Maybe we’re getting through … ?

WUWT has posted a slideshow by David Archibald (here as a pdf). It’s pretty dreadful.

In fact the first graphic (which is the 3rd slide) shows how Archibald fails to present correct information. The graph is correct (it comes from Cryosphere Today) but Archibald’s conclusion is not:

It’s bad enough that Archibald cuts off the graph around 1990. But mainly, he explicitly states “No change over 30 years” when that’s patently false.

His next slide is even worse. Again the graph is correct (it’s from JAXA), but again Archibald states a patently false conclusion. Perhaps Archibald and Watts love JAXA so much because it shows only a small part (since 2002) of the satellite-era data:

Also, it’s not a time series plot, and it doesn’t show anomaly (to remove the seasonal cycle), so how could you tell whether there’s a trend anyway? Good way for Archibald to “hide the decline.”

The truly ironic thing is, that even if you do restrict to using only JAXA data, the decline in Arctic sea ice is still statistically significant.

So why do I say “Maybe we’re getting through?” Because the 2nd comment on the WUWT thread is this:

Richard Telford says:
February 12, 2011 at 1:54 pm

Global sea ice – no change over thirty years?

Look at the red line on the graph – it goes down. And the decline is statistically significant – see

113 responses to “Maybe we’re getting through … ?

  1. David B. Benson

    Maybe we’re getting though?

    Well maybe, but is it statistically significant?


  2. Heh, he’s using the JAXA area rather than extent graph, because the isn’t so favorable to his argument.

  3. Meanwhile, it looks like the famous paper showing that siting problems proves climate science is a fraud and that the earth is cooling is nearing publication.

    From RPSr on Curry’s site:

    as some of your readers may not know, we have a paper in the second stage of review of the effect of siting quality of the United States Historical Climate Record [USHCN] based on the seminal work of Anthony Watts, Evan Jones and their numerous volunteers. Anthony, Evan, and several other well know climate scientists are co-authors. As soon as this paper completes the final review process (it has been with the Editor for one month so far), we will be communicating our results.

    Emphasis mine … because I don’t know how to LOL in print!

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Hasn’t that paper been promised for a couple of years now? Where is it?

    • actually it doesn’t attempt to prove that climate science is a fraud.
      for some more background on the CRN ratings and their importance
      I would direct you to this paper by Dr. Easterling

      The CRN ratings (1-5) developed by Dr. LeRoy have been field tested to assess the size of the bias one sees in moving from CRN1-5. The findings
      indicated a rather small bias (about .1c) but the largest effect from site degredation had to do with the variance. That is, a CRN4 will see peak biases of -4C and +4C, the average bias however will be .1C. A CRN3 will see
      peak biases of -3C,+3C with an average bias of .1C..

      In any case the bias effect is real and has been measured. That’s WHY when the CRN was deployed NOAA took special care to have 6-10 scientists review each site.

      It’s an open question whether this small bias will actually show up in Anthony’s study. I would imagine it will be quite hard to tease out. Regardless, we can be fairly certain that the effect, if discernable, will be
      small. The world will still be warming and GHGs will still be the cause of that.

      • … and in other news, Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.
        Now over to Lenny with the weekend sport roundup.

      • actually it doesn’t attempt to prove that climate science is a fraud.

        Actually, Anthony tried that in his previous “paper”:

        “Climate deception by NOAA, NASA, and CRU”

        “Systematic and purposeful deceit”

        “Around 1990, NOAA began weeding out more than three-quarters of the climate-measuring stations around the world. It can be shown that they systematically and purposefully, country by country, removed higher-latitude, higher-altitude and rural locations, all of which had a tendency to be cooler.”

        “Instrumental temperature data for the pre-satellite era (1850-1980) have been so widely, systematically, and unidirectionally tampered with that it cannot be credibly asserted there has been any significant “global warming” in the 20th century.”

        The flaws are so great that the surface-temperature databases are “useless.” They are “skewed,” “overstated,” “gravely-compromised.”

      • As PGB points out, that’s been Anthony’s spin in the past, so until I see this new paper co-authored by the “well-known climate scientists Anthony and Evan”, I will assume nothing has changed.

        Mr. “Piltdown Mann” Mosher.

      • W Scott Lincoln

        I seem to recall NOAA calling their bluff and the result actually turning out the opposite of what was suggested by innuendo from Watts et al. So yes, it would be interesting to see how Watts’ long-awaited paper gets differing results as I doubt he’d have something published discrediting his own life’s calling.

