Fixing the Facts to the Policy

As noted in a prior post, only IPCC insiders have access to the WG1 Report between the Feb 2, 2007 release of the Summary for Policy-Makers and the scheduled publication of the WG1 Report in May 2007. To my knowledge, such a procedure is unprecedented in public commission reporting.

In searching for an explanation of this astonishing procedure, here’s what IPCC procedures (section 4) say about Technical Report acceptance:

Changes (other than grammatical or minor editorial changes) made after acceptance by the Working Group or the Panel shall be those necessary to ensure consistency with the Summary for Policymakers or the Overview Chapter.

So the purpose of the three-month delay between the publication of the Summary for Policy-Makers and the release of the actual WG1 is to enable them to make any “necessary” adjustments to the technical report to match the policy summary. Unbelievable. Can you imagine what securities commissions would say if business promoters issued a big promotion and then the promoters made the “necessary” adjustments to the qualifying reports and financial statements so that they matched the promotion. And for IPCC to have the gall to institutionalize the process. Words fail me.

IPCC insiders should not be allowed to change a comma of the WG1 Report after Feb 2, 2007 to “ensure consistency” with the Summary. If the two are inconsistent, let the chips fall where they may.


291 Comments

  1. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 24, 2007 at 11:09 PM | Permalink

    I’ve re-posted this update as a separate post. I still can’t believe it.

    BTW Trenberth says that they plan to make an “iconic statement” on February 2, 2007, don’t forget the iconic statement at the corresponding press conference announcing IPCC TAR.

  2. Pat Frank
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 1:32 AM | Permalink

    The hounds are at full bay. Lysenko is laughing in his grave.

  3. Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 2:50 AM | Permalink

    There are many more people watching this time. Suspicious behavior like this is only going to invite scrutiny rather than suppress it.

  4. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 4:04 AM | Permalink

    Steve: You say “to my knowledge, such a procedure is unprecedented in public commission reporting”.

    Firstly, I though you were a bit wary about using the word “unprecedented”!

    Secondly, to my knowledge (1) anthopogenic climate change is unprecedented and (2) the international response to this, in the shape of the whole IPCC endeavour, is similarly unprecedented (as well it should be). I can think of no similar coordinated effort of international scientists over such an extended period (over 16 years now). So there is no precedent upon which to base the rules. You may well think that the particular procedures which are in place now are “unbelievable” and words may well fail you. However, bear in mind that (a) these procedures will have been arrived after considerable thought, discussion, wrangling, arguing etc. by people who are not quite as dumb or as devious as you like to suggest, (b) you have no real idea of the background to these discussions, and (c) this “is not just about you”, Steve – I am much happier that such decisions are arrived at through reasonably rational discussion by reasonably intelligent people, rather than by a few bloggers on climateaudit.

  5. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 4:11 AM | Permalink

    John A (posting 3):

    “Suspicious behavior like this is only going to invite scrutiny rather than suppress it.”

    Oh my God – good old conspiracy theory again. Keep it up, John – it would be quite funny if your paranoia wasn’t quite so pathetic.

    The reds are coming, the reds are coming …..

    The greenies are coming, the greenies are coming …..

  6. Arthur Dent
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 4:28 AM | Permalink

    I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I am surprised at what appears to be a somewhat strange process. Could Mr Barrett offer an explanation as to why this process appears to be backwards. Surely the summary report and overview documents should be consistent with the technical reports and not vice versa. If that is the case then there should be no need for ANY changes to the technical report after it has been completed.

    Any other process leads to the suspicion that the technical data is to be massaged to make it fit the political summary

  7. Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 4:30 AM | Permalink

    Lets not forget that the NAS report debunked the hockey stick and more:

    Some Comments on the recently released
    National Academy of Sciences Report on global climate change
    ( Report is at: http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11676.html )

    The below is cut and pasted from the report with our comments in [brackets]

    Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years
    Committee on Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years,
    National Research Council
    From Page 111 (sheet 126) bold added:

    OVERALL FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

    Based on its deliberations and the materials presented in Chapters 1-11 and elsewhere,
    the committee draws the following overall conclusions regarding large-scale surface temperature
    reconstructions for the last 2,000 years:
    * The instrumentally measured warming of about 0.6àƒÅ’à…⟃ during the 20th century is also reflected in borehole temperature measurements, the retreat of glaciers, and other observational evidence, and can be simulated with climate models.
    …….[This verifies that there was about a 0.6àƒÅ’à…⟃ temperature increase during the 20th century (see below)]
    * Large-scale surface temperature reconstructions yield a generally consistent picture of temperature trends during the preceding millennium, including relatively warm conditions centered around A.D. 1000 (identified by some as the “Medieval Warm Period”) and a relatively cold period (or “Little Ice Age”) centered around 1700. The existence and extent of a Little Ice Age from roughly 1500 to 1850 is supported by a wide variety of evidence including ice cores, tree rings, borehole temperatures, glacier length records, and historical documents.
    ……[This re-affirms the existence of a "little ice age"]
    Evidence for regional warmth during medieval times can be found in a diverse but more limited set of records including ice cores, tree rings, marine sediments, and historical sources from Europe and Asia, but the exact timing and duration of warm periods may have varied from region to region, and the magnitude and geographic extent of the warmth are uncertain.
    ….[This re-affirms the existence of a "medieval warm period"]
    ….[Remember the famous "hockey stick" chart? It DOES NOT show either the "little ice age" or "medieval warm period". This omission disproves the "hockey stick" chart and the data/methods used to create it. Much of the climate field uses similar data and methods.]
    * It can be said with a high level of confidence that global mean surface temperature was higher during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period during the preceding four centuries. This statement is justified by the consistency of the evidence from a wide variety of geographically diverse proxies.
    ….[This is the headline for many newspapers. Most forgot to mention that the "preceding four centuries" started in the middle of the "little ice age (above). In other words, we are warming up after the little ice age.]
    * Less confidence can be placed in large-scale surface temperature reconstructions for the period from A.D. 900 to 1600. Presently available proxy evidence indicates that temperatures at many, but not all, individual locations were higher during the past 25 years than during any period of comparable length since A.D. 900. The uncertainties associated with reconstructing hemispheric mean or global mean temperatures from these data increase substantially backward in time through this period and are not yet fully quantified.
    * Very little confidence can be assigned to statements concerning the hemispheric mean or global mean surface temperature prior to about A.D. 900 because of sparse data coverage and because the uncertainties associated with proxy data and the methods used to analyze and combine them are larger than during more recent time periods.
    …..[ This says that we really don't know enough about climate before A.D 900. This suggests that we are incapable of judging today's climate in a proper historical context, considering that there has been 12,000 years of ups and downs since the last ice age. We only know about 10% of this time span to a sufficient degree.]

    ———————————- From page 21 (sheet36) Bold Added ————————————
    Based on the analyses presented in the original papers by Mann et al. and this newer supporting evidence, the committee finds it plausible that the Northern Hemisphere was warmer during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period over the preceding millennium.
    …..[Note that this claim is only "plausible", not likely or probable or "supported by a wide variety of evidence" (see above)]
    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.
    ….[Here is the often heard statement that we are the warmest in 1000 years. It is given "less confidence" than "plausable" (see above). Effectively, it is shown to be baseless.]

    ——————————— Some Thoughts About the Above Report ——————————

    We believe that the two most gripping claims about global warming have been shown to be wrong. The other major claim, that we are the warmest in 400 years is essentially a statement that we are warming after the “little ice age.” Is that bad?

    —————————— Are you being lied to? ——————————

    Stephen Schneider of the National Center for Atmospheric Research described the scientists’ dilemma this way: “On the one hand, as scientists, we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but-which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but; human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This `double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.”
    From: DISCOVER, OCTOBER 1989, Page 47, bold added (Note: Stephen Schneider is founder and editor of the scientific journal Climate Change.)
    ——————————Further reading ——————————

    The whole NAP report: http://www.nap.edu/catalog/11676.html
    The Wegman factsheet: http://energycommerce.house.gov/108/home/07142006_Wegman_fact_sheet.pdf
    The Wegman report: http://energycommerce.house.gov/108/home/07142006_Wegman_Report.pdf
    Website run by Mann: http://www.RealClimate.org
    Website run by critic of the hockeystick: http://www.ClimateAudit.org

  8. Reid
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 5:52 AM | Permalink

    Re #5: Jim Barrett comments: “Oh my God – good old conspiracy theory again.”

    Conspiracy is the wrong word. Conspiracies are hidden from view. The proper word is charade.

    definition: charade (n.) A readily perceived pretense; a travesty:

  9. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 6:06 AM | Permalink

    You can bet that the “hockey stick” will be ignored in this report. They may have found another “icon” as in “iconic”??

  10. Jean S
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 6:31 AM | Permalink

    re #9, Hmmmm… I’m wondering how they can ignore that given, e.g., the very first pages of TAR “Summary for Policymakers”.

    http://www.grida.no/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/005.htm

    Since the release of the Second Assessment Report (SAR4), additional data from new studies of current and palaeoclimates, improved analysis of data sets, more rigorous evaluation of their quality, and comparisons among data from different sources have led to greater understanding of climate change.

    *New analyses of proxy data for the Northern Hemisphere indicate that the increase in temperature in the 20th century is likely to have been the largest of any century during the past 1,000 years. It is also likely that, in the Northern Hemisphere, the 1990s was the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year (Figure 1b). Because less data are available, less is known about annual averages prior to 1,000 years before present and for conditions prevailing in most of the Southern Hemisphere prior to 1861.

    Don’t they have any oblication to public to explain why the statement of TAR is not supported anymore? Is this really something that can be completely ignored? Any journalist out there who wants to ask about it in the press conference?

  11. Boris
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 7:36 AM | Permalink

    7:

    The NAS report does not debunk the hockey stick, as the text you provide clearly shows.

    5:

    Yes, but not only is the IPCC running a conspiracy, they are really really really bad at it. They state openly what they are doing.

  12. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 7:42 AM | Permalink

    Firstly, I though you were a bit wary about using the word “unprecedented”!

    If he’s wary to use it but still did, that certainly emphasizes his opinion, doesn’t it? And I’d say that yes, it does seem “unprecedented.”

    Oh my God – good old conspiracy theory again.

    Surely you see the absurdity of having a Summary written based on a Report, then having the Report edited to match the Summary?

    Considering the historical differences between the two (with the Summary tending to exagerrate the findings of the Report and minimize areas which show skepticism), this is a significanct change in policy that certainly presents itself as at least as “nonsense” or a “charade,” if not a “conspiracy.”

  13. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    please do off-topics on Unthreaded. If you want to debate the NAS panel report, there are plenty of other threads.

    The issue, Boris and Jim, is whether the procedure is justifiable – not whether it’s a “conspiracy” or whether it’s being done in the open.

    I think that it’s a lousy procedure and open to abuse.  I hope that the IPCC abandons the procedure and releases the WG1 Report on Feb 2. If you think that the holdback and adjustment procedure makes sense, please provide a reason.

  14. richardT
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

    From what I understand, the policy document has still to be agreed upon, and will be subjected to line-by-line discussion with the governments. While the Scientists have a veto, there may be some compromise necessary over some of the wording.

    The IPCC presumably want to release their work as soon as possible, this is why the policy document is published almost immediately after it is written.

    There would be all sorts of confusion if the wording in the policy document and the science chapters differed. Some time is necessary to harmonise both documents.

  15. Bill F
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

    A summary is supposed to summarize the contents of the report. If the report is not finalized, how can it be summarized? I write scientific reports for a living, and the executive summary is always the final thing written. After you write the report and are satisfied that it is complete, then you write the summary. Doing it in reverse is kind of like deciding on a conclusion you want to present and then cherry-picking data that support that conclusion. What kind of scientists would resort to that? Oh…wait…thats what the hockey team does isn’t it?

  16. Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 10:16 AM | Permalink

    richardT, if the summary for policy-makers is based upon solid science, why would a “compromise.. over wording” be necessary? The wording should accurately represent the science. Fiddling with it would only serve to deviate the conclusions of the summary from what is supportable by the science, surely, which is what we’ve witnessed from the past from the IPCC…

    IMO the summary should accurately represent both what is known, and with how much certainty it is known. It should not be up to politicians what the summary says. It should be written by scientists, and the politicians are the ones who will read it and make decisions based upon that. It’s a “summary FOR policy makers”, not a “summary BY policy makers”, surely…

  17. Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

    Does someone understand the law and regulations well? Is their policy actually legal? We have all possible regulations about scientific misconduct around – do they?

  18. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

    I would have to agree that in no way can this procedure used by the IPCC be considered a conspiracy as they are very upfront about what they are doing. It certainly does not take rocket science to figure out the political strategy involved either, as that is also most transparent — or at least so to this observer.

    I think that the IPCC Summarizers are motivated by the reasons given by some of their protagonists posting here: AGW (to them anyway) is an unprecedented problem and calls for unprecedented strategies. I think, unfortunately, that many in the main stream media and in politics have either agreed with this strategy or are not willing to actively oppose it. Of greatest interest to me will be the reactions to these strategies by those scientists who are less actively involved in policy advocacy — assuming of course that they will be willing to speak out, one way or another.

    Of course none of these strategies can change the science involved or lack of it for that matter. Perhaps the Summarizers can go back to the authors of papers and be assured that they have made the obligatory fuzzy statement about AGW and its potential detrimental effects somewhere at the end of the conclusions. Or if the paper has a theme that could potentially weaken the case for AGW or extent of AGW, they could ask for the standard disclaimer that this work in no way should be construed as an argument against AGW.

    A final chapter in the IPCC report on the need to separate science and policy advocacy would be a great political touch.

  19. Bill F
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

    I agree on the lack of conspiracy part…they are being very open about “what” they are doing…it is the “why” that is less clear and potentially disturbing. Lets face it, when it comes to putting something like this before the media, information is power. The IPCC scientists can spend the first 3 months after the policy statement comes out cherrypicking data from the full report to use in defending the summary statement against detractors. By the time the “detractors” get to actually see what is in the full report and can ferret out whatever inconsistencies may be left after careful editing, the media will have lost interest and moved on to stories about hurricane season and the next round of papers blaming the 2005 storms on AGW. By then, the IPCC report will be 3 month old news that will simply be a footnote to the latest overhyped story on the inevitable (insert disaster type here) that is predicted by the GCMs.

  20. John Hekman
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 12:20 PM | Permalink

    “Trenberth says that they plan to make an ‘iconic statement'”

    American Heritage Dictionary: “Icon”
    “A representation or picture of a sacred or sanctified Christian personage, traditionally used and venerated in the Eastern Church.”

    The usual suspects will put the new icon on page one. However, the hype that has occurred about AGW since Katrina has had an effect. We have heard so much now that another IPCC report may not have much additional ability to shock.

    From Steve M’s report on the AGU meetings and other recent reports, it seems that there are scientists who are getting a bit wary of all the hype. There may actually be some good discussions coming as a result of the IPCC’s folly.

  21. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 12:28 PM | Permalink

    RE: #5 – Hard core Gaia worshippers and radical environmentalists are watermelons. Green on the outside and red on the inside. Are you one?

  22. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 12:33 PM | Permalink

    Sorry about that outburst. I am seething with anger upon reading Barrett’s #5. It’s hard to avoid getting sucked into fighting dirty when AGW fanatics come in here and behave as thugs.

  23. Bill F
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 1:08 PM | Permalink

    Well he might be the same Jim Barrett who was an economist with the Economic Policy Institute and wrote a report for the Pew Center titled “Worker Transition and Global Climate Change”. Incidently, one of the Economic Policy Institute’s current projects is the “Agenda for Shared Prosperity”. Lets see, “shared prosperity”, “worker transition”, redistribution of wealth, and AGW? You be the judge…

    BTW…I am not saying he is right or wrong to hold those beliefs…it is just interesting to read his post #5 if the info above reflects his political beliefs.

  24. pj
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 1:39 PM | Permalink

    I’m surprised at the shock being expressed over the IPCC’s procedures. Many of you seem to be laboring under the mistaken impression that the IPCC exists to assess the state of the climate science. It doesn’t. It exists to “support the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change process.” Its role is to “assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation (see http://www.ipcc.ch/about/princ.pdf).” You see, the “risk of human-induced climate change” is already assumed. The IPCC’s job is just to provide the “scientific basis” to support that assumption. Of course, there’s nothing scientific about that, but the proles are too stupid to figure that out. At least that’s what the IPCC is counting on. And the New York Times certainly isn’t going to tell anyone.

    The Summary for Policymakers is a document that is subjected to government review. This is a euphemism for a process whereby the member governments negotiate that content of the Summary. The underlying reports are then brought into conformity with whatever comes out of the government review. The IPCC has always operated that way. We should be well past our shock by now.

  25. Demesure
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    I suspect the notorious alarmist Summary is released in the peak of winter to cool down the GW hysteria because the skeptics have prevailed.
    …But I humbly recognize it’s just a dream or still another conspiracist theory.

  26. Martin Judge
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    With regards fixing of data, the BBC has just produced a remarkably honest critique of the manipulation of data that occured in the Stern Report. The “Investigation” programme is 30 minutes of radio well worth listening to. Available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4. Broadcast 20:00 hours (UK), Thursday 25 January.

    They also seem to know something of what’s in next week’s IPCC report.

  27. Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 2:40 PM | Permalink

    I would never use the word “conspiracy” in conjunction with the IPCC or the scientists who contribute to it. I would use phrases like “collective delusion”, “groupthink” or “politically-inspired rhetoric”.

    One thing we will hear more and more is the abuse of the word “unprecedented”. I note that Jim Barrett is carrying on the noble tradition of abusing that word as if the supposed change in climate was larger than ever before (nope), higher than ever before (nope again), changed more rapidly than ever before (nope thrice) or can be attributed to a single cause (extremely doubtful).

    The net effect of these rhetorical flourishes is to hide the poverty of argument. But not very well. As the IPCC knows, people believe what they already believe – and they won’t be clamouring to check the science behind the pronouncements, just the nasty suspicious people who are probably in the pay of [insert large scary industrial grouping here]

  28. Mark
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

    I’m still waiting on my check from ExxonMobil.

    Mark

  29. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 3:16 PM | Permalink

    RE:#28 – Me too!

  30. ian
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 3:28 PM | Permalink

    In the UK Daily Telegraph 19 Jan

    Dr Richard Betts of the Meteorological Office’s Hadley Centre for Climate Change said:

    “… The forthcoming report by IPCC next month will be the most reviewed document in the history of science. It is the IPCC process to review all the literature with an open mind. Many sceptics are involved in the process.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/01/18/nclimate118.xml

    I report this without personal comment!

  31. Jack
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

    I did some brief investigation on the IPCC Web site. Found this:

    Letter to Governments forwarding final draft

    containing this:

    “The IPCC Procedures stipulate that approval
    of the draft SPM by the Working Group signifies that the SPM is consistent with the factual material
    contained in the underlying full Report. Coordinating Lead Authors and other selected Lead Authors will be
    present at the Session to assist in ensuring consistency with the underlying assessment. The approved SPM and the accepted underlying full Report will be submitted to the IPCC at its Twenty-sixth Session (Bangkok, 4 May 2007) for acceptance.”

    The way I read this is: the SPM released on February 2 is approved, but not accepted. The SPM is supposed to be factually consistent with the full report. But there may be perceived inconsistencies given the different type of language in the SPM vs. the language of the full report. The delay allows adjustment of the language of the full report to better match the language of the SPM. When that’s done, the IPCC can “accept” both.

    It makes no sense to me to release either before both are done. Doing it this way invites additional criticism, and they don’t need more than they’re going to get.

    The answer is to find an insider who’ll compare the draft full report to the released full report, and for them to show if there are any substantive differences. I’d sure like to know.

  32. Demesure
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

    #26 Martin, Nice report, thanks. Simon Cox from the BBC did a good debunking job (especially when he publicly ridiculed Mike Hume with the Thames story) even if I wouldn’t expect him to become a scientific skeptics. Maybe we should all contact him to suggest he does the same with the upcoming Summary ;)

    #28, 29 Folks, I hate how your smear of a respectable company with a irreproachable GW approach ;) Here is what is said on the site of Exxon:

    ExxonMobil takes climate change extremely seriously. We recognise that the risk of climate change and its potential impacts on society and ecosystems may prove to be significant and that actions are needed to address this issue.

    We are taking actions to reduce emissions now and are also investing in research and technology in the area of advanced vehicles and fuels, energy technology and climate science that can help find long-term solutions to global warming.

  33. Demesure
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    The answer is to find an insider who’ll compare the draft full report to the released full report, and for them to show if there are any substantive differences. I’d sure like to know.

    The thing that’ll cost them nothing to do is to make the deliberations public, just like with the USGCRP. Transparency is a minimum requirement for such a “thing” set up with taxpayer’s money. But they won’t do that and I’m mad as hell.

  34. Bill F
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 4:20 PM | Permalink

    It would be fascinating to get a copy of the draft and the final and use Word or some other program to “highlight changes”.

  35. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 4:44 PM | Permalink

    By Reuters
    Thursday January 25, 06:05 PM

    By Nita Bhalla

    NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A forthcoming U.N. report on climate change will provide the most credible evidence yet of a human link to global warming and hopefully shock the world into taking more action, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said on Thursday.

    The IPCC report, due for release on Feb. 2 in Paris, draws on research by 2,500 scientists from more than 130 countries and has taken six years to compile.

    “There are a lot of signs and evidence in this report which clearly establish not only the fact that climate change is taking place, but also that it really is human activity that is influencing that change,” R.K. Pachauri, the IPCC chairman, told Reuters.

    “I hope this report will shock people, governments into taking more serious action as you really can’t get a more authentic and a more credible piece of scientific work. So I hope this will be taken for what it’s worth.”

    The IPCC will say it is at least 90 percent sure than human activities, led by the burning of fossil fuels, are to blame for global warming over the past 50 years, sources say.

    The new report is likely to foresee a rise in temperatures of 2 to 4.5 Celcius (3.6-8.1 Fahrenheit) this century, with about 3 Celcius (5.4F) most likely.

    FREAK WEATHER

    Pachauri told Reuters in an interview the findings of the report, which is the fourth of its kind, will be “far more serious and much more a matter of concern” than previous reports.

