Quote mining code

David Kane asks me to look at two of the strongest arguments made by the "other side" following the break in and theft of data from CRU. OK, once he sees how weak the strongest arguments are, we can all agree that the affair is a beat up.

Today I'll look at Eric Raymond's alleged "siege cannon with the barrel still hot":

From the CRU code file osborn-tree6/briffa_sep98_d.pro , used to prepare a graph purported to be of Northern Hemisphere temperatures and reconstructions.

;
; Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!
;
yrloc=[1400,findgen(19)*5.+1904]
valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,- 0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,$
2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor
if n_elements(yrloc) ne n_elements(valadj) then message,'Oooops!'
;
yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,timey)

This, people, is blatant data-cooking, with no pretense otherwise. It flattens a period of warm temperatures in the 1930s -- see those negative coefficients? Then, later on, it applies a positive multiplier so you get a nice dramatic hockey stick at the end of the century.

But what is the code directly following the fragment Raymond quotes? Look:

;
;filter_cru,5.,/nan,tsin=yyy+yearlyadj,tslow=tslow
;oplot,timey,tslow,thick=5,color=20
;

IDL uses a semi-colon to indicate a comment, so the only code to use yearlyadj has been commented out. Raymond must have known this since he is an Emacs user and Emacs colour codes the comments. This doesn't seem to be a smoking gun so much as a gun that hasn't been fired.

Furthermore, another piece of commented out code shows how the adjusted values were used: they were clearly labelled as "MXD corrected" and plotted along with the uncorrected values. They were not shown as temperature values despite what Raymond says.

;legend,['Northern Hemisphere April-September instrumental temperature',$
;  'Northern Hemisphere MXD',$
;  'Northern Hemisphere MXD corrected for decline'],$

In the comments to Raymond's post, others pointed this out to him

As other have repeatedly pointed out, that code was written to be used for some kind of presentation that was false. The fact that the deceptive parts are commented out now does not change that at all.

In fact, it was it was labelled as "corrected for decline", so it was not false or deceptive.

Raymond continues:

It might get them off the hook if we knew -- for certain -- that it had never been shown to anyone who didn't know beforehand how the data was cooked and why. But since these peiple have conveniently lost or destroyed primary datasets and evaded FOIA requests, they don't deserve the benefit of that doubt. We already know there's a pattern of evasion and probable cause for criminal conspiracy charges from their own words.

In fact, they did not destroy primary datasets, and they did not have permission to redistribute the data requested using the FOIA.

Raymond has made no attempt to find out if the graph was actually used anywhere. The file name was osborn-tree6/briffa_sep98_d.pro, so we should look for a paper with authors, Briffa and Osborn published in 1998 and sure enough there's Briffa, Schweingruber, Jones, Osborn, Harris, Shiyatov, Vaganov and Grudd "Trees tell of past climates: but are they speaking less clearly today?" Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B 1998:

In §4, we referred to a notable correspondence between
'hemispheric' MXD series (averaged over all sites) and an
equivalent 'hemispheric' instrumental temperature series.
Despite their having 50% common variance measured
over the last century, it is apparent that in recent decades
the MXD series shows a decline, whereas we know that
summer temperatures over the same area increased.
Closer examination reveals that while year-to-year
(i.e. mutually ten-year high-pass filtered) correlations are
consistently high between tree-growth and temperature
(ca. 0.7 for 1881-1981), the correlations based on decadally
smoothed data fall from 0.89, when calculated over the
period 1881-1960, to 0.64 when the comparison period is
extended to 1881-1981. This is illustrated in figure 6,
which shows that decadal trends in both large-scale-
average TRW and MXD increasingly diverge from the
course of decadal temperature variation after about 1950
or 1960.

And figure 6 is basically the graph plotted by the code above and it does not include the "corrected MXD" data:

i-f4d73c2366292d1fb592d8ac4534e05b-Briffa98fig6.png

Oh, and Raymond reckons the greens are controlled by commie puppet masters:

Most of the environmental movement is composed of innocent Gaianists, but not all of it. There's a hard core that's sort of a zombie remnant of Soviet psyops. Their goals are political: trash capitalism, resurrect socialism from the dustbin of history. They're actually more like what I have elsewhere called a prospiracy, having lost their proper conspiratorial armature when KGB Department V folded up in 1992. There aren't a lot of them, but they're very, very good at co-opting others and they drive the Gaianists like sheep.

There's more paranoid raving, but you get the picture -- Raymond is the sort of person who will add 2 and 2 and come up with a commie plot.

More like this

Deep Climate has been reading the stolen emails that Steve McIntyre didn't mention: Arguing from a cherrypicked selection of quotes from the "Climategate" emails, McIntyre has claimed that IPCC authors Chris Folland and Michael Mann pressured Briffa to submit a reconstruction that would not "dilute…
I wrote earlier about McIntyre's attack on the NAS Panel on temperature reconstructions. McIntyre objected to two panelists because they were co-authors of co-authors of Mann, but not to the panelist who was a co-author of a co-author of McKitrick. In another post he also objects to another…
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Eric Raymond (the one responsible for the botched analysis of the stolen CRU code) responds to my post on Essex and McKitrick's error in treating missing values as zeroes in a spreadsheet: The error described is so stupid that I have trouble believing a statistician actually made it. Whether…

Apparently similar code appears in another snippet the results of which weren't commented out, but still, it doesn't matter.

People trying to understand data tweak its processing all of the time. It's perfectly normal behavior when you're asking "what if?" scenarios. Someone proposes a corrective factor, presumably based on some plausible snippet of knowledge, applies it to the data to see how that changes things, etc.

I've been involved for years with monitoring raptor migration at various sights in the semi-arid western United States. Some people were using our hourly reports to try to figure out how local geography affected the daily pattern of migration at two sites about 200 or 300 miles apart, east-west (migrating hawks roost at night, how far north from a site they roost impacts how early in the day they start showing up at a given site).

They couldn't get the times to jive with the distances, so finally I asked, "did you correct the times for the site positions within the timezone?". Local sun time was something like 30 or 45 minutes different.

Now, I'm not sure what the little program they wrote looked like for certain, but if Eric Raymond were to see a line saying "fudge site A times by 30 minutes" I'm sure he'd scream "FRAUD! FRAUD! FRAUD!".

I don't doubt it for a moment.

These people aren't interested in investigating *why* a researcher might be trying out various ideas on the data, in their minds, if they have a program showing adjustments then IT IS ALL A COMMIE PLOT!

It's really insane, people.

IT looks like they are onto our dream of restoring the Soviet Union, comrades.

I made the same observation here a few days ago, although I was a bit off since I thought he was referencing version D when he was talking about version E.

heh, socialism rescued capitalism from itself last century and environmentalism will rescue it again this century, libbies need to learn gratitude and to stop shitting their bed.

Nicely done Tim.

"This doesn't seem to be a smoking so much as a gun that hasn't been fired."

I think you're missing a weaponry-related noun in that sentence.

I have argued elsewhere that if you're going to falsify results, then

; Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!

isn't the sort of thing you'd stick in your code. In fact, a comment like that is the kind you make when you want to _avoid_ that snippet accidentally ending up in production code.

Raymond, of all people, should have known this. He must have disabled his code-writing psychology skills as well as his syntax highlighting, in order to find evidence for his commie plot theory.

(OT, do you remember that this gun-toting Pan worshiper thought he would save free software from the bad PR management of RMS?)

By Harald Korneliussen (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

Is it just me, or did Betula not follow a word of Mike's post?

As I forget the proper name for the paper describing the ignorant measure of one's own expertise, I've started referring to it as "The Freddy Krueger Paper."

Seems apt, here.

"There's a hard core that's sort of a zombie remnant of Soviet psyops. Their goals are political: trash capitalism, resurrect socialism from the dustbin of history"

Because the folks who brought us Chernobyl were clearly ecologically friendly.

@Jody: You're probably thinking of this paper: J. Kruger and D. Dunning (1999), Unskilled and unaware of it, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 77, 1121. Which definitely applies to Mr. Raymond in this case.

As anyone who has worked with data collected in the field knows, sometimes you have to figure out why that sensor is giving you strange results, and often you come up with an empirical fix before you figure out why that fix works. As Tim said in the post, there is nothing wrong with doing this as long as you explain what you are doing and why.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

The above would still hold even if those lines weren't commented out in whichever file they found; the true test is seeing what was actually presented to others, and how (as you indeed conclude).

In the process of doing work, I'll also sometimes apply 'artificial' manipulations, just to see what happens. I'll also have multiple versions of code lying around, as I make various updates and try different things. Do I need to stop doing that, in case somebody gets a hold of some code and misunderstands what he's looking at?

By carrot eater (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

The code is commented out. So? Explain why it was ever written, and when it was commented out. Have these clowns ever heard of CVS, VSS, or sundry other tools to track code changes?

You really wouldn't need CVS, though, if you never intend to release the code.

There's more paranoid raving, but you get the picture -- Raymond is the sort of person who will add 2 and 2 and come up with a commie plot.

Now that takes balls, almost as much as the Gay and Lesbian Victory Action fund (a group with a homosexual agenda) attacking Sally Kern of OK for talking paranoid about a homosexual agenda.

LOL. Sometimes I wonder if the left actually believes their own lies.

> Because the folks who brought us Chernobyl were clearly ecologically friendly.

Quite; And he's obviously never heard how the environmental movement defied the soviets in Estonia and Latvia. Or, at least, he's ignored those events.

If you never expected your code to leave the confines of your Soviet-built underground conspiracy-bunker, then the comment could be innocuous; serving to admonish against further alterations to prevent being too obvious.

Plus it's not up to Eric to show that anything was ever published using that specific plot. Instead it's up to everyone else to prove that not once, anywhere, did anyone use such a plot to convince someone--perhaps an influential homeless man--that Al Gore should receive the Nobel Fields Medal and thus bring about end of the long and prosperous era of global laissez-faire capitalism, using the same underhanded methods so-called "public health experts" tried with the "throwing feces and garbage into the streets causes disease" scam. After all when looking at evidence from people who use a "trick" to "hide the decline" the onus isn't on those of us that pretend to be a programmers, generals, freedom fighters, and sexperts, but rather on everyone that doesn't suffer from Narcissistic Personality Disorder to prove that there was no wrong-doing.

CVS sucked in 1998, which is why people use commented bits in script-chunks in a text file notebook to create repeatable graphics for publication.

Ah, I also see that people are missing the point of the Soviet infiltration of the watermelon patch. It's not because they are fond of the environment, but rather it's to introduce inefficiencies such as sustainable resource exploitation to the Free World(tm) so that they have the competitive advantage they need to retroactively sustain the Soviet Union.

Instead of "VERY ARTIFICIAL ... !!" they should've added a comment like "THIS CORRECTION IS PART OF OUR COMMIE PLOT TO RULE THE WORLD!!"

It would've made Raymond's job that much easier.

The code is commented out. So? Explain why it was ever written, and when it was commented out.

Clearly it was written to see what the tree-ring temperature plot would look like with that artificial correction given by an array of 20 offsets. The tree-ring series diverges (declines) from a real temperature series, starting in the 60s or 70s. They admit to that in the paper Tim quoted.

Have these clowns ever heard of CVS, VSS, or sundry other tools to track code changes?

Unless they are software developers, there's not much of a reason they should. It would be cool if they made everything open source and accessible via CVS. (I'd rather they use CVS - makes it easier to get it through Eclipse.)

Like most of us with some interest in the world of free software, I've been more or less aware of esr's doings for some years now. I can tolerate his personality just fine as long as I believe in his cause -- e.g. the Just War against SCO. But his pose of the righteous truth-pursuer wore thin long ago, and now he is just deranged.

To see how far this once-respected mind has slipped into self-delusion, we only need to reflect on the fact that one of the four or five best-known hackers in the world:

1) couldn't tell the difference between IDL and Fortran,

2) didn't know when a line of code was commented out, and

3) thought that "Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction" in a comment was a self-damning admission.

I'm sad to note -- because I once admired esr even when I disagreed with him -- that he has lost it.

Follow the money:

What a stupid article, most so-called green funds are regular business investments by regular greedy bastards whoâd soak the planet in kerosene and light a match if there was profit in it. They are insignificant compared to non-green funds. The rest is funding for research. The only apt comparison is between funding climate science and funding it's denialism, and only an imbecile would compare these two on an absolute basis: the cost of paying someone to lie in editorials is basically his salary, which is more than a scientist makes but nothing compared to the cost of scientific research, what with the cost of vexatious FOIA requests and everything.

WRT CVS:

I learned a long time ago that keeping my one-off hacks under revision control saved me a boatload of grief and overall made me more productive -- even as a solo SPICE coder.

I also confess that I'm much better at offering this advice than at following it.

By D. C. Sessions (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

Pffft, witch hunt rewarded. Expect attacks on other climate scientists to escalate.

Re: #23,#25

One down (temporarily). Thousands more for denialists to slander.

http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/climate_authors_table.html

Dr. Liss appears to be the temporary acting director while the investigation is conducted. He co-authored an interesting recent paper with Lovelock.

Climate change: the effect of DMS emissions
Liss, Peter S | Lovelock, James E
Environmental Chemistry [Environ. Chem.]. Vol. 4, no. 6, pp. 377-378. 2007.

Because the folks who brought us Chernobyl were clearly ecologically friendly.

Don't forget the Aral Sea!

Is "trash capitalism" the guy who comes by the house and asks for your returnable bottles?

I need to re-read the conspiracy memos Soros sends me.

Phil Jones steps aside, until investigation is finished.

I'm actually not surprised. I had commented elsewhere that Phil Jones' apparently tends to say things that can be easily misinterpreted, and just blurts out the wrong stuff.

The "trick to hide the decline" comes from him. The correct characterization would be "artificial correction for the divergence." He's also the one who suggested some emails should be deleted (even though that was apparently not carried out.) Additionally, he said he'd rather hide behind data protection laws than comply with FOI requests.

Again; not necessarily evidence of wrongdoing, but some of his behavior has not been very professional.

Just thought I'd quote-mine some comments in the Linux source-tree code to show folks how much Linux sux:

Fucking broken ABI
IOC3 is fucked fucked beyond believe ...
brain-damage, it's managed to fuck things up one step further..
What the fuck is going on here? We leave junk in the beginning
Shit happens..
all the algo is pure shit and should be replaced
THIS IS A PIECE OF SHIT MADE BY ME
long delays in kernel code are pretty sucky anyway
setup the pointer arrays, this sucks
loose some. This sucks :-(
It sucks. I totally disown this
extern calls and hard coded values here.. very sucky!
assume we found an overflow. This sucks.
performance sucks for guests using highmem.
This sucks, but it is the best we can do..
this sucks [tm] :-(
XXX I know this sucks
This SUCKS.
method really sucks. You can only read or write one location at a time
SuckyIO interrupt routing for PICs on function 1
This sucks. There is a better wa
TODO: use a hash or array, this sucks.
This sucks, and it is a hack
Sucks! We need to fork list.
Things still suck.
Note that the arbiter/ISA bridge appears to be buggy
Disable arch_idle() by default since it is buggy
really buggy
something weird, or if the code is buggy
support for disabling the buggy read-ahead
Some old kernel bugs returned
The original driver looks buggy/incomplete
That turned out to be too buggy to support
give_up_console() is obviously buggy as it
This feature appears to be buggy.
usb-uhci seems buggy for async unlinking
crap - we crashed before setup_arch()
This piece of crap needs to disappear
That's crap, since doing that while some partitions are opened
One more crappy race: I don't think we have any guarantee here
Piles of crap below pretend to be a parser for module and kernel
this bit masking stuff is crap.
horrible the crap we have to deal with is when we are awake
What is all this crap for?
Locking and life cycle management is crappy still.
This is a crappy interface.
This means that the ip6tables jump stack is now crap.
XXX fix this crap up
totally crap,
FIXME: get rid of this crap
useless crap (ugh ugh ugh).
This is such a hack
So, here's this grotty hack... :-(
So, here's this additional grotty hack... :-(
UGLY HACK: workaround regulator framework bugs.
Wheee, hackady hack
Following is a work-around (a.k.a. hack)
ugly hack, I can't find a way to actually detect the disk
Crude hack to get console output
To keep this hack from interfering
very hacky
This #define is a horrible hack
Hack alert !
it's a bit of a hack.
It's still quite hacky,
The hack below stinks...
Now do the horrible hacks
One gross hack
So we use a hack,
This looks like a dirty hack to me
This is an ugly hack,
Hack warning
It's a gross hack,
XXX sleazy hack:
cheap hack to support suspend/resume
FIXME: this hack is definitely wrong
whacked out.
The following is just a hack
a hack :-(
My guess is that this is a hack to minimize the impact of a bug
vt.c for deeply disgusting hack reasons
Another Hack :-(
Brutally hacked
HACK WARNING!!
HACK ALERT:
FIXME: temporary hack
FIXME: this is a hack -
nstead we're going to do a total hack job for now
dirty hack time.
THE PADDING THIS STARTS WITH IS A HORRIBLE HACK THAT SHOULD NOT LIVE
Right now we use a sleazy hack
which is an ugly hack.

And this just goes on and on and on....

All it takes is a few minutes of grepping/quote-mining Linux source-code comments to prove that Linux is inferior to Windows! ;)

By caerbannog (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

I agree with you regarding the FOI requests, but in this:

The "trick to hide the decline" comes from him. The correct characterization would be "artificial correction for the divergence."

"decline" is synonymous with "divergence problem", i.e. it refers to the recent decline in MXD growth in certain tree ring data.

Unfortunately the denialsphere has jumped on this by interpreting it as being "hiding a real decline in real temperature the last few decades", but they know they're lying.

caerbannog: For a good time, post that over at Eric Raymond's blog ... seriously!

I'm frankly lost and hoping someone can help me out a little. It's about this article, in which the raw data from climate change at a university has been lost for about thirty years:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6936328.ece

How many of the projections of global warming are/were made with data that turns out to have been processed, not raw? How many organizations still have all the raw data from 150 years back or longer that was dumped by that university?

I haven't seen that article mentioned anywhere, but since it's been presented as another DEATH OF ANTHROPOGENIC CLIMATE CHANGE!!!111 argument, I thought this might be a relevant place to ask. (I know I might come off as a concern troll; educational flaming welcomed.)

Funny how denialists assume an investigation is proof of guilt (climate scientists are hoax perpetuators until proven otherwise). They will praise such investigations until they reveal nothing wrong was done, in which case they will claim the universities are part of the conspiracy.

How many of the projections of global warming are/were made with data that turns out to have been processed, not raw?

Hopefully all of them. Ironically denialists are burning both ends of the candle here:

1. They've long said that surface stations exaggerate warming due to the urban heat island effect and other problems. Correct for this, they say, and warming will disappear.

2. Products like GISTEMP include algorithms intended to counter the UHI and other siting issues. Denialists say "but that's using adjusted data, you need to use the raw temp data, then the warming will disappear because the adjustments are used to show warming that doesn't exist!"

