Mann: "I Am Not A Statistician"

Mann told the NAS panel: "I am not a statistician". No one on the panel contested that claim.

A friend sent me Mann’s bio distributed as part of today’s Margolin Lecture at Middlebury College, which says that the focus of his research is "the application of statistical techniques to understanding climate variability and climate change from both empirical and climate model-based perspectives" and the "development of statistical methods for climate signal detection". I guess one of the methods is Mannian principal components. The bio says that his research has been the subject of a feature story in the Wall Street Journal – is that the one where he said that he wouldn’t be "intimidated" into disclosing his algorithm?

Among the "now-solid evidence" to be presented at the lecture are "paleoclimate observations spanning more than a millennium". I thought that the Hockey Team had "moved on". If Mann is promoting the HS to young undergrads at Middlebury, can we conclude that maybe they haven’t "moved on"?

2006 Scott Margolin Environmental Affairs Lecture

“Global Climate Change: Past and Future”

Dr. Michael E. Mann
Associate Professor, Department of Meteorology
Director, Earth System Science Center
The Pennsylvania State University

Tuesday, March 7, 4:30 p.m.
McCardell Bicentennial Hall 216

**********************************************************

This lecture will begin with a review of the now-solid evidence for a human influence on the climate of recent decades. Such evidence includes instrumental measurements available for the past two centuries, paleoclimate observations spanning more than a millennium, and comparisons of the predictions from computer models with observed patterns of climate change. The lecture will then address future impacts of human-induced climate change that are significant for the United States, including possible influences on tropical Atlantic hurricane intensity and frequency and on water supplies in the Western U.S. Throughout the lecture, scientific evidence for climate change will be presented at a level appropriate to a general audience.

***********************************************

Dr. Michael E. Mann is a member of the Penn State University faculty, holding joint positions in the Departments of Meteorology and Geosciences, and the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute (ESSI). He is also director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center (ESSC).

Dr. Mann received his undergraduate degrees in Physics and Applied Math from the University of California at Berkeley, an M.S. degree in Physics from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in Geology & Geophysics from Yale University. His research focuses on the application of statistical techniques to understanding climate variability and climate change from both empirical and climate model-based perspectives. Current areas of research include paleoclimate data synthesis and statistical climate reconstruction using climate “proxy” data networks, and model/data comparisons aimed at understanding the long-term behavior of the climate system and its relationship with possible external (including anthropogenic) “forcings” of climate. Other areas of active research include development of statistical methods for climate signal detection, and investigations of the response of geophysical and ecological systems to climate variability and climate change scenarios.

Dr. Mann was a Lead Author on the “Observed Climate Variability and Change” chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Third Scientific Assessment Report. He has been organizing committee chair for the National Academy of Sciences “‹Å“Frontiers of Science’ and has served as a committee member or advisor for other National Academy of Sciences panels. He served as editor for the “‹Å“Journal of Climate’ and has been a member of numerous international and U.S. scientific advisory panels and steering groups. Dr. Mann has been the recipient of several fellowships and prizes, including selection as one of the 50 leading visionaries in Science and Technology by Scientific American, the outstanding scientific publication award of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and recognition by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) for notable citation of his refereed scientific research. He is author of more than 80 peer-reviewed and edited publications. He is also a co-founded and avid contributor to the climate blog “RealClimate.org”.

He is the author of more than 80 peer-reviewed journal publications or book chapters, and has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and prizes, including selection as one of the 50 leading visionaries in Science and Technology by Scientific American, the outstanding scientific publication award of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration for 2000, and citation by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) for notable citation by peers of refereed scientific research. His work in the area of global climate change has been widely described in the popular media, including ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN news programs, Time Magazine, US News and World Report, NPR, The Economist, BBC, USA Today, and feature stories in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and numerous other U.S. and international news publications.

For more information, including electronic versions of publication and descriptions of current research projects, please refer to his website: http://www.meteo.psu.edu/~mann/Mann/index.html  


157 Comments

  1. Geo
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 9:17 AM | Permalink

    Maybe he HAS moved on — to hurricanes and how they’re impacted by AGW, and to the effects of AGW on western water supply. He’s moved on geographically, not temporally.

  2. fFreddy
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

    …has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and prizes…

    I wonder what is the cash value of these.
    (For those who insist on presenting all sceptics as massively funded by Exxon …)

  3. Mark
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 10:17 AM | Permalink

    He’ll need to contend with Chris Landsea, a true scientist IMO, if he wants to tackle hurricanes.

    Mark

  4. jae
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    All these awards, prizes and publications for a broken hockey stick…

  5. CasualBrowser
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    Hilarious. If he’s not a statistics expert, then he should return his paycheck(s) tommorrow.

    His entire publishing work re this subject appears to be based upon applying statistical methods to work other people have done collecting tree ring data and other information. Well, that and hiding said statistical algorithms and data from most of the rest of the planet.

  6. CasualBrowser
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    From a casual observer’s perspective, it seems the admissions in just the last week have been fairly incredible re the death of the hockey stick.

    Set aside for a moment all the tremendous — and really laughable — problems with proxy selection, Bristlecone (and its relative Foxtail) use, PC methodology as applied here, etc.

    Just the fact that everyone (except Mann, of course) now admits to the NAS panel that we can’t predict temperatures within 0.5 degrees over the last 1,000 years and Ammann’s grudging admission via table that the hockey stick crumbles when any attempt to verify it using R2 occurs would seem to alone be a huge red flag against continuing to pulbish such ridiculousness as the hockey stick in text books and newspaper articles.

    I understand that the hockey team has supposedly “moved on”, but their imaginary stick remains — setting aside its scientific failure — the single most published and persuasive political tool to convince the non-scientist masses of their other AGW claims.

  7. jae
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 11:12 AM | Permalink

    Off topic, but here’s a cool site to use for looking at temperature trends. http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/data/temperatures/temps.jsp

    The spaghetti graphs don’t even match the instrumental record that they use for calibration!

  8. Pat Frank
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    Quoting: “This lecture will begin with a review of the now-solid evidence for a human influence on the climate of recent decades. Such evidence includes instrumental measurements available for the past two centuries, [ITEM 1] paleoclimate observations spanning more than a millennium, [ITEM 2] and comparisons of the predictions from computer models with observed patterns of climate change.[ITEM 3]”

    Begin with ITEM 3: A test of by A. Jost, et al., (1) of the high-resolution GCMs “CCSR1-TI06,” and “LMDZHR,” showed they do not reproduce paleoclimate data. They noted that, “The two high-resolution AGCMs do not improve the temperature ï⪧?eld [of the low-resolution model] and cannot account for the discrepancy between model results and data…”

    Douglas, et al. (2) tested the three high resolution GCM models “Hadley CM3,” “DOE PCM,” and “GISS SI 2000,” on contemporary US climate data, and found that, “while the models generally agree with each other, they disagree with the observations.”

    Chase, et al., tested the tropospheric temperatures predicted by the “CGGCM1,” the “CGGCM2,” the “GISS,” and the “GFDL” models and found an, “inability of recent climate-change simulations to reproduce recent observations…” (3).

    These citations do not, by far, exhaust the tests finding GCMs are inadequate to predict climate.

    Given the objective failure of physical theory, the ascription of climate-change data to human causes is entirely unfounded. ITEMs 1 and 2 can therefore be no more than ad hoc conclusion-mongering. They are, in other words, purely inductive inferences reflecting the biases of their promulgator.

    There is no “solid evidence” at all for a “human influence on the climate of recent decades,” because there is no objective theory adequate to make the connection. The claim itself constitutes “solid evidence” that these scientists don’t understand how to think scientifically.

    Citations:

    1. A. Jost, D. Lunt, M. Kageyama, A. Abe-Ouchi, O. Peyron, P. J. Valdes, and G. Ramstein (2005) “High-resolution simulations of the last glacial maximum climate over Europe: a solution to discrepancies with continental palaeoclimatic reconstructions?” Climate Dynamics 24, 577-590.

    2. D. H. Douglass, B. D. Pearson, and S. F. Singer (2004) “Altitude dependence of atmospheric temperature trends: Climate models versus observation” Geophys. Res. Lett. 31, L13208 doi:10.1029/2004GL020103.

    3. T. N. Chase1, R. A. Pielke Sr, B. Herman, and X. Zeng (2004) “Likelihood of rapidly increasing surface temperatures unaccompanied by strong warming in the free troposphere” Climate Res. 25, 185-190.

  9. John A
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

    Steve

    You should offer the students of Middlebury College a starters introduction on how NOT to reconstruct past temperatures. I’m sure you could bring a few vivid examples to hand…

  10. bruce
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

    Tim Lambert has just put up a thread entitled “Why You Should Study Statistics”. Given events of the past few days, this seems rather timely advice!

  11. Jason Lewis
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

    I haven’t been able to find a link with the quote, but I remember an interesting comment from Mann regarding an article from Baliunas and Soon. Baliunas/Soon claimed that it would be impossible to produce statistically reliable quantitative conclusions from the existing data. Mann replied back with a comment like “you can if you know statistics”. That’s not an exact quote and I’m hoping that someone here may be able to locate it. By the way, the Baliunas & Soon paper was the one that was related to Von Storch’s resignation from Climate Research. According to Ned’s report (One Observer’s Rpeort on the NAS Panel), Soon attended the recent Panel meeting.

  12. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

    Mann: “I Am Not A Statistician”

    “But I play one in the media.”

  13. mtb
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 3:16 PM | Permalink

    I hope this doesn’t sound patronising, but I have to say that I feel some compassion for the poor guy. On what I can see of it, he has been shown up rather badly in a very public forum. I have given some thought as to what I would do if I was ever unfortunate enough to have got myself into a position like that. What are the options?

    1. To keep battling on.
    2. To quietly slink away and find another role to play somewhere else.
    3. Post a public statement acknowledging that I might have got it wrong. That in a very complex world, I failed to pull together all of the required skills, and frankly misjudged the situation.

    I would have thought that battling on simply isn’t an option. The more he does that, the more shrill becomes the chorus of condemnation. Also, surely some of the more statistically inclined advisors and mentors must be having a quiet word in his ear that it is time to beat a gracious retreat.

    Slinking away is an option, but not terribly attractive to a career scientist.

    Posting a public statement acknowledging that I had got it wrong is probably the best course. That way lies understanding, compassion, forgiveness. The fact is that the modern world is extraordinarily complex, and none of us have the skills or knowledge to excel in all the areas relevant to our discipline. Most of us make mistakes. The important thing is to acknowledge our mistakes, learn from them, and “move on”.

    What lessons can be drawn? Tim Lambert’s advice to study statistics seems to be a good start. Learning and practicing the basics of science (especially publication of data and methods to allow replication) another. Ensuring that you do access leading expertise in relevant disciplines another.
    And be careful to avoid letting personal beliefs drive your “science” as seems to have happened in this case.

  14. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 3:44 PM | Permalink

    As soon as you start to feel sorry for him, he says things like: I never calculated the r2 statistic, that would be silly, and any such inclinations evaporate. Again, no one on the panel said,… Uh, Mike, what about this graph from MBH98 entitled verification r2 or these words… Nychka should have stepped in as a panel statistician, but he’s been consulting for A&W.

  15. jae
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    13. You are right on, IMO

  16. John A
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 3:59 PM | Permalink

    Did anyone take photographs at the NAS panel meetings? I like to put faces to names…

  17. jae
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 4:00 PM | Permalink

    Dang it, I hit submit before I wanted to. Why IS it that people don’t just step forward and say oops, I made a mistake? The more famous they are, the deeper they get into denial, and the worse the outcome. Remember Nixon?

  18. John Lish
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

    This may be unfair but Michael Mann reminds me of the character Malvolio from Twelfth Night…

    In my stars I am above thee; but be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon ‘em.

  19. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    Re: 13

    Mann has another option available to him if past history is any indication. He knows that certain publications (Science, SA….) and news services (BBC, CNN, etc) will continue to present Mann’s POV with no rebuttle at all. The cheering section will continue to sing his praises. This could continue for some time, until sufficient people come to the realization that you can not write a scientific paper while you keep your data hidden from public view.

