Slingo: Wing and Re-Frame

I doubt that Julia Slingo of the Met Office knows much about the Hockey Stick controversy based on actual personal knowledge of the issues. Nonetheless, she saw fit to weigh in on the controversy at the UK Parliamentary Committee hearings. A few days after the hearings, I emailed her asking her for citations/references for two highly questionable assertions that she made to the Parliamentary Committee. A couple of days ago, she replied. Instead of providing the requested citations/references, her reply – in all-too-familiar re-framing climate scientist style – failed to answer the question. Rathering than answering the question, she pontificated about irrelevant issues, pontifications that were themselves inaccurate.

Q207 at the Parliamentary Committee Hearings
On March 1, at the Parliamentary Committee hearings, MP Graham Stringer asked Slingo about Wegman’s analysis of the Mann et al “hockey stick controversy” – see here at Q207.

Q207 Graham Stringer: He basically referred to the Wegman analysis of the argument about the hockey stick between McIntyre and Mann and the reason I refer to that is because you cite all the peer review that went on into the different assessments done by the IPCC but Wegman, after ten years of argument, seemed to side with McIntyre, who was in a tiny minority on this issue, certainly in terms of the statistical mistakes that had been made in the original Mann paper. Does that not give you some cause to worry about the peer review process at that level?

Slingo replied that the controversy about the methods of Mann et al had been “fully addressed” in the peer reviewed literature and that she thought that the issues are now “largely resolved”.

Professor Slingo: Not at all, no. The controversy around the original methods of Mann /et al/ has been fully addressed in the peer reviewed literature and I think those issues are now largely resolved.

Slingo Correspondence
I was intrigued as to the basis of Slingo’s assertion that the controversy had “been fully addressed in the peer reviewed literature”. In addition, given that Wegman himself had stated that Wahl and Ammann [2007] (in the 2006 version) had “no statistical integrity”, I was also curious as to the basis for her belief that the issues were now “largely resolved”.

On March 6, 2010, I emailed Slingo at her Met Office email address as follows:

From*: Steve McIntyre
*To*: Slingo, Julia (Chief Scientist)
*Cc*: Andrew Montford ; Ross McKitrick
*Sent*: Sat Mar 06 04:42:40 2010
*Subject*: Parliamentary Hearing

Dear Dr Slingo,

In your testimony to the Parliamentary Committee the other day, you stated that the controversy around Mann’s original methods had been “fully addressed in the peer reviewed literature” and those issues are now “largely resolved”.

Q207 Graham Stringer: He basically referred to the Wegman analysis of the argument about the hockey stick between McIntyre and Mann and the reason I refer to that is because you cite all the peer review that went on into the different assessments done by the IPCC but Wegman, after ten years of argument, seemed to side with McIntyre, who was in a tiny minority on this issue, certainly in terms of the statistical mistakes that had been made in the original Mann paper. Does that not give you some cause to worry about the peer review process at that level?

Professor Slingo: Not at all, no. The controversy around the original methods of Mann /et al/ has been fully addressed in the peer reviewed literature and I think those issues are now largely resolved.

Perhaps you can provide me with references for this particular statement.

You are perhaps thinking of an article by Mann’s associates, Wahl and Ammann, but you may be unaware that Wegman stated that the analysis by Wahl and Ammann had “no statistical integrity”. Further, Gerald North was asked under oath at the House Energy and Commerce Committee whether there was any aspect of the Wegman report that he disagreed with and he replied that there were none. You may also be unaware that Mann described his long-withheld residuals to Osborn and Briffa as his “dirty laundry”, supplied to them only as “trusted colleagues”.

There are many unresolved issues in respect to the proxy reconstructions and they do not disappear merely by climate scientists asserting the same words over and over.