    There is more evidence around the world that greenhouse emissions are causing temperature increases, sea level rises, the melting of glaciers, freak weather phenomena and the problems of water availability, said Pachauri.

    “For example, the Arctic is clearly melting at faster rates than other regions of the world,” he said. “The figures are in the report and it is much faster than what was anticipated.”

    “The impacts are clearly very serious for some vulnerable parts of the world. Small island states are clearly very vulnerable and parts of South Asia are vulnerable in respect of droughts and floods and also the melting of the glaciers.”

    Pachauri, also director of India’s top environment centre, The Energy and Research Institute, said there was more awareness of climate change around the world today than ever before and applauded Europe and Japan for their efforts.

    He said scepticism about the linkages between human activities and climate change was dwindling as more evidence came to light.

    “I think the sceptics on climate change will continue, but the good news is that their numbers and their effectiveness is on the decline,” Pachauri said.

    “The gaps in knowledge will always be there in science but you use your judgement and that’s what good policy is all about … If you take action, the benefit is that you might actually be minimising the harmful impacts of global warming.”

  36. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 4:52 PM | Permalink

    Droughts are one topic that I would definitely look to for possible “adjusting” to match the SPM. In the above article. PAchauri says:

    There is more evidence around the world that greenhouse emissions are causing temperature increases, sea level rises, the melting of glaciers, freak weather phenomena and the problems of water availability, said Pachauri.
    ….
    “The impacts are clearly very serious for some vulnerable parts of the world. …. parts of South Asia are vulnerable in respect of droughts and floods and also the melting of the glaciers”.

    In chapter 2 in which Jones and Trenberth are lead authors, the 2nd Draft says:

    Droughts have become widespread in various parts of the world since the 1970s. The regions where droughts have occurred seem to be determined largely by changes in SSTs, especially in the tropics, through associated changes in the atmospheric circulation and precipitation. In the western United States, diminishing snow pack and subsequent reductions in soil moisture also appear to be a factor. In Australia and Europe, direct links to global warming have been inferred through the extreme nature of high temperatures and heat waves accompanying recent droughts.

    However, the Paleoclimate chapter says (among other things):

    The paleoclimate records of northern and eastern Africa and of North America indicate that droughts lasting decades to centuries are a recurrent feature of climate in these regions under a wide range of climate forcing…

    In China, in a region dominated by the East Asian Monsoon, it appears that 15 severe (3 years or longer) droughts have occurred over the last 1000 years, and for poorly understood reasons (Zhang, 2005). These paleodroughts were generally more severe than droughts in the same region within the last 50 years.

  37. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 4:52 PM | Permalink

    Barrrrrffffffffff!

  38. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

    That last comment of mine was in response to the press release.

    RE: #37 – I increasingly suspect an association between drought and cooling, as a general truism. I am concerned that the current conditions may herald a megadrought and after that, global cooling and all the ills which would accompany it.

  39. mzed
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

    You may be overreading here–agreed, it would be better to “let the chips fall where they may”, but “consistency” might just mean that they may need to add comments explaining any discrepancies between the summary and the Technical Report.

  40. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 6:34 PM | Permalink

    Re: #35

    Dr. R.K. Pachauri, the IPCC chairman, was well chosen if they were looking for someone to hype and spin the IPCC message into a political call to arms. I would say from just hearing these initial statements that he stands head and shoulders above Al Gore in playing the politics of climate disaster.

    What rather amazes me is that little or none of the information used to stoke these fires was or will not be public knowledge before the Feb 2 publication of the Summary. Which, of course, leads to question: why should we be suddenly so much in a state of worry with the official pronouncements? I would guess their answer would that we need the superior wisdom of the IPCC summarizers to put together a coherent message and concentrate it into a short time frame for emphasis.

    Pachauri’s skeptic statement leads me to believe that the advocates continue to want to deal with a hesitant political base by way of objections to skeptics. Certainly skeptics, even when combined with the lesser alarmed AGW advocates, do not have a sufficient base to make a political difference in this issue, but, on the other hand, you certainly could not make points with a voting public by telling them they did not know what was good for themselves or that they were in denial or, at best, wishful thinkers and, at worst, irresponsible people without concern for future generations.

  41. Mark
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 6:45 PM | Permalink

    “I think the sceptics on climate change will continue, but the good news is that their numbers and their effectiveness is on the decline,” Pachauri said.

    But what if the “skeptics” are right? Is it a good thing when a scientific viewpoint has no alternative hypotheses? One can infer from this statement that perhaps they (IPCC) feel as if they have succeeded in silencing science.

    “The gaps in knowledge will always be there in science but you use your judgement and that’s what good policy is all about … If you take action, the benefit is that you might actually be minimising the harmful impacts of global warming.”

    Or you might actually spend a lot of money on nothing. What about the harmful impacts to the economy should they be wrong?

    Mark

  42. Rod
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 7:07 PM | Permalink

    Re: #32

    Just so we pin the exaggeration on the right person: It was the Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne who was debunked on the frequency of use of the Thames Barrier in the programme and not the director of the Tyndall Centre Mike Hulme.

  43. Bill F
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

    you certainly could not make points with a voting public by telling them they did not know what was good for themselves or that they were in denial or, at best, wishful thinkers and, at worst, irresponsible people without concern for future generations.

    Although the song was written with a different issue in mind, I can’t help but think about the Rush song “witch Hunt” when I read the quote above. Apparently when it comes to climate change, those who know what is best for us will rise and save us from ourselves…

  44. jae
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 8:40 PM | Permalink

    It is almost laughable. IPCC is guaranteeeeeing to give the UN another BIG black eye. This “backwards” science is against everything I was taught about the scientific method. Fie on the whole bunch of priests!

  45. jae
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 8:47 PM | Permalink

    On thinking some more about this: it is EXACTLY the same as publishing the conclusions to a scientific study and then releasing the data, rationale, etc. 4 months later. Would any scientific journal–even the “political” ones–allow this?

  46. Terry
    Posted Jan 25, 2007 at 9:09 PM | Permalink

    Steve:

    Whatever happened to the paper you were going to write reporting how much of a difference correcting various MBH mistakes made? I thought it was slated for release last December.

    If you don’t do that paper, Mann’s claim that his errors don’t make a difference stands unrebutted.

  47. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 12:53 AM | Permalink

    Reid (posting 8): Grow up and please say something which actually adds to this discussion.

  48. Louis Hissink
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 3:01 AM | Permalink

    We should remember that all these climatic disaster prophesies are cnfined to the modelling domain, not physical reality.

    Only the pseudo-religious extrapolate those to physical reality.

    In that sense the latest IPCC pronouncement is quite valid – I have no objection to it, knowing that with the passing of time, (hopefully not on a geological scale) science will ultimately win.

    As Einsteion was allegedly reported: If the facts don’t support the theory, change the facts.

  49. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 3:45 AM | Permalink

    Steve (posting 13): You say “If you think that the holdback and adjustment procedure makes sense, please provide a reason.”

    I don’t know the exact reason any more than you know that “it’s a lousy procedure and open to abuse”. Neither of us know the full story although we both have a fair idea of how the process works. However it isn’t exactly rocket science to work out perfectly plausible and honorable reasons why it is the way it is. Here are some possibilities:

    The writing of an IPCC Assessment report is a huge endeavour. The TAR involved a review of around 4000 scientific papers, 122 lead authors, 512 contributing authors, 420 expert reviewers and several hundred more reviewers (have you ever been involved as an author in anything so big, Steve? – I certainly haven’t). AR4 will be composed of 11 chapters, a Technical Summary and a Summary For Policymakers. There are obviously many ways to proceed in organising the process to get an Assessment Report written. Lets label the 11 chapters of AR4 as A-K, the Technical Summary as L and the Summary For Policymakers as M. There must clearly be huge interaction between the elements A-M and this musn’t be only one-way. For example, Section G may require the recent rate of Greenland melting from Section D, so information has to flow from D to G. However, while this may have worked fine in the First Draft, the author(s) of D (who may never have actually known that G required this data) may have changed the form in which this information was presented in the Second Draft (e.g. by changing the time spans over which the data were given). So, at some time around the stage of the Second Draft the authors of G would have to ask the authors of D to reinstate this data in the original form. So TWO-WAY interaction between all of A-M is necessary throughout the process. It should be noted that this TWO-WAY interaction HAS TO involve the summary documents (L and M) – I can see absolutely nothing underhand or devious in the authors of a summary document asking the authors of a chapter to change the way in which they have presented results in order to make them compatible with the other chapters and with the summary itself (at a very trivial level, this could just involve asking the authors of a chapter to change the unit in which emissions are expressed from “Gt/year of CO2″ to “Gt/year of C”).

    This process clearly has to be ITERATIVE. Some components could be handled in parallel (e.g. by authors of a number of Sections – say A, F, H and L – meeting in one place to discuss necessary changes to ensure compatibility), while some could be handled in series (e.g. G would be written as Draft n, I would be written as DRAFT n, G would be updated based on the needs of I as Draft n+1, …….). It seems that the overall “outer” process would have to involve a serial iteration to finalise all the chapters and summaries. So, while the chapters A-K may be prepared with significant parallel processing, there would still have to be a First Draft for all of A-M, which could be read as a whole, and a Second Draft of A-M, which could be read as a whole, etc. etc. (which is in fact what actually happened). One plausible version of this process (which I suspect is close to the real one) is the iterative cycle:

    (A-K),L,M,(A-K),L,M,(A-K),L,M, etc.

    where each (A-K) probably involves a lot of parallel processing internally. IPCC now had a a couple of choices to make: (1) where and how to end the iteration, and (2) whether to release all the reports (A-M) in one go or whether to release them when they become available. Since the IPCC reports will become an integral part of many governments’ policies for the future, the iteration clearly had to be stopped at a pre-defined stage, rather than when some “convergence criterion” was reached (as mathematicians may have preferred!). The IPCC apparently also chose to release first the document which is most important to governments for policy-making – M, the Summary For Policymakers. They therefore chose to end the iteration sequence with:

    (A-K),L,M,(A-K),L,M,(A-K),L

    such that the last cycle consisted of M,(A-K),L.

    Therefore, after “M” (the Summary For Policymakers) is completed during the last cycle it will be released (2 Feb 2007), followed later by “(A-K),L” in May 2007.

    Now that doesn’t seem “suspicious” or “open to abuse” to me.

    Perhaps, Steve, you could answer one question. I assume that you have written a few reports in your time and I assume that some of these would have had Executive Summaries. Can you honestly confirm that you have ALWAYS written the main document first, and THEN the Executive Summary, and NEVER, EVER, changed the main document in order to make it compatible with what you said in the Executive Summary, or because writing the Executive Summary prompted you into realising that you could have presented things better in the main document? To summarise: you have ALWAYS written the main document first and THEN the Executive Summary, with NO CHANGES to the main document during this latter stage? I’d be very interested to hear your reply.

  50. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 5:10 AM | Permalink

    Bill F (posting 23): Can you and others please stop harrassing anyone they find called “Jim Barrett” and who you think could be me? I use a pseudonym and will continue to do so while this is the generally-accepted norm on climateaudit, and particularly while the person who originally suggested this site to Steve McIntyre and who manages this site insists in anonymity.

  51. Jeff Norman
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 6:40 AM | Permalink

    “For example, the Arctic is clearly melting at faster rates than other regions of the world,”

    There is only one other region in the world that is remotely comparable to the Arctic, the Antarctic.

    On the whole, the Antarctic is not melting it is freezing.

    So what “other regions” is he referring to? Central America, Sub-Sahara Africa, Australia?

  52. welikerocks
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 8:21 AM | Permalink

    #51 I was thinking the same thing.

    The writing of an IPCC Assessment report is a huge endeavour. The TAR involved a review of around 4000 scientific papers, 122 lead authors, 512 contributing authors, 420 expert reviewers and several hundred more reviewers (have you ever been involved as an author in anything so big, Steve? – I certainly haven’t). AR4 will be composed of 11 chapters, a Technical Summary and a Summary For Policymakers.

    Tell me if I miss anything…
    given that the Earth is billions of years old,
    given the uncertainty of the proxy thermometers,
    given that the ice has melted or grown many times before on Earth,
    given that data as you look at it going back in time gets poor,
    given the temperature data spans huge diverse regions of a planet over huge time scales-all done by proxy-with no means of calibration
    given that the Earth has been emerging from an ice age anyway,
    given only 50 years of human computer technology-less for satellite technology is all we have, given the Hockey Stick was broken ,
    given that the Wegman report concluded Steve and Ross were correct in their analysis of the statistical errors and that there IS a social click between climate scientists,
    given that the data and methods are not shared openly,
    that the NAS advised against the BCP tree ring data (and this still is ignored)
    given that the MWP and LIA happened,
    given that we do not understand the Sun and the cosmos completely,
    given that this Planet travels and moves, spins and tilts-shakes, grows, spews and explodes and is part of a solar system and does not dance this dance “solo”
    given this is clearly a political issue, and that those promoting it with so much gusto are name callers and they also promote political indoctrination of school children, practice censorship, continue to use and play with the media and Hollywood, and do not hesitate to condem all who want the uncertainties discussed!-and they were all wrong about hurricanes
    given that the North Pole is melting by the South Pole is freezing,
    and it snowed in Malibu California,..
    Gee!… so all these papers match up with all these groups and interactions, and all come to the same conclusion! “very likely” within a half of a degree! Sheesh.

    You know I spoke to a young lady in her twenties they other day about the GW thing. She actually thanked me for putting it more into perspective for her. Her exact words were “Thank you, I was so scared.”

  53. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 8:31 AM | Permalink

    Re #49 – **To summarise: you have ALWAYS written the main document first and THEN the Executive Summary, with NO CHANGES to the main document during this latter stage? I’d be very interested to hear your reply.**
    Personally, I would never change a scientific document to match the Summary, or in this case The Summary for Policymakers. If there was an error in the Science, I would correct it and note it. If that affected the Summary, I would change the SUMMARY and note it as such. What they are doing here is deciding the policy and making sure the science matches. That suggests that they are ignoring some papers. Unfortunately, I know of examples in real life where this has happened. Did I read correctly that David Suzuki said there were no dissenting papers from AGW?

  54. Paul Penrose
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 8:54 AM | Permalink

    Jim,
    Your assertion that data has to flow backward from the summaries into the detail of the report is just plain wrong. I agree that the rest of the report can be an interative process between the various chapters, but data can only flow into the summaries, not out. I have been involved in large documents before with summary sections and I can honestly say that the summary section was always the last one completed, and they were always released together with the rest of the report. The summay is a product of the report and should not have any effect on it at all.

  55. Bill F
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 9:00 AM | Permalink

    Jim,

    Your points about the iterative process are noted, but the fact is that the summary IS A SUMMARY of the science and the science should be released in draft form at the same time that the summary of it is released in draft form. That way, any changes made to the scientific sections to reflect changes in the summary would be completely open and transparent, and not hidden from view. What you are describing is the process of bring a draft report to final status. I would never send my client a scientific executive summary in draft form and then revise and issue a final report based only on his comments to the draft executive summary. I would send the draft executive summary AND the draft report text for review and change both accordingly in response to comments. Your argument around the order in which Steve or anybody else may have written an executive summary and then changed their text to meet it is flawed, because it is perfectly acceptable to adjust either one at any point prior to labelling it a draft and sending it to the client. What is wrong is to send out only a draft summary and then change the data included in the report to match the comments and changes made to the summary, which is what the IPCC procedure clearly indicates they plan to do.

  56. J.Peden
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 9:10 AM | Permalink

    Pointing to flaws in ipcc process and science is not a “conspiracy theory”. It’s scientific.

    A conspiracy theory is one which cannot be disproved, sometimes because its advocates simply won’t let it be disproved.

    Regardless at the least, imo, the ipcc did not even attempt to disprove its own major hypotheses that 1] global warming will be a net disaster, and 2] that fossil fuel CO2 is the cause of global warming. That’s quite arguably not scientific, and is consistent with the ipcc’s refusal to make any effort at all to show that its alleged cure to its alleged disease is not worse than the “disease”.

    Give me the comparable $X billion and I’ll instead “prove” that global warming will make Heaven truely ‘just a sin away’ for everyone, and their mother.

  57. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 9:20 AM | Permalink

    #49. I can comment from being involved in prospectuses or annual reports. Reference documents for a prospectus include audited financial statements and qualifying reports from independent geologists (in the case of exploration offerings). If a company issues a prospectus, company insiders could not go back and change the financial statements or qualifying reports to ensure “consistency” with the prospectus. It would be illegal. Same with a company annual report. The president of a company comments on the audited financial statements; company insiders can’t go back and change the statements to ensure “consistency” with the president’s comments.

    I’m amazed that you don’t get it.

  58. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 9:40 AM | Permalink

    To clarify things a bit:

    The SPM is voted “line by line” by IPCC members, ie government representatives. As such, it is subject to political negotiations, and is, in the end, a political document, not a scientific one. It is based on what the govt. representatives view of how the report “should” be summarized. Once voted, the SPM wording cannot be amended. On the other hand, the report is only “accepted” by the assembly, ie they vote for the full report. But the report can still be changed.

    So in the end, the report HAS to conform to the consensus “political” agreement, which also makes the full report a political document.

    It should be noted that despite being written by scientists, and based on peer-reviewed papers, the report itself does not conform to the norms of a “scientific paper”. As a review document, it has no original contents. Furthermore, the so-called peer review is in no way conducted in the same way as a journal peer-review, where an independent Editor can force the authors to address the reviewers comments. Here the authors act as Editors, and can chose to address or not the reviewers comments. This opens the way for a complete lack of objectivity. I’m not saying this is what happens in practice, only that the process allows it. Why on earth politicians would base their policies on such a process is beyond me.

    Finally, that changes to the report are made AFTER its approval is not “unprecedented”. It happened at AR2, and made a big scandal at the time. See the SEPP website for more details (in the “archive – controversies” section). But it IS an established procedure, and has been since the first report.

  59. Bill F
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

    So in the end, the report HAS to conform to the consensus “political” agreement, which also makes the full report a political document.

    I completely disagree with this statement. The very name of the summary is misleading…the “Summary FOR Policymakers”. Yet it is apparently the policymakers themselves who decide what their summary will say. Ok, I disagree with the process, but if that is how they want to do it, fine…make that clear when the SPM is presented to the media by making the first statement into the microphone “This summary is written by political representatives of the UN member countries and does not necessarily conform to the science in the underlying report as prepared by the scientific working groups.” That way there is no confusion about where the science stops and the politics begins. Saying that the report HAS to conform to the summary is like saying solar activity HAS to conform to the “Hockey Stick”. The report is a scientific review document, and as such should simply present the accumulated scientific findings. Saying that a summary political statement should be used as the guide for what science we allow the public to see in the report is just insane! If the policymakers don’t like what is in the report, fine…let them go on the record saying they disagree with the scientific findings. But as scientists, letting our work be twisted, contorted, or ignored to conform to a political movement’s whim like a bull being led around by a ring in its nose, is insulting when the resulting document will be used to tell the public that it represents the “consensus” of all the relevant scientific authorities involved. Any lead author for a chapter assumably believes represents the accumulated knowledge of science on their given topic. For any responsible scientist to accept having that chapter ammended or revised to reflect the political whim of a bunch of bureaucrats is appalling to say the least.

    If you really think about it, the IPCC really represents the very first effort of its kind in history where ALL of the world’s scientists have supposedly been given the mandate and opportunity to present the accumulation of their knowledge on a subject for consideration by the world’s political leadership. For the scientific community to take such a unique opportunity to let science lead a policy decision for the whole world and instead accept a process by which the “science” is allowed to be adapted to the political consensus is really quite saddening. It is indeed tragic to see such a tremendous opportunity squandered. History is filled with situations where politics was allowed to trump scientific reality and the consequences are seldom pretty.

  60. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

    Re: #49

    However it isn’t exactly rocket science to work out perfectly plausible and honorable reasons why it is the way it is.

    That is not the question. The question is whether the process is constructed for the purpose of making a consensus policy, i.e. political, statement that trumps presenting the scientific information. I would think that all chapters would appear as more or less independent entities with references not to within the report but outside of it. Science would traditionally want to use peer reviewed original sources not a secondary report source. Under these conditions, I would question the need to iterate changes within these chapters. Once all chapters are in place the summary then is made.

    On another level, one could view the contents of the scientific sources used in this report as impeccable, but question the selection of sources in making a case for AGW (and with apparently a more alarming tone) in the main report and/or even the further filtering that the Summary provides for the main report selections. More believable would be a more comprehensive presentation of the views and works on these issues and allowing the readers of the report to decide — even if a Summary view from a show of hands was thought necessary.

  61. Doug
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

    Can you honestly confirm that you have ALWAYS written the main document first, and THEN the Executive Summary, and NEVER, EVER, changed the main document in order to make it compatible with what you said in the Executive Summary, I’d be very interested to hear your reply.

    All I can say that in writing technical evaluations for those big bad sleezy oil companies, yes. I always write the summary last. They aren’t paying for propaganda, they want facts presented clearly and orderly. The findings are findings, and in the end you sum them up, I think that is reasonable.

  62. Bill F
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

    #50

    Jim…or whatever your name is. I haven’t harassed anybody. I posted a couple of facts here that could be found by anybody searching using the yahoo search engine for “Jim Barrett” and climate. If that is somehow harassment, please enlighten me. On the other hand, posting on a climate change blog under a name as a pseudonym that belongs to somebody who has written reports about climate change for the Pew Center and who currently works on a congressional advisory board raises questions of whether you are deliberately trying to gain credibility for yourself with the use of somebody else’s name.

    I use a name on this site that is clearly show my desire to keep some anonymity. By using the name of somebody who has published reports on climate change as a pseudonym under which you post comments on climate change blogs, you are deliberately leading people who are not aware it is a pseudonym to believe that you may be a professional economist with a career history in studying climate change and its impacts. In other words, you are trading on somebody else’s name. If you want to be anonymous…fine…use a name that everybody recognizes is anonymous…like Jim. Otherwise, when you post your opinion in absence of citations or data to back up your comments, you should expect for them to use the name you provide to look for clues as to your identity and possible qualifications before deciding whether to accept what you say or not.

  63. Follow the Money
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

    #55

    “”I have been involved in large documents before with summary sections and I can honestly say that the summary section was always the last one completed, and they were always released together with the rest of the report. The summay is a product of the report and should not have any effect on it at all.””

