Friday, December 23, 2011

Mosher's Gambit


Everybunny is familiar with the usual run of ideas

  1. First they ignore you.
  2. Then they ridicule you.
  3. And then they attack you and want to burn you.
  4. And then they build monuments to you
Having passed through stage 3 with Phil Jones, the ignorati are consumed with how not to get to 4, thus the Mosher gambit,
CRU data was requested by McIntyre for one purpose and one purpose only. To ascertain whether there was any "value added" by CRU as they had repeated and claimed. The purpose was not to create an "independent" assessment, although many of us have done that. In short we found what we expected to find: nothing, no substantive value added by their processing.

Of course some idiots expected that CRU had somehow cooked the data. This was never McIntyre's supposition. This was never my supposition. Quite the opposite. We expected that CRU was overselling they "value" that they added to the data, featherbedding if you like.
The tactic being to bury such silly claims in a large pile of offal so that others simply pass over the new insertion, rinse, repeat and as we all know, say it once and it is a habit, twice a revered tradition. But this is Rabett Run and the Rabetts RTFR.

In short this is arrant nonsense. Jones was the first to build a reliable global temperature record. The CRU, GISS and NOAA surface temperature records provide(d) reliable regional as well as global patterns of surface temperature change. Each of these (and the BEST and the RSS and UAH records as soon as they release their software to the public) have different advantages and disadvantages which are and have been discussed in the literature, and, sad to say distorted on several blogs with with Mosher is associated.

Now Eli could go on about the value of the CRU surface temperature record, but the Oxburgh committee summed it up
In the latter part of the 20th century CRU pioneered the methods for taking into account a wide range of local influences that can make instrumental records from different locations hard to compare. These methods were very labour intensive and were somewhat subjective. Much of this work was supported by the US Department of Energy and was published with the details of station corrections several times a year. Since the 1980s the Unit has done no more of this work and have concentrated on the merging and interpretation of data series corrected by others. There have been various analyses of similar publicly available data sets by different international groups. Although there are some differences in fine detail that reflect the differences in the analytical methods used, the results are very similar.

The Unit has devoted a great deal of effort to understanding how instrumental observations are best combined to derive the surface temperature on a variety of time and space scales. It has become apparent from a number of studies that there is elevation of the surface temperature in and around large cities and work is continuing to understand this fully.

Like the work on tree rings this work is strongly dependent on statistical analysis and our comments are essentially the same. Although there are certainly different ways of handling the data, some of which might be superior, as far as we can judge the methods which CRU has employed are fair and satisfactory. Particular attention was given to records that seemed anomalous and to establishing whether the anomaly was an artefact or the result of some natural process. There was also the challenge of dealing with gaps in otherwise high quality data series. In detailed discussion with the researchers we found them to be objective and dispassionate in their view of the data and their results, and there was no hint of tailoring results to a particular agenda. Their sole aim was to establish as robust a record of temperatures in recent centuries as possible. All of the published work was accompanied by detailed descriptions of uncertainties and accompanied by appropriate caveats. The same was true in face to face discussions.

We believe that CRU did a public service of great value by carrying out much time-consuming meticulous work on temperature records at a time when it was unfashionable and attracted the interest of a rather small section of the scientific community. CRU has been among the leaders in international efforts to determining the overall uncertainty in the derived temperature records and where work is best focussed to improve them.

The Unit has demonstrated that at a global and hemispheric scale temperature results are surprisingly insensitive to adjustments made to the data and the number of series included.
Whatever

40 comments:

Arthur said...

I ran across a page with an actual bio of Mosher here: http://biggovernment.com/author/smosher/ - strong science background with that "grad studies in literature" bit I'm sure. Well maybe not news to anyone else, but I've been wondering where he comes from, who pays his salary, how does he have so much free time for the nonsense he comes up with. It must take some effort and planning to rewrite history as carefully as he does.

David B. Benson said...

But also season's greetings & a joyeux Saturnalia to all.

JCH said...

I accept that each temp series is useful, but it seems to me there has to be a reckoning in the near future.

jyyh said...

It's the happy thoughts time of the year, so are you proposing a fund for a statue of Phil Jones?
Merry Christmas and all that.

EliRabett said...