  4. Nice, Ron. Seems like his predictions are off a bit.

    I see that over at Watts he’s still using that ancient, ancient graph that shows a very strong and long MWP, which was based on extremely limited data and is of historical interest only. Except for Watts et al.

  5. Anthony Watts has a super page with all the sea ice links on, including JAXA sea ice area and extent, and different resolutions…

  6. Love the bit about how the similarity of the US rural temp timeseries to a rather obscure solar reconstruction shows that the world is “a very sensitive thermometer to changes in the Sun.”

    So many punchlines, so little time.

    • Uh, do they realize what that implies for CO2 sensitivity?

      • But Ray, there’s sensitivity and then there’s sensitivity. Outgoing LWR is different when the source is solar, so the sensitivity is greater.


    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Apparently this graph is based on 5 SE US rural stations. Talk about cherry-picking!

  7. Looks like both the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extents are at new lows (or line thickness from them). (Eli uses Bremen)

  8. |The area of sea-ice cover is often defined in two ways, i.e., sea-ice “extent” and sea-ice “area.” These multiple definitions of sea-ice cover may sometimes confuse data users. ….”

    From the bottom of the page:

  9. @ David Benson – I’ve given some thought (ie about 30 seconds of thought) to what indicators might be best for determining the likelihood of ‘maybe we’re getting through’ yielding a positive result. One such indicator is the proportion of responses to posts like Archibald’s of the type: “Brilliant post” or “Why don’t scientists write as clearly as this” as a proportion of the whole.

    I have already discovered that on WUWT, the proportion of posts pointing out the errors and lies in WUWT articles is not a reliable indicator. This is because Anthony uses the sophisticated statistical method otherwise known as the ‘banning technique’ to ensure dissenting posts never get above the minimum number he believes is necessary to show how much he encourages dissenting views :)

  10. I mean, all the sources point out that area reconstructions are less accurate than extent …

  11. Why oh why did I read the comment thread? There were maybe two other posts criticising Archibald. He is the king of cherry picking, and the Wattites just lapped it up.

    At least Leif Svalgaard has rebutted some points.

  12. Richard Telford

    Sorry to disappoint, but I’m not part of the usual demographic at WUWT.

    [Response: You have not disappointed.]

  13. [Response: I think JAXA also provides a sea ice area graph, but I don’t know the link.]

    JAXA do have a sea ice area graph, but it is not well advertised on their site (I’ve never been able to navigate to it from their front page).

    It can be found here:

  14. It’s hard to believe any science is getting through when, after all these years and being told so many times why it’s wrong, WUWT is still posting and their readers are still buying deceptively labeled graphs showing Greenland ice core temperature reconstructions that end in 1855, still the Little Ice Age fer chrissakes, as proof that the “present” is not warm.

  15. It’s hard to believe any science is getting through when…

    But just yesterday RPSr called Watts a “well-known climate scientist” …

    So it’s gotta be all science, no?

    (trying hard to control my gag reflex here …)

  16. Horatio Algeranon

    “Maybe we’re getting through … ?”

    Even an alpha particle manages to tunnel out of the Pu-239 nucleus once in a very great while, despite the seemingly insurmountable barrier.

    …although the analogy is not quite apt, of course, because the alpha particle is tunneling out (which, if normal physical laws were operating, is what WUWT regulars would be trying to do as well)

    PS Just why anyone would want to tunnel intoWUWT is a separate matter entirely– a bit like Clint Eastwood trying to tunnel into Alcatraz.

  17. …although the analogy is not quite apt, of course, because the alpha particle

    Not apt because there’s nothing “alpha” about WUWT … :)

  18. Australia needs coal to liquid production, because pretty much all of the current coal production is already committed. At the rate the Indians and Chinese are snapping up contracts and trying to buy mines there will not even be enough coal left to power the existing power stations.
    And thorium nuclear power is such proven commercial technology.

    He looks at the JAXA graph and says “all is fine”. The same graph causes me to say “oh sh@@” . He points out that we are in a particularly low solar period and forgets to mention the record temperatures.

    Sorry about the rant, I did not use the head vice. A necessity when looking at WUWT.

  19. David B. Benson

    Massimo Pigliucci
    Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk
    Univ. Chicago Press, 2010.

