NAS Panel Report

The early rumors on the NAS Panel was that it was “two handed” -on the one hand,…, on the other hand, … with something for everyone. I’d characterize it more as schizophrenic. It’s got two completely distinct personalities. On the one hand, they pretty much concede that every criticism of MBH is correct. They disown MBH claims to statistical skill for individual decades and especially individual years.

However, they nevertheless conclude that it is “plausible” – whatever that means – that the “Northern Hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium”. Here, the devil is in the details, as the other studies relied on for this conclusion themselves suffer from the methodological and data problems conceded by the panel. The panel recommendations on methodology are very important; when applied to MBH and the other studies (as they will be in short order), it is my view that they will have major impact and little will be left standing from the cited multiproxy studies. You can find the report and the recorded briefing here.

Update: Eduardo Zorita’s take posted up below was:

in my opinion the Panel adopted the most critical position to MBH nowadays possible. I agree with you that it is in many parts ambivalent and some parts are inconsistent with others. It would have been unrealistic to expect a report with a summary stating that MBH98 and MBH99 were wrong (and therefore the IPC TAR had serious problems) when the Fourth Report is in the making. I was indeed surprised by the extensive and deep criticism of the MBH methodology in Chapters 9 and 11 .

I thought that the tone of the question period showed that some reporters were pretty unsettled – there were questions about the "over-selling" of MBH with the panel taking pains to suggest that IPCC would be repsonsible rather than MBH (conveniently omitting that Mann was section author of the section promoting MBH and in his capacity of IPCC author, ratcheted up the statistical claims) ; there was discussion of what "plausible" meant, with a reporter wondering if this was "damning with faint praise".

Overview

In the preface, North summarizes the criticisms:

Critics of the original papers have argued that the statistical methods were flawed, that the choice of data was biased, and that the data and procedures used were not shared so others could verify the work. (ix)

He left out the criticism that concerned the Barton Committee and launched the entire matter – that adverse results were withheld or even misrepresented. In its text, the panel concedes every one of our criticisms of the statistical methods, providing some useful new guidelines. However, they do not apply these guidelines to either to MBH or to other studies.

They do not clearly discuss biased data selection, but concede that strip-bark samples, such as bristlecones, which we had strongly criticized, “should be avoided in temperature reconstructions”. However, they then proceed to rely on studies that rely on strip-bark bristlecones (and foxtails) and even the criticized MBH PC1 (which is even illustrated in an alter ego in Figure 11-2.)

They do not grasp the nettle of reporting on previous data and method availability, but do endorse the principle that sharing data and methods is a good thing in paleoclimate. Schizophrenically, their graphics and conclusions rely heavily on studies where data and/or methods are not available.

They stay well away from grasping the nettle of providing an opinion on whether adverse MBH results were withheld or misrepresented. However, they report factual findings that MBH failed cross-validation tests and was not robust to presence/absence of all dendroclimatic indicators, contrary to prior claims of Mann et al.

Flawed Statistical Methods

On p 107, the panel reports our two principal criticisms of MBH statistical methods, finding

“Some of these criticisms are more relevant than others, but taken together, they are an important aspect of a more general finding of this committee, which is that uncertainties of the published reconstructions have been underestimated. Methods for evaluation of uncertainties are discussed in Chapter 9.”

Chapter 9 then sets out some important guidelines, dealing with several critical issues that we raised in our presentation: that it is inadequate to just consider one statistic in assessing a statistical model; that confidence interval calculations should use verification period residuals rather than calibration period residuals; that autocorrelation should be considered in calculating confidence intervals.

The panel’s schizophrenia is very evident here, because, having set out these methods, they do not apply these methods to the models in front of them. D’Arrigo et al 2006 report that their model does not verify after 1985 during the period of warming of most direct interest. The panel was aware of this, the matter came up in presentations, but did not directly report or discuss this.

The panel recommends the use of a Durbin-Watson statistic for calibration, but do not report the failure of the various models under this statistic, even though they were aware of this failure. (We presented this information to them in our presentation.

Choice of Data

If you try to trace how the panel considered criticisms about biases in the choice of data by searching the word “bias”, you will find that the panel simply did not report on the matter. The closest is a mention on p. 106 to our criticism of the “selection of proxies, especially the bristlecone pine data, used in some of the original temperature reconstruction studies”, which they promise to “explore briefly in the remainder of the chapter”, a promise which is unfulfilled.

They state (p. 107) that

“several recent research efforts have explored how the selection of proxies affects surface temperature reconstructions”

but then, in the next sentence, go on to discuss a totally unrelated study and never return to the issue. They agree (p 107) that

” the Mann et al. (1999) reconstruction that uses this particular principal component analysis technique is strongly dependent on data from the Great Basin region in the western United States.”

(“Data from the Great Basin region” is code here for bristlecones)

They go on to state that

“…such issues of robustness need to be taken into account in estimates of statistical uncertainties.”

However, in their statistical chapter, they do not address how such robustness issues should be “taken into account” in the estimation of statistical uncertainty, although we may presume that it would increase them.

We note that the panel had previously (p. 86) agreed entirely with our criticism of Mann’s principal components method, concluding that the “baseline with respect to which anomalies are calculated can influence principal components in unanticipated ways” and stated (p. 106) that the Mann method is “not recommended”.

They linked this criticism (p 107) to the overweighting of bristlecones and noted that “the more important aspect of this criticism is the issue of robustness with respect to the choice of proxies used in the reconstruction”, a point with which we agree. Indeed, it is a point specifically made in McIntyre and McKitrick [E&E 2005], a publication not cited by the panel.

In their section on tree rings (p. 50), they had previously discussed bristlecones, citing many references that we provided them. They report that strip-bark bristlecones are “sensitive to higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations” and state that “‘strip-bark’ samples should be avoided for temperature reconstructions” – an even stronger position than calling for non-robustness to be “taken into account” in some method that they do not describe.

Here’s where their typical schizophrenia sets in.

In order to decide on the “plausibility” of late 20th century uniqueness, their key graphics (Figure O-5, S-1, 11-1, 11-2) use reconstructions from Mann and Jones 2003, Hegerl et al 2006, Esper et al 2002 and Moberg et al 2005 and a collection of proxies from Osborn and Briffa 2006.

Remarkably, Mann’s “not recommended” PC1 using the strip-bark bristlecones that “should not be used” crops up at the very top of Figure 11-2, innocuously labeled “W.USA (regional)”. For good measure, another strip-bark foxtail (interrelated to bristlecones) series occurs in Figure 11-2 labeled this time “W.USA (Boreal/Upperwright)”. Thus the most disputed series make up 2 of the 14 series in Osborn and Briffa 2006 and, not coincidentally, the two most HS-shaped series. In the graphics illustrating a supposed generic similarity, Mann and Jones 2003, of course, uses Mann’s PC1.

At this point, I do not know for sure what sites are in Hegerl et al 2006, as the article itself does not disclose this information. Last fall, when I asked the authors of the then unpublished paper to identify the sites in connection with IPCC peer review, the authors refused and IPCC threatened to expel me as a reviewer if I made a further attempt to obtain data or information from an author of unpublished studies. However, I have reasons to believe that, like Osborn and Briffa, Hegerl et al 2006 will include both Mann’s “not recommended” PC1 and a strip-bark foxtail series, probably the identical series used in Osborn and Briffa 2006. Esper et al 2002 includes two strip-bark foxtail series: the Boreal and Upper Wright sites, which are combined as one average in Osborn and Briffa 2006 (and probably Hegerl et al 2006). Moberg et al 2005 includes 3 different bristlecone sites (although, in this case, unlike the others, they are not the “active ingredient”).

Thus, 3 of the 4 illustrated reconstructions as well as the key Figure 11-2 all schizophrenically rely on proxies not meeting criteria set out elsewhere in the report.

Yamal Substitution

While the panel mentions our concern over biased choice of series, they did not discuss an egregious situation that we presented to them. In 1998, updated sampling at the Polar Urals site resulted in a series with elevated MWP values, as opposed to previous results used in earlier multiproxy studies which had low MWP values at this site. At about the same time, a site about 100 miles away (Yamal) was developed which had a very pronounced HS-shape. This site was substituted for the Polar Urals site in all but one multiproxy reconstruction.

It is used for example in Osborn and Briffa 2006 -see Figure 11-2 where it is labeled “NW Russia (Yamal)”. If the Polar Urals update (in the Esper et al 2002) version is used instead of the Yamal series, then the conclusions of the relative levels of the MWP and modern periods are altered in the Briffa 2000 reconstruction (www.climateaudit.org) and almost certainly in the D’Arrigo et al 2006 reconstruction which has a virtually identical roster.

The panel noted in passing that results were sensitive in these small subsets, but did not squarely address the issue and inconsistently stated the opposite on one occasion in the report.

Data Availability

Despite a specific request from the Boehlert committee to comment on availability of data, we predicted that the panel would merely espouse generalities here and this has proved to be the case.

They did not discuss either problems with Mann et al or other studies and merely espoused a few sentences of platitudes encouraging data sharing, platitudes previously expressed by a previous NAS Panel in 1995, in a section entitled: What Comments Can Be Made On The Value Of Exchanging Information And Data?

They stated platitudinously:

Our view is that all research benefits from full and open access to published datasets and that a clear explanation of analytical methods is mandatory. Peers should have access to the information needed to reproduce published results, so that increased confidence in the outcome of the study can be generated inside and outside the scientific community. Other committees and organizations have produced an extensive body of literature on the importance of open access to scientific data and on the related guidelines for data archiving and data access (e.g., NRC 1995). Paleoclimate research would benefit if individual researchers, professional societies, journal editors, and funding agencies continued

Obviously, we do not disagree with this. In this context, we observe that we have attempted to obtain data for both D’Arrigo et al 2006 and Hegerl et al 2006, both cited and relied on by the panel and were unsuccessful.

In the last few months, a limited amount of measurement data has been archived by the D’Arrigo group, but only a fraction.

With respect to Osborn and Briffa, Science has refused to require the authors to disclose the measurement data for Yamal, Tornetrask, Taimyr and Alberta sites on the grounds that the earlier data was from Briffa (2000). Osborn and Briffa have refused to provide the earlier measurement data. Even the identity of the sites used in the Briffa density study remain undisclosed and the authors have refused several requests to identify the sites.

The panel cites ice core data from Thompson. Prior to our initiative in 2004, no information had been archived from any of the Himalayan sites, including core drilled in 1987. A cursory archive was provided in 2004, in which no chemical information was provided and no sample details.

Since several different, inconsistent and unreconciled “grey” versions of the Dunde series were floating around, there is a pressing need to examine individual sample information. Again, we have been unsuccessful in attempts with Science magazine to get access to detailed information.

We will of course be asking the National Academy of Sciences to provide us with the data which they have relied on and which has been previously refused to us.

Withholding Adverse Results

The questions that launched the inquiry were the original Barton questions to Mann et al. about the withholding of adverse results, and, in particular, the withholding of adverse verification statistics (the r2 statistic) and the misrepresentation of robustness to the presence/absence of “all” dendroclimatic indicators, let alone bristlecones.

One of the panelists asked Mann about the verification r2 statistic: Mann said that “he did not calculate the verification r2 statistic – that would be a silly and incorrect thing to do”. The statement that the verification r2 was not calculated was untrue and the panel had evidence of this. The panel did not agree that this would be “silly and incorrect” since they endorsed the use of the closely related CE statistic for estimation of confidence intervals.

However, they did not grasp the nettle of whether the adverse verification r2 statistics had been calculated and withheld. They did report that the MBH reconstruction had extremely low r2 and CE values prior to the instrumental period, citing Wahl and Ammann (but not us, although we had originally made the point.) They also acknowledged that the MBH reconstruction was “strongly dependent” on bristlecones, a point obviously inconsistent with previous MBH claims of “robustness” to the presence/absence of all dendroclimatic indicators.

Again they do not grasp the nettle of trying to reconcile the facts to the prior claims.

Other Points

The report is long and interesting point and obviously this is a very quick comment. Here are a few other points caught my eye.

We commended Naurzbaev et al 2004 (including MBH coauthor Hughes) as an excellent example of a strategy for millennial climate reconstruction.

The panel commended the strategy of this study as follows:

An especially suitable strategy to minimize confounding effects is to sample sites along ecological gradients, such as elevation or latitude (Fritts and Swetnam 1989, Bugmann 1996). For example, (Naurzbaev et al. 2004) selected sites along latitudinal (from 55 to 72°N) and elevational (from 1120 to 2350 m above sea level) transects, and used the parameters of the Regional Curve Standardization to infer climatic influences and past temperature variability.

However, they didn’t report that Naurzbaev’s conclusions from this “especially suitable strategy” was that the MWP was 2-3 deg C warmer than the 20th century or make any attempt to reconcile this finding with the Yamal reconstruction that they display in Figure 11-2.

The "Divergence Problem" falls into the category of a “main area of uncertainty” . It arises because the majority of temperature-sensitive tree ring width "site chronologies" go down in the last half of the 20th century. Cuffey asked the $64 question to D’Arrigo: if tree rings are not picking up late 20th century warmth, how can you be certain that they might not have had a similar response to a comparable warm period in the past (e.g. in the Medieval Warm Period). The NAS panel acknowledges the “divergence problem” (p 47, 110), but doesn’t summarize it as one of the “major areas of uncertainty”.

They report:

(111) The observed discrepancy between some tree ring variables that are thought to be sensitive to temperature and the temperature changes observed in the late 20th century (Jacoby and D’Arrigo 1995, Briffa et al. 1998) reduces confidence that the correlation between these proxies and temperature has been consistent over time. Future work is needed to understand the cause of this “divergence,” which for now is considered unique to the 20th century and to areas north of 55°N (Cook et al. 2004)… also that the difference between northern and southern sites found after about 1950 is unprecedented since at least A.D. 900.

Relying on the “southern sites” for firm ground here is going to be difficult as these “southern sites” in Cook et al 2004 include the bristlecones.

Here Bunn et al 2003 (as Graybill and Idso 1993 had before him) found a different “divergence” problem – between strip-bark and full-bark sites, which is considered to be related to fertilization. If one peels beneath the surface of Cook et al 2004, one will find that strip-bark sites – which are “not to be used” as a temperature proxy – have been relied upon to supposedly reconcile the “divergence problem”.

More frustratingly, the panel failed to report the impact of the “divergence problem” on proxy reconstructions in the warm 1980s, including the validation failure of D’Arrigo et al.

Conclusion

It will take a while to assess the impact of this study. It’s long and interesting. One thing that appears certain: far from ending the controversy over millennial climate studies, it looks to me like it is merely one more step.

629 Comments

  1. jae
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 9:35 AM | Permalink

    Haven’t read the report yet, but from your summary, it looks to me like NAS agreed with most of your points; although they sure didn’t say it clearly and directly. Lots of people are going to notice the schizophrenia that you point out. It is almost laughable. I think you prevailed, overall!

  2. TomR
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

    I just saw this AP article and immediately came here to see if you had a rebuttal for it yet.

    http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/06/22/D8IDB6500.html

    Can you explain this excerpt?

    The National Academy scientists concluded that the Mann-Bradley-Hughes research from the late 1990s was “likely” to be true, said John “Mike” Wallace, an atmospheric sciences professor at the University of Washington and a panel member. The conclusions from the ’90s research “are very close to being right” and are supported by even more recent data, Wallace said.

    Thanks

  3. TCO
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 9:44 AM | Permalink

    The panel recommends the use of a Durbin-Watson statistic for calibration, but do not report the failure of the various models under this statistic, even though they were aware of this failure.

    So publish. Sheesh.

  4. Richard deSousa
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

    Jeez, is the NAS staffed by a bunch of lawyers? Seems that way with the report full of weasel words!

  5. L Nettles
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 9:50 AM | Permalink

    I have been following your work since your original publication and I must say I think that this is a very strong vindication of the both of you. Thanks again for your work. I do regret that the committee failed to complete the task assigned them by Congress, and would hope they would get some additional prodding from the committees. I will anxiously await the BBC report and the RC spin.

    As an aside I do have some reservations regarding “grasping the nettle(s)”

  6. Jean S
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 9:51 AM | Permalink

    Fresh from RC:

    Finally, it is worth pointing out and emphasising that the report provides absolutely no support for the oft-heard claims that the original hockey stick was the result of ‘programming errors’, or was ‘not reproducible’, or there was some scientific misconduct involved. These claims were always spurious and should now finally be laid to rest.

  7. TomR
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

    Here is a link to the NAS where you can download free versions of the report.

    http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11676.html#toc

  8. TCO
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    I don’t think they ever mentioned the panel on that site until the report came out. So how can it be long awaited unless their viewers are checking out this site.

    Steve, I think the report backs up a lot of stuff that you’ve said. It is certainly more skeptical than the IPCC reports.

    In some sense, it just repackages the results of the Team in an IPCC manner, but what can you expect from such an organ. Specific criticisms of methodology need to be done in the specialty literature. If you won’t join battle there, you will never get anywhere. Things like blathering about how you don’t have the specific site info to do recoring, when sampling at any similar site would be just as good a result (since even if the initial results vary, that indicts the method…but you are so focused on finding individuals culpable versus proving science points).

  9. TCO
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    Tom, that download site is not working.

  10. Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    Yes I’ll chuck if Cluffy says murky one more time.

  11. L Nettles
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

    The NAS press release is here

    http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=11676

  12. per
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    just listening to the webcast.
    They are saying in effect that anything before 400 years ago can’t be trusted (has unquantifiable errors). There are all sorts of bits of science in there (e.g. stats, proxy selection) that can’t be walked away from.

    some of these things will continue to have consequences, and they specifically disowned the MBH conclusion prior to 400 years ago; albeit they have tried to spin it to minimise the “collateral damage”.

    this is in many respects very interesting.
    yours
    per

  13. eduardo zorita
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    Steve,

    in my opinion the Panel adopted the most critical position to MBH nowadays possible. I agree with you that it is in many parts ambivalent and some parts are inconsistent with others. It would have been unrealistic to expect a report with a summary stating that MBH98 and MBH99 were wrong (and therefore the IPC TAR had serious problems) when the Fourth report is in the making.

    I was indeed surprised by the extensive and deep criticism of the MBH methodology in Chapters 9 and 11 .

    eduardo

  14. TCO
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

    Floating bar continues to be an issue, John. For an Exxon-funded conspiracy, this is pretty bush. The opponents with their deep Soros and government funding have a much nicer layout. We need a format that is the same as theirs. Steve’s content shines and deserves better. Everyone coming here to look at this site today, John, is going to have a hard time (if they have IE, which is the frigging normal application for the general public…it’s what’s commercial.)

  15. Mark
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:14 AM | Permalink

    Were they even-handed when asserting that there is no evidence that the medieval warm period was global in nature?

  16. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:14 AM | Permalink

    RE: that confidence interval calculations should use verification period residuals rather than calibration period residuals

    Even this, taken alone, is huge…. HUGE!!!

  17. Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

    Wow… Does the fact that my post at ClimateAudit has been censored mean that I’ve finally made my make on the scientific community?

    For the record, this is what I wrote. I thought it was accurate. Maybe I’ll forward it to the BBC…

    So, if I read the press release accurately, they say that there was a significant cool period (LIA), and there is high confidence that recent temperatures are higher than that period. They also say there was a warmer period at approx 1000 AD, but uncertainties in the reconstructions make it unclear if that period was warmer than today or not.

    The part which we have high confidence in appears to say little about todays climate in a long-term sense, but your comentary suggests that this is a significant finding – and dismisses the uncertainty about the difference between 1000 AD and 2000 AD temperatures.

    Is not the latter the more significant data point? The press release does emphasise that further research on this datum seems valuable..

    Sean

  18. TCO
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

    15. Steve has never claimed beleif in a MWP. Just argued (pretty darn well) that MBH is poor methods and we just don’t know. He’s agnostic, not atheistic. If we find definitive proof of God, all can convert.

    Sean: I think there is a good chance that the spam filter got you. It tends to do that with people who haven’t posted in a while. And they always cry that they were censored.

  19. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

    Re #14, god yes tco, what a mess. Well, I guess once Steve has re written the sciences of climatology, meteorology and glaciology he could get humanity to use just Mozilla in an afternoon… Remember science isn’t a popularity contest and neither should which browser to use be, make the people see sense!

    Back OT, that’s one comprehensive report – stacks of grist for the mill. Does it say ‘forget trying to reconstruct past temperatures it can’t be done’? Nope. Does it dismiss any of the recons as ‘broken’? Nope. Does it re write ghg theory? Nope. Does it dismiss the surface record? Nope. Does it say this isn’t the warmest time in at least 1000 years? Nope. Does it say ‘Ok, no problem let CO2 emissions rip people’? Nope. Etc etc etc.

  20. Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

    This is a press release from Von Storch/Zorita/Rouco I just received

    Hans von Storch, Eduardo Zorita, Fidel GonzàƒÆ’à‚⠬ez-Rouco

    Comment on NRC report, past temp’s
    We welcome the National Research Council’s Report, which clarifies that the discussion about the technical qualities of the hockeystick-methodology is insignificant for the overall conclusion that the presently ongoing warming is likely related to elevated greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. We are pleased to read that the NRC shares our view that the methodology behind the hockeystick is questionable. We stick to our view that the methodology was not sufficiently described when published and independently tested thereafter.
    1) We welcome the conclusion of the analysis by the NRC committee, which separates between two issues, namely firstly the claim that the last few decades (the last decade, the year 1998) were unprecedented in their warmth compared to a previous time horizon, and secondly the certainty we place into the published estimates of temperature variations in the past 1000-2000 years.
    2) The assessment that the last few decades have exhibit a warming likely beyond the range of natural variations has been made on a variety of scientific findings, of which the Mann et al study was possibly the most publicly “sold” one, but other studies have provided better evidence (“detection and attribution studies”).
    3) We share the assessment of the NRC committee that the evidence for unprecedented warming of a single decade or even a single year in times prior to 1500, or so, is stretching the scientific evidence too far. However, this was the key claim made in the contested 1998-”nature” and 1999-GRL-papers by Mann et al.
    4) With respect to methods, the committee is showing reservations concerning the methodology of Mann et al.. The committee notes explicitly on pages 91 and 111 that the method has no validation (CE) skill significantly different from zero. In the past, however, it has always been claimed that the method has a significant nonzero validation skill. Methods without a validation skill are usually considered useless.
    5) Other independent efforts (e.g., inversion of borehole temperatures) to reconstruct past temperatures find different temperature ranges albeit qualitative agreement. These quantitative differences underline the methodological limitation of the Mann et al approach, which are described in the sections 9 and 11 of the NRC report.
    6) We welcome the major conclusion of the report that further scientific efforts are needed to sort out a variety of problems with respect to methods and data ; also the uncertainty must be assessed in a more objective manner. Thus, the public perception that the hockeystick as truthfully describing the temperature history was definitely false.
    7) We find it disappointing that the method of Mann et al. was not sufficiently described in the original publication, and thus not peer-reviewed prior to publication, and that no serious efforts were made to allow independent researchers to check the performance of the methods and of the data used.

  21. L Nettles
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:22 AM | Permalink

    re 7 and 9. Copies of the NAS report. You can get a prepubliction copy of the report, the other links do not work yet.

  22. John Lish
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for the entertaining summary – this is a more interesting result than could have been expected. There are to my eye several points of significance to what has been presented and these will have consequences as the implications unfold. Despite the political figleafing in the report, the substance will out over the next few years.

    Congratuations to yourself & Ross.

  23. Mark
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

    Well, the sound bite from all this is “Study Says Earth’s Temp at 400-year High”. Just out Drudge Report, and the linked article.

    Here’s the link for the article if you want to skip drudge:
    http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/06/22/D8IDB6500.html

  24. per
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

    RE: #20
    has world war III started ? :) :)
    per

  25. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    RE: #19 – but what it does say, flies directly in the face of certain things that Mann et al have claimed. It calls into question their ethics and competence.

  26. John A
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    I edited the Steve’s post for paragraphs, quotations, syntax and spelling. Despite using the exact same browser as TCO I can’t get the sidebar to cause problems.

    I think the NAS Panel has been a thorough and complete waste of time and money, and I reiterate my criticisms that it was loaded with people who shouldn’t have been there, empty of people who should have been, gave far too little time for the presentations and questions and answers and no rebuttal to the key persons in this saga, especially Michael Mann.

    The Panel’s report was not peer-reviewed by outside experts and contains too many inconsistencies to be useful. I think this report amply demonstrates the intellectual and scientific vapidity of too much of climate science. If this had been chaired by Richard Feynman (RIP) we’d have had answers to specific questions and we wouldn’t be in any doubt of the result one way or another. As it is, the NAS Panel’s conclusions will be spun mercilessly because the Panel clearly wasn’t up to the task of making clear judgments.

    You watch.

  27. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    Here is what I’ve just attempted to post over at RC, a heartfelt appeal. We’ll see if it is allowed to post:

    I think the best thing for the loosely affiliated group who run this site to do, is to take a step back, absorb the report, and to read it as if you were omniscient, and not in any way personally involved. Imagine yourselves to be eager, 25 year old PhD candidates, taking it all in. Approach it as agnostically as you can. Take each criticism and look at it with a whole new perspective. Do not react. Do not try to craft a riposte. Instead, ask yourself the questions, which things that I’ve done are in fact questionable, what are my real motivations for doing this sort of work, how can I refine myself to be a better scientist and to be more of a purist regarding my following of the scientific method. You might even open yourself to the conclusion that you missed your true calling – and I am not being sarcastic here – and decide that what you’d really rather be doing is either politics or environmental advocacy. There is nothing wrong, at all, with going whole hog into being a Green or Gaian advocate. Whatever floats your boat, it’s a free country. But if your real objective is Green politics or Gaia spirituality, then just do it. If, on the other hand, your real objective is knowledge and mastery, then this report may be one of the most valuable things that has ever happened to you, a true gift. May you decide with courage.

  28. Ken Robinson
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

    John A:

    The problem with the sidebar shows up when a lengthy URL is posted. The sidebar widens to accommodate the full text string of the URL, and thus narrows the main body of the blog. Once enough other posts are made on that particular thread, the problem post drops off the sidebar and the problem goes away.

    Regards;

  29. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:48 AM | Permalink

    John A, don’t be so angry. There’s lots of useful stuff in this report. I’m 100% happier that this report was done than not done.

    BTW the panel’s report was reviewed by outside experts, but not obliged to use those comments and at least one of them has told me that his comments were not incorporated in the report.

  30. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

    A curiosity: although we are obviously on their minds, they do not cite our 2005 E&E article.

  31. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:54 AM | Permalink

    RE: #29 – Not to overstate, but I truly think that the report has made history. It’s impact may not be fully appreciated just yet. A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.

  32. Dane Robinson
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    MSNBC is reporting, at least the way I read it, that the debate is over about AGW? It even read as if Mann et al was legit? If I wasn’t a geologist and not scientifically oriented, I would believe all the propoganda coming from the mass media? Doom and gool and its all our fault!

    Beam me up Scotty….

  33. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    RE: #32 – Forgetting the mass media noise and the predictable lack of understanding among the masses … the key thing about the report is that, as a government / quasi government document, it will now find a place in the National Archives. It also now becomes a reference for future panels and debates. It is out of the barn and cannot be put back. It can be built upon by the honest.

  34. John Lish
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:05 AM | Permalink

    #33 – I agree Steve S, this is a slow burner. Not certain about your claim of history making but certainly will have ongoing consequences for the paleoclimatology community.

  35. Jack
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

    The Panel’s report was not peer-reviewed by outside experts and contains too many inconsistencies to be useful.

    The NAS Panel report is a step in the continuing scientific process of peer-review, and a very important one. It makes a very solid case that the science of paleoclimate reconstruction is difficult; that certain conclusions previously perceived as strongly reliable as considerably less than that; and most importantly, improved data and methods are required to produce better and more conclusive results.

    In my book that’s a good thing.

  36. Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:08 AM | Permalink

    My quirky angle on the presentation is here http://landshape.org/?p=105. Enjoy.

  37. Jean S
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

    re #31: I completely agree.

    Steve, you can now use Hockey Team type of referring for validiation of your results! For instance, you can say “the spurious trend resulting from MBH98 methodology demonstarted in MM03 and independently confirmed by NAS06″ etc. (see pp. 86-87 of the report) ;)

  38. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

    It also now becomes a reference for future panels and debates.

    Read RC’s take on it. They think it vindicates MBH and the hockey-stick. It is just as much of a supporting reference for them as anyone else because they can cherry-pick the parts they are in favor of.

    I agree with Steve that the report is too inconsistent and schizo. Maybe it was too much, too fast of an undertaking and should’ve been released as a draft first.

  39. Jean S
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

    re #32: Send some e-mail to the the journalist responsible: Miguel Llanos

    I guess he did not understand a word what was said in the report.

  40. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

    RE: #36 – Thanks, I made a post there. :)

  41. Paul Penrose
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    I think this result is a mixed bag. In the short term the media is portraying it as a final proof of AGW. In fact, Fox News even called it a “study”, ugh. In the long term it may well be the foundation for demolishing MBH98 and all it’s follow-ons which may eventually lead to real science in this area.

  42. Ross McKitrick
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    The ability of RC and their friendly reporters to spin will no doubt be exasperating, but it’s hard to avoid concluding that calling Mann’s conclusion ‘plausible’ is damning with feint praise, especially when in the next line they say: “Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that ‘the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium’.”

    Overall I’m more happy with the report than I expected to be. Too bad about their inability to take their own advice (as Steve has shown above), and it’s annoying that they don’t cite our papers correctly, for instance attributing the PC critique to our 2003 paper. But, going over what we presented and what they put into the body of the report, they have accepted our technical criticisms. Reconstruction uncertainties have been underestimated, robustness problems need to be confronted, spuriously high RE scores indicate a fundamental weakness in the reconstruction, a high RE score is a minimum requirement but other stats need to be cited, bristlecones should not be used, etc. True, they didn’t come out and say “Therefore the following studies should be set aside…” but they laid the groundwork for readers to draw such conclusions.

  43. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    RE: #38 – It is only a net positive for the Hockey Team if they ignore the criticisms. Of course they are trying the spin it – it’s the sort of ethical frame of reference they imbue. However, with that report, a properly done set of follow ups, using facts instead of spin, can now be built. Let the building commence.

  44. Lee
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    re 17: Sean,

    Why do you claim you were censored by RC? Your post is the second post in that discussion, and has a response from Gavin.

  45. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    The Fox News story is shameful. “Warmest decade in 400 years!”

    No kidding. I mean, how many tv shows on the LIA do we need to make THAT point obvious? I find the fact that the Mann methodology is soundly rapped on the head to be the vindication Steve and Ross needed.

    Mark T.

  46. Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    I took notes from the webcast. Here are some paraphrased quotes from the question and answer session. These were quickly scribbled notes, so the quoted material below is not necessarily be 100% accurate word-for-word.

    Andy Revkin (NYT) asked whether the report adequately answered Boehlert’s questions. I think that it was North who answered “We did not take on the questions… there may be a future study… those questions were a bit big to take on”.

    A guy from Nature asked “Has the community over-sold the previous research?” Both North and Cuffey responded with similar answers that 1) Mann et al’s publication included the proper uncertainties. 2) The community did oversell it by the way that it was used in the IPCC report.

    Someone asked about the incorrect use of Principle Component Analysis (PCA). Bloomfield answered that “PCA was used in a way that was unconventional and it turned out to be problematic…. not saying that PCA is a bad thing…. introduced distortions”. I believe that it was Bloomfield that mentioned that similar results could be obtained using non-PC methods and hinted that this meant that the unconventional nature of this procedure wasn’t a big deal.

    Someone asked about “cherry picking of data”. North responded by saying that he “did not see anything inappropriate”.

    In a response to another question, North stated “We don’t like to put numbers on our confidence levels”.

    Cuffey responded to a question about the “Divergence Problem” by stating “we now have a better understanding of that problem that what we got on that day”, referring to the day that this problem was introduced to the panel.

    A reporter noted that “there is not a single reconstruction that shows a Medieval Warm Period (MWP) that is warmer than the current temperatures” and hinted that the various reconstructions supported the idea that the MWP was cooler than this century’s climate. I wished that he had seen Steve McIntyre’s “appple” reconstruction.

    Cuffey repeatedly made statements to clarify that uncertainties in the temperature reconstructions had no effect on (his) certainty that man-made CO2 emissions were having a definite effect on global climate.

  47. John G. Bell
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

    I have the whole report in one pdf, if anyone wants it that way. The wonders of gs. John A?

  48. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

    He was referring to being censored here, Lee. Reread the post.

    Mark Takatz

  49. Jean S
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

    Hmmm… interesting, this thread was posted roughly at the same time as the one over RC. This has 40+ responses, at the time of writing, they have three. Shows just where the real discussion is.

  50. Lee
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    48; Ahh, thanks. Confusing – a post on CA that includes the full text of what he claims was censored at CA, which also happens to be the ful text that is now on RC as his posting.

    *scratching head*

  51. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

    Cuffey repeatedly made statements to clarify that uncertainties in the temperature reconstructions had no effect on (his) certainty that man-made CO2 emissions were having a definite effect on global climate.

    In other words, he’s a believer and damn the science? Do ya think maybe that influenced his “objectivity” on the subject?

    Mark T.

  52. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

    re 50:

    a post on CA that includes the full text of what he claims was censored at CA

    He had another post that got clipped. Someone afterwards mentioned the spam filter as he has not posted in a while. His post got karma’d.

    Mark T.

  53. Lee
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    re 51:
    Well, no. It means that there is OTHER science than just the dendroclimate studis, that are relevant to the issue of CO2 effects on climate.

  54. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

    RE: #49. No doubt. Last I checked, the post I attempted to make had not yet passed their censors. I’ll admit that there is an element of harshness in it, but it’s the tough love kind. If I owned RC, I’d post it without hesitation. Constructive criticism is good, that which doesn’t kill me makes me stronger. My conclusion is that they cannot deal with pure truth …. they are ethically challenged. And the lack of real discussion is another manifestation of the ethical lack.

  55. Lee
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

    Re 27:

    Steve, that is perhaps the most politely phrased outright incendiary flame I’ve read recently. Are you going out of your way to make sure they dont post it? As people here remind me on occasion: Stick to the science. If you had stopped after the first part, it would have been a good post.

  56. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    #53. I don’t argue that the potential demise of the Hockey Stick studies disproves AGW. If the HS studies fall, then there needs to be a damage assessment to see what impact they have on detection and attribution studies, which might not be as slight as people think. And it would suggest to me that it wouldn’t do any harm for a completely independent examination of other arguments, although such examination is well beyond my resources.

    Everyone, you can find the report and the recorded briefing here.

  57. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:13 PM | Permalink

    Well, no. It means that there is OTHER science than just the dendroclimate studis, that are relevant to the issue of CO2 effects on climate.

    Yeah, right.

    Steve, I agree with what you said. In the end, the potential demise of the HS simply removes a lot of the “see, we can show now is worse than ever” rhetoric that is regularly bounced around with these flawed analyses.

    I find it interesting, btw, that someone noted that “similar (to PCA) methods” produce similar results. These “similar” methods all boil down to the same basic principle: separate “signals” from noise in an extremely overdetermined system. Unfortunately, if you apply the weights from a training period to an entire data set, the problem of stationarity rears it’s ugly head and, attributing cause/effect is next to impossible. This is probably why the cross-validation statistics are dismal.

    I’m curious if anyone has ever tried to run a weight calculation adaptively, i.e. allow the weights to adjust over a complete data set?

    Mark T.

  58. Jean S
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

    re #54: I tried once post a critical but polite comment over RC. They did not publish it. So I got angry and submitted another comment playing to be “stupid average reader”. That post got quickly through and was even commented. The catch was that I used the penname “Valetta Kaikkitaalla” which in Finnish roughly means “Everything here is a lie”! At least the Finnish readers would get a comment with some truth in it ;) Seems like the comment is still there.

  59. JP
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

    Steve,
    I followed a couple of news items that covered the NAS Report, and what I found that was most striking is how they reported the findings. They were all over the place. The AP reported with these headlines “Study: Earth Temps at 400 Year High.” The first sentence of the news article:”The Earth is the hottest it has been in at least 400 years, probably even longer”. Later in the paragraph, the reporter stretched that time period to a more definite 1000 years.

    Th remainder of the story dealt with the politcal issues at hand, and mentioned Dr. Mann once. There was one quote from Boehlert stating there was nothing incorrect with the Bradly-Mann-Hughes consensus on climate change. Nothing in the report mentioned the critisisms of Dr Mann’s work that ignited this debate. There was also one short paragraph covering the results from another Commerce Dept study that stated Global Warming provided about 1/2 of the extra fuel needed for the 2005 Hurricane Season. Perhaps that paragraph was inserted to balance the story out.

    The article was almost defensive in nature. Its ambiguity probably is just a relflection of the report itself. In that I can’t fault the reporter. This is a very escoteric and techincal subject for most people. I know your the discussions here easily go beyond my 3 semsesters of Calculus. Think on how difficult it is for a journalist.

    I do think all of you who toil on this subject should be proud of yourself.

  60. jae
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

    53. No, the demise of the hockey sticks does not disprove AGW. But it sure makes the “proof” less strong. What else is there (don’t say models)? Since no good audit of the surface temperature data has been done, I can’t even be certain there HAS been warming (though I think there has been–coming out of the LIA). Natural solar-induced temperature cycles still make the most sense to me.

  61. Bob
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

    #56: Yeah, and what about some of the bare-bones, basic science behind AGW? Like what exactly do you expect will happen when you double the amount of CO2 in the air? It *won’t* increase thermal IR absorption or the atmosphere’s ability to hold water vapor? It’ll *cool* the atmosphere?

  62. ET SidViscous
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

    Jean

    That is hilarous

  63. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:23 PM | Permalink

    Re #55, yup, agree 100%. Post #27 wont be deleted though. Some of the right kinds of politics and insults, the right kind of thinking, are allowed here – probably because there simply is no comprehension of how insulting they are…

  64. John Hekman
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:24 PM | Permalink

    Great result, Steve and Ross.

    Maybe the most concrete result is that so many papers that have been identified by Steve as containing Bristlecones will be suspect. In essense, you can say “that paper used Bristlecones, so the results are questionable” and cite the NAS. That is a big shortcut in facing those who say that MBH98 is old hat and has been “verified” by other studies.

  65. fFreddy
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:26 PM | Permalink

    Re #47, John G. Bell

    I have the whole report in one pdf, if anyone wants it that way. The wonders of gs. John A?

    Yes, please, very much. This page at a time gif file thing is going to drive me barmy.

    What is gs ?

  66. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:28 PM | Permalink

    Like what exactly do you expect will happen when you double the amount of CO2 in the air?

    You do realize that the best impact CO2 is capable is logarithmic, right? There’s only so much heat it can trap as it functions in a relatively narrow band of the total radiance from the sun.

    Mark

  67. Bob
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    60: Why not say models? What do you use instead in your studies? No good audit of surface temperture data? Huh? This stuff’s been QC’d beyond belief.

  68. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:31 PM | Permalink

    RE#42:

    The ability of RC and their friendly reporters to spin will no doubt be exasperating, but it’s hard to avoid concluding that calling Mann’s conclusion “plausible’ is damning with feint praise, especially when in the next line they say: “Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that “the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium’.”

    I (and others) have commented on this specifically at RC. They said that in the NAS press conference in was stated that “plausible” was 2:1, which fits-in with the IPCC/MBH “likely” of 66-90%.

    At the least, it’s a poor choice of words. I’ve seen definitions for it include the actual word “likely,” but it seems in typical usage to only mean “believable.” Maybe more accurate would be one definition from the American Heritage Dictionary: “Giving a deceptive impression of truth or reliability.”

  69. jae
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:31 PM | Permalink

    Mark: Have the “warmers” ever responded to the fact that there is a log relationship to absorption/emission? This sure has important implications on the 2X CO2 debate.

  70. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

    Because the models, in general, do not even track the instrumental record very well. They may, some day, but they need to incorporate more of the variables that effect climate change. A particular sticking point is a poor understanding of cloud formation.

    Also, the surface temperature data that is used typically has a +/-1 C accuracy at best, and most studies are trying to argue less than half that for their accuracy. It does not provide complete coverage of the globe (hard to do with so much ocean), either, which brings up geographical weighting issues. Furthermore, I have yet to see any calculations done to remove the well-known urban heat island effect from the data.

    Mark

  71. Bob
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

    66: Sorry, why only a logarithmic impact? For sure, CO2 only has a few absorption bands in the tail of the solar spectrum . But that’s not the AGW issue. It’s the big honkin absoroption band at 15um in the thermal IR that’s the concern. No?

  72. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

    Have the “warmers” ever responded to the fact that there is a log relationship to absorption/emission? This sure has important implications on the 2X CO2 debate.

    Not that I know of. I think the calculations to figure out what the maximum contribution CO2 can make are out there, btw, but I don’t recall where. JunkScience does some with it, but citing them always results in a “corporate shill” retort so I tread lightly with their evidence.

    Mark

  73. Max
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:41 PM | Permalink

    It’s even worse in Germany, as the Spiegel Online reports:

    http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/erde/0,1518,423044,00.html

    “Die Erwàƒ⣲mung ist so stark wie seit 400, wahrscheinlich seit 1000 Jahren nicht mehr. Hauptursache sind “menschliche Aktivitàƒ⣴en”. Das berichten hochkaràƒ⣴ige Forscher nun auch dem US-Kongress in einer Studie, die ein Parteifreund von George W. Bush bestellt hatte.”

    Translation:
    The warming of the earth is the strongest since 400 years and probably since 1000 years. The main culprit is human activity. As highly credible scientists report before the US-Congress in a study, which was requested by a friend of George W. Bush.

  74. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

    Sorry, why only a logarithmic impact?

    Think about it this way: we’re already blocking 75% (check that number, but the point stands either way) of the heat that CO2 can trap. If you double CO2, is it possible to now double the heat to 150%? No, obviously not. CO2 acts as an impedance in the atmosphere. Analogously, put a 3dB (power) impedance on your stereo output. You’ve cut half the power. Put in another 3dB impedance and you’ve double the impedance to 6dB, but the power is now at 1/4, not 0.

    For sure, CO2 only has a few absorption bands in the tail of the solar spectrum .

    These are probably insignificant, but not to be ignored, I’m not advocating that. Energy is energy whether it is in the form of heat, or IR, or UV… it still contributes.

    But that’s not the AGW issue. It’s the big honkin absoroption band at 15um in the thermal IR that’s the concern. No?

    Yup, that’s the concern. But CO2 is already absorbing most of that.

    Mark

  75. fFreddy
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

    Re #47, 65
    Found it. Still curious about gs ? …

  76. Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

    Treating the “Earth Temps at 400 Year High” as news has to be the biggest non-statement of all time and highlights the lack of appreciation of the issues. Never mind the Sun was in a huge funk 400 years with virtually no sunspot activity and much reduced radiance, and its now at an extreme high in intensity. The statement amounts to saying – “we belive in the Little Ice Age” – and nothing about whether current temperatures are normal for the Holocene or not.

  77. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

    Re#73:

    It’s even worse in Germany, as the Spiegel Online reports

    Couldn’t be worse than CNN

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/06/22/global.warming.ap/index.html

    Study: Earth ‘likely’ hottest in 2,000 years

  78. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

    Actually, David, saying “we believe in the Little Ice Age” is almost a coup and and of itself with some crowds.

    Mark

  79. Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    Well, most of the MBH criticisms were made to stick. Despite it being declared
    ‘plausible’ that the modern warm period is warmer than the MWP, the panel were less confident of this than the much less contentious LIA. There was also the half-baked call for data release. The MWP controversy lives on, and moves forward.

  80. TomR
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    How should Congressman Boehlert’s statement be interpreted? Sounds to me like he is siding with Mann.

    http://www.house.gov/science/hot/climate%20dispute/6%2022%2006%20SB%20quote%20re%20NAS%20hockey%20stick%20report.pdf

    Wonder why let the panel off the hook for not directly answering his questions.

  81. BKC
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

    Regarding the beginning of the press release from Von Storch/Zorita/Rouco:

    We welcome the National Research Council’s Report, which clarifies that the discussion about the technical qualities of the hockeystick-methodology is insignificant for the overall conclusion that the presently ongoing warming is likely related to elevated greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.

    It seems like I’ve seen variations of these platitudes to AGW at the beginning or end of many papers. Apparently, you have to pay homage to the theory before criticizing or you will be branded a heretic.

    Kind of like Steve M. has to stay a mile away from any (contra) opinion on AGW or risk having his work being dismissed because he is a skeptic (heretic). Too bad it has to be that way.

  82. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

    RE: # 66. Sort of like how you reach a point where adding more layers of clothing won’t make you feel any warmer.

  83. John A
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    Here is what I wrote to you on Feb 25th on the composition of the NAS Panel and the likely result:

    If the NAS Panel do what I think they’re going to do, they’ll play and schmooze Steve and Ross, and nod their heads in agreement with everything they say, and Steve and Ross will come back all excited that the Panel apparently gave Mann a hard time blah blah blah.

    All of that will be fascinating and people will be bamboozled into thinking that this Panel may be balanced after all, despite misgivings.

    Then the sucker punch after the bell: The NAS Panel will revert to type exonerating the Hockey Team for major problems while criticizing them severely for minor ones. They will thank all the participants for their time and that will be it.

