Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I'm Sorry, So Sorry

Now that everybunny and weasel has had their say about the twitter dustup at the Royal Society Meeting on arctic sea ice Eli feels compelled to leave the building.  As to taking a position, the Rabett is closest to Victor Venema,
I do understand that the speaker feels like people are talking behind his back. He is not on twitter and even if he were: you cannot speak and tweet simultaneously. Yes, people do the same on the conference floors and in bars, but then you at least do not notice it. For balance it should be noted that there was also plenty of critique given after the talk; that people were not convinced was thus not behind his back.
tweeting from a meeting is perilous, not really necessary, and the heat of the tweet, can lead to hurt feelings. In this case Prof. Wadhams was excised, enough that he formally complained to the Royal Society.   Wadhams, of course, made a fool of himself by going after one of the tweeters, Gavin Schmidt, not only getting Gavin's position wrong, but in his complaint, misspelling the name of the NASA Administrator, Chuck Boulden
“To: Maj.-Gen. Charles F. Brandell,Jr.
Administrator, NASA”
That must have gone down a treat especially when Gavin puts the polite knife in pointing out the mistake.  Our Gavin and friends then responded with a detailed fisking.  Stoat put it fine
A combo of the death cycle and the methane, coupled with a not-understanding-social-media, leads to… Well, I’ll point you to Reply to letter & email from Prof Peter Wadhams, dated 28 September 2014, and subsequent email from Prof Wadhams, dated 30 September 2014, concerning the use of Twitter during a recent Royal Society Arctic Sea Ice meeting and also the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION Complaint to Royal Society about social media use at the discussion meeting: Arctic sea ice reduction: the evidence, models, and global impacts which you should go off and read. Back? Jolly good.
Much of the back and forth concerned whether Wadhams was off his nut or not and whether the tweets were beyond the pale, but to Eli this misses the point.

There are two kinds of apologies.  The first is Eli was wrong and you were right Eli apologizes.  Never happens of course because Eli is never wrong, or at least not very often.  The other is dear Ms. Rabett, Eli never meant to hurt you and is deeply sorry.  He apologizes and will try and make up for that.  Often happens. 

From this one concludes that Gavin Schmidt, Sheldon Bacon and Mark Brandon are not deeply in love with Peter Wadham, or have much respect for his opinions on arctic sea ice.


Thomas Lee Elifritz said...

Oh ... the emeritus crank feeewings!

He'll show that wabbit!

Thomas Lee Elifritz said...

Since Charlie is a nobody who hates being called 'Chuck', then I guess you are excused for misspelling his name as well. If I were Charlie, I would try to keep under the radar like that as well, since his legacy at NASA isfar less than optimal.

Steve Bloom said...

Even so, excising seems excessive.

Anonymous said...

"The first is Eli was wrong and you were right Eli apologizes. Never happens of course because Eli is never wrong, or at least not very often."

Except here and here, but of course Eli would never admit to getting wrong such elementary rate equations or to being wrong about prematurely weighing in on a nuclear accident (Fukushima Daiichi) ***"There is no credible risk of a serious accident" *** based on little more than assurances from some guy named Josef Oehmen.

EliRabett said...

Thank you for swallowing the bait. Eli is amused.

...and Then There's Physics said...

I guess I'm confused as to which of your two apologies apply in this case. Since not much they said in the tweets was wrong, the first doesn't seem appropriate. Since, some of what was said may be regarded as a little snarky, the second may have been appropriate had he approached them directly. Having written to their employers and the RS, that ship would seem to have sailed. I don't really see a third option.

Additionally I do agree with what some have said (and what is implied - I think in Victor's quote) that ideally you shouldn't tweet what you wouldn't be willing to say to someone publicly. Of course, if you were willing to say publicly that someone's work lacks any physical basis and appears to be largely based on guesswork, then you're fine :-)

Victor Venema said...

I was fortunately never at a conference where the chair introduced the next speaker with the words: "and now back to science". I would say that is not something you say publicly, at least at a scientific conference.

Thomas Lee Elifritz said...

Ah ... very clever that wabbit.

Chucky Bouldin would be amused as well. Everybody should call him that from now on, in print too, lol.

Anonymous said...

"Eli is amused.'

Not as amused as I am that someone with a PhD in chemistry who spent his career working on chemical kinetics apparently does not know how to write down very basic rate equations.

Alastair said...

It was rather unfortunate that Prof. Wadhams fails to realise that there is a physical basis for believing that the Arctic sea ice will crash. The melt is driven by the ice-albedo positive feedback. It is the IPCC predictions which show the rate of melt decreasing as the area of ice approaches a minimum which lack any scientific justification.

The problem is that the modellers are all mathematicians and imagine that the Earth System is linear. None of them seem to be aware of catastrophe theory. Perhaps they were not taught that at undergraduate level.

Hank Roberts said...

I'm holding out for speculation that there's a growing body of sekrit Submarine Navy science that can't be disclosed in the usual fashion in the journals, but is known by and provides a basis for Wadham's and Maslowski's outlier ideas about the future course of the Arctic.

Who else, after all, would be expected to have detailed transects with records of ice shape and thickness, and of all the Arctic Ocean's different layers, at different temperatures and salinities, and origins and paths?

