Moberg Corrigendum #2

I checked the Lauritzen series sent to me a few days ago by Moberg and found more discrepancies. I originally observed a discrepancy between the figure in the source article and the figure shown in the SI to Moberg et al [2005] as shown below.

The graphic in Nature ended in the 1930s, while the figure in the original article ended in the 1860s. Here’s the original figure (as posted up before):

When I plotted up the new data set sent to me by Moberg, it looked just the same as the figure in Nature. The data is described as follows:

column 1: Time (years) before 2000 AD
column 2: Speleothem d18O values for speleothem SG93, as described in Lauritzen S-E and Lundberg J, 1999: Calibration of the speleothem delta function: an absolute temperature record for the Holocene in northern Norway. Holocene 9, 659-669.

The data sent by Moberg begins at 2311 before AD2000. The last 4 values in the data are shown below – so the series seems to terminate in AD1938 consistent with the plot in Nature (rather than how the original article appeared.)

84.30 -7.54 3.113
69.27 -7.61 3.331
67.77 -7.48 2.925
61.79 -7.12 1.800

I looked back at the original article and found the following interesting comment:

The “‹Å“Little Ice Age’ (LIA). The sample was not actively growing when collected. Since TIMS dating gave an average age of 253 years for the top 5 mm with a “‹Å“cooling’ trend in the isotopes (Figure 7), the coldest signal (–7.12″‚°) here is taken as an extreme LIA signal. [my bold]

The figure in the original article shows that the "extreme LIA" signal was dated in the 19th century.

Now we can track the value of -7.12″‚° back into the newly disclosed data set – except this time the coldest signal (–7.12″‚°) is dated to 1938 – an unusual data, to say the least, for an "extreme LIA" signal. No explanation whatever is provided in the Moberg Corrigendum for this startling and very dissatisfying discrepancy.

Indigirka Series
The data file contains the following request:

[21] "NB! The user of this file is asked to note that, although the Indigirka series "
[22] "has previously been discussed in the literature (Sidorova OV, Naurzbaev MM 2002: "
[23] "Response of /Larix cajanderi/ to climatic changes at the Upper Timberline and "
[24] "in the Indigirka River Valley, Lesovedenie 2, 73-75, in Russian),"
[25] "they are anyway unpublished data that have not been made publicly available, "
[26] "as explained in the Corrigendum (Nature 439, 1014)."
[27] " "
[28] "The authors of the Moberg et al. paper therefore ask the user of this file "
[29] "not to publish these data anywhere, neither in printed nor in electronic form. "
[30] "The authors behind the Indigirka series plan to publish an updated version "
[31] "of their series in due time."

I’m thinking about whether that applies to graphs. For what it’s worth, the series has very high MWP and low modern values. It generically looks like the Updated Polar Urals series (rejected by Briffa and Wilson) and not at all like the hockey stick Yamal substitution.


138 Comments

  1. Posted Feb 26, 2006 at 12:22 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Why is it OK to publish a study based on data if it is not OK to publish the data itself?

    Even if that was believed to be acceptable behaviour, wouldn’t it go against some of the basic tenets of science?

    I find it especially suspect if the reason that the data is not to be published is that it is inaccurate or incomplete. A study should not be using inaccurate or incomplete data, without making it plain that the results of the study should therefore be considered inaccurate and/or incomplete!

  2. jae
    Posted Feb 26, 2006 at 6:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    You know, it’s very understandable that you find some errors in these guys’ work, but it is despicable that all the errors just happen to make the studies go along with the Hockey Stick hypothesis. This is fraud, plain and simple.

  3. Posted Feb 26, 2006 at 7:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    jae, there may be just as many errors in the multiproxy studies which don’t show a “hockey stick”, however those tend to be ignored and dismissed because of their non-alarming nature, without it being necessary for anyone to look for those errors. Hence, so far, nobody tries all that hard. I know Steve has discussed a few of them, and certainly mentioned that many of them use some of the same questionable proxies, but I’m not aware of any which have received the amount of scrutiny as the MBH studies. I think it makes sense but I would ideally like to see them all examined in depth, and reproduced and audited, ideally as a condition of publication. At the very least, all the information should be easily and immediately available for people like Steve to study, even if the scrutiny has to happen post-publication, as long as their post-publication criticism will not be ignored. That would be best for everyone.

  4. jae
    Posted Feb 26, 2006 at 11:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Nicholas: the problem is that there are extremely few articles that don’t show a hockey stick… They don’t get published, because they don’t support the “consensus.”

  5. Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 12:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

    jae, that’s entirely possible, but since they’re published I don’t know about them I suppose.

    Steve: weird, I stared at the first graph in this post for a while, and I could swear it’s correct before the year 1000 (although the black one seems smoothed), but everything after that seems to have the years shifted to earlier years, depending on the distance from the year 1000. It’s as if somebody multiplied the year values of the red graph after 1000 by a factor of 0.95 or so.

    The most obvious manifestation of this effect is that the big dip in the red graph at 1500 and the smaller one before it correspond to the big dip in the black graph at about 1560 and the small one at 1500. Earlier and later features are obviously shifted too, but are hard to seperate due to the pixellation and such.

  6. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 3:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #2, and that post it right up there with the most insulting this place produces. You don’t know the people concerned, you don’t know the science involved, yet you feel able, without judge, jury or trial, to condemn them as fruadsters.

  7. Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 4:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Peter, maybe that’s because they behave as if they are fraudsters?

    Note that I am not saying they ARE fraudsters; merely that they behave suspiciously. Note also that one does not necessarily have to intend to defraud someone in order to do so in the scientific world – it could be subconscious. It’s so easy to disregard data and results which does not give you a satisfying result, and convince yourself you are doing the right thing.

    For example, here are some ways that people who are, intentionally or otherwise, fraudulent often behave:

    * Refuse to answer the substance of questions (because to do so would reveal the fraudulent nature of one’s claims). It’s especially useful to simply spout something complicated-sounding which will satisfy the uneducated masses (and politicians) but which, upon examination, is actually meaningless. Call this the “Yes, Minister” technique if you like.
    * Act astonshed when questioned about a particular issue, as if one is beyond reproach, in order to make it seem like the questioner is the one being unreasonable. Call this the “Sir Humphrey Appleby” technique if you like.
    * Attack the people asking you questions, rather than answer the question, in order to cover up for the fact you can’t answer it satisfactorily.
    * Refuse to provide data and/or methods, because they do not support your conclusions and/or have been doctored to produce the desired results and/or are making incorrect assumptions or using bad methods.
    * Pretend that nobody is questioning your results or assumptions, in order to pretend that you don’t have anything to answer for.
    * When all the above failed, and it looks like you will have to actually answer a query about your study, claim that you have “moved on”. This is an intriguing variation of the “changing the subject” approach. It’s wonderful in that, as long as you bring out studies regularly, and block all attempts to examine your previous studies thoroughly enough, it will work ad infinitum.

    This behaviour does not prove that one is doing anything wrong, however this type of behaviour is only NECESSARY if one has something to hide. The easiest way to show one has nothing to hide is to aboid behaving in this manner, to answer questions properly and to open up your methods and data to scrutiny. Once people see you have nothing to hide, then they can no longer accuse you of, wilfully or otherwise, being dishonest.

    If you would like examples of the people we are most often critical of on this blog performing all of the above evasive maneuvering, you need only to ask. It will be a nice waste of my time to dig them all up but rest assured they run the whole gamut. Unlike jae I’m not brave enough, or perhaps rude enough, to actually come out and accuse them of dishonesty or fraud, but they would do well to take heed of the old saying “where there is smoke, there is fire”, and clean up their act a little. Perhaps then they will not SEEM like fraudsters, whether or not they actually are.

  8. jae
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 5:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

    OK, Peter, maybe it’s not fraud, but Nicholas is spot on in #7. You really do have to start wondering, when the authors of these papers do not come out in defense of them. If someone made criticisms like these of a paper that I had published, I would be on here defending myself like mad–unless, of course, I knew the criticisms were true and I had no argument. Wouldn’t you? The argument that it is a waste of time to engage in debate on a hostile site doesn’t hold water, and you know it. That’s what science (and democracy!) is all about. There is no real debate on sites like Realclimate, because they delete comments they don’t like. Not very scientific (or democratic), eh?

  9. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 6:08 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: No 7

    Nicholas provided a short list of the strategies used by some of the RC team. You can find more list of their fallacious arguments in Jeremy Bentham’s book Political Fallacies.

    Since the primary reason for using a fallacious argument is to deceive people it begs the question: Why is the Hockey Team using fallacious arguments?

  10. per
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 7:04 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: 2,7,8
    I agree that it is not nice to see frank censorship on realclimate. It is also distasteful to see some of the ad hominem and abusive attacks on M&M.

    If I find such attacks to be distasteful when I see them on realclimate, why should I find it any more tasteful to see claims of “fraud” or “scientific fraud” on this site ? Such claims are extremely serious, and it cheapens the debate to see such unwarranted name-calling.

    yours
    per

  11. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 7:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #10, good for you per (David?) fwiw I approve of consistency :) . If I’m not shame on me.

