Monthly Archives: November 2010

Prior Knowledge

Bayesian statistics offers rich rewards, including that it gives you a probability distribution for everything. But there’s always the pesky question of how to define what’s called the prior probability distribution, especially when we don’t have much information to go on. In such cases, we usually try to define a “non-informative” (or maybe “non-informed”) prior, i.e., one which doesn’t make any assumptions, and has the smallest possible impact on the final answer so we can let the data speak for themselves.

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Blowin’ in the Wind

Anthony Watts posted about how Steve Goddard’s prediction for the summer minimum in sea ice extent was pretty good.
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All that data

This post is especially for those who aren’t sure whether global warming is real or not, whether it’s man-made or not, whether it’s dangerous or not. Let me tell you what made up my mind.

Readers may recall that not too long ago, I personally analyzed all the data in the entire GHCN (global historical climate network). I did this because Anthony Watts and Joe D’Aleo published a document claiming that the GHCN data, and the way it was processed, exaggerated estimates of how much the globe has warmed over the last century or more. They even claimed that the scientists who managed, and who processed, these data had deliberately manipulated both the data (by selectively removing or retaining data locations) and the analysis (by their methods of applying “adjustments”) to exaggerate the warming trend.

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A Good Read

Just a note: Climatesight has an excellent post about the real meaning of “climategate”.

Oreskes Rules

There’s an interview with Naomi Oreskes by the Australian Broadcasting Corp. which is well worth hearing. It’s only a little over ten minutes, but it just might be a “must hear.”

Vox Populi

Readers here tend to be pretty knowledgeable about climate science, and about science in general. Perhaps we should remember that many people — including some among the strongest supporters of action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — are not so knowledgeable.

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Much Ado About Something

A reader recently asked my opinion about this post at Skeptical Science, which is a comment on Ambaum 2010, Significance Tests in Climate Science, J. Climate, doi: 10.1175/2010JCLI3746.1.

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Definitely Off Topic

I recently posted about congressman John Shimkus’ using the story of Noah to deny the danger of global warming. In comments to that post, I approved a comment which was a diatribe against religion (Christianity in particular) because of church-sanctioned discrimination against homosexuals. Ordinarily I would have deleted such a comment because it’s definitely off topic. But I let this one through. Let me tell you why.

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Hey David Whitehouse: why is the sky green?

Let me respond. Answer: It isn’t.

Now let me respond to Whitehouse’s recent post at WUWT. He asks, “Why is the temperature unchanging?” Answer: It isn’t.

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Thank God!

We can all relax, and forget about the global warming problem.

John Shimkus, Republican congressman from Illinois, assures us that the planet won’t be destroyed by global warming. Why is he so sure? Because God promised Noah.