"But They are Very, Very Wrong"

A parody posted up by Spence_UK.

315 Comments

  1. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 11:12 PM | Permalink

    Hey Steve can you do a little photoshop on that picture.

    If I put it on my LCD monitor the glare from Mann’s head blinds me.

  2. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 21, 2006 at 11:26 PM | Permalink

    Actually this is pretty funny. It mimics TT’s style perfectly.

  3. Con Dolences
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 2:31 AM | Permalink

    Wow! You have really thrown out any pretense of decency, credibility or honest scientific pursuit with this one.

    I expect this comment, and probably the whole post, will disappear, but in the meantime…
    Shame!

    And yes – a nom de plume. I don’t need or want to engage with you lot!

  4. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 2:47 AM | Permalink

    I guess it’s this place’s ‘scientific method’…

  5. mark
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 3:19 AM | Permalink

    hehe, based on your “i think” comments in nearly every other thread: pot.kettle.black.

    mark

  6. Spence_UK
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 3:27 AM | Permalink

    I have to admit, I didn’t think this was good enough to merit its own post, mainly because it loses something when not in context with Dano’s original post.

    Is it scientific? Does it throw out any pretence of decency, credibility or honest scientific pursuit? Well, no more than say, this post, which I have to admit I found quite funny. Perhaps “Con Dolences” needs to stop eating those sour grapes and try to recover from their sense of humour bypass.

    Shame I couldn’t find any photos of Eugene Wahl though. Someone who is clearly wise enough not to leave any stray pictures of himself on the interweb :-)

  7. Ed Snack
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 3:32 AM | Permalink

    Well, condolences to Con Dolences, from “us lot”. You know, unlike RealClimate, unless you offend mightly or run afoul of the karma software, your post will remain, and aren’t you embarrassed !

    Just for interest, how about a post on the substance of the cartoon. Or do you have the Islamist attitude to cartoons, there are some things sooo important that they just cannot be laughed at ?

  8. Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 7:46 AM | Permalink

    That’s a very nice, politically correct speech, to say that the paper just was not provisionally accepted. Something like deferred success, the new word for “failure”.

  9. John A
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 8:32 AM | Permalink

    Although I found the parody amusing, it doesn’t do anything for the credibility of Steve’s arguments here.

    Sorry.

  10. Paul Penrose
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 8:34 AM | Permalink

    Hmmm, nobody was called an “idiot”, the word “cesspool” was not used, and neither hitler nor nazis were mentioned…maybe it’s too mild for the hockey team boosters? Just kidding! There’s nothing wrong with good satire as long as it’s on topic and in reasonably good taste. As these things go, this one is pretty tame. I guess I should not be surprised since the hockey team boosters don’t seem to be able to handle any criticism, scientific or satirical.

  11. Pouncer
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 11:39 AM | Permalink

    Digressing radically…

    Last night the Public Television Syndicate presented an episode of their science education program NOVA dealing with prehistorical habitation of North America.

    Turns out there was a strong scientific “consensus” about when and whence the first humans arrived in the Americas. A theory called “Clovis First” dominated archeology for decades.

    But it was wrong.

    And when skeptics presented their evidence, they were attacked.

    This sounds _SO_ familiar.

    —-

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/transcripts/3116_stoneage.html

    NARRATOR: The timing of the land bridge, the ice-free corridor and the Clovis dates all seemed to fit together in a simple elegant theory: 13,500 years ago, Clovis people, big game hunters from Asia, armed with their lethal Clovis spear point, walked across the land bridge to the Americas, … The theory became known as Clovis First. It was written into the textbooks and taught for the better part of a century. …such a powerful story that, for years, few archaeologists looked back beyond 13,500 years ago.

    But then a few did. Jim Adovasio has spent the past 30 years excavating at Meadowcroft, a prehistoric site near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The deeper he dug, the further back he descended in time.

    JAMES ADOVASIO: Just below the surface I’m standing on is where the conventional Clovis First model says that the earliest material should stop, basically, that there ought not to be anything beneath it, no matter how much deeper we dug.

    NARRATOR: But then, Adovasio did go deeper, below 13,500 years, to a time in the Americas, when no trace of humans should exist, according to the Clovis First theory. He was astounded by what he found.

    JAMES ADOVASIO: The artifacts simply continued, and we recovered blades like this all the way down to 16,000 B.C.

    NARRATOR: When he published his findings, he was immediately attacked.

    JAMES ADOVASIO: The majority of the archaeological community was acutely skeptical, and they invented all kinds of reasons why these dates couldn’t possibly be right.

    NARRATOR: Some claimed that nearby coal deposits had contaminated Adovasio’s samples, but he was known to be a meticulous excavator. Eventually, a few other archaeologists began to report evidence questioning the Clovis First theory, and they too were attacked.

    MICHAEL COLLINS: I’ve been accused of planting artifacts. People will reject radiocarbon dates just simply because there’s not supposed to be any people here at those times, and it just goes on and on and on.

    NARRATOR: Even faced with evidence to the contrary, Clovis First supporters refused to accept that people could have arrived in America earlier than 13,500 years ago.

    It’s really a pity that the archeological community didn’t simply take a vote, establish a formal record of the consensus, and banish the heretics.

    Of course federal funding for site excavation should only be awarded to projects attempting to confirm the Clovis First theory. Those attempting to refute it should, of course, have to proceed wasting their time and donor’s money without any taxpayer support.

    And of course the extinction of North American mega-fauna and the resulting climate change — end of the Ice Age — were all due to human activity supported by their deadly technology, the Clovis Point. It couldn’t possibly be that extinctions and climate change are driven by processes other than anthropogenic extremes.

    And the recent history of one branch of science has absolutely nothing to tell us about current events in another branch of science …

  12. Terry
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 10:06 PM | Permalink

    I vote against this post too.

  13. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 10:29 PM | Permalink

    OK, back to dry accounting and statistics. We’ll “move on” and I’ll delete the post tomorrow.

  14. McCall
    Posted Mar 22, 2006 at 11:30 PM | Permalink

    Take your time, Mr. McIntyre. After being accused of being part of a cesspool to a new reich, I don’t think there’s a rush. If that isn’t enough justification, there’s the very slow to non-existant retractions for cause, on the other side…

  15. Doug L
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 5:56 AM | Permalink

    Before the post dissappears:

    Rah Rah Ree
    Kick ‘em in the knee!

    Rah Rah Ras
    Kick ‘em in the other Knee!

    Truly, the parady of the hockey team is well deserved.

  16. McCall
    Posted Mar 23, 2006 at 7:03 AM | Permalink

    re 13 (& 14)

    Perhaps you’re right; we may be filthy, but as was discussed recently on Prometheus in another context, we do know that “two wrongs, do not…”

  17. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 24, 2006 at 5:56 PM | Permalink

    Steve (#13): You stated quite clearly (on 22 March) “I’ll delete the post tomorrow”.

    In Australia, we have a long-running joke concerning our dear Government and their “core” and “non-core” promises. I presume your promise was a “non-core” one.

    Your posting and other recent ones, such as “NCAR Competition Announcement” and “Nature, Wikipedia and ‘The High Summer of Junk Science'”, suggest a change of emphasis of this site. Are we to understand that you are now departing from any pretence at contributing to useful knowledge and are, instead, embarging on an all-out war on climate science, and possibly science in general?

    Which once again begs the question — what is your political motivation for this? Or are you just an angry old man?

  18. TCO
    Posted Mar 25, 2006 at 1:20 PM | Permalink

    He’s a prince of a man. Would way rather discuss any subject with him than with the poobahs at RC.

  19. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Mar 25, 2006 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

    Re:#17
    And indeed the cartoon (“the post”) has been gone from this blog for a few days now. For diehard fans of the “graphic short story,” there is a link to another site that hosts it; seem pretty unobjectionable to me (and I wasn’t a fan of the cartoon appearing on this blog).
    Since you seem to have a history of not-so-careful reading of this blog, you may wish to modify the “think first, act later” aphorism to “read first, post later.”

  20. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 25, 2006 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

    There is a substantive issue with this parody. UCAR issued a press release saying that all our claims were "unfounded" and that A&W had submitted a paper to GRL (and CC). In penny stocks, if you issue a promotional press release like that and something goes wrong, you have to take your medicine and issue a new press release announcing the rejection. They didn’t issue one for the first rejection and they haven’t for the second rejection. Also it took them 3 days to update their website to announce the CC acceptance. People in penny stock promotions are always much faster to announce good news than bad news. As of today, their website still shows the GRL paper as being "in review". It’s funny that people would regard this parody as displaying a lack of “any pretense of decency, credibility or honest scientific pursuit”, while not criticizing the failure of A&W to chin up to their GRL rejection or not criticizing the “academic cheque kiting” of not withdrawing their submission to CC which relies on their GRL submission for a significance test criterion.

    BTW, on the diferential delay principle well-known in penny stocks, I’ll bet that two long overdue proxy studies – Hughes at Sheep Mountain in 2002 and Thompson at Puruogangri in 2000 (!) – have results that are adverse to them. If the results helped them, we’d have seen them by now. NSF is so co-opted that it doesn’t do anything.

  21. TCO
    Posted Mar 25, 2006 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    Rip them to shreds.

  22. bruce
    Posted Mar 25, 2006 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    Re #17: John. “Your posting and other recent ones, such as “NCAR Competition Announcement” and “Nature, Wikipedia and “The High Summer of Junk Science'”, suggest a change of emphasis of this site. Are we to understand that you are now departing from any pretence at contributing to useful knowledge and are, instead, embarging on an all-out war on climate science, and possibly science in general?

    Which once again begs the question “¢’‚¬? what is your political motivation for this? Or are you just an angry old man?”

    Any dispassionate observer who has followed events through this site and RC over the past 12 months can have no doubt as to M&M’s primary motivation.

  23. Hans Erren
    Posted Mar 25, 2006 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

    “show your work”

  24. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Mar 25, 2006 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    re 22: What earthly difference does Steve’s motivation make? What is your motivation? What is Jim Hansen’s motivation? What is my motivation?

    And more to the point … what does it matter?

    This is SCIENCE, good sir, not a motivational seminar …

    w.

  25. John A
    Posted Mar 25, 2006 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

    John Hunter:

    My motivation is that I enjoy watching you make an idiot of yourself. I can’t speak to Steve’s motivation, but certainly your reactions to Steve’s work has been uniformly pathetic.

    I fail to see how commenting upon, for example, the way Nature has sought to trash the scholarly reputation of Encyclopedia Britannica, is somehow “an attack on science”. The magazine Nature is not science, the philosphical inquiry. Nor is its motivations above question or its methods beyond reproach.

    I note also that you don’t bother tackling Steve statistical arguments preferring, like a rugby player well past his prime, to tackle the man and not the ball.

    Speaking of which, we have still yet to find out whether you will put all of your methods, sources and data available online for inspection in the matter of “The Isle of the Dead”. I suspect, like Nature and a few climate scientists, you will hide them while trumpeting the results.

    Why do I want to see them? Curiosity. I’m curious how you managed to get Tasmania to sink into the ocean for the last century and a half without anything actually drowning (or better still, bits appearing above the waves, which were formerly below them). Tasmania must be a miracle of geology to manage a trick like that.

  26. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 25, 2006 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    John A (#25): You continue the pretence that I am not open about my “methods, sources and data” for our sea level study at the “Isle of the dead”. I thought I had given you a quite detailed set of instructions (postings #32, #44, $54 and #82 under “Pollack and Schrag at the NAS Panel”, originally posted 5 March 2006). So let’s go through my list from #44, one at a time:

    “(a) Read our papers “¢’‚¬? presumably you already done this “¢’‚¬? they give you most of the information you need.”

    (Let’s assume that this has been done.)

    “(b) Get hold of Thomas Lempriere’s original data “¢’‚¬? we give the reference to this in our first paper.

    (c) Digitise (b), correct or remove obviously erroneous data, and obtain the mean tidal level for 1841 and 1842 “¢’‚¬? compare this with the values given in our first paper.”

    Please let me know when you have done (b) and (c) — I am eager to know whether we missed any errors in Lempriere’s data or in our digitisation. I am also keen to see if you get the same value of mean tidal level that we got.

    When you’ve done this, we can move on to the next steps of the “replication”. Incidentally, if you get this far, I will let you off step (d) and postpone steps (e), (f) and (g) — we can go straight to (h), which would first involve analysis of the data from our modern sea level observations (and I have already told you where you can get this).

    And please, John A, if you are really not willing to put in the work, tell us once and for all, so that we can stop wasting our time endlessly discussing this.

  27. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 25, 2006 at 5:50 PM | Permalink

    John A (#25): You say: “Why do I want to see them? Curiosity. I’m curious how you managed to get Tasmania to sink into the ocean for the last century and a half without anything actually drowning (or better still, bits appearing above the waves, which were formerly below them). Tasmania must be a miracle of geology to manage a trick like that.”

    I’m sorry, I did once learn English Comprehension in a school in England, but the middle sentence is quite beyond me. Would you like to expand?

  28. HANS KELP
    Posted Mar 25, 2006 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

    Well it goes like this: In the late seventies I was sailing between Red China, Australia and New Zealand repeatedly ( the ship was on a tenure for the Red China ). First time we arrived at Sidney
    I was on duty as navigation officer. As it happened to coincide according to schedule I was the first one on duty after having moored the vessel and so I was responsible for checking out that the mooring lines were done correctly. That included checking for proper placement of shields looking like big parasols put on each mooring line so as to make shure that eventually rats wouldn´t be able to go ashore via the lines. When I went down on the peer, a very very angry man came heading towards me yelling at me that I shure was to see these shields put on right away ( as they were ) and in case I didn´t obey orders he would see to that the ship would be properly fined! I became aware that the guy yelling at me was the veterinarian presenting the Port
    Authorities and the reason for his aggresive and unkind behaviour was that Australia as an isolated island is very vulnerable to foreign deceases attacking their livestock and coming in via the ships calling at its ports. I really wondered if the veterinarian had already seen a rat running down the mooring lines.
    Well its just that every time John Hunter post up on this blog the above accident always pops up in my mind. I wonder why!

    Hans Kelp

  29. John A
    Posted Mar 25, 2006 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

    John Hunter:

    I’m sorry, I did once learn English Comprehension in a school in England, but the middle sentence is quite beyond me. Would you like to expand?

    That’s all right. For you I’ll type slower to help your aging braincells comprehend something:

    Your.study.on.the."Isle of the Dead".made.a.conclusion.that.
    the.sea.level.had.risen.relative.to.the.land.in.Tasmania.

    This.means.that.Tasmania.should.show.signs.of.subsidence.especially.
    things.which.were.just.above.the.high.watermark.150.years.ago.now.
    being.below.that.mark.

    Which.is.strange.because.everything.else.on.Tasmania’s.shores.appears.
    to.show.land.uplift.over.the.last.century.including.places.in.the.vicinity
    of.the Isle.of.the.Dead.being.very.much.above.the.waterline.and.things.
    like.Eaglehawk.Neck.being.wider.between.the.high.tide.marks.than.it.
    was.recorded.at.the.end.of.the.19th.Century.

    I.wonder.how.that.can.happen.It.must.be.like.magic.Perhaps.you.can.show.
    us.your.working.on.how.you.square.that.circle.

  30. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 25, 2006 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

    John A (#29): like a true contrarian, you base your “facts”, not on what is in the peer-reviewed scientific literature (although I accept that, as with most things, the peer-review process has shortcomings), but on what has been written by non-experts on contrarian web sites. Your particular claims are presumably based on some tired old arguments originally made by the late John Daly on “Still Waiting for Greenhouse”. If you can provide some scientific substantiation for these arguments (rather than just quotes from “Still Waiting for Greenhouse”), then I would be glad to hear them. However, I warn you that this has all been debated long and hard at other venues — you are just a little behind the times. I think the phrase is: “we have moved on” …..

    However, you conveniently duck the more important point, which was my posting #26. A clear answer on whether you plan to follow up my suggestions for replication would be helpful.

  31. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 25, 2006 at 10:15 PM | Permalink

    Willis (#24): You say “This is SCIENCE, good sir, not a motivational seminar”.

    The things that I was commenting on were:

    (1) the posting that was the subject of this thread (and please note, Steve, that the link to Spence_UK’s is STILL at the head of this thread),

    (2) “NCAR Competition Announcement” and “Nature, and

    (3) Wikipedia and “The High Summer of Junk Science'”,

    none of which have much to do with science. They are ATTACKS, pure and simple. So I wonder (again) on Steve’s motivation. I tend to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is not overly politically motivated (or indeed rewarded for his endeavours by any narrow interest group), but that he is basically an “angry old man”. In other words, when someone pisses him off he can’t rest until he has settled the score (i.e. he plays his life like he plays his squash). This may make him and his cheerleaders happy — but it doesn’t do a lot for science — or the world community which depends on it.

  32. kim
    Posted Mar 25, 2006 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

    Steve, you’re not doing enough for science.
    ===========================

  33. Pat Frank
    Posted Mar 25, 2006 at 10:53 PM | Permalink

    #31, John Hunter, I find your comments about Steve to be exactly the sort of personally motivated attack about which you ostensibly complain. I write “ostensibly” because you couldn’t truly object to a tactic in which you yourself so obviously indulged here.

    Whatever one thinks about the dispute between Nature and Britannica, the discussion here of that dispute and the observations concerning the apparent factuality of Nature’s apparent stone-walling cannot be considered attacks; especially not attacks on science. The discussion may take a point of view, but from what I’ve seen the points of view on the dispute as expressed here are pretty factually defensible.

    Your attack on Steve is not very, though. Steve’s analytical criticisms of the MBH work, and on tree-ring proxy reconstructions in general, stand or fall on their own merits. Steve’s motivations may be grist for an ethics symposium but they are entirely superfluous in a discussion of his science. Raising the issue of personal motivations in a science milieu is no more than a red herring, typically meant to improperly discredit work by discrediting the worker. In your case, you are unfairly discrediting the worker, as you are impugning Steve’s motives without a single stitch of evidence.

    I don’t usually engage in this sort of personal riposte, but honestly the sort of defamation you deposit here makes me a little sick. You certainly aren’t defending science by it, and your pejorative “old man” references sound very much like age bigotry to me.

    IMO, it is the politics that infest AGW that are attacks on science. They have polluted scientific practice, and AGW advocates have deliberately blurred the distinction between science and politics in order to create an arena where political criticisms can feign as factual criticisms.

    This is as true of much of environmental politics as it is of creationist advocacy politics. I think AGW is going to turn into an eventual scandal from which the reputation of science will be slow to recover because so much of the science establishment has so publicly bought into it.

    The IPCC is also an object lesson of the hazards accruing to centralizing too much power in unelected bureaucracies. They seem to attract, and to succumb too easily to, ideologues.

  34. Ed Snack
    Posted Mar 25, 2006 at 11:19 PM | Permalink

    Please do not feed the troll !

  35. John A
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 3:33 AM | Permalink

    John Hunter:

    John A (#29): like a true contrarian, you base your “facts”, not on what is in the peer-reviewed scientific literature (although I accept that, as with most things, the peer-review process has shortcomings), but on what has been written by non-experts on contrarian web sites. Your particular claims are presumably based on some tired old arguments originally made by the late John Daly on “Still Waiting for Greenhouse”.

    Yes, these are tired, old arguments. The same tired, old arguments that you refused to answer last time.

    So we’ll ask again:

    Where is the physical evidence that Tasmania has undergone a progessive inundation by the sea since 1841 as your results would imply? It should be obvious to point out that if such an inundation has taken place, then it should be easy enough to spot the physical evidence.

    Yes, the peer review of scientific result is somewhat less than perfect, but its no answer to tell us that there is nothing in the peer reviewed literature, when it should have been obvious that your controversial calculation should have been backed up with physical evidence:

    Observations of sea level at Port Arthur, Tasmania,
    southeastern Australia, based on a two-year record made in
    1841–1842, a three-year record made in 1999–2002, and
    intermediate observations made in 1875–1905, 1888 and
    1972, indicate an average rate of sea level rise, relative to the
    land, of 0.8 ± 0.2 mm/year over the period 1841 to 2002.
    When combined with estimates of land uplift, this yields an
    estimate of average sea level rise due to an increase in the
    volume of the oceans of 1.0 ± 0.3 mm/year, over the same
    period.

    Your report clearly indicates that inundation should have happened and yet you provide no physical evidence that it has taken place, like the growth of saltmarshes or increased coastal erosion or something.

    If you can provide some scientific substantiation for these arguments (rather than just quotes from “Still Waiting for Greenhouse”), then I would be glad to hear them.

    We are waiting for some scientific substantiation that your results can be replicated and can be reconciled with the physical evidence.

    However, I warn you that this has all been debated long and hard at other venues “¢’‚¬? you are just a little behind the times. I think the phrase is: “we have moved on” …..

    Like Steve Bloom, you have a fondness for swimming in major Egyptian rivers rather than defending your results with reference to physical evidence. It’s amazing that someone who claims to be a conscientious physical scientist can so quickly take refuge in semantic games and smokescreens when challenged to defend your results.

  36. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 3:55 AM | Permalink

    Pat Frank (#33): Not much worthy of response here except perhaps your claim of “age bigotry” on my part. Oh dear, you seem not to understand my (perhaps weak) play on the term “angry young man”. Steve was born in 1947; I was born in 1946 (both facts are easily verifiable); so I am actually older than Steve. Although you may well not understand the subtlety of this, I would not object overly to being called an “angry old man” — I do have respect for people who can keep their “anger” into “old age” — so long as that “anger” is directed at something worthwhile.

  37. Hans Erren
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 4:16 AM | Permalink

    re 35:

    1.0 ± 0.3 mm/year

    My favourite number!
    http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/denhelder.html (0.9 mm/year)
    http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/hawaii.htm (0.782 mm/year)

  38. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 4:33 AM | Permalink

    John A (#35): You continue to stonewall. You ask: where is the physical evidence that Tasmania has undergone a progessive inundation by the sea since 1841?”.

    We never claimed “a progressive inundation by the sea” in either of our papers about the “Isle of the Dead” study (perhaps I should revise my opinion: you haven’t even read them!). We did, however, estimate an average rate of sea level rise relative to the land of 0.8 +/- 0.2 mm/year over the period 1841-2002. Whether this has lead to significant coastal inundation is another matter, and of course one which we are actively pursuing. You are of course welcome to come and visit the many Tasmanian beaches which are receding, and you perhaps should be aware that about 70% of the world’s sandy beaches are receding while only about 10% are prograding. You should also understand that, under condions of a relative rise of sea level, not ALL coastlines recede — some in fact prograde — but on AVERAGE they recede. So just parotting John Daly and picking a single beach, which on very shaky evidence appears to have prograded, isn’t exactly convincing I’m afraid.

    But whether or not “Tasmania has undergone a progessive inundation by the sea since 1841″ is beside the point. The issue I thought you had raised in your posting #25 concerned whether I “put all of (my) methods, sources and data available online for inspection in the matter of `The Isle of the Dead'”. The issue is therefore one of REPLICATION, rather than demanding EXTRA scientific observations to support our estimate. I have not put ALL the data online for reasons already given — i.e. the quantity (around 2000 computer files) and the fact that much information is only in hardcopy form. Nevertheless, I have provided adequate information for you to validate the study if you so wished.

    I take it from your response that you have no intention of actually using the information I have given you to attempt any kind of replication of our work concerning sea level at the Isle of the Dead.

  39. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 4:53 AM | Permalink

    Steve: It is about time you stepped into this tiresome discussion, which is another example of John A pretending that I am witholding data concerning our study of sea level rise at the Isle of the Dead.

    I am basing my request on the assumption that John A, being the “operational manager” of this site, in fact speaks for climateaudit.

    So, Steve, tell me straight. Read what I have said on climateaudit about the availability of data from our “Isle of the Dead” study. Is this not “reasonable” disclosure of our source information and methods? Does it not make validation of our study perfectly possible?

    Your answer would, I am sure, help a few people understand exactly what climateaudit is demanding in the way of “due diligence”.

  40. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 5:02 AM | Permalink

    John A (#35): And another thing ….. you refer to out “controversial calculation”.

    What on earth was “controversial” about it? The fact that one non-expert non-scientist happened to disagree with it on the web?

    Boy, you must live in a “controversial” world (I guess you believe it is flat too, because I’ll bet I could pretty easily find someone on the web who thinks it is) …..

  41. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 5:08 AM | Permalink

    Re: 31, John (Hunter), thanks for the posting. You say that several things are “not science”, viz:

    The things that I was commenting on were:

    (1) the posting that was the subject of this thread (and please note, Steve, that the link to Spence_UK’s is STILL at the head of this thread),

    (2) “NCAR Competition Announcement” and “Nature, and

    (3) Wikipedia and “The High Summer of Junk Science'”,

    none of which have much to do with science. They are ATTACKS, pure and simple. So I wonder (again) on Steve’s motivation.

    Unfortunately, these have altogether too much to do with science as it is practiced in 2006.

    Regarding the subject of this thread, I find the wiggling and the justifications of the Hockey Team to be reprehensibly bad science which is also, at times, very funny to read. For me, to say so in a cartoon, unless you are Muslim, is a legitimate comment on the current state of science. Obligatory disclosure: I am a cartoonist, so YMMV.

    The Wikipedia question is central to exposing the decay of the scientific journals, which these days are political organs for their editor. Why on earth would Nature want to suddenly, for no reason, start a fight about encyclopedias? And Nature’s response to the Britannica’s reply was pathetically similar to Michael Mann’s response — don’t show them the evidence. So yes, that’s quite relevant, that Nature magazine itself is refusing to reveal its data and methods.

    Finally, the NCAR posting is an interesting side-light on the whole strange NCAR – UCAR structure. I don’t see the “attack” in it that you describe, though. It is curious that interested parties are only given six weeks to submit their applications, usually the Gov’t gives more lead time on RFP’s like this.

    I cannot speak to Steve’s motive in posting these items, but I find them topical, timely, and pertinent regarding the scientific questions under discussion.

    w.

  42. John A
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 5:34 AM | Permalink

    John A (#35): You continue to stonewall. You ask: where is the physical evidence that Tasmania has undergone a progessive inundation by the sea since 1841?”.

    We never claimed “a progressive inundation by the sea” in either of our papers about the “Isle of the Dead” study (perhaps I should revise my opinion: you haven’t even read them!). We did, however, estimate an average rate of sea level rise relative to the land of 0.8 +/- 0.2 mm/year over the period 1841-2002.

