Sunday, February 27, 2011

Fun and Games Sunday

Ever wonder where you could get on the bus, here, courtesy of coeruleus is Mapnificent (app at the link). It comes with video

Friday, February 25, 2011

L. Carey Plays Carnac

Sometimes analysis of a political position requires a lawyer. L. Carey, who has recently featured over at Only In It For the Gold, did the trick back in November when Ms. Muffet was starting down the Styx

I second what PDA said above about "made for TV" - my 2 cents is that JC has indeed decided to pursue a new career track that is a lot more fun than, you know, actually doing science and teaching, by monetizing her perceived expertise. It works like so:

1. Actual climate scientist makes critical claims about climate science on denier websites and starts making allies with prominent deniers. (Interestingly, scientist makes noises about how she was briefly treated as a "rock star" over her hurricane paper - yearning for a return to the public spotlight, maybe?)

2. Visit semi-prominent 'teach the controversy" website (CoS) and chat up the moderator (KK) with provocative statements that play to his own worldview. 2a - vanish when rational people start asking what the heck you're talking about.

3. Visit prominent "warmist" websites (e.g., Real Climate) and make highly provocative semi-incoherent drive-by comments (making sure not to respond when rational people tell you why your rambling comments are misleading non-sense, but building up your "cred" with deniers by taking on "the keepers of the orthodoxy" - e.g., Gavin). Talk about "peace-making" while selectively criticizing scientists and talking up prominent "citizen-deniers".

4. Start your own blog and proceed to accelerate making statements that are both increasingly outlandish (e.g., high priests of the IPCC, etc.) and/or incoherent. Be sure to pointedly ignore rational comments by those knowledgeable and published in technical climate fields (e.g., Eric Steig and James Annan).

5. Get written up as a "heretic", thereby scoring the bonus of somebody else highlighting the all-important meme of "climate science as a religion". Associate with prominent "there's a lot of uncertainty but I expect it won't be so bad" talking heads, such as RPJ and Revkin.

So far, so good - now the tricky part. Since said scientist is second tier (at best) in her field but has a reputable academic position and has no problem getting published, she must somehow trigger at least the appearance of ostracism, retribution and tyranny at the hands of the "high priests of climate".

6. Accordingly, scientist eventually has to start doing stuff so wacky and out-of-bounds that her academic colleagues are forced to take notice, and she must do whatever it takes to push for a confrontation of "truth" (well, hers anyway) against the vicious culture of "tribalism". For the plan to work, she MUST do whatever it takes to get rebuked, censured, fired, or whatever. This of course demonstrates completely unmerited persecution by the warmist cabal (who must at all costs keep all scientists in their thrall, especially heretic, maverick scientists) -- this, of course, is catnip for deniers everywhere, and especially Faux News. Almost payday now.

7. The brave, truth-telling, heretic, maverick scientist now uses her new-found iconic status with the lipstick on a pitbull crowd to cash in as the "go-to" showpiece "real climate scientist" with a Faux News contract, an eagerly sought participant in numerous "fair and balanced" panels and speaking engagements, hired as a senior fellow with Heritage, AEI, CEI, etc., etc. Followed by the sale of movie rights, an autobiography and a book tour. Voila - from obscure middle class real scientist to famous, well paid climate shill adored by billionaires, corporate behemoths and Tea Partiers alike, in 7 easy steps.

If this is actually the scenario that is underway, then it is pointless to expect JC to start dialing back the rhetoric and trying to make sense. In fact, just the opposite would be true -- to bring such a plan to fruition, she MUST keep getting more and more belligerent, intransigent and just plain nutty, to provoke the essential "persecution" and secure her new-found denier rock star status.

Thoughts regarding this hypothesis?
As PDA points out on Collide a Scape, we are now well into step 6. Having stepped on Keith and MT's territory, Eli now awaits step 7. Anyone wanna bet?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Science as She Should Be Reported

So Eli was going to work this morning and listening to the morning news on WAMU when the ears perked up, something on sea level rise and land subsidence in the Chesapeake Bay region.

For those who don't know both the Bay and the barrier islands on the Atlantic are low lying. The southern part of the Bay is the Hampton Roads area, ending in Norfolk, which already has flooding issues.

The report was prepared by Sabri Ben-Achour for WAMU

And you know, it was good. Facts, caveats, uncertainties and a clear bottom line, worth a listen. First the hook

Towns are starting to see the effects and they're bracing for it. But there's more than just climate change behind the rising tide.

The beach in Ocean City is a major tourist draw, it stretches hundreds of feet from the board walk, with giant dunes studded with grasses a little farther south.

This beach would probably not be here right now if it weren't for the fact that tons of sand are brought in every few years to replenish it, especially after major storms.

"Beach replenishment serves as storm protection for the town of Ocean City. It's the equivalent of the levees in New Orleans for us," says Terry McGean, the Ocean City beach engineer. "They dredge sand from a couple miles offshore, and we pump that material onto the beach and basically bring the beach back."

Then the statement of the problem

Storms and erosion aren't new, but there's something else going on here, that's making every storm a little more serious: Tidal gauges here have measured an increase in sea level. It's gone up seven inches over 30 years -- that's 5.5 millimeters per year, and almost two feet per century.

Followed by a clear, and accurate discussion which is both simple and correct

Dr. John Boon, a professor emeritus with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, says the sea level is rising throughout this region, and some parts have it particularly bad.

"We have relative sea-level rise rates that are the highest on the U.S. East Coast," he says.

You may wonder why or how sea level rise might be any different here versus anywhere else.

"The ocean circulation moves water masses to different parts of the globe, and gravity changes as ice masses at the polar regions melt, there's differential heating in the oceans," Boon says.

But in our region there's an extra factor: The ground is sinking. It's called "subsidence," and Boon says it's been going on for a while now.

"Ninety-thousand years ago, we had a very large ice mass to the north of us, an ice sheet of almost a mile thick. This placed a great load over the earth's surface up there, and in adjustment to that we had what is called a glacial forebulge," he says.

It's somewhat like stepping into a mud puddle.

"You notice around your foot where it sinks in there's a little bit of a bulge that arises...The land is the same way," Boon says.

Ah, you ask, where is sea level rise driven by climate change. Well bunnies you could listen to the mp3 OR you could read the rest at the link.

And then, on top of all of that, we have sea-level rise caused by global warming -- something that many scientists expect will accelerate here.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts sea level could rise in our region by as much as three feet over the next century. But the combination of all the different factors means the water is already rising everywhere in this region, and certain areas are seeing it more than others.

"People have noticed it with their piers and certainly...with storms over the last decade," says John Carlocke, a city planner for Hampton Roads, Va.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Gavin gets it wrong

Gavin has run out of patience with Miss Muffet who is pontificating on tree rings and whey, and he told her so

You have gone significantly over the line with this post. Accusations of dishonesty are way beyond a difference of opinion on how a graph should be displayed.
only to get the full attitude back, so he expanded on the point

For a useful analogy, let’s take a different figure, say, figure 4 from Webster et al (2005):

This shows a big increase in cat 4+5 hurricanes from 1970 to 2000. But why is it cut off at 1970? Surely it can’t be because the data is poorer prior to that? No, it must be that the pre-1970 data doesn’t support the thesis of the authors, they must be hiding the decline! I insist that the ‘adverse data’ be shown on all graphs, and that anything else is highly misleading. And without any further thought, it must be dishonest – because how is it possible that anyone could have an opinion on how to display data that differs from mine without being dishonest? Pseudo-science!

at which point Judy called out that watts me worry crowd for the two post hate. Now this reminded Eli of something, of Liu and Curry, which was written a bit about here and more at Stoat, he being a Antarctic person in retirement. Wm didn't like the paper much and told Judy

1) you use data from 1950-1978 that is clearly meaningless.

