500,000 Hits

We’ll reach 500,000 hits tomorrow (Aug. 14, 2005) since start of this blog on February 8, 2005. Traffic in July was nearly 130,000 hits. There are obviously a lot more visitors than people who post comments. If you’re someone that does visit the site, but who doesn’t feel comfortable posting comments on technical topics, I’d welcome you using this post as a type of guest book, if you’re comfortable doing so.

Here are the top ten most read posts:

1. Some Thoughts on Disclosure and Due Diligence in Climate Science
2. Other Multiproxy Studies
3. Wahl and Amman #2
4. "We cannot make claims as to the 1990s being the warmest decade."
5. Bring the Proxies Up to Date!!
6. Blogs on Barton Letters
7. Sci-Am: Mann and the Hockey Stick
8. Climate: Geological Views #1
9. Lost Cedars #2
10. McKitrick: What the Hockey Stick Debate is About?


  1. Stephen H
    Posted Aug 13, 2005 at 11:03 AM | Permalink

    I am one of those who has been following the discussions on your site regularly ever since I first became aware of it some months ago- and in fact I did pluck up the courage to make my first posting on this site just a couple of days ago. Although I am not able to fully appreciate many of the mainly technical postings (I don’t have the maths skills), I have nonetheless been able to form a good impression of the seriousness and integrity of the way you go about your business (even after you nearly lost what little apparently remains of your credibility in some circles by the use of the term “aftermarket” — and what a tedious and pointless discussion that was! — talk about flogging a dead horse! — and oops! perhaps I shouldn’t have used the word “business” above — sorry! — they’ll be after you again!).

    I have been following the AGW debate for some time now (mainly over the internet — as it’s nigh on impossible to get a balanced view via the mainstream media), and its most depressing feature is the insistence in some quarters that can be no debate — it’s all cut and dried – done and dusted — over. Question the basic premise — that we’re all going to fry and its all our fault — and you get the same reaction as you might have got in the middle ages if you expressed doubts about the veracity of the Virgin Birth (I would like to develop this religious analogy further but can’t here as it probably needs a website of its own!).

    Anyway — I would just like to say that I appreciate having been by turns educated, baffled, entertained and, yes, sometimes annoyed by your site.

    Please keep it up – and “nil illegitimae carborundum” (and yes, I know, I was never any good at Latin, either).

  2. Posted Aug 13, 2005 at 1:26 PM | Permalink

    O.K. I’ll come out of hiding. I certainly am responsible for some of those hits. I think I’m getting addicted. I’m up to a couple times a day now. I appreciate the focus on auditing the statistical significance of the underlying data regarding global warming. I have been following this issue for a couple years now, and I have great difficulty believing that using tools that were never designed for measuring global warming, that we can know with any level of certainty that the average global temperature has increased by .6° C over the last one hundred years or that we can predict temperature changes of a few degrees centigrade over the next one hundred years with satisfactory levels of certainty.

    An interesting aside regarding Nature. I was watching a program, probably a year ago, in which the editor of Nature was discussing a trip he and his wife took to St. Petersburg, Russia. He said that after speaking to an audience there about Nature, he was asked how many articles are published in Nature that turn out to be wrong. He said he thought for a moment and responded “all of them”. He went on to explain that science is by its nature dynamic and changing, and we are constantly learning as we go.

    Your blog is an astounding example of the power of the internet. It is spectacular to watch passionately interested parties from Canada, the U.S., Germany, England, Australia, etc. discussing these important issues, as if they were just down the hall from each other. Wow!

    I have been an attorney in the U.S. for 30 years and a part-time judge the last 10. Your analogies to a prospectus are useful. I’m sure TOC understands that a prospectus is not really a dodgy “sales tool”. It is a disclosure requirement that must accompany the sales tools. Woe to the seller, his experts and his attorneys, if there is any mis-statement or hyperbole in the prospectus. They will all face lawsuits. My observation is that science can happily avoid getting involved with courts and even politics to a considerable degree, simply by consistently demanding full disclosure and robust peer review.

    Thank you for your herculean efforts in maintaining this blog!

  3. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Aug 13, 2005 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

    Stephen H said “Question the basic premise — that we’re all going to fry and its all our fault — and you get the same reaction as you might have got in the middle ages if you expressed doubts about the veracity of the Virgin Birth (I would like to develop this religious analogy further but can’t here as it probably needs a website of its own!).”