  20. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

    You guys are *so* prematurely truimphalist. I’m sure Steve appreciates the moral support, but do notice that he’s a little more conservative in predicting outcomes than most here.

    Just out of curiosity, Steve, how did you describe your statistical skills to the panel?

  21. Paul Williams
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 7:24 PM | Permalink

    From his CV, Mann appears to be trained as a mathematician and geologist. His supporters on the WWW keep calling him a “climate scientist”, while deriding sceptics such as Bob Carter as being only a geologist and not competent to comment. That seems a bit inconsistent to me.

  22. Dano
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 7:33 PM | Permalink

    20:

    Clap louder. Yay Steve! Go Steve!

    There. That’s how fanboy’s done. Git wit da program.

    Best,

    D

  23. jae
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 7:39 PM | Permalink

    20. Given the disgusting politics surrounding all things AGW, I certainly am not “triumphalist.” I think the timing of the publishing of A&W’s paper is onerous, as well as highly suspicious. Something is rotten in the State of Denmark…

  24. beng
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 8:11 PM | Permalink

    “I Am Not A Statistician”

    I wonder if he said this w/hunched shoulders, drooping jowls & both hands raised in victory “V”s? :)

  25. Ken Robinson
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 8:15 PM | Permalink

    Re: 22

    Dano, I’m sure it’s occurred to you that you stand a better chance of actually influencing opinion if you restrict yourself to reasoned argument. (I assume that influencing opinion is your purpose in commenting so extensively on so many blogs.) It’s one thing to poke a little fun now and then, but it puzzles me, frankly, that so many of your postings display so much sarcasm. What, exactly, do you think is the effect of that? I also know that you are capable of putting forward a thought-provoking proposition; I wish you would display that attribute more often.

    BTW, I seem to recall some posts on your part (perhaps not on this site; as you’re so prolific I’m afraid I couldn’t track any down in reasonably short oder) to the effect that “amateurs with spreadsheets” were questioning the results of actual climate scientists. Since Mann’s work appears to be almost entirely statistical in nature, and by his own admission he is not a statistician, on its face it would appear he is no more (and perhaps less) qualified to discuss statistics than is Steve. Or did your reference to “amateurs” not include Steve? Sadly, given the aging state of my gray cells I cannot vouch for the accuracy of my recollection.

    On a lighter note, I mildly curious how you find the time for so much reading and so many comments on these topics. I hereby put forward the theory that you’re William Connelly in disguise (he works 1/2 time, according to his website). I suppose I could prove it with a detailed statistical comparison of your writing vs William’s; perhaps I’ll find some phrase and rhythm correlations with an r2 of, oh I don’t know, let’s pick 0.05 or so, call it “skillful” and hope Steve doesn’t audit it. Of course, I wouldn’t give him my data in any event…

    Best

  26. Jeff Norman
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 8:28 PM | Permalink

    All these awards, prizes and publications for a broken hockey stick…

    Locally the Maple Leafs are still being treated as heros.

  27. Jeff Norman
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 8:31 PM | Permalink

    You guys are *so* prematurely truimphalist.

    I agree. We are only hearing about the panel from one perspective. To extrapolate any real changes out of this would be like creating a paleoclimate temperature reconstruction out of proxies that aren’t totally tuned to temperature.

  28. McCall
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 10:01 PM | Permalink

    If I may paraphrase the thoughtful points of 25 (re 22):
    Well if it isn’t the thermodynamically naked lil’emperor Dano trying on another diadem, that of an aspiring “statistically naked lil’emperor Dano?”

  29. BradH
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 10:36 PM | Permalink

    Mann: “I Am Not A Statistician”

    Didn’t Richard Nixon say something similar…Hmm, just can’t seem to recall the exact quote.

  30. Paul Penrose
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 10:52 PM | Permalink

    “Truimphalist”, now that’s not a word you hear every day. Thanks for the vocabulary lesson, Dano!

    While I don’t agree with Dano per se, I have noted a bit more celebration on this blog lately (by the commenters), and being a bit of an old crumudgeon, I’m not so sure it’s justified. There are a lot of people out there with entrenched positions, and a lot of misinformation in the public sphere. There’s lots of work to be done yet to get the message across that the uncertianties of climate change/warming are still too great to act on.

  31. BradH
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 11:06 PM | Permalink

    #29

    Oops. Should have read the rest of the comments before I posted. Seems others also had the same spooky thought!

  32. James Lane
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 11:26 PM | Permalink

    Dano’s recent talking point has been that MBH “doesn’t matter, ziltch, zero, moved on”. I guess that doesn’t work too well when we’re discussing the recent NAS Panel and A&W(2006). Hence the reversion to sneers and slurs.

    I’m intrigued by Dano’s apparent belief that scientific papers have some sort of “use-by” date. I would have thought that if a paper is worthless today, it was worthless when it was published.

    Jus’ saying

    J

  33. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 11:38 PM | Permalink

    I was going to set up this post by saying: There’s an old phrase that there are lies, damn lies and statistics. Mann told the panel that he was not a statistician.

  34. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 11:44 PM | Permalink

    #20. Steve B, If I had to explain what’s perhaps unique about my “point of view” in this debate, it’s that I know how mining promotions work. I would have liked it if some one on the panel did as well.

  35. Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 11:55 PM | Permalink

    Dear cheer squad, it is Steve McIntyre who has been caught using a sockpuppet (“Nigel Persuad”). We don’t know what further deceitful activities along these lines he has indulged in.

  36. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 11:57 PM | Permalink

    And in late breaking news. Apparently our increasing rise in Global mean tempratures will lead to even more sour grapes in the land down under.

  37. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 12:02 AM | Permalink

    #35. Tim, How’s your post Mann Screws It Up Again coming along?

  38. James Lane
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 12:07 AM | Permalink

    Really, Tim, is that the best you can do?

  39. mark
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 12:16 AM | Permalink

    this whole affair really chaps my hide. i was in a debate on the bautforum regarding some melting ice recently, and one poster offered up the ad-hominem that “everyone in here is a layman!” well, a few of us were a little bit put off by that, but chose a civil approach instead. my reply, besides pointing out that some of us were qualified in the ways of signal analysis, was to note that one of the IPCC’s preeminent climate researchers behind the IPCC was michael mann, essentially a statistician that relies on others’ climate science for application of his statistical methods.

    apparently i was misled. perhaps i should retract that comment? :)

    mark

  40. Ed Snack
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 12:50 AM | Permalink

    Actually, the question now has to be: Tim, did you publish your “Mann screws it up again and again” article yet ? Come on Tim, you’re keeping us all waiting !

  41. BradH
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 12:51 AM | Permalink

    #35

    Tim, what credentials do you possess with respect to AGW?

  42. JEM
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 1:21 AM | Permalink

    Re #18:

    It is too soon to crow. We have a long way to go yet before the truth about the hockey stick will percolate through to the politicians and media who have nailed their colour to it’s imaginary handle — let alone the poor, suckered, public.

    But if there was to be an appropriate Shakespearian quote for that happy day of public realisation, which will arrive eventually, I would rather suggest the opening lines of Richard III:

    Now is the winter of our discontent
    Made glorious summer by this son of York;
    And all the clouds that lower’d upon our house
    In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

    Perfect, If only Mann could be shown to be a native of York… or New York?

  43. CasualBrowser
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 1:30 AM | Permalink

    Re 41:

    Are you talking to Tim, or his “sock puppet” Dano?

  44. mtb
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 1:40 AM | Permalink

    Steve, re #20:

    I’m not really sure that it matters much at all what the NAS Panel has to say on the matter. It has been demonstrated beyond dispute that certain climate scientists have (inter alia):

    – used proxies that cannot be proven to be good proxies for temperature.
    – “cherry picked” data/results that suit their hypotheses and ignored the balance.
    – assumed linearity where demonstrably none exists.
    – avoided the use of standard statistical techniques that would have thrown substantial doubt on the veracity of claims made.
    – studiously avoided conforming with sound scientific practice by witholding data/methods so that replication is not possible.

    This is simply not acceptable science, and is probably counterproductive for those worried about AGW. Certainly, it is becoming evident that credible scientists are gravely concerned about being associated with such vivid examples of unsatisfactory scientific practice.

    Much of this is now acknowledged in various ways, and must be blindingly evident to the NAS Panel.

    Certainly, in the court of public opinion (at least as represented by this blog) the conclusion is clear. The “consensus” view of “a majority of the observers” is that the case has been proven.

  45. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 3:09 AM | Permalink

    Re #44, you’ve got those ‘selectoevidence’ glasses on again ‘mtb’. The self appointed prosecution, and the pack that accepts it’s every word as the certain truth, have demonstrated beyond dispute that certain climate scientists have (inter alia). That might be good enough for you…

  46. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 3:11 AM | Permalink

    “Did anyone take photographs at the NAS panel meetings? I like to put faces to names…

    Comment by John A “¢’‚¬? 7 March 2006 @ 3:59 pm”

    After you John.

  47. mtb
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 3:52 AM | Permalink

    Re #45. Thank you for your interest Peter. As always. I’m intrigued actually that you think I am not correct in my assessment. I have read many, probably most, of your posts, but I haven’t seen any that I recall where you have attempted to refute any of the points made. You have made many other comments, but I am sure that all here would welcome your detailed counterarguments that explain why the conclusions presented are not correct.

  48. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 3:57 AM | Permalink

    Thanks mtb. I see you haven’t refuted me either…Why are you so sure Steve is right? Why, if he is right, don’t any others see this? Perhaps becuase he’s found insignificant problems? I don’t know, but I do know I just tend not to be convinced by triumphalism.

  49. mtb
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 4:54 AM | Permalink

    re #48 “Why are you so sure Steve is right?” Thats a good question Peter, and I will try to answer it by reference to my comments above.

    – Proxies: Comprehensive discussion on this site, with clear agreement from many clearly knowledgeable observers, and very little credible comment from those who disagree.
    – Cherry Picking: Again, comprehensive discussion arising out of review of papers where it is acknowledged that this was done. Also, see thread “d’arrigo: making cherry pie” where this is acknowledged.
    – Linearity: Apart from comprehensive discussion on this site, not refuted, it makes sense from my own experience of plants. Plants do well when conditions are optimal. Temperatures too low, and no growth. Temperatures too high, the plants are stressed, no growth. Thus thick tree rings indicate optimal conditions that are neither high nor low. Thin tree rings could indicate low temperatures OR high temperatures, and there is no way to differentiate. To assume that thin tree rings indicate low temperatures is clearly wrong. I would have thought that a farmer could see that.
    – Statistical techniques: Maybe you’ve missed it, but there has been quite a bit of discussion at this site regarding the R2 statistic, and the meaning of low R2 numbers. Claims that are based on correlations with a low R2 statistic cannot be regarded as statistically significant.
    – Withholding data and methods, thus preventing replication: This is acknowledged by those withholding. Clearly not scientific as widely discussed on this site.

    Add to that a tendency to call those who reasonably ask questions “deniers” and similarly emotive terms (not entirely one way I have to agree) instead of calmly explaining answers leads one to conclude that one side is being objective, scientific, dispassionate, while the actions of the other side seem calculated to obfuscate, avoid scrutiny.

    As others have said, lets talk about “True, Plain and Fair” disclosure. I, and many others, have formed the view that proponents of the AGW hypothesis have not embraced this principle, and cannot provide evidence that would stand up in a court if required.

    My objective is to learn the truth about global warming. However, I am not persuaded by emotive BS. What concerns me is that there may well be anthropogenic effects on climate. I would sincerely like to understand what those might be, and if action is warranted to correct them, lets take that action. However, the many logical fallacies of the AGW proponents leave me doubtful that they really can make a compelling case that CO2 is the most serious problem facing the planet.

    Perhaps you can explain why I am wrong.

  50. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 5:28 AM | Permalink

    mtb, I suggest firstly, you read Paul Gosling’s excellent posts about replication – http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=560#comment-16891 . He is spot on, this place (CA) isn’t replicating, it’s auditing, and auditing from it’s own pov.