They can't have it both ways.

How many organizations still have all the raw data from 150 years back or longer that was dumped by that university?

That's not CRUs problem. If you burn me a copy of a CD knowing that I make no promise to keep it forever, and you destroy your CD, it would be a bit odd if you'd blame me for its disappearance.

But apparently this is what is being done regarding CRU.

Sharky,

Check here:
http://www.eenews.net/public/Greenwire/2009/10/14/3

'Refuting CEI's claims of data-destruction, Jones said, "We haven't destroyed anything. The data is still there -- you can still get these stations from the [NOAA] National Climatic Data Center."'

By Lars Karlsson (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

The irony:

"The research unit has deleted less than 5 percent of its original station data from its database because the stations had several discontinuities or were affected by urbanization trends, Jones said."

By Lars Karlsson (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

Funny how denialists assume an investigation is proof of guilt (climate scientists are hoax perpetuators until proven otherwise). They will praise such investigations until they reveal nothing wrong was done, in which case they will claim the universities are part of the conspiracy.

They also haven't thought through the fact that UEA will have the full record of correspondence rather than the selected set distributed by those that stole the file or files.

And that Penn will have the same regarding Mann's correspondence with CRU.

I can only imagine if these folks had stolen Einstein's scraps of paper when he worked at the Swiss patent office.

See, he crossed out that equation. It's on the paper, next to the coffee stain !!!

We demand the troof about the gravity !!!

BTW: nice dissection, Tim. Thanks.

You know, I was just looking Eric Raymond's source code for [ssh-installkeys](http://www.catb.org/~esr/ssh-installkeys/). I'm horrified, horrified, I say! There are things like this:

"I can't figure out how to check if a process is alive on Solaris."

and...

\# This means (I think) that the Solaris process is "defunct"
\# and a second wait must be called without the WNOHANG.
\# This is dangerous because if I am wrong then this could block.

What kind of programmer does things that are DANGEROUS BY THEIR OWN ADMISSION? What kind of programmer ADMITS THAT HE DOESN'T EVEN UNDERSTAND THE OPERATING SYSTEMS THAT MAY BE RUNNING HIS CODE?? I believe this calls for an investigation. How can we trust ANYTHING that Raymond has touched? We can't.

This is what happens when software is written by people who aren't trying to make a profit. You get substandard, DANGEROUS code. Thank heaven we have brave people like the Heartland Institute, standing firm against these open-source communists.

Yes, Lars, those commie bastards have been leaving out stations that would tend to exaggerate the warming trend.

Denialists are outraged! Because, as usual, they don't understand ...

It's hard to fathom why the ABC and The Age don't run a story on ClimateGate if it's so innocuous. Rupert's Wall St Journal isn't afraid to spell out the ramifications, but for aunty its all a bit much.

Thank heaven we have brave people like the Heartland Institute, standing firm against these open-source communists.

In ESR's case, I think open-source fascist is more accurate ...

I just sent this article to a friend who writes IDL for "correcting" temperature and humidity data. I suggested some kind of version control to him a year or two ago. One of these days he'll have a need and we'll discuss it again. I definitely agree that in 1998 CVS just wasn't feasible for him or most people. My company didn't get into it until at least 5 years later. We're still looking at distributed CVS as a replacement for svn, though not aggressively because code isn't our main product but just a tool to get the other jobs done (networking mostly).

A lot has changed in 11 years since the suspect IDL code was written. I appreciate the iterative nature of the field but many don't have the same history as I do. We had to re-use a lot of code before we figured out a solution which was Object Oriented programming. We had to run into concurrency issues in collaborative projects to figure out the CVS solution. My friend works on his code alone most of the time, so the real benefits to him are somewhat questionable compared to the overhead of setting it up.

What kind of programmer does things that are DANGEROUS BY THEIR OWN ADMISSION? What kind of programmer ADMITS THAT HE DOESN'T EVEN UNDERSTAND THE OPERATING SYSTEMS THAT MAY BE RUNNING HIS CODE?? I believe this calls for an investigation. How can we trust ANYTHING that Raymond has touched? We can't.

Your analogy might be stronger if ssh were an organization that all but lobbies for command and control economies.

Produce the data and the algorithms or shut-up.

The dog ate my data doesn't cut it. This train is wrecking, I suggest you get off at the next stop or you'll go tumbling down the gorge with it. There will be a new blacklist, and those who defend too much and too often will be remembered.

Trust is gone forever, at least during your lifetime.

They can't have it both ways.

I do so love innocence. It makes the neatest sounds as it's crushed.

By D. C. Sessions (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

dhogaza et al,

Why clutch at straws here?

The fact is Jones and CRU have no idea how they processed the data in the early years and what adjustments they might have made. Witness Tom Wigley's anxious email to Jones about whether he might be asked to provide his code. Jones said the fact that Wigley had retired and was no longer a CRU employee was something he could 'hide behind'.

Jones also said at one point that, to paraphrase, 'GISS was crap'. None of his correspondents appeared to take him up on that and GISS has been shown elsewhere to mirror the problems now surfacing from CRU.

So we now know that both surface temperature records are badly flawed but you still expect us to make extremely important and costly decisions based upon them?!!!!

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

caerbannog: That's - that's IMPOSSIBLE! Because I KNOW for a fact that the Linux kernel uses revision control, and William Wallace says people who use revision control NEVER leave such comments in their code!

By Harald Korneliussen (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

Bruce Sharp:
"What kind of programmer does things that are DANGEROUS BY THEIR OWN ADMISSION? What kind of programmer ADMITS THAT HE DOESN'T EVEN UNDERSTAND THE OPERATING SYSTEMS THAT MAY BE RUNNING HIS CODE?? I believe this calls for an investigation. How can we trust ANYTHING that Raymond has touched? We can't."

The argument is faulty, but this time the conclusion isn't ;)

By Harald Korneliussen (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

Re William in #46:

Didn't you know that the goal of open source software is to control our lives, and crush our freedoms? Don't take my word for it. [Surely you saw this, on the Heartland Institute's site:](http://www.heartland.org/full/26205/Net_Neutrality_Is_Socialism_Not_Fre…)

Eben Moglen's 2003 treatise The dotCommunist Manifesto is more honest about the thinking behind net neutrality -- it's sprinkled throughout with the language of communism's great and bloody revolutionaries. The people must "struggle" to "wrest from the bourgeoisie, by degrees, the shared patrimony of humankind" that has been "stolen from us under the guise of 'intellectual property.' "

The Heartland Institute concluded: "Net neutrality divests control over the Internet from the private sector to the government. And in typical Marxist fashion, innocuous words -- the language of neutralism and liberty -- cloak an agenda that would crush freedom."

Thoughtful people might wonder what it means when various right-wing windbags begin to accuse each other of being socialists.

Less thoughtful people, on the other hand, might not even notice that the factions have degenerated into the realm of self-parody.

Geez, this is crazy la la land.
It is pointless analysing code when you haven't a clue when it was used, if it was used or what version it is etc.

I have loads of bits of code that are on my computer that trials and tests etc.
If someone came along and collected it all, then published it, some probably wouldn't work, others would but were never used in a project etc.

Fuck this is ludicrous.
It's not even worth engaging the denial nut jobs over this.

"Have these clowns ever heard of CVS, VSS, or sundry other tools to track code changes?"

Speaking as a tech in a 2009 neuroscience lab: you can lead the postdocs to Subversion, but you often can't make them use it.

Well, that's strangely comforting - with most climate change denialists I know of, I consider them to be clueless twats, paranoid nutters or worse *because* of their views on climate change. However, I've considered Eric Raymond a paranoid nutter since well before I ever knew about climate change. I feel vaguely vindicated.
I've certainly noticed his tendency to see communist plots behind everything previously, plus his classic off-the-rails libertarian view (ever so realistic) that it's every (American) citizen's duty to own a gun to overthrow the government if that becomes necessary. I'd like to see you try, Eric...

The AGW meme awakens chiliastic emotional responses in a lot of Gaianists.

This clearly is nonsense, and you have to ask how much Raymond knows about the subject.

It's warmiastic responses we're gripped by, fool.

By Ezzthetic (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

Paul, let me just state for the record that I'm with you. (William Wallace didn't seem to realize that I was making fun of Raymond's quote mining, and not Raymond's code.)

Stupid arguments are bad enough when the people who make them don't understand that they're stupid. But Raymond... ffs, he's a programmer. How can he not know that a single snippet of code is meaningless if you don't know what the rest of the program does with it?

Behold! I shall feed the troll!

Your analogy might be stronger if ssh were an organization that all but lobbies for command and control economies.

How can you possibly accuse anyone of desiring anything as stupid as a command economy!?! We've all seen how that sort of thing fails, and it fails hard.

Why don't you invest in a company that produces photovoltaic cells or something? It's perhaps sad, but true, that only capitalism can save us from having to evacuate Bangladesh. Governments can (and should!) provide incentives, but command-and-control measures wouldn't work, which is why nobody I know of is proposing any, moron.

By David MarjanoviÄ (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

Well, that's strangely comforting - with most climate change denialists I know of, I consider them to be clueless twats, paranoid nutters or worse *because* of their views on climate change. However, I've considered Eric Raymond a paranoid nutter since well before I ever knew about climate change. I feel vaguely vindicated.
I've certainly noticed his tendency to see communist plots behind everything previously, plus his classic off-the-rails libertarian view (ever so realistic) that it's every (American) citizen's duty to own a gun to overthrow the government if that becomes necessary. I'd like to see you try, Eric...

But Raymond... ffs, he's a programmer. How can he not know that a single snippet of code is meaningless if you don't know what the rest of the program does with it?

It's the jackboots, guns and libertarian wingnuttery effect.

However, I've considered Eric Raymond a paranoid nutter since well before I ever knew about climate change. I feel vaguely vindicated.

No need to feel vague about it :)

What about `FOIA\documents\harris-tree\briffa_sep98_e.pro` ?

The code doesn't appearr to be commented out in that one and it has the same fudge factor.

;
; APPLY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION
;
yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,x)
densall=densall+yearlyadj

By Statistics san… (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

How can you possibly accuse anyone of desiring anything as stupid as a command economy!?!

I accuse denialists of wanting worse: no economy.

The code doesn't appearr to be commented out in that one and it has the same fudge factor.

Who cares? We're talking about a decline which has been described in detail, in the peer-reviewed literature, by the very scientists accused of hiding it.

It's hard to fathom why the ABC and The Age don't run a story on ClimateGate if it's so innocuous.

In other words:

It's hard to fathom why the ABC and The Age don't focus on a non-issue if they think it's such a non-issue.

By Ezzthetic (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

The code doesn't appearr to be commented out in that one and it has the same fudge factor.

Gosh, scientists playing with data when trying to understand certain aspects of the dataset.

I'm horrified, I say! Horrified!

(read the first response to the post)

Eric Lund, thanks for that. I'm still going to maintain that "The Freddy Krueger Effect" is the most appropriate name for the phenomenon, given the scarring, pain, and fear that results.

Produce the data and the algorithms or shut-up.
The dog ate my data doesn't cut it. This train is wrecking, I suggest you get off at the next stop or you'll go tumbling down the gorge with it. There will be a new blacklist, and those who defend too much and too often will be remembered.
Trust is gone forever, at least during your lifetime.

Alex, I'm not a scientist and not all that familiar with the details and minutia of the matter, but there is simply no way that a you can honestly read the emails, the context, the history and what's easily verifiable by google and conclude that this is some mass conspiracy predicated on faulty data.

As numerous people have shown, the data has been available for years, the code explicitly reveals what is the original temps and what is adjusted temps and the, excuse my French, every fucking paper any of these guys have written makes note of the fucking adjustments made to and the fucking limitations of these data.

Would you leave the science fiction conspiracy writing to the experts?

15 mb,

You have taken time off from Denial Depot, I see. :)

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

Emacs colour codes the comments

Old Emacs hands tend to turn off such namby-pamby modern nonsense. Certainly my Emacs never colour-codes anything, thank you very much.

By Nick Barnes (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

Ezzthetic

If the Wall Street Journal can talk about ClimateGate I don't see how this is a non-story.

If the Wall Street Journal can talk about ClimateGate I don't see how this is a non-story.

It's a story alright, but unless you can show there's been actual falsification of data, it's irrelevant and it will blow over.

William Wallace didn't seem to realize that I was making fun of Raymond's quote mining, and not Raymond's code.

Good grief. Who let you on the internet.

60 Bruce,

Because he's a Denydiot. Is it really necessary to say any more?

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

Compare ESR and RMS - one gave us a couple of mail tools. The other gave us most of what people mistakenly think of as Linux. You also can't compare Raymond to, e.g., a Dave Winer. ESR likes to pretend to guruhood. When he went on about how Python was suddenly the true faith, it made me immediately go back to my HOP, OOP and Camel books. Clearly, Perl had hidden virtues if swaggering conceits were abandoning it.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

77 WW,

And you? How much hammering can you take?

If the Wall Street Journal can talk about ClimateGate I don't see how this is a non-story.

Well ... if the Wall Street Journal takes it seriously, then maybe ... maybe I'm wrong about this whole thing ...

By Ezzthetic (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

Re caerbannog at 30:

Mother of Zeus, I didn't see your post before. I'd encourage everyone who is down here at the bottom of the thread to scroll back up for that one.

I hope no one ever greps through any of my code. If anyone sees how ugly it is, all my public comments over the past fifteen years will be completely discredited. And then Billy Wallace won't give me permission to use the Intertubes anymore.

Jody, I think you underdid the expletives just a tad.

Seldom do web-weevils like Betula, Dave Andrews and William Wallace appear in any one place on de intertoobs for very long without a conspiracy of loud stupidity growing among them. Of course pointing this out doesn't help - nothing would. They're not even funny like David Kane.

el gordo: a little Join-the-Dots game for you...

1) The WSJ, The Times, The NY Post, The Oz, the (Sydney) Daily Telegraph, Fox - lots and lotsa "ClimateGate" stories.

2) The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, the ABC - virtually none.

Seeing any patterns yet?

By Steve Chamberlain (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

See, this is why I never comment my code.

Your analogy might be stronger if ssh were an organization that all but lobbies for command and control economies.

True, true. When you find that organisation, let me know.

Your analogy might be stronger if ssh were an organization that all but lobbies for command and control economies.

Personally, I'd be pretty suspicious of anything that called itself "ssh".

Sounds like it's got something to hide.

By Ezzthetic (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

P. Lewis, I'm fucking sorry. :-)

I'm not sure there's an answer to this other than "wait and see," but the question that keeps popping up in my head about all of this is are we in any danger of the "anti-AGW" meme becoming dominant? I look at the crappy reporting on the issue, our short sighted nature and the complexity of the whole AGW case and remain concerned.

Tim's breakdown of the code is simple and illustrative, but it has one problem: it requires people to think. The "fraud" meme only requires people to feel. For my own site, I'm thinking about writing a post about that dichotomy. There's a lot of smart people here, so I'll raise it here, first: Is there a way to make the reply to the hack-crap as much about feeling as it is about thinking?

IF the WSJ reports on it, then it must be credible!

Like [this](http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/10/global-warming-de…), and [this.](http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-a-ubel/the-wall-street-journal-a_2_…)

[Who owns](http://www.globalissues.org/article/159/media-conglomerates-mergers-con…) the media?
And which self-licking-icecreams do they have an interest in?

[Speaking from one of Australia's, several one-paper-states.]

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

Clearly, Eric S[extips] Raymond has never kludged around with code for his own personal use. Either that, or he's a big ol' hypocrite.

By luther blissett (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

Steve Chamberlain @85:
The Oz has also very recently published a story about how sea levels dropped 20cm in the 1970s. Their "authority" was one Nils-Axel Mörner, dowser and famous kook.
They've also recently trumpeted Plimer's erroneous "Volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans".

So I don't see why you would use the Oz to judge the merits of a global warming story.

By Vince Whirlwind (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

Tim:

1) Thanks for starting this thread. I think that the best way to make progress on this issue, like most others, is for the smartest proponents of both sides to argue with each other. It is much more productive for you to take on Raymond than it is for you to spend time beating up the stupid skeptics. (For the same reason, I think that your posts on Stephen McIntyre are quite useful.)

2) I hope that you will also do a new thread on Willis Eschenbach for the same reason.

3) I think that you make some excellent points in this post. I look forward to reading Raymond's response and/or further comments. Whatever your commentators think about Raymond, there is little doubt that he had the personality and background (I recommend his book "The Art if UNIX Programming") for diving into the details. If people like Raymond can't find significant faults in the code, then there are probably no meaningful faults to find.

@Jody 90:

Is there a way to make the reply to the hack-crap as much about feeling as it is about thinking?

I've become convinced that everyone who ever hopes to succeed on Madison Ave. must read the chapter about war propaganda in Mein Kampf.

I realize some will invoke Godwin here, but I'm dead serious. If you want to counter the feeling of fraud, you probably have to pander to people's fears of being manipulated with propaganda, which ultimately requires getting them to think a little too.

Vince (94): "So I don't see why you would use the Oz to judge the merits of a global warming story."

I wasn't (well, not in any favourable sense), I was just trying to point el gordo to something, i.e. that the WSJ is part of the same media empire ...

By Steve Chamberlain (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

If people like Raymond can't find significant faults in the code, then there are probably no meaningful faults to find.

Anyone who understood the code would be a better choice. Sheesh, the guy's a unix programmer, not an effing polymath, the meaning of the code is outside of his domain. If you specified the code formally in detail then he might be able to write a neater implementation. If he resisted his instinct to know better, it might even be a correct implementation.

David Kane:

If people like Raymond can't find significant faults in the code, then there are probably no meaningful faults to find.

Who needs Raymond, any old compile and run will tell you if there are "faults in the code", if that's all that matters.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

Chris: That is not what I mean by "faults."

Tim: Derek Lowe is another smart scientist whose concerns merit a thread of their own.

I'm not actually going to comment on the climate-change aspect of all this, though. I have my own opinions, and God knows everyone else has one, too, but what I feel needs to be looked at is the scientific conduct. I'm no climatologist, but I am an experienced working scientist - so, is there a problem here?

I'll give you the short answer: yes. I have to say that there appears to be several, as shown by many troubling features in the documents that have come out.

Read the whole thing.

Also, climate scientist Eduardo Zorita:

Why I think that Michael Mann, Phil Jones and Stefan Rahmstorf should be barred from the IPCC process

Short answer: because the scientific assessments in which they may take part are not credible anymore.

Also climate scientist Judy Curry:

Transparency. Climate data needs to be publicly available and well documented. This includes metadata that explains how the data were treated and manipulated, what assumptions were made in assembling the data sets, and what data was omitted and why. This would seem to be an obvious and simple requirement, but the need for such transparency has only been voiced recently as the policy relevance of climate data has increased. The HADCRU surface climate dataset and the paleoclimate dataset that has gone into the various âhockeystickâ analyses stand out as lacking such transparency.