    Well, there’s a thing eh? If I had a penny for every time something along those lines (and it’s obvious lack of any data, evidence or science) has been said I’d be a very rich man… The record, sir, is rather too well scratched.

    500 000 hits. Sounds like an awful lot. I want to see the audit of the figures :). I don’t accept them – nor will I until you provide all the data you have. Why should I trust the figure?

  4. Allen Edwards
    Posted Aug 13, 2005 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    Another lurker. With my first comment, I’d like to ask a question: have you investigated the reports that Mars has also begun to experience a global warming “event”, apparently beginning about 40 years ago? It is seems to be measured by a general shrinking of the Martian ice-caps. Doesn’t this point at solar forcing as a more proximate cause of any recent warming?

  5. Greg F
    Posted Aug 13, 2005 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    Mars ice caps

    Mars Emerging from Ice Age, Data Suggest

  6. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Aug 13, 2005 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    Pluto is also warming and so is Triton, Neptune’s largest moon.

  7. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Aug 14, 2005 at 1:59 AM | Permalink

    Re #6. How long is the record of temperatures at Triton? It must be a proxy record, and one at more than 4 000 000 km away.

    This place has been set up to try and demolish the proxy climate record of out home planet (yup, it really is that constructive), indeed some here even (laughable) say you can’t take the temperature of a planet. I laugh more when you say things about distant places with such certainty, at least I do when you say it here. It must be difficult facing two ways.

  8. Douglas Hoyt
    Posted Aug 14, 2005 at 5:07 AM | Permalink

    Just do a google search on “Triton warming” or “Pluto warming” and you will have your questions answered.

  9. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Aug 14, 2005 at 5:12 AM | Permalink

    Peter, you can say what you like about me, but Doug Hoyt is an internationally respected physicist with dozens of peer-reviewed publications. Even you have probably run into the Hoyt-Schatten index. You’ve crossed the boundary of civility.

  10. L Nettles
    Posted Aug 14, 2005 at 6:22 AM | Permalink

    I been following this since the first article was published, I check the site at least once a day. As a lawyer I’m not overly awed by experts and want to see the basics done. I also believe extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. The hockey stick is a extraordinry claim and seems to lack even ordinary proof.

  11. Mike Coffin
    Posted Aug 14, 2005 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

    Another lurker. All through school, I heard over and over again that science was about repeatability. Yet, all the way to a PhD, I don’t think I ever saw anyone actually try to repeat anything. Maybe other disciplines are different from Computer Science. Anyway, I’m fascinated by the idea of actually taking scientists at their word and checking their work. I’m also fascinated by their reaction to having their work checked.

  12. Paul McGinnie
    Posted Aug 14, 2005 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

    Hi, I would like to thank you for the work that you do, which I find fascinating.
    I hope your efforts will raise the game of everyone involved in what is a very complex area of science/economics/mathematics.

    Could I make one general request – that anytime you have results, graphs etc. you include a link to the R-code (which seems to be your main tool) which generated the analysis/graphics. This would be consistent with a “full disclosure” approach, as well
    as satisfying the curiosity of those of us interested in the details, but without the time to fully pursue them.

    Once again, many thanks for all the work in producing a very informative site.

  13. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Aug 15, 2005 at 2:14 AM | Permalink

    Re #9, Steve, when you show such civility to climatologists with dozens of peer reviewed papers you comment might appear less remarkable. When in Rome.

    I am aware of Doug Hoyt’s work. What I tried to point out is that while this site is busily claiming you can’t say what happening to our home planets temperature Doug is claim you can for something 4 million km away. I find that odd, don’t you? I find the two to be contradictory, don’t you?

  14. fFreddy
    Posted Aug 15, 2005 at 4:29 AM | Permalink

    Peter, Pluto and Triton are much simpler places than Earth, so their “climates” are not so exuberantly non-linear as here. More to the point, the comment was only with reference to a couple of decades, rather than the millenium scale that the hockey team are playing with. Again, this makes it much easier.

    And, incidentally, 4 million km won’t get you a tenth of the way to Mars. Pluto and Triton are rather further away than that.

  15. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Aug 15, 2005 at 7:41 AM | Permalink

    Re #14, yep, you’re right, Triton is about 4000 million Km away, (infact closer to 4500) my error, misread the data. What is the blush icon? It IS a huge distance.