    The Hockey Team will claim that M&M have been debunked after an exhaustive investigation by a professional panel of scientific experts, and Steve and Ross will look like idiots. The newspapers will all be primed to tell the world that McIntyre and McKitrick have produced no tangible evidence and we’ll be back to square one: a Hockey Stick published just in time to be the centerpiece of another, even more scary, histrionic IPCC report.

    I hope I’m wrong. I just have a bad feeling about this. The NAS Panel looks hopelessly lightweight for what they are trying to do.

    I do not withdraw one word.

    The NAS Panel was not convened to tell anyone what the temperature was 400 years ago compared to now, as if suddenly know that it was colder during the Little Ice Age constitutes a major result except to Hockey Stickians who claimed the LIA was not a global event.

    It had clear evidence of collusion and non-independence of results, statistical insignficance, dubious correlations between proxy data and supposed temperature, data manipulation, suppression of contrary data and statistical tests, cherrypicking which appeared to be embraced without any shame by one of the participants, and clear evidence that at least one major study was fabricated. By fabricated, I mean that even after the authors knew that their claims were untrue because they’d checked themselves, they continued to repeat those claims. That other studies appear to reply substantially upon a fabricated study does not appear to faze the NAS Panel.

    It must have practitioners in other harder sciences shaking their heads in dismay. Scientists appear to have learned nothing from the Hwang woo Suk affair, nothing at all.

    There’s too much gravy in this train and no-one’s going to turn off the spigot now.

  84. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

    RE: #55. It is just the sort of criticism I would give an employee who had issues with mixing in ulterior motives and conflicts of interest with their job. If it comes off as an incendiary flame to you, then I am glad you don’t work for me, because I’d probably end up having to eventually fire you.

  85. jae
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

    re 80: The only thing I can figure is that Boehlert must be up for election this fall, LOL.

  86. Bob
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

    As the models incorporate more and more variables – especially clouds, aerosols and solar variability – the instrumental record is better-simulated. Tett et al. (2002) in JGR, for example. And exactly how long should we wait for the perfect model? What to do in the meantime?

    All modern optimal interpolation techniques (since ~1980) include an estimate of the error from incomplete and uneven surface sampling. That’s why there are confidence intervals around the temperature trends. See Folland et al. (2001) in GRL for a synopsis.

    Urban heat island effects have been examined since Callendar’s work in the 1930′s. Check out Peterson (2003) in J. Clim or Parker (2004) in Nature for more recent evidence of no urban heat island effect.

  87. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

    RE: #63 – Why is it insulting for me to tell a scientist that if they are using their day job to promote politics or other non science agendas, it’s unethical? Is the problem that your own ethics are not quite so solid? What I wrote is no different than telling an oil exec that he if his real objective is to promote the agenda of the Acme Party, then he’d best quit his current job and do just that. Why does this offend your sensibilities? Ethics, ethics, ETHICS!

  88. Lee
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

    re 84:
    Steve (S.), let me assure you that I’m glad I don’t work for you, too.

    A post that proceeds from the assumption that "ulterior motives and conflicts of interest" are at the basis of their behavior, but that isnt even honest enough to say so outright, is in fact an incendiary flame.

  89. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

    As the models incorporate more and more variables – especially clouds, aerosols and solar variability – the instrumental record is better-simulated. Tett et al. (2002) in JGR, for example. And exactly how long should we wait for the perfect model?

    No kidding they should improve, but no guarantees they will. How long do we wait? Uh, as long as it takes, right?

    What to do in the meantime?

    Besides wait until we get it right, are you proposing that we run headlong into believing in something that we KNOW is flawed?

    All modern optimal interpolation techniques (since ~1980) include an estimate of the error from incomplete and uneven surface sampling.

    As far as I know, Phil Jones has yet to release his instrumental record, let alone his method of calculating it. So to that end, I must flatly state that I cannot believe you on this point.

    Mark

  90. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

    RE: “Urban heat island effects have been examined since Callendar’s work in the 1930′s. Check out Peterson (2003) in J. Clim or Parker (2004) in Nature for more recent evidence of no urban heat island effect.”

    I suppose that all the partial differential equations I learned in my upper division courses as an undergrad are made false by these articles. I suppose the way my father used the thermal over a large industrial plant to gain altitude in his glider was only an illusion. Yah sure, you betcha.

  91. Lee
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    Come ON, you guys!!

    The entire reason one uses CO2 doubling, is precisely to capture the logarithmic effect. One gets the same response (approximately) going from 1-2, as from 2-4, as from 4-8, as from 8-16.
    Sure, that usage is a bit of an oversimplification, but it is used PRECISELY because the resposne is logarthmic. To imply that the scientists dont deal with the logarthimmic response, in the same sentence that one uses the 2xCO2 notation, is simply to miss the obvious.

  92. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:26 PM | Permalink

    RE: #88 – So then what would you attribute Mann’s behavior to? Stupidity? I seriously doubt it. He’s a smart guy. A smart guy with questionable ethics.

  93. Bob
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

    74, 82: So is the AGW crowd saying otherwise – i.e. a linear response? Is there something wrong with that aspect of their science?

  94. Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

    Re 83: I agree with you John. Subsititute all you said for the results of a cancer drug trial. Then use the excuse that was often repeated by the NAS panel – well it was the first study of its kind. Its easy to see these are parallel and disconnected worlds.

  95. Follow the Money
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:28 PM | Permalink

    Oh please, look at this headline:

    “High Confidence in Surface Temp Reconstructions Since A.D. 1600″

    That’s the story. Truth loses, British “petroleum” and the Kyoto Carbon Club wins. They gave you some crumbs about earlier reconstructions but the lawyer words won.

    Forever you will have to rebut “But the National Academy of Sciences said…”

    You will have to take them on. There will be no help.

    Truth lost. There are so many weasel words in the report any lawyer would destroy the writers it court but you won’t get court.

  96. John G. Bell
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:30 PM | Permalink

    Re #75, fFreddy,
    I used ghostscript (gs) to patch the pdfs together. The command goes like this
    gs -q -sPAPERSIZE=letter -dNOPAUSE -dBATCH -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=whole_thing.pdf R1.pdf R2.pdf … 143.pdf
    So you found it in one bit on the web. That would have saved me some trouble :).

  97. per
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:30 PM | Permalink

    gs= ghostscript
    http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/
    Welcome to the Home Page for Ghostscript, an interpreter for the PostScript language and for PDF, and related software and documentation.
    per

  98. Bob
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:31 PM | Permalink

    90: Sorry, check that: there’s for sure a real urban heat island effect. Hence the growth of green roof programs. What there doesn’t appear to be is any important urban heat island bias in the global temperature trend calculations.

  99. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    RE: #91 – I want to refer you for a Nobel Prize. You have just discovered the secret to creating a perpetual and limitless energy machine. An amazing thing indeed. Here’s the plan. Let’s burn all the forests and start coal seam fires. After all, as you yourself have determined, we can limitlessly increase the earth’s temperature by adding CO2. So let’s do just that and create a new Venus. With all the limitless energy we will have trapped, we can power an infinitely expanding set of space colonies. Bravo! Well done!

  100. Lee
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    re 90:

    Steve, did that thermal affect the temperature reading taken at the official weather station for that town? Hell, one could jsut as easily argue taht the rising hot air was as likely to pull in cooler heavy air to replace it, and depress temperature readings. And yes, this happens; I’ve won sailboat races on still days on an urban lake by catching the slight local onshore breeze induced by a thermal rising off a parking lot next to the lake. The existence of that thermal by itself tells us nothing about the temeprature effects at the weather station.

    It really doesnt tell us much about heat retention, either. It tells us that there is heating of that column of air at that time, but one would need to analyze what happens to that heat, factoring in diurnal cycles and the local dynamics of heat flow, etc, and what would happen to that heat in the absense of that infrastructure, before arguing that the thermal is indicative of greater infrastructure-mediated thermal capture overall.

  101. per
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:37 PM | Permalink

    “High Confidence in Surface Temp Reconstructions Since A.D. 1600″‚ⱍ
    That’s the story.

    while you are correctly stating how it has been spun, it is unavoidable to the scientists that things have changed. Prior to this report, the MBH and other reconstructions said that they had reconstructed temperature for two millenia within 95% certainty bands. The NAS panel concludes that beyond 400 years ago, the uncertainties preclude drawing firm conclusions. The NAS panel has dropped some bombshells, and these will become more and more obvious. Ripping up the conclusions of half of MBH ’98 is quite important.
    cheers
    per

  102. Bob
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

    I think the raw station data’s available at the NCDC under the GHCN. The computation techniques are very well documented in the literature.

  103. Dane Robinson
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:38 PM | Permalink

    #95
    I couldn’t agree with you more.

  104. Follow the Money
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

    John A writes:

    “The NAS Panel was not convened to tell anyone what the temperature was 400 years ago compared to now, as if suddenly know that it was colder during the Little Ice Age constitutes a major result except to Hockey Stickians who claimed the LIA was not a global event. etc. etc.”

    You are a great prognosticator!

    One can argue the issues of this study or that, but the NAS and the money behind them took the bait to create a larger meta-narrative for their purposes.

    These scientists are political animals, that’s why they and not you get to these high falutin’ stages. If the world was fairer we could have open studies following them after they gave the report, tracing the increases of grant money to them, spouse hiring, etc., all the modern ways to fix scientific studies these days.

    The only thing limiting them was the MWP. Why? Because every school child learns about it. Vikings farming in Greenland, etc. etc. That creates a problem for the experts, the civilians won’t likely forget that. So the NAS “conveniently” created a trend from the MWP, ignoring the many studies they rely upon evidence no MWP. Call it “meta-science”

    I think it’s just about all over now. Perhaps the NAS can be attacked about what they ignored, advancing glaciers and the like.

  105. Jim Erlandson
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

    Re #14. I read ClimateAudit using IE 6 and IE 7 using WindowsXP, WindowsXP TabletPC and now Vista with no problems.

  106. Lee
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

    re 99:

    Steve [Sa], if you must be sarcastic, please dont be so stupid about it.

    OF COURSE there are limitong responses that kick in when one moves from CO2-mediated heat retentin to temperature. And OF COURSE my post was itself limited to making that one point about heat retention, and its logarthim dependence on CO2 concentration.. And OF COURSE the diminishing logarthimic response I pointed out measn jsut the opposite of what you claim; there are diminishing responses as concentration increases.

    We were talking about the direct logarithmic nature of heat retained due directly to incresing CO2, they claimed that no one was paying attention to that logarthimc effect, I pointed out that the notation itself showed that they were doing so, that it (approximately) captures the nonlinear response.

    So how the hell did you get from there to limitless temperature increases?

    Steve Mc: Lee, given that many people at this site assume that “Steve” is me, if you’re kibbitzing with Steve Sadlov (or others with Steve Bloom) could you add an initial to distinguish.

  107. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

    RE: #98 – how can you determine that? What is the baseline against which to determine it? If the baseline itself is not actually a real baseline, then how would you know? Also, as I have commented on previously, “URBAN heat island” is a real misnomer. Look all the Man made changes in albedo and Man made added heat sources. They are not limited to urban areas, they are ubiquitous whereever humans have settled. Look at each one, look at its resulting impacts on heat flow and thereby, air movement. Look at the air movements’ impacts on the functioning of the climate. This is precisely what has not been done. When people claim to have considered the misnamed “UHI” what they are saying is two things that are very questionable. First, they are saying that, versus non urban measurement locations, the impact of urbanization does not appear to have caused a bias in the surface record. The flaw here is, the non urban measurements have themselves incurred impacts from the non urban albedo changes and heat sources I alluded too (“they are ubiquitous wherever humans have settled”). Furthermore, a number of the “non urban” measurement locations have become, in fact, at least part of suburbia, since they were established. Second issue is, when the statement is made about no impacts, sometimes people refer to some sort of integration of the total number of kJ that resulted from adding up all the Man caused heat. That is the wrong way to go about it. Integrate the second and third order effects of the heat, not the heat itself. But in order to do that, one would need a climate model that has yet to be developed – a climate model that is a sufficiently granular finite element modelling program that it can resolve very small scale thermal gradients and air movements.

  108. Lee
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

    Steve, your arguemnt works as well against you as against the other side. You cliam we cant know, becaue the work hasnt/cant be done yet. To the extent that is true, it means that the most you can argue is that there is uncertainty here, NOT that there is an UHI effect.

    I havent read the UHI literature (and you don’t point to any specific problems with that literature) but I do know that there are a lot of weather stations, that not all are urban (ag weather is important too) and it seems to me that analyzing differences in response between urban, urbanized, and rural weather stations can be, and probably has been, done. But I don’t know, I’ll readily admit. I’m simply pointing out that your assumptions and expamples offered here are not definitive, or even necessarily illustrative.

  109. Lee
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    re note to 106: will do, Steve Mc

  110. fFreddy
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    Re #96, 97
    John and Per, thank you, that’s a new one for me.
    Ref getting the whole pdf: it is on the main page , hiding behind the blue “Sign in” button. They only ask for an e-mail, and fFred@bBloggs.com seems to be acceptable.

  111. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

    It is not really clear that present day temperature trends are being correctly measured. For example, Mahmood et al state “Collectively, our analyses of temperature data from 12 COOP stations (including two that are part of the USHCN) show complex patterns of pairwise temperature variability and suggest the influence of multiple sources of bias that are nonstationary over different timescales.”

    They also say “Collectively, these empirical results raise questions about the interpretation of climatological time series associated with arbitrarily selected stations from the NWS COOP network, including stations that are part of the USHCN.”

    See more at
    http://climatesci.atmos.colostate.edu/2006/06/20/further-evidence-of-the-biases-in-surface-temperature-measurements-at-poorly-sited-locations/

    Although this study is confined to stations in the US, I would venture that similar problems exist elsewhere.

    On The NAS report, it seems like they are saying many (if not most) the details of past climate reconstructions are wrong, but it doesn’t effect anything. It makes no sense.

  112. Paul Penrose
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

    Bob,
    The models can’t be used to prove AGW. They are designed to explore all the possible repercussions of AGW, so in other words, they have an a priori assumption that AGW is real and is occuring. They then pick some numbers (2XC02 is a common one), plug it into their models and run it thousands of times while tweeking the parameterizations this way and that. They then throw out all the results that don’t show warming (since they are assuming that increasing C02 will produce warming, and anything else must by definition be incorrect) and report the range of the remaining runs. Typically people will pick something in the middle as “more likely” although statistically speaking ALL the results are equally possible in this type of simulation. So it would be circular reasoning to say that the GCMs prove AGW.

  113. Bob
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

    89: There’s lots of convincing evidence that AGW is real, its effects could be unpleasant, that emissions cuts won’t lead to global economic ruin, and that we might want to implement cuts sonner rather than later. We know there’ll never be an uncertainty-free answer in the science or economics, but I would strongly disagree that we know, when judged in its entirety, that it’s flawed.

    What would be a ‘good science’ benchmark for endorsing mandatory cuts and GHG stabilization targets? Exactly how much observational evidence are you looking for, how narrow must the confidence intervals be, and how mechanistic must the GCM’s be for the science to be good?

  114. JP
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

    Earlier I wrote that AP Headlined the NAS story: “Study: Earth Temps at 400 Year High.” They’ve updated it to: “Earth Temps may be at 2000 Year High.”

    By dinner time the headlines will blare: “Earth warmest since Big Bang!”

  115. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:03 PM | Permalink

    RE: “analyzing differences in response between urban, urbanized, and rural weather stations can be, and probably has been, done. ”

    Yes, they have been done. But what has not been done has been to demonstrate that the rural, supposed “baseline” is really a baseline, and not, itself, a victim of Man caused local influences. That’s the point. “Rural” does not necessarily mean an unpopulated district in the middle of the Gobi. In most parts of the world “rural” has many, many effects of humans, especially since rural electrification, mechanized agribusinesses, and micromanagement of land came into being during the 20th century.

  116. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:07 PM | Permalink

    RE: #114 – if you believe what you wrote about reducing CO2 emissions, then I would suggest that you fix your sites on China. Do you have any idea how much coal they plan to burn over the next 20 years? Let me give you a pneumonic. 3 Billion Ford Explorer’s worth of it.

  117. Bob
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

    Paul – are you talking about a sensitivity analysis or a knob-tuning? Cause sensitivity analysis is an important and necessary part of modeling. So you’re pretty confident that ‘they’ are all knob tuning – throwing out all the inconvenient data.

  118. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    RE: #114 – “What would be a “good science’ benchmark for endorsing mandatory cuts and GHG stabilization targets? Exactly how much observational evidence are you looking for, how narrow must the confidence intervals be, and how mechanistic must the GCM’s be for the science to be good?”

    Here are some basics, rooted in generally accepted scientific and engineering practices:
    1) A demonstrated tolerance band for past climate determinations that is actually less than the differences we are trying to discern in the present, and attempting to model into the future
    2) Real climate models, which are constituted of global scale versions of the minimally acceptable finite element modelling methodologies currently used in things like designs for thermal controls in electronic equipment or the designs of hydraulic systems.
    3) A definitive demonstration of the data quality of things such as the surface temperature record, sea ice coverage, and other “proxies” currently used to reconstruct the paleo climate
    4) In depth, agnostic studies of negative and positive feedback mechanisms which yield real data as opposed to speculation
    5) A particular focus on the dynamic response of CaCO3 cystalizing plankton to current and predicted levels of atmospheric CO2
    6) A particular focus on the characteristics and innate levels of variation of the broad spectrum of energy that is incident upon the Earth from the Sun and all other external sources

    These 6 things would be a really good start toward moving beyond posturing and getting into substantive discussion.

  119. Follow the Money
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

    Doug says:

    “It is not really clear that present day temperature trends are being correctly measured.”

    Problematic but mostly irrelevant. The purpose of the NAS was to lend its name to an advertisement for Kyoto Carbon Credit profiteers. First they had the hockey stick graphs for the suckers, now they have the NAS seal of approval.

    The machinations are interesting. The NAS was so intent on going beyond what it was asked to do. I suspect BP, etc. were passing around grant money lobbying for and NAS report that coincided with the UN IPCC reports they paid for. The present circumstance presented them with a situation where it would seem less likely they concocted this report sui generis.

    The only bright side is the report is so bad, so fuzzy, so weaselly it might stoke a revolt. One avenue of attack, what studies did they not consider…like the advancing glacier ones. It’s a tough hill to hike and you’ll have to smash the idol of NAS impartiality, and you’ll be labelled, ironically, energy company stooges.

    But idol smashers interest the media, so maybe an opening there.

  120. jae
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

    Bob, Lee: [snip - look I can't be bothered with this sort of snipping - stop it]
    Look at this literature review.

  121. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

    I think the raw station data’s available at the NCDC under the GHCN. The computation techniques are very well documented in the literature.

    While in many instances this may be true, I particularly noted PHIL JONES has not released his instrumental record, and that discussion has its own thread here. He is on record of saying that he will not, either, because all we want to do is find flaws in his methods/data. No kidding. That’s what falsification is all about. If it is bullet proof, there won’t be any significant flaws to find.

    Mark

  122. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    re 120: Good list Steve Sadlov.

    Mark

  123. Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    As a journalist I agree that it is stupid of my colleagues to entirely miss the point of what is really happening here, but I see no reason for being surprised. We live in a time when journalists try to convert any scientific story about global warming into: Final Proof Now In: Warming Unprecedented. It is a mix of stupidity, laziness and giving what they think the audience wants and understands. We all know that this is the way the media work and certainly the people at NAS know it. Hell would break loose had they used a heading like ‘NAS-panel confirms criticism: climate studies unreliable’ so it is very clever of them to translate it into the fodder they know journalist eat: another record! It is a beautiful example of how not the journalists distort the facts, but just pass the distorted facts through to the public. Yeah they could have been more critical, but the scientists could have been more honest.
    I am not sure what happens now: isn’t Barton supposed to discuss this in his committee, and will he simply accept that his list of questions has been transformed into a book where he can search for himself for any answers?
    The silence at RC tells me that the cheerleaders there have understood the message better then the media have.

  124. Follow the Money
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

    “”The media and the liberal blogs suppress this news and spin it for o…””

    Oh, don’t be harsh on the “liberals”. They think they’re acting environmentally, don’t realize they’re dupes falling for a con.

    The report is well crafted with broad descriptions up front somewhat questioned deep in the report few will read.

    It’s quite a crafty piece of work. I wonder if they had some professional lobbyist polish the work.

  125. Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    The audio from the press conference is very interesting – they analyze who is responsible why they oversold the certainty etc. See my comments about the whole story

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2006/06/nas-schizofrenic-climate-report.html

  126. Lee
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    re 122:

    jae, you’re missing the point of the discussion. I don’t think anyone is disagreeing that cities are hotter than forestlands. What we’re disputing is that this UHI effect is the cause of the observed/calculated/claimed warming of the last century.

  127. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    RE: #124 – Thanks Mark T. You know, the truly scary thing is, having been around the block a time or two, I have encountered the flawed logic we see in the Hockey Stick more than once on major, big name products / projects done by big name Fortune 100 comapanies, pushed by engineers (or, perhaps, by their coercive management) in order to justify gambling on pending train wrecks that even a good garage shop would never let out the door. I suppose that is what has gotten me to the place I am at. My own skepticism comes from seeing all of this before, in other settings.

  128. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

    RE: #125 – LOL! I can tell you are another graduate of the School of Hard Knocks! Welcome to the Scar Tissue Club.

  129. L Nettles
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:37 PM | Permalink

    re #54: I tried once post a critical but polite comment over RC. They did not publish it. So I got angry and submitted another comment playing to be “stupid average reader”. That post got quickly through and was even commented. The catch was that I used the penname “Valetta Kaikkitaalla” which in Finnish roughly means “Everything here is a lie”! At least the Finnish readers would get a comment with some truth in it ;) Seems like the comment is still there.

    Comment by Jean S “¢’‚¬? 22 June 2006 @ 12:15 pm

    Jean, they are on to you, your name now appears with your post at RC mentioned above, although if you google Valetta Kaikkitaalla it still leads to the post. :)

  130. jae
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:38 PM | Permalink

    128, Lee: please read the review. It is YOU who is missing the pont.

  131. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:39 PM | Permalink

    What we’re disputing is that this UHI effect is the cause of the observed/calculated/claimed warming of the last century.

    I’ve never seen this studied on an extensive scale, particularly when you’re talking about sites in developing nations. I’ve seen conflicting results when small clusters of stations are studied within the US.

    Maybe it doesn’t explain ALL the warming, but it could represent a significant portion. At the least, that needs to be considered for model calibration, the forcing values used in models, etc.

  132. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:40 PM | Permalink

    Actually, Steve Sadlov, it is something I have to deal with at my current company. At least, pushing a message that is not entirely true due to the sin of omission is what I face. Definitely a parallel to the HS agenda. I’ll hang on till the degree is done. Maybe.

    Mark

  133. Hans Erren
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    re 125:
    “The silence at RC tells me that the cheerleaders there have understood the message better then the media have. ”

    nope, their inbox is flooded.

  134. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:42 PM | Permalink

    Maybe it doesn’t explain ALL the warming, but it could represent a significant portion. At the least, that needs to be considered for model calibration, the forcing values used in models, etc.

    At the very least, it needs to be considered. Currently, most reconstructions that use an instrumental record don’t even mention it. I believe there was one, where it was mentioned, but no method for accounting for it in the data was discussed. This leads me to believe the author of said paper ignored it.

    Mark

  135. jae
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:44 PM | Permalink

    Let the media have their frenzy. The scientists (especially the “dendroclimatologists”) got a wake-up call, and this will eventually get to the public. In fact, someone in the mainstream media may attract great attention with a new sensationalist article, such as “Are We Being Had by the Climatologists?”

  136. JP
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:44 PM | Permalink

    Bob,
    There are plenty of forecast of the harm that will befall mankind if we don’t reduce our carbon emissions now. The unsaid assumption is that GW will lead to more extreme weather on a global scale. I’m not sure what they do mean by extreme, but some scientists mention droughts, blizzards, tornadoes,heavy rains, and tropical storms.

    The problem is that all of these extreme weather phenomena occur or have occured with lower carbon concentrations in the atmosphere, and during times of global cooling. The horrific rains that plagued Central and Northwest Europe in the years 1317-1320 occured at the tail end of the MWP when Europe’s population was below 75 million. Beginning in April of 1317 and lasting through August of that year, it rained incessently from Normandy through Central Germany. During the LIA there were times of droughts over Western Europe. In both instances, climatologists in Europe today blame the North Atlantic Oscillation, and not carbon concentrations.

    Other climatologists blame the Southern Oscillation for a number of weather extremes. The best example is the horrific drought/famine that stretched from Borneo, through India, and into Eastern Africa in 1876-77. The extreme high temperatures of Austrailia and our Desert Southwest in 1998 is another example

    The purpose of this site isn’t to prove AGW or disprove it (even though there are plenty of debates), but to audit the numbers and the data. Public Policy, while important shouldn’t be considered when reviewing a person’s work. The numbers should speak for themselves.

    When I was a weather forecaster 16 years ago, I relied on computer models. Unfortunatly, the old models that were available in the early through late 80s had many problems. Part of the problem back then was they way the models interpolated the atmosphere between rawinsonde stations. There was certain biases built into these models, and those biases made for some really goofy projections. The greater the distance between the reporting stations the more errors that occured. Personally, I have a built in distrust of weather models. None are very accurate, even in the short term (like 24 hours)- however, I’ve read that recently they have gotten much better.

    I don’t think climate models and the evaluation of proxie data is any different. Most atmospheric models have certain biases. When a person publishes a paper they should allow critics to examine thier data, methods, and programming source code. That is what this site is all about.

  137. Lee
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

    I read it, jae. It cites a handful of studies that show that cities are hotter, and large cities are hotter than small cities.

    As I said, I don’t think anyone is disputing that point.

    If the only temperature values being used over the last century was “the temperature of cities,” this would be a serious criticism.

    The only way this is a problem is if there arent adequate measurements from outside urban areas, and if those arent used to properly control for or exclude UHI effects. As I’ve said, I haven’t read that literature, but Sadlov says that has been done, and no one is coming up with specific criticisms of that or supported claims otherwise. Sadlov’s “no baseline” criticism is the closest I’ve seen – and I’m pondering that one, Steve Sa. It might be enough to cause me to prioritize some time to dive into that literature. But it still isnt a specific criticism of the methods or conclusions from that literature.

  138. Bob
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    123: Yeah, I’d heard that and fully support wide open data access and disclosure. So forget about Phil Jones then. Is the GHCN data wrong?

  139. jae
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    Lee: If you take an average of temperatures, and many of them are artificially high, then the average is artificially high. As pointed out in the review, even relatively small urban areas exhibit an UHI effect.

  140. jae
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

    BTW, Lee, here are some more summaries.

  141. Lee
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

    jae, you’re missing many, many steps between here and there. What *specific* effect does this have on temperatures at the meteorological stations. (Not just ‘urban’; I don’t know of many met stations situated at downtown parking lots). Is taht effect visible in the temepratre records form those statins. If it is, is it beign controlled for, are are they, as you imply, simply using uncontrolled averages of all the stations. Given that I have read plenty of whinging about the methods by which temperature records are corrected, I strongly suspect that reasonable studies looking at this ARE controlling for that.

    Again, the fact that cities are warmer is not ANY evidence in nd of itself that the claimed observed warming is contaminated or produced by that factor.

  142. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

    Whew! It’s hard even getting to the bottom of this thread today.

    re: 139 and many above it.
    The couple of papers cited by Bob earlier are junk (well I didn’t actually check them but I expect I know who Bob is and when I’ve argued with him before on them it’s the paper with the lights in the night and the paper about windy vs calm nights. Neither actually disprove UHI or its importance they just make assumptions which aren’t valid when you examine them in detail. If Steve M ever sets up a new thread on the subject I’ll expand on it.

    But you’ve already admitted most of what’s needed. 1. Big cities are generally warmer than small ones which are warmer than towns which are warmer than rural areas. 2. World population has been growing so big cities become giant cities, cities become big cities. Therefore anything but rural areas should be getting warmer and should be adjusted. Claiming as warmers do that there’s no need to make an UHI adjustment just doesn’t pass the smell test. 3. If you look at the cut-off size for rural areas you see that we’re not dealing with what most people would call rural areas; a meadow in a woods back of someone’s farm say. We’re talking towns of thousands of people. They’ve been growing too, so even the rural towns need adjustment. IOW, there needs to be a complete and open analysis of the UHI situation including surveys of weather stations and their environs and the publishing of same.

    In fact there’s no reason this couldn’t be done quickly given the internet and all. Digital pictures could be taken locally and posted. People from the local area could find the population around the station, etc. Those who doubted a given finding would have no problem verifying or rebutting the results either.

  143. Spence_UK
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 3:11 PM | Permalink

    The NAS panel have produced a typical “Mandarin” style report: throw a crumb to everyone and try not to upset any group. They have achieved this through agreeing with Steve’s criticism and yet going to great lengths to say that AGW is still a huge problem.

    I think people (read: the media et al) are not particularly interested in the details – even though the details are critical (and devastating) for the “hockey stick”. I don’t always leap to agree with John A. but I think his prediction above is pretty close to the mark.

    The difficulty, as I see it, is that whilst we who follow the debate closely know and understand the consequences of the issues – how the confidence intervals wouldn’t fit on the page if they were calculated properly, how the verification stats demonstrate the results are little better than a guess – even educated readers dipping their toe in the water are unlikely to grasp this. Even Roger Pielke Jr. doesn’t realise the implications here – in a post on Prometheus, his first cut view of the report is that MBH98 was not “significantly flawed”, and that for most people, this would be the “final word”.

    Now Roger is no fool, and his first impressions are likely to go to greater depths than the average journalist covering this. Hopefully Roger will read in more detail and realise that in the depths of the report, the criticisms are more than just minor observations. However, I doubt most journalists would go any deeper than this.

    On the other hand, whilst this is a step backwards in terms of PR, it is a step forwards in terms of the science. The scientific process does not occur overnight, but bad science always gets outed in the end.

  144. Lee
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 3:14 PM | Permalink

    jae, most of those are more of the same: cities are hotter. Well, yes.

    I did notice this: in their “Most of North America Fails to Board 20th-Century Climate Catastrophe Train ” article, they appear to be engaging in some serious quote mining, including juxtapositon of quotes of their own words with those from the paper, and they also appear to be engaged in serious cherry-picking and juxtaposing of out of context data, where they apparently show theutterly startling effect that if you include data from the mid-century when we know we were cooling (and growing; so much for the trend being an artifact of UHI effects) that you get the result that there was a decrease in frequency of high events. Since they dont actually link to the paper, or include any of the data or graphics though, its hard to be sure.

    I will say that Ive followed up on stuff from that site before, and found that what I read in context in the papers didnt match what they said it meant.

    None of which is entierlyrelevant here, for the reasosn I outline in 142.

  145. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 3:16 PM | Permalink

    I strongly suspect that reasonable studies looking at this ARE controlling for that.

    I strongly suspect you are wrong, and in fact, it’s more than just suspicion. Particularly given that a) you fully admit you don’t know (otherwise you wouldn’t use the word “suspect”) and b) it is not documented how such effects are accounted for. If the records are being adjusted for this particular effect, it would be thoroughly documented.

    Mark

  146. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

    Lee and jae, could you hold off the urban warming discussion on this thread as the NAS panel topic is what people want to hear about today. You can re-visit it another day – promise.

  147. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

    Again, the fact that cities are warmer is not ANY evidence in nd of itself that the claimed observed warming is contaminated or produced by that factor.

    Actually, the fact that the records DO show increases near cities is the evidence. The question is one of impact, i.e. how much effect, if any, is in play. I’m not going to say that ALL, MOST or even a LOT of the warming is due to this. I’m in the SOME camp, though I do not know how much, and it has not been sufficiently studied for me to make a complete declaration.

    Of course, even if it is only 0.1 C, we still run into the problem of +/-1 C accuracy in the measurement which supposedly shows 0.6 C rise anyway. It is a can of worms.

    Mark

  148. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 3:22 PM | Permalink

    Lee and jae, could you hold off the urban warming discussion on this thread as the NAS panel topic is what people want to hear about today. You can re-visit it another day – promise.

    You should have chastised me, too. Sorry.

    Mark

  149. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

    RE: #133 – Although I have not studied it in any depth, based on some of my own experiences with measurement system analysis, I would bet good money that at very least, there are significant error components due to Man caused effects, impacting the surface record. And, to reiterate, I also would bet good money that the rural stations have themselves been far more impacted by such effects than most people may intuitively imagine.

  150. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 3:31 PM | Permalink

    “…hopefully this NAS report will allow the rest of us to focus on the policy debate rather than this particular issue of science.”

    From Pielke Jr.’s blog. I’m flabbergasted. Apparently the science is settled in his narrow view of science. Fortunately someone followed up with Inhofe’s comments which are pretty devastating. He called it broken. I’m just grateful that this is enough to keep the policy debate sidelined as it is my money they are trying to spend.

    I’m looking forward to Roger Pielke Sr.’s comments. He’s a bit more pragmatic.

    Mark

  151. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

    RE: #139 – It might be enough to cause me to prioritize some time to dive into that literature.

    What you will find, is that there is very little of it. Mostly, it’s “we did a comparison of all rural stations to all urban ones and found ….” full stop. Very little if any effort has gone into trying to understand what biases the rural stations themselves may have. I’m not even sure of any truly effective way to do it using the data themselves. My own recommendation would be to do, instead, the following two things:
    1) Develop a really good finite element model that includes the ability to vary albedo, air characteristics (e.g. pressure, humidity, etc) and Man generated energy dissipation. Model the impacts of say, a “typical” allotment of human settlement around a “typical” surface station, over time. Model the process of settlement itself, as well as the process of technological development.
    2) Once reasonbly confident in #1, then go someplace that is currently undergoing a transformation, for example, a station that used to be out in the middle of nowhere in Northern Alberta, where a new oil camp is going in, or something like that, and test out the model.

    I still am not entirely sure even this would get the result. But it’s probably worth a try. Great grant request for some enterprising researcher!

  152. Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 3:40 PM | Permalink

    Re 125: I have a news flash just in. Warming thought to be unprecedented for 1000 years, then found to be unprecedented for 400 years, has now been found to be unprecedented for the last 150 years! A new examination using only the more reliable instrument records shows warming with even more certainty than the previous multi-proxy analyses.

    Sorry to mock. What a sorry lot they are.

  153. John A
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 3:47 PM | Permalink

    I think Pielke Jr. should stop pretending to be doing science and just settle for PR and have done with it.

    Since when is science settled by committee? Does consideration of 10 or fewer presentations of 45 minutes each constitute a scientific assessment?

    This was the same person who advised Mann to ignore the Barton Committee’s requests for data and source code, a disgraceful advice that he has never withdrawn.

    Scientific inquiry is never settled, certainly not by panels or committees or synthesis reports or press releases. It’s amazing how the paraphenalia of party politics has engulfed climate science and yet few ever complain – they think its the price of attention for what was once a Cinderella subject within the sciences.

    I shall add this to my list of people who have claimed “the science is settled”.

  154. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

    RE: #142

    Given that I have read plenty of whinging about the methods by which temperature records are corrected, I strongly suspect that reasonable studies looking at this ARE controlling for that.

    Perhaps you would be so kind as to explain (or provide a link or ref) what Phil Jones is doing in this regard, as he is quoted publicly as refusing to provide access to his data/calculations/methods. The whole MBH fiasco would seem to lend support to the idea of examining data & calculations before relying on the claimed results.

  155. Hans Erren
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

    re 143:

    Lee the magic word for UHI is “change”: if the surroundings of a station have not changed like Vienna Hohe Warte or Hohenpeissenberg then there is no UHI correction needed. If surroundings did change like Uccle in Brussels then a UHI correction should be made. Population change is a fair proxy for UHI, but only if buildings changed as well. (A ghost town still has a UHI) .

    check these
    http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/homogen.htm
    http://home.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/europe.htm

  156. Hans Erren
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 4:20 PM | Permalink

    oops, sorry steve

  157. Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    While the NAS panel said that everything before 1600 is more or less completely uncertain, hundreds of newspapers have written new stories how the temperatures are hottest in 2000 years.

    http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&ie=UTF-8&ncl=http://english.pravda.ru/news/world/22-06-2006/82355-warming-0

    It’s just amazing how many active liars can be found among the staff and editors of so many different newspapers.

  158. TCO
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 4:35 PM | Permalink

    One part of the report that was interesting was where they said that the PCA flaw of Mann did not dramatically affect the result. I have been critical of Steve for not quantifying this flaw’s impact on HS Index mathematically and for discussing it on the blog in a misleading manner.

  159. TCO
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

    159: The battle needs to be enjoined in the specialty literature. ARguing on blogs or moaning about NAS panels will be a dead end. New papers with analysis will push the ball forward. I don’t take Steve’s criticisms on this blog as seriously, since the thoughts are not finished and published and exposed to counter-criticism.

    P.s. Listen to the audio. String theory gets slammed.

  160. John A
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

    Journalists do not analyze committee reports on statistical methods in paleodendrochronology. They report (ie parrot) the summaries and press releases. The press releases are over-simplified and misleading, but who are you going to complain to?

    Nobody cares that Mann had his knuckles rapped by the Committee. He got away with it, on the narrow grounds that most other studies rely on his fabrication, extend it, use statistical and methodological techniques that are as bad as MBH and who are just as ethically challenged as Mann.

    It’s what is called “embrace and smother”.

  161. Ken Robinson
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

    Once this flurry of PR subsides, we are still left with the question “What next?”

    It’s worth noting that the panel’s report found no errors by Steve and Ross. So much for the “amateurs with spreadsheets” ad hom that is so frequently lobbed at them. To my mind, within the scientific community at least if not the public at large, M&M have gained credibility. I like to think this will bode well for Steve’s upcoming opus on the entire body of tree ring proxy studies. THAT will be interesting indeed.

  162. Reid
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 4:44 PM | Permalink

    Does anyone know if the NAS panelists had the data that M & M were requesting? And did they conduct an independent audit of the data or did they just rely upon reviewing published studies?

    Todays NAS report is a study in scientific-political correctness. It’s too bad there wasn’t a Feynmann heading the panel.

  163. Mark
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 4:45 PM | Permalink

    #152

    “…hopefully this NAS report will allow the rest of us to focus on the policy debate rather than this particular issue of science.”

    How ironic. The same climate scientists who say “leave it to the experts” now think they are experts in the field of economics, and they themselves are able to undertake the cost-benefit analysis required for public policy.

  164. TCO
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

    Listening to the audio. They seem like they were extremely attuned to the issue that what they reported would be used to indict AGW if they stuck to assigned mission. So they basically did a bit of IPCC lite to try to cover that. The audio is very parsed. It’s a minor victory for Steve in what they say about methods and certainty. But it’s a disappointment that they didn’t stick to that assessment (of methods and such) and tried to basically do an overview of the literature on the issue of surface temp (IPCC lite).

  165. per
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/22/science/22cnd-climate.html?ei=5094&en=0a54c8d7866e2fe6&hp=&ex=1151035200&adxnnl=1&partner=homepage&adxnnlx=1151013524-le9N4UcTWSRzIaGEmkigrg

  166. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 5:05 PM | Permalink

    John A,
    Actually, this applies to all… Try useing http://www.tinyurl.com when posting long URLS. It typically compresses down to 24 characters or so. That will solve the issue with the sidebar.

    Mark

  167. fFreddy
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

    Better still, don’t use the URL for the link text.

  168. Reid
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 5:18 PM | Permalink

    Re #167: The NY Times article reads like Pravda. To quote Rep. Boehlert “There is nothing in this report that should raise any doubts about the broad scientific consensus on global climate change “¢’‚¬? which doesn’t rest primarily on these temperature issues, in any event “¢’‚¬? or any doubts about whether any paper on the temperature records was legitimate scientific work.”

    Got that? AGW…”doesn’t rest primarily on these temperature issues”.

  169. John Lish
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 5:18 PM | Permalink

    #167 – thanks for that Per, I enjoyed this statement:

    “I saw nothing that spoke to me of any manipulation,” said one member, Peter Bloomfield, a statistics professor at North Carolina State University. He added that his impression was the study was “an honest attempt to construct a data analysis procedure.”

    So it doesn’t matter that it’s statistically meaningless as long as they were being honest in their intentions. Sheesh…

  170. John Hunter
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 5:26 PM | Permalink

    Steve: This isn’t a trick question, but I am baffled. As far as I can work out, the relevant times are as follows (all in US EDT, or UTC -4:00):

    11:00 Release of NAS report

    11:16 Release of your posting at the top of this thread

    How did you manage to skim through the report and write a 3000-word response in 16 minutes?

    I presume the answer is that I’ve stuffed up on time zones, but could you clarify this please?

  171. TN
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 5:27 PM | Permalink

    Can you someone inform me on how the panel arrive at the 400 year mark as the cessation between confidence levels? Is there a set of proxies available that start up around 1600?

    An aside: Is it true that most of proxies do not capture the uptick warmth of the 2nd half the 20th century? Or are they unavailable?

  172. Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 5:39 PM | Permalink

    Can you get to

    http://realclimate.org/

    or do you share my error message? I wonder whether one of those 11 people or so decided that it has been too much of disinformation and pain and erased the realclimate.org directory. Probably too much to want, right? ;-)

  173. Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 5:40 PM | Permalink

    Looks like their database is down.

  174. jae
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 5:41 PM | Permalink

    An aside: Is it true that most of proxies do not capture the uptick warmth of the 2nd half the 20th century? Or are they unavailable

    Many of them (tree rings, anyway) indicate the opposite (the “divergence problem”). Many of the proxies have not been brought up to date–see sidebar, “Bring the Proxies up to Date.”

  175. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

    Dr. Hunter,

    You forget that reporters, et. al. were allowed to have the report 24 hrs ago. They were not allowed to release anything about it, however. I’d have been very surprised if Steve wouldn’t have been on a list of people to receive the report ahead of time.

    At least I assume it was your forgetfulness which caused you to ask the question and not….

  176. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

    Either way, what difference does it make?

    Mark

  177. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

    #174 You made me LOL. One can hope.
    #177 I am glad you said that.

    What a mess the drive-by-media makes. I noticed though that junkscience.com has linked to the first NAS discussion here and quotes Steve. That’s a good thing.

  178. Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 5:57 PM | Permalink

    Hi Welikerocks!
    Before the database is fixed, you can use a new URL for RealClimate:

    http://realclimate.blogspot.com/

    All the best ;-)
    Lubos

  179. joel Hammer
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 5:58 PM | Permalink

    It is odd, but, nobody is complaining about what the word “likely” means when used by the IPCC.

    It means 67% chance of being right, according to the NAS panel.

    Try getting a study published with p=.33 in a scientific journal. I guess that’s why they used terms such as “likely” and “plausible.”

  180. Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 6:07 PM | Permalink

    Dear Joel,

    they indeed explain the word “plausible” as a 2:1 chance, which is just a polite way of saying that MBH provided no evidence of anything before 1600. The candid, unpolite, and more conventional way would be to say 1:1.

    At 53:40 of the audio, a journalist is desperate about the word “plausible” because his belief system is shattered.

    http://motls.blogspot.com/

    Around 50:00, it is indeed explained that it means 2:1. The NAS guys also say that it is meaningless to evaluate the degree of certainty because there is no well-defined operational meaning of such a Bayesian estimate, something that I have liked to say for many months; that’s around 54:30 into the audio.

    All the best
    Lubos

  181. H. Patrick Baru
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 6:09 PM | Permalink

    Will the increased uncertainty of proxies as proscribed by the NAS report materially affect other global climate change modeling?

    Will more peer review of the proxies lead to a higher level of certainty in those proxies?

    Will climate modelers urge for that increased review?

  182. John S
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    One scientist at the news conference (I didn’t catch his name) said there wasn’t a MWP because there wasn’t a consistent trend throughout the world. Even the IPCC study admits that Alaska is not warming. The boys at Alabama-Huntsville have proven conclusively that Northern Alabama has become colder since temperatures. My region of the United States has also gotten colder since temperatures. (In fact, Albany New York merited a graph in Crichton’s book.) Other regions of the world, also are showing stable, or declining temperatures. By his logic, there isn’t a Modern Warm Period (MWP). Am I missing something, or is this a typical case on inconsistency in the field. I’m new to this debate, so I have to ask this question.

  183. John S
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

    Sorry for the error, I meant Antartica, not Alaska. I was thinking of ways to get EXXON more drilling rights north of the Artic Circle and just confused the two.

  184. Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 6:24 PM | Permalink

    Scientific Review Finds Global Warming Real
    Study: Earth hottest in 400 years
    Science Panel Backs Study on Warming Climate

    Glad to see the media is portraying this with 100% accuracy.

  185. Paul Penrose
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

    John S.,
    As used here MWP means “Midevil Warm Period”.

  186. David Smith
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 6:29 PM | Permalink

    Since there are people of all persuasions on this blog tonight, I’d like to ask a question.

    First, please see the link (I hope it works).

    For the most recent month (May), the sea ice around the south pole has increased while the ice around the north pole has decreased. The website states that the southern sea ice is three times greater than the northern sea ice, more or less.

    Do the math. It looks like net Earth sea ice (north + south) is growing, not shrinking.

    This is data from the US Government.

    1. Is this a correct interpretation?

    2. If so, then why doesn’t this make news?

  187. TCO
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 6:30 PM | Permalink

    I thought the reporters seemed to have a clue and to be pushing the committee a bit in their questioning. I know that some of you will be unhappy that this is not reflected in the press reports.