  20. I suspect that we need to ask Google for some assistance.

    The reason why WUWT gets so many hits is not because of the quality of the analysis there (check the semantic joke).

    The reason is that Google indexes WUWT.

    Now, if Google were to take the view on the validity of indexing WUWT (and other septic websites) when searches are done for “Climate Change” and “Global Warming” and so on, do you not think that WUWT would have less power to disinform ?

    Or should Google include a “Warning : This website’s content has been contested” label for all septic sites when returning them in a Search ?

    Where is truth, beauty and right ?

    I don’t want my child/nephew/friend to have pornography thrust in front of them when they do an innocent Google search.

    Neither do I want them to be slushed with inaccurate non-science.

    Go ahead. Call me the Nemesis of Free Speech. I’m arguing for justice and science, not fascism.

  21. Really? He said that about the coal?
    He obviously isn’t familiar with exactly how much coal Australia has…
    The stuff mined in Australia, on the whole, tends to be the easy-to-get-to seams – the ones just a few metres (well, up to 100 or so) below the surface. Considering the Europeans & Japanese find it economical to mine coal from kilometres underground, if the price goes up enough, those deep seams in Australia will become economical to mine. A lot of them will be de-gassed already, with the coal-seam-gas industry going at full tilt.
    (I really hope we *don’t* dig it all up & burn it, though, that would be disastrous!)

  22. > the reason is that Google indexes

    Links to WTF are spread over “about 929,000” pages at the moment. Once you get past the first dozen pages or so, you’ll see many that appear unrelated to the page or on grab-bag pages. Possibly placed by one of the search engine optimization/online marketing robots? The tactic is well known:

    realclimate: “about 560,000”

  23. Slight tangent. I remember a blog discussion of the Wegman plagiarism/report which included a dissection of the innards of McIntyre’s code etc. Now, I cannot find it. I don’t know if the discussion appeared here, RealClimate, or somewhere else. Or maybe I have simply dreamed the whole thing.

    [Response: I don’t think it was here.]

  24. Archibald is pretty dim even by WUWT standards. I guess maybe he works as Goddard’s replacement.

  25. Dhog and PGB.

    As PGB points out, that’s been Anthony’s spin in the past, so until I see this new paper co-authored by the “well-known climate scientists Anthony and Evan”, I will assume nothing has changed.

    Mr. “Piltdown Mann” Mosher.

    And you will find me criticizing Anthony and Joe for writing this paper over on Lucia’s site, and calling for him to retract the charges. And you will find Anthony giving Nick Stokes and Zeke and Ron Broberg and I space on his blog to challenge the findings of that paper. So, while I still think that Joe and he should retract it, and have told them both this in public and in private, I do think providing access to his readers goes a small way towards an improved dialogue.

    Dhog, I have no issue with you holding a belief that Anthony will claim a fraud in his new paper. But I am telling you you are wrong. I know this for several reasons. I suspect you will be unwilling to change your suspicion, But when and if that suspicion proves false, I would think you’d admit to being wrong in your suspicion. An Honest mistake.

    Piltdown. Since many here may not recall that, I’ll suggest they read the full story. As I said then and will repeat now. I do not believe the hockey stick is a fraud or a hoax. But, I will note that the fights over climate science bear similarity to the fights over evolution. The point is relevant in a discussion of PNS and how cultural forces are at play, both to make certain groups resistant to accepting the science, and to make certain scientists resistant to admitting mistakes. Rhetorically, I like using Piltdown Mann because it causes a knee jerk reaction on both sides. As it stands in the debate nobody can make an honest mistake. Think about that. In this discussion it is damn difficult to even admit an honest error (I’ve done so a few times) or to allow someone the benefit of the doubt. Every action is necessarily charged with motive and bad intentions. That’s kinda sad.

    [Response: Since the actual Piltdown Man was a fraud, not a disagreement or “fight over evolution,” how can you possibly justify using the phrase and the obvious connotation it carries, then claiming that “I do not believe the hockey stick is a fraud or a hoax”? It sounds to me like proclaiming, “I’m not sayin’ your mother is a whore, just that she ***** guys for money.

    Your claim rings hollow. Until you abandon that phrase, in fact repudiate it, it’ll be damn hard to take your pose of objectivity seriously.

    As for Anthony’s (and others’) upcoming paper, I’ll wait to see it before I offer an opinion. But he still owes a lot of people a lot of apologies for his past statements.]