    However, if people are going to argue you can’t reliably measure our home planet’s temperature and climate no one is going to accept them then saying you can say something more meaningful about the climate of a amazingly cold moon 4000 MILLION km away! Fact is we know far, far more about Earth than Triton.

    It may have fascinating gysers though, and a pretty ‘ice’ cap.

  16. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Aug 15, 2005 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

    When in Rome.

    Is that you, Ron Burgandy?

    I laugh more when you say things about distant places with such certainty, at least I do when you say it here.

    It helps when the changes are of large magnitude and over short periods of time. Compare Triton’s estimated warming of 22 deg C over the past 15 yrs to the Earth’s relatively paltry warming over the 20th century of 0.6 deg C.

  17. Jeff Norman
    Posted Aug 15, 2005 at 11:57 PM | Permalink

    And some things (like global impacts) are easier to observe from the outside.

  18. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Aug 16, 2005 at 12:55 AM | Permalink

    Re #16. Well of course Triton has little in the way of atmosphere, and (I guess) Nepture’s off centre orbit my be bringing it close to the sun atm? Whatever, I’d like to see the data and link, and I don’t think what happens on Triton is of more thant passing relevance to here (likewise with Mars, though less so).

  19. beng
    Posted Aug 16, 2005 at 5:46 AM | Permalink

    Yet another voice of support — been following this issue for many years (I’m an old mech engineer w/a lifetime of fascination of meteorology). Patrick Michaels @ the University of VA was one of the first to notice & comment on the starting politicalization & twisting of the AGW issue way back in the mid-80’s. His university employers quietly tried to silence his criticisms even back then.

    I offer my thanks & support to M&M & others, for what it’s worth. Seems like Steve_M is prying open new cans-of-worms every day. I think John Daly is smiling….

  20. John A
    Posted Aug 16, 2005 at 6:03 AM | Permalink

    Re: #18

    Triton has warmed appreciably and it has nothing to do with Neptune’s “off centre orbit”. Pluto has warmed despite moving further away from the sun in its elliptical orbit. Mars appears to be showing signs of recent warmth with its polar ice caps showing signs of receding. The Earth is showing signs of recent warming.

    This isn’t passing relevance, its very suggestive of a common cause – and its not “greenhouse gases”.

  21. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Aug 16, 2005 at 6:27 AM | Permalink

    Re #20. Thank you John.

    It’s amazing that, on a site that spends so much time disputing temperature measurments of the Earths atmosphere, you can just come out with such statements about Triton & Pluto. Pluto is an incredibly distant place about which little is know – http://www.seds.org/nineplanets/nineplanets/pluto.html for example. Perhaps you could post a link that shows the the temperature record for Pluto and Triton? Are you making the claims you do before or after Steve has audited the records?

  22. John F
    Posted Aug 16, 2005 at 8:47 AM | Permalink

    Peter, you are a troll. I can;t believe people actually respond to you.

  23. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Aug 16, 2005 at 9:59 AM | Permalink

    re #22. Don’t be so silly John. Douglas Hoyt brought up the temperature of distant planets and moons in post #6, Gref F a similar point in post #5. My first post addressed the thread, my second Douglas’s point. I’ve then followed up with answers to other posts and more questions. If that’s trolling I’m a dutchman. I’ve still to be shown a link to anything relevant about the changes to Pluto, Triton and the rest – I’m all eyes for them. Also, note, I made a mistake in one post and admitted it. Finally note ‘John A’s’ words “This isn’t passing relevance, its very suggestive of a common cause – and its not “greenhouse gases”.” He’s suggesting something. That it’s the sun not GHG’s ‘wot done it’. You don’t think that’s worth discussing??? Very odd!

    Now, if you think people should be able to go un replied to then fair enough. I like to ask questions – as you do. You don’t like that? Take it up with the authorties 🙂 or, to repay the ‘compliment’, crawl back under a rock!

  24. fFreddy
    Posted Aug 16, 2005 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

    Peter, you are assumed to be a grown-up internet user. Like the nice man says in post #8 :

    Just do a google search on “Triton warming” or “Pluto warming” and you will have your questions answered.

    I have. It’s jolly interesting. You should try it.

