Friday, January 31, 2014

Gong Xi



Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Curry Vindaloo

Two excellent comments in the post on the Discovery of Currywurst.  First Fergus tell the bunnies of the thrills of England's national dish

On the optimum temperature of a Curry, or weather;

Some people like it nice and mild,
something like a Korma,
Others have more ambition
And go for something warmer;
But you should be alarmed, too
If offered proper Vindaloo.
In all events, it pays to hurry
When ultimately dumping Curry

and then TonyLearns shows the other side now
But Mosher says Tamino is a(an almost) complete incompetent.

Isn't that a devastating rebuttal?

Then I read Judith post of Tamino and arctic temps.

I was rather surprised that all the PEER REVIEWED research shoed the arctic in the 30's was as warm or warmer than NOW?

My heart started racing. ALL that time I had spent ridiculing Goddard on the arctic, at it turns out he was RIGHT ALL ALONG.

All these years I have trust you alarmists, and then a true Galileo like curry shows me the TRUTH!

I rushed over to Tamino's page to read his heart felt surrender. I was feeling really sad for him.
but then it turns out, Curry had apparently not been references research that included the 2000's and not the most recent years in the arctic.

But then how was one to guess that anything unusual had been going on in the arctic since 2002? has there been ANY coverage on the condition of the arctic since say 2007? It is hard to imagine that Curry would have known of ANYTHING happening in the arctic after 2002, it is SOOO big and COLD up there, and has not really been an issue among climate alarmists or deniers in the last few years.

I think Curry was perfectly justified, after reading Tamino's response, to just take her marbles and go home. The NERVE of that man to talk to a real lady like that way. REALLY!

I mean how much more scientific can one get than, when presented with real data, to pout and say

"Well, we really don't know much of anything about the arctic".

and I must say the other commenters on Tamino's post were VERY rude, expecting her to act like a real scientist and all, and engage with him about real research.
There is no end to the sharp observations, but for now these too will do.  Will no bunny carry the news to our friends?

I'm kind of a big deal, in Australia

No need to provide additional context or links to the articles, I think.

Relatedly, Richard Lindzen is supposedly claiming he's willing to make the same bet, on the cold side. Someone needs to tell James Annan, who tried to take Lindzen up on this bet offer years ago and then Lindzen denied making it.

Die Entdeckung der Currywurst

OK, Eli is indulging Eli.  The Discovery of Currywurst is a shaggy dog novel which describes how Currywurst was first made in a small stand in Hamburg along its meandering ways.  A basic principle, perhaps due to Bismark, Eli is too unconcerned to google the provenance, is that one should never peer too closely into how sausage (wurst) and laws are made.

Well, Eli, and Tamino and Robert Way, made that mistake, and Judith Curry is indeed making sausage in her risible replies to Tamino and Eli.   The reply to Eli was quite short, so Eli replied in turn, here and below.  Tamino took more space

Dear Prof. Curry,

 Here you say

The theme of my recent Senate testimony was to compare the AR4 and AR5, and to demonstrate a lowering of confidence in elements of the AR5, and the growing issue of natural variability. So I stuck to citing the IPCC reports, not any recent papers or selling my own opinion (for example, in this context I cited the IPCC on the Antarctic sea ice, not the Liu/Curry paper).
But Eli recalls you also writing in your testimony
A recent paper seeks to interpret the multi-decadal natural variability component of the Arctic sea ice in context of a ‘stadium wave’. (7) This paper suggests that a transition to recovery of the natural variability component of the sea ice extent has begun in theEurasian Arctic sector, and that the recovery will reach its maximum extent circa 2040.
and later in the testimony your summary states
The stadium wave hypothesis (8) predicts that the warming hiatus could extend to the 2030’s. Based upon climate model projections, the probability of the hiatus extending beyond 20 years is vanishing small. If the hiatus does extend beyond 20 years, then a very substantial reconsideration will be needed of the 20th century attribution and the 21st century projections of climate change.
and, of course, there is a great deal of much earlier work that reaches the same conclusion as Liu and Curry. Some of which was noted in Liu and Curry and some not so much. Now Liu and Curry has its problems (see links at the link too), but some, not Eli to be sure, think that the stadium wave is little worse than hand waving. So yes, a Curry vs. Curry rematch

Oh yes, Steve Mosher is pouring sauce over his head at Judy's Currywurst.  It is cold outside.  Give the lad some warmth.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Gauntlet Tossing

Judith Curry to Michael Mann

“Since you have publicly accused my Congressional testimony of being ‘anti-science,’ I expect you to (publicly) document and rebut any statement in my testimony that is factually inaccurate or where my conclusions are not supported by the evidence that I provide.”
Robert Way
One of your major points:

“Lack of warming since 1998″
“the warming over the past 15 years is only ~0.05″

Is inconsistent with surface air temperature datasets that have more complete coverage of the Arctic (e.g. Cowtan and Way; GISS). We have done many more further tests which strengthen this result. If you believe that the rate of warming is only 0.05 then I ask that you prove it and provide your code and rationale for how you deal with the missing coverage areas. Remember leaving a region out treats it the same as the global average.

A second major point:

“Further, Arctic surface temperature anomalies in the 1930’s were as large as the recent temperature anomalies”

Your statement (and the IPCC one you referenced) regarding the early century Arctic warming being of comparable magnitude to the recent Arctic warming is incorrect. Once again I ask that you provide the analysis to prove this erroneous statement. Myself and Kevin have already verified based on all available land, and land+ocean datasets even including the NansenSAT dataset that the IPCC referenced for this statement.
I’ve recently done three blog posts about your senate testimony. In addition to offering my opinions, I have also taken the time to “(publicly) document and rebut” statements in your testimony that are “factually inaccurate or … not supported by the evidence” that you provide.

If you think my efforts are “dubious,” then I invite you to publicly support that contention. Be sure to provide scientific evidence, and rest assured that those (including me) who will place whatever you provide under the microscope will be far better prepared to evaluate it than members of a senate committee.

As for the legal case between Steyn and Mann, I suggest that the judge who will decide the case has at least as much reverence for our constitution’s free-speech guarantee, and a far better understading of the issues, than you and others who talk of “rather frightening implications of this case for free speech.” Or have you spent enough time on google and wikipedia to launch a “21st century democratization of expertise” when it comes to the law?
Prof. Curry, perhaps you would be kind enough to reconcile the claim in your written testimony that increasing Antarctic sea ice extent as reported in the AR5 WGI report weakens the case for attributing most of the warming to human influences can be reconciled with your 2010 PNAS paper, Accelerated warming of the Southern Ocean and its impacts on the hydrological cycle and sea ice the abstract of which reads:
The observed sea surface temperature in the Southern Ocean shows a substantial warming trend for the second half of the 20th century. Associated with the warming, there has been an enhanced atmospheric hydrological cycle in the Southern Ocean that results in an increase of the Antarctic sea ice for the past three decades through the reduced upward ocean heat transport and increased snowfall. The simulated sea surface temperature variability from two global coupled climate models for the second half of the 20th century is dominated by natural internal variability associated with the Antarctic Oscillation, suggesting that the models’ internal variability is too strong, leading to a response to anthropogenic forcing that is too weak. With increased loading of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere through the 21st century, the models show an accelerated warming in the Southern Ocean, and indicate that anthropogenic forcing exceeds natural internal variability. The increased heating from below (ocean) and above (atmosphere) and increased liquid precipitation associated with the enhanced hydrological cycle results in a projected decline of the Antarctic sea ice.
Good times.