    • That ultimate standard by which a paper must be judged is whether it signficantly advances understanding of its field of study. Anthony’s paper is rather unlikely to do this. In fact, it’s rather unlikely to add one iota of knowledge to the field. So the question is why publish it? Certainly, Anthony and his co-authors are not motivated by curiosity or a burning need to understand Earth’s climate or the temperature record. With every post he makes it clear that he views climat science and scientists–and science in general–with contempt.

      Perhaps it is so that he can continue the pretense of being a “real” climate scientist, but anyone who knows Anthony’s work realizes that if he worked very hard to increase his analytical and critical thought skills he might one day approach incompetence. The the Pielkes crow about Anthony publishing with “actual climate scientists” makes the whole crew even sadder.

      No, I suspect that Anthony will display his glistening turd of a paper and receive the adulation of his minions and then go right back to attacking the real scientists.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        Actually Ray, when was Menne et. al. published? About 1.5 years ago? And didn’t Anthony say that the paper was due “very soon”? Yeah, right. Personally I suspect that the paper will never see the light of day because they ain’t got nothin’.

    • Mosher said:”But, I will note that the fights over climate science bear similarity to the fights over evolution. The point is relevant in a discussion of PNS and how cultural forces are at play,”

      What both examples (evolution and climate science) show in abundance is that science is RIGHT, and the cultural forces WRONG. The culture of science is coherence, first and foremost. An effort to understand nature as it really is. People who do not understand how science works, with preconceived ideas make them reject the science, are fooled by people who do not understand science or the few sore losers whose ideas did not pan out. The criticisms SOUND scientific, but are mutually contradictory ( incoherent), and no attempt is even made to make them so (AKA attempt understanding).

      “both to make certain groups resistant to accepting the science,”

      Because they are being lied to by people they trust, and do not want to face inconvenient truths, not from lack of communication skills from the scientists. What happens when the ice melts completely in summer, and these people realized they were lied to?

      “and to make certain scientists resistant to admitting mistakes.”

      The creationists have whole lists of self contradictory “mistakes” that are erroneous, or outright lies. This article is about a post by Archibald that makes patently false statements. Creationists are real big on “quoting”, also known as quote mining, going through the emails papers to find something that can leave a false impression. Why, they even have whole books full of “quoting”. Here is a quote for you, and I assure you it is not misleading:

      “We also have a very useful resource entitled That Their Words May Be Used Against Them, our most complete guide to evolutionists’ quotes, taken from a wide variety of sources, including technical journals, popular magazines, and books.”

      • > What happens when the ice melts completely in summer, and these people realized they were lied to?

        Prediction: no such realisation of having been mistaken will occur. When global warming finally becomes too obviously damaging to ignore, the claim will be that it was the *scientists* fault for not doing *sound science* – had they practiced *sound science* instead of *advocacy* there would never have been any question over the validity of the message.

        I’m willing to put money on this spin appearing in the next decade.

      • Prediction: no such realisation of having been mistaken will occur. When global warming finally becomes too obviously damaging to ignore, the claim will be that it was the *scientists* fault for not doing *sound science* – had they practiced *sound science* instead of *advocacy* there would never have been any question over the validity of the message.

        I’m willing to put money on this spin appearing in the next decade.

        You’re late to the party, I’m afraid. That spin *has* been appearing post-Climategate.

    • Gavin's Pussycat

      > In this discussion it is damn difficult to even admit an honest error

      Yep. Like when Anthony and Joe quietly replaced their screed with a new version, without admitting any error… assuming for the sake of argument that this error was ‘honest’, this is not how you do retraction or correction where I come from…

    • Steven, no claim of fraud will get through the peer review process (*), so I’ll back you on that prediction.

      (*) It’s even essentially impossible to get that into a paper if it’s a very real and clear case of fraud. Unless you’re publishing in E&E…(Beck’s paper suggested fraud, for example).

      Regarding admitting mistakes: in the climate wars this has become almost impossible to do too openly, because the blogosphere (in particular the ‘skeptic’ side), blows anything that is ‘wrong’ into “evidence of hoax”. And when it can’t, it finds another excuse to throw a tantrum (O’Donnellgate is another example).