If Judy Curry thinks that there are problems with the various "hockeystick" analyses, don't you think we should listen to her?

Again: I think that science works best when the smartest proponents of alternative views in engage in open debate. A thread at Deltoid on each of these scientists would be a great way to move forward.

Hey guys, don't fight over something I may have said in a distracted moment. Rupert Murdoch is on record as saying he believes in AGW, just like you.

There is no right-wing conspiracy, but there is a lively debate taking place on the blogosphere which is seeping into the msm. All except The Age and ABC.

There is no left-wing conspiracy, just bias and blind ignorance.

Your analogy might be stronger if ssh were an organization that all but lobbies for command and control economies.

The ssh utilities are distributed as end-user software that a very, very, large segment of the software engineering and network administration universe depends on.

Odds are good, for instance, that your bank and credit card companies, somewhere, depend on it.

Meanwhile, the code being screamed about at CRU was one-time-use, non-productized, one-off code to push one database into another.

I'm a software professional.

You're an idiot.

Thanks for starting this thread. I think that the best way to make progress on this issue, like most others, is for the smartest proponents of both sides to argue with each other. It is much more productive for you to take on Raymond

What makes you think Raymond's smart? His jackboots, guns, and extremist libertarian bent?

Or is it his ssh code in which he admits he doesn't understand how Solaris (a commercial, well-supported, well-documented Unix variant) works?

He's written a few interesting things in his life. He's not at all the "smartest" on the other side, unless you're talking about politics rather than hacking ability (very few jackbooted highly-armed libertarian wingnuts can code their way into their default browser, but Eric can).

What makes you think Raymond's smart? His jackboots, guns ...

Well, if he says, he's smart, I'm not going to argue with him.

By Ezzthetic (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

>There is no right-wing conspiracy, but there is a lively debate taking place on the blogosphere which is seeping into the msm. All except The Age and ABC.

Lively âdebateâ which takes the form of pronouncement of guilt without evidence, such as most recently [Ken Zac](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/copenhagen_diagnosis.php#commen…):

>*Thank GOD the truth is finally coming out. Although billions$ have been wasted and nearly three decades have been lost in exploration etc. we must now get the word out so that we can hold accountable, all those responsible for perpetrating this scam upon the west. Especially U.S. and UN politicians as well as the green movement etc. They were well on their way to a communist utopia.*

Though, as [has been demonstrated]( http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/new_zealand_climate_science_co…), when those pronouncing guilt are asked for the evidence to back their quote mined conspiracy interpretation, they provide only bluster, promptly vacate or move on more insinuation and unsupported speculation and smear.

If this were more than a beat up, and if this were story that the like of el gordo wish it were, then:

>*the failure [of proponents charging scandal and fraud] to produce corroborating evidence now in light of the emails (as their guide) would be the equivalent of being awarded a free kick right in front of the goals, and then walking away.*

El gordo continues:
>*There is no left-wing conspiracy, just bias and blind ignorance.*

Yes el gordo, the broad church in the ABC even [provide space for]( http://www.abc.net.au/insiders/content/2009/s2756497.htm) âbias and blind ignoranceâ.

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

Judith Curry quote:

>*[...]The HADCRU surface climate dataset and the paleoclimate dataset that has gone into the various âhockeystickâ analyses stand out as lacking such transparency.*

David Kane writes:

>*If Judy Curry thinks that there are problems with the various "hockeystick" analyses, don't you think we should listen to her?*

To be precise on this statement, David, do you interpret Judith as saying there is a problem with various "hockeystick" analyses? Or as saying, some hockey stick analysis are not transparent?

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

el gordo writes:

>Rupert Murdoch is on record as saying he believes in AGW, just like you.

If only el gordo, if only.

You've not accurately represented his phrase, the same phrase now in use by Abbott, to provide a fig leaf for BAU.

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

David Kane, your quote of Judith Curry states that she wishes the presentation of hockey stick data were more transparent. How do you jump from that comment to asserting that Curry "thinks that there are problems with the various "hockey stick" analyses"? Did she write something else that you have not printed here?

When Barnaby Joyce moves to the front bench, Tony Jones will have to interview him about climate change.

But with the silly season upon us, TJ is hoping to slip out the backdoor to avoid humiliation. The whole ABC newsroom is on a hiding to nothing.

Oh, I'd love to see that!

On CC, Barnaby has the gibberish dial at 10.

"Why I think that Michael Mann, Phil Jones and Stefan Rahmstorf should be barred from the IPCC process Short answer: because the scientific assessments in which they may take part are not credible anymore. "

IMO, that's giving in to "facts on the ground"-type intimidation. The argument is that Mann et al. have been effectively smeared, therefore people don't believe them, therefore they're not "credible", and we should distance ourselves from them to avoid suffering the same fate.

But when the truth is Mann and co. haven't made any mistakes Zorita couldn't have done, I think such a "strategy" is simply cowardly.

By Harald Korneliussen (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

Curry's concern has been repeated many times by others, including at realclimate:

"From the date of the first FOI request to CRU (in 2007), it has been made abundantly clear that the main impediment to releasing the whole CRU archive is the small % of it that was given to CRU on the understanding it wouldnât be passed on to third parties. Those restrictions are in place because of the originating organisations (the various National Met. Services) around the world and are not CRUâs to break. As of Nov 13, the response to the umpteenth FOI request for the same data met with exactly the same response. This is an unfortunate situation, and pressure should be brought to bear on the National Met Services to release CRU from that obligation. It is not however the fault of CRU. The vast majority of the data in the HadCRU records is publicly available from GHCN (v2.mean.Z)."

And also by Halido Bjornsson here.

And CRU says they are trying to fix the remaining proprietary issues mentioned in the above comments.

http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/2009/nov/homepagenews/CRUupda…

Your analogy might be stronger if ssh were an organization that all but lobbies for command and control economies.

Ah yes, the reds in the lab argument... Obvious when you think about it. They've been planning this since the 1980s - and most likely when the wall fell and the soviet union collapsed it was so sudden that there was no time for their masters to give them new instructions. Perhaps someone should tell them the cold war is over and they don't have to do this anymore...

By William T (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

FWIW, I was commenting over at LGF, where Charles appears to think he's Tim's new best friend, and I have been blocked. I have no idea why. Here, you guys put up with me and I try to be nice in return. I've posted worse here and Tim's never flinched. Tim's blog, and the commenters here are among my favorites.

Arrgh! The underscore before the "orkXx..." keeps getting cut off when I submit my post. One last time, piece by piece:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/
_orkXxp0bhEA/SwtD5yMFCrI/AAAAAAAAYCE/
vJB_rfuQcK0/s400/091123-cru-2.jpg

On the surface, it looks like inconvenient data (past 1960) is being hidden from the model.

No, it doesn't. It looks like, having done an analysis with unmodified data, they then produced a series with the post-1960 decline artificially removed, and repeated the analysis for comparison. It also looks like they used the calibration derived from the corrected series on the uncorrected data to see what happens. Nothing untoward there, anyway.

Actually, this looks remarkably like it does precisely what was done in this paper, which states explicitly what was done and why.

IDL may cost a lot of money but the open source clone of the language may be good enough: GNU data language.

By Peter Lund (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

Oops el gordo,

I also forgot another obscured dimension in el gordo's description that:

>*There is no right-wing conspiracy, but there is a lively debate taking place on the blogosphere which is seeping into the msm.*

In addition to the [unsupported claims](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/quote_mining_code.php#comment-2…) of fraud, keep well in mind that the those charging fraud count among them those caught spreading [falsehoods on temperature data](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/new_zealand_climate_science_co…), and misleading the public.

And let us neither neglect the well funded behind the scenes [propaganda (PR) campaign.](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/new_zealand_climate_science_co…)

But el gordo, why does so little of this appear in the media? And why do you not plead for vital attention to these highly relevant, and what more, facts that are corroborated beyond speculation and smear.

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 01 Dec 2009 #permalink

Lambert

What the hell are you talking about, you silly man?

The "correction" is blatantly hard-coded in the array variable valadj in order to adjust the graph to the correct shape.

No wonder you "work" at a university. You wouldn't last five minutes in a commercial environment with code analysis skills like that.

The "correction" is blatantly hard-coded in the array variable valadj in order to adjust the graph to the correct shape.

And? What's wrong with that, exactly? Be specific. You silly man.

@dhogaza, comment 1

Good to see one of the most active, constructive and passionate commenters on several blogs being a fellow bird watcher!

There you go Akerman, I only had to mention the silly season and everyone starts talking about silly men.

Tony Jones is one of them.

Witless el gordo. In both senses.

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

You wouldn't last five minutes in a commercial environment with code analysis skills like that.

Oh, he would too.

Murph, your interpretation depends entirely on a right-wing paranoid mindset. If you remove that, the whole ClimateGate affair evaporates into a great bit nothing.

Your time would be better spent looking for kernel bugs.

By Ezzthetic (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

Oh, by the way, does anyone know if Colonel Bugs ever came out on DVD?

I always thought it was one of the great WW2 propaganda cartoons.

By Ezzthetic (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

[Fatso](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/quote_mining_code.php#comment-2…).

I infer that, by:

...mention the silly season and everyone starts talking about silly men

Tony Jones is one of them.

you are referring to the interview tonight (2 December 09) on [Lateline](http://abc.net.au/lateline/) where Tony Jones discussed Barnaby Joyce's antics in the Senate, and Joyce's goggle-eyed mission to decend to the Lower House and purge the nation of the dogma of AGW proponents.

Yes, Tony Jones was talking about, and to, a vey silly man indeed.

One thing about which I agreed with Joyce though, was the idea of bringing in the scientists for a discussion of the science. It's about time that Plimer and Carter were actually made to sweat over their gross distortions of science, and I reckon that a serious dissection under the scrutiny of a panel from the Australian Academy of Science, or simliar, would send Plimer and Carter howling.

It's past time that 'scientists'-for-rent, which is what Plimer and his ilk really are, were skewered under the bright lights of the gaze of their peers betters.

Let each side bring their Powerpoint (blerk!) presentations, list their sources and their evidence and their refutations. Heck, bring in some Supreme Court judges to adjudicate, or have a Royal Commission, but once and for all bring the AGW facts and the Denialist fantasy together and test their respective positions.

Barnaby might find though that what is left for him to wave around after such a dissection would fit into Abbott's budgie-smugglers with more than enough room to squeeze in a bit of self-denying homoeroticism.

Keep your clothes on Barnaby...

[Watch the interview if you're not sure what I mean!]

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

> Your analogy might be stronger if ssh were an organization that all but lobbies for command and control economies.

Ah, but if you actually knew what ssh is and does, you'd know the command and control economies might find some shoddy, buffer-overrun enabling code *very useful indeed* [winks, taps side of nose].

Neil,

Security software is notoriously buggy. At least one so-called security expert has distributed software implementations of algorithms of their own invention.

However, most security software code monkeys worth their salt, know enough to disclaim the use of their own software when security is important, and expressly disclaim responsibility for others who use their software in this way. They encourage independent validation and testing by others, and look forward to others finding bugs. They know that independent critical analysis and rigorous testing will make their code stronger, in the end, or allow other more efficient and secure algorithms to be shown. Contrast this with Phil Jones and company.

The AGW crowd, on the other hand, keeps their code secret until leaked, and allow themselves or others to use results of their secret code to lobby for far reaching and course changing laws and regulations.

I'm a software professional.--dhogaza

What do you think about the leaked code. Definitely not written by anybody who takes pride in being a software professional, in my view. They haven't even bothered to do a pass to remove dead end code, for example.

In the following example, we note another eyebrow raising snippet. Probably nothing, but I'd like to do my share to provide fodder to the masses who are skeptical of the wizzards of smart.

valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,-0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,$
2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor

Note, the snippet I included was from briffa_sep98_e.pro, not briffa_sep98_d.pro.

In the _e version of the file, we have:

;
;
; APPLY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION
;
yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,x)
densall=densall+yearlyadj
;
; Now plot them
;
filter_cru,20,tsin=densall,tslow=tslow,/nan
cpl_barts,x,densall,title='Age-banded MXD from all sites',$
xrange=[1399.5,1994.5],xtitle='Year',/xstyle,$
zeroline=tslow,yrange=[-7,3]
oplot,x,tslow,thick=3
oplot,!x.crange,[0.,0.],linestyle=1
;

Talk about quote mining. Why did you select the _d version, Tim?

An array yrloc comprises 19 years between 1904 and 1994 in half-decade increments. valadj is applied to each element in the array which skews temperatures upward for the latter half of the 20th century. This is the result that Briffa's political masters were looking for and he was only too happy to provide.

Clear enough?

William Wallace, could you please stop attempting to look like a software professional? "We" in fact do lots of stupid stuff of the kind you suggest, and you're just embarrasing everyone by pretending otherwise.

For example, I've seen database export scripts that came with tests, tests which would neatly delete the just-exported data from the base if you forgot to change a config file after running the export.

I'm still waiting for you to explain how the allegedly deliberately fudged data found their way into a published paper. It's all in the open, so it should be no problem tracing every step of the way.

By Harald Korneliussen (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

Apparently, this code drives policy in the British govt. I wouldn't give it a pass in CS101. Yet it's good enough for tenured fools like Lambert. "Fool" is too kinder word.

@126:

And? What's wrong with that, exactly? Be specific. You silly man.

Over on Murph's blog.

By D. C. Sessions (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

I wouldn't give it a pass in CS101.

Bullshit. Of course you would, if you had ever graded code, which you clearly never have.

This is absolutely passing code in any class. It's ugly as sin and would lose points for style in any class that grades on style, sure. But it's passing code because it, and this is important now, works.

In CS101 you're too busy failing people who can't get the concept of a loop to give a shit about people whose code is just awkwardly written. And pretty much all research code I've seen looks like crap, because there's no REASON to put in the extra time and effort to clean it up. Why would you? It's generally run only once or twice per "version", it only has to run on a specific configuration with someone capable of babying it along to compensate for whatever ugly nonsense, and all that matters is the output.

By Michael Ralston (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

There's a hard core that's sort of a zombie remnant of Soviet psyops.

...which is why zombie McCarthyists must rise up from the grave to fight them.

By Raging Bee (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

Trust is gone forever, at least during your lifetime.

Really? What about our trust in the AGW-denialists? Instead of doing actual science, they stole internal emails with no lawful authority, repeatedly lied about what the emails said, and can't seem to stick to a straight story about how they got the emails. Believe me, Skippy, it's not the scientists who have squandered the public's trust by their actions; it's the blustering bigoted asshats who are trying to trash them.

By Raging Bee (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

103: Tim. Excellent! The more that you address the strongest arguments from the skeptics, the better. However, "WMC already has a thread on Zorita" is true, but his comments are, I would say, far below your standards.

109 and 111: I interpret Curry (and I could easily be wrong, corrections welcome!) as saying that there is a real problem with the transparency of the various hockey stick analyses and that, therefore, it is hard for anyone to have faith in the results, or at least as much faith as we would have if the analyses were transparent. Do you think that Curry believes that the various hockey stick analyses are 100% guaranteed to be accurate but that the lack of transparency is a PR problem? Again, I could be wrong with my claim but the fact that she is willing to be quoted at Climate Audit suggests, indirectly, that my interpretation is correct.

Tim,

Although the adjustment code is commented out in briffa_sep98_d.pro, it is apparently active in briffa_sep98_e.pro.

I suspect that the code performs the adjustment later described in Sections 4.3 and 4.4 of this unpublished manuscript by Osborn et al., because the description of the MXD adjustment (they even call it an "ad hoc artificial adjustment" in the manuscript) sounds similar to what it looks like that code is doing. However, the manuscript was submitted in 2004, so I don't know if the timing works.

By Ambitwistor (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

130 Janet,

Oh, I don't know. I'm quite used to his shining wit ;)

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

raging bee:

"There's a hard core that's sort of a zombie remnant of Soviet psyops.

...which is why zombie McCarthyists must rise up from the grave to fight them."

Roland Emmerich and George Romero are already fighting over the directing job.

3 points about briffa_sep98_d and briffa_sep98_e:-

1. "d" is much shorter at 58 lines vs. 150 for "e". They do not do the same thing.

2. Of course there will be versions where the correction is active! How else do you compare the result?

3. If the intention was to fiddle the data, no one would add comments like
; Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!

;****** APPLIES A VERY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION FOR DECLINE*********
; APPLY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

I suspect that the code performs the adjustment later described in Sections 4.3 and 4.4 of this unpublished manuscript by Osborn et al., because the description of the MXD adjustment (they even call it an "ad hoc artificial adjustment" in the manuscript) sounds similar to what it looks like that code is doing.

Could be. This is what the manuscript says:

the MXD data were (temporarily) adjusted to artificially remove the decline, then the calibration coefficients were determined using unfiltered data and applied to the unadjusted MXD data to generate the reconstruction.

It was temporary code. This is what non-paranoid people have been saying all along.

122 Peter Lund, thank you for the reference to GDL.

144 Raging Bee, I hope that means there is a Zombie Edward R. Murrow to take on the Zombie McCarthyists.

Christ, this is just sad. I used to have a lot of respect for that guy -- hell, his Jargon File, encountered during a particularly impressionable period of my youth, is the only reason I'm in the IT industry at all. But this is just shameful.

I think there's something else that needs to be mentioned: just because some particular bit of code exists on a hard disc, does NOT mean that bit of code is actually in use, or doesn't have a more up-to-date version elsewhere. Based on my limited experience in software development, I suspect that out-of-date code is not always deleted in a timely or consistent manner; and developers are often reluctant to get rid of something once they've created it. I remember meetings where developers were warned to get rid of whole unused, out-of-date databases that they hadn't touched in months, if not years, because the network disks were getting full.

So does anyone have any idea, or any way of determining, which bits of stolen code were in use and which were not? If we can't answer this question, then the denialists' bloviation on this subject is even more bogus than we thought.

By Raging Bee` (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

MartinM (#86):

See, this is why I never comment my code.

How lucky you are to be able to get away with that! The Ministry of Clarity always comes down on me when I forget to include the boilerplate "this code was approved by Comrade Inspektor #655321" message in my Python doc strings. Sheesh. I mean, you forget to acknowledge Glorious Leader in one little command-line argument parser, and Miniclear is all over you like red on October.

Stay warm, tovarisch!

An array yrloc comprises 19 years between 1904 and 1994 in half-decade increments. valadj is applied to each element in the array which skews temperatures upward for the latter half of the 20th century.

Yes, well, thanks for attempting to point out the bloody obvious, and failing miserably. Applying corrections to an array of years would be daft. What the code actually does is interpolate valadj to produce yearly temperature corrections, with yrloc providing the abscissa for the (slightly) irregular grid, starting as it does at 1400, not 1904, which is the second element. You also seem to have missed the fact that these are not temperatures, but MXD values which proxy for temperature. Three obvious mistakes in two sentences. Impressive!