    Re #7. I don’t know what you do but say you’re a student and you ask your teacher a question. You get a reply, but you don’t like it (well, you know better…). So you ask again, the teacher answers (more firmly), and again you don’t like it. You say where you think the teacher is wrong, but he disagrees. You get angry, you think the teacher is wrong, and, gradually, you go through wrong, to ‘he’s holding data back that makes my case’, to ‘he’s a fraudster’. At what point, if you were the teacher, would YOU decide you’d had enough? I’ll tell you. Well before you call him a fraudster!

  12. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 7:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #8

    There is no real debate on sites like Realclimate, because they delete comments they don’t like

    I can tell you that happens here…

  13. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 8:03 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #10, 12. On f-words, I don’t use it myself. My preference is simply to lay out the facts and let them do the talking. Occasionally I editorialize but mostly I leave it to people to draw their own conclusions. I think that it would be very difficult to find anything that I’ve written that would constitute libel or slander. I hope that per agrees with this. I try not to go a bridge too far, although the facts themselves do speak loudly. It’s probably one of the things that most frustrates the people that I’m criticizing.

    Usually I snip back posts which do use extra strong language in editorializing. I haven’t done so the past couple of days because I’ve been working feverishly on NAS.

    If one wishes to express outrage, I think that the term "scientific misconduct" is more appropriate than "fraud".

    I’ve reported from time to time on the blog elsewhere on actions that I do believe rise to scientific misconduct.

    If the facts that I’ve describe in the above post occurred in a corporate environment, any responsible manager would be very suspicious of the paper trail and ensure that the entire paper trail was audited – including all correspondence between the parties. I don’t know the paper trail here and maybe there’s an innocent explanation as to why Lauritzen’s data as published differs from Moberg’s publication and when requested, why Lauritzen’s data as supplied by Moberg matched the Nature SI rather than the original publication (which continued to be cited without stating that there had been any amendment or revision to the data). Maybe Lauritzen had already modified the data, had previously supplied the modified version to Moberg and failed to issue an erratum or update to the original journal. Maybe Moberg’s version of his data came from digitizing Lauritzen’s print version and an error was inadvertently introduced, and, for one reason or other, Lauritzen agreed to amend his data for the purposes of Nature SI to conform with Moberg’s version. Maybe there’ s some completely different explanation.

    I don’t know for sure which happened. If it’s either of the two scenarios that I described, I take away a very unsavory impression. But I’m not making any conclusions. I have no expectation that Nature will make any attempt to inquire, and I expect that the principals will just tough it out. But you never know.

  14. kim
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 8:08 AM | Permalink | Reply

    So the teacher decides he’s had enough, and that’s it? What about the data?
    ================================================================================

  15. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 8:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #14. Do the graft, become a teacher!

  16. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 8:22 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Peter, I don’t think that the pupil-teacher analogy is very useful. The blog uses the term “audit” for a reason. A company can’t just tell an auditor to get stuffed; they have to show their data.

    Company data is privileged and an auditor has a confidential relation to the company and not anyone can come in and audit. However, scientists as a condition of publication have an obligationn to disclose data and, in effect, anyone should be able to audit. For efficiency, scientists should archive relevant data and methods publicly so that they are not making ad hoc responses to individual requests. There should not be any need for someone like me to even make a personal request for data.

    On a personal basis, at this stage, I simply am not going to defer to the Hockey Team as though they are at high table with exceptional statistical and mathematical skills.

    Sunlight, Peter, sunlight.

  17. gbalella
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 9:11 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve,

    The simple answer to all this would be for you to publish your own multi-proxy study. That you haven’t and the reasons you claim you haven’t seem insincere since this does appear to be what you do with most of your time. There are apparently no studies in the literature that show anything significantly different from Mann but you claim to have found problems with all of them. The real proof would be for you to publish your own study. I have little doubt it would be nothing but another noodle on the spaghetti graph.

  18. Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 9:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

    gbalella, it would be pretty silly for Steve to publish his own multi-proxy studies if he has little or no confidence in the ability of the proxies to actually represent temperature now wouldn’t it?

    In fact, one could argue that it may actually be impossible to get any kind of reasonable temperature reconstruction from the data which is available. If that was the case, what’s the merit in publishing any multi-proxy study, even if it is carried out with incredible statistical skill? Garbage in, garbage out.

    Having said that, even if it were possible to come up with a good multi-proxy study, I don’t think there’s any onus on Steve to do so. It seems there’s plenty of work for a climate auditor. If he’s busy making his study, who’s going to validate everyone else’s?

    (I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some studies which do show pretty significantly different results from the hockey sticks on this blog somewhere.)

  19. beng
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 9:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

    RE #17

    The simple answer to all this would be for you to publish your own multi-proxy study.

    gbalella, I’m supposing Steve_M has seen what I & many others see here — that from the “autopsy” of the HStick, it would be very difficult indeed to provide sufficient & robust justification that “reconstructions” can tell us anything about past temperatures on a global scale. Or, at least, only w/a complete statistical revamping & considerable effort & COOPERATION from the many researchers & data-sources.

    Which in the present ‘climate’ is like years-long teeth-pulling w/the patients screaming & writhing.

  20. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 9:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #16 actually Steve auditers have to be appointed. Who appointed you? I think the answer is you.

  21. Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 10:18 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #20 Peter:

    I have appointed Steve my auditor. I am so pleased he has accepted the assignment.

  22. Ian
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 10:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #20. Please get real. This is science not business. The science publicly funded in most cases (all cases that I know of examined on this site). The results are published for everyone to see. The data should also be public. There is no legitimate reason for it not to be so.

  23. jae
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 10:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Criticism accepted. My remarks about fraud were too strong. BTW, I was not referring to the above study; I was referring to the whole Hockey Stick nonsense.

  24. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 11:26 AM | Permalink | Reply

    RE: #13.
    RE: “If the facts that I’ve describe in the above post occurred in a corporate environment, any responsible manager would be very suspicious of the paper trail and ensure that the entire paper trail was audited – including all correspondence between the parties.”

    Indeed, down here in the US, the Sarbannes-Oxley Act (aka “SOX”) essentially requires it. If a manager did not do this, they would essentially be viewed as an accomplice, were anything illegal to be determined later.

  25. kim
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 12:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Is there a model that will predict from chaos?
    ================================================

  26. kim
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 12:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    There must be some good reason equilbrium has been sustained in the system for billions of years despite numerous wide variations from the mean of many parameters.
    =============================================================================

  27. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 12:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #26

    It’s amazing how warmers grant huge powers to human activity (just in case) but ignore the vast affects of natural processes.

    BTW, what’s the purpose for the line below your text? It’s actually rather distracting, especially since nobody else does it.

  28. gbalella
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 12:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #18 & 19

    Do you believe a Medieval Warm Period occurred? A Little Ice Age?
    Based on what data?

  29. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 12:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #10
    I’d just like to make a (late) endorsement of per’s comments.

    Also, it may be useful to recall the aphorism that runs something like: “Don’t ascribe to malice that which can be explained by incompetence.”

  30. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 12:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE: #28.
    RE: “Do you believe a Medieval Warm Period occurred? A Little Ice Age? Based on what data?”

    Let us set aside for the moment contentious dendrochronological, ice core and diatom proxies. Let us consider cultural proxies. Based on cultural records from a wide variety of world wide mid latitude locations, there is indeed evidence of both the MWP and the LIA. I am quite surprised that people who try to diving tree ring widths will not equally consider these sorts of proxies. Here is a narrow subproxy – clothing. That alone could be a subject worth of rafts of papers.

  31. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 12:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE: 30. “Diving” should have read “divining”. Sorry.

  32. kim
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 12:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    DD, I can’t remember from just one minute to another, so I use the underlining so I can recall my argument in a long thread. It is a tool inadequate for its intended purpose, but better to fight knowing you’ll die, than to be enslaved.
    ============================================================

  33. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 1:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Kim, it’s an explanation, but even easier is simply to to ctl+f and type kim in the search box. Then you can move from one of your posts to another with ease and even find posts where you’re addressed by name.

  34. David H
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 2:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Peter, you’re always good for an argument, which is why we all look forward to your arrival. Here’s another analogy. When you take your sick Range Rover (as a farmer I presume you have one) and you get a £500 bill for ECU or a MAF sensor or a HEGO do you just pay and say thanks? I want the duff bits. In some cases I can see they are bust. In some cases I had already figured out the bit was possibly bust. Regardless, they know I could have it checked if I want. This is what we call due process. It’s not infallible. I have been conned more than once. But if there were no due process we would be ripped off all the time.

    If the AGW theory is right and these reconstructions are right they will stand up to any scrutiny and the cost and delay in getting to solve the problem will be trivial in relation to the total costs. All we want are the bits to look at.

    Due process cost us all a lot of money. Think how much we could save if we just got rid of traffic wardens speed cops parliament and the courts.

  35. John G. Bell
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 4:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Kim, your notion of equilibrium allows for a mile of ice above your head and land so dry and hot that creatures mostly only come out at night. I’m talking the same spot of land but at different times in it’s history.

    A Chaotic system doesn’t need a change in it’s parameters to exhibit large changes over time. It could be that even without solar changes and volcanos we could have ice ages. The next state depends on the current state. Some chaotic systems are formulated such that they have attractors. Attractors can cause a system to spend much of it’s time near some particular state or states. All sorts of periodic or quasiperiodic behavior may result.

    I don’t know this well so add salt.