Steyn doesn't understand the picture

It's from his blog post. He seems to think the hand covering his mouth belongs to Michael Mann, but it's actually his own lawyer's.

Didn't work though, so his legal analyst team appears to have had enough:


They can quit him, it turns out, and the blog post is an indication why. Steyn (or maybe National Review) does manage to keep himself from repeating the f-word about Mann, so that's good. But then:
Up north, following a similar SLAPP suit from the Canadian Islamic Congress, my publisher Maclean's, who are far less ideologically simpatico to me than NR, nevertheless understood the stakes — and helped get a disgusting law with a 100 percent conviction rate first stayed by a hitherto jelly-spined jurist and ultimately repealed by the Parliament of Canada.
Having already dissed the judge he had before his current one, he then writes above that the Canadian judge who actually gave him a success is a "hitherto jelly-spined jurist." Current judge Weisberg now knows what thanks to expect even if he eventually rules in Steyn's favor, given that anything short of exactly what Steyn wants at any time constitutes "jelly-spinedness".

Steyn wonders why he's not supposed to talk about the judge, and fails to realize that not bad-mouthing your own judge in your own case where the issue is whether you defame people recklessly isn't the same as his made-up claim that people aren't supposed to criticize judges generally. He appears to have judgment issues.

And there's this paragraph:
I take the view that I'm entitled to say the same thing in Seattle as I would in Sydney or Stockholm, Sofia or Suva. But, were Dr. Mann to prevail, it would nevertheless be the case that his peculiarly thin skin and insecurities would enjoy greater protection under U.S. law than they do in Britain, Canada, Australia, and other jurisdictions. It would thus be a major setback for the First Amendment.
That's a ridiculous comparison of libel laws, btw, where public figures like Mann have much more trouble winning in the US than England. Mainly though I think there's finally an undertone of something less than confidence in the trial outcome. Maybe he's waking up.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Peer Preview

A neat little Indian carryout opened near Eli's house, and they play this stuff non stop.  Food is good too.

For those interested in peer review try this about how a cat became a co-author to deal with the editor demanding a second author if the text used the pronoun we and the pre-word processor delight of retyping a paper to meet the demands of peer review.

“Why was I willing to do such an irreverent thing? Against it was the fact that most of us are paid partly by how many papers we publish, and there is some dilution of the effect of the paper on one’s reputation when it is shared by another author. On the other hand, I did not ignore completely the publicity value, either. If it eventually proved to be correct, people would remember the paper more if the anomalous authorship were known. In any case I went ahead and did it and have generally not been sorry. Most people are amused by the concept, only editors, for some reason, seem to find little humor in the story.”

Chester is believed to be the only cat who has published research in low-temperature physics. “When reprints arrived, I inked F.D.C. Willard’s paw and he and I signed about 10 reprints which I sent to a few friends,” Hetherington later recalled. “The story has now been told many times and my wife can add that she sleeps with both authors!”

Friday, January 24, 2014

Steyn vs. Steyn - Don't Miss Any Updates From Richard Troll

As Michael Mann and Michael Mann's lawyers may have prayed, both Rand Simberg and Mark Steyn, especially Mark Steyn have proved themselves exemplary defendants, well if you want to talk about those seeking to shoot themselves in the foot head.  Eli has already gone on a bit about Simberg and his ill advised 60 comment hate on Judge Greene, now the good Mother Jones, speaking through Mariah Blake, has a word on defendant Steyn.

Earlier this month, Steptoe & Johnson, the law firm representing the National Review and its writer, Mark Steyn, withdrew as Steyn’s counsel. According to two sources with inside knowledge, it also plans to drop the National Review as a client.

The lawyers’ withdrawal came shortly after Steyn—a prominent conservative pundit, who regularly fills in as host of Rush Limbaugh's radio show—publicly attacked the former judge in the case, Natalia Combs Greene, accusing her of "stupidity" and "staggering" incompetence. Mann’s attorney, John B. Williams, suspects this is no coincidence. "Any lawyer would be taken aback if their client said such things about the judge," he says. "That may well be why Steptoe withdrew."
Steyn has added fuel to the fire filing what can only be described as a Monckton class gerrymander in the guise of a motion to Judge Weisberg's court.  The original must have been covered in spite spit, referring to Judge Greene giving up the case on retirement as a "whimsical, arbitrary and selective withdrawal".  Well, it goes on and on, much like The Good Viscount's threat to venture into academic publishing via the Pattern Recognition Press. 

This was to be expected given Steyn previous adventures with the press north of 44 40 chronicled by Big City Lib and as in those cases, according to Ms. Blake, it appears that National Review on or off line is cutting its ties with Steyn as he has not been published by them for a while.

Still the best part of Steyn's motion is, of course, Exhibit C

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mann vs Steyn Lurches Forward

UPDATE:  Rick Piltz has much more at Climate Science Watch as well as having posted the ruling

UPDATED PREDICTION:  Having narrowed the issue, it is Eli's considered opinion, that Judge Weisberg is going to push very hard for the parties to settle with an apology.  The Judge will make it clear that he won't play with those who remain stubborn.  While Steyn and  Simberg are individual clowns NRO and CEI are corporate entities with much to lose.  Discovery, if it ever takes place is not going to be a popcorn fest on either side because it will be tightly controlled to the one issue.  Steve McIntyre can unpack.  Remember tho EINAL

In a just released ruling, Rabett Run's special correspondent reports that Rand Simberg's hero has turned against him.  Bunnies may remember that Simberg danced a jig when the appeals fairy denied jurisdiction

This has been a case run on luck so far. We've had bad luck by having the previous judge, but her incompetence has also been ultimately to our favor, and against Mann's.

That is why we are breaking out champagne.
Today's ruling by Judge Frederick Weisberg has undoubtedly sent the National Review/Competitive Enterprise Institute team out venue shopping.  Weisberg denied their motions for summary dismissal under the DC Anti-SLAPP Suit Act, but most striking was his reason for doing so
. . . .plaintiff alleges that CEI published, and National Review republished, the following defamatory statement: “Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science that could have dire economic consequences for the nation and planet.” The allegedly defamatory aspect of this sentence is the statement that plaintiff “molested and tortured data,” not the rhetorically hyperbolic comparison to convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky.
with a little footnotee on the end of that paragraph
Accusing plaintiff of working “in the service of politicized science” is arguably a protected statement of opinion, but accusing a scientist of “molest[ing] and tortur[ing] data” is an assertion of fact.
and sets further forth in detail
The statement “he has molested and tortured data” could easily be interpreted to mean that the plaintiff distorted, manipulated, or misrepresented his data. Certainly the statement is capable of a defamatory meaning, which means the questions of whether it was false and made with “actual malice” are questions of fact for the jury.    A reasonable reader, both within and outside the scientific community, would understand that a scientist who molests or tortures his data is acting far outside the bounds of any acceptable scientific method. In context, it would not be unreasonable for a reader to interpret the comment, and the republication in National Review, as an allegation that Dr. Mann had committed scientific fraud, which Penn State University then covered up, just as some had accused the University of covering up the Sandusky scandal. For many of the reasons discussed in Judge Combs Greene’s July 19 orders, to state as a fact that a scientist dishonestly molests or tortures data to serve a political agenda would have a strong likelihood of damaging his reputation within his profession, which is the very essence of defamation.
Oh yes, there will be discovery.  Things just got a whole lot more serious for the defendants.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Did anyone else pick up this Pielke prediction?