Nonetheless, perhaps you could avoid the bloody obvious and perhaps explain the slightly less obvious points, such as what precisely is wrong with printing out a corrected data series next to an uncorrected one, with the corrected one clearly labelled 'corrected.'

At this stage, for the purposes of policy deliberations and public debates, we should just agree to discard the paleoclimate research entirely. Between McIntyre-Galileo's long copyediting crusade, Michael Mann and the 'team's' (understandably) poor handling of the full frontal smear campaign they have been subjected to, and now a whole host of emails almost entirely regarding 'the team' that offer more opportunity for twisted interpretation above and beyond the already vast seam of misinformative gold they have been mining for some time due to the very nature of the research 'tree rings are not thermometers, and other fun with ignorance', it's time to concede that we are giving into denialists by allowing the whole of climate science to be conflated with an area that frankly is ancillary to the mainline evidence.

The case that needs to be made is exceedingly simple, and should be stated as such.

1) GHGs are a physically demonstrable and falsifiable radiative forcing with, in the case of the relatedly most important, C02, a long tenure in the atmosphere.
2) GHGs have been increasing due to man's activity.
3) Top denialist talking point is that there is variability in climate. You can't get there with negative feedbacks.
4) The temperature as predicted has unequivocally been going up, according to ocean/surface/satellite temp records, collapsing ice sheets, retreating glaciers, responses in the biosphere, etc. etc. and in ways directly predicted by a GHG forcing, (cooling stratosphere, reduced diurnal temperature spread, etc.).

That is both *exceedingly* difficult to push back on, and (roughly speaking) all that's necessary to show that human activity is warming the climate, which is why denialists have put so much effort into moving the goal posts. The endless streams of comments to the effect of 'ClimateGate exposes AGW is a fraud', and 'McIntyre's work has exposed AGW' (an assertion that is patently dishonest as invited by him, which it is) and the mainstream editorials that can only vaguely assert that 'the science is not significantly impacted' etc. etc. simply prove that they have been highly successful at doing so.

All of which demonstrates just how badly those of us with the requisite cognitive faculties not to fall for denialist fallacies and fraudulence have been beaten on the rhetorical side of things by those without such, (with no small assistance from the fossil fuel industry hacks that may or may not believe the stuff they're shoveling). No small irony, and no small consequences.

It's time to dump the paleo stuff- not to stop conducting research or to concede to any of the unsupported and unscientific attacks on it and its exponents, but simply to stop talking about and defending it as regards a justification for policy action- for the practical reason that we don't need a scientific reason to do so. A political/rhetorical reason will suffice for the political rhetorical blogospheric world.

There, I've got that off my chest.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

Jan:

Good to see one of the most active, constructive and passionate commenters on several blogs being a fellow bird watcher!

Why, thank you! There was a time in my life when I worked much more with binoculars and a 600/4 camera lens than with a laptop ... I was just in costa rica for a conference, and managed a little lightweight birding on the side. Fantastic birding, even casual birding.

Joseph:

This is what the manuscript says:
the MXD data were (temporarily) adjusted to artificially remove the decline, then the calibration coefficients were determined using unfiltered data and applied to the unadjusted MXD data to generate the reconstruction.
It was temporary code. This is what non-paranoid people have been saying all along.

This is great, whether or not the actual tweaking was done by the 1998 code or whether this paper talks about other tweaking more recent to the 2004 manuscript, it makes the point.

Those screaming about "hidden adjustments to suit their political masters" etc miss the obvious: it's the published work that counts, and when papers openly discuss methodology describes artificial adjustments then it's not "hidden" or "secret" or whatever paranoid ranting description people like ESR chose to use.

Oh joy. Channel 4 just had Ross McKitrick on. He said/she said talking heads are absolutely the best way to analyse science.

Just watched live interview on Channel 4 news by presenter Jon Snow with Bob Watson from UEA and Ross McKitrick.

The basis for it was Phil Jone's decision to step asside for the enquiry around the hacked emails.

Watcon was robust and the final question by Snow floored Mckitrick who didn't have an answer.

You can most probably find it if you google channel4 news, UK

William Wallace @46: ssh is the backbone of internet security, so the parallels are apt.

By Rattus Norvegicus (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

I would just like to note that multiplying something by .75 will actually make it smaller, not larger, as indicated.

By Lewis Guignard (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

ssh is the backbone of internet security, so the parallels are apt.

And, of course, is touted to be professional, robust, product-quality code, not some knock-off personal snippet of code not meant to be used for others.

Actually, despite the comments, it *is* a pice professional, robust, product-quality code, and as our rodent friend points out, the backbone of internet security.

Despite the comments.

You'd think ESR would understand the point ...

I'm wondering what made them choose IDL over at CRU? Any particular feature advantage compared with the competition?
Is there some particular performance advantage? Can it exploit a cluster environment somehow? ?? BTW I'm not criticising here just not real clear on the why.

In the past I've used "small" free statistics data and visualisation application called "R". Contributors have provided packages for networking and so forth, for those who really need to use cluster computing to speed up say MCMC or other big simulation or something. For basic and advanced use on a single machine it's great for prototyping etc as it provides a data-centric view and provides matrix, data frame and other high level operations. For extra speed the lower layer uses LAPACK/BLAS libraries for providing the actual matrix and vector arithmetic - these may be optimised for the specific architecture of the host machine.

Sorry, just couldn't resist plugging something free and excellent.

By Donald Oats (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

is there any similar analysis of the e code? or do we know which was used?

Uh Tim, I don't think you looked at the .pro in a proper editor, or you copied and pasted text of the program from a site that stripped it. I looked at it from the 'stolen' archive. yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,timey) is NOT, repeat NOT commented out. The source has a CRLF after the semicolon.

Ray, I think you misunderstood Tim. If you look at the code snippet he posted, he doesn't say that yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,timey) is commented out. The CRLF is visible in what Tim posted. It's not the adjustment that is commented out: it's the use of the adjusted variable.

Regards,
Bruce

Right; the line 'yearlyadj=interpol(valadj,yrloc,timey)' just performs the interpolation; works out from the 5-year corrections what the correction for each year should be. The line which actually adds those corrections to the raw data is commented out.

Today's (UK) Daily Express

"Professor Ian Plimer ..."

Say no more.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

This absolute gem in the comments on that express article (after listing a bunch of garbage talking points):

> There is also a conspiracy theory prevalent that the some shady organisation is trying to use the Copenhagen treaty as a vehicle to set up some kind of supra-national World Government, which I have yet to see being contradicted.

Right...

Steve (97): Ooops. Should have had my morning coffee *before* firing up the interwebs - I'm with you now...

I *do* love to pick up The Australian, though - for the comedy.

I visited a friend's house earlier this year on a Saturday - I saw a freshly-unrolled copy of the Australian on their coffee-table.
"Keeping an eye on the enemy, eh?" I asked facetiously.
"What do you mean" they replied.
Oops.
Once the conversation turned to global warming denialism I realise I had strayed *onto* enemy territory. How supposedly intelligent people can fail to spot the denialist lobby's obvious lack of credibility is beyond me.

By Vince Whirlwind (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

Care to comment on the last and 'production' version of that code, where the biased computations are ACTIVE there Tim?

http://di2.nu/foia/harris-tree/briffa_sep98_e.pro

It's obvious in the d version he was testing it and integrated it into the final version.

Oops:"Care to comment on the last and 'production' version of that code, where the biased computations are ACTIVE there Tim?

http://di2.nu/foia/harris-tree/briffasep98e.pro

It's obvious in the d version he was testing it and integrated it into the final version."

See comment 147 by Ambitwistor.

By t_p_hamilton (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

160 Jeremy,

I missed that but did you see Benny Peiser on BBC2 Newsnight last night (1 Dec)?

Amazing what's coming out into the light right now!

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

Not trying to be ad hom here, but when I see the words David Kane near anything involving math, sampling, computers, etc., it's like hearing that the toddler is back playing by the fuse box. And my eyes roll of their own accord - very Pavlovian.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

And ESR is a what I call a Heinleinian - a whole crowd that eventually in any controversy has no intellectual integrity because they have a bizarre right-wing libertarian Nietzche complex and admitting they have to bow to anyone's expertise, ever, violates their puffed up front.

It's a definite complex, usually engineers but quite often programmers. They're usually gun nuts like ESR, they're always and invariably market fundies, and they are usually rabid fans of military sci-fi (think everyone at the Mech E study lab breaking to watch "Air Wolf" in the 1980s).

Ironically, Heinlein himself poked holes in part of that attitude in his story Coventry.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

And ESR is a what I call a Heinleinian - a whole crowd that eventually in any controversy has no intellectual integrity because they have a bizarre right-wing libertarian Nietzche complex.

Ha! I've been talking about the Heinlein connection to right-wingnuttery libertarianism among software and compute engineering types for many years - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" portrays a great example of an extreme right-wing libertarian utopian society.

I've never gotten anyone to agree with me ... and here you come along. So I'm not crazy, eh? :)

When I help reporters doing a statistical or database-driven story, I have often done many, many checks. For instance, in some cases random data generated within bounds previously known before the information in the story was gathered will often validate their take as well as their gathered info does, so I point that out and they have to change their story, and more importantly, describe it a little more formally before they put it back into journalese . Conversely, I do sometimes show very basic modifications of graphs, but according to stats 201 principles, when there might be a pattern but it's noisy, or contributions to a result really do need to be adjusted beforehand, scaled appropriately, etc.

What really, really annoys me is people who pretend like climate change invented the whole science of sampling, and it's all some sort of trick. Who knows what kind of hay they'd make over Bayesian vs. frequentist discussions in emails ... or is that coming next?

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

i only did a quick check, but it looks like UAH has just reported the warmest november on record (+0.5°C)

Looks like the Southern Baptist Church is part of the conspiracy ...

Vince,

This is now a divisive political issue and your arrogant green faith is clearly visible. To avoid further embarrassment and the loss of old friends - best go quietly.

In response to questions at [109 and 111]( http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/quote_mining_code.php#comment-2…), David Kane writes:

>*109 and 111: I interpret Curry (and I could easily be wrong, corrections welcome!) as saying that there is a real problem with the transparency of the various hockey stick analyses and that, therefore, it is hard for anyone to have faith in the results, or at least as much faith as we would have if the analyses were transparent. [â¦]*

David, thank you for more clearly distinguishing your opinion from Curryâs own words.

>*[...]The HADCRU surface climate dataset and the paleoclimate dataset that has gone into the various âhockeystickâ analyses stand out as lacking such transparency.* (Judith Curry)

I believe that if the problem is transparency (as Curry states), then it is not unique to those under attack from from this a coordinated campaign. Scientific standards should be [neither ad-hoc nor two-tiered]( http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/on_those_stolen_cru_emails.php#…). And the levels of transparency of analysis of these currently attacked scientist should not be looked at in isolation, but as a standard for all science.

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

I don't know about you folks, but if I wanted to commit an insidious, super-secret fraud via computer code to deny the earth is cooling, I would put a comment in all caps that says:

Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!

That fools them every time.

El Gordo advocates that we bow meekly to the politically-motivated anti-knowledge being produced by the denialist lobbying.
Well, no, I can't.
The "hoax-moon landings" might also become a "divisive political issue" if Murdoch's stable were to choose to make it so. It would remain nevertheless a massive pile of fact-free horseshit, just like the denialist nonsense we are being subjected to, courtesy of the Australian, etc...
What is astounding is that people uncritically suck up this nonsense from the Australian.

By Vince Whirlwind (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

David Kane #146: "Do you think that Curry believes that the various hockey stick analyses are 100% guaranteed to be accurate but that the lack of transparency is a PR problem?"

I can't imagine that she nor anyone else with a brain thinks that any science model at all is 100% accurate. But your assertion in #100 was that Curry ""thinks that there are problems with the various "hockey stick" analyses."

You refer to her posting at Climate Audit, but I don't read anything there about the her problems with, or accuracy of, the analyses, with the sole exception of HADCRUT treatment of the surface temperature bump ca. 1940. Instead, she writes that the "broader issue is the need to increase the public credibility of climate science."

Indeed many of the Climate Audit comments in response to her posting there, show a great irritation with her position.

Now you are jumping from "problems with hockey stick analyses" to whether the problem with transparency makes it hard for anyone to have faith in the results. But they are two different things.

Your jump parallels other skeptical commentators, who now appear to hope to let themselves "off the hook" for being unable to disprove any major finding in the science, by moving to the rhetorical position that at least they made the data available.

Which of course is just more "public relations."

And now the rest of us, following the avenues of complaint, find out that most of the data has always been available anyway. What has been going on here exactly?

Dave A. laments:
"So we now know that both surface temperature records are badly flawed but you still expect us to make extremely important and costly decisions based upon them?!!!!"

Which one of these independent measurements does not indicate signficant warming:

Radiosondes
Satellite Troposphere
Satellite SST
Buoy & Ship SST
Tide Guages
Satellite SLR
Glacier Mass Balance
IceSAT
GRACE

Skepticism allows you to question each result on an individual basis. Questioning the totality of observations in favor of massive conspiracies is not skepticism.

Sorry if you've discussed this before, but take a look at this. From the main website:

"There have been strident claims that New Zealand is warming. The Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), among other organisations and scientists, allege that, along with the rest of the world, we have been heating up for over 100 years. But now, a simple check of publicly-available information proves these claims wrong. In fact, New Zealandâs temperature has been remarkably stable for a century and a half. So whatâs going on?" Researchers find records adjusted to represent 'warming' when raw data show temperatures have been stable.--11-30-2009

Nope, no reason to be skeptical.

There now. That's all of what- 1, 2, 3- 4 posts ago. You wouldn't have had to go too far to go to make an effort now, would you have William. My my, what has happened to our righteous aristocracy.

Here's a thought chief: why don't you try to enrich the petroleum industry propaganda in which you've been pickled to the point of saturation with news and analysis from other sources? You might find your cognitive faculties become less... impaired.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

I write self-commenting code - so if any data is hidden, it's the code's decision, not mine. I agree, comments, testing and debugging are all highly deceptive practices geared towards creating a socialist death panel forest service codex alimentarius HAARP new one world order mattoid UN bilderberger Fed Reserve lizardian British Royal Grey gun grabbing IRS marxist-freudian psych-drug nature-worshipping gay fascist trilateral law of the sea inernational criminal court genocide command and control gulag economy under which your wife, dog, gun and pickup truck will be confiscated, along with your HP calculator.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

Hey guys, off topic for just a moment (there's no open thread atm)

Can anyone explain briefly why it is that a global temperature shift of just a couple of degrees can have such a big impact when we have much larger variation on a regional scale?

Someone put this to me in an argument and I'm having trouble answering it adequately. Here is the question posed to me:

"This just restates the assertion. I understand that the claim is small shifts in global average temperature can translate into differences as large as that between our current climate and an ice age.

My question is: how can this be true, and is it ALWAYS true? I gave the example of temperatures falling sharply in temperate zones, but not yielding an ice age in those zones, because a 10 degree drop in those zones would be enormous--would certainly drop the global mean temperature by a few degrees--but would not, as far as I can tell, produce an ice age in those zones."

And then this

"There are many ways to raise the mean 3-4 degrees, or 10-12 degrees for that matter. Asking why such a relatively small difference in mean temperature could bring such dramatic changes as a new ice age is perfectly legitimate, and unfortunately cannot simply be a function of the mathematical definition of the concepts involved."

Sorry to bother everybody once again but I hate it when a denier unexpectedly gets the upper hand on me ;)

I have to say, my last vestige of respect for ESR disappeared when I found out what a steaming pile of crap fetchmail was. Shortly before that I found out he was a racist and an HIV denier. After he used his own experiences growing up with cerebral palsy as an excuse to say that a young woman's suicide from being teased for being different (and, by extension, Alan Turing's for being gay) was her own fault for not being strong enough to put up with the abuse, I finally gave up on the man having any redeeming value at all. Linus Torvalds may have a Bidenesque tendency towards slash-and-burn humor, but he's a much better spokesperson for the open source/free software community because, well, as Steve Jobs once said, real artists ship.

Forking the Jargon File is starting to look like a good idea...

dhogaza I have left you a message at ATBC.

I have greatly enjoyed this blog lately. and before climategate. but defintely lately.

By Erasmus, FCD (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

Conner asks:

>*Can anyone explain briefly why it is that a global temperature shift of just a couple of degrees can have such a big impact when we have much larger variation on a regional scale?*

These question have long answers. I can offer very short temporary answer, which, is that the predicted âglobal temperature shift of just a couple of degreesâ with involve âlarger variation on a regional scaleâ.
Take a few examples of regional climate shifts that have occurred, then imagine them coincident.

In past regional climate shifts components of ecosystems have either died out or migrated. When a climate shift happens on a global scale (disproportionately affecting the colder regions (higher altitudes, and higher latitudes) where will the stressed biodiversity migrate once they hit the top of the mountain or the coast?

The other point is we now have 6.7 billion humans, who have carved up the landscape (impeding migration with constant cropping and spraying), and these 6.7 billion have grown up based on the provisions of this climate. Some are even starving now.

The warming over this century will improve productivity for a short while in a some higher latitude regions, but decimate it in Africa and high populous Asian nations. What will Canada and Russia do with their temporary higher productivity, and a couple of billion refugees clamoring for food?

Another answer is that the predicted âglobal temperature shift of just a couple of degreesâ with involve regional changes that affect albedo and drive positive temperature feedback, which risk turning a couple of degrees global anomaly to another couple more. And that risk regional affects that include the release of locked up methane, which could drive more temperature rise.

(A scientist could give a more authoratative answer.)

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

[Connor](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/quote_mining_code.php#comment-2…).

This is not a direct answer to your question, but rather one that touches on a similar argument that a change of a few degrees can surely have no effect on humans, or on other species. This claim is wrong, and in addressing it there are two things to consider...

When smaller, regional parts of the planet are undergoing their respective, quite extreme, temperature variations, they are doing it out of synchronisation with each other, and hence the overall global mean temperature stays relatively constant. To shift the overall global temperature requires quite profound alterations of underlying regional means, especially if some don't shift as much as others, and even if the day-to-day fluctuations in any one area are so relatively large that the underlying increase of the mean is not perceptible to humans â though it might be to other species.

The second thing that needs to be taken into account is that humans alter their environment to suit their own ideas of comfort, and this includes temperature: to this end, we heat or cool our dwellings, and/or change the clothing that we wear. Plants and animals other than humans do not do this, and they are much more vulnerable to temperature shifts than are we. Whilst many species might have a high tolerance to variation in the temperatures to which they are exposed, this rarely translates into a similar tolerance to changes of mean temperature â in part because the latter usually implies significant alterations to the former.

In some contexts animals are not exposed to large fluctuations in temperature, (for example, in the oceans), and for many species even a degree or two represents a considerable challenge to their physiological tolerances.