Thank you for your attention,

Stephen McIntyre

On March 28, 2010, Dr Slingo sent me the following reply from her U of Reading email address:

Dear Dr. McIntyre,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Parliamentary Committee enquiry. The enquiry focused on the instrumental record and the robustness of the warming signal in the 20th century. As far as I’m concerned, the instrumental record is robust, as is shown on the Met Office website where the release of data and code is documented. I’m also aware that the IPCC AR4 WG1 Report had a special section devoted to the controversy around the Mann results. Of course the proxy reconstructions have greater uncertainty than the instrumental record particularly as one goes back in time. We accept that and as the AR4 discussed do our best to quantify it.

Best wishes,

Julia Slingo

Any reasonable reader of the exchange will surely agree that Slingo’s answer is totally unresponsive to my email request. I asked for citations/references to support her assertions about proxy reconstructions to the Parliamentary Committee inquiry. She provided none.

Instead, Slingo pontificated about the robustness of CRU instrumental temperature records – a totally unrelated issue. In addition, Slingo incorrectly asserted that the Parliamentary Committee was “focused” on instrumental temperature records. The mandate of the Parliamentary Committee was CRU and the Climategate Letters- which, if anything, were more focused on proxy reconstructions than the instrumental record.

At the hearing itself, there were more questions about the instrumental record than proxy reconstructions. But proxy reconstructions were squarely within the terms of reference of the Committee. Despiter Slingo’s implication, Stringer’s Q207 about proxy reconstructions was well within the terms of reference of the Committee. Slingo’s misdirection to the instrumental record is precisely the sort of unresponsive re-framing that is all too typical of the field and hurts rather than helps her cause.

Turning back to her original answer, I presume that Slingo is unable to provide the requested citations to support her claims to the Parliamentary Committee.

One of the first lessons I learned working in a business (Noranda) many years ago was that it was OK not to know the answer to a question. What wasn’t OK was to guess. In this case, Slingo could reasonably have answered Stringer by saying that proxy reconstructions were outside her specialty, that she was unfamiliar with the details of the ensuing controversies and would revert back to the Committee. Instead, she chose to “wing” it (a la Gerald North). And now, when requested to support her testimony with references, she chose to “re-frame”.


56 Comments

  1. Dave Andrews
    Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 2:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The UK Met Office is so heavily ‘invested’ in the IPCC process that it perceives it would lose scientific credibility if it even admitted a ‘minor’ error. No chance then of it saying mea culpa to the hockey stick. (Long sigh)

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 2:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

      BTW, the Chair of the Met Office is a former Director of WWF!

      • Faustino
        Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 7:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Lindzen has documented how Green activists without relevant scientific experience (I can’t say in this case) have managed to head major scientific and related bodies in the AGW field. This is one example among many.

  2. Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 2:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Hers is the typical approach of people who feel to be in power – and who can rely on others who “enforce the power”.

    In this particular case, the main tool of power is thought to be “peer review”. Because she more or less correctly guesses that the hockey team controls (or at least controlled, until the end of 2009) the peer review in nearly all climate journals, she can say such things without actually checking it.

    Isn’t it logical that Mann et al. can “resolve” these things in peer-reviewed literature and “debunk” all critics if they control the peer-reviewed literature? I think that it’s obvious that it is how these people think. From the viewpoint of paper, it’s logical: she doesn’t have to test it. She can just rely on them.

    snip She relies on the “men with muscles” – they will surely do what they ought to do, i.e. to attack any inconvenient criticism using all tools they possess. Everyone knows, from the very beginning, who and which scientific opinions, results, and conclusions should be defended and which should be attacked.

    Except that in science, one can only efficiently question or challenge or attacks criticisms that have some fundamental flaws – a detail that eludes her (and many others). And it can never be “a priori” clear which things are right and which things are wrong.

    • MikeC
      Posted Mar 31, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

      LOL Lubos, get your head outta the gutter. You are detached from the emotions enough to be able to let Steve know that she did give him the refs he saught, just not in the form he wanted. (not important, but I don’t think her issue is power, I think her issue is more related to being a lazy bureaucrat)
      Steve: look in the section of the AR4 she described, “I’m also aware that the IPCC AR4 WG1 Report had a special section devoted to the controversy around the Mann results.” You were one of their expert reviewers, I’m sure you can locate the studies she eluded to.
      This kind of blog post just makes you appear paranoid.