A Phil Jones monument fund might be amusing:)

carrot eater said...

"Of course some idiots expected that CRU had somehow cooked the data."

Those idiots seem to make up a good proportion of authors and readers of WUWT.

Hank Roberts said...

> cooked the data

That's logic, innit?
They take raw data, and
they do something, and
after that it's not raw, so
logically, it must be cooked.

b5230294-91bd-11e0-a606-000bcdcb5194 said...

When it became popularly known that Hansen was performing midnight adjustments to the GISS dataset, all datasets became suspect.

dhogaza said...

That link to Mosher's blog is revealing. He apparently believes that so-called Obamacare will not allow people to keep their own health insurance or their own doctor. This level of detachment from reality isn't terribly surprising ... nor are his extreme right-wing political views.

Anonymous said...

So, Steven Mosher is the judge of "value added"?

Now, that is funny.

Particuarly humorous is his use of "us" in "The purpose was not to create an "independent" assessment, although many of us have done that."

Perhaps he left out the hyphen in ass-essment?

And shouldn't an English major who has done "grad studies in literature" really know the difference between "there" and "their"?
"Why do I want the CRU data? Simple

1. To see if there work is reproduceable" -- Moshpit


Mosher seems to be suffering from a particulalry virulent (and probably terminal) case of Dunning-Kruger disease.


~@:>

Andyj said...

Jones is a shame to science. He should be mounted next to his office bin on fire. His epitaph should have the statistical calculation that produces the hockey stick graph with whatever data set you through into it.

"Climategate 'hide the decline' explained by Berkeley professor Richard A. Muller". An AGW believer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BQpciw8suk

Anonymous said...


When it became popularly known that Hansen was performing midnight adjustments to the GISS dataset, all datasets became suspect.


Translation from denier-speak to English:

"I don't have the technical skills to perform even the most rudimentary analysis of the wealth of freely-available raw temperature data, so I'll instead I'll accuse James Hansen of data manipulation in the hopes that people overlook my abject incompetence."

--caerbannog the anonybunny

ligne said...

"When it became popularly known that Hansen was performing midnight adjustments to the GISS dataset, all datasets became suspect."

awww, that's cute: UUID read something about GISS now using nightlight corrections, and concluded it's because Hansen was doing all his work after hours.

Anonymous said...

Andyj

Dr Muller was an official "sceptic" when that video was made.

He subsequently praised the work of GISS and CRU in Congressional teatimory, when his BEST results did not contradict the record.

Muller's interpretation of the hacked e-mails, indeed his whole "skeptical" stance, has been challenged and debunked more than once.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Muller-Misinformation-1-confusing-Mikes-trick-with-hide-the-decline.html
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Muller-Misinformation-2-on-leaked-tree-ring-data.html
http://www.skepticalscience.com/Muller-Misinformation-3-Al-Gore-polar-bears.html
http://www.skepticalscience.com/muller-misinformation-4-time-to-act.html
http://www.skepticalscience.com/More-Muller-Misinformation.html

Muller's position on the spectrum from the IPCC consensus to complete denial is presently unknown.

Toby

dhogaza said...

Andyj:

"Jones is a shame to science. He should be mounted next to his office bin on fire. His epitaph should have the statistical calculation that produces the hockey stick graph with whatever data set you through into it."

Since Andyj doesn't even realize that "Jones" is not "Michael Mann", I guess he can be forgiven for further exposing his ignorance in the second sentence of his post ...

Andyj said...

Mann provided the (irrelevant) "data". The CRU which is jones' domain in the UK had a hapless programmer produce the "program" form the "data".

Is that clear enough for you?

Alex said...

Andyj

Actually it's still not clear at all. What the flying duck are you talking about? Which hapless programmer are you referring to? What program did he create? What data does that program use? What was the data that Mann provided? Why do you believe this to be the work of Satan?

Also Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all

Andyj said...

Hi Alex,
Why is it when those who are supposed to have the answers always ask zillions of nugatory questions just to niggle at the person who is causing this discomfort. Sooo Fabian!

Have you never read all the previous climategate emails? I've been looking for the young lad who done a youtube video on the hockey stick calc.

Andyj said...

