Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Kismet



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.

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.
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

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:
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.
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

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

The Anschluss begins, eh! Austrian War on Science, the organ of them pesky Nazis get everywhere. ;-)

Cymraeg llygoden

Anonymous said...

So, anyway, where are the useful idiots and fellow travellers to discuss the Commie Invasion of Georgia, and the USSR Threat to Nuke Poland? Come out with your hands up!

llewelly said...

Is it likely that the last 10 or so years of nearly flat temperature trends is due in part to the huge increase in aerosol emissions from Asia?

bi -- International Journal of Inactivism said...

Cymraeg llygoden:

Which leads to the question: in a 3-way duel between Mackie Messer, Lucia Liljegren, and der Führer, who will win?

* * *

Malarkey Mouse (= anon 3:46am):

Someday someone will write a ballad on Malarkey Mouse, Brave Warrior Against the Phantom Soviet Empire and Wearer of the Enchanted Tinfoil Hat.

But unfortunately, Mackie Messer still wins for now. The music's just too nice.

(Sprechen Sie Freiheit?)

Anonymous said...

MarkeyMouse says: Did I imagine "the Commie Invasion of Georgia, and the USSR Threat to Nuke Poland" or did it just not transmit to the Soviet Socialist Republic of Rhonda? Back to the Coal face with you. (oops you don't have any anymore?). Well back to the Call Center then (if you're lucky).

PS See "the newly published revised Welsh language translation of Marx & Engels' Manifesto of the Communist Party" http://www.welshcommunists.org/ ROFLOL

guthrie said...

Well, anyone who identifies the current dictatorship of Russia with any form of communism is clearly living in la la land.

bi -- International Journal of Inactivism said...

Marx probably reads better anyway in the original ... German.

As does Nietzsche. Especially Nietzsche.

thingsbreak said...

The timing is precious. I also found the following recent juxtapositions particularly amusing:

* Jennifer Marohasy claiming that "Climate Skepticism [is] Now Mainstream" on the day that the decidedly non-esoteric Foreign Affairs [print edition] runs Containing Climate Change [Especially after she had been forced into the "just kidding LOL" defense after credulously reproducing some laughably wrong-headed contrarian gems].
* Anthony Watts urging his readers to hawkishly be on the lookout for any news story attributing a Portland, OR heatwave to global warming, and getting called out by a sane-though-skeptical reader for doing the converse by constantly commenting on anecdotal, localized cold weather stories as if they are meaningful.
* Volokh posting about a "disappearing civil liberties mug", causing lucia to attempt to link it to climate change and its imagined greater significance with embarrassing results.

Anonymous said...

Roger Peilke comments: "What I found most interesting in the article, aside from the denigration of people wanting to understand recent trends..."

I wonder if this falls under Roger's "denigration" umbrella:

"True to form..."

Lucia got egg all over her face on that one and was actually forced to apologize or risk losing all credibility. Interesting how she first tries to weasel out of it with some rubbish about "time stamps" -- before she realizes what a nitwit that makes her appear.

But Roger and his "honest brokers" are above the fray. yes indeed.

Anonymous said...

'RP enjoys denialability'

Sigmund Rabett was here.

:wq

Anonymous said...

Attempted Communism always morphs into Gangsterism.

Anonymous said...

where are the useful idiots and fellow travellers to discuss the Commie Invasion of Georgia, and the USSR Threat to Nuke Poland?

Undoubtedly right alongside the useful idiots and fellow travelers to discuss [and rationalize] the [disastrous] Neocon Invasion of Iraq, and the [nutty] US Threat to Nuke Iran.

A kook is a kook from any perspective.

Anonymous said...

Exactly. Hate the Free Capitalist Democracy, Love the Gangster KGB Dictatorship. There, laid bare for all to see. Thanks Comrade.

Magnus said...

...and I still try to take him serious when he shows up.... Can't take much more of his crap though...

EliRabett said...

Sigmund always was a punny bunny. . .

EliRabett said...