  188. David Smith
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 6:30 PM | Permalink

    The website is:

    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/

  189. John Hunter
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

    joel Hammer (#181):

    > It is odd, but, nobody is complaining about what the word “likely”
    > means when used by the IPCC.

    > It means 67% chance of being right, according to the NAS panel.

    > Try getting a study published with p=.33 in a scientific journal. I guess
    > that’s why they used terms such as “likely” and “plausible.”

    By chance I have just answered this question in another thread (Contact Steve, #84), where I said:

    I agree that a certainty of 66-90% is not very good if we want to be “absolutely certain” of something, but in the context of risk assessment, any level of certainty (from 0%-100%) is relevant. The important things are our estimate of the probability of something happening or being true, and the impact of that event if it does happen or is true. Taking an everyday example, when I take a drive in my car there is a very low probability that I will have an accident. However, the effect of an accident could be dire (in terms of my death or injury) and therefore our government has legislated that I have to wear a seat belt on EVERY journey, even though the probability of an accident is close to zero. So, even though we may not have a 95% certainty in all aspects of AGW, does not mean that a prudent policy maker should not take such information into account.

  190. John Hunter
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 6:48 PM | Permalink

    Dave Dardinger (#177):

    > You forget that reporters, et. al. were allowed to have the report
    > 24 hrs ago. They were not allowed to release anything about it, however.
    > I’d have been very surprised if Steve wouldn’t have been on a list of
    > people to receive the report ahead of time.

    No, I didn’t “forget” — although I am of course aware that this is common practice, I didn’t know it happened in this case (do you have a reference to the “24 hours”?). I just didn’t think Steve was a “reporter”, or indeed anything like a “reporter”. I thought, in fact, he made a submission to the NAS panel — so does this mean we should expect witnesses in a court case to hear the verdict before anyone else? I’d be interested to hear who else (other than reporters) received this privilege — Mann et al., the authors of realclimate?

    Don’t you think that, in politically-sensitive issues such as this, it is good to have all these facts on the table?

  191. Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 6:55 PM | Permalink

    I noticed on boing boing they’re mentioning the following quote

    “recent warmth is unprecedented for at least the last 400 years and potentially the last several millennia… human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming”

    Where is that and what exactly is missing? While I’ve only read the report in brief, it doesn’t seem that NAS touched heavily on responsibility.

  192. TCO
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 7:06 PM | Permalink

    Of course if he did have it ahead of time, it makes the pre-NAS post rather suspicious. Unless he got it in between, bla bla.

  193. TCO
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 7:07 PM | Permalink

    bar bump (jeezuz christ, JohnA).

  194. Terry
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

    The 2:1 statement by the panel is actually quite a repudiation of the results. The other way to put it is that there is a 33% chance that current temperatures ARE NOT unusual by historical standards, and consequently, COULD BE due to natural variation.

  195. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 7:17 PM | Permalink

    RE: #188 – I think the past winter – spring was pretty darn good in terms of Arctic sea ice. I have not seen the final figures, but based simply on the images I was checking out every couple of weeks, we did pretty well. Especially when one considers that the melt during the previous summer – fall was a bit more than normal. The current melt cycle seems to be going sort of slow. The ice almost closed between Greenland and Iceland at the peak freeze up, ~ March. I personally did aerial inspection of the Bering Sea in December and even that early, it was going really well. Okhotsk was also OK for so early. So if you add it all up, perhaps there is indeed a net increase of late.

  196. Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 7:26 PM | Permalink

    Dear Steve Sadlov,
    your job sounds exciting. Are you a pilot?

    All the best
    Lubos

  197. David Archibald
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 7:42 PM | Permalink

    Colder here too. Perth, Australia recently recorded its lowest ever temperature: -0.7 degrees C. After 100 years of global warming, and this is what we get? And this is a city of 1.0 million so the UHI is in full swing.

  198. John K
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 7:51 PM | Permalink

    re John Hunter (#191)
    ‘I agree that a certainty of 66-90% is not very good if we want to be “absolutely certain” of something, but in the context of risk assessment, any level of certainty (from 0%-100%) is relevant. The important things are our estimate of the probability of something happening or being true, and the impact of that event if it does happen or is true. Taking an everyday example, when I take a drive in my car there is a very low probability that I will have an accident. However, the effect of an accident could be dire (in terms of my death or injury) and therefore our government has legislated that I have to wear a seat belt on EVERY journey, even though the probability of an accident is close to zero. So, even though we may not have a 95% certainty in all aspects of AGW, does not mean that a prudent policy maker should not take such information into account.’

    No – this conflates uncertainty and risk, a distinction in the economics literature for the past 80 years or so, but then Stephen Schneider makes the same error fairly consistently.

    We know with considerable accuracy (but still some uncertainty) what the incidence of motor vehicle accidents is, and the government has made a risk management decision on probabiliites with a low range of uncertainty. This is NOT the same as the degree of uncertainty that surrounds the data.

  199. John A
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 7:54 PM | Permalink

    Re #192

    John Hunter:

    Don’t you think that, in politically-sensitive issues such as this, it is good to have all these facts on the table?

    Why yes, Dr Hunter, I certainly do. I hope you will join with Steve in publicly abhorring the common practice in climate science of hoarding data and supporting calculations to as to defeat replication of published results, while claiming that requests for public access are “intimidation” or a “witch-hunt”?

  200. Steve Bloom
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 8:11 PM | Permalink

    Re #197: This subject came up here about a month ago. Someone (else?) had speculated that maybe Arctic sea ice was doing better this spring. Fortunately this is easy to check. It turns out that March and April were both record lows. May I think wasn’t quite a record, but was very close. All of this information is available at nsidc.org. Beware anecdotes.

  201. John Hunter
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 8:14 PM | Permalink

    John K (#200):

    > We know with considerable accuracy (but still some
    > uncertainty) what the incidence of motor vehicle
    > accidents is, and the government has made a risk
    > management decision on probabiliites with a low range
    > of uncertainty.

    Firstly, I would argue that we DON’T “know with considerable accuracy (but still some uncertainty) what the incidence of motor vehicle accidents is”. We may know it on a large (e.g. country-wide) scale, but we certain don’t know it for the specific route which I am going to take in my car this afternoon — we just make an assumption that the “global” statistic is a reasonable approximation to the “local” statistic.

    Secondly, we can’t hold up policy until we “know with considerable accuracy” what the probability distribution is. We are always having to make risk assessments based on probability distributions which are less certain than we would like them to be. We just have to make allowance for the uncertainty (it effectively broadens the probability distribution).

    Do you honestly believe that we should hold up any AGW-related policy until we are 95% certain of the probability distributions that we are dealing with?

  202. Steve Bloom
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

    Re #188: This effect is a result of the seasons being reversed between the northern and southern hemispheres. The Antarctic as a whole, sea ice included, is far less subject to warming effects than the Arctic, so the sea ice loss is only happening in the north. None of this is news.

  203. beezdotcom
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 8:29 PM | Permalink

    There’s a HUGE economic difference between making it mandatory to fasten your seatbelt, and requiring draconian cuts in emissions. Greater impact of a policy decision requires more certainty of the probability. And yes, though the potential damages of global warming are great – there’s also the likelihood that, if occurring, the damage might already be done, and resources would be better committed to dealing with the aftermath.

  204. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 8:38 PM | Permalink

    John A,
    I noticed it’s fun to read the old threads after getting this report. Most certainly when the hockey stick is mentioned.
    for examples: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=662#comments

    Are there any sites with lists of record low temps around?
    It’s been cooler here (So. Cal) in spring. I know this because we used to heat-up the pool to swim during Easter vacation. It’s hasn’t been warm enough for a couple of years now to do it.

    Cheers!

  205. TCO
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 8:41 PM | Permalink

    Let’s discuss the report. Cheerleaders and distractors go move to a ghetto. You can use my thread since Hartlod ruined it already.

  206. David Smith
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 8:43 PM | Permalink

    RE #205

    Thanks, Steve, for the response.

    The data indicates that the Antartic sea ice is growing, and growing faster than the Arctic ice is melting. If global warming has been underway and is accelerating in recent decades, why aren’t both hemispheres ice cover shrinking?

    And, I do not see how the seasons being reversed plays any role in the data or in the answer to the question. I miss the connection.

  207. John Hunter
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 8:56 PM | Permalink

    beezdotcom (#206):

    > There’s a HUGE economic difference between making it
    > mandatory to fasten your seatbelt, and requiring
    > draconian cuts in emissions. Greater impact of a
    > policy decision requires more certainty of the
    > probability.

    Well, I’m afraid this isn’t how risk assessment generally works. You generally have to make policy decisions with “inadequate” data — you can’t afford to wait until you have ~95% certainty.

    I know it’s an old example, but when you doctor tells you he thinks there is a 1 in 3 chance that you have cancer, do you tell him to go away and do nothing for you until he can show there is a 95% chance that you have cancer? I think you would agree that, for you at least, the stakes are pretty high here too!

  208. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

    NAS panel only please. Argue on other stuff on other threads or preferably wait until next week.

  209. James Lane
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 9:05 PM | Permalink

    John H:

    "Firstly, I would argue that we DON’T “know with considerable accuracy (but still some uncertainty) what the incidence of motor vehicle accidents is”. We may know it on a large (e.g. country-wide) scale, but we certain don’t know it for the specific route which I am going to take in my car this afternoon “¢’‚¬? we just make an assumption that the “global” statistic is a reasonable approximation to the “local” statistic."

    Actually, in Australia, we DO know with considerable accuracy the incidence of motor vehicle accidents involving casualties, and in fact know a great deal about the specifics of such accidents. The crash risk of your journey this afternoon is irrelevant, and we don’t make any assumptions about it.

    When I worked in the road safety biz in Victoria many years ago, noting a low level of compliance with complusory seat belt use in the rear seats of cars, we mounted a media campaign called "Buckle up in the back". Eighteen months later we were able to demonstrate a significant fall in rear-seat casualties (95% confidence) which led to the campaign being extended to other jurisdictions. 66% wouldn’t have cut it on a policy basis, and neither should it. One has a budget for countermeasures, and they should be directed to programs which can be shown to be cost effective.

    I don’t see why less rigour should be applied to issues such as AGW.

    [snip – I hate to do this, but I’m going to bed and I don’t want a sea level row on this blog overnight.)

    I have the same problem with the language of the IPCC. The NAS panel says "plausible" (whatever that means), Gavin at RC translates it as "likely" according to the IPCC terminology, I say "not shown". I have no idea why climate science gets a "free-pass" on uncertainty – you certainly wouldn’t get it in, say, a drug trial.

  210. James Lane
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 9:11 PM | Permalink

    Oops, sorry Steve M.

    John, if you want to continue discussion of uncertainty, let’s take TCO’s suggestion and move it to his thread.

  211. Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 9:16 PM | Permalink

    Dear #191 John Hunter,

    I think that the NAS panel opposed your idea that any value of the probability of risk is relevant for risk assessment. In principle, if you study these questions as a game theorist, you may want to maximize any kind of knowledge you might imagine to have.

    But if the knowledge is so murky that every question has answers whose probabilities are of order 50%, then the rational approach is simply consider these answers unknown, and does not allow them to influence your decision. Only the knowledge where the probability of some answers is close to 0% or 100% or the questions where the probability can be rigorously evaluated and measured by frequentist techniques should have a significant impact on rational decisions.

    What I really want to say in this context is that is the existence of AGW depended on the climate before 1600 that is identified as completely murky by the NAS, then of course the right approach is the null approach – to pay neither for Kyoto protocols to fight global warming nor for anti-Kyoto protocols to fight the new ice age.

    If you evaluate the confidence that such an approach, say Kyoto, is the correct one to be 60% which is above 50%, it does not mean anything because the number 60% could not be calculated from any well-defined statistical procedures – it’s a random number reflecting biases, preconceptions, and random guesses. It would be just irrational to be affected by these things, which is exactly why they emphasize that one scenario or another is just “plausible” which means that the answer is not known and speculations about the answer should not lead to any big investments. This is why they reject any attempts to quantify their certainty – which is certainly low.

    The “certainty” about the climate after 1600 was evaluated to be around 90-95 percent which is incidentally not terribly high either.

    Best wishes
    Lubos

  212. John McLean
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 9:18 PM | Permalink

    To Steve,
    What has been the personal cost to you and the other “Mc” for your persistent questioning of the credibility of the HS and do you see any chance of reimbursement or compensation?

  213. James Bailey
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 9:18 PM | Permalink

    This field sure hasn’t advanced much since 1980. “The last ice was retreating from midlatitudes by 10,000 years ago, and the warmest postglacial climate occurred between 5,000 and 7,000 years ago. … After some fluctuations, cooling recurred from about A.D. 1500 to 1880 and from then to 1950 there was a period of amelioration characterized by warmer and drier conditions.” Evolution of the Earth, R. H. Dott, Jr. and R. L. Batten, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1981 p. 525

    How much longer will it be before we can give any certainty to our understanding of climate before 1600?

    By the way, how much warmer does it have to get before Greenland can once again support humans using Viking agricultural technology?

  214. beezdotcom
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 9:21 PM | Permalink

    Okay, at Steve’s request, I’ll make my reply relevant to the NAS report. From what I gather from the NAS report, if it were relating my cancer diagnosis, then it would be telling me that the first doctor who diagnosed my cancer was using a defective MRI machine that often showed an image that looked like a tumor mass, no matter who was being imaged – and the doctor was limiting the scans to those that produced more tumor-like images. However, the NAS report is then telling me that I probably *DO* have cancer, because three OTHER doctors also think I do. However, it also appears that these other doctors all use similar diagnostic techniques as the first doctor.

    Therefore, before I start painful radiation and chemotherapy treatments, I think I’m going to have myself reimaged by a doctor whose diagnostic tecniques are more transparent. Likewise, I hope that the NAS report will be a strong indicator that the “supporting data” from the other scientists will be re-assessed in a non-biased manner, before painful global warming ‘solutions’ are implemented.

  215. John Hunter
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 9:35 PM | Permalink

    beezdotcom (#216): When you talk about “painfull”, you should also ask “when will it be painful?”. Much of the discussion is about “painful global warming ‘solutions’” (which are possibly only painful if you refuse to think creatively) now, compared with “painful” AGW consequences in the future. The “do nothing” approach (justified by the “reason” that the statistics aren’t yet “good” enough) may well be fine for us personally, but probably not for our descendants — but then again, we’re sure to find a technical fix for that when the time comes …..

  216. beezdotcom
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 9:40 PM | Permalink

    You’re absolutely right, John – the NAS report doesn’t really do much to address the issue of pain now or pain later.

  217. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 9:44 PM | Permalink

    No one should associate me with a “perfect certainty” argument – I don’t hold that point of view at all. In some ways, businessmen have much more nuanced attitudes and understanding of uncertainty than academics. Decisions under uncertainty happen all the time.

    To make good decisions, you have to separate good information from bad information and I hope that I’m contributing to that.

  218. Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:08 PM | Permalink

    Dear Steve #219,

    I am not disagreeing with you in my #213 at all. I think that my comment about the required ability to evaluate the certainty/probability of one particular answer or another is probably isomorphic to your general term “good information”, and my feeling is also that all of us including the NAS panel agree that we don’t have any such “good information” about the climate before 1600.

    Best
    Lubos

  219. TCO
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:14 PM | Permalink

    I officially give permission for my thread to be used for:

    -Sea level and other John-John fighting
    -Lambert administering John’s thermo whipping
    -complaining about TCO
    -miscellaneous half-baked skeptic/warmer debates on AGW overall-
    -good miscellanous skeptic/warmer debates on AGW overall
    -Hartlod and Methane Mike and sickos like Dardie who would talk to such

    LET THE GHETTO ROCK!

  220. TCO
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:25 PM | Permalink

    I find it a little puzzling (well not really, more telling really) that the panel thought specific analysis of the Mann paper and of data practices and such was “too big for them”, but that they could analyze and come out with a perspective (short on math and long on words btw) about overall validity of reconstructions in general.

    I thought the very careful care not to indict Mann as an individual was overdone. They should just give the facts and let others draw conclusions. In particular, there were some statements there where I think they went out on too much of a limb to defend him. Implying that they knew his thought process, that they could prove how he’d come up with mistaken procedures was not result of bias, etc. It would have been more fair to be agnostic. I don’t think they really know some of the things they said they did about sources of Mann’s practices.

  221. TCO
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 10:30 PM | Permalink

    I finally figured out how to get a pdf. You have to fill out some info on yourself and then you can get a free pdf copy. Good reading…

  222. ET SidViscous
    Posted Jun 22, 2006 at 11:04 PM | Permalink

    A mention for you in the New York Times for you Steve.

    http://tinyurl.com/pjz7c

  223. John A
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 1:31 AM | Permalink

    Well Steve, it looks like you won from here:

    A controversial paper asserting that recent warming in the Northern Hemisphere was probably unrivaled for 1,000 years was endorsed today, with a few reservations, by a panel convened by the nation’s pre-eminent scientific body.

    The panel said that a statistical method used in the 1999 study was not the best and that some uncertainties in the work “have been underestimated,” and it particularly challenged the authors’ conclusion that the decade of the 1990′s was probably the warmest in a millennium.

    But in a 155-page report, the 12-member panel convened by the National Academies said “an array of evidence” supported the main thrust of the paper. Disputes over details, it said, reflected the normal intellectual clash that takes place as science tests new approaches to old questions.

    The study, led by Michael E. Mann, a climatologist now at Pennsylvania State University, was the first to estimate widespread climate trends by stitching together a grab bag of evidence, including variations in ancient tree rings and temperatures measured in deep holes in the earth.

    It has been repeatedly attacked by Republican lawmakers and some business-financed groups as built on cherry-picked data meant to create an alarming view of recent warming and play down past natural warm periods.

    At a news conference at the headquarters of the National Academies, several members of the panel reviewing the study said they saw no sign that its authors had intentionally chosen data sets or methods to get a desired result.

    “I saw nothing that spoke to me of any manipulation,” said one member, Peter Bloomfield, a statistics professor at North Carolina State University. He added that his impression was the study was “an honest attempt to construct a data analysis procedure.”

    Do I win my $10?

  224. Jean S
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 4:04 AM | Permalink

    re #131:

    Jean, they are on to you, your name now appears with your post at RC mentioned above, although if you google Valetta Kaikkitaalla it still leads to the post. :)

    Damn, it seems to me like someone over RC is reading the disiformation sites like CA ;)

    re #174, #175: Maybe they are trying to track down my IP/e-mail ;)

  225. John Lish
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 4:19 AM | Permalink

    #225 – John A, what did you expect this report to do? All the difficult criticisms are validated if not followed to their logical conclusion. For me that’s a win. Its now time to follow this up with what TCO keeps banging on about – published peer-reviewed papers.

    Another thought has occured to me when thinking about papers: Climatic Change. I don’t know if it worth Steve Mc time/effort to follow up the criticism he had of the Wahl & Ammann paper with Stephen Schneidner. After all, those criticism would appear to be validated by the NAS report.

  226. Jean S
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 5:19 AM | Permalink

    From the NYT article (via #224):

    In an interview, Dr. Mann expressed muted satisfaction with the panel’s findings. He said it clearly showed that the 1999 analysis has held up over time.

    But he complained that the committee seemed to forget about the many caveats that were in the original paper. “Even the title of the paper on which all this has been based is as much about the caveats and uncertainties as it is about the findings,” he said.

    Oh dear Dr. Mann, you seemed to have forgotten what you actually said. Here is the Conclusions section (in full) from MBH99 (emphasis original) to refresh your memory:

    Although NH reconstructions prior to about AD 1400 exhibit expanded uncertainties, several important conclusions are possible, notwithstanding certain caveats. While warmth early in the millennium approaches mean 20th century levels, the late 20th century still appears anomalous: the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium. More widespread high-resolution data which can resolve millennial-scale variability are needed before more condent conclusions can be reached with regard to the spatial and temporal details of climate change in the past millennium and beyond.

    So Dr. Mann, this is what you concluded. My dictionary says that a millenium is 1000 years. Now the NAS panel writes:

    The substantial uncertainties currently present in the quantitative assessment of large-scale surface temperature changes prior to about A.D. 1600 lower our confidence in this conclusion compared to the high level of confidence we place in the Little Ice Age cooling and 20th century warming. Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et
    al. (1999) that “the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium” because the uncertainties inherent in temperature reconstructions for individual years and decades are larger than those for longer time periods, and because not all of the available proxies record temperature information on such short timescales.

    If I were you, I wouldn’t be happy with those findings. And those people were kind to you, the facts do not even support such a nice treatment of your papers. More to come, Dr. Mannenko.

  227. BradH
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 5:27 AM | Permalink

    I have sympathy with John A’s perspective on this NAS Panel report…but I also have sympathy with Steve’s & Ross’ take on it.

    John A, given the status which Mann, et. al. have enjoyed during the past 8 years and given the widely publicised “consensus” which has swept the world during the last 20 years, the equivocal report is hardly surprising from a group of academics, some of whose careers depend upon funding for further global warming research and others who are not direct climate experts, but have been called into this panel because of their prestige in professions considered to be useful to the assessment.

    People who are not independently wealthy, nor completely self-assured will always find it difficult to stick their necks out and risk their reputations and their family’s livelihood by trashing such a well-publicised piece of work. You, John A, of all people should appreciate this point.

    Steve & Ross, I agree that this report is a major step forward for you. The ridiculous press commentary is nothing unexpected. In my experience, most journalists (and their editors; and their papers’ owners) are tabloid to their souls.

    The simple fact that some criticism was offered of Mann’s work (and more than just lip service, as well) must seem a breakthrough to you guys. Let’s remember that M&M’s only official credibility to date has been that one or two journal editors allowed some of their work to be published. For the first time, an official scientific body has conceded that they may have a point or two to make. “The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” [Lao Tzu]

    TCO is a first class pain in the arse and I’ve been somewhat annoyed about his incessant refrain for Steve & Ross (or either individually) to publish more. Having said that, I believe that you must get something out there ASAP, in order to capitalize on the credibility this NAS report has allowed you. [Steve, you should also pick out a few relevant sections of it and reiterate your requests to those journals which have refused to push their authors to archive their data, drawing their attention to NAS' dissatisfaction with the evidence.]

    Finally, to all of you well-qualified critics of the Hockey Team who regularly contribute to this site: I find it dissappointing that you have not offered to co-author papers with Steve and Ross in this area. Steve has pointed out on many occasions that he is only one man and doesn’t have the time to address all of the issues himself.

    The Hockey Team have no shortage of “et. al”, but it seems that Steve and Ross have only “M&M”. Given the strong views which many of you hold, that is simply not good enough. You should be proud to be part of M&M and you should have the courage and commitment to make the offer to assist with some of the leg-work.

    If, after this NAS report, no substantive response is made to the debate by the auditing side within the next 6 to 12 months, the assumption will be that they…well, have no response.

  228. John A
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 5:29 AM | Permalink

    John A, what did you expect this report to do? All the difficult criticisms are validated if not followed to their logical conclusion. For me that’s a win.

    Now obviously Steve and I disagree on this viewpoint, but Steve speaks for the weblog (whatever that means) and as the author of the critical studies and I speak for myself (ordinary Joe).

    Steve wrote that the NAS Panel appeared schizophrenic. For me, the NAS Panel spoke out of both sides of its mouth. It was ill-equipped to deal with issues of ethics, audit, statistical robustness, dendrochronological proxy robustness or multiproxy combinations. I wonder if there should have been a majority and minority reports rather than this synthesis of crap, half-crap and quarter-crap especially about what meaning should be given to the word “plausibly”.

    To say that broadly the MBH98 and 99 were replicated by other studies is grossly misleading. Dave Stockwell managed to reproduce all of the features of MBH98,99 using random numbers. Does this validate random numbers as a temperature proxy or Stockwell’s method as valid as far as the NAS Panel is concerned?

    The other studies are clearly contaminated with most of the same statistical mistreatment of data as MBH and yet somehow this makes them all broadly valid because they’re consistent?

    The NAS Panel was overbroad in its remit, underpowered in its technical ability, woeful in its use of information and vague about the things it was supposed to be getting answers to.

    I told Steve before the NAS Panel had met that I would never have cooperated with the NAS Panel unless and until it was convened as a proper scientific ethics and audit investigation.

    I regard the NAS Panel’s behavior as unprofessional, lax, compromised and flawed. It seemed to me that the NAS Panel’s chairmen were determined to defocus the attention away from the key study (MBH98,99) and its implication for public policy (via the IPCC TAR) and give full rein to generalities and vague expressions upon the whole multiproxy paradigm based on some documentation and less than 10 hours of presentations and limited Q&A with no rebuttal.

    To me the NAS Panel was not independent at all, being rife with conflicts of interest that would never be allowed in arenas involving not nearly as much money as climate science and the public policy which is based on it.

  229. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 5:31 AM | Permalink

    Re: 18, 44. My post on RC is there now, and it appeared after I posted it (so it certainly didn’t get spam filtered). I noticed that it vanished, which prompted my post here. Some time later, I noticed it was back with a comment. I can’t say if it’s temporary disapearance was a result of the process of ataching a comment or not. Or maybe I just got confused with my browser windows, and logged an invalid data point.

    The response I got there was a masterpiece of misdirection though. Premis A is accepted, and of little interest. Premis B is of some (maybe great) interest, and has the statistical odds in it’s favour by a small margin, but premis A is presented as supporting evidence for premis B when in fact it there is no connection.

    Sean

  230. John A
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 5:38 AM | Permalink

    Brad:

    John A, given the status which Mann, et. al. have enjoyed during the past 8 years and given the widely publicised “consensus” which has swept the world during the last 20 years, the equivocal report is hardly surprising from a group of academics, some of whose careers depend upon funding for further global warming research and others who are not direct climate experts, but have been called into this panel because of their prestige in professions considered to be useful to the assessment.

    Quite. So the NAS Panel was compromised from the very beginning by a fundamental conflict of interest

    People who are not independently wealthy, nor completely self-assured will always find it difficult to stick their necks out and risk their reputations and their family’s livelihood by trashing such a well-publicised piece of work. You, John A, of all people should appreciate this point.

    I do. So where are we going to get people who are a) truly independent and b) willing to stick their necks out? I would suggest the NAS Panel should have been composed of retired people, but natch, that’s where most of the skepticism is coming from.

  231. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 5:41 AM | Permalink

    Does the NAS report offer a hint of what we may expect in the IPCC report with a few new small wrinkles to show they have done some work?

  232. Jean S
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:00 AM | Permalink

    re #233: Well, I have not seen the IPCC report draft, but reading the NAS report I’m expecting the “spaghetti diagram”-position: MBHs may be flawed, but they are still important because they used a “novel methodology” which opended “new research lines”, and moreover, their conclusions are validated in “independent” works (spaghetti diagram).

  233. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:08 AM | Permalink

    JOhn A, you should try writing without using adjectives for a while. It makes for greater calmness and clarity of thought. You take audiences as they come and, if you get them to change their views a little, then you’ve made progress.

    There are some things that I should make clear in my post, as I was a little too focussed on immediate controversy when I wrote it. I was happy for the opportunity to present to the NAS Panel. I had pretty much despaired of any climate scientist actually assessing anything that we’d written as opposed to the realclimate strawman version and have probably been getting more strident as a result than is actually my nature. The NAS Panel accurately understood many, if not most, of the points that we raised and, while they didn’t strew rose petals in our path, if I did a scorecard (remind me and I will), pretty much every point was endorsed. There’s lots that I disagree with, but I’ll build on what I got.

    I’m not worried in the slightest about overview conclusions.

    I view the NAS Panel report as clearing out a lot of underbrush. Think about it: yesterday, if I wanted to write on an article on, say, the effect of bristlecones on one or more of the "other" studies, I’d have to re-argue whether bristlecones were a good or bad proxy, every point being contested along the way, then and end up with at most a sensitivity study that wouldn’t have much impact. Now I can point to the NAS Panel policy on strip-bark trees.

    So, John A, sure I’d have liked a little more, but your adjectives are over-the-top and unjustified. Where I disagree with the Panel, I’m going to criticize them and sharply, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t decent people trying to do a good job.

  234. TAC
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:23 AM | Permalink

    The New York Times reports today:

    A separate panel of statisticians is dissecting Dr. Mann’s data and papers for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, a spokesman for the chairman, Mr. Barton, said.

    I have now read chapters 9 and 11 of the NAS report, and it should provide that panel with a lot of material. Specifically, where the NAS report addresses issues considered by Steve M, it consistenly endorses Steve M’s position (it would be interesting to see a 3-column side-by-side: Steve M’s criticism; Mann’s reply (if any); NAS finding).

    I would recommend that everyone take the time to read the NAS report. It is well worth the effort.

  235. John A
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:26 AM | Permalink

    #

    JOhn A, you should try writing without using adjectives for a while. It makes for greater calmness and clarity of thought.

    Without adjectives, I’m left with nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs and conjunctions. That is going to make communication [fill in blank here]

  236. per
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:27 AM | Permalink

    re: #200,203,211
    Priceless; then johnH argues that statistics don’t apply to him :)

    I would raise two issues.

    1) choice of word. the nas panel report used “plausible”, because it chimes exactly with what they meant when they said that you could not quantify the nature of the uncertainties for pre-1600. “plausible” has a dictionary definition, and it is damning.

    2) There are material differences between what the nas panel said at press conference, and what is in the report; there is also a lot of stuff that is loose.

    So they said that they weren’t examining Mann’s conduct; but they were also prepared to say that they hadn’t seen that he had done anything wrong. You don’t need to be a lawyer to spot that if you don’t examine the facts, you won’t see anything wrong.

    It is also spectacular that they deliberately say in the report that they can’t quantify uncertainty, but then come around in the press conference to say that may mean “likely”.
    cheers
    per

  237. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:29 AM | Permalink

    11:00 Release of NAS report

    11:16 Release of your posting at the top of this thread

    How did you manage to skim through the report and write a 3000-word response in 16 minutes?

    FWIW, RealClimate had a summary with some detail (not on the level Steve’s detail, but when are they ever?) shown to have been posted at 11:22.

  238. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:31 AM | Permalink

    As far as headlines go, Yahoo news had these two right on top of each other this morning:

    -Earth hottest it’s been in 2,000 years

    -Earth’s temperature at 400-year high – study

  239. John A
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:34 AM | Permalink

    FWIW, RealClimate had a summary with some detail (not on the level Steve’s detail, but when are they ever?) shown to have been posted at 11:22.

    More funny, they had the rhetorical defences all set up:

    …given the considerable length of the report, we have little doubt that keen contrarians will be able to mine the report for skeptical-sounding sentences and cherry-pick the findings

    In other words, if they quote something that they like from the NAS Panel, that’s “citation” but if a skeptic quotes something they don’t like, that’s “cherry-picking”.

  240. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:37 AM | Permalink

    re #192 – NAS distributed an advisory via Eureka about the report release and press conference, and announced that reporters could register for advance copy. The advance copies would be available to reporters after 3 pm the day before the release. I emailed a request for advance copy, and folowed up the email with phone call some hours later to the person listed on the advisory to ask about logistics of obtaining advance copy. After asking me about nuclear.com, he said he’d put me on the list to get advance copy via email. I called him back when 4 pm had come and gone and the report hadn’t yet shown up in my inbox. He explained that I had been removed from the distribution list because I was considered too much of an advocate, and that there had been “pressure” to restrict the advance copies to credentialed journalists. He said this pressure was related to desire to ensure that the report not be made generally available before the embargo time. I pleaded my case by noting that over a million folks have visited nuclear.com, that I was an honorable man, and that I understood and agreed to the conditions of the embargo. He said he had looked at nuclear.com, and the best he could do was send a copy later that night, in time for me to review it and ask questions at the press conference. Sure enough, he sent it via his home email shortly before 11 pm. I submitted one question via email: “Rep. Boehlert asked the group to answer the question of whether Mann et al. was replicable and whether others had replicated the work. Why does the report fail to discuss whether the methods of Mann et al. could have been or have been replicated?” I noticed that, at the end of the press conference, the woman discussing the email questions characterized most of them as having been answered already. It’s true enough that a question about Boehlert’s questions had been posed by NYT reporter, but the answer discussed only an issue that was considered too big. I do not consider that my question was answered by that answer.

  241. per
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:39 AM | Permalink

    So the NAS Panel was compromised from the very beginning by a fundamental conflict of interest

    this is way too strong. when it comes to their remit- which is enormous and broad- they have made substantial findings that are very favourable to M&M, and they have overturned the conclusions of MBH’98 for 1000-1600; the hockey-stick is now a ping-pong bat !
    From their remit, it was never possible to undertake the sort of forensic dissection of MBH which is the subject of this blog; and such a committee cannot make adverse findings of fact about individuals without a due process, so the image of Mann being led to the gallows after this report must remain a fantasy !
    There is a great deal which is very positive about this report.
    cheers
    per

  242. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:42 AM | Permalink

    I also liked RealClimate’s reply to my summary of the press conference:

    [Response: Read the report itself, not Lubos Motl's blog. Motl's take on the report has almost no resemblance to what is in it. What do you expect from somebody who describes himself as a "reactionary physicist"? Unfortunately, some un-necessarily ambiguous wording at the press conference makes it all too easy for people like Motl to misrepresent the contents. --raypierre]

    Unfortunately, the NAS report and press conference contains “un-necessarily ambiguous wording” that can be misused by “reactionary physicists”. Raymond Pierrehumbert would know how to get rid of any ambiguous wording if here were in the NAS panel! :-)

  243. John A
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:49 AM | Permalink

    when it comes to their remit- which is enormous and broad- they have made substantial findings that are very favourable to M&M, and they have overturned the conclusions of MBH’98 for 1000-1600; the hockey-stick is now a ping-pong bat !

    But who made their remit enormous and broad? Why couldn’t they focus on the narrow issues and let the chips fall where they may?

  244. Jean S
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:58 AM | Permalink

    they have overturned the conclusions of MBH’98 for 1000-1600; the hockey-stick is now a ping-pong bat !

    An interesting thing is that MBH99 is just an extension of MBH98 for the period 1000-1400! So can we now say that, according to NAS, MBH99 is dead and MBH98 is alive only as a ping-pong bat?!??

  245. John A
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 7:02 AM | Permalink

    From Luboà…⟠Motl’s blog:

    When Millikan measured the charge of the electron for the first time, he obtained 50% of the correct result only because of his incorrect treatment of the air viscosity. Those who followed him have already used a correct approach to the air viscosity but they obtained 55%, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90% of the right result before they settled near the right value. The reason why they did not obtain the correct result already in the second experiment was that they were intentionally eliminating data from their experiments that were too far from the previous ones. Virtually all experimental physicists know that this is bad science – but in the climate science, things seem a bit different. The authors of crappy papers are still forming the consensus and others don’t want to lose friends so they keep on including junk science to their reports and statistical ensembles.

    The tyranny of scientific consensus in other words.

  246. BradH
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 7:09 AM | Permalink

    Re:#242

    Steve S, I agree – that really is a disgraceful performance, isn’t it?

  247. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 7:13 AM | Permalink

    Dear Steve McIntyre,
    have you ever heard the name of K. Lassen?

    As I learned from a RC commenter, he published a well-known paper in Science in 1991

    http://www.tmgnow.com/repository/solar/lassen1.html

    maybe with Friis-Christensen (over 200 citations)

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=%22k+lassen%22

    in which it is argued that there is a very impressive correlation between the *length* of the solar cycles and global temperatures. The graphs look rather amazing. I wonder how difficult would be to get all the data etc. from soneone who is doing similar statistics but reaches more convenient conclusions. ;-)

    Best
    Lubos

  248. eduardo zorita
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 7:19 AM | Permalink

    #42 “Overall I’m more happy with the report than I expected to be”

    Ross, I share many of your comments. The report could be perhaps more explicit that it is in some places: useful for headlines and the like.
    But I think the report can be quite influential in the paleoclimate comunnity. True, it does not often say “this and that is wrong” but very often it can interpreted as saying “look, this is the write way of doing the analysis”.
    I found section 9 particularly helpful, and I am pretty convinced that many people will read this section very carefully.

    Internally, I interpret the report is a rebuttal of the claims on “scientific authority” that we have heard very often in the past, and I consider this in itself as a very positive aspect, which was not at all guaranteed from the beginning

  249. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 7:19 AM | Permalink

    #235 and #237,
    The “good cop/ bad cop” thing works. Between the two styles, the facts come out and the questions arise. That is a good thing.

    I think people should be smart enough to see that.
    Give it to me straight with all kinds of adjectives too.

    As civilians, paying attention to this huge important issue; to me, the ambiguous soothing of hurts (errors) they found is rather frustrating.
    The Holy Grail is not the cup it was advertised to be. That’s a big deal.

    The tone of the responses (or lack there of) on Realclimate is really freaky.

  250. John A
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 7:27 AM | Permalink

    Re #252

    It’s not intended as a rhetorical device for weblogging to encourage traffic.

    In any case, any interested bystander must place more weight on Steve’s contribution than my own. I speak for myself, and I do not have the benefit of Steve’s greater insight into the statistical guts of this enterprise.

    My perspective is historical – and the recent history of science shows no tendency to grasp the nettle of scientific misconduct until the stench of rottenness becomes unbearable and ordinary people start to notice.

  251. Tim Ball
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 7:31 AM | Permalink

    Maybe I am missing something in all this but I have yet to see where NAS ordered Mann to release the information he is witholding. As long as that situation continues he can have no credibility regardless of the rights or wrongs of the NAS report.

  252. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 7:37 AM | Permalink

    #252
    Yep, understood.
    Like I said, people should be smart enough to see the big picture.
    Maybe that’s too optimistic of me.

  253. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 7:40 AM | Permalink

    Dear Eduardo,

    the scientific authority was probably overruled by a more real and even more powerful authority. This is eventually how it usually works in real science – although one should never assume that the more senior scholars will always be right.

    Thanks God for it.

    Before the report I was wondering whether the leading scholars in NAS and other famous bodies would be able to endorse the kind of hysterical irrational semi-junk research that many global warming enthusiasts pursue in a close collaboration with journalists and activists, or whether they are still able to look at science rationally and honestly. With pleasure, one can conclude that the answer to the question whether they can do things right is that it is plausible. ;-)

    Best wishes
    Lubos

  254. 2dogs
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 7:44 AM | Permalink

    I am inclined to think that the use of the word “plausible” is actually significant. Competing theories can each be plausible. They are, in effect, denying the existence of “consensus”.

  255. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 7:55 AM | Permalink

    I’m inclined to agree with you guys, but I notice that the Real Climate website is much more attractive, intuitive and easy to navigate. You gotta do something about this! You need a major facelift. Right now, only a few experts can make sense of this site. Or else: start fresh with another site with highlights from this site, well written and organized, with a TOC, etc. Thanks

  256. Jean S
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 8:03 AM | Permalink

    re #250: I’m sure Steve have noticed Lassen’s work.

    Steve, did you notice Lassen’s co-author’s (Peter Thejll & Lassen, 2000) post here (and especially the paper).

  257. Paul Penrose
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 8:05 AM | Permalink

    By claiming that the uncertainties in the pre-1400 data were unquantifiable, the NAS panel was really saying that it’s anybody’s guess. Words like “plausable” and “likely” just don’t really describe the situation correctly. Those words get thrown around a lot because they don’t have any scientifically accepted meaning, so they provide a lot of wiggle room in the future. In my mind this dissmissal of the pre-1400 data is pretty damning. Saying that it’s been warming since the depths of the LIA is like saying it’s been warming in the NH since January. Even accepting the 1400-1860 data as “likely” correct, the resolution is much too poor to make any conclusions on a decadal time scale, so the uncertainties that the 1990s were hotter than any other decade in the last 400 years are also unquantifable (or very high). Again, that makes it anyone’s guess as to whether that’s true or not. So people can believe what they want to on these subjects (current warmth is unprecedented, 1990′s hotter than any decade in last 400, 1000, 2000 years), and they are certainly entitled to their opinions, but to argue them as fact is preposterous. That is at least one great take-away from this report.

  258. Jean S
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 8:22 AM | Permalink

    Eduardo, I’m very interested in your Tellus submission (Gouirand et al.). Please, could you share a preprint (jean_sbls@yahoo.com) Thanks!

  259. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 8:24 AM | Permalink

    Re: 260 Yeah but I can side with the reporter who said that the panel stance on the murkiness of the MWP contradicted lots of results on warmer MWPs. And that with all the billions being spent on research, to say the confidence in that time is decreasing is unsatisfactory to say the least. Sure more information can decrease your certainty, but only when you are duped into certainty in the first place.

  260. BradH
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 8:36 AM | Permalink

    Re: 261, 262

    Eduardo, David – would you be interested in co-authoring papers with Steve & Ross?

    They can’t take on the entire field by themselves.

    I don’t know whether they would even want a collaboration, but as I stated above, there are “et al” all over the Hockey Team.

    Sharing the load would certainly enable a wider range of subjects to be covered in papers.

  261. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 8:41 AM | Permalink

    Re # 249 – Amongst NAS president Cicerone’s few introductory comments at the briefing was a statement that the report addressed all the points that were listed in the statement of task. I think it quite telling that, despite this, Boehlert’s questions were not answered.

    The notion that the committee avoided getting into issues that were too big, as was indicated by the answer to NYT reporter’s question, seems unreasonable to me. The committee tackled the very big question of detection and attribution of climate change, and didn’t seem to mind presenting what I perceive as quite superficial treatment of these matters. For example, the report repeatedly claims that the late-20th century warming has a spatial cohesion that makes it unique compared to prior warming. I note that this claim seems silly even when considering just the early part of 20th century. Jones and Moberg [J. Climate 16:206, 2003] presented CRU surface temperature data gridmaps which identified the gridboxes which showed statistically significant warming trends for 1977-2001 and 1920-1944 periods. 18% of the grid boxes showed statistically significant trend in annual data during the 1920-44 period. This compares to 19% during the 1977-2001 period. I’m referring to Figures 7e and 8e in the paper, BTW.

  262. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 8:43 AM | Permalink

    RE: #206 – same problem in No Cal. We’ve had rotten springs the past few years. This year was the worst ever.

  263. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 8:45 AM | Permalink

    Re: 263 I have offered. Stuff has been simmering. Unfortunately not fully cooked yet. I don’t believe its a numbers game though, when I look at some of the IMHO better GW papers they hardly get cited at all.

  264. L Nettles
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 8:46 AM | Permalink

    My take on this.
    There is one “peer reviewed” published Global Warming study that has been audited.
    It flunked.
    Therefore the “peer review process” is insufficent to assure the study is useful or reliable.

    According to the NAS panel the failed study is supported by other “peer reviewed” but unaudited studies. Those studies may or may not pass an audit.

    Until those studies are audited I would consider them unreliable, (or as I’m tempted to say, inadmissible) since peer review is insufficient to assure accuracy.

  265. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

    For all the mathematical disputation we should remember that this controversy is a pre-quantitative argument. As such exhortations and imprecations are the order of the day.

    The question is quite simple really. It seems to be getting warmer. There are a number of candidate independent variables proposed to explain that trend, one of which is antropogenic CO2. So the question is a simple analysis of variance issue – what is the percent of explained variance from human CO2?

    If this were a truly quantitative argument someone would do a regression study and report the answer. But of course because of the nature of the problem no one can do such a study. That doesn’t keep people from acting as if they had done that study and know the results.

    Everyone who holds an opinion about antropogenic global warming is on very insecure ground. I have an opinion but I don’t take my opinion all that seriously. I don’t take the opinon of anybody very seriously. The more guarded and cautious the statements of the opinion holder, the higher my regard.

    The Electoral College is a force multiplier. Its supposed to magnify small differences so as to make results more clear cut. Al Gore and Rush Limbaugh are force multipliers too. They sieze on small tidbits of evidence and reach grand conclusions. Both are prompted by religion. Limbaugh says God won’t let us foul up the environment. Gore, the ex-divinity student, sees carbon emission as a kind of sin.

    This site is a refuge in a sea of quasi-religious irrationality. By following the global warming controversy I’m beginning to understand the Thirty Years War.

    ###

  266. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 9:06 AM | Permalink

    RE: #230 – Although I have indicated that I think this was a step forward for M&M, on the other hand, I am still concerned about the following harsh reality. Elsewhere I described train wreck products and projects that were willingly allowed out the door based on faulty or non existent science. Well, the train wreck of overreaction to climate variation is well out the door. The masses (and the governments who kowtow to them for votes) have adopted the same view as Al Gore. Carbon taxes, either direct, or indirect, are here and expanding. Absolute obsession with carbon budgets is starting to overrule other considerations. So, any thing that is done from here on out, will have to be repair to the damage, it is too late to prevent it. It will be a long slog to correct all the incorrect notions and after that, another long slog to undo all the harm. Worst case, it may actually take a major crisis of humanity (and I am not refering to the Day After Tomorrow version) to get us to the point where corrective action may commence.

  267. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

    RE: “By following the global warming controversy I’m beginning to understand the Thirty Years War.” LOL!!!

  268. John A
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 9:25 AM | Permalink

    I am inclined to think that the use of the word “plausible” is actually significant. Competing theories can each be plausible. They are, in effect, denying the existence of “consensus”.

    Plausible is not even the same thing as likely. It was plausible that Saddam had WMDs. It is plausible that string theory is correct. It might have been plausible from a week ago that the Czech Republic would make the knockout stages of the World Cup.