      • Posted Mar 31, 2010 at 12:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Mike,

        You must be kidding. It is precisely *because* Steve is familiar with these things that he said what he said. He’s been there, done that, and got the T-shirt.

  3. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 2:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I suspect Dr Slingo was thinking about the “independent” verifications of Mann’s results, not being aware of or being unwilling to admit that the other multiproxy reconstructions are far from independent either as to personnel or proxies used. As for the issues being resolved, I guess I missed where strip-bark bristlecone pines were rehabilitated as temperature proxies. And of course, the issue of cherry-picking proxies totally flies under her radar.

  4. Wondering Aloud
    Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 2:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

    To me the best part is the claim that the instrument records are so”robust”. The released code, the climategate emails and the history of “corrections” and cherry picking of stations, all show that the instrument record is anything but robust.

    Not only a diversion but another silly statement compounding the error.

    • Tom Ganley
      Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 3:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I don’t think I’ll ever hear the word ‘robust’ again without laughing. I’ll go out on a limb here and predict that by the time this is all over, ‘robust’ will reside in the unused word bin right next to ‘groovy’.

      • Dave Andrews
        Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 3:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Yes, robust is now a so overused word that when it is uttered people automatically think it means the opposite.

  5. Phillip Bratby
    Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 2:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Her testimony at the inquiry and her response to your email reveal that she is a politician rather than a scientist.

    • Kenneth Fritsch
      Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 3:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Unfortunately, I think, too many climate scientists have spent time and effort in learning/using the tools of politicians that could have been better spent becoming proficient with the tools of statisticians. The lady has to this point said nothing.

      I have witnessed corporate cultures where the culture allowed technical people to become better at lawyering than being technical.

      • Gord Richens
        Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 3:32 PM | Permalink | Reply

        “I have witnessed corporate cultures where the culture allowed technical people to become better at lawyering than being technical.”

        My experience with various corporate cultures is that such technical people are “compelled” to become lawyers rather than “allowed”.

        The AGW controversy has sent Climatology well down this path. My suggestion is that all parties and allow themselves and each other to be corrected without penalty.

        • Gord Richens
          Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 3:58 PM | Permalink

          “My suggestion is that all parties allow themselves and each other to be corrected without penalty.”

        • Tom Ganley
          Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

          It’s too late. As Steve pointed out, it’s OK to not know, but it’s not OK to guess. If one guesses and they’re wrong, and then they try to spin or obfuscate their way out, they’ve politicized the process and it takes on a life of it’s own. Straightforward questions will receive nonsense replies until people quit asking the questions.

  6. Dany
    Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 3:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Is it still time to share Sligo’s answer with the UK Parliament enquiry ?

  7. ianl8888
    Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 4:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If Slingo’s answers above are reproduced complete, the most interesting aspect is the utter absence of any mention of the Wegman Report or Wegman himself – his name is simply airbrushed out

    This is a very persistent characteristic of the AGW defence against unpalatable reports and analyses, particularly with respect to Wegman – he simply doesn’t exist

    • geronimo
      Posted Mar 31, 2010 at 2:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

      A post in the Guardian suggested that Wegman’s analysis of the MBH1998 was tainted because he plagiarised his work and that was well known! When the history of all this is written the key moment for the downfall of the global warming community and the disgrace of climate science will be the one where the warmist community decided en masse to defend the hockeystick. Once you have defended the indefensible you are on a road to nowhere.

  8. T G Watkins
    Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 4:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I note you cc to Andrew and Ross. Do you not feel that the members of the inquiry should not also be ccd. so that they understand the slipperiness of the characters they were questioning? It will be a whitewash in any case, as will the ‘scientific’ inquiry.