    Now, agw. You can take the word of one blog is you like, but I’d look at the evidence – it’s easy enough to find. There is little doubt that the lower atmosphere is warming. I think there is little doubt it has, in increasing part, a anthropogenic content. Not all, but substaintial and, dare i say, bound to increase.

    So, what will happen? This is the real question. It’ about magnitude. There are sceptics I respect, (yes there are some!) who think the warming will only be about 1C, well the transient warming anyway. I’m more inclined to go with the consensus view that seems to be grouping around 2-4C. 2C? Not a desperate problem, if we’re lucky, 4C, well, we should be very concerned at that prospect.

    From my, pov, I’d do something about agw. I’d be moving away from fossil fuel dependancy. I’s be trying to make economies more efficient. I’d look to sustainable sources for energy. But, don’t worry, it’s not going to happen…

  51. Andre Bijkerk
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 5:41 AM | Permalink

    Re #49 Good post MTB.

    However it may be possible to make treerings better thermometers by including d13C, d15N, dD and D18O in the analysis. Thin hot and thin cold, most and dry will be better discernable.

  52. Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 5:50 AM | Permalink

    Peter, good luck using that logic if you get audited by the tax department.

    “You’re auditing from your point of view. From my point of view, my tax return is correct.”

    While you’re at it, I think you should start taking anti-cancer and heart drugs. Statisticaly speaking you’re going to die from one or the other, you might as well start treatment as early as possible!

    Good luck!

  53. jae
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 6:40 AM | Permalink

    29–Nixon said “I am not a crook.”

  54. Paul Gosling
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 6:57 AM | Permalink

    Re #52

    While you’re at it, I think you should start taking anti-cancer and heart drugs. Statisticaly speaking you’re going to die from one or the other, you might as well start treatment as early as possible!

    If you are a smoker who eatrs a lot of fatty food its probably not a bad idea

  55. John A
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 7:07 AM | Permalink

    From my, pov, I’d do something about agw. I’d be moving away from fossil fuel dependancy. I’s be trying to make economies more efficient. I’d look to sustainable sources for energy.

    So you’ll be giving up “red diesel” and paying the full whack like the rest of us?

    But, don’t worry, it’s not going to happen…

    Quite.

  56. BradH
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 7:07 AM | Permalink

    Re: 48

    I see you haven’t refuted me either…Why are you so sure Steve is right?

    Why are you so sure you’re right, Peter, you troll. Steve’s published papers and posted hundreds of topics with incredible depth and substance. When was the last time you added anything of substance to a topic here?

    Oh, you “feel” this and you “believe” that. You’re about as scientific in your beliefs as Oprah (and don’t tell me that Oprah is “broadly right”).

    Why don’t you start a post with, “I believe that the Mann, Jones, Briffa [and others] reconstructions are broadly right because…”, then go on to state some serious scientific and logical arguments. You can’t, can you? Because you’re a troll – you have nothing to offer but your “feelings”. Well, that might be all well and good in a SNAG self-exploratory back to nature week-end, but it doesn’t cut the mustard (or even the marshmellow) in a scientific debate.

    Re: #50

    He is spot on, this place (CA) isn’t replicating, it’s auditing, and auditing from it’s own pov.

    Well, slap me down and call me puppy! How could I have missed that? BTW, I don’t think mtb is under the impression that replications are being done here. However, I might add that it’s impossible to replicate…BECAUSE MANN WON’T GIVE OUT THE DATA! The result is that there is no choice other than for this site to be an auditing site.

    Just finally, this is a post about Mann defending himself at the NAS by telling everyone he’s not a statistician, when every paper he’s ever published is a statistical extrapolanza! I fail to see how you’ve even approached the topic with your turgid contributions.

  57. BradH
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 7:10 AM | Permalink

    Thanks jae, I knew I it sounded vaguely familiar. ;)

  58. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 7:31 AM | Permalink

    Re #56, Brad, calm down and listen: *I’m not sure I am right* – OK? I think we’ll see more warming, probably 2-4C. That’s my opinion, and it doesn’t involve calling you a troll. If you want this place to be populated just by ‘yes men’ ask Steve or John to censor posts more vigorously.

    I think the science is right (the agw science) because of the huge mass of evidence that points that way. I’ve listed it before, you know where it is, go read.

    Re #55. Well OT, but, if you really want to know, I think it’s absurd that farmers get such a tax break. OK? That’s it’s there is to do with whatever policy government has re: the countryside, keeping people living and working there, the political power such people have, how much food we need to produce for ourselves etc etc. Way outside the remit of this place, but clearly OnT enough to serve as an attack on me.

  59. BradH
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 7:33 AM | Permalink

    Re: 58 Indulge me again, Peter. Don’t list it all, just list one or two of the items you feel are most compelling from this huge mass of evidence – then I’ll have something more to work from, other than your opinion.

  60. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 7:40 AM | Permalink

    Well, try the IPCC reports – or for graphs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Dragons_flight/Images . What do I find compelling? I find the warming trend to be compelling. I find the trend to higher CO2 concentrations complelling. I find the models compelling (in that they all show warming). I find the basic science (know for more than a century) to be compelling. I fnd the evidence for warming feedbacks to be compelling (but I see an absence of cooling feedbacks). Again, not certain, but, for me, compelling evidence.

    Now, go ahead and insult me – you know you want to really ;)

  61. BradH
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 7:45 AM | Permalink

    Re: 58

    Well OT, but, if you really want to know, I think it’s absurd that farmers get such a tax break. OK?

    Finally, something we can agree upon.

    What it might have to do with Mann and statistics, I’m not sure… John A – did you bring this up? [scratches head]

  62. Louis Hissink
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 8:02 AM | Permalink

    I have not read any of the comments here – just noted Steve’s introduction (and I really don’t have the time to get into detail as I expect to rush off to the field once the on site people give the go ahead that the 20 tonne drill machine won’t sink in post Cyclone Emma “mud”).

    A distinction needs to be made – geomathematics versus geostatistics. (Manns’s work I would describe as geomathematics rather than statistics though I strongly suspect the two disciplines have been mixed up).

    The two disciplines are not precisely defined – I think geomathematics is essentially being the mathematical reduction of physical phenomena to precise mathematics. Geostats ( in the broadest sense) being the testing of those geomathematical assumptions according to established statistical protocols.

    Just some thoughts.

  63. agn
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 8:36 AM | Permalink

    Re: 60
    Thank you very much for this listing of the evidence – I have (as an interested lurker) been slightly worried about the masses of evidence for AGW always being quoted as in existence, but never been able to find it. But here it is:

    Well, try the IPCC reports – or for graphs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Dragons_flight/Images .

    The IPCC reports are to a great extent based on the proxy studies, now, I think we must agree, totally discredited.

    I find the warming trend to be compelling.

    But is it evidence for *A*GW?

    I find the trend to higher CO2 concentrations complelling.

    Yes, looks like CO2 concentrations are increasing, and they are probably anthropogenic – but see below about the effects of this…

    I find the models compelling (in that they all show warming).

    But models are not evidence – I believe this point has been made occasionally before.

    I find the basic science (know for more than a century) to be compelling.

    And the basic science does show that increasing CO2 concentration leads to increased temperature, but only up to a point – once all the re-radiated energy of the relevant wavelength is absorbed, further increases of CO2 makes no difference at all. And, if I understand this correctly, for the main wavelengths, pre-industrial levels of CO2 already absorb all the energy.

    I fnd the evidence for warming feedbacks to be compelling (but I see an absence of cooling feedbacks).

    This is the most interesting point of all – why has nobody researched (or modelled, even) the negative feedbacks? There must be lots of them (or a few very strong ones), otherwise Earth’s climate would have gone haywire a long time ago – when the temperature and CO2 concentrations were much higher than today (it doesn’t matter to a feedback whether GW is A or not).
    FWIW, I think the fact that 70% of the planet’s surface is covered by water has something to do with this. And I also find it very strange that everybody agrees that clouds have a great impact, but nowhere have I seen a study on exactly what impact – nor do climate models attempt to do any serious predictions of cloudiness.
    So – thanks for confirming my suspicion – there isn’t much evidence really, is there?

  64. Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 8:49 AM | Permalink

    agn : Check this out for one example of research into a potentially strong negative feedback. According to the article, there’s still some debate as to how it works and the magnitude/sign of the feedback.

    Also, check out Idso’s paper which I think is fascinating and does indeed find that increases in trapped radiation have less effect to the temperature over water than over land.

  65. BradH
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 9:22 AM | Permalink

    Re:60

    Peter, believe it, or not, I really don’t want to insult you. I’d just like you to do two things: be less certain of yourself; and view what others tell you with a more critical eye.

    Neither you, nor I have the scientific background to form a proper opinion on the science supporting supposed AGW. I believed in it unquestioningly too, once.

    However, I came to understand that climate prediction is not like the “hard” sciences of physics, chemistry or biology – you can’t come up with a hypothesis, design a test experiment, then prove the hypothesis.

    Instead, it’s a “soft” science, like economics or stock market prediction – you can back-test your models and they may well have predicted every peak and trough for the past 150 years…but they can’t make you money next week!

    That led me to wonder about similar “sciences”. The most obvious is meteorology. Now, this can’t predict tommorrow’s temperature, let alone next month/year/5 years/etc.

    So, I – quite logically – asked myself, “How can they predict the climate 50 years from now, when they can’t do it next week?” There is, in fact, a very “simple” explanation for this, if you would care to avail yourself of it.

    I use “simple” in inverted commas, because the math is not simple, but the concept is logical and intuitive. It’s the concept of non-linear, chaotic interactions. The “non-linear” part means that charts and graphs will jag up and down, even if there’s a basic upward or downward trend.

    The “chaotic” part [which you have a problem with] is that there is no way to reliably predict where the temperature will be next week/month/year/decade/etc. As evidence of the chaotic nature of temperature trends, even over spans of decades, I’d present the early 1970’s, when everyone thought the next ice age was only relative weeks away [see here].

    They were wrong, of course, but there was a powerful “consensus”, at the time, that we were heading into wooly mammoth territory. Would you have believed in the impending ice age, had the consensus told you to, at that time, Peter? I suspect that you would have. Would Steve? I suspect he would have taken the same path as he has today – show me your data, let me convince myself from your methodologies. Then, and only then, will I believe you have a point.

    Your link does not give argument either for, nor against AGW. It doesn’t do what I asked that you do, which is layout why you believe (and cannot be convinced otherwise) that the reconstructions are broadly correct. Your link is nothing more than a reproduction of the spaghetti graphs produced here, ad nauseum. Am I wrong? Which one of these graphs has not been discussed? Can you defend these graphs? How?

    These questions aren’t meant to ridicule you, nor your position. However, they ARE the questions which I asked myself a couple of years ago. I took them seriously and took the time to try and determine whether or not there were “hard” answers to my questions.

    Lo and behold, there is nothing “hard” behind it. It’s not kind of like weather forecasting by the local Met bureau, it’s exactly like that – a guess, plain and simple. It’s not even a “best guess”, because we now have some basic mathematics to help us in predicting the behaviour of chaotic, non-linear systems…but the HockeyTeam do not use them. Instead, they present corrupted graphs (which you present to me as your rationale for belief) and assume – or leave it for the consumer to assume- that the graph will continue on its merry path, when that has NEVER happened before, as far as we know.

    What we know of non-linear, chaotic systems is that they are prone to reversal and very difficult to predict as regards timing of reversal.

    You consider yourself a rational believer in the consensus and consider that I am an irrational skeptic.

    I, however, believe that you are an irrational believer in linear progressions from chaotic, non-linear systems [amply proven by tommorrow's weather forecast]. You assert that we are anthropogenically influencing this pattern. Yet, your evidence for this is long-term past graphs for periods where we could not possibly have been influencing the climate in the manner you are suggesting [via excessive greenhouse gas production].

    Peter, I know that you have a deep-seated psychological commitment to AGW – you have shown that time and time again. I don’t want you to have an immediate epiphany and come over to the skeptics. I would, however, like you to have an epiphany in your belief that the experts can never be wrong (read the story of Barry J. Marshall if you want to see how the consensus can be wrong).