  25. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Aug 16, 2005 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    Re #24. yeah, OK fair enough – but it does help discover which link someone is talking about of the many that will appear does it? But, I will do it later when I’m on broadband.

    I do still want to know if the hit counter for this place is audited.

  26. TCO
    Posted Aug 16, 2005 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

    I really hate this style of discourse:

    (1) telling people to look stuff up, without at least breifly summarizing or giving a specific source. (And you can really tell it is a put off, rather than time-savings argument when the opponent does do the work to “look stuff up” and the “looker upper dispatcher” then refuses to engage on the content.) That said, I can generally tell when someone is being “arch” (like here), versus when someone just expects a neophyte to do some basic learning before coming back to the table (as if for instance I were to debate Steve on ARIMA and he dispatched me to look at Box and Jenkins. The difference being that he would be happy to engage me after I did look at that…versus people who are just trying to vanquish or deflect opponents by sending them to the literature.
    (2) Digging into weakest points or even irrelevant points rather than the key points of an opponent’s argument
    (3) “Gotcha game” of people who used a word wrong. Note, I HAVE NO problem and encourage people to clarify terms. But the “you said something imprecise or terminologically wrong, therefore I can ignore relevant arguments from you” seems silly.

    Mostly I see this problem coming from the MBH supporters, but it also comes from the skeptics at times. Steve seems mostly free of this form of silliness, although not perfect–I can see his patience being tried at times.

  27. TCO
    Posted Aug 16, 2005 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

    The hit counter accuracy seems pretty small pennies. But if it floats your boat to do so AND you beleive that it is in error…

  28. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Aug 16, 2005 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

    Re #26 #27. You make some fair points in #26, I’m making a ‘sauce for the goose’ point re #27 – maybe mischeivous, but no more than climate audit is mischeviously digging around.

    The counter isn’t open to interrogation as those on many sites are – why not? It would, for instance, be interesting (for all of us I think) to see where hits come from.

  29. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Aug 16, 2005 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    re #28

    I’d say, assuming there’s any value in looking at the hits more closely, it’s knowing which sort of hit we’re talking about. I go to this site many times a day at present. Do each of those count as a hit or only hits from unique URLs in a given day?

    As for where they come from, that’s a bit tough, as there’s no built-in identifier in a hit. Steve or John A did do a bit of an attempt to decide what sort of person came to this site by looking at what browser was used, but that’s changed over time, if you recall the follow-up thread.

  30. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Aug 16, 2005 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    Re #16

    “Compare Triton’s estimated warming of 22 deg C over the past 15 yrs to the Earth’s relatively paltry warming over the 20th century of 0.6 deg C.”

    Well, I’ve done a search, lets see what was actually said! ( http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/19980526052143data_trunc_sys.shtml ) :

    ” Triton’s 5 percent increase on the absolute temperature scale from about -392 to -389 degrees Fahrenheit would be like the Earth experiencing a jump of some 22 degrees Fahrenheit in just nine years.” so, it’s warmed by 3 degrees NOT 22.

    From http://science.nasa.gov/current/event/mit.htm

    “Elliot and his colleagues believe that Triton’s temperature has increased because of indications that the pressure of the atmosphere has increased. Because of the unusually strong correlation between Triton’s surface ice temperature and its atmospheric pressure, Elliot said scientists can infer a temperature increase of 3 degrees Fahrenheit over nine years based on its recent increase in surface vapor pressure” Note the word ‘infer’…

    That said they also say “The moon is approaching an extreme southern summer, a season that occurs every few hundred years. During this special time, the moon’s southern hemisphere receives more direct sunlight” so some observations and an explaination – just like AGW!



    “They suspect the average surface temperature increased about 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit, or slightly less than 2 degrees Celsius.” Suspect.

    “Though Pluto was closest to the Sun in 1989, a warming trend 13 years later does not surprise David Tholen, a University of Hawaii astronomer involved in the discovery.

    “It takes time for materials to warm up and cool off, which is why the hottest part of the day on Earth is usually around 2 or 3 p.m. rather than local noon,” Tholen said. “This warming trend on Pluto could easily last for another 13 years.””

    Humm, observations and explainations. Again, I approve.

  31. fFreddy
    Posted Aug 16, 2005 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

    There you go. Ain’t auditing fun ?