From November 11, 2011, RPJr says:

The Obama Administration has put off a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline until immediately after the 2012 election. At that point a newly elected Republican president will be able to quickly approve it or President Obama can do the same without concern for an upcoming election.
Responding to enviro claims that rejecting the original Keystone application was a victory, RPJr continues:
Let's return to this February, 2013 and see if "victory" still smells as sweet -- when plans re-emerge for crude oil flowing south, regardless of who wins the election.
Well, so much for the timing of Pielke's prediction. I think it's quite possible that Obama will approve Keystone, but unlike Romney, he'll counterbalance any approval with something to help the climate. And the more he delays, the more he'll have to counterbalance with something meaningful rather than refer to past actions. Each year the tar sands stay in the ground increases the chance that at least some of it will stay there, so delay has a value in addition to making victory possible.

Happy to link to anyone who pointed this out before.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Snowden helped and harmed the US, so cut him a deal

(Could've sworn I blogged in the past that the Obama Admin had gone too far on the government surveillance, but can't find it. Oh well. (UPDATE:  stumbled on it here, from June last year.))

Not too much original to say here other than if a whistleblower reveals information that causes what passes for a consensus these days in Washington that the government's overreached on surveillance, that's clearly a great benefit to American society and others who've been snooped on.

Snowden also revealed info on how we've snooped on non-allies, which was unnecessary and harmful. Revealing our snooping on allies led to huge hypocrisy from said allies, although it might also help with reduced Orwellianness towards Jane Six-Pack Foreigner. Also worth noting that he apparently lied to a dozen or two fellow employees to persuade them to break protocol and give him their passwords, and they're now as unemployed as he is but minus the celebrity status.

I guess he'd have been more heroic had he stayed to take his punishment, but I don't see it as a requirement that one maximizes the price one pays for doing the right thing (given that a lot of what he did was right).

Assuming the claim he's a Russian spy are just bull, then cut him a deal:  he cooperates to limit any future damage, tells all he knows about where he's hid the information still out there, he forfeits all future book/movie royalties, and in return he comes home and gets probation for a few years.

Curry vs. Curry

UPDATE:  And Eli has been remiss on the Prof. Curry testimony circuit on not pointing to Tamino's take on her statements about the Arctic.   North Pole, South Pole, all around the planet. . .

Dana Nuccitelli, And Then, Sou and Bart have comments on last week's Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee testimony by Prof Andy Dessler and Prof. Judith Curry.

Prof. Curry has issued a challenge to those (Mike Mann usw,) who think she was being economical with the truth

Since you have publicly accused my Congressional testimony of being ‘anti-science,’  I expect you to (publicly) document and rebut any statement in my testimony that is factually inaccurate or where my conclusions are not supported by the evidence that I provide
Now some, not Eli to be sure, might point out that there is more than a bit of lawerly verbage in there given the cherry orchard that the evidence that somebunny provides can omit, but the bunnies are forgiving beasts.

In Prof. Judith Curry's testimony she claimed that
However, several key elements of the AR5 WGI report point to a weakening of the case for attributing most of the warming to human influences, relative to the previous assessment
  • Lack of warming since 1998 and the growing discrepancies between observations and climate model projections
  • Evidence of decreased climate sensitivity to increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations
  • Evidence that sea level rise during 1920 - 1950 is of the same magnitude as in 1993 -2012
  • Increasing Antarctic sea ice extent
Permit the Rabett to start at the bottom.  Eli and the Weasel previously noted Prof. Curry really does not believe that increasing Antarctic sea ice extent casts any doubt of the AR5's conclusions because she knows why the sea ice in Antarctica has been increasing (or perhaps not increasing as much, that may be another interesting tale of whom do you believe, theory or observation, as a recent preprint casts doubt on the magnitude).  In a 2010 PNAS paper, Accelerated warming of the Southern Ocean and its impacts on the hydrological cycle and sea ice Prof. Curry's abstract reads:
The observed sea surface temperature in the Southern Ocean shows a substantial warming trend for the second half of the 20th century. Associated with the warming, there has been an enhanced atmospheric hydrological cycle in the Southern Ocean that results in an increase of the Antarctic sea ice for the past three decades through the reduced upward ocean heat transport and increased snowfall. The simulated sea surface temperature variability from two global coupled climate models for the second half of the 20th century is dominated by natural internal variability associated with the Antarctic Oscillation, suggesting that the models’ internal variability is too strong, leading to a response to anthropogenic forcing that is too weak. With increased loading of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere through the 21st century, the models show an accelerated warming in the Southern Ocean, and indicate that anthropogenic forcing exceeds natural internal variability. The increased heating from below (ocean) and above (atmosphere) and increased liquid precipitation associated with the enhanced hydrological cycle results in a projected decline of the Antarctic sea ice.(emphasis added)
Of course the Weasel thinks the entire paper is the stadium wave in forecasting form, but Eli will be generous given that Prof. Curry thinks that the paper was a good thing given her comments over at Stoat's. (The paper has vanished from the Ga Tech cache btw).  OTOH, a forecast of growth of sea ice through increased snow fall has a pretty simple and obvious mechanism going back to at least the 1990s.  The range of temperature at which snow falls is rather small basically because there has to be a significant amount of water vapor in the atmosphere, and when it gets really cold there ain't, so the only way for snow to fall is transport from warmer areas.  This makes sense if the Sourthern Ocean is warming, which cannot be gainsaid (sks has two useful debunkers which demystify Prof. Curry's claim in depth from which the next two images are borrowed)

and, of course, while there may be more sea ice, Antarctica itself is losing mass at a furious rate due to warming

But perhaps Prof. Curry's position has now shifted to that enunciated by Mark B
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
Prof. Curry appears to have publicly documented and rebutted Prof. Curry's statement in Prof. Curry's testimony about Antarctic sea ice increase weakening the evidence for man made climate change. Many thanks.

While Antarctic sea ice increase is taking place, according to Prof. Curry, it is inaccurate to say that it is evidence against man caused climate change, but according to her own published work, and that of others dating back to decades before her work, it is actually evidence for man made climate change because of the forecast increase in snow fall,. Prof. Curry's own work contradicts her own testimony.  Bunnies can now debate to what extent she gets an out by demanding that such a demystification be limited to the evidence that Prof. Curry provided, given that Prof. Curry probably provided Prof. Curry's CV with a list of publications as part of the evidence.  Moreover, this appears to be another case of where the models are too optimistic, as Prof. Curry herself states in Prof. Curry's paper.

To paraphrase Richard Alley, Prof. Curry,  looks at one part of the data, ignores much and and advises nulo problemo, Prof. Dessler looks at the entire picture and says, hey the models tell us we got a problem, we need to do something quick, and the Earth is over in the corner screaming bloody murder

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Senator Whitehouse on the Response of Industry to Climate Change

Missed a few weeks, but here is the holiday edition

Friday, January 17, 2014


For the festivities of our choice, Ms. Rabett recently gifted Eli with a book, Schottenfreude, German words for the human condition, by Ben Schott, where the author provides examples of the dexterity of the German language.

Of course, the prototype that has made it into other languages is Schadenfreude, happiness at the misfortune of some others, the rejoicing by certain parties at a boat getting stuck coming to mind, but Schott has others like Ruinenpornographie, which he defines as the morbid fascination with photographs of contemporary urban decay.  Eli will re-purpose it to fit the demise of Pattern Recognition In Physics, a two issue journal that was set up by and a bunch of buds who, let Eli be polite, don't quite fit into the 97%.  This was an important step for the denialists, because it opened the gate to the scientific literature.  While there are nuisance journals that are not followed by the citation services like World of Science or Scopus, and the occasional outlier that sneaks in because a bud of the editors has something weird to say, this was the real thing, published by the house that published the EGU journals.

After two issues that set new records for wrong Copernicus Publications has terminated the journal
Copernicus Publications started publishing the journal Pattern Recognition in Physics (PRP) in March 2013. The journal idea was brought to Copernicus' attention and was taken rather critically in the beginning, since the designated Editors-in-Chief were mentioned in the context of the debates of climate skeptics. However, the initiators asserted that the aim of the journal was to publish articles about patterns recognized in the full spectrum of physical disciplines rather than to focus on climate-research-related topics.
Even Eli, trusting bunny that he is, would have been, shall he say, skeptical of that one given the all star team of editors.
Recently, a special issue was compiled entitled "Pattern in solar variability, their planetary origin and terrestrial impacts". Besides papers dealing with the observed patterns in the heliosphere, the special issue editors ultimately submitted their conclusions in which they “doubt the continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project” (Pattern Recogn. Phys., 1, 205–206, 2013).
They were too greedy and obvious.  For the long haul they should have started quietly, but no.
Copernicus Publications published the work and other special issue papers to provide the spectrum of the related papers to the scientists for their individual judgment. Following best practice in scholarly publishing, published articles cannot be removed afterwards.

In addition, the editors selected the referees on a nepotistic basis, which we regard as malpractice in scientific publishing and not in accordance with our  publication ethics we expect to be followed by the editors.
Well, maybe nepotistic is not quite the right word, after all these guys are not family, or maybe they are, in which case incestuous would be better, but these are strong words
Therefore, we at Copernicus Publications wish to distance ourselves from the apparent misuse of the originally agreed aims & scope of the journal as well as the malpractice regarding the review process, and decided on 17 January 2014 to cease the publication of PRP. Of course, scientific dispute is controversial and should allow contradictory opinions which can then be discussed within the scientific community. However, the recent developments including the expressed implications (see above) have led us to this drastic decision.

Interested scientists can reach the online library at:
Nasty implication there.  Certainly the publishers are not happy about the clown show they let in the door.  However on a more serious note, Eli would like to ask the bunnies to stop rolling on the floor and direct their browser to the preceding post, where the Rabett has, with permission, put up Andy Dessler's testimony to Congress and the first comment by eveningperson

One of Andy's key points is
What about alternative theories?

Any theory that wants to compete with the standard model has to explain all of the observations that the standard model can. Is there any model that can even come close to doing that?

Eveningperson gets to the nub of why Pattern Recognition In Physics and skepticism in general flails (and yes that is a pun, but one with a point)
as Dessler points out, no other explanation accounts for the whole body (or standard model) of current climate change science and it is notable that there is no body of 'skeptics' building and refining an alternative model. 'Skepticism' consists largely, as far as I can see, of the continual circulation of a body of zombie memes that are never developed into a coherent model, indeed, these memes often logically contradict each other. This even after decades of development of the standard model. 

UPDATE:  More at Retraction Watch and Big City Lib.  And the bleating has begun.

Rog (I hate relativity and climate science) Tattersall even posted the Dear Nils-Axel letter they got
We regret to inform you that we decided to terminate the journal Pattern Recognition in Physics

 While processing the press release for the special issue “Pattern in solar variability, their planetary origin and terrestrial impacts”, we read through the general conclusions paper published on 16 Dec 2013. We were alarmed by the authors’ second implication stating “This sheds serious doubts on the issue of a continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project”. Before the journal was launched, we had a long discussion regarding its topics. The aim of the journal was to publish articles about patterns recognized in the full spectrum of physical disciplines. PRP was never meant to be a platform for climate sceptics. In addition to our doubts about the scientific content of PRP, we also received information about potential misconduct during the review process. Copernicus Publications cannot risk losing its excellent reputation in the scientific community. We therefore wish to distance ourselves from the apparent misuse of the originally agreed aims & scope of PRP and decided today to cease the publication. This decision must come as a surprise for you, but under the given circumstances we were forced to react.   
In the Dirty Harry sense, didn't Copernicus even look at the list of clowns who were the editors and take an early pass before getting pied??

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Andrew Dessler's Testimony to the Senate

Andy Dessler, an old friend of the blog, testified to the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee yesterday, while the testimony is available in full at the EPW site, Eli, with Andy's approval, is reproducing it at Rabett Run, where comments are welcome.  There is a general agreement that the testimony is a good statement of the current status of climate science and the challenges of climate change.  Without further ado:

What we know about climate change

Andrew E. Dessler
Professor of Atmospheric Sciences
Texas A&M University

My name is Andrew Dessler and I am a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University. I have been studying the atmosphere since 1988 and I have published in the peer-reviewed literature on climate change, including studies of the cloud and water vapor feedbacks and climate sensitivity.

In my testimony, I will review what I think are the most important conclusions the climate scientific community has reached in over two centuries of work. Let me begin by describing some important points that we know with high confidence — and how that has led me to personally conclude that climate change is a clear and present danger.

1.  The climate is warming.

By this I mean by this that we are presently in the midst of an overall increase in the temperature of the lower atmosphere and ocean spanning many decades. This can be seen in Figure 1, which shows the global average surface temperature, and Figure 2, which shows the heat content of the ocean (both figures plot anomalies, expressed in degrees Fahrenheit). A mountain of ancillary data supports these observations of warming: e.g., satellite measurements of the temperature of the lower atmosphere, loss of ice on the planet, observations of sea level rise.

Fig. 1. Global annual average temperature anomaly in °F; the gray line is the annual average and the black line is a smoothed time series. Data are from the NASA GISS Surface Temperature Analysis [Hansen et al., 2010], downloaded from mp/.  Other analyses show nearly identical results.

2. Most of the recent warming is extremely likely due to emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by human activities.