    • GP
      Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 7:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I would be very surprised if the members of the enquiry team were not fully aware of all they were involved with. Except perhaps the science. But then one might consider they were not involved with that detail.

  9. Craig Loehle
    Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 5:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Someone famous once said that it is best to tell the truth because then you don’t have to remember what you told to others. The same could be said about making stuff up. There is nothing that makes an “expert” look worse than uttering nonsense or contradicting themselves.

  10. pman
    Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 5:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    At the time, I thought resolved in the literature was a reasonable summation of the scientific literature information on MBH98 and MBH99. The various flaws in the methodology have been highlighted, short centered PCA was shown to be a poor methodological choice, and subsequent studies arrive at somewhat different pictures of millennial scale climate variability. That is certainly a resolution by one definition of the word. Given that Slingo is talking about how the peer review seems to be able to correct for problems in papers that get through that seems like a fair comment made in good faith.

    But that’s just how it works. We see this in other examples of papers that have drawn criticism that have been corrected iteratively in the literature e.g. Douglass’s papers and Carter and DeFreitas’s work.

    It’s quite disingenuous of you to constantly base entire criticisms on what’s best described as selective reading. Yes, I am referring to your shameless and unapologetic quote mining of Briffa, Jones and Mann re: IPCC.

    • TAG
      Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 5:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

      It’s quite disingenuous of you to constantly base entire criticisms on what’s best described as selective reading. Yes, I am referring to your shameless and unapologetic quote mining of Briffa, Jones and Mann re: IPCC

      If I was presented this as a assignment response, it would be returned umarked with the single comment “Citations?”

    • Dave Dardinger
      Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 6:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: pman (Mar 30 17:36),

      Merely because the team has switched from a poor statistical methodology AKA the Mannomatic, to simple cherry-picking of proxies they like, this doesn’t “resolve” their errors. Their inability to face up to the poor proxies is pathetic.

      • pman
        Posted Mar 31, 2010 at 1:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Dave,

        The ‘team’ refers to a series of studies of millennial scale climate variability. Not sure how you manage to conflate Mannomatic methodology in MBH98/MBH99 with the methodologies of the other studies. It seems “they switched” to, aka independently selected, different methodologies at an early stage after MBH98/MBH99. Even shifting the ‘team’ definition to a group of scientists you’re now talking about a method used by 3 scientists vs. a bunch of different methods used by more scientists. Again, it’s conflation.

        Anyway, back to your main criticism of my point. There is either some shifting of goalposts going on here or there is some imprecise usage of terms. Not sure which. In the peer reviewed literature, which Julia Slingo referred to specifically (not blog science), it’s not clear that the fundamental usefulness of tree rings/other proxies as indicators of temperature variability has been robustly criticized. MM05 in GRL talks about Bristlecones and Foxtails, but subsequent studies have shown insensitivity to the selection of these proxies….Mann’s PNAS paper for instance.

        AFAIK, the criticisms of proxies as measures of temp. variability has been limited to blogs. I’m not pre-judging the merits of those criticisms on this blog and elsewhere based on the fact it’s work on blogs that hasn’t been peer reviewed or published in a forum conducive to legitimate, open and peer reviewed criticism. I’m saying that on the face of it, given my points above RE: Slingo’s specific remarks, and given the state of the scientific literature on proxies, that Slingo’s comments seems fair.

        If you want to play the game, and get notice that these proxies are duff, then you need to publish in a peer reviewed journal. That’s the only way that the field will get moved forward. At the moment these criticisms, whether justified or not, appear, to a young scientist and his colleagues who discuss these matters casually, to be on the fringe caked as they are in innuendo from the primary author and dross from the peanut gallery.

        • Craig Loehle
          Posted Mar 31, 2010 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

          Ok. here is a peer-reviewed critique of tree rings:
          Loehle, C. 2009. A Mathematical Analysis of the Divergence Problem in Dendroclimatology. Climatic Change 94:233-245
          In addition, in various studies claiming “insensitivity to proxy selection” they test leave-out-one-or-two when there are two or three key data sets in the mix (including upside down sediment proxies) so that it appears the result is insensitive when in fact it is completely undone by removing the 2 or 3 key series. In addition, Mann’s PC1 from 1998 or so is reused in hidden form (by calling it “a north american series for example) in several papers.