    You clearly missed your true vocation as a tap-dancer, John. I’ve rarely seen such fancy footwork since Fred Astaire passed away.

    I’m going to highlight a single word that you have added to the discussion:

    Whether this has lead to significant coastal inundation is another matter, and of course one which we are actively pursuing.

    I didn’t mention significant inundation, I questioned whether there is evidence of any inundation of Tasmania by the sea in the last 150+ years.

    You are of course welcome to come and visit the many Tasmanian beaches which are receding, and you perhaps should be aware that about 70% of the world’s sandy beaches are receding while only about 10% are prograding. You should also understand that, under condions of a relative rise of sea level, not ALL coastlines recede “¢’‚¬? some in fact prograde “¢’‚¬? but on AVERAGE they recede.

    I am not interested in the 70% of the world’s sandy beaches in the context of this discussion. Sandy beaches erode or prograde when their energy environment changes and whether the input of material falls or rises, not necessarily having anything to do with relative sea level rise or fall.

    I am speaking about whether a relative sea level rise should be visible, especially in areas of Tasmania which slope gently into the sea, or old breakwaters which are now overtopped or steps which are now below low tide or something.

    You know, the physical evidence that your calculation should predict is there.

    So just parotting John Daly and picking a single beach, which on very shaky evidence appears to have prograded, isn’t exactly convincing I’m afraid.

    John Daly pointed to physical evidence that Tasmania has not been inundated. These physical evidences and historical citations do not erode away because the person involved is no longer with us. They are still questions you haven’t answered despite repeated invitations to do so.

    But whether or not “Tasmania has undergone a progessive inundation by the sea since 1841″‚Ⱡis beside the point.

    Not at all. The question of relative sea level change in Tasmania is entirely the point, since that is the subject of your paper.

    The issue I thought you had raised in your posting #25 concerned whether I “put all of (my) methods, sources and data available online for inspection in the matter of `The Isle of the Dead'”. The issue is therefore one of REPLICATION, rather than demanding EXTRA scientific observations to support our estimate.

    It’s a matter of approach: if the physical evidence does not support your conclusions, then your conclusions are wrong. It’s as simple as that. It’s like a "smoking gun". It matters not a jot, whether you got your study into a peer-reviewed journal, or how you arrived at your conclusion.

    As an example, it does not matter whether Hwang woo Suk got his papers published, or the supporting data that he provided, but simply whether his stemcell cultures had the properties that he claimed.

    I have not put ALL the data online for reasons already given “¢’‚¬? i.e. the quantity (around 2000 computer files) and the fact that much information is only in hardcopy form. Nevertheless, I have provided adequate information for you to validate the study if you so wished.

    Come off it John, all you have to do with computer files is put them in a directory on a server connected to the Internet and run the ftp daemon. You’ll be telling us you lost the floppy disks next.

    You have not provided the detailed information on the calculations sufficient to replicate them.

  43. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 6:26 AM | Permalink

    John A {#42): You say: “all you have to do with computer files is put them in a directory on a server connected to the Internet and run the ftp daemon”.

    As I’ve said elsewhere:

    “The work resulted in over 2000 computer files in 140 folders. It also generated about 40 cm thickness of hardcopy, of which little is in digital form. All of this data (which is well catalogued) will hopefully be kept for posterity in case it is ever required for serious research “¢’‚¬? but I’m not spending my time putting it on the web (EVEN for serious researchers)!”

    and:

    “What you would need to do is ferret through the documents contained in the 0.5 Gb of 2000 files of data which relate to our 8 years of work. It IS traceable, but would involve a significant amount of work “¢’‚¬? and I’m just not prepared to put my time and effort into it.”

    Now which bit didn’t you understand?

    You also claim: “You have not provided the detailed information on the calculations sufficient to replicate them”.

    Well, steps (b) and (c) of #26 seem perfectly clear to me. I can’t think what further information you could require — unless you want me to do the digitisation and calculations for you!

    I repeat: I take it from your response that you have no intention of actually using the information I have given you to attempt any kind of replication of our work concerning sea level at the Isle of the Dead.

  44. kim
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 7:00 AM | Permalink

    Don’t you want the data ready for posterity’s serious researchers?
    ========================================

  45. John A
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 7:22 AM | Permalink

    I take your answers to mean that you have no intention of allowing ANYONE to inspect your files as if putting 500MB of datafiles (which would all fit on one CD-ROM, let alone occupying a relatively small amount of space on any file server) represented any insuperable technological barrier which could not be surmounted by the use of the following commands:

    mkdir
    cp -r
    ftpd

    You’re hiding and running Dr Hunter. And I think I can guess why.

  46. Doug L
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

    The maximum tidal range at Hobart Tasmania is 1.4 meters. The estimate of .8mm per year for 160 years is .128 meters or about 9% of the tidal range. Speaking strictly as an amateur , I’m just not sure I should expect to be able to see inundation without some very precise information from 160 years ago.

    I once tried reading John Daly’s work on the Isle of the Dead. He strikes me as a good detective and very observant. I’m very impressed with his claim that the sea level marker was not placed where Hunter claims, but I’m quite doubtful that it can even be determined that it was placed as intended anyway.

    I don’t find Daly’s visual evidence convincing. Land can be filled in, you don’t know how high the tide really is in a photo. All high tides are not equal etc.

    Is the climate science community engaged in “poor marketing” when it talks about sea level (and everything else)? Seems that way to me. and that’s very very wrong!

  47. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    “The estimate of .8mm per year for 160 years is .128 meters”

    You might want to double check your numbers on that

  48. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    Sorry, rather than check the numbers you might want to clarify the statement.

    “The estimate of .8mm per year for 160 years totals .128 meters”

  49. Doug L
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

    Re # 48

    Post #35 (quoting another post?) indicates sea level increase of eight tenths of a millimeter per year from 1841 to 2002 a period of 161 years estimated by John Hunter, if I got that right. :-)

    0.0008 meters times 161 equals 0.1288 meters.

    At the start of Daly’s paper he uses 13cm, 0.13 meters (I hope :-))

    here’s Daley’s paper:

    http://www.john-daly.com/deadisle/index.htm

    here’s a chart of tides at Hobart Tasmania

    http://www.surf-forecast.com/breaks/CliftonBeach.tide.shtml

    Here’s a page that says:

    “The conclusion [of marker placed at high water mark] is based on other estimates of sea-level made later in the 19th century, and on the fact that, if the mark had originally been placed near mean sea-level, then the Penitentiary building would have suffered flooding every few years (there is no record of this having happened).”

    (I just saw this, I guess it shows that someone looked at physical evidence)

    http://www.rpdc.tas.gov.au/soer/casestudy/4/index.php

  50. John A
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 2:06 PM | Permalink

    Re #49

    Doug,

    For some reason that last link doesn’t work at all for me.

    By the way, a much more complete version of John Daly’s work on the “Isle of the Dead” can be found at http://www.aph.gov.au/house/committee/JSCT/kyoto/sub44c.htm

    Having read Hunter et al, the comparison between the two is rather stark. See what you think.

  51. Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 2:10 PM | Permalink

    I don’t think that John Hunter treated the issue diplomatically.

    The most difficult part in local sea level change estimates is the amount of land subsidence. Secondly the tidal observations of Tasmania are erratic, so prone to different interpretations. I don’t have sufficent knowledge on Tasmanian geology to judge between Daly and Hunter. OTOH Hunter’s numbers on Tasmania agree with mine on Hawaii and Den Helder, so I give him the benefit of doubt.

  52. John A
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

    Re: #51 Actually Hans I don’t, for reasons that will become apparent

  53. Hans Erren
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

    you make me very curious

  54. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

    Re:#43
    John H., you say:

    You say: “all you have to do with computer files is put them in a directory on a server connected to the Internet and run the ftp daemon”.

    As I’ve said elsewhere:

    “The work resulted in over 2000 computer files in 140 folders. It also generated about 40 cm thickness of hardcopy, of which little is in digital form. All of this data (which is well catalogued) will hopefully be kept for posterity in case it is ever required for serious research “¢’‚¬? but I’m not spending my time putting it on the web (EVEN for serious researchers)!”

    It’s important not to let the best be the enemy of the good here. Certainly digitizing the 40cm of paperwork is not trivial (although using modern scanners, it shouldn’t take more than a day of work, which can be done by a company like Kinko’s so as not to occupy any significant amount of your own time).

    However, making even gigabytes of files publically available on the internet *now* takes NO significant time and effort, even for someone with only a personal dialup internet-access account. No one is asking that your 2000 files be collated, or even inspected by you, or that you create any kind of descriptive website. Just copy them to a folder available for access on the internet. This certainly shouldn’t take more than a few minutes; if you need some suggestions on where to get web space or on how to actually copy the files there, I’m sure many of the posters here would be happy to help if the info isn’t already available in your organization.

    Starting by accomplishing the easy data sharing that everyone can agree doesn’t take any significant time or effort can only enhance one’s standing in the scientific world. Refusing to perform even trivial data sharing can only raise questions in people’s minds, and lesson the weight of one’s pronouncements in general.

  55. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 3:43 PM | Permalink

    Armand MacMurray (#54): You say “However, making even gigabytes of files publically available on the internet *now* takes NO significant time and effort, even for someone with only a personal dialup internet-access account.”

    You miss the important completely. I previously said:

    “What you would need to do is ferret through the documents contained in the 0.5 Gb of 2000 files of data which relate to our 8 years of work. It IS traceable, but would involve a significant amount of work “¢’‚¬? and I’m just not prepared to put my time and effort into it.”

    I am also certainly not prepared to put a jumble of unsorted files (many not directly relevant to our final results; some confidential) on the web for any Tom, Dick or Harry to misquote for their own private ends.

    So (all of you) PLEASE stop pretending that an “audit” means harassing a scientist to spend time jumping through YOUR hoops, when not one of you seems to be willing to actually do the hard work of validation — even when the information you need is handed to you on a plate.

  56. Doug L
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 3:46 PM | Permalink

    Re #50

    John A,

    Thanks for that link, it seems to contain stuff I remember being in the dead link at Waiting for the Greenhouse (same or similar title “Testing the Waters”) The last link in my previous post tests out OK. There’s nothing more there that I would describe as checking out physical evidence.

    “Testing the Waters” does not change my mind, I”m agnostic on sea level and have already seen it. Daly’s appeal is that he writes for the layman. I have not read Hunter’s peer reviewed paper.

    Hunter’s criticism of Daly is here:

    http://people.aapt.net.au/~johunter/greenhou/home.html

    Yes, I prefer Daly’s style to Hunter, but going from a year old memory, each might be accused of not continually appraising the reader of when they are referring to sea level vs the land and sea level in a more absolute sense.

    Fifty plus % of the way down that last link Hunter says:

    “It is also interesting to investigate John Daly’s claim that the record `shows no sea level rise over the 40 years …”

    (Keep in mind I haven’t tried to understand this point)

    In Daly’s “Testing the Waters” I have trouble keeping track of which type of sea level he’s referring to either. Based on memory, I concluded that Daly found no significant change with respect to land based on the chart half way down. But when you allow for adjustments, it depends on who’s adjustments you accept. You can have sea level rise without inundation if the land moves enough.

    Daly says local geologic evidence suggests 0.19 mm per year of land uplift and that presumably Hunter and others are using 0.61 mm per year. I don’t recall Daly discussing the uncertainty on that 0.19 mm anywhere.

    If indeed Daly doesn’t address this issue with the care that he does so many other things, this should cause one to wonder why.

  57. bruce
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    Re #55: John,

    So (all of you) PLEASE stop pretending that an “audit” means harassing a scientist to spend time jumping through YOUR hoops, when not one of you seems to be willing to actually do the hard work of validation “¢’‚¬? even when the information you need is handed to you on a plate.

    Your continuing comments make it very clear that it is YOU that don’t understand that when a scientist publishes reports that become very influential as in the 2001 TAR report, the responsibility is on HIM to make sure that what he reports is, to borrow a commercial phrase “true, plain and fair”. Good scientific practice demands that the publishing scientist is sure about his data and methods, and that he makes his data and methods available to other scientists to enable them to replicate, and so confirm, his results.

    As events have shown, statements such as “our work shows that the 20th century was far the warmest of the past millenium” are bound to attract detailed scrutiny. Many will demand to see your proof. Your work had better be sound, and you had better comply with scientific standards or you will be asked to explain yourself.

    And as has also become strikingly evident, we the public cannot rely on the peer-review process or the scientific journal’s rules to ensure that the scientist publishing has complied with sound practice. Under those circumstances, it is hardly surprising that people are demanding accountability.

    It is brave of you to acknowledge that the data underlying your published papers is not in a fit condition for publication. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t that mean that you yourself have not complied with the requirements of the journals, nor with standard scientific practice?

  58. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

    Steve (#45 …. ad nauseam}: You apparantly believe that, after a scientist has had a paper accepted and published, whenever some point of contradiction is raised by some nonentity on the web, that scientist is duty-bound to spend time defending his original paper. You also seem to believe that this has something to do with “auditing” and “replication”.

    Well, I have a theory, which I am now posting on the web. I have several times questioned the identity of “John A”. Now, “John A” is a mysterious character — he only seems to have appeared on the web at about the time when climateaudit started, and then as the person who is supposed to be handling the sites’s operational matters. He has a very different personality to “Steve McIntyre” — he is rude, crass and somewhat casual with the truth, and displays a singular lack of knowledge of things scientific or statistical. On the other hand, “Steve McIntyre” does, to his credit, show a certain facility at mathematics, and can at least get stuff published in the scientific literature. “John A” is a clear global warming contrarian whereas “Steve McIntyre” appears keen to distance himself from the contrarian debate, rather, presenting himself as the “honest broker” unmasking the sins of the climate scientist. “Steve McIntyre” has also been (relatively) open (that is, when pressed into a corner) about his background. So I suggest that “Steve McIntyre” and “John A” are the SAME PERSON — a perfect way for “Steve McIntyre” to appear to be the honest auditor and, at the same time, stir the contrarian pot. That is my theory and I will believe it until evidence to the contrary is presented to me (and that would be such a SIMPLE thing to do). From now on, the views and statements of “Steve McIntyre”, “John A” and climateaudit are one and the same.

    So goodbye “John A” (the “ventriloquist’s dummy”) and good morning “Steve McIntyre”!

    And once again, Steve, I repeat:

    I take it from your response that you have no intention of actually using the information I have given you to attempt any kind of replication of our work concerning sea level at the Isle of the Dead.

  59. fFreddy
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

    Re #55, John Hunter

    “What you would need to do is ferret through the documents contained in the 0.5 Gb of 2000 files of data which relate to our 8 years of work. It IS traceable, but would involve a significant amount of work “¢’‚¬? and I’m just not prepared to put my time and effort into it.”

    Presumably you have already done this ferreting, in order to get to the intermediate data which you used in your published results.
    What happened to this intermediate data ? Why was it not saved ?

  60. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 4:27 PM | Permalink

    Bruce (#58): You say: “It is brave of you to acknowledge that the data underlying your published papers is not in a fit condition for publication. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t that mean that you yourself have not complied with the requirements of the journals, nor with standard scientific practice?”

    I didn’t say that — you did. You too are welcome to follow the steps given in #26 and validate our work — indeed a good validation by an impartial observer would be useful. You have all the imformation necessary for so doing.

    So — are you just another one of those morons in the grandstand who would rather shout abuse than play the actual game? Go on — give me a pleasant surprise and prove otherwise!

  61. kim
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 4:52 PM | Permalink

    Interesting theory, JH, but the styles are too different.
    ================================

  62. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 5:12 PM | Permalink

    #62. John Hunter, you really try my patience, as I’m sure is your goal. For the record, John A. is a different person than me (BTW I’ve had a beer with him in London last December; fFreddy was there as well.)

    On replication, I argue that scientists should live up to their obligations under journals and funding agency policies and that the journals and agencies should enforce those policies. Most problems that I enounter result from scientists not complying with those policies. It should be unnecessary to have to even contact a scientist to obtain data or methodological information. However, if a scientist has been negligent in performing his original obligations, I would expect cooperation after the fact.

    These standards are expected in econometrics journals and represent best practice. I see no reason why paleoclimate scientists should adhere to lower standards than econometricians. I’m not advocating an abstract standard that exists nowhere else. I’m simply proposing that paleoclimate scientists apply best practices.

  63. TCO
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

    I think the other thing is that there are a lot of qualititative claims and justifications made regarding methodology in paleo articles. These are made in the tone of being explanatory (which is fine), but one should also have the precise numerical validity expressed as well. At least in the SI.

  64. TCO
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 5:36 PM | Permalink

    When they do that, I think it opens them up to justifiable burger-and-cubashing. our friend Wilson seems to do some of this in the one article that I was reading. Things like why he uses RW versus MD. It becomes circular if you are claiming an extra study agreeing with previous ones, when part of your selection of differing methodologies is which gives a closer match.

    And if he’s not doing that fine. It was just a sense that I got…and I will stand down if proven wrong.

  65. TCO
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 5:38 PM | Permalink

    BTW, Steve in one of these threads, JH did seem to be asking you to weigh in on a science issue. I know that you like to avoid JA’s little battles, but this was a direct request on a science issue. I thought. I trust your ability to critically look at things more than JA…like to hear the response.

  66. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 5:58 PM | Permalink

    Steve (#62): You have totally failed to answer my question of posting #39.

    Please do answer it.

  67. John A
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

    “John A” is a mysterious character “¢’‚¬? he only seems to have appeared on the web at about the time when climateaudit started, and then as the person who is supposed to be handling the sites’s operational matters. He has a very different personality to “Steve McIntyre” “¢’‚¬? he is rude, crass and somewhat casual with the truth, and displays a singular lack of knowledge of things scientific or statistical. On the other hand, “Steve McIntyre” does, to his credit, show a certain facility at mathematics, and can at least get stuff published in the scientific literature. “John A” is a clear global warming contrarian whereas “Steve McIntyre” appears keen to distance himself from the contrarian debate, rather, presenting himself as the “honest broker” unmasking the sins of the climate scientist. “Steve McIntyre” has also been (relatively) open (that is, when pressed into a corner) about his background. So I suggest that “Steve McIntyre” and “John A” are the SAME PERSON “¢’‚¬? a perfect way for “Steve McIntyre” to appear to be the honest auditor and, at the same time, stir the contrarian pot. That is my theory and I will believe it until evidence to the contrary is presented to me (and that would be such a SIMPLE thing to do). From now on, the views and statements of “Steve McIntyre”, “John A” and climateaudit are one and the same.

    And I thought Tim Lambert was pretty deranged, but no, John Hunter definitely takes the biscuit for most foam-flecked commenter on Climate Audit. I hope the keyboard they supply Hunter is spill-proof otherwise the drool should have shorted out the computer long before now.

    All of this smokescreen is because Hunter can’t get his paper on Tasmanian sea levels to stick. His paper states in the first sentence that Tasmania has seen a relative sea-level rise based on his calculations (some of which are confidential? how? are there secret mathematical techniques that might aid terrorists in there?) but are trumped by the simple physical evidence that there is no physical evidence of such a sealevel rise, quite the reverse.

    He then pumps up the invective to get good, honest reasonable people to defend themselves from some academic in Tasmania (and a real credit to the University no doubt) who thinks himself above any sort of criticism or even inspection based on the facts above. He regards everyone else in complete contempt unless they agree with his beliefs. Everyone else is a “contrarian” and a “non-entity”.

    Why does Hunter insist on my identity? Because he can’t answer my questions. Since he has tenure (and therefore even intemperate behavior does not affect his pay packet) he seeks to find out mine so that no doubt he can cause maximum damage to my professional reputation. He can’t do it to Steve, but he can to me.

    I’ve asked lots of academics to show their workings and answer my questions and all have been courteous and prompt. I can only conclude that Dr John Hunter is an aberration whose behavior most academics would abhor.

  68. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

    Re:#55

    I am also certainly not prepared to put a jumble of unsorted files (many not directly relevant to our final results; some confidential) on the web for any Tom, Dick or Harry to misquote for their own private ends.

    I had been hoping this wasn’t the case — it’s always disappointing to find a scientist so contemptuous of the general community that he is unwilling to share data.
    I had always been taught that a major part of science is exactly the sharing of data “…for any Tom, Dick or Harry to misquote for their own private ends.”(well, hopefully to quote — the misquotes should be easily evident by comparison with the original source of data)

  69. John A
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

    Re #56:

    Doug L:

    Yes, I prefer Daly’s style to Hunter, but going from a year old memory, each might be accused of not continually appraising the reader of when they are referring to sea level vs the land and sea level in a more absolute sense.

    If you send me an e-mail to climateaudit AT gmail.com I’ll send you a copy.

  70. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 7:29 PM | Permalink

    Steve: John Hunter, stop being tiresome. If you want to debate John A., do so., but address him. Please discontinue your deranged fantasy that we are the same people. I have nothing to do with post #67. You’re just being a jerk.

    Steve (#67): You say:

    "Hunter can’t get his paper on Tasmanian sea levels to stick"

    [snip]
    John says: Now you’re being a jerk.

  71. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 7:34 PM | Permalink

    Armand MacMurray (#68): You suggest that I am “a scientist so contemptuous of the general community that he is unwilling to share data”.

    Please state what specific piece of data you would like and what you would like to do with it — then we may be able to get somewhere. And, PLEASE, don’t say something stupid like “everything you have ever written”!

  72. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 7:49 PM | Permalink

    Re #72: John, maybe you could explain what exactly is the benefit of interacting with these folks? I must say I don’t see one for a scientist.

  73. John A
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 8:45 PM | Permalink

    Re: #72

    We could say exactly the same thing about you. Only it would be true.

  74. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 8:46 PM | Permalink

    #39. John A does not "speak for" climateaudit. It’s my blog. I haven’t examined your data disclosure, but, from the postings, it doesn’t sound satisfactory. I have no interest in the topic at present and have no plans to examine your disclosure at present. Maybe someone else will volunteer to look at whether your disclosure is satisfactory and report back.

    With respect to our 2003 article, we put up a detailed supplementary information with code at http://www.climate2003.com and you can consult it. Data citations were in the article itself. For our GRL article, Huybers found our code very satisfactory for seeing what we did. I’ve responded promptly to requests e.g. Bürger of Bürger and Cubasch consulted code for our 2005 articles as well as unpublished descriptions of the linear algebra used in our emulations (I think that he should have acknowledged in B&C 2005.)

  75. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 9:46 PM | Permalink

    #65. TCO, if John Hunter asked a science question of me, I must have missed it. Do you recall what it was?

  76. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 9:53 PM | Permalink

    Steve Bloom (#72): You ask if I “could explain what exactly is the benefit of interacting with these folks”.

    I really wish I had a good answer (the trouble is that “casting pearls before swine” keeps coming into my mind). I guess, in this case it started because Steve and his henchman pretend to hold the high moral ground in only being interested in the details of the statistics (although Steve appears to be the only one actually doing any statistics) and here were three quite clear posting which illustrated testosterone-charged Steve on the attack — nothing whatever to do with statistics. John A, however, soon got involved and launched his own attack — once more with his pretence that I am keeping the “Isle of the Dead” data secret. I thought this was a good opportunity to illustrate the complete intellectual bankruptcy of him and the “sub-cheerleaders” by offering them once again the opportunity of checking what we had done — but of course, when there is actual work to be done, they all run for cover.

    climateaudit does however provide a good record of all this for posterity.

  77. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 10:05 PM | Permalink

    Steve (#70): You can call me a jerk as much as you like. I was simply conducting myself as you do in the persona of "John A" — i.e. if anything contrary to A’s statement B appears on the web, then it is the duty of A to defend statement B — until then, statement B is assumed to be wrong. Until you provide convincing proof that you are not "John A" then I will continue to treat you as one person — and I don’t think statements like "I’ve had a beer with him in London last December; fFreddy was there as well" would serve as very good scientific, commercial or legal evidence!

    Steve: John Hunter, in addition to becoming increasingly tiresome, you have stepped over the line and are behaving as though you are simply deranged.

  78. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 10:07 PM | Permalink

    Steve (#74): O.K., if you can’t be bothered to look into our data disclosure, and it sure as hell looks as if no one else on her is going to move a muscle to do anything constructive, let’s accept that no fault has been found in our data disclosure. Agreed?

    Steve: Not agreed at all. You have no idea what Armand MacMurray or TCO or anyone else might do. You get so jacked up that you can’t wait 15 minutes. I looked at your previous post and did not see any FTP location for your tidal data or anything else. If someone goes and collects new tidal data, that’s different data than your data. Let’s start with that. Have you archived your underlying tidal data?

  79. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 10:10 PM | Permalink

    Steve B & John Hunter,

    “casting pearls before swine” keeps coming into my mind

    And “Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on the way out” comes into mine. And sadly, I’m setting here trying to find a softer statement to end with and nothing comes to mind. But I’m probably just tired.

  80. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 10:57 PM | Permalink

    Steve (#78): You ask: "Have you archived your underlying tidal data?".

    Yes — of course. Our data is in the standard repository for sea level data in Australia. The historic (1840s data), in its original form is in archives in the United Kingdom and Australia, as referenced in our first paper.

    As for your statement that I "have no idea what Armand MacMurray or TCO or anyone else might do": the details of how one might validate our "Isle of the Dead" study have been on your site for nearly two months. Since then I have had no suggestion whatsoever that anyone has, or is following, this up; instead I get (snip) John A’s persistent and malicious claims that I am not being open — now that IS tiresome — and, if I were you, I’d fix it.

    Steve: Again I have no interest in sea level data, but for those that might, can you give an exact citation. For example, Mann’s Corrigdenum only said that his precipitation data came from NOAA – hardly a sufficient citation. If you gave an accurate and complete data citation in your original article, that’s great, but please indulge me by demonstrating your openness and providing it again. Then we’ll move on to other matters.

    I presume that you digitized the historic data. Could you provide an FTP location for your digitization so that any interested party could verify your digitization against the original records.

  81. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 11:02 PM | Permalink

    Steve (#77): You say I am behaving as if I am “simply deranged”.

    The point I am making (and which seem to be persistently missing) is that I am behaving in EXACTLY the same way as “John A” behaves — if I am deranged, then so too is the person who runs climateaudit. I’ll go through it one more time. This is the way “John A” works:

    “If anything contrary to A’s statement B appears on the web, then it is the duty of A to defend statement B “¢’‚¬? until then, statement B is assumed to be wrong.”