    Plausible connotes no certainty at all. It simply says that such a condition is possible with no good evidence either way. But this does not mean that you invest billions of dollars on a result that is plausible unless you are mad. People lose coin tosses 50% of the time.

    Without mere plausibility there is no need for the assertion of consensus in order to shutdown debate. You would have a preponderance of evidence that would stand regardless of prior beliefs. I would therefore expect that the assertion of consensus to become even more shrill as a result of this.

  269. John Hekman
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

    I read chapter 9 on statistical methods, and the “overview.” I am generally very upset with how weasally it is. I understand the comments here that they went as far as they could politically. But they have very little, if any, shame given what they knew when they wrote these things.

    On the plus side:

    –they say MBH were wrong to label the 1990s the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year of the millenium. This is progress.

    –The Little Ice Age and MWP are back, compared with the TAR in which they had been thrown out.

    On the negative side:

    –they lean heavily on the notion that current warming is more consistent than MWP, and thus today’s warming must be man-made. One point is that Antarctic ice cores don’t show MWP but Greenland ones do. I’m not familiar with how reliable this is.

    –they ignore all the studies that show MWP much warmer than at present. It seems that they have never heard of tree lines, glaciers that retreated further, etc.

    There was a lot of suppport at the technical level for MM. I suppose that we are going to see improvement in the science and a completely different reality in the media and political realm.

  270. TCO
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 9:45 AM | Permalink

    I think the most legalistic meaning of plausible is “not disproven, not something with bulk of evidence against it”. That is not the same as “likely”.

    JohnA: You should calm down. Steve is right here. Actually, I think he should spend even less time worrying about the kerfuffle in news and panels and such and more time driving things home in the journals. He is severely remiss in not doing so. I take his criticisms less seriously, given that they are not finished and he not bold enough to expose them to real debate by putting into the abstracted literature. Oh….and use a verb instead of an adjective. “My communication will suffer.”

  271. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 9:46 AM | Permalink

    Interesting:

    http://www.motherjones.com/news/qa/2005/05/michael_mann.html

    No preconceived agenda? If so, then competence must be strongly questioned. And if competence is not the problem?

  272. jae
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 9:50 AM | Permalink

    re 230. Very well-put, John A!

  273. TonyN
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 9:54 AM | Permalink

    Why did NAS discard words like robust, conclusive, reasonable, probable …. when describing the HC and use plausible instead? According to my Concise Oxford Dictionary this word means:

    1 (of an argument, statement, etc.) seeming reasonable or probable.
    2 (of a person) persuasive but deceptive.

    Perhaps if you take the two definitions together NAS have just about got it right.

  274. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 9:59 AM | Permalink

    Legates from U of Delaware:

    http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba/ba450/

    Nice one pager written for non academic audiences.

  275. JP
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

    I could be mistaken, but wasn’t the record temps for 1998 blamed on the intense ENSO Event that occured during 1997-1998? Many media accounts of the NAS Report still attribute the 1998 record heat to AGW. Is this just the case of sloppy reporting?

  276. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

    Yes, JP, it is. However, the heat that caused the rise still had to come from somewhere. I.e. either the sun increased its output, or there is considerable heat in the atmosphere that we are not already measuring. If the former is true, then more evidence for solar forcing. If the latter is true, then are we really measuring the “global” temperature with our current instrumental record?

    Mark

  277. jim waters
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 10:28 AM | Permalink

    The first period of the hockey game is over. The score is 2 to 1 in favor of MM over the hockey team. The refs & the crowd are for the hockey team. The refs only gave MM the goals they absolutely had to give them.
    The game is MM’s to win or loose. MM have to score many more goals and do even better in the next period. If MM let up they will loose. Skill at hockey is our side.

    GO TEAM GO!

  278. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    Dear Mark T,

    the heat or any other phenomenon that caused the 1998 El-Nino had to come from somewhere, but would you agree that it is obvious that this rapid increase of temperature could not be a consequence of a rapid human influence in 1998? Or did we triple CO2 between 1997 and 1998?

    In other words, what better evidence could you ever find than the evidence we have that shows that the El Nino including the 1998 is natural? (Incidentally, much like virtually everything else we observe in the climate.)

    Best
    Lubos

  279. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    RE 279, 282, etc (1998 temps):
    The AGW side says AGW is making El Nino’s more frequent and more severe, hence they give AGW a lot of the blame for 1998, both directly and indirectly.

  280. BKC
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

    Re #273

    –they lean heavily on the notion that current warming is more consistent than MWP, and thus today’s warming must be man-made. One point is that Antarctic ice cores don’t show MWP but Greenland ones do.

    Just out of curiousity, do Antarctic temperatures reflect the current warming?

  281. jae
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    For all its flaws, the NAS Report did a great deal to set the science straight. Any honest and serious scientist that reads it will understand the uncertainty that is expressed and the flaws in Mann’s work. Maybe that is why there are so few comments on RC; it may demonstrate that most of the people that frequent that site are rational, after all….

  282. jae
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

    re: 284. No, and I have not seen a reasonable explanation. I would not even be surprised if we are actually in a cooling mode and just don’t know it, because of all the UHI effects on the temperature measurements!

  283. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

    To Michael Jankowski #283: I understand that they blame everything on global warming, but is there any *evidence* of the human influence on the El Nino frequency?

  284. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

    Dear #284 BKC,

    according to the latest NAS report, there is no observed warming in Antarctica or Greenland in the last 1000 years. If you open the page

    http://darwin.nap.edu/books/0309102251/html/66.html

    the first graph is Greenland and the last one is Antarctica, and visually, there is no warming. The middle two pictures of Tibetan ice or Andean ice could be interpreted as warming signals – but don’t forget that these two ice bodies are virtually negligible compared to the previous ones.

    Best
    Lubos

  285. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 11:34 AM | Permalink

    Re#287 Lubos – Last time I was in a discussion about it, the links thrown at me about more frequent and/more stronger El Ninos were simply “theory” and/or “consistent with global warming theory.” I don’t recall seeing any evidence. But it’s been awhile (year?).

    RC recently had a discussion of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) in which now the popular trend seems to be dismissing the natural cycle as either a figment of imagination, real but insignificant, or a by-product of man’s activities. I would not be surprised at all if in the near future some begin to propose El Nino and many other supposedly natural phenomena are actually responses to human activities that wouldn’t otherwise occur.

  286. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

    RE: #288 – the recession of tropical glaciers may actual be a signal of a drying trend in those locales.

  287. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

    Hi #289, if you mean the RC discussion on Vecchi et al., this paper is most likely a nonsense without any statistical significant, once again, see

    http://www.tcsdaily.com/article.aspx?id=061906E

  288. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    Dear Steve Sadlov #290, drought sounds of course as a possible origin of such things, but from the viewpoint of the rational mood in climate science, it is equally explosive because global warming can easily transmute into global drought or a universal Sahara caused by SUVs. ;-) More generally, I would bet a lot of money that water and its dynamics – including phenomena that are not well understood – is more important than usually painted today. Best, Lubos

  289. JP
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

    Re 287. Michael, I usually go to NOAA’s ENSO web pages a few times a month. They have plenty of recent raw data detailing the ENSO events of the last 24 years. The frequency of El Nino hasn’t really picked up, and the 1997-98 Event was a record breaker. The 2004-2005 event was fairly normal. I was looking at the SOI graphs they have.

    I’m not sure why the RC folks are dismissing the MAO because of one Hurricane Season(the 2005 Hurricane Season). I suppose next year the North Atlantic Oscillation will be in thier gun sights.

  290. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

    The selection of series in Figure 6-2 is cute. In Antarctica, the dO18 series from Law Dome, which is illustrated in Figure 4 of Jones and Mann 2004 (of all unlikely places for a high MWP series), it has a very high MWP. The Taylor Dome series is a dD series, not a dO18. The impression of the Figure would change a lot with simply changing one series.

    The Thompson tropical ice core series from the Himalaya have one series with avery strong HS – Dasuopu, which was attributed to precipitation amount (even by Thompson). Note that they didn’t include the Kilimanjaro dO18 series in their tropical collation – or non-Thompson series.

    If we’re judging the body language of reaction to the NAS report by blog traffic, people here are animated, while the silence at RC etc. is deafening. It’s just body language, but it’s very loud.

  291. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

    I believe that this issue was raised once the composition of the NAS panel became known. If the panel had a real expert on statistics who would have looked more deeply into the methods, then it is plausible they could have issued a better crtique of the MBH methodology. The significant part is that they could find no fault with M&M.

  292. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 12:15 PM | Permalink

    If you do a Google search on “Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2000 Years” my blog comes up on the first page just ahead of ClimateAudit. I am not claiming its due to quality of content. Steve’s runs rings around me. Behold the power of tags.

  293. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    Queued for the censors at RC:

    “RE: #1 – Allow me to draw an analogy. Although I was trained in Earth Sciences, these days, I delve quite a bit into things like Statistical Process Control. So here is the question of the day. Imagine that I have a process that has been running for a really long time. I have some data, but not complete data, about its past performance. I have some idealized notions about how it ought to perform, but I cannot definitively tell you exactly how much variation is too much. The next best thing, then, would be to use the past data to attempt to come up with a figure for Cpk (process capability). Based on the fact the process has been running as long as it has, I can be reasonably confident that, assuming I can recover enough past data, excise biases and errors, and put it in order, then I can determine at least some initial control and specification limits. In this conception, then, the control limits would constitute sort of a red flag, and the specification limits a no go. Now, given this, the need to be very, very sure about what the innate, expected level of variation is is aparent. This is something I would need to be very agnostic about. The last thing I would want to do would be to set inappropriate control and spec limits. On the one hand, I would not want to overreact to every little wiggle, and on the other hand, I would not want to miss an opportunity to stop a problem. In this scenario, overreliance on any sort of precautionary principle might result in a situation where while I may be stopping problems, I also am never running the process and I would go out of business. At the other extreme, I would be getting sued left and right and spending more on product recalls than I was making. This is the essence of the climate science problem.
    by Steve Sadlov”

  294. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    Oh well the link didn’t work.

    John replies: it does now. Behold the power of proper tagging! Mwahahahaha!

  295. John A
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

    We’ve had this from TCO:

    JohnA: You should calm down. Steve is right here. Actually, I think he should spend even less time worrying about the kerfuffle in news and panels and such and more time driving things home in the journals. He is severely remiss in not doing so. I take his criticisms less seriously, given that they are not finished and he not bold enough to expose them to real debate by putting into the abstracted literature. Oh….and use a verb instead of an adjective. “My communication will suffer.”

    and we already had this from John Hunter:

    Don’t you think that, in politically-sensitive issues such as this, it is good to have all these facts on the table?

    and I have had to see the doctor about my eyeballs rotating rapidly about a horizontal axis in my eyesockets. Enough already!

  296. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

    Re291: I was referring to this. You’d have to dig through the posts and maybe click on a few links to find some of the stuff I mentioned. RC’s article is just mostly a "we’re open minded and they aren’t" kind of thing. Interestingly, while looking around on that thread and reading about the AMO, I came across articles crediting Mann for helping to discover the AMO, then articles claiming he has since said it doesn’t exist (I believe he has a remark in one of the posts saying the latter is false).

    Re293: You’re forgetting the new AGW catch-phrase: maybe the frequency/magnitude change is "in the pipeline."

  297. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

    LOL #299. and too, said from someone who has “behave” in his very own topic discription. And another who can’t… …well never mind.

    From my perspective, that of a mom with some wits about her I think; this isn’t about who wins and who doesn’t in this issue. It’s about truthful pure information given out to us to work with, plan with, and manifest what’s best for everyone’s highest good.

    I do think the RC types are on an authority kick and it’s been a hijack of the information all along. You know what I dislike the most? The way they talk to my my kids about the future. It made me mad no matter who was right. I even had a teacher hand my daughter a news article from the LA times about GW as “information she should read”. Can you imagine what it said?

    I don’t know about you guys, but I never tell my children things like the future looks bleak, or “this movie will scare you and it’s true” , or there’s nothing we can’t face, figure or or get through.

    Hello! We should be rejoicing in the fact that the future just might not be so bad.
    Sheesh.

  298. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

    Dear #297 Steve Sadlov,

    congratulations that your sophisticated gedanken experiment – that I don’t fully understand, to be honest :-) – was published on RealClimate. I think that both of us know that the only reason is that they currently feel that the negligible discussion traffic on their website, compared to this website (smaller by 1 order of magnitude), is sort of painful so that they approve messages like yours that would normally be erased. ;-)

    Best
    Lubos

  299. jae
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

    #301: Have you read the Skeptical Environmentalist? It is full of hope (and I believe pretty much on target).

  300. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    Lubos,

    but would you agree that it is obvious that this rapid increase of temperature could not be a consequence of a rapid human influence in 1998?

    Yes, I agree. I think that was my point, actually. The attribution of human forcing instead of solar forcing forces reconciliation with 1998, IMO. Often, when I’ve seen “trends” applied to recent past climate, it seems that 1998 is thrown out as “anomalous” and the explanation is that El Nino caused it. Unfortunately, El Nino did not cause the heat build up, it only concentrated what was already there, or it was a result of solar forcing, IMO again. Either case causes concern for a belief in claiming this century is statistically “abnormal”.

    Mark

  301. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

    It’s just body language, but it’s very loud.

    I think the less politically correct term would be “hand waving.” :)

    Steve Milloy linked to this discussion over at JunkScience (well, his site did). They also followed up on the media spin surrounding the report. It seems the defenders of the faith (journalists) are mixing panelist comments with report material and making broad claims about report that just aren’t in there.

    Mark

  302. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    Dear Mark T. #304,

    the El-Nino peak is being used in both directions by the proponents of the catastrophic global warming. Shortly after 1998, it was used as evidence that things are really hot mostly (indirectly?) because of the humans and they are serious, and for Mann, the peak helped to argue that 1998 was the hottest year in the millenium – which the NAS panel now disapproved – and the decade was the hottest decade – which is also described as unjustified by the NAS. All of these things were trying to find an anthropogenic link behind 1998.

    Now, when we are 8 years away from 1998 and temperatures don’t seem to satisfy the expected upbeat trends or at least beat 1998, we suddenly start to hear that 1998 was not such a hot year, and if it were, it was because of natural factors, and it is suddenly important to attribute 1998 to natural factors and subtract these factors, to see that we are “in reality” still getting hotter, even after 1998, even though no year afterwards was measurably warmer.

    This strategy works because many people who read these testimonies are really dumb, but I wonder what the strategy will be once the temperatures start to decrease as much as they were increasing recently. I think that when it happens, they will have to make a phase transition and replace catastrophic global warming by a new ice age again.

    All the best
    Lubos

  303. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    #303 Yes, I think I have.. That’s good–hope is good. Thank you!

    I don’t know, my husband IS and environmental scientist, and he’s worked with hundreds of others, talked to many and none so far buy into any of this. He even read the first IPCC report in school; they skimmed through it and deemed it mostly political if anything, but something to keep an eye on. (A California State University -not known for being “conservative” if I have to use labels to explain my point)

    I guess we’ve watched this whole thing evolve into the monster that it is/was.
    LOL

  304. John A
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

    The BBC went for the maximum spin option, but still gave time to mention some of Steve’s points, and even a link to this weblog.

  305. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    the El-Nino peak is being used in both directions by the proponents of the catastrophic global warming.

    Yes, I realize that. It is at the very heart of the bad methodologies in practice today, I think. Spin the evidence until it fits your theory. Rather than re-hypothesize, of course.

    The only way the nonsense will be put to rest is if the claims for a pending drop in temps due to decreased solar activity come to pass. It is supposed to be right around the corner (like, within a decade), so hopefully science can prevail long enough for us to see the truth.

    Mark

  306. Pat Frank
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

    #306 “This strategy works because many people who read these testimonies are really dumb,…

    Luboà…⟬ I don’t think people are so dumb, but rather the situation is the result of a two-fold confluence. First, most people haven’t the training or time to properly investigate the science of climate. Second, and more important, is that science has operated on the basis of trust. When knowledge is lacking and trust is betrayed, the result is a deceived audience.

    Workers in science trust other scientists to have done their work with competence and professional integrity. Progress in science depends on the trust being warranted. We can’t check and re-check every little thing. Everyone knows that science operates on trust, and so people think that the comments of scientists are trustworthy.

    So, it’s a combination of ignorance of details plus trust in scientists that has produced the AGW scare. I think Mann and Hansen and others have betrayed and abused the trust granted to scientists by speaking to science as politicians. I now think, further, that Mann actually corrupted his science with his political outlook — something I don’t think even Hansen has done. Whether Mann did that deliberately or not is the big question for us all, especially those of us who are scientists. Unfortunately, Mann’s obstructionism since being audited by the 2M’s — Steve and Ross — is not the behavior of someone who is convinced of the integrity of his data and methods.

  307. Lee
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

    re 306:

    Lubos – bullpucky.

    “and for Mann, the peak helped to argue that 1998 was the hottest year in the millenium – which the NAS panel now disapproved – and the decade was the hottest decade – which is also described as unjustified by the NAS.”

    No. I’m still digging through it, slowly with a sudden surge in workload. But what Ive seen they dont say that it is disproven that 1998 was the hottest year; they say there isnt adequate suport for the millenial claim, which means not that the year is proven not the hottest, but that we don’t know. Perhaps you meant that the specific claim is disproven, not that the fact itself was disproven, but it matters here. They do support the claim, from what I’ve seen, that it was the hottest year and decade in centuries. And it was clearly abberant in terms of recent years, and much hotter than preceding El Nino years. You need to be careful of reverse spin.

    “Now, when we are 8 years away from 1998 and temperatures don’t seem to satisfy the expected upbeat trends or at least beat 1998, we suddenly start to hear that 1998 was not such a hot year,”
    Uhhh., no. People I’m reading are pointing out that 1998 was abberantly hot in the context of the years preceding it, and at least in century terms, so the fact that it was followed by several years that were not as hot is NOT evidence that things are cooling overall. In fact, we are continuiig an overall up trend, which brings us now to several yaars in a row in which 1998 is NOT aberantly hot, which are clearly hotter than the average of theyears around 1998, and with one year perhaps hotter, but clearly very close to as hot as 1998. In other words, an ongoing upwards trend, with a spike in 1998. Pointing out that an upward trend followed byoen very hot year followed by more upward trend is actually an upward trend, is NOT denying that 1998 was hot. No one is expecting a perfectly monotonic upwards trend, except perhaps a few denialists who hypothesize a monotonic trend so they can use it as a straw man.

    “and if it were, it was because of natural factors, and it is suddenly important to attribute 1998 to natural factors and subtract these factors, to see that we are “in reality” still getting hotter, even after 1998, even though no year afterwards was measurably warmer.”
    Lubos, you know better than to base trend arguments on a selected short piece of the data, starting with the highest-observed datum, ESPECIALLY when there is a lot of data preceding that point. So why are you doing it? And you know better than to indulge in arguments of the form “See, other variables cause variability, so CO2 can’t be driving a trend.” So why are you doin it?

    “This strategy works because many people who read these testimonies are really dumb”
    Dumb anough to buy a trend analyis fit to a carefully cherry-picked period starting from the highest observed single datum? OPr to biuy that short-term observed variablity due to other short-term factors such as El Nino, are evidence that there is no long-term trend driven by long-term changes in CO2?

  308. Lee
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

    re 299:

    Are you spinning in an open or a closed system, John?

  309. jae
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

    311: Yeah, Lee, we are still coming out of the LIA, remember?

  310. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    Pat, based on Lubos’ posting style and general comments, I think his comment was meant more as “ignorant of science” and not so much “just plain stupid.” Of course, when trained, and otherwise intellectual, individuals put their beliefs ahead of their own ability to properly analyze, they cross the line.

    So why are you doing it?

    He’s not. The whole point of the discussion was noting that the earth’s climate behaves chaotically on it’s own.

    Mark

  311. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

    Lubos – firstly to answer an earlier question, no I am not a pilot – I was along for the ride.

    Thanks for the note about getting that SPC stuff on RC.
    :)

  312. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    Dear Pat Frank #310,

    I agree with your description of the situation. Trust in the scientific community is important for the co-existence of science and the rest of the society. I hope that at least the NAS members belong to the group that should mostly be trusted by the laymen – more than the journalists should be trusted. ;-)

    While I agree that we can’t check every little thing, I think that this ideal situation should be close to the truth for the real experts. I can’t imagine to call someone an expert in a given specialization if he or she has not checked a majority of the things that he or she relies on. Steve McIntyre is not a typical professional in this field, but he has checked virtually everything he has ever talked about.

    Dear Lee #311,

    I don’t exactly know what you are intending to do with your excessive spin. I just wrote a completely obvious fact that the NAS panel has disapproved the scientific conclusion that 1998 was the hottest year in the millenium and the 1990s were the hottest decade. Instead, they say that the answer is uncertain and Mann’s answer is just “plausible”.

    You have either no idea about the content of the report, or you are trying to play an impossible game because everyone can easily check that I am right and you are wrong. In the audio of the press conference

    http://video.nationalacademies.org/ramgen/news/isbn/0309102561.rm

    you can go to 46:30 where they say that the “hottest 1998″ and “hottest 1990s” is completely uncertain – “we don’t know whether it is true or not” – according to the NAS assessment.

    If you really need it, I can also give you the coordinates how to find the same statement in the written report. At any rate, this attempt of yours to spin is something that can’t lead anywhere because a reader of these pages needs 2clicks (link, and rewind of realplayer) to see that your assertions are not true.

    Your further confusing comments about the 1998 El Nino just strengthen our statements about the way how these hypotheses and the attributions are being spinned in all possible directions.

    Best
    Lubos

  313. Terry
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 2:44 PM | Permalink

    Back in May, Gavin made the following comment over at RC.

    [Response: We have stressed repeatedly that single scientists and single papers are not the things that the public or policy-makers should be paying much attention to. Instead, they should pay attention to the consensus summaries such as are produced by the National Academies or the IPCC where all of the science can be assimilated and put in context. In such summaries, it is very clear what everyone agrees on (gravity, the human created rise in CO2, the physics of the greenhouse effect, conservation of energy etc.), what still remains uncertain (aerosols etc.) and what implications these uncertainties may have. - gavin]

    This will be quite helpful in resolving many points in this debate. After all, Gavin and RealClimate agree that all the points in the report which confirm your criticisms are now the concensus.

    You might want to write a little macro that says “As Gavin at RealClimate has explained, the public should be paying attention to the consensus summaries such as the recent NAS report where it is very clear that everyone agrees that [insert section from NAS report such as 'bristlcones should not be relied on,' or 'it is incorrect to use standard errors calculated from the calibration period,' or 'there is a 33% chance that current temperatures are not historically exceptional,' or 'very little confidence can be placed in statements about average global surface temperatures prior to A.D. 900,' ...]”

    Also, it would be nice to have a tidy list of about twenty points the NAS report makes that could be used to correct people who are unaware of the current state of the consensus.

  314. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 2:48 PM | Permalink

    Dear Mark T. #314 (100 pi),

    yes, I meant “ignorant of the scientific method”, not “plain stupid”. Thanks for your clarification :-).

    For Lee #311, again – if you don’t like Real Audio: Open the page 4 of the general report

    http://darwin.nap.edu/openbook/0309102251/html/4.html

    where they say “even less confidence may be placed on the statements about the hottest 1998 and the 1990s”. Less confidence than what? Less than the general medium-term-averaged reconstructions before 1600 that were just “plausible”, which means 66% confidence level if you need to hear a number. So the probability that Mann’s et al. statement about the “hottest 1998 in 1000 years” is correct is something like 50% or less, according to the NAS. Clear?

    All the best
    Lubos

  315. Lee
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

    re 318:
    Lubos. This is “disproven?”

    Again, if all you mean is that they say that Mann’s work doesn’t answer the question, good enough. Say that. The way you originally wrote it, you were perilously close to saying they have proven that 1998 was NOT the hottest year, which is a much different statement.

    My other criticisms still stand.

  316. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

    Re#311, Lee:

    No. I’m still digging through it, slowly with a sudden surge in workload. But what Ive seen they dont say that it is disproven that 1998 was the hottest year

    Mann had only said it was “likely” the hottest year, which in accordance with IPCC verbage correlates with 66-90%. The NAS report on page 4 says, “Even less confidence can be placed in the original conclusions by Mann et al. (1999) that ‘the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millenium.’”
    So they’re not saying, “No way was ’98 the hottest year,” but they are certainly saying, “We’re not sure ’98 was ‘likely’ the hottest year.” So the assertion of ’98 being the hottest year becomes a very questionable assertion.

  317. Lee
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

    Sure, they say essentially that on a millenial sscale, we dont have the answer. Fine. If that’s all Lubos was saying (in taht first of my criticisms) then good enough. It read differently to me, but I’ll admit I could ahe misread that; I’m not perfect all the time, just most of the time.

  318. Dane Robinson
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

    Re- #311 Lee,

    Here is where the Geologists have a problem with all this “you know better than to base trend arguments on a selected short piece of the data, ”

    The entire climate debate is over a selected short piece(s) of data. There is nowehere near enough time in a decade or century or millenia to really say anything about the way the earths climate is behaving. The 400 years since 1600 is way to short, as is the last 2000 years as MSNBC is reporing.

    Now when you get a few hundred thousand to a few million years of data, you might have something I can believe in. But such short time intervals dealing with a chaotic system? I don’t think anybody can really say anything meaningful about any of it..

  319. Lee
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

    DAne, two points.

    One using eth data yo have, while it may be problematic in being too short for thanalysis yo uwant, is an entirely different issue from selecting a starting point out of a longer piece of data, and in essense creating an artificial starting point the great uncertainty asociated with the end of a series, because that particular datum as a starting point gives you the result you want.

    Second, we do have over 600,000 years of data. Data which tracks glacials and interglacials as determined by other means, and so must be at least qualitatively, and at least roughly quantitatively correct, even if that were the only evidence we had.

  320. Terry
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

    I have to agree with Eduardo about the NAS report. It is the most damning indictment of Mann that could have realistically been expected.

    You have to remember that it would be unthinkable that a large group of academics would actually come out and overtly declare the hockey stick to be wrong. You simply don’t do that sort of thing in academia — and not because of any conspiracy either, but because academics naturally accord each other a high degree of deference. (It should also be noticed that they accorded M&M a high degree of deference as well — I couldn’t find any criticisms of M&M’s work, and much implicit endorsement.)

    Instead, they adopt a tone very friendly to the hockey team (sort of a head-fake), but their wording, when read carefully and without spin are faint praise indeed.

    At its most Mann-friendly, the committe said:

    There is sufficient evidence from tree rings, boreholes, retreating glaciers, and other “proxies” of past surface temperatures to say with a high level of confidence that the last few decades of the 20th century were warmer than any comparable period in the last 400 years, according to a new report from the National Research Council. Less confidence can be placed in proxy-based reconstructions of surface temperatures for A.D. 900 to 1600, said the committee that wrote the report, although the available proxy evidence does indicate that many locations were warmer during the past 25 years than during any other 25-year period since 900. Very little confidence can be placed in statements about average global surface temperatures prior to A.D. 900 because the proxy data for that time frame are sparse, the committee added.

    So,

    (1) Temperatures today are warmer than during the cold period that ended recently (almost a tautology). When you want to be polite in delivering bad news, you start off by saying something upbeat. It is quite revealing that to say something supportive they had to emphasize a conclusion about something I didn’t even know was in dispute (Of course it is warmer than it was during the LIA! If we take as a given that temperatures have risen recently, then it is tautological that it is warmer now than it has been for some period of time! This is logically equivalent to saying it is warmer today than it has been since the last time it was this warm.)

    (2) The committee is “less confident” about temperatures reconstructions around 1000 years ago — a very polite way of saying the evidence is not very strong — and when pressed give 2:1 odds of current temperatures being warmer than 1,000 years ago. This is the head fake — while sounding supportive of Mann, it is actually saying that the evidence is so weak that there is a 33% chance that current temperatures are not at all unusual. The committee’s use of the word “plausible” is also very deft — it very deftly conveys the notion that they don’t think Mann’s conclusions are ridiculous (faint praise indeed), but Mann’s conclusions are not very compelling.

    (3) Reconstructions prior to 900 AD are garbage (which completely trashes Mann’s paper which extended the proxy studies to 2,000 years into the past if I remember correctly.)

    Plus, as Steve has already noted, the committe basically confirms many of the M&M criticisms. So now, those criticisms are the consensus. We can now move on to seeing how correction of Mann’s mistakes affects his results.

  321. Dane Robinson
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 3:39 PM | Permalink

    # 323, Re Lee,

    Again you seem to miss the piont. Unlike many in this debate I have actually been to some of the field sites described herein. The dating resolution going back 600K is not very good when trying to discuss this particular issue. Its like saying 10 years ago, plus or minus 5. I am quite familar with both the eastern sierra nevadas and the northern california coastline (other areas as well), both places play a role in this debate due to the preservation of morraines and uplifted coastal terraces, both of which give a good record of past climate and glacial-interglacial events.

    The 600K of data from ice-cores simply doesn’t show AGW. Glaciers come and glaciers go. They can be formed in only 50ft of snow, which in the Sierra’s can happen in a couple of seasons. I also have trouble with the way the ice core data is looked upon as almost perfect, when it clearly has flaws. Dating precision, the recrystallization of the snow due to high pressures, the possibility of time being lost through undetectable melting on the glacial surface in the past. Too much to go into here.

    The point is the current level of precision is not good enough for long enough to say anything, and the farther back in time one goes, the worse it gets.

  322. Terry
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

    The Wall Street Journal has an article that has a startlingly accurate summary of the results of the study. Nice picture of Steve M. too.

    Panel Study Fails
    To Settle Debate
    On Past Climates

    By ANTONIO REGALADO
    June 23, 2006; Page B2

    An expert panel called on to resolve a politically charged scientific debate said that the key conclusion of a widely cited study of past temperatures is “plausible” but not proved.

    The report by the 12-member committee of the National Research Council was prepared after a political fight broke out over the “hockey stick,” a reconstruction of past temperatures from tree rings, buried ice and other records.

    Far from resolving the debate, the panel’s findings yesterday drew widely different reactions among climate experts and on Capitol Hill, where the hockey-stick graphic has long been a lightning rod in the debate over global warming.

    The graphic, created in 1998 by climatologist Michael E. Mann and colleagues, gets its name from the rapid, blade-like rise of recent temperatures compared with past centuries. The hockey stick became a prominent scientific symbol after it appeared in an influential 2001 United Nations report. Citing the work of Dr. Mann and others, the U.N. concluded there was a 60% to 90% chance that temperatures in the 1990s had been the warmest since 1000, and that 1998 was the warmest single year.

    Panel chairman Gerald R. North, a climatologist at Texas A&M University, said his committee’s findings couldn’t support that claim. Dr. North said the limited data available on ancient climate means that scientists can say with high confidence only that the “last few decades” of the 20th century were the warmest period in the past 400 years, and with “less confidence” that they were the warmest in the past 900 years.

    Skeptics of global warming yesterday embraced the panel’s findings. Sen. James Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican who has called global warming a “hoax” and is opposed to limits on greenhouse gases, said in a written statement that the report proved “the hockey stick is broken.”

    However, the study also noted that there was very little evidence to suggest that Dr. Mann’s claim wasn’t correct, leading others to take an opposite view. Roger Pielke Jr., head of the University of Colorado’s Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, called the study a “near-complete vindication” of Dr. Mann’s work and reputation.

    Thermometer measurements have shown a more than one-degree rise in temperature over the past century, and the rise has been linked by other research to man-made greenhouse gases, primarily the carbon dioxide produced by burning coal or gasoline.

    Scientists predict the planet will warm between two and more than 10 degrees more this century, a development that many fear will prove disastrous.

    Some skeptics think the danger of global warming is overstated. The hockey stick became a special focus of criticism after an amateur Canadian mathematician and petroleum consultant, Stephen McIntyre, published articles charging serious flaws in the work.

    Texas Rep. Joe Barton, the Republican head of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, launched a probe of the hockey stick last July. That probe is continuing, according to the committee.

    Mr. Barton’s investigation drew criticism from scientific groups, as well as fellow Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R., N.Y.), who called on the National Research Council, a private, nonpartisan advisory group, to carry out the study published yesterday.

    Mr. Boehlert said the report shows scientists still have work to do understanding ancient temperatures. “Congress ought to let them go about that work without political interference,” he said in a prepared statement.

  323. Tim Ball
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

    I’ll ask again. Did NAS order, (request) that Mann release the codes and all relevant information. If he had released it in the first place Steve M would not have pursued the issue with the tenacity (thank goodness) that he has. He would have dealt with it in a normal scientific discourse. Indeed, it is likely no NAS investigation would have occurred. As we know from Watergate and other instances it is the coverup that causes the problems. All the discussion about who won or lost or what was said or meant resolves nothing about climate change. Tree rings are one very unreliable source of data and yet because of Mann it has distracted from all the other compelling evidence for an MWP, an LIA and the lack of any evidence connecting CO2, human or otherwise, with the temperature changes of any period of time except in the surreal artificial world of the GCMs.
    As long as Mann does not disclose the information then he has successfully distracted almost everyone away from the inadequacies of the models including the lack of data for their construct, the lack of knowledge of mechanisms and feedbacks on which they are supposedly based. I suspect the silence at Realclimate (RC, or is that the other religion?) is because they are letting the media triumphs play out while they construct their usual non-answers. These are constructed not to convince skeptics but are all directed at the media and thence to the public and by return reaction to the politicians. I found years ago you will never get anywhere with the science issues – a majority of the public (80%) are almost proud to be confounded by science and therefore the political battle is lost before you even begin. Waste of taxpayers money because you won’t release what they paid you to find out; now that may get their attention.

  324. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

    RE: #325 – “They can be formed in only 50ft of snow, which in the Sierra’s can happen in a couple of seasons.”

    Yes indeed. In some of the cirques I’ve spent time in, this is very easy to imagine. Not if, but when it happens next time, I think the results are going to shock a good many people. Hopefully we’ll still have the technology to let the world see it without having to pay a direct visit. And when it happens next time, all doubt regarding the possibility that there were ice free alpine areas during the MWP, which subsenquently became glaciated during the LIA, ought to be once and for all put to rest by direct instrumented observations.

  325. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 4:35 PM | Permalink

    Another submital to RC – this one in response to an inserted raypierre comment – his comment was along the lines of “divide of the earth’s surface into 20 square foot squares, assume that in each square, a lightbulb is turned on” etc:

    “RE: #15 – Raypierre’s comments – That’s an interesting way to look at it. I thought that the running theory was that the increase in effective thermal resistance due to CO2 is affecting how energy dissipates. And as claimed by many, the main source of that energy is the reradiation of energy from the sun. So, the lightbulb increment idea does not seem to really be analogous. Am I missing something here? I sure hope that this is not how you are setting up your climate model, by imparting an equal distribution of new energy sources. Please tell me it’s not so!
    by Steve Sadlov”

  326. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

    Dear Lee #319,

    you should not get overly excited ;-) because I have not used the word “disproven”. I wrote that the NAS panel has disapproved the scientific conclusion of MBH that 1998 was the hottest year in the millenium etc., replacing it by the statement that we simply don’t know whether it is true or not – and I gave you a lot of evidence showing that I am right and you are wrong. It’s just like before MBH98 when we also did not know whether it was true or not. It is OK to hypothesize that 1998 was the hottest year, but we can’t place any confidence on it.

    Thanks, Michael #320, for helping me to explain the subtleties of these fine assertions about the confidence level. ;-)

    Terry #324 – what you describe as a kind of “natural harmony” between the academics is something that I describe as another kind of scientific dishonesty, albeit an understandable kind. If an honest scientist knows that statements XY are wrong, he or she should say it or write it in her publications, instead of spinning it and obscuring it. Of course, I am plausibly happy that the panel has said these things about the validity of MBH at least in effect, but I still think that the scientists should try to provide the information in such a way that it is hard to misinterpret it.

    In some sense, they should have offered a list of legitimate headlines for the newspapers, otherwise the journalists’ bias of the kind “New study [sic] confirms we have the highest fever in 2000 [sic] years” is partially the panel’s fault.

    All the best
    Lubos

  327. Terry
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 4:52 PM | Permalink

    Steve:

    Congratulations are in order. The consensus now is that your criticisms are valid and that Mann’s work contains numerous shortcomings. This report clearly puts you in the mainstream of climate scientists. In fact, according to Gavin, it establishes your criticisms as the new consensus.

    Now, on to writing peer-reviewed articles. How about one about implementing the new consensus about what methodological improvements are necessary in the Mann methodology.

    Start with his confidence intervals. The consensus is that Mann calculated them incorrectly. What do you get when you calculate them correctly? How does that change his results? Does it generate any implications about the ability of the Mannian method to come to any conclusion at all? As the confidence intervals become wider, doesn’t imply at some point that the method cannot produce any results at all? Its the consensus! Follow up on it.

    The consensus is that bristlecones should not be relied on. Well, what happens when bristlecones are systematically removed from all those studies? What happens to the confidence intervals and the ability to draw any conclusions? Can it be shown that the Mannian techniques have no power in comparing current temperatures to past temperatures? (This is your real objective, an affirmative statement about the POWER of the Mannian techniques. Pointing out errors in their technique just shows they haven’t proven their case. To turn this into an affirmative statement, you need to say something about the power of their technique, something along the lines of “the Mannian technique is able to detect temperature differential of only 4 degrees celsius or more) — and the affirmative statement is that the technique has no power. This way, you get around the criticism that you are just finding fault with other work — instead you are moving the field forward by affirmatively exploring the parameters of the extant techniques.)

    Does removing bristlecones reverse Mann’s conclusion regarding current temperatures being historically high? If so, then the new consensus is that it is plausible that current temperatures are not historically unusual.

    Let RC and other well-funded contrarians snipe at the consensus! Real mainstream climate scientists (such as yourself) have moved on from such petty attempts to deny the consensus about the weaknesses in the Mannian technique and are busy exploring the implications of the new consensus!

    What happens to the confidence intervals when the bristlecones are removed? Do they go from the floor to the ceiling? If so, there must be some way to affirmatively state that this renders the Mannian results impotent.

    While stated rather facetiously above, it is an important point that you can gain more traction by stating your results positively rather than negatively. “In this paper, we estimate the power of the Mannian PC method to detect differential of current temperatures from historical temparatures. We find that the Mannian PC technique is able to reliably distinguish temparature differential of only 4 to 8 degrees celsius.” Along this line, take to heart the Wall Stree Journal’s comment that “However, the study also noted that there was very little evidence to suggest that Dr. Mann’s claim wasn’t correct.” You need a model to beat a model.

    DO IT DAMMIT! If I had any spare time, I would co-author the articles myself.

  328. John A
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 4:52 PM | Permalink

    Roger Pielke Jr., head of the University of Colorado’s Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, called the study a “near-complete vindication” of Dr. Mann’s work and reputation.

    Time to Rog which planet he’s on.

  329. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

    #326. I just bought a WSJ. Regalado is about the only reporter on this particular beat whose take on a situation is impossible to predict in advance (and therefore the most interesting.). I didn’t see a picture. Did you have an online article (if so, could you email me a copy?) Thx.  

  330. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 5:04 PM | Permalink

    Dear Terry #331,

    you might think that you are joking but I actually think you might be right. The panel tried to be very nice but because they have actually analyzed all the errors and included all the basic critical observations of M&M and perhaps some additional ones, and because their review is available and because the authors are chosen from the elite, I guess that in the medium and longer timeframe, it will become impossible for activists/scientists to continue with their comments that all of their strange ideas are unchallenged – or only challenged by folks paid by ExxonMobil. ;-) And the findings, including the M&M criticisms, will become a part of the consensus. In some sense, I tend to be optimistic that the situation in the climate reconstruction field is going to get better. There are other fields in the climate science – and beyond – where something like that could be useful. The NAS guys are like very decent and slightly confused parents, but they still slap Mann’s head. When we summarize it, it was probably a good idea from Lincoln or whoever did it to establish the NAS, wasn’t it?

    All the best
    Lubos

  331. John G. Bell
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 5:05 PM | Permalink

    Re #332, Right. What an odd thing for him to say. It is enough to strike him off the list of rational people.

  332. Bruce
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 5:22 PM | Permalink

    Re #331: I agree that “someone” should write a serious paper for the scientific journals on this whole episode.

    However, I think that there might be merit in taking a higher level overview of the whole Hockey Stick episode, how “science” appears to have been co-opted by those with an Agenda to support a political position, how the papers confounding previous work were uncritically “peer reviewed”, how successive papers built on this house of cards edifice, each relying on the fact that previous bad science had been endorsed as “peer reviewed”. How when questioned, the proponents refused to release data and methods, causing the questioners to delve far more deeply than they otherwise might, finding, in the process that much is wrong, and demonstrating in detail why that is so. The paper too could address the intriguing role of blogs in this unfolding story. The relentless persistence of CA. The continual calumny of RC. The issues faced by the NAS Panel when they are asked to referee.

    This issue is really important, and an object lesson to those aspiring to a career in science in what not to do. We are especially dependent on good science that we can trust, that is openly disclosed as to the detail of methods and data, that can be reviewed and replicated by other scientistes. This is especially true in areas such as Climate where there are clearly billions of dollars of taxpayers money involved, and where the tabloid end of the press are keen to promote scaremongering stories.

    I am waiting for similar levels of scrutiny to be applied to other areas of climate science. It seems to me that Phil Jones and his cohorts have so far gotten away with demonstrably suspect practice. “We won’t release our data and methods to you. We have adjusted for changes in the portfolio of temperature stations, and urban heat island effects, but we won’t give you any of the details regarding that work. Trust us.” And they publish scary charts showing temperatures rocketing up to the right, all based on what? Trust us indeed!

    We need organisations like the CSIRO in Australia to take the lead in evaluating the science and guiding us the public as to whether we can rely on the claims made by these advocates for AGW or not.

    The big story here lies in the higher level issues, and writers of papers on the Hockeystick debacle must be careful not to be drawn into the trap of arguing at too fine a level of detail. Instead, focus on the big themes, using the many examples as just that.

  333. jae
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 5:25 PM | Permalink

    Wow, I can’t believe Pielke said that. He’s usually got a pretty rational perspective on this stuff.

  334. jae
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 5:30 PM | Permalink

    336. Agreed. And add a discussion of “proof by scientific consensus.”

  335. Steve Bloom
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 5:35 PM | Permalink

    Re #331: Enjoy your fantasy, but do try not to foam at the mouth (notwithstanding John A.’s fine example).

    I am certainly no expert on how the editors of journals behave, but my strong expectation is that in the aftermath of the NAS report there will be very little interest in additional rehashing of MBH98.

  336. StuartR
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 5:36 PM | Permalink

    well done, I love ya Steve Mc.

  337. Pat Frank
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 5:57 PM | Permalink

    #339 — You’ve just lost all your data, Steve B. Now all you’ve got is theory: GCMs that are too coarse by 2-3 orders of magnitude to resolve the effect you have claimed is all but proven. Here’s what I suggest: Get involved in cleaning up mine-tailings and rustle up some support for a rational turn to nuclear power. On doing so, you’ll actually be doing something positive for the environment. And that’s what you’re all about, isn’t it?

  338. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 5:58 PM | Permalink

    Re: #339,

    Well enjoy your fantasy that the NAS report only applies to MBH98. It’s actually harder on MBH99 and basically any multiproxy study that relied on Bristlecones which means practically all of them.

  339. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:14 PM | Permalink

    Hi Dave #342 and others,

    I kind of like how these alliances between each of the “two camps” on one side and the “scientific authorities” on the other side are getting twisted and reshuffled. For me, the climate science has always been an anomaly because the side that seems to have generated questionable and wrong conclusions via suspicious methods was the “establishment” for a long time.

    That’s strange (or a fluctuation) because I generally believe that the market of ideas and their competition should lead to a better outcome, and this hope seems to be the case in the fields I am familiar with – where it is easy to see why the “experts” are correct and the outsiders and “cranks” (those who don’t like relativity, for example) are not.

    After this NAS panel’s report, things might be getting back to the normal, and crackpots with a confused understanding of many important things and with a politicized approach – such as #339 – will eventually be recognized officially as crackpots who just don’t like the conclusions produced by careful scientists – a group that can plausibly include the NAS panel members.

    Dear #339, this story has certainly revived the interest in the hockey stick debate and has shown that its criticism was legitimate and even true, and a significant part of the MBH conclusions (and maybe their majority) are scientifically undefendable. Surely, most people will try to be more careful about other questions, too, and the religious pseudoscientists who would prefer to replace careful science by their “consensus” (and burning at stake of those who disagree) will be losing influence. I guess that you might be afraid that I am talking about you, too? We report, you decide. ;-)

    All the best
    Lubos

  340. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

    MSNBC cable news is going to have Al Gore on after the break right now.

    because “Findings support his movie”

    I can’t watch. It’ll send me over the edge. LOL

  341. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:29 PM | Permalink

    Benny Peiser has made a cute joke: what do you get if you shorten a hockey stick by 60%? A boomerang. ;-)

    In fact, Moberg already claimed previously that the hockey stick should be a boomerang

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg18524880.200.html

    Dear #344 Welikerocks, if you want to see a shortened version of al-Gore’s speech, it is here:

    http://schwinger.harvard.edu/~motl/al-gore-speech.gif

  342. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:30 PM | Permalink

    OMG, they are reporting exactly the opposite.