        • TomY
          Posted Mar 31, 2010 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

          pman,
          You use the words “peer reviewed” so many times in your post that it begins to sound like some sort of shamanic talisman intended to ward off a demon spirit.

          Surely you cannot be so insulated from this controversy that you do not know that a major, perhaps central point of the Climategate email scandal is that the AGW scientists controlled, and were misusing, the peer review process. “We will keep (the paper) out even if we have to redefine what peer reviewed means!”

          Recall also that the peer review process is a fairly new idea and one that repelled some scientists when it was introduced. Einstein for one, never published a peer reviewed paper (0 out of 300) and was revolted by the whole system. The point is that it need not be conceded that the peer review process is somehow necessarily wholesome or ideal.

          In short, a sound argument can be made that politically influenced AGW scientists have gone far towards creating a Catch 22: We won’t recognize your work as legitimate unless it’s peer reviewed, and because we control the peer review process we have no intention of accepting your work in a peer reviewed journal. Therefore we are not obliged to pay attention to anything you say. If I may say so, your post has a bit of this flavor.

        • Dave Dardinger
          Posted Mar 31, 2010 at 7:02 PM | Permalink

          Re: pman (Mar 31 13:40),

          Craig makes some good points, but let’s make it even easier. Imagine a barrel with 1000 balls in it. 990 are white and 10 are red. Now we have 2 situations

          1. You pull out the red balls by observation and then spray paint each ball in both batches and then number all 1000, marking down on a paper the numbers of the ten red balls before mixing them back into the main batch. Now your side-kick, who claims to be a seer comes into the tent with the barrel and you slip him the piece of paper as others are watching people pay $10 dollars to pick 10 balls at random with the offer of paying $100 per red ball selected. Each ball selected has a scraping made to determine what the underlying color is. Your buddy, after having memorized the numbers to look for now goes and after stirring them up with his hands, he picks ten and lo and behold there 4 red ones among them.

          2. Same thing except that the balls are painted without the red ones being pre-selected. Result: one person gets very lucky and gets two red ones and 8 others get one each, so there is a fair game for everyone.

          Now MBH98-99 is you and the rest of the team are your buddies. Surprise, surprise, they pick a high % of the known “temperature sensitive” proxies. Result, the “independent” studies aren’t independent at all and all that can be learned is that scientists can cheat just like other people.

  11. OYD
    Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 5:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Of course the report is out as per the Irish Times and bingo all of you who did bet on a whitewash have won the day. The only problem is that in time they would all come to accept that the world was not flat and that the “deniers” were right. The link to the report is http://www.wuwt.com

    • Faustino
      Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 7:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Link didn’t work – “Sorry, there are no results for your search. Search again:”

      • Faustino
        Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 7:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

        The link on the committee’s page didn’t work either. The report is supposed to be available at 11 am GMT today (31 March).

  12. Argonaut
    Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 5:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Don’t like smoke screens. You asked “Perhaps you can provide me with references for this particular statement.” She answered “I’m also aware that the IPCC AR4 WG1 Report had a special section devoted to the controversy around the Mann results.”

    That sounds like a reference to me. The reference may be total garbage. It may not be what you wanted. If it is say so, don’t ignore it. Also, yes she did not provide “citations”, but then again you did not ask for them. You asked for a reference to a statement. Communication is a two way street don’t always assume the worst. Respond with clarifying questions before you publically skewer someone.

    Frankly, I like the science on this site and the fact you actually allow dissenting opinions to be stated here. However, this particular post resembles the machinations “the Team” use to try to descredit you.

    You should apologize and either ask clarifying questions or correct her on her use of the IPCC report as “peer reviewed” literature.