  36. kim
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 9:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    My notion of equilibrium is that the earth has not permanently become too hot or too cold to support life.
    ===========================================================

  37. John G. Bell
    Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 10:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Kim, Even if the seas freeze down a couple of miles life will still be found around the vents on the sea floor. You have an expansive definition :). Life is going to be around for a long long time. That is a happy thought. Thanks.

  38. Posted Feb 27, 2006 at 10:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Kim, I agree with Dave D. in that it’s not good etiquette to clutter the forum with obtrusive markings for your personal benefit. We all have to play by the same rules and it would be especially obnoxious if everyone indulged in this. I think that it’s likely that others feel the same. Dave’s search suggestion (ctl+f) makes a polite substitute. Regards

  39. kim
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 12:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

    J.L., you didn’t get the joke!
    ==============================

  40. kim
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 12:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Alright, leave life out of it. Why has the earth persisted with molten seas rather than frozen or evaporated ones?
    ===========================================================================

  41. Paul
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 12:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #40- AGW, why else?

  42. kim
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 12:45 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I suspect I’m asking a stupid question, but why is it that historically temperatures have been much hotter, and much colder, CO2 pressures have been higher and lower, other parameters have varied greater and lesser, yet conditions haven’t ended permanently in one extreme or the other of various environmental parameters?
    =============================================================================

  43. Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 2:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    kim – because if they had, we would not be here asking that question. Nice paradox, eh?

  44. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 3:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #34. Just shows, don’t make assumption based on particular stereotypes. I don’t drive a range rover – I couldn’t afford one and I detest the lumbering hulks. My car is actually about as far removed from a RR as you can get :).

    Re the rest. Actually what you’re asking for is not due process, but self appointed due process. You approve of Steve’s self appointed status as a ‘auditer’ becuase he’s writes what you like to read. It would be nice if we could all choose our own cop, no?

  45. mtb
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 4:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Peter, I feel that I am repeating myself. However, I remain, from observing your comments, puzzled that you don’t seem to understand some of the basics of science. You can do it for yourself, but I have googled “scientific method replication of results”. There are many similar answers. A typical one says:

    “(Science)can be the battleground for clashes between massive egos – you will meet plenty of those on your journey. But above all science is a public activity – with the communication of results at its heart…..It isn’t science without public disclosure of methods and results. A full description of the method allows for replication in other labs by other scientists. It’s there that your results will come under the sharpest scrutiny when the question is asked “Does this result replicate?”

    Replication clearly is a form of auditing – a basic, and expected part of the scientific method.

    What part of this statement do you not understand??

  46. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 4:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #45, oh I understand the basics. I understand that not all science is repeatable or verifiable in the strictest sense of the words. No one can go down miles into the earth and verify plates techtonics, prove them, repeat them. No one has (can I think) observe an electron. No one can prove the existance of vastly distant quasers, repeat them, vlidate that they are there – except theoretically. So, none of that science is valid?

    No, What you have to do is either trust the scientist or develop what many here have, a deep disrespect for certain scientists based on the kind of logic I put in post #11 above.

  47. Jo Calder
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 5:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #46

    No one has (can I think) observe an electron.

    Try this.

    Cheers, — Jo

  48. Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 5:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Peter, that’s not what reproduceability means.

    If I do some experiment and conclude that plate techtonics works in a certain way, you don’t have to be able to go down into the earth and look at the plates in order to be able to verify my experiment. Rather, you need to be able to conduct the same experiment I conducted. You can then make your own observations and compare them to mine.

    That doesn’t mean the observations are invalid if they can’t be directly checked. Rather, it means that any interested scientist can repeat, refine and clarify the understanding of the experiment and its outcome, furthering the cause of science and expanding our understanding.

    If my experiment is hard to reproduce, because of the way it works, then that’s something other scientists will have to deal with. But that’s distinct from cases where I actually withhold details which are necessary for proper reproduction. For example, if I say I drilled a hole and saw a particular mineral, but don’t say where I drilled that hole, you can’t drill your own hole and check it. You could drill it somewhere else, but you’re much less likely to get the same results if you don’t know where to drill it, obviously. Why would I withhold that information? I can think of a couple of reasons (such as I was trespassing at the time) but none of them are particularly great reasons. I should be able to say where I drilled it. Similarly, authors of multiproxy studies should be able to say which proxies they used (including distribution of any original data where necessary), where they got them (lat/long/tree type/etc.) and the methods they use to analyze that data. To do anything else is needlessly obstructive and does not allow the science to be checked and reproduced.

    I can’t understand why you so often misunderstand what is being said here about science. Have you studied science? I have at high school (and a little at college) and it’s clear to me that it’s a scientist’s duty to make reproducing one’s experimental results as easy for others as possible. Were you never taught that? What about Mann, Bradley, Hughes, Moberg and their friends? Why are they being obstructive? They must feel their career progress is more important than the science itself, since having their studies audited is good for science but, if they did a bad job, bad for their careers. (OK, I probably shouldn’t attribute motives to them, but this seems most likely to me).

    All those types of science you have explained allow reproducibility, even if it’s ideal. Astronomers can observe what others saw with the correct co-ordinates in the sky and the right instrument. Physicists can accelerate/collide/etc. particles according to the description of others and observe the results. Geologists can study the same processes as others and make their own conclusions. For all I know, in each of these fields, some people are obstructive. However I don’t think they would be very popular to other scientists. Sorry, but your examples don’t really make the point you’re trying to make. Most science is aimed at being reproducible. Why is that so hard for climate scientists?

  49. kim
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 5:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

    It’s nice, Nick, but not paradoxical.
    ====================================

  50. kim
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 5:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Its a teleotautology.
    ======================

  51. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 6:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Kim, the questions as to why the earth has not veered out of control is avery good question and one that is not asked nearly often enough of these knife-edge models, “climate is an ugly beast that we ae poking with a stick”. I’ve read some interesting theories about this and remind in about 10 days.

  52. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 7:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #48. Well, I guess it comes down to what is reasonable. You seem to want scientists to: go around, do the foot slog, record every concievable detail of every day of their working life, and put it all on line somewhere, in nice readily digestable portions, so you can easily access it to score points. I think that’s a big ask – but presumably you do that with your work? Where can I find it?

    Otoh, clearly there are masses of data available, just look at the size of CA for evidence of that. So my conclusion would be some people will never be satified (especially, if they have convinced themselves there is wrong doing, or worse…).

    But better would be you read all the article on reconstruction of recent climate, wise up on the interpretation of tree rings, get wised up on other dendro stuff, learn about the other proxies, learn about ice cores, corals, sediment cores, pollen, beetles, do the basic physics about ghg’s, and THEN, if you still disagree, start carping. Otherwise, you’re still just doing a post #11.

  53. Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 7:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Peter, let’s think about this. These multi-proxy studies are pieces of software (written in Fortran, or R, or whatever) which typically slurp in text files full of numbers, do some calculations and spit out some numbers which are then graphed using your favorite graphing software.

    All that’s needed to reproduce a study is the data files and the source files. It’s quite easy, just before one publishes a paper, to make a directory on one’s hard drive and place in it all the data and source files relevant to the study, and make sure that when one runs the software, the data generated is the data in the study. Or, if you prefer, as you work on the study, make an archive of each data/software combo you use to generate a set of figures or a graph. Those files can be placed on a web site, CDROM or FTP archive for other scientists to access. They can then check your data, methods and results.

    Now, a small additional problem arises with the use of pre-smoothed data. However, that problem is only a problem because “upstream” scientists fail to use this method. Assuming everyone used this method, there would be no problem.

    I am not a scientist (as I have stated previously) and have published no papers. If I did, I would do this happily. As it is, I do write some software, most of which is not owned by me and therefore I have no permission to make it publically available. However, any public domain or open source software I work on, I contribute my code and/or patches back to the original author(s) so that they can distribute it freely. Any software which I personally own, and which anybody is interested in, they are welcome to. Make a request for a particular set of data or code and I will send it to the interested party. I’m not even publically funded, but I figure, why deprive anyone of some information which may be useful to them?

    The more widely cited a given paper is, the stronger the impetus should be for its data and methods to be available and checked. I think it’s well within the right of any organization (including the US government) funding research to demand that the researchers they are paying make their data and methods available to other scientists upon request. I don’t understand how the funding for these particular individuals in question works, but assuming that some/all of the money comes from the US government, it’s quite clear to me that the policy should be (as it is with many government employees) that the work they do ends up in the public domain, unless it’s classified.

    Peter, why do you think I am reading this web site (and others)? To educate myself. I am learning many interesting things. One of them is that multi-proxy studies seem to be fundamentally flawed, both in terms of data and methods, and the results are therefore basically useless. Do you have anything to refute that? Any references which show that these proxies ARE good proxies of temperature? Any URL explaining why that’s the case? Any URL explaining why the particular statistical methods used in these studies are the correct application for this case? I know Steve is no dendro expert but he seems to know his statistics a lot better than people like Mann. So in this case I will defer to him. His arguments are concise and clear and I can follow them easily. It’s quite obvious to me the methods are not up to scratch, unless you can show me where his arguments go wrong.

    It’s so easy for you to post lots of comments complaining about this web site, Steve, his work, the commenters etc. but I have never seen you back up any of your assertions that Steve is wrong, or that Mann et al are correct, with references to concise facts and analyses like Steve provides. Please enlighten us or stop complaining.