    “The “hockey stick was challenged and confirmed accurate”

    Keith Obermen, reporting.

    Sheesh

  343. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:32 PM | Permalink

    Al Gore just said “Anybody who doesn’t believe in GW Theory belong to the Flat Earth Society, and we are out of line” “Don’t believe in Moon Landings”…

  344. StuartR
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:34 PM | Permalink

    How long does anyone think it will take before the bright reporters start getting interested in this development?

  345. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:35 PM | Permalink

    this new report apparently validates Al Gore he says.

    He just said this:

    “The two scientists in Canada are oil company stooges” “And funded by polluters”..

    sick horrible man! This is really bad.

    He just refuted some scientist from Finnland about glaciers, called him basically a hack.

  346. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

    poor guy all he did, just explained how glaciers were formed, and called a hack.

  347. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:39 PM | Permalink

    Dear welikerocks #349, it’s very bad, indeed. But one should still believe that there exists some justice in the long term. Al-Zarqawi has been doing worse things than Al-Gore, and he’s already gone. ;-)

  348. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

    Dear StuartR #348,

    it will be a gradual process that has already started. See #326 for the very plausible summary by the Wall Street Journal. I am not quite sure whether the illuminated reports will start with the brightest reporters; it might be more accurate to expect that they will start with the moderate and right-wing ones. ;-)

    All the best
    Lubos

  349. Steve Bloom
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:53 PM | Permalink

    The LA Times has a nice article.

  350. Lee
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 6:57 PM | Permalink

    re 327,
    Tim Ball,
    I don’t think the NAs has the power to order anyone to do a damn thing. They were asked to produce a report for congress, they did.

  351. Lee
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 7:12 PM | Permalink

    re 325
    Dane,

    What on earth does a discussion aobut the transient nature of glaciers in the sierra and morraines on the north coast, have to do with ice cores covering hundreds of thousands of years from antarctica and greenland?

    Teh fact is that we ahve 600,000 years of data that tracks what else we knw aobu tglaciations, prettty damned closely. adn thatis consistent in major fetures between orthern and southern hemispheres.

    If you think its flawed, then have at it; be specific. Make sure yoru criticisms allow for the qualitative agreement with past glaciations, adn the hemispheric agreement.

    But simply saying, well, its problematic because temperate region glaciers have melted in the meantime adn ther *might* be issues with resoluton and fidelity, is simply to through the data out without dealing with its implications.

  352. Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 7:22 PM | Permalink

    Concerning #349: Dear Steve McIntyre,

    together with millions of TV fans, I just learned that according to Al Gore, you and Ross McKitrick may be oil company scrooges.

    I have no solid way to verify whether Al Gore’s statement is correct, but the accusation makes it virtually impossible for you to become a boss of one of the academic teams – like the Harvard Energy Initiative – that we recently discussed because a corruption of research by corporations is incompatible with moral standards of scientists in Academia. So please forget about the $200,000 salary and other things.

    I don’t know whether Al Gore is right, but if he is not, he probably caused a damage to you that can be estimated to be of order 1 million US dollars.

    If you think that the accusations of the former politician are not justified, you should probably consult some of your friends – or friends of your friends – who are lawyers to figure out the details of your lawsuit against Al Gore because without a lawsuit, I find it unlikely that you will get your money from him back.

    All the best
    Lubos

  353. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 7:30 PM | Permalink

    Thank you #351, good point. :)

    Dear #55 Lee,
    go talk to Al, he knows better about glaciers. LOL
    Just kidding! :) And, #325 stated “Too much to go into here.” in his comment too Hang in there. My husband says the same thing, farther you go back in time with sampling, the more margin for errors and clean valid data. The gaps grow bigger with the age +/=, huge amounts of time.

    Have a nice night!

  354. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 7:33 PM | Permalink

    #356, Al was slick, he didn’t mention names. The transcript should be available to check it though.

    Cheers!!

  355. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 8:04 PM | Permalink

    #356. You’re quite right, Luboà…⟮ I’d love to see a transcript.

    #354. Lee, you can be sure that I’m going to be asking NAS for supporting data for the various studies relied on their report. If you look at my correspondence with Science, you’ll see that they’e relied on Esper, Thompson, Briffa, D’Arrigo – all of whom have a history of poor archiving and obstruction. NAS has put themselves into a jam: they are either going to have to get the data produced somehow or they are going to face massively bad publicity – which will make anything to date seem petty. They were foolish not to have dealt with archiving ahead of time. They should have said to D’Arrigo or Hegerl – we want to rely on your study in our report, but you realize that you’re going to have to archive your data. Otherwise we can’t use your study. It’s always harder after the fact. Some of the Team are really stubborn. I’ll bet that there have been one or more discussions involving more than two Team members on the topic of whether to refuse to supply data, resulting in decisions not to supply data.

  356. Ron Teemon
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

    Yep, just the people I want to consult on global warming, “Stephen McIntyre, a statistician and part-time consultant in Toronto to minerals industries, and Ross McKitrick, an economist at the University of Guelph in Ontario” instead of a climatologist. Think I will see a CPA for a cardiopulmonary assessement instead of a cardiologist, just to be safe.

  357. T J Olson
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

    Bruce writes at 336 “Re #331: I agree that “someone” should write a serious paper for the scientific journals on this whole episode.”

    There already is something like this – although not up to date – in Ross McKitrick’s chapter in “Shattered Consensus: The True State of Global Warming” edited by Patrick Michaels. It came out at the end of last year.

    The chapter is entitled “The Mann et al. Northern Hemisphere ‘Hockey Stick’ Climate Index: A Tale of Due Diligence.” Perhaps Ross can update it and have it published as a coda to this saga?

  358. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 9:15 PM | Permalink

    We are commenting on statistical aspects of the work which are well within our competence. The NAS Panel endorsed virtually every one of our claims and did not deny any.

    Mann told the NAS panel “I am not a statistician”. To my eye, most of these studies statistically look like surgeries perdormed by CPAs. So please ask yourself why climate studies have not involved professional statistical experts in the enterprise. This question has been asked in an editorial in the J. Roy Stat Soc., which favorably mentions us. In medical tests, I believe that it is compulsory that a qualified statistical expert be involved in any study for the NEJM or other comparable journal.

  359. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 9:20 PM | Permalink

    Re:#360
    Ron, when your cardiologist sends you an un-itemized bill of $1,000,000.00 for your office visit, I’m sure you’ll be heading to the CPA. Since Steve and Ross are both statistics experts, and many of the scientific issues in question are statistical in nature, would you really turn to paleoclimatologists who are clearly less knowledgeable about statistics?

  360. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 9:22 PM | Permalink

    Re #339 – ***but my strong expectation is that in the aftermath of the NAS report there will be very little interest in additional rehashing of MBH98.***
    You are dreaming – the fun has only started.
    Re Gore & friends – Maybe Steve should take a job with the energy interests – just think how many people(statements) would become honest. But maybe not, it would create a shortage of halos.

  361. MarkR
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    Re #339 Bloom and #360 Teemon and others

    From the von Storch press release:

    4) With respect to methods, the committee is showing reservations concerning the methodology of Mann et al.. The committee notes explicitly on pages 91 and 111 that the method has no validation (CE) skill significantly different from zero. In the past, however, it has always been claimed that the method has a significant nonzero validation skill. Methods without a validation skill are usually considered USELESS.

  362. MarkR
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 9:35 PM | Permalink

    PS Steve

    Is it likely that a journal would accept a paper showing the difference betwen the skill/R2 or lack of it of Mann el al type papers, and an assembly of graphics/ statistics that had a high skill/R2 level.

    Excuse me if the terminology is not quite right, but I hope you will understand the meaning.

  363. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 9:36 PM | Permalink

    This goes back to the Barton question that started it all (and avoided by the NAS panel) – Mann’s withholding of the adverse r2 statistic (which is related to the CE statistic). Had the verification r2 of 0 been reported, MBH would never have become famous as people like von Storch, HAD THEY KNOWN AT THE TIME, would have rejected the study as being “useless”.

  364. johnl
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 9:57 PM | Permalink

    Steve B I think that there will be little interest in publishing papers based on heavy matrix arithmetic on tree ring data. It could be a very exciting time as researchers look for other data sources.

  365. Steve Bloom
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 10:15 PM | Permalink

    Re #356: That’s “stooges,” Lubos, although traditionally they come in threes. Um, are you available?

    Re #359: “NAS has put themselves into a jam: they are either going to have to get the data produced somehow or they are going to face massively bad publicity – which will make anything to date seem petty.” Steve M., truly I don’t see how you could possibly think this could be the case.

    Re #368: Yes. Science moves on. Expect to see a whole lot more on foramins as a proxy for recent climate.

  366. MarkR
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 10:28 PM | Permalink

    Re #369

    Yes. Science moves on. Expect to see a whole lot more on foramins as a proxy for recent climate.

    Let’s hope they involve a statistician this time.

  367. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 10:43 PM | Permalink

    #369. Steve B, you may be correct about the publicity. I’d like to think that NAS would think that it was important to get paleoclimate people to provide the data used in a NAS study, that they could shame the Team into producing their data, and that the spectacle of the Team stonewalling would attract interest and adverse publicity, but you’re probably right. Probably the Team will stonewall and no one will care. But I’ll do what I can. You never know.

  368. McCall
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 11:05 PM | Permalink

    re: “foramins” — if you mean foraminifera, that’s old news. Keigwin 96 Sargasso (among others) used it, and it wasn’t supportive (and therefore ignored) in MBH’98 and ’99. It’s a proxy that cures the “no MWP or LIA” myopia. We should all be so lucky …

  369. johnl
    Posted Jun 23, 2006 at 11:48 PM | Permalink

    Steve B – I would look at Chinese agricultural records. The study of old records went out of fashion in China for a while. So there is some hope that there are data treasure troves there.

  370. e. ou
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 12:01 AM | Permalink

    Steve,

    I think it is harsh to call the NAS report schizhophrenic. NAS was just applying the appropriate steps when confronted with diliema. Remember, the anecdote when a mother advised his son not to enter politics because if he tells the truth the public will hate him and if he tells a lie the gods will hate him. The son reply was for him to enter politics because if he tells the truth the gods will love him and if he tells a lie the public will love him too.

    Let us look it in the positive side of the paleoclimatology science. The report has accepted the problems with the “hockey stick”, importance of transparency versus intellectual property rights, proper statisical approach, and has recognise the MWP and the LIA. That should provide enough guidance for paleoclimatology and climate science to move forward.

    But lets face, paeloclimatology research is very expensive and research councils often have to organise multinational team. There has been some ice boring programs that were cancelled or postponed because of budgetary constraint. The importance of paleoclimatology has been under estimated. To the genral public paleoclimatology research results were interesting but has little or no relevance to his daily needs until global warming ( as PR guys would put it climate change) concerns creeped into the pubic arena. The summary section and NAS press release ( I noted a lot of criticisms on newspaper reporters were made in this blog but the reporters were more or less basing it on the NAS press release)should made retain public interest for climate science and paleoclimatology to move forward.

  371. Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 12:22 AM | Permalink

    Paleoclimatology research may be expensive, but not nearly as expensive as taking draconian steps to counteract “global warming” will be if they’re either not going to help or it’s not a problem in the first place.

    So it seems to me before spending billions on the solution you might want to spend a few more million deciding if you really have a problem first.

  372. Terry
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 1:32 AM | Permalink

    #333:

    Try this link for the WSJ article with pictures.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115098487133887497-search.html?KEYWORDS=mann&COLLECTION=wsjie/6month

    I would email it, but I don’t have your email address.

  373. Terry
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 1:51 AM | Permalink

    #339:

    Re #331: Enjoy your fantasy, but do try not to foam at the mouth (notwithstanding John A.’s fine example).

    I am certainly no expert on how the editors of journals behave, but my strong expectation is that in the aftermath of the NAS report there will be very little interest in additional rehashing of MBH98.

    True, I may be over-optimistic here about the willingness of journals to acknowledge the findings of the NAS. It is, therefore, that much more important that any new papers be pitched as new findings which extend the literature and derive new results rather than simply one more attack on an old paper that used outdated and faulty techniques.

    BTW, your credibility is on the line here Steve B. You have repeatedly cited to the NAS as authoritative on climate-related issues. To maintain credibility, you need to acknowledge in some way that there are serious flaws in MBH. You can do this in a general “yeah, but the NAS validated many of MBH’s results” framework, but you need to admit that there are some flaws. If you don’t then you become just a shill who selectively cites only to supporting studies.

    Be careful, though, it is a slippery slope. If you admit that the NAS validated some of the criticisms of MBH, then it could easily lead to having to admit that results you don’t like are correct, i.e., you would have to admit that the results you get when you fix those flaws are correct. Eliminating the bristlecones might reverse some conclusions you don’t want to lose.

  374. mark
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 1:53 AM | Permalink

    Apparently, as an aside, the names Steve, John and Mark have become a confusing mess on this blog. :)

    Mark

  375. Terry
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 2:06 AM | Permalink

    I also think it is too harsh to call the NAS report schizophrenic.

    Remember that it was written by a rather large team. What seems to have happened is that different sections were dominated by different team members and so the different sections are not highly consistent. This happens with committee products — you see it quite a bit in Supreme Court opinions too.

  376. Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 4:15 AM | Permalink

    schiz·o·phren·ic adj.

    1. Of, relating to, or affected with schizophrenia.
    2. Of, relating to, or characterized by the coexistence of disparate or antagonistic elements.

    I think we’re dealing with definition #2 here. And if this report has been adequately characterized by Mr. McIntyre I think it is an apt description. Giving guidelines for what you should not do, and explaining what makes studies unreliable, then quoting those same studies which violate those guidelines as evidence in the report is clearly the “coexistence of disparate elements” to me.

    Terry, sure, it’s probably written by a bunch of people, but that doesn’t in and of itself make the description less accurate, when applied to the report as a whole, does it? It just means that perhaps this description could be more widely applied.

  377. John A
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 4:30 AM | Permalink

    Giving guidelines for what you should not do, and explaining what makes studies unreliable, then quoting those same studies which violate those guidelines as evidence in the report is clearly the “coexistence of disparate elements” to me.

    …and claiming that such studies are consistent with other studies means that they’re not so bad, is not just mildly schizophrenic but delusional.

  378. TAC
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 4:40 AM | Permalink

    #374 and 380: I share the view that the word “schizophrenic” is too harsh. I think Eduardo got it right: The NAS went as far as it could; it expressed its message deliberately, in a way that is likely to be understood. The report will be important precisely because all the actors can see that their arguments were heard and considered; the report cannot be dismissed as a “hatchet job”. Once people begin to read and understand it, the sharpness of its criticism will become apparent. Perhaps I’m too optimistic, but my take-home from the report is that the climate science community is now clearly on record endorsing rigor and valid statistical methods. As a result, this report may be exactly what is needed to get the “climate science” train back on the tracks.

  379. Pat Frank
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 5:28 AM | Permalink

    #382 — I tend to disagree, and think Luboà…⟠is right. Scientists should talk science not politics. Conclusions should not be hedged when the matter is so clear and the import so grave. Steve and Ross showed that proxy statistics indicate gross inadequacy in reconstructions. That the NAS report backs into that conclusion without stating it clearly, sans caveats, asides, and face-saving plausibilities, means that they deliberately hid the bitter truth with a coating of political candy. They gave the AGW-believers some room to breathe.

    I suspect the major reason for this is that the NAS is itself not innocent on the matter of AGW. It has sat on the anthropogenic warming side of the fence all along. If it issued a report now saying that the prime data-icon is so much meaningless pseudo-science they’d have a big problem with the follow-up question. That question would be, ‘How come it took you so bloody long to find out, you block-heads?’ The explanation would be painful and embarassing. Congress would not be pleased and demand explanations under oath.

    The NAS has not properly done its scientific job all along in the AGW debate. It can’t find the courage to do so now, either, no matter that it has had its conjoint and institutional face pushed right into the ‘it’s-not-science!’ cream pie.

    I look for the NAS to continue that line. I think the debate will remain mired in official NAS waffling and that this will provide room for the HS crowd and their enviromythological media gallery to continue as before. Salubrious sentences will be extracted from the report and offered in public debate, and the situation will remain muddied and contentious for some time to come.

  380. BradH
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 7:03 AM | Permalink

    Re: # 374, 380, 382

    Let’s just say that it was, in fact, schizophrenic, but that the NAS had no realistic choice other than to produce a report incorporating such disparate and internally inconsistent elements.

    In other words, given their political and career constraints, we were lucky that it was schizophrenic, rather than simply a complete whitewash. The latter would have been a far easier thing for them to have done.

  381. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 7:24 AM | Permalink

    Re: Al Gore (spit) transcript, monday

    MSNBC under the heading “Countdown with Keith Olbermann”
    (I said Ken instead of Keith last night)

    Show transcripts are available 24 hrs after airing, expect on Fridays
    Those are available on the following Monday (which is the case here)
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3719710/

  382. TAC
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 7:34 AM | Permalink

    Pat,

    I agree that the NAS report does not by itself settle things, but I would be troubled if it had. What I look for in the report — and I am confident it will achieve this — is to establish a sufficiently level scientific playing field that research scientists — including Steve M (who may not admit that he qualifies) and countless others — can actually do science. That is how to “settle things” for good. Of course there is a risk we will go through a period like the one Lubos describes with respect to Millikan, but it will not last too long. I, for one, am excited by what lies ahead.

  383. H. Patrick Baru
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 7:39 AM | Permalink

    Friday, June 23 Gore/Olbermann interview was a re-airing of the Monday June 19 Gore/Olbermann interview.

  384. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 7:41 AM | Permalink

    #385: typo “except on Fridays”

    #360: take this

    June 24, 2005

    —–Paul Winchell, the voice of Tigger in “Winnie the Pooh” features for more than three decades and a versatile ventriloquist who became a fixture in early children’s television along with his dummies Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff has died.

    Winchell was also an inventor who held 30 patents,
    ***including one for an early artificial heart****
    He built it in 1963 and then donated to the University of Utah for research. Dr. Robert Jarvik and other University of Utah researchers later became well-known for the Jarvik-7, which was implanted into patients after 1982.

    Among Winchell’s other inventions were an early disposable razor, a flameless cigarette lighter, an invisible garter belt and an indicator to show when frozen food had gone bad after a power outage.

    He attended Columbia University, then studied and practiced acupuncture and hypnosis. To help himself through bouts of severe depression, he studied and wrote widely on theology.—–

    SO, arguments like yours are weak and petty; and also don’t mean a thing to smart, aware, informed, and reasonable people.

    Have a nice day.

  385. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 7:50 AM | Permalink

    #356. Luboà…⟬ I just looked at the transcript of the MSNBC show here and the quote has nothing to do with us. The first quote is to do with correlation between CO2 and temrpeature over geological ages and is Veizer and the second is to do with ice berg formation and is Boris Winterhalter, unaccountably included as Canadian.

  386. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 8:20 AM | Permalink

    #389 Steve,
    Al Gore sure looks better in type.
    My husband was telling me what was going on from another room and now I see he was paraphrasing. He was angry and the translation suffered. Sorry about all that.

    This issue is very frustrating because of the MSM having a hold on the information. Talking to friends last night, they said they wouldn’t even know any different about the issue except what Gore believes. The transcript leaves out the tone of the interview and the disdain in the voice of the ex VP. Why did they run an old interview after the NAS report came out? Why didn’t they have anyone speak to the other side in the room for a news item for that day?

    They also made fun of the geologist talking about glaciers using the word “beautiful”. All scientists see the beauty in what they study.
    That’s the trouble with all this, the subtleness of the spin and dis-information; the villian buzz words, I find it chilling honestly. There’s alot of money envolved in this whole thing, and my husband thinks there’s deals already signed and agreed upon, people in place where they want them—thus the spin over this report, and the importance in keeping the public in the dark. There’s no other explaination.

  387. Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 8:42 AM | Permalink

    Dear Steve #389,
    well, maybe next time ;-)

    [snip]

    Best
    Lubos

  388. Jean S
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 8:43 AM | Permalink

    re #389: Boris Winterhalter is Finnish, one of the very few (I can think of two) publicly known “skeptics” around here.

  389. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 9:30 AM | Permalink

    #389 Re; This is from Mr Welikerocks.

    Steve, I saw the interview. The transcripts for June 19 are not the same as was broadcast the 23. Mainly, the context of his badmouthing of 2 Canadian scientists. In the interview, they start off by saying that critism from 2 Canadian scientists will be addressed. Then algore calls them “Flatearth Society” members, then they go on and address the co2 levels from a paleoclimatologist. In other words, without saying your names or addressing your critism’s, he called you a “Flat earth ” person. In the text it covers that portion of the interview, but it doesn’t read as bad as it sounded in the interview. It truly was disgraceful. The transcript also doesn’t show where algore was saying the hockystick was validated by the report. I don’t see how algore new on Monday what the reports conclusions would be unless he had a copy in advance?

    Anyway, the point is in the interview, without naming you, he said the hockystick critisms were not valid.

    Re#355: Dear Lee
    I see the connection Dane makes when referring to the Eastern Sierras and northwest coast. The morraines in the ES are a classic example of glacial activity, and show many of the various climate changes discussed here at CA. In fact they collaborate the concept of “Global” ice ages, and have been studied to death by researchers in the Paleoclimate science field. The uplifted terraces he mentions relate also to global climate change in that they preserve sea level highstands, which reflect the maximum interglacial periods over the last several hundred thousand years. The terraces due this because there uplift rate is greater than sea level rise, hence the terrace is cut flat by the ocean, and then records the sea level maximum, and is then uplifted more due to the tectonics of the region, and the dates of these terraces reflect global climate change. Sources available upon request.

  390. H. Patrick Baru
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    Sorry about the misinformation regarding the Gore interview, another site summarizing the Olbermann show (the mean-spirited Olbermann watch) had indicated it was the same interview.

    That’s what happens when accepting conclusions from sources that have not been independently verified.

  391. Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

    Dear Patrick #394,

    I fully join your apologies, as well as the explanation of the error. Sources should be independently verified! ;-) I relied on welikerocks too much. :-)

    More on-topic, Guelph Mercury has a rather nice article about the panel:

    http://www.guelphmercury.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=mercury/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1151148009620

    It focuses on M&M probably too much, but it is a healthy complement to the majority of newspaper articles that completely twist the conclusions of the NAS panel.

    Best
    Lubos

  392. Lee
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 10:50 AM | Permalink

    393, welikerocks,

    Yes, I know about the informatin preserved in marine terraces ang glacial morraines, and the issues in interpreting them.

    But my question was, what on earth do issues with morraine an dterrace interpretation, have to do with high latitude ie copres taken from stable ice domes? What does the fact that temeperate-latitude sierra glaciers are transient have to do wit the stabiltiy of high-latitude ice dome cores? I might a swell point to the fact taht ice cubes melt when I take them from the freezer, and use that to dispute that high-latitude stable ice domes can at all.

  393. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

    I find it interesting that RC has quickly posted a newer topic than the panel report: Rasmus’ trip to Tromso for a conference on communicating science and technology. It’s already got 3/4 the post count of the NAS panel topic. Must have been a very important event! :)

  394. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 11:55 AM | Permalink

    RE #396:

    Dear Lee,

    As I said I can provide references to the link between the two if you like. It is rather obvious to me, since one set the stage for the other.

  395. Tim Ball
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

    #373
    There are extensive Chinese records relating to weather and crop production. I first heard a presentation of the extent of these at a conference on climate change in Bologna Italy in the late 1970s. Ironically, the potential of these records are briefly displayed in the book “Climate Since AD 1500.” edited by Bradley and Jones. The Russian Chronicles (from 1000 AD) and the Vatican records are two other archives with remarkable records that have been examined but only the surface scratched. Equally valuable because of the uniformity of their recording methods and direct observations of weather conditons are the ships logs in several martime archives worldwide, including Greenwich, Liverpool in England and the archives of France, Spain, Portugal and South America. As a measure of their importance, it was ships records of wind that Hadley used to identify the equatorial cell that bears his name. He produced this in the early 18th century. Sadly, we still have little knowledge about polar cells and midlatitude circulation including the circumpolar vortex.

  396. Pat Frank
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    #386 — TAC, I hope you’re right.

  397. Doug L
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 1:58 PM | Permalink

    In case no one has noticed, the word “plausible” was used and discussed prominently in the press conference, especially after 45 minutes in. Yet, the word plausible is hard to find in most press reports. The New York Times put the word “plausible” into Steve McIntyre’s mouth instead, and used the word “probable” when discussing the view of the committee.

    The word “murky” was used about five times by Cuffey but seems absent from any media reports.

  398. Pat Frank
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    #401, Some people appear to read what their prejudices allow. Robert Park, who is a physicist emeritus from the U of Maryland and past president of the APS, writes a skeptical weekly newsletter called “What’s New.” He has been outspokenly critical of Pons and Fleischman (cold fusion) and of Intelligent Design. He is, however, an AGW proponent. His Friday, June 23 column at the above link, says this about the NAS report — in full:

    3. HEAT: MAYBE GLOBAL WARMING DENIERS ARE CONSPIRACY THEORISTS.
    “The 1999 Mann Report concluded that the 1990s were the warmest decade in a thousand years. It helped solidify public concern over warming. It also infuriated many Republican lawmakers and industry groups. At the request of the House Science Committee, the National Academies reviewed the Report, and agreed with the overall thrust. The same deniers objected to the review

    I.e., the NAS report fully confirms MBH98ff, according to Park. And he’s a physicist who has written a skeptical book about pseudoscience (Voodoo Science), who should have a grasp of the science, and who should have been able to read the NAS report for its content. And yet, he believes that NAS has supported that the 1990′s were “the’warmest decade in one thousand years,” and those who dispute that are “deniers.”

    If a guy like Park is in the grip, what hope for clarity from reporters?

    So, Steve M.: is it that you’re a Republican or are you just an industry group? And you really should do something about that infuriosity. Likely, it has infected your math.

  399. TCO
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 3:55 PM | Permalink

    oh chill pat. If steve is so good, he can take his shots in the specialty journals.

  400. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

    Pat,

    I think you’re not thinking long-range enough. What we’ve seen so far is the equivilant of exit polls. People interview people who’ve listened to media reviews, and perhaps skimmed the actual report and expect them to know everything it contains. The fact is that until the skeptic side points to what’s important in the report and it has some time to circulate and people have time to go back and see what’s written, they won’t be able to have second thoughts.

    Meanwhile the Hockey Team hopes to put report behind them as quickly as possible and henceforth pretend it doesn’t exist or else that it’s actually said what they spin that it has. That’s why Armand’s note (#397) is of interest.

  401. Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 4:44 PM | Permalink

    Dear Armand #397,

    exactly, I made the same observation but I am happy that you had more courage. Rasmus’ event was one of a global importance, according to the last sentence on the main page:

    “I also gave a fairly diasterous [sic] :-( presentation on communicating climate with reference to RealClimate.org :-).”

    Well, sometimes disasters may still be better than catastrophes. :-)

    Best
    Lubos

  402. Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 4:49 PM | Permalink

    Dear Pat Frank #402,

    it’s worse than you quote. Prof. Park actually believes that the panel confirmed not only MBH98 but also MBH99 – exactly the part that was identified as completely uncertain and statistically insigificant.

    Do you think that Prof. Park’s writing is more important e.g. than this blog? I highly doubt it, and I personally find it OK for a retired professor to have these opinions that we find strange. There are millions of people who have similar opinions.

    Best
    Lubos

  403. TCO
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 6:19 PM | Permalink

    anyone seen any interviews of Christy or other panelists? I googled and could not find any.

  404. Lee
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

    So, who is actually reading this? I’m bout 20
    % of it so far, jumping around, and a lot of the posts her do NOT match what I’m reading.

    Someone up above said approximately ” all your data is gone, there si no global warming.”

    Well, no. I’m going to make a few posts quoting relevant passages as I get to them; so far what Ive read clearly supports the notion of anthropogenic global warming and the that the late 20th century is anamolous. Lets start with “Other Information Available from Glaciers”.

    http://darwin.nap.edu/books/0309102251/html/72.html

    “This extent of melt had not occured in the past 1500 years.”
    “…all have ages greater than 5,000 years before present. This suggests rather strongly that the current deglaciation is unprecedented in the last few millenia at these widespread sites.”
    “An ice core taken form here in the late 1970s showed that such melt had not happened in the previous millennium, at least. This strongly suggest anamolous warmth in the late 20th century.”
    “Analysis of sediment cores from the sea floor beneath one of the largest former shelves… suggests strongly that the shelf had persisted through teh previosu 10,000 years, providign further evidence that the recent decades had been anamolously warm.”

  405. Lee
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 6:52 PM | Permalink

    Can you say “hockey stick?”

    http://darwin.nap.edu/books/0309102251/html/70.html

  406. Pat Frank
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 7:26 PM | Permalink

    #408, Lee wrote: “Someone up above said approximately ” all your data is gone, there si no global warming.”

    You’re approximately quoting me in #341, except that’s not what I wrote. ‘Data are,’ by the way.

    The rest of your #408 is pure inductivist conclusion-mongering; great for hand-waving and point-scoring but not science. Your #409 claims 2000 years but only shows 400, and reproduces proxies for which there is no theoretical justification at all and likely very little statistical validity.

  407. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 7:37 PM | Permalink

    re: #409

    Further I hope you noticed that the melting all occurred from 1860-1940. There’s only been a total of .1 deg C from then to the end of the graph. And yet when was the bulk of the CO2 produced? So what would you say was the % of the warming was from 1860-1940 which can be attributed to humans and why?

  408. Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 7:39 PM | Permalink

    Dear Lee,

    even when you selectively choose the images, they don’t really look like hockey sticks. Note that the canonical hockey stick started around 1000. This starts in 1600, around the little ice age. Do you know what you get if you shorten a hockey stick by 60%? A boomerang. ;-)

    Even in your colorful pictures, neither of the graphs really look like a hockey stick, and virtually all of them exhibit visible cooling after the Second World War.

    You also misunderstand the panel if you think that it stated that the temperature reconstructions can be used as evidence for AGW. They said just the opposite. On this page

    http://darwin.nap.edu/openbook/0309102251/html/R9.html

    they say that Mann et al. is not a clinching argument for AGW. More clearly, if you listen to the press conference,

    http://www.nap.edu/webcast/webcast_detail.php?webcast_id=327

    (click the title for the Real Audio), at 29:20 a journalist asks about a paragraph of the report that the evidence that the warming is human-induced is not based on temperature reconstructions. The journalist asks whether the anthropogenic conclusion is only based on the models. The NAS member says Yes, it is based on successful interrelation between our theories, description of forcings, and their consistency with the observed 20th century trends – for example the fact that Boston was under 1 km of ice which is hard to explain without an extra term (which is taken to be a lower CO2 in the past – although I would say there is not much evidence that the reason was not something different).

    According to the panel (and me), there is nothing outside the 20th century that would be directly indicating that the warming is human-induced. Reconstructions don’t help to derive this “wanted” conclusion. You must have misunderstood their report because I think that this statement is rather clear, despite their being obscure in many respects.

    All the best
    Lubos

  409. Doug L
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 7:40 PM | Permalink

    I think the most interesting section of the press conference occurs around minutes 48 through 53. There are two key points. One about the conversion of “plausable” into “probable” and the other about looking the other way.

    Bloomfield describes the meaning of “high level of confidence” and “likely”. Then Revkin asks an ambiguous question about whether Mann et al was likely right and gets a “yes” answer from Bloomfield. This appears to be how the “paper of record”, the New York Times is able change the word “plausible” into “probable”.

    Then follows the discussion about whether anything improper was noticed. At minute 36 Bloomfield has already asserted that Mann “unintentionally” made some error, or choice that caused a problem. Consistent with that statement North, Cuffey and Bloomfield all say they saw nothing improper.

    Bloomfield goes on to say that all the choices were reasonable and specifies the types of choices that he means. To my untrained ear, he seems to omit any mention of the choice not to notice the lack of robustness without bristlecones.

    The choice of language here is interesting in that it is all about not seeing something done improperly. Nothing is said about things not done that should have been.

    The excuse is made that this was the first study. What’s the excuse going to be for the subsequent studies that repeat the error? Is it really reasonable to think someone looking for the truth is not going to notice the bristlecone problem?

  410. Lee
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 7:43 PM | Permalink

    Pat, that header is the title of the report; my 409 is an image of a page of the report, and the title of the report is at the top of the page. I included a link; if you had bothered to check the link, rather than rush directly to an uninformed dismissive post, you would know that.

    Have you read any of the report? I assumed that would be obvious to anyone actually looking at the report.

    The report specifically discusses the physical basis for using glacier length as a proxy for temperature, and cites the papers where they do in-depth validation of the theory in a sample of glaciers. And speaking of handwaving, your statement that there is “likely very little statistical validity” is simply a conclusion derived from pre-existing beliefs.

  411. Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 7:47 PM | Permalink

    Dear Doug #413,

    I liked other portions of the press conference, too, but the quantification of “plausible” was also fun.

    Indeed, Mann was the first work. It is the Millikan effect. In some sense, MBH were brave to start with it, and indeed, the results are very far from perfect science. The justification of the problems in the 2nd study was that it was just the 2nd study. The justification of the errors in the 3rd study was that it was just 3rd, and so forth.

    More importantly, the problems with this NAS report can be explained by the fact that it was the first NAS panel that looked at it. Which is why there should be more NAS panels looking at these climate questions. ;-) I am confident that the 5th panel would be almost as good as M&M, if not better. :-)

    Best
    Lubos

  412. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 7:48 PM | Permalink

    As others are, I am distressed at Pielke’s response. Maybe he just read the summary and didn’t read the specific criticisms in Chapter 9 of Mann’s work?

    Re#356:

    together with millions of TV fans, I just learned that according to Al Gore, you and Ross McKitrick may be oil company scrooges.

    That’s a peculiar thing for Gore to say. Google “Al Gore”+”Occidental Petroleum.”

  413. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 7:48 PM | Permalink

    #408 Lee,

    (1) How many different types of devices did they use for measuring?
    (2) How many different people (from all those various regions) were measuring?
    (3) Were those devices calibrated?

  414. Lee
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 7:57 PM | Permalink

    “The combined isotopic signal from all available ice cores in the Andes and Tibe show that the climate of the 20th century was unusual with respect to the preceding 1900 years (Figure 6-3).”

    http://darwin.nap.edu/books/0309102251/html/65.html

  415. Lee
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 8:03 PM | Permalink

    welikerocks,

    Clearly someone who goes to the trouble to transport machinery and drill ice cores into high altitude glaciers and maintian isothermal conditions for them is then going to analyze those cores with uncalibrated instruments.

    And clearly the fact that there is rough correspondence for several sites is evidence that the analysis is flawed.

    /sarcasm

    Get real.

  416. Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 8:05 PM | Permalink

    Dear Lee #414,

    I happen to agree with Pat that “data are” is probably not correct, and I would add that your sentence “there si no” probably contains a typo, too. But I am no native speaker so you should re-check what I say. :-)

    When I read your #408, ending with “teh [sic] previosu [sic] 10,000 years, providign [sic] … further evidence that the recent decades had been anamolously [sic] warm”, I almost wanted to call a physician. :-)

    There is no reason for you to be nervous here. We are nice people who studied the report – and my experience with Pat indicates that he or she has read most of the essential conclusions, to say the least.

    I agree with Pat – using my words – that you are just mining for things that “sound” good to you, but the overall summary you offer is inconsistent – for example because the graph of the recent era has nothing to do with the multi-millenial hypotheses about the glaciers. At any rate, these glaciers are off-topic in a discussion about the MBH-like multi-proxy studies.

    You say that Pat’s statement that there is “likely very little statistical validity” is simply a conclusion derived from pre-existing beliefs. That might sound convincing to your ears, but you should not forget that the NAS panel has reached the same conclusion as Pat about the statistical validity in all questions except for the increasing temperatures since the Little Ice Age.

    All the best
    Lubos

  417. Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 8:15 PM | Permalink

    Dear Lee #418,

    that’s a rather bizarre interpretation of the picture 6.3, is not it? When you look at the picture,

    http://darwin.nap.edu/books/0309102251/html/67.html

    would you agree with me that the graph shows a rather uniform warming since 1750? If someone needs it, I can provide sources showing that after 1750, and even 1800, the humans were not producing a comparable amount of CO2 as they do today.

    The correct interpretation of the picture is that the late 18th, the 19th, and the 20th century on that figure show more significant warming than the previous eras. Because the eras with warming include many non-industrial centuries and because the reconstruction in the far past is unreliable, it does not seem as a good case for anthropogenic character of the warming.

    Best
    Lubos

  418. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 8:15 PM | Permalink

    Lee,
    Ok, let’s assume, all devices are calibrated over all those regions of the earth for all that time. (on a paper of this magnitude, that shows the hockey stick which is found to have errors)

    Answer the the other two questions please.
    They are not a cut and paste answers either.

  419. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 8:15 PM | Permalink

    #418. I don’t get how the panel justifies Mann et al being the “first” to do one of the multiproxy studies. Bradley and Jones 1993 did one of these things for the period 1400-1980, deriving a NH average from 19 or so proxies. Some of the later studies use this earlier methodology and, in the sense, MBH98-99 is a diversion. Actually Groveman and Landsberg had averaged a bunch of proxies back in 1979. Jones et al 1998 was accepted by Holocene on Feb 3, 1998, while MBH98 was accepted by Nature on Feb 27, 1998 (although submitted earlier than Jones et al 1998).

    MBH98 viewed itself not as being the first study to obtain an index from a bunch of proxies, but as the originator of a “novel” statistical method, which people are still trying to decode. It looks vey much as though their group was competing with the Jones, Briffa group for the honor of “getting rid of” the MWP. But it’s false to credit the Mann group with originating this class of study. I’ll do a longer post on this as this is rapidly becoming an urban legend.

  420. Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 8:29 PM | Permalink

    Dear Steve McIntyre #423,

    I completely agree with you that it is strange to say that MBH were the first multiproxy study. Nevertheless, the NAS panelists claim this at many places.

    Because I have kind of memorized most of the hour of the press conference, I can immediately tell you that if you open the real audio – click the title at

    http://www.nap.edu/webcast/webcast_detail.php?webcast_id=327

    and you go to 26:00-26:20, you will hear that MBH was the first work of its kind. It actually appears at several other places of that press conference.

    Best
    Lubos

  421. Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 8:35 PM | Permalink

    If you listen to 51:10-51:30, they argue that they have not found any fraud in it, and another member of the panel also says that MBH was the first paper of its kind.

    I think that what they mean was that it was the first paper whose results have been designed so well that it could have been used to escalate the climate change hysteria. ;-)

  422. Lee
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 8:42 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    ” The first systematic, statistically based reconstruction…” P. 105.

    If I remember correctly they also say, elsewhere, the first to include errors.

    Can you guys at least try to maintiant som connection with what they actually say in the report?

  423. Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 8:44 PM | Permalink

    Dear Steve,

    I actually agree with Lee #426 even though he was not the first one to notice. Yes, I think that their point is that MBH were the first ones who tried to add error margins to their answers. They were completely wrong error margins ;-), but still, they were the first ones to try, weren’t they? :-)

    Best
    Lubos

  424. Lee
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 8:49 PM | Permalink

    welikerocks,

    Please cease the socratic b**ls**t. If you (or your husband, who seems decidedly unwilling to actually discuss what you say he says)) have a point, make it. Are you arguing that the correspondence is an artifact of the people making the measurements? Say so, say why, offer your evidence.

    Adn if I seem testy, I am; Ive been reading this blog, and reading the report. Yes, they remove the resolution from the claims from dendrochronology prior to 900 years ago, and perhaps all dendro claims from prior to 900 ya; thats big. But the overt dismissal or unwillingness of nearly everyone here to acknwoledge much of the remainder of what they say, much of which is strongly supportive of an anomolous 20th century, is simply stunning.

  425. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

    #426. no need to snip. I think that I do a pretty good job of hewing to what people say. I really do try to understand exactly what they intend and have no interest in straw men. I appreciate the reference to page 105, but could have done without the implied snip.

    OK, let’s unpack page 105 and try to figure out the most favorable interpretation of this page. I think that Bradley and Jones 1993 was as “systematic” as MBH98 or for that matter Hegerl et al 2006 or Moberg et al 2005. I think that there’s some indication that the panel has not turned its mind to what had been done in this earlier study, but let’s say that they realized this.

    So the “first” for MBH98 is its claim to statistical skill and use of error bars – however badly calculated they are. In our presentation to NAS, we summarized what we thought the main selling points of MBH98 to be – and specifically identified the claimed statistical skill as something that no prior study had aspired to. They said that they considered verification statistics – this was novel – referring specifically to the verification RE, r and r2 statistics. IPCC TAR then cited that MBH98 had statistical skill in verification statistics (plural). If this is the main innovation of their approach, then the withholding of the adverse verification r2 results is not incidental.

  426. Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 9:01 PM | Permalink

    Dear Lee #428,

    sorry to hear that you’re testy. William Connolley is also devastated

    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/

    and he immediately posted a new text that claims that the report is not interesting because it won’t stop the skeptics. The only commenter under his new article claims that the only thing they care about is not the NAS report itself, but what they write about it in the newspapers (propaganda rules, science sucks), and most newspapers claim that MBH is supported, so it’s enough for our friends to be relatively happy. ;-) This is what I call alternative scientific ethics.

    The panel claimed that the 20th century was warmer than the 17th, 18th, and 19th century, i.e. than the last parts of Little Ice Age. That’s it. If you think that they have concluded that the 20th century was unprecedented (warmer than more than 3 other centuries) or even that there is evidence for the anthropogenic origin of the warming extracted from the temperature reconstructions, I will be very curious to see where do you exactly see such evidence because I am pretty sure that nothing like that is written in the report – and nothing like that can be written in any honest report simply because the state-of-the-art science does not show anything along these lines.

    Best
    Lubos

  427. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 9:11 PM | Permalink

    Lee, are we arguing that the correspondence is an artifact of the people making the measurements? Yes, it is different people taking measurements and using different equipment for your graph B.

    This drastically effects the margin of error.

    Because that top graph A there is arguing over .6 of a degree. (very small amount)

    And Graph B has more margin of error then you are assigning to it.

  428. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 9:22 PM | Permalink

    Lee, the panel takes comfort in some of the “other” studies and did not perform any independent due diligence on them. As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t think that the “other” studies will stand up to simple robustness exercises, such as the removal of bristlecones (whioh the committee has now excluded.) So I don’t take very seriously any conclusions that inadvertently rely on proxies said elsewhere by the panel to be unusable.

    #424, 426. There are a couple of places where the press conference make statements that are either inconsistent with the report or go beyond it. Another such statement by Bloomfield was the implication that an average of MBH proxies also had HS. This is false as we presented to the panel. If you pick proxies out of a large data set, you can make an index that has HS; but an average of MBH proxies does not have HS.

  429. Pat Frank
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    #414 — Lee take a look at the left ordinate of your plots. It’s temperature in steps of 0.2 K. Now look at the comments at your own link: “Temperature reconstructions based on glacier length and mass balance are limited in their temporal and spatial resolution. … They do not provide any information about most of the globe prior to the 19th century. Only the North Atlantic and European Alpine regions have glacier records back to around A.D. 1600.”

    And most significantly with respect to your plots, under “Other Information Available From Glaciers,” we read this: “Though not suitable for reconstructing temperature time series, other glacier indicators such as melting ice caps, organic material uncovered when glaciers melt, and distegration of ice shelves — provide temperature information.”

    So, in your plot A, from where does the temperature information come, and how is the high precision achieved? I’ve looked at Oerlemans (2005) “Extracting a Climate Signal from 169 Glacier Records” Science 308 675-677. He presents a linear model that was “calibrated with results from numerical studies.” And those numerical studies are again empirical fits to glacier length in terms of temperature and other measured parameters. His graphical resolution is a measure of the statistical uncertainty of his numerical fits, and not a theoretical uncertainty.

    Therefore, there is no “physical basis for using glacier length as a proxy for temperature” such that one can produce a temperture plot featuring physically real 0.2 K steps. Or, honestly, any physically real degree K steps. They are all numerical estimates suitable for more qualitative comparisons. That’s about it.

    Uninformed and dismissive? Your post seems uninformed of all that has passed here, even since the time you began posting, and injudiciously dismissive of all the analysis Steve M. has done.

  430. Lee
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 9:33 PM | Permalink

    Frank, go read teh damn report. You are comparing apples and oranges.

  431. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 9:36 PM | Permalink

    Lee, try to understand. They’re WRONG when they try claiming the 20th century is provenly anomolous when they’ve just revived the MWP. It’s possible it’s still anomolous when all the dust settles and more research is done, but it’s basically an attempt to salvage what can be salvaged. Steve M will be going through some of this as we go along. In the meantime, try not to be so bitter.

  432. Lee
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 9:36 PM | Permalink

    Steve, the report talks about a lot of other kinds of evidence in addition to the dendro stuff. As Ive explicitly pointed out by referrign to a little bit of it.
    Sheesh.

  433. Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 9:44 PM | Permalink

    Dear Lee #434,

    I agree with Pat #433 that the theoretical uncertainty was neglected when it was assumed that the statistical uncertainty is everything there is.

    Your short “teh” reaction #434 reminds me of the joke about the communist slogans in Czech – àƒÅ¡spÄ›ch … spÄ›ch … pech … ech … ch … h … which can be translated as Success … Rush … Bad luck … Eh … H… ;-)

    I am sure that you would feel much better if you just admitted to us – and especially yourself – that we are right and you are not. We are not going to eat you. It’s human to be fallible.