  32. Posted Aug 16, 2005 at 1:21 PM | Permalink

    There are many reasons why a planetary body could be warming. It could be for the reasons advanced by the scientists involved or it could be some other reason that did not occur to them. The fact that a number of planets are warming would indicate that solar forcing is still a possible explanation.

    For the Earth, there are a number of reasons why it may be warming such as changes in solar radiation, changes in solar particle emissions, cosmic ray modulation, changes in land surface use, changes in atmospheric composition, or changes in cloud cover that could simply be a random walk. The latter idea gets support from a number of recent studies which show that the solar insolation at the Earth’s surface has increased dramatically starting around 1985 and then after 1998, it reversed its trend. The papers by Palle et al., Pinker et al., Wielicki et al., and Wild et al. show that these insolation increases are roughly ten times larger than the corresponding insolation changes attributable to greenhouse gases. It seems to me that these observations invalidate the climate models. The solar insolation increases provide a better explanation for ocean warming than do GHGs. It would also explain why you get greater temperature increases at the surface compared to the mid-troposphere, an observation the models fail to capture. The models do not include this measured forcing and no one has invalidated these diverse observations.

    An alternative theory for climate change would be one that has a very low sensitivity to radiative forcing allowing wide natural swings in cloud cover. Palle et al. show that as soon as the trend in lunar reflectance changes, the Earth’s temperature changes indicating both a fast response time to forcing and a low climate sensitivity. A low climate sensitivity would also mean that greenhouse gases are not a significant factor in climate change.


    Palle, E., P. R. Goode, P. Montanes-Rodriguez, and S.E. Koonin, 2004. Changes in Earth’s reflectance over the last two decades. Science, 304, 1299.

    Pinker, R.T., et al., 2005. Do satellites detect trends in surface solar radiation? Science, 308, 850-854.

    Wielicki, B., et al., 2005. Changes in Earth’s albedo measured by satellite. Science, 308, 825.

    Wild, W., et al., 2005. From dimming to brightening: decadal changes in solar radiation at Earth’s surface. Science, 308, 847-850.

  33. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Aug 16, 2005 at 1:29 PM | Permalink

    so, it’s warmed by 3 degrees NOT 22.

    I also attributed it over 15 yrs instead of 9…silly me. I’m not sure how they equate it to 22 deg F Earth equivalency, either, but that’s what they did.

    That sentence is also confusing because “absolute temperature” is K, and they report the units in F.

    It’s interesting how you read so critically when you are confronted with opposing information yet so accepting when the information supports your ideas.

    It’s nice to see words like “infer” and “suspect” used when there is some uncertainty involved, isn’t it?

  34. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Aug 16, 2005 at 1:47 PM | Permalink

    Re #33. Michael, I try to never use words of certainy re AGW. There is uncertainty so I think we will probably see warming in line with the predictions – themselves uncertain as you know (say 1-4C). I don’t know we will. I do, fwiw, think warming of more than 1C is most likely.

    What I don’t do is dismiss evidence of warming, the predictions of warming or dismiss AGW.

    Douglas, I’ll try to get to the Met Office library soon and check out those refs.

  35. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Aug 16, 2005 at 2:15 PM | Permalink

    I try to never use words of certainy re AGW

    I wasn’t referring to you. I was referring to many authors, researchers, politicians, etc.

  36. John A
    Posted Aug 16, 2005 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

    While Peter Hearnden tapdances around the minefield of contrary evidence and logic, I can confirm that Climate Audit has more than 500,000 hits since it started eons ago (February 2005).

    I will not reveal the source of this data, because that would be giving in to intimidation. Unless of course, a Congressional Committee writes to me asking for my resume, in which case, I’ll cave in immediately and get my friends to protest about a “witch hunt”.

  37. TCO
    Posted Aug 16, 2005 at 6:02 PM | Permalink

    From context it is clear that their usage of phrase absolute temperature, really means deltaT versus absolute. And you can just do the ratios and see if that would make sense. Use Rankine scale to make things easy if you want to stay with F size degrees. Capisce?

  38. Justin
    Posted Aug 25, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    Like many of the lurkers I do not follow the technical side of the debate. As such I have basically locked into the fact that the hockey team refuses to fully disclose their methods. As a layperson I understand that this blog is primarily to discuss abstruse techinical points, but if I do have a request it would be for more posts that break down the debate into plain english for all those office politics emails!

%d bloggers like this: