Message to Anthony Watts

Anthony:

It has now been independenly confirmed, by multiple persons, that my results regarding the impact of station dropout on global temperature are correct. Your claims, in your document with Joe D’Aleo for the SPPI, are just plain wrong.

You’ve avoided answering this criticism, claiming that you can’t replicate my results without my code. Yet several others managed to do just that. It’s not that difficult, and you were irresponsible not to investigate this issue before publishing your claims. The posts by E.M. Smith are so incoherent they resemble the ravings of a lunatic more than the results of a qualified analyst. Your only other response has been to call me a coward for blogging under a pseudonym. That’s nothing but a desperate attempt of a scoundrel to deflect attention from his own misdeeds.

Furthermore, your use of false claims to accuse NOAA scientists of deliberate deception was not just mistaken, it was unethical.

If you have any honor at all, you’ll set the record straight. You owe it to everyone, and especially to NOAA, to admit that you were wrong. And you certainly owe it to NOAA to apologize. You need to make a highly visible, highly public admission of error, and apology, for using falsehoods to accuse others of fraud.

Are you man enough?

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380 responses to “Message to Anthony Watts

  1. I agree entirely with the sentiment of your post. It’s outrageous that those people can just brazenly accuse others of fraud without any evidence other than their own mathematical ineptitude. Is it even legal to do that?

    • I think it’s “legal” in the sense that he has the freedom of speech to say these things and believe what he wishes. I think it’s just more about his character at this point. How many careers and reputations is he willing to go after in order to maintain doubt? For many doubt is a bond as strong as certainty.

      Will Watts apologize for not being professional nor adequately researching his claims before spouting them? He hasn’t in the past, so I’ll believe it when I see it.

  2. I challenge all the journalists who were gullible enough to report on Watts and d’Aleo, to now correct the record and report that their despicable accusations against climate scientists were wholly unfounded.

    In Canada, the most prominent member of that woeful group is Richard Foot of CanWest News, whose one-sided report was carried in CanWest’s daily newspapers across Canada, including the National Post.

    http://www.vancouversun.com/life/Climate+change+skeptic+group+accuses+scientists+using+selective+temperature+data/2482141/story.html

  3. Ray Ladbury

    Tamino urges Watts: “If you have any honor at all, you’ll set the record straight. ”

    I note that since the hypothesis is false, regardless of what Watts does, this is logically a true statement.

    • Gavin's Pussycat

      LOL yes it has the form of a boolean expression, doesn’t it?

      Can you say ‘rhetoric implication’?

    • As Touchstone says in “As You Like It”:

      “Of a certain knight that swore by his honour they were good pancakes and swore by his honour the mustard was naught: now I’ll stand to it, the pancakes were naught and the mustard was good, and yet was not the knight forsworn.”

  4. I just love this blog. Keep up the good work Tamino.

  5. One should never presume fraud has taken place without sufficient evidence, if there are much more plausible explanations. In this case, the most obvious explanation is “NOAA probably knows what they are doing.”

    I also agree that when people are falsely accused of fraud, apologies are in order.

  6. What DC says – c’mon guys, stop falling for this BS.

    Cheers – John

  7. Well done. You have to take these folks on when they are dishonest, when they are proven wrong. Otherwise you end up with a discourse straight out of Yeats: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst/ Are full of passionate intensity.”

  8. This blog has been kind of fun here lately. So much so that I just donated again.

  9. Tamino and others,

    I apologize for this OT comment but I was wondering if you stats and climate model experts would take a look at Bart Verheggen’s blog post about the temperature trend and see if you can figure out where commenter VS is making false assumptions. VS refers to Augmented Dickey-Fuller tests and a paper by Beenstock and Reingewertz (2009) to show that CO2 has no significant coorelation to trends in T.

    I have engaged VS and he has been very respectful but I admit, the stats are well above my head. (I took Calc I-based basic stats for engineers many years ago and have severe atrophy. I feel as though I am bringing a knife to a gunfight.)

    Thanks for your time.

    Tamino, my wife loves you! :)

    [Response: Bart emailed me, and I told him I’d do a post about the “random walk” hypothesis and the Augmented Dickey-Fuller test. It’s actually a recurring meme. But before that, I intend to finish the paper on the GHCN analysis.

    Some common sense helps: temperature is a physical variable, which — by the laws of physics — is bounded. A random walk is necessarily unbounded. Temperature is not a random walk.

    When I get around to it, I’ll show how he’s failed his ADF test. There are so many bonkers theories from so many bonkers commenters, we’ll just have to take ‘em one at a time.

    Your wife’s praise is flattering. But I’m a devoted husband.]

    • I am always suspicious of a many who requires an augmented Dickey. ;-)

    • Just wanted to give a link to the Beenstock and Reingewertz paper:

      http://economics.huji.ac.il/facultye/beenstock/Nature_Paper091209.pdf

      Note how they named the paper. Nature. Need we say no such paper has been published in Nature?

      Also some major discussions here:

      http://landshape.org/enm/polynomial-cointegration-rebuts-agw/

    • Hi Tamino,

      I find it interesting that you claim that ‘I’ personally failed my ‘ADF’ test. You might dispute my test results (posted on Bart’s blog), but are you also claiming the same for all these studies as well?

      ** Woodward and Grey (1995)
      – confirm I(1), don’t test for I(2)
      ** Kaufmann and Stern (1999)
      – confirm I(1) for all series
      ** Kaufmann and Stern (2000)
      – ADF and KPSS tests indicate I(1) for NHEM, SHEM and GLOB
      – PP annd SP tests indicate I(0) for NHEM, SHEM and GLOB
      ** Kaufmann and Stern (2002)
      – confirm I(1) for NHEM
      – find I(0) for SHEM (weak rejection of H0)
      ** Kaufmann et al (2006)
      – confirm I(1), (they state however that temperatures are ‘in essence’ I(0), but their variable GLOBL is confirmed to be I(1))
      ** Beenstock and Reingewertz (2009)
      – confirm I(1)

      …I’m sure there are others.

      Temperature may be ‘bounded’ over it’s long 100,000 year cycle (as observed over the past 500,000 or so years), however, on the subset of a 150 years or so, on which we are formally studying it, it can be easily classified as a random walk.

      Keep in mind that the limited variance of the first difference errors de facto keeps it bounded over this period.

      You are however welcome to hop over to Bart’s blog and respond.

      And:

      “There are so many bonkers theories from so many bonkers commenters, we’ll just have to take ‘em one at a time.”

      Let’s try to keep it civilized, OK?

      [Response: There’s nothing uncivilized in calling your claims bonkers, because they are. Frankly, the label is better than you deserve.

      I don’t think you even understand the work of Kaufmann & Stern. As for Beenstock & Reingewertz, their claims are loony.

      As for failing your ADF test, you just plain got it wrong. But as I said before, you are not important enough to deserve a distraction from my present efforts. I’ll get around to you, but in the meantime you can wait.]

  10. Curiouser and curiouser …

    There are two versions of the Richard Foot story.

    Here is the original at the Vancouver Sun website (from Jan. 21):

    http://www.vancouversun.com/life/green-living/featured-articles/Scientists+using+selective+temperature+data+skeptics/2468634/story.html

    And the second version from Jan. 25 (also linked above in my first comment):

    http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Climate+change+skeptic+group+accuses+scientists+using+selective+temperature+data/2482141/story.html

    The difference? This passage has been inserted:

    Both the authors, and the institute, are well-known in climate-change circles for their skepticism about the threat of global warming. In fact, it has been alleged that the Science and Public Policy Institute was funded in part by ExxonMobil. The group changed its name from the Center for Science and Public Policy when the allegations came to light and steadfastly refuse to disclose funding sources today.

    As far as I can tell, only the Vancouver Sun has this second version of the story; presumably, an editor there could not stomach that the dubious source of d’Aleo/Smith report was not even given in Foot’s original article.

    Another curious fact: most of Foot’s stories (including the rebuttal follow up) carry a copyright notice from CanWest News Service. But this one is copyright by the National Post – in all versions I have seen. That suggests that the original story may have been commissioned by someone at the Post.

    Looks like a Deep Climate post may be in the works …

    • I spoke too soon. Besides the Vancouver Sun, CanWest newspapers such as the Ottawa Citizen, Calgary Herald and the Montreal Gazette and perhaps others also added the paragraph about SPPI and its links to the oil industry.

      So presumably this update came from CanWest News Service.

      In fact, once again, the only confirmed exception appears to have been the National Post, whose website has no trace of the updated story.

      Again. What a surprise.

      • Deep Climate: My father’s been involved in an email exchange with Foot since his first article on this subject. When I was asked for help, I took a look at those articles in both print (Edmonton Journal version) and online (initially Edmonton Journal, but also other CanWest papers). I noticed an odd irregularity in their editing.

        I understand that newspapers often crop articles to save inches on the print version, although the online copies, of course, lack such a restriction. Curious, then, that when the Ottawa Citizen ran Foot’s story about this poor report, the online version left out the critical last section where Gavin explains the science. (Compare to the Journal’s version, which includes the whole story. They send a different message.)

        The same thing occurred when Foot claimed Andrew Weaver said Pauchari should resign. Compare the Edmonton Journal’s version with the Windsor Star version; the editing is particularly blatant here. These are their online versions, with no column inches to save or layout concerns to ponder, so such editing is inexcusable.

        (On a supplemental note, the Edmonton Journal’s print version DID run Dr. Weaver’s correction, but buried it deep in the Technology section, instead of in the front News section where Foot’s story ran.)

        In conclusion, the problem doesn’t just appear to be poor journalists, but also poor editors.

  11. carrot eater

    We’re apparently to wait for the unveiling of EM Smith’s grand thesis, at some point in the future. Too bad they didn’t wait for that before publishing the wild claims in the first place.

    He might find some local undersampling; he might be able to find a RSM hiccup. But he just isn’t going to be able to back up the original claims.

    • This is a common pattern throughout the deniosphere and really even the whole blogosphere. People are using a medium that is really most suited to “city newspaper columnist” style articles. And they try to use it for explication. But then they never finish what they start. Papers are better!

  12. Would it be possible for you to post a review of this whole situation, laid out for someone so they can easily follow along from the beginning? I have had to deal with Watts and his denialist commenters for some time now, so this is of interest to me.

  13. Wattsgate? :p

    [Response: Wattergate.]

  14. EM Smith will justify everything he has claimed, and more. Nothing and nobody will be able to convince him he is wrong.

  15. Phil,

    This provides a good overview of the timeline for the whole affair: http://rankexploits.com/musings/2010/timeline-of-the-march-of-the-thermometers-meme/

    (love your site, by the way!)

  16. Wattergate

    Heh. That made my day. Thanks, Tamino.

  17. Will Wattergate utterly destroy Comical Tony’s credibility? Hmmm ….

  18. “A random walk is necessarily unbounded. ” This isn’t my understanding. You can have unbounded random walks, one side bounded random walks, or two side bounded walks. In a bounded random walk there is just some upper limit which the variable can reach.

    Bemused by “claiming that you can’t replicate my results without my code”. This doesn’t make any sense even by the standards (I use the term ironically) of Watts. What “code” did he use to make his initial claims? Now that you have shown the claim is untrue, why wouldn’t he make his own attempt, using his own “code” to disprove your result? It has been discussed before, but replicating a result using the same code is no test of anything except human or machine error. And I assume Watts thinks your results are not simply a consequence of either.

    • I don’t believe climate is bounded in the sense that it has an upper and lower bound. What it does have is an equilibrium.

      The farther away the actual temperature gets from the equilibrium temperature, the faster the system will attempt to regain equilibrium.

      So I think you can model it as a random walk, but you need to add a correction, probably one based on Newtonian Cooling, or a similar approximation.

      Now, a second problem is that the equilibrium temperature series itself also changes. This seems complicated to model, because where do you find data on “equilibrium temperature” to see how it works? But it should definitely have completely different noise characteristics compared to actual temperature.

      [Response: But “The farther away the actual temperature gets from the equilibrium temperature, the faster the system will attempt to regain equilibrium” contradicts “random walk.”]

  19. A post I left in EM Smith’s thread NOAA langoliers eat another 1/3 of stations from GHCN database

    what’s the points of these posts on mass dying of thermometers

    I’m assuming this is rhetorical, but just in case anyone needs it spelled out …

    The point is to create an atmosphere of doubt and uncertainty. Two prongs of the stratagem known as: FUD

    Fear is fed by the stories of ‘one world government carbon taxing us into the stone age.’

    One response to FUD is to examine the details. In this case, DFW was raised as a rhetorical point by EM Smith to cast doubt on NOAA’s claims that stations are dropped if they aren’t reporting electronically.

    I subsequently ‘found’ DFW in the v2.mean.failed.qc file. All I had to do was look. It was never lost. It was processed by NOAA and found wanting. E.M Smith was apparently too unfamiliar with the NOAA GHCN data set to be aware of the file.

    Why NOAA v2.mean had a processed monthly mean of -6C is an interesting question. It is unlikely to be resolved in this thread. But NOAA GHCN was correct to reject their monthly mean for DFW (which was -6C). As I noted and Anthony followed on, METAR data is available for DFW in Jan 2010. It provides a monthly mean of +6C. I don’t think that tells us much about why NOAA did not receive their CLIMAT data updates or were not able to process them. DFW has values for onlu the first 10 days of January in the GHCN daily file for that station.

    Of course, DFW was just an exemplar. Long lists of other stations were held out as more evidence of deliberate manipulation by an agency which was accused of ‘pretty much lying.’ E.M. Smith suggested he would ‘welcome’ seeing that list made shorter, missing stations added. When it became obvious that is in fact what happened in the 4-5 days between Feb 8 and Feb 12, he responded with pointed questions which suggest his ‘welcome’ was less than warm and friendly. From here, it appears that it is more important for him to hold on to the “theme” – to bolster the stratagem – to spread as much ‘uncertainty and doubt’ as possible – then to welcome the additional data sets. Hopefully, E.M. Smith’s welcome will be warmer as the additional stations accumulate next month and throughout the rest of the year.

    As I said, all this seems fairly obvious. I’m just spelling it out on the off-chance the question was not rhetorical.

    • Ray Ladbury

      Well, Ol’ EM Smith’s strategy to instill uncertainty and doubt is working with me! The more he posts, the more uncertain I am of what his point is and the more I doubt his sanity!

  20. And here is another one, demonstrating that EM Smith is quick to accuse, slow to acknowledge a mistake. A simple mapping error was inflated to “a bleed through to the real data”, even though Smith claims to run GISTEMP code and knows that the options used to create odd boundary conditions (trend periods which run inside the baseline period) are not present in standard GISTEMP output.

    Chiefio asks: why does GISS make us see red?

    He pointed several times to the high end of the map scale in his odd boundary case, claiming that those values couldn’t possible be real – ignoring extremes on the low end of the scale. And when carrot and I demonstrated to him exactly which stations were forcing those extremes, there was nary a word of retraction from him for jumping to accusations for processes he just simply couldn’t figure out.

    EM Smith is a joke. His analysis is crap. And the fact that he gets face time in the media is a disgrace.

    Can I be that blunt?

    • David B. Benson

      Yes you can!

    • carrot eater

      In less than the time it took EM Smith to write up his ridiculous hypothesis, Ron and I were able to show it was totally wrong.

      That tells you something about the level of scholarship we’re dealing with here.

  21. This isn’t about Watts, it’s about Spencer. But I didn’t have a good place to ask the question.

    Apparently Roy has created a version 5.3 of the UAH monthly data. See his homepage for better formating of the data below

    YR MON v5.2 v5.3
    2009 1 0.304 0.213
    2009 2 0.347 0.220
    2009 3 0.206 0.174
    2009 4 0.090 0.135
    2009 5 0.045 0.102
    2009 6 0.003 0.022
    2009 7 0.411 0.414
    2009 8 0.229 0.245
    2009 9 0.422 0.502
    2009 10 0.286 0.353
    2009 11 0.497 0.504
    2009 12 0.288 0.262
    2010 1 0.721 0.630
    2010 2 0.740 0.613

    The differences appear to be
    2009 1 -0.091
    2009 2 -0.127
    2009 3 -0.032
    2009 4 0.045
    2009 5 0.057
    2009 6 0.019
    2009 7 0.003
    2009 8 0.016
    2009 9 0.08
    2009 10 0.067
    2009 11 0.007
    2009 12 -0.026
    2010 1 -0.091
    2010 2 -0.127

    Note that Jan and Feb 2010 are the same difference as Jan and Feb 2009, so it looks like it’s just a repeating sequence of adjustments.

    Oddly, the sum of the 2009 differences is 0.018, which means he made 2009 warmer by 0.0015 overall, unless that’s just roundoff.

    Ok, but here’s where it gets weird. If you compare http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_Jan_10.jpg to http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_Feb_10.jpg it looks like this adjustment was fully in effect in 2003, but not at all in effect before Sept 1998. Did he “phase it in”? Is there any real documentation of the change? Are the numbers Roy reports on his homepage an official product of the UAH, or something else?