    Keep the high ground.

    • Invest In Lead
      Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 11:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Tolerance for this type of misdirection because the asker didn’t “Phrase the question in an irrefutably pointed and legitimate way” is complete BS.

      It is obvious this is a form letter designed to mis-direct. The goal is to make you run down the rabbit-hole after their bogus deflection and leave them to their misdeeds.

      Frankly, comparing Mr. McIntyre to these pseudo-scientists is a complete mischaracterisation of what has been going on for Years.

      They don’t answer the questions because they don’t have legitimate answers.
      Any answers they do provide make no sense, because they are baseless repeated elements of propoganda.
      They push for you to follow “rules” “appropriate conduct” “decorum” and all sorts of noble directives representative of earnest logical discourse, but they fail to even remotely address that pursuit of truth on their end.
      snip

      • Argonaut
        Posted Mar 31, 2010 at 3:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

        When the claim is made they did not provide “citations” when you did not ask for them is BS. A citation is a very specific thing. When I think of a citation I think of all the info in a footnote.

        Claiming two wrongs make a right like you do is also BS.

        But, you prove my point, because you are able to articulate why the answer was bogus. Steve probably knows more about what she sited then the authors of it do. Yet he choose to completely ignore it. You don’t “win” arguments by claiming someone did not answer a question you did not ask or by ignoring the most relevant part of the response. “It is obvious this is a form letter designed to mis-direct.” Great so she misdirected by talking about instrumental records and included one BS reference. So Steve misdirects by claiming she did not provide “citations” or references, then misdirects by claiming that she did not respond. “I asked for citations/references … She provided none.” Excuse me for having some sense of intellectual honesty. But, to state she provided none is false. It may not be what he wanted, it may be BS. If so state so. Don’t claim black is white.
        Out of a six sentence response only one question was relevant to what Steve was trying to get to. In his lengthy reply he totally ignores that one sentence. So whom is misdirecting whom?

        By all means call a spade a spade, you don’t have to be nice as long as your are always honest.

        By the way rereading the response there is another thing that is irrating. “Any reasonable reader…” any one who has taken pysch101 can understand the implications of someone placing this at the beginning of a commentary. So apparently I am not “reasonable” because I disagree. I thought we left the name calling to “the team” and the realclimate website.
        I appreciate the BS that Steve has been put through by these “scientists”, however I am attempting to offer constructive critism. Because, if this wording turns off someone like me who does not buy into the AGW theory. What does it do to those who are undecided?

  13. al
    Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 5:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I had an isssue when Julia Slingo gave a report on the estimate of the effect of urban heat island effect made by the CRU as 0.02 degrees centigrade per century. I would be interested to see her references for this, as the best results I can find from from CRU research, vary between 0.05 (which is thought to be conservative) and 0.3 degrees C per century.

    Uncertainty estimates in regional and global observed temperature changes: a new dataset from 1850, P. Brohan, J. J. Kennedy, I. Harris, S. F. B. Tett & P. D. Jones Accepted version: December 19th 2005 (Hadcrut3_accepted.pdf from the MET office website) gives the following information:

    “Since then, research has been published suggesting both that the urbanisation effect is too small to detect [Parker, 2004, Peterson, 2004], and that the effect is as large as  0.3C/century [Kalnay & Cai, 2003, Zhou et al., 2004].”

    “so in this analysis the same value for urbanisation uncertainty is used as in the previous analysis [Folland et al., 2001]; that is, a 1 sigma value of 0.0055C/decade, starting in 1900. Recent research suggests that this value is reasonable, or possibly a little conservative [Parker, 2004,Peterson, 2004, Peterson & Owen, 2005].”

  14. philh
    Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 5:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I have practiced law for many years and have been a judge for almost twenty. Probably the first thing I learned in practice was to tell a client or another attorney, when asked something to which I did not have the answer: “I don’t know the answer to that, but I will find out and get back to you.” Apparently, these scientists have never been put to the test. One wonders about how they are educated.

