Back from Washington and quite tired. Lots to report, but don’t have much time today. Anybody hoping that we would be sent home with our tails between our legs will be disappointed. I don’t think that I’ll say much about the panel, at least for now, but I will talk about some of the presentations.
Von Storch (and others) were very cordial to us and made a very strong and critical presentation posted at his website here: 8.7 Mb PPT ‘ and you’ll find it pretty interesting. Here are a few points from his talk.
“⠠ " [with respect to MBH]: Premature declaration of validity of a knowledge claim;
“⠠ Critique stifled instead of encouraging debate and discussion to get a full air[ing] for concern of misuse in the political process;
“⠠ Peer review process: no publication without reproducible description of complex methodology;
“⠠ IPCC and related processes: Have independent scientists doing the review; not the key authors in the field.
“⠠ Data access: Relevant data and details of algorithms need to be made public even to “adversaries”."
Von Storch cited with disbelief Phil Jones’s refusal of data to Warwick Hughes (and he had gone to the trouble of confirming with Jones that the quote was correct as he had trouble believing that any scientist could say such a thing.)
"We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it." (Jones’ reply to Warwick Hughes, 21. Februar 2005; confirmed by P. Jones)
Towards the end of his presentation, Von Storch (who spoke just before us) posted up a slide with Boehlert’s questions and began answering them. (We also referred to three Boehlert questions in our presentation and provided similar answers). This prompted a little discussion with the Chairman (North) as it seems that the Committee had never seen Boehlert’s letter and the chairman was concerned that answering these questions was outside the task of the Committee, which already had, in his view, a large mandate. However, he allowed the topic to be covered, and Von Storch gave short answers to several Boehlert questions, including to the following questions:
2) What is the current scientific consensus on the conclusions reached by Drs. Mann, Bradley and Hughes? What are the principal scientific criticisms of their work and how significant are they? Has the information needed to replicate their work been available? Have other scientists been able to replicate their work?
Among von Storch’s answers:
“⠠ The [MBH] information required for replication was not made available in a suitable manner. The original publication in “nature” did not provide this information and was obviously published without careful review of the methodology.
“⠠ The MBH work is widely accepted as truth outside of people directly engaged in the issue, because of a less than satisfactory marketing by the IPCC.
Ned has characterized the House Science Committee staffer’s (Goldston) comment more or less correctly. Goldston said that there were lots of big science questions that were out there and that there were going to be many big debates in the future, but I understood him to say that the House Science Committee, in commissioning this study, wanted answers to specific and narrower questions. When you read the two documents side by side, there certainly does seem to be a discrepancy between what the House Science Committee asked for and what NAS has commissioned the panel to do. I suspect that we’ll hear more about that in days to come.