    Thanks in advance to anyone who can shed light on this.

    Ok, I guess the obvious sign-off here is to ask “Watts up with Roy?”

    • Ok, I have an answer to my question. It is phased in starting in August 1998 because that’s when they changed sensors from MSU to AMSU. Makes sense, and it doesn’t change the overall trend. 2010 will still be very hot, even if it doesn’t “look as tall” as the early 1998 peak.

  22. It seems to Horatio that Anthony Watts has been taking a random walk since he started this whole Surface Station meme… (some might say through the gutter)

    Tamino, love “Wattergate”, by the way.

    May I use that in a ditty?

  23. Rattus Norvegicus

    Here is another good one Watts. In it he claims that the Swedes allowed him to release their data, yet the is a response which denies Jones permission to release the data, saying that they would rather do it themselves. While good, it is not the same as allowing Jones to release the data himself.

    • Having read the correspondence, I think it is extremely slimy of Watts to insinuate that there is something wrong with Dr. Jone’s actions.

      He was asking for the release of data–something Watts et al., have whined and howled about ad nauseam, as we all know–and the Swedes say “well, it has your adjustments, it’s no longer SMHI data and shouldn’t be presented as such. But some of ours is available online, why don’t you link to it?”

      And Dr. Jones is accused of wrongdoing because he tells the Parliamentary committee that he doesn’t have permission to release Swedish data? That is what the letter from SMHI says!

      Am I confused here?

      • No, you aren’t confused.

      • But the deniosphere is, of course, twisting and turning to blame Jones anyway. Climateaudit makes the same claim through publishing Göran Ahlgren’s twist to the story. Some are pointing out the “don’t do it” in the letter, even pointing to the clarifying letter (which doesn’t really make a difference) being several days AFTER Jones testified, but to no avail. The bloodhounds have but one mind.

      • Ray Ladbury

        “The bloodhounds have but one mind.”

        Actually, I tend to think of it more like a distribution of ganglia rather than a true central nervous system.

      • Watts published a press release from a denialist organisation which made provably false allegations. There can only be one reason for publishing the press release but it was a dumb thing to do, given that they also published the letters that show it was just a pack of lies.

        What Watts doesn’t say is that the Stockholm Institute is just another private political body working against mitigation of global warming.

        Simply another attempt at FUD / more wattergate !

      • Correction: I wrote Stockholm Institute – should be Stockholm Initiative – bad slipup.

      • Ray Ladbury

        Whoa, we’ve got Andreas going all post-modern on us over at RC, the Stockholm Institute working against global warming and the Stockholm Syndrome making Judith Curry go all accommodationist on the denialists. What is is with the Swedes all of a sudden?

      • That Andreas post-modernist stuff over there is unbelievable …

  24. PS,

    rocco

    Horatio will credit you for providing the inspiration too!

  25. Aw, I actually came here expecting that Watts or someone from over there would be accepting blame for the error and presenting some sort of apology. I’m not kidding — I really thought there would be a mea culpa.

  26. Zeke,
    Might I humbly suggest that the Yale Forum look at the National Post’s history on climate change? What has gone on there for years is truly shocking and disgusting – I can’t think of any other North American daily newspaper that has misled so often.

    • Ray Ladbury

      Weekly World News?

      Purveyor of such headlines as “Famed Psychic’s head explodes,” and “Animal Shelter Haunted by Ghost of Kitten”. But other than that, I’d say that even if you were taking everything “The Onion” wrote as gospel, they’d probably be more accurate than the Post Mortem.

  27. Typo:

    independenly

  28. Tamino,

    I’d like to see a clear, step-by-step example of how to conduct an augmented Dickey-Fuller test (all three levels). I’ve been trying to understand that for a couple of years now and just can’t seem to get it right. Of course, I’m a bit thick.

  29. Yeah, Phil, and I could have been helping, if you hadn’t banned me from your goddam blog.

  30. For Tamino :)

  31. Watts is a dishonorable person.

    He won’t ever apologize for being wrong and smearing good people along the way.

    He’s one of the handful of people I’ve “met” in my time online that I hold in utter contempt.

  32. Tamino,

    “Some common sense helps: temperature is a physical variable, which — by the laws of physics — is bounded. A random walk is necessarily unbounded. Temperature is not a random walk.”

    This is the same mistake Pat Frank made in his ridiculous Skeptic magazine article purporting to show that the uncertainty in future temperatures grows without bound if you propagate uncertainty over time, leading to the absurd conclusion that the surface temperature of the Earth in 2100 is uncertain within hundreds of degrees. (A little basic common sense should have told him that there are basic physical reasons to expect that the climate is not going to be hundreds of degrees hotter or colder within a century’s time, and thus there might be something wrong with the way he was propagating uncertainty.)

    I don’t think he even realized he did this, but his attempt at error propagation is effectively equivalent to forcing a linear climate model with no blackbody restoring term and, unsurprisingly, he got an unbounded random walk which has nothing to do with actual temperature fluctuations in a real thermodynamic system.

  33. Now you see why I try to call out my own side. When someone like Watts makes trivial errors and runs with them…and when “our side” cheers them on reflexively, it does damage to genuine skepticism. Was glad to see Hu McCullough who is a serious academic (Big 10 professor, publishes econometrics papers) calling out Watts for a recent post on CA, where Watts is misleading (and wrong) about Swedish -Jones kerfuffle.

    The issue is that it just makes us all look stupid when you have people like Watts overreaching…and when the “tribal monkey, defend against the other tribe” instinct is to back him up regardless. I want to debate things like the implications of short-centering in MBH (which for instance Jolliffe frowns on), rather than solar cycle silliness like the Basil fiasco, where he didn’t even realize what he was regressing!


  34. I want to debate things like the implications of short-centering in MBH (which for instance Jolliffe frowns on)

    It’s been what, a dozen years since the “short-centered” PCA method was used in a temperature reconstruction and you still want to debate it?

    Even after the “short-centering” PCA problem was shown not to have much of an impact by Mann critic Hans von Storch?

    Even after at least a dozen more reconstructions (including an updated reconstruction by Mann himself) gave results broadly consistent with Mann’s original work, even though none of them used the short-centered PCA method?

    And you still want to debate the short-centered PCA method?

    You are *so* 20th-century!

    And there’s less difference between you and Watts than you think.

  35. Also posted at Deltoid, Rabett Run and RealClimate

    And here we have an example of none other than Lindzen coaching Watts on how to cherry pick data to hide the warming trend.

    The other day DeepClimate posted a story about Lindzen’s role in the ” skeptics’ ” questions put forward to Phil Jones by the BBC. DC, quotes an email that Lindzen sent to Anthony Watts in March 2008 (DC provides a link) in which he says:

    “Look at the attached. There has been no warming since 1997 and no
    statistically significant warming since 1995. Why bother with the
    arguments about an El Nino anomaly in 1998? (Incidentally, the red
    fuzz represents the error ‘bars’.)

    Best wishes,

    Dick

    ==================================================
    Richard S. Lindzen
    Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Sciences
    MIT Cambridge, MA 02139 USA”

    The DC story is at: http://deepclimate.org/2010/03/02/round-and-round-we-go-with-lindzen-motl-and-jones/

    Wow….

    This is what I, MapleLeaf posted at DC:

    “What I neglected to mention the other day, and this is perhaps what really needs to be emphasized, is that Lindzen is not operating in good faith. He has divorced himself with the science and that email to A. Watts is scary, b/c that is not how a reputable scientists in the search for truth thinks. This is LindzenGate. He is trying to hide the incline while at the same time his ilk are [falsely] accusing the CRU of fudging the data. Here Lindzen is explaining to Watts how to fudge the data [edit, OK, fudge is probably too strong a word] to avoid getting statistically significant warming. As andrew pointed out above, they can apply this tactic ad infinitum and continue to deceive the masses.”

    Can you imagine the uproar from the denier camp had Hansen, for example, sent such an email?

  36. good call tamino.

    the “work in print” of course is a typical denial and delay tactic, that we will see used by Watts.

  37. Has the record been set straight at WUWT? I’ve been checking the headlines for the last day or so but hadn’t seen anything yet. ;-)

    [Response: Perhaps someone should visit there, and notify his readers of the need for Anthony’s admission of error and apology.]

    • David B. Benson

      Re Tamino’s response. That would be a good idea I suppose, but it won’t be me. I don’t want to up WUWT’s visit statistics.

    • The scholar/gentleman ;P excused him self posting that he would not be there, seemingly stressed and needing to work on HIS paper.

      Will he also send word to correct the record on attribution of the seasonal bias adjustment Spencer/Christy just applied to UAH 5.3?

      Both cases, deeply unlikely.

      • As advocated by at CA and WUWT, the proper blog science methodology (IIRC) calls for blog review before peer review, so I wonder how Watts will treat his grand manuscript. Some people (not me, I hasten to add) might think that they would bend the rules to suit their goals. I look forward to the Watts, et al. paper as a shining example of openness for the rest of science, and could be the bestest climate science paper evah.

  38. This won’t get through to WTF. He knows he’s right and you’re wrong. The rest is just details.

  39. Seems he’s gone away for a quiet weekend because he has a cold (diddums!) and wants to work on his paper … and I suppose there may be other reasons.

  40. It’s never going to happen. There will be no apology.
    Keep in mind though that this incident will serve to warn others who may be about to get sucked into a world where claims require no proof other than the making of even more outrageous claims in reply.

  41. Eli has an idea about where Beenstock and Reingewertz went wrong.

    In order to say something intelligent you have to know the data and the theory as well as some statistics, and the later only works sometime. Suffice it to say that claiming radiative forcing increases has been second order is questionable, even though others have made that claim.

  42. I’m seeking an intellectually honest GW skeptic. Has anyone encountered one?

  43. Just did so and others did before me. I wonder if my comment will be allowed? I was actually nice.

  44. Saw Bernard J’s and johnhayte’s posts in the Open Thread. Is yours also there, Scott? I added my $0.02 as well.

  45. The whole ‘station dropout’ and ‘great dying of thermometers’ meme is itself a misrepresentation of the facts from Watts & co, right?

    If I have understood correctly, isn’t all this the result of more thermometer readings being added to the earlier record, rather than removal of readings from the later record?

    If so then this point could do with being made a bit more prominently – and is another thing that Watts&co need to get around to correcting.

    • In that case they’d probably argue along the lines of, “they systematically[b] added[/b] rural, high altitude, and high latitude stations into the[b] past[/b] data in order to create an artificial warming trend …”

    • No, that is not true either. For whatever reason a great number of stations’ weather reports seem to not have made it into GHCN for a number of years even though the stations themselves continue to collect data. For example, reports from Mt. Washington, NH are missing after August, 2004 even though the weather station is still in operation.

      Others lag to varying degrees. Burlington, VT and Portland, ME airport data are about eight months old while Boston Logan is current through January of this year.

      Until recently, many stations in the US appeared to stop reporting in mid-2007, so it looks like GHCN recently received an influx of data covering mid-2007 through mid-2009 sometime in the past few months from hundreds of US stations.

      The rest of the world is another issue. It looks like an attempt was made of late to update the recent Russian records, but a dearth of recent records from China continues to stand out. I don’t pretend to know the cause of this reporting lag or cessation, just that it exists.

  46. Thanks to Tamino and rocco, Horatio has added a few stanzas to Blog Day Afternoon

    Horatio likes group efforts. The end result is usually greater than the simple sum of its parts.

  47. Hi Mr Tamino Sir,

    You are calling Mr Watts out!!! Way to go, you have my vote. Lets get you and him debating the issue, lets see the winner then.

    The only problem is you will have to tell everyone who you are and lose your anonimity. Surely that is not a problem now you have been proved correct?

  48. Coward.

    Tamino you are a coward. Not one sceptical comment. Die in shame.

    [Response: Not one word about the real issue: that station dropout did not introduce a warming trend. Yours is another desperate attempt to deflect attention away from the real issue.

    Which is: Anthony Watts used false claims as the basis for accusing NOAA scientists of fraud. If he doesn’t admit his mistake and apologize for the unfounded accusation, he has no honor. None.]

    • Marcel Kincaid

      This post and then later you accuse others of name calling and then quibble about the meaning of “disingenuous”? D-K definitely applies if you think you will sway anyone intelligent.

  49. And your real name is?

    [Response: Not one word about the real issue: that station dropout did not introduce a warming trend. Yours is another desperate attempt to deflect attention away from the real issue.

    Which is: Anthony Watts used false claims as the basis for accusing NOAA scientists of fraud. If he doesn’t admit his mistake and apologize for the unfounded accusation, he has no honor. None.]

  50. Great. So now you have posted my two previous posts I can have a say here. Well here goes. I make my first comment, which was moderated out. So I make my second comment, and post the first comment on WUWT, asking why it was not posted here. So now both of my posts appear as if by magic. This one will also be posted on WUWT as well.

    So Mr Tamino. Will you debate Mr Watts? And will you now tell us all who you are and your qualifications?

    Just curious.

    [Response: Not one word about the real issue: that station dropout did not introduce a warming trend. Yours is another desperate attempt to deflect attention away from the real issue.

    Which is: Anthony Watts used false claims as the basis for accusing NOAA scientists of fraud. If he doesn’t admit his mistake and apologize for the unfounded accusation, he has no honor. None.]

  51. It has now been independenly confirmed, by multiple persons, that my results regarding the impact of station dropout on global temperature are correct. Your claims, in your document with Joe D’Aleo for the SPPI, are just plain wrong.

    and

    The posts by E.M. Smith are so incoherent they resemble the ravings of a lunatic more than the results of a qualified analyst. Your only other response has been to call me a coward for blogging under a pseudonym. That’s nothing but a desperate attempt of a scoundrel to deflect attention from his own misdeeds.

    I don’t follow these issues nearly so closely as I’d like to. It seems to me that these two paragraphs would benefit from links to the posts or sites that confirm the statements you make.

    Thanks for doing all the heavy lifting. I’m watching to see whether Watts responds. I hope others do, too.

    • Excerpted from Lucia @ Rank Exploits.

      Zeke Hausfather posts a graph comparing the simple average temperature anomaly from 1,017 thermometers with data available through 2000 to 402 that stopped providing data sometime bewteen 1970 and 2000. He finds no significant difference between the two traces suggesting that station drop out is not an important source of bias.

      Roy Spencer Feb. 20, 2010. Roy Spencer computes trends using data drawn from the NOAA-merged International Surface Hourly (ISH) dataset, a ground based thermometer record. Using area weighting, he compared land based temperature anomalies for the northern hemisphere computed thermometers in operation from 1986-2010 to trends published by CRU. He finds no difference in trend– though the monthly data from the ISH dataset appears noisier.

      Tamino, Feb 23, 2010 presents preliminary GHCN temperature analyses comparing area weighted temperature anomalies for the Northern Hemisphere based on “cut-off” thermometers series and data from thermometers that remained in the record to the present time. He finds no significant difference between the two traces.

      Clear Climate Code, Feb. 26, 2010 compares GISSTemp type calculations of global surface temperature anomalies based on the “full” and “cut-off” thermometer set. They find no major differences between the two traces.

      ——

      In addition, I (Ron Broberg, GHCN, Feb 1 2010) have posted an analysis of the effect of excluding high latitude, high altitude, and rural (low pop density) stations from a globally gridded average anomaly using GHCN v2.mean (raw) data.

      I am preparing a follow-up using GISTEMP that should be ready tonight. (Ron Broberg, GISTEMP, Mar 8, 2010)

    • Almost forgot … Tim Lambert looked at a similar claim by McKitrick in 2003/2004

      http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2004/04/mckitrick.php

  52. And by the way nice try at deflection to Roger above. Not one word about the real issue huh.

    Well Deflect this.

    For the 3rd time will you tell us who you are? And your qualifications? And will you debate Mr Watts. Lots of people waiting.

    [Response: People are waiting to hear Anthony Watts respond to the topic of this post.

    You are desperate to avoid the real issue. Which is: Anthony Watts used false claims as the basis for accusing NOAA scientists of fraud. If he doesn’t admit his mistake and apologize for the unfounded accusation, he has no honor. None.]

  53. justin & roger –

    Why does Tamino’s real name matter to you? It has nothing whatseoever to do with Watts & D’Aleo’s claims. I really am curious to know why the name matters to you.

  54. Mr Tamino. I will ask the question again (Your deflection is being noticed by the way). But I will ask a further question.

    Are you willing to debate Mr Watts, tell everyone who you are, and your qualifications?

    follow up:

    If you are wrong, will you post YOUR apology here or on WUWT.

    [Response: The issue is this: station dropout did not introduce false warming or a false warming trend. That claim is false, yet Mr. Watts used that false claim to accuse NOAA scientists of fraud. If he doesn’t admit his mistake and apologize for the unfounded accusation, he has no honor. None.