  54. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 7:58 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Peter, a while back you asked why someone called you a “mindless Troll.” Well your series of messages on this thread are good examples of both. You admit you’re not up on science but you tell others they need to do endless study before they can speak up on global warming. If you don’t know enough science to make sense (and you don’t) then you should retreat to lurking instead of trolling for people to respond to your tripe.

    Of course, by responding myself I’m also falling for your trolling, but since it provides me an outlet for otherwise unvented agressive thoughts it’s probably good for my mental health.

  55. Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 8:01 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I forgot to mention, the journals require that the authors of these studies provide the data and methods. They are violating the publishing policy of the journals when they fail to do so. Obviously the journals feel it is both important, and not too much of a burden, for the authors to do this. Why do they fail to comply with the policies of major scientific publications when people like Steve bring these policies, and their failure to adhere to them, to their attention?

    I don’t think ignorance is a good defence. As many of us have pointed out, all scientists clearly know that reproducability is an important part of science. That they are ignoring that says that they are not very committed to performing actual science, which demands that they share their findings properly in order to further our common knowledge, not to push their own private agenda.

  56. mtb
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 10:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Peter.

    Perhaps you can help us all in the area of 20th century temperature averages. As I understand it, some observers think that the available temperature series have been developed pretty much by simply averaging the available temperature series over the past 100 years. However, it seems arguable that there are significant differences in the set of stations sampled over that period. Apparently (we are told) many stations in cold parts of the world have closed, while at many other stations UHI effects have caused previously cool contributions to now be several degrees higher. You would surely agree, would you not, that if that were the case, then we might be seeing increases in the “average” temperature, but we would struggle to describe that as “global warming”.

    Now, lets say you and I want to resolve the problem for ourselves. All we need is a list of the temperature stations, and their records. We could then make sure that we do in fact have a properly representative set of stations. We would develop our own averages based on selecting stations in cold areas that DO have 100 year records, and we would eliminate stations that have demonstrable UHI effects (easily identified by proximity to satellite IFR heat anomalies, or by a city or airport based station showing increasing temperatures while the surrounding rural stations do not). A bit of work, but I am sure that you and I could do it. All we need is access to the data to be able to do it.

    I am not a climate scientist, and nor are you (I hear you say), so this is a new field for us. For climate scientists the data I am talking about must be readily available and accessible. My problem, and yours, is that we don’t really know where to find it. We are asked by climate scientists to not worry about it. We have “corrected” the data and our temperature averages are OK. You and I might say. OK then, but how about you let me have the data so that I can play with the data myself.

    I tell you what. Once we get access to that data, and play with it ourselves for a few days (or months perhaps) I think that you and I would have a pretty good idea of whether the average temperatures are actually increasing or not. We would probably ask a skilled statistician to help us to judge what our analysis shows, and how reliable the conclusions really are.

    We would also have a good idea of what the term “global mean” temperature means. It surely doesn’t purport to include anything below the surface (where we know that temperatures rapidly increase with depth) since we would quickly see that the “global mean” doesn’t include temperature stations at the bottom of mines for example. We would also see quite quickly that it doesn’t include many stations above, say, 2000m elevation (quite a bit of the earth’s surface actually), where our individual experience tells us, anywhere on the planet, that it is a bit colder. It probably doesn’t include the troposphere or stratosphere which we know are quite a bit colder again. And it probably doesn’t include that many stations on the oceans which cover (Google tells me) 70.8% of the planet. So what does the “global mean” include actually? It mainly includes those areas of lowish, flat land, mostly near the sea where population densities are higher than out in the boonies. So what the “global mean” really is (it seems) is some sort of average of the available stations, but is it, really, a “global mean”? Interesting questions, don’t you agree?

    It would be reasonable, wouldn’t it, if you and I really were interested in having a look at these issues (I am close to retirement, and this sounds an interesting issue to have a look at when I have a bit more time) then we would quite like to have a look at the data that goes into the “global mean” temperature, and we would quite like to have a look at the methods used to select or reject stations, and the methods used to correct for problematic issues like UHI effects. So lets say this information is readily available, and we have the time to review it, analyse it, “audit” it for ourselves. We would then, for ourselves, have a very good understanding of whether there really is global warming going on or not. We wouldn’t need to squabble on this blog. We wouldn’t need to call each other names. We would simply say that while there may be limitations in the data, the conclusion from examining the temperature records for ourselves is that there really is warming going on, or there is not. In this day and age we probably could then come on blogs such as this, and offer our real opinions, based on analysis, and have some confidence in what we are talking about.

    So what do you say? How about you and I set up an exercise where we “audit” the claims of those who argue that temperatures are rising? We could call it M&P. And lets say that after all of our work, we find that in fact, on the basis of data that we ourselves have seen and analysed, that there really isn’t any convincing evidence that temperatures are really rising. What would we do? Would we ask to go on to the NAS Panel for Temperature Reconstruction and state our case? I don’t know. Perhaps we would if we thought that some climate scientists, from our own investigation of the data, were actually misrepresenting the position, scaring the public out of their pants, and causing governments to take decisions (potentially costing billions) that are, in your opinion and mine, completely un-necessary.

    So what do you say?? Shall we have a look at the issue? Lets ask Mr Jones how he got his “global mean” average. Which stations did he include, and which did he exclude? How did he correct for UHI effects? Can we please have a look at his data and methods? Mr Jones, you are saying “Trust me. We have corrected for all of the issues you are asking about, and no, you cannot have a look at my data and methods. I have done this work for myself and I am not going to share the work with you.” I think that we would say, “Oh come on Mr Jones. Isn’t this data paid for by ‘the people’? Isn’t your salary paid for by ‘the people’? How can you make claims that the “global mean” temperature is rising, yet you won’t let us have a look at the data and methods you used to draw that conclusion. We want to have a look for ourselves. Or perhaps, if you don’t want to share the data and methods, we can draw our own conclusions.

    Oh, by the way. One of the ways I personally satisfy myself that it doesn’t really seem to be getting much hotter is from my own personal experience. It seems to me (I don’t know about you) that the temperatures I experience seem to fluctuate over about the same ranges as they always did. It gets warm during the day, especially in summer, and it gets cooler at night. In winter time the temperatures drop quite a bit and we like to light the fire to keep warm and yell “close the door” to keep the drafts out. If we go inland to our place in the country (which is at 600m elevation) we notice that we get frosts in the morning in winter time, just like we always did. Some days in summer it is hot, on some days it is unbearably hot, but not noticeably different than it always was. I have to say, from my own personal experience and recollection, that it doesn’t really seem to be any warmer this year than it was 30 years ago. Can I ask, where you and your family are, have you guys noticed it getting warmer??

    And another thing. When I go to the beach, perhaps I am not looking carefully enough, but I haven’t noticed that sea levels are rising either. Perhaps they are. I should pay more attention. Or perhaps you and I should have a look at the sea level data too? What do you say??

  57. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 10:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #56. Phew, you have got a bee in your bonnet! Sorry, my time is up today :), I’ll reply tomorrow.

  58. Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 11:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Dear mtb, Been there. Done that.

  59. Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 11:26 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Hmm, I tried reading the post at that link, I got as far as this bit:

    This is untrue. Average temperature has a real, physical meaning. For example, if I have one kg of water at 20 degrees and another at 30 degrees, then their average temperature is 25 degrees. This is the temperature I would get if I mixed the water.

    Of course, since grid cells don’t contain only water (or only air), this is not a good analogy. Different materials have different heat densities. In your example you’re talking about two buckets which are the same size and with the same contents. Not only are grid cells not the same size if they’re based on lat/long (get smaller as you approach the poles obviously) but they also don’t contain the same substances in the same distributions! Plus we haven’t addressed the fact that the average temperature in any grid cell also varies by altitude.

    You’re also ignoring the fact that these grid cell averages are calculated from a few points within that grid and the rest is extrapolated. It really is a hell of a lot more complicated than measuring the temperature in a (small, homogenous) bucket of water.

    I couldn’t really be bothered reading any further after that… sorry. That gross over-simplification put me right off.

  60. Tim Lambert
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 11:55 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Wow nicholas, you sure missed the point. I’d explain, but scuh explanations are not allowed here.

  61. jae
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 12:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Tim: even if you can get a reliable average this way (which I don’t think you can), you still have not addressed the UHI effects. It is my understanding that this was “corrected for” by using nighttime temperatures. That is a bogus correction, because the UHI effects also effect nighttime temperature.

  62. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 2:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE: #60. What point did he miss? From where I sit, I see many points missed by biologists, ecologists and others who don’t know how to do PDEs and have never done a single boundary value problem on an infinite half space, let alone, tried to consider the far more complex interval arithmatic needed to come close to simulating the many effects at the surface which might impact the intrumental surface record. The give away, to me, was the assumptions and methodology that has been used to “correct” for the “UHI” effect (a misnomer which will be explained at a summary level in an upcoming abstract). Another give away, to me, has been the neglect of certain heat flow mechanisms which do not tranfer energy poleward, a fact quite inconvenient for the worst case reputed scenarios.

  63. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 2:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If the IPCC wants to use products like the “hockey stick”, they should be prepared to fully disclose all the data and programs used.

  64. John Lish
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 3:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #60 – I’m sure that Steve and John A. would welcome your contribution Tim on this matter. I haven’t seen any particular examples of censorship, if anything oppositing POVs are merely challenged, not deleted.