    Of course. But the purpose of this particular summary is to serve as talking points to persuade the politicians and the public — they are the target audience.

    A February release of the preliminary summary does coincide with Democratic party push for carbon credit trading systems in the USA, and perhaps EU argument to push for more stringent caps to inflate the flat Intra-European trading system. Whether or not connected it gives the participating scientists a period of time to vet the stats for obvious flubs like the tree-ring graphs. I highly doubt the summary itself is constructed by scientists, but with the drive and participation of fine members of the public relations world.

  64. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    RE: #63 – It also coincides with a rising tide of statements from the corporate world that:
    1) We accept as inevitable carbon caps
    2) We want to agree to international and national standards ASAP
    3) We consider reduction of GHGs to be part of the overall “social responsibility portfolio.”

    I personally do not agree with it, but, I can say I was overruled by the majority long ago, and so, here we go!

  65. Follow the Money
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 4:05 PM | Permalink

    # 64

    Very well put. There may be some feeling of inevitableness, but I suspect more is the growing realization among largest corporations who had previously opposed Kyoto-type reforms they might profit from these complex arrangements too.

    Without considering carbon trades, there are competitive reasons among energy companies to favor carbon caps, or indeed any emissions controls. If one, like BP, were more invested in natural gas than oil, the opposite of Exxon IIRC, BP would support caps because it would make competitors product more expensive, and thereby they can increase the price of their own. Currently in California a couple of electricity producers more invested in gas and hydro are lobbying for caps against coal, which if enacted will allow themelves to raise prices and remain competitive. Exxon might see that its belated plans for more gas extraction can now be doubly profitable by earning carbon credits for what they would already do for profit purposes or to meet other emissions controls: the carbon credit wonks call this type of predicament the problem of “additionality.”

    Another way to win on caps with trades is to lobby for high caps. For example, if one produces 100,000 tons of carbon a year, one would lobby for a cap of 110,000 tons. It’s like printing free money by government decisions, naturally the biggest businesses will benefit to the detriment of the smaller.

    Some companies, like GE, builder of windmills, will hitch their lines to whatever is the latest theme that might benefit them, – smog control, energy independence, now it’s carbon. The ways to profit are multifold, though the financial companies betting on a bubble of international trading on carbon credits is the core money behind this.

    Will Bush go for this? He pushed “energy security” in his latest speech, but also spoke briefly about green house gases, this time without stating the rare truth that his murky plans for cleaner techs would reduce carbon anyway, whether your believe in AGW or not. I think his statement was probably only a begrudging concession to Tony Blair, but we’ll see in upcoming months, and the IPCC Summary will be a pig part of the political chatter.

  66. jae
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 4:53 PM | Permalink

    Perhaps IPCC should consider one of the most famous statements from one of the most famous US Presidents: “You can fool all the people some of the time,….”

  67. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

    Steve (posting 57): You say “I’m amazed that you don’t get it”.

    Well I’m amazed that you don’t answer the very significant question at the end of my posting 49. No – I’m not actually amazed – the questions which you don’t answer have also told us much more about yourself than the questions which you do.

    Also, dare I remind you that the IPCC Assessment Reports AREN’T “prospectuses” or “annual reports”. I think you need to think a little more “outside the box” (i.e. ouside that rather small box in which you spent most of your career).

  68. Hans Erren
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

    The real problem is not that 4AR body is edited after the summary, the problem is that it isn’t published together with the summary.

    Trust but verify, remember? After TAR I don’t trust the summary, I want to verify it.

  69. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 6:06 PM | Permalink

    Bill F (posting 62): Get a life – do you seriously expect everyone to cross-check their pseudonyms against the names of EVERYONE who works in the field under discussion?

    There will of course be coincidental clashes like this. The obvious solution is for blogs such as this to demand FULL disclosure of participants’ identities – but Steve seems unwilling to do this.

    And in response to:

    “….. you are deliberately leading people who are not aware it is a pseudonym to believe that you may be a professional economist with a career history in studying climate change and its impacts. In other words, you are trading on somebody else’s name.”

    please read Site Rule 2 under “Road Map and Site Rules”.

  70. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 6:09 PM | Permalink

    re: #67

    Jim,

    What are you sugessting? Are you saying that scientists do not need to follow the same standards as business people? Business people have to be careful and honest but scientists don’t?

    Most scientists would like to see science held to a very high standard, precisely because they believe it is important. The whole point of reporting your methods so that results are reproducible came from this commonplace belief that science had to be able to stand up rigorous scrutiny.

    Is your investment in AGW so great that you are willing to sacrifice science in order to resuscitate the belief AGW will be catastrophic?

  71. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    Ken Frisch (posting 60): “I would think that all chapters would appear as more or less independent entities with references not to within the report but outside of it.”

    If you ever write a book, I’ll remember to never going through the agony of reading it!

    Seriously though, in relation to IPCC Assessment Reports, I think the world deserves better that the equivalent of a pasted-together conference proceeding masquerading as a coherent report – which is what we’d have if “all chapters would appear as more or less independent entities with references not to within the report but outside of it.”

  72. Mark
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

    Also, dare I remind you that the IPCC Assessment Reports AREN’T “prospectuses” or “annual reports”.

    No, they are not, MUCH more money is at stake.

    I think you need to think a little more “outside the box” (i.e. ouside that rather small box in which you spent most of your career).

    You sit and whine in nearly every post about others “harrassing” you, then offer up such insults. I’ll give you one: hypocrite.

    Mark

  73. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 6:17 PM | Permalink

    Ron Crum (posting 70): It is all so black and white to you poeple isn’t it? There is only one way to do things – and that is the “business” way as revealed to the world by one Steve McIntyre! But, sorry – THERE OTHER WAYS TO DO THINGS – not doing things the “business” way does not mean the results are not “careful and honest”.

  74. Mark
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 6:19 PM | Permalink

    At some point you’ll get banned, though it is rather difficult to manage around here.

    Mark

  75. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 6:19 PM | Permalink

    Mark (posting 72): “You sit and whine in nearly every post about others “harrassing” you”.

    Examples please? Just one would do.

  76. jae
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 6:22 PM | Permalink

    Oh, come on Jimmy. Let’s be friends.

  77. Ron Cram
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 6:32 PM | Permalink

    re: #73

    Jim,

    Was that the best you could do for an answer? I am still trying to figure what ground you are standing on. Are you arguing for mediocrity?

    What is your guiding principle here?

  78. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 7:01 PM | Permalink

    Uh, post 50 you whine about being harrassed, then you insulted Steve in the very post you quoted from me…
    Further more, you’ve also complained in the Road Map thread about Jean, who was maybe a bit harsh telling you to review your understanding of standard linear analysis, but he was correct. Sheesh…

    Are you sane man? Or are you just Steve Bloom in disguise hoping you can get away with nonsense under a new name?

    Mark

  79. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 7:15 PM | Permalink

    Re: #71

    If you ever write a book, I’ll remember to never going through the agony of reading it!

    Obviously the report is not a book and as I recall the chapters in these reports cover rather independent issues. Any tying together would be a function of the Summary. I think you are looking for an interesting predetermined plot or thread running through the report to make it read more like a novel or at least a novelette. On second thought, you well may get something closer to that than a scientific report.

    Seriously though, in relation to IPCC Assessment Reports, I think the world deserves better that the equivalent of a pasted-together conference proceeding masquerading as a coherent report – which is what we’d have if “all chapters would appear as more or less independent entities with references not to within the report but outside of it.”

    Again, what is the function of the Summary? JB, there are a multitude of ways to rationalize how the IPCC is handling this report and I somehow think you have exhausted only a few. The dancing around the issue is more about the politics than anything else. I certainly expect the IPCC to handle this for maximum political impact. What I am proposing is something that will not happen, but I feel would be a better way of presenting the full extent of the scientific work and views.

  80. John Norris
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 7:23 PM | Permalink

    I have seen plenty of large documents where the exec sum was written first and the technical materiel was updated to match. Of course I would classify these as sales documents rather than scientific analysis or auditable accounting. Often objectives are laid out for proposals as to what message is best to communicate to the customer and technical explanations often need to be brought around to support this. Clearly any business that highlights the shortcomings of their products or services is not going to be very competitive. Buyers and evaluators are painfully aware of this, thus I believe this technique is ethical and quite normal for sales.

    So the resulting question is should the IPCC AR4 Exec Summary and technical reports be a sales job, or an objective scientific analysis? By establishing the process as they did, the IPCC has told us what they think it is.

  81. brent
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 10:47 PM | Permalink

    Climate consensus and the end of science
    Terence Corcoran, Financial Post
    Published: Friday, June 16, 2006

    http://tinyurl.com/28tk2j

  82. jae
    Posted Jan 26, 2007 at 11:06 PM | Permalink

    JB is simply a joketroll, substituting for the usual trolls. It’s his/her “turn” to TRY to keep things in turmoil here (I sense that the true believers are frustrated in that it doesn’t work here). The blokes still haven’t learned that this tactic does not work on this site. In fact, it just keeps folks engaged (I guess we need a few trolls; maybe I’ll become one if they go away, just to keep the discussion going). Ignore Jimmy the troll and keep posting all the facts that the “smarter than thou” are ignoring. LOL, it’s fun! I get more comedy from JB than from the comedy channel!

  83. James Lane
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 12:59 AM | Permalink

    I suspect JB is our old friend John Hunter. But who cares? People like JB, Lee and Steve Bloom stimulate the blog, and make it more interesting. That said, I can live without Dano.

    I don’t post under a psuedonym, because discussing climate change has no potential impact on my career, but I can understand why others might be concerned. (To make it clear, I’m not suggestng that that is the only reason people might post anon). I was rather startled, however, when a member at my golf club asked me if I was the same “James Lane” that posted on Climate Audit!

  84. Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 5:15 AM | Permalink

    Re: #83

    I’m not sure that JB is John Hunter. Hunter was much more offensive and monosyllabic. I suspect that John is still watching, in which case I’d like to say “Hello”

  85. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 5:30 AM | Permalink

    Ron Cram (posting 77):

    “Are you arguing for mediocrity?”

    No – just that, if a method isn’t Steve’s method, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is mediocre.

    “What is your guiding principle here?”

    I want to see the IPCC doing the best job it can to review the science of climate change. I don’t think it did a bad job in the past – I think the TAR is an extraordinarily useful document and I hope the AR4 will also be. Of course, if you want to see deviousness in everything then you’ll see deviousness. As I noted to John A – it’s called “paranoia”.

  86. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 5:46 AM | Permalink

    Mark T (posting 78):

    You disappoint me. I was hoping that you’d first highlight the complaint I made to Steve in “Road Map and Site Rules” about the inconsistencies of Jean S and others. I thought it would be nice for you to give it another airing. However, instead you jumped in boots and all and pointed to posting (50) in which you claim that I “whine(d) about being harrassed”. Oh dear – yes, posting (50) does contain the word “harrassing”, but in English we have something called “sentence structure” in which a verb often has both a subject and an object. In this case, the subject was Bill F and “others” and the object was “anyone they find called `Jim Barrett’ and who you think could be me” (where “me” refers of course to me). This may be a bit hard for you to fathom but I think most people would take this to mean that I was asking people not to harrass the OTHER people called “Jim Barrett” – it wasn’t referring to me at all.

    Also, if you really believe that Jean S was “correct” and that I wrote anything which was incorrect, then I’d be glad if you would point it out (again, please don’t just say “because Jean S says so”).

  87. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 6:03 AM | Permalink

    John Norris (posting 8): Great bit of logic. You classify “large documents where the exec sum was written first and the technical material was updated to match” as “sales documents”. Therefore, because the IPCC AR4 is written as an integrated document with two-way interation between all sections, then it is necessarily a “sales job”. Bravo!

  88. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 6:06 AM | Permalink

    And if John A’s stupid server didn’t support smiley faces, you would have been able to read 8): as 8 ) :

  89. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 6:07 AM | Permalink

    Sorry – posting 80

  90. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 6:15 AM | Permalink

    Postings 82 and 83: Glad you appreciate me being here. Actually, I do it because this site obviously has far more readers than posters. Many of the readers may well be misled by some of the posters on here. So I just try and introduce a bit of balance and correct the more extreme bits of misinformation.

  91. welikerocks
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 6:53 AM | Permalink

    re 90. Ah now that declaration makes it all clear. JB knows those poor lurkers may only rely on CA for their information and they are not as smart as he is, so he must provide balance. Priceless! LOL Buy a vowel and get a clue! SteveM provides the link to Real Climate on the main page of this site. They in turn do not do the same do they?

  92. Hans Erren
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 8:20 AM | Permalink

    The AR4 summary will miss the nuance of the body. So the climate alarmist spindoctors can have their way for three months. Only the publication of the body with the summary limit this, although it won’t prevent it..

    The only other sincere option is to delay the publication of the summary until the body is completed.

  93. george h.
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 9:02 AM | Permalink

    I continue to be amazed at the downward ethical spiral and politicization of climate science — adjusting facts to match policy summaries, downward revision of historical temperatures……The entire discipline has the stench of pseudoscience. If this were taking place in my own field (medicine), we’d call it quackery.

    “‚⠉Use of vague, exaggerated, or untestable claims (computer models trump real world measurements, alarmism, false claims of consensus)
    “‚⠉Overreliance on confirmation rather than refutation (burden of disproof placed on skeptics)
    “‚⠉Lack of openness to testing by other experts (science by press conference, withholding data and computer code)
    “‚⠉Lack of self correction when faced with contradictory evidence
    “‚⠉Personalization of issues (groupthink, ad hominem attacks on “deniers”, conspiracy theories about industry influence)

    Look familiar? I know we are to refrain from speculating here on the motives of others, but permit me one observation: Climate scientists are now the MOST IMPORTANT SCIENTISTS IN THE WORLD. They have become celebrities, advisors to governments and high priests in the religion of GAIA. They dine with prime ministers, and their irrefutable conclusions (the science is settled) are celebrated in Hollywood movies and on the covers of national magazines. We are warned everyday of the DOOM that awaits mankind should we fail to head their sage warnings. There is a huge incentive to maintain this lofty perch, and it is clear that many have decided that sacrificing a few principles of good science along the way is worth the price.

  94. Michael Smith
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 9:13 AM | Permalink

    Perhaps one of you could explain something to this layman. Since the earth has experienced multiple ice ages
    seperated by non-ice ages, the earth has plainly experienced multiple periods of global cooling and warming,
    all without the influence of human activity. Whatever caused these periods was natural. Is there any scientific
    bases for believing that the factors that cause these cooling and warming periods have, well, disappeared or
    ceased to be active?

    If they have not ceased to be active, then we can expect global warming followed by global cooling. Is there any
    doubt that having glaciers covering the North American continent and Europe will be far more of a disaster than
    a few feet rise in sea levels? If we have the ability to cause global warming and thereby attenuate the next ice
    age, isn’t that the smart thing to do?

    Sorry if this is off-topic.

  95. Hans Erren
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 9:44 AM | Permalink

    The next ice age is 50.000 years away.

    An Exceptionally Long Interglacial Ahead?
    A. Berger and M. F. Loutre
    Science 23 August 2002:
    Vol. 297. no. 5585, pp. 1287 – 1288
    DOI: 10.1126/science.1076120

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/297/5585/1287

  96. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

    #93 makes several utterly false claims:

    “”‚⠉Use of vague, exaggerated, or untestable claims (computer models trump real world measurements, alarmism, false claims of consensus)”

    Wrong. Those of us in climate modeling do not state that “computer models trump real world measurements”. If you can provide a direct and attributed quote from a real climate scientist that believes this nonsense, I’d be most obliged.

    “”‚⠉Lack of openness to testing by other experts (science by press conference, withholding data and computer code)”

    Do you have any specific examples?

    All of the climate model data that was used for the AR4 is available on the web – check out the PCMDI website. Also, at least one of the climate models that contributed to the AR4 has made its entire source code and all necessary datasets available for download – namely, the Community Climate System Model (CCSM). Feel free to visit its website, download the code and so on, and run your own climate experiments. Granted, you probably lack access to the resources necessary to make such experiments efficient in use of your time, but that’s your problem. Also, since the code itself is available, any observations and/or corrections to it would be granted a hearing. Clearly, you know how climate models ought to work, so your expertise is welcome.

    “”‚⠉Lack of self correction when faced with contradictory evidence”

    Do you have a specific incident in mind? If so, please tell us what it is. We climate modelers are working very hard to make our models match what we understand about the climate, not the other way around.

    All in all, many of the same unsubstantiated and wholly false claims by a “skeptic”.

  97. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

    Re: #90

    Postings 82 and 83: Glad you appreciate me being here. Actually, I do it because this site obviously has far more readers than posters. Many of the readers may well be misled by some of the posters on here. So I just try and introduce a bit of balance and correct the more extreme bits of misinformation.

    JB, your intentions are noble and maybe even a bit heroic, but I would appreciate your staying on the topic. Why waste time posting about posting and posters, when Steve M presents topics to discuss that are so much more interesting? That is not to say that others who rise to these personal battles, and I include myself on occasions such as this one, are not wasting space. I would think that those pure readers out there, whom we are attempting to reach, would find these off topic discussions tedious and, well, off putting.

  98. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 1:21 PM | Permalink

    Re # 96 **””‚⠠Lack of openness to testing by other experts (science by press conference, withholding data and computer code)”**

    You made this easy. Just ask Steve M if he was able to get the code from Michael Mann and a few others. And someone will comment on the self correction soon.
    You noted that the climate model data is available. Are the studies along with code?

  99. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 2:00 PM | Permalink

    Re #98

    “You made this easy. Just ask Steve M if he was able to get the code from Michael Mann and a few others.”

    As if the Mann codebase is the entirety of the world of computer code comprising and relating to climate science. You didn’t specify as to what code was being “withheld”, so I illustrated one prominent example that contradicts your assertion.

    “You noted that the climate model data is available. Are the studies along with code?”

    You’ll have to wait for the AR4 report to come out, I suspect. Besides, isn’t it generally believed by skeptics that the model code itself, and the data, has already been “manipulated”? In any case, it would generally be straightforward to replicate the analyses presented, as they are generally constructed from well-known algorithms.

  100. Hans Erren
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 3:10 PM | Permalink

    re 96:

    “All of the climate model data that was used for the AR4 is available on the web ”

    Fine, but all of the proxy data isn’t.

    So observations are less available than model results, telling isn’t it?

  101. Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 3:24 PM | Permalink

    Dear Gary Strand #96, if you want to see a few thousand examples of catastrophic and flagrantly exaggerated, to say the least, proclamations attributed to scientists who were quoted, you may make e.g. the following search:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=global-warming+scientist-warned

    You will learn that all snow is gonna disappear, everything will die more efficiently than by terrorism, India’s three cities will be under water soon, we’re decade from a collapse, and thousands of other examples that were directly attributed to scientists.

  102. EP
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 3:32 PM | Permalink

    Will both the data sets and code, for all the models/data plots used to make the IPCC case, be made available?

  103. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 3:47 PM | Permalink

    Re: 100

    “So observations are less available than model results, telling isn’t it?”

    “Telling” of what? A vast conspiracy to keep the Real Truth hidden?

  104. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 3:47 PM | Permalink

    Re: #99

    I do not recollect hearing any specific complaints about the individual integrity of climate modelers at CA and I would suspect they work hard and diligently attempting to model the climate. I would no more want to generalize about modelers than I would about skeptics.

    The major serious complaints that I have heard at CA about computer models and with which I agree are the lack of published methodologies for determining the quantitative uncertainties in the model results, details on the use of parameterizations and fluxes, knowing what statistical rules are used to avoid “over fitting” of models and details on attempts to do out-of-sample testing.

    We had Dr. Held here at CA for a short period and just when we thought he was going to engage us in a more detailed discussion of the issues noted above, he left. If you could engage us in such a discussion, believe me, you would be welcomed with open arms and much due respect.

  105. Hans Erren
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 3:47 PM | Permalink

    dream on

  106. Hans Erren
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 3:51 PM | Permalink

    re 103:

    No the ameteur state of climate science:

    Reproducable science consist of the following ingredients:
    Input data, model, output data

    Climate science consist of the following ingredients:
    output data (if your lucky)

  107. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 3:51 PM | Permalink

    Re: 102

    “Will both the data sets and code, for all the models/data plots used to make the IPCC case, be made available?”

    The climate model datasets have been available for over a year. As for the model source code, I know of only one model (CCSM) that has made the source code available – there may be others. Lastly, I doubt all the codes for creating the plots and other analyses in the AR4 will be made available – but the vast majority are standard analyses that are well-known to climate scientists and are hardly secret.

  108. Hans Erren
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 3:52 PM | Permalink

    re 107:
    how much did you actually read on this blog?

  109. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 3:57 PM | Permalink

    Re: 104

    “The major serious complaints that I have heard at CA about computer models and with which I agree are the lack of published methodologies for determining the quantitative uncertainties in the model results, details on the use of parameterizations and fluxes, knowing what statistical rules are used to avoid “over fitting” of models and details on attempts to do out-of-sample testing.”

    I can only speak for the CCSM, but just about everything you’d ever want to know about it is available, starting at its website, including the user’s guides and detailed descriptions, as well as references to refereed articles on just about every aspect of it.

  110. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

    Re #99 **As if the Mann codebase is the entirety of the world of computer code comprising and relating to climate science. You didn’t specify as to what code was being “withheld”, so I illustrated one prominent example that contradicts your assertion.**
    You must be new to this blog or you would have read it.
    You can send Steve M a note and he can tell you. You wonder if the Mann code base is the entirety. Well, in case you did not know, they inserted his “hockey stick” into the world in TAR – so it became the entirety. Check what part Gore used in his film. Then go and take the data and code(oh, that is if you can get it), verify it, run it, and come back with the results and it will be peer reviewed by our capable readers.
    **You’ll have to wait for the AR4 report to come out, I suspect. Besides, isn’t it generally believed by skeptics that the model code itself, and the data, has already been “manipulated”? In any case, it would generally be straightforward to replicate the analyses presented, as they are generally constructed from well-known algorithms.**
    You are trying to convince us that we can get all the code???