I could say more, but I have a 2 year old having a tantrum, so I have to run. Perhaps others will add their understanding to my comments, and to the thrust of your original question.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

Ha! I've been talking about the Heinlein connection to right-wingnuttery libertarianism among software and compute engineering types for many years [but]I've never gotten anyone to agree with me ...

The problem, d. ol' bean, is that you've been talking to the wrong people. Even Henry Farrell lets on that he "[likes] me mid-period Heinlein just fine." In fact, H. could spin a hell of a yarn and revealed in occasional bursts of self-deprecating awareness that he knew what a colossal wanker he was -- either one of which would put him multiple notches above Ayn Rand. The problem with Heinlein is not that he's a bad read; everyone knows he's a great read. It's just that, if your brain had palms, reading Heinlein would cause hair to grow on them.

BJ

We know that fish stocks move about and that's how they survive over millennium. They found the PDO by tracking the salmon.

Since we're piling on ESR I have to point out fetchmail was just fine for its time and place. What's really amusing is that RMS is completely in tune with his beliefs with all his actions and positions.

While it's true that Open Source and Free (in either sense) software is voluntary vs. govt. regulated or state socialist, and that the most famous parts - initiated by Stallman - actually use capitalist intellectual property law in a kind of loophole judo - it's also true that the capitalist ideology wouldn't lend itself to any part of the open source movement - you're supposed to look to others' greed, not their good intentions, for rewards.

If capitalism is right, then the cathedral and the bazaar are both irrelevant. All the good programmers are going to be in private companies, without any exception, after no more than one generation.

I realize ESR is not a Randite per se, but even the much more minimal ideology he's gung ho for simply obviates his source of fame. He's helping to take the profit motive out of software commerce for his fellow capitalists, and without gathering their lost revenue for himself.

Certainly the odd person (RedHat Linux founders) can make a fortune off supporting OSS, but by and large it's a return to the Homebrew computer club (pre MSFT, pre AAPL) and the university-based computing community. It's in Marxist terms a reversion to primitive socialism of a sort - very similar to the quasi-socialist and egalitarian way that science communities tend to operate, unless some high-stakes technology is at stake.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

Speaking of quote mining, Tim Flannery gave a smack down to Bolt's misrepresentation's of science on [Radio National today](http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2009/12/bst_20091203_0741.mp3)

Interesting that Bolt's spin even convinced some Liberal MPs to vote for Abbott, saying you know you did the right thing, even Tim Flannery is a Climate sceptic now.

Flannery is simply advising people not to trust anything Bolt says.

Imagine if Bolt made distortions like this and changed opposition policy on an important issue?

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

Akerman

I'm a vegan and there is nothing else I can do to solve this problem of over fishing.

Just leave it up to some other hard working volunteers hey el gordo?

Would you like a vegan beer while you rest on your engorgeo.

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

Referring to the Wall Street Journal article by Bret Stevens:

Climate change scientists get their funding because organisations with the money are worried about climate induced problems - therefore, the scientists have to believe in climate change and make everyone else believe it.

That would explain, of course, why the germ theory of disease became so popular - it wasn't because it was RIGHT, and the miasma and 'four humours' theories were WRONG, it was because the scientists were getting funds to study microbes...

By faithless (not verified) on 02 Dec 2009 #permalink

Fatso summarises marine biology thus:

We know that fish stocks move about and that's how they survive over millennium. They found the PDO by tracking the salmon.

The only trouble is, there are tens of thousands (at the least) of species that are not pelagic, but rather sub-littoral/benthic/otherwise restricted to particular regions. Warming is not their friend.

If you doubt this fat boy, take a dive in Tasmania's kelp forests, or along any other part of its coastline. Or New Zealand's. Or any number of other non-contiguous marine ecosystems, especially those that lie away from the tropical regions..

You're just a tar-baby, aren't you Tubby? No matter how many times you're whacked with fact, none of it leaves a mark.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

El Gordo:

I'm a vegan and there is nothing else I can do to solve this problem of over fishing.

You could try voting for people who promise to interfere in people's lives. In the end, we all do.

Cheers for the link DC but that ain't me

Conner, one graphic argument for why a few of degrees warming is such a big deal is to point out that during the height of the last ice age the Earth was just 5 to 6 degrees C cooler than now and that was enough of a difference to cause half of Europe, Asia and North America to be covered with an ice sheet several kilometres thick.

By Craig Allen (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

I thought everyone knew about the geek- Heinlein connection. I've known about it for over a decade. Especially of course the wish fulfillment later Heinlein. Of course the poor downtrodden geek is going to idnetify with one of the overmen/ women, or at least the very competent characters.
But now that they rule the world, is Heinlein worship decreasing?

Sad reading these comments, so many in denial. Seems you are hoping it's all some nightmare that you'll wake up from. Trajic how this is going to hurt science and real enviromentalism. Guess you should have hung on to being skeptics first and foremost.

Tim: With regard with my suggestions in #100 about other smart skeptics who merit their own threads at Deltoid. I now agree with some of the other commentators here that Curry's remarks are not clear enough to merit discussion. (And I also suspect that you agree with her criticisms that more transparency is a good thing, as you also argued in the Lancet debates.)

So, I would replace Curry with Roy Spencer. Or maybe something else from his blog. Again, my goal is to find the best arguments from the smartest skeptics and then see how you (and others) respond.

"It's time to dump the paleo stuff- not to stop conducting research or to concede to any of the unsupported and unscientific attacks on it and its exponents, but simply to stop talking about and defending it as regards a justification for policy action- for the practical reason that we don't need a scientific reason to do so. A political/rhetorical reason will suffice for the political rhetorical blogospheric world."

Yeah, but that opens the door to MWP/LIA "it's all natural cycles, we've adapted in the past" arguments and blah blah blah. You don't want to concede a major part of the science to these wankers. Maybe temperature from dendrochronology is a lost cause, but not all paleoclimatology. It's too important.

*Which ignores that population in the MWP was 1/12 of what it is now and GDP/capita about one-tenth what it is now. Adaptation to climate change is going to be disruptive. Plus, the 14th century, when the MWP began to end, was a fucking miserable time by all accounts. Adaptation ain't costless, as the deniers appear to think. Mitigation is comparatively cheap.

By Sock Puppet of… (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

Bernard, Janet, I have been away on a sabbatical the past few months, but its glad to see that El Chubbo is still promulgating scientifically vacuous remarks like, "We know that fish stocks move about and that's how they survive over millennium. They found the PDO by tracking the salmon".

Where to deconstruct this utter gibberish? Nothing on trophic differentiation, food webs, etc., just an utterly fatuous remark devoid of any depth. I cannot and will not go into discussions of meta-population theory and local adaptation, because old El Chubbo will not have a clue what I am talking about.

But the facts are these: the vast majority of the ocenas are ostensibly biological deserts. The really productive marine ecosystems - the green seas - are those occurring on continental shelves and are (or were until humans began to overexploit them) some of the most productive ecosystems on Earth. What Homo spaiens has done to these systems in a relatively short time beggars belief. If we ignore hyperpeutrophication and other forms of pollutiuon and focus on overharvesting alone, our species has decimated food webs by exploiting these systems from the top-down - effectively plundering species towards the end of the food chain then going on to the next etc. There is little doubt that this anthopogenic decimation of these systems has totally unravelled food webs and has also created scenarios whereby lower trophic levels have become top-level predators and are preventing the re-establishment of trophic integrity. The waters off of the Atlantic coast of Spain have been so heavily plundered that some species of jellyfish now occupy the terminal end of the food chain.

As many marine biologists have said, over-exploitation of marine ecosystems is certain to undermine their functioning and may lead to irreversible damage. What is most worrying is that there are those - people generally lacking any pedigree in biology or ecology but who have influence (I think we know who I am talking about here) - who simply cannot grasp the notion that resources are finite. They cling to the hollow idea that if humans over-exploit resources in one place we can always go elsewhere. But given the fact that 11 of the world's 15 major fisheries have been exploited at or beyond their limit, this argument does not - excuse the pun - hold water anymore. Simply put, advances in fishing technology do not increase the ability of marine systems to sustainbably regenerate themselves, it only allows humans to drain them of their capital that much more quickly.

With respect to Connor's earlier point: it is imperativce that we try and frame our understanding of global change within the framework of what natural systems have evolved to respond to in their evolutionary history. Too many of us cling to the idea that somehow things we do to nature will either not rebound on us, or else that we have intellectually evolved beyond any constraints imposed by natural systems. This is, of course, pure fantasy, but there are those who still peddle this drivel.

To answer your point directly, we have no way of knowing if a 2 degree C change - or the loss of 15% of the Amazon for that matter - will push complex adaptive systems beyond a tipping point beyond which they are unable to sustain themselves. The question is one of scale. Temperatures at higher latitudies are incresing much more rapidly than those at lower latitudes (as predicted by global circulation models first discussed more than 50 years ago and refined since). The predicted rate of temperature change experienced by boreal ecosytems, for instance, is probably unprecedented in many millions of years, and yet we are challenging natural systems and the species and genetically distinct populations that make them up to adaptively respond to these changes. It is clear that tewarming in the order of 5-10 C that is occurring in less than 200 years in high latitudes will devastate these ecosystems. There will be many losers, and we can only see it as a crap shoot with a potnetially disastrous outcome. As I have said many times on various threads in Deltoid, human beings are not exempt from the laws of nature - by contrast, our very existence and survival critically depends on a range of ecological services emerging over variable spatial and temporal scales from natural systems across the biosphere. There are no technological substitutes for many of these services, and even where there are they are often prohibitively expensive and much less efficient than they are based on the combined biotic output of the planet's biota.

Bear in mind that humans are assaulting nature in a wide range of different ways, of which warming is only one. Effectively, humans are conducting a vast experiment on systems of immense complexity whose functioning we barely understand but which we know sustain life in a manner that we know. AGW, if allowed to accelerate and continue unabated, poses a very real threat to not only the survival of many of the planet's evolved inhabitants, but to our own species.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

@David Kane: "best arguments" ??
If we look at Roy Spencer's top 10:
1. is a complaint about the media and the public perception
2. is mostly a strawman. Nobody in the scientific world denies natural climate change. Hardly anyone even calls Roy Spencer a denier. They might say he's wrong, but that's a different story.
3. Ask *any* scientist in *any* field, and they'll note biased peer-review. The focus on peer-reviewed publications is that it is a *scientific* publication that can subsequently be *scientifically* evaluated, and *scientifically* discussed. Not a blog-entry where you just have to 'hope' that an expert looks at it and evaluates it for its merits. Comments to the blog entry also tend to become very noisy.
4. Logical fallacy. The Appeal to Authory is *not* a logical fallacy, it is the *False* Appeal to Authority that is. More problematic, Roy Spencer falsely claims that the IPCC funds research (it does not). Also problematic: that the majority might be wrong does not mean the minority is right.
5. If Roy Spencer wants a debate, he could come to the scientific conferences. Plenty of room for questions and debate. Public debates are useless, they are popularity contests in front of a mostly lay audience. I could get significant numbers in a lay audience to believe HIV does not cause AIDS (even without believing so myself), just by simple tricks and absolute statements. Creating doubt is often enough.
6. Likely an Appeal to Authority and/or circular argument. The claim that it is well known that clouds have a net cooling effect is based on...? Probably his own research.
7. Ignorance. ALL computer models are validated; validation is part of the testing procedure
8. We even had an old model already forecasting the effect of a big volcano quite accurately, but Spencer decides to attack a strawman...
9. Claim without evidence. The IPCC was explicitely set up to find out how and how much humans influenced the climate. A proper research hypothesis.
10. Mostly strawman. I see very few people making the claim that Roy Spencer claims they do. Moreover, what is "good" and "bad" is often a matter of perspective, also for earth scientists. If altering an eco-system is the goal, than the change is "good" (since it is the goal). If altering an eco-system is not desired, but it happens because humans do something, then obviously humans have done something "bad".
More problematic is that Roy Spencer does not realise that nature could care less about humans. Yes, it will change. Should we just sit and hope we can keep up with the evolutionary pressure we are putting on nature (and, by proxy, ourselves?)

The problem, d. ol' bean, is that you've been talking to the wrong people. Even Henry Farrell lets on that he "[likes] me mid-period Heinlein just fine." In fact, H. could spin a hell of a yarn and revealed in occasional bursts of self-deprecating awareness that he knew what a colossal wanker he was -- either one of which would put him multiple notches above Ayn Rand. The problem with Heinlein is not that he's a bad read; everyone knows he's a great read. It's just that, if your brain had palms, reading Heinlein would cause hair to grow on them.

Oh, even I liked Heinlein - when I was a kid. I was just never dumb enough to imagine that his utopian societies developed (mostly) around benevolent übermen bore any real resemblance to reality. Maybe my delving into history led me to understand that Stalin and Hitler are more likely outcomes than the Professor in "A Moon is a Harsh Mistress".

My surprise as I've gotten older is related to how many engineers/software types seem to think that his utopian libertarian societies have any chance at all of becoming reality.

As guthrie says:

Of course the poor downtrodden geek is going to idnetify with one of the overmen/ women, or at least the very competent characters.

And that's what's so funny ... they're so convinced that *they'll* become the protagonist rather than one of the cup bearers asked to do the protagonists bidding ...

Marco: I am just trying to come up with the names/arguments of the most prominent/respected/intelligent/credentialed skeptics so that Tim might focus threads/discussion at Deltoid on them rather than on the stupid skeptics. If you have better suggestions than mine (and I hope you do), please provide them.

Another article worth its own thread at Deltoid would be Lindzen's recent WSJ op-ed.

David Kane, do you agree with Lindzen's scientific assessment that cigarette smoking isn't really very harmful and rarely causes lung cancer?

@David Kane: in all honesty, so far I've seen little added content in the arguments of the supposedly prominent skeptics as compared to the 'stupid' skeptics...

Marco- on the appeal to authority bit, I wouldn't personally distinguish between a false appeal to authority and a veracious one. Rather, I'd say that supporters of the science and scientists are *not* making an appeal to authority at all, but rather an argument that rhymes with it and can therefore be exploited by deceivers like Spencer.

That argument goes like this: there is currently no informed dissent on the proposition of a human hand in recent substantial warming, therefore there is no meritorious dissent and the matter is settled for all intents and purposes, (in the epistemological sense of the word settled. Of course, no science is ever 'settled' as that word is understood colloquially).

*One* piece of evidence for the proposition is that those with the requisite qualifications to understand these complex issues near unanimously assent to the mainstream understanding. That is evidence- not an appeal to authority. But it is by no means the only piece of evidence for the proposition on offer.

The second piece of evidence supports the implications of the first: 'skeptical' arguments that have been made over the years have been repeatedly exposed as scientifically invalid, and frankly, weak to the point of illiteracy. Taken together, (and they are not exhaustive of the supporting evidence), these two pieces of evidence provide the argument strong support.

This is not logical fallacy. This is the polar opposite.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

thanks to tim, rob, neil, marco and others for insigt. the ipcc is bullshit. cap and trade is bullshit. its global socialism. the earth will continue to do its thing whether we are here or not. its been going on for millions of years. relax. god is in charge.

By the oracle (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

Yeah Heinlein was very libertarian. But, but... he didn't let those views sway him from the science. If he was still alive he would be evicerating the deniers.

I am surprised and rather saddened to see something like this from ESR :-(

By Gavin (not THE… (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

Saddened, I understand; surprised, not so much ...

the earth will continue to do its thing whether we are here or not. its been going on for millions of years. relax. god is in charge.

Well, I don't care if it rains or freezes,
Long as I have my plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car

I could go a hundred miles an hour
Long as I got the Almighty Power
Glued up there with my pair of fuzzy dice

By Pin Galaxy (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

Marco: I am just trying to come up with the names/arguments of the most prominent/respected/intelligent/credentialed skeptics so that Tim might focus threads/discussion at Deltoid on them rather than on the stupid skeptics. If you have better suggestions than mine (and I hope you do), please provide them.

UAH just declared that this November (that is the "climate gate" month....) was the HOTTEST November on record.

the discussion is over. the facts contradict what sceptics say.

but that wont keep them from making false and misleading claims and dirty tricks (like stealing, publishing and misinterpreting mail) to delay action and gain some personal fame.

#226: UAH just declared that this November (that is the "climate gate" month....) was the HOTTEST November on record.

Oh no, the AGW-conspirators got Roy Spencer too!

(Irony)

By Lars Karlsson (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

Wasn't that the warmist November since 1979?

Yes. Since it's cooling, though, it's not what you'd expect, though, right?

dhogaza, Tim et al

You can hide away here ignoring what is going on the world outside but you ultimately can't avoid it.

By Dave Andrewsa (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

Dhogaza #216 - I havn't come up with a name for it, but it could be something along the lines of "If only everyone thought like I did, the world would be a better place".

And also more boring, but of course, if everyone thought like I did the world would be a better place, wouldn't it?

And many people like escapism which lets them get away from their painful little lives. Personally, I've always found Frank Herbert to be more mentally stimulating than Heinlein.

Jeff Harvey,

Wondered where you'd been. Glad to see you back with the world would be better off without humans claptrap!

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

Wasn't that the warmist November since 1979? Not to worry, at least we can all have a good laugh.

warmest in that dataset. this is how you make a comparison...

but how should you know...

but with all the cooling, all the the other datasets being faked and no sunspots anywhere, those record temperatures are a little bit strange...

@ Craig Allen - yeah, tried that one... Would I be right in assuming that global temp averages are a combination of tropospheric temps, sea temps and land temps, whereas regional temps are just surface temps? Or am I off the mark there?

217 David,

Other than Lindzen, who do you consider a "prominent/respected/intelligent/credentialed skeptic"?

Should I add a caveat that this should be someone who hasn't written a batshit-crazy article somewhere, or would that be unfair?

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

226 sod,

To be fair, one month means little. Of course, if it were the *coldest* Nov since whenever, the denialists would be making a lot of it, but let's not play their game.

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

220 Majorajam,

I'll add that not only are the arguments "weak to the point of illiteracy" but also that they are frequently contradictory (mutually exclusive). This is why we don't need to know much science to know the arguments are rubbish; we only need to understand language and apply critical thinking, aka scepticism.

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

Here's another concept for you, Lambert: critical mass. The game is up. You and your loser mates will have to wait another 20 years to hitch your wagon to another loser cause.

Hey murph, thanks for the heads up, that is at least the third time some fact free assertion of this claim has been make here in the last few weeks.

I'm glad you're looking out for our well being, but if you were confident in your position, why would you bother pushing it on us?

Do you wonder if deep down your sub-concious knows you are just trash talking?

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

239 Janet,

I like the semantics.

You are trash-talking.

You are trash, talking.

Both work for me. :)

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

briffa_sep98_d.pro is commented out.
briffa_sep98_e.pro is used it two plots.