"When it became popularly known that Hansen was performing midnight adjustments to the GISS dataset, all datasets became suspect."

Seen Hansens bio? everything he surmised in his career has turned into tatters when the empirical proof came through. Why should anything he does now come out different?

Alex said...

Except for my remark about Satan (which I'll admit is uncalled for), the other questions are quite reasonable. I'm serious about not knowing what your specific accusations are. You also use interesting terminology. I've never heard of the term "Fabian" before I saw right-wing extremists using it as an insult on the internet.

Leaving that suspicion aside, I don't think it's unreasonable to ask for clarification. So let me ask you again: what data did Mann provide to Jones? What is the program you're talking about? What is the data you're talking about?

Andyj said...

Fabians or "progressives". I'm not surprised! lol. They do live in a mindset.

I'm sorry for no offhand data. I lack such geekiness.

Can you tell me why the sea levels have decided to drop and the mesosphere is collapsing to top it off there has been no extra heating in a decade. It's very embarrassing!

Merry Xmas.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Andyj,

Did it ever occur to you that you don't know enough to ask an intelligent question?

dhogaza said...

"Mann provided the (irrelevant) "data". The CRU which is jones' domain in the UK had a hapless programmer produce the "program" form the "data"."

Oh, it gets better!

Are you celery eater on acid, or what?

EliRabett said...

Fabian is either Shavian or a 50's heart throb.

ligne said...

for those not up to speed, the Fabians are a fairly moderate centre-left society/think-tank here in the UK. now mostly irrelevant, they're mostly remembered for having had the likes of HG Welles, GB Shaw, Bertrand Russell and the Woolfes as members around the turn of the century.

i understand that the Fabians have recently been the subject of much excited thigh-rubbing and conpiratorial theoretising among the comments on Delingpenis's burbletube.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Andyj,

I think you should substitute "Socratic" for "Fabian". Then you might understand why we ask questions...

Anonymous said...

>> cooked the data

>That's logic, innit?
>They take raw data, and
>they do something, and
>after that it's not raw, so
>logically, it must be cooked.

The foodstuff has to be prepared
before cooking though, you can't
trust top qualtiy raw material to
a lousy chef.

Rattus Norvegicus said...

BTW, the captcha on the last one as "pillyheck".

Definition: where Rush Limbaugh finds himself when he can't get any oxycontin.

Merry Xmas!

Anonymous said...

Steven Mosher, now:

"Of course some idiots expected that CRU had somehow cooked the data. This was never McIntyre's supposition. This was never my supposition. Quite the opposite. We expected that CRU was overselling they "value" that they added to the data, featherbedding if you like."

Steven Mosher -- then
Mosher's testimony to Parliament(Feb 2010)




"3. On my view Global warming is a potential threat to our planet and consequently the evidence in support of global warming and the software analyzing that data should be of the highest quality.
During the course of 2007 to 2009 the papers I had read and the limited data I had reviewed gave me reason to doubt the accuracy of underlying data, the robustness of the calculations described in papers, and the reliability of the results.

4. In July of 2009 I was witness to a series of FOIA requests made by Steve McIntyre and others requesting the underlying data of the global temperature index . In addition I myself sent in an FOIA request to CRU. That request asked to see the confidentiality agreements that CRU had made contradictory claims about."


Mosher also assures Parliament his main concern is doing basic quality checks on climate science (of course)

"2. As a former data analyst for Northrop Aircraft , former statistican and former software engineer I was interested in having access to the data and the code so that I could perform basic quality checks on the science that was being used to combat global warming (from the same testimony to Parliament)


Obviously, Mosher does not appreciate how ridiculous his latest [the purpose was] "To ascertain whether there was any "value added" by CRU" claim sounds in light of his own previous statements.


~@:>

Alex said...

Well, AndyJ, Rattus makes a very good point about the Socratic method, and of not knowing enough about the subject to pass judgment. I suppose you could accuse Socrates of being a dirty socialist if you only read Book V of Plato's Republic and nothing else. You apparently have no idea what the data is, only that it is cooked and bad. But how do you know that? You then accuse me of not understanding the climategate e-mails, right after admitting you don't understand them yourself. Then you make various other unrelated points like

"the sea levels have decided to drop"

Not a statistically significant trend, and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory demonstrates that the massive flooding events of 2010-2011 are linked to the short-term sea level drop. Monckton was infamous for drawing trend lines in less than a decade of temperature data, and here you are trying to draw a trend with less than 2 years of sea level data.