  111. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 4:05 PM | Permalink

    Re: 100

    Like I said, you didn’t say what code was being “withheld” – you made an overbroad statement. That there’s one concrete example that proves your overbroad statement wrong should cause you to reword your statement, not attempt to retrieve it from its false state.

    “You are trying to convince us that we can get all the code???”

    When you say “all the code”, what do you mean? That’s a very imprecise comment.

    Besides, if you don’t know how to (say) properly calculate the global average of precipitation, or display the surface temperature anomaly, then there’s a lot missing that you should learn.

  112. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

    The unwillingness of many climate scientists to release code and/or proper methodologies (even Wegman couldn’t reproduce Mann’s hockey stick) is well documented around here, Gary. The least you could do before coming in here acting high and mightiy about what YOU know, why don’t you spend some time reading the pages to understand what WE know. It is obvious from your several posts that you have no idea what has transpired in the past several years, and debating such points makes you look a little silly, and comes across as rather condescending. We’re not stupid, nor are we lying, whether you want to believe it or not.

    The big one I’d like released is the methodology for reproducing the “global mean temperature.”

    Mark

  113. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 4:44 PM | Permalink

    Re: 112

    I’m talking specifically about a single climate model (CCSM), and the AR4 data archive. I’m not talking about Mann – and yes, I know what the history is there.

    What I don’t care for is the assumption that because Mann (or whomever else you want to pillory) does what he does, all climate scientists are secretive and thus (as has been stated explicitly) have something to hide. Feel free to get the source code for CCSM, analyze it, and tell the climate science community where it’s been manipulated to serve the agenda of whomever you think is pulling the strings.

  114. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

    Re: #109

    I can only speak for the CCSM, but just about everything you’d ever want to know about it is available, starting at its website, including the user’s guides and detailed descriptions, as well as references to refereed articles on just about every aspect of it.

    Thanks for the link, Gary S. I perused the site and unfortunately did not come away with any immediate leads for my questions and concerns. Perhaps you could provide more specific links than that for the site or better yet give us your rendition of the issues that I posed.

  115. Stan Palmer
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

    re 113

    for Gary Strand

    two real questions

    a) What methodolgy was sued to develop the code that implements your model

    b) related to a) and a real question. How do you know that the output of your code runs is related to the physics of teh model and not to some unknown interactions within the code?

  116. Earle Williams
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    Re #111

    Gary Strand,

    There’s a lot that all of us can learn regarding climate science and internet discourse. I personally would like to see anyone choosing to debate the topics adopt a tolerance towards the overbroad statement. This isn’t to suggest you ignore sweeping genralizations, but do recognize that most of us, if not all, have a habit of generalizing in conversation.

    For example, I could state that ‘Texans are proud of Texas.’ This is a generalization that if interpreted as ‘All Texans are proud of Texas’ could be easily disproven by showing one Texan that isn’t proud of the state. The existence of that one person does not negate the truth of the generalization as it applies to the remainder of the population.

    Where and how you decide which generalizations to refute is up to you. If you focus on the ones that apply to the technical discussion you will likely advance the quality of discussion regarding the topic at hand. If you choose to refute every overly broad statement that comes your way you run the risk of developing a less than savory reputation.

    Food for thought,
    Earle

  117. Hans Erren
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

    Re113:
    Is this the same as the CSM used in Holland?

    http://www.knmi.nl/onderzk/CKO/Challenge/

    Do you also get a low climate sensitivity to the SRES A1B input?

  118. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

    Re #111 **Besides, if you don’t know how to (say) properly calculate the global average of precipitation, or display the surface temperature anomaly, then there’s a lot missing that you should learn.**
    Scientists on this site are quite aware of how to do it.
    It is more difficult to do verify temperatures anomalies and adjustments to temperatures for UHI when Phil Jones withholds original temperature data.

  119. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 4:58 PM | Permalink

    Re 115

    a) See this page for a start.

    b) For one thing, CCSM can replicate some (no, not all) of the important things we know about the climate. The odds that such results would be sheer luck (as implied by “unknown interactions within the code”) are rather fantastic.

  120. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 5:01 PM | Permalink

    Re: 117

    That site references CSM1.4 – I’m talking about CCSM3.0. Much improved over that version.

  121. Hans Erren
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

    Much improved, perhaps, but what is the assumed climate sensitivity for aerosols and the resulting one for CO2?

  122. Kevin UK
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 5:08 PM | Permalink

    #96 Gary Strand

    Can you please expalin to someone who has conducted many ‘real’ experiments while climate modellers like yourself think that conducting a computer simulation constitutes an experiment? They are NOT experiments they are COMPUTER SIMULATIONS. COMPUTER SIMULATIONS can not and will NEVER be experiments.

    KevinUK

  123. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 5:10 PM | Permalink

    Re: 121

    See this paper. It may suffice.

  124. Hans Erren
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 5:10 PM | Permalink

    Gary,

    Do you, please, have a direct pointer to model output of global averaged temperature in the 21st century, forced by the different SRES scenarios, saves me looking for a needle in the haystack.

    i.e your equivalent of this one?

  125. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

    Re: 112

    I’m talking specifically about a single climate model (CCSM), and the AR4 data archive. I’m not talking about Mann – and yes, I know what the history is there.

    I’m sorry, but what part of the following quote, by you in post 96, in reference to post 93, is “specifically about a single climate model?”

    “”‚⠠Lack of openness to testing by other experts (science by press conference, withholding data and computer code)”

    Do you have any specific examples?

    You claim that the statement made in post 93 is “utterly false” (your EXACT words) and then ask for examples, which have bee provided. YOU were utterly incorrect in your statement. Get off your high horse, AGAIN. Sheesh, what is it with people these days? Is it impossible to follow a multi-post thought?

    Mark

  126. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 5:12 PM | Permalink

    Re: 122

    “COMPUTER SIMULATIONS can not and will NEVER be experiments.”

    I disagree. In what sense(s) do you say that simulations “can not” be experiments – i.e., what strongly differentiates the two? I hope this isn’t merely a semantic difference, because people use “simulation” and “experiment” interchangably, perhaps not properly so, but that sort of use is common.

  127. Stan Palmer
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 5:16 PM | Permalink

    re 119

    for Gary Strand

    Thanks for your reply about my questions about the software methodology used and the verification and validation techniques used to assess code coherence to the physical model. Thanks for the information but user guides etc. are not helpful to my question. It is a simple question which software methodology was used to develop the code? The software designers must have used something to coordinate the development of a large code base

    As to the issue of verification by examining the outputs, I recall a discussion in the Scientific American years ago about the measurement of physical constants. The physicists build a device to measure the constant. They turn it on and run it and get the “wrong” (i.e. unexpected) answer. They then begin to debug the instrument and get measurements that are closer and closer to right answer. Eventually they announce that they have a measurement. How do they know there are not more bugs in their device. They don’t.

    Verification and validation must be performed on the code itself not on the output.

    Recall the solar orbiting satellite that failed on its reentry because the accelerometers were inserted backwards. Recall the two rovers that were sent to Mars with a memory leak in their operating system and no audit process to detect memory leaks and no mechanism to recover from memory leaks. NASA announced their discovery of this after both rovers were near failure on Mars as a great achievement of their engineers. Others differ in that assessment. Valid V&V methods must be part of any big project.

  128. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 5:18 PM | Permalink

    Re: 125

    The original author was dismissing climate science in total, and, given the context of this thread (the AR4 report) I provided proof that not all climate scientists in all areas “withhold” data and code. I was merely clarifying a rather unfair generalization.

  129. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 5:25 PM | Permalink

    Re: 124

    Please see this paper.

  130. Stan Palmer
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 5:30 PM | Permalink

    re 126

    Engineers who use computer simulations never trust the output of computer simulations. They are told not to trsut the poutput of computer simulations by the engineers who design computer simulators.

    I recall looking at a circuit diagram once and seeing a resistor that could not possibly be affecting circuit behavior. I told the designer about this and he told me that it did and could show me the simulation run that proved it. The resistor was placed between two points that were necessarily always at the same voltage or the entire circuit would not function. Who are you going to believe, the simulator or basic physics?

  131. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 5:42 PM | Permalink

    Re: 130

    Once wrong, always wrong?

  132. Hans Erren
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 5:46 PM | Permalink

    re 124:
    I note on page 44 that for 1940-2000 model temperature is higher and that volcanic cooling is stronger than observed.
    Also the modeling of multidecadal variability is not adequate.
    What merit does an extrapolation to 2100 have then?

  133. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 5:48 PM | Permalink

    Gary, the withholding of data and accurate description of calculations by millennium paleoclimatologists (the Hockey Team) has been extensively chronicled here and I won’t go into it. A less scientific practice than the following statement from Phil Jones can scarcely be contemplated: “We have 25 years invested in this; Why should we let you see our data when your only objective is to find something wrong with it?” Yet Phil Jones is a coordinating lead author of chapter 2 of IPCC 4AR. Hans von Storch condemned this at the House Energy and Commerce Committee, but otherwise no climate scientists have condemned this. Mann said that his code – which is relevant only because his methodology is incorrectly described – was his personal private property. I didn’t hear any climate scientists condemning him.

    When I sought supporting data for two unpublished articles used in IPCC 4AR, Susan Solomon, Chairman of WG1, sent me an official notice that contacting authors for data was a breach of my confidentiality agreement as an IPCC reviewer and stated that I would be expelled as a reviewer if I did so again. So the problem is a little more deep-seated than you express.

  134. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 5:52 PM | Permalink

    Re: 132

    Climate models are not perfect – no-one says that they are. That doesn’t mean that they are hopelessly useless tools, either. If we are forbidden from making any well-qualified guesses about future climate until climate models are perfect, we’ll never get there. Certainly climate models are in generally better shape than the econometric models that predict global economic catastrophe if we make changes in how we run our economies – changes that can result in benefits outside of climate.

  135. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 5:57 PM | Permalink

    Re: 133

    I was merely pointing out a fact (that AR4 model data is readily and easily available) that shows that not all climate scientists refuse to release their data, and the fact that (at least) CCSM code is readily and easily available that shows that not all climate-related codes are “private property”.

  136. Hans Erren
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    Re: 134

    I am merely pointing out a warm bias of the model ensemble output already in the verification period, which means there is a fundamental error. As it is structural after 1940, this would imply that the CO2 climate sensitivity is parametrised to high, which has severe implications for the 21rst century run.

  137. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

    Hi Gary,

    I’m personally glad to see a modeller here. And you appear to be much more polite than the one we had before who was prone to real anger. I just hope you don’t burn yourself out quickly trying to answer questions. Despite your claims to know what’s going on around here I sincerely doubt you do. If you’ll note we’re at thread 1103 and close to comment 80,000. No way you’ve had a chance to read more than a few hundred, I suspect.

    I’m not sure that the people responding to you have really been able to articulate very well where the actual problem is with models. At least as far as I’m concerned the problem is in trying to wade through the seas of code and semi-technical documentation to find a fact of interest. And the primary facts of interest are exactly what algorythm is used to calculate a particuar result. Thus, if we were interested in how to calculate the volume of a sphere we’d expect to find an area of code which calculated 4/3*pi*r^3. Where the constant pi had a value of 3.14159… and r as sent to the code from a calling subprogram.

    In the case of climate models, someone might want to find out, say, what equations are used to convert a given amount of solar input into outgoing IR and what the spectral results are given various values of vegitation, soil humidity, time of year, etc. I’m sure there are such things in your code, but being able to navigate to them is no easy task, at least in the cases where I’ve tried to do it.

    Then once that hurdle is jumped, comes the questions about whether the normally simplified equations are valid when it comes to given global results under various assumed scenarios. For the most part we’re not interested in USING the code, but examining and auditing it.

  138. chrisl
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 6:27 PM | Permalink

    Gary, You shouldn’t be forbidden from making well-qualified guesses from climate models, it’s just that they should be labelled as such.

  139. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

    Re: 137

    I wouldn’t be surprised if someone else got angry, what with the accusations and insinuations delivered with no provocation that I’ve seen.

  140. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 6:40 PM | Permalink

    Re: 138

    Some individuals refuse to believe climate models are valuable in any way – except as providing a dodge for “scientists” to sit back and get famous and rich using them. I dispute that.

  141. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 6:41 PM | Permalink

    Ken Fritsch (posting 97): This is classic “climateaudit double standards”.

    My responses on this thread have been entirely on the topic of “Fixing the Facts of the Policy”, except when responding to the posts of other people. My quite long and (I think) considered posting 49 was in direct response to Steve’s request for information (posting 13). Why do you object to my posting (90) when you don’t apparently object to the the (completely off-thread) postings to which it responded (82 by jae and 83 by James Lane)?

  142. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

    Re: 136

    Does this “fundamental error” preclude any utility at all from climate models? If so, then the fact that we don’t have a complete understanding of human biology means most medical doctors are quacks, correct?

  143. Hans Erren
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 6:48 PM | Permalink

    No it means that modeling with a dodgy model beyond 50 years is meaningless, you have to know when to stop.

  144. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

    Gray Strand (posting 139):

    “I wouldn’t be surprised if someone else got angry, what with the accusations and insinuations delivered with no provocation that I’ve seen.”

    Amen to that. Glad to make you acquaintance. It’s hard work “discussing” anything with this kind of audience isn’t it?

  145. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 6:56 PM | Permalink

    Re: 143

    Depends on how much “dodgy” is tolerable, isn’t it? What’s the acceptable range (or even a specific value) of “dodgy” you’ll allow?

  146. Stan Palmer
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 7:04 PM | Permalink

    to Jim Barrett

    Have you seen my questions in the “Summer Ocean Temperature Trends” topic about the method you describe for calculating trends? They are simple questions and may help to clear up the confusion in that discussion.

  147. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 7:06 PM | Permalink

    The original author was dismissing climate science in total, and, given the context of this thread (the AR4 report) I provided proof that not all climate scientists in all areas “withhold” data and code. I was merely clarifying a rather unfair generalization.

    No, he was merely pointing out the problems that occur with climate science, and many of those points are not just freak occurences. He did not make any implication that ALL climate scientists fall prey to such foible, but many in the public eye, in particular many that are quoted and cited more than any others (Mann, Jones, Hansen… etc., etc.).

    Your comment that his comments were “utterly false” was a blatant falsehood.

    Mark

  148. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 7:13 PM | Permalink

    Re: 147

    Please re-read #93 and point out where “george h.” made reasonable qualifications to his comments. I didn’t see much – mostly declarative and universal statements about the sad state of climate science. Rather off-the-cuff and ill-considered, wouldn’t you say?

  149. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

    Re: 147

    “The entire discipline has the stench of pseudoscience.”

    Please note the ‘entire’ above.

  150. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 7:34 PM | Permalink

    Re #135 and # 149. I note that you have not responded to Steve M’s statement with respect to the people who have not released information. Will you be contacting those individuals or will you continue hiding behind “not all climate scientists refuse to release their data”? When you and others do not tell the “peer reviewed” science journals to demand archiving of data, you get labelled with the rest.
    With respect to IPCC FAR, I expect it to be labelled as pseudoscience since I have little expectation that it will not be politicized. They will likely be ignoring anything other than AGW. In other words important items like solar effects and water vapour will not be significant there. I am still waiting for a study that calculates the peetage of warming due to CO2.

  151. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 7:35 PM | Permalink

    Re # 150 – that is – percentage of warming -.

  152. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 7:40 PM | Permalink

    Stan Palmer (posting 146): Your posting is entirely off-thread, so I’ll respond as briefly as possible. In “Southern Ocean Temperature Trends” I have several times explained quite clearly my point about trends (most recently in postings (54), (61) and (62)). If you don’t understand these explanations, then answering your (unrelated and I suspect diversionary) questions won’t help you. Now please stop wasting my time.

  153. Kevin UK
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 7:41 PM | Permalink

    #126 Gary S

    “I disagree. In what sense(s) do you say that simulations “can not” be experiments – i.e., what strongly differentiates the two? I hope this isn’t merely a semantic difference, because people use “simulation” and “experiment” interchangably, perhaps not properly so, but that sort of use is common.

    As you are employed as a climate modeller I’d expect you to disagree with my statement Gary. Climate modellers certainly do use the terms ‘experiment’ and ‘simulation’ interchangably more so than any other profession I have every known. If you’ve not read any of my previous posts on this blog, let me tell you that I’ve carried out extensive computer modelling of nuclear reactors in the past and so i can tell you that the difference between an ‘experiment’ and a ‘simulation’ is most definitely not a semantic one. In my past an experiment was something which was carried out in a laboratory which involved a scaled down version of a part of a process which you were trying to model e.g. thermal/mechanical stress fracture. the experiment involved the use of an instrumented test-rig and the gathering and analysis of data recorded during the ‘real’ experiment. It was expensive but i can tell you that it was impossible to validate the model without such ‘real’ experiments. Only then could the computer model be used to simulate ‘variations’ from the experiment within a tightly controlled ‘scope of validity’. It COULD NOT be used to extrapolate well beyond this ‘scope of validity’ into regions were experiment could not confirm its predictions.

    In contrast, climate models are making predictions well beyond the scope of their currently proven validity. Attempting to show that climate models can hindcast past temperatures (which themselves are very uncertain) does not make them valid for future predictions. As an ex-computer modeller (and currently software developer), I think this is a waste of tax payers (my) money. In my opinion (and remember unlike yourself I don’t derive a living from the climate modelling industry, although i could if I chose to) they add little to our understanding of what causes climate change – only ‘real’ experiments can do that. I’m sure however that you will disagree with me.

    KevinUK

  154. Jaye Bass
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 8:10 PM | Permalink

    Okay, I just finished scanning a bit of the CDAT code. That stuff is pretty amateurish. Strcpy (strcpy is probably responsible for half of the security related buffer over flows in programs all over the world…bad, bad, bad) , void* casts…another very dangerous practice, realloc, cut and paste re-use, very few comments, cryptic variable names….there has to be bugs all over that code. When was this stuff written…1973? By a bunch of script kiddies?

  155. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 8:16 PM | Permalink

    I wouldn’t be surprised if someone else got angry, what with the accusations and insinuations delivered with no provocation that I’ve seen.

    Gary, if you are including me in your allegation that people are throwing around “accusations and insinuations delivered with no provocation that I’ve seen”, can you please cite an example. Otherwise please do not generalize from a couple of posters.
    The topic of this thread was an IPCC policy under which the WG1 report was withheld for 3 months so that it can be adjusted to fit the SPM. Do you endorse that policy and, if so, why?

  156. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

    Please re-read #93 and point out where “george h.” made reasonable qualifications to his comments. I didn’t see much – mostly declarative and universal statements about the sad state of climate science. Rather off-the-cuff and ill-considered, wouldn’t you say?

    When climate modelers such as yourself make claims that “experiment and simulation are the same thing” (paraphrased) and the leading, most oft quoted and cited scientists do not even understand the concept of the expectation of a random vector, and same scientists go out of their way to prevent outside audit, there is nothing “off-the-cuff” nor “ill-considered” about such statements. Many of us are tired of people demonstrating fan-boy attitudes making claims that are untenable.

    In fact, you still cannot seem to understand WHY calling his statements “utterly false” is utterly false by itsefl. His second is well proven, not only in here, but publicly. Every one of the statements in #93 is defensible, and every one of your counters is only limited to your very narrow realm of experience. Certainly YOU are not withholding data, nor trying to obfuscate results, nor lying, hiding your tracks or whatever. But YOU are certainly coming in here telling pepole like george, someone who is tired of the fanfare in the media (and shenanigans by the likes of Mann, et. al.) masquerading as science, that their criticisms are “utterly false.” It is a sad state for science. Perhaps you are doing your best to improve your niche, but the message ain’t getting out to your buddies.

    Mark

  157. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 8:23 PM | Permalink

    And, btw, as noted by nearly everyone that has commented about your so-called re-buttal, read the site, do a little research and you’ll understand why george should not have to CONSTANTY reiterate the same old line. Every one of his points is not only well known in here, but publicly documented as has been noted by numerous posters.

    The “qualifications” of george’s post are here, so don’t come in here telling us how to conduct business when you can’t even be bothered to do your own due diligence.

    Mark

  158. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 8:32 PM | Permalink

    #93.

    Climate scientists are now the MOST IMPORTANT SCIENTISTS IN THE WORLD. They have become celebrities, advisors to governments

    In the tagline to the Emanuel article linked elsewhere, it says that:

    In 2006 Time magazine recognized him as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.

    Now I’ve read Emanuel’s recent hurricane articles with considerable care and, in my opinion, the quality of the work does not qualify him to be one of the “world’s most influential people”. We’ve had many posts here on problems with his work. He doesn’t seem to have the personal anger of his coauthor in Mann and Emanuel, who was one of Scientific American’s 50 visionaries, whose work is also flawed.

  159. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 8:51 PM | Permalink

    Re: 153

    “In my past an experiment was something which was carried out in a laboratory which involved a scaled down version of a part of a process which you were trying to model e.g. thermal/mechanical stress fracture. the experiment involved the use of an instrumented test-rig and the gathering and analysis of data recorded during the “real’ experiment.”

    Pity we don’t have an Earth II on which to perform a “real” experiment in the manner which you describe. We’re stuck with the only one we’ll ever have.

    That said, I don’t believe the arguing over the definitions of “experiment” and “simulation”, and using that as the basis to criticize climate modeling, is terribly valid.

  160. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 8:52 PM | Permalink

    Re: 154

    CDAT is not CCSM3.

  161. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 8:53 PM | Permalink

    Gary, I see that you’re at UCAR, which has spent a certain amount of time and energy in badmouthing my own work. In particular, UCAR even issued a press release stating that our “highly publicized criticisms of the MBH graph are unfounded”. One of those criticisms was that the Mann reconstruction failed a statistical test said to have been used (verification r2). Our code and the Ammann code were virtually identical as emulations of Mann so I knew that Ammann would have almost exactly the same verification r2 (~0) as we had calculated for MBH. Oddly enough, I acted as a reviewer for the first draft of Ammann’s paper and in that capacity asked him to provide the verification r2. He refused and the editor, Stephen Schneider, supported that refusal. BTW this paper is being relied on in IPCC 4AR as supposedly rebutting our criticisms. As a result, I filed a complaint of academic misconduct against Ammann and he was forced to disclose the adverse verification statistics, which were cited by the NAS panel. Obviously in this respect, they had confirmed one of our claims but no retraction was ever issued.
    A couple of UCAR/NCAR scientists were quoted in an article as making highly derogatory remarks about me and McKitrick, which I discussed here. Mahlman was quoted as calling us “quacks”. When I asked him for a basis of this claim, he said:

    I admit that I do not recall referring to you and Dr. McKitrick in any form of derogatory slang, nor can I even imagine myself making such a statement, either on or off the record.. If I actually did refer to you in any form of of such slang, I offer my deepest apology. It is certainly possible that I may have suggested that the two of you probably have not made either your scientific conclusions or your motives particularly clear. Indeed, I have not examined your paper in sufficient detail to make a definitive evaluation of its accuracy

    TRenberth was quoted in a context that implied that we had done “incredibly stupid” things. When I asked him for justification, it turned out that he not even read our articles.

