Monday, May 30, 2011
Sunday, May 29, 2011
First Newt Gingrich, but Newt walked it back
Now Chris Christie (Governor of New Jersey)
says that humans are changing the climate and not for the best. Marc Morano, in the words of David Appell, is not a happy camper having to ride herd on all the little doggies.
Posted by EliRabett at 8:24 PM
Saturday, May 28, 2011
TIGR stands for Thermodynamic Initial Guess Retrieval, and is a dataset selected from a whole bunch of radiosonde measurements lately supplemented by space based measurements. Among other things each of the atmospheric profiles in the dataset has composition information including temperature, water vapor and ozone. Among the uses for TIGR is the ability to reconstruct atmospheric transmission and absorption.
The various flavors of TIGR are
- TIGR : 398 atmospheres (1985)
- TIGR1 : 1207 atmospheric profiles
- TIGR2 : 1761 atmospheric profiles
- TIGR3 : 2311 atmospheric profiles
- new tropical atmospheric profiles
- mid-lat and polar atmospheric profiles unchanged
- TIGR2000 : 2311 atmospheres
- TIGR3 +
- The ozone profile is deduced from the Ugamp climatology (Li and Shine, 1995)
- change in the longitude convention : -180:+180
- TIGR2000_6CORPS : 2311 atmospheres
- ATMOS measurements have been used to improve the extrapolation of the water vapour towards the upper pressure levels.
Well, if you had been visiting Eli's recommended sites you would know that SoD has been re-exploring Miskolczi in great detail, you know, the guy who thinks the optical depth of the atmosphere is fixed by the equation fairy. After lord knows how many hours, SoD came to the sensible conclusion that
In summary – this paper does not contain a theory. Just because someone writes lots of equations down in attempt to back up some experimental work, it is not theory.Which is pretty much what Nick Stokes and Eli could have told him from our first encounter with the Hungarian Meteorological Service which published the original recipe in 2007 (btw, the Service appears to have come to the same conclusion lately.)
If the author has some experimental work and no theory, that is what he should present – look what I have found, I have a few ideas but can someone help develop a theory to explain these results.
Obviously the author believes he does have a theory. But it’s just equation soufflé.
I think Miskolczi's paper could have been written in two sentences:But, to tell the truth Eli is an old bunny, with little time, and certainly not willing to collapse the equation souffle that is thrust at him. OTOH, Eli does place a great deal of weight on the data, and what little data Mis presents comes from TIGR2. TIGR2 you say? Doesn't that have a much drier tropical atmosphere than even TIGR3, which was certainly available to Mis, and doesn't using a drier tropical atmosphere really really make the optical depth of what you calculate like way lower than it really is.
Seriously, if you are making a claim like this, you need a good argument, put with some clarity. You would usually write down a model with some unknowns, state some physical principles with their resulting equations, and derive relations which characterise the unknowns. M does this, but at least three of his basic equations appear to be totally wrong. They actually look like elementary errors. Or if they are right, it seems no-one can explain them."The greenhouse gas theory that has been used for the last century is TOTALLY WRONG! The proof is left as an exercise for the reader."
So this is Black Knight stuff. OK the use of Kirchhoff may be wrong, not sure about virial or that pesky Eq 7, but can anyone prove this is wrong, or that? People just lose patience.
Glad you asked. That was a question that the folks from the keepers of the TIGR database at the Laboratoire de Meteorologie Dynamique de CNRS confronted in 1998 in the Journal of Applied Meteorology 37, 1385, M. Chevallier, Cheruy, Scott an dChedin. Know what they pointed out
The optical depth that Miskolczi calculates from TIGR2 is much too low. It's all sausage
Posted by EliRabett at 9:06 PM
The analogy for American and British actions 150 years apart is that in both cases, the great power refrained from doing evil actions that would significantly harm the good side in each cause, and that in both cases the great power got little credit for its restraint.
Posted by Brian at 12:52 PM
Friday, May 27, 2011
In today's news, a wife who had never flown an airplane, took over the plane when the pilot, her husband, became ill. The story had a happy ending.