    Yet you want to talk about other things. Anything except the issue.

    Anthony’s failure to respond is being noticed, by the way. As are your continued attempts to deflect attention away from the real issue.]

  55. @Ian. Some of your fellow commenters have complained about the lack of Mr Watts published material, and qualifications.

    So I would like to know the answer to my questions. I am a sceptic. If Mr Tamino has the answers correct it could change my views. I am sure you would not take the word of just anyone about such an important subject, and neither would I.

    (being a sceptic I remain to be convinced either way on this important issue.).

    [Response: I don’t believe you. You just want to avoid the real issue.

    The issue is this: station dropout did not introduce false warming or a false warming trend. That claim is false, yet Mr. Watts used that false claim to accuse NOAA scientists of fraud. If he doesn’t admit his mistake and apologize for the unfounded accusation, he has no honor. None.]

    • justin I am sure you would not take the word of just anyone about such an important subject, and neither would I.

      So, besides coming here and acting like an eight-year old with insults and name calling – what exactly have you done to find the answers to life’s mysterious questions? Tamino, Nick Barnes, Roy Spencer, Tim Lambert, Zeke Hausfather and myself all have taken a turn at examining wild accusations of fraud and misconduct by Watts, D’Aleao, and E.M. Smith. We have all found such claims wanting. Weak. Impotent. Maybe we could do better. Lucia Liljegren created a spherical cow to examine the issue from another angle. How will you improve on the work presented? How will deconstruct it? By calling Tamino names?

    • “I am sure you would not take the word of just anyone about such an important subject, and neither would I.”

      isn’t that just an appeal to authority? what’s important is the result, not who produced it.

  56. Hey, justin,

    If you want to call someone a coward, try me. Then we can visit Texas and try pistols at 20 paces.

    P.S. This is no joke.

    [Response: Violence is not the answer.]

  57. Debating Watts in front of folks like justin?

    You may as well debate Watts in front of a bunch of barnyard animals.

  58. Oh brother; I guess we can expect an influx of watt-bots. It might be kind of interesting to let them through and see how silly they all look. Somehow, I don’t see an extensive set of analyses as avoiding a debate. It’s now up to Watt to back his claim – put up or shut up.

    [Response: When the issue was first raised on his blog, Watts said:

    I’ve sent out messages to others involved, we’ll see if there’s any merit.

    This is a plain and simple admission that he didn’t know. Yet he still used the false claim as the basis to accuse NOAA scientists of fraud.]

  59. Visceral Rebellion

    Since I’ve yet to have a post make it through the moderator this may be a waste of time, but here goes.

    If NOAA’s standards have changed to only accept electronically submitted temps, the new dataset cannot be compared or added to the old datasets. It simply won’t work. Yet in most of the graphs and all of the analyses produced by the AGW crowd, the temperatures are lumped together as though they are contiguous, which is at the very best misleading.

    Furthermore, if NOAA’s new standard is to be worth the paper the policy is printed on, they need the same distribution of station sites as the old system. One simply cannot place 85% of the new stations in areas known to be warmer and pretend that it’s the same kind of data.

    The real issue is the way incongruent data is used to push the AGW line, not that NOAA changed their requirements for electronic submission.

    Not that it matters much here, I suppose.

    [Response: Your claims are mistaken. You must have paid insufficient attention, because using only stations which continued to report beyond the dropout point produces the same result as using all the stations. You give no reason for your claim, you simply make the assertion “It simply won’t work.” Your argument is nothing but smoke and mirrors — I (and many others as well) actually crunched the numbers.

    And the real issue is this: station dropout did not introduce false warming or a false warming trend. That claim is false, yet Mr. Watts used that false claim to accuse NOAA scientists of fraud. If he doesn’t admit his mistake and apologize for the unfounded accusation, he has no honor. None.]

    • Nice goalpost moving, VB. The original implication, as espoused by Watts and D’Aleo, was that a warming trend was introduced, and now you’re telling me that the new and improved real issue is incongruent data?

  60. You may as well debate Watts in front of a bunch of barnyard animals.

    Don’t smear barnyard animals. I’ve personally known a chicken smart enough to look both ways before crossing the road. I’m not sure Justin’s capable of it …

  61. Hey Barton, You are on. I visit the US in June, how does that sound? I will even let you provide the pistols. And as your kindly mod pointed out violence is not the answer. BTW give me a reason to call you a coward and I will. You do not scare me. (I did try to follow the link on your name to arrange things but I got sent to a web hosting advert with your referer details on. Enjoy the money from the click through).

    Killer Rabbit sorry caerbannog. At least I am willing to debate and listen, unlike a lot of people on here. And if the evidence is strong I am willing to change my mind.

    And Deech, hope you come back to WUWT soon, AFTER the paper is published.

    Mod: So you do not believe me. That is such a shame. In the time between my first post, and this, I have been reading your interesting material on the staion drop out issues. I will however wait for Mr Watts paper and also read that. Then I will see which way the debate goes. I have not made my mind up (lots of confusing stuff out there), but I will.

  62. “You may as well debate Watts in front of a bunch of barnyard animals.”

    Isn’t Watts entitled to a jury of his peers? Kind of a Special Olympics of climate science?

    Justin: You haven’t given us your real name, or qualifications. Hypocrite much?

    People blog with handles for all sorts of reasons; climate scientists have been threatened with “gang rape” and murder by enthusiastic “skeptics” (1). Why feed mentally unstable people your personal information, when the facts and the argument speak for themselves?

    1.) “It is called treason and genocide,”

    “Oh, as a scientist, you have destroyed people’s trust in my profession. You are a criminal. Lest we forget.”

    “Did you want to offer your children to be brutally gang-raped and then horribly tortured before being reminded of their parents’ socialist beliefs and actions?”

    “Burn in hell. Or in the main street, when the Australian public finally lynches you.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/02/22/2826417.htm

  63. No Justin, Tamino will not debate Wattsisname, because she would have to reveal her true identity, Christina Elizabeth Chebyshev Monckton, niece of the illustrious Viscount of Benchley. To do so would no doubt sabotage her career in masochistic performance art, besides causing family problems.

    Now you know. Please go.

  64. I’m hoping greenman3610 (also known as Peter Sinclair, I don’t know what his credentials are) makes a nice Denial Crock of the Week out of this. Maybe Watts can find something in it and let it be taken down from Youtube. For a couple of days.

  65. Thank you Mod for at least allowing my posts through. Unfortunately for you, you have too many followers like dhogaza willing to name call.

    By the way, you did deflect my questions.

    And how does Visceral Rebellion know to trust your reply “opinion” or “fact”. Care to answer my questions before I get accused of something even more terrible than being less smart than a chicken.

    [Response: You continue to attempt to deflect attention away from the real issue.

    Which is: station dropout did not introduce false warming or a false warming trend. That claim is false, yet Mr. Watts used that false claim to accuse NOAA scientists of fraud. If he doesn’t admit his mistake and apologize for the unfounded accusation, he has no honor. None.

    Why do you go over to WUWT and insist that Anthony deal with the issue at hand?]

  66. David B. Benson

    Somewhere I read some sound advice for scientists: don’t debate the

    flat earthers,
    YECers,
    climate denialists

    as doing so gives them some form of credibility. They have none and there is no debate.

  67. justin wrote:

    I make my first comment, which was moderated out. So I make my second comment, and post the first comment on WUWT, asking why it was not posted here. So now both of my posts appear as if by magic.

    Yeah. Magic. Every comment awaits moderation at this site. In the magic community we call it dynamic websites with a database back end. As Doug Henning would say, dynamic websites with a database back end are an illusion; they’re the illusion of dynamic websites with a database back end.

    Are you willing to debate Mr Watts, tell everyone who you are, and your qualifications?
    … If you are wrong, will you post YOUR apology here or on WUWT.

    Wrong about his own name? You’re hilarious!

  68. Pat:

    Thank you for the information. Why would you like me to go? I am enjoying my visit.

    Robert.

    That is rather disingenuous of you to give quotes like that. Are you saying that I said those quotes? Are you saying that I should be compared to people who actually said those quotes? And your argument does not hold water, sceptics to have been on the recieving end of comments like that. But you did not quote those did you.

    My real name is Justin. I used my real e-mail address to post here. I have no formal qualifications above high school. I am not a climate scientist. I do recycle, I care about the planet, I care about people, and I want to know the truth about climate change. Name calling me is not making it any easier for me to identify the issues to be passionate about. But I will tell you this, there have been some revelations recently that made me question some things. Am I allowed to question these issues? Am I allowed to read sceptical websites? Of course I am. I will make a decision on the issues regarding AGW/climate change when the dust settles. Please tell me what is wrong with that.

    • Justin, getting a balanced view is more than going to pro and con web sites. It is far better to look for reliable sources. Peer-reviewed papers are generally better than web sites, and authoritative voices would have to include professional organizations like the American Geophysical Union, AAAS and the one true national authority we have in the US – the National Academy of Sciences.

      You don’t have to trust Watts’ or Tamino’s word for the big picture, just peruse some NAS publications.

      Of course, if you want to read a skeptical web site, this one is one of the best. ;-)

    • A course you might find interesting if you hope to pursue your interest of the sciences at an institute of higher learner would be a library and sources course. We had one required at ISU, and although much of it was simply on learning to use our facilities, much of it was also on discerning good sources and bad sources. Looking at “both sides” of an issue can many times be a bad thing, especially when “both sides” dont hold the same amount of relative merit.

      • Kevin Stanley

        re: “discerning good sources and bad sources”

        An excellent point, and one I don’t think is made nearly often enough.

        Perhaps a hierarchy of persuasive merit* would look something like this:

        peer reviewed experimental study
        peer reviewed non-experimental study
        case study
        anecdotal evidence
        expert opinion
        non-expert opinion (that’s including ours, for most of us)

        Others may argue for a different hierarchy, but at any rate it seems important to be able to evaluate how good the piece of “evidence” in front of you really is.

        *i.e. how much weight to persuade _should_ it be given, not how much is typically given in actual practice (of course)

  69. justin said,

    And if the evidence is strong I am willing to change my mind.

    If the evidence that Tamino has presented so far has not changed your mind, then it’s safe to conclude my “barnyard animal” metaphor was not out of line here.

    What Tamino has presented here re: Watts and the “dropped station” canard should be easily comprehended by any high-school graduate. You would be much better off if you addressed your obvious high-school deficiencies instead of whining about the Tamino pseudonym.

  70. pough: yeah. just like rumplestiltskin :-p

    but yeah, the moderation martyrs really are out in force tonight. mine are taking *minutes* to come through. why am i being silenced?

    bet this doesn’t get posted.

    • I’ve had a post at WUWT held up for over half an hour! Well, two posts – one was about growing tomatoes.

      • Deech56,

        I have read your posts there and the subsequent replies and it confirms why I gave up. I hate being a quitter but I hate even more wasting time.

      • A couple of my posts seemed to have been held up in moderation permanently (unfortunately, I forgot to save one of them – they weren’t that earth-shattering). Just happened to have some time to kill in between chores.

  71. Guys, I second Tamino’s steadfastness in not allowing Justin to change the subject.

    Which is:

    . . . [an] attempt to deflect attention away from the real issue.

    Which is: station dropout did not introduce false warming or a false warming trend. That claim is false, yet Mr. Watts used that false claim to accuse NOAA scientists of fraud. If he doesn’t admit his mistake and apologize for the unfounded accusation, he has no honor. None.

  72. Ah, trolls from Tam-Land. Looks like we are finally getting some attention :)

  73. In all this, echoes of a similar case in New Zealand. Being wrong means never having to say sorry…

  74. David B. Benson

    justin // March 7, 2010 at 10:06 pm — I encourage reading climatologist W.F. Ruddiman’s “Earth’s Climate: Past and Future” followed by “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.html

    after reading Andy Revkin’s review:

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F04E7DF153DF936A35753C1A9659C8B63

  75. Justin, I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps you just got off on the wrong foot because the customs of science are strange to you.

    First, scientific truth is not resolved by a face-to-face debate, but rather by individuals who disagree publishing their findings in the peer-reviewed literature. The experts in the field then decide who makes the better case based on the evidence and explanatory and predictive power of the arguments.

    Second, perhaps you are unaware that here in the US, climate scientists face harrassment from ideologues and unscrupulous politicians. In many cases, employers require any research or analysis to be vetted by corporate or angency lawyers before it is published, since the employee’s name is associated with the agency or corporation. Given these factors, I understand why Tamino chooses to blog under a pseudonym. Many scientists do this, and surely it is the quality of the argument and not who is making it.

    Third, the surface-stations program by Watts et al. has been quite liberal in their claims of bias and/or fraud, but quite parsimonious with any actual evidence or analysis. The fact that Watts et al. have no ready response to Tamino’s analysis is in itself telling. It shows that they did no analysis before making severe accusations against scientists and indeed against science itself.

    Finally, if you are indeed sincere in your desire to understand climate science, may I suggest that you start with a very readable history by Spencer Weart, which you can find available for free here:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/

    If you read this, hopefully you will have a little less of a walking-in-at-the-middle-of-the-movie feeling.

  76. Asking whether Tamino is willing to debate Watts is a bit like asking him whether he’s willing to blog. He’s already bloody doing it. He’s comprehensively demonstrated that Watts made false claims, and now it’s on Watts to respond, or not, as he chooses.

  77. Am I understanding Tamino right here –

    If the t-stat drop out did cause a higher temp bias, that does not matter, as it is the anomolie that is important?

    So whether the you start with a “high” temp, or a “low” temp, what matters is the “travel” of the anomolie in either direction?

    Close?

    • David B. Benson

      Yes, it is the anomalies which are desired in order to determine a global average anomaly.

  78. Philippe Chantreau

    Methinks way too many posts actually make it throug moderation here while they present no interest whatsoever.

    Only skeptic posts showing how Tamino’s demonstration could be mathematically wrong ought to appear. The others have nothing to say. Censoring them would be like censoring nothingness. No real loss and no guilt in doing so really.

    Hey Justin, instead of trolling here about Tamino’s name, which is totally irrelevant to the issue, why don’t you go trolling at Watts’ asking for a numerical analysis? Then, you’ll have the answer you’re looking for.

  79. Justin,

    Tamino you are a coward. Not one sceptical comment. Die in shame.

    Please read about the Dunning-Kruger effect. Then start educating yourself. Anyone can become an expert, if they’re willing to make the effort. First, though, you need to realize that it’s not enough just to be smart, you have to actually know something about the subject. If you’re going to challenge the AGW consensus, you’ll get respect from the scientists only if you’ve put the time in, and haven’t skipped any part of the process.

    That means starting with introductory material and working your way up. That’s how you get the theoretical framework needed to interpret the massive amount of empirical data, from multiple independent sources, that the AGW consensus draws on. To even know of the existence of the data requires reading all the historic and current peer-reviewed literature. Interpreting the data requires a thorough knowledge of statistics (as anyone who reads Tamino’s blog can see), and you’ll want to conduct your own experiments, and develop and test your own models.

    Very few people can do all that on their own. For most of us, the only practical route is an extended apprenticeship: obtaining undergraduate and graduate degrees, and doing original research under an established advisor. Throughout, you’ll have to interact regularly with the community of professional peers that have been working on this for decades: discussing it informally, in person, by phone and by email (perhaps more cautiously than Phil Jones did); and formally, by presenting your ideas at the same conferences and publishing articles in the same journals they do, which unavoidably entails exposing yourself to their unsparing criticism 8^(!

    Don’t think you’re up to it? Coward 8^)!

  80. Justin said:

    Are you willing to debate Mr Watts, tell everyone who you are, and your qualifications?

    Who is Tamino? S/he’s the person who smoked out Anthony Watts.

    Qualifications? Ate Anthony Watts’s lunch.

    Willing to debate? In science, that’s done with reasoned responses, backed by data. Not only is Tamino willing to debate, the debate is past the constructive speeches, already in rebuttal, and Watts hasn’t shown up.

    When will Watts show up for the debate he’s losing by default, here?

    • > When will Watts show up for the debate he’s losing by default, here?

      Never – he’s too cowardly. If he doesn’t have his choir, he’s a scaredy-cat.

  81. Great work Tamino

  82. Visceral Rebellion

    [Response: Your claims are mistaken. You must have paid insufficient attention, because using only stations which continued to report beyond the dropout point produces the same result as using all the stations. You give no reason for your claim, you simply make the assertion “It simply won’t work.” Your argument is nothing but smoke and mirrors — I (and many others as well) actually crunched the numbers.

    Thank you for allowing my post.

    I say it “won’t work” because it fails the logic test. You do realize, don’t you, that in any other data-driven field comingling data like this is considered professional malpractice?