    Best
    Lubos

  434. Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 9:46 PM | Permalink

    Dear Dave #435, your answer is almost perfect except that you have caught Lee’s way of misspelling of the word “anomalous”. You could have cought something worse than this typo. ;-)

  435. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 9:52 PM | Permalink

    Well, Lee, they definitely rely on the studies in their Figure O-5 as part of their “array” of other evidence: this is Mann and Jones 2003; Esper et al 2002; Moberg et al 2005; and Hegerl et al 2006 (and elsewhere Osborn and Briffa 2006). Bristlecones/foxtails are used in all of these studies and LOL the Mann PC1 is actually used in 3 of them (it’s illustrated under an alias in Figure 11-2). I guarantee you that I can reverse the MWP-modern index relationship in every study with trivial variations justified and arguably even required under policies adopted by the NAS panel.

    AS to some of the other array of evidence, can you rationalize the Antarctic comments in the summary? These look wrong and may even require a corrigendum, if that’s possible.

    Glacier retreat is an interesting argument, but there’s hair on many of these arguments. Thompson’s dating of Kilimanjaro glacier is really questionable in my opinion, for reasons that I’ve posted on. The panel hasn’t really turned their minds to the details.

  436. Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 10:01 PM | Permalink

    Dear Steve #439,

    more recently, the Kilimanjaro glacier retreat is probably caused by drought, a rapid decrease of moisture 100 years ago, according to a newer work

    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/107630666/ABSTRACT?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

    that has so far 13 citations since 2004 when it was written.

    Best
    Lubos

  437. Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 10:07 PM | Permalink

    Addition to #440:

    http://www.geo.umass.edu/climate/tanzania/pubs/moelg_etal_2003jgr.pdf

    This paper has a similar author, I think, but it argues that the primary driver of the Kilimanjaro glacier retreat is the Sun, and a secondary driver is just plausible. ;-)

  438. Lee
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 10:19 PM | Permalink

    re 440, Lubs, they specifically cite that northern african glaciers are probalby responding to precipitation. REad the damn report.

    BTW, I already specifically said”

    “Yes, they remove the resolution from the claims from dendrochronology prior to 900 years ago, and perhaps all dendro claims from prior to 900 ya; thats big.”

    Do you bother to read what people say before you dismiss what they say?

    I wnt on to say:
    “But the overt dismissal or unwillingness of nearly everyone here to acknwoledge much of the remainder of what they say, much of which is strongly supportive of an anomolous 20th century, is simply stunning.”

    Pretendgin sI didnt say the first part in dismissing the second, is a perfect example of what I was talking about.

  439. Lee
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

    Steve. There is a LOT of glacier data – implying a dismissaal fo all of it by pointing to one dataum is cherry picking.

  440. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

    Dear Lee, nope no ones going to eat you, well maybe Lubos, he’s kinda crafty. ;)
    But, oh how you snap at us! Especially when we try to get you to think
    out of the [computer model] box. You called it “socratic b**ls**t.” LOL I happen to be of Greek ancestry.

    Pat Frank, awesome post.

    Dave, I am glad Steve did, and is going to go through all this stuff. We look forward to his insights and wisdom.

    Cheers!

  441. Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 10:24 PM | Permalink

    Steve McIntyre,

    incidentally, your readers are never as critical towards you as my readers towards me ;-), so they have not yet informed you that “schizophrenia” is something else than we thought. It is a general myth that “schizophrenia” means the “multiple personality disorder” but it is a different disease. Moreover, the multiple personality disorder is now called “dissociative identity disorder” (DID). ;-)

    Best
    Lubos

  442. Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

    Dear Lee #442,

    you should really not feel as threatened as you feel right now. I never questioned your statement that the dendroclimate conclusions before 1100 have been disapproved by the NAS panel. On the contrary: I confirm what you say. There is a lot of points in which we agree.

    Incidentally, you have added 0.15 wrong capitalizations per word to your 0.15 incorrect permutations of letters per word and 0.1 of wrong doubling of letters per word. I am not making fun out of you!

    I was still able to figure out what you meant by the previous sentence about the “stunning” conclusion, although I unsurprisingly disagreed with you, but let me admit that your last sentence

    “Pretendgin sI didnt say the first part in dismissing the second, is a perfect example of what I was talking about.”

    is already beyond my skills. Sprechen Sie Deutsch? ;-)

    “Steve. There is a LOT of glacier data – implying a dismissaal [sic] fo [sic] all of it by pointing to one dataum [sic] is cherry picking.”

    My grandmother had Parkinson before she died so with a full understanding, let me propose to interrupt the debate until later, tomorrow or later? It’s been a hard day for you. I don’t claim that the future will be easier or rosier, but still, you should try to sleep. ;-)

    All the best
    Lubos

  443. Lee
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 10:40 PM | Permalink

    Lubos,

    Stuff it, as*hol*. Stick to the evidence – which you are pointedly ignoring.

  444. Geoff
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 10:49 PM | Permalink

    #362. It’s a nice happenstance that the statistics journal with the editorial faorably mentioning M&M is available free on line here.

  445. Bruce
    Posted Jun 24, 2006 at 10:54 PM | Permalink

    Lee,

    It seems to me that what you, the Hockey Team, and their supporters are missing is that some of us are somewhat concerned that policy conclusions that have been drawn from the Hockey Team work are costing literally billions of dollars, all around the world, and very likely will have no significant impact on the perceived problem, if indeed there is really a problem. It is not really unreasonable that such important work should become subject to scrutiny.

    It has been well demonstrated on this site, and apparently largely accepted by the NAS panel, that the science underlying the Hockey Team corpus is somewhat problematic, and they have not helped their case by refusing to explain methods, archive data, access expert statistical skills, and in other ways fail to adhere to sound scientific practice clearly required for this sort of work.

    What I see is continual arm-waving, avoidance of discussion of the issues, lack of adherence to sound scientific practice, adoption of political and PR style approaches and the like. It is therefore surprise to me that the credibility of the Hockey Team is in a serious nose-dive. Certainly they can turn that around, but to do so would require the adoption of a scientific demeanour, a questioning attitude, and open-ness to input from those who can contribute. It is refreshing indeed to see some scientists from that side of the fence such as Rob Wilson and Eduardo Zorita engage with a constructive attitude, and make significant contributions.

    And Lubos, re #438, much as I enjoy your work, it is somewhat ironic that in a post where you chip Dave for spelling “anomalous” incorrectly, you seem to develop a problem spelling the word “cought” by which I think you mean “caught”. :-)

  446. Terry
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 12:54 AM | Permalink

    Lee:

    Your posts are excellent. Logical, honest, and rooted in facts. Please continue to post.

    I mention this only because you may feel you are not appreciated because people only tend to post antagonistic comments. So I just wanted to mention that your contributions ARE appreciated.

  447. gb
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 2:09 AM | Permalink

    Re # 449.

    “It seems to me that what you, the Hockey Team, and their supporters are missing is that some of us are somewhat concerned that policy conclusions that have been drawn from the Hockey Team”

    The theory of AGW is NOT only based on the HS curve! How often has this point to be repeated? There are several arguments that support the theory. Read the IPCC report or scientific journals.

  448. Pat Frank
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 3:02 AM | Permalink

    #451 — “There are several arguments that support the theory.”

    True. None of them are rigorously scientific.

  449. Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 5:31 AM | Permalink

    Dear Bruce #449,

    amazingly, I could not find any typo in your posting, so I instantly give up the spelling match with you. Congratulations! :-) More seriously, the content is also wise.

    Dear gb #451,

    thanks, that’s one of the things I tried to convince Lee about. The anthropogenic character of most of the global warming and its unusually significant magnitude can’t be derived from the temperature reconstructions, as the panel confirmed, too.

    There must exist some other paper or papers that lead to that conclusion. If you kindly help us to understand what papers these exactly are, Steve and others may try to check it, too, in the same friendly way in which they tried to reproduce MBH – perhaps with a help of another panel. ;-)

    I understand why an increased CO2 concentration is expected to have given us about 0.6 degrees C per the 20th century plus minus some unknown feedback contribution – and why the further increase of CO2 will probably lead to warming that won’t be bigger than that, because of the saturation of the relevant absorption processes.

    I also understand that clouds and more generally water in the atmosphere, ice, and snow can influence the climate more substantially, but these effects and their main drivers are largely unknown. Otherwise, the evidence that we may be entering a dangerous anthropogenic warming era seems to be based on hundreds of papers about different topics, neither of which really contains the evidence, but by some political synergy of the authors, the conclusion is supposed to emerge spontaneously without the evidence. ;-)

    If you or someone else mentions a paper or papers that you believe demonstrate the human-induced character of the recent warming, and its unprecedented magnitude in comparison to the recent millenia, I will be grateful. I have not found it yet, after several years.

    All the best
    Lubos

  450. Bruce
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 5:38 AM | Permalink

    Re #451: gb, the problem that you and your colleagues have is that when one area of climate science is thrown into question, and other areas appear to have similar features (ie lack of disclosure of methods, failure to archive data, unwillingness to enable replication, doubtful and questionable practice, unwillingness to discuss the science, and resort to ad hominems to put down questioners – “deniers” for example) then it is hardly surprising that observers become somewhat sceptical about the other claims being made. I am referring of course to the temperature records of Jones et al in particular, but it also seems evident that other areas of “climate science” such as sea level analysis, ice core analysis etc may be subject to question.

    The process of science requires that proponents of theories need to back up their theories with robust science, accept that they will have to submit their work to scrutiny and examination, allow release of methods and data so that others can replicate their work, and so build confidence in it. This is especially so where the science aims to influence policy involving literally billions of dollars.

    Science is NOT a secret club where only the initiates are allowed to see the data and methods, and the rest of us are asked to “trust us”. My answer is “No, I don’t trust you!”. And the reason that I don’t is made abundantly clear through this blog, and also review of CA.

    As is becoming increasingly clear, the Hockey Stick corpus has a few problems of basic science, and this can only throw other areas of climate science that from the outside seem to be following similar questionable practice into doubt.

    The answer is actually very simple. All that those putting forward scientific claims need to do to win the support and admiration of all observers is to follow sound scientific practice. And some climate scientists are clearly adopting this position. Surely everybody’s interests are best served when the case, whatever might be the outcome, is sufficiently proven that we can all turn our attention to address what the best action to take might be.

    It is shocking that it is emerging that some at least in the area of climate science seem not to know what real science actually involves. Please note, I am not saying that you, Lee, don’t. However, the evidence seems compelling enough that at least some climate scientists let their beliefs over-ride their commitment to sound science.

    You might say that that accusation applies to me too. And so it might. The difference is that I am not trying to influence the allocation of billions of dollars of public moneys towards interests where I have certain beliefs. It actually doesn’t matter a damn what I think about most, if not all matters of science. However, it most certainly does matter when certain “climate scientists” seek to influence policy.

  451. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 5:53 AM | Permalink

    Re #451 – **The theory of AGW is NOT only based on the HS curve! How often has this point to be repeated? There are several arguments that support the theory. Read the IPCC report or scientific journals.**
    But it sure is used to justify it. Why is the Hockey Stick so prominent in the IPCC report and many other publications?

  452. Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 6:27 AM | Permalink

    Dear Bruce #454,
    what you write is precious and I mostly agree with it. But at the same moment, you should not forget that those who really don’t study certain scientifical papers in quantitative depth have opinions that don’t matter and shouldn’t matter for science, and they may also lack the ability to determine which scientists are doing their job well and honestly and which don’t.

    Such a pressure from people who have opinions but who have not looked at the questions carefully are never helpful for science to converge to the right answers. In the past few years, this pressure was clearly trying to direct climate science towards catastrophic predictions, but even if it tries to push science in another direction, it is still wrong.

    Dear Gerald #455,
    I have learned from climate professionals at

    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2006/06/nrc_report_not_as_interesting.php

    not only that Steve McIntyre is in charge of the U.S. government – congratulations, Steve! – but also that the septics and their right-wing cheerleaders will be transformed into flat-earthers because of a new smart policy: the temperature reconstructions will be suppressed in the next IPCC report, one scientist explains. That’s the right scientific decision! Suppress whatever does not work and highlight whatever works.

    I wonder that it could be a good idea for them to downplay the other scientific questions as well and highlight the photographs of Al Gore in the next report. ;-)

    All the best
    Lubos

  453. TAC
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 6:33 AM | Permalink

    #428 and #435 Given the substantial uncertainty about the statistical properties of “noise” components of temperature signals, one might want to be careful about asserting that a particular century is “anomalous”. One of the compelling features of the late “hockey stick” was its simple “shaft” — very boring noise. In fact, that also presented a problem: It was hard to reconcile the HS with the noise seen in both longer and shorter hydroclimatological datasets. Among other things, by dismissing the HS reconstruction, the NAS report opens the door to resolving this apparent discrepancy.

    Along these lines, perhaps one sub-topic that remains to be addressed (a future NAS panel?) is the “color” of the noise.

  454. Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 6:59 AM | Permalink

    Dear TAC #457,

    I completely agree with you that the color of the noise – and the autocorrelation laws – should be looked at, not only by the IPCC. You might be interested in David Stockwell’s very recent lag plots

    http://landshape.org/enm/?p=107

    Click the picture there. It draws the temperature of a series against the temperature in the previous time period (box), and it can visually disentangle random data (cloud) from highly autocorrelated data (diagonal line) and periodic data (circle). I find it amazing how different various spaghetti graphs look in this treatment.

    The folks should try to understand the autocorrelation critical exponents but I am afraid that most people who are paid for similar climate science questions currently lack the needed mathematical skills.

    Best
    Lubos

  455. TCO
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 7:06 AM | Permalink

    Mike Mann was a mathematical physicist, no? I thought they could do anything. Beat you upside the head with a Bessel function, no?

  456. Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 7:32 AM | Permalink

    Dear TCO #459,
    he was something related, but he was not in our field

    http://www-spires.slac.stanford.edu/spires/find/hep/www?rawcmd=FIND+A+MANN%2CM+AND+DATE+AFTER+1980+and+not+a+gell-mann&FORMAT=www&SEQUENCE=

    which is probably enough to guess that he is not among those who can do everything. ;-)

    There is a very high number of people who were attracted to the climate from theoretical physics. Stefan Rahmstorf from RC started with general relativity

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=53

    I thuink that he could not receive $1 million for GR. ;-)

    Best
    Lubos

  457. Terry
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 9:55 AM | Permalink

    #428

    Lee said:

    And if I seem testy, I am; I’ve been reading this blog, and reading the report. Yes, they remove the resolution from the claims from dendrochronology prior to 900 years ago, and perhaps all dendro claims from prior to 900 ya; thats big. But the overt dismissal or unwillingness of nearly everyone here to acknwoledge much of the remainder of what they say, much of which is strongly supportive of an anomolous 20th century, is simply stunning.

    This highlights a subtlety that can be important in understanding that some of the apparent conflicts here are not conflicts at all but rather people approaching the issue from different directions with different perspectives. Many people focus on the answer to the question of whether there is AGW. Your post cited here is making the point that there is substantial evidence for AGW and you feel people are ignoring it. Many other people are focused on the question of whether Mann’s work is right or not. Most of Steve’s work is focused on this second question.

    Problems arise when people confuse the two issues (yes, there is a link between the two issues, but I will get to that.) This happens very regularly as some of your exchanges illustrate. You are saying that “sure Mann’s work is full of problems, but there is other evidence in favor of AGW,” while other people are saying “while there may be other evidence in favor of AGW, Mann’s work is full of holes.” Often, there is no fundamental difference between the two positions, just a difference in emphasis. There is only an apparent conflict because each side usually talks about one part it and the other talks about the other part.

    Thinking about this has made be think that we are actually reaching a real consensus here. The NAS report can be read as a rather strong de-emphasis of Mann’s results in favor of other evidence that points towards AGW. There is a residual question as to whether Mann’s work contributes ANYTHING useful to the issue (Steve M.’s upcoming paper to be presented in San Francisco will hopefully go a long way towards answering that question) but the NAS report pretty clearly repudiates the notion that Mann’s work provides anything approaching strong evidence on the issue (“plausible but unproven”). At the same time, the NAS panel (as you point out) points to a lot of other evidence supporting AGW, and the people who have focused on the larger question have focused on this. So the emerging consensus seems to be that Mann’s work is at best weak and at worst worthless, but there is other evidence of AGW.

    This would also explain the rather odd tone that RealClimate has taken for more than a year now, i.e., the “we have moved on” line. At first, this struck me as a smug method of evading valid criticisms. But I have lately begun to wonder if it can be seen as a very CYA way of admitting that Mann’s work is seriously flawed (without actually saying so) and that other evidence should be looked at to answer the question. (This is almost certainly giving Mann too much credit since he could have actually said this in a nice way — he could have said “yes, your criticisms raise valid issues; thank you for moving science forward; we will incorporate your work and move on to better models and more robust results; my contribution, flawed as it may have been, has, nevertheless sparked a useful line of research”. Mann’s behavior has clearly been inexcusable and has set back the science in this field.) Steve Bloom’s post also have this odd tone. He keeps pointing to other evidence but is never willing to confront the problems in Mann’s work or even admit that there are any such problems.

    So, what is the link between the Mann meltdown and the other evidence? Mann’s work has been audited far more rigorously than any of the other work supporting AGW — and this was only due to the fluke that Steve M. just happened to be retired, technically competent, an outsider without any conflicts of interest, and possessed of a rather peculiar curiosity about replicating odd bits of statistical research. That audit undermined the credibility of Mann’s work (IMHO it destroyed it completely) and established that it had been greatly oversold by the pro-AGW folks. This took eight years of gruelling work. What would eight years of work auditing the other evidence show?

    Also, you have to remember how important the hockey stick was for the alarmists. Patrick Michaels has a very good post on this at http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2005/03/03/hockey-stick-1998-2005-rip/ Personally, I just resent being lied to.

  458. TCO
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

    Terry: A single paper that Steve presents at a conference is unlikely to change much. Heck, it may not even be abstracted and will receive minimal peer review (or readership). My sprinkler-beseiged string-friend can back me up on this assessment of publications for meeting proceedings. They are not really considered serious articles. Most people just dish together a little mini-review of some aspect of the their regular work.

    And knowing Steve, it will probably get written with grease pencil on acetate in the taxi on the way to the meeting. The real benefit of that meeting will be Steve’s continued interaction and networking with the field. But a meeting or a blog are cake icing. The real filling needs to be in the abstracted, peer-reviewed literature. That’s what moves the field forward. That’s what allows you to be “at least wrong”…

  459. Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    Dear Terry #461,

    I agree that people approach these things with different perspectives and emphases and that a general agreement between reasonable people could emerge. But before we adopt another “consensus”, could you please tell us which other papers do you exactly consider to be evidence of dangerous AGW, the kind of AGW that is used to justify things like the Kyoto protocol and beyond?

    I am very curious because I have not seen such papers despite the years of looking for them, and none of the proponents of the unprecedented AGW theory has provided me with any answers either, despite the fact that I asked the question politely about 20 times. The temperature reconstructions were always the only explicit and particular work with a significant impact on the “big question” of the the existence of unprecedented anthropogenic global warming.

    Thanks and best
    Lubos

  460. Terry
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

    #462:

    And knowing Steve, it will probably get written with grease pencil on acetate in the taxi on the way to the meeting. The real benefit of that meeting will be Steve’s continued interaction and networking with the field. But a meeting or a blog are cake icing. The real filling needs to be in the abstracted, peer-reviewed literature. That’s what moves the field forward. That’s what allows you to be “at least wrong”…

    I agree completely. The San Francisco paper has to be published somewhere. Presenting at a conference is not enough.

  461. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

    #464. But the material in the San Francisco paper is going to have a completely different punch because of the NAS Panel findings. For anyone that looks at the NAS panel statistical section and then at the AGU PPT, it’s pretty easy to see the next step. But before you dump on me too much for not getting things done faster, we presented the two key AGU graphics at our NAS PPT session. Would NAS have mentioned Durbin-Watson statistics without that process? I don’t think so. Does NAS mentioning this change how an article like this will be received? It should.

  462. Terry
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

    #463:

    But before we adopt another “consensus”, could you please tell us which other papers do you exactly consider to be evidence of dangerous AGW, the kind of AGW that is used to justify things like the Kyoto protocol and beyond?

    Succintly, I think the case for AGW is:

    (1) Temperatures have gone up in the 20th century.

    (2) CO2 has increased in the 20th century.

    (3) Maybe half of the 20th century temperature increase could be due to increased CO2. (Oddly Mann is a source for this. I think he said that the pre-1940 temperature increase was due to solar activity. Therefore, maybe half of the total increase was due to CO2.) BTW, half is a very rough guess.

    (4) Crude calculations imply that increased CO2 could cause a small increase in temperatures of this magnitude.

    (5) Extrapolating, if further increases in CO2 cause temperature increases similar to about half (or even more) of the 20th century increase, there will be a modest further increase in temperatures in the 21st century. (The feedback stuff required for higher numbers is at best unproven and at worst willfully distorted.) What baffles me most is why the most reliable estimate of future temperature increases is not a simple extrapolation from the 20th century increase. Isn’t this the most obvious, robust, and easiest-to-agree-on estimate? How can this estimate possibly be considered to be contrarian, skeptical, or outside the consensus? (My understanding is that such a simple extrapolation yields an estimate of the effects of 2xCO2 1 degree C or less.)

    (6) Nothing justifies Kyoto since there is complete and unanimous consensus that Kyoto will have no noticable effect on anything.

  463. mark
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    Yes, Terry, what Lubos said. Some of us come from the “not antropogenic” position and we fully realize that causation existed nowhere except through the HS. I.e., yes, there is plenty of evidence of other warming, but the “link” to human activity was largely provided by the HS. The HS is now gone. That’s what separates the two positions, IMO.

    Other scientists make claims that “it can be from no other cause”, but those are largely untested hypotheses. Even those speaking from the position of the climate models are in the statistically murky outcome land.

    Mark

  464. mark
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 12:20 PM | Permalink

    Point 3, above, is the primary point of contention, btw. There’s also a problem with attributing CO2 to any warming post 1940 as temperatures actually dropped till the 70s during the largest increases in CO2. I.e. the CO2 as a forcer argument has a very poor correlation to actual temperatures.

    Mark

  465. Pat Frank
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 12:21 PM | Permalink

    #461, Terry, you wrote, “Your post cited here is making the point that there is substantial evidence for AGW and you feel people are ignoring it.

    Even if the Hockey Stick was entirely correct, it would provide no evidence whatever for Anthropogenic global warming. The reason is that there is no physical theory of climate that puts any reasonable limits on the rate or magnitude of natural climate variability.

    The best we’d be able to say in the absence of theory, even given a high-resolution and valid proxy extending millennia into the past, is that recent warming is unusual (or not). Unusual means different from past excursions. Noting differences is not assigning causality. The whole hockey stick debate has been, and remains, rife with the “post hoc ergo propter hoc” error. And that error includes scads of scientists, who really should know better.

  466. H. Patrick Baru
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 12:48 PM | Permalink

    Ad baculum, ad hominem, ad numeran, ad ignorantium, ad nauseum …

  467. Peter Hartley
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 1:02 PM | Permalink

    Pat #469 “The reason is that there is no physical theory of climate that puts any reasonable limits on the rate or magnitude of natural climate variability.”

    Are you saying that the AGW hypothesis is untestable in principle, or merely unable to be tested given our current state of knowledge of natural driving forces and/or natural internal variability? Could one make a more limited statement that, given the current state of knowledge of those external and internal factors, the observed warming cannot be explained without appealing to the rise in CO2? In that context, it would seem that a necessary condition for the rise in CO2 to be a cause of recent warming is that such warming is outside the bounds of past natural variation. That is not a sufficient condition, however, since the natural driving forces could also be outside their recent historical bounds.

    As I have said on other threads before, I believe that the key implication of the death of the HS is that it implies natural variation is much larger than the HS indicated and the effect of CO2 increases on average temperatures therefore must be smaller. The CO2 content of the atmosphere followed a HS shape over the past millenium. If temperature did not, CO2 must have played a smaller part and “something else” a larger part. More specifgically, the NAS has now agreed that that “something else” must, at a minimum, have taken us from the LIA to the temperature prevalent in the 1930′s (since the anthropogenic increase in CO2 is not even a “plausible” cause of warming until after 1930). If we agree on this, there is a further important implication for the GCM models. They cannot explain the “something else” and therefore are seriosuly deficient — certainly too deficient to be relied upon for policy advice. If these arguments are valid, it would seem that the AGW hypothesis is testable.

  468. Lee
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

    Terry, re 466, a couple points.

    re your point 5. One major reason why a simple extrapolation between current CO2 and temp isn’t valid, is that CO2 causes us to accumulate heat, which manifests as temp in different ways. It takes a lot of energy to heat the ocean, and to melt ice, and over a lot of time, so the amount of temperature increase we see so far is still not at what the steady-state higher temperature will be for the current increase in CO2 and resulting increased heat retention. The time lag due to the heat capacities (primarily of the oceans) has to be taken into account. Attemtps to measure heat rather than temperature, althogh they seem to be in early days at this point, yield sensitivity values in reasonable accord with the models

    Also, remember that the sensitivity to 2xCO2 can be calculated in other ways, not just from the models. Using the data from glacial-interglacial transitions arrives at a value of about 3C, which is in good agreement with the values from the models. Another (much weaker, but congruent) line of evidence is the coupling of northern and southern hemisphere climates, even when milankovich cycles cause a delta in insolation primarily in one hemisphere; so far, CO2 forcing subsequent to temp-driven CO2 increases in the heated hemisphere, is the only explanation I knwo of that is claimed to do a reasonable job of explaining that coupling.

  469. Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

    Dear Terry #466,

    thanks for your answer that confirms what I think is actually behind the movement.

    I have just returned from a good lunch in a Chinese restaurant, and I was sure that the fortune cookies would say something about the Kyoto protocol.

    Indeed, the cookie said “When it is not necessary to make a decision, it is necessary not to make a decision.” Much like in most cases, I agree with the cookie which explains that I also approve your point 6).

    Sometimes it is stunning how the fortune cookie makers are well-informed, for example when they say that “you are the most charming person in the world”. How could they have known it would go to me? ;-)

    Concerning more serious points 1-5.

    1) Yes, temperatures went up in the 20th century. They could only have gone up or down and both possibilities could be misused politically – equally easily in both cases.

    What you don’t seem to say is that the temperatures also went up in the 19th century and late 18th century, essentially by the same rate. See e.g. the NAS graph

    http://darwin.nap.edu/books/0309102251/html/67.html

    This was long before significant CO2 emissions.

    2) Yes, CO2 increased in the 20th century, much like the number of cell phones and the number of progressives. The pirates have declined.

    I hope that you don’t want to suggest that if two things increased, there must exist a physical law that correlates them. That would be rather far from being able to form a consensus that would involve me, especially because the correlation seems to be absent if you look at the quantities before the 20th century as discussed in 1).

    3) This point of yours seems to me as a sum of 1) and 2), with an extra addition from some graphs in MBH that are now consensually believed to be incorrect. Correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t see any additional scientific “alive” argument in 3).

    4) I agree with 4) and have made the same calculation. The very same calculation also implies that extra CO2 added to the atmosphere will lead to ever smaller increase than the previous CO2 because the absorption at relevant spectral lines is getting saturated.

    5) Here you seem to repeat the extrapolation that I already discussed in 4). While the catastrophic predictions talk about “tipping points” and unstable, exponentially accelerating increase of temperature, the answer of physics is of course just the opposite. Adding new CO2 – or any other gas – leads to deccelerating increase of temperature because the maximum that you can absorb at frequency F is 100 percent. The relation is sublinear. See e.g.

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2006/05/climate-sensitivity-and-editorial.html

    It was just linked in an essay by I. Murray, by the way.

    To summarize, if these are the arguments to be worried, very worried, then they’re very weak arguments, indeed, and if you kindly allow me, I will continue to be more worried about the manipulation of the world by hysterias than about the warming.

    Best
    Lubos

  470. Lee
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

    re 471:

    Peter, no.

    “I believe that the key implication of the death of the HS is that it implies natural variation is much larger than the HS indicated and the effect of CO2 increases on average temperatures therefore must be smaller.”

    Greater STATISTICAL uncertainty is NOT an implication of greater natural variation.

  471. Peter Hartley
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 1:26 PM | Permalink

    Lee #474: but the NAS panel has now agreed that, contrary to the HS, we did have a LIA and the increase in temperature from the LIA to the 1930′s does not match the change in CO2 over that interval (as Lubos has also just pointed out in #473). The inescapable conclusion is that natural variation is much higher than the HS implied, and much higher than the GCMs give for changes in natural factors such as variations in solar irradiance and magnetic field strength (whichhave been linked to climate cycles by other empirical evidence).

  472. Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    Dear #471 Lee,

    your explanation that we don’t yet observe the warming because there is a “lag” contradicts one thing that you probably don’t find too important: the actual observations.

    According to various graphs such as the graph I mentioned in my previous comment, the recent warming did not start 50 years after our significant emissions but 150 years earlier. Normally, we call it the end of the Little Ice Age.

    More generally, your explanation that a discrepancy does not matter has been used hundreds of times in the history of the humankind and science. In all cases I can think of right now, it turned out to be nothing else than a painful policy to slow down the learning of the truth.

    Jehovah’s Witnesses have been moving their Judgement Day many times into the future. Experimenters in physics around 1900 wanted to observe the aether wind but it was not there. So they insisted that people should have been more patient. Of course, there was no aether wind because there exists no aether. There was never a good reason to believe that there was one. It was just a philosophical theory without any independent justification or links to observed facts about nature.

    According to the existing models, no effect involving the heat capacity of the oceans could occur at timescales longer than a few decades. What you’re saying is just a painful attempt to deny the observations while pretending that you’re still nice – which you’re not – and I view such justifications to be a striking symptom of junk science. You seem to embrace this symptom in a very concentrated fashion.

    If someone relies on certain models or theories, he should be using all of them instead of cherry-picking the conclusions whenever he likes them – which is what you’re doing about 80% of your life.

    Best wishes
    Lubos

  473. Lee
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    And many other soruces also show those variations, and there are a lot of other sources for sensitivity analyses than just the models, as I’ve pointed out in this thread I believe. Some of the model results do show a LIA and MWP; implying that they dont do so, because Mann’s recosntructinos dont, is simply wrong.

    Lubos is makng the mistake of arguing that becaeu one aprt of a trend is driven by primary factors other than CO2, and it invalidates CO2 as a primary factor for another part of the trend. He s makng the unsuported assumptin that the entire trend is nomo-causal.

  474. Lee
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

    Lubos, I didnt say a discrepancy doesnt matter; I’m pointing out that it isnt a discrepancy. We ARE measuring heat increases, as predicted. And if you are really the superior intellect that you pretend to be, you know that heat, not temperature, is the relevant measurement, and you know that heat capacities, heat trasnportation mechanisms, and transitin energies will slow the temperature response. Pretending that this is not true or nto relevant, means that you are denying the some basic first-year physics. Even a superior intellect wont make the physics of heat capacity, heat transport, and phase transitions go away.

    I am also not making the mistake that you are making, of assuming that because one factor was causal for a trend in the past that this proves that a different factor cant be caual for the continuation of that trend in the present and future.

    For such a superior intellect, you make a lot of first-semester-of-intro-physics level mistakes.

  475. muirgeo
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    It’s good to see the NAS report finally confirming what we all knew. Years ago I debated with the now deceased John Daly over the Mann paper…which I believe he gets credited for labeling as the Hockey Stick graph. My challenge to him was to show me one significant study that showed a marked different history of late Holocene climate. He was never able to and none still exist. My guess is my challenge will go unanswered as likely no such paper will ever be produced because late Holocene climate has likely been very stable until the recent and current episode of anthropogenic warming. The whole enterprise of this web site will in due time be reduced to a very small footnote in the annuals of climate study…and the CO2 molecule will with its physically defined immutable radiative properties be unhindered in warming the planet by an extreme pugnacious micro-inspection and second guessing of the fine details of every published paper on the subject. The work here is of value if for no other reason but to show that good theories will stand up to the test of time and every possible detailed attempt to falsify them.

  476. Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

    An addition to my #476 answer to Lee #471:

    More generally: I want to say that it is indeed a legitimate kind of argument to argue that a theory XY looks good because it creates a picture that is nontrivially consistent with a lot of data we know while being a simple enough theory.

    We’re using a similar reasoning in theoretical physics very often, and subsequent decades often show how terribly right we are. ;-) But it is just not the case of global warming. Some data agree with the models but some don’t. There is a divergence problem. You want to argue that there is also a lag – while you simultaneously want to use the un-lagged 20th century warming as an argument, which is inconsistent.

    The recent warming that is claimed to be anthropogenic started 150 years before we began to emit a lot emissions. Strange.

    You want to use the simple calculation of the absorption of IR rays by CO2, but simultaneously you want to deny another consequence of this theory, namely that the warming from each new CO2 molecule is smaller than the warming from the previous molecule. You don’t like this feature of the mode, so you hide it: you’re cherry-picking the predictions of your own theories.

    There is a lot of inconsistencies within your reasoning and a lot of inconsistencies between the reasoning on one side and observations on the other side. Observations that agree are viewed as evidence, and the importance of the other observations (those that disagree) is ridiculed, usually without any independently explained difference between the two.

    Some other observations I did not mention agree, but they agree with a theory that has too many flexible and uncertain components. This is just not a convincing picture that could be used to make reliable predictions. The hockey stick was very different. If you draw the graph of temperatures and it is constant for 900 years and suddenly shoots up, it indicates that there must be something special about the modern era.

    But the stick is now officially broken. What you want to use to replace it is just a vague combination of belief, politics, and anecdotal evidence that has moreover been cherry-picked to suit a certain agenda. It’s nothing that a reasonable person would find convincing.

    Surely that CO2 contributes in some way, much like the ratio of water droplets in the upper and lower atmosphere; urbanization; and dozens of other things. The climate is governed by these effects and many other regulating effects. The evidence that CO2 is the most important driver that should be studied most of the time (and paid for) is absent.

  477. Lee
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

    Lubos, yo are jsut too silly.

    Disputing straw-mn forms of cliams I HACE NOT MADE isn’t even first year physics, its first week debate, and the tactic of someone who isnt secure in his argument.
    Adn on the one place where you are at least near the point, there is some worming ,soem off which is likely AGW, and theris MORe heat increase, which wil translate to warming as heat flow continues due to teh increaseed CO2.

    BTW, you are implyign that there is some kind of curoff beyond which CO2 has no relevant effect. Either you really do know some physics adn knwo somethig aobu tthis field, in which case you know that the logarthmic result of CO2 concentration for heat retention is calculated and supported by physical results, and not all that steeply declining as you imply – in which case you are being dishonest – or you dotn know, in which case your physics really sucks..

  478. Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    Dear Lee #478,

    you are using various physics terms in a nonsensical and unscientific way. Much like the paranormal people who often like to talk about “energy” – which means, in their framework, something like a good mood and good health – you are talking about “heat” which is, as you say, the “primary measured quantity”.

    Your statement is a nonsense because we can never ask “how much heat there is”. Heat is the amount of energy that has been or will be transferred by thermal contact. It is unscientific to ask “how much heat there is in the ocean”. If you ask how much heat the ocean can transfer to another physical object, the answer is not unique. It depends on the object that you put in contact with the ocean. If the ocean is in contact with a very cold body, it can transfer a lot of heat. If it is in the contact with an equally warm physical object, there will be no heat transferred.

    This is high-school physics. Only temperatures can be directly measured, and these temperatures can be used to indirectly deduce how much heat is/was being transferred between different pairs of physical objects, in a striking contradiction with your misled understanding of basic thermodynamics.

    You’re not the first climate guy to misunderstand the heat. William Connolley thought that the latent heat of ice is 1000 times smaller than it is. He wrote that the Arctic Sun can melt away 30 meter thick layer of ice per day. Imagine that. The right answer is 30 millimeters.

    Moreover, once again, the maximal timescale at which the surface waters of the ocean are believed to be able to store thermal energy is comparable to several years, not a century. Just do the calculation, and if you can’t do it, just don’t spread disinformation: it’s very painful. This is not enough to make any significant bias in our measurement of the warming.

    Deep ocean, much like the bulk of the Earth in general, can of course store the heat for centuries. But the thermal exchange with them is negligible compared to the solar radiation and emission by the Earth. At any rate, the ocean has a small impact, and it is a *stabilizing* impact that makes things better and safer, not worse! You seem to have gotten all the answers wrong.

    Best
    Lubos

  479. Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 2:25 PM | Permalink

    Dear Lee #481,

    at a single frequency, the absorption is getting saturated, and indeed, there is an upper bound on how much infrared radiation can be absorbed by the atmosphere at a given frequency F: it is 100% of the radiation.

    The greenhouse gases only absorb at some frequencies, and the maximum they can absorb from one spectral line is “all” of light. Afterwards, any warming effect stops.

    In reality, it is important that as the concentrations increase, new spectral lines become relevant. This is why the decrease of the influence of concentrations on the temperature growth is not exponentially decreasing – but the graph is logarithmic as described by Arrhenius’ law. The qualitative conclusion is unchanged: the more CO2 there is, the smaller influence a new molecule of CO2 will have.

    I hope it will help you to remove the fog and your confusion. Incidentally, you have just exceeded your yesterday’s record number of typos per sentence. I would love to offer you a help but it could be viewed as impolite, so you will have to help yourself.

    Best
    Lubos

  480. Lee
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 2:36 PM | Permalink

    Lubos, Lubos, Lubos -

    Heat CAPACITY. The greater heat capacity of the ocean means that the heat transfering to the ocean causes a relatively lower change in temperature. If you think you uunderstand the dynamics of heat transport in the oceans better than the people working in the field, then write it up. Spewing generalities on a blog, makes you a person spewing generalities on a blog. Remember as you do, the increase in forcing that is causing the change in ‘steady state’ temperature is on the order of a couple watts per meter. The ocean has to be sequestering only a part of that to lead to a lag in surface air temp responses. Teh fact taht waatt per meter squred is only a small fractin of the total heat flux of the ocean surface is meaningless, the directional delta in heat flux is what matters.

    And dont try to deny that one can deal directly with heat as a quantity. Yes, one observes it by measuring delta temp, as a function of the heat capacity of the thing changing temp. You are attempting to leave heat capacity out of the discussion, nad arguig that temperature increases shoudl be instantaneous, which is absurd. That argues for dishonesty, rather than ignorance.

  481. Lee
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 2:42 PM | Permalink

    Lubos, that is an impressive spewing of irrelevant facts.
    The relevant fact is not a qualitative descriptint of CO2 mechanisms, it is the slope of the change in response integrated across the CO2 mediated heat retention mechanisms at the CO2 concentrations we are currrently considering.

    I note you havent touched that issue. You are again implying without actually saying anything relevant, that there is a very steep slope to the change, and that therefore there is a very sharp cutoff of the response at relevant CO2 concentrations. Again, given that the people working in the field belive different, write it up. With your superios intellect, it should be simple to prove them all wrong.

  482. Lee
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

    re 484 – correction, paragraph 2: “one CAN”T deal

  483. Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

    Dear Lee #484,

    I will happily leave the task to write papers about heat to true professionals and experts in heat – and experts in writing – such as you, so that you can be peer-reviewed by your equally talented peers. ;-)

    I have already explained why you misunderstand what the word “heat” means. Do you really need me to explain why you also misunderstand what “heat capacity” means? You have imperfectly memorized things that you have clearly never understood at school and that you have never used afterwards, and now you’re behaving as a student who wants to mask that he is completely ignorant about the subject during an exam.

    The problem with you guys is that you never talk about science. You talk about politics 90 percent of the time. You prefer childish personal attacks against “stooges of oil industry” and “Republicans”. Look at Deltoid what you are like. This is why it is inevitable that your comments about topics that are at least infinitesimally technical end up the way that your comments look like.

    Concering #485, I think that I said very clearly what is true and what is false about the dependence of the greenhouse effect on the concentration. The sharp cutoff exists for every individual frequency, while their combination of course has no sharp cutoff.

    The main point – the answer to a “big question” – is of course the qualitative conclusion that if the standard calculation is done correctly, even the 700 ppm concentrations, expected around 2300, don’t mean any problem that we should worry about. In fact, it is questionable whether the people in 2300 will be able to disentangle the influence if humans from the natural background.

    Even if we face a warming by another degree in one century, it won’t mean anything universally bad. In fact, the positives and the negatives of such warming are gonna be approximately balanced, by the very fact that the world has nearly perfectly adapted to the current conditions so that the first derivative with respect to temperatures vanishes at a local maximum of the “utility” function. Someone will benefit, someone will lose: all these questions can only be answered by local physics.

    The proposed policies based on the climate hypotheses are even more irrational than the climate hypotheses themselves.

  484. Lee
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

    Lubos, you are being dishonest:

    “The problem with you guys is that you never talk about science. You talk about politics 90 percent of the time. You prefer childish personal attacks against “stooges of oil industry” and “Republicans”.”

    No, I do not. Distracting with irrelevant claims about what some other people are alleged to be doing, in a response to me, is simply dishonest. As are you, clearly.

    “The main point – the answer to a “big question” – is of course the qualitative conclusion that if the standard calculation is done correctly, even the 700 ppm concentrations, expected around 2300, don’t mean any problem that we should worry about.”
    You still don’t say what the slope is, what the actual increase in direct CO2 forcing is. In other words, you are engaging in qualitative hand waving. And what, pray tell, is “the standard calculation done correctly?” Looks to me like this is simply a fancy way to say “I don’t beleive it.”

    Are you standing by your apparent assumption that the transition to an increased steady-state temperature due to increased net radiative heat flow into the ocean, or into the earth system for that matter, is expected to be effectively instantaneous?

  485. StuartR
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 3:26 PM | Permalink

    Lubos, thanks for your answer to my question, thanks for the reference to WSJ, you’re right about the fact that some reporters out there that have already reported this well. After following this blog for a while and then hearing the audio of the press release and reading the summaries, I wasn’t naive enough to think that there would be headlines about how the the hockey stick has been shortened, but it seemed strange to me that the reporters who did decide to air this subject after this, went on to say the hockey stick was even more strongly confirmed, which seemed bizzare to me and so that prompted my question.

    If there is an strong posibility of AGW it seems to me IMHO that Steve Mc is the only guy who could spot this signal in the data which is ironic.

  486. Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

    Dear Lee #488,

    thank you for your feedback. You know very well that the comment about the domination of politics in the progressives’ communication was not a random distraction but a reaction to another debate that is occuring in parallel with this one and where both of us participated.

    Of course that you are correct that any argument against catastrophic global warming is, by definition, a fancy way to say “I don’t believe it”. But there are good reasons not to believe because extraordinary statements require extraordinary evidence.

    Life on this planet has existed for 4 billion years, unless you are a creationist, which makes it rather unlikely that some fluctuations that may occur in a few centuries can have such a dramatical impact on the global life.

    Of course, I have also discussed the microscopic reason why this large impact does not exist. But you don’t like it, do you? You would apparently prefer if everyone in the world were a believer in your new environmental armageddons and sins. I am afraid that without burning people at stake, you won’t achieve this goal of yours. ;-)

    Best
    Lubos

  487. Lee
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

    Lubos,

    You refuse to address the very simple scienific isseus tht you rised, whiel ccusing others of ignoring the science. That is fundmentally dishonest.

    Again, what is the slope of he delta in forcing due to increasing CO2 concentrations?

    Again, are you stainding by your apparent claim that one would expect effectively instantaneus increases in temperture when adding net heat energy to a system?

    Rants about the alleged political motivations of those who disagree with you, or referring to your position as a harvard professor, are not relevant answers.

  488. Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 3:45 PM | Permalink

    Dear Stuart #489,

    thanks for your response. I hope that once Steve will see the striking signal of the coming judgement day, he will tell us in advance! :-)

    The journalists have twisted these things significantly. I wonder what is their “heat capacity” – how much time can they hide the truth about the panel and other things from normal people.

    I think it is not really possible to hide the truth. I would guess that those who are strongly interested in these questions – thousands of people a day – can read a more complete account on this blog or a few other blogs. This includes the strong advocates of AGW who have already surely seen that the NAS report is not as good news for their beliefs as the newspapers indicate. They can read it on alarmist blogs, too. From these tens of thousands, it will eventually spread to the millions who care.

    Morever, the panel’s report will affect the way how scientists write papers about related topics because many of them will probably start to cite it – hopefully some of them simultaneously with M&M who really deserve the credit. There will have to be a few extra panels before questioning the evidence of various AGW claims becomes politically correct, and not a suicide for people in climate science.

    Best
    Lubos

  489. Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    Dear Lee #491,

    I have answered all your questions twice, but because you ask again, I will happily answer them for the third time. I am used to a few slower students from teaching.

    The change in the temperature induced by increased CO2 concentrations depends on the concentration. Between the pre-industrial 280 ppm (parts per million, a unit of concentration) and 560 ppm expected around 2100, the temperature is expected to jump, from the simple calculation absorption calculation (the bare greenhouse effect), by about 1 Celsius degree or so.