    Neither of them retracted on the record. So yeah, you are all just angels at UCAR.

  162. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 8:55 PM | Permalink

    Re: 156

    “Defensible” and “accurate” and “fair” are not synonyms, and attempting to paint “george h.”‘s comments as something approaching the latter two is disingenuous.

  163. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

    Re: 161

    Since when is smear-by-association an accepted tactic in the world of science, or even in the world of adults generally? I’m rapidly learning lots of things about the posters here…

  164. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 9:03 PM | Permalink

    Gary, you wanted some examples of “ad hominem attacks”. I think that being called a “quack” by Mahlman or the implication of “incredibly stupid” from Trenberth qualifies as an ad hominem attack. I’m not even getting into Mann’s accusation of us being “dishonest”. Please do not deduce that I am saying that ALL climate scientists behave like Mann. Obviously they don’t. But I haven’t seen any climate scientists standing up telling him to behave himself.

    You also asked for  incidents in which there was a “Lack of self correction when faced with contradictory evidence” proceeding to allege that these claims were “All in all, many of the same unsubstantiated and wholly false claims by a “skeptic”.  If you feel like writing to the President of UCAR about the Ammann press release, I’d appreciate it.
    What about you – are you going to write to Phil Jones and tell him to archive all his data and methods?

  165. Robert Leyland
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

    in 126 Gary Strand says:
    January 27th, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    Re: 122

    “COMPUTER SIMULATIONS can not and will NEVER be experiments.”

    I disagree. In what sense(s) do you say that simulations “can not” be experiments – i.e., what strongly differentiates the two? I hope this isn’t merely a semantic difference, because people use “simulation” and “experiment” interchangably, perhaps not properly so, but that sort of use is common.

    There is an issue here.

    You can run experiments ON models, but you don’t run experiments WITH models. If you change the parameters for a model, and compare the output to previous runs (or to reality), you can be said to be running an experiment on the model, not on physical reality. This might refine the model; it might produce a prediction, but the prediction is not reality, your experiment is to see how close it comes.

    Simulation and experiment are not synonyms, simulation and model are. *

    Simulations/Models produce predictions, they do not produce data.

    The semantic difference seems to be lost on far too many prominent climate scientists. With the resulting conflation of (uncertain) model results and stated (certain) reality.

    Your model isn’t the problem, it might be very good. It’s using its output as “reality” which is the mistake. When the real data doesn’t match the model output, you change the model not the data.

    cheers,
    Robert.

    *note: on a lighter note, “simulation” and “cheating” are apparently considered synonyms in football :-)

  166. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 9:12 PM | Permalink

    I really haven’t posted much on models, but did have a post last year to discuss the following article about Truth Machines, which said:

    At least at the time of my fieldwork, close users and potential close users at NCAR (mostly synoptically trained meteorologists who would like to have a chance to validate the models) complained that modelers had a “fortress mentality’. In the words of one such user I interviewed, the model developers had “built themselves into a shell into which external ideas do not enter’. His criticism suggests that users who were more removed from the sites of GCM development sometimes have knowledge of model limitations that modelers themselves are unwilling, and perhaps unable, to countenance.”

    Again, this is simply a quote from a peer-reviewed article, which doesn’t necessarily make it true.

  167. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 9:25 PM | Permalink

    Steve (posting 155): You say “Gary, if you are including me in your allegation that people are throwing around `accusations and insinuations delivered with no provocation that I’ve seen’, can you please cite an example. Otherwise please do not generalize from a couple of posters.”

    I don’t see any evidence that Gary was so doing. You have made the same kind of response to me in the past when I have commented on the way in which many climateaudit posters react. It may be an uncomfortable situation to be in, and in some ways I sympathise with you – but if you run a site, the claimed purpose of which is to “audit” climate science, you will attract, as well as a few well-meaning and competent commentators, a rather large sample of what I can only describe as the “lowest common denominator” of the greenhouse contrarians – what I think Donald Rumsfeld would describe as the “worst of the worst”. This doesn’t reflect directly on your own abilities or mode of working, Steve, but it is pretty much a direct result of what you do – and for this you must, alas, take some responsibility. As Ken Miles once said most aptly of you on Deltoid:

    “I’ve got to (partially) stick up for McIntyre here. Compared with most (all?) of the clowns who make the ranks of global warming skeptics, McIntyre is far and away the best of them. He does publish in peer reviewed journals (not just Energy & Environment) and he has raised some genuine concerns (such as access to data – I’m staying away from the more technical arguments as I don’t know enough to judge).

    He does tend to overplay his hand a bit, and climateaudit is a cesspool of idiots, but still credit should be given where it’s due.”

  168. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 9:33 PM | Permalink

    Re: 164 and 166

    I’m disappointed that smear-by-association is an apparent norm of interaction. I’m also disappointed that I’m somehow obligated to make others do things that will make some folks here happy, merely because I work in the field of climate modeling, and thus must help “clean up” the field lest I be held to be a scammer and a fraud. Are direct (and indirect) personal attacks somehow acceptable around here?

  169. John Norris
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 9:34 PM | Permalink

    re: JB 49, JN 80, JB 87, 88, & 89

    Jim Barrett, I went back and reread your #49. I agree with you that due to the size of the IPCC effort the process has to be iterative and perhaps two-way, but only across the main technical reports. The IPCC should have iterated to their hearts content across the main technical reports, and then drafted a summary. If they needed to iterate the summary to make sure it is consistent with the actual data, I can certainly understand that due to the vast number of participants and quantity of data.

    However, going back to edit the technical end, to make it match the summary, smacks of selling an agenda, thus my comment, and my logic that you did not like.

    I see three options for drafting a large policy driving report:

    1. The results in the main technical reports dictate the summary.
    2. The summary dictates the main technical reports.
    3. Somewhere in between 1 & 2.

    Few people would be comfortable with #2, I am guessing you (and the IPCC) are okay with #3. For a government funded project, that has enormous global economic and political impacts, I feel that that a well disciplined #1 is the only option. You have every right to your opinion and please continue to express it. I recognize that perhaps there are other reasons that I have not yet seen, or have not sunk in yet. But to this point I see no reason to move me off of what I said in #80.

    Perhaps you could answer a question for me. Have you ever participated in a report where the executive summary impacted the reporting of technical results, and the report was released as an objective, government funded, policy impacting report? If so I would sure like to see the report and hear what the adjustments were.

  170. Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 9:37 PM | Permalink

    Dear Gary #126, you wrote this paragraph:

    “I disagree. In what sense(s) do you say that simulations “can not” be experiments – i.e., what strongly differentiates the two? I hope this isn’t merely a semantic difference, because people use “simulation” and “experiment” interchangably, perhaps not properly so, but that sort of use is common.”

    LM: That’s really amusing. Theoretical physicists often use this analogy and we call numerical simulations or theoretical calculations of details in particular situations to be either “experiments” or the “best thing after the experiment” but most of us realize that it is just an analogy or a joke.

    The difference between computer simulations and experiments (or observations) is that computer simulations only deal with the theories – our ideas how we think that the world could work – while experiments deal with the real world. If someone doesn’t distinguish a world of a computer program or a computer game from the real world, it is not surprising that we may occassionally experience some misunderstandings. ;-)

  171. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 9:46 PM | Permalink

    #167. Jim, I take your point. But equally, if someone takes a swing at the site, then I’m surely entitled to ask if I’m being included in the allegation and if so, on what basis. It’s neither clear nor unclear whether Gary was including me and I simply sought some clarification on this point. I try to make it clear that people are free to comment here and that I don’t endorse every point of view expressed here. Obviously “auditing” all of climate science is a task well beyond my resources and skills. I don’t have a good impression of the Hockey Team studies, but I’ve found many paleoclimate studies of a more technical nature to be interesting. I think that one reason for the site’s popularity is that I find lots of technical things interesting and that comes across.

  172. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 9:47 PM | Permalink

    John Norris (posting 169): you say:

    “Perhaps you could answer a question for me. Have you ever participated in a report where the executive summary impacted the reporting of technical results, and the report was released as an objective, government funded, policy impacting report? If so I would sure like to see the report and hear what the adjustments were.”

    Yes I have written or contributed to a number of such reports. I’m obviously not going to tell them what they are as I use a pseudonym on climataudit. I can, however, say that I have never regarded the technical part of the report as somehow sacrosanct during and after the time in which the summary is written. Prior to final release, if it becomes apparent that there is a better way of saying something, or doing something, then it should be done and included (in a consistent way) in the report. Is that so outrageous?

  173. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 9:52 PM | Permalink

    Re: 170

    If one is observing something, then one is performing an “experiment”, correct? However, there is a theory (our ideas on how we think the world works) underlying that process of observing, is there not? For example, suppose we observe something we don’t expect from our experiment. Do we suppose that there is something wrong with our act of observing (i.e., our theory of understanding what we observed) or that the real world is different in some way?

    Despite the departure into some philosophy, I think that the difference drawn between “experiment” (empirical and good) and “simulation” (rationalistic and bad) for the purpose of denigrating work with climate models as mere “simulation” (not real “experimental” science) is a bit misleading.

  174. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 9:55 PM | Permalink

    #168. Gary, let’s dial this back. I’m going offline so you’ll get the last word anyway. Please don’t extrapolate past what I actually wrote. I didn’t say that you “must help “clean up” the field lest I be held to be a scammer and a fraud.” I would appreciate it if you did take some initiative with Jones and that crowd, but I recognize that there are lots of reasons why you might elect not to get into battle with the Hockey Team and do not view any such election as that you are a “scammer and a fraud”. Your comments are welcome here.

  175. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 9:55 PM | Permalink

    Steve (posting 171): Thanks – we seem to have been coming to some sort of understanding over the last while.

    It is also gratifying that you “take (my) point” and that you apparently have no disagreement with my assertion that “you …. attract, as well as a few well-meaning and competent commentators, a rather large sample of what I can only describe as the `lowest common denominator’ of the greenhouse contrarians – what I think Donald Rumsfeld would describe as the `worst of the worst’.”

    Now we seem to be coming to a REAL understanding!

  176. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 10:00 PM | Permalink

    #175. Jim please don’t bother with silly debating tricks. I disagree with most of your post for obvious reasons. HOwever, I’m going offline.

  177. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

    Sorry Steve (posting 176) – having endured “silly debating tricks” for I while, they seem to be a bit infectious! My apologies.

  178. Jaye Bass
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 10:57 PM | Permalink

    RE:160

    You suggested we visit that site. I took a look at the first bit of code I found there…typical of code written in an academic environment, sloppy and unprofessional.

  179. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 11:03 PM | Permalink

    Despite the departure into some philosophy, I think that the difference drawn between “experiment” (empirical and good) and “simulation” (rationalistic and bad) for the purpose of denigrating work with climate models as mere “simulation” (not real “experimental” science) is a bit misleading.

    Not at all… simulation is not even close to being bad. But it needs to be recognized for what it is, and that is nothing more than a tool used for predicting potential outcomes. Running a simulation simply isn’t an experiment, which generally involves testing the outcome of a simulation. I.e. experiment follows simulation.

    Mark

  180. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 11:06 PM | Permalink

    “Defensible” and “accurate” and “fair” are not synonyms, and attempting to paint “george h.”‘s comments as something approaching the latter two is disingenuous.

    How many times do we have to point out exactly why he is correct in every one of his points before you get a clue?

    The onus is on you to research this site before making such statements based on obvious ignorance. Pretending that you are somehow holier than thou in this case is disingenuous.

    Mark

  181. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

    Gary, you say:

    I’m disappointed that smear-by-association is an apparent norm of interaction. I’m also disappointed that I’m somehow obligated to make others do things that will make some folks here happy, merely because I work in the field of climate modeling, and thus must help “clean up” the field lest I be held to be a scammer and a fraud. Are direct (and indirect) personal attacks somehow acceptable around here?

    This seems short-sighted. If you do not clean up your own field of study, it will be cleaned up by others, much to your detriment. Let’s take a simple example, Phil Jones’ refusal to follow the usual scientific ethics of transparency and availability of data. Have you spoken out against this travesty of the scientific method?

    Because you see, if you don’t, you will inevitably be tarred with the same brush. It’s not fair, I agree, but it is the way of the world. If you don’t speak out against injustice, you are perceived as agreeing with it, regardless of the fact that you may have valid reasons for not speaking out.

    w.

  182. DaleC
    Posted Jan 27, 2007 at 11:48 PM | Permalink

    Regarding the various comments by Gary Strand:

    You seem to me to be at a loss to comprehend the level of deep disquiet among the many who have sought to validate for themselves the endless dire predictions feed to the media by the AGW industry. The more strident the media message, the more I wonder if there is not some hidden agenda.

    You may not want to accept this, but it is quite clear to me that there is something rotten in the house of climate science, and quite sufficiently so to justify the negative generalizations you are disputing. There are innumerable instances which could be cited (the 1000 plus threads on this blog cover many), but here are the major issues I personally have found most troubling:

    1. The well-attested historical understanding of climate over the last millennium in the SAR, based on a huge amount of contemporaneous documentation and archeological evidence, was overturned with unrestrained glee the moment MBH98/99 came along. There is a complete paradigm shift between the SAR and the TAR on the last millennium – the sort of thing that usually takes a generation of controversy to resolve. The hockey stick was presented as a fait accompli (see post #1 above), Mann et al were lauded by the media and peak scientific bodies, while critics were mercilessly lampooned, lambasted and pilloried as a bunch of ignorant amateurs. Well, the critics have been proved right, but as far as I am aware the only scientist not explicitly aligned with the skeptics to have publicly acknowledged this is von Storch. You might think that this is a small matter, just part of the ebb and flow of scientific debate, but in the wider world I cannot count the number of times I have seen the original hockey stick reproduced, nor the number of times I have read/heard the claim of the 1990s being the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year (straight from MBH) recycled as axiomatic. The most recent occasion is the state-mandated geography text for senior high school where I live, first edition late 2006. So the TAR’s initial endorsement of the hockey stick, and the IPCC’s subsequent refusal to disavow it, has led to the world-wide promulgation of the clear falsehoods that there was no MWP or LIA, and the elevation of a remote hypothesis that recent warming is unprecedented to the level of absolute fact. As stated by Tamino at the Open Mind blog (while defending it), the hockey stick is the most famous graphic in climatology. That its subsequent falsification is denied or only grudgingly recognized strikes me as scandalous.

    2. The refusal of Jones and his group to disclose the raw data and processing methods used to derive global surface average temperatures is untenable. von Storch, to his eternal credit, has made his displeasure on this matter also quite clear.

    3. The absurd faith placed in computer models. I have programmed several major data processing applications (megabytes of code) and I know full well that it is perfectly possible to get the right (or expected or desired) output for entirely the wrong reasons. My personal mantra, which has served me well career-wise, is ‘never trust a computer’. The reason why CO2 is needed to match the reported temperature increase is because the models are programmed that way. Statements to the contrary are simply disingenuous, and damage your credibility with anyone who understands the nature of software engineering.

    Incidentally, I presume that you use the historical temperature record for calibration? But since that record cannot be validated, and is subject to arbitrary revision by Jones et al, what confidence can be placed in your model?

    The hockey stick (including all subsequent permutations of the proxies), the unverifiable surface average temperature increase and the assertion of ‘unprecedented’ are fundamental to the entire AGW proposition. Without them, all the AGW advocates have is a natural warming coming out of the LIA entirely within historic parameters. If the foundations are rotten, then the superstructure is unsound – hence all of AGW climatology is suspect.

    If the AGW hypothesis is in fact correct, and the skeptics misguided fools or the unscrupulous lackeys of vested interests, then Mann and Jones and their like have a lot to answer for, because their documented behavior (as two examples among many) has given the skeptics a limitless reservoir of ammunition to hold up concerted global action. There is only one solution: the climatology community must clean the Augean stables. This means that when one of your own behaves inappropriately, then that behavior is promptly, comprehensively and publicly disavowed by the entire community. You can’t let this burden rest just with von Storch. Instead, what I have witnessed all too often is a political response – the brotherhood closes ranks and invokes the Perikles principle: never back down, never give in, never say sorry, lest it be taken as a sign of weakness. This is all very well in politics, but has no place in science, especially when trillions of dollars and the future well-being of our planet are at stake.

    So, I am quite sure that the majority of climatologists are honorable and honest, but among the millions who have made an independent effort to grapple with the issues (many speak their minds on this blog) the AGW advocates have a serious credibility problem, which has brought your entire profession into some degree of disrepute. I might also add that this negative perception is regularly enhanced by witnessing the utterly spurious defences mounted by the several trolls who frequent this blog, this very thread being a prime example. The IPCC process of AR4 summary first, while allowing retrospective adjustment of the supporting body for several months, with a staggered release, is simply unconscionable, and attempts to argue the contrary just add to the mess in your stables.

    And speaking of the trolls, who will probably dump on me for the above, be advised that I will not respond.

  183. fFreddy
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 4:05 AM | Permalink

    Re #182, DaleC
    Applause.

  184. Hans Erren
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 5:38 AM | Permalink

    re 145:

    For starters I don’t trust any model (in any discipline!) that gives an ensemble mean which is higher than the observations it tries to model.
    The model is significantly warmer than the observations in the period that matters (1940-2000) where CO2 growth was rapid, also the volcanic cooling is stronger than the observations.

    The model is wrong, back to the drawing table!
    I’d like to see an ensemble run that at least includes the observation spread, and preferably one where the ensemble mean closely mimicks the smoothed observations.

  185. Jack Lacton
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 6:07 AM | Permalink

    If, by some happy quirk of fate, mankind had evolved a few hundred years earlier and the Industrial Revolution kicked off at the start of the Little Ice Age then would the climate debate be about the anthropogenic cooling effect and its catastrophic consequences?

  186. Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 6:37 AM | Permalink

    Re: #185

    Why ever not? That was the argument in the 1970s about global cooling. In 1971 Stephen Schneider was arguing that the warming effect from CO2 enrichment was too small to balance the cooling effects of man-made sulfate aerosols (cue picture of smokey chimney).

    Thus if temperatures cool again, alarmists like Kevin Trenberth will argue that the cooling is caused by the rise of China and India’s industry.

    It’s heads – the warming is man-made, tails – the cooling is man-made. What we call a “win-win” situation ;-)

  187. Jeff Weffer
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 6:58 AM | Permalink

    The global warming community likes to rewrite history.

    The reason the talk in the early 1970s was about global cooling is because there really was global cooling between 1940 and 1975. Now Jones is rewriting the temperature record, showing the early 1900s down considerably. Why? so that is matches up better with GCM models which project higher increases than observed (and don’t match the 1940s to 1975 cooling period BTW.)

    Those that don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. And history says that those that rewrite that history do nothing but harm to their fellow man in the years ahead.

  188. Gary Strand
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 9:39 AM | Permalink

    Re: 187 backwards

    I give up. There’s nothing I can say, or evidence I can provide, that will sway almost all of you from your beliefs. It’s just not worth my time or effort to defend the work I do and the field I’m in from the (sometimes) scurrilous attacks made upon it.

    At the very least, thanks to all of you who have given me insight into the mindset of the skeptics/contrarians on the AGW issue.

  189. charles
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

    Gary,

    But will you admonish Jones to release his data and methods?

  190. jae
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

    LOL. I’m waiting for a climate modeler to reproduce the MWP and LIA, using only C02 forcing and ignoring Solar forcings.

  191. Demesure
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

    Easy Jae, MWP & LIA don’t exist, the hockey chtic says. Modern models do fine with this.

  192. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 1:00 PM | Permalink

    Re #188 – **There’s nothing I can say, or evidence I can provide, that will sway almost all of you from your beliefs. **
    Sure, come up with a real study that proves CO2 causes warming as opposed to a graph with a scale showing “association”.”Association” and models are not enough “proof”
    Then get all those Climate scientists to free up the data and code.

  193. Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 1:15 PM | Permalink

    Dear Gary Strand #173, you write:

    “If one is observing something, then one is performing an “experiment”, correct?”

    No, that’s indeed completely false. This bizarre assertion about the meaning of “experiments” could be correct in some weird generalized philosophical setup that deals with similar words but it is certainly not correct in science because if this definition of an “experiment” were adopted in science, then *everything* would be an experiment. Theorists who calculate using pen and paper would be experimenters because they observe the paper, how the letters and numbers appear on it.

    The people whose profits depend on bad climate science would be experimenters because they are observing the balances of their banking accounts to increase. People who think that the former future president is a prophet and who attend His movie would also be experimenters because they are observing Himself and the collapsing glaciers in the movie.

    Neither of these things is an experiment in the scientific sense. In science, an experiment is a deliberate act of a scientist to observe the behavior of a particular system in the real world (if we talk about the climate science, I mean real atmosphere and not a computer) – the same system that the experiments wants to be relevant for – using the honesty, scientific standards, and precision that is required according to the state-of-the-art understanding of those fields.

    By definition, one can never make an experiment of a future behavior of a physical system (such as in 2100). If we talk about experimental tests of climate theories, we can only test them against the data in the past and in the present. No other information about the climate is experimentally available and whoever claims to be doing experiments involving future values of some physical quantities is an acausal charlatan.

    You also wrote:

    “However, there is a theory (our ideas on how we think the world works) underlying that process of observing, is there not?”

    LM: Sometimes there is a theory, sometimes there is no theory. Sometimes the theory is correct, sometimes the theory is incorrect, or partly incorrect. The main and only purpose experiments is to find a clue what the theory should be like in the first case, or to decide whether an existing theory or one of many existing theories is correct in the second case – and to refine its details and to measure its parameters more accurately. An experiment that is not doing either is a waste of time and money.