    All I want you to do is open your mind to the fact that your might not be right, actually. When I did that, I realized how unsatisfactory the evidence for the “consensus” actually was. I didn’t dismiss it – I still don’t, it may be right – but I now look at it from a, “Show me the proof,” perspective and therefore in a far more scientific manner than I did when all of my evidence came from the consensus and the media.

  66. John Lish
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 10:38 AM | Permalink

    #42 – JEM I agree that its too soon to crow – I posted elsewhere on this blog that academic ideas don’t die, merely their advocates. But hopefully this is a turning point towards a more rigorous academic environment.

  67. John Hekman
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 11:07 AM | Permalink

    Re: #66. John Lish: I agree with you that academic ideas don’t die. They become discredited by others. For that, there must be some in authority who are not wedded to or implicated in the failed ideas. The crucial question for Steve and Ross’s presentation was whether there would be some open minds.

    So far, from Steve’s account, it seems that there may be open minds. This is the reason for celebration. Like Bush’s ill-conceived triumphalism on the deck of the aircraft carrier, the war is not over, but a very important foothold has been won.

  68. jae
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

    re 65: You are wasting your time with Peter. Join the “ignore Peter” club.

  69. john lichtenstein
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 12:20 PM | Permalink

    Most statistical studies are not written by statisticians but by students of some subject (Economics, Biology, …). Mann’s an applied math guy who has written some statistical studies on climate, but he’s really not someone who would invent new statistical procedures, so it’s not really news that he says he’s not a statistician.

    It’s a shame the panel didn’t include a couple non-climate-publishing statisticians who could see where some of Mann’s ad hoc techniques caused overfitting. Anyway the validation R^2 showed the overfitting and it doesn’t take a statistician to see that.

  70. Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

    Although MBH98 doesn’t report R2, a limit of RE>0 was used as an indication of skill. But isn’t it the case that a significant RE must always be greater than 0, as 0 is the expectation for RE on random data? This itself demonstrates that, even based on the published RE values, the claims of skill were made by MBH98 in full knowledge the results were not significant. Surely what we are talking about here, and what the NAS panel was asked to consider, was knowingly making false claims of significance.

  71. Spence_UK
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 1:12 PM | Permalink

    I believe the expectation of RE on two random data sets is -1.

  72. Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

    #71 Opps. I think you are right. My mistake.

  73. Dano
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 2:39 PM | Permalink

    32:

    I’m intrigued by Dano’s apparent belief that scientific papers have some sort of “use-by” date. I would have thought that if a paper is worthless today, it was worthless when it was published.

    That’s not the point at all, and I’m intrigued by your having to misunderstand it.

    The rest of the non-cheerleader section of the planet understands that the blade is not straight, and that a very first paper is apt to be improved upon.

    Why this is so hard to grasp is beyond my powers of psychological analysis.

    =====

    30:

    thank you.

    =====

    25:

    Thank you for sharing.

    Best,

    D

  74. Dave Eaton
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 3:03 PM | Permalink

    Yay, Dano!

    How’s that, D?

  75. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

    Dano, prior to MBH, the fashion was to cherry pick some “proxies” a la Bradley and Jones and average them. MBH promised a “new” methodology, which no one understood. The “improvement” on MBH seems to be nothing more than going back to Bradley and Jones methodology – cheery pick proxies and average them. The only non-cherry picking study is Briffa’s MXD study, but he spoils it by not coming to grips with post-1960 behavior. They also spoil it by not reporting on their ring width results in a comprehensive way.

    What was original about MBH sure looks to me to be hopelessly beyond salvage.

  76. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    RE: #24: “Let me make this perfectly clear….” LOL! ….

  77. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

    RE: #63: Clouds are of interest in a number of ways. Firstly as zones of an alternate H20 phase, secondly as albedo effects and thirdly (particular to vertically developed strong convection cells) as “tower heat sink” like structures capable of moving energy upward to the interface between the Troposphere and the Stratosphere. This last bit fascinates me.

  78. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

    Responding in part to various comments above, the difficulty with most of the M&M “posse” members who post here is that they’re not familiar with the broad sweep of all the evidence for AGW. To be fair, this site has an overtly-stated far narrower purpose, but all of the comments to the effect that somehow AGW theory or the IPCC’s conclusions are rendered shaky by a perceived weakness in paleoclimate studies misunderstand the case for AGW to an extent that it appears the folks making those comments simply haven’t done their homework. Of course one can dismiss the AGW “consensus” by implying that there’s some sort of climatological conspiracy at work, and if one has done that there’s arguably no need to even look at the evidence, but then you probably shouldn’t hold out too much hope for an NRC process controlled by the conspirators. It’s also a little on the overly hopeful side to expect that criticisms of the “hockey stick” will have the momentum to still be much of an issue after the release of the AR4 a year or so from now.

    This is probably a good place to mention again that I’m a critic of the “hockey stick” in that I think the IPCC was in search of a good effective graphic to use with then-mostly ignorant policy makers.

    IMHO the relative flatness of the blade (i.e., MWP and LIA magnitude) was never important scientifically since the detection and attribution analysis had to happen anyway; i.e., in a direct sense the hockey stick says nothing about current climate change prospects. I think this is basically what von Storch is trying to say, BTW, although as a scientist he faults the IPCC a lot more for that decision than I do. I agree that it was a misuse in a technical sense, but OTOH the SPM where the hockey stick was so prominently featured wasn’t aimed at scientists but rather people (policy makers) who were starting out with almost no sense of how the climate behaves (and might think, e.g., that climate fluctutations of the sort we are experiencing now are very common and will just go away if we do nothing). Both the empirical case for AGW and the level of understanding among policy makers have now eliminated the need for such a sleight-of-hand.

    The final obvious thought on this is that a vast political weight was placed on MBH 98/99 that its authors never designed it to bear. Of course the scientists in charge of the IPCC and the NRC panel are well aware of all of this, which is another reason why it is absolutely guaranteed that the outcome to the NRC process won’t make the “posse” very happy. The other more scientific reason is that I think most scientists now agree that whatever the globally averaged weight of the MWP and LIA may be, they were largely regional in nature, and that picking nits with a ten year old paper that was the first to make that case comprehensively is a distinctly unuseful exercise.

    Sorry if discussing all of this on the level of the foregoing lacks the excitement of some of the other material on this blog.

    For anyone who does want to get familiar with the rest of clinate science and the case for AGW I would suggest the TAR and RealClimate.

  79. Louis Hissink
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 5:16 PM | Permalink

    re #21

    Mann is not a geologist under any stretch of the imagination – his undergrad qualifications are in physics and maths. His post grad work may have been under the auspices of an Earth Science school but earth science is a rather loose definition these days.

    His teaching areas (http://holocene.meteo.psu.edu/Mann/cv/cv.html) definitely show he is not a geologist.

    So where the perception that he is seems a bit mysterious.

  80. Louis Hissink
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 5:19 PM | Permalink

    Last sentence and IE7 Beta 2 make life challenging – “So where the perception that he is comes from seems a bit mysterious”.

    And pressing submit results in “seems you have already posted that – error”

  81. jae
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 5:30 PM | Permalink

    Responding in part to various comments above, the difficulty with most of the M&M “posse” members who post here is that they’re not familiar with the broad sweep of all the evidence for AGW.

    The difficulty with the Realclimate “bandits” who post here and there is that they’re not familiar with the broad sweep of all the LACK of evidence for AGW. They will support psudoscience, bad science, “consensus,” innuendo, testimonials, what have you, to bolster the claim to KNOW something that can’t be known yet, because there are far too many unanswered questions. They are really more religious than scientific, IMO. One proof of this is the unbelievable tactic of censoring comments on the website. There is a lot of smoke, but very little fire, IMO.

  82. Ken Robinson
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

    Re: 73

    Thank you, Dano, for what is clearly a deeply considered response to 25. Please rest assured that I will regard all your future posts with a similar level of contemplation.

    Regards.

  83. John A
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

    It must be a compendium of the fallacious arguments that we’ve heard over and over:

    Responding in part to various comments above, the difficulty with most of the M&M “posse” members who post here is that they’re not familiar with the broad sweep of all the evidence for AGW.

    Actually we are familar with the broad sweep – it isn’t that broad.

    This is the Hearnden broken record: you are against it because you haven’t read it. Drivel. We have read it AND tested it. You haven’t.

    To be fair, this site has an overtly-stated far narrower purpose, but all of the comments to the effect that somehow AGW theory or the IPCC’s conclusions are rendered shaky by a perceived weakness in paleoclimate studies misunderstand the case for AGW to an extent that it appears the folks making those comments simply haven’t done their homework.

    We have done the homework, and you haven’t. You’re projecting your own ignorance and poor comprehension on the rest of us. That’s all.

    Of course one can dismiss the AGW “consensus” by implying that there’s some sort of climatological conspiracy at work, and if one has done that there’s arguably no need to even look at the evidence, but then you probably shouldn’t hold out too much hope for an NRC process controlled by the conspirators. It’s also a little on the overly hopeful side to expect that criticisms of the “hockey stick” will have the momentum to still be much of an issue after the release of the AR4 a year or so from now.

    Ah yes, the conspiracy theory that no-one has ever claimed -except you of course. You believe in a vast conspiracy of fossil fuel companies, right-wing think tanks, Fox news, the Republican party machine blah blah blah and you think its all real. Again you’re projecting your own paranoia on the rest of us.

    Example of your belief in fossil fuel conspiracy theories:

    *This* again. For those who don’t recall, Soon and Baluinas aren’t climate scientists and are in the pay of the fossil fuel industry.

    I positively look forward to AR4. Bring it on! There’ll be more bad science and misconduct and hiding of data and trolling for conspiracy theories and claims of a widening “consensus” from ironically a narrower group of scientists. It’ll be fun. Why would we want to stop it?

    This is probably a good place to mention again that I’m a critic of the “hockey stick” in that I think the IPCC was in search of a good effective graphic to use with then-mostly ignorant policy makers.

    Historical revisionism that would make David Irving blush.

    Here’s the “critical” Steve Bloom on the Hockey Stick:

    Attacks on the hockey stick look thinner and thinner. See the most recent post on http://www.realclimate.org.

    Well blow me down with Bloom’s skepticism!

    Back to fantasyland:

    IMHO the relative flatness of the blade (i.e., MWP and LIA magnitude) was never important scientifically since the detection and attribution analysis had to happen anyway; i.e., in a direct sense the hockey stick says nothing about current climate change prospects. I think this is basically what von Storch is trying to say, BTW, although as a scientist he faults the IPCC a lot more for that decision than I do. I agree that it was a misuse in a technical sense, but OTOH the SPM where the hockey stick was so prominently featured wasn’t aimed at scientists but rather people (policy makers) who were starting out with almost no sense of how the climate behaves (and might think, e.g., that climate fluctutations of the sort we are experiencing now are very common and will just go away if we do nothing). Both the empirical case for AGW and the level of understanding among policy makers have now eliminated the need for such a sleight-of-hand.

    In other words the IPCC TAR was a piece of extraordinary propaganda smoke and mirrors that was not backed up by sound science. You tell us this NOW?

    You’ll be telling us “Elvis is dead” next…

    The final obvious thought on this is that a vast political weight was placed on MBH 98/99 that its authors never designed it to bear.

    Have you been to Egypt, Steve? Because you’re clearly in denial…

    Of course the scientists in charge of the IPCC and the NRC panel are well aware of all of this, which is another reason why it is absolutely guaranteed that the outcome to the NRC process won’t make the “posse” very happy. The other more scientific reason is that I think most scientists now agree that whatever the globally averaged weight of the MWP and LIA may be, they were largely regional in nature, and that picking nits with a ten year old paper that was the first to make that case comprehensively is a distinctly unuseful exercise.

    Come off it! This is the greatest climbdown since Hillary told Sherpa Tensing to “go fetch the camera”

    Sorry if discussing all of this on the level of the foregoing lacks the excitement of some of the other material on this blog.

    For anyone who does want to get familiar with the rest of clinate science and the case for AGW I would suggest the TAR and RealClimate.