The same unlikely event was part of the plot of the 1956 movie Julie, starring Doris Day as the flight attendant. Once again, the story had a happy ending.
Nearly two decades later, in the movie Airport 1975 , a classic disaster movie with a star-studded cast, Karen Black played the flight attendant who saved the airplane. Same plot, and (are you ready for this?) the same happy ending.
A half dozen years later, Julie Hagarty played the flight attendant in the 1980 parody movie Airplane! Believe it or not!! Yet another happy ending. This is Hollywood, after all.
By now, readers of Rabett Run realize that this plotline is tremendously popular with audiences. Faced with an emergency, a novice with no training rises to the occasion and saves the lives of dozens or hundreds of passengers. These movies have all been financial successes, sometimes very big successes. The 1980 movie Airplane! grossed $83M in North America alone, and cost only $3.5M.
That's Hollywood, that's entertainment. But in scientific affairs, how likely is it?
Here's a plot: a novice to the field of global warming/climate change reads about future disasters arising from the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The novice has no scientific background and doesn't understand much. Still the novice points out some flaws that experts in the field have somehow overlooked for decades. And the world's climate, previously thought to be in danger, coasts gently to a safe landing, with humanity's understanding strengthened by the brilliant insights of the novice.
How likely is this plotline?
In real life, a novice with no science background is more likely to be a crank than a hero. In some fields, it's routine for amateurs to believe sincerely that they have outsmarted the experts. Harvard physics professor Michael Tinkham told me three decades ago that he saved the tracts from amateurs - routine disproofs of Einstein's theory of Relativity, for example - and stored them in a cardboard box in the corner of his office, and he termed the cardboard box "the crank case".
A crank often knows a little bit about the subject, but not enough. A crank is often completely unwilling to entertain the notion that he might be wrong. A crank does not know anything about critical thinking. And a crank can be completely sincere, and totally deluded.
My approach to dealing with cranks (and noncranks) has been to explain soberly why climate scientists believe what they believe, in a 2008 piece outlining why the scientific case for modern anthropogenic global warming is an overwhelmingly convincing case, and in a 2010 followup piece. .
There's more to be said on the subject. Stay tuned!
Posted by John at 5:22 PM
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Nature in a new editorial entitled Copy and Paste (ok, ok cut and paste is real old fashioned, but Eli still has a tub of library paste in the basement) gives credit where credit it is due in the controversy about Edward Wegman, his euphonious report and serial copy and paste.
That doubts about the 2006 report have resulted in concrete action is mainly down to the sterling work of an anonymous climate blogger called Deep Climate.and points out that
The fact that 14 months have passed since Bradley's complaint without it being resolved is disheartening but not unusual. An examination of George Mason University's misconduct policies suggests that investigations should be resolved within a year of the initial complaint, including time for an appeal by the faculty member in question.and send several well known bloggers blood pressure through the roof
Long misconduct investigations do not serve anyone, except perhaps university public-relations departments that might hope everyone will have forgotten about a case by the time it wraps up. But in cases such as Wegman's, in which the work in question has been cited in policy debates, there is good reason for haste. Policy informed by rotten research is likely to have its own soft spots. Those who have been wronged deserve resolution of the matter. And one can hardly suppose that those who have been wrongfully accused enjoy living under a cloud for months.Popcorn please
Posted by EliRabett at 9:45 PM
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Many students, no matter their origin, paste sections of text into their work files picked up from on-line sources. They then, because they are relatively inexperienced, get these copied tracts mixed up with their own commentaries and two years later when they start drafting their thesis inadvertently plagiarize. Unwittingly, when drafting a paper from one of the chapters for publication, some of this copied text is again inadvertently introduced. I and a co-supervisor working up the paper making corrections as we revise their work may spot the problems but then we may not.
So to any who find Wegman guilty as charged remember this: one day when you are a senior academic and when the fire of self-righteous indignation does not burn quite so bright, it might just happen to you.