    Get it Steve?

  82. Kenneth Blumenfeld
    Posted Mar 26, 2006 at 11:06 PM | Permalink

    I think it would best if all people who are not John Hunter and Steve McIntyre would stop pretending that this is not marvelously amusing (and that is the ante for horrendous sentence structure. Anyone else in?).

    Steve, John…have you guys done this before? Are you old pals or something?

  83. Bob K
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 12:57 AM | Permalink

    RE: 77
    In effect, what you’re really saying is Steve is a liar until proven otherwise.

    The word unhinged comes to mind.

  84. fFreddy
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 1:14 AM | Permalink

    Re #62, 77, etc.
    I can confirm Steve’s assertion; from my own observation, Steve and John are two quite separate people. Both jolly good chaps, mind you.
    Of course, such testimony has little value on a blog, given that it is entirely possible that I am just another figment of Steve’s online persona (or is it John’s ?).

    Excuse me, I feel an existential crisis coming on …

  85. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 1:46 AM | Permalink

    Re #76 “so that no doubt he can cause maximum damage to my professional reputation.”

    Err, how can you professional reputation be being damaged when NO ONE knows who you are, or what you do?

    “…persona of “John A” “¢’‚¬? i.e. if anything contrary to A’s statement B appears on the web, then it is the duty of A to defend statement B “¢’‚¬? until then, statement B is assumed to be wrong.”

    That pretty much sums up the John A world view. Incidentally John H, I seem to remember that fine fellow Nigel Persaud and a hyena of a psed who will remain nameless leaving the Newsgroup scene at about the same time. I wonder if they’re related?

    Oh, and it’s a pretty demeaning attempted character assination to call John Hunter ‘deranged’. Steve – not how you normally behave that. Still, I guess the theory is that if you sling enough some will stick? Pretty much how the comment section of CA works that…

  86. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 1:51 AM | Permalink

    Of course that’s #67…Doh!

  87. Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 2:08 AM | Permalink

    McIntyre’s position can be neatly summarized, in the immortal words of Bob Marley,

    I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot the deputy.

    Mcintyre admits to using a sock puppet, “Nigel Persuad”. That is, he admits that he shot the sheriff. John Hunter claimed that in addition, McIntyre has another sock puppet, “John A”. McIntyre claims that is not true, but offers no proof.

    In my opinion, there is reasonable doubt as to whether McIntyre shot the deputy. Bob Marley’s decision stands.

  88. fFreddy
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 2:41 AM | Permalink

    Re #87, Lambert
    Hello, Tim. Do you yet have any substantive comment to make on Steve’s mathematical work here, or is it still too difficult for you ?

  89. John A
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 2:45 AM | Permalink

    Err, how can you professional reputation be being damaged when NO ONE knows who you are, or what you do?

    10 out of 10 for Hearnden!

  90. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 2:54 AM | Permalink

    Right, but, John whoever you are, if you’re right how could being right damage you professional reputation? You know, ‘right’ about entropy, ‘right’ about sea levels?

    Incidentally, I see you have been quite happy to try and damage the professional reputation of other from the securty of anonymity.

    Don’t you see the contradiction?

  91. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 3:39 AM | Permalink

    Bob K (#83): You say: “In effect, what you’re really saying is Steve is a liar until proven otherwise.”

    What I was attempting to illustrate, dear Bob, was “John A”‘s philosophy towards climate science and climate scientists. The construct is something which is called an “analogy” — the word comes in the dictionary under the letter “A”.

  92. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 3:43 AM | Permalink

    fFreddy (#84): It is interesting that, on a web site which puts so much store in “auditing”, you and others should also put so much store in claims by completely anonymous people …..

  93. John A
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 3:49 AM | Permalink

    Right, but, John whoever you are, if you’re right how could being right damage you professional reputation? You know, “right’ about entropy, “right’ about sea levels?

    You assume that if I produce a paper on climate science which is “right” that scientists would immediately fall into line behind it. That isn’t how it happens.

    For example, the fact that Steve McIntyre has been published in Geophysical Research Letters and that critical comments by both Mann and Ammann & Wahl have been rejected, should have (in a rational world) caused a seismic shift in scientists perceptions of multiproxy reconstructions and the work of the IPCC.

    Yet for John Hunter, those facts are irrelevant compared to whether Steve McIntyre is part of some mysterious fossil-fuel-powered conspiracy to discredit the “scientific consensus”

    If I were independently wealthy enough to not worry about what people said about me, then I would publish my full name and address. I doubt very much that that would be the end of it, since for people like John Hunter, my impure motive of questioning his results points also to involvement in a “vast rightwing conspiracy” (to borrow a phrase from Hillary Clinton).

    For me, that is an invidious position. I am not financially independent. I cannot “officially” request materials from people, nor publish without revealing my name. I work on projects where customers might be more than a little sensitive about my extra-curricular activities for political reasons.

    Incidentally, I see you have been quite happy to try and damage the professional reputation of other from the securty of anonymity.

    Don’t you see the contradiction?

    No I don’t. I am not seeking to destroy John Hunter’s reputation (I think he is doing a fine job of it himself, IMHO). If John Hunter were to put materials online, I’d go into London and check out the sources and compare the one with the other and put the comparison between the sources and John Hunter’s data online for everyone to see. If there is no difference then there is no difference and I would say so.

    Scientific reputations are not destroyed by people pointing out demonstrable mistakes. Usually they are destroyed by the scientists themselves falsifying their results, or being unable to recognise clear mistakes and accept them as genuine, but instead attack the replicators personally for being part of an industry plot or an Establishment cover-up.

    What do I think I’d find in Hunter’s data? I doubt very much that John Hunter has made deliberate mistakes in his transcription of Lempriere’s tidal logs, and any differences could surely be reconciled by references to the sources without much fuss.

    What I’d like to do is an experiment in science weblogging, to get multiple independent people to go through the data and check against sources and attempt to go through the steps of Hunter’s and Daly’s separate reconstructions and see whether one or the other or neither is correct.

    I’ve already spotted (I think) one big mistake in John Daly’s reconstruction which materially affects his result, just by inspection of his graphs and accompanying text, but I’d put that “mistake” into the mix and see what people think.

    I doubt that debunking John Hunter’s reconstruction would harm John Hunter’s reputation, unless John Hunter were to indulge himself in barbed rhetoric and appeals to conspiracies after the facts have become generally known.

    On the other hand, If the replication reproduces Hunter’s results, then I would publish that here as well.

    Its like a crossword puzzle where each has published a different solution but we cannot see the clues to distinguish who is right.

    It’s just that, ultimately, I doubt that some climate scientists would take me to their bosom as a fellow traveller in any case.

  94. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 4:19 AM | Permalink

    Steve: O.K. everyone has had their fun. You’ve continued to advertise Spence_UK’s silly parody (so I guess that has kept your testosterone up to a safe level). John A has made an embarassment of himself yet again by making all sorts of claims which he can’t substantiate. And I’ve had the pleasure of seeing yet another marvellous historical archiving job being done by climateadit — a (hopefuly) robust record of the machinations of some the morons who inhabit these parts. But now, let’s be a little constructive — you know, one “angry old man” to another.

    I don’t think I’ve ever met a scientist who claims that his/her personal or his/her institutional archiving practices are entirely up to scratch. In fact, climate science has been one strong indicator of the value and need for better archiving, as well as long-term data collection programs. Whatever you may think of me, I have been troubled about data archiving for many years and have endeavoured that as much of my workings and data survive. I accept, too, that the standard of disclosure with respect to your 2003 article (i.e. the supplementary information at http://www.climate2003.com) looks (on the face of it) reasonable — however, having said that, it would be interesting to see how you would handle more messy projects which may involve field observations with field notebooks (kept by a disparate range of people), or which may involve delving into archives for hardcopies that are often fragmented and scarcely readable. But, giving you your due, you probably have a a few good ideas of how archiving should be carried out.

    So — why waste your efforts supporting this web site, which may alter a very few peoples practices in “due dilligence”, which however pisses off an awful lot more (who will take absolutely no further notice of you) and which also serves as a breeding ground for those who spread such arrant and dreadful nonsense? Why do you not, instead, spend your efforts on developing a model (i.e. exemplar) archiving site for climate data? You could try and start with the palaeo data, but I fear you may have queered your pitch just a little there — but, nevertheless, there are lots of other types of useful data you could collect.

    Go on, Steve — do something USEFUL with your time, abilites and seemingly boundless energy!

    You might even win friends in the climate community!

  95. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 4:22 AM | Permalink

    Sorry, Steve — you have some proble with posting to this thread — I didn’t mean to duplicate my posting — delete the first one (which spelled you name wrong!).

    John A: Done.

  96. Louis Hissink
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 4:33 AM | Permalink

    John Hunter,

    Your explanations won’t wash with the ASX or ASIC nor with the AIG or AusIMM for data archiving issues, and this is what the debate is about.

    If your research results were to be the basis of an IPO, (Initial Public Offering), then on the basis of transparency and due diligence your argument would be considered specious until proven otherwise.

    As for sea level benchmarks, all theories on this physical fact assume that the earth has not physically changed in volume over time. If it can be shown that the earth’s physical volume is variable over geological time, then that would affect your own research I suspect.

    I presume that this possibility has been considered in your work? Or at least discounted.

  97. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 4:39 AM | Permalink

    “John A” (#93): You say: “If John Hunter were to put materials online, I’d go into London and check out the sources and compare the one with the other and put the comparison between the sources and John Hunter’s data online for everyone to see.”

    Don’t you think that may be a bit of a waste of time — why don’t you just go to London, copy the historic data, calculate from that the mean tidal levels for 1841 and 1842 and compare these with those published in our first paper? That way, you check our calculations at the same time.

    Actually, I fear that you just don’t understand the core of John Daly’s argument with us — it was about whether the benchmark at the Isle of the Dead was originally installed at mean sea level (as Daly always claimed) or somewhere near high water (as we have always believed). We have indeed discussed these two possibilities quite openly in our published work and at numerous public seminars. We argued that, to take Daly’s proposition, together with other historical information on sea level, would stretch the bounds of the physical world to the nigh impossible. However, as far as I recall, John Daly had no disagreement about the actual values coming out of our analyses — except that he did have one enormous blind spot in that he had absolutely no understanding of error budgets (which are pretty crucial to arguments such as this) — if anyone wants to see a dog’s breakfast of a discussion on errors, take a look at Daly’s articles on altimeter measurements!

    Anyway, “John A”, once again you seem to be not just barking up the wrong tree, but up the wrong forest!

  98. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 4:40 AM | Permalink

    RE #96, oh dear, I’ve not come across an expanding Earth exponent for a while.

  99. Louis Hissink
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 4:52 AM | Permalink

    re#98

    Peter,

    Get one fact straight – you mentioned expanding earth, not I. My post could not possibly allow the conclusion of an expanding earth theory, and this is the simple problem we morons have with you savants – you read from our meagre posts all sorts of wondrous imaginative constructs.

    Have you considered a shrinking earth? According to the Big Bang Theorey, that has to be the case.

    Or is your understanding of science incomplete?

  100. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 4:56 AM | Permalink

    Louis (#96): I’m afraid I haven’t the faintest idea what the first two paragraphs of your posting are about — so I naturally can’t comment (an explanation of the alphabet soup and how it relates to sea level science might help). As for the remainder of your posting — we do adjust for changes in shape of the Earth due to GIA, which naturally also accounts for any change in volume associated with crustal deformation. We are also now gaining increasingly good information about the detailed deformation (and hence any change in volume) of the Earth from techniques such as GPS and VLBI.

  101. Louis Hissink
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 5:06 AM | Permalink

    Re#100

    Your first sentence would do Rumpole proud.

    Changes in crustal deformation do not alter the earth’s volume, merely it shape. There are no quantitative data on the earth’s volume apart from those from satellite measurements. Since the argument here, (Daly’s contention), is based on data over 100 years past, there is no data to verify or negate the interpretation that global sea levels are rising.

  102. John A
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 5:36 AM | Permalink

    Actually, I fear that you just don’t understand the core of John Daly’s argument with us “¢’‚¬? it was about whether the benchmark at the Isle of the Dead was originally installed at mean sea level (as Daly always claimed) or somewhere near high water (as we have always believed).

    You present these two things as if they were matters of belief rather than matters of the historical record. Daly believed that the mark was set at the mean sea level because that was what Thomas Lempriere wrote in his journal as being instructed to do AND independently by Captain Ross in his personal diary based on Baron Humboldt’s suggestion to mark the mean level of the ocean (and not the high tide mark), thus (my emphasis):

    "My principal object in visiting Port Arthur was to afford a comparison of our standard barometer with that which had been employed for several years by Mr. Lempriere, the Deputy Assistant Commissary General, in accordance with my instructions, and also to establish a permanent mark at the zero point, or general mean level of the sea as determined by the tidal observations which Mr. Lempriere had conducted with perseverance and exactness for some time: by which means any secular variation in the relative level of the land and sea, which is known to occur on some coasts, might at any future period be detected, and its amount determined.

    Against this is your interpretation of your results and the reports of the marker reported twice that (my emphasis):

    `On the rock fronting this stone a line, denoting the height of the tide, was struck on the 1st July, 1841. Mean time, 2.44 p.m. Moon’s age, 12 days. Height of water in the tide gauge, 6 ft 1 in.’ "

    Then there’s the physical evidence, such as the fact that the old docks at Port Arthur are now too shallow to allow any boats the of the size described in the 1840s to be able to berth there without running aground a long way from shore.

    As for

    Don’t you think that may be a bit of a waste of time “¢’‚¬? why don’t you just go to London, copy the historic data, calculate from that the mean tidal levels for 1841 and 1842 and compare these with those published in our first paper? That way, you check our calculations at the same time.

    I intend to do that, but only if you produce that data file so that I have a comparison to hand rather than have to guesstimate based on the graphs that were published.

  103. BradH
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 6:31 AM | Permalink

    Re:#94

    Go on, Steve “¢’‚¬? do something USEFUL with your time, abilites and seemingly boundless energy!

    John, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt on this one and assume that you intended your “useful” comment to be restricted to time spent by Steve on this blog, rather than his and Ross’ papers. Nevertheless, you know full well why Steve established this blog, as it has been discussed many, many times: the trashing of Steve and Ross on Real Climate and on other AGW-friendly forums.

    Steve established this blog to protect his work and his reputation. I have seen you in this very post defending your own work and reputation. It seems to me that you consider this an important activity for yourself, so why would this not be a “useful” activity for Steve?

    You might even win friends in the climate community!

    Good one…I’m laughing on the inside…really, I am.

  104. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

    $94. Mineral exploration companies and government mines departments have lots of experience in archiving and preserving “messy” data. It costs a lot of money to collect geological data so both geologists and companies go to considerable effort to make sure that it isn’t lost. Title to mining claims in English-language jurisdictions is typically conditional both on exploration being carried out and at least a cerain amount of work being archived with the mines office. This information goes back for generations in mining camps in Canada and undoubtedly in Australia.

    There is a perfectly adequate databank for paleoclimate data at the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology. So there’s no need for a “model” site. I could not function in this area without WDCP. I have found them to be very cooperative and, in turn, they appreciate the public support that I’ve given to their efforts. Dendrochronologists of the older generation were leaders by establishing an original paleoclimatology data bank (ITRDB) now operated by WDCP. Jacoby archived much earlier work with ITRDB. However, Jacoby has (for example) archived virtually none of his North American sampling for the last decade – why?

    In this respect, I’m as critical of NSF as I am of the individual scientists. NSF does not enforce data archiving policies mandated by the US government. What’s their excuse? That’s a perfectly reasonable oversight function for a congrssional committee.

    As to the function of the blog, things morph and change over time and it’s probably worthwhile thinking about them from time to time( and I might move such ruminations into a headnote.)

    Originallly, I was simply protecting myself against bile from realclimate and Mann. Now that I’ve pretty much survived their onslaught, people forget that the various forms of denigration that were employed e.g. UCAR’s press release that all claims were “unfounded”, Houghton’s presentation asserting the same to a Senate Committee, a hatchet job by Environmental Science & Technology with bile from UCAR scientists, UCAR’s presentation in Washington by Ammann, Bradley and Crowley, Crowley’s bilious EOS article, all the sci.environment type denigration, Mann’s attempts to stop publication of the Natuurwetenschap article, all the radian-degree crap as though I had anything to do with it and as though an error by one person showed that another person could not have made an error, Mann’s BBC interview, Daily Kos, etc. etc. I don’t have similar access to favorable media coverage and the blog has been my way of pushing back. If you look at the Hockey Team record in all of this, you will find virtually no criticism of us that touches any essential points. If I’d not stood up, what would have the point of ever writing another article? Having said that, that original purpose may no longer be valid.

    A second purpose is that I often use the blog to record notes on things that I find interesting. For example, I’ve got a note on Naurzbaev et al 2004, an article that I like. Writing up a note for the blog ensures that I’ve got a record of what I found interesting in the article. By going to a little extra trouble at the time, I end up with a usable record of my reading that I can come back to. I can search the blog for the notes far more readily than I can search files on my computer. Most such notes are not journal publishable.

    A third purpose has been to simply get data. In the last month, I’ve got data from Science related to both Esper et al 2002 and Osborn and Briffa 2006. Without a public audience, I would have been stonewalled.

    I disagree with your characterization of me as “angry” and your squash analogy is illuminating. I’m not “angry” when I play squash. I have fun playing squash, but I play to win. Afterwards, we socialize. At AGU in December, I had very pleasant dinners with Huybers and then with Zorita and I had lunch with Ammann. I’m serious that I would have tried to chat with Mann at the NAS panel if he’d not blown in and out; I went and chatted with Hughes about Liverpool soccer. In the various Hockey Team disputes, it’s one thing to be shown to be wrong (which, in my opinion no one has come close to showing) and another thing to be bullied from the field by disinformation. If the first happens, I’ll chin up; it’s always better to get these things over with; but I’ll compete pretty hard to see that the second doesn’t happen.

    I think that it’s unfair that you don’t allocate equivalent bile to people like Ammann. My proposal to him – to make a joint summary of what is agreed and disagreed under our compatible codes, etc. with a return to point zero if we could not reach agreement – was exactly what is required. It’s scandalous that the paleoclimate community has not taken steps to reconcile the issues. Journal articles back and forth are little more than high-level blogging. Ammann’s excuse for not doing so was reprehensible – that he’d already used the submission of these articles for career advancement purposes. Direct a little energy the other way.

  105. Louis Hissink
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 9:46 AM | Permalink

    AIG News Issue 83 has been published – http://www.aig.asn.au/pdf/AIGNews_Mar06.pdf.

    Letters are welcome.

    Steve might be especially interested in some pre Bre-Ex data which even I was unaware of. Contact me via the usual channels :-) SMcI :-)

  106. John Lish
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

    Just a note on the historical arguments going on about the Ross/Lempriere benchmark on the Isle of the Dead.

    Its worth noting that Sir James Clark Ross was the man who located the North Magnetic Pole in 1831 and was involved in eight expeditions exploring both the Arctic and Antarctic regions. He is not an accidential figure but a genuine product of the Enlightenment with its need to measure and record the physical world. As such, given his own written testimony describing the benchmark as recording the general mean sea level, this should be given serious consideration given the historical stature of Sir James as a scientist and explorer.

    The problem that this poses is that the benchmark sits today some 35cm above the measured mean sea level. Hence the disagreement refered to by John Hunter with John Daly. I must admit that I find it difficult to accept John Hunter’s argument that Sir James must have mis-remembered. It would be worth searching through Sir James’s journals (provided they have survived) to establish the intent for the benchmark. I doubt that this would be difficult as the date is known: July 1st 1841. I’ll do some research and see whether this particular dispute can be put to bed.

    There is another problematic as regards the benchmark which is Capt. Shortt paper for the Royal Society of Tasmania presented in 1889. He records the benchmark as being 34cm above the mean sea level. Not much difference in 100+ years. Anyone fancy doing an audit of that paper?

  107. John A
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    There is another problematic as regards the benchmark which is Capt. Shortt paper for the Royal Society of Tasmania presented in 1889. He records the benchmark as being 34cm above the mean sea level. Not much difference in 100+ years. Anyone fancy doing an audit of that paper?

    I’d like to have a look at it if someone would send it to me. The reason why Shortt had the benchmark remeasured was the series of earth tremors in the 1880s had produced noticeable uplift.

  108. John Lish
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    Right, I’ve found that the most relevant papers would be at Kew. I’ll give them a call in the morning and have a chat about viewing the papers of Rear Admiral Sir James Clark Ross.

  109. Louis Hissink
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

    Re# 107

    Earth tremors?

    renders previous arguments, but then Peter Hearnden would have a concise and adequate explanation………….

  110. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    I know John Daly had a long paper on the sudden uplift due to earthquakes and how that affected things. Isn’t that still on “Still Waiting for Greenhouse?” His point, if I recall, was that by not allowing for that John Hunter and others were basically creating an artificially large rate of rise in the oceans.

  111. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 2:20 PM | Permalink

    Go on, Steve “¢’‚¬? do something USEFUL with your time, abilites and seemingly boundless energy!

    John, there are plenty of useful things you could be doing rather than having petty arguments here and bickering about the duration a parody post remains undeleted on this site.

    Tuvalu is “sinking,” your statistical background needs serious work, and you’re spending time trying to agitatedly advise people on “making friends in the climate world?”

  112. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 9:32 PM | Permalink

    Everybody: I’ve spent enought time on this. The discussion has degenerated into going over ground that was much trampled by myself, John Daly and others several years ago. To answer a few random points:

    1. No, I will not provide anyone with a digitised version of the historic records until they can show good reason. If it is just to check that we wrote the numbers down right, then that is not good enough — the important thing is our quoted result (Mean Tidal Level relative to the benchmark). I have indicated how to find the data (just because it is not in the particular format that you require is not my problem — it IS the original data) and I have indicated our result — that should be sufficient. If any of you were even marginally awake, you would realise that John Daly digitised at least a part of the record — you could try asking his family for a copy if you want to be spared the trouble of digitisation.

    2. To spare Steve the trouble of doing a Google on the web, the national repository for sea level data in Australia is the National Tidal Centre (http://www.bom.gov.au/oceanography/projects/ntc/ntc.shtml)

    3. John Lish –do you think that we didn’t bother to do a thorough search of the Ross papers at Kew? Oh dear, you are all so good at reinventing the wheel. Also, the Shortt paper was covered in our GRL paper. And John Daly’s final criticisms were covered in http://people.aapt.net.au/~johunter/greenhou/reply.html.

    4. John A makes a fool of himself (again) by saying “I intend to do that, but only if you produce that data file so that I have a comparison to hand rather than have to guesstimate based on the graphs that were published.” If you had actually read our papers you would raelise that the historic data of Thomas Lempriere consists of TABLES OF NUMBERS and NOT graphs.

    5. Louis seems to think that “Changes in crustal deformation do not alter the earth’s volume, merely it shape.” WRONG — I guess the subtleties of the Poisson’s ratio are beyond him. He also thinks that “There are no quantitative data on the earth’s volume apart from those from satellite measurements.” WRONG — VLBI uses radio telescopes and astronomical radio sources.

    6. Lastly, dear people, I don’t know what you hope to “prove” by looking at the “Isle of the Dead” issue. If you believe that ANY result from that study could “disprove” that global average sea level is rising (as Daly seemed to believe) then you are on a hiding to nothing. That issue is closed — there is sufficient global data to indicate a rise of around 1.7 mm/year over the 20th century. If, however you want to get a testosterone buzz by finding some mistake in our analysis, then go ahead — I’m sure you’ll eventually find SOMETHING, as we are all fallible. But I am also sure you won’t find anything that significanly changes our results. And if the time you spend doing this means you don’t spend time harassing better scientists than myself — then all to the good!

    And a very good day to you all — I now have work to do before I visit the U.K. next week to see a very important person.

  113. jae
    Posted Mar 27, 2006 at 10:49 PM | Permalink

    Everybody: I’ve spent enought time on this. The discussion has degenerated into going over ground that was much trampled by myself, John Daly and others several years ago. To answer a few random points:

    LOL, last word guy, you can’t stop, can you! Somebody definitely has your goat…

  114. Pat Frank
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 12:14 AM | Permalink

    #36 – Silly me, John Hunter, for not realizing you’d embedded an innocently self-deprecating reference within a defaming essay. My mistake. Apologies.

  115. kim
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 12:19 AM | Permalink

    Moving the goalposts. Or tidemarker.
    =====================

  116. Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 1:45 AM | Permalink

    Wow. This thread. I thought the comics mildly amusing and a bit of harmless fun. You would have to be really inside the issues to even ‘get’ it.

  117. John Lish
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 3:01 AM | Permalink

    Statistical analysis of the data shown in the figure (Figure 2) reinforces our belief that the benchmark was not located at mean sea level in 1841. A least-squares fit of a linear trend to all the data shown, with due regard to the a priori uncertainty estimates, yields a slope that is not significantly different from the above trend (which was based only on the 1841-1842 and the 1999-2002 data), and a high (69 (43)%) `goodness-of-fit’ probability. However, if it is assumed that mean sea level in 1841 was at the benchmark, then the `goodness-of-fit’ probability becomes extremely low (0.13 (0.003)%), indicating that a constant trend would not fit such data; any curve that does fit the data would have to involve a steep fall (typically 9 (10) mm/year) prior to 1890, followed by a rise of around 1 mm/year, which we believe to be physically unrealistic.

    Yes, I understand your argument John Hunter re the benchmark. However, I’m curious about the notion of “mis-remembering”. Its inconsistant with the historical data from Ross’s published paper in 1847. That’s something that I want to square myself, first by visiting Kew then Cambridge to see whether there is any primary data from 1841 which references the benchmark and its meaning. Sarcasm about re-inventing the wheel without providing any references to your own bibliography demonstrating your research of the documentation isn’t helpful. Nor does it suggest scholarly integrity.

  118. John A
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 3:39 AM | Permalink

    However, if it is assumed that mean sea level in 1841 was at the benchmark, then the `goodness-of-fit’ probability becomes extremely low (0.13 (0.003)%), indicating that a constant trend would not fit such data; any curve that does fit the data would have to involve a steep fall (typically 9 (10) mm/year) prior to 1890, followed by a rise of around 1 mm/year, which we believe to be physically unrealistic.

    Actually what it does is ignore the reason why Captain Shortt had the benchmark remeasured in the first place. Hunter doesn’t mention that reason at all.

