Eli is more of the dyspeptic sort than the type of bunny who believes that fortunate circumstance leads to happy endings. After getting up at 6 yesterday morning, falling into bed at 9 PM, and waking at 3, well here he is eating cherries and typing (Ms. Rabett says that Eli has a cherry jones) when he wanders over to more Grumbine science and comes across an article on Cherry Picking
Unfortunately I'm not talking about getting hold of a nice batch of fresh fruit. Instead, it's a particularly common dishonest tactic. It's also one that is flagrantly against the principles of doing science.Been there, read that, but anyhow Ethon suggested we next visit our old friend in Boulder, who is up to the challenge and we were not disappointed, on the very same day, our Roger Pielke starts out with
What it consists of is making a statement that is true only about a specific especially well-chosen circumstance, and then pretending that you've made a general statement about the system at hand. This is offensive to me as a scientist because in science we're trying to understand the system -- all of it. The cherry pickers abandon honesty for word games. . . . . .
Since 1998, though, there's been an industry that is careful to not use all the data they could. Indeed they're aggressive about ignoring data. You don't need to be a specialist to know that this doesn't square with honest understanding of a complex system. People who are seriously trying to understand climate are continually complaining about wanting more data. Throwing away good data is inconceivable to them. But in that industry, they're not concerned with honest understanding. They wish to arrive at a conclusion and if they pick the right starting year (1998) and data set (CRU rather than GISS, for instance), then they can get the answer (a cooling 'trend') that they want.
This is almost as good as a bowl of cherries. RP enjoys denialability as much as the next ten bloggers. His go to quote comes from the Australian, an Inhofian rag if there every was one. You know and Eli knows and all the bunnies know which side the Australian is. Tim Lambert is up to XVII in his Australian War on Science series. Roger just tosses it out there as your average neutral observer and lets them do the cherry pick once removed.
As we’ve documented here on many occasions, some climate scientists like assert that recent observations of weather and short-term climate are “consistent with” predictions from climate models (see also this essay).A lot of attention has been paid to recent global average temperature trends, because they have not shown an increase since 1998, 2000, or 2001 (to pick three years often cited in such discussions). An Australian newspaper recently commented on this:
A careful analysis of global temperature graphs from each of the measurement agencies confirm that - despite variations between them - there has not been any notable warming since 2000. Depending on which graphs you use, global temperatures since 2000 have been more or less flat. Some, such as the GISS data, show a modest rise, while others show negligible movement and even a small fall in recent years.and then, the defense of cherries act by Roger
What I found most interesting in the article, aside from the denigration of people wanting to understand recent trends, was an assertion by Monash University’s Amanda Lynch (climate scientist and former faculty colleague from here at Colorado) who stated that it might be 40 years (!) of no warming/cooling before observations would be inconsistent with predictions:With the obligatory out for the later defensive whine
Meantime, I continue to applaud serious and rigorous efforts to compare observations with predictions, in real time, and efforts to interpret their significance. The best example of such an effort continues to be the solid (but apparently reckless;-) work by Lucia Liljegren.A work of art. If someone objects to Australian class cherry picks, RP can say, well I meant "serious and rigorous", AND he does a backwards somersault on Lucia with the parentheses and smiley.
No cherry juice on our Mackie Messer