    But what you’re talking about is not an experiment at all. It is just a silly playing with a computer game. It remains a computer game until the results are compared to reality, and by reality, I mean what can be measured by actual gadgets such as thermometers, not some other computer games. A confirmation of such a theory or a computer model – it is the same type of a thing – must be based on some tests that show that the partial agreement wasn’t a coincidence.

    These computer games certainly haven’t been verified yet according to scientific standards which makes it even more important to distinguish the models from reality. They’re not the same thing. Could you please try to understand this trivial point? Thank you.

    You wrote:

    “For example, suppose we observe something we don’t expect from our experiment. Do we suppose that there is something wrong with our act of observing (i.e., our theory of understanding what we observed) or that the real world is different in some way?”

    LM: If we make observations that disagree with our theory, then it means that either we are doing an error in the experiment (or the gadget isn’t working properly), or that we have a wrong theory, or both. All cases have occurred many times and they are still occurring frequently.

    You wrote:

    “Despite the departure into some philosophy, I think that the difference drawn between “experiment” (empirical and good) and “simulation” (rationalistic and bad) for the purpose of denigrating work with climate models as mere “simulation” (not real “experimental” science) is a bit misleading.”

    LM: Oh, it is even “misleading”. So you’re saying that I am misleading someone by saying that there is a difference between measurements of the real world – by thermometers etc. – on one side and computer games on the other side. Wow.

  194. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

    I give up. There’s nothing I can say, or evidence I can provide, that will sway almost all of you from your beliefs. It’s just not worth my time or effort to defend the work I do and the field I’m in from the (sometimes) scurrilous attacks made upon it.

    If your sole source of evidence is a simulation written in some code running on a computer with extremely inexact model parameters (in some cases, completely unknown guesses), then, you’re correct, there’s nothing you can do. What is amazinig is that you are so convinced that modelling is such an accurate representation of future trends when in fact it can barely perform as well as simple AR processes.

    At the very least, thanks to all of you who have given me insight into the mindset of the skeptics/contrarians on the AGW issue.

    You mean, people that actually understand the difference between a model and science? Good job on a parting ad-hominem shot (at least a parting insult).

    Mark

  195. Hans Erren
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

    Bye Gary,

    Do come back if you have model data that are validated by observations.

  196. Jack Lacton
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 2:43 PM | Permalink

    It’s a pity to see Gary go, as he had much more energy than other pro-AGWers.

    What he’s missed through his involvement is that if he had presented anything really definitive on this site then people’s minds really would have been changed.

  197. Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

    Oh, sorry, I missed the punch line. Bye bye, Gary, it was nice to chat with you! All the best, Lubos

  198. EP
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

    I asked this question on another thread some time ago; hopefully I may get some pointers here.

    Have climate models (non-parameterised) been applied to the Earth on a millennial scale and how do they compare with paleoclimate reconstructions?

  199. Boris
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

    I’m beginning to think obfuscation is the odrer of the day here at CA. Otherwise, why would you drive off a climate modeler with questions about Mann and Jones and et al? I’m sure he’s going to rush out and release code to a site that claims his whole profession is a scam.

    Why should he denounce Mann and et al. No one here denounces Monckton for his huge errors, or Michaels for rewriting Hansen’s graphs for congress , or Khyliuk and Chillangar for being, well, incredibly wrong. Or Lindzen for citing the incredibly wrong Khyiliuk and Chillanagaar. Or CEI for its wonderful CO2 is life campaign. (Incidentally, I hope I am never trapped in a sealed room that is full of “life”.) Or about a million other skeptical arguments and insults nad just plain gaga things some skeptics/contrarians say.

    But then again, that’s why I keep coming back.
    :) ;) :P 8)

  200. charles
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

    Boris,

    1) Should Jones release his data and methods?

    2) “CO2 is life” Do you believe we would be better off today had we not burned FF the last 100yrs? Just wondering.

  201. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 4:34 PM | Permalink

    Boris, Gary said that post #93 contained ” utterly false claims” one of which was:

    “”‚⠠Lack of openness to testing by other experts (science by press conference, withholding data and computer code)”

    Gary asked:

    Do you have any specific examples?

    He then went on to characterize post #93 as:

    All in all, many of the same unsubstantiated and wholly false claims by a skeptic”.

    That’s how Mann and Jones got into the mix. Gary argued that the claim in #93 was refuted by availability of information on climate models. I can’t comment on this aspect of climate models. I also didn’t write #93 and it’s certainly not how I would have expressed things. Whatever the status of climate model information, the criticism of withholding of data and methods by the Hockey Team has been documented at length at this site.

    Gary asked for examples and they were given to him. He wasn’t interested in discussing these examples and sought to distinguish himself from them. Fair enough. But having asked for some examples, he can scarcely object to some being given to him. If giving him the examples that he asked for “drove” him off, that’s too bad. But I don’t think that fault can be allocated.

    I specifically said above to him that his comments were welcome here.

  202. Jim barrett
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 4:37 PM | Permalink

    Steve: Once again, you should take serious notice of what a “cesspool of idiots” climateaudit has become (even more so since Ken Miles made that claim). While Gary has been besieged by what he calls “scurrilous attacks”, I have been continuously attacked on “Southern Ocean Temperature Trends” for a rather simple argument I initially made on postings (21)and (26). I made two basic points which I would have thought are simple enough to be considered truisms:

    1. That linear trend estimation is, in its simplest form, no more than equivalent to taking a weighted mean of the input data. From that realisation follows a number of similarly simple arguments.

    2. That consideration of the “goodness” or “badness” of a model relies on the assumption of the magnitude of the A-PRIORI errors. If these are absent then one cannot strictly say whether a model is “good” or “bad”.

    Then followed, not any considered discussion of what I had said, but a concerted and vehement attack on my abilities at statistics. I will freely admit they are not wonderful, but they allow me to do my job and to have some understanding of statistics in relation to climate change. They may not be formally as good as yours, but I suspect I have a better intuitive grasp of some aspects of statistics than you do. So I think I am competent to discuss statistical issues on climateaudit.

    Mike T (posting 68) put it well by saying “anyone who has an even mild opinion in support of AGW is immediately jumped on by 3 or 4 posters demanding answers to seemingly trivial/unimportant questions. It’s disappointing.”.

    Under a similar onslaught, Gary Strand has given up (posting 188). I have given up trying to discuss this particular statistical issue with the likes of Mark T and Stan Palmer. They seem incapable of reasoned technical discussion.

    If you want (as I am sure you do) to mount a solid critique on the forthcoming IPCC AR4 – a critique which gains the respect of many if not the agreement of all – if you do not want to be simply regarded as a haven for the worst of the contrarians – then I suggest that you put your house in order and start applying the Rules defined in “Road map and Site Rules”.

  203. bruce
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 5:16 PM | Permalink

    Re #202:

    Jim, thanks for your comments and input. I am interested in your opinion of Real Climate.org.

  204. Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

    Dear Jim #202,

    I essentially agree with your points 1,2 even though there are things that you do not say but you should.

    For example, while it is true that there is no a priori way to divide models to “good” and “bad”, one can usually compare two models. Besides a given model, it is usually possible to construct some very simple models or formulae to explain given datasets. If these simple models give better or equally good results as some convoluted ones, it means that there exists no good reason to accept the convoluted models.

    Convoluted models that claim to be better than the previous estimates must be tested and lead to more accurate predictions, otherwise there’s no reason to accept them.

    “Anyone who has an even mild opinion in support of AGW is immediately jumped on by 3 or 4 posters demanding answers to seemingly trivial/unimportant questions. It’s disappointing.”

    Well, there may something true about it here locally and it would be a good model of the situation that the scientific skeptics face on a daily basis. There are some differences, however. The skeptics are usually jumped on by 60 or 80 alarmists instead of 3 or 4. Moreover, most of the jumping skeptics are intelligent, decent, lovely, educated, charming people who are always excited to say “good bye” to a disagreeing e-friend who is just leaving – as you have just seen – or buy him an icecream. On the other hand, the people who jump on the skeptics cannot be assigned most of these adjectives and I am so nice that I won’t list the adjectives that the “believers” deserve.

    All the best
    Lubos

  205. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 5:29 PM | Permalink

    Mike T (posting 68) put it well by saying “anyone who has an even mild opinion in support of AGW is immediately jumped on by 3 or 4 posters demanding answers to seemingly trivial/unimportant questions. It’s disappointing.”.

    Mike’s statement was incorrect. You get the hammering you do because you come in here telling everyone they’re stupid (you’ve insulted at least one person in most of your posts) while demonstrating an utter lack of knowledge of fundamental concepts. Sorry, but flashing ego while redefining well-known concepts is not the way to endear yourself.

    Under a similar onslaught, Gary Strand has given up (posting 188). I have given up trying to discuss this particular statistical issue with the likes of Mark T and Stan Palmer. They seem incapable of reasoned technical discussion.

    Here you have more insults and you wonder why nobody wants to discuss things reasonably with you. Gary Strand, similarly, cannot distinguish between simulation and experiment, yet wonders why we in the real world (those that actually do experiment for a living) chide him for it. A fundamental flaw with climate modellers is that they think their simulations actually amount to an observation of the truth, when in fact it is nothing more than an indication of one possible truth.

    Whining to Steve that I am “incapable of reasoned technical discussion” after such fundamental inabilities to grasp what that means is rather hypocritical, don’t you think?

    Mark

  206. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

    Jim, I don’t have time to monitor all the threads. I haven’t thought through that particular debate, but your initial point seems fair enough to me and the subsequent discussion started off fine. It looks to me like you picked a fight in this post, which led to further fights:

    UC (postings 42 and 43): Your almost incomprehensible postings only suggest an aim to be perverse and obstructive , rather than to provide serious discussion. If you gave me some substantive argument, I would perhaps have something to respond to.

    So your hands were not entirely clean in this incident. Also if you call people a “cesspool of idiots”, it’s not exactly a friendly statement. I happen to find many of the posts and comments interesting and generally look forward to reading the blog. HAving said that I don’t read everything; and have learned which threads and commenters are unlikely to interest me.

    In this thread, I think that there is a real issue with this goofy IPCC schedule and methodology – something that neither you nor Gary have acknowledged. It’s disappointing to me that climate scientists don’t say – “you know, you’re right. It’s important that our community and this report be perceived as being above-board and we’ll write to IPCC WG1 and urge them to release the WG1 Report on Feb 2.” Instead, Gary preferred to pick a fight with comment #93. I thought that he made a number of intemperate statements regardless of provocation.

  207. fFreddy
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

    Re #202, Jim barrett

    1. That linear trend estimation is, in its simplest form, no more than equivalent to taking a weighted mean of the input data. From that realisation follows a number of similarly simple arguments.

    A trend is a line; it requires two data points to define it – intersect and slope or some such. Whatever you think you are referring to by “a weighted mean of the input data” is only one data point: it cannot define a trend.

    2. That consideration of the “goodness” or “badness” of a model relies on the assumption of the magnitude of the A-PRIORI errors. If these are absent then one cannot strictly say whether a model is “good” or “bad”.

    What a deeply ridiculous statement. If there are no quantitative estimates of errors in the input data – if that is what you are trying to say – then one can categorically state that the model is very bad.

    …I suspect I have a better intuitive grasp of some aspects of statistics than you do…

    Intuition is a useful pointer for worthwhile directions of study, but it is not a substitute for rigorous proof. Daft pursuits like numerology, homeopathy, and the rest are all full of “intuition”; they are separated from science by their lack of rigour.
    I will refrain from commenting on your judgement of your skills relative to our host.

    Your approach here has been to throw around lots of mathematical sounding terms in the hope that non-mathematically inclined readers will assume you know what you are talking about. Your use of terminology is sufficiently vague and off-base from normal usage that it is not immediately comprehensible, even to people whose knowledge of the field vastly exceeds your own.

    Nicer people than me will assume you are trying to make valid points and will try to work out a coherent interpretation of what you say. I think they are wasting their time.

  208. fFreddy
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

    Blimey. I must learn to type faster.

  209. TAC
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

    #207, #202: A couple of quick observations may be in order. First, ordinary (or generalized) least squares are often employed for estimating linear trends. Under these circumstances, trend magnitude can, as JB notes, be estimated as a weighted sum of the observations, because OLS regression can always be viewed as a weighted sum. To be specific, define the predictor matrix X={{1,1,…}’,{t1,t2,…}’}, then hat{beta}=(X’X)^(-1)X’Y, where Y is the vector of responses. It should be clear that hat{beta} is simply a weighted sum of the observations, with weights equal to w=(X’X)^(-1)X’.

    The result can be generalized to GLS.

  210. TAC
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 7:37 PM | Permalink

    One other thing: I would strongly encourage those committed to the search for rational policies on climate change, whether AGW proponents or not, to recognize and act upon SteveM’s obviously valid point (#206) that

    there is a real issue with this goofy IPCC schedule and methodology…It’s disappointing to me that climate scientists don’t say – “you know, you’re right. It’s important that our community and this report be perceived as being above-board and we’ll write to IPCC WG1 and urge them to release the WG1 Report on Feb 2.”

  211. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 7:39 PM | Permalink

    because OLS regression can always be viewed as a weighted sum.

    Any linear transformation can also be viewed as a weighted sum of input vectors. The trend result, however, is not fundamentally the same as a mean, which is where many found original contention (even fFreddy it seems). When folks throw around vague knowledge insinuating everyone else is stupid, it will raise the ire of those of us in bad moods.

    Not sure where I read, either, that the use of the term “linear” should not be confused with linear transformation (a trend is not invertible, though the line it creates is… maybe it was at the wiki site?)

    Mark

  212. Jaye Bass
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 7:56 PM | Permalink

    Regarding Jim Barrett’s claims about cleaning house on this forum. Has he actually been to RealClimate.org? CA is a free wheeling market place of ideas with almost unlimited patience in comparison.

    DaleC’s comment above as fantastic.

  213. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 28, 2007 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

    That linear trend estimation is, in its simplest form, no more than equivalent to taking a weighted mean of the input data. From that realisation follows a number of similarly simple arguments.

    I also agree with this statement although the term “weighted mean” may, to some people, imply positive coefficients and get them off track. I entirely agree with TAC’s comments here .

    In this spirit, I wrote up a rather interesting post last year in which I observed that all Mannian operations were linear and thus the Mannian NH reconstruction was simply a linear combination (which I prefer to “weighted mean”) of the proxies. The entire MBH apparatus is a Wizard of Oz method of assigning relatively high weights to bristlecones. Statistically Mannianism is a weird combination of principal components and Partial LEast Squares – but all netting out to a linear combination of proxies.

  214. Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 1:20 AM | Permalink

    I see, the discussion continues here. And with different terms.

    And it all started from #4 in http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1100

    If we use LS estimators inv(X’*X)*X’, then yes, ‘trend’ is just a weighted sum of the data points. And so is the mean,

    % trend
    X=(-5:5)';
    inv(X’*X)*X’

    -0.0455 -0.0364 -0.0273 -0.0182 -0.0091 0 0.0091 0.0182 0.0273 0.0364 0.0455

    %mean
    X=ones(11,1);

    inv(X’*X)*X’
    0.0909 0.0909 0.0909 0.0909 0.0909 0.0909 0.0909 0.0909 0.0909 0.0909 0.0909

    i.e. arithmetic mean is LS estimator of beta in the linear model y=beta+noise. LS solutions are optimal (MV unbiased) for the general linear model. I showed another way to fit a line, then there are LMS (least median of squares), least absolute deviations, etc. Lot’s of choices. What is needed to show that my method is not very stunning?
    For

    Standard errors in the trend

    we need a noise model, and a definition of trend. With linear model y=beta*x+n it is easy, ‘noise free’ trend is beta.

    But original comment (#4) was that linear model is not very good for the given data. I agree with the original comment, I don’t like ‘trend-setting’ in climatic data, the trend depends on chosen start and end points, and we know that the linear model does not hold.

  215. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 4:17 AM | Permalink

    Steve: So, after all the vilification and denigration from the wolf pack, you (postings 206 and 213), Lubos Motl (204) and TAC (posting 209) agree that my two “basic points” (posting 202 and its references) were essentially correct! We may well have our disagreements, but I respect the statistical skills of you and Lubos – sorry, TAC, I haven’t read much of your postings but you obviously know your stuff and you do bring up the rather obvious (but not uninteresting) fact that ALL linear data analyses (e.g. derivations of means, moments, least-squares coefficients, principal components) can be reduced to what I call a “weighted mean” or what Steve calls a “linear combination”). Anyway, so much for the so-called statistics “experts” on climateaudit (the wolf pack, that is) ……

    However, in posting 206, you take me to task for saying of UC “our almost incomprehensible postings only suggest an aim to be perverse and obstructive, rather than to provide serious discussion. If you gave me some substantive argument, I would perhaps have something to respond to”. So, do you seriously suggest that:

    1. the postings of UC to which I referred WERE actually comprehensible,

    2. the postings of UC were NOT aimed at being peverse and obstructive, and

    3. UC has provided any substantive argument to this discussion?

    Further do you not feel that UC’s and Stan Palmer’s contributions (“Southern Ocean Temperature Trends”, postings 27 and 74):

    “Why don’t you just calculate the sum of the values?”

    “Why do you use the means outside of the brackets in the numeratator and denominator? Summations would have sufficed and this is the usual way in which this form of the linear regression slope formula is expressed.”

    are perfect examples of what Mike T (“Southern Ocean Temperature Trends”, posting 68) referred to as “trivial/unimportant questions”? They are certainly a complete waste of Internet bandwith.

    I have now lost any last vestige of interest in this discussion.

  216. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 4:38 AM | Permalink

    Bruce (posting 203): Back to thread – you ask for my opinion of RealClimate.

    Well, it is a very different site from this. It does of course cover a much wider field of climate matters than does climateaudit, which up until relatively recently was very much a “single issue” site. I therefore often point people to RealClimate if they want informed discussions of current issues in climate science. I think the quality of their “articles” is excellent. Unfortunately, climateaudit and RealClimate got off to a bad start with recriminations which continue to this day – not helped by continuing snipes at the “Hockeyteam” and the perpetual and tedious questions like “why don’t you ask Mann (or Jones) to provide their data?” (for God’s sake, guys – haven’t we moved on from there yet?). RealClimate aren’t saints, but they certainly keep their taunts at a lower level. And climateaudit isn’t all bad – I’ll be the first to admit that scientist could improve their habits as regards stewardship of data. And I do detect a gradual mellowing in Steve’s attitude over the years (just one example – in a recent thread he refers to “a thoughtful article by Kerry Emanuel”) – are we seeing Steve almost imperceptibly morphing into an AGW believer (remember – he has always been careful not to express the opposite view)?

    I think one of the most useful things that RealClimate has is MODERATION. Moderation of climateaudit (which Steve seems to regard as censorship) would at least get rid of the irritating background of noise I indicated in my posting 215 (above). I think you should seriously consider it Steve …..

  217. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 4:47 AM | Permalink

    Steve (posting 206): You suggest that climate scientists should say “you know, you’re right. It’s important that our community and this report be perceived as being above-board and we’ll write to IPCC WG1 and urge them to release the WG1 Report on Feb 2.”.

    It seems to me that that would be an extremely stupid thing for any climate scientist to do. We have in the the preparation of the IPCC AR4 a process with which you may not agree, but which HAS been thought through by many people over some considerable time (it was not dreamed up last week) and which involves the iterative preparation of a set of documents. To extract documents from that process before they are ready would be the height of irresponsibility. It would result in flawed cross-references, errors which had only been detected at a late stage and numerous inconsistencies – but perhaps that would serve the purposes of many of you very well!

  218. Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 4:57 AM | Permalink

    So far, in your many posts, you have completely failed to answer the perfectly legitimate question of why the Summary for Policymakers should be produced before the scientific reports it supposedly summarizes are completed. You have also failed to explain why the process appears to reverse the burden of consistency between the SPM and the scientific reports.

    Do we have to wait another tedious 200+ comments before you address these questions?

  219. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 5:03 AM | Permalink

    John A (posting 218): see my posting 49.

  220. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 5:08 AM | Permalink

    Steve (posting 213): I am sure the Hockeyteam will be delighted to hear you confirm that “Statistically Mannianism is a ….. a linear combination of proxies”, fully absolving them of all earlier charges that they used the highly nonlinear process of CHERRYPICKING PROXIES in their analysis. :-)

  221. bruce
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 5:13 AM | Permalink

    Re #216, 217, 218, 219:

    Thank you for your response re RC. Can I ask you another question? Some of us think that the well documented differences between the body of the IPCC TAR and the Summary For PolicyMakers were an egregious example of IPCC politicising science. It seems that that that clearly documented experience has caused many, not just sceptics, to be very wary of IPCC 4AR. Your view on this?

  222. Hans Erren
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 5:23 AM | Permalink

    “The perpetual and tedious questions like “why don’t you ask Mann (or Jones) to provide their data?” (for God’s sake, guys – haven’t we moved on from there yet?)”

    NO we haven’t, it’s prepostorous to assume we will stop nagging authors to show their work.
    That’s the difference between science and dogma.

  223. TAC
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 5:46 AM | Permalink

    #215 Jim Barrett, I understand you feel you were subjected to

    vilification and denigration from the wolf pack

    but I hope you recognize — I know it can be hard sometimes — that this is symptomatic of a healthy scientific community rather than a diseased “cesspool”.

    I suspect we agree that, when it comes to climate science (all science, IMHO), there are always bad ideas floating around. Engaging in noisy public debate — which you have done — is how the bad ideas get excised; and we all become educated. The debate is often messy and sometimes unpleasant. Not all people are graceful or courteous in their choice of words or their willingness to learn from others. The process can be painful and frustrating to the individual.

    Yet scientific understanding, and science itself, advances precisely because of this sort of interaction. (OK: I admit it helps when participants put in time before-hand to develop a rigorous understanding of the issues and evidence).

    Which brings us back to the original point: The IPCC should release the WG1 Report to the public on Feb 2. It will be messy, of course, but I am confident that we — both the scientific community and the public — will emerge wiser and better informed if we have the chance to debate all the evidence.

    I, for one, am troubled that the IPCC seems to believe otherwise.