This conclusion is based on several lines of evidence:
a. Humans have increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from 280 parts per million in 1750 to 400 parts per million today. Methane levels have more than doubled over this period, and chlorofluorocarbons did not exist in our atmosphere before humans.

b. The physics of the greenhouse effect is well understood, and it predicts that the increase in greenhouse gases will warm the climate.
 Fig. 2. Ocean temperature anomaly in °F of the entire ocean. Anomalies are calculated relative to the 1970 - 2000 period (data are from Balmaseda et al. [2013]).

c. The actual amount of warming over the last century roughly matches what is predicted by the standard model1 of climate. This is shown in Fig. 3 .

1  Following particle physics and cosmology , I’ll refer to the mainstream theory of climate science as the standard model.  A climate model is a single computational realization of the physics embodied in this standard model.

d. Reconstructions of paleoclimate data over the last 60 million years show that changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide exert a strong control on the climate system.

e. There is no alternative explanation for the recent warming other than an enhanced greenhouse effect due to human activities.
 Fig. 3. Global mean surface temperature anomalies from the surface thermometer record (gray line), compared with a coupled ocean- atmosphere climate model (black line). The model includes natural forcing and human greenhouse - gas emissions, aerosols, and ozone depletion. Anomalies are measured relative to the 1901 - 1950 mean. Source: Fig. 3.12 of Dessler and Parson [2010], which was an adaptation of Fig. TS.23, Solomon et al.[2007]
These points fit into a more general context about how science works. Making successful predictions is the gold standard of science. If a theory successfully predicts phenomena that are later observed, one can be confident that the theory captures something essential about the real world system. The standard model has done that. For example, climate scientists predicted in 1967 that the stratosphere would cool while the troposphere warmed as a result of increasing greenhouse gases. This was observed 20 years later.  Climate models predicted in the 1970s that the Arctic would warm faster the Antarctic. This has also been subsequently confirmed2

2.  Some of these examples are taken from the 2012 AGU Tyndall Lecture by R. Pierrehumbert,

Figure 4. The spatial distribution of the water vapor feedback (W/m2/K) in (top) observations between 2000 and 2010 and (bottom) control runs of CMIP3 models. Adapted from Fig. 2 of Dessler [2013].
Figure 4 shows the spatial distribution of the water vapor fee dback in observations and in climate models.The model calculations are fundamentally a prediction because they were done before the observations were available.  The agreement is excellent, and I take from this high confidence in the ability of the models to simulate this feedback. And given the importance of this process in driving climate change, I take this as a strong validation of the standard model generally.

And this is just the tip of the melting iceberg of successful predictions that the climate science community has made using the standard model.  Other successful predictions include an increase in energy stored in the ocean, amplification of heating over land during transient warming, etc. The list goes on and on — far too many to catalog here

The standard model also explains the paleoclimate record. In the 1980s, my colleague Prof. Jerry North was trying to use energy balance models to simulate the ice ages and he just couldn't get the model to simulate those cold periods. Then, in the 1990s, ice core data showed that carbon dioxide was much lower during ice ages. When Prof. North included that reduction of carbon dioxide into the model, voila! —he could suddenly simulate the cold temperatures necessary to account for the ice ages.

In addition, there are many occasions where the observations and the standard model disagreed, and it turned out that the observations were wrong. For example, in the 1980s, paleoclimate reconstructions suggested that the Tropics did not cool much during the last Ice Age, while the standard model found that to be inconsistent with the land-based data. More recent syntheses, however, have shown that the Tropics actually cooled more than previously thought—in good agreement with the standard model.

Another example is the cooling observed in the MSU satellite temperature record in the 1990s. The standard model told us that cooling of the troposphere is inconsistent with surface temperature increases. But after corrections to the satellite data processing were made, they now both show warming. Disagreements between this data set and climate models still exist, but ongoing studies of the satellite record are uncovering more issues in it [e.g., Po-Chedley and Fu, 2012]. I suspect future revisions will bring it into ever-closer agreement with the models.

Thus, we have a standard model of climate science that is capable of explaining just about everything. Naturally, there are some things that aren’t necessarily explained by the model, just as there're a few heavy smokers who don't get lung cancer. But none of these are fundamental challenges to the standard model.

An excellent example of a challenge to the standard model is the so-called “hiatus”[Trenberth and Fasullo, 2013]: a lack of warming in the surface temperature record over the last decade or so. This is frequently presented as an existential threat to the standard model, but as I describe below that greatly exaggerates its importance.

To begin, the lack of a decadal trend in surface temperatures does not mean that warming has stopped. Figure 2 shows the continued accumulation of heat in the bulk of the ocean, which is a clear marker of continued warming. And because heat can be stored in places other than at the surface, a lack of surface warming for a decade tells you almost nothing about the underlying long-term warming trends.

More quantitatively, Figure 5 shows surface temperature anomalies between 1970 and 2013. Over this period, the planet warmed rapidly, at a rate of 3°F/century. Also plotted on this figure are short-term trends based on endpoints that were selected to demonstrate short-term cooling trends. As you can see, it’s possible to generate a nearly continuous set of short-term cooling trends, even as the climate is experiencing a long-term warming. This would allow someone to claim that global warming had stopped or even that the Earth had entered a cooling period —even though the climate is rapidly warming!

As Fig. 5 shows, the problem in very short temperature trends (like a decade) is that climate variability such as El Niño cycles completely confounds ones ability to see the underlying trend. However, this short-term variability can be removed, and, if one does that, then the hiatus essentially disappears [Foster and Rahmstorf, 2011; Kosaka and Xie, 2013]. Because of this, I judge that there is virtually no merit to suggestions that the “hiatus” poses a serious challenge to the standard model.

Fig. 5. A plot of monthly and global average surface temperature anomalies (°F)from the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (gray line) along with selected negative short-term trend lines (black lines). This figure is inspired by Skeptical Science’s escalator plot (
Nevertheless, it would be wrong for me to claim that the standard model includes a robust understanding of the interaction of ocean circulation, short-term climate variability, and long-term global warming. Viewed that way, the “hiatus” is an opportunity to refine and improve our understanding of these facets of the standard model. Papers are already coming out on this subject [e.g., Kaufmann et al., 2011; Kosaka and Xie, 2013; Solomon et al., 2010]and I suspect that, in a few years, our understanding of this phenomenon will be greatly improved. 

What about alternative theories? Any theory that wants to compete with the standard model has to explain all of the observations that the standard model can. Is there any model that can even come close to doing that?


And making successful predictions would help convince scientists that the alternative theory should be taken seriously. How many successful predictions have alternative theories made?


Based on everything I discussed above, and more, the Working Group I report recently released by the IPCC concludes that humans are extremely likely to be the cause of most of the warming over the last few decades. Note that this does not claim that humans are the ONLY cause, nor does it claim that we are 100% certain. But given the amount of work that’s gone into studying this and the amount of evidence in support of it that has emerged, my view is that this statement is, if anything, conservative.

3. Future warming could be large 

As a consequence of our understanding of the climate system, unchecked greenhouse-gas emissions would lead to warming over the 21st century of 4.7-8.6°F 3 (for the global average). Regionally, on land and in the Arctic, the warming is apt to be larger.