Particularly because, as I recall, the old heavily ice-breaker-armored submarines that could punch through thick ice are either out of service, or soon to be retired, and the newer ones have to find relatively thin ice or open water if they want to go to launch.

I'm sure I posted that link at Stoat's somewhere.

If you're in a hurry to get your missiles in the air, you don't want to be messing around finding thin ice, you want to know every place it might be available.

Not to mention, of course, you want to be up to speed on all the sources of fossil fuel, and all the submarine cables, and everything the Other Side is doing.

So, I'm guessing it's no coincidence that the two Navy-connected sea ice scientists happen to agree on their sooner-and-thinner estimates.

Of course, feeding one's whatchacallem -- bobbins? oh, right, boffins -- fake information you know they'll leak to their peers, in order to get the Other Side to believe it, is also in the great game tradition. Not to mention the need to anticipate changing over to surface ships, which requires getting one's political ducks in a row long before they are grown up.

Hm. I conclude I have no idea what's true.
Yet again.

Hank Roberts said...

Ah, here's that bit:

"Virginia-class submarines are
limited to surfacing through no more than
six inches of ice ..."
at p.16

and from p.17

"... NOFFS Bench Press Strength Exercise were tasked with the most extensive data collection since the late 1990s, obtaining over 800 water samples and launching more than 50 Under/Ice (U/I) Submarine-launched eXpendable Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth (SSXCTD) probes while submerged beneath the pack ice. A U/I SSXCTD measures conductivity, temperature, and density as it travels downward through the water column while sending the data back to an onboard computer. Typically, the submarines would make a quick stop about every six hours to collect the water samples along with measuring the conductivity and temperature profile of the water column through the use of special
U/I SSXCTDs. The samples will contribute to a database that tracks, among other things, salinity, total organic carbon, phytoplankton, dissolved oxygen, tritium, and helium concentrations throughout the Arctic Basin.

The scientific and oceanographic communities use the data to gain insights into the flow of water into the Arctic from the Pacific Ocean and subsequent mixing with Atlantic waters. The encompassing study of the Arctic Ocean deals with marine life concentration, biodiversity of organisms, and even the impact
on weather patterns. The scientific work also builds on the work measuring ice thickness and ice keel draft along with contributing to the database tracking the bathymetry characteristics of the ocean floor.

The collaboration of the U.S. Navy with the scientific community has provided the analysts with invaluable data that could not be collected from any other source ...."

-----end quote----

Now as I said this is pure speculation on my part, but if those data are available and are being used by any of the modelers, I'd like to know how that's working out.

Everett F Sargent said...

Charles Bolden

I noticed this awhile ago, elsewhere's, cut-and-paste, not helpful.

But here's hoping that you leave the misspelling in for the sake SOP.

Thank You,
Definitely NOT the management

Russell Seitz said...

If you mean the curren SSN &&$ series Virginia class, that's crazy- the sucker displaces 7,000 tonnes and the sail is built like a tank on steroids.

The six inches of ice meme probaly attaches to how much ice the various extensible masts and periscopes can punch through.

With the sticks retracted the sail could tear the bottom out of a fair sized frigate. I'm extrapolating from the caustriphobic experience of climbing inside the sail to stand in the well atop a Sturgeon class boat that weighed two thousnd tonnes less.

Thomas Lee Elifritz said...

Yeah, that's right, Chucky Bouldin, that's what I said. NASA Admiral.

Go SLS! Go Orion! USA rules, lol.

Oh wicked wascally wabbits.

Everett F Sargent said...

What? No Fuck NASA in the Rear Admiral?

Thomas Lee Elifritz said...

I tried that, it doesn't work. They just keep going like the Energizer Bunny. Nothing seems to stop them, not even failure. So I gave up and just join with the chanting Go NASA!

Andrew said...

Russell -

Yes.. come to think of it, I'm pretty sure that my one tonne Car could get through 6 inches of ice pretty much undamaged. Admittedly it would be going down rather than up.

Aaron said...

In 2002, Gavin Schmidt was calling people "alarmist" for saying the Arctic sea ice would not last 80 years. In 2009, he was still defending the models that said the sea ice would recover and endure. Gavin seems to like his virtual climate better than he likes the weather outside his window.

Wadham, on the other hand is more of a go and look, touch, and feel kind of Naturalist.

I do not think that Schmidt, Bacon or Brandon are in love with anyone that disturbs their virtual reality with the truth. That particularly includes Shakhova and Semiletov. I am not even sure that Wadham understands the importance of their work. The commercial geology developed during oil exploration for North Slope oil and the Alyeska Pipeline validates their work.

John Mashey said...

Sad to say, Wadhams' precognitive dreams failed to warn him.

There is an uncanny connection with Rabett Run in 2008, when Eli first thrust the Society for Scientific Exploration into my consciousness, from which I have not since been able to expunge it.

Victor Venema said...

Aaron, extrapolation without understanding the processes, without a model, is very dangerous.

J Bowers said...

Wadhams does refer to models and 'Estimating the global radiative impact of the sea ice–albedo feedback in the Arctic' Hudson (2011), in 'Rebuttal: Imminent collapse of Arctic sea ice drives danger of accelerated methane thaw'. As we know, all models are wrong, but we also know that experience and observations also count for something. At least, that's what mostbunnies have been saying for some time.