2) this data contaminates the entire (obs) analysis.

3) the hypothesis that you put forward is not novel

Judy did not take that well, but MarkB did the summing up that Gavin should have used [snark]

..."Liu and Curry, defended by The Team, selected inappropriate data and time periods, ignored data that doesn't match the IPCC message, manipulated results, clearly engaged in misconduct, dismissed dissenting views, and ultimately pushed the notion that Antarctic Sea Ice will melt, based on fudged computer models, when data clearly shows otherwise. Read 'The Antarctic Ice Illusion: CurryGate and the Corruption of Science' by Montfork. It's one of the best books written on climate science, though I can't personally vouch for any of its conclusions."


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cruel Mistress

For Ben Hale who has gone missing

Monday, February 21, 2011


The recently published paper by Legras, Mestre, Bard, and Yiou, which started out as "On misleading solar-climate relationship" and was published as "A critical look at solar-climate relationships from long temperature series" is being discussed over at Open Mind and Real Climate, and Eli guesses a lot of other places. Go to the links for the science, the Rabett wants to discuss the metadata, aka the Interactive Discussion at Climate of the Past.

In the hurly burly talking about the open model for publishing, Eli remarked that these interactive discussions are great for bringing home what the manuscripts, and the eventually published papers are and are not about, where the strong and where the weak points are. This metadata enables non-experts to follow the bouncing ball, and indeed the Legras, et al. discussion is a great example. To start at the top, all of the referees HATED the original title, and the authors quickly saw their point, slowly. Reviewer #1 put it this way:

The title of the study (On misleading solar-climate relationship) does not quite relate to the arguments the authors make. The authors argue that a solar-climate relationship does not really exist - at least that it cannot be convincingly shown that it differs from randomness. The point I like to make is that a non-existing relationship cannot be misleading. My suggestion would be to change the title to something like A critical look at solar-climate relationship (although I realize that this might remind readers to the work of Pittock (1978)).
A couple of the referees wondered why this was submitted to Climate of the Past and not the journal that the article was criticizing, to which Legras, et al. replied
We have chosen to submit our manuscript to Climate of the Past and not in the original journal where LMKC and KLMC have appeared for two main reasons: (1) by redoing all the calculations and using new homogenized data not included in LMKC, we go beyond a simple comment and (2) we considered that the matter requires an open review process which is a unique feature of Climate of the Past.
Which certainly warmed the hearts of the Climate of the Past editors, but also show why this model has a bright future. LMKC and KLMC are
Kossobokov, V., Le Mouël, J.-L., and Courtillot, V.: A statistically significant signature of multi10decadal solar activity changes in atmospheric temperatures at three European stations, J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys., 72, 595–606, doi:10.1016/j.jastp.210 2010.02.016, 2010a
Le Mouël, J.-L., Kossobokov, V., and Courtillot, V.: A solar pattern in the longest temperature series from three stations in Europe, J. Atmos. Solar-Terr. Phys., 72, 62–76, doi:10.1016/j. jastp.2009.10.009, 2010.
The scientific issues boil down to
a) is sun spot number a good proxy for solar insolation, better put is it the best currently available model for solar insolation going back a few centuries.

b) can you look at raw data from a few stations without knowing or doing anything about possible problems with the data.
c) given multiple independent variables, especially if there is some fortuitous correlation between them, can you ignore all but the one you are interested in when you look for a correlation with an observed quantity.
LeMouel and friends say sure, not a problem. Legras, et al. demur but their explanations in the replies to the referee reports are informative. On point a)
In our paper, we criticized the oversimplified use by Le Mouël et al. (2010) 5 and Kossobokov et al. (2010a), hereafter LMKC and KLMCa, of the sunspot number (SSN) as a proxy for solar forcing. In response, Kossobokov et al. (2010b), hereafter, KLMCb state that "the international sunspot numbers are the only and therefore, the best available proxy of solar activity in the last 250 years". This statement is wrong because other solar proxies cover this time period such as records of aurorae (e.g. Silverman 1992), cosmogenic isotopes (e.g. Delaygue & Bard 2010) and the aa geomagnetic index (over 240 yr, e.g. Lockwood & Stamper 1999).

In addition, it has been shown by many authors that past observations on sunspots can be used to derive better solar forcing records than the raw SSN used by LMKC & KLMCa. For example, previous authors used the envelope of the SSN 11-year cycle, the length and decay rate of the solar cycle, the structure and decay rate of individual sunspots, the mean level of SSN, the solar rotation and the solar diameter (see review by Bard et al. 2000 and references therein).

Lean et al. (1995) proposed that the solar forcing record could be divided into two superimposed components: an 11-year cycle based on the parameterization of sunspot darkening and facular brightening and a slowly-varying background. Solanki and Fligge (1998) reconstructed a solar irradiance record back to 1874 AD by using different relation active regions (quadratic calibration between the SSN and the spacecraft TSI record over a decade) and to the long-term component (linear calibrations between brightness and chromospheric emission or length of the activity cycle). LMKC & KLMCa could also refer to Solanki (2002) who published solar forcing curves over the past 150 years.
Kossobokov et al. refer to "ongoing controversies, such as that between Scafetta and Willson (2009) and Krivova et al. (2009)". This statement is misleading because there is no ongoing debate between these two particular studies: Scafetta and Willson (2009) used the model developed by Solanki et al. (2005) and Krivova et al. (2007). These authors (Krivova et al., 2009) simply discovered that Scafetta & Willson had made fatal mistakes in using Krivova et al.s model, but that its correct use leads to a stable irradiance baseline. Hence, the study by Krivova et al. (2009) constitutes a clear-cut and definitive refutation of the previous claim by Scafetta and Willson (2009), a paper that should be no longer cited as a valid reference (as done by LMKC and KLMC). Further demonstrations of the errors made by Scafetta & Willson are developed in Gray et al. (2010).
So not having paid much attention, Eli now goes and reads Krivova et al. 2009. Tamino, pretty much shows the problems with b), that in at least one of the three series that LMKC use, Bologna, there is a huge artifact that, as luck would have it falls right where it "supports" LMKC's argument. Referee #4 points out that such problems should average out over time. Legas et al respond
Homogeneity errors do not need to project always on solar forcing but we have a nice example with the spurious bump in the Bologna TX series between 1865 and 1880. This period coincides with an isolated high solar cycle according to LMKC and contributes significantly to the solar shift as shown in our supplementary file. An other example is the jump near 1950 in the Maastricht temperature series. Such jump correlates with both the the initiation of anthropogenic forcing and a sequence of active solar cycles
c) you can find in the paper as well as the replies
These minima occurred during the intervals 1795–1830 (Dalton Minimum) and 1880–1920 (Modern Minimum) as evidenced with various solar indicators: sunspots (Hoyt and Schatten, 1998), aurorae (Silverman, 1992), aa geomagnetic index (Lockwood and Stamper, 1999; Lockwood et al., 1999), cosmogenic nuclides (Delaygue and Bard, 2010). However, these two time periods also include some of the largest volcanic eruptions ever recorded in history. The first period comprises the cold decade linked to the Tambora (1815) and the 1809 stratospheric eruption (Cole-Dai et al., 2009), whereas the second phase includes a series of major eruptions starting with the Krakatoa in 1883 and ending with Mt Katmai in 1912
(Robock, 2000).