    And back to “read all of the documents again”. Well I must get off this circular argument before I’m dizzy.

  84. John Cross
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 8:11 PM | Permalink

    First of all – prize for the best post on this thread goes to …….. Peter for post #46. A very witty comment in only 3 words !!!!

    A couple of thoughts on some previous posts.

    RE # 32 James: While I don’t mean to speak for Dano, I believe that he has a valid point when he talks about science moving on. But I disagree with your view that after science has moved on the papers are worthless. For example most of Euclid’s Elements has been rendered obsolete by Einstein and Godel but that does not make Elements useless.

    RE # 65 Brad: It is interesting – you and I have gone through mirror processes. I started off as a skeptic (as I am in most things) but my reading of the papers has led me to different conclusions. But differences are what makes the world so interesting. If I can make some comments on your points:

    You talk about an impending ice age but there is little discussion about such in the published scientific literature of the time. There is the Newsweek article that you linked to but I tend not to trust Newsweek for technical matters.

    I would also argue that there is a difference between weather and climate. While we can not predict tomorrow’s temperature, I can predict the global average temperature (if you believe there is such a thing) for next year with considerable certainty. In fact in April I predicted the global temperature anomaly for 2005 and was off by 0.01C.

    RE #63 AGN: A couple of points. In regards to CO2 additions, we can say with extremely high certainty that all the current increase in anthropogenic in nature. The mathematics of the situation tell us that.

    You also do not seem to understand the physics of CO2 absorption of IR. You are correct that existing CO2 is essentially blocking all IR but this does not mean that adding more will not cause more warming.

    Re #83 John – I don’t know what you have read and what you haven’t read, but I see very little evidence of it in your posts. I have challenged you in the past on thermodynamics but Steve does not wish that discussion here and you don’t seem to want to carry it on elsewhere.

    I will note that you pick up on the following as evidence of conspiracy theories:

    For those who don’t recall, Soon and Baluinas aren’t climate scientists and are in the pay of the fossil fuel industry.

    I will point out that the statements are true – they aren’t climate scientists and they have been paid by organizations funded by the fossil fuel industry. However I believe that a more productive approach would be to actually look at the science that S&B publish. Might I suggest that we start with the background paper for the OISM Petition Project?

    Regards,
    John

  85. Mike Carney
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 8:54 PM | Permalink

    #75, I read your post with interest. But I have to tell you I laughed out load when I read the final line:

    For anyone who does want to get familiar with the rest of clinate science and the case for AGW I would suggest the TAR and RealClimate.

    The TAR and RealClimate are two good reasons to be skeptical. I read the TAR (and the SAR for that matter) all 800 some pages. I listened to folks like John Houghton and found there was a disparity between the TAR and what he said. Other discrepancies between the TAR and its summaries. Chris Landsea lost faith sufficiently in the management to quit. Stephen Schneider called for a boycott of the publisher of Lomborg’s book. I read it. It is considerably more rational than say “The Heat is On”, the web site of which is listed euphemistically on RC under “Other Opinions”. Other opinions that agree apparently. How can I trust a web site that says, well, you know archiving data is really difficult and is an issue we should study but not actually do anything about yet. Don’t get me wrong. RC is much better than most. But it is also clearly a cheerleader for a certain view. How can I trust an organization that won’t admit past mistakes? Or accept summaries from the, as you describe, “mostly ignorant policy makers” at the IPCC? The well is poisoned and partially of your own doing by not speaking up sooner.

    You want to move on, be able to discuss more important issues? Get RealClimate/Mann to agree with you that mistakes were made. It seems more likely that they will continue to act like nothing has changed. I think I see Lucy teeing up the football again. Is it your turn or mine?

  86. bruce
    Posted Mar 8, 2006 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

    #85: Mike, I think that your remarks are directed at Steve Bloom’s post #78 rather than Steve McIntyre’s post #75!

  87. agn
    Posted Mar 9, 2006 at 4:45 AM | Permalink

    Re: 84

    You also do not seem to understand the physics of CO2 absorption of IR. You are correct that existing CO2 is essentially blocking all IR but this does not mean that adding more will not cause more warming.

    No, I’m by no means a scientist, so it’s quite possible I have got this wrong. It just seems a bit counter-intuitive that, if the existing CO2 already blocks all the radiation of heat energy that causes the (relevant part of) the greenhouse effect, adding even more CO2 will cause things to heat up even more. Obviously this further heat, beyond “all the re-radiated energy” is something else, then. I’ll just have to read some more RC postings, obviously….

  88. kim
    Posted Mar 9, 2006 at 5:36 AM | Permalink

    I’m guessing it’s important for CO2 levels not to drop below the level at which re-radiated energy is mostly absorbed. What happens when photosynthesis and geophysical process sequester the CO2 as hydrocarbons? Or is there a plentiful supply of carbon?
    ================================================================

  89. James Lane
    Posted Mar 9, 2006 at 6:54 AM | Permalink

    Re 84; John:

    “RE # 32 James: While I don’t mean to speak for Dano, I believe that he has a valid point when he talks about science moving on. But I disagree with your view that after science has moved on the papers are worthless. For example most of Euclid’s Elements has been rendered obsolete by Einstein and Godel but that does not make Elements useless.”

    OK, but it took a couple of thousand years for Euclid to be improved. MBH98 is, er, eight years old. Dano’s argument is ridiculous. He suggests that scrutiny of MBH98 is a waste of time becuase subsequent studies have shown much the same thing. In fact, the exact opposte is true. Steve’s scrutiny of MBH98 has exposed flaws that persist in the subsequent literature, specifically defective methodolgy, selction of proxies, validity of proxies and statistical chicanery.

  90. Paul Linsay
    Posted Mar 9, 2006 at 7:37 AM | Permalink

    #84

    While we can not predict tomorrow’s temperature, I can predict the global average temperature (if you believe there is such a thing) for next year with considerable certainty. In fact in April I predicted the global temperature anomaly for 2005 and was off by 0.01C.

    Congratulations on your forecasting skill! Did you choose GISS, Hadley, CRU, or MSU as the global mean?

  91. Paul Linsay
    Posted Mar 9, 2006 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

    #84: To continue. Global mean temperature has a lot in common with a fat woman’s tent dress, it can hide a lot that shouldn’t be seen in public. So here’s a challenge, forecast the temperature on a global grid for summer 2006, fall 2006, winter 2007, and spring 2007. That’s four maps that you should be able to produce easily. Use the same grid that is used by the MSU and we’ll compare your predictions to the temps measured by the MSU. We’ll accept that your model has validity if it can predict 68% of the grid point temperatures within 0.01C and 95% within 0.02C. the comparison has to be with the MSU temperatures since it is the only global measurement of temperature.

  92. Jack
    Posted Mar 9, 2006 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

    Steve Bloom wrote in #78:

    Responding in part to various comments above, the difficulty with most of the M&M “posse” members who post here is that they’re not familiar with the broad sweep of all the evidence for AGW. To be fair, this site has an overtly-stated far narrower purpose, but all of the comments to the effect that somehow AGW theory or the IPCC’s conclusions are rendered shaky by a perceived weakness in paleoclimate studies misunderstand the case for AGW to an extent that it appears the folks making those comments simply haven’t done their homework. Of course one can dismiss the AGW “consensus” by implying that there’s some sort of climatological conspiracy at work, and if one has done that there’s arguably no need to even look at the evidence, but then you probably shouldn’t hold out too much hope for an NRC process controlled by the conspirators. It’s also a little on the overly hopeful side to expect that criticisms of the “hockey stick” will have the momentum to still be much of an issue after the release of the AR4 a year or so from now.

    No, Steve, it’s not that they aren’t familiar, it’s that they have well-rehearsed (brain-ingrained) responses to data and arguments that contradict their preconceptions. No amount of reasoned discourse can counter that.

    Surface warming trend? Response: hopelessly contaminated by UHI (despite demonstrated and published refutations).

    Ocean warming trend? Response: the data can’t be accurate enough to determine a trend, or the hemispheres aren’t warming equally (ask Syd Levitus about this, please)

    Lower troposphere warming trend? Response: it’s still not as much as predicted (a significant shift from the former “the satellite data don’t show a warming trend at all”)

    Widespread melting and retreat of mountain glaciers, Greenland ice sheet, and Antarctic ice sheets? Response: some places in the Antarctic are getting colder, not warmer! And a couple of glaciers are advancing!

    Greenhouse gases shown to cause warming at Pleistocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum? Response: there’s no mechanism for the methane release, so it couldn’t have happened that way (despite provision of a published explanation).

    Models that show the warming trend is most consistent with forcing by natural and anthropogenic factors? Response: models can’t be trusted, they leave out too many uncertainties etc. (despite cross-correlation of trends for different parts of the climate system)

    The importance of the paleoclimate proxy issue is that the demonstrations of poor scientific practice solidify (in cement) the conditioned cognitive certainties that all of the climate data must be wrong, because it can’t possibly be right.

    And that’s just the way it is. (Or, more accurately, the way it’s supposed to be.)

  93. jae
    Posted Mar 9, 2006 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

    Jack: You forgot something:

    LIA and MWP might show naural variation enough to show the modern period is natural? How could these stupid folks at CA think this could be possible?

  94. jae
    Posted Mar 9, 2006 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

    Looks like Jack agrees with most of us about the temperature reconstructions, though.

  95. John Cross
    Posted Mar 9, 2006 at 9:47 PM | Permalink

    RE #87 – AGN, while no analogy is complete and I will probably get arguments from the physics types about this, one way to think about it is to consider the peg boards that are at carnivals – the ones where you drop a disk or marble in the top and try to guess which slot at the bottom it will fall into. Along the way the disk has to pass through a field of pegs. With a lot of pegs it will take a long time to pass through and will remain resident in the field longer than if you had fewer pegs which would allow it to pass through with little interference.

    RE #88 – Kim: I believe that you are correct. I read somewhere (but I can’t find the reference right now) that the removal of carbon was a possible factor that tipped us into the current period of glaciation. Of course it is complicated since you have geological processes (e.g. carbonate rocks) as well as biological.

    RE #89 – James: Again, I can not speak for Dano, but I interpret his point as being that papers provide starting points for better work to come along. That does not make the paper a waste of time – no matter how wrong it may be. I believe that Steve has made some valid points, others I am not so sure of. However it did bring us to the current NAS examination of the topic which I believe is a good and useful exercise.

    RE #90/91 – Paul: If you care to read my initial post you will see that in fact I make no claim to have a model or even the ability to predict future temperatures. What I did say was that climate is different than weather.

    Regards,
    John

  96. James Lane
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 12:50 AM | Permalink

    John:

    “RE #89 – James: Again, I can not speak for Dano, but I interpret his point as being that papers provide starting points for better work to come along. That does not make the paper a waste of time – no matter how wrong it may be. I believe that Steve has made some valid points, others I am not so sure of. However it did bring us to the current NAS examination of the topic which I believe is a good and useful exercise.”

    I agree with you John. However Dano’s view seems to be that there is no point in debating MBH, because it’s eight years old and everything has “moved on”. But you are spot-on in the sense that Steve has identified problems with MBH that generalise to many of the subsequent paleo-reconstructions. I that sense, I think that Steve has done a great service to the field, and it’s hard to understand the venom that has been directed at him by people like Dano.

    That’s how science is supposed to work. I’d normally leave it at that, but then we have WA06, published in defence of MBH (I thought we’d “moved on”) grossly misrepresenting M&M’s work. Paleoclimate science seems to be some sort of “looking-glass” world. I seriously hope this doesn’t generalise into the broader world of climate science, or indeed science itself.

  97. agn
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 3:34 AM | Permalink

    Re 95: John Cross;

    Thank you for that simile; clearly I don’t understand “existing CO2 is essentially blocking all IR” properly. To me, (but I am both a foreigner and a non-scientist), that would seem to imply that there already are so many pegs in the board that all the marbles get trapped between them; thus, even if you put in more pegs, it’s still 100% of the marbles that get stuck.