  15. Brazil Tony
    Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 6:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I can think of two references, both peer reviewed articles not involving the ‘team’ which assessed the relevance of the M&M analysis of MBH. They were Huybers and Zorita and Von Storch in GRL.

    • Dave Dardinger
      Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 6:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Brazil Tony (Mar 30 18:04),

      And have you looked at the analysis of those two papers on this site? Are you willing to defend those two papers here?

      • Brazil Tony
        Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 6:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

        The question is whether there are references.

        • Dave Dardinger
          Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 7:43 PM | Permalink

          Re: Brazil Tony (Mar 30 18:39),

          No, the question is what references Dr. Slingo was thinking of. The fact is that every possible reference which would fit her statement has been examined here and found wanting. Sure she is probably just not aware of what goes on here, but to claim the problems are “largely resolved” is not correct. Anyone who is willing to come here, take her position, and then actually look at the facts, is going to be in for a rude awakening.

        • Brazil Tony
          Posted Apr 1, 2010 at 5:19 PM | Permalink

          Other references: Bürger and Cubasch. PD (Phil) Jones, Science 24 April 1998

        • Dave Dardinger
          Posted Apr 1, 2010 at 6:21 PM | Permalink

          Re: Brazil Tony (Apr 1 17:19),

          I repeat, have you looked at the analysis of these two papers on this site? EVERY multi-proxy paper has been discussed here. You have to come up with something you believe is wrong with Steve’s analysis (whether from the paper in question or elsewhere) before there can be a discussion. I’m not going to set up strawmen and knock them down here. I’ll carefully consider an actual argument against Steve’s positions, but only if you clearly state (or quote) what is supposed to be wrong and then agree to support such a position here. Note, I’m not asking you to work from first principles, merely to make a specific claim which can be supported (by you) and also argued against (by me [and others] here).

        • Brazil Tony
          Posted Apr 1, 2010 at 7:47 PM | Permalink

          There is no analysis of PD Jones 1998 on this site and the analysis of Burger and Cubasch is treated favorably here. These publications are independent looks at MBH that are part of the literature.

          Steve: Nope, there are numerous posts on Jones et al 1998 and the other multiproxy studies on this site.

        • Brazil Tony
          Posted Apr 5, 2010 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

          The Jones I mean is different, its a commentary on problems or limitations with MBH (see PD Jones, Science 24 April 1998).

  16. Feedback
    Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 6:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    A few options if you have painted yourself into a corner:

    1) Keep on painting (Mann, Briffa, IPCC)
    2) Die, be resurrected, and fly out (Wahl and Amman)
    3) Shoot yourself out (Schmidt, Benestad, et al)
    4) Hope for it go unnoticed, meanwhile praise the wallpaper (Slingo)
    5) Admit it (???????)

  17. Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 6:55 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The Parlimentary inquiry on CRU has issued a summary of its report, due today (31 Mar). They seem to have gotten the message about open code and data for all of climate science. The Guardian adds that they are saying Muir Russell should operate in public. The rest some may find a trifle lacking, perhaps even annoying. But I think we should keep our eye on the ball. Open data and code will change everything. Let’s hold the world to it.

  18. suricat
    Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 7:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It’s times like this that make feel sad to say that I’m British Steve. ‘Spin’ was fostered under Tony Blair’s watch and it seems to have pervaded into most other descriptions of work discipline as an acceptable practise here in the UK. Despicable!

    Best regards, suricat.