  65. ET SidViscous
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 3:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

    John

    Tim and discusions of thermodynamics and entropy are the one issue* that Steve has asked not to be discussed here.

    (*couple of other minor things but not really to do with science)

  66. Paul Penrose
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 10:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If one wishes to insist that they are following the scientific process and publish their results in a public journal they need to also publish all their data and complete procedures (including computer code) such that anybody with the proper equipment and time can replicate their results. There is no disagreement on this point by any reputable scientist. In addition, when the science is publically financed it is a requirement, IMHO, that it be published with all the data and methods.

    People that replicate (or audit, if you will) others experiments and studies are no less honorable than the original scientists, nor is there any onus on them to perform their experiments or studies.

    The fact that Peter does not seem to understand this, even after it has been spelled out many times, makes me wonder about his ability to comprehend these issues. Either that or he knows better and is being intentionally dishonest. There’s no way for me to know which, and frankly at this point I don’t care anymore.

  67. Paul Penrose
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 10:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I meant to say “…perform their own unique experiments…”

    I really wish there was a way to edit your own posts. But I suppose that would require registering to post and all the associated security. Yeach.

  68. Follow the money
    Posted Feb 28, 2006 at 10:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “”Since the primary reason for using a fallacious argument is to deceive people it begs the question: Why is the Hockey Team using fallacious arguments?””

    Who is paying for the studies, or for whom are the studies meant to appeal to for future money? British Petroleum? UNCCC? (UN Carbon Credit Casino).

    Or are some seeking personal approval by touting the party line?

  69. kim
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 9:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Short Kyoto futures.
    ====================

  70. jae
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 10:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re: 66. Peter has completely made up his mind and has no real interest in learning anything that might upset his view. He apparently needs attention, so he trolls with innane posts, hoping to get folks upset. I personally will not respond to him anymore.

  71. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 10:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #70. very kind words, thank you. You think people call me a troll to make me happy – roflmao. So you read Realclimate, the IPCC as well as CA and as many climate books/journal articles as you can get your hands on? Good for you! You’re a fine chap no doubt.

    Oh, and re #66, thank you also, Paul, for your so kind words but I am never ‘intentionally dishonest’ and I understand the issues.

    Have a nice day.

  72. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 11:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re#70 I agree with you jae. Peter adds nothing to the conversation and if somehow spam-karma just accidentally started blocking him I’m sure I wouldn’t shed a tear. BTW, for comparison, Tim is much nastier, but I don’t favor him being blocked a this point as very occasionally he has something intelligent to say. And more importantly I suspect he could be much more intelligent here if he wanted to be which it appears Peter cannot.

    In any case I’m joining your “Don’t respond to Peter” crusade.

  73. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 11:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I was ignoring Peter before Ignoring Peter was cool

  74. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 8:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE: #56. I am going to write an abstract soon on this very topic and will publish it here and elsewhere. However, I don’t have time to do a research study and anyone who does is strongly encouraged to pick up the abstract and run with it. General concept is using finite element analysis to create a general model for human induced significant error factors in the surface record. UHI was a useful concept in the day, but we need to go behyond that. UHI is a very Victorian idea – pre electrical grid and pre rural development. Now, there are millions of heat islands, ranging from larger ones associated with connurbations and smaller ones including ones resulting from individual properties (specifically, their buildings containing living, husbandry, storage and working spaces). The initial phase would be to demonstrate that the error at any surface station is essentially unknowable. The second phase would be to apply a series of assumptions and approximations to see just what the range of errors might be at some specific stations. There is much multidisciplinary work to draw from – for example, HVAC design work and electronic design work (e.g. FLOWTHERM, etc.). More later.

  75. Paul Penrose
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 8:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t respond directly to Peter anymore, it’s just a waste of time. Almost every post is full of logical fallacies and it’s just getting too tedious to point them all out. In fact, I’m trying hard to avoid even talking about him anymore. Hopefully this will be the last time.

  76. mtb
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 8:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve,

    I appreciate you responding to #56. It seems to me an interesting and important issue and your comments demonstrate that you have the capacity to properly deal with the complex issues involved.

    I feel uncomfortable just accepting “global mean” temperature averages that show warming, without any detailed discussion on how the “global mean” averages have been pulled together, or what the “global mean” is supposed to represent. It is another of those issues where our own personal experience, and the anecdotes that have popped up on this site (the Mayor who wanted temperatures taken in the middle of town so that it would show his town to be warmer to better attract the tourists), tell us that there is something to the idea.

    A word that seems to be applicable, but seldom (never?) applied in this context is “micro-climate”. Certainly in agriculture, grape-growing for example, heavy emphasis is placed on local climate variations (the south facing slope!), which of course can vary widely for all kinds of natural as well as anthropogenic reasons. It just highlights how difficult it is to talk about “global mean” average temperatures.

  77. Dano
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 9:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    74:

    Why would you write an abstract if you don’t know anything about what’s been written before? Why would you waste your time?

    And who cares about how many UHIs there are? The number doesn’t matter – you want to find out if their extent affects the GHCN to show there’s no CO2 component to the warming [after you've explained away the 380 ppm in the atm and the acidification of the oceans and...].

    I’ve discussed this somewhere already on this site. You haven’t thought up anything new, sorry. I know it makes you feel good to think so.

    But if you must, you have ~3 dz. papers about effect on GHCN to help you in writing your abstract, and ~ 2-300 that have studied the intensity in cities and countryside. So that’s a big help. Read them, then write.

    Anyway,

    It is utterly obvious to the simplest dullard that humans have significantly altered the planet. The issue is whether this will overwhelm ecosystems and flip them.

    HTH,

    D

  78. Ian
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 10:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #77 Dano,

    You are completely right, in that there is nothing new being added here. You have not added anything new, others have not had anything new. These are the same issues that occur over and over again in forums on web sites again and again. Each issue depends on the answer to previous issues in an escalating manner:

    1.) Is warming occurring?
    2.) If warming is occurring is it extraordinary (beyond natural variability)?
    3.) If warming is occurring and it is extraordinary is it anthropogenic?
    4.) If warming is occurring and it is extraordinary and it is anthropogenic, can we do anything about it?

    I am not going to address these issues. You already “know” all the answers, just as many other people already “know” the answers and no amount of arguments or pointing to URLs will make one whit of difference to either side.

    Believe it or not, this is not what this site is actually about. Of course it attracts many who are looking for supporting evidence one way or the other, and others like yourself or Peter that enjoy a good fight.

    But this site, and Steve himself are about investigating the statistical methods used by climatologists to justify their conclusions about the history of temperature experienced on earth. Believe it or not a significant fraction of us are interested in that in of itself.

    Steve has showed us that the statistical methods are flawed. He has also showed in great abundance that many of the proxies themselves are flawed (from a statistical perspective). This does not mean that questions 1-4 are invalid or valid. It does not mean that the conclusions reached from flawed data or flawed statistical analysis are incorrect even (they may still accidentally be correct). It simply means that the science is currently not being done properly, and that many given conclusions are unjustified (the science just isn’t there). Given the mathematical proof of the invalidity of the methods being used to date a true “scientist” when considering questions 1-4 can only currently conclude “I don’t know”. To many of us this is extremely significant. So many on either side are crying out to us that they “know”, but looking at the flaws in their methods in black-and-white as Steve has laid out for us we can only be taken aback somewhat with shock. How can such a large segment of the scientific community claim to “know” with such certainty what they can not possibly “know” given the data and statistically methods and the flaws therein that the claim to be using.

    Continue to debate as you like, continue to insult others as you like (yes yes we know — you are so incredibly brillant in a way we will never comprehend — congratulations to you), it is a common pastime of many, but just remember at the current point in time with the current data and the current statistical methods you are debating faith. Paste the URL’s to your Bible passages, and others will paste URLs from theirs, but at the end of the day neither side will have budged — especially your own.

    Cheers, and enjoy your arguing.

  79. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 12:14 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #78: Ian, please read your post back over until you spot the bit where you completely contradicted yourself.

    Re #74: Steve, there’s a name for people who come up with abstracts and then get other people to do the study (and at slave wages, too): Full professors. :)

  80. Ian
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 12:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #79 Sorry too dense for that have no interest either.

  81. IL
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 1:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #78 Ian, you should really have added 5 and 6:

    1.) Is warming occurring?
    2.) If warming is occurring is it extraordinary (beyond natural variability)?
    3.) If warming is occurring and it is extraordinary is it anthropogenic?
    4.) If warming is occurring and it is extraordinary and it is anthropogenic, can we do anything about it?

    5: If warming is occurring and it is extraordinary and it is anthropogenic, should we do anything about it?
    6: If warming and CO2 concentrations are increasing – for whatever reasons, might the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks (globally).

    (No, I don’t believe in tipping points, or at least that the world is remotely close to one. The Earth has been warmer in the (geologically) recent past and they were historically better times for most of humanity than the colder times).

  82. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 3:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re several recent posts. Perhaps you lot want to just read people who agree with you? To not have to read other opinion, or have you opinion challenged? To just rubbish other opinion, insult certain scientists and reports? To live in some nice coccon where all here is right and people like me (anyone daring to be different, to express another view, to even bloody comment) are stupid, trolling, conspirators bent on world domination? Yes, I think that is what you want :(

    Do you really all just want to hear what you want to hear? Yes, you want to ignore it, it’s pretty sad really.