Climate modelling allows to quantify the collective impact of these forcings in order to explain the temperature historical record of the past few centuries (e.g., see the model data compilation in IPCC AR4 Sect. with Fig. 6.13 and 6.14 in Solomon et al. (2007), ( publications and data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-6-14.html), or the more recent paper by Gao et al. (2008) and the study by Wagner and Zorita, 2005). The Northern Hemisphere temperature drops corresponding to the Dalton (0.2–0.3 C) and Modern solar minima (0.1–0.2 C) are partly linked to an enhanced volcanic forcing (see Hegerl et al., 2007b, and references herein). This implies that the attempt by LMKC and KLMC at studying the Sun-climate relationship cannot be performed with a simple approach that omits the influence of volcanic eruptions.
Another advantage of the interaction review is how a brief comment in the paper which only the consignetti would understand
The ECA&D dataset and metadata are freely available through ECA&D web interface []. The temperatures used by LMKC are three daily series of maximum (TX) and minimum (TN) temperatures collected in Praha since 1775, Bologna since 1814 and Uccle since 1833. Owing to policy changes, the Uccle data were not available during the writing of this paper.
is explained in the replies
Referee #1page 774, line 12: consulting the ECA&D staff made clear that the policy changes were at the side of the Belgian Met. Office (KMI) rather than ECA&D. This point also relates the remark made at page 778, line 8.
It is true that the Uccle daily temperature series has been removed from ECA&D dataset upon request of the Belgian Met. Office who considers that ECA&D free distribution scheme is interfering with its commercial policy. Although the data are plausibly still available for research purposes, we have decided not to require them since it would not have been possible to redistribute them with our supplementary material. We have added a few words to make clear that the policy change is not due to the ECA&D team who, on the contrary, strongly supports open access to data. In any case, we do not think that our demonstration suffers from the lack of analysis of Uccle data.

Review of James Hansen's Storms of My Grandchildren

John Farley reviews James Hansen's book. Environmentalists gag at nuclear power.
Last fall, I reviewed James Hansen's book, Storms of My Grandchildren, for the Monthly Review. Hansen finds that the consequences of global warming are happening faster than the predictions of the IPCC: melting ice caps, rising sea levels, acidification of the oceans. Hansen believes that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere already exceeds a safe level. Hansen advocates a carbon tax ("fee and dividend") to phase out coal, and phase in renewable energy, including nuclear power. The last point is of course anathema to many environmentalists. The review of Hansen can be found here.

The Southern California Federation of Scientists (SCFS) wrote a letter saying that both coal and nuclear power are disasters. They want renewable power, excluding nuclear. My response is that nuclear power definitely has its disadvantages, but does not threaten to melt the polar ice caps and flood coastal cities around the world. The SCFS and my response can be found here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mad As Hell and Not Gonna Take This No More

Since like forever Eli has been telling scientists that it is time to get angry and not take anymore crap. As the bunny pointed out, the CRU Email theft was a real wakeup call, among others for Kevin Trenberth, who laid it on the line at this year's AMS

The climate change deniers have very successfully caused major diversions from the much needed debate about what to do about climate change and how to implement it. It is important that climate scientists learn how to counter the distracting strategies of deniers (Hasselmann 2010). Debating them about the science is not an approach that is recommended. In a debate it is impossible to counter lies, and caveated statements show up poorly against loudly proclaimed confident statements that often have little or no basis. Scientific facts are not open to debate and opinion because they are evidence and/or physically based. Moreover a debate actually gives alternative views credibility. On the other hand there is a lot of scope for debate about exactly what to do about the findings.
Of course, the climate change deniers did not take this well and tried a ferocious pushback. Give Trenberth credit, he was mad as hell and he was not going to take it. Now (thanks for the pointers) comes John Beddington, the Chief Scientific Adviser to the British Government, who called all the denialists out in plain spoken language.

"We are grossly intolerant, and properly so, of racism. We are grossly intolerant, and properly so, of people who [are] anti-homosexuality... We are not—and I genuinely think we should think about how we do this—grossly intolerant of pseudo-science, the building up of what purports to be science by the cherry-picking of the facts and the failure to use scientific evidence and the failure to use scientific method."

"One way is to be completely intolerant of this nonsense," he said. "That we don't kind of shrug it off. We don't say: ‘oh, it's the media’ or ‘oh they would say that wouldn’t they?’ I think we really need, as a scientific community—and this is a very important scientific community—to think about how we do it."

closing with
“I’d urge you, and this is a kind of strange message to go out, but go out and be much more intolerant.” He asked his audience to forgive him for what appear to have been unscripted remarks, adding: “But it is a thing that has been very much at the forefront of my mind over the last few months and I think we need to do it.”
And, oh yes, go read Joe Romm on how industry is funding and creating sock puppets to spam comments and worse. The bunnies may not have noticed but one of the sock puppet factories got hacked (follow the link) by a computer nihilist collective called (what else) Anonymous, after the company HBGary threatened to unmask the members. It has not been pretty. Google HBGary for details. Turns out that HBGary and friends had proposals out there to attack bloggers and think tanks, and that these proposals were for the Bank of America and the Chamber of Commerce among others. HBGary had clearly been up to this sort of stuff for a while, which sheds, perhaps, new light on the UEA CRU Email theft. Might not have been a bunch of crazy Russians after all.

The time has come the Rabett said. . . .

Saturday, February 19, 2011


So Eli has been looking for a couple of weeks at a paper by Georg Feulner, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, "The Smithsonian solar constant data revisited: no evidence for cosmic-ray induced aerosol formation in terrestrial insolation data" that is under review at Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. Eli was holding off until at least some of the reviews were in to avoid the food fight that blogs can bring to the table, but he has been gazumphed by Rasmus at Real Climate.

The bottom line is that an earlier paper by Werner Weber claimed to have found a "Strong signature of the active Sun in 100 years of terrestrial insolation data" (the Acrobat file can be downloaded), but Feulner, who understands the data set that Weber used for the period 1905 to 1954, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Obvervatory solar irradiance series, thinks it's hooey and explains why.