  224. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 5:47 AM | Permalink

    Bruce (posting 221): You suggest that “the well documented differences between the body of the IPCC TAR and the Summary For PolicyMakers were an egregious example of IPCC politicising science”.

    The fallacy in this argument seems to be that I know many scientists who contributed to the TAR and/or whose papers were referenced in the TAR and I can’t recall EVER having heard any of them complain that their work was misrepresented in the SPM.

    I also know of no climate scientists who are “very wary of IPCC AR4″.

  225. Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 5:53 AM | Permalink

    Re #219

    Your reply in #49 did not answer the question except by proposing that Steve McIntyre a) did not understand the iterative process which you then described in the most tedious terms possible and b) had written an executive summary first and then the report after (which as far as I can tell Steve has not done or condoned and is beside the point)

    You have failed to answer the questions:

    1. Why the SPM is published before the scientific review is completed
    2. Why the scientific reports are then revised to match the SPM

    And we’re still waiting for a non-BS answer.

  226. MarkW
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 7:21 AM | Permalink

    127,

    My favorite is the Mars explorer that was lost because one team was using english units, and the
    second was using metric.

  227. Stan Palmer
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

    re 226

    Your example is even better since there was no design method in place to reveal that the two design teams were using different units. I wonder how integration issues are handled in the creation of large climate models. How would they know that there are internal inconsistencies. As far as I am able to find out there is no use of design methdologies of V&V techniques.

  228. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    re: #220 Jim,

    I am sure the Hockeyteam will be delighted to hear you confirm that “Statistically Mannianism is a ….. a linear combination of proxies”, fully absolving them of all earlier charges that they used the highly nonlinear process of CHERRYPICKING PROXIES in their analysis.

    I’m glad you added a smiley after that statement. In case anyone thinks the sentence means anything, please note that selecting proxies and then combining them are two separate processes. However, I guess in the kindler, gentler CA I will assume this was an inside joke rather than an attempt to mislead.

  229. george h.
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

    There is a thoughtful short piece in the “American Thinker” today on the problem of model-dependance in Climate Science —

  230. KevinUK
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 10:57 AM | Permalink

    #182 DaleC

    May I also as fFreddy has done applaud you post.

    If #188 is true then it’s a pity that Gary Strand has decided to quit the debate on the difference between an experiment and a computer simulation as I felt he was about to have a ‘Eureka moment’ after which he could hopefully go back to his fellow climate modellers at NCAR and explain to them the difference between actual and virtual reality. I’ve given up on the possiblity of that ever happening at the UK Hadley Centre but am nonetheless pleased to see that their funding from the MOD is to be cut (albeit only a little bit) so someone in the MOD at least must appreciate the difference (between actual and virtual reality).

    This is slight off thread I know but does everyone know that according to a recent study ‘believers’ will live longer than us ‘skeptics’ (sorry for this bad news Steve M :-()? So I suppose we could now claim that global warming will be responsible for our premature deaths?

    KevinUK

  231. george h.
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 11:01 AM | Permalink

    Sorry, here’s the link:

  232. george h.
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

    Again: http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/01/why_global_warming_is_probably.html

  233. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    Steve (re John A’s posting 225): In posting 13 you asked me to “provide a reason” why I think the IPCC’s “holdback and adjustment procedure makes sense”. In posting 49 I provided a considered and civil response indicating what I thought was one possible reason – it seemed plausible to me and, as I said, it did not seem “suspicious” or “open to abuse” to me.

    John A responded (rather late in the day) with posting 218, saying that I have “completely failed to answer the perfectly legitimate question of why the Summary for Policymakers should be produced before the scientific reports it supposedly summarizes are completed”. When I directed him (again in a civil manner) to posting 49, he immediately went into vilification mode, calling my posting “tedious” and “BS”.

    If you expect this site to be a venue for serious debate where people who disagree with you may have a voice, if you want to preserve some semblance of a credibility, if you want people like Gary Strand to stay just a little bit longer, and if you don’t want climateaudit to be just a haven for sycophants, then I suggest you counsel your Site Manager, John A, on the Site Rules.

  234. Paul Penrose
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    re: 232
    That article is a little simplistic, but considering the column space available he did a good job conveying the uncertainties in the models. Here’s my take: the ouputs from the models can’t be evaluated in an absolute sense, they can only be compared with previous runs or other models (perhaps). The reason is simple: without reported error-bars it is equally possible that the results are outside the error bars as inside. There’s simply no way to know without a rigorous analysis of the model methods and code to determine the error ranges of the individual caclulations and how they propagate through to the final results.

    This is not to say that the models don’t have any uses. I’m sure they are useful to help answer very well defined and narrow questions about individual elements in the climate, but “What will the temperature be in 2100?” is not one of them.

  235. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

    Dave (posting 228): If you anyone could possibly believe that my joke was in any way “meant to mislead”, then I think they should either get a brain of take their sense of humour in for its annual service.

  236. Paul Penrose
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 4:14 PM | Permalink

    JB,
    Why should be chastise John A when he was correct? Your question was tedious and did not answer the question. In fact, you went so out of your way to not answer the question that it qualifies for the “bovine scat” label.

    Also, since you now know that Jim Barrett is a real person that writes on climate change issues, and you have admitted that you are not him, it could be considered by some to be dishonest to continue to use his name. I think that JB or Jim B would be fine, but if you continue to use Jim Barrett it will cause further confusion in the future.

  237. Paul Penrose
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

    Re 236:
    Change that first ‘be’ to ‘we’.

  238. Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 4:21 PM | Permalink

    Why is it do you think that if I ask a question that some poster cannot answer they immediately address Steve to intervene as if Steve was my parent?

    Jim Barrett:

    You have failed to answer the questions:

    1. Why the SPM is published before the scientific review is completed
    2. Why the scientific reports are then revised to match the SPM

    And we’re still waiting for a non-BS answer.

  239. Bill F
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 7:32 PM | Permalink

    Jim,

    You must have rushed your reading of Steve’s comment on the Mann process and missed this part: “The entire MBH apparatus is a Wizard of Oz method of assigning relatively high weights to bristlecones.” In case that wasn’t clear to you, it seemed to be a pretty nifty way of using a few extra words to say “cherry-picking”.

    As for John A’s questions, I think you are missing something in your answer that may explain your confusion about why some of us would still like a clear answer from you. Your post in 49 provides a wonderful description of the process of preparing a draft report and then the process of taking a draft to a final. However, it ignores the question at hand, which is why there is a 3 month delay between the release of two draft documents and why the IPCC specifically describes the process of changing the draft report to match the summary. You describe all the technical minutia of how to properly produce and edit a report with many chapters and many authors, but fail to provide your input on the central questions, which are:

    1) Why can’t the two documents be released together?

    and

    2) Why should the report be changed to match the summary?

    In 1), the key is that all of the cross-checking, referencing, i-dotting, and t-crossing could have been done alongside the production of the summary so that both could be released on the same date. Both are “draft” documents, subject to comment and ammendment, so why wait 3 months?

    In 2), the key point that your 49 does not answer is in regards to the political component of the summary versus the scientific content of the full report. If the summary is intended to provide the essence of the science in the full report, then why should the science be changed to support the summary?

    Jim, I don’t think these are difficult questions for you to understand, and they most certainly were not answered in post 49. I also don’t understand why you seem to constantly insist on asking Steve to moderate the site every time somebody asks a difficult question after you call them an idiot. There is more than enough room at CA for plenty of different points of view if you don’t walk in the door insulting the audience. Your initial postings on this and several other threads dripped with condescension and scorn for the other posters. Sometimes you get back from people treatment that reflects your treatment of them. If you want posters here to address you and your points of view respectfully, perhaps you should start by extending the same courtesy to those you disagree with, regardless of how you feel about their ideas.

  240. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Jan 29, 2007 at 7:54 PM | Permalink

    Those of you who have continued to engage Gary Strand and JB seeking further information or enlightenment are, I think, being either too optimistic or keep thinking that continued questioning is going to produce a “better” answer.

    I asked Gary about the uncertainties connected with climate modeling and got some references from him that went nowhere and without being able to elicit any direct responses from him. I strongly suspect from his responses (and his links) that he is not in a position to answer my questions or those most pressing for most posters here. He could make general observations about modeling and perhaps climate science, but I doubt that the discussion would go deeper than that.

    I do believe that for one with his POV, JB has answered the question concerning the order of Summary and Report by the IPCC 4R to the best of his abilities. He says the Summary first so that it is compatible with the cross referencing with the Main Report. To those of us who have POVs that are more questioning of the IPCC abilities to separate science from policy and advocacy, this answer sounds simplistic and perhaps even overly defensive of the IPCC strategy. On the other hand, if one concedes that the IPCC needs to have a preconceived thread running through the Main Report (as opposed to the summary) and knows that that thread is the consensus concerning AGW then I would have to agree with JB because the distinction between policy and science has already been blurred as has the Main Report and the Summary. It is almost as though we had an adversarial court case for the defense of AGW (and its dire consequences) without presenting the other side of the adversarial issue. The Summary is just making the final statement to the jury.

    I do not think JB is in a position to view the Summary and Report as one of the critical importance in separating science and policy and advocacy that others here do and, as such, I think further discussion with and questioning of him will be futile.

  241. Pat Frank
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 3:30 AM | Permalink

    The controversy sponsored here by AGW-insisters is all in the manner of diversion. You can bet the NGOs that JB and Steve B. love most are busy preparing an enormous propaganda broadside, scheduled to come out just after release of the Summary. They’re going to raise such a fuss and create so much loud accusatory who-can-deny-it-now diversion that everyone will forget about the WG1 Report, which will come out almost unnoticed except by the critics.

    By then, after all the shouting, the public mind will be set and no one will have any patience for complicated criticisms of science. Anyone making the complex criticisms required of the data in WG1 will be vilified in terms of simple alarmist ideas that are easy to make, easy to understand, and easy to transmit. By that time, critics of AGW won’t stand a chance. They will be entering a game in which the opposing team is almost home free, and the crowd is rendered partisan. They will be discredited by way of personal attacks that are likely in preparation now, and will look justified in the long-prepared context. The whole thing will be orchestrated, and the anticipatory cooperation between the IPCC stalwarts and the NGO propaganda machine is almost certainly already at work to dog-and-pony the whole show.

    The political tide will be flowing and the JBs, Borises, and Steve Bs will be there to maintain the momentum using specious public arguments in reply to any effective criticisms of WG1 science or SPM claims. One can only hope that the bowdlerization of the Summary with respect to the WG1 contents will be so egregious that even a going-with-the-flow reporter will see it when it’s exposed. Of course, the WG1 will have itself been bowdlerized and so the ends-justified adjustments in the SPM will be only that much harder to detect. It appears the NGOs and the IPCC learned the embarassing lesson from being caught manipulating the TAR Summary. They’re now manipulating the WG1 after the fact to harmonize and thus disguise the distortions.

    Poster Follow-the-money will probably have the last cynical laugh, as s/he points out where the billions are going as the carbon-trading and the cap-and-trade schemes fill non-productive pockets.

  242. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 5:34 AM | Permalink

    John A (238): Serious, intentional, nonconfrontational enquiries get a considered response. Others get a one-liner. Like this.

  243. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 5:45 AM | Permalink

    Bill F (posting 239): You ask “why should the science be changed to support the summary?”.

    Has anyone (other than a few climateaudit devotees with overdeveloped paranoia) suggested it would be? In Steve’s piece which heads this thread, I can see nothing to suggest that it would.

  244. L Nettles
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 5:54 AM | Permalink

    4. In the scheme devised by the IPCC, the SPM will be finished first and will be released first.

    Does putting an number on it make it an answer? There is no information in that statement. There is no Why answered in that statement. There is no justification in that statement. There is no answer in that answer.

  245. Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 5:59 AM | Permalink

    #242

    The science in the AR4 will be more certain than in the TAR.

    That’s great news. ‘Not only our knowledge, but our aims and our standards, grow through an unending process of trial and error.’

  246. TAC
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 6:06 AM | Permalink

    #241 One might assume that “fitting the facts to the policy” would set off alarm bells in news rooms everywhere — ever hear of WMD? Enron? Iraq? — but I have yet to see a single newspaper story on this topic. Given the clarity with which the IPCC annunciated its new policy, I expected more.

    I suspect IPCC believes it can get away with this nonsense because the Summary — I have not seen it, so this is just speculation — is so watered-down that it won’t offend anybody that matters. I would love to be wrong about this. For example, it would be enormously entertaining to see the world react to a Summary that began: “Barton was right: Global warming is biggest hoax in history. The WG1 Report explaining this conclusion will be available in May.”

    ;-)

  247. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 6:10 AM | Permalink

    L Nettles (posting 245): Why not? What is your problem? And indeed it is your problem, not mine. I and, I am sure, many people both inside and outside the IPCC, have no problem with the way it is. You are in a minority and losing the game. Again – don’t blame me.

  248. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 6:20 AM | Permalink

    TAC (posting 247): As far as I am aware “fitting the facts to the policy” is a phrase coined by Steve to head this thread. It has no basis in fact, and especially not in the IPCC quote which forms the core of his posting. It is just Steve’s spin ….. it has nothing to do with WMD, Enron or Iraq ….. nor those pesky reds under the bed ….. nor those nasty ecoterrorists ….. nor even those horrid people over at RC.

    As for “….. it would be enormously entertaining to see the world react to a Summary that began: `Barton was right: Global warming is biggest hoax in history …..'” ….. you’re living in dream world, TAC.

  249. welikerocks
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 7:49 AM | Permalink

    #250

    Ah yes the mobile fluid world of climate science. Never look back, never explain why things need to move on from results that have since been shown to be false. Onward, onward, onward.

    Aint that the truth!

    #248

    I am sure, many people both inside and outside the IPCC, have no problem with the way it is. You are in a minority and losing the game. Again – don’t blame me.

    The real question is why in the world would anyone stick up for this bureaucracy? And, I am sure “many” people equally do have a huge problem with the way it is so this statement is not fully true. Half truths are still lies.

    Besides, the people who make up the IPCC are not elected officials-so this “minority” is it really real? Sheesh.

    All this still means nothing to the science and the methods, or whether they are of high standard. They are not! There are pages and pages of evidence of this, right here on this blog. Calling it a game is correct however. Good for you!

  250. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 8:12 AM | Permalink

    #TAC, at least one of the big American reporters on this file is aware of the issue, agrees that it’s logical for the WG1 Report to be released with the SPM, but isn’t going to write on it.

    242. Jim B, the prospect of the WG1Report being edited to be consistent with the SPM is not my “spin” – it’s what IPCC policy mandates and what they plan to spend 3 months doing. I think that the system is absurd but it doesn’t make me angry. People often think that the end justifies the means. “Winning the game” is not a justification for a flawed process.
    ONe of my underlying viewpoints in considering IPCC has been that people don’t know very much about process standards for IPCC; however, people do know quite a bit about standards for mining promotions and offerings and no one has seriously argued that IPCC should adhere to lower standards than mining promoters. In this case, IPCC is doing things that mining promoters would not be allowed to do. Whether the proposed changes for “consistency” are material is a different issue. My advice is: if they are not material, then don’t make the changes. If they are material, then the WG1 Report should be sent back to the reviewers.  Probably there will be so much media enthusiasm  that no one will care, but  wrong is still wrong.

    The science in the AR4 will be more certain than in the TAR.

    That’s an interesting angle to consider the report from. I know that people are going to say that endlessly. But if you actually read between the lines, my guess is that there’s been negligible increase in certainty of the science. Roger Pielke’s view is that we are wasting money with all this research into climate science. The money should be re-deployed to techonology for abatement and reduction.

    But while there is likely to be negligible increase in the certainty of the science, it is very likely (TM-IPCC) that there will be a huge increase in the certitude of the scientists.

  251. L Nettles
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 8:30 AM | Permalink

    From JimB

    L Nettles (posting 245): Why not? What is your problem? And indeed it is your problem, not mine. I and, I am sure, many people both inside and outside the IPCC, have no problem with the way it is. You are in a minority and losing the game. Again – don’t blame me.

    Again, a response totally devoid of information and a snippy one at that.

  252. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

    re: #253

    I agree (on both of JBs posts). To summarize JB’s logic

    A We’re going to cheat.
    B You can’t stop us.
    C Therefore we’ll win.
    D Therefore go suck a dill pickle.

    Steve M’s response could be “E Therefore you’re out of here!” But I guess JB’s too entertaining to deprive ourselves of.

  253. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

    Roger Pielke’s view is that we are wasting money with all this research into climate science. The money should be re-deployed to techonology for abatement and reduction.

    I honestly did not previously take a liking to Pielke (Jr.) since his views came across as alarmist. However, after readiing some of his blog, and also his comments on here (the bicker battles with Judith Curry were entertaining), I have a lot more respect for his opinion, which is actually more in line with my own. He’s also taken a rather critical view of the state of climate science affairs as he should (in my opinion), since constantly rehashing the same argument, and the same science, looking for a “new way” seems pointless.

    Mark

  254. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 9:43 AM | Permalink

    That many inside and outside the IPCC would not have a problem with the sleight of hand act is not a surprise to me given what has been uncovered here.

    Mark

  255. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 9:53 AM | Permalink

    #242 “Jim B.”

    Now, I can understand some of you being angry. After years of denigration of earlier work by many scientists in preparing the IPCC reports, you now find that the world has moved on. The science in the AR4 will be more certain than in the TAR. Politicians, policymakers, the media and the public now accept the reality of anthropogenic global warming much more readily than they did five years ago. Even governments with the most appalling record of per-capita emissions and inaction (like Australia) are now admitting that anthropogenic climate change is happening.

    So is this what it’s all about? Winning the argument? Getting the most people to “believe” in AGW? So you can claim victory?

    But Jim, what if you’re wrong? There are so many examples in science history where scientists were unanimous about the “truth” of a theory, or about a “threat to mankind”, and where they were subsequently proven wrong. And that unanimity was only acquired by marginalizing and demonizing the opponents, just like in any political debate. Your postings here (and the very existence of this blog as well) show that science is in a large part politics. In the face of uncertainty, scientists have to resort to rhetorics to win an argument. Selective use of results, underestimation of uncertainties, etc. those are the standard tools of debating scientists. Has the work of all those sociologists, historians, and philosophers of science over the past 50 years been in vain? What about those who say that “scientific truth is socially constructed”?

    What the activist-scientists have achieved here is to make people believe that “skeptics” are a nuisance. That good science is when the most people believe in the same theory. Yet, as in a democracy, it’s the opposition that brings real progress. Governments elected with too large a majority are always seen as a bit dangerous to the true democrats.

    This blog, and all the “skeptics” comments and criticisms should be welcomed by the scientists. But that’s not what’s happening now, thanks to people like you.

    Well, so you may think you’ve won the “debate”. I personally think that if that’s the case, then it’s science that has lost. Congratulations.

  256. jae
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 12:21 PM | Permalink

    JB: I defy you to try to publish a summary in any technical forum (except IPCC), before submitting the basis for the summary. Now, please explain to us how IPCCs “unprecidented” procedure can be justified. It simply is not scientific.

  257. Pat Frank
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

    #242 — “1. The IPCC AR4 was written partly as an iterative procedure.
    “2. The SPM was considered part of that iterative procedure.”

    Item 2 does not follow. The SPM is like the abstract of a research paper (more like of a review of the literature, actually). I’ve written many such papers. The abstract is never, ever part of the iteration of the significant content of a paper, or of a review. It is the last bit written, and must always follow the content of the paper itself. The paper or review is never altered to be consistent with the abstract. The abstract is always written to be consistent with the contents of the paper. Period. If there is any disparity whatever, the abstract is altered in light of the paper and never, ever, vice versa.

    Your rationalization is so wrong it’s banal, Jim B. There is no valid excuse for the protocol employed by the IPCC w/r/t altering the WG1 Report in light of the Summary. What the IPCC is doing is exactly the same thing the Bush Administration did when they subverted the science of contraception and AIDS prevention; E.g. One may, by that precedent, justifiably observe that the IPCC is waging a war against science.

  258. MarkW
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 1:08 PM | Permalink

    There can be an iterative process with the SPM.
    In so much as the text is written, then presented to the scientists.
    The scientists respond that a particular piece of science has been mischaracterized, or there is too
    much or too little certainty expressed in a particular section, compared to the underlying science.

    The iteration is to make sure that the SPM matches the underlying science, there is not, and never should
    be any alteration of the underlying science in order to make it match the SPM.

  259. Paul Penrose
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

    The procedure used to compile, edit, and release the FAR is what it is, and if that’s the way the IPCC wants to do it, I’m actually OK with that. What I’m not OK with is calling it science. The SPM should be called something like “Summary for Policy Makers by Policy Makers”, or “Preconceived Results and Biases to be Incorporated by the Report Editors”. Then at least everybody would be clear on what it really was. All this gushing on in the press about the “most comprehensive scientific investigation in the history of mankind” stuff is making me sick, and it’s only going to get worse.

  260. george h.
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

    You are right, Paul. It just got worse: http://www.breitbart.com/news/2007/01/30/070130144355.3d4dht2o.html and http://www.breitbart.com/news/2007/01/30/070130081454.ieaxdzu8.html

  261. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

    I’ve read through postings since 249. Still the continuing spurious suggestion that there will be “….. alteration of the underlying science in order to make it match the SPM” (Mark W, 260 – why don’t you present some evidence that this is what the IPCC is actually suggesting or doing?) and the fanciful claim that a “….. paper or review is never altered to be consistent with the abstract” (Pat Frank, 259 – you seem not to understand the simple and quite innocent process of re-ordering the contents of a paper to make it more readable). Nothing new at all.

  262. Reid
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 3:34 PM | Permalink

    Jim Barrett comments: “Politicians, policymakers, the media and the public now accept the reality of anthropogenic global warming much more readily than they did five years ago.”

    You are misinformed Jim. 50% of the American public believes global warming is natural and not anthropogenic.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070129/us_nm/globalwarming_survey_dc

    The skepticism of the American public is growing. They sense a Big Government power grab and aren’t falling for it. The louder we are scolded the more we are skeptical.

    The skeptics are gaining ground. Fortunately for the world, the American public are not new age serfs who willing follow their political masters like our European comrades.

    Kudos to Steve McIntyre and all other science-based skeptics who are throwing a monkey wrench into the AGW power grab.