Yes, Cymraeg llygoden was right, one of the Australians was Austrian. . . changed it when I was reading the thing through after posting.

Anonymous said...

"Roger just tosses it out there as your average neutral observer and lets them do the cherry pick once removed."

So what you're saying is he's farming out the cherry-picking to Australian migrant workers?

Anonymous said...

CobblyWorlds here!

Bright eyed and bushy-tailed with opinions a-plenty. :)

Russia/Dobby the House Elf? Fascists, yadda yadda.

It's now got to the stage that whenever I see the name Pielke I zzzzzzzzzzz.

Hu, oh, where was I?

Oh yes! About Piel... zzzzzzzzzzzzz

Marion Delgado said...

I think Socratic Irony is when Marohasy couldn't write a REAL column because she was in the hospital because the Flavor-Aid she drinks for Climate Denialism White Nights was heavily laced with hemlock. How ironic!

Since Socratic Irony is a neologism, it can mean anything we want it to mean. Just like climate skepticism.

Marion Delgado said...

llewelly, not really - for one thing, a lot of their particulates increase albedo. For another, it's pretty much an artifact of selection. We had a record-setting El Nino in 1998, it's 10 years later, so you can pretend that globally there's been no warming, albeit, that's not quite right either. Before that it was in the last 9 years, before that the last 8, etc.

Tamino/Open Mind and RealClimate have been great on this. Repeatedly they present raw data charts and charts corrected for noise, and there is an overall trend up, almost regardless of when you look at it. The only flattening was just before the 1980s, and that probably was partly due to aerosols.

Anonymous said...

RP says: "I continue to applaud serious and rigorous efforts to compare observations with predictions, in real time, and efforts to interpret their significance."

The "real time" part is just hilarious when applied to something like climate, which is only really meaningful on a scale greater than a few decades.

Though that is not stopping some from attempting such "real time" analysis, with their "Data point of the month" interpretation clubs.

Most Junior high students would spot the problem with that pretty quickly.

These people are just clueless. It's hard to believe that anyone like that could actually have a PhD -- in anything, even basketweaving.

llewelly said...

Marion Delgado:

llewelly, not really - for one thing, a lot of their particulates increase albedo.

Increasing albedo would reflect more energy away from the Earth. I think you mean 'decrease albedo'.


Repeatedly they present raw data charts and charts corrected for noise, and there is an overall trend up, almost regardless of when you look at it.

Sorry, thanks for trying, but I phrased my question poorly. I know the apparently weak increase (I shouldn't have said 'nearly flat', since it's not) since 1998 is revealed to be stronger if one corrects for noise, but my question was not about the global warming signal - it was about the noise. Anyway, as chance would have it Joe has a post arguing that ocean-atmosphere heat exchanges are the primary cause of noise . I should guessed something along these lines was more likely than an aerosol effect, but I had forgotten the related RC post on ocean heat content revisions.

Dano said...

Adding to thingsbreak's comment above, Reason mag is having a discussion on what to do about climate change.

Can't imagine the dyspeptic reactions from about half of their subscribers...fun to picture tho.

Best,

D

Anonymous said...

"So, briefly, based on measurements since 2001, and the four statistical models described above the central tendency for projections communicated in the IPCC AR(4) falls outside the range consistent with real earth weather data. Other results might be obtained if we assume other statistical models apply."-Lucia
http://rankexploits.com/musings/2008/ipcc-central-tendency-of-2ccentury-still-rejected/

bi -- International Journal of Inactivism said...

Eli Rabett: X is wrong, and I've explained why.

Denialist goon: Well, I'll just quote X again!

* * *

Seriously, do these denialist goons really believe in their own crud?

Anonymous said...

8 years down is noise/cherry picking, 8 years up is hard fact/the end of the world/back to the stone age.

bi -- International Journal of Inactivism said...

The Alarmists Are Just As Bad... The Alarmists Are Just As Bad... The Alarmists Are Just As Bad... Om... Om... Om...