A careful re-analysis of the data on which these claims are based shows that these trends are due to the effects of volcanic eruptions (and other sources of aerosols) and due to seasonal variations. None of the three quantities shows any significant trend with sunspot 10 number once these effects are taken into account (see the summary in Table 1). This illustrates once more that extreme care must be taken to understand any systematic bias of a dataset when investigating possible trends.
Well, the first referee's comment is in and if Feulner were O'Donnell the gloves would be off (actually, if you read the review, the gloves are off)
This paper is effectively a technical comment on the paper by Weber in Ann Phys
(Berlin). For a long time scientific practice has generally been to publish comments
in the same journal as the original paper, to allow comments and corrections (and
the courtesy of a reply from the author) to be associated with the first piece of work.
The hurumphing goes on a bit, but the review is open and Eli suggests that interested bunnies go read it. However the next part is precious
Throughout there is an assumption of a linear relationship between sunspot number and cosmic ray aerosol production. What is the basis for this ? The variable experimental work probably does not support this, for example there is a square-root relation between ion production and ion concentration.
Well maybe because Weber analyzes the relationship between sunspot number R, the top of the atmosphere solar insolation S, pyrheliometer measurement of solar intensity I, pyranometer values of the solar aureole and the water vapor content W using linear regression?
I have analyzed the S, I,A andW data with respect to their linear dependence on the sunspot numbers R of the respective days [19]. For this analysis various data prearrangement strategies have been employed; all of them produce very similar findings. Here, I report results based on the simplest scheme which evaluates a data group by standard linear regression
and Feulner does exactly the same analysis. There is no assumption about cosmic ray aerosol production being linear with sunspot number or not. Feulner does not need to get that far to show that Weber's analysis was, wait for it, Eli's favorite description of this stuff, naive. Weber, of course is a condensed matter theoretical physicist who, judging from his paper, has a full blown case of physicist's arrogance.

Eli is not going to engage in a Steve and Jeff act, wondering who wrote this review but it is a great illustration of the rough and tumble of peer review.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I did not have unethical relations with that journal -- aMs. Climate

Here is the bunnies chance to write a Climate Audit post

(h/t to Horatio)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Staked Goat Stews

Ryan O'Donnell is becoming increasingly defensive as the storm about his unethical behavior grows.

It certainly appears that the Steve and Jeff act, with assists from Tony and Lucia and others have staked Ryan O'Donnell out there. When Ryan outed Eric Steig as one of the reviewers of O'Donnell, et al, somehow his co-authors McIntyre and Id, had not told him that they had asked around whether it was ethical to publish the names of reviewers, even if they were known and they had gotten a definite NO.

OK, some, not Eli to be sure, might say that maybe they forgot to forward the message to Ryan. Stuff happens. But then when Ryan outed Eric on Climate Audit WHY DIDN'T THEY SAY SOMETHING BEFORE THE POST APPEARED? You know, like maybe you shouldn't do this. . . and here is why (The link, by the way is the prettified version, which, some, not Eli to be sure, would say appeared after consequences were discussed.)

The wrong question is whether Steve and Jeff told Ryan it was a no-no, more to the point why did they let him insert foot in mouth. Oh yes, and when did they learn from Ryan that Eric Steig was definitely Reviewer A. Steve was certainly hinting around on December 2.

But this is not a totally sad story, the pressure is getting to Steve too. First, he takes a leaf from the Luciawarmer Lexical Service and trying to bafflegab his way out of the AMS policy on outing reviewers.

Just now we have Yamal II, with Steve McIntyre admitting that the version of the Supplementary Information posted at Climate Audit, was the version created AFTER Steig's initial review. Why does this matter, only because the version previously posted refers to ridge regression, while the actual real original swear on a bible who the hell knows version posted on February 15, has NO reference to ridge regression. That completely blows out of the water any claim that Eric Steig introduced the idea of ridge regression. It was introduced by O'Donnell, et al. in their reply to the first set of reviews and in the first revision of the paper and the supplementary information.

And, oh yes, we now see the mysterious Table S3, of which it was written

It’s perhaps also worth pointing out that the *main* criticism I had of O’Donnell’s paper was never addressed. If you’re interested in this detail, it has to do with the choice of the parameter ‘k_gnd’, which I wrote about in my last post. In my very first review, I pointed out that as shown in their Table S3, using k_gnd = 7,

“results in estimates of the missing data in West Antarctica stations that is further from climatology (which would result, for example, from an artificial negative trend) than using lower values of k_gnd.”

Eli trust that the boys will now chase down every mistaken piece of bile they let drip.

Eli is a foolish bunny

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Great Minds Agree

A few moments ago Eli put a comment in at Lucia's fan fest

. . . .So, let us stop here for now

a) In the first review Steig never suggested that ridge regression should be used, but he did have serious problems with using the values of kgnd that Team O’D wanted to favor and he expressed them rather clearly.

b) Steig’s statement was that the authors should justify their choice of kgnd.

c) In response Team O’D brought ridge regression into the paper as support for their using particular values of kgnd (although iridge lead to somewhat different values of warming in W. Antarctica).

d) In his second review Steig said that since the problems with kgnd remained, maybe (as in perhaps, perhaps you don’t understand the English Lucia) it would be better to use iridge WHICH HAD BEEN INTRODUCED BY THE KNUCKLEHEAD AUTHORS who are now confused about what they did.

e) the authors in their second response, agree that the ridge regression results were the most likely and say they will move the TTLS/TSVD results to the supplemental information

f) Lucia decides that this is not ethical.

Somehow the whole thing looks like Calvinball.

and after that read a pointer from John Nielsen Gammon to his blog (go RTFL folks) . John's scientific conclusions are just what Eli said.

(1) Steig did not bring up iridge (but then, I didn't say that he did).

(2) Once O'Donnell et al. included their iridge calculations in the manuscript, Steig did suggest that iridge would be better than to show than their original TTLS results with kgnd=7, and did ask the editor to insist that something more likely to be correct than the original TTLS results with kgnd=7, be shown.

(3) Steig's statement in Review #3 that "The use of the 'iridge' procedure makes sense to me, and I suspect it really does give the best results" reads as a plain endorsement of iridge, and is inconsistent with Steig's comment above that he believed at the time that "iridge should not be used". Maybe he did believe as he said in his comment, but he certainly left the opposite impression with what he wrote in his review
but it is important to read what John N-G wrote about the other reviewers (in summary)
  • Meanwhile, reviewer B states that he/she doesn't really understand the statistics, . . . Reviewer B has not seen any other reviews at this point, but is fully expecting that Steig or Mann ought to be one of the other reviewers.
  • Reviewer C states that he/she carried out his/her review of O'Donnell et al. without re-reading Steig et al.
  • Reviewer D, brought in for the second round, finally seems to have looked at O'Donnell et al. and Steig et al. side by side.

Now John's point about Steig changing his mind has some validity, but Eric did justify it, explaining clearly his reasons for doing so in the blog post and, in fact, in the third review stated them at least in part.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Geography Is Destiny

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Touched off by Joe Romm, whom Keith Kloor does not like, but now with Coby Beck and Michael Tobis and a whole raft of others chiming in is the question of whether climate change had any role in touching off the recent successful Egyptian demonstrations pointing to rising global food prices. They are all wrong.

Eli is going around pointing out that destiny is geography in Egypt, hinting that even now climate change is playing a role in Egyptian food production and more. Here is a puzzler, what are the Rabettoneurons thinking.