    Does the word “blocking” actually mean that all the marbles get interfered with by the pegs (as opposed to some passing through unhindered), but eventually they do get through (the collisions meanwhile causing the marbles’ kinetic energy to be turned into friction heat in the pegs); in which case adding more pegs means less kinetic energy in the escaping marbles and more friction heat in the pegs? If so, I do then understand it, although the word “blocking” is perhaps not ideal.

    Thanks for the explanation, though!

  98. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 8:10 AM | Permalink

    agn,

    The thing is that CO2 absorbs thermal IR in certain bands. The degree to which it absorbs it varies. But once a photon of thermal IR is absorbed, at least in the troposphere where the atmospheric pressure is relatively high, the energy in the photon is quickly converted into thermal energy (i.e. the temperature of the local atmosphere is increased).

    Later this energy can either be emitted as black-body radiation or re-emitted by a GHG. If emitted as black-body radiation it will generally escape to space directly. If emitted by a GHG it will probably be re-absorbed once again. If there were no convection this might result in a highly stratified atmosphere where it took a fairly long time for heat to move from the surface to space. But there is convection so that over the course of hours to a day or two most of the troposphere is mixed. This means that much of the heat from the surface moves into space easily. Even photons in one of the bands absorbed by GHGs can escape because the concentration of such GHGs above the mixing level is much reduced.

    The result of adding GHGs (either humans adding CO2 or a warming ocean adding water vapor,) is, I believe, to lower the atmospheric level where energy can escape to space; which is why stratispheric temperatures cool with increased CO2. But if a warming surface adds water vapor to the atmosphere, it will also increase the amount of heat energy convected into the high troposphere and will increase the ability of the atmosphere to produce clouds or to produce thicker cloud layers. Since water vapor is a GHG this creates a tug-of-war between water’s various roles and it’s not at all clear whether H2O evaporation will be a positive temperature feedback or a negative one. Warmers want to claim there will be a large net positive feedback. Skeptics claim there will be little or no positive feedback and that it’s even possible, given the large unknowns in the process, that there’s a small to moderate negative feedback. Personally I think there’s a variable feedback and perhaps even a touch of chaotic feedback in the process.

    As some people here have pointed out, there ultimately have to be negative feedbacks as there have been many periods in the past where CO2 concentrations were much higher than today (or contemplated in the near future), and for long periods of time, without any run-away greenhouse effect. It would seem likely that the ultimate negative feedbacks come from clouds (and thus ultimately from water vapor). The details represent opportunities for future PhD candidates.

  99. Paul
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 8:31 AM | Permalink

    Skeptics claim there will be little or no positive feedback and that it’s even possible, given the large unknowns in the process, that there’s a small to moderate negative feedback. Personally I think there’s a variable feedback and perhaps even a touch of chaotic feedback in the process.

    I would agree with this… More than likely water vapor acts as a “buffer” system, as do some of the other GHGs. We’re probably just now understanding how much we really don’t know about the system.

  100. Paul Penrose
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 9:50 AM | Permalink

    It’s suprising how many people don’t really understand the role of the models (GCMs). If you read what the people who created them have written it’s obvious that they have no real predictive value, and are not intended to help prove the theory of AGW. In fact, they were created with an a priori assumption that the theory is correct. The role of the GCMs is to expolore the interactions and limits of the various forcings and feedbacks in an attempt to discover the nature of the presumed warming. That’s why they run them hundreds (thousands?) of times, varying different parameters every time. While this data may be informative to the researchers that created the models, they are of little use to the rest of us, especially when debating the amount of warming we are experiencing or it’s cause(s). From now on when someone tries to cite the models as proof of AGW, I’m just going to post “Sorry, but the models aren’t useful for this purpose.”

  101. Jack
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    Regarding #s 93 and 94 from jae:

    I do think that the paleoclimate proxy issue has discovered some deficient scientific practices, and I hope that it will lead to corrections and improvement of our understanding. I think that it has forced the Hockey Team to improve their methodology at the very least — I am still concerned about underlying data quality issues, to whit, do the tree rings respond sufficiently to temperature variability?

    At the same time, I also think that it is under-recognized here that the paleoclimate reconstructions that are being examined do show the LIA and the MWP, but not with the apparent magnitude that some people expect. This somewhat addresses your question about the “naturalness” of the current trends compared to the peaks, valleys, and slopes into and out of the MWP/LIA. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations ARE known with certainty from ice cores, and it is clear that they are rising rapidly now, and it is also clear that this is primarily industrial/technological emissions. According to both radiative forcing physics and as demonstrated by the PETM, increasing concentrations of longwave-absorbing gases (perhaps a better term than “greenhouse gases”) will lead to an increase in global temperature. The question is under current climate system conditions, how much will it increase — and the answer to that question is still being refined.

  102. jae
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

    101. I think we are in agreement on almost everything. We need more information on the LIA and MWP to be sure.

  103. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    Jack,

    Does the PETM allow for convection and cloud production? If not, then you can’t say that increases in your LAGs will necessarily lead to increased global temperatures under all circumstances. They might, for instance, lead to temperature increases for a while and then the increase in water vapor may produce a bloom of clouds in circumstances which didn’t produce them previously and this will bring the temperature rise to a sudden stop, or more likely to a period of oscillation.

  104. Paul
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

    RE #101:

    Jack, Do a search of this blog and you’ll discover that there are still issues with ice cores and CO2 measurements. I don’t think we can say that CO2 measurements from ice cores are a “known”.

    Also, I think you’re being presumputious in saying “will lead to an increase in global temperature.” We don’t know, for certain, what is causing the apparent current increase. Solar forcings seem to me to be the most likely cause, not modifications in the GHG’s.

    We also don’t understand if, and when, any negative feedbacks will naturally kick in (as they’ve done in the past) to start countering the current CO2 rise.

    In short, I don’t think “refined” is the correct term, but rather “being roughed out”. We’re along way from refining our understanding – the tree ring issue alone should demonstrate this.

  105. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    RE: #98. Consider a thunderhead that is well developed vertically. Given that it presents energy directly to the Tropopause (a boundary condition that is itself a slight variable, due to the Stratopheric cooling you mentioned) I would have to consider that particular sort of cloud to be an overtly negative feedback. The lower a given isotherm averages, the more thunderheads become “shunts” into outer space for certain classes of energy.

  106. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

    RE: #103. I am with you. What are the “poles and zeros” of the GC – 100,000 YBP, 10,000 YBP, 1,000 YBP and now? And what does it mean in terms of where parameters move things from underdamped through the continuum to overdamped?

  107. Jack
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 12:31 PM | Permalink

    From #103:

    Does the PETM allow for convection and cloud production?

    I don’t think that those factors can be accounted for on the time-scales that the relevant data can address. I.e., for the PETM, you can’t examine processes that are relevant on the century or even millenial time-scale, because it occurred 55 million years ago. It can be said that a marked and relatively rapid increase in LAGs (I like that acronym)- first methane then methane converted to CO2 – caused a marked increase in global temperature. The PETM is the basic “real world” demonstration of the radiative forcing effect of LAGs that is repeatedly requested.

  108. Jack
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 12:41 PM | Permalink

    Regarding #104

    you’ll discover that there are still issues with ice cores and CO2 measurements. I don’t think we can say that CO2 measurements from ice cores are a “known”.

    They are reliable enough for the basic picture to be correct. In addition to direct concentration measurements, there is also the Suess effect that indicates how much anthropogenic CO2 has been added to the atmosphere. Plus, we know when industrialization ramped up and it’s not hard to model how emissions followed industrialization.

    I think you’re being presumputious in saying “will lead to an increase in global temperature.” We don’t know, for certain, what is causing the apparent current increase. Solar forcings seem to me to be the most likely cause, not modifications in the GHG’s.

    You may think I’m being presumptuous. Based on all current available input data, I think I’m reasonably accurate. Show me a reasonable correlation between current sunspot numbers or solar irradiance and global temperatures and I might change my mind.

    We also don’t understand if, and when, any negative feedbacks will naturally kick in (as they’ve done in the past) to start countering the current CO2 rise.

    I concede your point, but must add that it’s a double-edged sword. We also don’t understand if the potential negative feedbacks are sufficient to counter the warming trend, or if other positive feedbacks might still exceed the negative feedbacks. Loss of Arctic sea ice cover is a big positive feedback factor, as an example. It’s been said before, but the current addition of LAGs to the atmosphere is an uncontrolled climate experiment. I take no comfort in ignorance of what might happen.

  109. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

    re #107

    Oh, that PETM! I was thinking it was a spectral model / laboratory experiment you were talking about. I guess I should have asked first. But how do you even know which came first with the PETM? And whether it was sustained just from existing releases of methane or if there were other special factors like the closing of an ocean current or solar forcings, etc.? I don’t think there’s that much known about the world of 55 mYBP to extrapolate too much into the present. Certainly it’s a good arguing point, but are we willing to argue it here (and more importantly is Steve willing for us to argue it here)?

  110. Pat Frank
    Posted Mar 10, 2006 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

    #100 Paul you’re exactly right. The GCMs aren’t predictive and they reflect a physical theory that is incomplete. Absent a good physical theory there is no scientific basis to ascribe any current atmospheric warming trend to human-produced CO2.

    #’s 101,104,108 Paul’s right again (presuming the same Paul). What’s known for certain is the amount of CO2 that’s derived from ice-cores. How to relate that back to paleoatmospheres is much less certain. The equilibration time, or extent, between atmosphere and firn isn’t known with any real precision and may well vary from time-to-time and place-to-place, and even to different depths. CO2 can suffer from reactions in ice — even thoroughly frozen ice — because there remains a capillary network of liquid ramified through the ice, containing (and maintained by) zone-concentrated salts, including sulfuric acid. In addition, penetration of ultraviolet can produce radical reactions. The result is that CO2 may react away (or be produced from in situ organics) over time.

    What’s also now discerned is that paleo-CO2 trails rather than leads temperature. That being true, CO2 is not a driver of climate. One may claim it is today a driver of climate because we’re forcing it into the atmosphere, but to do so you’d need a complete theory of climate to sustain the claim. That theory is not currently available.

    One may dismiss a solar climate driver because any mechanism is obscure. That does not mean CO2 is the driver by default. The lack of a complete climate theory means we plain don’t know how climate is driven.

    Some people may want certainty to sustain their politics, but, well, too bad. Certainty’s not there, and to insist it’s certain doesn’t make it certain. Physical reality doesn’t care about anyone’s politics, passions, or utopian dreams, and as a map of physical reality the content of science doesn’t care either. That means we all have to swallow hard and put aside our fond hopes, personal egos, and feelings of rectitude and high moral dudgeon, and accept the limits and verdicts of science. The reward for that modesty is in the concomittant knowledge and the opportunities it offers.

  111. Kenneth Blumenfeld
    Posted Mar 13, 2006 at 3:09 AM | Permalink

    105 (and 98):

    I am not following how you guys are moving energy to space via convection. Well-developed thunderheads (cumulonimbi) are predominantly tropospheric; in very rare cases–vigorous “supercell” thunderstorms with overshooting tops– a teeny fraction of the energy may get into the tropopause, but I am not aware of a direct mechanism to transfer that energy to the stratosphere. Since the tropopause is isothermal, convective, adiabatic processes in the troposphere tend to terminate right at the interface between the two.

  112. fFreddy
    Posted Mar 13, 2006 at 4:09 AM | Permalink

    Re #111
    Do those “sprite” things come into this anywhere ? As in, the mega-lightning bolts that go upwards from the top of clouds ?

  113. John A
    Posted Mar 13, 2006 at 4:54 AM | Permalink

    but I am not aware of a direct mechanism to transfer that energy to the stratosphere.

    Ken,

    Have you ever seen an infrared satellite image of the Earth? The clouds, especially thunderclouds, glow in the dark. They radiate heat up into the stratosphere.

  114. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 13, 2006 at 6:58 AM | Permalink

    #111. Kenneth, I’m treading here a little outside areas of my detailed study, so please don’t judge my multiproxy comments by any mis-steps here where I’m just chatting.