  119. John A
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 3:45 AM | Permalink

    No, I will not provide anyone with a digitised version of the historic records until they can show good reason. If it is just to check that we wrote the numbers down right, then that is not good enough “¢’‚¬? the important thing is our quoted result (Mean Tidal Level relative to the benchmark).

    So what would that reason be if it is not to check consistency with the source? Would it have anything to do with agreeing with Hunter’s result beforehand? Agreeing with Hunter’s political views?

  120. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 5:34 AM | Permalink

    John A (#119): I’m not sure whether you are being purposely evasive or just dim. The “source” is the hardcopy of Thomas Lempriere’s historic data from 1841 and 1842. One of our results (the only result from Thomas Lempriere’s data that has a bearing on our final estimate of sea level rise) is the Mean Tidal Level of that data. We give the values of Mean Tidal Level for 1841 and 1842 in our first paper. So …. if you repeat our analysis and get the same result as us, then what is your problem? If you don’t, then you might first want to look back at your work and see what you did wrong — before you waste any more of my time.

  121. John A
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 5:46 AM | Permalink

    John A makes a fool of himself (again) by saying “I intend to do that, but only if you produce that data file so that I have a comparison to hand rather than have to guesstimate based on the graphs that were published.” If you had actually read our papers you would raelise that the historic data of Thomas Lempriere consists of TABLES OF NUMBERS and NOT graphs.

    But I’m not asking you for the historic data of Thomas Lempriere because I’ll go get that myself, I’m ask YOU to provide your data that you derived so that I (and the rest of the world) can check them against the source.

    Simple? Obviously this difficulty of attaching a computer file to an e-mail and sending it causes you a problem. Is it stupidity or something much more fundamental? Obviously in the world of Hunter, one must agree with the worldview of Hunter to be allowed to see the precious numbers. Or maybe not even that. Maybe its just that Hunter is so threatened that someone dares question his results that he launches into bizarre personal attacks on people on weblogs.

    I could reconstruct the Isle of the Dead benchmark myself completely independently, but without Hunter’s data it would not be possible to reconcile the differences in results.

  122. John A
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 5:50 AM | Permalink

    I’m not sure whether you are being purposely evasive or just dim. The “source” is the hardcopy of Thomas Lempriere’s historic data from 1841 and 1842. One of our results (the only result from Thomas Lempriere’s data that has a bearing on our final estimate of sea level rise) is the Mean Tidal Level of that data. We give the values of Mean Tidal Level for 1841 and 1842 in our first paper. So …. if you repeat our analysis and get the same result as us, then what is your problem? If you don’t, then you might first want to look back at your work and see what you did wrong “¢’‚¬? before you waste any more of my time.

    The source is the hardcopy of Thomas Lempriere’s historic data, but unless you have a computer with the incredible ability to transcribe his handwriting directly into a computer, then you must have transcribed them into a file. And all I want to do is have that file so that I can verify that the file and the source match.

    Why is this so difficult to comprehend?

  123. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 5:56 AM | Permalink

    Re #121 “But I’m not asking you for the historic data of Thomas Lempriere because I’ll go get that myself, I’m ask YOU to provide your data that you derived so that I (and the rest of the world) can check them against the source.”

    So, if I, a farmer, asked you, whatever you are, to provide to me your work so I could check it you’d agree? Like fudge you would.

  124. kim
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 6:08 AM | Permalink

    Ever buy a pig in a poke?
    ===============

  125. John A
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 6:25 AM | Permalink

    So, if I, a farmer, asked you, whatever you are, to provide to me your work so I could check it you’d agree? Like fudge you would

    If I had published a piece of work that made scientific claims, then I’d make it available to anyone by simple dint on putting it on an ftp server. Would I behave like John Hunter? Only if I was afraid of someone finding something or because I was too arrogant to cooperate with “pygmies”

    PS I like fudge.

  126. Paul Gosling
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 8:38 AM | Permalink

    Re #125

    But presumably John A you HAVE published in the academic literature. After all, you claim that your oh so precious anonymity is required because you have not achieved a tenure position yet and thus you fear for your job (which in itself raises some questions). Who is checking your work John A?

  127. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 8:41 AM | Permalink

    “John A”: For the very last time: If you want to really validate my work you have to validate it from one end to the other — this doesn’t mean just checking the odd bits that you find easy, in the hope of finding a mistake. The initial and obvious way to validate our estimate of Mean Tidal Level in 1841 and 1842 is to take the same INPUT DATA as we used (Thomas Lempriere’s observations) and see if you get the same OUTPUT DATA (Mean Tidal Level in 1841 and 1842) as we did. If you don’t, then we perhaps should each go back and check our working — possibly by comparison of some of our intermediate results. But not yet — if you don’t get the same values of Mean Tidal level as we did, then we can compare your intermediate results (i.e. your digitised data) with ours.

    For similar reasons, I would not expect you to demand to look inside my computer to check if it works the same as yours. I would also not expect you to demand every scrap of paper on which I have made a note or done a sum. At the moment, the only thing that should interest you is the INPUT data (which we have declared) and the OUTPUT DATA (which we have also declared).

    The simple reason why I am reticent to give you any more than you need is that, in many ways, I sympathise with Phil Jones’ attitude. My judgement from seeing your performance on climateadit, over a fair amount of time, is that you are basically trying to find fault and not to provide any positive benefits to the science. In doing this, you waste my time and I will only provide you with the minimum that you need to check our results. If you want to play at “auditing”, then you can do so in your own time, not mine.

  128. kim
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

    I apologize for the moving the tidemarker remark. It was not my goal to insinuate over the line.
    ========================

  129. kim
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 8:51 AM | Permalink

    If you want to play at ‘policymaking’, then you can do so on your own dime, not mine.
    ===========================================

  130. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 8:51 AM | Permalink

    re: 126

    Why don’t you read before you write, Paul? John A has stated a number of times that his desire for anonymity is because he’s a consultant and doesn’t want clients to be put off by his policy positions. Such a position doesn’t imply any scientific publication (assuming he’s not being consulted as a scientist).

  131. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 8:52 AM | Permalink

    John H,

    at the NAS panel, von Storch condemned Phil Jones’ attitude in the strongest possible terms, specifically referring to the Jones quotation, stating that it was profoundly unscientific. For all the time that you’ve spent arguing about not providing data, you could have provided it. The point of creating a public archive is to avoid having to respond to a bunch of ad hoc requests.

  132. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    Steve (#131): I think I have made the point a number of times about “serious researchers”. I know that is always met with howls of mirth from the cheerleaders, but I think that most people who have a reasonable expertise in a job do recognise those people who are “serious” about that job and those who are not “serious” (e.g. those who simply want to disrupt that job). In #127 I explained why I do not view “John A” as a serious researcher, and as such he should not expect any more from me than is absolutely necessary to check on our results. I think you need to appreciate that there is no significant question mark over our results from the “Isle of the Dead” (I discount pseudo-science sites on the web) — there is no reason therefore to make the a-priori assumption that there is some error in our calculations. Any initial “audit” of our results should therefore simply involve an independant observer checking that he/she gets the same outputs for the given inputs.

    “John A”‘s approach is a bit like the police searching through my house just in case I have committed a crime.

  133. kim
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

    Announcing your results is calling ‘open house’.
    ============================

  134. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

    Dave (#130): Thank you — you have made my point exactly — and exactly the right time!

    You note to Paul that “John A” “doesn’t want clients to be put off by his policy positions”. It is precisely because “John A” pursues his strange brand of science from a “policy position” that I do not regard him as a serious researcher.

  135. Hans Erren
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 9:26 AM | Permalink

    stonewall
    One entry found for stonewall.

    Main Entry: stone·wall
    Pronunciation: ‘stOn -“wol
    Function: verb
    intransitive senses
    1 chiefly British : to engage in obstructive parliamentary debate or delaying tactics
    2 : to be uncooperative, obstructive, or evasive
    transitive senses : to refuse to comply or cooperate with
    – stone·wall·er noun

  136. John A
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 9:32 AM | Permalink

    I think I have made the point a number of times about “serious researchers”. I know that is always met with howls of mirth from the cheerleaders, but I think that most people who have a reasonable expertise in a job do recognise those people who are “serious” about that job and those who are not “serious” (e.g. those who simply want to disrupt that job).

    As Steve has already pointed out, you could have supplied the data in a lot less time than you have spent whining about people asking for it.

    In #127 I explained why I do not view “John A” as a serious researcher, and as such he should not expect any more from me than is absolutely necessary to check on our results.

    I think I have tried to keep my expectations low with you and so far you’ve disappointed them.

    I think you need to appreciate that there is no significant question mark over our results from the “Isle of the Dead” (I discount pseudo-science sites on the web) “¢’‚¬? there is no reason therefore to make the a-priori assumption that there is some error in our calculations.

    We don’t know that at all. We have your word that there is no “significant question mark” but no replication can be done Dr Hunter because you have avoided doing what any responsible researcher would have done, which is to put up the data, on the nearest ftp server.

    Any initial “audit” of our results should therefore simply involve an independant observer checking that he/she gets the same outputs for the given inputs.

    …which nobody can do because you won’t allow inspection of your data files. Bit of a problem there.

    “John A”‘s approach is a bit like the police searching through my house just in case I have committed a crime.

    John Hunter’s behavior is about like someone explaining the red splotches on the carpet and the walls as “an accident with the paint can” and then denying any analysis of those red marks for signs of Dulux.

  137. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    John H, your police analogy is ridiculous. If you had studied Lempriere for your own interest and never published any results, then you could reasonbly expect privacy for your data.

    However, once you chose to publish your results, you should provide your data and methodology so that they can be verified.

    You’ve objected to supplying the data to John A, but I doubt that you’d supply it to David Stockwell or to me. Again, I have enough to do that I’m not interested, but it doesn’t sound to me like you have any serious interest in making your data available.

  138. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

    Steve, you and John are working well together today…

  139. Paul Gosling
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

    Perhaps I am missing something.

    The data John H used is in a public record accessible to anyone. No one seems to dispute this. Its not hidden or ‘lost’.

    I am not surprised that he is not going to bother with the extra hassle of making it available to a consultant who for all he knows has no scientific training nor any intention of doing anything with it, and can’t be bothered to go and look it up themselves.

  140. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    Re #133

    “”John A”‘s approach is a bit like the police searching through my house just in case I have committed a crime. ”

    spot on John!. Though, TBH, I’d change ‘the police’ to ‘a self appointed anonymous policeman’. How many people here would allow an inspection of their house by a self appointed anonymous policeman?

    Paul, #139 and especially #126 is also right.

  141. kim
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    Police, come quick. The sky is falling through my roof.
    ==============================

  142. Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 11:26 AM | Permalink

    I simply can’t believe what I’m reading.

    People who call themselves scientists comparing a request for data, to perform a simple check (i.e. that data used was transcripted properly from the original records), being compared to police invading your privacy?

    Is that how you “scientists” think of the data you use in your published studies – as personal property, to be hoarded and greedily guarded to keep prying eyes out?

    I weep for the species…

  143. Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 11:30 AM | Permalink

    Well that is the first time I have heard anyone defend hoarding data under the constitutional right to privacy – a novel defense.

  144. John A
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

    Re #126

    But presumably John A you HAVE published in the academic literature. After all, you claim that your oh so precious anonymity is required because you have not achieved a tenure position yet and thus you fear for your job (which in itself raises some questions). Who is checking your work John A?

    My clients are checking my work, because if they didn’t do that, when it comes to implementation their entire organization would grind to a halt. They certainly wouldn’t allow me to give a statement like "I’m a computer consultant so why do I have to provide all my documentation and source code to you, since you’re not a computer consultant like me and if you are a computer consultant like you pretend you are then you can do your own reproduction of the solution based on my warranty that it works and I’ll maybe tell you later if you got the right answer".

    I haven’t published anything in science yet, although I’m writing a physics paper which I hope to submit in a month or so. My position is analogous to Steve McIntyre’s three years ago "If you’re not a climate scientist then why should I send my materials to you", although I cannot claim the same statistical ability as Steve.

    My interest is mainly historical and geophysical: why did Captain Ross apparently write several times in his diary that he had Thomas Lempriere mark the "mid-point of the ocean" when he really meant the high tide, as claimed by Hunter? Why does Tasmania not show any evidence at all that the sea level has risen relative to the land as claimed by Hunter? And most important of all, why does Hunter spend lots and lots of time here stonewalling a straightforward request for access to his data which would take 5 mins to do, while complaining all the time about how "disruptive" it all is?

  145. jae
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 12:11 PM | Permalink

    Hmm, I wonder if Dr. Hunter has adopted the Mann, et. al. concept of data hoarding hiding. This is a losing proposition, and it makes it look like you are afraid of something. You are repeating the Mann saga.

  146. jae
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

    I forgot to say, Dr. Hunter, that I think you are very very wrong.

  147. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

    #139. Paul, I think that there’s more to it than that. Even if something is in a public archive, you need a correct data citation. For example, in Mann’s corrigendum, he acknowledged that the original citation for his precipitation series was incorrect and then merely said that the precipitation series came from NOAA (without addressing the problem that the gridcell identifications were incorrect.) Because I am amused by this and have some mechanized methods, I was able to determine that, in addition to the New England gridcell containing Paris France data, a South Carolina gridcell contained Toulouse, France data. I’ve been unable to locate any source for the Bombay gridcell data, but its closest match is New Haven CT. So you have to give a proper data citation with reference number (which is required under AGU policies, which govern GRL where Hunter published.)

    If Hunter has transcribed data, then his transcription is, in data terms, a different version and there’s no reason why someone shouldn’t have the right to check it against original paper data. Errata occur.

    Hunter’s made it clear that he didn’t just use data that is available at digital archives. He also made “corrections” to data that he believed to be wrong. “corrections” are always worth someone checking. I suspect that Hunter’s corrections were probably fine, but you never know.

  148. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

    Hunter’s article is in GRL, which is published by AGU. AGU has very good data archiving policies on paper. http://www.agu.org/pubs/data_policy.html Among other things, they say:

    Data sets that are available only from the author, through miscellaneous public network services, or academic, government or commercial institutions not chartered specifically for archiving data, may not be cited in AGU publications.

  149. John A
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

    I suppose, Steve, that I should learn R otherwise I’m going to be screwed by data overflow. Correct?

  150. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

    Once you’ve gone R, you won’t want to go back. If you have a URL, you can make data matrices right from the link. There’s usually a little fiddling in terms of setting skip lines and checking read formats, but it’s nothing compared with the next alternative.

    John A, I wouldn’t read much into John H’s refusal to provide data in terms of smoking guns. I think it’s more likely that he’s just being obstreperous. Having said that, I don’t see that he has much choice under AGU policies other than to produce the data that he used either in a digital format or in an exact url reference to a public digital archive. You’re much better off referring to existing policies than to abstract standards of what scientists should and shouldn’t do. The abstract standards are only pertinent if one is trying to get policies changed.

  151. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    Steve at al. (#150 etc): So far, as far as I can see, no one on here has made any effort to check any of the information I have provided about the “Isle of the Dead” study. There has been much carping, but nothing that I would consider even approaching and “audit” or “serious science”. No on has said something like “look — on the 23 April 1841, Thomas Lempriere’s handwriting was rather bad — what do you make of the tidal height on that day?”.

    Now, the task of converting the original records to digitised form was large. The problems of obvious (and less obvious) errors were discussed at some length in our first paper. It WOULD be useful (but probably not a good use of anyone’s time given the other pressing problems in the climate science) if someone repeated the exercise INDEPENDANTLY — so why on earth would I give someone the “answer” before they do the exercise? You do have the final answer (Mean Tidal Level), which is all that really matters, so you can check whether you get the “same” answer as us (within a reasonable error). You also claim that I am “just being obstreperous” — no, Steve, I am just being protective of my time — defending, on climateaudit, every quibble that John A may have about our interpretation of Lempriere’s handwriting is something which I am just not prepared to do.

    Perhaps you could answer the obvious question: if “John A” wants to compare all our digital data with the original hardcopy, why wouldn’t it take just the same time to work out the Mean Tidal Level? What is stopping him? Is he really planning to go through ALL the data and NOT calculate Mean Tidal Level? — if so, what a waste of time!

  152. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 4:28 PM | Permalink

    #151. I’m not going to comment any more on this and do not plan to be involved in this. However, John H, I don’t think that your position is in compliance with AGU data policies, regardless of your personal views on what is and what isn’t a waste of time. If you’re pressed on the matter, I think that GRL will require you to produce your digital data, rather than go to bat for you to support continued withholding.

  153. John A
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

    Now, the task of converting the original records to digitised form was large. The problems of obvious (and less obvious) errors were discussed at some length in our first paper. It WOULD be useful (but probably not a good use of anyone’s time given the other pressing problems in the climate science) if someone repeated the exercise INDEPENDANTLY “¢’‚¬? so why on earth would I give someone the “answer” before they do the exercise? You do have the final answer (Mean Tidal Level), which is all that really matters, so you can check whether you get the “same” answer as us (within a reasonable error). You also claim that I am “just being obstreperous” “¢’‚¬? no, Steve, I am just being protective of my time “¢’‚¬? defending, on climateaudit, every quibble that John A may have about our interpretation of Lempriere’s handwriting is something which I am just not prepared to do.

    I am not asking you to defend your interpretation of Lempriere’s handwriting. I am asking that you simply make your files available so that I can compare your datafile with the original. I am bound to find points where I think Lempriere has written X and you say Y, but I have no intention of beating you over the head for it because I know fine well that honest mistakes and differences of opinion happen.

    What I’d be very surprised to find would be any material difference at all about where the high tides and low tides are.

    You must think me some sort of strange person who wants to beat you up over trivial differences which derive from transcription. I am not interested in such browbeating over trivia.

    If there are differences, then obviously I will want to examine why, but I have no intention of putting you in the dock over them.

    Perhaps you could answer the obvious question: if “John A” wants to compare all our digital data with the original hardcopy, why wouldn’t it take just the same time to work out the Mean Tidal Level? What is stopping him? Is he really planning to go through ALL the data and NOT calculate Mean Tidal Level? “¢’‚¬? if so, what a waste of time!

    The obvious next step is what is meant by “Mean Tide Level” and what Lempriere was told to do in order to calculate it by James Clark Ross. Lempriere was not a seaman skilled in these things, so there would have been some method or recipe that Captain Ross told Lempriere to follow in order to calculate it.

  154. Doug L
    Posted Mar 28, 2006 at 7:03 PM | Permalink

    Just done a little rereading of John L Daly’s complaint of the Sea level study at the Isle of the Dead.

    According to Daly, Pugh’s theory is that the mark was made effectively at random, then when the tide reached that point, the time and tide gauge level were noted.

    http://www.john-daly.com/deadisle/part2.htm

    Daly offers ample evidence that this was not the plan. He also asserts that the scenario offered up by Pugh effectively turns the tide gauge into the benchmark.

    Ross wrote (among other things):

    “”The fixing of solid and well secured marks for the purpose of showing the mean level of the ocean at a given epoch, ”

    It’s hard to see how the famous explorer James Clark Ross could have been satisfied with such a procedure. It’s hard to see how a mark positioned in such a fashion could be of any importance to succeeding epochs.

  155. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 12:31 AM | Permalink

    Doug (#154): Just to show how you fellows misrepresent things ….

    You quote from Ross’s journal:

    “The fixing of solid and well secured marks for the purpose of showing the mean level of the ocean at a given epoch,”

    which are lines 27-29 of page 23 of Volume II of Ross’s journal.

    Now, lines 9-12 of the SAME PAGE of that journal say:

    “I may here observe, that it is not essential that the mark be made exactly at the mean level of the ocean, indeed it is more desirable that it should be rather above the reach of the highest tide”.

    ….. which is roughly where we believe Lempriere put his mark.

    Your comment about Daly asserting “that the scenario offered up by Pugh effectively turns the tide gauge into the benchmark” simply indicates how little Daly knew about tidal benchmarks and tide gauges. BOTH tide gauge records AND a benchmark are required for a useful record of mean sea level, as Ross well understood as shown by what he said in the same section of his journal. Also, as Ross indicated, there is absolutely no reason why the mark should be exactly at mean sea level — if it is vertically offset from a set of tide gauge observations by a known amount, then that is quite sufficient — and Lempriere noted this offset on the plaque that accompanied the benchmark.

    You would be hard pressed to find a tidal benchmark anywhere in the world which has been put at exactly mean sea level — they are generally “above the reach of the highest tide” — mainly for the obvious reason that surveyors don’t like getting their feet wet!

  156. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 1:45 AM | Permalink

    Re #142. So, you’re in favour of self appointed scientific policeman are you? Ugghh.

  157. John A
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 3:00 AM | Permalink

    Re #156

    Nobody appointed Steve McIntyre. Perhaps that’s better than “appointed policemen”.

    Re #155

    John Hunter:

    You would be hard pressed to find a tidal benchmark anywhere in the world which has been put at exactly mean sea level “¢’‚¬? they are generally “above the reach of the highest tide” “¢’‚¬? mainly for the obvious reason that surveyors don’t like getting their feet wet!

    Did James Clark Ross say why the benchmark should be placed “above the reach of the highest tide”?

  158. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 3:38 AM | Permalink

    Re #152: I was curious about Steve M.’s statement of the AGU data policy, and in particular about whether AGU really requires the detailed methodology to be archived, and so had a look for myself. The page he linked to includes all sorts of requirements, but never quite got around to defining data as such. What was interesting is that it used the term “data set” when it got around to talking about what is actually required to be archived. I think it’s difficult to include methodology under such a term.

    After a little searching, I found the following at http://www.agu.org/pubs/elecsupp.html. It’s part of the requirement for the contents of a “readme” file to accompany the data:

    ‘2. A Section labeled “Introduction” that gives an overview of the auxiliary material.

    ‘The author should include information about as many of the following as possible (and appropriate):

    ‘a general overview of the kind of data files;
    information about when and how the data were collected or created;
    information about how the data have been divided into files;
    a general description of processing steps used;
    any known imperfections or anomalies in the data.’

    Note the last two in particular. If they were going to do it, this would have been the place to require an exact description of the processing steps, i.e. methodology, rather than a “general” one. (I haven’t read JH’s paper, but I have the impression that much if not all of this material may have been in the paper itself.)

    But in any case, the most interesting thing I found (on the same page) was that the data are part of the material to be peer-reviewed and that an article will not be accepted for publication until the archiving requirements have been met. In other words, what is “possible” and “appropriate” is something GRL decides itself for each paper. JH’s article was accepted for publication, therefore it’s reasonable to assume the requirements were met. If John A. and Steve M. think they weren’t, they should take the matter up with the GRL editors rather than the author.

    Also, in #148, Steve M. quoted the AGU policy on a different point: “Data sets that are available only from the author, through miscellaneous public network services, or academic, government or commercial institutions not chartered specifically for archiving data, may not be cited in AGU publications.” I’m not sure how this relates to the current discussion, but it’s not quite correct. The rest of the paragraph says such data may be cited, but in the manner of a personal communication rather than as a reference.

  159. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 4:24 AM | Permalink

    “John A” (#157): You ask “Did James Clark Ross say why the benchmark should be placed ‘above the reach of the highest tide’?”.

    Firstly, we do give more extensive exerpts from Ross’s journal in our first paper (which I assume you have read).

    Secondly, the reason you are looking for seems pretty obvious to me, I assume that it was equally obvious to Ross and I also assume Ross thought the same of his readers. I thought I gave a hint when I said “for the obvious reason that surveyors don’t like getting their feet wet”. Perhaps you should ask yourself why on earth you would want to put a measuring point (i.e. the benchmark) at a place which is under the water half the time — why not measure the vertical offset once and for all, and then always measure from a point above the water?

    Don’t take my word for it — have a look at a few sea level benchmarks.

  160. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 4:28 AM | Permalink

    Rer #157 “Nobody appointed Steve McIntyre. Perhaps that’s better than “appointed policemen”.”. Exactly, he’s self appointed, so are you. The difference is, Steve doesn’t go around making demands and accusations of identified others without identifying himself.

  161. John Lish
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 5:50 AM | Permalink

    #155 Interesting selection of a quote there John Hunter. However, lets show the context in which that appeared is it certainly isn’t as supporting of your position as your post supposes.

    It would have been desirable to have fixed a similar mark on some part of the opposite side of the island, but a prolonged series of preliminary observations of the tides are necessary, and as these had not been obtained, and our limited stay, as well as the full employment for all our observers, which the necessary experiments with the magnetometers provided, did not admit of our doing it. I can only hope that some individual with like zeal for science with Mr. Lempriere, and with time at his disposal, may yet accomplish this desideratum. I may here observe, that it is not essential that the mark be made exactly at the mean level of the ocean, indeed it is more desirable that it should be rather above the reach of the highest tide: it is, however, important that it be made on some part of a solid cliff, not liable to rapid disintegration, and the exact distance above the mean level (which may also be marked more slightly) recorded on a plate of copper, well protected from the weather, by placing a flat stone with cement between, upon the plane surface or platform which should constitute the mark from which the level of the mean tide should be measured.
    The most desirable position for such another mark would be near the north-west extremity of the island, and in the vicinity of Cape Grim, near which the Van Diemen’s Land Company has a small establishment.

  162. John A
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 6:16 AM | Permalink

    Re: #161

    In other words, it has nothing to with getting feet wet (which excludes John Hunter’s interpretation straightaway) but simply concern about erosion of the benchmark by wave action.

    John Lish, it seems to me that a possible meaning of James Clark Ross’ words is that either the benchmark is placed at the mean level of the sea, and/or there should be also a marker well above the high tide which says in effect “If you measure from this plate downwards by x feet then this is where the benchmark should be”

    It does not say anything about whether the benchmark at the Isle of the Dead was placed above the level of the highest tide or at the mean level, since Ross is using the future conditional tense concerning similar markers and not referring to the past.

    I hope John Hunter’s math is better than his historical scholarship.

  163. John Lish
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 6:24 AM | Permalink

    John A – you might find this useful

  164. John Lish
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 6:30 AM | Permalink

    #162 – what you suggested**, Ross did place 2 markers at the Falklands Islands following that precise method.

    ** it seems to me that a possible meaning of James Clark Ross’ words is that either the benchmark is placed at the mean level of the sea, and/or there should be also a marker well above the high tide which says in effect “If you measure from this plate downwards by x feet then this is where the benchmark should be”

  165. James Lane
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 7:00 AM | Permalink

    I was going to make pretty well the same comments as John Lish. Hunter calls on selective quoting, and then selectively quotes himself. For anyone interested, it’s worth reading Ross’ complete account, which is in Part 2 on Daly’s site.