3.  Based on an ensemble of RCP8.5 runs.

These warmings may not sound like much until you realize that the warming since the last ice age —a warming that completely reconfigured the planet—was 9°F-14°F (5-8°C). The upper limits of projected warming over the 21st century would therefore herald a literal remaking of the Earth’s environment and our place within it.

4. The impacts of this are profound.

Before I begin talking about impacts, it is worth discussing the value of talking about what we know rather than what we don't know. Focusing on what is unknown can lead to an incorrect perception of uncertainty. For example, we don't know the exact mechanism by which smoking cigarettes causes cancer. Nor do we know how many cigarettes you have to smoke to get cancer. Nor can we explain why some heavy smokers don't get cancer, while some non-smokers do. Based on this, you might conclude that we don't know much about the health impacts of smoking. But that's wrong. Despite these unknowns, it is certain that smoking increases your risk of health problems.

In the climate debate, we can argue about what we know or what we don’t know. Arguing about what we don’t know can give the impression that we don’t know much, even though some impacts are virtually certain.

The virtually certain impacts include:
•increasing temperatures

•more frequent extreme heat events 
•changes in the distribution of rainfall
•rising seas

•the oceans becoming more acidic
In my judgment, those impacts and their magnitude are, by themselves, sufficient to compel us to act now to reduce emissions.

And there are a number of impacts that may occur, but are not certain. We may see changes in drought intensity and distribution, and increases in flood frequency. And we have an expectation that hurricanes will get stronger, although their numbers might decrease. And there’s always the risk of a surprise, like the Antarctic ozone hole, where some high consequence impact that we never anticipated suddenly arises.

We can argue about these less certain impacts, and scientific research in these areas is very active, but they should not distract us from those that are virtually certain.

In conclusion, things are beginning to change rapidly. More and more frequently it seems we pass another climate milestone —hottest year of the modern temperature record, highest CO2in perhaps a million years, etc. Because of inertia in the climate system, every year we don’t take action commits us to about 2% more eventual warming [Allen and Stocker, 2014]. In other words, if we start taking appropriate action today, we can limit global warming to 2°C. But, if we wait 10 years to begin to reduce emissions, then the same level of effort will lead to warming of 2.4°C. Time is not our friend in this problem. By the time everyone agrees we have a problem, it is too late to do much about it.

The scientific community has been working on understanding the climate system for nearly 200 years. In that time, a robust understanding of it has emerged. We know the climate is warming. We know that humans are now in the driver’s seat of the climate system. We know that, over the next century, if nothing is done to rein in emissions, temperatures will likely increase enough to profoundly change the planet. I wish this weren’t true, but it is what the science tells us.


Allen, M. R., and T. F. Stocker (2014), Impact of delay in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, Nature Clim. Change, 4, 23-26, 10.1038/nclimate2077.

Balmaseda, M. A., K. E. Trenberth, and E. Kaellen (2013), Distinctive climate signals in reanalysis of global ocean heat content, Geophys. Res. Lett., 40, 1754-1759, 10.1002/grl.50382.

Dessler, A. E. (2013), Observations of climate feedbacks over 2000-10 and comparisons to climate models, J. Climate, 26, 333-342, 10.1175/jcli-d-11-00640.1.

Dessler, A. E., and E. A. Parson (2010), The science and politics of climate change: A guide to the debate, Cambridge Univ. Press.

Foster, G., and S. Rahmstorf (2011), Global temperature evolution 1979-2010, Environmental Research Letters, 6, 10.1088/1748-9326/6/4/044022.

Hansen, J., R. Ruedy, M. Sato, and K. Lo (2010), Global surface temperature change, Rev. Geophys., 48, Rg4004, 10.1029/2010rg000345.

Kaufmann, R. K., H. Kauppi, M. L. Mann, and J. H. Stock (2011), Reconciling anthropogenic climate change with observed temperature 1998–2008, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 108, 11790-11793, 10.1073/pnas.1102467108.

Kosaka, Y., and S.-P. Xie (2013), Recent global-warming hiatus tied to equatorial Pacific surface cooling, Nature, advance online publication, 10.1038/nature12534.

Po-Chedley, S., and Q. Fu (2012), A Bias in the Mid-tropospheric Channel Warm Target Factor on the NOAA-9 Microwave Sounding Unit, Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, 29, 646-652, 10.1175/jtech-d-11-00147.1.

Solomon, S., K. H. Rosenlof, R. W. Portmann, J. S. Daniel, S. M. Davis, T. J. Sanford, and G. K. Plattner (2010), Contributions of stratospheric water vapor to decadal changes in the rate of global warming, Science, 327, 1219-1223, 10.1126/science.1182488.

Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, R.B. Alley, T. Berntsen, N.L. Bindoff, Z. Chen, A. Chidthaisong, J.M. Gregory, G.C. Hegerl,M. Heimann, B. Hewitson, B.J. Hoskins, F. Joos, J. Jouzel, V. Kattsov, U. Lohmann, T. Matsuno, M. Molina, N. Nicholls, J.Overpeck, G. Raga, V. Ramaswamy, J. Ren, M. Rusticucci, R. Somerville, T.F. Stocker, P. Whetton, R.A. Wood and D. Wratt (2007),Technical Summary. In: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the FourthAssessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis,K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor and H.L. Miller (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY,USA.

Trenberth, K. E., and J. T. Fasullo (2013), An apparent hiatus in global warming?, Earth's Future, 10.1002/2013EF000165

Nathan Drake vs., Steve McIntyre on the Spirit of Mawson Matter

Now Eli is not one to interfere with a good pasting, but it looks like Nathan Drake is putting it to Steve McIntyre over at the Nature Blog. Eli has to go to a meeting but, as Drake points out McIntyre has made a major mistake in  using MODIS visible images to track ice.  Basically, visible images are not much use for bad weather situations, and microwave is a much better choice.  There is more over there.  FWIW Shrub is losing a few spare eyeballs.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Cue The Heavy Breathing

Lots of heavy breathing about a ship getting stuck in the Antarctic pack ice, delaying important scientific research.

Whodda thunk that it was the Aurora Australis that got stuck for three weeks from November 12 to December 3 which screwed up the Aussie Antarctic program.

The Australian supply ship, the icebreaker Aurora Australis, has finally returned to port in Hobart, after being stuck in the pack ice for three weeks.
The ship had left the Davis Research Station on the Antarctic coast on 12th November, but became stuck soon after, about 180 miles off the coast. It finally broke free of the ice on 3rd December.
It had been due back in Hobart originally on 16th November, but the three week delay has meant that the planned three voyage season has had to be curtailed to two:

Australian Antarctic Division Director, Dr Tony Fleming said that the ship’s delayed arrival and the recent helicopter crash near Davis station have necessitated changes to subsequent voyages and some research projects.
Now some, not Eli to be sure, might think it unlikely that tourist ships with a bunch of birders trying to add to their life lists would get stuck in the ice.  Quel horror!:) 
MORE than 100 penguin-loving tourists including dozens from Britain are trapped by ice off Antarctica aboard a Russian ice-breaker cruise ship, officials and the tour operator said today.
The Kapitan Khlebnikov is in a bay near Snow Hill island, located off the northeastern end of the Antarctic Peninsula, and cannot leave as the bay is sealed off with ice, the Russian transportation ministry said.
"The wind has currently slowed down in the area and the massing of the ice has ended.
Everything is calm aboard the ice-breaker, nothing is threatening the passengers and crew,'' the ministry said in a statement.
"When the wind changes to a favourable direction, the ice-breaker will head into clear water and on to the port of Ushuaia,'' at the extreme southern end of Argentina, the ministry predicted.
Ships, get stuck in pack ice in the Antarctic.  Talk to Shackelton.  Talk to these folk

Send a note to Willard Tony, Nigel Persaud, Ste. Lucia and Ste. Judy

Heavy breathing about the Mawsons may resume.