    The average temperature of radiation-to-space of the earth is in effect a blend of radiation from clouds, water vapor, surface and CO2. Let’s suppose that you had no convection, you would have a steeper lapse rate and a colder temperature for the average temperature of radiation-to-space of the atmospheric component. In one way of looking at it, convection "mitigates" a pure radiation model.

    Climate modelers nearly always assimilate changes in solar forcing with changes in CO2 forcing by describing both in wm-2, but there are important differences. (There is probably some hair on the wm-2 as well, due to overlaps between H2O and CO2 infrared spectra. I find it maddening that Clough 1995 was not discussed in IPCC TAR.) CO2 forcing is long wavelength high-entropy and occurs proximately in the upper atmosphere, while solar forcing is low-entropy short wavelength and there is no guarantee that the thermodynamic effects are equivalent. Indeed, one would expect differences.

    Sales models of CO2 forcing (e.g. IPCC SAR where the matter is discussed; it is not discussed in TAR) say that you need to increase surface temperatures in order to force energy through the increased barrier to get to space. The argument then runs that this puts more H2O into the atmosphere, positive feedbacks and bigger and bigger changes.

    But convection (through latent heat transfer in water vapor) can put energy into the upper atmosphere without running the gauntlet. I think that one can picture models in which the effect of increased CO2 on surface temperatures is substantially mitigated by convection (with most of the CO2 impact being taken up with a reduced lapse rate.)

    Surprisingly there is relatively little (no) discussion in IPCC reports about such issues. They are too busy talking about the GCM output rather than describing how GCMs work and what the key assumptions are.

  115. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 13, 2006 at 8:02 AM | Permalink

    Steve, You’re getting the right idea. And another point is that since CO2 is well mixed in the atmosphere as opposed to H2O where the humidity varies all over the place, there will still be relatively a lot of CO2 where the H20 peters out. While this can mean some increase in back-radiation, it also means there’s a lot more potential to radiate to space in the CO2 bands and them ‘purified’ from overlapping H2O bands. This means, IMHO, that heat moved to the upper troposphere via convection may actually have an easier time breaking through to space than in a lower CO2 situation. The math to prove or disprove this, however, may be a bit hairy and some simplified computer models may actually be of use.

  116. Paul Linsay
    Posted Mar 13, 2006 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

    To add a few numbers to #114 and #115, the atmosphere has a window from 8 to 13 um of greater than 80% transmittance with an ozone notch at 9 um of 40% transmittance. The blackbody spectrum at 293 K ( = 70 F) peaks at 9.9 um and emits 32% of its total energy in the same waveband. If there are no clouds around to trap the heat, the energy radiates away very quickly. Any energy trapped by CO2 is going to get thermalized and radiate away through this hole.

  117. J. Sperry
    Posted Mar 13, 2006 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

    “[We understand] that the blade is not straight”, “the relative flatness of the blade (i.e., MWP and LIA magnitude)…”

    This is a little nit-picky, but since I’ve seen it incorrectly labeled twice now, let’s have a short lesson on the anatomy of a (real) hockey stick. The short part you hit the puck with is the blade. The long part you hold is the shaft. From 1000 to about 1900 is the shaft; from about 1900 to the present is the blade. (i.e., the stick is lying down)

  118. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Mar 13, 2006 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

    Re #117 – And the “shaft” part is what some of us are getting.

  119. Kenneth Blumenfeld
    Posted Mar 13, 2006 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

    John A,

    That glowing in the dark you describe is not what it looks like you think it is. The bright colors on the IR imagery depict the extremely cold, glaciated tops of cumulonimbi, not radiating heat per se (to some extent though, they do represent the “refelctivity” of the storms). The color scale we often see is counterintuitive, but it is in lock-step with how we scheme radar. On the enhanced IR, brighter colors indicate colder cloud tops…thus the more enhancement we see, the colder the tops, and most likely, the higher they are in the atmosphere(and thus the higher tropopause).

    Steve, convective parameterization schemes in GCMs are not robust, mostly owing to the coarse resolution of the grid-boxes. But they are getting better. Numerical weather predicition models can now resolve on the mesoscale (with limited but improving skill), and I recently saw a presentation on the WRF model in which individual cells were accurately forecast 36-48 hours in advance.

    About the latent heat transfer through convection (thunderstorms), the latent heat of evapopration is released as sensible heat during condensation, which warms the “parcel” locally, allowing for further buoyant displacement of that parcel, as long as it remains less dense (~warmer) than the air around it. The troposphere can have steep enough lapse rates in areas to support these processes from the level of condensation right up to the top of the troposphere; but the isothermal conditions in the tropopause put an abrupt halt to those vertical motions. Thus, very little of the latent heat should be released as sensible heat to the tropopause or stratosphere directly through convection. Upper troposphere, yes, upper atmosphere (stratosphere, ionosphere/mesosphere/thermosphere), I am not so sure; I don’t see it in any of my textbooks anyway (admittedly, the upper-atm is not something I follow in the journals…maybe some day, but not now).

    And in line with the subject of the thread, what do you folks suppose Mann should have lectured on at Middlebury? Should he have given a 45-minute pick-me-up on the intricacies of how the hockey stick was constructed (to an auditorium of liberal-arts undergrads)? Should he have turned down the invitation to speak because one area of his research is not nearly as solid as many people once thought? If he merely discussed where climate science currently stands (deliberately excluding his own work), he easily could have shown …”the now-solid evidence for a human influence on the climate of recent decades.” Remember, anybody who takes the pro UHI or the pro-land-use change is still arguing for a profound human influence on the climate system. And there really is almost no one out there publishing that the climate is changing for reasons that have nothing to do us.

    Here it comes…I probably won’t be able to respond as enthusiastically as I posted this, but I’ll try to keep an eye out.

  120. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 13, 2006 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    #119. Kenneth, I’m not suggesting that Mann should go into hiding or that he should do anything other than continue to present what he believes in. I think that he’d be more effective in his own cause if he expunged words like “specious” and the like from his vocabulary and stopped blaming his woes on the fossil fuel lobby and looked into the mirror and stopped saying untrue things, that can easily be shown to be untrue. (“I did not calculate the r2 statistic – that would be silly”).

    My point about lapse rates is that it seems to me that people sometimes reify wet and dry lapse rates, but they result from the interaction of convection and radiation. I find approaches to the issue through some of the maximum-entropy articles (Paltridge, Ozawa, Ralph Lorenz, Ohmura, etc.) to be pretty intriguing; and the critique of GCM approaches to the problem to be pretty telling. It’s a big topic.

    I don’t think that anyone picked up on the point that I wished to emphasize – the upper atmosphere is very cold, but it is warmer than it would be without convection. The proximate mechanism for additional CO2 contributing to surface temperature increases is that radiation-to-space from CO2 molecules in enough wings and far bands would occur higher in the atmosphere and thus require higher surface temperatures to export more energy through the infrared window. But let’s suppose the following (as a thought experiment): we know that the vast majority of additional energy applied to tropical ocean surfaces goes to evaporation rather than radiation.
    Suppose (as a thought experiment) that convection increased 99% pari passu with additional CO2 so that the upper troposhpere was warmed enough so that, even though CO2 molecules were radiating to space from higher altitudes, the upper troposphere temperatures incresaed so that there was no net change in the radiation-to-space budget from these molecules. As you say, convection is notoriously poorly modeled in GCMs and some highly sophisticated commentators suggest that GCMs are simply an inappropriate way of dealing with convection – statistical methods being required (in the sense of staitstical physics not my sort of multiproxy statistics).

  121. Dano
    Posted Mar 13, 2006 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

    RE 120:

    I don’t think that anyone picked up on the point that I wished to emphasize – the upper atmosphere is very cold, but it is warmer than it would be without convection.

    Righty-o, Steve, but one of the points being a poster in 113 didn’t know anything about cloud tops in sat pix, yet made an authoritative pronouncement; although in his defense (defence) they don’t put color-coding on the sides of all their sat pix like they used to* 20 years ago, making it easier to guess wrong…**

    D

    * Check out the Gulf Stream!

    ** hmmmm…apparently there is a linky limit per post…

    [:o(

  122. Kenneth Blumenfeld
    Posted Mar 13, 2006 at 8:28 PM | Permalink

    Dano, others

    I always liked the UWYO soundings best. Last evening’s thermo profile from Springfield, MO before/during the massive tornado outbreak:

    http://tinyurl.com/create.php

    You can follow the faint black slope to estimate the parcel temperature after convection. Again, it intersects the environmental temperature ~ 225 mb, when the lapse rates become “negative.”

    Okay, sorry for the diversion; severe weather is part of my research, and a longstanding fascination.

  123. Lee
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 9:21 AM | Permalink

    re 110:

    Pat, last I looked, we don’t currently have a complete theory fo gravity – we have several incomplete theories that are not compeletely congruent with each other. Are you going to argue that in the absense of a compelete theory of gravity we can’t make prediction based on gravitational attractions?

    For decades, we didnt have a thorey of why smoking caused cancer, but we still knew that smoking causes cancer. Hell, we had pretty good evidence of this before we even knew the structure of DNA, and way before the structural theories of mutation were worked out.

    Your statement reduces to “until we know everything, we don’t know anything.” This is not how science works – science provisionally accepts partially supported results, and uses them to advance whiel simultaneouly working to further supprot the partially supported conclusions. And it is for damn sure not how policy works – if every policy decisin required absolute proof then almsot no policy decision ever would be justifiable.

    The fact is that we have a reasonably good partial theory for the climate, which predicts that we are or will be soon moving into climate regimes unusyua with regard to the recent several thousand years, and is roughly congruent with observations indicating borderline or in some cases clearly unusual climate with regard to the last several thousand years (yo may disagree with tihis – I’v eoutlined the parts I find convincing). Is that proof? No – science VERY seldom gives us ‘proof.’ But is is evidence, and it doesnt cease to exist because our theory is not ‘complete.’

  124. TCO
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

    Lee, I agree that you can make good predictions based on emperical-based theories. However, climate understanding is very, very far from the state of ability of Newtonian physics for gravity. I have no problem with a “good enough” approach and will back you up in battling sophist skeptics, if it really is “good enough”. But modeling such a complex system is very far away. We get major changes in models over time. The field is not “that good”. Sure, they are doing the best they can. It’s just not very good. Look at the nuclear winter models of the 80s which were proven to be crap. It’s one thing to say, this is my best model, it’s crap, but it’s the best I can do. But I don’t see that level of honesty from the modelers or even the phenomenologists. Mann is a perfect example who has faught the correction of his statistical flaws tooth and nail in a very un-Feynmann manner.

  125. fFreddy
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 9:57 AM | Permalink

    Re #124, Lee

    …but we still knew that smoking causes cancer. Hell, we had pretty good evidence of this before we even knew the structure of DNA,…

    The structure of DNA was figured out in the early 1950s. Was smoking already being blamed for cancer as early as that ?

  126. TCO
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

    I think there is a history of them being blamed for things going back to the 1800s. But term cancer stick is from 1959 (looked up etymology). Maybe Steve would know.

  127. Lee
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 10:25 AM | Permalink

    WAY off topic, but-

    # In the May 27, 1950 issue of JAMA, Morton Levin publishes first major study definitively linking smoking to lung cancer.
    # In the same issue, “Tobacco Smoking as a Possible Etiologic Factor in Bronchiogenic Carcinoma: A Study of 684 Proved Cases,” by Ernst L. Wynder and Evarts A. Graham of the United States, found that 96.5% of lung cancer patients interviewed were moderate heavy-to-chain-smokers.
    # 1950-09:30: RICHARD DOLL and A BRADFORD HILL publish first report on Smoking and Carcinoma of the Lung in the British Medical Journal, finding that heavy smokers were fifty times as likely as nonsmokers to contract lung cancer.

    http://www.tobacco.org/resources/history/Tobacco_History20-2.html


    There is also evidence in the tobacco litigation released interna documents that toacco inducstry internal studies in the 40s were shoing a lnk between smoking and cancer, but I cnat find it right at hand.

  128. TCO
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

    but they make one look cool…

  129. fFreddy
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

    Re #128, Lee
    Thank you – hadn’t realised that.