    The “Isle of the Dead” saga is fascinating – it’s one of the first things I read on the web when I became interested in global warming.

    Actually, I tend to support Hunter/Pugh’s account, on the evidence. I suspect it was a botched job – the marker stone should have referenced the benchmark to the MSL, not the tide measurement. Indeed, why mention the tide measurement at all, if the marker was struck at MSL? Ross’ later marker in the Falklands was perfectly clear.

    What I can’t understand is Hunter’s reluctance to share his data (i.e the digital version of Lemprier’s records). John, why not say “here it is boys, have fun”? It doesn’t sound to me like you have anything to hide, and having done the hard work, why not put it in the public domain?

  166. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 7:04 AM | Permalink

    John Lish and “John A” (#161, #162, #163 and #164): As I’ve said many times before, this is well-travelled ground — John Daly travelled it and got nowhere.

    Ross essentially contradicts himself in his journal — there can be no debate about that. He says both that the mark was put at mean sea level and also that a mark should be “rather above the reach of the highest tide” — you cannot possibly argue that Ross’s account is clear. You can argue all you like about “future conditional tense” but the fact remains that (a) Ross was not clear, (b) sea level marks are almost always placed above the water, (c) the most obvious interpretation of the reports of the inscription on the plaque, together with Lempriere’s observations, indicates the mark was sited at around High Water, and (d) the basic physical constraints on the rate of sea level rise indicate the same thing (we talk about (c) and (d) in more detail in our second paper). If you want to get picky about grammar then you should note the “however”, which means that the phrase “it is, however, important that it be made on some part of a solid cliff ….” does not follow from the phrase “is more desirable that it should be rather above the reach of the highest tide” — in fact, that the two phrases are two SEPARATE considerations.

    As for the Falklands marks, they are both well above sea level AND there are NO accompanying marks at mean sea level (please tell me what on earth they would be for anyway!).

    Perhaps if you had actually done some surveying or tidal observation, you would have a better feel for what Ross was talking about.

  167. John A
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 7:05 AM | Permalink

    John Lish,

    Is the marker in the Falklands still there? What does it say?

  168. John Lish
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 7:16 AM | Permalink

    #167,

    A copper plate recently confirmed to
    be still in existence is inscribed as being ‘5 feet 8 inches above the
    mean level of the ocean …’.

    from ANCILLARY TIME SERIES OF MEAN SEA LEVEL MEASUREMENTS (1988) By N.E.Spencer, P.L.Woodworth and D.T.Pugh

  169. John A
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 7:17 AM | Permalink

    Ross essentially contradicts himself in his journal “¢’‚¬? there can be no debate about that. He says both that the mark was put at mean sea level and also that a mark should be “rather above the reach of the highest tide” “¢’‚¬? you cannot possibly argue that Ross’s account is clear.

    Actually Ross distinguishes between the benchmark at the mean level of the sea and the marker well above the wave action which says (or should say) how far below the marker the benchmark should be. There isn’t really a confusion here unless you’re tryng to create one.

    As for the Falklands marks, they are both well above sea level AND there are NO accompanying marks at mean sea level (please tell me what on earth they would be for anyway!).

    They are above the sea level NOW but were they when they were first inscribed? I have no idea why Ross would want to measure the level of the highest tide when he’s discussing the mean level of the ocean.

    Nowhere on the plaques does it discuss tidal range, and even Thomas Lempriere measuring four times a day made no attempt to discover where the highest tide was. If he was about to put his marker at or above the highest tide you think he might have tried to observe those highest tides and record them.

    Funny that.

  170. Doug L
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 7:19 AM | Permalink

    RE #155

    (note there are intervening posts as I write this)

    John H you write:

    “if it is vertically offset from a set of tide gauge observations by a known amount, then that is quite sufficient ”

    but you don’t say sufficient for the epochs. You don’t say that the offset from mean sea level is noted. That’s why it does not seem to be a benchmark of mean sea level under the suggested scenario.

    Daly writes of another benchmark placed by Ross in the Falkland Islands. Yes they are above mean sea level, and it’s written on a plaque just exactly how high above mean sea level the mark is. That is a benchmark for the epochs. It does not require a tide gauge to be of some use.

    I just don’t see a tide gauge as being an essential part of a benchmark for the epochs. Just the opposite, it should not be an essential part of a benchmark for the epochs. It is useful for people who may want check up on the work that was done, but it seems rather short sighted for it to be made an essential part of the benchmark if it were not necessary.

    ==
    I see that more has been written on this, so I understand that there is no satisfactory answer. I’ll just say I find that the Pugh scenario (as described by Daly) is enigmatic at best. The claim that Ross’s journal is contradictory seems poorly described. It may be confusing to some but it is not contradictory.

  171. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 4:04 PM | Permalink

    “John A” (#169): Your statement:

    “Nowhere on the plaques does it discuss tidal range, and even Thomas Lempriere measuring four times a day made no attempt to discover where the highest tide was. If he was about to put his marker at or above the highest tide you think he might have tried to observe those highest tides and record them.”

    is a complete mystery to me. Why do you say the Lempriere “|made no attempt to discover where the highest tide was”? He may not have made a perfect job of it, but he estimated High Water and Low Water each day for well over two years. That gave him a pretty good idea of the highest tide!

    What he probably didn’t have a good idea of in July 1841 was the Mean Tide Level, for a number of reasons: (1) adding up the thousand or so numbers to derive MTL was not a trivial task (especially as he may not have done it prior to Ross’s arrival and so did not have a lot of time), and (2) we believe (from a jump in the records and the historical accounts) that Lempriere moved his tide gauge in late 1840(this is evident from the tide gauge records for 1840 and from the historic accounts) so he probably did not have a vertical reference for the earlier readings (there is no evidence that Lempriere had any interest in mean sea level or Mean Tide Level prior to Ross’s visit — he seems to have been only interested in the tides). So on July 1841, he probably did not know the level of mean sea level or Mean Tide Level — the best he could do was to put the mark at around High Water and have the tide gauge read at the same time. This, and his future tide gauge records, then recorded Mean Tidal Level for posterity.

    But this is all in our papers …..

  172. John A
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

    So on July 1841, he probably did not know the level of mean sea level or Mean Tide Level “¢’‚¬? the best he could do was to put the mark at around High Water and have the tide gauge read at the same time. This, and his future tide gauge records, then recorded Mean Tidal Level for posterity.

    So in July 1841 he decided to invalidate his previous data by moving his tide gauge and ignore Ross’ instruction to calculate the mean level of the ocean? Did he change his number of readings to try to calculate where that high tide must be? Why didn’t he simply record the times of the highest point of the tide, compare his record with that of the moon and then work out what the mean high tide was? Why did Thomas Lempriere appear to be utterly unconcerned about high tides that he never once mentioned them, nor sought to find out exactly when they occurred? Why did Thomas Lempriere put the mark on the Isle of the Dead for which he had no data as to what it represented (if your explanation is to be believed) because he had moved his tide gauge as you suppose? Why did James Clark Ross not put a mark at Cape Grim if he didn’t need data to do so, but simply wait for the next high tide midway between neap and spring tide? Why did James Clark Ross compliment the diligence of Thomas Lempriere in his diary if he had effectively invalidated his work by having the tide register moved? Why make a mark on the Isle of the Dead and then measure what its relation to the mean level of the ocean should have been later?

    All of these questions cannot be properly answered by your supposition as to what happened in 1841. It makes no sense to me. Your explanation seems to be a concatenation of unlikely premises.

  173. Greg F
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 5:18 PM | Permalink

    He may not have made a perfect job of it, but he estimated High Water and Low Water each day for well over two years. That gave him a pretty good idea of the highest tide! What he probably didn’t have a good idea of in July 1841 was the Mean Tide Level…

    John,
    More a general question about tides. Is the Mean Tide Level generally higher, lower, about the same as the distance between high and low tide? Or does the answer to that question depend on being site specific?

  174. Steve Bloom
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 5:48 PM | Permalink

    You know, John A., if you go down to the seaside and find an accessible, non-crumbly, more-or-less vertical rock face in a sheltered area (what we’re talking about here, yes?), it’s not too tough to see about where the maximum high tide line is. Mean and low tide lines are a bit fuzzier, though (figuratively and often literally). In any case, it would be impossible to place a mark at mean sea level upon first arrival at a site, or at an existing site without doing the calculation, if one hadn’t. To do that, you’d have to start with a mark above high tide (lower than that and you would indeed be getting your feet wet) and only later place a mean tide marker (for whatever reason).

    BTW, I’ve spent a fair amount of timing reading early Victorian pattern books with a style not too different from Ross’, and my interpretation of “it is not essential that the mark be made exactly at the mean level of the ocean” is that he’s saying to not try to do that at all. It’s as if he was speaking to someone who might be prone to making that assumption unless they were told otherwise, which fair to say might well be the case with an inexperienced person. A somewhat reminiscent construction I just found flipping through one of my pattern books is “to others, it may be presumed, that a ready reference to the few examples given, may not be unacceptable.” This sort of elliptical language was common.

  175. John A
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 5:58 PM | Permalink

    You know, John A., if you go down to the seaside and find an accessible, non-crumbly, more-or-less vertical rock face in a sheltered area (what we’re talking about here, yes?), it’s not too tough to see about where the maximum high tide line is. Mean and low tide lines are a bit fuzzier, though (figuratively and often literally). In any case, it would be impossible to place a mark at mean sea level upon first arrival at a site, or at an existing site without doing the calculation, if one hadn’t. To do that, you’d have to start with a mark above high tide (lower than that and you would indeed be getting your feet wet) and only later place a mean tide marker (for whatever reason).

    So what did James Clark Ross need Thomas Lempriere for? As an expert chiseller? What was the point of taking six weeks to do a calculation by hand if all you need to is go to the island, find the point at which the barnacles stopped and mark it there?

    James Clark Ross used Thomas Lempriere for a reason to do with his tide logs. He remarked that he couldn’t do the same at Cape Grim because there were no previous records to hand. Of course he didn’t have you on hand to look for where the extreme of the tide was and make his mark.

    I’m sorry, your idea makes even less sense than John Hunter’s.

  176. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 7:19 PM | Permalink

    “John A” (#172): Your barrage of questions are mainly nonsensical and I do not have time to address them all (I am busy getting ready for my trip). I’ll just indicate some of the nonsense:

    You say:

    “So in July 1841 he decided to invalidate his previous data by moving his tide gauge and ignore Ross’ instruction to calculate the mean level of the ocean?”

    while I said:

    “we believe (from a jump in the records and the historical accounts) that Lempriere moved his tide gauge in late 1840 (this is evident from the tide gauge records for 1840 and from the historic accounts) so he probably did not have a vertical reference for the earlier readings” (NOTE the “LATE 1840″)

    You say:

    “Did he change his number of readings to try to calculate where that high tide must be?”

    “John A”: have you even looked at Lempriere’s records? — they record the TIMES AND HEIGHTS OF HIGH WATER AND LOW WATER EACH DAY.

    You say: “why didn’t he simply record the times of the highest point of the tide, compare his record with that of the moon and then work out what the mean high tide was?”

    He DID “record the times of the highest point of the tide” — he did it EVERY DAY. And how on earth would you work out “what the mean high tide was” from the moon?

    You say “Why did Thomas Lempriere appear to be utterly unconcerned about high tides that he never once mentioned them, nor sought to find out exactly when they occurred?”

    Ditto — Lempriere’s records give the TIMES AND HEIGHTS OF HIGH WATER AND LOW WATER EACH DAY.

    “Why make a mark on the Isle of the Dead and then measure what its relation to the mean level of the ocean should have been later?”

    “John A”: this is EXACTLY how people measure sea level and EXACTLY what we did with our modern observations at Port Arthur. We installed a tide gauge and started observations. During the early period of those observations we installed numerous survey marks (ALL above sea level, believe it or not) and surveyed them relative to both Lempriere’s mark and to standard height datums (e.g. AHD). It was only after several years of data collection that we knew where mean sea level was relative to these marks.

    Now, “John A” you are wasting my time by such nonsensical questions — before you proceed further, PLEASE:

    1. Read some of the literature on tides and sea level (either of David Pugh’s books on the subject would be a good start).

    2. Read our two papers on our study of the benchmark.

  177. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 7:24 PM | Permalink

    Greg F (#173): You ask about “Mean Tide Level”. It is just the average of an equal number of High and Low Water values. In the words of David Pugh’s book: “In general this will differ slightly from the mean sea-level because of tidal distortions in shallow water”. As we note in our published work, this distortion is small at Port Arthur.

  178. Doug L
    Posted Mar 29, 2006 at 8:22 PM | Permalink

    It appears that the expert scientific opinion is that high water can be more accurately determined than mean tide level with insufficient data. This is contrary to what I would have guessed. Actually, I would have guessed that there was no settled definition of high water.

  179. John A
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 2:34 AM | Permalink

    That’s what happens when you don’t read the top of the columns:

    High water and low water

    Then you look like an idiot because you didn’t read it properly.

    Havig said that, the rest of Hunter’s explanation still doesn’t make sense. If the inscribed benchmark was simply a mark for high tide or some arbitrary survey point, why didn’t Lempriere inscribe where the actual mid point of the tides was, as he was supposed to? Why inscribe a survey mark as a (British standard) benchmark and install a plaque saying that this survey mark was the real mean of the tides?

  180. John Lish
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 3:24 AM | Permalink

    This has been a highly amusing thread. I think that John Hunter has been quite mischievous in his arguments by the usage of historical interpretation. Hunter et al’s methodology (as I quoted in #117) was to do the calculations/modeling then assess the historical evidence against the maths. This necessitates the rejection of historical interpretations which conflicts with the theory. However, this is the problematic for John H. as his own argument depends on historical interpretation of events. There nothing better that Historians love than to argue the toss over interpretation because that all there is. John H. insistance that the matter is settled shows a lack of understanding for his predictament through not recognising the nature of historical study.

    Having said all that, I am still puzzled by John H.’s comment about Ross “mis-remembering” re the benchmark. It doesn’t fit with his argument nor particularly make sense given what is known of Ross. Curious.

  181. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 4:23 AM | Permalink

    John Lish (#180): You say that my “own argument depends on historical interpretation of events”.

    No, our arguments as described in our papers depend mainly on the physical evidence and the implausibility (statistically) of the mark being at mean sea level in 1841. The historical evidence is unclear. I don’t think Ross “misremembered” — I think he probably didn’t actually know what happened. He left instructions with Lempriere to put in a mark and it is highly improbable that he was present at the striking of the mark on 1 July 1841, given that he was about to leave for Antarctica only 6 days later on 7 July. One thing that strikes me from both a reading of historical accounts, and from realising the momentous of Ross’s work in the Antarctic, is that to him the benchmark was a small, almost insignificant, chore. He was ordered to install sea level benchmarks during his travels, he set one of these in train at Port Arthur and then got on with his main work, which was geomagnetism and exploring Antarctica. I do not believe we have any record of Lempriere ever contacting Ross again — we certainly have no record of Lempriere’s tidal observations being used by the Royal Society after he sent them to him. If you read our first paper, you will see that Lempriere appears to have received little acknowledgement for the data he sent to the Royal Society, and that he gave up recording sea level at the end of 1842. Lempriere also seems to have taken the whole thing a bit lightly himself, as he never bothered to publish any details of the striking of the benchmark — the only information he left was on a plaque, which was subsequently lost. If you look at Lemprier’s original records, he has a column for remarks — on 1 July 1841, he did not even bother to mention that he struck a benchmark on that day!

    The whole episode is probably one of poor communication — and archiving which was not much better!

  182. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 4:29 AM | Permalink

    General note: I find it interesting that John Lish says ‘I am still puzzled by John H.’s comment about Ross “mis-remembering”‘. As far as I know, I have never used the word “”mis-remember” in this context — for one thing, this is not what I believe (see #181). If I look back through the thread, the word was first used by John Lish himself in #106 with “I must admit that I find it difficult to accept John Hunter’s argument that Sir James must have mis-remembered.”

    So, pray, John Lish — when did I actually use the term?

  183. John Lish
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 5:17 AM | Permalink

    #182 Happy to clarify John H. – the term “misremembered” comes from an article in the Melbourne Herald-Sun (dated 14-2-00):

    CSIRO scientist John Hunter says Ross misremembered, and in fact carved the mark above mean tide, to show where he’d measured the tide in a tide gauge.

    Perhaps you can clarify this?

    Also I must agree with you in #181 that “The historical evidence is unclear” yet you have been quite willing to trade historical selections in this thread re Ross/Lempriere. As I said, quite mischievously in my opinion as they don’t resolve the issue at hand.

    Also, apologies for the words “depends on” in #180 – it doesn’t make sense given my own previous comments. A better usage of words is “creates an” historical interpretation of events (hence your explanation).

  184. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 5:56 AM | Permalink

    John Lish (#183): I’m sorry that you appear to believe everything you read in the papers — especially from right-wing ratbags like Andrew Bolt!

  185. jae
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 6:00 AM | Permalink

    This “story” shows the importance of proper archiving of data….

  186. Paul Gosling
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 6:07 AM | Permalink

    I have nothing more than a ‘general knowledge’ about tides, sea level and how they are measured. However, having followed this discussion it seems clear that John H knows a lot more about this subject than John A, who does not seem to have much knowledge beyond that obtained from John Daly’s no doubt totally objective account, and does not seem to have even read John H’s papers on this subject. So while I am sure that John H’s papers are not perfect (show me a paper which is) I will take his interpretation over John A’s.

  187. John Lish
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 6:13 AM | Permalink

    #184 – LOL, I take that as a statement of misrepresentation…

    p.s. I wouldn’t know Andrew Bolt from Adam – and I did express puzzlement over the quote.

  188. John A
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 6:14 AM | Permalink

    …our arguments as described in our papers depend mainly on the physical evidence and the implausibility (statistically) of the mark being at mean sea level in 1841.

    We will see whether that is so. As far as I can tell, you have a clear agenda about sealevels which makes it all the more imperative that a proper audit of the data and a replication of the method is done.

    The historical evidence is unclear. I don’t think Ross “misremembered” “¢’‚¬? I think he probably didn’t actually know what happened. He left instructions with Lempriere to put in a mark and it is highly improbable that he was present at the striking of the mark on 1 July 1841, given that he was about to leave for Antarctica only 6 days later on 7 July.

    He didn’t have to leave on a particular date. It wasn’t as if his ship was on a rigid timetable that the captain was bound to sail to.

    Why is it highly improbable that he wasn’t there? Thomas Lempriere’s log changed abruptly in style while Ross was on Tasmania. Unless there is a better explanation, it should surely be a reasonable assumption that Ross must have inspected both the log and the tide gauge and may have even suggested, looking across the bay to the Isle of the Dead, where to inscribe the benchmark. I think its extremely probable that he did go to Port Arthur and see for himself, it being only 4-5 hours’ journey by carriage from Hobart.

    One thing that strikes me from both a reading of historical accounts, and from realising the momentous of Ross’s work in the Antarctic, is that to him the benchmark was a small, almost insignificant, chore. He was ordered to install sea level benchmarks during his travels, he set one of these in train at Port Arthur and then got on with his main work, which was geomagnetism and exploring Antarctica.

    Now you’re fantasizing. Nowhere in the logs did Ross describe this as a chore, quite the reverse, since he expressed disappointment that he did not know of this suggestion until he had returned from Antarctica. It was not an “order” to a reluctant sailor with other ideas on his mind, that part is only in your imagination.

    I do not believe we have any record of Lempriere ever contacting Ross again “¢’‚¬? we certainly have no record of Lempriere’s tidal observations being used by the Royal Society after he sent them to him. If you read our first paper, you will see that Lempriere appears to have received little acknowledgement for the data he sent to the Royal Society, and that he gave up recording sea level at the end of 1842. Lempriere also seems to have taken the whole thing a bit lightly himself, as he never bothered to publish any details of the striking of the benchmark “¢’‚¬? the only information he left was on a plaque, which was subsequently lost. If you look at Lemprier’s original records, he has a column for remarks “¢’‚¬? on 1 July 1841, he did not even bother to mention that he struck a benchmark on that day!

    Again, you’re making an argument from silence. We don’t know that Lempriere took it lightly, since he had been making tidal records for three years continuously of his own volition.

    It all comes down to the evidence of the logs and the diaries, and not to fantastical ideas given without proof. And by proof, I don’t mean publication in a journal.

  189. kim
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 7:00 AM | Permalink

    Is there any other contemporary sea level research comparing to 19th century markers?
    ==============================================

  190. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 7:32 AM | Permalink

    There is an 18.6 year cycle in the height of tides (Soros Cycle). If the marker is placed at the high water mark, it makes a difference where you are in the 18.6 year cycle. Is this accounted for? If the mark is placed at mean sea level, then it seems like the 18.6 cycle can be ignored.

  191. Louis Hissink
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 7:49 AM | Permalink

    re # 190

    This discussion looks like a good AIG News topic,….

  192. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 8:18 AM | Permalink

    RE#186,

    Paul,

    It may not sway your opinion of “John Hunter vs John A” for this discussion, but I thought you might be interested in “Steve_V vs johnroberthunter” here http://www.debunkers.org/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000682.html

  193. Hans Erren
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 9:33 AM | Permalink

    Let’s look at the numbers:
    The high tide mark is at 6 feet, the mean tide mark is at 5 feet.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20000815091632/http://www.greeningearthsociety.org/Articles/2000/sea.htm

    The debate is about a horrible 30 cm. About the height of the computer screen in front of you.

  194. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

    Here a few responses bundled into one (although I did split off the most important one for its own posting):

    “John A” (#188): You say “It wasn’t as if his ship was on a rigid timetable that the captain was bound to sail to” — which shows that you also have no experience of seafaring — and seafaring to Antarctica! It is facile to believe that voyages such as this do not have a “timetable” — indeed time is of the essence (even in these modern times) when travelling in such waters. The argument is also not about whether Ross visited Port Arthur at all but whether he visited it when the mark was struck.

    Also, you say: “It all comes down to the evidence of the logs and the diaries, and not to fantastical ideas given without proof”. No, as I noted earlier, it MAINLY comes down to what we believe is physically possible or probable — which is why we were very careful when estimating error budgets (something Daly never did). I’m not sure what you mean by “logs” — one of the main problems is that Lempriere’s log has not survived (if there ever was one) — he only left the tide gauge records and a few publications.

    Kim (#189): You ask “Is there any other contemporary sea level research comparing to 19th century markers?”.

    There are a few long European records (see http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/fig11-7.htm) all of which show an acceleration in sea level rise around the end of the 19th century. Australian records only go back to the 1890s — the long ones from Fremantle and Sydney show rates of rise that are consistent with the results from Port Arthur. Also, a number of other Tasmanian estimates (as shown in our papers; e.g. the work of Mault in 1889) are consistent with the Port Arthur results.

    Douglas Hoyt (#190): You ask about the 18.6 year nodal cycle. It is a small effect but, if you read our second paper, you will see that we did take account of it.

    Louis Hissink (#191): I know you can’t help yourself with acronyms, but what is “AIG”?

  195. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 4:23 PM | Permalink

    Hans Erren (#193): I note that you quote from the website of Greening Earth Society — an organisation unashamedly founded and funded by the fossil fuels industry (which has openly advertised the fact — see http://people.aapt.net.au/~johunter/greenhou/home.html#new3) — and to which John Daly was Science Advisor. Does anyone need stronger evidence for the original source of, and reason for, this present debate about sea level at the Isle of the Dead?

  196. jae
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

    re #195: Who funds you, Hunter? Are you biased by this funding? Are you biased by your politics? If you are alive, you are biased, IMO. The worst bias I see anywhere is by members of extremist groups, whether they be left or right on the political spectrum.

  197. Mark
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

    So the science is bad simply because of their association with the fossil fuel industry?

    Why not attack the science, not the source. Ad-hominems usually aren’t this easy to catch.

    Mark

  198. Hans Erren
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 5:06 PM | Permalink

    I think John Daly received $50 from the fossil fuel industry.

    John H, are you familiar with the “poisoning the well” fallacy?

    Why are logical fallacies only recognised by skeptics?

    John Hunter, I am convinced the benchmark is the mean sea level, because of the historical arguments by the late John Daly. I am also convinced that eustatic sea level rose in Hawaii and Holland by 9 cm in the last century.

    Tasmania is what we call an anomaly. Don’t try to bend the crooked straight, by simply assuming the benchmarch was struck in the wrong place.

  199. Paul
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 5:07 PM | Permalink

    RE #195 –

    Bias isn’t bad…it exists. But, the difference is some people proclaim their bias up front, rather than hide behind the pretended fence of “objectivity.” I’d much rather know that someone is biased rather than have them pretend to not be.

    And, if you’re using funding as a basis for determining ones bias, all government funded, special interest funded, etc, efforts must be clear as to where they get their money. Tax payer funded especially.

  200. jae
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 5:20 PM | Permalink

    It is simply foolish to assert that because science is funded by industry that it is somehow different than science from anywhere else. After all, broadly speaking, all organized human endeavors can be considered “industry.” WE simply have “for profit” and “non-profit” industries, and these classifications make no difference. Money, prestige, and power are involved in all these undertakings, and the same potential human frailties”¢’‚¬?bias, corruption, chicanery, power struggles, etc.”¢’‚¬?exist.

  201. Greg F
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 5:57 PM | Permalink

    I wonder how much government funding there would be for climate science if not for the scare campaign. Well I don’t really wonder, I know, not a whole lot.

  202. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 6:22 PM | Permalink

    #196-#201: Methinks thou dost protest too much …..

    And in reply to $197 (“So the science is bad simply because of their association with the fossil fuel industry?”):

    The REASON why the science is bad MAY be because of the influence of the fossil fuels industry — and, if you can’t see that, please raise your head from within the sand.

    But, more importantly, the reason why I know the science is bad is because it is quite clearly crap. If you don’t believe me, show John Daly’s “statistics” to a reasonably competent statistician (Steve M would do fine).

  203. jae
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 6:30 PM | Permalink

    The REASON why the science is bad MAY be because of the influence of the fossil fuels industry “¢’‚¬? and, if you can’t see that, please raise your head from within the sand.