A handy map is provided, but Google can be your friend. Starting place for the answer below the fold

Follow the link

Some Useful Comments from Elsewhere

UPDATE: Welcome to visitors from Lucia's farm. Be sure to look at Eric's comment at the bottom of this post.

John Nielsen Gammon descends once more at 5:15 PM Feb 11 into the Antarctic abyss at Climate Audit. Interestingly his comment has not appeared there at the time of this posting so you will have to go to the link

I would be quite p***ed if, as happened here, a reviewer said he thought a particular technique was probably the best choice and then publicly criticized me for "choosing" to use it.

As I interpret it, Steig's review comment was not a ringing endorsement of iridge but rather an insistence on whatever produces the "most likely" results which, later on in the paragraph, is "perhaps" iridge. I hope, had I been in O'Donnell's position, I would have been level-headed enough to realize that this was probably not a set-up but may instead have been a case of Steig not remembering that this amounted to his own insistence on iridge as a reviewer.

However, I would have been familiar enough with the review process to have not assumed that Steig saw my third set of responses. I might then have attributed to Steig the offense of not reviewing the comments and responses to make sure he wasn't criticizing me for something he himself had agreed was the best choice. And it did come off as personal criticism, through the choice of language "[they] choose to use" rather than something fairer, such as "All techniques have shortcomings. This particular one..."

Then, I probably would have taken pleasure in my public rebuttal to Steig's criticism, already having handy as a response my response to his third review. I might even have included an excerpt from an anonymous review, showing that the reviewers agreed with our choice so strongly that they insisted on it. . . .

as usual RTFR, there is more there.

And Michael Tobis sums it all up
Here's my take on the Steig vs O'Donnell business: It's the same old story. A more sensitive method is obtained that extracts physical reality from data; a publication is released. Somebody nitpicks the math; with statistics this is always easy because everything is built on a prior. One can always quibble about the model. The McIntyre crowd knows how to push buttons in R and get results until they get one that excites them. That isn't statistics and it sure ain't science. . . . In the O'Donnell case, he has succeeded in adding to the arsenal of methods. Steig offers an an interpretation consistent with the totality of evidence AS IF O'DONNELL WERE SERIOUS.

This constitutes an excellent test of whether O'Donnell is interested in science or in McIntyrism. The results of this test are unambiguous to say the least.
Lots between the dots.

UPDATE: Eric in the comments has a word:
Folks, while I appreciate that much of the speculation being done here is of a higher quality than that being done, umm.. elsewhere.. it is still speculation.

John Nielsen Gammon, while you seem to be supporting me, which I appreicate it, it isn't very useful support.

I did not, repeat not, repeat not, "not remember that this amounted to his own insistence on iridge as a reviewer." I did NOT recommend iridge. I did NOT bring it up. I SIMPLY DID NOT THINK I COULD ARGUE WITH THE EDITOR OR THE KNUCKLE-HEADED REVIEWERS that it should not be used.

This is not complicated folks. O'Donnell and gang, not liking my criticisms of the way they used TTLS, and in particular the fact that the truncation parameter they wanted to use, suddently started using IRIDGE. This has the advantage of having a built in verification function, which means you can't see what the verification statistics are, which means that it is much easier to NOT SHOW THE BAD VERFICIATION STATISTICS I was criticizing them for. Maybe that is not why they used iridge. I don't know WHY they used IRIDGE but I did not suggest it to them nor endorse it.


P.S. Yes I am shouting. That's what the CAPS mean.

P.P.S. Thank you 'chris' above for your clear, rational, non-speculation.

P.P.P.S. Michael Tobis thank you. Much better. I still wonder why so many people don't sum it up in just one sentence, such as your excellent closing one:

This constitutes an excellent test of whether O'Donnell is interested in science or in McIntyrism. The results of this test are unambiguous to say the least.

P.P.P.P.S. We probably don't need a new term for McCarthyism. The original one still works pretty well. Any similarity to the name Simple J. Malarky is of course entirely coincidental.

P.P.P.P.P.S Here is another relevant cartoon.

Underground Music

Conductor: from Alexander Chen on Vimeo

Found on the NY Times. Not quite music of the spheres, Alexander Chen turns the NY subway into a stringed instrument. As trains cross a string is plucked. A more complex version is also on line, and you can see how the piece was developed at vimeo. Guaranteed to sooth both visually and aurally after the recent stupidities get you all cross and bothered. Eli recommends :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Two, Four, 88, O'Donnell Gate

In which Eli (perhaps among others) discovers the mighty game of climate telephone. Word has been going around the blogs that Eric Steig wrote an 88 page criticism of O'Donnell, et al in his first review.

As ‘Reviewer A’, Stieg made 88 pages of comments about O’Donnell’s paper.
Funny how SM's comments about an 88 page critical review have to "ring hollow" for Andy's trumpeting of the scientific method & peer review to stand on solid ground. I'm more inclined to take SM's word that.
Since the reviews are available, Eli wondered where that came from. Indeed, the Google is mighty.

Jeff Id started it on December 1 2010,
The total number of pages dedicated by just that reviewer alone and our subsequent responses – was 88 single-spaced pages, or more than 10 times the length of the paper.
and Steve McIntyre wrote on December 2 thusly
Ultimately, the reviews and responses totalled 88 pages!
So the 88 is not what Seig wrote in his first review (14 pages which is quite long) but the total of all the reviews and replies of by, from and to Reviewer A. Of course, Steve or Jeff had been on the phone to Tony Watts, who did the first mangle
The review process was difficult, with one reviewer getting difficult on submitted comments [and subsequent rebuttal comments from authors ] that became longer than the submitted paper, 88 pages, 10 times the length of the paper they submitted!
Not quite wrong, at least technically, but guaranteed to confuse, and Ryan himself, who was guest posting put in the boot
The review process was difficult, with one reviewer getting difficult on submitted comments [and subsequent rebuttal comments from authors ] that became longer than the submitted paper, 88 pages, 10 times the length of the paper they submitted!
but one of the commenters, Rational Thought (well Eli is a bunny, so a commenter named Rational Thought at WUWT is not a reach) picked up the inconsistency
Anthony, summat trivial here, but what appears to be an inconsistency. In your write up it sounds as if the ‘sticky’ peer reviewer submitted 88 pages, where in the author comments following the abstract (did I miss where it said who actually wrote that bit?), it looks as if there were 88 pages total including both the peer reviewer comments AND the author replies….
and Watts replied
REPLY: yes, that was just clarified by Ryan O over at the air vent in comments, I’ll make an adjustment to the text to correct this mistake. – Anthony
and the box score



Team O’Donnell


Review A1


Reply A1


Review A2


Reply A2


Review A3


Reply A3


Review B1


Reply B1


Review B2


Reply B2


Review C1




Review D1


Reply D1


To be fair a lot of TO'D's replies included quotes from the referee's report, and Eli trimmed a page or two where there was a hanging sentence, but the handy dandy calculator says that Reviewer A wrote 24 pages of stuff, Team O'D wrote 64 pages of replies. Eli thinks that maybe they need a copy editor.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

What Steve and Ryan Knew and When They Knew It

John Nielsen-Gammon wrote on December 8 to Jeff Id and Steve McIntyre

From: John Nielsen-Gammon
Subject: reviews and reviewers
Date: December 8, 2010 10:59:20 AM CST
To: Jeff Id, Steve McIntyre

Jeff & Steve (with copies to AMS publications leadership) -

What I told you about making reviews publicly available is correct. There's no AMS policy against, nor any formal objection to, an author making the contents of anonymous reviews and responses public. If a reviewer provides his or her name, or if there is other information that makes it possible to discern the identity of the reviewer, such information should be redacted unless the reviewer grants permission.