'e' comes after 'd' even in that version control system I assume. The whole premise of you article is flawed, maybe you should put a disclaimer up there?

>"briffasep98e.pro is used it two plots."

Which plots?

murph

The Deltoid larrikins are fairly intrenched in their faith and it's hard to get traction. I enjoyed the recent Drudge attack and pray to Gaia that we see more threads along that line.

briffasep98e.pro is used i[n] two plots

Which plots?

Oh, that's easy.

The Eco-Socialist World Government Plot, the Plot to Make Al Gore Rich ...

By Ezzthetic (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

I've no doubt gordo. People tend to do better when they find their level. Me, I'll continue to find entertainment in the exasperated pleas of the Drudgebots and resident mental midgets who desperately want to believe anything that would validate their sorry world view. The effort to save our souls is something like watching my three year old draw daddy- touching.

By Majorajam (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

Mr el gordo,

What makes you happy?

And

Can you direct me to the last post to which you added value to the discussion?

The corpulent one squealed:

Jeff Harvey,
<?br>
Wondered where you'd been. Glad to see you back with the world would be better off without humans claptrap!

Alrighty fatso, show us exactly where Jeff said that the world would be better off without humans. Dare ya.

Your just squealing now because Jeff actually had the patience to whack you around the face with a DPO-revealing salmon, and show the thread how clueless you really are. Unfortunately, I doubt that this drubbing will knock any sense into your skull - sense just doesn't seem to want to stick there, for some reason.

You know, it really is time that you allowed the scales to fall from your eyes...

Of course, if you actually have a scientific basis for claiming that the species and the ecosystems of the oceans will all simply take a step toward the poles, please provide a comprehensive and robust elucidation.

I dare ya on that one, too.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

Dang.

The computer ate my homework.

What I'd intended to post, and what was lost in the aether, was a request that Fatso supply evidence for his outrageous:

Wondered where you'd been. Glad to see you back with the world would be better off without humans claptrap!

See, I read and reread Jeff's commentary, and I can't see where he says that "the world would be better off without humans".

Jeff did however, with his patient response to Fatso's drivel, well and truly whack fatso around the head with the cold carcass of a PDO-revealing salmon, but unfortunately, as Jabba's skull is bone all the way to the centre, none of Jeff's fact's are likely to stick. It is certainly a forlorn hope that the scales might actually fall from fatso's eyes...

Of course, if Jabba's convinced that he has the science to show that marine species and ecosystems are all simply able to take a step closer to the poles, he will no doubt provide a robust and comprehensive scientific explanation of how this is so.

What's that [sound](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQFEY9RIRJA)...?

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

Oo, big apologies.

It seems that I am confabulating the various Denialists on this thread. It was Dave Andrews who put words into Jeff's mouth, not Fatso.

In hindsight, Fatso is generally less snarky than DA (and me in my last posts). I should have known.

Mea culpa.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

To be fair, one month means little. Of course, if it were the coldest Nov since whenever, the denialists would be making a lot of it, but let's not play their game.

it is not one month. November 2009 is the warmest November in the UAH dataset. September 09 is the second warmest September (only beaten by, you might have guessed it, 1998). July 09 is the third warmest July on record, apart from 1998 only July 2007 (pretty recent as well..) was warmer.

we have a non-spectacular el nino event, and temperature starts beating records. that is not what you would expect, if you follow denialist arguments.

i am not using a single month in a "denialist tactic" way. if would do that, i would use their "arcitic ice is recovering" scheme, to point out massive warming since 2008...

HadCrut has just changed the trend since 1998. there is no more cooling, even when you start from the highest point in the curve.

it is a fact, that reality does not support the idea, that fudged data is the basis of these trends.

Dave Andrews:

You can hide away here ignoring what is going on the world outside but you ultimately can't avoid it.

Amazing. Someone who ignores the acceptance of climate science by the vast majority of governments complains about ignoring of a smear campaign. What a hypocrite.

BTW Dave, how is your study of the latest methods of temperature reconstructions including regularized expectation maximization, going? You disappeared from sight last time I mention it.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

I am not a global warming denier. But I do study simulation. Here's the thing: These computer models are not particularly valuable. If the code is not open source (which, if it has to be stolen, it isn't) and there is no proper version control (which there isn't) than there is no way to verify the model, that is, the "in-silico" experiment is not repeatable and the methods are not testable. So it doesn't matter if the results are artificially pushed or not, if the raw data and the software--in the specific version used for a specific paper--isn't available, there is no way to know.

I hope that the modeling and simulation community takes this lesson to heart, if nothing else.

So it doesn't matter if the results are artificially pushed or not, if the raw data and the software--in the specific version used for a specific paper--isn't available, there is no way to know.

John, you don t have any clue about the stuff you are talking about.

please show me the raw data of Newton's work. now. or the world will collapse immediately, as his theory will fall apart.

replication means: i get a similar result with my data and my model.

running the same program is NOT replication. it is running the same program.

Dave Andrews,

Please tell me exactly in my last comment where I said the following, "Glad to see you back with the world would be better off without humans"....

Of course you can't. All I am saying is a range of current human assaults across the biosphere are seriously undermining the health and resilience of our global ecological life-support systems. If anything, its the denialists in the anti-envrionmental camp who do not seem to give a damn about the future.

You are full of you-know-what. Nothing new there.

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

But I do study simulation.

Study more.

John Daigle's assertions are false, but even if you accept them ...

I am not a global warming denier. But I do study simulation. Here's the thing: These computer models are not particularly valuable. If the code is not open source (which, if it has to be stolen, it isn't)

You are a liar. NASA GISS Model E is open source

and there is no proper version control (which there isn't) than there is no way to verify the model

The assertion that version control is necessary is stupid and bizarre (speaking as a software engineer with 40 years experience), but it doesn't matter.

The link above points to CVS snapshots. CVS provides version control.

Liar liar pants on fire!

Isn't it interesting that whether they're spouting on about data availablity, code operation, physical evidence, or biological consequence, none of the denialists/'sceptics' have managed to produce a cogent, tight, and defensible argument against AGW.

In fact, I can't think of one denialist who has managed to produce even one of "cogent", "tight", or "defensible".

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

Look, configuration management doesn't depend upon automated version control tools, although I personally wouldn't do it manually for anything bigger than a day or so's work - not when it is a 30 second job to whack a new project into CVS or an equivalent. For a large important project the source code tree and project tree should be planned better than that, of course.
Anyway, the point is moot as dhogaza points to CVS snapshots.

Remember that some of the code would have been created for one-off grants, and then been available for use in newly award grants. The flipside is that planning across several grants simply isn't realistic as the resources for a grant are temporary (except perhaps one or two senior scientists), and there is simply no way of knowing whether follow-on grant applications will be successful. For really humungous multiyear projects with an expected long life the rules are different: it should be possible to be much more organised with software development processes appropriate to the project in place, etc. But it's clearly not CMM5 stuff (not even in principle possible to be CMM5, since that requires whole-of-organisation processess to be in place, among other things). Boy, am I that old?

As a side comment, while a lot of people are going on about how absolutely everything needs to be available in order to replicate it, this point is a misunderstanding of the scientific process. The key point is that other scientific groups should be able to reproduce the result, which is not the same thing as being able to replicate the result. If two teams do slightly different processing of the data the results should still be statistically equivalent. In other words, the results found by the first group should be sufficiently robust to still be present in the processing by the second team, so long as they have followed the algorithm/processing steps as explained by the first group.
As a statistician (in my dreams, but pretend I am), in trying to reproduce the results I might make some slightly different decisions about what points are dodgy outliers versus valid extreme cases, and so on. Most statistically demonstrated results should survive such minor discrepancies.

If I was trying to repeat Joule's experimental proof that work and heat are essentially two forms of energy, then even if I grab a canon and bore the tube as he did, my results might differ somewhat but still support his conclusions. Replication is not necessary and in some ways is actually of less value than reproducing the result by independent means.

By Donald Oats (not verified) on 03 Dec 2009 #permalink

John Daigle said:
> If the code is not open source (which, if it has to be stolen, it isn't)

It's my understanding that the stolen code is not a climate models, but statistical stuff.

Anyway, besides NASA model, also [UCAR](http://www.ccsm.ucar.edu/models/ccsm3.0/) released their code 5 years ago. Folks at [Hamburg](http://www.mi.uni-hamburg.de/Downloads.245.0.html?&L=3) have also done that.
And [GFDL](http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/fms). And [MIT](http://mitgcm.org/public/source_code.html).

Why would you think that code is not available? And is the science more sound now that you know the code has been available for years?

As a side comment, while a lot of people are going on about how absolutely everything needs to be available in order to replicate it, this point is a misunderstanding of the scientific process.

Of course, the reason they want everything to be available and open-sourced has nothing to do with the scientific process. It has to do with trust, actually. You're not going to convince any of the hard-core "skeptics", but for the average guy from the street it could make a difference if it is known that the provenance of data sets and graphs is well understood and replicable in its entirety.

Reproducibility helps, but not so much with the skeptical public. When you say "hockey stick," people care about the Mann et al. reconstructions. They don't really care or know about the fact that there are dozens other historical reconstructions.

please show me the raw data of Newton's work. now. or the world will collapse immediately, as his theory will fall apart.

Sorry to rain on your imbecilic parade but there is no need to show the raw data of Newton's work because we are surrounded by it. It can be observed. It can be tested. AGW cannot because it is crystal ball gazing bollocks. If you cannot see the difference, then I suggest you stick to playing with your Lego blocks.

I think we're seeing some of the turbulence attending a shift in denialist strategies. They've gotten by for quite a while insisting that there is no warming, but that game's about played out. With the Northwest Passage opening, iconic snowy mountaincaps going bare, new monthly temperature records being set regularly, and widespread species migrations that message is getting harder and harder to sell.

We're already seeing the next fallback location for the goalposts: "the earth is warming but it has nothing to do with human activity. We don't know what it is, but ..." I'm also seeing signs that the one after that is that warmer is good for us. Then there's the "self-limiting process" pitch.

By the time those are all used up, it won't matter nearly so much. The current crop will have died of old age, and their heirs will have moved their investments into beachfront property in British Columbia.

By D. C. Sessions (not verified) on 04 Dec 2009 #permalink

>...there is no need to show the raw data of Newton's work because we are surrounded by it. It can be observed. It can be tested.

It was observed to fail, It was tested and it failed. But we still use it.
http://physics.ucr.edu/~wudka/Physics7/Notes_www/node98.html

Try thinking. Dick brain.
So lets abandon Newton.

BJ

I accept your apology, unreservedly.

It's bad enough that Murph's posts are devoid of facts. Now he's gone too far: he's dissing Legos!

I'd like to point out that real scientists actually use Legos. [At the Catalan Institute of Paleontology, they use Legos to organize small fossils.](http://www.icp.cat/blog/?p=607â©=en) And at one of the musuem labs here in Chicago, I saw scientists using Legos to make small forms for making plaster casts.

Not sure what the pretend scientists at WattsUpWithThat use. Maybe Fisher-Price Peek-a-Boo blocks.

cheerrs,
Bruce

@murph:
"It can be observed. It can be tested. AGW cannot because it is crystal ball gazing bollocks"

So, murph...
Are you claiming that the infrared absorbance of CO2 gas can not be observed or tested? That of water vapor?

That the concentration and anthropogenic origin of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses can not be observed or tested?

That the near-invariance of global relative humidity with varying temperatures can not be observed or tested?

That sea height changes, glacial and ice sheet front movements, temp anomaly changes, dates of first and last frosts, dates of key agricultural events, patterns and date of animal migrations, relative changes in near-surface and stratospheric temperature - and on and on and on and freaking on...

That none of this can be observed or tested?

To use your own phrase, murph:
"we are surrounded by it"

Sim #246

I cannot find that last post and it's a travesty that I can't.

To be fair, one month means little. Of course, if it were the coldest Nov since whenever, the denialists would be making a lot of it, but let's not play their game.

We should perhaps call denialists who argue about whether the earth's surface is warming, first-stage denialists. Those who say there is always climate change including warming sometimes but which is natural should perhaps be called second-stage denialists.

Of course, there are also denialists who switch back and forth between first and second stage denial as it suits them. Being in denial doesn't require any intellectual honesty.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 04 Dec 2009 #permalink

I note the psuedoskeptics have made fraud claims on Watt's blog concerning this code. However they failed to bother tracking down the publication involved and were just assuming it was part of the hockey stick (or a climate model!). Idiots.

By idontknow (not verified) on 04 Dec 2009 #permalink

"So, murph... Are you claiming that the infrared absorbance of CO2 gas can not be observed or tested? That of water vapor..........
"

Your are a confused person. Firstly you don't test observations, you test model predictions. Or you can test claims. However global warming can be tested because it isn't a precise claim or even a model. See Newton's theory is precise ... it tells me exactly what will happen in certain situations. Global warming models don't. They give me ranges of predictions. And when they are proved wrong which has happened repeatedly, it doesn't kill the theory. The theory remains, the model dies. In many cases the model doesn't even die. So the theory has an infinite life and every time something comes along which disproves it people just tweak the model to keep it alive. Think about it ... we have been 'improving' the models for the last 20 years. And the improvement continues. How can you improve something that is correct. You don't improve Netwon's theory. There have been no improvements or modifications. Relativity isn't a modification, it is a different theory.

But Global Warming is an amorphous blob...like communism. You can't really disprove it because it just changes to accommodate new facts and adds ad-hoc hypothesis (like aerosol cooling) to deal with inconvenient facts like the lack of warming in the troposphere. It throws away inconvenient evidence, makes very vague predictions, ignores it failures, trumpets its successes. And it soldiers on.

To all you global warming believers answer me one question: What would it take to falsify your theory? Name a precise prediction failure that would disprove AGW.

Now I know what people will ask me? What will it take for deniers to believe in warming. To that I say:

1. Fix your theory. I want one model - not 50. Don't keep shifting goal posts. Tell me the model, give me some precise predictions from the model.

2. Describe the scope of your theory exactly and precisely. I need know its domain of applicability. What is it capable of telling us or what do you think it can tell us.

3. Test predictions within its domain of applicability repeatedly. If its successful, especially if the predictions are unlikely to get correct by chance alone I will believe it more. More success is better.

How can you improve something that is correct.

@assman: Not every observational science can be based on exact models like Newton's laws. For example, that smoking causes lung cancer is well established, but there's no precise model that will tell me if someone will develop lung cancer. There are approximate models. Every study will produce a different model.

The same is true of, say, the lifecycle of stars, the heritability of human traits, all of economics, etc.

assman wrote:

Firstly you don't test observations

Reading comprehension: FAIL.

assman wrote:

However global warming can be tested

That's the one thing you wrote I can agree with. Yes, it is quite simple - they are called thermometers.

And on Newton's theories- you know that they were replaced with more precise theories don't you?? (Hint -ever heard of Einstein??). Oops.

I been a programmer for along time too. I say one thing to the Mr. Lambert. It ain't real hard to remove the silly semicolon to make a run and then replace it. You simply have no idea the context during which the comment was 'live' and when it was an idle comment. This code text is after all just a segment with no time stamp. You know that well if you claim to be a computer scientist.

Your only legitimate response should have been "what did the comment do and when did it do it?". I'm afraid that past that point you are editorializing.

To Phil Jones; show all the code and all the data, deliver to all other interested scientists your reports and articles. Let the world see your work and reproduce it; otherwise, leave your doctorate at the door as you leave the building.

By lab rat in training (not verified) on 04 Dec 2009 #permalink

Your only legitimate response should have been "what did the comment do and when did it do it?".

Given the all-caps "ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION!!" comment, this was clearly stealth production code meant to be used to produce an IPCC graph, and rule the world as a result.

>You don't improve Netwon's theory. There have been no improvements or modifications. Relativity isn't a modification, it is a different theory.

I don't know about Netwon's theory, but Relativistic Dynamics is Newtonian dynamics modified to fit Reimannian space/time [see: Lorenz transforms]

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 04 Dec 2009 #permalink

You simply have no idea the context during which the comment was 'live' and when it was an idle comment.

Nor do the people who claim it proves scientific misconduct on the part of Keith Briffa.

Quick, now, do the right thing and go point that out to them, OK?

To Phil Jones; show all the code and all the data, deliver to all other interested scientists your reports and articles. Let the world see your work and reproduce it; otherwise, leave your doctorate at the door as you leave the building.

Who are these people who think they can dictate the terms under which one may practice science?

Lab rat in training - drop and give me twenty or turn in your resignation as you leave the instituion in which you're training.

Or else.

There! I can do it, too!

To Phil Jones; show all the code and all the data, deliver to all other interested scientists your reports and articles. Let the world see your work and reproduce it; otherwise, leave your doctorate at the door as you leave the building.

Showing all this to a global-warming tinfoil-hatter would be like showing a copy of Principia Mathematica to a cow.

By caerbannog (not verified) on 04 Dec 2009 #permalink

[Lab rat in training](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/quote_mining_code.php#comment-2…) (the training doesn't seem to be working, btw).

I [sic] been a programmer for along [sic] time too. I say one thing to the [sic] Mr. Lambert. It ain't real hard to remove the silly semicolon to make a run and then replace it. You simply have no idea the [sic] context during which the comment was 'live' and when it was an idle comment. This code text is after all just a segment with no time stamp. You know that well if you claim to be a computer scientist.

Fine. Remove the semicolons, produce the output, and show us where in the literature this output was published, or where it garnered any traction.

What, it "ain't" out there?! Whatever can that mean?

Oh, and if you're such a top-gun programmer, how is it that you are unaware of devices such as "Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!", where upper case and exclamation marks give a big hint - especially to the programmer himself - that there is a non-standard procedure, and most likely a testing procedure, being implemented?

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 04 Dec 2009 #permalink

lab rat:
>I been a programmer for along time too. I say one thing to the Mr. Lambert. It ain't real hard to remove the silly semicolon to make a run and then replace it. You simply have no idea the context during which the comment was 'live' and when it was an idle comment.

Which basically makes the exercise of doing any analysis of the code pointless.

>Your only legitimate response should have been "what did the comment do and when did it do it?". I'm afraid that past that point you are editorializing.
To Phil Jones; show all the code...

That's a pretty dumb statement!
You have said that the comment may or may not be abused.
Yet you believe that releasing the code will make things clearer! Surely you are admitting that such an action would cause more doubt.

asswhole said:
>You don't improve Netwon's theory. There have been no improvements or modifications. Relativity isn't a modification, it is a different theory.

The issue is whether it models the 'universe' (or rather solar system, to bring it closer to home) adequately. It failed.
However it was and is good enough to plan ahead and make risk analysis in engineering and decision making.

So basically we use a known faulty Newtonian model to successfully determine what the future will be like. eg. we know in the future that if we set a car in motion at 70mph into a brick wall, it will crash at a specific time etc.

We use incomplete science to make decisions, we always have done.