    The REASON why YOUR study could be crap is because of the influence of environmentalism, your own personal beliefs, or your ego.

  204. jae
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 6:40 PM | Permalink

    But, more importantly, the reason why I know the science is bad is because it is quite clearly crap. If you don’t believe me, show John Daly’s “statistics” to a reasonably competent statistician (Steve M would do fine).

    This kind of broad sweeping statement doesn’t sound very scientific, either. If you are a reasonably competent statistician, you should be able to point to specifics. If you are not, how can you speculate thusly? It is simply poor logic to conclude that the “influence” of the fossil fuel industry has anything more to do with the quality of the information provided than your biases have on your work. In fact, one could make the case that industrial scientists are held to a tighter standard than are acedemic scientists, especially those with tenure. I work for industry, and if I produce a paper that embarasses my company because of lousy science, I’m out the door. I doubt the same hatchet hangs over your head.

  205. Doug L
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 7:09 PM | Permalink

    Here’s a thought about land movement in Tasmania. The land may have been shifted by a silent earthquake.

    The first earthquake recorded by seismograph in Tasmania was in 1958 long after the Shortt measurement.

    “It was the first earthquake to be recorded by a seismograph installed in Tasmania. It occurred on New Year’s Day 1958, soon after the Fort Nelson seismograph station near Hobart began operation”

    http://www.seis.com.au/EQ/EQ_info/1958_01.html

    the next link describes a silent earthquake of magnitude 6.7

    http://www.agiweb.org/geotimes/june01/silent_earthquakes.html

    I suspect there could be other possibilities unknown to science at this time. Perhaps tidal movement of the crust occasionally creates a localized silent earthquake.

  206. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

    Oh please Doug, that makes about as much sense as the Sun affecting Earth’s climate.

  207. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 7:58 PM | Permalink

    A few further observations:

    jae asks (#196) “Who funds you, Hunter?” — the answer is the Australian Government. And now I ask jae — which governments signed up to Kyoto?

    Mark (#196) asks “Why not attack the science” — Mark, I think I have been — read our papers, see my web site (you can get to everything from http://staff.acecrc.org.au/~johunter/).

    jae (#204) says “If you are a reasonably competent statistician, you should be able to point to specifics” — again, read our papers, see my web site.

    Finally, “John A” (#188) claimed that “I have a clear agenda about sealevels”. Well, let’s have a look at someone who contrarians love to bring up in this issue — Captain Shortt. In 1888 he was LOOKING for evidence of sea level change. He sent someone down to Port Arthur to investigate the benchmark, and used tidal information from a Captain Wharton and information from the plaque which accompanied the benchmark. He concluded that the mark was put in around High Water and that “there has been practically no alteration of the relative levels of the sea and land during the last 47 years”. This was decades before anyone talked about sea-level rise induced by global warming. If “Shortt” had an agenda, it was to find a sea-level change caused by earth tremors — and he found nothing that he considered significant — in fact, he did not have the data (i.e. Lempriere’s tidal data or 1888 tidal data) to detect the relatively small change of sea level that probably occurred from 1841 to 1888.

  208. jae
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 8:33 PM | Permalink

    jae asks (#196) “Who funds you, Hunter?” “¢’‚¬? the answer is the Australian Government. And now I ask jae “¢’‚¬? which governments signed up to Kyoto?

    I don’t follow this. Does it mean that you are arguing with your employer? Boy, would I be in deep s— if I did that.

  209. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 8:41 PM | Permalink

    jae (#208): I’m not sure if you’re joking, but no — life is not quite as simple as that.

  210. James Lane
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 10:43 PM | Permalink

    John H,

    As indicated earlier, I tend to your side on the “Isle of the Dead”.

    The sealer for me is that it would be nonsensical to site the marker at the current MSL, as if the sea level rose, it would be underwater on a later occasion when you wanted to observe it. This supposition is consistent with what Ross wrote, and his practice in the Falklands.

    I’m wondering if the problem doesn’t lie with the (missing) marker stone. Even if Ross was present during the striking of the mark (late in the afternoon), it is unlikely that he was present for the placement of the marker stone. The reported text of the stone (see Daly) is curious to me, regardless of the typographical dispute. Why not just say that “this marker is x above the MSL [date etc]” as in the Falklands?

    I wonder if that this is what Ross intended, but Lempriere interpreted differently, linking the marker stone to his tide gauge observations.

    Further, if it WAS struck at MSL, why relate the tide- gauge information at all?

    I realize that my hypothesis is not exactly what you’re suggesting, but it is consistent with the evidence, as well as your subsequent reasoning about the sea level at the Isle of Dead?

  211. jae
    Posted Mar 30, 2006 at 11:28 PM | Permalink

    re 209. No joke. Your government has taken the same position as the USA, which I think is wise, given the uncertainty in the AGW theory. You have obviously aligned yourself with what Lomborg calls the “Litany,” in direct opposition to your government’s official position. That’s OK, because I believe in academic freedom, but you gotta admit that you have the opportunity to be just as dishonest and deceitful as you see fit, because there are no real consequences. That is the bane of academic freedom. I see it in so many ways in the USA. I wish I knew of a better system, because you guys are getting away with the murder of science.

  212. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 12:48 AM | Permalink

    James Lane (#210): You ask the sensible question “Why not just say that “this marker is x above the MSL [date etc]“.

    There is a very plausible reason if you attribute any reasonable understanding of sea level to Ross and Lempriere. Ross in fact demonstrates a remarkable knowledge of oceanography in his journal discussion of the benchmark. It is evident from the substantial difference (236 mm) between Mean Tide Levels (from Lempriere’s records) for 1840 and 1841 that there was a vertical datum change during either 1840 or 1841. However, since the Mean Tide Levels for 1841 and 1842 differed by only 12 mm, we concluded that the datum shift occurred in 1840. Now, Lempriere’s records show that Lempriere moved his Observatory and meteorological instruments on 20 December 1840 — it is possible that he moved the tide gauge at the same time and that this was the source of the datum shift but, even if not, there appears to have been a datum shift some time during 1840. It is therefore quite possible that, on 1 July 1841, he did not have a full year of tidal data and both Ross and Lempriere would have realised that seasonal effects mean that anything less than one year of data would not give a good estimate of MTL. So they had to wait for a year or two of data collection (just like we did) before knowing where MTL was relative to the mark.

    Incidentally, we know (from the local paper) that Ross and Crozier (the other Captain on the voyage) visited Port Arthur some time between 12 and 24 May 1841 — Governor Franklin was also with them for some of this time. As I’ve said before, there is no record of Ross being at Port Arthur on 1 July 1841.

    Your idea “I wonder if that this is what Ross intended, but Lempriere interpreted differently, linking the marker stone to his tide gauge observations” is close to what I believe — but we will probably never know for certain.

  213. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 12:52 AM | Permalink

    jae (#211): Thank you for your well-considered view ….. perhaps a little evidence that I am being “dishonest and deceitful” would help though.

  214. John A
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 1:43 AM | Permalink

    It is evident from the substantial difference (236 mm) between Mean Tide Levels (from Lempriere’s records) for 1840 and 1841 that there was a vertical datum change during either 1840 or 1841.

    There’s a much more plausible reason which does not require this mysterious datum change that you insist is there.

  215. James Lane
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 1:57 AM | Permalink

    John H,

    Actually, I was going to suggest that Lempriere either hadn’t completed his calculations at the time the benchmark was struck, or that the data record wasn’t long enough. The benchmark was struck to conform with Ross’ instructions and the Governer’s orders. Lempriere placed the “missing stone” relating the benchmark to the tide observations as a “remind me”. I understand that a couple of years later Lempriere lost interest in tidal measurements ( that’s a recollection – don’t quote me on it), and didn’t get around to updating the marker.

    If that’s the case, then your method of reconstructing the MSL from the tide data referenced on the marker stone is quite appropriate (and completely consistent with why Lempriere wrote what he did – he didn’t know what the MSL was at the time he wrote it, but made sure that someone could subsequently work it out.)

    Works for me. I can’t think of any other reason why Lempriere’s marker stone would say what it did (whichever version you choose).

  216. John A
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 2:07 AM | Permalink

    Actually, I was going to suggest that Lempriere either hadn’t completed his calculations at the time the benchmark was struck, or that the data record wasn’t long enough. The benchmark was struck to conform with Ross’ instructions and the Governer’s orders. Lempriere placed the “missing stone” relating the benchmark to the tide observations as a “remind me”. I understand that a couple of years later Lempriere lost interest in tidal measurements ( that’s a recollection – don’t quote me on it), and didn’t get around to updating the marker.

    Now you’re making things up like Hunter. For Lempriere to have done this would have required extraordinary sloppiness which would have had him fired or demoted. Bear in mind that he had been given “all assistance” in terms of resources by the Governor of Tasmania, who was himself a naval man. When Lempriere made the benchmark he still had Captain Ross on Tasmania (and may have been actually present at the marking, we’ll never know for sure)

    As I remarked earlier, I hope Hunter’s math is better than his historical scholarship.

  217. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 3:16 AM | Permalink

    “John A” (#214): You call the datum change “implausible”.

    Why is it implausible? Have you ever actually looked at a record from a tide gauge? Do you understand ANYTHING about tide gauge records and datum shifts? No — John Daly didn’t either (take a look at http://people.aapt.net.au/~johunter/greenhou/home.html and search down to “Datum Shifts in the Hobart Tidal Record”).

  218. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 3:32 AM | Permalink

    James Lane (#215): You say you “understand that a couple of years later Lempriere lost interest in tidal measurements (that’s a recollection …..”.

    It’s more than a recollection — it appears that he stopped at the end of 1842. In one of his letters (4 October 1841) to Captain Beaufort he sounded discouraged by the laboriousness of the work and the fact that he apparently had had no acknowledgement of the data he had sent to the Royal Society. It sounds very much as if he just gave up! Reading a tide gauge 4 times a day for several years and tabulating the data can’t be much fun — especially if no one appears to be using your data.

    And .. “he didn’t know what the MSL was at the time he wrote it, but made sure that someone could subsequently work it out”

    Yup — just like we’d do it nowadays!

    Cheers.

  219. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 3:37 AM | Permalink

    “John A” (#218): You have now remarked twice “I hope Hunter’s math is better than his historical scholarship”.

    So now you have qualifications in “historical scholarship” and well as climate change? Why, pray, is your ability in “historical scholarship” any better than mine, my collaborators or the several historians and archeologists whom we have consulted during our study?

  220. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 4:36 AM | Permalink

    “John A”: Perhaps it would help you to understand if you went down to Newlyn in Cornwall.

    You may have heard of Ordnance Datum Newlyn, which is the vertical reference datum for mapping in the British Isles. This datum is based on mean sea level for 1915-1921 at the tide gauge at the Newlyn Tidal Observatory (of course, due to changes in sea level, Ordnance Datum Newlyn no longer coincides with mean sea level — it is about 15 cm lower, representing a relative sea-level rise of about 1.7 mm/year — but that’s another story). Ordnance Datum Newlyn is defined by the UK Fundamental Benchmark (or Primary Tide Gauge Benchmark), upon which all levelling in the UK is based. The UK Fundamental Benchmark is a brass bolt located in the Tidal Observatory. It is at a height of 4.751 metres above Ordnance Datum Newlyn — it DEFINES ORDNANCE DATUM NEWLYN — but IT IS NOT AT THE SAME LEVEL AS ORDNANCE DATUM NEWLYN — NOR WAS IT EVER AT MEAN SEA LEVEL. As far as I know there is no mark in the vicinity of the Observatory that is at the level of Ordnance Datum Newlyn — for the simple reason that THERE IS NO NEED FOR IT TO BE.

    ORDNANCE DATUM NEWLYN IS DEFINED AS THE LEVEL WHICH IS 4.751 METRES BELOW THE PRIMARY TIDE GAUGE BENCHMARK.

    NOTE ALSO THAT THE PRIMARY TIDE GAUGE BENCHMARK WAS INSTALLED PRIOR TO MAY 1915 AND YET NO ONE KNEW WHERE MEAN SEA LEVEL WAS RELATIVE TO THIS MARK UNTIL AFTER THE SEA LEVEL MEASUREMENTS WERE COMPLETED IN 1921.

    Is it becoming a little clearer now? Ross and Lempriere were not stupid — they simply worked out the best way to do the job — which is pretty much how we would do it today.

  221. John A
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 4:39 AM | Permalink

    “John Hunter”:

    #

    “John A” (#214): You call the datum change “implausible”.

    Why is it implausible? Have you ever actually looked at a record from a tide gauge? Do you understand ANYTHING about tide gauge records and datum shifts? No “¢’‚¬? John Daly didn’t either (take a look at http://people.aapt.net.au/~johunter/greenhou/home.html and search down to “Datum Shifts in the Hobart Tidal Record”).

    Once again you try to shift the debate away from your statements onto somebody else. I remarked that there is a much more plausible explanation for the apparent sea-level fall between 1840 and 1841 that does not involve a “datum shift”, for which there is no evidence other than your contrived need to explain away data you don’t like.

    There is no record that Thomas Lempriere made a datum shift or needed to. That’s an invention on your part. Just because you wrote it in a paper which passed peer review does not make it a historical fact. There is no documentary evidence that Thomas Lempriere, a careful recorder of scientific data, moved his tide gauge.

    This appears to be typical of greenhouse alarmists like you when debating history – an extraordinary need to rewrite it according to their political beliefs about the climate and to the service of an extreme political agenda.

  222. John A
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 4:48 AM | Permalink

    "John Hunter":

    “John A”: Perhaps it would help you to understand if you went down to Newlyn in Cornwall.

    You may have heard of Ordnance Datum Newlyn, which is the vertical reference datum for mapping in the British Isles. This datum is based on mean sea level for 1915-1921 at the tide gauge at the Newlyn Tidal Observatory (of course, due to changes in sea level, Ordnance Datum Newlyn no longer coincides with mean sea level “¢’‚¬? it is about 15 cm lower, representing a relative sea-level rise of about 1.7 mm/year “¢’‚¬? but that’s another story).

    O

    It is, just so long as you forget (deliberately so as to deceive) that the southern part of England is sinking as a result of PGR.

    That’s what I like about you "John Hunter" – you never let an inconvenient fact get in the way of a political agenda disguised as a scientific statement. As “John Hunter” writes on his rant site, it is:

    ….a good example of contrarianism: holding to a particular view in in the absence of any supporting evidence and/or in the face of totally contrary evidence.

    The rest of your rant gets ignored, since we’re to discuss what happened in Tasmania based on the documentary evidence, not what happened in Cornwall more than 80 years later. It should be self-evident, even to someone as careless with history as you, that you can’t move an ingraving into a rock no matter how much you would want to.

  223. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 5:08 AM | Permalink

    “John A” (#221): If I see a shift in annual mean tide level in a tide gauge record of 236 mm over a period of a year (that’s a sea level change of 236 mm/year), I’d say that a real sea level change of that magnitude is pretty well physically impossible (given that I know of no major earthquake in the region during 1840 or 1841) and that the cause must be instrumental — either due to misreading of the gauge, adjustment of the gauge or moving of the gauge. Given that such datum shifts are so common, this seems a reasonable assumption and the one which I guess would be made by all the experts in the field. Now if you have a “much more plausible reason” then let’s hear it.

  224. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 5:18 AM | Permalink

    “John A” (#222): You bite so easily ….. I was very careful to say “a RELATIVE sea-level rise of about 1.7 mm/year” (my caps.) and “but that’s another story” SPECIFICALLY because I did not want to be deflected by your contrarian agenda. I was NOT discussing sea level change in the UK but, rather, the common practice of siting MEAN SEA LEVEL MARKS ABOVE MEAN SEA LEVEL. Yes, I know “that the southern part of England is sinking as a result of PGR” — but I trust you don’t expect us to believe that this completely negates any possibility that a component of the relative sea level rise my be due to expansion of the oceans — it may help your case (or perhaps it won’t) if you found a good estimate of the value of PGR for Newlyn in the literature and told us what it is.

    And can you translate “you can’t move an ingraving into a rock no matter how much you would want to” into English for me?

  225. John A
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 5:38 AM | Permalink

    “John Hunter”

    “John A” (#222): You bite so easily ….. I was very careful to say “a RELATIVE sea-level rise of about 1.7 mm/year” (my caps.) and “but that’s another story” SPECIFICALLY because I did not want to be deflected by your contrarian agenda. I was NOT discussing sea level change in the UK but, rather, the common practice of siting MEAN SEA LEVEL MARKS ABOVE MEAN SEA LEVEL.

    My agenda is to try to prevent history being rewritten by interpolations such as the several you have put into this thread. It is “contrarian” because it’s contrary to a political propagandist with links to extremist environmental groups with a very strong financial incentive for alarmism.

    There are two marks: One is a sign which says “Below this line x feet is the mean level of the sea” which is put well above the wash zone and the other is the benchmark which is where the calculated mean sea level is.

    Two marks: one a sign and one a benchmark. It was in Tasmania. It was in the Falklands and there’s the same two marks at Newlyn.

    I can only imagine that someone else in 100 years time is going to be talking about the placement of the bolt at Newlyn being put below the low tide mark to protect it from erosion. After all, the standard has already been set for rewriting history like that.

    And speaking of historical revisionists, keep watching Climate Audit, because I might have a humdinger.

  226. Louis Hissink
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 5:38 AM | Permalink

    re #224

    John,

    You protest too much on this. Which activates the ASIC and AIG radars, so don’t be surprised if awkward questions ensue as a result.

  227. James Lane
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 6:03 AM | Permalink

    John A, give it up, you’re being killed in this debate.

    I’m not a natural ally of Hunter, and we might differ in the detail, but I don’t think there is any chance that the Isle of the Dead benchmark was struck at the MSL. First of all, it doesn’t make sense to do so, as confirmed by Ross’s remarks and subsequent practice (and the example of Newlyn).

    Second, the inscription on the marker stone makes no sense unless Lempriere intended it to be used to recover the actual MSL from his records at a later time. Otherwise there would be no need to refer to the tide gauge. It would just say “Below is marked the MSL on [date]“.

  228. Paul Gosling
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 6:13 AM | Permalink

    This thread continues to amuse, for a number of reasons, but a new one struck me this morning.

    Those who continue to berate John Hunter remind me of religious zealots who appear on our TV screens whenever a new play, book etc. appears, which they consider a blasphemy against their brand of religion. After a short period ranting and raving the interviewer asks if they have actually read/seen the offending book/play. To which the reply is invariably no, but it does not matter they know what is in it and it is blasphemy.

    How many of you have actually read the “offending’ papers (abstracts don’t count), looked at the publically available tide data or have read anything about measuring tides and sea level (blogs don’t count). But then again perhaps you don’t need to. You know whats in them, they are wrong because they go against your strongly held beliefs that global temperatures are not increasing, sea levels are not rising and that adding CO2 to the atmosphere has no effect on climate.

  229. John A
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 6:19 AM | Permalink

    John A, give it up, you’re being killed in this debate.

    Really? I’m the one who hasn’t broken the Caps Lock key.

    I’m not a natural ally of Hunter, and we might differ in the detail, but I don’t think there is any chance that the Isle of the Dead benchmark was struck at the MSL. First of all, it doesn’t make sense to do so, as confirmed by Ross’s remarks and subsequent practice (and the example of Newlyn).

    Yes. Take the example of Newlyn. Newlyn’s bolt wasn’t fixed until tide records were completed by 1921 (according to “John Hunter”, another thing I’ll have to check). But sea levels were already rising in the North Atlantic (see “The Regime Shift in 1920s and 1930s in the North Atlantic” which has just been put into press here), so the Newlyn MSL sank nearly immediately due to that, quite apart from the much slower fall due to PGR that is happening across Southern England.

    Second, the inscription on the marker stone makes no sense unless Lempriere intended it to be used to recover the actual MSL from his records at a later time. Otherwise there would be no need to refer to the tide gauge. It would just say “Below is marked the MSL on [date]“.

    Except that contrary to Lempriere’s expectations the MSL level benchmark lasted a lot longer than the marker. Lempriere, as far as anyone can tell, had no expectation that his tode records needed to be continued for much longer except as a way of calculating when and how the original benchmark was struck. Nor did he feel the need to revise it.

    One more thing, why did Lempriere ignore the benchmark by 1843 and not bother with it? I have an idea…

  230. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 6:20 AM | Permalink

    John A you truly are the ‘none shall pass!’ Black Knight. You simply don’t accpet, or see, you’re being chopped to pieces…

  231. John A
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 6:25 AM | Permalink

    This thread continues to amuse, for a number of reasons, but a new one struck me this morning.

    I’m glad you’re amused.

    Those who continue to berate John Hunter remind me of religious zealots who appear on our TV screens whenever a new play, book etc. appears, which they consider a blasphemy against their brand of religion. After a short period ranting and raving the interviewer asks if they have actually read/seen the offending book/play. To which the reply is invariably no, but it does not matter they know what is in it and it is blasphemy.

    I’m not the one claiming the world is going to end unless we repent of our evil ways. That reminds me of a particular religious position…

    How many of you have actually read the “offending’ papers (abstracts don’t count), looked at the publically available tide data or have read anything about measuring tides and sea level (blogs don’t count). But then again perhaps you don’t need to.

    Yes. I have. Not all of them, but thats’ because of a few climate scientists laying exclusive rights and privacy to their data and methodology. That reminds me of something else as well…

    Have you? Have you actually checked that the things you claim to believe in can stand examination? Why not? What are you afraid of?

    You know whats in them, they are wrong because they go against your strongly held beliefs that global temperatures are not increasing, sea levels are not rising and that adding CO2 to the atmosphere has no effect on climate.

    Who has made these claims? Not me. Not anyone I know of.

    Temperatures are increasing, but they’re not increasing particularly quickly and they’re not particularly high. Sea levels have been rising since the maximum of the last ice age, but again they are not rising particularly quickly, nor accelerating, nor are they particularly high. Adding CO2 to the atmosphere clearly has an effect, but is it significant, is it deleterious and what difference would it make if man-made CO2 were to stop increasing or even decrease compared to the much larger natural flux? Nobody knows – especially not you.

    So its just a straw man argument. Can’t you do any better than this?

  232. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 6:30 AM | Permalink

    “John A” (#225}: You say: “Two marks: one a sign and one a benchmark. It was in Tasmania. It was in the Falklands and there’s the same two marks at Newlyn.”

    No — you’re not listening. There is only ONE mark at each of the Falklands sites and at Newlyn — ALL significantly above mean sea level — NONE at mean sea level. There may also be associated plaques but NOTHING at mean sea level — that is your invention.

  233. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 6:34 AM | Permalink

    John A you truly are the ‘None shall pass!’ Black Knight. You simply don’t accept, or see, you’re being chopped to pieces.

    Oh, and you censor like mad.

  234. John A
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 6:37 AM | Permalink

    No “¢’‚¬? you’re not listening. There is only ONE mark at each of the Falklands sites and at Newlyn “¢’‚¬? ALL significantly above mean sea level “¢’‚¬? NONE at mean sea level. There may also be associated plaques but NOTHING at mean sea level “¢’‚¬? that is your invention.

    My invention? Further up this thread you said (my emphasis):

    As for the Falklands marks, they are both well above sea level AND there are NO accompanying marks at mean sea level (please tell me what on earth they would be for anyway!).

    Make your mind up. There are either two marks or one. There’s a plaque and a benchmark on the Falklands put there by James Clark Ross, Which story will you be changing next?

  235. jae
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 6:57 AM | Permalink

    re 213: I did not say YOU are dishonest or anything like that. I merely said you are in an environment where you COULD be if you wanted to be, without dire consequences. You are essentially calling all industry-funded scientists shills and dishonest people, remember. That’s what pissed me off.

  236. James Lane
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 7:17 AM | Permalink

    John A, you are just digging yourself deeper. John H is clear that there is more than one Falkland mark, and neither is at MSL ( I don’t know this as a fact, never been there, but John H is a sea-level guy and I’ll accept his testimony). Give it up.

  237. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

    But, more importantly, the reason why I know the science is bad is because it is quite clearly crap. If you don’t believe me, show John Daly’s “statistics” to a reasonably competent statistician (Steve M would do fine).

    Would “Steve_V” here http://www.debunkers.org/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000682.html not do?

    In response to: >>

    “Unless he is doing a Bayesian analysis with non-informative priors (and if he is, he should have spelled it out in the paper), the regression results (i.e., the intervals he is talking about) do not represent uncertianty in the sense of probability. They represent confidence, which is why such intervals are called confidence intervals and not probability intervals…

    …The probability statement is completely bogus actually…

    …it shows you don’t fully understand one of the tools you are using. Interval estimates from regression analysis, if you are using classical assumptions, are not random, there is no randomness, no uncertainty, no probability except in a trivial sense.

    That you don’t understand this then go on to make statements about probability shows a lack of depth of understanding. Your interval is fine, but the probabilistic interpretation is wrong…

    …Mr. Hunter,
    I suggest you re-aquaint yourself with an elementary book on statistics…

    …what you are doing is propogating junk science (or more accurately junk statisics). You are using statistics incorrectly (and now you are doing so knowingly, which makes you dishonest as well)…

    …If you want to go ahead and say 95% probability interval (which is what you have been saying, just not in so few words) fine, but then shut up about Daly’s site because you are spreading (knowingly) junk as well. You have no legs to stand…at all. Any high ground you have gotten you have surrendered.

    And spare me this tripe about “serious attempts to deliver science.” You are misleading your managers. Further, now you will be doing so knowingly (most people call this latter one lying).

    Seems to me Mr. Hunter, that when all is said and done you are no better than those you accuse of being contrarians. You are now going to be deliberately misleading to those who make policy decisions. Way to go, way to be a junk scientist…”

    It goes on-and-on like that through several posts.

  238. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 8:06 AM | Permalink

    #158. Steve B, don’t assume that GRL peer reviewers considered AGU policies on data archiving in carrying out their review. I’m sure they didn’t. I once corresponded the previous GRL editor about the problem of authors not complying with data archiving guidelines and he acknowledged the problem and suggested that I write up a comment (which I should have done, I started doing so, but hten got on to something else.)

    We’ve sen examples with Science, where they haven’t enforced their data policies and have been very reluctant to do so after the fact. It takes months of effort and I’ve still been unsuccessful with them in major articles.

    Also in #152, my comment was in respect to data, not methodology. While econometrics journals have a “best practices” policy requiring archiving of methodology, paleoclimate journals do not follow a “best practices” policy.

