Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Eli does a Schulte


It occurred to Eli that World of Science is not a very good tool for a Schulte as it returns a date sorted list of articles and besides which, where the Rabett is sitting, he does not have access. Google Scholar, on the other hand

How are articles ranked?
Google Scholar aims to sort articles the way researchers do, weighing the full text of each article, the author, the publication in which the article appears, and how often the piece has been cited in other scholarly literature. The most relevant results will always appear on the first page.

Plus which is free and eliminates the blogospheric trash found with Google. So, the lab bunnies did a search. Specifying only things published this year, they did the Oreskes, searching on "global climate change". The first few items were:
Effects of solar UV radiation on aquatic ecosystems and interactions with climate change - all 12 versions »
DP Hader, HD Kumar, RC Smith, RC Worrest - Photochem. Photobiol. Sci, 2007 - ciesin.columbia.edu
... Increasing temperatures associated with global climate change are generally expected to decrease DOM concentrations and thus increase the penetration of UV-B ...
Cited by 125 - Related Articles - Web Search
Economy-wide Estimates of the Implications of Climate Change: Sea Level Rise - all 7 versions »
F Bosello, R Roson, RSJ Tol - Environmental and Resource Economics, 2007 - Springer Page 1. Economy-wide Estimates of the Implications of Climate Change: Sea Level Rise FRANCESCO BOSELLO 1,2 , ROBERTO ROSON 1,2,3, * ...
Cited by 15 - Related Articles - Web Search
Implications of Global Climate Change for Tourism Flows and Seasonality
B Amelung, S Nicholls, D Viner - Journal of Travel Research, 2007 - jtr.sagepub.com
... at Google Indexer on February 16, 2007 http://jtr.sagepub.com Downloaded from Page 2. Implications of Global Climate Change for Tourism Flows and Seasonality ...
Cited by 4 - Related Articles - Web Search
Awakening the Scientist Inside: Global Climate Change and the Nature of Science in an Elementary … - all 2 versions »
JJ Matkins, RL Bell - Journal of Science Teacher Education, 2007 - Springer
... c Springer 2007 Awakening the Scientist Inside: Global Climate Change and the Nature of Science in an Elementary Science Methods Course ...
Cited by 3 - Related Articles - Web Search

You can do this yourself, but the interesting things are

1. A large majority of the references dealt with the economic and biological consequences of global climate change showing the wide scientific consensus agreeing with the IPCC AR4

2. In the first 200 or so listings there were none that argued against the conclusions of the IPCC AR4.

Everybunny is welcome to repeat this exercise. Remember to use the advanced search in Google Scholar, enter the string "global climate change" in the match exact phrase box and set the limits for the year that you want.

Please send your results to Princess Denial c/o Energy and Environment.

28 comments:

Fergus said...

As soon as the dog's been out, this will be the source of the morning's entertainment, You can start a book if you like on now many references I'll have to read before finding a challenge.

Perhaps we can call this new, exciting and highly scientific methodology 'Schulting', in honour of the father; or will we be in danger of being Orested?

Fergus said...

three hundred and counting. One [#57] irrelevant; it is about museum informatics, one [#300] a plausible challenge - I'd have to read it in more detail to find out. 298 assume GCC or add evidence. Probably 90% directly discuss a negative impact of GCC.

More later, unless someone else gets in on the act.

Anonymous said...

For folks who are always claiming that "consensus is bunk", denialists sure devote a lot of time and effort to debunking it.

Anonymous said...

"The most relevant results will always appear on the first page."

Of course. It is Google, after all. We all know that Google always returns the most relevant stuff for all their searches.

The primary problem with all of these "search-based determinations of consensus" is they depend on assumptions about the search engine and also assumptions about what terms are "most relevant" (whatever that means).

I'd bet that a lot of (perhaps even most) articles that deal with global climate change do not even include those words "Global climate change"

The whole idea of determining scientific consensus from searches is just stupid.

Sparrow (in the coal mine) said...

where the Rabett is sitting, he does not have access

Learn how to VPN. It's easy!

Then again a huge plus of Google scholar is ease of public participation. So I don't know if I'm being mislead by your literary style. :-p

Anonymous said...

I'd bet that a lot of (perhaps even most) articles that deal with global climate change do not even include those words "Global climate change"

The whole idea of determining scientific consensus from searches is just stupid.


