 'science isn't settled', and can do so by getting the media to hammer away at this one small area, then they will say, "See?! The science isn't clear, and thus AGW isn't necessarily happening or even if it is it isn't serious or due to human activities, so we don't need to do anything about it!". You know what? I think they stink. They and their scientific distortions.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 08 Feb 2008 #permalink

For TSK, Martin, and others, who seem to think that less than optimal choices doom a paper, I offer a quite from Andrew Vickers, who wrote a recent Medscape letter addressing their viewpoint. 'Just like any other
science, what you want to know about any statistical technique is the degree to which it might give you a wrong answer, and whether there other methods around that give you a better chance of getting things right. There aren't rules, laws, and commandments about this; you just have to know the latest research data.'

TSK, I *have* read the NRC report, and you are misrepresenting it. Mann's "off-centre" PCA makes a difference to the first principle component in one step of his method, but does not make a difference to his reconstruction. McIntyre likes to give you the impression that it does, in order to make it sound like he broke the hockey stick. This is the same approach that he used to make the error he found in GISS temp made a big difference to the GISS temperature record ("1998 is no longer the warmest!"). Look at the sequence of errors this post was about and notice which way they all went.

RE: PCA

"As part of their statistical methods, Mann et al. used a type of principal component analysis that tends to bias the shape of the reconstructions. A description of this effect is given in Chapter 9. In practice, this method, though not recommended, does not appear to unduly influence reconstructions of hemispheric mean temperature; reconstructions performed without using principal component analysis are qualitatively similar to the original curves presented by Mann et al."
http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11676&page=113

Translation: "negligible error," and that's if you stretch "not recommended" into "error."

Tim: I (basically) agree with your assessment of McIntyre and the acentering. I think it has been very shameful how he has tried to resist answering questions about overall reconstruction versus first moment, how he has conflated acentricity with covariance/correlataion. I have tried pinning him down on those issues and he has danced like a tingling school girl. That's shameful.

Note: Although I am a denialist skeptic, I think it's shameful for my side to use sophistry. I also find it wrong that Mann refuses to answer basic questions on the acentering itself (if it was deliberate or a mistake, etc.) It's very minor individual item...but it shows me a tendancy of Mann. In a weird way, they are sort of similar.

I could indulge in some trollish comments about what I'd like to do to each of them, but you would get all prissy and disemvowel me.

Sorry for the long delay, but I wanted to avoid to be long-tongued and keep it short.
Under "Spurious Components" p.90 you will find that the authors acknowledge that the usage of principal components likely introduce artefacts (The experiments by McIntyre & McKitrick reproduce the peak artefact in the population eigenvector almost always).
So we know that there may be a problem.

The main statement is on p. 95:

Mann et al. (1999), gives CE values ranging from 0.103 to -0.215, depending on how far back in time the reconstruction is carried.

A CE of 0.1 and lower without a given r^2 (I couldn't find any in the report) is garbage and that was the passage which caused my anger. So you don't need to focus on the PCA method, Tim. The authors did know that because
they are writhing:

Reconstructions that have poor validation statistics (i.e., low CE) will have correspondingly wide uncertainty bounds, and so can be seen to be unreliable in an objective way. Alas ! Really ??!
Even a low CE value may still provide prediction intervals that are useful for drawing particular scientific conclusions. What did *they* mean with "may" ? Most likely, likely, perhaps or snowball chance in hell ?! If a scientific text is extraordinarily vague in this context, you may assume the worst case.

So what to make out of cce's citation ?
The point is that the argumentation "reconstructions performed without using principal component analysis are qualitatively similar to the original curves presented by Mann et al" does *not* address the quality of Mann's work.
This is easy to see if you imagine that a pupil tells his teacher: Sir, my calculations on the math problem are right because it matches the correct result.
No, it isn't a valid argumentation. Errors may cancel out or you get a right result by pure luck. This is especially
the case if you are demanding "qualitatively similar" results. So it's ok to throw darts on a paper as long as they resemble a hockey stick ? Obviously not.

And why do the panel writhe again in such vague and unscientific statements ? There *is* an objective value how similar a curve is to other curves: cross-correlation. And you may draw your own conclusions why they didn't applied it.

What the report says, is effectively: "Mann did commit severe errors, but as the main point is the sharp increase of temperature which is validated by other scientists we won't indulge too deep in it."

@Jeff: Your lecture of political usage is not new. Any skepticism will attract deniers; find a valid point of criticism of neo-darwinism and you will be quote-mined by creationists. The problem which *many* pseudo-skeptics have is that they must acknowledge the quality of their opponents and react accordingly. If valid criticism (even supported by a tendency to deny) is painted as cranky and the public find out that it is *not* cranky, the credibility
of the scientists is damaged. Knee-jerk excoriates from scientists who might be able to see the validity with a keener look are self-damaging (Remember this ludicrous rat-race of "best science blog" with totally incompetent statements of Myers ?)

So dismiss something if it is foreseeable that it can easily be refuted, but be careful if there are valid points.

(Again so long....sorry)

TSK:

The main statement is on p. 95: Mann et al. (1999), gives CE values ranging from 0.103 to -0.215, depending on how far back in time the reconstruction is carried.

On what grounds do you say this is the "main" statement? Because you want it to be the main statement?

This is easy to see if you imagine that a pupil tells his teacher: Sir, my calculations on the math problem are right because it matches the correct result. No, it isn't a valid argumentation. Errors may cancel out or you get a right result by pure luck.

Except what our scepticos are doing is to try to say, "Hey, this pupil used a totally wrong method to find the hypotenuse of this right-angled triangle, therefore Pythagoras's Theorem is false! And... Pythagoras was a Saddam sympathizer!"

Any skepticism will attract deniers; find a valid point of criticism of neo-darwinism and you will be quote-mined by creationists.

Oh yes, and any charge of "denialism" will immediately attract suggestions that there's an invisible, ethereal, unstated Valid Criticism somewhere out there, except somehow it's suddenly the AGW/evolution's duty (rather than -- Heaven forbid! -- the duty of the critics) to find this Valid Criticism.

On what grounds do you say this is the "main" statement? Because you want it to be the main statement?

It is the only *quantative* evaluation of the article in question which I have found there; therefore it is the "main" statement.

Except what our scepticos are doing is to try to say, "Hey, this pupil used a totally wrong method to find the hypotenuse of this right-angled triangle, therefore Pythagoras's Theorem is false! And... Pythagoras was a Saddam sympathizer!"

Both finding a fault or starting personal attacks don't influence the truth value of a purported statement and you are free to point that out. Neither does a possible reconstruction fault influences the steady rise of global temperatures and CO2 levels nor the worrisome temperature anomaly in the vicinity of the poles.

Oh yes, and any charge of "denialism" will immediately attract suggestions that there's an invisible, ethereal, unstated Valid Criticism somewhere out there,

In the timeframe between 19th and 20th century there were "valid criticisms" of atomic theory by Mach and Ostwald which are sounding ludicrous today, but which were bitterly defended by scientific authorities. So, being aware that neither I nor you are aware of our blind spots, how can you be convinced that you can spot a "Valid criticism" if it walks right in front of your eyes ?

But it does not matter. Simply say: "Fine, it may be out there, but as long as we haven't found out we stick with our current knowledge."

except somehow it's suddenly the AGW/evolution's duty (rather than -- Heaven forbid! -- the duty of the critics) to find this Valid Criticism.

Says who ? I surely not. Let us leave AGW/evolution as examples and speak more generally: The problem is less that criticisms does not exist, the problem is that you must find possible pearls under the garbage and all of them are judged by default as invalid. :->
Having not enough data to decide, not able to see the implications, being convinced by a compelling counterargument which is unfortunately invalid...the reasons that possible "valid criticisms" are overlooked are hundredfold. We are exactly as stupid as all our predecessors.

"how can you be convinced that you can spot a "Valid criticism" if it walks right in front of your eyes ?"

yes, but on the other hand, one can identify invalid criticisms; those which are internally contradictory, those which contradict known facts, those which contradict things which are not facts but are taken as axiomatic (e.g., conservation of energy), those which appear to be completely irrelevant to the thing which they are supposed to criticize, etc. narrows the field down quite a bit.