    We are already behind 1/2 of the effect of this “doubling” that measures climate sensitivity even though the CO2 concentrations were not raised by 1/2 of the doubling yet. It’s because the relation is sublinear, and the more CO2 there is, the less important new CO2 becomes. See

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2006/05/climate-sensitivity-and-editorial.html

    Second, you ask whether the temperature of a system XY is changed immediately once we transfer heat H to it. You indicate that it will be a shock you but the answer is Yes. The temperature immediately jumps by H/C where C is the heat capacity.

    There can be buffers that store thermal energy for some time, and I have explained that the surface waters of oceans store it for a few years. The deep oceans or the rest of the Earth can store energy for centuries or more, but the thermal exchange with these deep regions is negligibly slow.

    For example, the core of the Earth has temperature of thousands of degrees, but it has no significant heating effect on the surface. The heat transfer from the interior of the Earth is a few percent of the exchange with the Sun, and moreover it is essentially constant because the Earth is not changing inside.

    It’s only the surface where things are rather fast. There can be some bizarre effects occuring inside the Earth that we misunderstand or underestimate much like people used to misunderstand continental drift, but I chose to assume that it is not the case.

    I was happy to learn that you are a biologist. It would indeed be unpleasant to learn that you had something professionally to do with physical sciences.

    Best
    Lubos

  490. Lee
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 4:20 PM | Permalink

    Oh, Lubos; you can try to snow everyone, but it wont work.

    On the first part, finally an answer. Yes, the expected STEADY STATE increase in temp due to direct CO2 effects is on the near order of what you cite. BTW, the deviation from linearity isnt major; one expects about half the response to doubling at about 41% of the increase in CO2. But yet again, you dont directly address the slope of the change I had to supply a relevant number. But at least you FINALLY seem to tacitly admit that it isnt a steep decline in forcing through the concnetratins we are discussing.

    On your second part, you are being dishonest again. Yes, there is an instantaneous increase in temperature with heat absorbed; I never claimed otherwise. That isnt the issue. The issue is the lag time to the new *steady state* temperature consequent to a delta in the net energy flow, and you yet again found a way to say something seemngly impressive without directly addressing that issue. If I turn the heat up under a warm but not boiling teapot, the teapot will come to a new steady state higher temp, and that will take time. Lag time. You previously seemed to deny that there was any relevant lag in the time taken for earth to come to a new steady state temperature after the increase in CO2 forcing; THAT is the claim I’m asking you to defend. The closest you come, after offering the irrelevant answer to a DIFFERENT question, is to do some qualitative (and I note that yo previosuly declined an invitati to be quntiative)handwaving in the direction of heat transfer mechanisms that you claim, without any support and in contradiction to the people doing this work, to be “negligibly slow.” You previously tried to argue that it was negligible because the net heat transfer to the deep oceans was a very small fraction of total flux into and out of the oceans, and I pointed out that this waas an irrelvant argument; its the net delta in heat transfer, not the total flux, that is the relevant comparator.

    Now, wil you address the issues, or will you continue to try to snow the onlookers.

  491. TCO
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 4:28 PM | Permalink

    Steve:

    1. You’ve done a lot. Of course. Yes, the DW statistic would not have been mentioned without your presentation, similarly the bristlecone remarks. However, the DW ought to be in a peer-reviewed paper and the publication of bristlecone issues in EE (non-”really peer” reviewed, non-abstracted, very sympathetic too you ect.) is unfortunate.

    2. I hope that you are not spending all your mind-share against what your AGU presentation will look like, on “follow-up” NAS panels, and the like. You need to be publishing. Real papers. NOT EE. NOT CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS. NOT EE. Not blog posts. Lubo, back me up here.

  492. TCO
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

    Actually in some cases, the Panel actually goes a bridge farther then you. For instance wrt bristlecones, I’m sure that your position is NOT that they are a crappy proxy, but rather that the opponents need to DEAL WITH the possible crappiness. (Many of your cheerleaders don’t even note these subtleties, but I do…that’s why I made smoked you out on the correlation matrix.) I think you should be happy with the deference on many points that the Panel has given your arguments. However, based on the whole shape of that document, I’m not too convinced that they’ve dug into things that deeply. They were in lit review mode. With a bit of a critical eye, but not a definitive understand the intricacies one. More publications and more Huybers checking you out would make me happier.

  493. Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 5:16 PM | Permalink

    Dear TCO #495,

    sorry but I think that Steve is a free person. Much like you are free to push Steve in one direction or another – up the point where you start to reduce his own rights, ;-) he is allowed to make his decisions, too.

    I don’t think that 1 or even 6 generic papers on climate science are so important, and because I feel that their system is broken in some important aspects, I don’t care whether it is peer-reviewed or not.

    You can view my opinion as foolish, but I have a higher opinion about the work of a certain subgroup of the workers in that field – which include many of the NAS panelists, Steve McIntyre, Hans von Storch, and a few others – and I view a peer-review process under these circumstances as a process to lower the quality of the papers, not raise it. I think that what Steve would be thinking most of the time if he were creating papers for peer-reviewed journals would be how to soften and obscure a formulation so that it won’t irritate an alarmist referee too much. I think this might be a waste of time under these circumstances.

    But once again, if you think that everything is OK, objective, and there are no visible biases in the climate science, feel free to be convincing Steve to become another climate scientist.

    Yes, I find it plausible that he could be writing full papers without much work, but it is less plausible that possible clashes with referees would have no impact.

    All the best
    Lubos

  494. David Archibald
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    Mr McIntyre, publication is a trap. They want you to descend from the Gods and become a mere mortal. What is the point of peer-reviewed if so much peer-reviewed rubbish is published? Stay on Mt Olympus.

  495. Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 5:33 PM | Permalink

    This is related to the previous remarks on peer review and whether global warming researchers are part of a small, inbred, mutually-backscratching group. A common remark on the web to M&M’s critique is that the validity Mann’s work simply doesn’t matter anymore, because there are so many OTHER independent confirmations of his basic results. I know that this is a general and elementary question, but I hope you can tolerate a few of those. I’d appreciate a quick answer, with many a reference or two. Thanks

  496. Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 5:33 PM | Permalink

    Dear Lee #494,

    when you’re asking about the slope, you are probably asking how many degrees of added temperature there are per one ppm of CO2? At most schools, this is taught when children are 8 years old. If you know that the increase is 0.7 degrees per 280 ppm, the increase per one ppm is about

    dy / dx = 0.7/280 = 2 milliKelvins or so

    which means, by the way, around 4 milliKelvins per year because every year, we are adding 2 ppm or so. It is much more than what the Kyoto protocol is saving per year, even if you accumulate the effect of Kyoto until 2050, but it is much less than what we can actually measure.

    Your comments about dishonesty and steady state don’t make much sense to me, so it’s hard to reply. Indeed, it is the average temperature, weighted by heat capacity, that jumps immediately when heat is transferred (the reason is called the energy conservation law), while the equilibrium (uniform temperature) takes some times to be reached. I’ve said already 5 times how much time it exactly means.

    The thermalization time to reach equilibrium with the surfaces of oceans are several years. It is never *quite* reached but it is a correct estimate how quickly the heat exchange occurs. But it makes no sense whatsoever to talk about the (nominally much longer) times to reach equilibrium with the rest of the oceans or even the whole planet because our planet simply never reaches such a universal equilibrium and it is always incredibly far from it. The center of the Earth was much warmer than the surface for billions of years, and it will be so for billions of years to come.

    Because of these facts, the surface of the Earth – the surface of the oceans plus the atmosphere and biosphere etc. – can be viewed as a closed system that only exchanges energy with the Sun and the outer space. This approximation would only start to be significantly incorrect if the flow of heat to the interior (or from the interior of Earth) would increase 10 times or so, but you would need to heat up the relevant intermediate layers of the Earth by hundreds of degrees which is unlikely to happen in the few millions of years we expect.

    Your understanding of the actual energy flows is just so bad that it is hard to build on it and to teach you anything about it. If you tried to learn something from me instead of your permanent, silly, and completely unjustifiable attacks, you could be in a better shape.

    For the balance of Earth energy, various reflections of radiation etc., see

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2005/04/earths-energy-balance.html

    Best
    Lubos

  497. Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 5:38 PM | Permalink

    with maybe a reference or two… Thanks

  498. TCO
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

    Clear writing is clear thinking. Steve often does not finish points. Also sometimes he conflates different issues. In addition, sometimes he is not completely clear about criticisms (e.g. PC1 issues are an OVERSTATEMENT of impact on reconstruction.) Having his work in the peer-reviewed, archived literature would help him bring his own game UP. It would also help the field, since more people would build on it, where worthwhile and would find errors in it where there are errors.

    Of course, Steve is a free agent. My remarks, perhaps phrased as orders at times, are friendly advice. He is free to ignore. I am also free to say on this (still free) blog that I take the criticisms less seriously given their unfinished and not-exposed to field scrutiny nature. Steve is a great credit to himself and the field. But what I care about is the truth.

    BTW, you still haven’t shown me how writing and submitting papers will turn his mind to mush or prevent him from posting blog comments. Or how submitting papers will cause him to start lying? If they don’t get accepted, fine. We can deal with that then. But so many of you want to blame some evil peer review community and editors when the guy hasn’t even TRIED! When he has no clue that methodology issues of dating don’t belong in NATURE! Oh…and if you are any kind of a scientist who has a feel for how things work (and I think you are), you will know that Steve can TOTALLY find decent journals that will publish him and still be abstracted and widely held and well-peer-reviewed. Note, conference proceedings and EE while claiming to be peer reviewed are not very well…and you know what I mean. Remember that the first HTSC wasn’t published in PR-B or PRL!

  499. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

    While reading all this Lee-Lubos argument is moderately interesting, I’m not sure it’s moving things forward very much. Lee is obviously an improvement on Peter or even Dr. Hunt, but his arguments are still largely handwaving.

    The SST measurements are supposedly exacting, but the changes in a given area over weeks far outdoes the supposed average temperature inbalances. This makes it hard to believe the claims that the heat input into the oceans are because of CO2 primarily. You might want to go to the OU thread, Lee, and we could discuss some of the details.

    I would, in fairness, like to chide Lubos a bit for baiting Lee. Getting an opponent so mad he can’t spell two words in a sentence correctly is probably going too far.

  500. TCO
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    But it was still a damn decent journal. Not EE! Or a conference Proceedings. Or one of those shaky Russian or Japanese ones. Or…some Warsaw Pact missive. :)

  501. TCO
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

    Benj: There are a slew of abstracted, respectable journals out there. Steve can get his stuff published. He needs to do LPUs and write clearly and not conflate issues. And be clear about data versus analysis versus inference versus questions. He can get it all out there. I’m NOT going to blame it on the evil field stopping Steve and forcing him to blog and submit to EE, when he’s not really trying!

  502. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

    #506. Look everyone, as I’ve said on the other thread, the situation is different with the NAS report in hand. The bridgehead’s been taken. The troops can pour over the bridge now. Now there’s a lot of interest and expectation in what can be said about the “other” studies.

    One other thing, which people udner-estimate, some of the data that I just got in Feb-March really makes a difference. The Esper material was critical; it’s still not perfect, but I’ve got a foothold that I didn’t have before.

  503. TCO
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

    You were way too timid and could have done several invasions at other locations (and I actually think more in terms of moving the field forward then in terms of winning a debate…I think you are a little Mannian…maybe he influenced you). But I’m glad that you are willing to risk soldiers in the Ardennes in 1955. It’s better then nothing. Could we please pick off a few islands in the Pacific, enter Sicily and watch out for the uncertain allies?

  504. Lee
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 6:39 PM | Permalink

    Dave,

    I dont mind being pointed to data, especially if it is outlined in context so I know that I’m not wasting my time on something irrelevant. Lubos was not just baiting, he was being dishonest, and if there is one thing that triggers me, its dishonesty. Especially when it is contained in an attack on me. And its exacerbated when there is a context (imbedded in some honest commentary here, I will admit) of an utter denial of much of the rest of what the NAS report said and reported on, with people acting as if entire chapters simply dont exist, for example.

    There is a theoretical literature, supported by a lot of field work, on the dynamics of heat flow into and in the ocean. There are two rates important to determining the “steady-state” temperature of the ocean surface and the time to reach that “steady state” – heat transfer into and out of the surface, and heat removed from the surface and into the deep oceans. Lubos is pretending the transfer of heat into the deep oceans either doesnt matter at all, or that if it does matter that I am somehow claiming that nothing happens until the entire deep ocean comes to equilibrium. If he were to stop and think for even one minute (maybe five in his case – yeah, I can bait too) he would realize that both the “steady state” temp profile of the ocean surface AND the temporal dynamics of the approach to that steady state depend in part on the rate of heat flow to the deeper oceans. Chiding me while refusing to acknowledge such a basic concept and announcing by unsupported grand pronouncement that the rates of heat flow into the deep ocean are “negligible”, when the people working on the problem do not feel it is negligible and are arriving at mcuh longer times to “equilibrium’ temperature for the ocean surface, is pretty silly, at best. refusign to do so whiule proclaiming his indisputable intellectual superiority is insufferable. At least.

  505. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 7:07 PM | Permalink

    Another discussion on ocean heating can be found at

    http://climatesci.atmos.colostate.edu/?p=58

    Pileke argues the ocean warming is spatially complex and not consistent with a uniform greenhouse gas forcing. In the comments, I argue that the longwave forcing cannot penetrate into the ocean by mixing, conduction, or radiation. Another source of heating must be sought and long-term changes in cloud cover have similar spatial variations to the most recent heating.

  506. Terry
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 7:09 PM | Permalink

    Lee:

    Thanks for the notion that heat content rather than temperatures is the inmportant concept to focus on. Makes sense to me. Not completely clear how it plays out, but it moves my thinking forward.

  507. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 9:20 PM | Permalink

    #510. Doug, did you notice that the NAS panel cited your UHI posting at warwickhughes.com?

  508. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jun 25, 2006 at 10:20 PM | Permalink

    re: #508 Lee,

    The reason I want to discuss this on the Ou thread is that his concept is that “Maximus Entropy Production” (MEP) is what drives the Earth’s heat engine. This means that, if I’ve caught the spirit of the thing, the lower the temperature at which the Earth’s surface can get rid of the heat it has to, the better. This rather argues against the very concepts behind AGW, at least insofar as they can be related to a dangerous climate change. I’d like a discussion there of whether this idea is viable and what its status is in the literature. I’ll try posting something in the morning on the subject and see if anyone want’s to go at it.

  509. Pat Frank
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 1:15 AM | Permalink

    #471, Peter, I’m saying that current physical theory is unable to make a valid attribution of recent warming to human-produced CO2. AGW may be testable in principle, presuming a good physical theory of a complex chaotic system can be derived. We haven’t one now, though, certainly not of climate, and so the entire “A” part of “AGW” is currently not scientifically sustainable.

    The rule-of-thumb about the effect of CO2 is that the warming it produces will increase with the log of CO2 concentration. That makes the expected warming due to doubling pretty modest.

  510. Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 7:15 AM | Permalink

    Dear #503 Dave,

    Lee can’t type two words because – as he told me at a different place on the internet – he is just a bad typist. He is also a bad scientist. It does not mean that he is a bad human being and it almost certainly does not mean that you should chide me.

    Otherwise, I am absolutely used that even if I am 100% polite and 100% right and 100% impersonal and if various opponents produce a permanent flow of demonstrably untrue statements about science as well as untrue accusations about me, many people still stand on their side. You are just another example, which always reinforces my principle that I can’t move a single millimeter because of unjustifiable and shameful chiding like yours.

    What you want from me is to play a tie game with Lee. I am not gonna do it. He knows 100 times less about these questions than I do and his writing and his hypotheses make no sense, and I want this fact to be as manifest as possible, instead of ending up in a fog that someone may prefer and where even the conservation of energy is controversial.

    You should also understand that the believers are primarily devastated by the report itself – at least those who have looked at it. I was only confirming Lee’s nightmare that other people would know about the content, too. :-)

    Dear #505 TCO,

    I agree that the meaning of different sections, arguments, sentences, and articles should be clear, but I don’t think that it means that different questions should never be combined. If someone is interested in one particular small technicality in the world only, he will prefer one-dimensional articles and reports. For a given question, the number of such people is small.

    I actually think that the NAS report is an example of at least a format how good papers in climate science should look like. Obviously, people are not too interested in very small episodes all the time. People want to know whether humans influence the climate more than Mother Nature, and the format of the NAS report is a logical approach to this question.

    And yes, I am sure that Steve should now feel as a legitimate – and legitimized – researcher in the field now despite the question whether he publishes all the peer-reviewed papers that TCO wants. It was not always like this.

    Dear #507 TCO,

    I think that you want to question that a large amount of this debate was not (and perhaps still is not) about science but about beating arguments by purely scientific tools but about defense of ideas against completely unfair treatment that was (or is) politically motivated. I find your questioning of this fact is completely undefendable and it contradicts everything that I have seen in this dispute for years. We must be living in different worlds.

    Of course that this exchange was largely about getting soldiers here and there. I hope it won’t be the case in the future, and I will be among the first ones who would inform Steve if he wanted to build a military irrational framework for science in the long term, but it is both true and completely logical that under existing circumstances in the past, Steve spent a large portion of his time with that, and it was not his fault. There is a difference between a deliberate creation of bias and “majorities” and “consensus” and other intimidation policies on one side, and a legitimate attempt to circumvent forces that should have no room in science.

    Dear #508 Lee,

    whenever I exactly explain what’s the problem with every idea of yours and whenever I try to explain you the necessary high school physics, you become unable to write a single word without typos and Dave chides me. In other words, I am under immense pressure not to explain what’s wrong with your reasoning, so I am effectively only allowed to say that your comments about temperature are confused and your accusations completely unjustifiable. But you will have to ask someone else because I am apparently not allowed to answer your questions.

    Best
    Lubos

  511. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 8:03 AM | Permalink

    Lubos, let’s not forget to be on the look out for the transcripts from that Gore interview. They are not up yet for Friday, but it states Friday transcripts are up on Monday by 3pm eastern time. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/
    Grrr. It still irks me that the whole thing might have been a pre-planned spin session, before the report even came out. ( and right on track: the front page top headline of the Los Angeles Sunday paper is all about Greenland melting melting melting)

  512. Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 8:05 AM | Permalink

    Dear Welikerocks, it could be fun to see the transcript. But did not Steve say that he has already seen it? Have a great week, Lubos

  513. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 8:11 AM | Permalink

    Lubos. Since I don’t think English is your native tongue, I suppose you weren’t able to my tongue poking out my cheek. (or else you’re just trying a little uber-spottisch.)

    In any case there’s a difference between being forceful and being impolite and you sometimes cross the line. That’s why I often address John Hunter as Dr. Hunter, to remind myself that one can disagree without being disagreeable.

  514. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 8:13 AM | Permalink

    Did he? Oh well, I want to read it! I felt like a nut posting; trying to figure out why the first trascript we saw didn’t quite match what my husband heard him say on Friday. LOL You have a great week too!

  515. Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 8:41 AM | Permalink

    Dear Dr. Dardinger #518,

    it was an immense pleasure to read your Majesty’s magnificent clarification of our exchange.

    With the warmest regards and deep respect (and greetings for all the idiots who feel offended)

    Truly Yours
    Lubos Motl

    Dear #519 welikerocks, your husband must have a creative imagination. ;-)

  516. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 9:46 AM | Permalink

    #520 Dear Lubos,

    re: husband. :) A highly gifted mind.

    I have no doubt he heard what he heard, because it was spin and timed for the NAS report coming out. The transcript we can see so far was an old interview. Old/new interview on Friday the 23rd; who the frick knows. (They did mention the HS as being found valid in the introduction)

    At this point, and may be never, we don’t know for sure. MSNBC might not even reflect it in Friday’s transcript; they have that power.

    [Inconvenient] half-truths are still lies I say.

    Cheers!!

  517. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    RE: #355 – Answer. Frequency content. What is high, medium and low frequency. Is a given delta in the magnitude of a given measurable property in the record due to a weather event, a short term climate event, or a long term climate event. Etc.

  518. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    RE: #364 – I seem to recall that the Hon. Albert Gore Jr, Esq has a substantial interest in Occidental Petroleum.

  519. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

    # 413 – the sad truth is that the word “plausible” is not even part of the vocabulary of 90% of the population. This makes this whole thing a cake walk for the main stream mass media. They write their copy for people with 3rd grade educations who have been degraded by a life of excess drinking and meds.

  520. Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 10:17 AM | Permalink

    Dear Steve Sadlov #524,

    what you say is very true. Again, I am in the minority because the word “plausible” appears in 77 of my blog articles. ;-)

    http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Amotls.blogspot.com+plausible

    It is clear that if the reports are ambiguous or contain words that are not quite familiar or if they give any room for anyone to spin them, such reports will always be spinned or misinterpreted.

    Best
    Lubos

  521. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    Another entry for the RC censors, continuing to challenge Raypierre’s “one additional light bulb per 20 square feet” model of the reputed impact of a doubling of CO2:

    “RE: #18 – Raypirre’s comments. Not to be picking a nit here, but is is really correct to try and model an increase in de facto thermal resistance with an increase in energy output? Inquiring minds want to know.
    by Steve Sadlov”

  522. jae
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

    That goofy National Academy of “Sciences” report is half science and half BS politics. I think the politicians (especially Imhoffe) will be looking closely at it.

  523. Jack
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 2:02 PM | Permalink

    Regarding the exchange between Lee and Lubos:

    Lee is clearly knowledgeable in the field, and exasperated by his inability to utilize actual fact and rational argument to explain the issue and to counter the arguments from Lubos. Lubos has a practiced, ingrained, skeptical framework that allows the exclusion of relevant data that might perturb the framework. [snip- sorry, James has used an analogy that is precluded under blog rules)

    However, debates are not the way science is conducted. [snip]
    ——

    The debate on this NAS report’s impact comes at a remarkable hinge point for the global warming issue. It will have an impact on the next IPCC assessment. The report clearly supports the blade of the Hockey Stick. The report establishes that questions remain about whether or not the current global temperature is as warm as (or slightly warmer than) the peak of the MWP, and more importantly, whether the warming trend into the MWP occurred at a faster rate than that which is currently observed. The NAS report indicates that the answers to those questions are problematic. The question of precedence (whether the MWP was as warmer or warmer than now) is less critical than the rate-of-warming question.

    For skeptics, fence-sitters, and "alarmists" alike, the real question of concern is whether or not the currently observed rate-of-warming will slow down (unlikely given currently understood processes), proceed at about the current rate (the position of Michaels, Christy, Spencer, and several other like-minded) or accelerate (which is where the main body of the climate science community currently orbits). The thus-far successful campaign to improve the science of paleoclimate reconstruction, for which Steve McIntyre is to be commended, unfortunately has little to say about what will happen to the rate-of-warming. I think that the NAS panel did a commendable job as well in trying to differentiate between what can be learned about past climate and what should be determined regarding the near-future climate.

    Those who are skeptics about "global warming" in general will — and do — view the NAS panel report as a victory. Those of us who aren’t skeptics view the NAS panel report as a necessary step in a scientific debate that has strong political overtones and major impact on public policy and global environmental priorities. Hopefully it won’t confuse the public and the politicians too much regarding what’s really important.

  524. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

    Jack,
    You refer to the “currently observed rate-of-warming.” Are you referring to the yearly rate, 5-yearly rate, decadal rate, 20-year rate, or 100-year rate(or perhaps some other rate)?

  525. Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 2:44 PM | Permalink

    The thus-far successful campaign to improve the science of paleoclimate reconstruction, for which Steve McIntyre is to be commended, unfortunately has little to say about what will happen to the rate-of-warming.

    What about the importance of past variance, which Cluffy said in the conference could increase or ameliorate estimates of warming. I don’t have to go into Hegerl and others to show quite a bit has been said about it, but not enough apparently, given the capacity to dismiss it so quickly.

  526. Jack
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

    Armand;

    Both the century-scale and decadal trends since about 1980.

  527. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

    RE: #528 – but if there in fact was a MWP, then there is not a hockey stick at all but a boomerang. Or, probably more likely, because nature loves sine waves and various combinations of them, a simple peak, followed by a trough, likely followed by another peak upon whose rise we are currently located. The essential issue of the “climate science” orthodoxy is that most of their theories surmise a future behavior that is substantially non periodic. That flies in the face of what is the norm with most natural processes.

  528. Jack
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    What about the importance of past variance, which Cluffy said in the conference could increase or ameliorate estimates of warming.

    Based on the report’s conclusions, it will be very difficult to make accurate estimates of past variance. As I said, an important question is whether or not the warming trend into the MWP (which is really the only warming trend that could be compared to the current one) exceeds the current rate-of-warming. The paleoclimate science/data is apparently not at a state where this question could be answered conclusively. If it could be — i.e., if it could be definitively shown that the current warming trend exceeds the likely-more-natural-entering-the-MWP trend, that would be a crucial indicator.

  529. Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

    Re 533. I sincerely hope this does not represent the attitude of a climatology researcher, who should now be vigilantly pursuing potential flow on effects that greater variance in past temperatures might have, such as the change in estimates of 2XCO2 sensitivity that might result from the greater uncertainty, including exploring the impact of MWP temp’s higher than the present day.

  530. Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    Dear Jack #528,

    I have not seen serious evidence of your slightly extraordinary statement that Lee is knowledgeable in the field. Have you at least noticed that he is a biologist?

    Your first enthusiastic sentence about the report that it “clearly supports the blade of the hockey stick” sounds like, and I am convinced that you will forgive me my honesty, a rather childish game with words that have no scientific meaning. A hockey stick chart without the shaft is not a hockey stick chart. There is no rational sense in which one can talk about the “blade” without the “shaft” and call it a “hockey stick”. I discuss this point at the end.

    What they confirmed is warming since 1600 which means warming since the era that many of us call the Little Ice Age. They diplomatically rejected the opinion that the existing temperature reconstructions can be used as evidence of anthropogenic global warming. In fact, they use the natural “Little Ice Age” concept, too – something that Mann et al. wanted to abandon.

    Your comment that the main thing that matters is the “rate of warming” is also irrational. One can only assign qualitative conclusions to a “rate of warming” if we know what is the size of the natural fluctuations – which might be as big as the observed trends since 1600. This number – or more precisely this function of the timescale at which the variations are measured, as Armand correctly pointed out – is not known, and the fact that the real size of the natural variations on the millenium timescale can’t be determined is one of the main points of the report.

    It is also rather clear that we have no other way to determine the size of these natural fluctuations different from paleoclimate reconstructions, which makes the whole big question – the ratio of natural and human-induced effects – uncertain.

    If you draw any function that could describe a temperature graph between years Y1 and Y2, it is all but guaranteed that it will either look like an increasing function with wiggles on it, or a decreasing function with wiggles on it. Whether it is increasing or not depends on the sign of the correlation coefficient between the year and the temperature. And the wiggles are also universal in the real world. If we can’t say what temperature variation or wiggles we should expect naturally, the known number for one measured variation has no qualitative consequences. Temperatures in Boston often jump by 15 C per day. What rational argument can you offer that would show that 1 C or 2 C per century is dangerous?

    Best
    Lubos

  531. John Baltutis
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    #528: Jack says:

    The report establishes that questions remain about whether or not the current global temperature is as warm as (or slightly warmer than) the peak of the MWP, and more importantly, whether the warming trend into the MWP occurred at a faster rate than that which is currently observed.

    If it’s difficult to impossible to ascertain what occured in the MWP WRT temperature, how do you expect anyone to have any idea about the MWP rate of termperature change and then try to compare it to the current rate, however that’s measured or guesstimated?

  532. Mark T.
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 4:04 PM | Permalink

    Even if the MWP WAS slightly cooler than now, that does not say anything about statistical significance. Take a look at a plot of Gaussian noise. Pick ANY point that seems to be a peak. With certainty, I can claim that at some point in time, that point will be exceeded since all values are possible. I.e. there is no limit. Without knowing what the past temperatures were, it is impossible to make statistical claims w.r.t. such temperatures.

    Mark

  533. Lee
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    re 528:

    WHAT arguemnts from Lubos?

    His alleged argument consists primarily of two dogmatic statements – that the time to equilibrate the sea surface temperature after increased forcing is short, and that heat loss to deep ocean waters is negligible. I have been challenging him to support the second claim. Adn I havent even touched on latitudinal transport mechanisms by surface currents,a nd their effect on trates of heating – I aint an expert, and I ain’t the one saying the entire field has the heating lag issue wrong, but I do know it matters. Lubos is making the dogmatic claim – he needs to suport it.

    His responses to the challenge on the effect of deep coler waters have been (I paraphrase)
    1 – ‘you’re an idiot and you dont know thermodynamics,’ 2 2 – ‘it is negligible because the magnitude is tiny compared to total surface flux,’ and when I point out that the relevant comparator is not total surface flux but NET energy exchange, he reverts to either
    3 – “Because I say so” (amazingly scientific and convincing) or, again
    4- ‘you dont know thermodynamics.’
    he did make one diversion to
    6 – ‘the deep ocean won’t come to equilibrium,’ implying that I was arguing that the lag was the time required to bring the deep ocean to surface temperatures, when of course the issue is the effect of heat transfer from surface waters to deep waters, on both the final “steady-state” of the ocean surface and the temporal dynamics of approach to the new steady state.

    Lubos is good at using impressive language to snow job peopel into not noticing that he isnt addressing the actual issue. But he IS avoiding the issue.

    Lubos, yet again:
    You cliam that an entire field of peopel studying this have got it wrong, and you have it right, and the dynamics of heat flow in the ocean system will not cause an appreciable lag in warming.

    Support your damn claim. Use better arguments than “Because I say so” or ” You don’t know thermodynamics.”

  534. TCO
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    Lubos, I take less seriously a synthesis that is not supported by one by one examination. That tries to use strong points to prop up weak or that shies from the light of analysis of detail. I feel the same about anything from calculus problem to business problem. I understand that you feel different. Fine. But you are standing closer to the Mannians than to the true lovers of science.

  535. Jack
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

    This number – or more precisely this function of the timescale at which the variations are measured, as Armand correctly pointed out – is not known, and the fact that the real size of the natural variations on the millenium timescale can’t be determined is one of the main points of the report.

    And that’s the problem.

    It is also rather clear that we have no other way to determine the size of these natural fluctuations different from paleoclimate reconstructions, which makes the whole big question – the ratio of natural and human-induced effects – uncertain.

    As noted and clearly stated, there has been a significant temperature rise commencing about the time of the initiation of industrialization. And this time-frame was also approximately near the end of the Little Ice Age. There has also been a pretty impressive temperature rise since the 1980s. The critical trends (no surprise here) are these two rates-of-warming, given their potential connection to anthropogenic forcing. The report indicates that the current “state of the science” cannot determine if the modern warming rates exceed the “medieval” warming rate. That’s where improved paleoclimate reconstructions could help.

  536. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 4:44 PM | Permalink

    re: #538 Lee,

    You’d best be a bit careful about what you hope for. The normal warmer position concerning CO2 accumulation in the oceans is that the xfer from surface to deep waters is slow. If it weren’t, a little human CO2 burning would be no big deal since the ocean can handle many times what we could burn in the forseeable future. So if we want to have the xfer/equilibration of heat be relatively fast then it has to some mechanism which doesn’t apply to CO2, which I don’t see likely. Therefore, the xfer of heat to deep waters will have to be rather small compared to the amount accumulating in surface waters.

    But what accumulates in surface waters is rapidly equilibrated with the atmosphere via evaporation and convection. So even if surface waters got rather warm they’d be suseptable to being cooled relatively rapidly by something like a large volcano.

  537. jae
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 4:53 PM | Permalink

    536 and other MWP-related posts: c’mon, folks. Hell, we can go to the history books to establish the relative warmness of the MWP. We don’t need proxies! When the glaciers quit spitting out farms in Greenland, we will know we are at least as warm as the MWP.

  538. Lee
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 5:02 PM | Permalink

    Dave, I’m not “wishing for” anything. Lubos is making what is effectively a quantitative claim, a claim that is at odds with what I’ve read from people working in the field, and he refuses to support it. I’m asking him to do so.

    If that answer (or non-answer) has consequences for rates of carbon sequestration, so be it.

    As I said, I’m far from an expert or even reasonably well informed in these specific topics – I only know the major claims that have been made, and one only has so much time. But I suspect that latitudinal heat transport via surface currents is more important than deep ocean exchange for temp lag. I also suspect that biological transport as ‘organic rain’ is a major, perhaps predominant mechanism of deep water carbon sequestration. And those are different mechanisms. If someone has actual data-supported mechanistic explanations (as opposed to dogmatic statements, Lubos), I’d be happy to be informed.

  539. Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

    I will send the answers one by one because Linux / Firefox just erased 30 minutes of my work.

    Dear Mark #537,

    I completely agree. The question whether 1212 was warmer than 1998 is a matter of coincidence that can have no qualitative implications for a rational person. There is a lot of noise at all timescales, and only once we can reliably evaluate how large the variations essentially are, we can design meaningful policies.

  540. Lee
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 5:04 PM | Permalink

    jae, I keep reading this claim that retreating glaciers are uncovering greenland farms. I have been unable to find any evidence of that, and I’ve asked people making the claim to cite their evidence, several times, andd no one has answered.

    Not that I doubt you or anything but, got some evidence?

  541. Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 5:06 PM | Permalink

    Dear Lee #538,

    it is rather difficult to extract information from your emotional text, partly because of the large number of typos, but if I understand you well, you are asking me for references that the heat flux from/into the deep ocean is negligible for the annual changes of temperature. Here is one page from thousands about this question:

    http://www.po.gso.uri.edu/wbc/zhang/summary.html

    “On the annual mean, the vertical and horizontal cells are found to contribute equally to the heat flux, and the deep ocean (>800 m) contribution is negligible, in agreement with Bryden et al. (1991). However, on seasonal time scales, the vertical cell of the heat flux extends much deeper than 800 m. The seasonal heat flux variation is dominated by the vertical cell, while the contribution of the horizontal cell to the heat flux remains nearly constant.”

  542. Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 5:08 PM | Permalink

    Dear TCO #539,

    I also like solving questions one by one, but the words “by one” are important. Eventually we want to study not one small question but many small questions that can combine into a bigger one – or one big question directly. Incidentally, the NAS panel report also offers their chapters and pages “one by one” so what do you complain about? :-)

  543. Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 5:19 PM | Permalink

    Dear Jack #540,

    you are saying “that’s the problem” when I mention that some numbers cannot be determined from the available observations. That shows your bias. The assertion that we can’t determine them is not a “problem”; it is a “fact”.

    The word “problem” indicates that you are assigning different moral signs to different facts which is unscientific. Among the large number of things we could know, we know some of them and we don’t know others, because of objective and/or historical reasons. The separation into these two groups is a bit fuzzy but its shape is not a problem: it’s a fact.

    Of course, if someone wants to misuse a scientific statement XY for political purposes and the statement XY does not exist in science, then it is a problem. But it is only his problem. ;-)

    Also, I am very unimpressed by the temperature rise since 1980. See the graph since 1978 here:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2005/01/global-mean-temperature-1978-2004.html

    Since 1998, the temperature is essentially constant, by the way. Click the image to zoom in. Except for the 1998 El Nino, it is nothing else than noise. In the same way, I think that your statements contradict available data when you mention that there is a significant uptake at the beginning of the industrial revolution.

    More precisely, it is true that the temperatures start to rise around 1800 which is, historically, the beginning of the industrial revolution. But it is not yet the beginning of the era in which the CO2 emissions are comparable to the present ones. This era only started around 1900 or even 1945 – exactly when the temporary cooling started.

    To see that the warming started around 1800 or so, see various graphs such as

    http://darwin.nap.edu/books/0309102251/html/67.html

    where the uniform warming starts around 1750, and the spaghetti graphs (with components affected by Mannian problems)

    http://darwin.nap.edu/books/0309102251/html/2.html

    where the warming starts around 1800, too. If you want to know when significant CO2 emissions started, note that we are at 385 ppm while the preindustrial value was 280 ppm. We added 105 ppm or so, and because we’re adding 2 ppm per year, you can see that the estimate of the timescale when the emissions effectively started is 50 years ago. Because it was a bit slower at the beginning, you could translate it to roughly 90 years, but it is still pretty far (one century) from 1800.

    Observations just don’t seem to confirm your speculations. As you said, it is a problem. It is your problem; for me it is just a fact.

  544. Lee
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    guffaw!!

    Lubos, a citation showing that at a single latitude the vertical cell contributions are negligible to annual total flux of latitudinal heat transport, is utterly irrelevant to the question possible of global heat transport to deep waters and its effects on the temporal dynamics of changing steady state due to increaed forcing.

  545. per
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 5:26 PM | Permalink

    I have a piece of theoretical speculation, and it may be that there are people who can help me with this purely hypothetical question.

    Let us just imagine that some people were putting together a big report, which featured (maybe) a great deal of paleoclimate analysis. How do you think that they would react if a US NAS panel announced that reconstructions prior to 1600 are dubious, and pre-900 laughable ? Do you think that there could be a difference in emphasis between the NAS panel, and any purely hypothetical cross-governmental panel ?

    just speculating
    per

  546. TCO
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

    I want a Federal technical report for each one. You don’t have any idea the anal-ness of a submarine officer. But it’s justified. Rickover rawks and we can and always could literally (inverse) decimate the commie Naval forces with less rigor.

  547. jae
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 5:32 PM | Permalink

    Lee: here’s one account. It got colder and colder, signifying that it had been warmer previously….

    Greenland’s climate began to change as well; the summers grew shorter and progressively cooler, limiting the time cattle could be kept outdoors and increasing the need for winter fodder. During the worst years, when rains would have been heaviest, the hay crop would barely have been adequate to see the penned animals through the coldest days. Over the decades the drop in temperature seems to have had an effect on the design of the Greenlanders’ houses. Originally conceived as single-roomed structures, like the great hall at Brattahlid, they were divided into smaller spaces for warmth, and then into warrens of interconnected chambers, with the cows kept close by so the owners might benefit from the animals’ body heat.

  548. Lee
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 5:36 PM | Permalink

    jae, I am aware of that. One of the factors precipitating the end of the greenland settlements was that it got colder.

    But you made a specific claim, which I have seen made before; that there are farms emerging from under melting glaciers. What you offer says NOTHING about that claim. It seems an absurd claim on its face – have you ever seen what emerges from under a retreating glacier?- but I’m giving yo a chance to show me that ther is some relevant evidence. “It got cold” is not such.

    Do you have evidence for your claim, or not?

  549. Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

    Dear Lee #549,

    either you think that the physical laws valid near Florida are completely wrong elsewhere, or you’re saying something else that I don’t understand either. If you average the heat flux over the whole planet, the percentage of the flux will be even more negligible because positive and negative contributions will cancel.

    Everything works just in the opposite way than you think: the heat flux (including flux to rather deep ocean) is important for local climate – for example, the Gulf Stream heats up Europe – but when you average it over seasons and/or over the whole planet, these effects of heat flux disappear. Every climate scientist knows that this is what one should assume – otherwise we could not study the climate without weather at all. It may be a misleading zeroth approximation, but no one has yet offered a better one.

    Your permanent attempts to disagree with me even though you clearly have no idea what’s going on can only look convincing to the least intelligent 10% of visitors of these pages. You’re wasting our time.

  550. Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

    Dear per #550,

    I did not quite understand what was the difference between your scientists who made the report and the NAS scientists. Instead, I can tell you how the consensus scientists would react if the very same report as one published by the NAS were published by a group of people around M&M.

    Well, better not. You can imagine yourself. :-) In fact, you don’t have to imagine, just remember.

    Best
    Lubos

  551. jae
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 5:53 PM | Permalink

    Lee: here’s some more.

  552. per
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 5:56 PM | Permalink

    re: #555
    dear lubo
    you don’t suppose that the people who are preparing the fourth AR could possibly have come to conclusions which are very different from those made by the NAS panel ? Like using reconstructions prior to 1600 ?

    wouldn’t that be embarrassing ?
    :)
    per

  553. Lee
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 6:03 PM | Permalink

    Lubos, are you seriously claiming that an observed negligible contribution of vertical cell mixing to one phenomenon (bulk latitudinal -horizontal- heat transport) at one location, is evidence that there is only negligible vertical heat transport globally – considered not as a component of a particular horizontal flow, but as a mechanisms for moving heat into deep oceans?

    You might as well claim that gravity is negligible when considering the horizontal change in velocity of a thrown ball as it crosses the front-yard fense, and therefore gravity doesn,t contribute to the tendency of things to sort themselves vertically in (well, mostly at the bottom of) the atmosphere.

    For all your self-proclaimed superior intellect, Lubos, you have a really hard time keeping simple categories straight.

  554. Lee
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 6:08 PM | Permalink

    re 556:

    uhhh. jae, jae…

    That says NOTHING AT ALL about farms in iceland.

    It tells us about bodies and artifacts melting out of glaciers. That also doenst tell us whether the glacier covered them, or – as we know is true in a lot of cases- the person or artifact fell into the glacier.

    Now again, do you have any evidence for your claim that farms are melting out of glaciers in Iceland.

  555. Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

    Dear per #557,

    I see, you are considering the situation in this real world after the NAS panel report – whether it is possible for a scientist to write things that would contradict the report. I share your optimism. ;-) It’s the same kind of consensus and expertise that will make it rather hard. Except for groups driven directly by politicians like Al Gore.

    In some sense, I think that the report could have ended the era in which new and new papers were written based on the same and same data that obviously don’t have a sufficient statistical power. In the future, better data and methods can appear that will actually tell us something, but I really hope that the papers that keep on doing their careless science can’t expect too much of a future.

    If I were a scientist who kind of thought that it did not matter that it seems uncertain – and just worked on the belief that things will be relevant – I would almost certainly stopped if the NAS told me this and if I understood that the report is plausible (and if I could not falsify it).

    Best
    Lubos

  556. Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

    Dear Lee #558,

    the global heat flux from the deep ocean to the surface water is the sum/integral of the local heat flux from the deep ocean, whether you like it or not. You apparently don’t like it, much like you don’t like other laws of mathematics – which is almost enough for you to dislike me, too. ;-)

    If the local heat flux at every point is smaller than a certain percentage of the solar constant, then the global percentage cannot be higher. This mathematical law is called the triangle identity and most kids learn it when they’re nine. ;-)

    Your idea that gravity does not exist, while untrue in the case of gravity, is effectively true in the case of the climate questions we discuss (shock: different questions can have different answers!) because what’s important is that the heat flux is both small and more or less constant.

    These two adjectives are related. Because the flux is small, the conditions (temperature) of the interior of the Earth etc. can’t change much – it has a huge heat capacity anyway. So the global heat flux from the deep oceans or deep ground is just a constant number for all practical purposes, and you may very well add it or subtract it from the solar constant.

    The amount of heat flux transferred in various ways between different layers of atmosphere and the Earth is only known plus minus as much as 30 Watts per squared meter anyway

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2005/04/earths-energy-balance.html

    which means that the heat flux from the deep ocean, averaged over one year and the planet, is certainly negligible, and even if we exactly knew it, we could not use it to change our predictions in any visible way. In your analogy, it is indeed true that gravity can be neglected – much like we can neglect gravity at particle accelerators, even if we do the most accurate measurements possible.

    I am not saying that we can neglect gravity for falling apples – this is your statement. I am saying a different statement, namely that the heat flux from deep layers of the Earth and ocean can be neglected for the calculation of annual changes of the global temperature.

  557. Lee
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 6:32 PM | Permalink

    Lubos, I have come to the considered opinion that you are either a fricking idiot, or dishonest in the extreme.

    The citation you offered says the the vertical cell contribution to a particular observed HORIZONTAL HEAT TRAMSPORT is negligible. It say precisely NOTHING about the magnitude of vertical heat transport. All it says is that whatever the vertical cell component (ie, mixing into different transport layers), it contributes less than 0.2 PW to HORIZONTAL heat transport.

    you offered an irrelveant citation – which means we are back to yur bald unsupported claim that vertical heat trasnprot FROM teh surface (not fromteh deep earth and ocean – stick to teh point).

    And this is on a minor side point, which you are using to avoid the major point anyway.

    Once again, on the broad point – you are claiming that the entire field has gotten the lag term due to ocean dynamics wrong, and that it is negligible. You are refusign to support that claim, other than by grand proclamation. Support your damn claim.

  558. Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 6:49 PM | Permalink

    Dear Lee #562,

    I was thinking why you came up with the strange example of the baseball, and the only explanation I see is that you don’t understand the concept behind the word “negligible”.

    So let me explain. An effect is negligible iff it is true that if you neglect it and otherwise do things in the same way as before, it won’t influence your results in an important way.

    Note the similarity between the word “neglect” and “negligible”.

    If a ball is flying through your garden, the gravitational force is the largest force that acts on it – perhaps next to friction if the ball is very fast or light – and if something is the largest force, it just cannot be negligible. This is why your example with a flying ball, as an example demonstrating your confusion about my explanation of the negligible contributions to the heat flux, shows that you can’t understand what the word “negligible” means because otherwise you could not have used this example.

    Things are “negligible” relatively to other (bigger) things which is probably the most difficult observation for you to swallow.

    For protons moving around the collider, gravity is negligible, indeed, because there must be and there are much greater forces – electromagnetic forces – that accelerate the protons and keep it on the circular orbit.

    If a force is negligible compared to a “bigger force” locally (in every point of space and/or in time) and if the “bigger force” has a uniform sign, then it is guaranteed that the locally negligible force is negligible even globally. The fact that you don’t understand this point shows that you must have problems even with common sense.

    If a billionaire with huge profits buys a Coke and the price of the Coke is negligible every day, then the Cokes in his all life will also be negligible compared to his profits in his life.