      • Yes.

        on one side every criticism of the science or even the PROCESS is seen as Oil funded. For example, in 2007 Judith Curry, myself and others called for more open data and transparency. The likes of dhog saw this as oil funded denialism. Luckily, wiser people have finally come around to our point of view.

        on the sceptic side every mistake is seen as fraud. Dehog and others will
        forget to tell you that I’ve published articles on right wing blogs arguing that Jones did not commit fraud. They will not point out my written recommendation to parliament WRT climategate:
        1. Open the data
        2. Open the code.
        3. Institute good document control at CRU

        That’s it. Yup. sounds pretty reasonable. Sounds like what they did.
        Go figure, I read all the mails, I read all the blogs, I write a history of that. Then I submit a recommendation to parliament, and CRU basically does what I’ve suggested. ( not because of me or my suggestion, thats not what Im saying) It’s what most of YOU would have suggested too, except its hard to admit honest mistakes. And yes, I made some mistakes in the book. Three that have brought to my attention.
        1 by mcintyre, 1 by gavin, 1 by arthur smith. none of those mistakes would force me to change my recommendation.

      • Marco, I don’t agree. The actual scientists do admit when they are wrong. There may be a period when things are not settled (as in the reconstruction of the Antarctic temp record) when tempers flare and words are exchanged, but in most cases, the loser eventually admits defeat (not in all cases, as in the N-Ray affair). This is what separates science from other human activities. In the end, the evidence decides.

      • Steve,
        Open the data, by all means.
        Better document control at CRU and hell everywhere else, while we’re at it. All for it. Of course it means you’d have to increase staff and budget, as like most scientific enterprises, it’s run on a shoestring, but that would also be good.

        Open the code…not so much. If the code is wrong, those who try to replicate it will find out. However, opening code is a wonderful way to introduce confusion. Clever approximations will find their way into entirely new codes and ultimately be applied will outside their limits of viability. And lazy idjits will wind up mucking about with the code, producing countless unauthorized variations that produce different results.

        Archive the code so it can be looked at if needed. Don’t open it unless it has been validated and released by an independent users group–as in the GEANT4 physics routines. Most code used in scientific analysis is very specific to its purpose. It generally should not be widely circulated.

      • For example, in 2007 Judith Curry, myself and others called for more open data and transparency. The likes of dhog saw this as oil funded denialism.

        I never suggested any such thing. [edit]

      • Ray, I was referring mostly to “open” admissions. In sciencespeak the “new insights” is a good way to admit a mistake in prior work at a conference, but don’t even try that on a blog or in the media. Any admission of being wrong there is used to cast doubt. So, if models are underestimating arctic sea ice loss (as they are), this means models are wrong, and hence not useful for anything. Not “oops, they underestimate”, but “Ha! they’re wrong!”

  26. Thanks to all who responded to my question even though the abundant number of responses show my Google skills to be horrific. The answers have been on the money.

  27. It’s possible Mosher’s making an honest mistake by confusing Piltdown Man (an actual hoax) with Nebraska Man (an honest mistake).

    • No, I was interesting in the reasons why the piltdown lasted so long in the record and drawing some similarities between that case and the hockey stick:

      Here is one of the first comments, where I started ..

      “RE 132 and Piltdown man: Cribbed from the unofficial home page:

      “Why then was the fraud so successful? Briefly, (a) the team finding the specimans (Dawson, Woodward, Teilhard) had excellent credentials, (b) incompetence on the part of the British Paleontological community, (c) the relatively primitive analytical tools available circa 1920, (d) skill of the forgery, (e) it matched what was expected from theory, and (f) as Millar remarks, the hoax led a charmed life.”

      There were other interesting parallels as well. Like not granting access to the actual skeleton. It’s part of a much larger piece on a whole host of “bad science” episodes and how they happen and how they linger, Not all of them are hoax’s.

  28. Knew, uR knot gettin’ threw.

  29. “It’s possible Mosher’s making an honest mistake”

    Nope. Judge Mosher’s honesty by his book, The Crutape Letters.

  30. Mosher, November 11, 2007:

    Pennstate Mann is one talk about errors. Here is what he says about Gore errors: “There are a number of points to be brought out here. First of all, “An Inconvenient Truth” was a movie and people expecting the same depth from a movie as from a scientific paper are setting an impossible standard.” yet he sets standards for an editorial that went through LESS review than AIT. ( guess who reviewed AIT for accuracy?) You will note how gracious Pennstate Mann is with Gore errors compared to your error. Why? Dr. Mann’s Hockeystick is the piltdown mann of climate science.