Sen. Inhofe, got any coastal vacation properties where you want to sell options?

From a comment of mine at Same Facts about coastal properties and sea level rise:

One other option for climate denialist landowners – sell 99-year options to obtain ownership of their land for token value should it become uninhabitable. Denialists will be willing to [sell] this cheaply. Science believers will be willing to buy in order to get whatever residual value the land has other than residential use (harvest, recreation etc.).
A denialist with a large expensive coastal property should be willing sell for a small amount of money an option to buy it for a nominal amount if sea level makes it uninhabitable. The obvious problem is once the land's uninhabitable then it loses a lot of value, but maybe there are other uses that give some benefit to owning it.

I had an earlier version of this idea several years back thinking about the end-of-the-world types and how to bet with them (aren't we due another outbreak?). Climate change isn't the end of the world, but it's going to be curtains for a lot of residences.

UPDATE:  just thought I'd add a personal note - yours truly is now the Vice-Chair of our Water District, a feat I achieved by "waiting my turn." It doesn't mean a whole lot, one or two extra committee assignments. If I'm re-elected then I'll be Chair next year and have the honor of chucking aside any goals I have for the District for that year, to work instead on the goals of the rest of the Board and on everything else the Chair's got to get done. Should be fun.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Two climate politics predictions

My political predictions are somewhat better than my civil war predictions, so with that faint praise, here's one:  if Obama doesn't approve Keystone before November, then he won't approve it at all. It's good politics but bad policy to approve Keystone. The political reward diminishes after the lower-turnout, more conservative, off-presidential election year, while the policy and international reasons for not approving Keystone get stronger with more delay. And not to get too wildly hopeful, stringing along the idiotic Canadian government before cutting them off might make it harder for PM Harper to figure out alternative ways to harm the planet with tar sands.

I only put a little emphasis on the recent addition of climate hawks and Keystone opponents to the Obama admin - he's the one they work for. It might be a hint of how the wind's blowing, though.

OTOH, there's still 10 months to make a decision. And just to caveat it a bit, I could imagine Obama locking himself so close to a promise before the election without getting to the final signoff that he does approve it soon afterwards. So far though this reinforces the obvious point I made almost two years ago that delay is a victory (albeit not THE victory) when you're trying stop somebody else from doing something. Just like it is in Iran.

The other prediction came from reading in Stoat of the welcome retirement for Richard Lindzen, leaving the ranks of non-retired, denialist climatologists even thinner than before. John Mashey noted in the comments that the 2009 "mass" petition to the American Physical Society to deny climate science from 0.45% of its membership was skewed much older than the general membership. My second prediction is this petition will not be repeated because it will be even less successful in the future than it was in 2009, as demographic destiny wins out. This might explain why Singer and friends kept switching from one meritless type of mass document to another - recycling an old one some years later will just highlight increasing consensus.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Citation Manager Death Match

A useful discussion has started around which citation managers a bunny might use.  Two important free citation managers are Mendeley and Zotero.  There is video from Portland State

Eli is invested in EndNote, which has the huge disadvantage that costs $$.  Many, Martin Vermeer, for example is invested into BibTeX/LaTeX which although free, has a significant learning curve, so it looks like these two are the best free choices.  Several libraries have nice tables about picking a citation manager.  Eli really likes the one from the University of Washington

If you need to ...Use: Why:
… work from multiple computers or locations. Zotero
Zotero saves your citation library to your local computer, but syncs with multiple computers so you can work from home, work, or school.
RefWorks is web-based which means that you can access it from anywhere you have an Internet connection.
… work without an Internet connection. Zotero
EndNote desktop
Zotero, Mendeley desktop and EndNote store your citation libraries locally on your computer.
… archive web pages and import citations from sites such as Amazon and Flickr. Zotero
Zotero and Mendeley allow you to easily save snapshots of web pages and annotate them within your citation library. It is a great tool for scraping citation information from web-based publications and some commercial and social networking sites.
… work on a group project or share my citations with others. Zotero
Both RefWorks and Zotero allow you to share your citations through shared folders. With Zotero, you can give individuals or groups permissions to add and edit the citations in the shared folder. With RefWorks, you can also set up a shared group account for collaborating on group projects. 
… work on a mobile device Mendeley
Mendeley offers a mobile app for iPhones and iPads; Zotero has several 3rd-party mobile apps available.

RefWorks and EndnoteBasic offer mobile-optimized sites that work with any web-connected phone or PDA.

and here is the comparison of properties (bunnies may have to hit CNTL/Apple - to shrink this to fit the screen or just go to the University of Washington Library site)

EndNote Desktop Mendeley RefWorks Zotero
Web based? No, this is a desktop product. Can transfer library to EndNote Web Yes. Also available as Mendeley Desktop, which can sync with online account. Yes Yes, lives in browser (Firefox plugin, or Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari through Zotero Standalone). Can sync with online account but web library not editable
Must be online? No No Yes No
Mobile capability Native app for iPad, currently costs $$. Native app for iPhone and iPad, or check yourMendeley library on your mobile device's web browser. No app, but mobile-optimized site 3rd-party apps available (, or check your Zotero collection on your mobile device's web browser.
Cost $$. Available for purchase at the University Bookstore at a discounted rate (UW students, faculty, and staff only). Free Free to UW users (Libraries pays the subscription costs) Free
Word-processor compatibility MS Office, Open Office, iWork Pages MS Word, Open Office, LaTeX MS Word with Write-N-Cite, any other word processing program using One Line/Cite View option MS Word, Open Office, Google Docs
Import from databases Direct export from specific databases Yes, with Mendeley Import browser plugin. Direct export from specific databases Yes
Import citation info from web pages No Yes, with Mendeley Import browser plugin. Also archives the page and allows annotations. Yes, with RefGrab-It plugin Yes. Also archives the page and allows annotations
Storage capacity Unlimited local storage Unlimited local storage and data syncing; 1 GB free Mendeley web space (larger plans available for purchase) Default limit is 100MB per user, can be increased to 5GB; limit of 20MB per attachment Unlimited local storage and data syncing; 100MB free Zotero web space (larger plans available for purchase)
Attach associated files (PDFs, etc.) Yes Yes, and can annotate Yes (limited) Yes, with option to attach automatically
Search full text of PDFs Yes Yes No Yes
Create group  or shared libraries No Yes. Costs for private groups (1 3-member private group free). Yes, but other users cannot add more references Yes
Create bibliography w/ different styles Yes Yes Yes Yes
Other features Insert figures and charts using word processor integration Sync library w/multiple computers
Use tags to organize/search
Access for web-connected mobile devices Sync library w/multiple computers
Use tags to organize/search