  263. Bill F
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 3:46 PM | Permalink

    Jim B Said:

    Has anyone (other than a few climateaudit devotees with overdeveloped paranoia) suggested it would be?

    Section 4 of the IPCC’s procedures for technical reporta acceptance say:

    Changes (other than grammatical or minor editorial changes) made after acceptance by the Working Group or the Panel shall be those necessary to ensure consistency with the Summary for Policymakers

    I don’t see ANY ambiguity in that Jim! They specifically state that changes “necessary to ensure consistency with the Summary for Policymakers” will be made AFTER acceptance of the report by the working group. That is NOT an iterative process. That is changing the scientific report to match what the policymakers want it to say. Please explain why ANY scientist should want that procedure to be followed for production of what may be the most widely read (so-called)scientific report of all time.

  264. MarkW
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

    #263,

    JB, the evidence has already been presented. IPCC itself that is what the delay in releasing the data is
    for. So that the can fix the data to make agree with the SPM.

  265. jae
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 3:51 PM | Permalink

    Hey, I just heard on the radio that Henry Waxman is raising hell about keeping the 4AR from the public. He said “I don’t want PC scienc.” (or something close to that). This is great.

  266. Pat Frank
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 4:02 PM | Permalink

    #263 — Jim Barrett wrote: “Pat Frank, 259 – you seem not to understand the simple and quite innocent process of re-ordering the contents of a paper to make it more readable.

    Got it. You don’t seem to understand the difference between writing a stylish paper and adjusting content so as to agree with externally-derived opinions.

    Scientists caught doing that in the past have been ejected from the profession. But then, you’re not a scientist, are you — at least with your attitude one hopes you’re not — and you’re apparently more interested in a moralism-driven outcome than you are in an integrity-bounded process.

  267. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 4:09 PM | Permalink

    Bill F (posting 265): You, like many others, continually (and intentionally?) miss the point. What I said, in context, was:

    “You ask `why should the science be changed to support the summary?’. Has anyone (other than a few climateaudit devotees with overdeveloped paranoia) suggested it would be? ”

    The quote from the IPCC says nothing about CHANGING THE SCIENCE.

    My own comments have related only to removing and/or addressing things like “flawed cross-references, errors which had only been detected at a late stage and ….. inconsistencies” (posting 217).

  268. george h.
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 4:17 PM | Permalink

    #267

    Waxman’s also claiming the administration has misled the public about global warming:

    WASHINGTON “¢’‚¬? The Democratic chairman of a House panel examining the government’s response to climate change said Tuesday there is evidence that senior Bush administration officials sought repeatedly “to mislead the public by injecting doubt into the science of global warming.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,248580,00.html

    — “Bush lied, planet fried.” — I can hear it now.

  269. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    Francois Ouellette (posting 257): You statement “so you may think you’ve won the `debate'” reminds me of an interesting quote and also reminds me that there may well be a few at climateaudit who never wanted to “win” in the first place. The quote was from Ross Gelbspan:

    “The goal of the disinformation campaign wasn’t to win the debate. The goal was simply to keep the debate going. When the public hears the media report that some scientists believe warming is real but others don’t, its reaction is ‘Come back and tell us when you’re really sure.’ So no political action is taken.”

  270. Jim Barrett
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

    Thank you george h (posting 270) – a most appropriate comment for my posting 271, which I was writing at the time.

  271. Bill F
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

    Jim, I think the kinds of changes you are talking about are the “other than grammatical or minor editorial changes” enclosed in parentheses in the IPCC statement. What all of us are asking about are the rest of the changes not enclosed in the parentheses that are “necessary to ensure consistency with the Summary for Policymakers”. Again, your statements about the iterative process are fine. I don’t disagree with anything you have said about how the report is initially prepared. My beef (and I think many here share it) is with the fact that they are not putting both out at the same time. If they are behind on their deadlines for finishing things…fine…delay the release of both documents until they are finished. But that is clearly not what is happening. They are clearly holding back the technical report so that they can make it consistent with the SPM…and their policy CLEARLY states that that is what they are doing. You can argue until you are blue in the face that there is nothing unusual about releasing a major scientific report this way, but the fact is that you are wrong. The procedure is HIGHLY unusual and their statements confirm the reason the release is being done in such an unusual manner.

  272. Charles B
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

    With all the moan going on in this thread at the IPCC procedures, how many of you have bothered to email the IPCC chair, or the WG1 co-chairs, and ask for clarification on what their policy means?

    It would seem the logical thing to do, to engage with the group you have a grievance with, rather than expecting Jim B to resolve all your problems. Perhaps then you’d get a sensible answer from the IPCC instead of speculating in the dark.

  273. Charles B
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 5:07 PM | Permalink

    To help you out, from the ipcc.ch web site, you can email to:

    IPCC-Sec@wmo.int
    ipcc-wg1@al.noaa.gov

  274. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

    #274. Good point. You can reach Susan Solomon, at the following address ssolomon AT al.noaa.gov . I sent the following letter:

    It is my understanding that the WG1 will not be released until May 2007. It is also my understanding that the reason for the delay is to permit changes to the WG1 Report so that it is consistent with the SPM, according to the following IPCC policy:

    “Changes (other than grammatical or minor editorial changes) made after acceptance by the Working Group or the Panel shall be those necessary to ensure consistency with the Summary for Policymakers or the Overview Chapter.”

    Regardless of whether IPCC has done this in the past, this is a highly distasteful procedure. I urge you to release the WG1 on Feb 2, 2007 concurrent with the SPM.

    Yours truly,
    Stephen McIntyre

  275. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

    #267. jae, that’s interesting about Waxman. We’ll see if it grows legs. climateaudit works in mysterious ways. A summary of my post got copied to a big reporter by a lurker. I’ll bet that’s how Waxman got the issue. It’s an uncomfortable one for him.

  276. Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    Dear jae #267, I am afraid that what Waxman really means is that every scientist who contributes to the IPCC report should expose what he exactly wrote in front of 58 angry Greenpeace activists. ;-)

  277. jae
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 5:52 PM | Permalink

    I may have misunderstood that radio report; I only heard parts of it. I can’t find any confirmation online. The online news reports indicate that he is just inquiring into Whitehouse activities that intend to inject doubt about AGW.

  278. paminator
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 7:22 PM | Permalink

    Maybe we will get an accurate summary for policymakers on Monday, Feb. 5th:

    http://www.ccnmatthews.com/news/releases/show.jsp?action=

    showRelease&searchText=false&showText=all&actionFor=632721

    VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(CCNMatthews – Jan. 29, 2007) – An independent summary of the latest United Nations report on climate change will be released Monday, February 5 in London, England by The Fraser Institute, a well-known Canadian think tank.

    The Independent Summary for Policymakers (ISPM) is a detailed and balanced overview of the 2007 UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that will be released February 2 in Paris.

    During past releases of the IPCC report, public attention focused on the accompanying IPCC Summary for Policymakers. This is a brief document produced through negotiation by government bureaucrats. It is neither written by nor reviewed by the scientific community and has been criticized for its promotional tone and failure to adequately communicate the complexity and uncertainty of the underlying science around climate change.

    By contrast, the Fraser Institute’s Independent Summary for Policymakers is prepared by qualified experts in fields related to climate science and has been reviewed by more than 50 scientists around the world. It clearly lays out the real state of current climate change knowledge as expressed in the IPCC report and provides specific citations to the chapters and sections of the IPCC report so readers can easily find what scientists have to say on the wide range of issues.

    Please join noted climate researcher Dr. Ross McKitrick as well as Andrei Illarionov, former advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, David Henderson, former head of Economics and Statistics at the OECD, David Bellamy, noted environmentalist, and several of the 10 co-authors for the global launch and presentation of the Fraser Institute’s Independent Summary for Policymakers.

    The contrasts between this summary and the official IPCC summary will, I anticipate, be striking.

  279. paminator
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 7:24 PM | Permalink

    Try that link again.

    http://www.ccnmatthews.com/news/releases/show.jsp?action=showRelease&searchText=false&showText=all&actionFor=632721

  280. welikerocks
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 7:24 PM | Permalink

    I saw the head of the EPA speaking, (who for the first time really is a scientist) deny those charges in #270 &272 about the president and this administration -on the news as well.

  281. Mark H
    Posted Jan 30, 2007 at 11:12 PM | Permalink

    IS THIS THE REASON THEY ARE HIDING THE FINAL DRAFT ?

    “A draft copy of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, obtained by The Observer, shows the frequency of devastating storms – like the ones that battered Britain last week – will increase dramatically. Sea levels will rise over the century by around half a metre; snow will disappear from all but the highest mountains; deserts will spread; oceans become acidic, leading to the destruction of coral reefs and atolls; and deadly heatwaves will become more prevalent.

    The impact will be catastrophic, forcing hundreds of millions of people to flee their devastated homelands, particularly in tropical, low-lying areas, while creating waves of immigrants whose movements will strain the economies of even the most affluent countries.

    The really chilling thing about the IPCC report is that it is the work of several thousand climate experts who have widely differing views about how greenhouse gases will have their effect. Some think they will have a major impact, others a lesser role. Each paragraph of this report was therefore argued over and scrutinised intensely. Only points that were considered indisputable survived this process. This is a very conservative document – that’s what makes it so scary,’ said one senior UK climate expert.”

    http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=56&ItemID=11928

    No wonder Dr. Landsea resigned – looks like a case of cooking the books on hurricanes (etc.) before it is published.

  282. Mark T.
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 10:40 AM | Permalink

    I saw the head of the EPA speaking, (who for the first time really is a scientist) deny those charges in #270 &272 about the president and this administration -on the news as well.

    It doesn’t matter. Politicians are jockeying for the presidency. Truth is an aside now. Whatever they think will win them the seat, is what will be pushed. The media, being sheep (regardless of political affiliation), will further their ends.

    Mark

  283. L Nettles
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

    I decided to send my own email to Ms. Solomon with a little less jargon.

    I understand that on February 2, 2007 you will release the Summary for Policy Makers for the IPCC 4 Report, but will keep Full Report hidden until May 2007. It is also my understanding that the reason for the delay is to permit changes to the Full Report, so that it is consistent with the Summary, according to the following IPCC policy:

    “Changes (other than grammatical or minor editorial changes) made after acceptance by the Working Group or the Panel shall be those necessary to ensure consistency with the Summary for Policymakers or the Overview Chapter.”

    I note that the above Policy says nothing about separate publication. I find this procedure unnerving as it inhibits proper review of the basis of the Summary and has the appearance of altering the science to fit the policy, rather than basing policy on science. I urge you to release the Summary and the Full Report simultaneously.

    Could you also provide me with an explanation of the need to divorce the Summary from the body of the Report?

  284. welikerocks
    Posted Jan 31, 2007 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

    #284 Mark T, I know. It probably doesn’t at this point. The whole story-facts to be told anyway. :)

  285. Scott Brooks
    Posted Mar 10, 2007 at 2:42 AM | Permalink

    Hello

    I have been browsing the blogs and- I’m not questioning M&M but this guy is, so I would like to know if he has any credibility on his claim or is he full of globalbaloney?

    Here’s his post:

    There’s this guy who calls himself caerbannog on the Rotten Tomatoes Post
    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/vine/showpost.php?p=9064882&postcount=4

    He claims that the Mann data was unfairly criticized. He claims to have a Masters in electrical engineering from UCSD, with an emphasis on signal-processing and stochastic (random) processes.

    Originally Posted by Drumthwacket
    Your question in answered on page 4 of Wegman’s report, under the heading Findings:

    Quote:

    In general, we found MBH98 and MBH99 to be somewhat obscure and incomplete and
    the criticisms of MM03/05a/05b to be valid and compelling. We also comment that they
    were attempting to draw attention to the discrepancies in MBH98 and MBH99, and not to
    do paleoclimatic temperature reconstruction. Normally, one would try to select a
    calibration dataset that is representative of the entire dataset. The 1902-1995 data is not
    fully appropriate for calibration and leads to a misuse in principal component analysis.
    However, the reasons for setting 1902-1995 as the calibration point presented in the
    narrative of MBH98 sounds reasonable, and the error may be easily overlooked by someone not trained in statistical methodology. We note that there is no evidence that Dr.
    Mann or any of the other authors in paleoclimatology studies have had significant interactions with mainstream statisticians.

    caerbannog

    The Bold emphasis in the quoted paragraph above is mine.

    The data centering done by MBH prior to the principal component step was admittedly *not* “mathematically” correct. But it MBH’s particular case, the error had very a minor impact on the final result. If MBH were retaining *only* the leading principal component, the error may indeed have been serious. However, MBH used the principal-component step primarily for the purposes of *data compression*. They retained enough principal components to capture most of the information in the data.

    MBH later repeated their computations with the data centered per their critics’ complaints. And as it turned out, there was almost no impact on the results, as you can see in the figure below. The original MBH98 temperature reconstruction is shown in red, and the reconstruction incorporating the suggestions made by the “hockey-stick” critics is shown in green.

    (Go to rotton tomatoes link for graph)

    Now, if MBH were claiming that the entire temperature representation was encapsulated in just the first principal component, then their centering convention would have been problematic. But that is not the case — they used the principal component method (PCM) primarily as a *data compression* step in order to reduce the computational requirements (remember that this work was done a decade ago, on computers much less powerful than the ones available today). When PCM is used for data compression, the centering becomes less critical — but for non-centered data, one must take extra care to include a sufficient number of principal components to characterize the data. MBH’s centering convention was at most a minor problem.

    I read through the Wegman report, and it appears that Dr. Wegman did not fully understand that MBH used PCM simply as a data-compression/data-reduction tool. Wegman focused only on the leading principal component (PC), when in fact MBH used more than one PC in their reconstruction, as is standard when PCM is used for data compression.

    And BTW, nothing in the Wegman report answers my question about the eigenvalue magnitudes. A hockey-stick-shaped leading principal component with a large associated eigenvalue is significant; however a hockey-stick-shaped leading principal component associated with a *small* eigenvalue is not. In order to fully assess the validity of MBH’s critics, one *must* know what those eigenvalue magnitudes are.

    Edited to add: In the Wegman report, please take a look at figure 4.3 (upper plot) and Figure 4.4. Figure 4.3 shows the leading PC of MBH’s original “hockey stick”. Figure 4.4 shows a bunch of artificial “hockey stick” principal components generated from random noise. They look pretty similar, don’t they? It looks pretty damning for MBH, doesn’t it? Hockey-sticks just like MBH’s are popping out of random noise! But how can that be? Well, perhaps you should take a look at the Y-axis scales of those plots. In Figure 4.3, you can see that MBH’s “hockey stick” ranges from about -6 to +2 units (for a total dynamic range of 8 units). However, the noise-generated “hockey-sticks” in figure 4.4 range from about -.08 units to about +0.02 units (for a total dynamic range of about 0.1 unit). The real hockey stick and the noise hockey-sticks are *not* equivalent! Not by a long shot. MBH’s hockey-stick is some 80 times greater in magnitude than are those noise-generated hockey sticks.

    For MBH’s critics to make their case, they will have to demonstrate that hockey-sticks of the same magnitude as MBH’s can be coaxed out of random noise. And they have not come even close to doing so. This scale factor difference shows how important those eigenvalue magnitudes are. Big eigenvalues mean big hockey-stick magnitudes. Small eigenvalues mean small hockey-stick magnitudes. You cannot compare MBH’s hockey stick with artificial hockey-sticks that are only one 80th as big!

    So does he have any credibility? Why are his claims so divergent from the CORRECTIONS TO THE MANN et. al. (1998) by McIntyre & McKitrick?

    I have read the: What is Hockey Stick Debate About article but I still am curious what rebutals you guys may have about Caerbannog’s speal. I’ll be waiting your responses, especially from Steve.

  286. Willis Eschenbach
    Posted Mar 10, 2007 at 3:48 AM | Permalink

    Scott, your fellow says:

    For MBH’s critics to make their case, they will have to demonstrate that hockey-sticks of the same magnitude as MBH’s can be coaxed out of random noise. And they have not come even close to doing so.

    Since Steve M. has shown this several times, it’s clear that caerbannog is not following the story.

    w.

  287. James Lane
    Posted Mar 10, 2007 at 6:54 AM | Permalink

    Scott, pretty much everything caerbannog writes is wrong. He doesn’t understand principal components analysis. This has all been done to death on this site. I suggest you read McKitrick’s paper “What the debate is all about” (“Favourite posts” left hand side-bar) then maybe search the site for “preisendorfer + components”.

    At the end of the day, it’s all about smuggling a few bristlecone pine tree-ring series into the MBH regression step.

    BTW, Steve M, if you’re reading, I recall seeing the actual eigenvalues associated with your emulation of MBH where the BCPs are relegated to PC4, but I’ve never been able to find it again. Do you have the link? I’d like to mark it becuase this issue of PC retention comes up from time to time.

    Finally, isn’t “caerbannog” a castle in Monty Python & the Holy Grail?

  288. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Mar 10, 2007 at 9:05 AM | Permalink

    #287. A couple of quick points in response to this as I’ve written extensively on the matter.

    First, the units of the MBH PC1 from the North American tree ring network are precisely similar to the units of our red noise PCs. Since the sum of squares of the left matrix from SVD add up to zero, this is not surprising. So the units of the PC1 are seemingly small, but it’s the shape that gets used. After calculation of the PC1, Mann then re-scaled the PC1 so that is 1902-1980 standard deviation was 1. He then entered this series into a regression (which I’ve shown can be construed as a Partial Lesat Squares regression) and then re-scaled this again to match NH temperature. As we pointed in our articles MM05a and expanded on in MM05c , if you take synthetic Hockey Sticks, you can generate temperature “reconstructions” with the right scale just as Mann did and with high RE statistics. So caer’s point about the scale of the PC1 is a nothing; he doesn’t understand how the Mannomatic method works.

    A point that has been under-appreciated is the pattern of verification statistics from the synthetic “reconstructions” – high RE values are frequent, but the verification r2 are negligible.

    James in MM05a, we briefly discuss the eigenvalues from the NOAMER network.

    Without the data transformation, the distinctive contribution of the bristlecones only appears in the PC4, which accounts for less than 8% of the total explained variance.

    Second, it is common ground among all parties that if you add enough PCs to include the bristlecones, you can “get” a HS. We said as much in both our 2005 GRL and EE articles. As to the argument from the Mann crowd that the erroneous method doesn’t “matter” because they can get a similar answer a different way by including more and more PCs until they get the bristlecones, Wegman’s ananalysisin his answers to Stupak can concise and insightful. Look at questions 9 and 10 especially.

    Even granting the unbiasedness of the Wahl and Ammann study in favor of his advisor’s methodology and the fact that it is not a published refereed paper, the reconstructions mentioned by Dr. Gulledge, and illustrated in his testimony, fail to account for the effects of the bristlecone/foxtail pines. Wahl and Ammann reject this criticism of MM based on the fact that if one adds enough principal components back into the proxy, one obtains the hockey stick shape again. This is precisely the point of contention. It is a point we made in our testimony and that Wahl and Ammann make as well. A cardinal rule of statistical inference is that the method of analysis must be decided before looking at the data. The rules and strategy of analysis cannot be changed in order to obtain the desired result. Such a strategy carries no statistical integrity and cannot be used as a basis for drawing sound inferential conclusions.

    The issue is also not just about getting the HS shape but the MBH warranty of statistical skill including verification r2. This was false and Mann has given no convincing explanation of the misrepresentation.

  289. Posted Mar 19, 2007 at 1:35 AM | Permalink

    I can’t help but wonder … are the Carbon Credit futures contracts available in February that settle in May? I don’t trust the people at the UN after the oil for food scandal, they come off to me as financial hucksters. If there is something in that report that might make people fearful that carbon emissions are going to be more restricted by regulations, the release of the report itself might spike the price of carbon credits on the market. This lag would allow certain individuals to buy futures contracts now that could reap a killing if the market price moves after the release of the report (or even the opposite, they can make money if the price drops, as long as they know in advance which way the market is likely to move, they can buy a contract for future delivery of carbon credits that can make them a bundle).

    So to keep in in round numbers, I buy a contract now that gets me the right to buy carbon futures in May at $1. In May the market spikes to $2 so I exercise my contract, buy the $1 credits, sell them on the market and double my money. Or I buy a contract to sell futures for $1. If they fall to $0.50 in May, I buy credits on the market and fulfill my contract to sell them to some poor sucker (whoever bought the other side of that contract) for $1, again doubling my money.

    I honestly think this is where the money is being made in this global warming stuff and is the reason for the push to get more countries signed on to Kyoto. International policy directly drives the cost of carbon credits which trade on markets. These reports directly drive that policy. I think there’s some potential for cash being made by people with an inside track on policy and information and going on past experience with people at the UN already having been caught with their hands in the cookie jar, I have no reason to trust them not to be making a fortune from climate policy and the debate when that debate might drive the carbon credit trading market.

  290. Scott Brooks
    Posted Mar 23, 2007 at 11:09 PM | Permalink

    RE: 288,289, 290

    Sorry I took so long getting back this but I went on vacation for a week then I had a lot of catching up to do. I also came across this exciting article:

    http://www.profindsearch.com/news/2005/09/01/PFS1145.htm

    Chemtrails, Global Warming and our Solar System

    Thanks for the info. It would have helped if you responded directly to Caerbannog’s post (with credentials). He will just probably roll it off his shoulders but I will post your comments on the Rotten Tomatoes site. So many people are easily fooled by the apparent rather than the inobvious. I think Einstein put it like this: “Nature guards her secretes not by her grandeur but by her subtile nature.” And I am finding that to be true more and more.

  291. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted May 23, 2007 at 4:36 AM | Permalink

    Re # 4 on unprecedented events

    The birth and growth of the Internet over a similar period was quite monumental.

    The development of the semiconductor was unprecedented.

    Advances in providing food for an increasing population were made.

    Mass immunisation and vaccination has reduced or eradicated many diseases.

    In heavy contrast with anthropogenic global warming guesses, these events were more important, more scientific, more scientifically harmonious and more life saving than are the efforts of the IPCC and followers.

    These nominated events are merely ones that happened in my lifetime. There are many more unprecedented momentuous events in history.

    You are kidding yourself with self-importance. Do stop it, it is tiresome.

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