    Spare us the revisionist crap, Mosher.

    • Nice cherry. Pick another, when I introduced the idea to the audience I was pretty clear about what I meant.

      “Here is where I come down. One can believe in evolution as I do and still see the piltdown man as a hoax and bad science. The theory Doesnt get knocked down because of the hoax. Similiarly, one should be able to accept GW or even AGW and recognize the hockey stick for what it is. The “hoax” comparison is a bit harsh on Dr. Mann. I think he made a mistake. ”

      [Response: Nice excuse. Try again.

      When such an extremely snide remark as “Piltdown Mann” becomes associated with your name — well I’ll be honest, I just don’t believe you. It’s the kind of conspiratorial smear that you seem to be just too good at.

      And after multiple paleoclimate reconstructions that confirm the hockey stick, you should be able to accept that you might be wrong about it, including MBH98. You should certainly admit to yourself that you’re less knowledgeable about it than, say, Mike Mann or Ray Bradley or Malcolm Hughes. Obstinate arrogance, thy name is Mosher.]

      • I really enjoyed Mosher’s description of what it means to be a Lukewarmer.

        Why notr repeat it here Mosher, everyone’s up for a laugh!

        And hey, when you write a book about the stolen emails, and don’t even do simple fact checking like contacting the authors I think people are justified in questioning your honesty.

        In all respects you are selling ‘Chum’, as Jo Abbess put it.

  31. David B. Benson

    And then again maybe we aren’t getting through.

    Not at all…

  32. I read over Curry’s thread on the Berkeley project, and the level of commentary there hasn’t gotten much worse since I last looked – but when it’s down at WTFWT level, it can’t go lower.

    The fact that Curry allows such bilge, in large proportion, at her blog tells me that she’s lying when she talks about ‘reconciliation’ or ‘bridge-building’. As others have pointed out, she’s just laying chum and sitting back to watch the attacks, getting a vicarious thrill. Her actions are despicable.

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      Yeah, and she snipped my snarky comment about Bezerkly being a hotbed of libruls so that the denialists will scream bloody murder if it turns out to be substantially similar to the other analyses because of this.

      Of course I also pointed out that the those who understand the reality of AGW can complain about the fact that the team consists of mostly physicists so we can always use the xkcd excuse.

      On a more substantive level, I fail to see how they are going to handle areal weighting w/o gridding. Just seems weird to me.

    • I think she’s really jumped the shark with this one:

      “With only a few scientists or other analysts on staff. Compared to 97% of climate scientists, that must number in the thousands. Compared to $$billions spent by governments on climate research, not to mention $$billions spent by enviro advocacy groups (many of whom have annual budgets exceeding $100M).”

      Its as if you couldn’t be a climate scientists and be a skeptic. It is as if that people like herself, Spencer, Christy, Lindzen, etc. don’t have funding from the government.

      • You just don’t understand. Dr. Lacis is one of the few climate scientists who actually posts comments, mostly in the technical threads, at Climate Etc., which is something I think she wants to have happen.

        So she “builds” a bridge with her latest topic.

      • Heartland, Cato, and George C. Marshal Institutes? What about the rest!?

        Frank of Decoding SwiftHacks’s diagram: ‘You are in a maze of twisty little think-tanks, all alike’…..

        Three orgs indeed :/

      • As for Latimer Alder who she says prompted her post, I just posted this comment (in case it doesn’t get through)…

        Latimer Alder — “I’d have more sympathy with this view if I had actually ever heard of the George C Marshall Institute and the Heartland Corporation…”

        Let me remind you of where you read about them a year or so ago, Latimer…

        Guardian: Victory for openness as IPCC climate scientist opens up lab doors – by Fred Pearce. 9 February 2010 (link to one of your own comments there)

        To quote from the article…

        Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Frederick Seitz, a physicist who headed the US National Academy of Sciences backed in the 1960s and later chaired the right-wing George C Marshall Institute, accused Santer of “the most disturbing corruption of the peer-review process” in 60 years.

        The most unpleasant – and certainly for Santer most disturbing – language came from the Global Climate Coalition, a body representing the interests of the American oil and automobile industries.
        Douglass persisted and produced a new version of his findings, published online at the International Journal of Climatology just over a year later in December 2007. It was widely publicised. Fox News reported it. Douglass told the National Press Club in Washington DC that it was “an inconvenient truth” about climate change, which proved that “nature rules the climate. Human-produced greenhouse gases are not responsible for global warming.” The right-wing Heartland Institute took up the argument.