    The heat flux with the interior of Earth, and especially its annual and decadal variations, are negligible compared to the heat flux between the atmosphere and the surface (and the solar flux), and because it is negligible at every one moment and every region, it is negligible everywhere.

    Again, I will be clearly blamed by Dave for your severe typing problems. I hope that Dave will eventually realize that it is not my fault. ;-)

  559. Mark Hamilton
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 6:57 PM | Permalink

    A TIME PORTAL NEWS FLASH -

    UK NEWS SERVICE – Today a panel of distinguished scientists found that the methods, calculations, and data used in the piltdown man study were not recommended, and lacked robustness. The panel stressed, however, that this study was the first of its kind and that other studies in Africa and Asia have backed up its conclusions that man desended from a more ape-like ancestor through evolution. When asked if this means that man is related to the great apes, a panel member replied it was plausible.

  560. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 6:59 PM | Permalink

    Concerning glaciers in Iceland, please look at

    http://academic.emporia.edu/aberjame/ice/lec19/holocene.htm

    where the following quotes can be found:

    “1695-1709: Outlet glaciers of Drangajàƒ⵫ull and Vatnajàƒ⵫ull (Iceland) advanced dramatically, approaching or destroying farms. One farm at Fjallsjàƒ⵫ull dated from AD 900 (Bàƒ⠲darson 1991).”

    “1732: Vatnajàƒ⵫ull crushed ruins of Icelandic farm that had been abandoned during earlier advance.”

    “1735: Nigardsbreen destroyed pasture land and threatened a farm, which was completely destroyed by ice in 1743.”

    “1741: Drangajàƒ⵫ull destroyed another farm in Iceland.”

    In 2000, one of these farms re-appeared from the ice and the newspapers said other farms were still under the glaciers.

  561. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 7:06 PM | Permalink

    re: 543, 549, 558, Lee,

    Water is a good insulator. So heat can only move into the lower parts of the ocean as part of a bulk flow. And particularly when we’re talking warmer water going into colder water it’s tough. The extra heat will be for the most part lost long before a body of water gets to the place where it can sink. So yes, it’s hard to get much heat to the deep parts of the ocean, even harder than getting CO2 there.

    Anyway, it’s time for you to get quantitative. Give us some figures on how much heat is accumulated from a putative heat inbalance (.85 W/m2 I think is) vs how much sinks in the north and south and just how much is being stored in surface waters where it can be quickly dissipated.

  562. Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 7:07 PM | Permalink

    Dear #559 Lee,

    do you really think that it matters whether the person was a solitaire or a part of a village? I have absolutely no idea what you want to achieve by these objections other than showing your very poor thinking skills.

    If a melting glacier just reveals a body that got stuck there 580 years ago, then it probably means that 580 years ago, the glacier was ending at the same place as today, does not it? At that time, the glacier was advancing from that place, and today it is retreating from that place. And then it is reasonable to expect that the temperature in that region 580 years ago was almost the same as today as well, is not it?

    I am not sure whether you are really unable to understand these simple things or just unwilling to do so.

    Dear #556 jae,

    I think that we won’t achieve anything. Talking to Lee is like talking to a religious fanatic who thinks that God is great and everything that has the slightest potential to contradict this basic truth must be destroyed, humiliated, and burned at stake.

    In the same way, Lee believes that a catastrophic global warming is a perfect theory, and every argument that makes the global warming even more perfect and more dangerous must be defended, and every argument that has the potential to question this perfect character of the global warming must be destroyed, humiliated, and burned at stake.

    We may have better computers than they used to have in the Middle Ages, but the amount of completely irrational religious bigots is probably unchanged.

  563. TCO
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 7:17 PM | Permalink

    USNI Proceedings has an article about guarding the new sea routes opening up in the Arctic. May 2006, LT Hanna. http://www.usni.org/Proceedings/pro2006toc.htm#maytop

  564. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 7:18 PM | Permalink

    AMEN!

  565. Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 7:25 PM | Permalink

    Dear Lee #562,

    the quote I offered you clearly talks both about the vertical as well as horizontal flux. Your typing problems extended to reading problems, too.

    The words you have chosen for me are a source of my immense pride. ;-)

    I wonder whether Dave #566 will convince you that you can’t really move much heat to the deep oceans or the bulk of the Earth. I think he will because I was chosen by divine forces to be annoyed by people like you throughout my life.

    Dear Dave #566,

    Hansen’s imbalance of 0.85 W/m^2 is a random number without any statistical significance. The different components of the energy budget – such as the IR emission by the surface of Earth – are only known with the accuracy of +-30 W/m^2.

    You can’t really add these numbers and get a result with error of order 0.01 W/m^2. The number 0.85 W/m^2 is nothing else than the ratio of the total heat from relevant parts of the Earth and atmosphere coming from the warming and the area of the Earth’s surface. It has no independent meaning. And indeed, the different flows between clouds and the surface etc. are of order 50 W/m^2 and some of them have comparable errors, which shows why 0.85 W/m^2 is so negligible.

    In fact, even the solar variation from 11-year sunspot cycles – that we can’t really observe as cycles of the global temperature – is greater: 1.3 W/m^2. If we lived in a sunspot maximum all the time, would we die? I don’t think so. ;-)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_variation

    If you want to be quantitative, then 0.85 W/m^2 clearly means “nothing to talk about”. Moreover, the growth 0.85 W/m^2, even if it exists, only lasts until a new equilibrium is reached. It is really nothing else than the translation of the “global temperature variations” to different units.

    All the best
    Lubos

  566. George H.
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 8:25 PM | Permalink

    I am a physician, not a climatologist (so forgive my ignorance), but isn’t the amount of present-day warming consistent with previous interglacial periods? Isn’t it supposed to get a little warmer in between ice ages? Doesn’t the present interglacial period –now about 11,000 years old– and the recent temperature record nearly match the determined temperatures from the Pleistocene interglacial (warming) period almost 100,000 years ago? Forget the bristle cones and tree rings. We have a 2 million year history of 17 ice ages punctuated by short periods of warming. What possible reason is there to believe in these catastrophic warming scenarios vs. the geologic record which has to suggest a continuation of these cycles? Help this uninformed layman understand.

  567. Pat Frank
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    #567 — "We may have better computers than they used to have in the Middle Ages, but the amount of completely irrational religious bigots is probably unchanged."

    Right on, Luboà…⟮ [snip]

  568. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

    #567. The process of disgorgement from glaciers has some interesting aspects to it. Hormes et al have an interesting study, which did radiocarbon dates on wood disgorged from Swiss glaciers in a jokulhaup in 1995, with dates in pulses ranging from 1000 years ago to 9000 years ago. They concluded that forests grew at varous times above the present glacier.

    Now if you look at layer thickness near the top of a glacier, you find that the layers thin with age more or less as a negative exponential going to zero. So as new snow accumulates beyond a certain point, the glacier iscompressed and more or less “extrudes” down the hill – that’s not how glaciologists express it, but the idea is pretty simple. So at any given time, you have ice being extruded from all buried ages. Thus, I presume that any a given jokulhaup outburst, you could have ice and organics from a variety of prior dates coming out in a pulse as seems to have happened in the Swiss glaciers in the 1990s.

    The extrusion of material that is 9300 years old doesn’t mean that this is the first time that the glacier has receded past the present point since 9300, since that is disproven by uphill organics and wood of later dates. All it means is that it’s taken this long for the 9300 year old organics to be transported downhill.

    The NAS panel placed stress on the “inpress” organics extruded from Quelccaya. They are sourced to THompson so the information will be insufficient to appraise what’s going on. But if the Swiss glaciers offer a precedent, all it means is that it’s taken this long for the 5300 year old organics to be transported to the present location.

    In your comment, I think that you’re missing the important aspect of glaciers transporting organcis downhill.

  569. Lee
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 10:08 PM | Permalink

    Lubos,

    They say that vertical *CELLS* do not contribute to HORIZONTAL flux. I dont knwo how to say this any more clearly than I already have several times – they are NOT calculating vertical heat flus, they are calcuating HORIXZONTL heat flux, and saying that vertical current cells do not contribute to the HORZIONTAL flux. That says NOTHING about the vertical flux itself. That was the point of my fence/gravity analogy.

    And even if that cite did tell us somethign aobut vertical heat flux, which it doesnt, it only would be telling us about vertical flux at that part of the current, not about what happens at the transitions from surface to deep currents, and so on. You simply have not presented any relevant data. There is nothing in that citation that is relevant to the point at issue.

    Now, it is entirely possible that the heat flux into deep water is insignificant. You made the claim, you have not supported it, and you are making absurd claims about what that citation says. Even more, you have not supported your larger claim (in fact, you avoid discussing it at all) that the people working in that field have got the time lag wrong. YOU made that point, support it or shut the f*** up.

    And Dave, I am not the person making the claim that is at odds with what he majority of the field says is true. Lubos is making such cliams and he is refusing to get quantitative. Hel, he isnt gettign qualitative – he offers nothing but truisms that are irrelevant without supporting data. Go after his ass – he’s the one making claims with no suport. I’m just pressuring him to support his claims.

    Lubos, re 567. It may startle you to learn that glaciers are FLOWING ice. If someone falls into the top, and then the glacier flows and carries him into the melt zone, and then it melts and exposes him, then that is not evidence that he got covred up in that place. I cant imagine a more basic or relevant fact about glaciers – how on earth did yo miss it?

    However, glaciologists ARE recovering glacier-bed remnants, including plants that are protected in cracks that the glacier flows over, and that got covered up. Some of them were covered many thousands of years ago, by carbon dating, and only survived by being protected by the glacial cap, meaning that some of those glacial bed artifacts (as opposed to artifacts from the tops opf the glaciers) are indicating that the glacial front has not retreated to that point on the glacial bed for many thousands of years. Anamolous 20th century, anyone?

  570. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 11:12 PM | Permalink

    I am not the person making the claim that is at odds with what he majority of the field says is true.

    So you claim, but I haven’t seen any proofs that that’s what the majority of the field says is true. The fact is that warm seawater won’t sink except in special circumstances since it’s not as dense as deeper water. That’s why warm tropical water has to flow up to the arctic areas and shed its heat to space and/or evaporate [and/or freeze] sufficiently to become dense from salt before it sinks. This greatly limits how much heat can go into the deeper parts of the ocean. Indeed, this is much more a problem than carrying a greater CO2 concentration to the deeps since such CO2 is still around after a body of water cools while the excess heat is mostly lost via radiation in polar areas.

  571. Lee
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 11:27 PM | Permalink

    re 570 – Lubos, you are confusing measurement error with reality.

    Yes, Hansens 0.85 W/m2 is derived from observations of heating. That means that the measurement is independent of the measurement errors or uncertainties in total heat flux, because he did NOT arrive at it by adding up fluxes. If I have water running into my bathtub, and water draining, and I observe a rise of 1 inch, I don’t have to know anything at all about the flux of water in and water out to be able to calculate the net gain of water to a very high degree of accuracy. Similarly, if I have rough estimates of the total flux, and attempt to derive teh net loss or gain by adding them up, and realize I don’t have sufficient accuracy to do so – that does NOT invalidate my calculation of the net gain based on direct observatin of the amountof water in teh tub. It is an independent measurement. You are arguing that the uncertainties in total flux invalidate measurements based on looking at the change in energy in the system, and this is not a valid criticism.

    Also, the delta insolation due to solar cycles is about 1.3 W/m2 at THE SPHERE SURROUNDING THE SUN AT EARTH ORBIT. In other words, for the earth, it is 1.3 W/m2 for the earth’s disk. Climate forcing is calculated as W/m2 at the top of atmosphere, or for the sphere itself. Since the ratio of the disk to the surface area of a sphere is 4, one must divide that insolatin number by 4 to make it comparable to the forcing number. IOW, in terms of climate forcing, the insolation deltas are 1.3/4 W/m2.

    In practice, it is less than that, since you also have to correct for the albedo, and the fact ath only the absorbed fraction of the delta energy is relevant. Work through the numbers and the delta forcing due to solar variability is about 0.15 – 0.2 W/m2.

  572. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 11:34 PM | Permalink

    Re:#574

    …glacier-bed remnants, including plants that are protected in cracks that the glacier flows over, and that got covered up. Some of them were covered many thousands of years ago, by carbon dating, and only survived by being protected by the glacial cap,…

    Lee,
    Could you post a reference or two to such studies? It seems that much hinges on the inferences that the plant material was not transported to the discovery site and that it “only survived by being protected by the glacial cap”. I’d like to take a look at the evidence for those inferences. Thanks!

  573. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 11:40 PM | Permalink

    Re: #563

    The heat flux with the interior of Earth, and especially its annual and decadal variations, are negligible compared to the heat flux between the atmosphere and the surface (and the solar flux), and because it is negligible at every one moment and every region, it is negligible everywhere.

    Lubos,
    I appreciate the theory behind your argument, but the real world is not always so simple. Depending on how you define “region,” one might argue that volcanism is a counterexample, especially extreme cases like the Deccan Traps.

  574. Lee
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 11:42 PM | Permalink

    Dave, as Ive pointed out, my principle issue with Lubos is his utterly unsuported claim that there is effectivley no “thermal inertia” in the earth’s system, becaus the time for the oceans to equilibrate is too short. THAT is the statment I want him to support. This deviatin into details, which Ive said I dotn knwo thte sanswer to, is his way of refusign to address teh larger issue. I dotn know andhavent claimed that th epeople workingin the fieled saay ther eis appreciable transport of heat into deeperr waters – I DO know that they claim that the oceans confer substantial “thrmal inertia” an THAT is the claim Lubos disputes, and THAT is th eclaim he seems to refuse to support.

    This deviation is ilustrative, though, in the way Lubos handled that irrelevant citation..

    I must say that I am less and less impressed with Lubos ability to think or his basic knowledge of the field. His citing of a statement that vertical current cells have only a negligible effect on net latitudinal transfer of heat in this current system, as support for no verticla transport anywhere in the oceans, is simply a bald faiure to be able to understand a basic sentntence, perhaps coupled with ignorance of how currents work and what a current cell is. His attemtp to argue against the possibility of net heat gain measurements derived from direct measurements, because the total fluxes arent known, betrays either an appalling failure to distinguish direct measurement techniques from “adding-up” techniques and therefore and implies astoudning ignroance of the very basics of the science, or betrays a dishonest unwillingness to acknowledge them. And his ignorance of the difference between solar variation measured at the earths DISK, and forcing measured at the earths SPHERE, is another demonstration of missing very basics of this field where he professes some kind of omniscient perfection -or of being aware and willing to exploit the difference to dishionestly try to make a point.

    Couple all that with his willingness to cast aspersions on political beliefs and motivations that in many ways I dont hold, and that in any case I have not discussed and therefore he can’t know, seems to argue that he has pretentions of psychic abilities, too.

    I must say, this is not the first time that I have failed to be impressed by harvard junior science faculty.

  575. Lee
    Posted Jun 26, 2006 at 11:44 PM | Permalink

    re 5777 – the NAS study cites at least one such case. I don’t remember where – look in the material related to glaciers.

  576. Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 2:38 AM | Permalink

    Re #545,

    Lee, for uncovering MWP Greenland sites, see here:
    “Results from Poul Norlund’s excavation at Herjolfsnes’ churchyard, which uncovered plant roots in shrouds covered by a layer of permafrost, indicated that the land, at the time of these Norse burials, had been subject to fluctuating temperatures”

    With other words, plants were growing in the MWP, which now are covered with a layer of permafrost. Which points to a warmer MWP than current…

    Further, the main warming (and ice sheet melting) of Greenland in the past century was the 1930-1950 period, when CO2 levels increased less than 30 ppmv from the pre-industrial period, which hardly can have had any influence on temperatures. Greenland was cooling thereafter (with increasing CO2 levels!) and only in the past decade temperatures have increased, just reaching the 1930-1950 period for yearly averages, but still lower for summer temperatures. See here.

  577. Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 5:28 AM | Permalink

    Dear Lee #574,

    most people who have seen the ocean – and many people who have not seen the ocean – understand that you can’t get anything from the deep ocean by *horizontal* motion. If you want to get to the deep ocean, sorry my friend, then you must move vertically. Your repeated statements that the page describes horizontal flux from the deep ocean to the surface are completely absurd, and the amount of hysteria that you add to your absurd proclamations can only highlight how absurd they are.

    Moreover, if you simply read the quote I wrote here, you would see that they say that the heat flux is negligible in both directions. Water is an isotropic environment so if something such as heat can easily propagate horizontally, it can also propagate vertically.

    Dear #576,

    I am not saying that Hansen got the 0.85 W/m^2 figure by summing. On the contrary, I explained very clearly that he got it by simply translating his believed warming in degrees via the heat capacity. But still, the figure in reality *is* the sum and difference of various terms, and I used the uncertainty plus the solar variation to give you an idea why 0.85 W/m^2 is negligible from the viewpoint of the whole budget. The U.S. economy has a 7 percent trade gap. 0.85 W/m^2 is 0.2 percent of the average solar flux. I agree that one should be using the solar flux of 342 W/m^2 instead of the full solar constant 1370 W/m^2 but I don’t understand why you are so nervous about it.

  578. Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 5:33 AM | Permalink

    Dear Armand #578,

    thank you for your provoking answer. I agree that if you neglect volcanos, you will get a wrong picture. As you know very well, I never wanted to neglect volcanos. I wanted to neglect negligible terms – terms that are negligible in every region of the ocean which also makes them negligible in the budget of the whole ocean. Volcanos are not negligible in every region of the ocean, so your “analogy” is unusable.

    Moreover, there are no volcanos in the middle of the volume of water in oceans. ;-) This makes them, indeed, irrelevant for the research of the propagation of heat inside oceans which is what was being discussed here before you joined.

  579. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 7:58 AM | Permalink

    Lee,

    his utterly unsuported claim that there is effectivley no “thermal inertia” in the earth’s system, becaus the time for the oceans to equilibrate is too short.

    There comes a point where one should break off asking “experts”, “Is the sky blue?”, “What’s the Ursine defecation constant in fir forests?”, etc., and simply discuss the physical situation. We’ve been talking about the actual physical situation for heat transport from the surface to deep ocean waters. The transport, as far as I’ve read, is small compared to the daily, weekly, monthly changes and therefore it’s fair of Lubos to make the assumption of it being negligible pending arguments or citations from you disproving it.

    Now maybe you have a killer quote or a knock-out punch of an argument, but I’ve seen neither of them from you. You basically argue from authority and that without presenting these authorities in a coherent manner. If you want to argue science in what is primarily a science blog, then argue scientifically.

  580. Doug L
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 8:34 AM | Permalink

    Conservative talk radio host Glen Beck mentioned the study today. He pointed out that buried in the New York Times is mentioned the large uncertainty prior to a thousand years ago and that Al Gore showed a graph going back thousands of years. It was just a quick mention to get laugh.

  581. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 8:54 AM | Permalink

    RE: # 540 – The initiation of industrialization prior to the end of the LIA. Also, such initiation started at different points in time in different locales. It is still reaching certain points of the globe. Also, consider a differnent measure – the initiation of fire. Or the initiation of land clearing and agriculture. Or, the initiation of urban living. These points are probably more meaningful points in human history than the initiation of industralization. How much wood was burned to clear land to to forge metal, well prior to the so called industrial revolution.

  582. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 9:15 AM | Permalink

    RE: #566 – Heck, simply scuba diving down below the first thermocline, one can readily appreciate the general level of thermal stratification and the fact that warm surface water is going to lose most of its energy content to the atmophere not to lower waters. Case in point. A May dive to wreck alley down in San Diego. The wreck I dove was at about 80 feet below MSL. 45 freakin’ degrees farenheit. San Diego, May, 45F at 80 feet!

  583. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 9:22 AM | Permalink

    RE: #571 – Well, all I can say is, you have succintly stated the essence of the science underlying the debate, all statistical sub debates aside. My own geolical training counsels me to respect long term, less noisy signals and not to overreact to shorter term, more noisy ones. Also, this training, combined with a fair amount of self training in ecology and biology, consel me to respect the innate periodicity that seems to pervade most if not all natural processes. I won’t get into the spiritaul angle on this…. but suffice it to say, that is yet another angle.

  584. Jack
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    Re: #543

    I also suspect that biological transport as “organic rain’ is a major, perhaps predominant mechanism of deep water carbon sequestration.

    It is — particularly sinking of fecal pellets and mucus webs made by foragers.

  585. Lee
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 9:33 AM | Permalink

    re 581 – Ferdinand, he made a specific claim, which he has made before adn which others ahve made, taht retreating glaciers in greenland are uncovvering farms. He isnt retracing tht claim – he (and now you) are offering things irrelevant to that claim.

    So, once again, are there farms beingun cov ered by retreating glaciers, and of so where is the evidence, and f not, will jae retract the claim?

    Its a small issue, which should have been resolved by a single post form jae, either offering the evidence or retracting the claim.

  586. Jack
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    Re: #548

    I think knowledge can still be gained that can elucidate the question of rates-of-warming over the past 1000 years.

    Also, I am very unimpressed by the temperature rise since 1980. See the graph since 1978 here:

    http://motls.blogspot.com/2005/01/global-mean-temperature-1978-2004.html

    Since 1998, the temperature is essentially constant, by the way. Click the image to zoom in. Except for the 1998 El Nino, it is nothing else than noise.

    We have a different POV. Myself and the general climate science community are impressed with the temperature rise since 1980. Furthermore, the 1998 El Nino wrenched a moderate warming trend higher (it really affected the satellite trend), and global temperatures have remained nearly that high since. I take no comfort in that FACT.

  587. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 9:40 AM | Permalink

    re: #590

    It’s true that a large part of the net transport of CO2 at present is from “organic rain”, but that may not be the case if CO2 continues to rise. At present the amount of CO2 in water from the depths is greater than that in that going down, because of the use of CO2 in upper waters for photosynthesis. But if CO2 become a good bit higher in the atmosphere and usage in the oceans doesn’t rise to match it, then the amount carried on the descending “train” could become a lot larger. There are too many imponderables to be certain of the net result, but it’s another negative feedback which doesn’t show up instantly.

  588. JJ
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 9:56 AM | Permalink

    “Some of them were covered many thousands of years ago, by carbon dating, and only survived by being protected by the glacial cap, meaning that some of those glacial bed artifacts (as opposed to artifacts from the tops opf the glaciers) are indicating that the glacial front has not retreated to that point on the glacial bed for many thousands of years. Anamolous 20th century, anyone?”

    Sorry, but your conclusion does not follow from the premise. That a spot was covered by a glacier thousands of years ago, and is not covered by a glacier now, cannot be pinned on any particular century, nor attributed to an anomoly.

  589. Jack
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    Some references for the ocean heat budget discussion:


    http://blue.atmos.colostate.edu/publications/pdf/willis_jgr_04.pdf


    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/briefs/sun_01/


    http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/PDF/PAPERS/grlheat05.pdf

    This last one (Levitus et al.) says “For the world ocean the linear trend of heat content
    (0–3000 m layer for 1955–1998) is 0.33 x 1022 J year-1″.

  590. Lee
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

    Steve, one more time – I dont know for sure if there is significant heat flow to deep waters – I suspect that there is some and Ive read that there is some, and I know that I’ve personally seen mixiing of at least the top couple hundred feet, sailing in winter conditins when I really should not have been out there, and seing bottom sand at the surface frombreaking waves, in 200 feet of water, and I know that, for example, hurricane cuase a lot mixing, but none of this is determinative. Of course the ocean is often stratified t a very high degree; I’m aware of that. I’m also aware of conditions where stratificatin breaks down, that may or may not mix heat. But as I pointed out, several times now, this is a secondary issue – and my criticism of the paper Lubos offered is not a defense of deep water mixing, it is pointing out that his paper is irrelevant to the question. Lubons once again misrepresents what I say, by putting in my mouth a claim that horizontal transfer is causing deep water mixing. No, I’m simply pointing out that his citation, when it says that vertical cells (Lubos, do you know what a vertical cell is in a current?) contribute only neglibibly to HORIZONTAL heat transport, is saying nothing at all about vertical heat transport. My entire and only point there is that it does NOT say anything about deep water mixing, despite his proffering it for that purpose. How Lubos gets from there to somehow believing that I’m saying it DOES tell us something about deep water mixing, is beyond me.

    But again, one more frickin’ time – my major point is that there is a major claim in the field that there is thermal inertia in the global climate system, much of it arising from ocean systems. I’m not an oceanographer, I don’t know those dynamics, I cant make claims myself aboutt them, and I’ve said that, several times. But that claim is there, and is widespread and commonly accepted in the field,adn modeled and included in the large models.

    Lubos is claiming that he knows that this is wrong. **LUBOS IS MAKING THAT CLAIM**. Lubos’ claim is at odds with most everyone in the field. Ive asked him to support that claim; tell us why he is right and the others are wrong. But he will not offer evidence for why they are wrong, other than the irrelevancies I outlined above. “There is no deep water mixing” is no such evidence, unless he also shows that the claimed inertia is due entirely to mixing, AND that he also shows that such mixing does not happen in significant quantities.

    Look, I’m not even saying he’s wrong. I’m saying that if he offers an opinion in opposition to the mainstream view of the people working on the field, and adamantly declares that he is right and they are wrong, that he should offer an explanation for why they are wrong and he is right, which should at the very lest include some discussion of why they say the inertia is there, and some evidence for why that is wrong.

    Instead, Lubos is retreating to irrelevancies, over and over. You would not countenance that behavior from a dendrochronologist . If they said, ‘you guys are all wrong, but I wont tell you why,’ you would heap scorn on them and demand to know their reasoning. So why are you defending the exact same behavior on the part of Lubos?

    Lubos, once again, the mainstream claim is that there is significant thermal inertia. You claim there is not. Explain why they are wrong and you are right. Do so in terms that demonstrates that you know and understand their reasoning. Give us at least an outline of your reasoning. And if you wont, then you are engaging in precisely the same behavior that y’all so often condemn, of making claims and then hiding your evidence and arguments for them.

  591. Lee
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    594 -jj, you misstate teh argument.
    you say:
    “hat a spot was covered by a glacier thousands of years ago, and is not covered by a glacier now, ”

    Sorry, but the point is that the spot has been covered by a glacier **continually** for thousands of year, and is only being uncovered right now.

  592. jae
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

    591: Dammit, Lee, did you read the link at 581? This is really simple, Lee. If a tree branch comes out of the end of a glacier, the tree once grew further up hill, at a place now covered by the glacier (unless someone transported it uphill many years ago). If we knew the speed of the glacier and the age of the branch (radio carbon dating, e.g.), we would know how far up hill the tree grew, and where the end of the glacier was then. I doubt that we know enough to do this accurately, but there is no doubt that many, if not most, glaciers were once shorter than they are now. MWP, anyone?

  593. jae
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

    BTW, Lee, PLEASE work on your typos; they are very distracting.

  594. John A
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

    re: #599

    It could be that Lee is dyslexic, in which case cut him a little slack.

  595. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

    Lee, one more time, would you please put an initial after the Steve – you’re not debating me here and many people would assume that.

    BTW, I’m not sure that "thermal inertia" is the mot juste, but it seems quite probable/certain to me that there is heat storage and distribution in the oceans, which leads to redistribution of frequencies – probably at multiple scales. If anything, this seems to me to be helpful to people seeking to allocate a greater share of late 20th century warming to solar forcing, but it’s not a topic that I’ve worked through.

  596. JJ
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

    Lee,

    “jj, you misstate teh argument.”

    Well, you mispelled ‘the argument’. So there :)

    “Sorry, but the point is that the spot has been covered by a glacier **continually** for thousands of year, and is only being uncovered right now.”

    That was the point I was responding to, though I phrased it more ambiguously. To restate to your satisfaction:

    That a spot has been covered by a glacier **continually** for thousands of years, and is only being uncovered right now, cannot be pinned on any particular century, nor attributed to an anomoly.

    JJ

  597. Lee
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

    Steve M, my apologies again. I’ll work on remembering. Too bad wordpress doesnt allow threaded comments.

  598. Lee
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

    re 598,

    jae, you miss one important point. You say:

    “If a tree branch comes out of the end of a glacier, the tree once grew further up hill, at a place now covered by the glacier (unless someone transported it uphill many years ago).”

    As SteveM alluded to somewhere above, it is also entirely possible that the tree branch came from a grove or even a single tree growing above the glacier, perhaps on a sheltered south-facing slope, at some time in the past. The fact that the branch is in the glacier does not necessarily mean that there was a tree growing where there is now ice. It means there was a tree growing in a place where its branch could get into the ice; that is a much different thing, leading to much different possible interpretations.

    BTW, why do you imply that I’m somehow denying a MWP, when what I’m doing is disputing what looks like bad lines of reasoning from the evidence, or asking for verification of factual claims? Greenland was warm enough for a colony to establish, then it got colder (which was one of several causes, and likely the key proximal cause, contributing to the demise of the settlements) and now its gotten warmer again.

    You made a specific claim, that farms are emerging from under melting glacier fronts in Greenland. If true, that claim would have some major implications, among them that it had been warm enough for long enough for those lands to have established farmable soils in the interval before they were last covered by glaciers. I asked if you have evidence for that specific claim, because I had seen the claim before, had asked for evidence, and had looked myself, and had found or heard nothing. Instead, I find myself assailed primarily by evidence that glaciers move (well, duh)adn that the glacieal fronts have moved. That is NOT evidence for the claim you made, and that I asked you to support.

  599. jae
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 11:43 AM | Permalink

    Lee: Glad you are not disputing MWP; I thought you did. You are right about an individual tree limb, of course. But when there is such evidence for many glaciers, you have to consider it. And you have been provided all sorts of evidence for working farms in Greenland during the MWP that are now innudated by permafrost or covered by glaciers; please read the links and do some Googling on your own.

  600. Lee
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 11:45 AM | Permalink

    re 602:

    What it means is that whatever circumstance is uncovering that glacier front to that point right now, has not occured for thousands of years.

    Whether that means the the present circumstance is anomalous in the context of those thousands of years is, I guess, subject to interpretation. I guess.

  601. Lee
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

    jae, once again, I have found NO evidence for Greenland farms covered by glaciers.

    A 10 page PDF on the demise of the Greenalnd colonies, that at a quick glance covers a lot of material I already know qutie well, with no direction from you as to where in that there is evidence of farms under glaciers, is not very good evidence or citation. Give me some meat.

    I have been “provided” one citation several times, of that burial shroud with the branch, under permafrost. I’ve responded to that before, I believe to you jae. I pointed out that for the evidence to be persuasive, it must be accompanied by at least some attempt to analyze the soil history at that site. Was the burial made into permafrost (hard to imagine) or into the summer surface melt zone, where growth is expected? What is the rate of soil formation due to summer melt-growth cycles, and the concomitant upward rise of the permafrost line relative to the burial. Has there been deposition from uphill erosion that pushed the burial deeper, and below the permafrost line – erosion was a major issue at the Greenland farms, and contributed to their demise. Farms have been found completely buried under erosional runoff – this is NOT equivalent to burial by glaciers.

    Assuming that the soil history at that burial site was static, without accompanying evidence, is insufficient. Soils are seldom static.

  602. JJ
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

    Lee,

    “What it means is that whatever circumstance is uncovering that glacier front to that point right now, has not occured for thousands of years.”

    No, it doesnt.

    The very same temperature/precip regime that is in place now over a recently ‘deglaciated’ spot may have occurred many times in the past over that very same location, with the glacier present.

    The simple fact that a glacier has retreated beyond a certain point today tells us nothing specific about today. What caused that spot to be uncovered is the aggregate effect of every condition that has prevailed at that location in the interval between glaciation and deglaciation. As compared to any specific time in that interval, the current condition might be warmer, colder, drier, darker, sunnier, etc. And across that entire interval, there may have been conditions that were anomalous wrt the rest. Or there may not.

    JJ

  603. jae
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

    Lee: I give up.

  604. Lee
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

    “609. Lee: I give up.

    Comment by jae “¢’‚¬? 27 June 2006 @ 12:00 pm”

    I will assume that this means that you have no evidence that farms in Greenland are now under glaciers (given that I ahve not foound any such and you have not presented any), and that therefore your claim is false.

  605. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    As SteveM alluded to somewhere above, it is also entirely possible that the tree branch came from a grove or even a single tree growing above the glacier, perhaps on a sheltered south-facing slope, at some time in the past. The fact that the branch is in the glacier does not necessarily mean that there was a tree growing where there is now ice. It means there was a tree growing in a place where its branch could get into the ice; that is a much different thing, leading to much different possible interpretations.

    Lee, that’s NOT what I said. I do not suggest that there might be a lone, brave tree above the glacier. I am saying that in the Holocene Optimum the glacier had receded far upslope of present day (as well as upslope of MWP recession) and in many cases might not have existed. My alternative is that am upslope Holocene Optimum tree/shrub was engorged by a pre-MWP glacier expansion and has been gradually moving downslope for 5000 years. It might well have moved considerably downslope since the MWP so that a MWP recession might well have been upslope of the present glacier without disgorging the shrub. How else can you explain the findings of Mormes et al?

  606. jae
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

    Lee, one more time: see #565. If ice buried farms during the LIA, warming should be uncovering them, if there were indeed any significant warming going on.

    Where are you coming from, anyway? The NAS Panel, despite its shortcomings, has pretty well shattered the "consensus" that AGW is proven (note, I am NOT saying that it is disproven, either).

    Steve: I don’t think that the NAS Panel said that at all and that is not what they think in the slightest. They were able to distinguish their views on AGW from the issue of whether Mann had proved the HS.

  607. John A
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

    Was the burial made into permafrost (hard to imagine) or into the summer surface melt zone, where growth is expected?

    A: Permafrost is frozen all year round. If the ground had been frozen then the Viking colonists would have built a cairn rather than dig frozen ground which is like concrete. The surface melt zone would have made it marshy and certainly not a place to dig a grave by choice.

    A lot of lines of evidence point to the MWP in Greenland. Unfortunately there are no trees for you to bark up.

  608. Dane Robinson
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

    Re #607 Lee,
    I would not make this generalized statement “Soils are seldom static.”

    Depends on a lot of conditions, but actually Most soils are somewhat static over time, that is one of the main process in soil formation/pedogensis. I suggest you look up the word saprolite for some discussion on soil formation. Also, many geologists date glacial features using soil formation, thats how they know which faze of the most recent glaciations formed the feature they are studying.

    I know way too much about dirt. :-P

  609. Lee
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 12:57 PM | Permalink

    SteveM

    What you said was “They concluded that forests grew at varous times above the present glacier.” My apologies if I misunderstood or misrepresented that.

    BTW, when I was much younger and fitter than I am now, and used to do a lot of backpacking, the Trinity Alps of northern california still had a couple small glaciers in north-facing cirques. I understand that they are gone now. At least one of those had substantial (if dwarfed and pretty scraggly) woody vegetation growing on a west-facing slope above the cirque, and in summer, when I was up that high, there was typically substantial shrubby matter on the glacial surface.

    I’m still not convinced of any of this yet, but I think my emerging picture of the recent interglacial, is that there were likely substantial temperature swings at least in the northern-atlantic influenced regions, europe and perhaps asia, but that the recent tropical warming is more likely to be truly anomalous. If they hold up, the claims of ancient recently uncovered stationary subglacial artifacts, and of melt-induced mixing of accumulation zone ice that was not observed anywhere in the ice core or even 10 years earlier at the site, seem pretty strong spot confirmations of at least the general conclusions from the coring data.

  610. Lee
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 1:06 PM | Permalink

    jae, I said it really clearly.

    If farms were covered by glaciers at the end of the MWP and only now being uncovered, that has some very strong implication for how warm and how long that MWP warming must have been. Among other things, it means that there would have to have been sufficient warmth and for sufficiently long for farmable soils to emerge after whatever previosu glaciatin there was, as I said above. It also strongly implies that the glacial front was substantially retreated from where the farm is, because cold glacial winds falling onto already somewhat marginal very-short-season farming conditions (which they always were) , would have made the farms untenable.

    In other words, a claim that farmrs are emerging from under glaciers is not just a claim that there was an MWP, it is likely also a strong claim about the relative warmth and length of the MWP in Greenland. And I don’t see any justification for that claim, becaue I dont see the evidence.

    All I’m asking is for SOMEONE, ANYONE to show me the evidence behind this specific claim about farms and glaciers, which I read often and see supported nowhere.

  611. Jack
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

    Where are you coming from, anyway? The NAS Panel, despite its shortcomings, has pretty well shattered the “consensus” that AGW is proven (note, I am NOT saying that it is disproven, either).

    You should read pages 21-23 closely if you think that’s true.

  612. Lee
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

    JohnA
    Permafrost on sloping surfaces is not necesarily marshy through the summer. In fact it is often quite lush (if fragile) and precisely the kinds of places where farmers, especially farmers dependent on maximal use of EVERY resource for their survival, would create outfieldings or even primary pasture for haying and summer grazing.

    And how many times do I have to say it – this is getting fricking annoying- GREENLAND WAS ALMOST SURELY WARMER IN MIDEIVAL TIMES WHEN THE SETTLEMENTS WERE MADE, THEN IT GOT COLDER AND THE SETTLEMENTS FAILED.

    What I’m looking at is the strength – or existence- of evidence that implies that it might have been warmer (or otherwise) in Greenland then than it is now. Getting people to supply the data behind those claims (jae), or to acknowledge (much less discuss) weaknesses that need to be dealt with in the interpretations of that data (the shroud root data), is like pulling teeth.

    You guys act like pointing out potential weaknesses is unscientific, and that acknowledging them or even discussing them rationally might be some kind of moral failing on your parts. Almost like what you guys accuse the dendro people of, so often. When the counterattacks are on points I havent claimed and don’t beleive and exist only in the fevered imaginations of all y’all, its even more annoying.

  613. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 1:23 PM | Permalink

    All I’m asking is for SOMEONE, ANYONE to show me the evidence behind this specific claim about farms and glaciers, which I read often and see supported nowhere.

    Lee,

    Googled “greenland+farm+uncovered,” this was first hit…http://www.expressnews.ualberta.ca/print.cfm?id=776

    April 23, 2001 – In 1991, two caribou hunters stumbled over a log on a snowy Greenland riverbank, an unusual event because Greenland is above the tree line. Closer investigation uncovered rock-hard sheep droppings. The hunters had stumbled on a 500-year-old Viking farm that lay hidden beneath the sand, gift-wrapped and preserved by nature for future archaeologists….Schweger recalls vividly the day the team uncovered GUS. Smells frozen in permafrost for 500 years exploded into the air. “It stunk to high heavens,” said Schweger. “There was no question about this being a farm…”

  614. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 1:32 PM | Permalink

    Please read post #565.

  615. Lee
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

    re 565, 612 – those are descriptions of events happening in ICELAND in the 1700s, LONG after the failure of the viking settlements, and after a couple hundred years of LIA-induced glacial advance.

  616. Lee
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 1:40 PM | Permalink

    re 619

    “April 23, 2001 – In 1991, two caribou hunters stumbled over a log on a snowy Greenland riverbank, an unusual event because Greenland is above the tree line.”
    Well, no it isnt. The areas where there were farms had alpine forest, and much of the inhabited area today has alpine forest..

    “Closer investigation uncovered rock-hard sheep droppings. The hunters had stumbled on a 500-year-old Viking farm that lay hidden beneath the sand, gift-wrapped and preserved by nature for future archaeologists….Schweger recalls vividly the day the team uncovered GUS. Smells frozen in permafrost for 500 years exploded into the air. “It stunk to high heavens,” said Schweger. “There was no question about this being a farm…””
    Beneath the sand. Yes, there were farms buried under sand, primarily by erosional deposition. Greenland soils are very fragile, and overgrazing, cutting of trees, and ‘flaying’ of fields for turf for building, caused a lot of erosion and destroyed a lot of grazing land. But sand is not glacier.

  617. Lee
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

    btw, re 562, 612m 621: the Iceland events are potentially relevant. However, since they happened well into the LIA and describe glaciers extending suffieicntly after a couple hundred years of growth to reach a few remote farms, they are likely to be telling us more aobut the severity of the LIA than about the nature of the preceding warm period.

  618. jae
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 1:46 PM | Permalink

    Steve: I don’t think that the NAS Panel said that at all and that is not what they think in the slightest. They were able to distinguish their views on AGW from the issue of whether Mann had proved the HS.

    No, the NAS Panel did not say it. However, it’s “between the lines,” since much of the “proof” for AGW relies on the Mannian studies. I don’t think we will see too many citations of these studies in the future. And what else is there?

  619. JJ
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

    Lee,

    “re 565, 612 – those are descriptions of events happening in ICELAND in the 1700s, LONG after the failure of the viking settlements, and after a couple hundred years of LIA-induced glacial advance”

    And?

    If (as you claim) farms in Greenland being glaciated at the very beginning of the LIA is proof of a long, warm MWP …

    … then farms being glaciated in Iceland a couple hundred years later is proof of a longer, warmer MWP.

    No that your reasoning is correct. Could (as you point out) also indicate a longer, colder LIA. Or any number of other scenarios. See #608. Not kosher of you to cherry pick one, and pretend that the fact you picked it means something.

    JJ

  620. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    Beneath the sand. Yes, there were farms buried under sand, primarily by erosional deposition. Greenland soils are very fragile, and overgrazing, cutting of trees, and “flaying’ of fields for turf for building, caused a lot of erosion and destroyed a lot of grazing land. But sand is not glacier.

    No, sand is not a glacier (maybe half credit for “glacial sands?”), but being “frozen in permafrost for 500 years” sounds pretty thoroughly and consistently cold, eh? Especially for farmland, even if there’s some sand above it.

    Just out of curiosty, can you show any other evidence that “there were farms buried under sand, primarily by erosional deposition?” Another quick google search just keeps bringing-up the “The Farm Beneath the Sand” in my link. Seems like an unusual name if farms being buried under sand was a typical event in Greenland.

  621. welikerocks
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    Lee says:

    You guys act like pointing out potential weaknesses is unscientific, and that acknowledging them or even discussing them rationally might be some kind of moral failing on your parts. Almost like what you guys accuse the dendro people of, so often. When the counterattacks are on points I havent claimed and don’t beleive and exist only in the fevered imaginations of all y’all, its even more annoying.

    Lee demands:

    What I’m looking at is the strength – or existence- of evidence that implies that it might have been warmer (or otherwise) in Greenland then than it is now.

    The Socratic B*tch (me) asks:

    1. Define “warmer” please.

    —more then one half degree? More than 1°, 2°…3…4…5… 7 ° 10…?
    2. And how many years back is “then”?
    –less then a hundred, hundreds, thousands, millions?

    3. Define anomolus

  622. Dave B
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

    How about this:

    Land-use change, i.e. a viking sheep farm, caused sufficient warming of the local fjord that it melted the local permafrost, causing catastrophic collapse of the supporting sand, thus burying GUS.

    Would that make everybody happy?

  623. Dane Robinson
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    Re Lee,

    I have been a Geologist for over 10 years and never heard of this term or process “erosional deposition”.

    You have erosion, which is a process, and you have deposition, which is a different process. It is hard to believe any of your ideas when you make really simple mistakes like that.

  624. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 2:37 PM | Permalink

    RE: #615 – I suggest that you question your understanding. In fact, the Trinity Alps happen to be one of those “anomalous” places where glaciers are growing.

  625. Hans Erren
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

    may I suggest to close this thread and start:

    Nas panel report (cont.)

    630 messages is getting long to load.

  626. BKC
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

    Re. 631

    I second the motion.

  627. John A
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

    There are some dwarf trees in the far south of Greenland, but they were deliberately planted more than forty years ago. I’ve never heard anyone logging them.

  628. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

    Hi Hans,

    I was wondering when someone would state the obvious. I third the motion.

  629. John A
    Posted Jun 27, 2006 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

    OK. I’ll close the thread. Thanks to all the participants who kept this to the point and reasonably friendly.

5 Trackbacks

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  2. By SEIXON on Jun 22, 2006 at 2:11 PM

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  3. By The Great Satan on Jun 23, 2006 at 7:08 AM

    OMG it’s hot…. NOT!

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  4. [...] To get the full dirt on the NAS hearings before congress, I recommend you read the official report, a report from one of the presenters at the hearings, and the Von Storch, Zorita and Gonzalez-Raucen response. [...]

  5. [...] Finally, someone has got the message right, apart from climateaudit and the reference frame and niche modeling. Duane Freese in his article “Hockey Stick Shortened?” at TechCentralStation reports on the National Academy of Sciences report “Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years” it is not the confirmation of the already known, but acknowledgment of the unknown that is important: The most gratifying thing about the National Academy of Science panel report last week into the science behind Michael Mann’s past temperature reconstructions – the iconic “hockey stick” isn’t what the mainstream media have been reporting — the panel’s declaration that the last 25 years of the 20th Century were the warmest in 400 years. The hockey stick, in short, is 600 years shorter than it was before and the uncertainties for previous centuries are larger than Mann gave credence. And when the uncertainty of the paleoclimatogical record increases with time, the uncertainty about human contribution is likewise increased. Why? For a reason noted on page 103 of the report: climate model simulations for future climates are tuned to the paleoclimatogical proxy evidence of past climate change. And what are the mainstream media reporting? A list of titles of news articles from the Controversial Topics Hockey Stick Graph resource confirms they are little more than a Webring of Noise on climate change issues. Little wonder people are turning to the major blogs for informed opinion. [...]

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