    [edit]

    [Response: I’m not interested in a claim that “it fails the logic test” which has no logic or evidence behind it, but is only “argument by assertion.” I’m not interested in your unfounded dim view of computer models, or your speculation (again without reason or facts) that a few degrees can’t possibly bring disaster, or unflattering references to P.D. Jones.

    I ran the numbers. So did many others. You obviously haven’t.]

    • David B. Benson

      Visceral Rebellion // March 8, 2010 at 12:20 am — Your final [nonedited] sentence indicates a fairly serious degree of confusion about what is being accomplished by data exercises such as this. Try, instead, to ask some polite questions as there are several here how will be willing to answer.

    • Visceral Rebellion

      You, sir, are dishonest in your “editing” by not printing my entire comment with your “response,” with an obvious goal of trying make me appear ignorant. I rather doubt your mathematics carries any more integrity than your rhetorical techniques. Good luck with your paper.

      Or to put it in terms your approved commenters use, you’re an ass.

      [Response: Your “entire comment” was nothing but argument by assertion, without a shred of either logic or evidence. In addition, most of the points were totally irrelevant to the real issue.

      Which is: Anthony Watts used false claims as the basis for accusing NOAA scientists of fraud. If he doesn’t admit his mistake and apologize for the unfounded accusation, he has no honor. None.

      We ran the numbers. You didn’t. Don’t bother posting here again.]

      • VI,
        See, now here’s what I don’t understand. You are claiming to take issue with Tamino’s analysis of the data, and yet your post makes it very clear that you haven’t done any data analysis yourself. Several other investigators (including Roy Spencer) have done the math and get results similar to those of Tamino. So, I would suggest that rather than alleging fraud or malpractice that you try to actually understand the analysis. There is nothing out of the ordinary in the way Tamino is using the data.

    • Marcel Kincaid

      I say it “won’t work” because it fails the logic test.

      I find that most people who talk about what is or is not “logical” have no idea what logic is — they mistake their intuitions for “logic”. “the logic test” is odd terminology and appears to be of that sort.

  83. One really funny irony about justin’s whining about moderation here. That is – every post made at WUWT goes into moderation as well. None of them get posted until Anthony or another moderator clears them.

    And even more – I and several others are permanently banned from Watts’ site. In my case, Watts banned me when I asked him when he was going to get around to writing some things he had promised months earlier, in response to comments showing that he was wrong about clams he had made. Watts responded by banning me, and then going back and removing every comment I had ever made at WUWT, and then editing the incorrect comments he had made, so that they looked less ludicrously wrong.

    justin, Watts has been promising his station rating paper for more than a year now, with no paper arriving. He was shown to be wrong in his claims that station siting issues contaminate the surface record, by others who got tired of waiting for him, who actually did the work and published the results. Watts’ only response is to say again, – many months ago – that his own paper would address those published analyses. So far – nothing.

    justin, you say you’ll wait for Watts’ paper on the station dropout. I predict a long (long, long…) wait.

    [Response: Was the post in question the one I blogged about here, which it seems Watts responded to not by admitting his error, but simply by making his entire post disappear?]

    • One really funny irony about justin’s whining about moderation here. That is – every post made at WUWT goes into moderation as well. None of them get posted until Anthony or another moderator clears them.

      Justin, this is true. This afternoon I posted a request at WUWT for Watts to react to Tamino’s allegations. It still hasn’t shown up in the toad-article (would’ve been in the first 25 comments and currently has 173 comments). Some other people were luckier in the Open Thread, but that’s maybe because a lot less people read that. Another comment I did on the toad-article itself did get through. Well, at least I didn’t get banned.

  84. “That is rather disingenuous of you to give quotes like that.”

    Justin, I don’t think you know what “disingenuous” means. It means “lacking in sincerity.” No, the use of those quotes is not disingenuous. They are actual quotes sent by actual “skeptics” to actual climate scientists. Would you, personally, send an e-mail like that? It’s highly likely. You’ve already committed yourself to a gunfight with someone you’ve never met. That doesn’t exactly scream “stable.”

    But it’s a moot point. When you publish your personal information, it is open to everyone, crazy and non-crazy. The existence of the crazy people is a good reason to keep your personal information private, regardless of whether you are one of the crazies (although if I were a betting man . . .)

    You still haven’t given us your real name — that includes your surname, tough guy. Practice what you preach.

  85. Tamino:
    “Was the post in question the one I blogged about here, which it seems Watts responded to not by admitting his error, but simply by making his entire post disappear?”

    Yes. Watts promised a series of 3 posts, He made the first two, in which it became starkly clear that he simply didn’t understand what an anomaly was. He claimed something near fraud, based on detecting differences that are entirely the result of different baseline periods for the anomalies in the different temperature series.

    He got schooled in this. I was one of many people calling on him to correct his errors. He refused to do so, denied there were errors, and informed us all that the choice of baseline matters, and that he would show how in his third post, which would be coming soon.

    Some 3 months later, I asked him when that third post would appear. That is when he scrubbed me from his site, and banned me permanently from WUWT.

    He then went back, edited his comments in the first of those three threads, removed the second of the three entirely (claimed that was pending his third post). He never has made the promised third post.Several people have claimed that Anthony harvested their emails, from their comments on his blog, and used the email to stalk and harass them by various means.
    Some of those I seen, I think, here on Open Mind, and some on Deltoid. There is very, very good reason to maintain anonymity when dealing with Watts.

    The man is simply starkly, blatantly dishonest.

  86. Visceral REbellion says:
    “I say it “won’t work” because it fails the logic test. You do realize, don’t you, that in any other data-driven field comingling data like this is considered professional malpractice?”

    VR, you aren’t paying attention. First, data commingling is done in all kinds of fields, when that data that is available is from different sources. There are techniques for doing so.

    But that isn’t what Tamino did.

    What Tamino did was to SEPARATE the data.

    He took the entire data set, which was composed of records that extend through today, and records that were truncated previously, which were all comingled together in the way that you don’t like.

    He SEPARATED those into separate data sets, those that were truncated, and those that were not.

    He then showed the using only the records that were not truncated, using only that NON-COMMINGLED data set, gave the same results as using the commingled data set.

    In short, he did exactly what you say that good scientists should do – he used the non-commingled data. He showed that doing so, got the same result and confirmed the previous analysis that used the commingled data.

    What is your problem with this? Tamino did exactly what you say he should have done, and his answer confirms the current understanding of the temperature record.

    Or, perhaps that is your problem – you don’t like the answer he got?

  87. The Mod said, referring to Anthony Watts:

    “Which is: station dropout did not introduce false warming or a false warming trend. That claim is false, yet Mr. Watts used that false claim to accuse NOAA scientists of fraud. If he doesn’t admit his mistake and apologize for the unfounded accusation, he has no honor. None.”

    Does anyone have a well-aimed pointer to the specific statement made by Watts? I’m not certain I’ve found it, but it may not be worded as such, clearly, but spread out over a larger paper.

    This seems to be a very black and white issue with little wiggle room. Clearly Tamino and Watts cannot both be wrong.

    Proving the trend was not affected by reducing the data pool size probably did not require Tamino’s demonstration, but it looks to me like it was done right. So how does someone in Watt’s position get it so wrong? Where was his confusion?

    I suspect the premise was never tested by Watts, and that his claim was more along the lines of “may affect the trend” which is weasle words for people who like to through chunks of red meat to the base. That would be as disappointing as if he were just wrong.

  88. Thank-you david.

  89. I’m fascinated by people such as justin who admits he has nothing more than a high school education and yet questions the work of experts.
    I would suggest with such thin qualifications it’s not very wise to be throwing one’s weight around.

  90. Tamino,
    I think the URL of Watt’s post changed, but the post is still there:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/02/28/a-look-at-4-globaltemperature-anomalies/

    At least the key quotes are the same …

    It’s pretty breathtaking, I must say.

  91. “A random walk is necessarily unbounded.”

    A good tutorial was given by George Gamow, using the air molecules in a room, and the probability of them all suddenly going into one corner, leaving the rest of the room a vacuum. As Gamow states, it’s possible, but improbable.

    In a classic drunkard’s walk model, there is always the possibility of the drunkard walking in a straight line to the Sun, but this would require him not changing direction for a very long time, sort of like throwing a coin 93 million times and getting heads every time.

  92. Watts has just done a wonder duck and dive posting in the face of all this. It immediately brought to mind the analogy of this video from the 1950s:

  93. Watts has a non-reply here. He punted the whole matter over to Smith, who manages to engage in an exercise in blogorrhea. For the record, I did post in the Watts thread; we’ll see what happens. Won’t be able to follow up for a while since I only post there using my home IP address.

    • BTW, can one of Watts’ fanboys please summarize Chiefio’s post? Short attention span and all.

      • He spends most of it explaining in great detail that if you don’t correct for biases in your data, you get biases in your results. He explains that nothing Tamino did is relevant, because Tamino corrected for biases, so the biases went away. That doesn’t matter, because all Chiefio claimed was that if you don’t correct for bias, then you have biased data. This is important, because raw data is raw.

        Also, if you *do* correct the biases, using Chiefio’s own splendiferous method, you get…a warming trend. Which totally isn’t due to CO2. Because, well, Chiefio says so.

      • So Smith missed the fact that the analysis was of raw data?

        As Tamino put it in the False Claims post: “I computed a northern-hemisphere average using the raw data (no adjustments) for all stations, and compared it to the northern-hemisphere average computed by NASA GISS, in order to see whether there’s a signficant difference between the trends with and without the adjustments used by GISS.”

        Isn’t this guy supposed to be all about getting the details right?

      • I’m afraid you’re giving Smith far too much credit. Tamino averaged the data, therefore it is no longer raw. You see, looking at the global average conceals information, such as bias due to geographical distribution. You see, if we take spatial averages, that bias disappears, and Smith can no longer complain about it. So it’s vitally important that we don’t do that.

        He really does seem to have issues with averaging. Perhaps a remedial arithmetic course is in order.

      • Are you serious?

        In-freaking-credible.

    • Huge punt and it was on 2nd down!

  94. @Robert. Disingenuous, not your definition, but I am sure you knew the rest that you missed out:

    1. Not straightforward or candid; insincere or calculating.
    2. Pretending to be unaware or unsophisticated; faux-naïf.

    My surname is Ciderbottom. I may not (in your opinion) be a tough guy but I am open. Now your details please. Then we can make that bet.

    Thank you to all who have given me some good reading and links.

    Mal Adapted. Thank you for pointing out the Dunning-Kruger effect. I will continue to research and learn. I presume it is not directed at me, but those self proclaimed experts (of either viewpoint).

    Ray Ladbury. David B. Benson. Thank you for your very interesting and informative links. I will give them a read when I have a little more time.

    caerbannog. I will ignore your comment about my education. At least I am trying to improve myself. If one person says something it might be enough for you. You obviously know Mr Tamino better than I do, and you trust his working. I told you I am a sceptic (not just of CAGW) and I will read and question until I understand. It might take me longer to do it than you, but I will get there eventually.

    Mr Tamino. I am sorry if it seemed as though I hijacked your post, but some of the replies have been very helpful to me. I will wait to see the responses to your analysis.

    • Justin,

      Satellite derived global temperature trends closely match those of thermometer based temperature trends. If station dropout were causing warming, then how does one explain the close match with satellites?

      If AW and JD are going to accuse scientists of fraud, they should at least understand the data that they are using.

      Now you can see why AW gets no respect from the scientific community. If it were not for the high volumes of traffic across his site, Tamino and others would ignore him. Unfortunately, he is held in high regard by many in the general public so Tamino and others take the time needed to show these people that AW does not know what he is doing.

      Also, what does this whole saga tell you about the SPPI as a source of information?

    • Ray Ladbury

      Justin,
      since you give the impression of being new to the controversy, I’ll take the opportunity to try and fill you in on the plot so far.

      The controversy, such as it is, is manufactured by those with something to gain from delaying action.

      They would have you believe that anthropogenic global warming is a relatively new hypothesis. In reality, it was first predicted by Svante Arrhenius clear back in 1896.

      Energy interests and libertarian think tanks would have you believe that there is still substantial controversy about the subject. In reality, 97% of climate scientist who are actively publishing agree that the climate is warming and that we are behind it.

      Lacking evidence to support their position, those who oppose the science have taken to liberal and unsubstantiated accusations of fraud, incompetence and malfeasance by scientists. Needless to say, climate scientists take umbrage at such accusations.

      I could go on and on, Justin, but hopefully this will give you an idea why your initial remarks might have been misinterpreted. Do enjoy Spencer’s history. It’s an enjoyable read and quite good. I’ve known Spencer almost 2 decades now. He’s a very careful historian and physicist and a good writer.

      Tamino’s blog is an excellent place to learn about how to analyze data–particularly time series. He is a professional statistician who analyzes time series for a living. There are several other scientists who comment here. I am a physicist working on radiation effects in semiconductors. As a general rule, polite questions are welcome, but hopefully you can see from the posts of Visceral Reb that we do occasionally have to defend against trolls to keep this a stupidity-free zone.

  95. “Now your details please. ”

    Justin, have you not been listening? I have no intention of publishing my personal information on the Internet. Nice fake name, BTW. You couldn’t come up with something halfway plausible?

    How about your real name, coward.

    [Response: How about we drop the name stuff?]

  96. Mal Adapted

    Justin,

    Mal Adapted. Thank you for pointing out the Dunning-Kruger effect. I will continue to research and learn. I presume it is not directed at me, but those self proclaimed experts (of either viewpoint).

    Any self-proclaimed expert is a victim of D-K. Only the community of mutually-acknowledged experts can proclaim you an expert. That’s what peer-review means. If you can’t eventually convince the rest of the experts, you’re not one, no matter what you think of yourself. That’s also the only way hypotheses about the natural world become part of the established body of scientific knowledge. IOW, science progresses by consensus. If you can’t accept that, you’ll never escape D-K.

  97. The passing of the bucket has started.

    Anthony Watts, http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/08/on-the-march-of-the-thermometers/

    Most of the station dropout issue covered in that report is based on the hard work of E. M. Smith, aka “chiefio“, who has been aggressively working through the data bias issues that develop when thermometers have been dropped from the Global Historical Climate Network. My contribution to the study of the dropout issue was essentially zero, as I focused on contributing what I’ve been studying for the past three years, the USHCN. USHCN has had a few station dropout issues, mostly due to closure, but nothing compared to the magnitude of what has happened in the GHCN.

    E. M. Smith, http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/assume-a-spherical-cow-therefore-all-steaks-are-round/

    In this case, the first thing assumed wrong is that I have asserted that the anomaly trends for the cold stations are different from the warm stations. I have never asserted such a thing.

    • Well, this seems to imply that:

      Interestingly, the very same stations that have been deleted from the world climate network were retained for computing the average-temperature base periods, further increasing the bias towards overstatement of warming by NOAA.

      The implication is that there is a bias towards overstatement of warming by NOAA, and that this bias is exacerbated by the base period calculations that were used to compute anomalies. Ummmm…..this is curious.

      • He’s back on the “base period affects trend” crap again????

      • And a discussion of anomalies, and why they are bad. Nick Stokes is doing his best to educate, but the mustard seeds are not falling on fertile ground.

        My last few posts to WUWT from yesterday afternoon to this morning seem to have been held up in moderation. Here’s what I tried to post this morning:

        So the claim in Watts/D’Aleo was that the change in the number of stations introduced a warming trend. Does that conclusion still stand in light of Tamino’s analysis (which preceded Lucia and Zeke’ analyses)? Are you going to own up to your mistake? Smith’s post rambles on so much, and I suppose there’s an answer there somewhere, but this is the statement that you made:

        Interestingly, the very same stations that have been deleted from the world climate network were retained for computing the average-temperature base periods, further increasing the bias towards overstatement of warming by NOAA.

        It would be useful to have an answer here.

  98. carrot eater

    Ugh. EM Smith acts as if the claims in the SPPI report were never made.

    He then complains that Tamino doesn’t do exactly what GISS does, so his work isn’t relevant. He doesn’t seem to realise that Tamino’s version of the Reference Station method also does not calculate station anomalies relative to their own individual baselines. He ignores that the Clear Climate Code guys have reproduced the results using the exact same method as GISTEMP. And to add to the heap, Ron Broberg is now working with the GISS code.

    http://rhinohide.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/gistemp-high-alt-high-lat-rural/

    Watts can’t keep pointing people to EM Smith to back up what he and d’Aleo wrote in the SPPI report, because EM Smith can’t back it up. He doesn’t even try to.

  99. carrot eater

    Oh, and to all those trying to comment at WUWT: archive the relevant pages, in case Watts feels the need to make it go away for a while, like his anomaly histograms.

  100. “A random walk is necessarily unbounded.”

    Douglas, the way Eli heard the story is that in a lecture somebunny pointed out to Boltzmann that all the oxygen molecules in the room could suddenly going into one corner, leaving Boltzmann dead, to which the reply was

    “You should live so long”

  101. Philippe Chantreau

    Don’t hold your breath Deech.
    As for this question by dp: “So how does someone in Watt’s position get it so wrong?”
    Because he wants to.