    Anyway. In accordance with your wishes I will comment less.

  83. John A
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 3:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: #78

    I would like to add to Ian’s summary by making the point that the multiproxy studies have not added anything new. Steve has shown conclusively that the basis on which these studies are conducted is fallacious. The proxies on which these studies are based have little, if any relation to temperature, the statistical methodology does not stand up to scrutiny and the calculated significance is indistinguishable from random numbers.

    The whole enterprise of climate science has been hijacked by these worthless multiproxy studies. The Emperor has no clothes.

  84. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 3:59 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re # 80: OK, I’ll help:

    “1.) Is warming occurring?
    2.) If warming is occurring is it extraordinary (beyond natural variability)?
    3.) If warming is occurring and it is extraordinary is it anthropogenic?
    4.) If warming is occurring and it is extraordinary and it is anthropogenic, can we do anything about it?”

    “But this site, and Steve himself are about investigating the statistical methods used by climatologists to justify their conclusions about the history of temperature experienced on earth. Believe it or not a significant fraction of us are interested in that in of itself.”

    “Given the mathematical proof of the invalidity of the methods being used to date a true “scientist” when considering questions 1-4 can only currently conclude “I don’t know”. To many of us this is extremely significant. So many on either side are crying out to us that they “know”, but looking at the flaws in their methods in black-and-white as Steve has laid out for us we can only be taken aback somewhat with shock. How can such a large segment of the scientific community claim to “know” with such certainty what they can not possibly “know” given the data and statistically methods and the flaws therein that the claim to be using.”

    So first you claim to only care about the narrow area of whether the current warming is beyond natural variability, then based in what you perceive as flaws in that you expand out to question the entirety of climate science.

    I should note that your framing of those four question builds in some very shaky assumptions. Of course the magnitude of the present warming isn’t at all unusual; there is no question that the Eemian Thermal Maximum exceeded it, e.g. It is the rate of the current change that’s the problem. As well, a warming such as the ETM with undebatably natural causes helps us to draw exactly what conclusions with regard to a warming with anthropogenic causes? It’s as if when a dam bursts we conclude there’s no problem because the same area has experienced natural floods before.

    What continues to amaze me about the denizens of this site is that so many of them have a need for the hockey stick debate to mean so much more for the whole of climate science than it actually does, despite the repeated statements of the site’s proprietor that he disagrees with such a stance (and accepts the general conclusions of the IPCC).

  85. Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 4:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Sorry, I don’t really see what any of this has to do with the Moberg Corrigendum.

    Unless you disagree with the premise that scientists publishing work based on statistical studies should make their methods and data avilable for examination, I don’t see how you can argue with the topic of this post. And if you do then I am worried.

  86. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 4:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #83: So when the NRC panel concludes otherwise, where exactly will you go with this? You do know that will mean the end of access to the journals and to most of the media, don’t you? “The whole enterprise of climate science has been hijacked by these worthless multiproxy studies.” John A., do you have any idea what a small part of the science all of this really is? Just look through a few issues of GRL, for example, and tell me how many multi-proxy papers you find even compared to other paleo papers, let alone all climate papers.

  87. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 4:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #85: OK. I can only imagine how thrilled Moberg must be to find that rather than doing him the simple courtesy of first asking for an explanation via email, Steve instead chose to publicly discuss the “startling and very dissatisfying discrepancy.” I suspect that’s considered impolite.

  88. BradH
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 5:11 AM | Permalink | Reply

    John A., do you have any idea what a small part of the science all of this really is?

    No, Steve, it’s actually a very major part of the science. It’s prominence in the IPCC reports reinforces this.

    If it’s been warmer in the past than it is now, it casts fundamental doubt on the THEORY that human-activity-CO2-and-other-gases is a fore-runner of doomsday.

    In fact, the “science” of all this is predicated on the reliability and accuracy of past climate reconstructions. Most do not doubt that it is, on average, warmer today than it was in 1850, but many doubt that we have the evidence it is warmer now than in the MWP.

    If it is not warmer now than it was in the MWP, it casts fundamental doubt on the theory that human industrial activity has had a significant impact.

    This doesn’t mean that human activities can be ruled out as the cause of this particular warming (or exacerbated it), but it would mean that the theory (on which all computer climate models are based) is wrong, because they all presume that human-related CO2 emissions are primarily responsible for warming.

    Another reason why it’s a major part of the science is because, until the Hockey Stick came along, everyone assumed that there was a MWP. If the MWP was at least as warm as it is presently, it’s at least as likely that current warming is natural.

    The “proof” that current warming is due to anthropgenic effects had a tremendous filip from a flattening of the MWP.

    Now, if you can point me to other studies (apart from the Hockey Team) which supposedly prove that this is the warmest period in our history, I’d like to see it.

    If you can’t, all you can do is theorise that current warming trends are human-based – you can’t prove it.

  89. JEM
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 5:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #65:

    discusions of thermodynamics and entropy

    Just curious, but what’s the problem with dicussing thermodynamics?

  90. John A
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 6:01 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I was going to reply to Steve Bloom’s non sequitur, but Brad beat me to it.

    The idea that multiproxy studies are not the key selling points of the AGW hypothesis, is not even wrong. It’s amazing to me that people would actually allow the Mann Hockey Stick to be talked down as if it were irrelevant, not least by the historical revisionists on RealClimate and the dittoheads who praise them.

    The Greenhouse hypothesis of modern warming is not a scientific theory: it rests upon fallacious appeals to authority, complex questions, appeals to adverse consequences and to a litany of false claims, propagandizing and overwhelming evidence of scientific misconduct in the creation of studies which are designed to rewrite the past. Some of these people clearly have no shame.

    Only a full and proper audit of these studies with data available to all, by a competent team of statisticians, mathematical modelers, paleoclimatologists lead by an independent scientific authority (if we could find another Richard Feynman, that would be my choice).

    And by full and proper audit, I don’t mean the NAS Panel.

  91. John A
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 6:03 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I can only imagine how thrilled Moberg must be to find that rather than doing him the simple courtesy of first asking for an explanation via email, Steve instead chose to publicly discuss the “startling and very dissatisfying discrepancy.” I suspect that’s considered impolite

    It’s considered at least impolite to incorporate and publish someone else’s data without asking their permission or checking their provenance.

    But that’s the problem with you Steve. You strain at gnats and swallow camels.

  92. jae
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 6:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

    You know, the mother of all hockey sticks is the “official” surface temperature record. Concerns have been expressed that it, too is spurious. http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/articles/V5/N41/C1.jsp

    http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/articles/V5/N22/C1.jsp

    Perhaps Steve or someone else could look at the statistical underpinnings of this “reconstruction.”

  93. jae
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 6:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Hmmm…what would you get if you bred (calibrated) a spurious surface temperature to a tree ring proxy? A new tree species?

  94. Paul Gosling
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 6:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

    So if all the multiproxy studies were shown to be of poor quality and can tell us nothing about past climte, or alternatively that they actually show the MWP was as warm or even a bit warmer than present, tell me how would this prove that AGW is not happening. We know that global temperatures were a great deal warmer in the Eocene and a great deal colder during glaciations. How does this show that adding CO2 to the atmosphere can have no effect on climate? Please explain, I don’t understand.

  95. jae
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 7:09 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The fact that the hockey stick graphs are spurious doesn’t prove anything, except that they cannot be relied on to prove anything. Back to “who knows?”

  96. Greg F
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 8:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

    RE:#94

    So if all the multiproxy studies were shown to be of poor quality and can tell us nothing about past climte, or alternatively that they actually show the MWP was as warm or even a bit warmer than present, tell me how would this prove that AGW is not happening.

    This is a false dichotomy. If they tell us nothing, they have no value and therefore neither prove or disprove anything.

    How does this show that adding CO2 to the atmosphere can have no effect on climate?

    All your doing is repeating the false dichotomy and straw man argument. There is no question that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and has some effect, to which nobody has argued otherwise. The question is, and remains, what is the magnitude of the effect.

    I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the state of Science, whatever the matter may be.
    Lord Kelvin

  97. kim
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 8:54 AM | Permalink | Reply

    jae, you’d get a poliscientician. I’ve seen it done, but sadly, the researcher has not archived his data, and the genome has gone wild.
    ===========================================================

  98. kim
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 8:59 AM | Permalink | Reply

    He’ll learn. What the world needs now is more bob benchley and geometry.
    ======================================================================

  99. jae
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 9:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re 94: Most of the folks that post to this site are not saying there is no man-caused global warming. They are just saying, “show me the data.” The data thus far is unconvincing, especially the tree ring proxy data; whereas, the data showing that we are just in another natural cycle (likely caused by the sun) is extremely convincing.

  100. Paul Gosling
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 9:04 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #96

    All your doing is repeating the false dichotomy and straw man argument. There is no question that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and has some effect, to which nobody has argued otherwise. The question is, and remains, what is the magnitude of the effect

    Really, then perhaps you should read #88 again

    If it’s been warmer in the past than it is now, it casts fundamental doubt on the THEORY that human-activity-CO2-and-other-gases is a fore-runner of doomsday.

    or #90

    The Greenhouse hypothesis of modern warming is not a scientific theory: it rests upon fallacious appeals to authority, complex questions, appeals to adverse consequences and to a litany of false claims, propagandizing and overwhelming evidence of scientific misconduct in the creation of studies which are designed to rewrite the past.