In the context of this, I would think that publishing an anonymous review and speculating as to the identity of the reviewer would be unethical. The author, if making the review public, has a duty to preserve the anonymity of the reviewer.

More at the link, but given that John is a fairly measured person, this is a rocket you know where. As Eli said note the date.

UPDATE: Which turns out to be even more important than Eli thought, because, as Stoat points out, Ryan O'Donnell has written
I have known that Eric was, indeed, Reviewer A since early December. I knew this because I asked him. When I asked, I promised that I would keep the information in confidence... However, when someone makes a suggestion during review that we take and then later attempts to use that very same suggestion to disparage our paper, my obligation to keep my mouth shut ends.
Taken together with John N-G's email, the bunnies just know the game was afoot as soon as Eric Steig acknowledged he was Reviewer A, and that Steve and Jeff were shopping around for a blessing (which they did not get). It also strongly implies that Ryan O'Donnell pretty much immediately told McIntyre and Id. This requires another blogger ethics panel. Eli is sure that Lucia will get right to it given her strong interest in the matter.

Thoughts From the Chum Tank

Eli has been hanging about a bit in the chum tank. Contrary to expectation, there was work and thought to be done, in particular the upside downwelling radiation bit, so here, quickly, are the bottom lines:

a) the only radiation striking the surface from excited H2O and CO2 in the atmosphere comes from very close to the surface, because the mean distance a photon that can be absorbed by these greenhouse gases travels at normal pressures and temperature is a few tens of meters at best.

b) if you want to think about what happens to such photons in the atmosphere think of diffusion of the energy, or if you will of a drunkard's walk. The bottom line is that the emission from the surface is effectively blocked.

c) the best analogy is radiation trapping, where light at resonant frequencies cannot get through the absorbing media even though there is emission to go along with the absorption, and the only net absorption/emission occurs at the border of the absorbing gas. Collisions are not explicitly dealt with but the model is useful for thinking about what is going on in the atmosphere, however, because of the de-excitation by collisions, self-reversal is not observed in the atmosphere.

There is a book and a computer model. In the case of the greenhouse effect radiation does not have to be transferred from the inside of the atmosphere, but is thermally excited at the top (radiation to space) and at the bottom (downwelling). Science of Doom is getting into this, but it comes down to the idea that the downwelling radiative warming of the surface comes from very close to the surface

Freeman Dyson on Climate

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Northern Exposure: Canadian Scientists in Libel Lollapalooza

The New York Times reports that climate scientist Andrew Weaver (Univ. of Victoria, Canada) has sued skeptic Tim Ball (former prof. of climatology, Univ. of Winnipeg). The libelous article appeared on the Canada Free Press (CFP), a conservative website. The headline read

Dr. Tim Ball: Corruption in Climate Science Has Created 30 Lost Years

The lead sentence was "People who totally accepted the corrupted, limited and narrowly focused science of the IPCC have taught climate science for the last 30 years."

The CFP has already folded, removing the article from its website. CFP has issued a retraction and a groveling apology, in which they say...(click here for link)

CFP also wishes to dissociate itself from any suggestion that Dr. Weaver “knows very little about climate science.” We entirely accept that he has a well-deserved international reputation as a climate scientist and that Dr. Ball’s attack on his credentials is unjustified....CFP sincerely apologizes to Dr. Weaver and expresses regret for the embarrassment and distress caused by the unfounded allegations in the article by Dr. Ball.

Now Weaver is suing Tim Ball, Canada's best-known global warming denier.

You might say that lawsuits are not the best way to have a scientific discussion. But in 2006, Tim Ball sued Dan Johnson, Prof. of Environmental Science at the University of Lethbridge, for Johnson's claim that Ball has published very little in climate science.

Johnson was ready for his day in court, but Ball later dropped his lawsuit.

Now the CFP has dropped the Ball.

As Mr. Dooley Said. . . Trust Everyone But Use the Google

Eli has been getting a series of Emails, which as is his wont, the Bunny has been ignoring, as have the rest of you noble readers:

Dear Colleagues,
You are invited to join the Climate Change Working Group (CCWG 2011), third annual Energy and Climate Change Conference focused on the practical applications of social and behavioural research to achieve viable solutions to energy/climate challenges. It builds on the overwhelming success of previous CCWG conferences at which 800 participants from universities, government, corporations and organizations discussed successful policy and program strategies, shared important research findings, and created dynamic new networks and collaborations.
Conveners: Climate Change Working Group-147 Stoke Newington High St N16 0NY, London, United Kingdom. Ph: +44 702 407 5825, +44 702 406 2757
Call for Presentation Abstracts: The CCWG 2011 Organizing Committee requests proposals for presentations from policymakers, businesses, social scientists, researchers, media specialists, marketers, energy experts, program designers, implementers, and evaluators. We invite proposals for three types of presentations:

1.Oral Presentations (15-20 minute formal presentations and slides)
2.Lightning Talks (5-7 minute presentations - highlights of results, insights, or novel/transformative ideas)
3.Poster Presentations (informal presentations)

We are seeking well-documented, effective applications of behavioural approaches in energy/climate policies and programs; new behavioural research findings; successful programs/scale-ups; measured results; and best practices. We are also interested in thoughtful discussions of emerging policy/program issues, behavioural research methods, and selected novel/transformative ideas.

Topic Areas: Abstracts must be submitted online fewer than one of the following categories; if your topic doesn't fit easily into one of these categories (or if it fits into multiple categories) please choose the closest match.

·Climate Change and the Oceans
·Sustainable Development, Environment, Health and Development
·Remote Sensing and Global Surveillance
·Water Resources Management
·Carbon & GHG Management
·Extreme Events and Impacts Assessment
·Greenhouse Gas & Ecosystems
·Human Health In a Changing Climate
·Agricultural and Forestry Resources Management
·Clean Energy Technology
·Low GHG Transportation
·Education: Global Change & Sustainable Development
·Case studies.

Proposal Submission: Interested presenters should submit an abstract of less than 250 words of text summarizing the proposed presentation and a short bio (100 words, email: or fax on: +44 844 774 7599 by March 04, 2011. Submissions will be judged on relevance to conference themes, clarity of thought, data/documented results, creativity, fit in conference program and other criteria. Deadline for notification of acceptance is March 11 2011.
Conference Registration: All presenters are expected to register online by March 11 2011. Registration is free of charge for delegates from developing countries. Also free flight ticket, travel insurance, visa fees and per diem to be provided for all paper presenters and participating delegates.

For more details on online registration, abstract submission, full papers and power point presentation, accommodation, flight, and venue, please email:
or fax on +44 844 774 7599.