Keep splitting hairs and making excuses for obvious fraud, and you really endanger not just the fraud you've been paying into,, but many legitimate environmentalists and conservationists - along with anyone who believes REAL science is the key to human progress.

Giving up your pride in order to pursue the truth is more respectable than going down with a sinking ship, no matter how bad it may feel.

Worst of all, keep calling skeptics, the healthiest thing to have in science, "denialists." Now you are practicing religion and no longer a scientist. In addition to being coarsely immature, you are copping out of real debate. Yes, if someone challenges you, you must meet them with overwhelming evidence. If you don't have it, or you don't believe you need it, you have just forfeited your legitimacy.

Objective observers like myself, see these baseless and immature tactics, and I start to believe the AWG camp has no real substance. No matter how belligerent your opponent may be, please take the high ground and simply meet them with the facts. People like me will take notice. I started out believing "the Inconvenient Truth," and it was only until fellow proponents failed to answer my questions that I became a skeptic.

Peace.

>Keep splitting hairs and making excuses for obvious fraud

...while you keep on making excuses for **theft**.

Keep splitting hairs and making excuses for obvious fraud, and you really endanger not just the fraud you've been paying into,, but many legitimate environmentalists and conservationists - along with anyone who believes REAL science is the key to human progress.

All I can say at this point is ... yawn. Constant repetition of lies becomes tedious after enough time goes by.

Keep that head of yours in the sand, dude, meanwhile the grownups will continue to do science, or to do their best to understand the science.

Tony,

Denier!

Sorry Tony, I couldn't resist. Being on this site is like being in the Church of AGW, and any hint of skepticism is considered blasphemy and cause for castigation.

Besides, your comment isn't based on a peer reviewed paper.

Personally, I don't need a peer reviewed paper to know that the "2500 scientists" of the IPCC aren't all scientists.

I don't need a peer reviewed paper to know that you can't find any information on the number of Polar Bears harmed by global warming.

I don't need peer reviewed papers to know that Al Gore is not a scientist, is bitter, and is a hypocrite.

I don't need a peer reviewed paper to know when I'm being sold fear.

I don't need peer reviewed papers to sense arrogance.

I don't need peer reviewed papers to see the one sided approach to harmful affects of a hypothetical.

I don't need peer reviewed papers to see the ideologies, biases, politics, egos and religious like qualities that are associated with every aspect of this chimera.

I don't need a peer reviewed paper to know that Sod will repond to this comment with "But Clinton did it too!" or "Al Gore is fat!"

I don't need a peer reviewed paper to know that someone will be clever and respond with "Shorter Betula" brilliance.

And lastly, I don't need a peer reviewed paper to know that when a lead scientist thinks the "lack of warming is a travesty".....that it is a travesty.

See you on the slopes.

No Betula, you don't need any peer-reviewed papers, because you are already convinced.

By Lars Karlsson (not verified) on 05 Dec 2009 #permalink

Keep splitting hairs and making excuses for obvious fraud,

Real cases of scientific fraud have an important characteristic that this doesn't have. In real cases of fraud, it's known which publication contains the fraudulent data. Until you produce this, all you have is rhetoric, i.e. all bark but no bite.

Lars,

So you need peer reviewed papers because you're not convinced? Denier!

What if a peer reviews a paper on AGW and he disagrees? Denier!

Who defines what is accepted as a peer review journal? Denier!

Who decides who is a peer? Denier!

What if the.....Denier!

How does a...Denier!

Shouldn't...Denier!

I...Denier!

What fraud? Where? Be specific.

Experimental or 'what if" code run in the lab doesn't count - it isn't fraud. When I was doing science, I often ran 'dummy' data sets, or intentionally added a constant to part of a real data set to test the sensitivity of my procedures. That isn't fraud - it is working to better understand my tools and data.

Fraud means knowingly misrepresenting to others what one's results were, or what was done to get those results.

Point me to the fraudulent statements or figures in the fraudulent publications. This is science - show me.
And if you cant do that, shut the fuck up about fraud - it is a vile and nasty accusation to make, and if you're doing it without reasonable evidence, you are engaging in vile, nasty and deeply unethical conduct. At this point, it starts to become clear that you're either doing it knowingly, or remaining intentionally ignorant - and that means you are being intentionally unethical. If you can't point to the goods, then you should fucking well stop.

And if you think my language disqualifies my argument, all I can say is - you need to hang with more scientists.

291 posts and I only see one (#258) that even comes close to suggesting the obvious and productive course of action - re-analyze the data using different algorithms and compare the results. Guess that would be too boring and....scientific.

By oldchemist (not verified) on 05 Dec 2009 #permalink

Lee is quite right. It's fraud if and when fake data gets into a publication.

Test/dummy/imaginary data is [useful stuff](http://kochanski.org/blog/?p=315) to test analysis procedures and to understand how things work. One would be a fool to trust a complex chunk of software without testing it, and you can't test it on your real data. So what's left? You make dummy data and run dummy analyses.

All you have to do is keep track of which is the dummy data and which is the real stuff...

291 posts and I only see one (#258) that even comes close to suggesting the obvious and productive course of action - re-analyze the data using different algorithms and compare the results. Guess that would be too boring and....scientific.

While that would be an improvement over simply screaming "fraud", on what basis do you believe that Briffa's the only person looking at doing temp reconstructions using tree rings?

Point me to the fraudulent statements or figures in the fraudulent publications. This is science - show me. And if you cant do that, shut the fuck up about fraud - it is a vile and nasty accusation to make, and if you're doing it without reasonable evidence, you are engaging in vile, nasty and deeply unethical conduct. At this point, it starts to become clear that you're either doing it knowingly, or remaining intentionally ignorant - and that means you are being intentionally unethical. If you can't point to the goods, then you should fucking well stop.

If I understand correctly, what was being done here was to essentially ask, "what if the recent divergence is due to anthropogenic causes that, once nailed down, can be compensated for? How would that effect our PCA?" - I assume something like, "would it cause other chronologies to rise to first place?" ... nothing nefarious, in fact a damned good question to be asking. Poking at data trying to get a better handle on what it's trying to tell you - burn the fucker at the stake, they say, he's doing his job!

At least that's my paraphrase of what Gavin's said at RC (at first he said he wasn't sure what was going on, then came back with a detailed explanation, which means presumably that he asked...)

>Worst of all, keep calling skeptics, the healthiest thing to have in science, "denialists." Now you are practicing religion and no longer a scientist.

A genuine skeptic will try to judge scientific arguments objectively on the basis of reason and the cumulative weight of evidence. A denialist will desparately cling to contrarian opposition to any such objective concilience of scientific opinion by irrationally labeling his narrow subjective view as 'skeptical' and that of rationally skeptical scientists as 'religious' belief.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 05 Dec 2009 #permalink

LB...

A Denier will irrationally label himself a skeptic, therefore, all people who call themselves skeptics are assumed to be irrational deniers.

And please, "rationally skeptical scientists"? C'mon, in regards to AGW, that's like saying "reasonable denying scientists". It doesn't make sense.

It's the obvious fraud by , for example, Steve McIntyre -blatantly lying about not being able to get data he'd secretly had for years, cherry-picking that data in a way that it takes all of 5 minutes to point out is completely inaccurate for the population, etc. - that these denialists are not skeptical about, at all.

Because they're True Believers, and liars, and frauds, and anti-scientific medievalists and economic royalists with an agenda the size of Jupiter, they assume everyone they're dealing with is as stupid and crazy as they are. It's only after you realize that that you understand why they gibber and squawk in such apparently paranoid schizophrenic terms and operate at such a grade school level when discussing science.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 05 Dec 2009 #permalink

>*And lastly, I don't need a peer reviewed paper to know that when a lead scientist thinks the "lack of warming is a travesty".....that it is a travesty.*

And Betual dosen't need to find out what the scientist ([Trenberth](http://www.desmogblog.com/kevin-trenberth-standing-ipcc-process)) was referring to before he decided what Trenberth was commentining on.

Betual dosen't need context nor corroborating evidence to pronounce speculation as fact.

This is how to do 'quick science' the patented Betula "easy way". Forget the rigorous compiling of evidence and looking for alternatives, lets just pronounce speculation as fact.

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 05 Dec 2009 #permalink

@oldchemist. 292:

"291 posts and I only see one (#258) that even comes close to suggesting the obvious and productive course of action - re-analyze the data using different algorithms and compare the results. Guess that would be too boring and....scientific."

What exactly do you think GISS is doing? Same broad data set, independent decisions about criteria for inclusion and exclusion (they don't use data that cant be freely released, for example), independent assumptions about correcting the data - and very, very similar results.

It also makes sense to ask the same question using entirely different tools and data - which is what the satellite teams are doing, also with very similar results.

No it's not boring, yes it is scientific - and it is beig done. Which you should bother to know before making the knd of implication that lies at the heart of your comment.

Betula wrote:

I don't need a peer reviewed paper to know...[ad nauseum]

Betula is absolutely right - the denialists require no resort to fact or scientific processes to support their opinions.

Janet....

So if an unexplained cooling trend were to occur, and continue, is it a travesty that the cooling trend is occurring, or is it a travesty that you can't explain it?

Oh wait. It's a travesty because the unexplained cooling trend will lull all the common folk into believing warming isn't occurring. This will result in a lack of action and the inability to prevent catastrophe.

Of course, the catastrophes are based on speculation, but we will make an exeption in this case. As you said at #299, "lets just pronounce speculation as fact".

So if an unexplained cooling trend were to occur, and continue, is it a travesty that the cooling trend is occurring, or is it a travesty that you can't explain it?

The travesty is that you're lying about what Trenberth was talking about.

Petula,

>A Denier will irrationally label himself a skeptic, therefore, all people who call themselves skeptics are assumed to be irrational deniers

You've just proven yourself to be irrational by drawing a conclusion that is a dicto simpliciter ad dictum secundum quid or hasty generalization.

This is known in the parlance as an 'own goal'.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 06 Dec 2009 #permalink

This guy deserves a pile-on for his outright lies about the implications of the code at hand, and for the fact he's getting linked to by a bunch of people in the denialsphere.

I didn't bother trying to be polite over there ...

Betula, more speculation, still no supporting evidence. Why is that?

Let me help you, and put an end to your baseless speculation.

Trenberth's specific views on this, he topic of the email exchange, were published in a 2009 paper.

He was discussing the many difficulties in measuring heat content at ocean depths. As a scientist, Trenberth wants to put quanta on were the heat moves when it leave the sea and land surface. I.e. when we get a La Nina, were exactly does the heat go?

Its a travesty that we can't measure it. Errors in Argo sensor decent rates, depth compression limiting thermal expansion. Its a travesty that we can't point to exactly where that heat goes in a La Nina phase, because jokers like to pretend that a La Nina drop in temperature means the end of global warming

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 06 Dec 2009 #permalink

So have an independent commission explore whether there was data fudging and such.

As for writing people off because they think there is a conspiracy, I think that is disingenuous. Just because most conspiracies are loonie based, does not mean there are no real conspiracies.

I for one, think the global warming problem is more long term, but scientists are lying to make it sound more urgent. They want to make people think the bad things will happen in our lifetimes so people will act. I think they likely have been caught in this lie.

By Jim Smith (not verified) on 06 Dec 2009 #permalink

I for one, think the global warming problem is more long term, but scientists are lying to make it sound more urgent.

Is this just a gut feeling or is there an actual reason for this opinion?

I mean, it's a pretty outrageous claim to make, that people are lying. Do you have an example? Which "scientists"?

Jim Smith write:

>*As for writing people off because they think there is a conspiracy, I think that is disingenuous. Just because most conspiracies are loonie based, does not mean there are no real conspiracies.*

I think this comment is baseless and disingenuous, we are writing off wild conspiracies becasue of the lack of evidence; the mountains of contradiction to the conspiracy and; the surge of whack jobs making wild assertions and speculation without the rigor to go into specific context nor present evidence that standsup to srcutiny.

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 06 Dec 2009 #permalink

Thank you Jim Smith your thoughts are important to us. Please hold the line and we will be with you shortly. If you would prefer to not wait now but go crack a textbook and get yourself an education ... don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Janet...

Your joking, right?

@302 I wrote......."Oh wait. It's a travesty because the unexplained cooling trend will lull all the common folk into believing warming isn't occurring. This will result in a lack of action and the inability to prevent catastrophe."

@306 you write...."Let me help you, and put an end to your baseless speculation"....and then proceed to back up your attempt at making sense by attaching a link to Trenberths paper at #307

Interesting paper Janet. In the first pargraph, Trenberth states the following:

"Arguments are given that developing the ability to do
this is important, as it affects interpretations of global and especially regional climate change, and prospects for the future."

Umm, that's what I said in #302 which is quoted at the beginning of this post.

In addition, Trenberth concludes his paper with this.....

"Decisions are being made that depend on improved information about how and why our climate system is varying and changing, and the implications."

Janet, he needs improved information to determine climate change and it's implications!

That's right, he needs better information to speculate on the impending doom!

And I'm the one speculating?

Classic Janet. Thanks for the link and the laugh.

re Betula, @ 312:

That right there, folks, is as fine an example of quote mining as you will see anywhere, inside or outside the creationist circles that so popularized the technique.

Betula,

No joking necessary, you demonstrated your preference for innuendo rather than addressing context and fact. [When I challenged](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/quote_mining_code.php#comment-2…)
) you on this your statement:

>*And lastly, I don't need a peer reviewed paper to know that when a lead scientist thinks the "lack of warming is a travesty".....that it is a travesty*

When you declined the opportunity to present clear evidence and context to support your statement, and instead opted to make [further speculations]( http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/quote_mining_code.php#comment-2…); I put an end to it a presented Trenberthâs paper.

Betula writes:

>*Janet, he needs improved information to determine climate change and it's implications!*

Letâs be clear what Trendberth wants to know. He wants to quantify and track the movement of heat that is stored in the earth sytstem. Wanting to know more is not a challenge to the science of climate change.

How does this relate to the braoder science such as outlined by the IPCC? [This is]( http://www.desmogblog.com/kevin-trenberth-standing-ipcc-process) what Trenberth says about the IPCC. And the IPCC want to know if we are going to heat the planet by 2 degrees or 6 degrees this century.

Now you wish to compare your half baked musings, with the rigorous assessments and compilation of evidence on global warming? You think these are equivalent? You would have us completely remove the weight of evidence and act like your cursory speculation is as good as the hard yards of observation and detailed study of decades of science.

You have to be joking Betula!

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 06 Dec 2009 #permalink

Lee @312

Is that your way of being able to hear yourself without actually having anything to say? Let me guess, it's one of your little "tricks".

Lee is correct folks, Trenberth didn't really mean to write those lines I quoted. Let's just say I made it up and call it a day.

Stay warm.

Janet.

Your talking about the "rigorous assessments and compilation of evidence on global warming" and I'm talking about the speculated implications.

Trenberth, or anyone for that matter, is speculating if the earth will warm more and how much it will if it does. The whole process is then taken a step further by creating hypothetical scenarios for the speculated answer.

So Trenberth can't account for where the heat is, and that's a travesty. It's a travesty why? It's a travesty because we need the heat to get people to implement policies to stop the heat we can't find.

Without those policies, the heat we can't account for will increase by an amount we're not sure of and cause damage we can only imagine and speculate about.

Travesty indeed.

Let me see whether I can help you out Betula (because you sorely need the help) ... of all the comments I've ever seen from you, in all the time you've wasted posting delusionist nonsense to this blog, I was surprised and impressed yesterday to finally see you post something smart enough to mention:

Would you, please, either go find some useful purpose to your life _or_ figure out why in that comment you did manage to simulate sentience? And at least shut up until you can again write something as sensible? Not saying your reading of the subject matter was correct or fair, or that you haven't cherry-picked something and taken it out of context. I don't know. Just saying that your argument in that comment, at last, is not clearly stupid. God bless you :)

Betula writes:
>*Your talking about the "rigorous assessments and compilation of evidence on global warming" and I'm talking about the speculated implications.*

Betula, can you be more precise about which implications you are refereeing to when you are claiming some are not based on ârigorous assessments and compilation of evidenceâ

When you assert that â*Trenberth, or anyone for that matter, is speculating if the earth will warm more*â, havenât you just magically disappearing the "rigorous assessments and compilation of evidence on global warming"?

Betula continues:

>* So Trenberth can't account for where the heat is, and that's a travesty. It's a travesty why? It's a travesty because we need the heat to get people to implement policies to stop the heat we can't find.*

Itâs a travesty that monitoring stations are not able to quantify were all the heat moves during 2008 a La Nina year. A travesty because denailists preying on short tern fluctuations, use the dip in temp to assert global cooling.

A travesty because if the data were available it may be easier to communicate specifics rather than talking about unquantified short term fluctuations.

Betual continues:

>* Without those policies, the heat we can't account for will increase by an amount we're not sure of and cause damage we can only imagine and speculate about.*

Please refer to my request (opening paragraph) for clarification of your terms, about what you believe is not based on "rigorous assessments and compilation of evidenceâ.

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 06 Dec 2009 #permalink

> Just because most conspiracies are loonie based, does not mean there are no real conspiracies.

I think the loonie conspiracies are just a smokescreen...

Janet...

"Betula, can you be more precise about which implications you are refereeing to when you are claiming some are not based on ârigorous assessments and compilation of evidenceâ

Compilation of evidence of global warming is different than speculating on the cause and implications of that warming.

This is especially true if you don't know how long the warming will or will not continue (going on 12 years now), if you can't account for the lack of warming, if you admit you need "improved information about how and why our climate system is varying and changing" and if your not sure how much warming will occur.

The only fact here is that you don't know.

Now, the global warming implications are speculated, not on a foundation of facts, but probabilities compiled by methods that have flaws, information that admittedly needs improvement, and by a select group (the IPCC) that is fraught with biases and adverse to criticism.

The implications themselves are speculations, and they are biased speculations. How high the seas will rise, more intense hurricanes (haven't seen many this year, what a travesty), poor little polar bears drowning, running out of time, millions displaced, famines, plagues, cannibalism, increases in jellyfish, a decrease in circumcisions, ginger bread houses collapsing etc...

C'mon Janet, you know "Humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb," and "we have just 10 years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tailspin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced."

Riveting isn't it? Do I need to tell you who said that? That was 4 years ago, we only 6 years left. So much "epic destruction", such little time...

Janet, you go on to say:

When you assert that âTrenberth, or anyone for that matter, is speculating if the earth will warm moreâ, havenât you just magically disappearing the "rigorous assessments and compilation of evidence on global warming"?

No, because the evidence is of warming, the speculation is of more warming...... how much more and over what period of time. The implications are all speculations based on probabilities, you know like hedge funds. By the way, I could recommend a few hedge funds for you if you wish...

Hey, someone once said "We canât account for the lack of warming at the moment", which is kinda of like saying we don't know. Dontcha think?

Janet, I know you're convinced the lack of warming is a short term fluctuation, but would you be dissapointed if it's not?