    • I’ve accepted the fact that my humble posts are in some sort of blogolimbo. What’s odd is that they weren’t abusive at all; I was responding to some of the regular posters there, like kim and Smokey.

      I am struck, however, by the difference in Tamino’s posts and Smith’s post. Tamino’s posts clarified the issue for me, Smith’s long post confused matters. Verbosity may fill up a blog post, but in scientific writings it is important to a) be accurate, and b) be clear. Read Watson and Crick’s initial DNA paper to see an example of elegant language (and take note of this beauty, “It has not escaped our notice that the specific pairing we have postulated immediately suggests a possible copying mechanism for the genetic material.”)

      After some experience a reviewer acquires a sense of when someone is engaging in hand-waving. The Watts/Cheifio cognoscenti do not seem to be a very tough audience. Tamino, on the other hand, is willing to submit his analysis to scientific scrutiny. Watts and Smith have yet to do so.

  102. justin: you have too many followers like dhogaza willing to name call.

    BPL: You didn’t have a problem calling Tamino, and then me, cowards. Hypocrite. I’ll see you in June, pal, and we’ll see who the coward is then.

  103. Justin asks Pat: Why would you like me to go?

    BPL: Because you’re a disgusting cyber-bully and a science incompetent who accuses people far braver than himself of being cowards, from behind the anonymity of a server, and apparently a large ocean as well. I’ll be very surprised if you show up in Texas, but I will. I’ll send a photo from there to confirm it. Your absence will be conspicuously noted. Coward.

    [Response: This dispute has degenerated into nothing but name-calling and talk of violence. Please, no more.]

  104. If you’ve got hot coffee at your mouth, put the cup down now.

    Do you agree with Neil Bush that calculus is ‘terribly useless and obscure’?

    For him it could be. But for me, who has studied it, I see the value of it and how to apply it. But this statement illustrates the differences in the way people perceive and learn. Some are analytical, and numbers, equations, and theory speak to them. Others are visual or hands on type learners, that see little use for numbers but whom can draw from everyday experience and become craftsmen or artists of the physical domain. Two of my heroes, Einstein and Edison illustrate this dichotomy. Einstein worked in thought, but Edison worked with his hands. Yet both were geniuses at what they did.
    –Anthony Watts

    http://www.norcalblogs.com/bullfight/archives/2006/08/anthony-watts-1.html

    • Marcel Kincaid

      From that same link:

      There has recently been a surge in people running for school boards in order to influence the teaching (or non-teaching) of evolution or creationism. What are your thoughts on the teaching of these two subjects in public schools?

      I have no designs on either issue, as neither is part of my platform. But I do believe in balance, and if one subject is taught, the opposing view should also get attention. Ultimately, parents should discuss religion with their children, as it is a personal choice. The debate over creationism versus evolution goes back decades, and is now part of our American History. A student needs to know that history to make an intelligent choice about how they view religion.

      Yow.

      • It’s a bit self-contradictory.

        This:

        But I do believe in balance, and if one subject is taught, the opposing view should also get attention.

        Sounds as though he’s open to teaching creationism as an opposing view in science class, which is very bad.

        But then he goes on to say:

        A student needs to know that history to make an intelligent choice about how they view religion.

        If he means “teach *about* the creationism-evolution” battles in history class, there’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing wrong with teaching about the Scopes trial in a US History unit, for instance.

        I get the feeling that the first part of his response was meant to keep the fundy base happy, while the second meant to make his statement ambiguous enough to not piss off conservatives who don’t want religion taught in science class.

        But it’s hard to say because … it’s a bit ambiguous.

  105. “Einstein worked in thought, but Edison worked with his hands” — Anthony Watts

    …and both worked with watts?

  106. Rattus Norvegicus

    What the H E double hockey sticks was Smith trying to say in his response?

    The man is completely incoherent.

    • Did you actually read the whole thing? :-) But the fans love it: “We are fortunate you are willing to share this with us.”

      No, the whole post did not make sense.

      The comments in the Watts post are priceless.

  107. I wrote down some thoughts about this ‘random walk’ hypothesis.

    Short version: It’s the physics, stupid.

    Longer version:

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/is-the-increase-in-global-average-temperature-just-a-random-walk/

  108. I agree that this thread has degenerated more than most here. However, I have to say that Tamino did open the door to this sort of nonsense by phrasing the challenge in terms of manliness and honor. You’ve got good science, why cloak it in this totally retrograde garb?

    [Response: Because Watts and D’Aleo don’t just accuse NOAA (and others) of mistakenness or folly, they accuse them of deliberate fraud. That’s morally wrong of him. He really does owe NOAA an apology, and if he doesn’t, he really has no honor. None.]

    • If the word “honor” is bothering anyone, substitute “integrity”. To me, honor has all sorts of historical baggage involving asinine feuds and outdated gender roles. Integrity is a more pure word for what Tamino is saying AW lacks.

      • Agreed. “Honor” is a bit ambiguous — the term is used both as a synonym for “honesty, fairness, or integrity” (which are a person’s own internal characteristics) but also as something that you are owed by others. All too often, it seems to me, people try to enforce the latter rather than trying to cultivate the former.

        This is getting a bit far afield from Tamino’s main point (in which he correctly notes that Anthony Watts seems to have no personal integrity or honesty).

  109. I haven’t looked at EM Smith’s post in full yet, though I’ve read certain sections. I’ve read some of the comments here and elsewhere, and I still don’t get a clear sense of what Smith is getting at.

    Maybe it’s the terminology. When he says “the DATA”, he is referring to raw unadjusted temperature data, meausred in degrees C, right? How is “the DATA” defined when there is a station drop-off? Does the Data change retrospectively with such a change (such as removing Campbell Island from New Zealand’s list of weather stations), or is it discontinuous? If it is discontinuous, then it is kind of pointless to do any analysis on it, without appropriate adjustments to the entire time series.

    But, he seems to go on and say that the DATA is biased, and the bias is warming bias. Okay, fine, the raw, discontinuous, unadjusted DATA has a warming bias, but what the heck does this mean? It doesn’t tell us anything about whether the bias is at all meaningful.

    He goes on futher to say that there is no CO2 signal when using a stable coverage area (I’m focusing on the Kiwis to the Rescue section). Is this a meaningful statement? We know on a global scale, station drop-off is immaterial, and the warming signal is quite strong. Is this true for NZ as well? Did NZ also modify their weather stations with shelters back several decades ago (as was the case with the Darwin station, amongst many others). Anyway, I doubt NZ has much impact on global trends.

    I wish I could say I am following what he is saying. I don’t. But, I don’t understand why he is resistent at looking at anomalies. I’ve seen carrot eater amongst others try to explain why dropping a cold station doesn’t affect anomaly trends. To me, this is so incredibly obvious, I wonder why this needs to be explained to otherwise intelligent people. Smith seems to claim that this isn’t what he is looking at. But, why not? And if not, what is the meaningfulness in his analysis? If you want to deal with average temperatures, fine, but then you have to adjust the whole time series to make it continuous. It makes the analysis more difficult than it needs to be.

    Anyway, I realize that others are saying much the same thing as I am, but I hope someone can at least add some clarity to my confusion.

    I strongly doubt that GISS would incorporate this unadjusted discontinuous raw data change in trend into the final product. If you are using anomalies, that wouldn’t happen, but Smith seems to be suggesting that the change in trend of the raw data is filtering into the final product.

    • It seems that he is trying to make claims about the global temperature record by looking at local DATA, and pulling some kind of US temp DATA from 1745 expressed as dTA. Does anyone know where this came from? What was the US back then?

      And then pulling in individual stations again. When your only tool is a bag of hammers, the whole world looks like nails. Well, at least he plans to publish.

    • carrot eater

      It’s very difficult to figure what he’s ever saying, but EM Smith is finally turning his attention to anomalies. He’s decided that the FDM (or some variant thereof) is the best way to go about it. I don’t know if it’s the best way; it has strengths but also weaknesses, but it’s at least a way. Let’s see what he comes up with.

      I can’t quite figure what his variant is, though. Something about how gaps in the record are treated. Seems natural that the differencing should stop at a gap, and resume on the other side. He thinks otherwise?

      • He seems to do some kind of reset to 0 when a gap appears; not sure why. I see a some regional analysis done, but is there a global analysis – maybe a trend using his preferred method? Do we have to wait for a publication with bated breath.

        If Smith’s method is not confirmed by other methods, oh, say, satellites, isn’t that a step backwards?

        BTW, CE, I do give you props for delving into the arguments at “skeptical” sites. When confronted with a thread brought to my attention, I will usually search for your name. I don’t seem to even be getting an “awaiting moderation” notice. I did save a copy of the posts that went into limbo, however.

      • He appears to be assuming that any gap could be an instrumentation, location, etc. change which could thus bias the data.

        I’m not entirely sure what his approach is, because he doesn’t actually describe it in a proper mathematical format anywhere in that long post (perhaps I should have followed one of the links). It’s stunning how many of the comments are along the lines of “great work, very clearly presented”. Perhaps they’re meant sarcastically, but somehow I doubt it.

        My best guess is that he’s doing something along the lines of:

        1) for each station calculate delta_T_i = T_i – T_i-1 (or, change in temp at time step “i” = temp at time step “i” minus temp at times step “i-1″)

        2) calculate the global average delta_T at each time step (not sure if it would be area weighted, although it obviously should be).

        3) starting at Global_T_0 = Zero, Global_T_i = Global_T_i + average_Delta_T_i

        This should create an anomaly series where the base is temp is the global meant temp at time = zero.

        While probably not an ideal method for a statistical point of view, it should work and it’s pretty straightforward to implement. Although if you were to area weight it properly you’d have to recalculate the weights at every time step.

  110. “The comments in the Watts post are priceless.”

    It’s a real head-scratcher how so many people can be so confused about what an anomaly is – many use the terms absolute temp and temp trend interchangeably. Some are saying that dropping stations will by definition affect an anomaly measure, and they’re actually arguing with Nick Stokes about it… (So shouldn’t someone argue that the satellite anomaly is too cold, since it’s cold up there?) Best is the commenter who complains about “tangents about their elaborate math to make these anamolys.”

    • My favorite was “All this mathematical finagling is dodgy, and is in the process of being revealed as mere cleverity.”

      Sadly, the same observation translated into American (“Math is hard! Wanna go shopping?”) lacks the poetry of the original…

      • Or this: “The CRU, NOAA and GISS were formed to measure global warming. If there is no global warming then they cease to have a purpose, their functions could be absorbed elsewhere [eg. CRU in to the UK Met Office, and NOAA in to the real NASA to augment the satellite data.]”

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Good god! The posters in that comment thread are stoopid! As of my last reading, that included E.M. Smith himself.

  111. Best is the commenter who complains about “tangents about their elaborate math to make these anamolys.”

    I think that thread contains almost every possible misspelling of “anomaly” …

  112. Well, Watts still owes a correction for the Basil solar silliness. He never really fessed up that that was wrong…just truculently said there were causes for concern and he would go off and look into it. Plus where the hell is the surface stations data (that was supposed to be open). And what ever became of his paint experiment. Oh…and Hu Mccullough called him out for misleading headlines and post on the Swede-Jones kerfuffle.

    Not only is the guy reluctant to admit wrong (so is McI and so is a lot of both sides really), but Watts is DUMB! You are wasting your time with him, really, Tammy.

  113. Not only is the guy reluctant to admit wrong (so is McI and so is a lot of both sides really), but Watts is DUMB! You are wasting your time with him, really, Tammy.

    Watts knows nearly nothing of science, math, or statistics, but I wouldn’t call him dumb. He’s one hell of a popularizer of anti-science FUD.

    There’s a reason why RPSr and he work together.

  114. TCO,

    The way I see it, the point isn’t to get Watts to acknowledge his errors or apologize for his outrageous accusations. That’s a lost cause.

    The point is to demonstrate once and for all why no one should take him seriously. And to point out that he has made baseless and despicable allegations. Repeatedly.

    These facts need to be hammered until they get reported in the mainstream media.

    Somewhat off topic (but Watts is involved), I have taken a “first look” at the new UAH data set.

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/03/08/a-first-look-at-uah-5-3/

  115. On the topic of the drunkard’s walk, George Gamow writes in his 1940s book, “One, Two, Three … Infinity”:

    In plain words our result means: the most probable distance of our drunkard from the lamp post after a certain large number of irregular turns is equal to the average length of each straight track that he walks, times the square root of their number.

    Gamow further notes: “The statistical nature of the above example is revealed by the fact that we refer here only to the most probable distance and not to the exact distance in each individual case. In the case of an individual drunkard it may happen, though this is not very probable, that he does not make any turns at all and thus goes far away from the lamp post in a straight line … It goes without saying that the larger number of drunkards, and the larger number of turns they make in their disorderly walk, the more accurate is the rule.”

    I love this analogy, esp. given the subject matter.

  116. Bravo Tamino. And keep your identity guarded. You don’t need death threats or real life harassment.

  117. Tamino,

    I apologize. I’ll drop it.

  118. On the Beenstock and Reingewertz “paper”, someone referred it to me and I was rather surprised that they managed to derive very different temperature effects for a forcing of 1W/m^2 depending on whether it was the sun doing the radiative forcing (1.47), or CO_2 (0.54C). Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought the Stefan–Boltzmann law directly determines the temperature effect of radiative forcing irrespective of the cause.

    Well, I THINK they mean that. The following gobbledegook certainly does not read like any Nature paper I’ve perused (or even anything that’s had a moderate level of review):

    If instead of a permanent increase in its level, the change in rfCO2 were to
    increase permanently by 1 w/m^2, global temperature would eventually increase by 0.54
    C. If the level of solar irradiance were to rise permanently by 1 w/m^2, global
    temperature would increase by 1.47 C.

    Now I only majored in undergrad physics with a PhD in computer science so I’m not a specialist in this stuff, but I would have though that if you do a stats analysis and end up with a physical result that doesn’t match the physics, you don’t put your paper out on the net with the pretentious file name of Nature_Paper[…].pdf but instead keep it to yourself until you’ve fixed the error.

    [Response: I’m gonna agree with you on that one.]

    • Ray Ladbury

      Philip,
      I’ve run into this “smart photon” argument a couple of times. Usually they are making the claim based on a putative differential response based on where the heating occurs or based on response to a given spectral range. It’s utterly bogus either way. Equipartition will tend to smooth out any such difference. In other words, energy absorbed is energy absorbed.

    • carrot eater

      To a first approximation, an RF of x W/m^2 will have the same effect, no matter what caused it. Sceptics have trouble with this concept; they want to climate to be super-sensitive to one forcing but not another.

      But examine a bit further, and some differences can arise. For something like aerosols, it matters how they’re distributed around the world.

      See this paper and the concept of ‘efficacy’.

      http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/abstracts/2005/Hansen_etal_2.html

    • Beenstock and Reingewertz “paper”:

      If instead of a permanent increase in its level, the change in rfCO2 were to
      increase permanently by 1 w/m^2, global temperature would eventually increase by 0.54
      C. If the level of solar irradiance were to rise permanently by 1 w/m^2, global
      temperature would increase by 1.47 C.

      The assumption in the (Jackinthe) Beenstock paper of “significantly different response/sensitivity” for different “sources” (solar or CO2) is questionable in itself, but there is also another glaring confusion here, between “solar irradiance” and “solar forcing”

      An increase of 1 W per m^2 in solar irradiance does not translate to an increase of 1 W per m^2 in solar climate forcing.

      Assuming the usual factor to account for albedo (0.7) and of 0.25 to account for the geometry involved, the latter (forcing increase) is only about (0.25)(0.7) = 0.175 as much as the former (irradiance increase)

      If one assumes the “usual” sensitivity of about 0.75 C/W /m^2 (which corresponds to an assumed sensitivity to CO2 doubling of about 2.8C), an increase of 1 W/ m^2 in solar irradiance would only lead to about a 0.13 C increase in global mean temperature.

      So, to get the claimed 1.47C change in temperature for a 1 W/ m^2 increase in solar irradiance, one would have to assume that climate sensitivity to solar forcing is more than 10X what it is to CO2 forcing (based on the “normally” assumed sensitivity to CO2 doubling)

      If one accepts that sensitivity to CO2 doubling is actually only about 2C (at the lower end of the IPCC range — which it would have to be to yield the claimed 0.54C increase for a 1 W / m^2 change in CO2 forcing) then in order for temperature to increase by 1.47C in response to a 1 W / m^2 increase in solar irradiance, the climate would actually have to be about 15X as sensitive to solar forcing as it is to CO2 forcing.

      These are not “minor” differences in sensitivity to different sources by any means.

      • Ray Ladbury

        Horatio,
        Good point. I wonder if they’ve considered the implications of their differential forcing given that the Sun is a run-of-the-mill, yellow, main-sequence star that will keep getting brighter for the next couple of billion years or so. When do they say we’ll burn to a cinder?