The denialist chimps are just bitter because their heroes haven't published anything. Well, outside of E&E anyways.

Best,

D

Fergus said...

surely, uncle Eli's point is that any search engine using these terms, with access to scientific literature, is going to return the same results. I decided it was trivial process once the principle has been established. Bottom line is, if there was a decent scientific piece of contradiction, it would have been disseminated post-haste by you-know-who anyway.

The best test of whether there is any challenge to the consensus is therefore to see what evidence has been provided by skeptics to date. It would flatter them to say that anything they have found or promoted is a serious contender.

Debate? right!

Anonymous said...

Just a quick note for Southern California lagomorphs and anonymice looking to rumble.

On October 8, Noami Oreskes will be giving a lecture at the Scripps Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, Ca at 6:30. The lecture is open to the public. Admission is free for Aquarium members; $8 for everyone else.

For more information (and to RSVP on-line), see http://aquarium.ucsd.edu/Calendar/?date=10/01/2007&time_period=amonth

Anonymous said...

Tit for tat compilations -- "I did a search on 'alien abduction' and X % of the articles supported the consensus" -- lends faux legitimacy to an argument that has none.

I say shut Oreskes and Schulte in a sound-proof room together and let them argue about "search-based consensus" until the aliens come home -- and leave the rest of us in peace.

John Mashey said...

It is hard to follow the discussions, because they are spread all over the place, but if you go to Deltoid, Stranger Fruit, Gristmill (Dessler's hunting the white whale), and DeSMogBLog, you can get it all in an hour or so. Especially, don't miss the parts where "Chris" orders John Lynch to be silent, and threatens lawsuits here and there, and uses good rhetoric and Latin.

But best, people should first read:
http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/09/schulte_replies_to_oreskes.php

which is a long, thoughtful dicussion that could not be fit into a 1-page Science essay.

We all know the consensus is what it is, even had Oreskes never published a thing. If the AAAS, NAS, Royal Society, AGU, IPCC, etc say something, I'm willing to believe there's a consensus.

Oreskes' piece was just a simple orthogonal check, and I actually believe that earlier on, she was looking for when the consensus started to appear, expecting the earlier papers in the 1993-2003 period to disagree more, but they already didn't.

However, I think the Google Scholar exercise is a nice one, since anyone can do it, and it can be educational.

re: Scripps talk: if you're nearby, go hear Naomi's talk. I heard an earlier version of it at Stanford in February, and she's a lively, knowledgable speaker.

EliRabett said...

John, I found the Google Scholar search very informative in how it showed that the scientific literature (and the economic and policy literature) has strongly adopted the AR4 WGI (the physical science of climate change) consensus and how all the action is in WGII (effects) and WGIII (how to deal with the effects).

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the google scholar link, that is a great tool.

Another great tool is the google news archives. You can search periodicals several decades into the past, sometimes over 100 years.

OT: Rabbett is getting kudos over at CA for drawing attention to the Detroit Lakes MN station. Congrats Eli!

Anonymous said...

Eli should certainly get more credit than Watts, who thought the temperature jump was due to the air conditioners.

I know, I know, his photos were responsible for bringing the whole thing to light -- ie, the error would never have been found without them.

Tell me another good one.

If they had listened to Watts, Hansen et al would have gone off on a "wild air conditioner chase" and might still be out there in the swamp hunting the wild AC.

It would seem that the temperature data is more important than the pictures, after all.

Hmm, what a profound thought.

Anonymous said...

= anony said: =
="I know, I know, his photos were responsible for bringing the whole thing to light -- ie, the error would never have been found without them."=

It took 7 1/2 years to find the error and it sure wasn't found by NASA.

GISTEMP data would still be in error except for surfacestations photos.

Regards,
Paul S

guthrie said...

Pardon? Which error was that then Paul?

Anonymous said...

..and how was the error found, Paul? (or is it Anthony?)

By looking at the temperature data -- not by looking at the photos.

Like I said,

"It would seem that the temperature data is more important than the pictures, after all."

Anonymous said...

Paul said "GISTEMP data would still be in error except for surfacestations photos."

...and what difference would it make to the global trend, Anthony?

Nada.

Anonymous said...

There is a group of commenters out there that spams comment threads with useless cr*p, thereby rendering the thread's content useless.

Paul S is attempting to do that here.

The topic is doing th' Google searches to find abstracts about the consensus.