Important dates:
04 March 2011 Deadline for abstract submission
11 March 2011 Notification of acceptance/Full paper Submissions
25-29 March 2011 Conference Dates

We look forward to seeing you at the conference.

Dr. Richard Edward
Conference Chair.
Climate Change Working Group
147 Stoke Newington High St N16 0NY,
London, United Kingdom.
Ph: +44 702 407 5825, +44 702 406 2757
But finally he broke down and used the Google, only to find that

It's spam, spam, spam, spam. Richard Black on the BBC caught it earlier.

A call to the contact number provided for the supposed organiser, Dr Louis Clarke, yielded a brief conversation with a man claiming to be Dr Clarke, speaking with an African accent and claiming to be "an expert in climate change issues".

UK phone numbers given in the scams typically begin with 0702 or 0844, which re-direct elsewhere.

The sender of another e-mail invitation, again for late January in London, has adopted the name "Christiana Figueres" - the real-life name of the executive secretary of the UN climate convention (UNFCCC) - and claims funding from the UN General Assembly.

Information value

US-based scientist Lee Schipper became aware of the global warming scams in 2009, and receives about one fake invitation each month.

The sums asked for "hotel reservation" are in the range of 200-300 euros per time, he told BBC News.

"My guess is they get a few dozen victims every time - which is not a bad return for essentially no cost," he said.

Someone almost got caught, which tells you how this scam works.

Dear Sir/Madam
Some days ago i have received an email from Dr Philip McCarthy Conference Chair 226 Chingford Mount Rd London E4 8JL London, United Kingdom, entitled call for papers. I have submitted an abstract to him entitled "precipitation fluctuation in the arid region of Pakistan (1961-2000), but still i am confused whether there is conference or not. Because they are asking for reservation and payments to Hotel Hilton sum of above 500 pounds while everly we pay to the hotel upon arivel. Also they sent me an email address for submission and acceptance of abstract "" while on your website it is Kindly let me know about the fact of this event.
This has been your yearly public service announcement.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Ms. Rabett Loves Superbowl Sunday

Stitching Away !!

...Super Stitching Sale!
1:00p.m. - 6:00p.m.
Discounts 15%-60% off!!!
Don't miss this one

It’s hard to believe we are preparing for the big 2007 ANNUAL SUPER BOWL SALE. It's time to get serious about all your New Year's resolutions and start all those projects for yourself!! Stock up during our great sale and save, save, save....This is the biggest sale of the year and it's always so crowded we run it for 2 days. That's right - all day Saturday, Feb 3rd from 8 am to 5 pm and Sunday, Feb 4th from 12 to 4 pm. That gives you double the chance to cash in on great savings!!

Every needlework store has a massive Superbowl Sunday sale. Well known as the best day for stash augmentation!

Saturday, February 05, 2011


In the smaller ring, we have Gavingate, Gavin Schmidt's refusal to attend the Lisboa Baccalau Bunnyfest, which sought reconciliation between the tutt-tutters, cherry pickers and post normal ADD types (ok, James Risby and Nick Stokes were there to represent the reality based community, but they were fleeing Cyclone Yasi). As this is a fast moving story, Eli thinks that a place where all the documents are available might be useful. So to begin, from Tallbloke, Fred Pearce's Deep Something or Other, we have the original documents

The invitation

Dear Dr. Gavin Schmidt,

We have been following your activities with regards to the science of climate change, the controversies and the challenges, etc.

We are writing to you now about a proposed workshop on the issue, which we are hoping to organise for next January, the 26th to 28th. It will be sponsored and financially supported by the Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen of the European Commission’s DG Joint Research Centre, and will take place at the C. Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon.

We have been trying to find a way to begin to overcome the polarisation on this issue, which as you know has already done great damage to the cause of coping with climate change, as well as to the reputation of science itself. At this stage we are planning to have a workshop where the main scientific issues can be discussed, so that some clarity on points of agreement and disagreement might be reached. We would try to stay off the policy issues, and will also exclude personal arguments.

The issues we have in mind are Medieval Warm Period, ‘ice’, climate sensitivity, and temperature data. We would hope to have smaller groups discussing these in some detail, hopefully with scientists who are very familiar with the technical issues to lead the discussion.

Since the topics are so sensitive we would have Chatham House rules unless the consensus desires otherwise; and there would be some public report of the proceedings.

We are just now finalising the invitation list. I do hope that you find this a useful activity to engage on.

With very best wishes

Sincerely-the organising team

The response
I’m a little confused at what conflict you feel you are going to be addressing? The fundamental conflict is of what (if anything) we should do about greenhouse gas emissions (and other assorted pollutants), not what the weather was like 1000 years ago. Your proposed restriction against policy discussion removes the whole point. None of the seemingly important ‘conflicts’ that are *perceived* in the science are ‘conflicts’ in any real sense within the scientific community, rather they are proxy arguments for political positions. No ‘conflict resolution’ is possible between the science community who are focussed on increasing understanding, and people who are picking through the scientific evidence for cherries they can pick to support a pre-defined policy position.
And (thnx Andreas, Eli is not keeping up), it appears that Tallbloke left something off, like the final paragraph, which Gavin provides on Judith Curry

You would be much better off trying to find common ground on policy ideas via co-benefits (on air pollution, energy security, public health water resources etc), than trying to get involved in irrelevant scientific ‘controversies’.

But Gavin was nice

(The last line may not have been seen by ‘tallbloke’). I am at a complete loss to see how this email could be interpreted as implying that ‘the science was settled and there was nothing to discuss’.

The game of telephone (or ‘chinese whispers’ in the UK) is lots of fun at parties, but it’s a dumb game to be playing in the politicised sandpit of the climate change ‘debate’.

Continued below the fold

Which was mangled by Fred Pearce in the Nude Scientist (just putting in the paragraphs which dealt with Gavingate

Avowed non-sceptics included Hans von Storch, a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and James Risbey of CSIRO. But the leaders of mainstream climate science turned down the gig, including NASA's Gavin Schmidt, who said the science was settled so there was nothing to discuss.

Across the spectrum, participants were mostly united in disagreeing with Schmidt. Climate science, they said, is much less certain than the IPCC mainstreamers say, and peace can be found only if all accept what they dubbed "the uncertainty monster".
To which Gavin responded at several blogs including Rabett Run
My decision not to accept the invitation to this meeting was based entirely on the organiser's initial diagnosis of the cause of the 'conflict' in the climate change debate. I quote from their introductory letter: At this stage we are planning to have a workshop where the main scientific issues can be discussed, so that some clarity on points of agreement and disagreement might be reached. We would try to stay off the policy issues, and will also exclude personal arguments. The issues we have in mind are Medieval Warm Period, ice, climate sensitivity, and temperature data. We would hope to have smaller groups discussing these in some detail, hopefully with scientists who are very familiar with the technical issues to lead the discussion. Since, in my opinion, the causes of conflict in the climate change debate relate almost entirely to politics and not the MWP, climate sensitivity or 'ice', dismissing this from any discussion did not seem likely to be to help foster any reconciliation.
And sent a letter to the Nude Scientist which appeared only after a delay of a day or more

Fred Pearce includes a statement about me that is patently untrue.