  19. Faustino
    Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 7:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The Times reports today on the outcome of the House of commons CRU inquiry at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7081921.ece
    “The climate scientist at the centre of the row over stolen e-mails has no case to answer and should be reinstated, a crossparty group of MPs says.
    Phil Jones, of the University of East Anglia, was acting “in line with common practice in the climate science community” when he refused to share his raw data and computer codes with critics.
    The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee said that the focus on Professor Jones, director of the university’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), had been “largely misplaced”. It said that there were innocent explanations for his use of the word “trick” and the phrase “hide the decline” in e-mails concerning global temperatures. …
    The committee said that the blame for the mishandling of requests under the Freedom of Information Act lay with the university, which had “found ways to support the culture at CRU of resisting disclosure of information to climate change sceptics”. The report said it was “regrettable” that the university had failed to understand the damage that would be done to the reputation of climate science by rejecting requests for data. The MPs called on scientists to “become more transparent by publishing raw data and detailed methodologies”. They recommended that the Government review the rules on the accessibility of data.
    Phil Willis, the committee’s Liberal Democrat chairman, told The Times: “There is no reason why Professor Jones should not resume his post. He was certainly not co-operative with those seeking to get data, but that was true of all the climate scientists.”
    Mr Willis said that the inquiry had failed to establish whether Professor Jones had deleted information to prevent requests to publish it. In one of the e-mails he asked a colleague to delete correspondence relating to evidence submitted to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

  20. JCM
    Posted Mar 30, 2010 at 8:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Why is anyone surpised by Ms Sligo ? You don’t get to be the chief forecaster without learning the required skills of obfuscation, dodging the issue and speaking the the language as taught in the 6 week ‘Yes, Minister’ course required before promotion.

  21. Martin Ackroyd
    Posted Mar 31, 2010 at 1:22 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Julia Slingo’s statement to the inquiry nor her response to Steve’s question should have come as no surprise. She is the chief scientist of the Met Office, whose budget is around £170M a year.

    Only half of that goes on the Met Office’s traditional job of weather forecasting. The other half goes on generating climate change propaganda.

    Its senior staff, having hitched their career advancement to the propaganda-generating engine, are hardly likely to turn around and concur that AGW is, at best, a speculative theory.

  22. geronimo
    Posted Mar 31, 2010 at 2:29 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Given her answer to your question it looks to me as though she perjured herself to the committee.

  23. Jean Demesure
    Posted Mar 31, 2010 at 6:29 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I agree that Slingo’s response has been totally… unresponsive. In any private business, such useless dealing would be inimaginable.

  24. Aylamp
    Posted Mar 31, 2010 at 7:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve,
    Your mail to Ms Slingo was too long. You should have ended it after “references for this particular statement”

  25. Dominic
    Posted Mar 31, 2010 at 10:23 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Her reply is pure doublespeak. She should have admitted that she misspoke and left it at that. This is the problem with AGW science. It is not scientific. It refuses to admit a mistake when all the world can see it. Slingo has become a spinner, a propagandist in the face of any challenge. I despair.

  26. ZT
    Posted Mar 31, 2010 at 10:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Well either Julia does not know the facts, and cannot reply directly to simple questions from a fellow researcher, or she is deliberately trying to obscure the issue. Neither possibility is encouraging.

    Julia also commented about the climate model computer codes being tested twice a day by the met-forecasts – I doubt that this unconvincing sound bite will be repeated endlessly by the bbc until the British people hand over the Greengeld.

  27. Ausie Dan
    Posted Mar 31, 2010 at 9:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Stsve, May I suggest a follow email, thanking Sligo for her relpy and for the information that she provided, BUT then say, what I am really looking for is support for your statement to the committee that …….

    And then go on to repeat your question.

    At the very least that may make her more careful to ensure that her statements are based on facts in future, which should crap her style somewhat.

    At best, she may actually start answering your question, which will lead her into very dangerous waters.

    Dont’ let her get away with it so easily.

3 Trackbacks

  1. By Traduire RSS on Mar 30, 2010 at 7:56 PM

    [...] (6)  Slingo: aile et recadrer [...]

  2. By TraVotez on Mar 31, 2010 at 8:24 AM

    [...] (31)  Slingo: ala y re-frame [...]

  3. [...] Parliamentary Committee, in which she said (Parliamentary Committee Evidence; see discussion at CA here ): The controversy around the original methods of Mann et al has been fully addressed in the peer [...]

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