It's a rhetorical question.

Are you saying that we only have evidence of warming, and every thing else is just speculation? That everything except the evidence of current temperature is not based on "rigorous assessments and compilation of evidence"?

Is that your position?

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 07 Dec 2009 #permalink

Janet,

Are you saying your vision of the future is fact?

Still want to buy into that hedge fund? We have completed a rigorous assessment and compilation of data to spread the risk and ensure a future return that would be hard to pass up.

I advise you to ignore the short term fluctuations, as we have formulated projected upward trends based on calculated probabilities.

As an added safety measure, we had these trends peer reviewed by the brightest on Wall street.

The consensus is buy.

Betula - I'll raise you with the physical laws of the universe.

Betula, a simple question:

>Are you saying that we only have evidence of warming, and every thing else is just speculation? That everything except the evidence of current temperature is not based on "rigorous assessments and compilation of evidence"?
Is that your position?

And relevenat because you are trying to compare your half-baked musings with the "rigorous assessments and compilation of evidence" such as that of the IPCC.

You are making long winded murky claims about what is mere speculation and what is "rigorous assessments and compilation of evidence", why won't say what is which?

Here is an easy starter, based on your recent posts: *Are you saying that we only have evidence of warming, and every thing else is just speculation?*

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 07 Dec 2009 #permalink

I'm a bit late to this -- but well spotted Tim. My take on the skeptic-glee over this "smoking gun" is they can spin it as a "hidden WMD" -- i.e. within 45 minutes somebody could uncomment these lines and use this commie variable.

Betula writes

>"This is especially true if you don't know how long the warming will or will not continue (going on 12 years now), if you can't account for the lack of warming, if you admit you need "improved information about how and why our climate system is varying and changing" and if your not sure how much warming will occur.

Betula, if one searches for more precise measurements, it does not invalidate, nor even challenge the overall warming mechanism. Trenberth is is addressing to short term variation in the terms of climate.

It is well understood that 1998 was well above the warming trend due to a super El Nino, and 2008 below because of combined solar minima and La Nina. Trenberth want's to quantify where the heat (eg. La Nina)goes move in these relative short time frames.

If I can't measure exactly how the heat moves around the water in a pot on a hot stove, I can still accurately predict the water will boil.

Now please answer my simple [question above](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/quote_mining_code.php#comment-2…)

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 07 Dec 2009 #permalink

"If I can't measure exactly how the heat moves around the water in a pot on a hot stove, I can still accurately predict the water will boil."

That's brilliant. Great analogy.

Janet, do you feel we're in a pot of water that is beginning to boil?

Is this because the pot has been on the stove for a year and you've noticed some warming over the past second?

For a moment, let's pretend we are all in this pot together. I'm floating by you on an ice cube and you tell me of your dire prediction of our coming demise....

First, I ask a few questions...

1. How is knowing how the heat moves in the water going to change anything. Won't it still boil? And why is it a "travesty" if we don't know?

2. If we're in the pot, and the water isn't getting any hotter, how do we know the stovetop heat is turned up, let alone still on?

Regardless, we must assume the stove is on.

Now in panic mode, we need to find a way to turn off the stove from inside the pot. We know we can do this, since we believe we are the ones who turned it on in the first place.

Here's an idea. If we all make waves, the upper tiers of the biggest waves will fall over the side and onto the hot stovetop, reducing the heat. At this point, the temperature will equal out to a nice comfortable consistency.

But wait, is the stovetop still on, or is it off?

Oops, drifting away on my ice cube...bye Janet......bye!

Betula,

You continue to dodge [my question](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/quote_mining_code.php#comment-2…). I'm beginning to think you want to remain a moving target rather than clarify a position.

Failing to answer basic clarifying questions is not a truth seeking trait.

In the interest of truth seeking I will do want you will not, I will answer your question.

>*Janet, do you feel we're in a pot of water that is beginning to boil?*

I believe this is an suitable analogy:

We have a system, closed except for the energy inputs and outputs at the TOA (Top of Atmosphere). Energy is radiated in, and is radiated out. If the sun maintains the energy input and we slow the energy output, then the temperature will rise. (The pot's water can be accurately predicted to warm. We don't need to measure short term ocean movement to make that assessment)

Substitute the temperature range for a boiling pot (20 to 100 degrees C) for the predicted average global anomaly (from 0 to 3 degrees C ); then substitute the currents and cycles set up in a warming pot of water for ocean ocean currents and cycles. Then Trenberth is wanting to measure relatively short cycle heat movement. Trenberth in the analogy wants to track a relatively hot spot of water in the pot as it rolls from away from where current thermometer is placed.

Trenberth's work will be helpful, as I said:
>*Itâs a travesty that monitoring stations are not able to quantify were all the heat moves during 2008 a La Nina year. A travesty because denailists preying on short [term] fluctuations, use the dip in temp to assert global cooling.*

>*A travesty because if the data were available it may be easier to communicate specifics rather than talking about unquantified short term fluctuations.*

Perhaps you would like to offer a better analogy, or would you like to pursue more diversionary tactics to avoid backing up to your (seemingly erroneous) claims about which I ask for the most basic clarification?

It should be transparent to readers that when a commenter such as Betula continues to run away for the most basic clarification questions, and then murkys the discussion with diversionary tactics (an apparent attempt to avoid clarity), then that behaviour in itself says something.

[A reminder of the context](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/quote_mining_code.php#comment-2…)

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 08 Dec 2009 #permalink

Janet its a bit more than that despite Trenberth's/barth's current equivocations about what he meant he said. They were discussing the fact that temps have been flat for the past decade, even ignoring the 1998 el nino, and HadCRUT actually was showing a slight down trend for this decade, which was contradicting GISS and the other one.
Frankly it is too bad that it is CRU that got exposed by the CRUtape Letters, because HadCRUT was actually the most sympathetic temperature record to the skeptics cause, while GISS is clearly being cooked by Hansen and Schmidt (and they also have been dodging FOIA requests for some time as Phil was).
Trenberth's travesty is that, the past decade of flat or cooling temps is causing a major divergence problem in comparison with how alarmists were claiming pre-2000 how temperatures were going to go this decade, their models, because they use insanely high sensitivities that have no scientific basis in fact, show that temp anomaly by now should be well over 1.0 when it is in fact still bouncing happily between 0.0 and 0.4 from year to year.
This divergence (ignoring the whole 1960 dendro divergence issue that self-debunks the idea of using ring widths as temp proxy) demonstrates that a) climate sensitivity to CO2 is much lower than alarmists claim, and b) sensitivity to H20 vapor is also much much less than alarmists claim.
Despite the continuous string of immature, unprofessional, and unscientific ad hom from the alarmists toward skeptics, most of us do not disbelieve that CO2 is capable of warming. What we disbelieve is alarmist tripe that sensitivity is anywhere near as high as is claimed in the models, a position which is perfectly normal and scientifically supportable. If you want to disabuse us of these notions, you need to release your data, metadata, and methods (programs) to the public so your work can be crosschecked and replicated. Despite the appeals to authority, it is not scientific to refuse disclosure and rely on "trust me I am a scientist".
Add in all the suppression of publication and peer review of opposing views, falsification of expense reports to government agencies (NOAA), evasion of FOIA laws, and illegal structuring of payments to russian researchers to evade taxes and reporting requirements (all this stuff is in the emails, look for yourselves), and the Hockey Team has got itself in the soup and at least for them, it is starting to boil...

By Mike Lorrey (not verified) on 09 Dec 2009 #permalink

Still want to buy into that hedge fund? We have completed a rigorous assessment and compilation of data to spread the risk and ensure a future return that would be hard to pass up.

There's a simple problem with this analogy. How predictive is the regression model (how well does it hindcast outside of the time range that was used to derive the model?) What are the explanatory variables? Can we forecast the explanatory variables reasonably well?

One thing I noticed with people talking about version 'e' of the program having the "ARTIFICAL correction" uncommented, is that

1) The Date Modified of version e is actually earlier than version d.

2) Version e has been relegated to another project tree called 'harris-tree' - away from the group of other files related to the project. Looking at the tree, I think it's meant to be a home for template and snippets for the programmer to cut-and-paste with.

By Sean Givan (not verified) on 09 Dec 2009 #permalink

Mike Lorrey writes:

>* HadCRUT actually was showing a slight down trend for this decade, which was contradicting GISS*

Actually HadCrut is in a [slight positive]( http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:2000/to:2010/plot/hadcrut3…) trend for this decade. None the less GISS shows [more warming]( http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:2000/to:2010/plot/gistemp/…) because GISS factors in the rapidly rising temperature in the Arctic, which [HadCRU does not capture]( http://www.ccrc.unsw.edu.au/Copenhagen/Copenhagen_Diagnosis_LOW.pdf).

>â*GISS is clearly being cooked by Hansen and Schmidt*â

How do you support this wild allegation Mike?

Mike Lorrey contiues:

>*Trenberth's travesty is that, the past decade of flat or cooling temps is causing a major divergence problem in comparison with how alarmists were claiming pre-2000 how temperatures were going to go this decade, their models*

What did [Trenberth say](http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=1048&filename=1255352257…):

>*The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a
travesty that we can't. [â¦] but the data are surely wrong. Our **observing system is inadequate.***

[Emphasis added]

And to put it in context Trenberth was bouncing of this comment to promote his paper:

>*Any of you want to explain decadal **natural variability and signal to noise** and
**sampling errors** to this new "IPCC Lead Author" from the BBC? As we enter an El Nino year and as soon, as the sunspots get over their temporary--presumed--vacation worth a few tenths of a Watt per meter squared reduced forcing [â¦] **Meanwhile the past 10 years of global mean temperature trend stasis still saw what, 9 of the warmest in reconstructed 1000 year record and Greenland and the sea ice of the North in big retreat??***

So it is as Iâve previously stated, Trenberth is asking for better measurement capability to track relatively short term heat movement, he puts this in the context of a freak cold spell:

>*We are asking that here in Boulder where we have broken records the past two days for the coldest days on record. We had 4 inches of snow. The high the last 2 days was below 30F and the normal is 69F, and it smashed the previous records for these days by 10F. The low was about 18F and also a record low, well below the previous record low.*

Mike Lorrey contiues:
>* their models, because they use insanely high sensitivities that have no scientific basis in fact, show that temp anomaly by now should be well over 1.0 when it is in fact still bouncing happily between 0.0 and 0.4 from year to year.*

Mike, [here is]( http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2006/2005GL025259.shtml) some of the scientific basis. And [here is]( http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v446/n7135/abs/nature05699.html) some more. You donât need to look very hard to [a sample of publications]( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_sensitivity) on the detailed scientific basis for estimating climate sensitivity.

(BTW, you need to factor in time for temperature equilibration due to radiative imbalance.)

Mike, I find your post full of wild claims and lacking in supporting evidence.

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 09 Dec 2009 #permalink

Janet,

You expain away Trenberth"s "travesty" comment with this:

"Itâs a travesty that monitoring stations are not able to quantify were all the heat moves during 2008 a La Nina year. A travesty because denailists preying on short [term] fluctuations, use the dip in temp to assert global cooling."

"A travesty because if the data were available it may be easier to communicate specifics rather than talking about unquantified short term fluctuations."

Janet, you like to use the phrase "short term fluctuation" a lot don't you?

How do you know if something is a short term fluctuation before it has finished out it's term? Speculation?

And to answer your question:

"Are you saying that we only have evidence of warming, and every thing else is just speculation?"

No. I'm saying you have evidence of warming, and any evidence of how much more warming will occur, where it will occur, when it will occur, and the uncertain affects of it's occurrance, based on probabilities derived from flawed models built by big egos.......are speculation.

Betula asks,

>âHow do you know if something is a short term fluctuation before it has finished out it's term? Speculation? â

Evidence. Clear longer trend warming [is evident ](http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/plot/hadcrut3vgl/mean:360/plot…). And short term [cooling trends are normal]( http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1970/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:…) despite the underlying long term warming.

And the extreme 1998 warm is well understood to be far above the long term trend and associated with a super El Nino. Just as the extreme 2008 below trend temperature is associated with a double whammy La Nina and solar minima.

Combine this evidence with the fact that the Earth is [absorbing more energy than it is releasing]( http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2F…). And the strong evidence for [ocean heat gain]( http://www.skepticalscience.com/How-do-we-know-global-warming-is-still-…) (despite Trenberthâs desire for even better measurement capacity). And you have a very strong set of evidence supporting the argument that the warming trend will continue.

Then we could bring further evidence re in the radiative physics for greenhouse gases, and the physical laws that are used to model climates. But Iâll leave that for later.

By Janet Akerman (not verified) on 09 Dec 2009 #permalink

--- Interval ---

By Rob Record (not verified) on 11 Dec 2009 #permalink

I share a mailing list with esr. He came by the list, pulled his ego out of his trousers and waved it about, going on about his Siege Gun and whatnot. Essentially cut and paste from his blog.

(his siege gun is now pretty much a superannuated pop gun that has lost its cork)

He went on about how the raw data was destroyed and how that wasn't SCIENCE!

When corrected about data retention, he then claimed that it wasn't science at all, just a hollow mockery.

Then, the REAL scientists, who do REAL science on a daily basis (particle physicist at FermiLab and a laser propulsion specialist) slapped him down hard about REAL science and how REAL science is done and how data retention is often less than useless.

esr then told them, "You're Doing It Wrong!"

Keep in mind esr has no science degrees, never took any science courses in college and, apparently, never graduated, according to his c.v. on his website.

Further, esr then went on to remind us that he's gotten death threats, allegedly from someone in Iran. He further alleges that the FBI contacted HIM about this.

One of his quotes about this is that he'll be keeping his hand closer to his holster from now on.

To which, the only reply can be:

"Dear SOLDIER OF FORTUNE Forum: I never thought this would happen to me, but..."

I realized esr was a fatuous git the day he decided to lecture me about the working conditions for coal miners.

I'm the son of a United Mine Workers of America union organizer. My father joined the union as a field organizer right after WWII.

I know, far better that esr ever will about coal miners working conditions. Something about meeting some of these gentlemen who have spent their whole lives in coal mines when they would be meeting with my father. Talking with them myself, seeing the results of black lung and the injuries received while working in the mines.

Jeebus, fatuous git doesn't come anywhere NEAR properly describing esr. Why anyone would pay the slightest bit of attention to him is beyond me.

ESR wrote good advice for newbies: how to ask hackers good questions.

He doesn't demonstrate, as a newbie in climatology, that he remembers it.

Well, if he were perfect, he'd ascend directly to heaven, so no doubt he's maintaining one imperfection so he can stay earthbound a while longer.

There hasn't been a comment posted on this article for 3 days now. Maybe all those defending the CRU have come to realize that the data is stacking up against them:
1) New Zealand's data was massaged with a hockey-stick incline (along with suppression of temps before 1972).
2) Australia's data was massaged with a hockey-stick incline (along with suppression of temps before 1972).
3) Canada is doing a thorough investigation of their data because it looks suspect.
4) Russia has announced that their data was cherry-picked to enhance temperature increases.
(Note that Siberia and Canada are, according to the CRU, the Hot Spots that really show the world is heating up, but if Canada finds their data was cooked, well, folks, that pretty well puts the hangman's noose around anthropogenic global warming, doesn't it?)
The two databases from satellite observations are calibrated to the terrestrial databases, but if these are fudged, well, there goes the ballgame.
I can tell you as a geologist that what we're (really) seeing is normal variations in the earth's climate. I can also tell you that I'd never want to be in Phil Jones' or Michael Mann's shoes--never in a million years. The hockey stick approach has lied about the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice age.
May polar bears dance on their graves.

By RockyRoad (not verified) on 17 Dec 2009 #permalink

What is this peculiar pathology that afflicts so many geologists, and renders them incapable of seeing the evidence of other disciplines of science?

Their AGW-denial argument is akin to the logical fallacy that "all ducks are birds, therefore all birds are ducks".

[RockyRoad](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/quote_mining_code.php#comment-2…).

Did you consider that there might not have been any comments here, simply because Raymond's misrepresentations died and were thoroughly buried?

Oo, and:

1) [no, they were not](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/11/new_zealand_climate_science_co…)
2) [no, they were not](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/willis_eschenbach_caught_lying…)
3) who says they look "suspect"
4) [no, they were not](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/russian_analysis_confirms_20th…)

Note: "data" is plural, "datum" is singular".

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 17 Dec 2009 #permalink

Oh, and Raymond reckons the greens are controlled by commie puppet masters . . .

What do I know -- I'm just a lawyer -- but it sure does tick 'em off when I ask them to name some of the commies involved. Over at the Volokh Conspiracy they got a little loose in the glued joints and demanded that I acknowledge all environmentalism is socialist/communist crap, and it really seemed to tick 'em off when I noted that the Rockefellers and other Robber Barons were in on the start of the conservation movement.

So, I figure, since I'm not a programmer, there must be some mystery code there I can't fathom.

Oh, God, Ed, the only difference between the denialists there and those at WUWT are that the lawyers write better. Their level of scientific ignorance is no different, however.

re: 339 - rocky roads. What? I'm a Canadian and have heard nothing and can find nothing. What we do hear on a regular basis is no climate scientists returning from Canada's north with details about the accelerating warming.

Maybe I'm stupid and they don't mean what they say , but the Hadley site has an online request form for access to data. Before you can apply, you have to agree to their policies( I know I usually don't read these agreements either). One of the rules is : the data must be deleted after the project is completed.

Again: am I stupid or is this what Phil Jones did. If so, his honesty has been adequately punished.

By John McManus (not verified) on 22 Dec 2009 #permalink

#343 Typo alert.

What I meant was non climate scientists. ( Biologists, politicians, tourists, Inuit, jounalists, hitchikers, Cree, students, truck drivers etc.). Not climate scientists , but not blind either.

Do the think tanks seriously believe that these people can be told that arctic ice is increasing. Cato, heartland and the rest are rolling shitballs for bloggers to throw, but eventually people learn that they are shit.

By John McManus (not verified) on 22 Dec 2009 #permalink

Funny thing: Peer reviewed scientific literature is only considered so when the data, every process for that data, and code are available to reviewers.

Climate Science under Ole Petey never released the data was never provided to reviewers, Ole Petey himself hasn't the foggiest what happened between the original data from sources like MET and the data he has on hand, and nobody but nobody has the code. Even with the FOIA upload, you have to *guess* at the code.

But you who call skeptics "deniers" want to consider this crap "peer-reviewed" do you?

Science is tested for validity by skeptics. By calling them "deniers" you have admitted your status as AGW cultists.

Shame on you.

By Jacob Weiss (not verified) on 15 Apr 2010 #permalink

The shame is entirely yours, Jacob. You've let yourself be conned, and are anything but sceptical. Large amount of ignorance on display in your post, and lots of belief.

By Johnmacmot (not verified) on 15 Apr 2010 #permalink