      • So you think that the paper will not be published in Nature after all?

  119. Tamino,

    A commenter at my site, “VS”, seems to be challenging you on the use of the ADF test:

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/global-average-temperature-increase-giss-hadcru-and-ncdc-compared/#comment-1284

    It’s outside of my expertise, though on physical grounds it is clear that temperatures cannot wonder off as they have without a climate forcing acting on the system.

    [Response: Your commenter can’t even get the results of the ADF test right.

    He’s parroting the ludicrous claims of Beenstock & Reingewertz, which is nothing but a nonsense attempt to discredit global warming. Really, it’s nonsense.

    But as I said before, I’m busy with other things at the moment. Your commenter “VS” frankly isn’t worth the distraction, but in due time I’ll show the error of his ways.]

  120. “instead of a permanent increase in its level, the change in rfCO2 were to
    increase permanently by 1 w/m^2, global temperature would eventually increase by 0.54
    C. If the level of solar irradiance were to rise permanently by 1 w/m^2, global
    temperature would increase by 1.47 C”

    Um, I’m not even close to being a physicist, but even I can figure out that that statement is “a bit off”
    A watt is a watt no matter how it is produced, correct?

    • A watt is a watt no matter how it is produced, correct?

      Not quite. There is a spectrum. Some are just dim and apparently mendacious. OTOH, James was a somewhat incandescent variety.

      Oh, sorry, you meant the unit! Doh! Silly me.

  121. Deep Climate said something that got me thinking:

    “The point is to demonstrate once and for all why no one should take him seriously. And to point out that he has made baseless and despicable allegations. Repeatedly.”

    Having had to wade through denialist media rants, it seems their views are getting through on the internet because multiple sources will pick up a thread. For instance I was amazed how fast the “Jones denies their is warming” canard spread.

    While I’m really happy to see this analysis done, I’m not sure it will become a meme because of the limited number of sources that pick it up and propagate it. Now I haven’t done any research to see if this is true or not, but the number of sites picking this up is a lot more limited

    I’m wondering if a more concerted effort has to be made to spread this to multiple sites in order to really get the point across that Watts et al don’t know what they are talking about.

    • I did it in Guardian comments. What a storm of abuse that generated (as seen by some here when I asked for a bit of help here).

      Must have hit a nerve though ;)

  122. The further and further this blog or others go to “hammering” or pushing or correcting others pushed memes, the less interesting it will be. I read the net to get fun, new things. The huge amount of people running the same stories is just boring.

    Really I already feel there is too much PR pushing here or CA and wish for even more analysis and debate of analysis.

  123. The further and further this blog or others go to “hammering” or pushing or correcting others pushed memes, the less interesting it will be. I read the net to get fun, new things. The huge amount of people running the same stories is just boring.

    I could be wrong, TCO, but my intuition tells me that Tamino doesn’t write this blog for your personal enjoyment.

    • TCO has a point, though. On one hand, I’m entertained by people “hammering” on silly commenters, but on the other hand, a little voice reminds me that it’s a guilty pleasure…

      I console myself with the hope that there’s a lurker out there who will now see just how silly it is (for example) to confuse absolute and anomaly measures.

  124. I must say this has been one of the most enjoyable threads I’ve read through in years. Tamino, a few posts back I submitted a comment in which I wished that someone like yourself would peform a thorough beat-down of that ridiculous Watts/D’Aleo screed. Then almost immediately I was treated to your very accessible analysis. Now there follows this post, which does nothing less than expose Anthony Watts’ thorough lack of integrity. As if that wasn’t enough, we all get to experience the mind-numbingly low caliber of his defenders as justaposed against the intelligence and civilty of yours.

    BTW, it should be clear by now that asking for an apology from this mountebank has about as much chance as a popcorn fart in a high wind. Anthony Watts isn’t interested in the truth. To people like him, the truth consists of nothing more than whatever sleight of hand you can hoodwink a gullible person into believing. Keep up the good work – and thanks!

    -Chris

  125. TCO,
    That’s the problem – few are running the real story – that Watts and d’Aleo have made unfounded and despicable allegations based on a bogus analysis. And they are far from alone in this.

    I’m sure this blog will continue to be the leading statistical analysis climate blog. But there’s nothing wrong with pointing out the obvious implications of that analysis once in a while.

    • carrot eater

      Who would run the story, though? How often does Watts make it into the general interest media? Beyond the local TV station where John Coleman works, that is. Maybe more than I think, but I thought his visibility is mainly in the blog world.

      “High-profile blogger is wrong for the n-th time” just isn’t the sort of thing that makes the evening news.

      • Actually, both the Surface Stations and the Dropout stuff did get some traction. That’s because they were “newsy”.

        As near as I can tell, “Scientists Wrong about Everything” is news. “Uneducated Imbecile of a TV Weatherman Wrong–AGAIN!!!” is not news.

        Personally, I think way too many journalists got degrees in creative writing, and probably spent more time in frat parties than science class.

        It is unfortunate that science is one of the most fascinating activities a human can undertake and yet it doesn’t lend itself to coverage as news. Ironically, it does better on a blog than it does in headlines, but a blog is never going to reach as many people because:
        1)people won’t see the headlines while training a puppy or wrapping a fish
        2)it doesn’t come with comics and Sports.

        I seem to remember an incident a few years ago when professional liar for God Roy Comfort claimed that the fact that a banana fit nicely in the palm of the human hand.

        A certain female science blogger reported that the banana also fit nicely into other human orifices and immediately experienced such a volume of hits it brought down the server. We are a sad species, and 50% of us are even sadder still.

      • Oops, sorry, that was professional liar, RAY Comfort, not ROY Comfort. Gotta give credit where credit is due.

      • The Watts and D’Aleo lies have gotten media attention all over the world.

      • Fox News …

        Not sure how often, though.

      • To be clear, I mean that Watts has appeared *personally* on Fox News, not just stuff like his work with D’Aleo.

  126. Regarding baselines, if Iwere to state that temp baseline is basically the average of all months temp in a thirty year period, would this be semi accurate?

    • carrot eater

      A baseline is usually month-specific, so you only compare Januaries to other Januaries. It may or may not be 30 years long; that should always be specified.

      As for the blackboard, Zeke has been doing a lot of heavy lifting. Credit to him.

      • Surface temps are usually 30 year baselines, although NOAA uses a 100-yr baseline (20th cent.) IIRC, or at least did at one point.

        Satellite-based tropospheric temperature series (e.g. UAH and RSS) use a 20-year baseline (1979-1998), simply because that’s all the data there was when the anaylses were first published (and there’s still only 31 years).

        Comparisons between surface and tropospheric temperatures should use a common baseline (unless one is purely interested in trends). That’s something that appears to be lost on Watts.

    • “Everything” you wanted to know about climate normals, but were afraid to ask:

      here, here and in this pdf.

      • Thanx ce, did not realize the month thing, thought it was a running comparison.

        P Lewis, thanx for the leads, much more excellent info.

  127. TCO, try the blackboard, Lucia has been doing annalysis like its going out of style recently. With lots of help from folk like the carrot eater and Zeke and Mr. Stokes. Wish I had a better math background.

    :(

    • Unfortunately Lucia or Steven Mosher or others are not willing to point out the obvious implications of that analysis, ie that Watts should retract his allegations of deception and fraud. I think it’s because they consider Watts to be on their side.

      • Yeah…that bothers me a lot. Moshpit is all supersmart, classical philosophy and all. And I like that he liked me….and JohnV. But what the hell is his roomie doing playing footside with Watts. And all of them have this whole chummy side thing going on. JohnV, Ed Zorita, and that computer dude who found the mistake in the error bars are my heros….since they seem honestly curious and willing to report things whichever way they go (whichever side gets helped.)

      • TCO, you are one of my heroes! :-)

        When I first became interested in the whole PR debate your posts actually helped me a lot in identifying credible, trustworthy sources.

  128. I just skimmed the latest over at WTFWT…

    Ugh – the stupid, it hurts!

    I can’t believe how many folks get snookered by Watts’ act. His crap reads more like 9/11 troofer nonsense than anything even close to science.

    I applaud Tamino and his efforts to show Watts for what he is – an arrogant, ignorant blowhard. That fat ol’ emperor has no clothes – and what’s been revealed is just plain gross.

  129. Perhaps I’m deviating from the subject of the thread, and for that I apologise, but curiosity compels me…

    Does anyone know of a compendium/deconstruction that gathers of all of Watts’ errors of fact and of analysis in one place?

    A review that includes appropriate links to his site, or to archives versions thereof, would be especially interesting, and even more so if it linked to a cache of Watts’ disappearing anomalies post, part II…

    • Commenter and blogger “Ben” has a blog that tracks WUWT and discusses each post. It seems that readers can add links from Open Mind, Skeptical Science and other sites that refute the arguments made by Watts, et al. Not a lot of traffic yet, but I posted a few of my comments that never made it past WUWT moderation.

      http://wotsupwiththat.wordpress.com/

    • Good God, Man. Do you realize that if you gathered all his errors in one place the website would collapse in on itself in a black hole of stupidity?

  130. Gavin's Pussycat

    > independenly

    There’s an ERROR! There’s an ERROR!

    Tamino is ALL WRONG!!!!!

  131. Does anyone know of a compendium/deconstruction that gathers of all of Watts’ errors of fact and of analysis in one place?

    His blog? :)

  132. One place where D’Aleo and Watts have traction is with Inhofe’s staff. They are featured prominently in Inhofe’s Minority Report 2 to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

    I have written to the Committee Chair, Barbara Boxer, urging aggressive action against Inhofe’s initiatives. I mention the unsupported allegations of D’Aleo and Watts against government scientists, and suggest steps that might be taken to hold them accountable. If others are inclined to do likewise, I would recommend the following:

    1. Keep the letter to one page (perhaps plus one for references, websites, etc.).

    2. Keep it polite, but be specific and don’t pull punches.

    3. Point out that D and W have made explicit charges of scientific fraud against government (NOAA and NASA) scientists, and that these allegations are based on patently erroneous analyses which have been publicly refuted.

    4. You should probably also mention that D and W are cited by Inhofe and that they have a documentable history of spreading misinformation.

    Contact Boxer at:
    Senator Barbara Boxer
    112 Hart Senate Office Building
    Washington, D.C. 20510

    The D’Aleo and Watts ‘paper’:
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/surface_temp.pdf

    Inhofe’s Senate Minority Report 2:
    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.WhitePapers

  133. One last digression, just to set the record straight. It turns out Watts was definitely not the first to advise John Christy of the UAH annual cycle. That honor apparently goes to Richard Steckis who took Tamino’s first post on the matter and “ran it by John Christy” back in October 2008.

    See my updated post:

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/03/08/a-first-look-at-uah-5-3/

    Back on topic, there is blog called WottsUpWithThat, devoted to debunking WUWT:

    http://wotsupwiththat.wordpress.com/

  134. Speaking of false accusations:

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/03/10/mcclimategate-continues-yet-another-false-accusation-from-mcintyre-and-mckitrick/


    How do they get away with it? That’s the inevitable question as I examine one of the most specious – and despicable – “climategate” allegations from contrarians, namely the oft-repeated claim that climate scientists at East Anglia University’s Climate Research Unit inappropriately adjusted certain tree-ring temperature proxy data to provide a better match with instrumental temperature record…


    Yet a close examination of the computer code and ensuing research bears out the key contention of the firm rebuttals from East Anglia University, as well as CRU scientist Tim Osborne, namely that the specific adjustments in question were for private exploration only and never incorporated into CRU scientists’ subsequent published research. So, once again, McIntyre and McKitrick have made odious and unfounded accusations, based on non-existent evidence. They should withdraw these specious allegations immediately.

  135. Ray and dhogaza.

    Thanks for the chuckles!

    Deech56 and DC.

    Thanks for the link. Another one to bookmark, and I wish Ben well – he’ll be a busy lad…

  136. Deep Climate:
    [blockquote]How do they get away with it? [/blockquote]

    I am leaning towards thinking that this failure belongs to the traditional mass media and more specifically the journalists who fail to adhere to the relevant journalistic standards.

    After all, anyone can publish (almost) anything on the web, but it won’t “stick” and spread around without the mass media picking it up and lending it credibility.

    I also think public officials/senators/etc would hesitate more to cite non-scientific conclusions (blogs) if journalists would do their jobs and expose these conclusions as unfounded speculation (for the most part).

    On one hand scandals sell newspapers, obviously, and that’s maybe why some journalists and papers seem to rate money higher than the truth .

    On the other hand, there are a lot of large mass media corporations that openly (or not so openly) have a political bias, and in that respect choose to set aside the journalistic standards to achieve their political goals.

    I’m all for government funded, journalistically autonomous mass media since I have noticed that, at least here in Finland, this seems to help quite a lot with the issues above.

    • Gavin's Pussycat

      Mikael, if you really believe that, please ignore Yle’s MOT programme :-(

      But yes, in general the existence of public-service broadcasting as in most of Europe seems to have a positive influence on journalistic standards. As in, at least somebody telling people what they need to know, rather than what they want to hear.

  137. So, once again, McIntyre and McKitrick have made odious and unfounded accusations, based on non-existent evidence. They should withdraw these specious allegations immediately.

    You think so, but what does Morton’s Demon think? … He says no. Morton’s Demon always wins.

  138. Yes, so M&M and Watts and D’Aleo and Smith need to do some serious soul searching and apologizing.

    Of course, being men of honor and integrity they will do the right thing and apologize both in private and public, and retract the libelous and fallacious statements. Being the the cadre of eminent and respected professionals, they know that admitting error (like the IPCC did) and then correcting the errors for the public record is the right thing to do.

    I am sure that big media outlets will be outraged by the lies of M&M and Watts, and will blast their transgressions and critique of their bad behaviour all over the net, TV and print media. I mean, WUWT et al. are after all now the ones to be believed when it comes to the science behind AGW.

    And yes, I am being incredibly sarcastic in the last two paragraphs.

  139. Tamino’s work features on Joe Romm’s ClimateProgress website today. Good work and the more exposure of Watt’s deceits the better.

  140. I have given it another shot at WUWT.

    Watts wrote in his Quote of the Week:

    From an AP story interview, we have a what I’ll call a “Lubchencoism”.

    “There is a well-orchestrated and fairly successful effort under way to confuse and sometimes cherry-pick information,” Lubchenco said.

    Heh. Apparently she’s never reviewed how USHCN and GHCN came to have their station lists.

    To which I wrote:

    Is this referring to your SPPI sponsored paper Policy Driven Deception? If so, that would be very funny indeed.

    When is the final analysis due that shows that you haven’t falsely accused NOAA of fraud? I’m sure Tamino, Zeke Hausfather, Lucia Liljegren, Ron Broberg, Nick Stokes and various others would love to see it.

    Or is it referring to your Surface Station Project paper, also long awaited, despite your early communicating of the conclusions (no global warming in the US, ergo fraud)? When can we see the results of that analysis? I think professor Menne is eager to see that one too.

    Will you retract your allegations of fraud when both analyses turn out to be wrong (well, one actually already is)?

    My comment hasn’t been posted yet.

  141. Apparently she’s never reviewed how USHCN and GHCN came to have their station lists.

    Well, given that this sentence is a repetition of his accusation of fraud, I doubt he’s going to retract those allegations.

    • Yes, that was exactly the reason I posted my comment. Otherwise I wouldn’t even have bothered. The man apparently knows no shame.

      The last word hasn’t been said about this one. We’ll see how it plays out. It should become more and more obvious to the real skeptics that Watts is a denialist pur sang though.

  142. Has anyone yet noted here this mention of another fiddle in the same Watts post? (It’s been mentioned in the criticisms elsewhere, I think.)

    http://moyhu.blogspot.com/2010/03/blatant-fiddle-in-daleowatts-sppi.html

    • carrot eater

      Hank,
      There’s a lot of questionable material in the SPPI report of Watts/d’Aleo. We’ve all just been focusing on the first thing you get to, when you start reading.

    • Hank,

      I would say it’s really the same problem (bogus so-called station dropout) in a different form.

      At any given point in time, the number of stations for the just-released month, for the previous year, and for several years ago will be quite different. By the same token if you go back to April 2008 a year or two later, you’ll see the stations that are reported later.

      Somewhere I’ve got a GHCN raw data that I downloaded more than a year ago. It would be interesting to compile a list of, say, Canadian stations for the most recent period in that 2008 data with what is held now for the same period.

      Of course, this could open up a whole new angle for Watts. It turns out GHCN is *adding* stations retroactively – clearly they are doing this to enhance warming! Debunking the previous analysis only proves this new analysis. Remember, you read it here first.

      • DC, I think we are safe from micro-Watts taking you up on your idea until someone translates it into monosyllables for him.