    Clearly there are those posting here regularly who believe that if the multiproxy studies can be shown to be incorrect than the whole of AGW theory is invalidated. Clearly nonsense.

  101. kim
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 9:11 AM | Permalink | Reply

    You keep stuffing it with straw. Careful, it will be a mess when it bursts. There is an immense desire here to truly understand the magnitude of the anthropogenic effect. Where is the model? Where is the data? From agnosticism you profess faith?
    =======================================================================================

  102. Paul
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 9:18 AM | Permalink | Reply

    RE #100-

    Clearly there are those posting here regularly who believe that if the multiproxy studies can be shown to be incorrect than the whole of AGW theory is invalidated. Clearly nonsense.

    No…but it does show that something different needs to be done to determine if it is a valid theory.

    Or, how about this… If the current multi-proxy studies are incorrect and the evidence shows that the current changes in climate are due to natural variablity (as also was the case in the past when anthropogenic factors were significantly less), then what?

    Maybe AGW is a good thing to help reduce the impact of another glacial period. Maybe a slightly warmer earth will increase crop production and open new areas to habitation, thus easing some of the potential population issues facing the planet (which really have more to due with political problems and less to do with a lack of resources to support the population).

    Why is it always assumed that AGW is a bad thing?

  103. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 9:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I’m sorry you seem to be confusing some words here.

    How does this show that adding CO2 to the atmosphere can have no effect on climate? Please explain, I don’t understand.

    This in response to

    If it’s been warmer in the past than it is now, it casts fundamental doubt on the THEORY that human-activity-CO2-and-other-gases is a fore-runner of doomsday.

    John did not say it had no effect on climate, what john said was if it was this warm, or warmer, in the MWP, then people saying that we are on a dangerous course are not seeing that we’ve been here before, we bought the T-shirt and things we’re pretty nice then.

    You on the other hand seem to be equating “climate” with “Doomsday” But actually that would make sense wouldn’t it.

    To be a little more precise, what John said was that if the MWP was this warm, that at least opens the door to the possibility that our current climate is not completely man made. What he’s saying, and I don’t see why you find it unreasonable, is Climate varries. ALways has, always will. THanks for coming out.

  104. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 9:29 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “Maybe a slightly warmer earth will increase crop production ”

    DOn’t forget CO2 Fertilization, and that fact that crop production has increased throughout the 20th century

  105. Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 9:29 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Paul Gosling, not only does your post have very little or nothing to do with the topic of this discussion, but you seem to be comprehension-challenged. You assert that BradH is questioning whether an increase in CO2 concentration in the atmosphere can lead to any increase in temperature, yet the quote that you post doesn’t touch on that issue at all. Rather, it raises the question of whether that effect is leading to a doomsday-scenario or not. Two totally distinct queries.

    Then you go on to make the same assertion about what John A has to say, when he is not questioning whether the “greenhouse effect” (bad name) exists, but rather whether it is responsible for the majority of the observed warming. In other words, he’s pointing out that the “greenhouse effect” may be minor, and other factor(s) could be contributing to climate change in a larger sense. There doesn’t seem to me to be much point trying to fight the “greenhouse effect” if something else is creating much larger climate change. Neither BradH nor John A stated that the CO2-warming theory is invalid; merely that perhaps it is unimportant.

    Is that really such a hard distinction to realize, and could you please post these comments on another thread where that is being discussed? You have not addressed the substance of the Moberg complaint we’re discussing here at all.

  106. John A
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 9:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Clearly there are those posting here regularly who believe that if the multiproxy studies can be shown to be incorrect than the whole of AGW theory is invalidated. Clearly nonsense.

    True. But it doesn’t prove AGW “theory” either. AGW is not a theory in the scientific sense, it is a hypothesis.

    Why do you purposely compose these straw man arguments? Do you think anyone is impressed?

    The AGW hypothesis is constructed entirely upon three rotten pillars: the multiproxy studies, the climate models and this recent phenomenon called “scientific consensus”. None of which stand up to serious scrutiny.

    The notion that AGW is the cause of the recent warming is a hypothesis without proper foundation. The output of a million climate models does not equal one single experimental data point. So what looks like science, feels like science and produces outputs that are expressed in scientific terms are not science, but delusion. Richard Feynman called the fascination with computer generated results “a disease” in science and I can see why.

  107. kim
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 9:58 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Surely you are joking, Dr. John. Computers? A disease?
    ========================================================

  108. jae
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 10:16 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I can see the headlines ten years from now, when the solar cycle goes the other way: “IPPC Says CO2 Is Causing Cooling” The article will note that the scientific consensus is now that CO2 actually caused cooling, not warming, because of all the negative feedback and clouds. It will also say that IPPC is very concerned that the nations that signed the Kyoto Protocol have not yet meet their initial targets, because the public refuses to drop their standard of living to reduce CO2 emissions. And meanwhile, God is sitting on his throne, laughing, and saying “It’s the SUN you stupid people, it’s the SUN.”

  109. Paul Gosling
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 11:04 AM | Permalink | Reply

    re # 103

    To be a little more precise, what John said was that if the MWP was this warm, that at least opens the door to the possibility that our current climate is not completely man made. What he’s saying, and I don’t see why you find it unreasonable, is Climate varries. ALways has, always will. THanks for coming out.

    Does the ‘consenseus’ say that all the warming of the last century is anthropogenic, I don’t think so, rather a component of it is likely to be. You seem to be implying that because climate is naturally variable we shouldnt worry if AGW causes a couple of degrees of warming, so as long as we don’t exceed the Eocene maximum or glacial minimum then its ok?

    re #106

    Strange I thought that AGW was built on the pillar that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that adding it to the atmosphere in large quantities is likely to increase the magnitude of the greenhouse effect. Climate models only give an indication of how that may be manefest and the multiproxy studies are a sideshow (though one which shouts a lot and waves many flags), except in the minds of some people.

  110. John A
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 11:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This blog would be a lot easier to post to if we didn’t have certain people posting demonstrable falsehoods.

    Does the “consenseus’ say that all the warming of the last century is anthropogenic, I don’t think so, rather a component of it is likely to be.

    Let me refer you to the NEXT IPCC scarefest Assessment Review:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4761804.stm

    My emphasis in bold:

    The global scientific body on climate change will report soon that only greenhouse gas emissions can explain freak weather patterns.

    Simultaneous changes in sea ice, glaciers, droughts, floods, ecosystems, ocean acidification and wildlife migration are taking place.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had previously said gases such as CO2 were “probably” to blame.

    Its latest draft report will be sent to world governments next month.

    A source told the BBC: “The measurements from the natural world on all parts of the globe have been anomalous over the past decade.

    “If a few were out of kilter we wouldn’t be too worried, because the Earth changes naturally. But the fact that they are virtually all out of kilter makes us very concerned.”

    He said the report would forecast that a doubling of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere would bring a temperature rise of 2-4.5C, or maybe higher.

  111. jae
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 11:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Now we have a “global scientific body?” What the hell is this?

  112. John A
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 12:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jae:

    A quote from Richard Feynman:

    There is a computer disease that anybody who works with computers knows about. It’s a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work [of science]. The trouble with computers is that you ‘play’ with them!

    See also http://www2.cruzio.com/~arlo/Feynman_on_Computers.html from the book “Surely you’re joking Mr Feynman”

  113. Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 12:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    1. A higher MWP also undermines concerns with the consequences of clmate change. If the MWP was much warmer than present, the beasties have already survived this. It doesn’t matter where the warmth comes from to them.
    2. Jim Hansen argues that more recent simulation show burning fossil fuels (and increasing CO2) does not create net warming as the forcings from the products of burning cancel. He claims the warming is due to other less well understood factors.
    3. The IPCC has been wrong with past projections, and no doubt will continue to be. See Jim Hansens ‘Alternative Scenario’ where he plots previous IPCC scenarios against temperature in the last few years. The IPCC models have been resoundly falsified by the temperature evidence.

  114. jae
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 1:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    re 112 Very relevant quote. It’s an epidemic in certain fields.

  115. Ian
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 2:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #112 Here is a link to a Jim Hansen paper that David referred to for those that are interested — http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/features/altscenario/

  116. Ian
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 2:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #Re number should have been #113

  117. bruce
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 2:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I see a poster on another thread has pointed out that 375 ppm CO2 is only .0375%, or one part in 2667 of the atmosphere. It does exercise the mind somewhat to understand how such a small component of the system can have such a massive impact on world climate that it clearly scares the pants off some people.

    And there aren’t any other anthropogic or natural effects that could be playing a part as well? like we really do understand the climate system, and have identified anthropogenic CO2 as THE bad actor? Something doesn’t smell right here to me. Maybe someone can explain.

  118. John G. Bell
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 2:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    John Harrison might well be working on computer climate models but as he was a practical man I expect he would use computers to understand solar luminosity changes. That is, he would model the sun. It is a much more tractable problem, and it would as a by product furnish a good climate model.

    Feynman was right on the disease bit but he would have loved to have had a computer back in the 40s when he was working on the bomb :). You have to know when a computer can help and when it is useless. Feynman was just reacting to the idiots that can’t tell one situation from the other and think computers magical.

    Our sun will get too hot for life on earth over the next 500 to 900 million years. A wonderful site to read up on all things solar is here. I think eveyone here would get a kick out of it.