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Breathless in Antarctica Writes

As of today, both the Akademik Shokalskiy and the Xue Long are in open water

SYDNEY, January 08, 13:56 /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian research ship Akademik Shokalsky has finally got out of the ice and reached open water, chief mate Nikolai Velichko told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.
"We reached open water at about 18:20 ship time (about 09:20 Moscow time), he said.
The ship was sailing at 11 knots. There was fog, no wind, and visibility was within two miles. The vessel was moving carefully with only one engine working, as icebergs were detected with locators, the mate noted.
They are expected to arrive at New Zealand's port of Bluff early on January 14.
The Chinese icebreaker also safely left the ice area, passed the Russian ship and sailed north at 15 knots, the mate added.
Anybunny interested can trace the Xeu Long, the Australian ship the Aurora Australis and the US Nathan B Palmer, which are in the area using the live ships map on Marine Traffic.  The Akademik Shokalskiy doesn't appear to be updating its position, but if you had load of money you probably could find it by paying for the satellite positioning service

Which should pretty much put an end to at least some of the heavy breathing.  Willard Tony had infinite blather on this, ATTP went through a Richard Troll attack with off topic reprise, and Stoat was busy being . . . ah, fascinatingly weird.  Steve McIntyre is taking up a collection

The Wisdom of Ms. Rabett

Reading in Gizmodo

researchers from Towson University are claiming that incredibly precise measurements of the positions of solar-system bodies could provide a test capable of proving string theory right or wrong.

Ms Rabett speculated that they may have actually found the Big Ball.

BTW it's just more press office churning as Peter Woit pointed out
This is following the usual pattern: published article includes only minor references to string theory, since no referee would allow the author to claim that this was a “test of string theory” (since it isn’t). On publication of the article, the author has their university press office issue a press release about how they have discovered a “test of string theory” (I don’t believe in claims that university press offices issue press releases about their faculty’s work without the faculty member’s agreement). The press release then gets spread through various media outlets, often with the outrageousness of the claims increasing as it spreads. Finally, you end up with lots of news stories like

There are by now dozens of examples of this. You can argue about who is responsible for the public getting misled here, my vote would be for the physicists who allow or encourage such press releases to go out (together with their colleagues who raise no objection or sometimes provide supporting quotes for the stories).
and Eli repeats his recommendation that all grant applications have to be accompanied by press releases from the previous cycle so that reviewers can evaluate the noise.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Search Engines - Google Scholar

Eli forgets where, but he got trapped in a discussion of search engines, citation analysis and open source publishing.  While Eli is a smart bunny, he don't know it all, but he knows some, probably more about these things, so what follows is the first of some brief summaries for beginners.  Hopefully this will eventually cover Googele Scholar, SciFinder, WebofScience, Scopus, INSPEC, ProQuest.  Anybunny who wants to take a chance on any of these or others, feel free.  Talking about free, the place to start is obviously:

Google Scholar:  Google scholar is a free offering from Google that can be accessed at  It's strength is that it will find (pretty much) anything on the net, journals, books, conference proceedings, etc.  The disadvantage is that it misses (pretty much) everything that is not on the net, so it will be weaker, the further back in time that you go.  Google scholar is catholic, it searches across all fields.

A typical entry reads

Phylogeny and ancient DNA of Sus provides insights into neolithic expansion in Island Southeast Asia and Oceania

…, LM Pedriña, PJ Piper, RJ Rabett… - Proceedings of the …, 2007 - National Acad Sciences
Abstract Human settlement of Oceania marked the culmination of a global colonization
process that began when humans first left Africa at least 90,000 years ago. The precise
origins and dispersal routes of the Austronesian peoples and the associated Lapita ...
Cited by 124 Related articles All 23 versions Cite Save

If you are lucky there is something off to the side like [HTML] from which will take a bunny directly to an open source for the article

The Cited by 124 leads to 124 other entries which cite the article you found.  This is the citation time machine.  It takes you to articles on (vaguely) the same topic, but published after the one you are looking at.

Related Articles are ones that have been cited by the original article or that Google thinks should have been cited by the original article, or have appeared later and would have been cited according to Google.  Again a help when one is researching a topic.

The All 23 versions link brings you to a page which lists all other pages where either the original article can be found (often behind paywalls).  For a paywalled article this is a good place to shop for an open version, but most of the links are to collections of abstracts which can be frustrating especially if the abstract collection links back to the paywall.

Cite brings up a pop up

Copy and paste a formatted citation or use one of the links to import into a bibliography manager.
MLA  Larson, Greger, et al. "Phylogeny and ancient DNA of Sus provides insights into neolithic expansion in Island Southeast Asia and Oceania." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104.12 (2007): 4834-4839.
APA  Larson, G., Cucchi, T., Fujita, M., Matisoo-Smith, E., Robins, J., Anderson, A., ... & Dobney, K. (2007). Phylogeny and ancient DNA of Sus provides insights into neolithic expansion in Island Southeast Asia and Oceania. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(12), 4834-4839.
Chicago  Larson, Greger, Thomas Cucchi, Masakatsu Fujita, Elizabeth Matisoo-Smith, Judith Robins, Atholl Anderson, Barry Rolett et al. "Phylogeny and ancient DNA of Sus provides insights into neolithic expansion in Island Southeast Asia and Oceania." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104, no. 12 (2007): 4834-4839.
New! Save this article to my Scholar library where I can read or cite it later. Learn more

If anybunny is serious about science they need a reference manager, something that allows organization of references, insertion into documents and general all around avoidance of aggro.  BibTeX grew our of LaTeX, something Eli avoids with a passion.   If the Bunny wanted to be a printer he would have gone into the family business.  However, it is free and there are now interfaces to Word and OpenOffice.

EndNote, the one Eli uses, is sold by Thompson-Reuters at a huge markup, $250, but at ~half price to  students and others associated with universities, $113.  There is a web based version.

RefMan is another Thompson Reuters product, costs are about the same.  Eli knows nothing about it

RefWorks is web based.  They sell annual licenses to individuals ($70) and organizations.  It is surprisingly hard to find out where you can get a license.

Saved offers you a place to save a reference you are interested in.  It is possible to label categories of papers so that the database is not flat.

Google Scholar also has an interesting front end, Ann Harzing's Publish or Perish more oriented towards citation analysis than searching, but none the less very useful for searching Google Scholar, especially for work by a particular person.  Publish or Perish has an excellent page on the meaning of various indicies starting with the original h-index
Proposed by J.E. Hirsch in his paper An index to quantify an individual's scientific research output, arXiv:physics/0508025 v5 29 Sep 2005. It aims to provide a robust single-number metric of an academic's impact, combining quality with quantity.
The h number is the number of publications, h, that a bunny has which have h citations.  Over 30 is good, over 50 is superbunny.  Depends on field of course and, because of the different coverage of different search engines, depends on the search engine.  The secret sin of academics is tracking their h number and those of the ones they hate.

Oh yeah Google Scholar also does a citation analysis, but only for yourself, which can be made public or not.