      • carrot eater

        DC,
        Much of that has already happened. WUWT/EM Smith had a post (google “Langoliers”) getting all excited because an early GHCN file from Feb 2010 didn’t show Jan 2010 for every station that reported something in 2009.

        In fact, we were told that “Oh, and the list is also confirmation that the extraordinary hatred of thermometers shown by the managers of GHCN continues, unabated.”

        It was explained to the author that there are reporting lags, and it was shown that later releases of the GHCN file include more station data.

        This was acknowledged by the author, who felt compelled to use scare quotes,(“So between 8 Feb 2010 and now, Dec 2009 was “discovered” somewhere and put in.”). Yes, it would have been comic had he said this addition was done to enhance warming, but so lucky we are not. The author then complained about how GHCN handles the issue (they just put in the missing data flag while it’s missing, and assume you have some common sense), and duly put up a post about ‘zombie’ thermometers whose data shows up after long lags.

        You can’t make this stuff up.

        Anyway, Nick Stokes already has compared GHCN files from different times, to get a sense of the reporting patterns and lags. See here (it can take a while to open)

        http://moyhu.blogspot.com/2010/02/irregular-updates-to-ghcn.html

      • Back in the day, back in the lab, the post-docs and docs taught me one of the most valuable questions a researcher can ask when confronting data that “don’t look right,” is “why did that happen?”

        The failure of the old computers to print might not be because the answer is unknowable, but instead because the printer isn’t plugged in, or maybe the printer blew a fuse. The flat-line results of daily samples of air pollution from the wet bubblers might not be because that particular chemical is now fully controlled by the emitter, but instead could be because the method that worked in St. Louis doesn’t work in the hotter, much drier deserts of New Mexico, where the bubblers bubble dry in an hour, and so don’t sample most of the day; or it may be that a raccoon bit a hole in the latex tubing from the sample orifice to the pump, and a wasp crawled in there and couldn’t crawl out — so there was no airflow to the sampling fluid.

        A bunch of stations disappear from a report? Why did that happen?

        A non-science, religious or conspiracy-buff answer would be “someone took the data away.” Almost any question other than “why did that happen?” isn’t science.

        Conjecture on why that happened also doesn’t count, without the search to falsify the conjecture, which is only hypothesis without data.

  143. Or as Holmes said, “It is a capital mistake to theorize without data.”

    (Cf. G & T.)

  144. I was close; Holmes actually called it a “cardinal” error:

    http://tinyurl.com/yjmw7j7

    The only Spock connection I found was here:

    http://www.wraithbait.com/viewstory.php?sid=12954&warning=12

  145. Sloppy quoting has to be one of my top peeves. And of course, it is the best-known quotes that turn out to be least known – and even least understood, when it comes to quoting Shakespeare. Google has this one wrong any way you can think of.

    I have no data yet. It is a capital mistake to theorise before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.

    - A Scandal in Bohemia

    Did I just tread on the joke? *stomp*

  146. Not wrong, Didactylos–although you have just rehabbed my memory a bit.

    The “cardinal” version comes from “The Highgate Miracle,”–a story I don’t recall!–the more familiar version I initially quoted, from “Scandal.”

  147. OK, OK–“Misquoted.”

  148. Adrian Conan Doyle? See, this is why I really, really hate knock-offs. No imagination, no originality – just reruns. As can be clearly seen from the recycled quote. This is why you don’t recall reading “The Highgate Miracle” – originally it was one of the unsolved cases mentioned by Holmes in passing, and never referred to again.

    Adrian Conan Doyle (Sir Arthur’s son) didn’t even write this travesty himself, he got another hack to help him.

  149. “Off by one” anyhow.

    There may have been more than two similar passages in the Canon.

  150. funny, Watts did a post on statistics.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/03/20/science%E2%80%99s-dirtiest-secret-the-%E2%80%9Cscientific-method%E2%80%9D-of-testing-hypotheses-by-statistical-analysis-stands-on-a-flimsy-foundation/

    here is a quote from the original article:

    Nobody contends that all of science is wrong, or that it hasn’t compiled an impressive array of truths about the natural world.

    can you guess, how this translates into the post written by Watts?

    • Interesting that the Science article itself makes no mention of climate, but Watts does. Still, I guess M&M have now been completely invalidated and made irrelevant to the entire debate, according to Watts’s quote mining anyway.

    • Gavin's Pussycat

      It’s a good article, and doesn’t say what Watts thinks it says.

  151. oh, and another funny quote from the original article:

    Another common error equates statistical significance to “significance” in the ordinary use of the word

    http://www.sciencenews.org/view/feature/id/57091/title/Odds_Are,_Its_Wrong

    did anyone notice how the denialists spun Phil Jones comment “not statistically significant” into “no warming”?

    how could Watts miss that one?

    • Translating scientific terms to layman terms has been a problem for ages. Theory vs hypothesis is the best known issue (“evolution is a just a theory!”). It should be lesson number one in any PR course: the terms you would use in a scientific setting do not always mean the same to the general public.

  152. Watts is not about to apologize. It would upset his corporate sponsor who wants Watt’s fiction to linger as long as possible.

  153. Watts: “Still, any single scientific study alone is quite likely to be incorrect…”

    Couldn’t have said it better if he were referring to the many awful studies produced by_______

    Well, I’m sure we can all think of quite a few to fill in that blank.

  154. Computer hackery seems to be the latest denialist MO (h/t to MapleLeaf). Skeptical Science is another recent victim.

  155. Watts is not about to apologize. It would upset his corporate sponsor who wants Watt’s fiction to linger as long as possible.

    I’m not defending the guy, Que, but is there any evidence he’s got ties to any corporations on this?

    I think he’s just contrary, a solitary voice trying to make people think he’s in the wilderness.

    • David B. Benson

      Ed Darrell // March 20, 2010 at 9:14 pm — Well, he certainly is “in the wilderness” so he can just shut up shop now. :-)

    • I’m not defending the guy, Que, but is there any evidence he’s got ties to any corporations on this?

      I would be mildly surprised if this would be the case. On the other hand, I would be interested to know how much donations he gets on a monthly basis and if WUWT has helped increase his sales of weather gadgets. Maybe I should go ahead and ask him, but somehow I don’t expect a high level of transparency from denialists.

      Oh, and it would be great to know if Watts gets remunerated for his papers that get advertised by SPPI and Heartland.

      But I think he does it mainly for his ego and the attention. Lots of older guys suffer from this deficiency (especially when they retire and are all of a sudden unimportant (in their own eyes)). That’s why there are always so many old people at those paralympic versions of climate conferences.

      • Gavin's Pussycat

        > those paralympic versions of climate conferences

        LOL thanks!

      • Well, except the paralympians are real athletes. This is more like the last race on 4th grade field day where everybody gets a ribbon even if they get lost on the way to the finish line or go over the hill to smoke dope.

  156. “. . . in the wilderness,” as in “bewildered?”

  157. As in the common misreading of the Bible that we should heed the voice crying in the wilderness.

    (Actually, the verse calls for making a path through the wilderness for the person doing the teaching and preaching . . .)

  158. Looking at my 2nd edn Volcanoes and the 1983 CET max date it gives, without checking the data I’m now assuming that this date hadn’t been updated/edited since the book’s first publication in ’93

  159. I think most or all of the following links to other global temp analyses corroborating yours, Tamino, have been posted in the comments above.

    For convenience, then, here in one post are all that I found (excluding published studies).

    Global analyses – skeptical blogsites:

    The Blackboard (Zeke at Lucia’s)

    The Air Vent (Jeff ID)

    Global analyses – neutral or “pro-AGW”:

    The White Board (Ron Broberg)

    RealClimate (samples)

    NCDC

    Station dropout:

    Clear Climate Code

    Histograms:

    Gilestro

    (Also in the realclimate sampled set above)

    Dropout compared to satellite record:

    The Numerate Historian (Keith Pickering)

    I’m not sure if NCDC is anomalous, in that their analysis results in a very slightly warmer trend over the long-term from adjusted data v raw.

  160. Sorry for repeating the links, but I wanted to record the post I made at WUWT here in case it fails to get through. This is the message I sent to Anthony Watts during a conversation here.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/04/02/spiegel-does-multi-part-series-on-current-state-of-climate-research

    (under my monicker ‘barry’)

    —————————————————————-

    Actually, I was wrong that there had been no analysis of raw global data (at least on the skeptical side). JeffID comes up with a warmer trend using raw data instead of adjusted.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/02/26/global-gridded-ghcn-trend-by-seasonal-offset-anomaly-matching/

    Same at The Blackboard, (but not posted by a skeptic):

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2010/a-simple-model-for-spatially-weighted-temp-analysis/

    Which corroborates the analyses done by AGWers or neutral contributors:

    http://rhinohide.wordpress.com/crutemp/

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/are-the-cru-data-suspect-an-objective-assessment/ (samples)

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cmb-faq/temperature-monitoring.html

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/false-claims-proven-false/

    The last post deals with station dropout, too. Here’s another.

    http://clearclimatecode.org/the-1990s-station-dropout-does-not-have-a-warming-effect/

    And another on station drop-out done by comparing satellite to surface records.

    http://keithpickering.blogspot.com/2010/02/station-dropout-problem-more-non.html

    And a histogram of adjustments to the global temperature record.

    http://www.gilestro.tk/2009/lots-of-smoke-hardly-any-gun-do-climatologists-falsify-data/

    (Corroborating the realclimate histogram from samples in the post I linked above)

    As a side note, it would, at the least, be fair play for Anthony Watts and Joe D’Aleo to retract or modify their comments on warm bias in the adjusted global record – or else soon substantiate their criticism by crunching the numbers for the global data set. I cannot fathom why they did not perform this obviously necessary analysis before publishing their criticisms.

    • Barry, your post made it past moderation and Watts sidestepped the issue, as usual. My reply in WUWT, which didn’t make it to moderation and I guess will not appear is below:

      “REPLY: Well unlike you, we at least put our names to our work. I’m never much impressed by lecturing from anonymous cowards. – A”

      Smokescreen. How about addressing the issue?

      • Ray Ladbury

        I’m very glad micro-Watts puts his name to his work. It lets us know who we should be laughing at.

  161. Philippe Chantreau

    Barry says ” I cannot fathom why they did not perform this obviously necessary analysis before publishing their criticisms.”

    I can. Can’ t you, really?

    • PolyisTCOandbanned

      They still have not retracted the Basil solar cycle silliness. Watts, more than a year ago, responded to his boner by saying there were “issues” and he would go investigate them. After that radio silence.

      The guy is a rube and those like McI or Moshpit that play footsie with him and refrain from calling him out on his stupidity and evasions are showing something wrong with themselves.

      • Over 2 years ago, Watts published his absurd “the anomalies are wrong because the baselines don’t match” stuff, and when called on it, promised a followup. Then when I asked several months later when we could expect a followup, he banned me and erased every post I’d ever made at WUWT.

        Don’t expect him to honor his word – his promises aren’t worth the air he breathes to make them.

  162. Hell hath no fury like a petty ego scorned.

  163. Barry says ” I cannot fathom why they did not perform this obviously necessary analysis before publishing their criticisms.”

    I can. Can’ t you, really?

    I didn’t want to provide opportunity for flick-backs, goal-post shifting or smoke-screening.

    Unsurprisingly, that didn’t work.

    I replied to A’s reply, despite being pretty much convinced he will decline the invitation to remark on point.

  164. I may have been banned – for not providing my full name.

    ———————————————————————-

    REPLY: Well unlike you, we at least put our names to our work. I’m never much impressed by lecturing from anonymous cowards. – A

    I am never impressed by name-calling.

    Putting a name to a bad argument doesn’t make it any better, and a good argument is not compromised by not knowing the identity of the author.

    The topic is still there for you to address substantively if you wish.

    REPLY: Actually it’s not name calling, its a label that originates from slashdot.org and is used daily for situations such as yourself. Off to the troll bin then. -A

  165. Confirmed – He banned me. On the weakest pretext. I’m not pissed off, just disgusted.

    As politeness has failed, I will now indulge in some more direct language here.

    Over the last year I’ve asked about 8 times at Watts Up His Crack when Watts will produce the analysis of USHCN 1 & 2 weather stations as determined via surfacestations, following on from the work of John V and others at climateaudit, and as promised more than a year ago by Watts when 75% of stations had been inspected (on this thread – 8th post down). That promise is overdue by nearly a year, IIRC.

    Never got a reply from him, except once at CA further back in time saying that John V et al’s work should be disregarded because the sample size was too small.

    I’ve been unfailingly civil about it, even commending the surfacestations project. I meant it, too – to begin with.

    Having had a lot of spare time in the last couple of weeks, I set about correcting misapprehensions on a range of issues as far as I understood them, like Phil Jones’ Jones BBC quote on statistical significance and the meaning(lessness) of one month’s sea ice data WRT to ‘recovery’. I didn’t spam, posting a handful of comments in 1 out of every 10 threads or so.

    The last few days I took up the ’cause’ to get Anthony to account for his published comments on station dropout and general comments on warm bias in the adjusted instrumental record. That amounted to the one post I quoted above, then correcting a dopey conflation with the hockey stick issue, pointing out that the results I linked included skeptical sites when I was asked if I had read analysis from the ‘other side’, and finally responding to Anthony’s insulting reply that avoided the issue.

    My impression of his conduct hasn’t changed much since I first interacted at that site, and with him, more than a year ago (I’ve intermittently read WUWT for longer).

    He is disingenuous, propagandistic, slanderous, condescending and devious – a mendacious potentate flattered by incredibly ignorant acolytes that pander to his self-importance in a turgid echo-chamber.

    (That’s a more direct answer to your question Phillipe)

    I realize that’s not news to anyone here, but it feels good to stop pretending otherwise. In a way, Watts has done me a favour. Corresponding there is pretty much a waste of time.

    Rounding my personal account back to topic, to say he has no honour understates the matter. His intellectual bankruptcy in the general debate is barely mitigated by the superficially laudable project to rate US weather stations. It’s extremely doubtful he will ever man up to substantiate his work or account for his comments. This isn’t news to anyone here either.

    A Happy Easter to all. Hope you enjoy your new digs, Tamino.

    [Response: Thanks for the good wishes.

    As for Watts … I couldn’t have said it better myself.]

    • Ray Ladbury

      Barry,
      I worry about you holding it all inside like that. Watts caters to people who want to hear comforting lies. Nuff said.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        Actually Ray I’ve found it entertaining to read WTFUWT on a daily basis. The stupidity is stunning.

      • Ray Ladbury

        Yeah, but I keep remembering that their vote counts the same as ours and there are a lot more of them out there.

    • Or, to put it more succinctly: he’s all ego without the talent.

      I suggest you only read the site for laughs, when Tamino points out something particularly daft.

      Watts: 0% sceptic, 100% denier.

      • I like the site of Alfreda (-A) “Wazzup” Watts mainly because it diminishes the amount of trash on other sites.

    • Barry, after my posts stopped showing up, I posted my saved replies to Ben’s blog, “Wott’s Up With That”. Ben posts brief commentaries to Watt’s posts, and I have added links and comments by posters who rebut WUWT. I did reference your posts here.

      I was banned for pretty much the same reason you were – referring to Tamino’s work.

      Dang, Tamino, you really got under Watts’ skin.

      Thanks for letting us know how you really feel, barry. Seems to be a pattern there…

  166. Very nice of you to be concerned, Ray. Thanks. It wasn’t too much of a strain. Polite is my general modus. I did make an extra effort at Watts blog, though.

    The only regret I have is my lack of real skill on the subjects. The hardest part was getting things as accurate as possible. I have a degree (and career) in the arts. The most useful thing about that is having good reading comprehension, and that alone puts anyone a cut above most of the denizens over there. I owe most of what ken I have to clear analysis from experts (like here) and a few hundred peer-reviewed studies on various stuff. The math is Greek to me, but the exposition is fascinating.

    I suggest you only read the site for laughs

    Didactylos, Watts made that decision for me. I’m almost grateful. I read a couple of the latest posts and some of the comments beneath, but deleted the tabs when my brain started hurting from the stupid (the nouning of that adjective tickles me).

    Deech, cheers. BTW, I’ve long wondered if your monicker is based on the character from Ender’s Game. It’s my favourite SF novella.

    • Barry, my nickname comes from a permutation of “baby talk” from my now freshman-in-college son (oddly enough, studying at a music conservatory around the corner from NASA-GISS).

      Like you, I felt an urge to engage, trying to be polite, but also running into the “anonymous commenter” schtick. Somehow, posters like “Smokey” get a pass. I thought your posts were well-researched and spot on.

  167. Philippe Chantreau

    Just got to see you answer Barry. I knew you’d come to the right conclusion. Pretty well worded too, don’t see anything to add…

  168. Some time I’ll have to my story of interactions with Anthony and WUWT. barry was right on the money with “He is disingenuous, propagandistic, slanderous, condescending and devious – a mendacious potentate flattered by incredibly ignorant acolytes that pander to his self-importance in a turgid echo-chamber” comment.