  119. John G. Bell
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 2:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Sorry about the double post. I got a strange error message.

  120. nanny_govt_sucks
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 2:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Here’s Hansen blaming arctic warming effects on soot:

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20050323/
    “New findings show that soot may be contributing to changes happening at the North Pole, such as increasing melting of sea ice and snow and warming atmospheric temperatures.”

  121. Ian
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 2:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #117

    During the years when dinosaurs roamed the earth the concentration of CO2 around 10 times higher then it is today. Temperatures were also higher (about 22C compared to today’s 15C) and there were no polar ice caps. Doing a paper napkin calculation one can estimate the sensitivity of temperature to CO2 from these two figures (assuming logarithmic dependence) as around 2.1°C for a doubling of CO2 concentration. This calculation is not quite correct since it does not take into account the considerable change in albedo (there was no ice then and now there is), a dimmer sun, change in geography of earth, etc., but we are aiming for a ballpark figures here. Over the last century CO2 concentration has increased about 30%. Using our doubling calculation this would lead to a rise in temperature of around 0.8C or about 0.2C higher than the current estimate of 0.6C from sensor data. If we were to produce the same amount of CO2 next century as this century and we should expect a further rise of another 0.63C (less than before because of the logarithmic nature). This roughly matches the lower end of the IPCC estimates. All of that and we didn’t even need a supercomputer.

    So yes even though CO2 makes up a very small percentage of the Earth’s atmosphere, it can have a significant effect.

    I have ignored a number of factors as I mentioned earlier, the effect of ice, the fact that the sun’s energy was weaker back then, and I am sure and a host of others. However, once you read enough of this site and others, it becomes clear that the amount of interacting pieces become so large and so complex that if you are not careful you could reasonably argue for any outcome you like. In these kind of situations I think it is best to go back to the paper napkin, which after all has done a pretty good of this matching measured with predicted temperature change so far ;-)

  122. John Hekman
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 3:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Hansen’s and GISS’s analysis of the threat from soot has very different implications from the CO2 warming theory. He says that industrial soot from SE Asia is the biggest contributor. America is a small contributor, unlike the anti-SUV slant of the CO2 warming theory.

    If the soot analysis is correct and there is a genuine problem, the answer would be to 1) reduce soot emissions in SE Asia, which might be possible by adopting the kinds of pollution controls that the developed world has already done–our particulate emissions are far, far lower than they were in 1970; and 2) reduce coal burning in the U.S. and other industrialized countries, which could be done by substituting nuclear.

    These solutions, if necessary, would be much less burdensome than those of Kyoto, which in any case was only to be the first step in reducing CO2 emissions.

    But I suspect that the AGW believers would be less satisfied with these solutions, because they do not put enough of the blame on American over-consumption.

  123. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 6:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “You seem to be implying that because climate is naturally variable we shouldnt worry if AGW causes a couple of degrees of warming”

    Couple of degrees? Where is that happening.

    Any chance you could come up with the numbers for the 20th century, and the amount per decade (averaged).

    I’d like to see you post that because you insinuating “a couple of degrees” when it’s fractions of a degree.

  124. Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 6:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #121. Yes I have been stunned to actually read Hansen’s papers and proposals. It is clearly not the way it has been represented as lumped in with all the other AGW stuff, and seems to contain practical solutions. Probably because it does not follow the usual AGW line the message has largly been buried. The conclusions seem inevitable and all the more compelling coming from a warmer – IPCC: wrong, Kyoto: wrong, 2xCO2: wrong. You have to do your own research.

  125. John Lish
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 6:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #121 You don’t even need to go nuclear to sort out the soot problem, you can install flue scrubbers – a proven technology.

  126. Paul Penrose
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 7:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    To me it comes down to one of two possibilities.

    1.) If the “average global temperature” is rising, and if the increase is outside the normal climatic variation (considering we are in an interglacial period), and if the warming is being caused or at least worsened by mankind, then AGW is happening and we should try to do something about it. We may not be able to stop it, but we should at least try.
    2.) If any one of the above conditions in #1 is not true, then we don’t know if AGW is happening and so we should wait and continue to collect data until such time (if ever) that we do know. We should not divert resources (which are much needed elsewhere) to fighting something that we may well have no control over and may not even be a problem.

    On this blog Steve is concerned with the second condition of #1 (if the increase is outside the normal climatic variation), and considering the stakes it is absolutely critical that all these studies that are being used to help form public policy be audited and replicated by independants like Steve and Ross. That’s why the refusal to publish complete datasets and methods and the use of grey datasets is so troubling.

  127. JerryB
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 2:04 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #117

    If average temperatures then were about 7 C higher than now, atmospheric quantities of H2O, the major “greenhouse” substance in Earth’s atmosphere, would also have been higher.

    You may need a bigger napkin for your calcs.

  128. Paul Gosling
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 3:28 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #110

    This blog would be a lot easier to post to if we didn’t have certain people posting demonstrable falsehoods.

    Does the “consenseus’ say that all the warming of the last century is anthropogenic, I don’t think so, rather a component of it is likely to be.

    Let me refer you to the NEXT IPCC scarefest Assessment Review:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4761804.stm

    Well John A, if we are talking falsehoods lets start with this.

    Your quotes are not from the IPCC but from the BBC, a well known flag waver for AGW. Lets see what the next IPCC assesment actually says rather than what the BBC is speculating it says.

  129. John Lish
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 7:51 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #126 JerryB, I think you are actually refering to #120 not #117. If you read the first sentence Ian states that “the concentration of CO2 around 10 times higher then it is today” then he goes on to point out the difference of temperature of 7C. I think the napkin is holding up fine.

  130. Paul
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 8:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

    RE #127:

    Your quotes are not from the IPCC but from the BBC, a well known flag waver for AGW. Lets see what the next IPCC assesment actually says rather than what the BBC is speculating it says.

    The problem is, and it’s a real significant problem, that most people don’t read the IPCC reports, they read the media’s reporting of the reports. The IPCC has a significant number of caveats, warnings, etc. but that doesn’t stop everyone from pointing to the hockeystick. In many ways, it’s a brilliant marketing plan. The actual report doesn’t say what everyone thinks it says, but says it in a way, with help from others, to cause everyone think it says what they want them to think it says.

    The net result is that people go around talking about the extreme possiblities, the things that might happen, assuming the worst, because it makes good news and promotes particular agenda.

  131. JerryB
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Reply

    John L Re #126,

    Thanks, Indeed, that 117 should have been 120.

  132. jae
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 8:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

    129 Very good point, Paul.

  133. John A
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 9:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #127

    Actually what you didn’t pick up on was the straw man argument constructed. No-one I know of would blame all of the warming of the 20th Century on man-made influences…at least, not yet.

    We’ll have to wait and see. But I’m willing to bet good money that the Summary for Policy Makers will be even more misleading and alarmist than previous ones.

  134. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 9:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #132 he**s bells I agree with part of the first para! No one thinks all the waming is anthro, and, I predict, no one will.

    Btw, what’s the bet, what would ‘misleading’ be (whatever they say I rekon) and what would ‘alarmist’ be (I’d guess predicting any warmer than now, perhaps even a prediction of temps not falling)? Since you’d also, as you allways do, simply dismiss out of hand any climate prediction what so ever I can see why you’d offer a such ‘gamble’…

    What odds would you offer that the high end of the predicted range or warming will be lower in the next report?

  135. Paul Gosling
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #127

    Of course you are correct. On the other hand if people (the general not scientifically educated/interested majority) really believe what the BBC and the like put out about climate change, then they don’t seem to be doing much about it. Perhaps after reading the BBC web site they go away and read ‘Climate of Fear’.

  136. bruce
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 11:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #129: Errr Paul. Before you blame the media, don’t you think you should have referred to the rather significant differences between the Summary for Policy Makers (which is probably all the journalists both reading) and the body of the report, where the caveats and warnings appear? The Hockeystick is presented as on of the main exhibits for the “We’ll all be rooned” case in the Summary for Policy Makers, and that is what has been picked up by the media.

  137. Paul
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 11:26 AM | Permalink | Reply

    RE #135:

    My point still stands… people, including policy makers, don’t read (and if they did, I doubt they’d really understand it) the actual report. The policy makers then also parrot what they’ve read in the summary report (and reinforced by the media). And then the media report that the policy makers say and the idea gets reinforcing…much like what happens when you’re in the bath tub and start making waves…if you do it just right you can keep amplifying the wave until most of the tub has spilled out on the floor making a huge mess to be cleaned up.

  138. jae
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 11:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This whole AGW thing is really a tempest in a teapot, IMHO. People are not going to stand by and watch their standard of living go down, even if AGW is a fact. They will continue to buy SUVs, travel by air, etc. until the price of fuel makes it too expensive. I don’t imagine the warmers, even, have curtailed flying in favor of teleconferences to cut CO2 emissions. Look at Europe; there is a lot of song and dance there about Kyoto, but nothing substantial is really happening. The Third World is totally ignoring all this. It’s all about money. When the price of fossil fuels gets high enough, we will use alternative sources of energy, such as solar cells, it’s that simple. In the mean time, some liberal governments, like California’s, will levy taxes to help decrease demand, but I don’t think the public will allow enough of this to really make any difference. Industry will make changes that make economical sense, and that will help some. But, if AGW is a fact, we are just going to have to live with the consequences (which may be very positive).

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