"and the mesosphere is collapsing"

Citation and explanation needed. Standing alone, this statement sounds like a non-sequitur. If the mesophere is indeed "collapsing," which is a pretty lofty claim, you will need to tell us why it is significant to our discussion.

"to top it off there has been no extra heating in a decade."

It is not possible to have a statistically significant climatic trend in just one decade. Nevertheless, 2001-2010 is the hottest decade ever recorded on the instrumental record, so warming did occur.

"It's very embarrassing!""

Yes. Yes it is. I hazard against joining any debate groups. Any more questions?

Paul said...

Mosher's testimony to Parliament is hilarious. Did this guy ever take an English comp. course? I can see why he had to team up with Fuller to write the book.

Paul Middents

Rattus Norvegicus said...

The Tracker has something to say on this...

Arthur said...

Ooh, ooh, I deconstructed our back-yard shed a couple of years ago! With the help of a teenage son - he didn't think much of the work to get the old shingles off the roof, but he loved wielding the sledgehammer to knock the walls out...

Mosher treating this all as some sort of a game certainly fits in well with the deconstructionist attitude.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

@dhogaza

"That link to Mosher's blog is revealing. He apparently believes that so-called Obamacare will not allow people to keep their own health insurance or their own doctor. This level of detachment from reality isn't terribly surprising ... nor are his extreme right-wing political views."

yeah I'd agree with him. You're a fool if you know don't employers are going to drop coverage for their employees and let the government pick it up.

and guess what, dhogaza? That's going to be great for business, not so much for the individual because the government's healthcare is going to be crap. Example: right now my employer is paying x amount of money for my plan and based on the fact that the governments plan is a lot less, the coverage will suck. Secondly, a lot of doctors will retire and a lot of potential doctors will pursue other careers. Telling a perspective doctor that they will make less but will still be saddled with a 250k debt after medical school is not appealing.

I really wish suckers like you and Eli who crave the one size fits all policy were made to account for it.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

"When it became popularly known that Hansen was performing midnight adjustments to the GISS dataset, all datasets became suspect."


Translation from denier-speak to English:

"I don't have the technical skills to perform even the most rudimentary analysis of the wealth of freely-available raw temperature data, so I'll instead I'll accuse James Hansen of data manipulation in the hopes that people overlook my abject incompetence."

translation from believer speak to english:

"Michael Mann, Hansen and Schmidt are gods not to be questioned. 1934 was not as warm as 1998 because James Hansen said so. Michael Mann did not make a fake graph and present false information about the historical temperature record. There is a wealth of raw data out there that you can do whatever you want with, and nevermind the lack of surface stations, only stupid people complain about such things.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

@Alex

Alex, what Michael Mann did is very simple. Look at his reconstruction of the medieval warm period compared to H.H. Lamb's. That is the most clear and most simple explanation of the problem. One of Eli's advisors will now scream that Lamb's graph was regional and Mann's graph was global, except Mann didn't use a global dataset so they are stupid.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Dr Cadbury,

If you can't even do simple maths, how can you understand things like Obamacare?

It's amazing that you think you understand these things when simple maths eludes you. You are a a joke.


BTW we have had Medicare in Australia since the 80s. Australia is doing far better than the USA. Simplistic notions like those you present are just simple, that's all that can be said of them.

Alex said...

Dr. Cadbury

The final data point Lamb uses in his graph is in 1950. Using 50-year moving averages. The most recent point on the graph is in 1920. Surely you've learned to actually read the material that you cite, rather than playing Telephone with us and The Great Global Warming Swindle.

J Bowers said...

Mosher turns out to have been a director of marketing. Well, well, well, what a surprise.

Anonymous said...

McIntyre can't mention CRU without sneering, jeering or being creative with the truth. Mosher can't admit to this, which is why he has to hop from foot to foot trying to invent justifications for what happens at CA. The current story is worth a 10/10 for sophistry.


Anon (1)