"But the leaders of mainstream climate science turned down the gig, including NASA's Gavin Schmidt, who said the science was settled so there was nothing to discuss."

This is completely made up. My decision not to accept the invitation to this meeting was based entirely on the organiser's initial diagnosis of the cause of the 'conflict' in the climate change debate. I quote from their introductory letter (6/Oct/2010):

"At this stage we are planning to have a workshop where the main scientific issues can be discussed, so that some clarity on points of agreement and disagreement might be reached. We would try to stay off the policy issues, and will also exclude personal arguments.

The issues we have in mind are Medieval Warm Period, ice, climate sensitivity, and temperature data. We would hope to have smaller groups discussing these in some detail, hopefully with scientists who are very familiar with the technical issues to lead the discussion."

Since, in my opinion, the causes of conflict in the climate change debate relate almost entirely to politics and not the MWP, climate sensitivity or 'ice', dismissing this from any discussion did not seem likely to be to help foster any reconciliation.

At no point have I ever declared that the 'science was settled' and that there was nothing to discuss. Indeed, I am on record as saying the exact opposite:

Pearce might well note that even I am included in the "spectrum" that "disagree[s] with Schmidt"!

Fred Pearce did not interview me for this piece. In future, if my views are of interest, he (or anyone else) should actually ask me directly what they are. I am not hard to track down.

This, of course, lead to several hundred harumphs over at places where good bunnies only go in bunny suits to keep clean with lots trying to pin the settled science on Gavin, who has responded in more detail at Kloor's
Why do people spend time trying to torture some implication out of what I said in a single email, when I have written thousands of words and dozens of papers on exactly the issue they are questioning?

On medieval climate: here, here – interesting

On Climate Sensitivity: here, here – interesting

etc. etc.

The issue is not that there isn’t interesting science yet to be done on all of these issues – there is, but rather the *perceived* conflicts (cf. WUWT ad nauseum) have nothing whatsoever to do with the real scientific issues. Accusations of fraud or ‘manipulation’ in GISTEMP is a made-up non-issue, whether the medieval period is or is not warmer than the 1990s is not relevant to anything much, whether a tree ring series is or is not online is not salient.

If I wanted to learn more about medieval climate, I would organise a workshop of people who know stuff about medieval climate. If I wanted to learn more about climate sensitivity, I would organise a session including scientists who have worked on climate sensitivity. This would be completely different to what was organised in Lisbon.

Can it really be that people are incapable of having serious conversations that acknowledge this? Please prove me wrong.
Eli predicts: Nah

Now we have Steve McIntyre at RankExploits asserting that Pearce was actually shown Gavin's letter.

Lucia, you say:

Of course, Fred’s praphrase also kinda-sorta is unfair for a number of reasons. First it appears that Fred Pierce never read what Gavin actually wrote. If I understand correctly, he wrote based on someone else’s paraphrase; this is always dangerous.

Your surmise here is incorrect. I can confirm with absolute certainty that Fred Pearce read Gavin’s email because I was sitting with both Pearce and tallbloke at dinner (we set out as part of a larger group and got separated) when tallbloke showed Pearce the email in question, which Pearce read carefully.

and Tallbloke thanks Steve for the tree limb

Thanks Steve. I’ve been trying to take the heat for the whole thing, but truth will out. :o )

Oh well, round two…

**Eli was pointed to the video by somebunny, but forgets whom. Step up and win your prize.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Sloop Says

Rabett Run needs some content on the Bacalao BunnyFest and Sloop, down in the comments to another posting, was nice enough to help out

The Workshop’s statement of purpose “Reconciliation in the Climate Change Debate” is an embarrassingly muddled essay that proposes an inappropriate (to the degree it’s even characterized) conflict resolution process to resolve a conflict itself fallaciously characterized. Both its articulation of the conflict and the proposed conflict resolution process are of little to no value IMHO to anyone responsible for advising elected or executive government leaders on CC and AGW. Although devoting time to deconstructing this turgid turd of an essay is tempting just for the blogo-sport of it, it is not worth my effort to do so, nor your time to read it.
Still, it is Friday and we have time to waste waiting for the weekend to arrive so Eli will provide the link, who will provide the Fisk Sauce?

Suffice it to say that conflict resolution strategies and techniques (including mediation, facilitation, negotiation) used to address public policy disputes are minimally applicable to natural science debate and knowledge development.

As to the preceding PNS/PoMo discussion, there are areas of social science where it is essential to explore the values, norms, and beliefs of the observer in order to understand usefully what and how they observe, particularly social science disciplines that stem from or are relevant to public policy processes.

IF the CG Foundation and the Lisbon and Joint Rsch Centre were anything more than a oil-saturated cadre of concern trolls, they’d be proposing to facilitate a risk analysis and management discussion to help public, and private, decision makers formulate and pursue AGW mitigation and adaptation policies and actions. That’s the model of structured dialogue where exploration of how human values and histories determine individual and collective perception and interpretation of empirical facts can be accomplished in a valid, insightful manner

The folks and orgs trumpeting this workshop are just pitiful.

Well yes, and some, not Eli to be sure, would point this out.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Through a Glass Darkly

Eli a trusting sort of bunny, likes to believe everyone, but favors cutting the cards. Porky Pearce over at Nude Scientist is taking a shellacking for, as they say, making it up. Gavin might even get a few bob out of it if he were Monckton Minded, but as for now all we have is Dr. Schmidt's (still unpublished as we go to press) letter sent to the editors

In the piece entitled Climate sceptics and scientists attempt peace deal, Fred Pearce includes a statement about me that is patently untrue.

"But the leaders of mainstream climate science turned down the gig, including NASA's Gavin Schmidt, who said the science was settled so there was nothing to discuss."

This is completely made up. My decision not to accept the invitation to this meeting was based entirely on the organiser's initial diagnosis of the cause of the 'conflict' in the climate change debate. I quote from their introductory letter (6/Oct/2010):

"At this stage we are planning to have a workshop where the main scientific issues can be discussed, so that some clarity on points of agreement and disagreement might be reached. We would try to stay off the policy issues, and will also exclude personal arguments.

The issues we have in mind are Medieval Warm Period, ice, climate sensitivity, and temperature data. We would hope to have smaller groups discussing these in some detail, hopefully with scientists who are very familiar with the technical issues to lead the discussion."

Since, in my opinion, the causes of conflict in the climate change debate relate almost entirely to politics and not the MWP, climate sensitivity or 'ice', dismissing this from any discussion did not seem likely to be to help foster any reconciliation.

At no point have I declared that the 'science was settled' and that there is nothing to discuss. Indeed, I am on record as saying the exact opposite.

Pearce might well note that even I am included in the "spectrum" that "disagree[s] with Schmidt"!

Fred Pearce did not interview me for this piece. I should like to request that in future, if my views are of interest, that he (or anyone else) should actually ask me directly. I am not hard to contact.

Yours respectfully,

Gavin Schmidt

PS. I am not a 'leader of mainstream climate science' either.

Many have placed their bets on Fred. Eli is not quite so sure, where, better put, from whom would Pearce have gotten his information. Jerry Ravitz who is trying to muscle his way in springs to mind and, of course, luminaries such as the Steves are right up there.

Discussion of this Workshop to be continued