Ignore the spam and stay OT, please.

Best,

D

Anonymous said...

Steve mcIntyre claims Eli said "that the microsite issues at this site “didn’t matter” because NASA/NOAA software could fix bad data. I was skeptical as to whether their software could adequately deal with microsite problems and investigated this site noticing the Y2K step here."

McIntyre is a little confused about who said what.

Here's what Eli actually said, and it is almost certainly the source of McIntyre's "light bulb" moment.

Eli:
"Still, there does appear to be a problem here, IEHO associated with an imperfect homogeneity adjustment"

And Anthony Watts was right when he said (albeit sarcastically -- and later quoted by Eli) that "hey, they can "fix" the problem with math and adjustments to the temperature record"

They [NASA] can, and they did.

I'd say McIntyre is taking a wee bit more credit than he deserves -- for a tiny error that makes no difference whatsoever in the global trend.

Anonymous said...

= anony said: =
"..and how was the error found, Paul? (or is it Anthony?)

By looking at the temperature data -- not by looking at the photos."


Well, NASA "looked" at the data for 7 1/2 years and never noticed the significant spike upwards in temperature data from 2000. Aren't they trained to spot spurious anomalies?

The photos indirectly helped to locate the error by starting an examination and discussion of the data for that particular site.

But, there are other threads for this topic so I will post there in the future.

Regards,
Paul S

Anonymous said...

Poor Tony, I mean Paul.

Why is it you guys need to toot your own horn so much?

EliRabett said...

Beats me. Never could tell one grey mouse from the other (OK, there are occasional sparky ones. . . )

Anonymous said...

"NASA "looked" at the data for 7 1/2 years and never noticed the significant spike upwards in temperature data from 2000."

Your logic is flawed.

How long do you suppose it would have taken to find that error if people (including McIntyre) had looked only at Watts' photographs?

Answer: forever.

If someone at NASA had looked more closely at the temperature data for that site, they might also have discovered their error.

That they did not in 7 1/2 years does not change that fact.

Anonymous said...

The temperature for all US surface sites used by NASA exhibited a sudden large spike on the exact same date and no one at NASA clued in? After 7 1/2 years?

The error is in considering the photos an end in themself. The photos in many cases raise more questions then they answer; that the photos of this particular site inadvertently led to the discovery of NASA's error was simply an unexpected result of inquiring minds.

Toot,
Paul S

fergus brown said...

Dear Uncle Eli, inspired in part by the google scholar search initiated by your good self, interested parties may wish to respond to what was found when the search was done;
http://fergusbrown.wordpress.com/2007/09/14/appeal-to-all-rational-intelligent-skeptics/
As you can imagine, I am waiting excitedly for the first arrivals...
[Apologies for the self-promoting element in this post].

EliRabett said...

If we are not for ourselves, who will be for us?

Anonymous said...

Paul S said: "The error is in considering the photos an end in themself."[sic]

Your logic is flawed -- again. You are batting 0 for two, Paul. Anyone can see that -- but you, apparently.

If you can't see that, I can't help you -- and I'd say no one else can either.

The photos in this case (of Detroit Lakes) -- which is what we are talking about (remember?) -- did not imply the problem or even give the slightest inclination thereof -- not even close.

In fact, the photos had led Watts off on a wild AC chase, which he apparently wanted others to join him on.

If they had, it would have been a complete waste of time.
Cheers.

John Mashey said...

But actually, a virtual article that never even makes it to the forest can make a lot of noise, even if never published.

Recall that a while back, Tim Lambert showed that the Schulte letter had a bunch of clear electronic cut-and-paste plagiarism from Monckton, error-filled info from Peiser's letter. Usually plagiarists copy good material...

Then the letter was posted on the same SPPI website with Monckton's piece, and Rob Ferguson sent out a press release via BusinessWire. Incredible.

And then, yesterday @ DeSmogBlog:

http://www.desmogblog.com/schultes-analysis-not-published-not-going-to-be
I.e., even E&E wasn't interested.

Anyway, between Stranger Fruit, deltoid, and DeMogBLog, there's a pretty good history of all this, so it need not be done here, but just in case people missed it.

In any case, I think there is use to some of these exercises, not as definitive proof, but along the same lines as doing exploratory data analysis and trying things out. Since I don't get ISI WoS, GoogleScholar is at least useful.