  239. Paul Gosling
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 8:43 AM | Permalink

    John A
    Re #230

    Yes I have read sufficient to be convinced that global temperatures are increasing, atmospheric concentration of CO2 is increasing and that a proportion of the former may be a result of the latter. I make no claims nor have a position about changes in sea level as I have not read anything much about it. I would only observe that John H seems to be considerably more knowledgeable about the subject in general than you are. What the others attempting to give John H a hard time have read and understand I don’t know (they have gone very quiet), but your knowledge of his papers seems scant (from what he says, I have not read them). Perhaps you should re-read them.

  240. John A
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    Yes I have read sufficient to be convinced that global temperatures are increasing, atmospheric concentration of CO2 is increasing and that a proportion of the former may be a result of the latter.

    Then there is not a scintilla of a difference between us

    I make no claims nor have a position about changes in sea level as I have not read anything much about it.

    I’ve read quite a bit on sea levels in general terms but the discussion is on specifics, not generalities.

    I would only observe that John H seems to be considerably more knowledgeable about the subject in general than you are. What the others attempting to give John H a hard time have read and understand I don’t know (they have gone very quiet), but your knowledge of his papers seems scant (from what he says, I have not read them). Perhaps you should re-read them.

    Thank you for your advice. I think Hunter’s papers deserve close examination, but the only real way to fully comprehend them is to reproduce the results. That requires a certain level of cooperation which has not been forthcoming.

    I could, of course, attempt my own reconstruction but in the event I get different results (which is likely, simply because I am making different assumptions), then there would be no way to reconcile the differences unless John Hunter opens his files for inspection.

  241. Paul Gosling
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

    John A

    If you actually went away, got the data from the original source, did your own reconstruction got a result and then asked John H for his data to compare and he then refused, I would have no trouble in condemning him for withholding data. However, I suspect, like him, that you are just winding him up and have no intention of doing a reconstruction. Given that, it is reasonable for him to refuse to spend time, and no doubt it would take a few hours to sort and annotate the files so that you could understand his use of abbreviations etc. providing data to an anonymous person who most likely will do nothing with it.

  242. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

    “If you actually went away, got the data from the original source, did your own reconstruction got a result and then asked John H for his data to compare and he then refused, I would have no trouble in condemning him for withholding data.”

    Since when has that been the standard? Did Pons and Fleishman’s say “We did Cold Fusion, once you do it yourself we’ll show you how we did it.”

    Did Hwang Woo-suk say “I’ve cloned stem cells. Once you do it yourself I’ll show yo how I did it.”

    The scientific method does not require that someone do a similar replication first, then the data is released. When a study is done, the data is released so that others can duplicate the study, and confirm or deny the results.

    When someone has robust results, or thinks they do, they release the results and others try and duplicate.

  243. jae
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    Paul: the data should be available for others to see. It’s just good science. Why should it NOT be available, if it takes only a few hours?

  244. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 10:34 AM | Permalink

    It certainly would take a lot less time than all of John H’s ranting and protesting here.

  245. John A
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

    If you actually went away, got the data from the original source, did your own reconstruction got a result and then asked John H for his data to compare and he then refused, I would have no trouble in condemning him for withholding data. However, I suspect, like him, that you are just winding him up and have no intention of doing a reconstruction. Given that, it is reasonable for him to refuse to spend time, and no doubt it would take a few hours to sort and annotate the files so that you could understand his use of abbreviations etc. providing data to an anonymous person who most likely will do nothing with it.

    John Hunter’s actual effort required is no more onerous than copying his files to the nearest ftp server and telling us where it is. No more and no less.

    The above takes an awful lot less time than he spent spinning yarns in the thread above.

    He has no evidence that I will “do nothing with it” and if he stands by his results, he has nothing to fear and everything to gain from allowing others to replicate it.

    The chances that you’ll excuse any and all boorish behavior by John Hunter regardless are rather large.

    It has nothing to do with effort but everything to do with will.

  246. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

    “John A” (#234): I don’t know how I can be any clearer, but let’s have a go:

    1. A benchmark (or “mark”) is not the same as a plaque. A benchmark shows a definite vertical level, while a plaque just gives information.

    2. I said that “there is only ONE mark at each of the Falklands sites and at Newlyn” — that’s three primary marks in all. Of course, at Newlyn, you could count every survey mark in Britain as well, because the primary mark at Newlyn (the one that is 4.751 metres above Ordnance Datum Newlyn) is connected to all of these by levelling surveys. However, the primary mark at Newlyn is the one on which Ordnance Datum Newlyn is based.

    3. There may, of course, be numerous plaques describing the purpose of the benchmark — but these AREN’T benchmarks.

    Your problem is that you can’t find a mark at mean sea level at either of the Falklands
    sites or at Newlyn — OR at the Isle of the Dead, come to think of it.

  247. John A
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 5:42 PM | Permalink

    Your problem is that you can’t find a mark at mean sea level at either of the Falklands sites or at Newlyn “¢’‚¬? OR at the Isle of the Dead, come to think of it.

    It would be remarkable if I could: the older the benchmark, the further away from MSL.Of course if I were motivated by an agenda, then I’d write a paper saying that they never were where they were supposed to be.

    Then I’d make sure to hide my data from the contrarians who think otherwise. Perhaps I’d claim it as my own personal property or demand that the contrarians produce their own construction.

  248. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 9:48 PM | Permalink

    “Michael Jankowski ” (#237): I said previously “If you don’t believe me, show John Daly’s “statistics” to a reasonably competent statistician (Steve M would do fine).”

    Your response is to reproduce selectively one half of a net conversation from nearly three years ago, which concerned neither John Daly’s “statistics” nor the “Isle of the Dead” study. It is a conversation which I have already had and one which I have no intention of repeating. The statistical qualifications of the person you quote are completely unknwon to me or the audience here. It was mainly a debate about terminology and not the simple “first year university” error budgeting we are discussing here. If you want to address the present issue, perhaps you would like to present new error budgets for the “Isle of the Dead” study — we gave an ample discussion of what we did in this respect in our papers.

  249. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 10:15 PM | Permalink

    “John A” (#240): You say (going over the same theme interminably): “I think Hunter’s papers deserve close examination, but the only real way to fully comprehend them is to reproduce the results. That requires a certain level of cooperation which has not been forthcoming.”

    And again — NO — look, “John A”, I am not the only person telling you this. You have all the data available to reproduce two significant parts of our study (MTL from Lempriere’s harcopy data in London, and MSL from our records at the National Tidal Centre, Australia). However, he first set of data does not happen to be in the format you require and you are evidently too lazy the digitise it yourself.

    As for “in the event I get different results (which is likely, simply because I am making different assumptions), then there would be no way to reconcile the differences unless John Hunter opens his files for inspection” — well let’s wait and see what result you get first and then we can take it from there. As I have pointed out before, you do not have to get exactly the same result as us — only a result which falls comfortably within our uncertainty estimates.

    In #245, you say “He has no evidence that I will ‘do nothing with it'” — I have absolutely no evidence that you will do ANYTHING with it either. If you had showed a little good faith early on (i.e. a month ago) and actually looked at some of the data, rather than just rubbishing the study, then I might have been more forthcoming.

    In #247, you start to leave this planet all together with your response to my:

    “Your problem is that you can’t find a mark at mean sea level at either of the Falklands sites or at Newlyn “¢’‚¬? OR at the Isle of the Dead, come to think of it.”

    which is:

    “It would be remarkable if I could: the older the benchmark, the further away from MSL.”

    Oh right, so the Primary Tide Gauge Benchmark at Newlyn was originally at MSL and is now 4.751 metres above MSL after about 90 years — a sea level FALL of 53 mm/year — so I wonder why there is so much coastal inundation in the South of England …….

    As someone else said ….. you are just digging yourself deeper ….. give it up.

    But before you do — I am still eager to hear of your “much more plausible reason which does not require this mysterious datum change that you insist is there” (#214).

  250. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

    “ET SidViscous” (#242): You say “The scientific method does not require that someone do a similar replication first, then the data is released. When a study is done, the data is released so that others can duplicate the study, and confirm or deny the results.”

    Some of you seem very slow. OUR data has been released — that is, the sea level data we collected at Port Arthur — it is held by the National Tidal Centre, Australia. The data to which I think you refer (Lempriere’s data) is not “ours”. His data is in the Royal Society archives in London and readily available to John A and anyne else who wants to have a look at it. I have a digitised version of this data — which I may refer to if “John A” gets some results from his initial audit.

  251. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 10:44 PM | Permalink

    For what it’s worth, James Lane’s comments here seem persuasive to me and I do not share John A’s views on this matter. This is based on about 1 minute’s consideration of the matter as I am not at all interested in delving into it and will resist any further temptation to comment. I don’t see how one should over-rely on Ross’ after-the-fact and passim account as being a replicable description of methodology. I would be more guided by contemporary practice in the Falklands, as James Lane has emphasized. This is just a quick impression and it might be wrong and I’m not interested enough in the issue to test it one way or the other.

    John H., As to the digital version of the Lempriere data, I disagree with you. Your digital data set is not the Lempriere archive; it is your own transcription of the Lempriere data. If I were administering GRL policies, I’d make you permanently archive the digital data in the form that you used it. But GRL does not enforce AGU data archiving policies – I hope that changes. Of course, you could archive the data voluntarily regardless of GRL policies. Bruce McCullough says that in econometrics, articles which archive their data are more cited than articles which don’t – so it should be an incentive to authors to make data available. You’ve spent more time arguing about than it would have taken just to put the data up.

    I had originally scheduled this thread for demolition, but didn’t get around to doing it. John H. twitted me for this upthread. I guess I should restore the Ammann cartoon if people are going to use the thread to discuss sea level.

  252. John Hunter
    Posted Mar 31, 2006 at 10:48 PM | Permalink

    jae (#235): Firstly, please indicate where I was “essentially calling all industry-funded scientists shills and dishonest people”.

    Secondly, I don’t think I referred to any “industry-funded scientists” — if I did, please indicate to whom I was referring.

    I think I just indicated that the article to which Hans Erren referred was directly funded by the fossil fuels industry. I substantiated that claim by pointing you to a web site which gave all the necessary references.

  253. John Hunter
    Posted Apr 1, 2006 at 12:27 AM | Permalink

    Steve M (#251): Thanks for giving your thoughtful opinion (even if only “1 minute’s” worth). It seems to be shared by a few others on here so I can’t see much point in debating the subject further. Please, everybody, note that the subject of this thread was originally hijacked by “John A” in #25 after I had only made one posting asking about the apparent “change of emphasis of this site”, as exemplified by the original subject of this thread.

    As regards archiving, as I have said before, I am serious about it. The whole problem of how I will archive all my notes, data and software for when I retire in a few years time exercises me a lot (I have yet to work in a place which has any proper policy on archiving hardcopy items like handwritten notes). During this process, I fully expect to archive intermediate data like the digitised form of Lempriere’s tide gauge data — but I will do it in my own time, and I won’t be bullied into it by “John A”. In fact, to put Lempriere’s tide gauge data on the web is a trivial task — what is not trivial is to put all the data (both electronic and hardcopy) relating to the “Isle of the Dead” study in an archive in which it could usefully be retrieved by someone who has no assistance from me. This is a problem which is present throughout the research community — what level of research product do you archive and what level do you not? I tend to think that a digitised version of Lempriere’s tide gauge data could be usefully archived — although this would be by no means essential, because the hardcopy (“original”) versions are in a secure archive which is referenced in our publications. However odd handwritten notes, taken when I was in a reference library and later transferred to a more formal (probably digitised) form, would probably not qualify as reasonable candidates for archiving. But then again, perhaps just scanning EVERYTHING I have and popping that in an archive for someone else to sort out in the future (in the remote possibility that such information will ever be required again) may be a pragmatic course of action.

    Yes, I could put the digitised form of Lempriere’s tide gauge data on the web in five minutes — but I won’t, as the only person who is presently asking for it (1) appears to have little competence in these matters (I am not the only person on here who believes this), (2) shows no serious interest in advancing the science, and (3) will in all probability waste considerably more of my time when he finally gets hold of it. There is a lesson for “John A” (and perhaps you) in this — if you piss someone off, you may just have to wait a little bit longer for their data ….. endeavouring to work in a mutually supportive and consensual environment (rather than a litigious one) does pay off.

  254. Hans Erren
    Posted Apr 1, 2006 at 1:49 AM | Permalink

    “John H” you are acting like a seven year old, please grow up.

  255. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Apr 1, 2006 at 2:09 AM | Permalink

    Hans, don’t be so supercillious. If you agree with John A just say so :)

  256. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 1, 2006 at 4:06 AM | Permalink

    “OUR data has been released “¢’‚¬? that is, the sea level data we collected at Port Arthur “¢’‚¬? it is held by the National Tidal Centre, Australia. The data to which I think you refer (Lempriere’s data) is not “ours”.”

    Sticking to the one point John H I think I have a solution that makes everyone happy. Obviously there was a lot of hardwork that went into transcribing Lempriere’s tables, a lot of time spent managing Graduate students I assume. Obviously for this reason you don’t want to give up the sweat of your brow to John A. So what I propose is that I will act as John A’s student assistant, and I will transcribe the tables into excel. Not a big deal, kind of thing anal types like myself revel in. Just need access, I assume they are all available on-line, if not John A is a bit closer and I’m sure can provide me with the copies.

    So then I transcribe the details for john, put it up on-line. Then you can release yours, as you’ve said yo would. We spend a week or two arguing over “Is that a 5, no it’s a 3″, “Is that a 3 no it’s an 8″. For the most part I assume the arguements will be in the insignifigant end, and won’t make much mind anyway.

    I’ll even offer you space to host your data, as much as needed.

    John A I assume what John H says is true, that the rest of the data is available.

    I think that’s a pretty amicable situation.

  257. John Hunter
    Posted Apr 1, 2006 at 4:51 AM | Permalink

    ET SidViscous (and “John A”) (#256): If you want to help “John A” digitise the data, that is fine with me. I’m not sure how you think Lempriere’s hardcopy data is “available on-line”, though — it is hardcopy — we never scanned them (the sheets are difficult enough to read without introducing another layer of “noise”).

    As for your “So then I transcribe the details for john …..”, here are my “instructions” (from #26) — I haven’t changed them:

    ———————————–

    (a) Read our papers “¢’‚¬? presumably you already done this “¢’‚¬? they give you most of the information you need.

    (Let’s assume that this has been done.)

    (b) Get hold of Thomas Lempriere’s original data “¢’‚¬? we give the reference to this in our first paper.

    (c) Digitise (b), correct or remove obviously erroneous data, and obtain the mean tidal level for 1841 and 1842 “¢’‚¬? compare this with the values given in our first paper.

    Please let me know when you have done (b) and (c) “¢’‚¬? I am eager to know whether we missed any errors in Lempriere’s data or in our digitisation. I am also keen to see if you get the same value of mean tidal level that we got.

    When you’ve done this, we can move on to the next steps of the “replication”.

    ————————————

    You say “Then you can release yours, as you’ve said you would.”

    No, sorry, I never said that. In #249, I said “let’s wait and see what result you get first and then we can take it from there”. I’m not promising anything as I don’t have to.

    You also say “Obviously there was a lot of hardwork that went into transcribing Lempriere’s tables, a lot of time spent managing Graduate students I assume.”

    No — David Pugh did all the digitising himself, in his spare time. I think he once mentioned in an email spending “the evenings of two long damp winters” doing it — it was not a trivial task and David is exceedingly careful (read our first paper and see the numerous statistical checks we (actually he) did on the data).

    Incidentally, “John A” (if you are listening) — if I do decide to provide you with a digitised copy of Lempriere’s data, would you be prepared to complete a “data request form”, for example like the one at: http://www.marine.csiro.au/datacentre/request.htm ?

  258. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 1, 2006 at 6:28 AM | Permalink

    John H, a couple of questions and points and again, I’ve not worked through the materials and apologize in advance if I’m repeating something obvious: are the various data sets used in the sea level study, including the transcription of the Lempriere data, listed in a way that a third party could make a request to CSIRO that a CSIRO data librarian could respond to without further intervention? If not, why not add a Supplementary Information to the GRL article? I know that John A’s raising this issue is an irritant for you, but I see no harm and some good from it.

    Do you have a listing of the “obvious” corrections to the Lempriere data and the basis? Is this one of the data sets? Corrections and adjustments are always something that I look at separately.

    Your comment about not getting “bullied” into showing your data sounds like Mann saying that he won’t get “intimidated” into showing his algorithm. In both cases, it’s a very precious attitude. I get the same answer from paleoclimate people – if I were a little bit nicer, then I’d get to see the data too. Well, I’ve always tried the nice way first. I make a point of it. It doesn’t work very often, but I do it anyway. If afterwards I make a public stink about it, I’m then accused of bullying. In Hockey Team cases, I don’t think that there was any form of making the request, no magic words, that would have netted the data.

    Also with respect to the Lemprierer data, maybe there are forms of analysis that can be usefully done on the Lempriere digital data. If it took Pugh two winters to transcribe the data, it is ridiculous to suggest that an interested third party do the same thing. Archaeologists who work with original cuneiform produce and publish transcriptions of the original cuneiform. Very occasionally someone will go back and check the transcription against the original tablet, but the point of the original archaeological article is usually to eliminate the need to go back to the original sources.

    In fact, the archaeological example illustrates an interesting difference in methods. If an archaeologist thought that the Lempriere data was interesting, then they would begin with an edition of Lempriere’s data. Maybe that wasn’t publishable in the past, but it can be published online now. If you thnk that the topic is important, why not?

  259. John A
    Posted Apr 1, 2006 at 7:08 AM | Permalink

    Incidentally, “John A” (if you are listening) “¢’‚¬? if I do decide to provide you with a digitised copy of Lempriere’s data, would you be prepared to complete a “data request form”, for example like the one at: http://www.marine.csiro.au/datacentre/request.htm ?

    No.

  260. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 1, 2006 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

    Ah so I see it has nothing to do with moving science forward. It all I’ve got it you can’t have it.

    Gee and here I am naively thinking that science was open and about progress.

    In reality it’s a game of football, and whoever has the ball can go home with it.

  261. Hans Erren
    Posted Apr 1, 2006 at 3:59 PM | Permalink

    re 255:

    Although I like the number of John Hunter very much (1.0 ± 0.3 mm/year), I don’t agree with his style on this blog, where he puts quotes around names, thus still suggesting they are Steve M’s sockpuppets.

    Furthermore, I do agree with the simple argument of John A and John Daly that if you want to indicate the mean level of the sea, then you mark the mean level of the sea.

    In this case the mere location of the benchmark is telling: Why would anybody place a temporary mark (Hunter’s local high water mark) on a cliff over the water where no land surveyor can reach it for attaching a rod to spirit-level the value to the nearest gauge? Why place it there?

    One similar benchmark from 1675 is left in Amsterdam indicating the height of the sea-dike on eight locks. It took quite some ingenious effort to tie it to the network of 50,000 benchmarks in the Netherlands.

    http://home.tiscali.nl/~wr2777/NAP-niveau.htm

    The stone reads “height of the sea dike, being nine feet and five inches above city level” City level being the average summer high water level. Now you may cry: “Ah, THERE is a high water level!” Indeed, but the purpose of a dike is protecting it for high water, isn’t it? And the stone shows the height of the dike.

    The purpose of the tasmanian benchmark was the mean sea level.

  262. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Apr 1, 2006 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    John H., you say:

    But then again, perhaps just scanning EVERYTHING I have and popping that in an archive for someone else to sort out in the future (in the remote possibility that such information will ever be required again) may be a pragmatic course of action.

    This is an excellent idea, especially since requests for the data are not a remote possibility at all (as some even appear in this thread). With a little effort, you could even make a sort of digital cenotaph for your scientific career, to be cited on papers into the future. Best of all would be if you had a chance to complete it before you actually retire.

  263. Hans Erren
    Posted Apr 1, 2006 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

    (deliberately going even more off topic)

    You mean like Lonnie Thompson could do with the Quelccaya Ice cores?

  264. John A
    Posted Apr 1, 2006 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

    Why would anybody place a temporary mark (Hunter’s local high water mark) on a cliff over the water where no land surveyor can reach it for attaching a rod to spirit-level the value to the nearest gauge?

    My answer: because the benchmark and the tide gauge were for separate purposes. Lempriere’s tide gauge was used to calculate when the mid-point of the sea level was going to happen.

  265. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 1, 2006 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

    Hans, John Hunter says that it’s all a matter saying a magic word. Maybe he would do us both a favor and ask Thompson for the data and report back to us on whether he is able to get it.

  266. ET SidViscous
    Posted Apr 1, 2006 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

    Steve by Magic word I don’t think its “Please” or anything like that.

    More of like a secret hand-shake that Identifies people within the clique.

  267. John Hunter
    Posted Apr 2, 2006 at 3:56 AM | Permalink

    Steve M (#258): You ask: “are the various data sets used in the sea level study, including the transcription of the Lempriere data, listed in a way that a third party could make a request to CSIRO that a CSIRO data librarian could respond to without further intervention?”

    No, for two reasons:

    1. CSIRO does not have the data — they have not been directly involved in the study for the past six years or so (in #257, I gave the CSIRO data request form as a typical example only).

    2. “John A” (although frequently pontificating to scientists about what they should or should not do) is not prepared to follow quite basic protocols when requesting data (see #259). Is it so unreasonable for a data provider to know to whom it is providing data and for what purpose?

    You also ask: “If not, why not add a Supplementary Information to the GRL article?”.

    I thought I had already explained that “I fully expect to archive intermediate data like the digitised form of Lempriere’s tide gauge data “¢’‚¬? but I will do it in my own time …..”. There is no obvious reason why this should form Supplementary Information to the GRL article — there are plenty of other intermediate data sets used in our study that could be archived and could have precedence over Lempriere’s data, and there are plenty of other feasible archives (for example, the National Tidal centre). I don’t think it is a god idea to archve data on an ad hoc basis just because someone on climateaudit wants to give me a hard time.

    You also say “it took Pugh two winters to transcribe the data, it is ridiculous to suggest that an interested third party do the same thing.”

    Come on Steve — we hear lots on this site about the need for “replication” — now this is exactly what “replication” is — REPEATING WHAT SOMEONE ELSE HAS DONE — not just checking on the easy bits and ignoring all the rest. Unfortunately replication can be long and tedious. Now, I thought “John A” wanted to check that we had digitised the data correctly. In order to do this, he has to go through all the original hardcopy data AND make all the sort of choices that David Pugh had to make when confronted with possible errors in Lempriere’s data (yes I know it’s tedious but that’s what this kind of data archaeology is all about). If it is to be an objective “audit” then it had to be done INDEPENDENTLY of any knowledge of our version of the digitised data. If “John A” is going to do all this, then surely he is going to produce a digital version of the data (i.e. not just a hardcopy list of numbers in “John A”‘s handwriting). And, if he is going to do this, then it is a trivial task to calculate Mean Tidal Level for each of the years 1840, 1841 and 1842 and to compare these with our published versions. It is a bit similar to a “checksum” — in this case, a quick and easy way to see that the two versions of the data do not differ significantly (at least from the point of view of our final results).

    Anyway, Steve, both you and I know that checking whether we have a valid digital transcription of Lempriere’s data is a complete diversion from “John A”‘s main argument — that the benchmark was originally placed at Mean Sea Level rather than around High water — any errors we made in calculating MTL have absolutely no bearing on this argument. And we both agree that “John A”‘s argument is bunkum.

  268. Hans Erren
    Posted Apr 2, 2006 at 5:09 AM | Permalink

    “John Hunter”
    What’s the point of sitting on the Lempriere data? Suppose you are hit by a car today and die. What’s the value of your research? Have you instructed your next of kin?

  269. Hans Erren
    Posted Apr 2, 2006 at 6:48 AM | Permalink

    John H,
    If you follow the link

    http://www.knmi.nl/klimatologie/daggegevens/antieke_wrn/his-49-1706.zip

    You’ll end up with the digitised daily observation data of Nicolaas Cruquius 1706-1720.
    Free of charge, for the anonymous user, with the request to mention the source:

    THESE DATA CAN BE USED FREELY PROVIDED THAT THE FOLLOWING SOURCE IS ACKNOWLEDGED:
    ROYAL NETHERLANDS METEOROLOGICAL INSTITUTE.

    It is possible, it is done.

  270. kim
    Posted Apr 2, 2006 at 6:58 AM | Permalink

    This is what the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike grew up to do.
    ==============================================

  271. per
    Posted Apr 2, 2006 at 7:14 AM | Permalink

    John Hunter

    Is it so unreasonable for a data provider to know to whom it is providing data and for what purpose?

    If this is the data from a published study, the answer is yes.

    now this is exactly what “replication” is “¢’‚¬? REPEATING WHAT SOMEONE ELSE HAS DONE “¢’‚¬? not just checking on the easy bits and ignoring all the rest.

    I cannot see this as a principled argument. MBH published their methods, and could have used exactly the same line as you. Without access to the interim steps, you could never reconcile why there are differences in the final result.
    I think it is reasonable for you to say that it is too much effort to make an accessible digital archive of your interim results. However, this is a problem for anyone who wishes to replicate your data. It would be so much easier if people did all the work to make the accessible data archive at the time of publication, since it would be precious little extra work, and save much subsequent trauma.

    yours
    per

  272. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 2, 2006 at 7:20 AM | Permalink

    #267. I certainly don’t suggest archiving on your data on an "ad hoc basis. Nothing could be further from my point of view. On the contrary, I suggest archiving data in a systematic manner.

    I also suggest archiving data because you’ve published an article relying on the data in a journal whose policies at least theoretically require you to do so as a condition of publication; because it’s the right thing to do.

    I recommend that people do so at the time of publication or earlier. It should not be necessary to for some one to even raise the issue at climateaudit or elsewhere. You should not use the fact that someone’s raised the matter here as an excuse for not doing what you should have done long ago.

    My own personal experience is that the attitudes of some paleoclimate scientists are so precious that it is seldom possible to get such scientists to comply with even minimal obligations undertaken as a condition of publication and that the journals have been uncooperative in requiring compliance. On the other hand, some scientists are quite diligent about archiving their data resaonably promptly. However, some of the worst offenders are some of the most prominent.

    I’ve been so surprised by this that I’ve done what I could to bring this to the attention of outside parties, who are generally entirely unsympathetic to the climate scientists involved. I’m disappointed that a regular reader of this blog, even an unsympathetic one like yourself, should take the position that you’re taking on archiving your data.

  273. kim
    Posted Apr 2, 2006 at 7:35 AM | Permalink

    The little Dutch boy with his ‘pre-normal’ science. The impetus for measuring, studying, and managing the tides came from a wealth of experience of communities fighting a particularly high tide. This is an example of ‘pre-normal’ through to ‘post-normal’ science.

    What’s the analogy in climate science? Well, where are the communities battling for their lives with global warming? Instead we have an ancient mythic technique of anthropomorphizing climate, which has deluded itself with false science. The only communities obviously at risk here are the paleoclimatologists and the carbon creditors.

    Back to Holland. The hockey stick, if not all of AGW is a Tulip Craze. The virus is academic dishonesty.
    ===============================================

  274. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 2, 2006 at 7:39 AM | Permalink

    Though this discussion is mind-numbingly dull I might point out to John H, that auditing a set of data doesn’t necessarily require totally replication. But it does require ACCESS to the total original data. If we wanted to assess the quality of the transcription of the original data, we produce a protocol to sample the data and then follow the protocol, compare the original to the transcription and then statistically analyze how likely the transcription is to be suitable for the use to which is was or is intended to be used.

    Note that this would be done with the entire procedure being available. If there are 5 years of 5x daily readings there will be 9125 readings to look at. If we start with guessing that a 99% accuracy of transcription will be found we can, by suitable simulation determine how much the inaccuracy will affect the final mean sea level determinations using multiple runs of dummy data or directly from statistical tables, etc. Of course different errors may have different results and misreading a single digit would be less a problem than moving a decimal point. That’s what a random check of the quality of the transcription will let you determine.

    Of course in the case of tide data, perusal of the tide charts derived from first principles will let you check for likely errors in either the autograph or the transcription and I assume you’d have done that. I believe I read at least one paper you published quite some time ago, but I’m sure I didn’t worry too much at the time about these sorts of details.

  275. John A
    Posted Apr 2, 2006 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    “John Hunter”

    1. CSIRO does not have the data “¢’‚¬? they have not been directly involved in the study for the past six years or so (in #257, I gave the CSIRO data request form as a typical example only).

    2. “John A” (although frequently pontificating to scientists about what they should or should not do) is not prepared to follow quite basic protocols when requesting data (see #259).

    So why would I have to give my name to an organization that doesn’t have the data I want to see? Is it a test? Will there be a large stone ball rolling towards me followed by a leap across a fiery chasm?

    Is it so unreasonable for a data provider to know to whom it is providing data and for what purpose?

    Yes. Even the CSIRO don’t ask what the request is for, which goes to show that like the rest of your scholarship, the inquiry is not for scientific reasons.

    You also ask: “If not, why not add a Supplementary Information to the GRL article?”.

    I thought I had already explained that “I fully expect to archive intermediate data like the digitised form of Lempriere’s tide gauge data “¢’‚¬? but I will do it in my own time …..”. There is no obvious reason why this should form Supplementary Information to the GRL article “¢’‚¬? there are plenty of other intermediate data sets used in our study that could be archived and could have precedence over Lempriere’s data, and there are plenty of other feasible archives (for example, the National Tidal centre). I don’t think it is a god idea to archve data on an ad hoc basis just because someone on climateaudit wants to give me a hard time.

    Oh you poor thing. He won’t archive his data because someone on a weblog is being nasty to him. Awwwww…….

    You also say “it took Pugh two winters to transcribe the data, it is ridiculous to suggest that an interested third party do the same thing.”

    Come on Steve “¢’‚¬? we hear lots on this site about the need for “replication” “¢’‚¬? now this is exactly what “replication” is “¢’‚¬? REPEATING WHAT SOMEONE ELSE HAS DONE “¢’‚¬? not just checking on the easy bits and ignoring all the rest. Unfortunately replication can be long and tedious.

    Nope. There is a reason that this site is called ClimateAudit and not ClimateReplication. Bear in mind that the critics of Hwang woo Suk were not asked to produce their own cloned stemcells before being allowed to criticisize the Grand Poobah of South Korean genetic science.

    Now we come to the nitty gritty:

    Now, I thought “John A” wanted to check that we had digitised the data correctly. In order to do this, he has to go through all the original hardcopy data AND make all the sort of choices that David Pugh had to make when confronted with possible errors in Lempriere’s data (yes I know it’s tedious but that’s what this kind of data archaeology is all about). If it is to be an objective “audit” then it had to be done INDEPENDENTLY of any knowledge of our version of the digitised data.

    Bollocks. How on earth is anyone supposed to do that? How can someone know what was in David Pugh’s mind when he decided to “correct” data? Did he describe the criteria by which he decided that Thomas Lempriere was wrong in advance of the digitization? Did Pugh describe after, where why and how he altered the data?

    If “John A” is going to do all this, then surely he is going to produce a digital version of the data (i.e. not just a hardcopy list of numbers in “John A”‘s handwriting). And, if he is going to do this, then it is a trivial task to calculate Mean Tidal Level for each of the years 1840, 1841 and 1842 and to compare these with our published versions. It is a bit similar to a “checksum” “¢’‚¬? in this case, a quick and easy way to see that the two versions of the data do not differ significantly (at least from the point of view of our final results).

    And I’ll be guaranteed to get a different answer because you admit that David Pugh altered some data in his transcription from Lempriere’s original.

    What then? Will “Hunter” pony up the data? Will I be able to get a set of definitive reasons why Pugh decides to alter data? Or will Hunter decide that his ego is much too fragile to allow such questions to be fully and frankly answered and withdraw claiming that “it’s all be discussed before” and “this is a typical contrarian tactic”

    Anyway, Steve, both you and I know that checking whether we have a valid digital transcription of Lempriere’s data is a complete diversion from “John A”‘s main argument “¢’‚¬? that the benchmark was originally placed at Mean Sea Level rather than around High water “¢’‚¬? any errors we made in calculating MTL have absolutely no bearing on this argument. And we both agree that “John A”‘s argument is bunkum.

    We don’t know that, and for reasons that should be obvious, we’ve heard that argument before (especially Steve).

  276. kim
    Posted Apr 2, 2006 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    An excellent way to honor the dedicated hours spent at wintery tradecraft would be to place a marker at the high tide of public esteem a knot at the mean level of envy and greed.Allow public access to the site.
    **************************************************************************************

  277. kim
    Posted Apr 2, 2006 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

    Um. ‘and not at’. That was posted by my daughter whilst I bathed and cogitated.
    ========================================

  278. kim
    Posted Apr 2, 2006 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

    Eureka, we need the relative weight, the density, of the CO2 effect. I’ve often wondered how fast the oceans are buffering CO2, certainly it is bound in superficial layers of the earth’s crust; now there is an unprecedented release of vrtually permanently sequestered carbon. If I had a bathtub big enough, I could measure this. Wait, say no more. Rub-a-dub-dub. All men in a tub. Rock the boat and measure the levels. Don’t spill the dog and don’t sog the cheese.
    ==========================================

  279. John Hunter
    Posted Apr 2, 2006 at 5:46 PM | Permalink

    “John A” (#275): One of the reasons why I am loath to let you “audit” anything is that you never seem to read anything properly. You read into something whatever you want to read into it, and then shove it up on climateaudit as fact (also recall that Steve once based a whole climateaudit thread on a single and obvious typo of mine – that’s one very good reason why I and others are not particularly keen to provide any of you with information which you can twist). Some examples:

    You say: “So why would I have to give my name to an organization that doesn’t have the data I want to see? ”

    when the original posting (#257) had said “would you be prepared to complete a ‘data request form’, FOR EXAMPLE like the one at …..” and I had also said (#267) that “I gave the CSIRO data request form as a TYPICAL EXAMPLE only” (my caps. for emphasis).

    You say: “Even the CSIRO don’t ask what the request is for”

    when the form at http://www.marine.csiro.au/datacentre/request.htm has a box specifically for “Intended Use of Data”.

    You also ask: ” How can someone know what was in David Pugh’s mind when he decided to ‘correct’ data?”

    — simply because we went into a lot of detail in our first paper (which I presume you still haven’t read). Something that seems to have escaped you is that you do not have to do EXACTLY the same things as David Pugh in correcting errors in Lempriere’s data, in order to get effectively the same MTL as we did (and in turn, to end up with the same estimate of sea level rise as we did). We quoted MTL accurate to the nearest mm (which is far smaller than any systematic error associated with the location of the benchmark, which is around 2 cm wide) . If we made an error of a whole foot in a single value of High Water or Low Water during a year containing around 1400 sea-level values, that would only change MTL by 0.2 mm. You could, in fact, convince yourself that there was no gross error in our estimates of MTL by simple sub-sampling the odd few days during each year.

    But, alas, I have yet to see that you have made even ONE observation, or done even ONE calculation, based on Lempriere’s data.

  280. John Hunter
    Posted Apr 2, 2006 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

    Syeve (#272): You say “On the contrary, I suggest archiving data in a systematic manner.”

    Thank you — we are in agreement — that is exacly what I plan to do. I plan to select what I believe to be the important data sets and to archive those. This is, of course, to some extent a subjective decision. As far as the “Isle of the Dead” data goes, I am happy that the original data is archived satisfactorily. Intermendiate data that may assist researchers in the future will be archived in due course.

  281. John Hunter
    Posted Apr 2, 2006 at 6:00 PM | Permalink

    per (#271): You say “Without access to the interim steps, you could never reconcile why there are differences in the final result.”

    But there AREN’T “differences in the final result” in the case if the “Isle of the Dead” study — no one here seems bothered to get a second result to compare with ours. Now if all you people, who are criticising me, got together and assisted ET SidViscous in digitising the data, you could get it done very quickly!

  282. BradH
    Posted Apr 2, 2006 at 6:41 PM | Permalink

    John A,

    It seems that the fundamental debate is whether or not John Hunter’s data is archived, or not. He says “Yes”, because Lempriere’s logs are archived. You (and Steve M) say “No”, because the actual data used in the study was the digitized version, not the paper Lempriere logs.

    One thing you could do is write to GRL, in a similar manner to Steve M’s many letters to various journals, and request that the digitized data used by John Hunter, et. al. be archived.

    I must admit that, after read the comments on this post, there are points in favour of both John H’s arguments (the data is archived) and John A’s arguments (the digitization makes the data different and needs to be archived).

    Having said that, I keep having flashbacks to Mann’s arguments for not releasing his data, when I read some of John Hunter’s reasons for not archiving the digitized data or providing it to John A.

    I don’t accept Mann’s position in that regard, so I cannot accept John Hunter’s substantially similar reasoning.

  283. TCO
    Posted Apr 2, 2006 at 8:31 PM | Permalink

    As an economy measure determined yesterday in a high level blog management meeting (John, Ross, Steve and I), NO MORE POSTS will be allowed in this thread. This will reduce bandwidth cost for Steve and also help with the other threads’ comments getting bumped down in the recent post list. Sorry about this measure. We hope in the future to change this rule, but for now, NO MORE POSTS IN THIS THREAD.

  284. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 2, 2006 at 9:53 PM | Permalink

    TCO, I thought if you closed a thread the comment box didn’t appear. Since it still appears, I’m writing this to see if you’re joshing us or my message fails to appear.

  285. John Hunter
    Posted Apr 2, 2006 at 10:08 PM | Permalink

    And the comment box still appears ….. but I’m very happy if this thread is closed — I’ve said my piece (many times) — and eagerly await news of the “replication”.

    And, I still haven’t heard the “much more plausible reason which does not require this mysterious datum change that you (i.e. I) insist is there” — perhaps, if “John A” is too embarrassed to come clean (and to save bandwidth), he’d like to email the reason to me privately ……

  286. John Hunter
    Posted Apr 2, 2006 at 10:12 PM | Permalink

    And finally, do we have a new anonymous partner to climateaudit in "TCO"?

    If so, this seems an interesting response to all the calls for "openness" on this thread!John A replies: TCO is just funning. He has no more control over which threads get locked than you do.

  287. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 3, 2006 at 12:20 AM | Permalink

    Intensive quantities like temperature and fat percentage are the ratio of two extensive quantities. For fat percentage it’s the mass of fat divided by the total mass.

    Well, these messages will be deleted I suppose, but I do have a question in the meantime. What are the two extensive quantities of which temperature is the ratio? Or are you simply trying to say that if you have an equation, like the ideal gas law, where T is in a linear relationship, you can simply produce two quantities, say [P/nR] & [1/V] and by creating a ratio you’ve got proof that temperature’s like milk fat?

  288. John Hunter
    Posted Apr 3, 2006 at 1:43 AM | Permalink

    And 287 please ………….

  289. per
    Posted Apr 3, 2006 at 5:18 AM | Permalink

    John Hunter said:

    that’s one very good reason why I and others are not particularly keen to provide any of you with information which you can twist

    Ah; so someone could come to the “wrong” conclusion if they had the original data ?
    The whole point of scientific discourse is to see if someone can break your hypothesis; that is how you learn when it is time to progress.
    I find that a very strange comment.

    yours
    per

  290. Louis Hissink
    Posted Apr 3, 2006 at 6:15 AM | Permalink

    re# 287

    Dave,

    I have little time – which genius here wrote your quote? In any case you do understand the crucial difference between I and E variables.

    Keep bombarding them :-)

    Best

  291. John Hunter
    Posted Apr 3, 2006 at 6:16 AM | Permalink

    Well I’ve taken TCO at his word — no more from me.

  292. Posted Apr 3, 2006 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

    One more comment Dave: You can’t use the two quantities [P/nR] & [1/V] because they are not extensive. V is extensive, but pretty obviously 1/V is not. But you can use [PV] and [nR] which are extensive. And if you use the form of the ideal gas law that says T = PV/(Nk) where N is the number of molecules and k is Boltzmann’s constant you’ll see that the extensive quantities are PV which is internal energy and the number of molecules so that temperature is the intensive quantity of average energy per molecule.

  293. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Apr 3, 2006 at 12:31 PM | Permalink

    Tim the Flash. I’ve asked you politely on numerous occasions not to hijack threads with your pet peeves about thermodynamics. What’s so difficult about that request? At yet you persist in flashing this topic. You’re becoming like Methane Mike.

    Others, Tim the Flash is just trying to show that he can shut a thread down. I wasn’t thrilled about getting hijacked by sea level, but there was at least a data archiving aspect to it. Tim has a thread on entropy at his blog and I would prefer that you carry on this discussion over there.

  294. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Apr 3, 2006 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

    Steve:

    I see. Tim’s attempt to hijack the thread wasn’t rejected, it just wasn’t provisionally accepted. Another victory for the Timster!

  295. Hans Erren
    Posted Apr 3, 2006 at 2:17 PM | Permalink

    Ok back on topic (sea level that is):

    Why would Lempriere chisel a permanent benchmark on a cliff that isn’t the mean sea level?

    Why did Ross instruct this in the first place? What’s the use of such a marker other than for local purposes? Can anybody enlighten me?

  296. jae
    Posted Apr 3, 2006 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    I have been resisting comment on this weird thread, but I am somehow compelled to add my two cents worth: If I were going to locate a tide reference point, I certainly wouldn’t put it at the lowest tide level, for obvious reasons. I also wouldn’t put it at the highest tide level, because I would not know where that is (even with many years’ data, one would not know if that he had recorded the highest level). The median level, based on a couple of years’ data makes most sense to me and probably made much more sense to the folks in the 19th century.

  297. Hans Erren
    Posted Apr 3, 2006 at 2:39 PM | Permalink

    found it:

    http://www.john-daly.com/deadisle/part2.htm

    The fixing of solid and well secured marks for the purpose of showing the mean level of the ocean at a given epoch, was suggested by Baron von Humboldt, in a letter to Lord Minto, subsequent to the sailing of the expedition, and of which I did not receive any account until our return from the Antarctic seas, which is the reason of my not having established a similar mark on the rocks of Kerguelen Island, or some part of the shores of Victoria Land. Upon this subject that great philosopher observes that “if similar measures had been taken in Cook and Bougainville’s earliest voyages, we should now be in possession of the necessary data for determining whether secular variation in the relative level of land and sea is a general or merely a local phenomenon, and whether any law is discoverable in the direction of the points which rise or sink simultaneously.”

    Ross, Sir J.C., (1847), “A Voyage of Discovery and Research in the Southern and Antarctic Regions, During the Years 1839-43″, John Murray, London, pp.22-24.

  298. Hans Erren
    Posted Apr 3, 2006 at 2:42 PM | Permalink

    re 296:
    from the same url http://www.john-daly.com/deadisle/part2.htm :

    My principal object in visiting Port Arthur was to afford a comparison of our standard barometer with that which had been employed for several years by Mr. Lempriere, the Deputy Assistant Commissary General, in accordance with my instructions, and also to establish a permanent mark at the zero point, or general mean level of the sea as determined by the tidal observations which Mr. Lempriere had conducted with perseverance and exactness for some time: by which means any secular variation in the relative level of the land and sea, which is known to occur on some coasts, might at any future period be detected, and its amount determined. The point chosen for this purpose was the perpendicular cliff of the small islet off Point Puer, which, being near to the tide register, rendered the operation more simple and exact; the Governor, whom I had accompanied on an official visit to the settlement, gave directions to afford Mr. Lempriere every assistance of labourers he required, to have the mark cut deeply in the rock in the exact spot which his tidal observations indicated as the mean level of the ocean.

    Ross, Sir J.C., (1847), “A Voyage of Discovery and Research in the Southern and Antarctic Regions, During the Years 1839-43″, John Murray, London, pp.22-24.

  299. John A
    Posted Apr 3, 2006 at 2:47 PM | Permalink

    I think the answer is: we must accept the words given by Ross and Lempriere unless we are compelled by contrary evidence to do so

    Personally I’m done with this thread, but not with the question of rising sea levels. I’d like to revisit this subject after having done a little checking.

  300. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Apr 3, 2006 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

    Hans,
    I brought up the 18.6 year Soros cycle earlier. High tides have a cyclic variation in their height with an 18.6 year period. It seems to me that Ross would have known about the Soros cycle since it was discovered by the ancient Greeks. He would know that with 2 years of tidal data that one could not correct for this effect, because its amplitude would be unknown. Just logically then I would think he would chose to set the mark at the mean sea level rather than at a variable high tide level. It seems to me that he is saying exactly that in 1847. It would be interesting to learn if Ross ever mentioned the 18.6 year cycle in any of his writings.

  301. Greg F
    Posted Apr 3, 2006 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    Re:300

    Douglas,

    I think you mean the Saros cycle. Googling “Soros” and “cycle” returns a lot of links involving flying lunar mammals with radar.

  302. Steve Bloom
    Posted Apr 3, 2006 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

    Re #300: But which words? The journal text as quoted in prior comments and the book text Hans just quoted contradict each other. As I noted, the journal text is properly read as an instruction to not place the benchmark at mean sea level. The journal text, being more contemporaneous with the events at issue, is probably a bit more credible. In any case, if John A. differs with John Hunter’s scientific judgement on this point, he’s welcome to write his own paper.

    As for the data, I already pointed out that AGU’s policy is to require that all data be archived as part of the peer review process, so John A.’s next step on that issue ought to be to contact the GRL editor. I’ll await with interest the outcome of that inquiry.

  303. John Hunter
    Posted Apr 3, 2006 at 6:48 PM | Permalink

    I will make one more comment to address the rather quaint discussion about the “Saros” cycle and whether it is actually called the “Soros” cycle. Actually, tides and sea-level people call it the “nodal” cycle. It is interesting how contrarians can get so bound up in minor distractions like this. When it suited him, John Daly happily brought up the nodal cycle to “prove” a point. In fact the nodal tide is tiny — so small that it is barely detectable and its magnitude at any one place is very poorly known. For this reason, we included the nodal tide as an ERROR term in our analysis, rather than trying to apply it as an adjustment (we explained this in our second paper). For comparison of sea levels in 1841/1842 and 1999-2002, the uncertainty due to ignoring the nodal tide was +/-3 mm which makes no significant contribution to our final result.

  304. Ed Snack
    Posted Apr 3, 2006 at 8:35 PM | Permalink

    To see Tim Lambert complain about “vile personal attacks” almost makes it worth wading through this thread. Tim, posted your “Mann stuffs it up Yet Again” article yet ? It seems to be a long time in preparation.

  305. Paul
    Posted Apr 3, 2006 at 8:55 PM | Permalink

    John H –

    Way back in #26 you said:

    And please, John A, if you are really not willing to put in the work, tell us once and for all, so that we can stop wasting our time endlessly discussing this.

    John A stated his case. If you were to take John A at his word you would have either a) provided the requested information, or b) told him to take a hike and stopped arguing with him. wasting your time endlessly discussing this.

    Then #112, #285 & #291 you made it clear you were done posting on this thread. I can’t help but think your ego is too much involved. As “they” say “Don’t feed the trolls.” In your case, it appears this has gone both ways. You keep feeding John A and he keeps feeding you. I’m not sure John A has made claims, as you have, to quit posting on this particular thread and topic. If he’s so wrong, as you would have us all believe, then why spend the effort to convince him, or any of us, that you’re right? Post your papers, your links, etc., and let us decide.

    I’ve always been amazed at the “I’m going to quit now” statements made when the poster clearly had to have the last word. John H, must you have the last word?

    If you really mean that you’re done, then simply be done. This thread will stand as a testament to all who read about the quality of the character of all who’ve posted.

  306. Jeff Norman
    Posted Apr 4, 2006 at 6:20 AM | Permalink

    I enjoyed the parody, thank you Spence.

    I enjoyed the other parody, thank you JohnA, JohnH, et al.

  307. Doug L
    Posted Apr 4, 2006 at 6:24 AM | Permalink

    #305, 303

    I appreciate John’s comment about the 18 year cycle. The late John L Daly held himself out as an expert on the ocean because he was an officer in the merchant navy. I took him at his word that this cycle was significant.

  308. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Apr 4, 2006 at 6:35 AM | Permalink

    I’ve always been amazed at the “I’m going to quit now” statements made when the poster clearly had to have the last word. John H, must you have the last word?

    Maybe he’s just too addicted to the cesspool. I always see such statements from him as a sign his posting frequency is going to increase (which makes him a “contrarian” of another kind).

  309. John A
    Posted Apr 4, 2006 at 7:08 AM | Permalink

    Doug L,

    Before you get too excited, bear in mind that John Hunter quoted the size of the nodal cycle IN THE OPEN OCEAN. The height of the nodal cycle tide, like all other tides at a particular point on the coast depends on geometry of the coastline and the depth of the sea bed. It may not be very big in this case (another thing to check I suppose) but it is not the same everywhere. John Hunter is not in any position to say what the size of the nodal cycle is for Port Arthur since his records cover less than a quarter of the cycle length.

    Just something to bear in mind.

  310. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Apr 4, 2006 at 7:09 AM | Permalink

    Sorry about the earlier misspelling of Saros. It is most likely very small as Hunter points out, but Ross would not have known if it was small or large. If he was aware of the Saros cycle, he might have taken the cautious view that the amplitude of the cycle is large and therefore chosen to place the mark at the mean sea level rather than the high tide. What was his level of awareness of the Saros cycle? His writings might tell us.

  311. John Hunter
    Posted Apr 4, 2006 at 8:04 AM | Permalink

    “John A” (#309): You haven’t the faintest idea what you are talking about. You are quite wrong. Just go and read the literature — you don’t have to believe me.

  312. Doug L
    Posted Apr 4, 2006 at 8:17 AM | Permalink

    Re #300

    You’ll may want to look at what John Hunter said in #171:

    “He may not have made a perfect job of it, but he estimated High Water and Low Water each day for well over two years. That gave him a pretty good idea of the highest tide!”

    he also comments in #176 and 177 etc.

    I hinted around about this point in #178, Previously I erroneously? figured you could ignore air pressure effect by averaging high and low water. You’d be using twice as much data and reduce the effect of not knowing air pressure. I seemed to recall reading that air pressure was not known for some key data and then my mind just went fuzzy on the issue after that.

    I also (fuzzily) recall Daly pointing out the effect of el nino in the area, thus averaging two years of data might not work if air pressure were ignored.

  313. Paul Penrose
    Posted Apr 4, 2006 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    Please, PLEASE, delete this thread. I just wasted, completely wasted a half hour of my limited time sloughing though all the carping in it and I’d just like to think that nobody else will have to do that.

  314. John A
    Posted Apr 4, 2006 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

    I also (fuzzily) recall Daly pointing out the effect of el nino in the area, thus averaging two years of data might not work if air pressure were ignored

    James Clark Ross’ stated purpose in visiting Port Arthur was to compare barometers between his and Thomas Lempriere’s. I don’t think the reason was anything to do with the weather.

  315. Doug L
    Posted Apr 4, 2006 at 6:39 PM | Permalink

    In case anyone is still interested, a second look at the chart I linked to upthread #49 might be worth a look. It shows subtleties in the tide people may be unaware of, perhaps some of it is unique to Hobart:

    http://www.surf-forecast.com/breaks/CliftonBeach.tide.shtml

    This might show an unusual pattern, I don’t know, but I think I observe two sets of markedly different high and low tide levels. In the same day, April 4, it shows a high and low tide only about ten centimeters apart. On that same day there’s a high and low tide a meter apart! A similar pattern occurs most every day. I spent time every year at the beach in my youth and never noticed such a thing.

    Then over time, the ratio between the two sets (which starts out around ten to one ) shrinks. By April 10, the ratio is about two to one.

    Under these circumstances, calculating a true statistical mean looks pretty challenging. I think if one were to assume that mean sea level were half way between high and low tide, it would be wrong even if you used maximum values from 18 years. (not that anyone has actually said that up thread)

    In #309 John A argues that that the data don’t cover the 18 year cycle so the effect is unknown. But the argument can cut both ways, The effect on the relationship between mean sea level and high and low peak tides would I suspect not be known either.

    If it’s not obvious, I don’t know much about tides, but based on the cause of high and low tides, there’s no reason for me to think that mean sea level has to be near the mid point of the peak high and low tide levels, especially given that Ross lacked data for 18 years. It seems to me that John A could be undercutting Daly’s argument (which by now I’ve forgotten the particulars of :-).

    In any case, the point would be that if Ross doesn’t have the data, he can’t mark the mean sea level. John A says that Hunter’s data isn’t long enough, but I believe that Hunter’s data is also of the same duration as the Ross data (the difference being transcription), unless I’m completely confused about what John A has posted. :-).

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