  169. Barry, thanks for sharing your story with us. Quite the eye opener in some respects, but not surprising given that Anthony and Charles investigate IP addresses (if your are trying to tell the truth that is and/or showing them to be stupid).

  170. I really can’t read WUWT much, for reasons amply covered by previous posters.

    • David B. Benson

      I don’t visit WUWT at all as I lost my vise for keeping my head from exploding.

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Head explode indeed. There’s a new farce posted over there today. Apparently the guy has derived a completely new theory of climate which accounts for the findings of Miskolczi(!). The only he problem is he hasn’t done any math or constructed a model.

      But it is brilliant as all the commenters over there assure us!

      • One almost feels sorry for Leif Svalgaard due to his attempts to beat some minimal level of sense into Stephen Wilder’s head …

        If someone ever starts a D-K Hall of Fame, Wilder’s going to make it on the first ballot.

        Very entertaining, thank you. I rarely look at WUWT, but in this case Wilder’s arrogance and self-assurance combined with his breathtaking ignorance made for a good read.

      • The only mistake is that this post was supposed to be posted on April 1st.

        If so, then it is brilliant!

      • Andrew Dodds

        Oh yes:

        An appropriate analogy is a pan of boiling water. However much the power input increases the boiling point remains at 100C. The speed of boiling however does change in response to the level of power input. The boiling point only changes if the density of the air above and thus the pressure on the water surface changes. In the case of the Earth’s atmosphere a change in solar input is met with a change in evaporation rates and thus the speed of the whole hydrological cycle keeping the overall temperature stable despite a change in solar power input.

        Because the latent heat of evaporation is lost forever to the universe, of course.

  171. Rattus Norvegicus

    Oh yeah, they guy’s science education: he’s a lawyer, apparently doing real estate law.

    • When asked if he’ll replace words and logic with mathematics to make his model real, Wilde’s response is hilarious:

      I’m not a mathematician so I can’t go there.

      So he’s got a model that overturns everything that does not, and never will, contain a single equation.

      Yet, he claims:

      It is a logical description of the processes that must be occurring in one form or another or to one degree or another to get long term observations to fit the basic laws of physics.

      No quantification in his model whatsoever, yet he’s sure it fits the basic laws of physics …

  172. Ah, well, someone from over there is visiting Grumbine now, so someone cares about getting things right. Or asserting they were right, which isn’t the same of course. Time will tell.

    • Leif Svalgaard shoots Wilde down in the 4th post:

      I think the first two points:
      1: Solar surface turbulence increases causing an expansion of the Earth’s atmosphere.
      2: Resistance to outgoing longwave radiation reduces, energy is lost to space faster.
      are wrong, and hence the rest.
      The part of the atmosphere [the thermosphere] that expands and contracts is 1 centimeter thick [if at same pressure as at the surface] and contains 1/1000,000 the number of molecules, so has no measurable effect on point 2.

      Those pesky knowledgeable deniers are such a downer …

  173. Some time I’ll have to my story of interactions with Anthony and WUWT. barry was right on the money with “He is disingenuous, propagandistic, slanderous, condescending and devious – a mendacious potentate flattered by incredibly ignorant acolytes that pander to his self-importance in a turgid echo-chamber” comment.

    Look here, I have to complain. You have plagiarised what I said, but taken out the swearing. If you are going to steal what I wrote, do it correctly, please.

  174. Rattus, coming late, but who is it you refer to as a lawyer doing science education?

    • Ray Ladbury

      Ed, I think Rattus is saying that the guy’s only education is as a lawyer. We’ve all seen these guys before, although usually they’re trying to overturn Einstein.

      How many times have I heard, “I know it’s right. I just need a mathematician to turn it into equations…”

      After all, we know physics must be easy. I mean why would you want to do all that studying anyway?

      • Thanks, Ray.

        So we’re talking about Wilde?

        I wanted to make sure. Either I’m perfectly suited to respond, or he was coming after me.

        (Lawyer turned teacher in Dallas . . .)

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        Yeah, it’s Wilde.

      • No, he wasn’t coming after you. You could change that, if you want, if posting an equally silly climate “model” that “disproves” everything done by scientists.

        Unfortunately, you’re not crazy enough to believe a little handwaving will overturn climate science *and* a large body of observations, and probably not creative enough to act crazy enough to come up with Wilde-style crazy …

        Hmmm … it would be interesting to put VS and Wilde in the same room. One blathering that naive statistics disproves physics, the other that lawyerly arguing does …

    • Ray Ladbury

      Any relation to Oscar perchance? I notice some of the same comedic talent… at least presuming he’s sokaling the gullible on Watts-up’is-arse.

  175. Gosh… I learned a lot from that WUWT discussion. For example, there is this pearl of wisdom:

    7 04 2010
    Spector (02:10:45) :

    I believe that Stephen Wilde’s top-down approach is much better way to obtain a true understanding of this problem. It has the sound of real science. Good work!

    Does anyone know of any published papers that compare the ‘sound of real science’ to the ‘sound of un-real science’? Who knew the sounds of science could be determined?

    I vaguely remember something about the sounds of silence from long ago… Maybe this is what is happening over at WUWT:

    Hello darkness, my old friend
    I’ve come to talk with you again
    Because a vision softly creeping
    Left its seeds while I was sleeping
    And the vision that was planted in my brain
    Still remains
    Within the sound of silence

    In restless dreams I walked alone
    Narrow streets of cobblestone
    ‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
    I turned my collar to the cold and damp
    When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
    That split the night
    And touched the sound of silence

    And in the naked light I saw
    Ten thousand people, maybe more
    People talking without speaking
    People hearing without listening
    People writing songs that voices never share
    And no one dared
    Disturb the sound of silence

    “Fools”, said I, “You do not know
    Silence like a cancer grows
    Hear my words that I might teach you
    Take my arms that I might reach you”
    But my words, like silent raindrops fell
    And echoed
    In the wells of silence

    And the people bowed and prayed
    To the neon god they made
    And the sign flashed out its warning
    In the words that it was forming
    And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
    And tenement halls”
    And whispered in the sounds of silence…

    (apologies to Simon and Garfunkel)

    • Paul K2 quotes a commenter at WUWT:

      I believe that Stephen Wilde’s top-down approach is much better way to obtain a true understanding of this problem. It has the sound of real science. Good work!

      It may not be science, but as Stephen Colbert would say, it’s full of sciencyness. Which, as anyone at WUWT would tell you, is good enough.

  176. Some of the commenters over there are a bit strange, and I don’t mean that in a good way. Here’s one from the Wilde thread:

    “Thought experiment: have a group of 100 people stand in a circle around you shoulder-to-shoulder. Hold an AK47 horizontally, close your eyes, spin in a circle and empty the clip. Hit rate will be about 100%. Now take the same number of people, starting in a circle shoulder-to-shoulder around you, and have them walk directly away from you for 100 meters. Repeat the clip-emptying exercise and tally up your kills.”

    Good grief. I really, really don’t want to know why Anthony’s commenters come up with analogies like that.

    • There seems to be a problem distinguishing between two- and three-dimensional expansion over there. Very frustrating to read.

  177. David B. Benson

    Think I’m going to need a vise just to keep reading this thread.

    • This should help with the head ‘sploding. Wilde says:

      “As regards density I’d say that total density stays much the same. What changes is density per unit volume which I propose affects energy distribution within the system.

      I’m resigned to the fact that it is going to take time for the thought behind all this to be fully appreciated. It is very easy for misinterpretations to be made by those who are newly considering the points made.”

      • Just a couple of quick passes, but I haven’t found anyplace that Wilde even considers density of ocean water, which dramatically affects the function of the flow of the Gulf Stream, to pick one current, and consequently, may dramatically affect weather.

        Did I just miss it?

      • Ray Ladbury

        Now that is comedy gold! Now pardon me while I clean the brains off of my keyboard.

      • David B. Benson

        Kaaah-boom!

  178. Wilde says:

    As regards density I’d say that total density stays much the same

    I disagree, Wilde, you’re clearly getting denser and denser.

  179. Philippe Chantreau

    Total density vs density per unit volume? Say what?

    Perhaps he’s referring to the density of WUWT readers…

    • What’s the problem here? It’s a straightforward quantity.

      The SI unit for density, rho, is kilograms per cubic meter, or kg / m^3.

      The SI unit for volume is the cubic meter, or m^3

      So the derived SI unit for density per unit volume is:

      1 wilde = 1 kg /m^6

    • Ray Ladbury

      Ooh! cool! climate science in six dimensions. Somebody call Lubos Motl!

      • t_p_hamilton

        Ray,

        Motl would insist that the density per unit volume should be written as 1.000000000 wilde = 1.00000000 kg/m^6, otherwise it ain’t science.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        I’m not sure that Lubos could solve that one perhaps if it was 1 kg/m ^ 11…

  180. “density per unit volume ”

    AWESOME!!!

  181. Yes, even an artsy such as I can appreciate “density per unit volume!”

    All this seems to connect with the difficulty some of my past interlocuters have had with the “TINY” proportion represented by 385 ppm–according to them, this “must” result in (as one put it) “a CO2 blanket that is full of holes.” I also recall the analogy of a stadium in which .038% of the seats were filled.

    (I replied with BOTE calculations. IIRC, a mole of air is close to 22 liters, and contains about 1.8 x 10^20 CO2 molecules. Unfortunately, that gentleman seemed kind of shaky on the concept of Avogadro’s number.)

  182. Andrew Dodds (above) highlights this quote from the Wilde thread:

    An appropriate analogy is a pan of boiling water. However much the power input increases the boiling point remains at 100C. The speed of boiling however does change in response to the level of power input. The boiling point only changes if the density of the air above and thus the pressure on the water surface changes. In the case of the Earth’s atmosphere a change in solar input is met with a change in evaporation rates and thus the speed of the whole hydrological cycle keeping the overall temperature stable despite a change in solar power input.

    No matter how much you change the solar power input, the overall temperature of the climate system remains constant? That’s a relief. I’d been worrying about what would happen 5 billion years from now when the sun evolves into a red giant with a radius greater than the earth’s orbit. Fortunately, the all-powerful homeostasis of the Earth’s climate system will keep us comfy!

    For that matter, how much could we decrease the incident solar radiation and still have the climate system stay at the same temperature? Could you remove the Sun entirely? That would be a neat trick.

  183. For that matter, how much could we decrease the incident solar radiation and still have the climate system stay at the same temperature?

    Wilde got rid of the little ice age and the fans at WUWT still love him …

  184. Rattus Norvegicus

    Well here’s another bunch of fun from WTFUWT.

    This time it is not so much the post, which is probably the best and most understandable summary of what the current consensus is on climate science. The fun starts in the comments. Warning, for those of you who have heads which explode easily…

  185. @Rattus

    My favourite part in the comments is when Tilo Reber whines about things nobody objects to… shortly after and before people object to them.

  186. I’m able to post again at WUWT. NSIDC is suspect because their baseline, higher than ROOS, shows recent Arctic sea-ice is just below ‘normal’, while ROOS shows it is now ‘recovered’. Anthony wonders why NSIDC don’t explain their choice of baseline. He quotes an excerpt from their FAQ page – which a little further down from the cite explains their baseline choice.

    I really do have to stop reading there as recommended.

  187. Barry:
    Do not get involved with WUWT. It is crap, commenters even more so. You cant’t teach a pig to sing

  188. Has any of the geniuses at WUWT noticed, that the “back to normal” maximum sea ice extent falls short of the normal maximum by a good 400,000km², no matter which normal or data set you choose?

  189. Philippe Chantreau

    Furthermore, Cryosphere today shows that ice area did not even reach baseline, even though the baseline calculation now includes all the very low years until 2008.

  190. They didn’t notice when it tracked below the record during the fall, did they?

    The doublethink is better tuned than that!

  191. carrot eater

    Tamino,
    Download a fresh copy of the SPPI report. You’ll see that the relevant section has been quietly completely re-written.

    Just noticed by Ron Broberg.

  192. carrot eater

    Neven, it may have slipped his mind. Perhaps somebody could leave a note on “Tips & Notes to WUWT”, as a reminder to give the big announcement.

    In earnestness, the new version of the SPPI report is rather less bad. There is no accusation of fraud; in fact there is no definite statement that station drop has an impact. Only that they think it might have an impact, and EM Smith is hot on its trails. So we’ve finally reverted to the correct order of things: analysis first, then conclusions.

    They still don’t give the simple and straightforward explanation for why the 1990 station drop exists. But they do acknowledge that absolute temperatures averaged together are not representative of what anybody actually does.

    Somewhat troubling, it isn’t entirely clear that they understand yet that dropping a cold station doesn’t necessarily matter. It’s the difference in trend between the dropped stations and the remaining stations used for the same grid box that matters.

    This is a definite improvement, but a retraction in the night is not an apology.

    Being wrong is one thing; it happens. Do it often enough on the basics (as WUWT does), and we’ll just laugh at you and declare you incompetent. But this was much more than just being wrong. They accused NOAA of fraud, based on nothing. That requires an apology.

    • CE, it’s less bad, but it’s still awfully bad.

      They still have the scary pull quote about preferential deletion of cold stations, followed by a pull quote saying that ‘these issues ensure that the mean global surface temperature… would show a false-positive”.

      They still claim that infilling of missing grid boxes with data from lower latitude or lower elevation stations will cause a warming bias – within paragraphs after the say they are fully aware that it is anomaly and not temperature that is being used.

      It is still a dishonest and incompetent mess.

      • carrot eater

        Oh, it’s still incompetent; I’m just recognising progress, such as it is. Baby steps.

        Yes, I did say I’m troubled that they still don’t seem to understand how anomalies work. Regardless of whether it’s the Reference Station Method or a more basic climate anomaly method, it’s the trend that matters. High latitude stations tend to have higher trends; it simply doesn’t matter here that they’re cold. After struggling with this topic for months, you’d think they could manage a clear statement on this basic idea, but they cannot.

        Does it occur to them that only GISS interpolates, and yet all the agencies show about the same global warming? What difference there is from that only comes recently, over the Arctic, and is a result of the stations around the Arctic warming more quickly than the global mean.

        In any event, the data set Ron is using could be used to test how good GISS’s interpolation has been, in any regions where the GSOD has higher station density than the GHCN. Maybe not the Arctic, but maybe elsewhere.

  193. Many many thanks to Tamino for this work.
    The Watts station drop has come up again on the Guaridan and a this provides a handy wee link to help refute it.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2010/jul/08/hacked-climate-science-emails-climate-change#start-of-comments

  194. Rattus Norvegicus

    I posted a comment about Watt’s latest post, which was a repost of a screed by Singer. In it i referred to Singer as “delusional”, here is what Watts did:

    [snip – I won’t allow you to insult Dr. Singer with such insulting words unless you have the courage to put your words to your name, and, I don’t give a rattus norvegius butt if you don’t like that. Otherwise clean it up and resubmit – Anthony]

    Here is the “cleaned up” version (content is essentially the same, although :

    Jeez Tony, is “delusional” that bad. Oh that’s right I insulted your “research”.

    Let me put it this way: the report did not concentrate on the hockey stick, unless you consider 8 pages out of 120 to constitute concentration. The complaints about the surface temp record seem odd in light of the fact that the Muir Russell report took the more direct approach of just simply replicating the work of the CRU. Using either adjusted or unadjusted data they got results which agree with the other attempts at an analysis of the land surface record. His call for comparison with the satellite record is silly since the the satellite record and the surface record agree to a large extent. In addition the comparison of the land record produced by CRU and the record produced by their replication is the proper test to make. So far no one is screaming about the SST record in the late 20th century and the CRU has no part in producing the SST record. His comments about Mann have no relevance to the terms of the Muir Russell report, since Mann’s work was not a part of the terms of reference.

    I would note also that other than the initial “derogatory” comment about Singer, that I kept the bulk of my comment evidence based. The same evidence is presented in this comment, although since I had a little time to think about it, it my be stated in better terms. Feel free to delete the first sentence.

    And since he wanted to know my real name, in the next comment I tell all. I’m now just as well known as dhogaza. Feels kinda good.

    • RN, I think you are probably being too charitable to Singer. If he is indeed delusional, then he bears no responsibility for his deplorable actions not just wrt climate science, but smoking related illness, ozone and on and on.

      Singer has been firmly on the anti-science side for 40 years now–longer than he ever was a scientist.

  195. Rattus Norvegicus

    BTW, I’ll still use the same handle since I think Rattus Norvegicus will be a species which benefits from our stupidity.

  196. “BTW, I’ll still use the same handle since I think Rattus Norvegicus will be a species which benefits from our stupidity.”

    Eventually, you and the cockroaches will co-evolve some sort of deeply symbiotic relationship and rule the planet. :)

  197. Rattus Norvegicus

    Along with the magpies!