Posted by Brian at 11:43 PM
Monday, May 23, 2011
Remember Donald Rapp, the guy who, well, let's be nice, had a lot of stuff in a book he published, that, just by coincidence was exactly the same as other stuff that appeared in the Wegman Report (if you don't know what this is about is go over and take a look at Deep Climate on Rapp, Wegman and everything else) and, in the words of the limerick the question was who had copied and pasted what from whom. Well, as time passed it turns out that Rapp, who was an adjunct at USC (he had earlier retired from JPL where he held a senior position, these guys are the real emeriti) was invited not to reapply at USC without explaining himself, so he left some spittle on the video monitor and huffed off.
Ah, you say young bunnies, that explains the Jerk in the title of the post, but what about the circles. Well, it further turns out that the editor guy who accepted the Said and Wegman paper that has now been thrown out (withdrawn is, shall we say a minced version of reality) for plagiarism, Stanley Azen, is also Assistant Dean of Research Integrity. At USC.
Eli closes with Deep Climate's question
Is your head spinning in this hall of mirrors yet?
Posted by EliRabett at 9:55 PM
Saturday, May 21, 2011
UPDATES: See below
Let us continue our exploration of Fall, et al. the al. being played by Watts, Nielsen Gammon, Jones, Niyogi, Christy and Pielke Sr. Credit where credit is due of course, but Eli thinks that after he drives his combine harvester through their carrot patch they may not be so happy.
To his credit John N-G has been posting a lot on this, describing what he thinks is worthwhile about the paper. Here is how he differentiates between Fall, et al. and Menne, et al.
So Eli being a RTFR kinda bunny asked where the data was, and John pointed. Many thanks, and Eli went and got and extracted the Excel file with the results. Now to be honest, Eli was not looking for what he found, but what he found has implications both for Fall et al, and elsewhere (tho not so much for GISSTEMP). When Eli unzipped the Final List.xls he sorted it by Watts Rank (1-5, with 5 being the worst stations) and by location: Rural, Suburban and Urban.
Then, thanks to Gatesian logic, the Rabett compared the number of stations in each Watts Rank by location and count,
It was an ah choo moment, because clearly rural stations are relatively under-represented in categories 1 and 2, but relatively over represented in the worst three rankings.
The implication of this is that Fall and Co. (and Menne) can and should not simply compare results from categories with each other, but should first look and see how the rural, suburban and urban distributions vary within categories, and indeed they do. Let the bunnies look at this for a couple of categories (gets very Tamino like) starting with Category 2
and Rabett Labs sees pretty much the same thing for the trends in Tmin and Tman, with what looks like two classes of rural stations. This is equally clear in WR3. How about Watts Rank 4?
UPDATE: This was originally switched with Tmax for WR 3. John N-G pointed this out. The asymmetry between the urban and rural remains, but the suburban is more like the rural
UPDATE: Same as for above for WR4
Tmax for WR3
1. Fall, et al. fell off the carrot truck into the harvester because they did not correct for location bias which is a hoot and a half given how Watts and Pielke have gone on for centuries about the UHI, urban heat island effect, but this appears to be the RRE, the rural refrigerator effect.
2. If Eli compares the list of stations GISS uses with those used by Fall, et al., Fall appear to omit some urban and some airport stations although he was too foul to look at what was in the USHCN and what not
3. Without the RRE stations, trends in Tmean, Tmax and Tmin appear to match pretty well within Watts Ranks and across them and for rural, suburban and urban stations (Eyeball Stats).
4. The RRE stations appear to have pretty damn close to zero trends in Tmean, Tmax and Tmin.
5. What differentiates the RRE stations is not clear to Eli. Probably requires digging deep into the metadata.
6. There is at least one paper in there. Please acknowledge Rabett Labs, E. Rabett Prop.
7. If you want a copy of the Excel spreadsheet, put a note in the comments
UPDATE: John N-G points out that for determining a US wide trend proper area weighting has to be used. True enough, but to average something, it helps to average apples, not apples and pears.
Posted by EliRabett at 3:45 PM