  130. fFreddy
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 11:06 AM | Permalink

    Re #128, Lee

    finding that heavy smokers were fifty times as likely as nonsmokers to contract lung cancer

    Heh. A relative risk of 50.0 – rather more persuasive than the entirely meaningless 1.13 they recently used to justify banning smoking in pubs.
    Which means people go outside to smoke, which – given the British climate – has led to an explosion in demand from publicans for those patio heater things.
    Which is attracting criticism from the ecotwits on the grounds that they add some implausibly large amount to carbon emissions.
    So we’re back on topic …

  131. JerryB
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 11:09 AM | Permalink

    “The fact is that we have a reasonably good partial theory for the climate, …”

    That looks like another meaningless statement presented as if it means something.

  132. John M
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

    #125 Re Nuclear Winter

    I know this is off topic, but TCO did raise it, and hey, Lee’s been posting stuff on smoking from the 50’s so here goes. I’ve got a file of stuff I’ve collected through the years, sort of anticipating time would sort of change the way the World viewed things. One thing I dug out of my file is an article from Science, Vol 235, Jan 16 1987, p271, entitled “Nuclear Winter Debate Heats Up”.

    Some quotes out of the article are almost too scarey.

    Sagan’s refusal to acknowledge merit in NCAR’s analysis-known as “nuclear autumn”-sends some people up the wall. One wall climber is George Rathjens, professor of political science at MIT. “Is this another case of Lysenkoism?” he asks, referring to an erroneous genetic theory forced on Soviet scientists in the 1940s by Trofim D. Lysenko. Rathjens answers himself: “I am afraid there’s a certain amount of truth in that.” The claim that the original nuclear winter model is unimpeached, he adds, is “the greatest fraud we’ve seen in a long time.”

    Later on in the article:

    Anyone who wanted to verify the data on which the conclusions were based, according to [Russell] Seitz, had to set off on a “paper chase.” Policy recommendations laid out in Foreign Affairs (winter 1983/1984) rested on data published simultaneously in Science (23 December 1983. p. 1283). But, as noted in the Science article, “details may be found in (15).” Reference 15 states in full: “R.P. Turco, O.B. Toon, T.P. Ackerman, J.B. Pollack, C. Sagan, in preparation.” It refers to a paper that has never been published in peer-reviewed (or any other) journal. Rathjaens also grumbles about the hard-to-get data. the entire thesis, he says, is “a house of cards built on reference 15.”

    There are plenty of other gems in the article pertaining to politics warping the process of science and how things are published, as well as comments about peer review and what I can only call “self-review”. Not bad reading for something that’s 20 years old.

  133. TCO
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    pdf? Link?

  134. Lee
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    re 132.

    jerryb: ppphhtttttpptttt!!!!

    Now THAT was a meaningless statement.

    Every one of the models is a partial theory of Earth’s climate. Your sentence implies that you think we dont have such partial theories. Either that, or it was a meaningless statement.

  135. John M
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

    #134

    You talkin’ to me?

  136. JerryB
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

    Lee,

    And more pronouncements of implications that are not there.

    Skipping over the “The fact is” canard, the “reasonably good” is too vague for that statement to mean anything.

  137. Lee
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    Jerry, I stated a “reasonably good” succint operational outline of what I meant by “reasonably good” right in the post you attacked.

    Now, if you have something substantive to say, say it. If you’re going to continue with statemns as meaningless as ‘that’s a meaningless statement’ then I’ll dismiss your posts as trolling, and return to aattempting discussions (in between deflecting the absurdist attacks) with people who are willing to have substantive discussions.

  138. TCO
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

    Yes.

  139. John A
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    Every one of the models is a partial theory of Earth’s climate. Your sentence implies that you think we dont have such partial theories. Either that, or it was a meaningless statement.

    Ptolemy’s epicycles are a good partial theory of the Universe

  140. Lee
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 3:03 PM | Permalink

    re 140. Until replaced by better models, yes. They had reasonable predictive capability, and the deviations between prediction and observation were part of what drove examination of better models.

    Now, JohnA, do you have somethign substantive to say about the climate models (which have rather more observational, theoretical and mathematical underpinning that Ptolemy’s epicycles), or are you going to engage in attempted one-liners with no substantnive content?

  141. fFreddy
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

    Lee, are you seriously suggesting that the predictive capacity of current climate theory can be compared to even Newtonian gravity ?

  142. Lee
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

    fFreddy, no, I’m suggesting that JohnA’s attempted analogy was a way to try to fling a zinger without actually gripping the subject.

    The GCMs are what they are, they have their own strengths and weaknesses and missing pieces, their own qualitative and in some ways quantitative correspondence to the data, and their own failures and deviations from they data, they stand or fall on their own terms, and they are NOT Ptolemy’s epicycles. The analogy was (to borrow a recently used term) meaningless.

  143. John A
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

    Until replaced by better models, yes. They had reasonable predictive capability, and the deviations between prediction and observation were part of what drove examination of better models.

    Actually they didn’t. They got in the way of scientific progress in properly modelling the Universe for 1500 years, and anyone who questioned the veracity and validity of the “scientific consensus” that such partial models represented risked their personal and professional lives doing so.

    Now, JohnA, do you have somethign substantive to say about the climate models (which have rather more observational, theoretical and mathematical underpinning that Ptolemy’s epicycles), or are you going to engage in attempted one-liners with no substantnive content?

    Not really. Nor am I going to ask your permission as to what content I provide, substantive or not.

  144. Greg F
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

    Lee,

    I pointed out once before here, that climate models don’t predict, which is why they are called “scenarios”.

    The IPCC says:

    Scenarios are neither predictions nor forecasts of future conditions. Rather they describe alternative plausible futures that conform to sets of circumstances or constraints within which they occur (Hammond, 1996). The true purpose of scenarios is to illuminate uncertainty, as they help in determining the possible ramifications of an issue (in this case, climate change) along one or more plausible (but indeterminate) paths (Fisher, 1996).

  145. Lee
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

    re 144. Got it, John.

    You equate religious imposition of dogma with ‘scientific consensus,’ blame the model for the excesses of the church, and you’re going to engage in one-line zingers rather than substance. I’ll continue to treat you with precisely the seriousness you deserve.

  146. Lee
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    re 145. Those scenarios set boundary conditions for climate responses to certain sets of assumed inputs, which in turn are used to make predictions about what will happen in the real world given potential real world inputs.

    Things like arcid amplification, southern hemisphere lag, altitude effects, and so on, are predictions from the results from the GCMs. Some of the predictions are in reasonable accord with observations (and in at least one case the prediction seemed to be robust to tweaks in the model, and it was later found that the data were in error and the model was not), and some of them, like antarctic temp profiles, do not match the observations. But they are certainly predictions derived from the models.

  147. Greg F
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

    …which in turn are used to make predictions about what will happen in the real world given potential real world inputs.

    No Lee, they are not predictions. The quote I provided is from the IPCC. Chapter 13.1.1 “Definition and Nature of Scenarios”.

  148. John A
    Posted Jul 8, 2006 at 3:36 PM | Permalink

    You equate religious imposition of dogma with ‘scientific consensus,

    Actually, I don’t. It’s curious what you read into things.

    …blame the model for the excesses of the church, and you’re going to engage in one-line zingers rather than substance.

    I made a much more subtle point – obviously too subtle for you.

    I’ll continue to treat you with precisely the seriousness you deserve.

    Let me know if anything changes.

  149. John M
    Posted Jul 9, 2006 at 4:04 AM | Permalink

    133 and 134

    I have a pdf, but I believe it is copyrighted material.

    Maybe if you’re more clever than me, you can figure out how to extract the thing from , here,, got to warn you,I spent a quite a bit of time trying to find it there. Funny how Science went to a lot of trouble to scan in the “Front Matter” (~25 Mb worth of ads and the cover), but doesn’t appear to have scanned in the News and Commentary section. Easiest thing is probably to find a “good” library and dig it out of the stacks.

  150. JerryB
    Posted Jul 9, 2006 at 8:26 AM | Permalink

    Lee,

    Nothing in that post, and none of your subsequent verbiage, resolves the vagueness of your “reasonably good” in that post.

  151. ET SidViscous
    Posted Jul 9, 2006 at 8:30 AM | Permalink

    John M

    Do you not have acess to a scanner with OCR?

  152. John M
    Posted Jul 9, 2006 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

    ET

    Wouldn’t there still be copyright issues?

  153. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jul 9, 2006 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    Re#48 (Peter)

    Why are you so sure Steve is right? Why, if he is right, don’t any others see this? Perhaps becuase he’s found insignificant problems?

    So that was back on March 8th. Does the recent NAS report count as “any others see this?”

  154. John Creighton
    Posted Jul 9, 2006 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

    “Mann: “I Am Not A Statistician”
    Didn’t Richard Nixon say something similar…Hmm, just can’t seem to recall the exact quote.”

    #29 I think Richard Nikon’s quote was, “I am not a crook”. Think of the movie point break. lol

  155. Mark H.
    Posted Jul 9, 2006 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

    Regarding Steve Bloom’s comments, I find my that my difficulty with his claims of a ‘broad sweep’ of evidence for AGW comes from proponents of questionable integrity. As a layperson trained in political science and economics I don’t have the techical backgound to balance the various techincal arguments, however I do have the experience in organizational and professional culture (as well as politics) to note when a criticism is even addressed, or if a discourse is pergorative, loud, and/or misleading.

    One not need believe in a conspiracy to have doubts about “consensus” claims of AGWing, one only needs to ask if climate science actually practices what every high schooler is taught as fundimental to all science, the scientific method?

    So, in Climate Science are methods, data, and calculations freely available for replication and verification? Is there due dilengence in verifying the legitamy of accepted work? Are contrarians given full and balanced hearings by independent reviewers? Or does contemprary politics drive scientific conclusions and a “consensus” ?

    The answers to these questions (in the negative) give the lay person no confidence in the claims of AGW supporters, let alone their related claims on its impact and their recommendations for its “cure”. When Steve B.’s says that “IMHO the relative flatness of the blade (i.e., MWP and LIA magnitude) was never important scientifically…; i.e., in a direct sense the hockey stick says nothing about current climate change prospects.” he is unintentionally making my point – since when is it not scientifically important to show the 85% of paleoclimate history of the last 1000 years of accurately? Since when is 85% of a “consensus” of not of scientific concern? Well, only to those who have strapped their political bandwagon to the end of a stick, I suspect.

  156. welikerocks
    Posted Jul 9, 2006 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

    So is this the offical response by Mann?

    on the NAS report?

    “The academy panelists also dismissed critics’ earlier insinuations that the Mann team played fast and loose with data, a point that pleased Mann, who is now at Pennsylvania State University.

    “The report … provides absolutely no support for the oft-heard claims that the original hockey stick was the result of ‘programming errors,’ or was ‘not reproducible,’ or there was some scientific misconduct involved,” he said in an e-mail. “These claims were always spurious and should now finally be laid to rest … The (academy) report is very good, and I’m pretty happy with it, especially given the short time interval over which the committee had to familiarize themselves with a complex and often quite technical debate.”

    found here: San Francisco Chronicle June 23rd:

    http://tinyurl.com/qok8b

  157. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jul 9, 2006 at 8:26 PM | Permalink

    the oft-heard claims that the original hockey stick was the result of “programming errors,’ or was “not reproducible,’ or there was some scientific misconduct involved

    I don’t know who said that the hockey stick was caused by “programming errors.” Sounds like Mann is distorting something. And the problem wasn’t that the hockey stick was “not reproducible” in the usual sense of others using the same or similar data and methods and not getting the same results. Rather they were not reproducible because neither the data nor methods were available, making reproduction ATTEMPTS impossible. Finally while Mann is saying that the NAS provides no evidence concerning scientific misconduct, that’s because the panel failed to look for it. By which I don’t mean that there necessarily was misconduct which was covered up, but that for them to be in a position to say anything about it they’d have to have taken a great deal more evidence. Thought it’s certainly true that Mann and others have failed to live up to the standards they’re supposed to concerning providing information to interested researchers. Whether that’s misconduct or not is a matter of definition, I suppose.

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