        I trust your memory is refreshed.

      • The argument “how can my views be influence by the Heartland Institute, I’ve never even heard of them” crops up a number of times in that thread from Latimer Adler and others.

        I don’t know whether to be outraged by such blatant faux naivety or just (metaphorically) pat them on the head and say “aw, bless!”.

  33. Further to the critique of Archibald’s paper, in response to his suggestion that the temperature in Perth, WA, has not increased in 40 years. Answer, just add a 15 yr running average, courtesy of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, and What’s up with that? Let’s face it, Perth is not a geographical region, it is a modest sized city. South Western Australian temperatures have certainly increased steadily throughout the century.

  34. I can’t see what the resemblance is between the Piltdown Man hoax and climate science.

    Based on my own reading, Piltdown may not have originated as a malicious hoax, but a practical joke played by some amateurs on professionals. As it spiralled out of control, the amateurs kept shtum, shocked that their jape could have taken on such importance that exposure would devastate the professionals (also their friends) and destroy their careers. Stephen Jay Gould investigated the role of Tielhard de Chardin in the the affair, and that is the most charitable interpretation of de Chardin’s (a French Jesuit) behaviour.

    I see litle resemblance here to the “hockey stick”, when Phil Jones spliced some data for the cover of a report. At this point, a doxen papers or so have validated the hockey stick shape. The reverse occurred with Piltdown Man – as discovery after discovery made it more and more anomalous, leading eventually to an open-minded investigation (after most of the protagonists were dead). Only poor Sir Arthur Keith was alive and retired to hear the terrible news – that his life’s outstanding achievement was a fraud.

  35. OK, Steven Mosher has had his say and so have his critics.

    This much is for sure: any dispute that exists won’t be hashed out by repeating the same criticisms. There are plenty of places for that on the internet, so let’s not descend into a slugfest. We got our comments in, now let’s let it go.

    And since it’s my blog I get the last word: In spite of my criticisms of Mosher, at least he listens, and he had the courage to walk into the lion’s den without flinching.

    If you have something genuinely new to add, that’s one thing. But if you feel like you need to have the last word … exercise restraint. There are worse things than allowing someone to be “wrong on the internet.”

  36. This much is for sure: any dispute that exists won’t be hashed out by repeating the same criticisms. There are plenty of places for that on the internet, so let’s not descend into a slugfest. We got our comments in, now let’s let it go

    I posted above without reading this, so I’ll stop now, but … it is true that I’ve never suggested that calls for more open data are nothing but “oil-funded denialism”, so I’d like that post to stand since it’s a lie about me.

    [Response: OK, your repudiation of that claim is on the record. But I deleted your other comments — not to deny their reality, but to avoid a fruitless argument.

    To others who have a beef: let it go, or take it elsewhere.]

  37. If you read past the climate “stuff” and the coal-to-liquids “stuff”, the liquid-salt thorium discussion is not totally wacky. What a surprise! But man, it’s a slog to get there…..

  38. @Nathan

    You write, “In all respects you are selling ‘Chum’, as Jo Abbess put it.”

    Huh ? Excuse me, guv. I wouldn’t have said that. I’m British and the word “chum” in British English means “friend”, rather like “pal”. The Interweb informs me that the word “chum” is only an insult in American English (two great people separated by a common language etc)

    Methinks you doth confuse me with the Policy Lass :-

    • My mistake! ;)

    • Jo,

      I’m a Brit too. Surely you are aware of this meaning of “chum”?

      chopped fish, fish fluids, and other material thrown overboard as angling bait.
      • refuse from fish, esp. that remaining after expressing oil.
      verb [ intrans. ]
      use chum as bait when fishing.
      ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: of unknown origin.

      Have you seen ‘Jaws’?

      • Except in Jaws, the chum was human. USS Indianapolis. I’ve met some of the veterans who survived it. They watched their chums get eaten alive.

      • chumming for pelagic bird species is common on ocean birding trips, as well …

      • And for who missed it: Dr. Inferno’s movie review of Jaws (best post ever on DD).

      • JCH,

        You must remember this scene, as described at Wikipedia.

        Brody is given the task of laying a chum line while Quint uses deepsea fishing tackle to try to hook the shark. As Brody continues chumming, an enormous great white shark looms up behind the boat

      • There are many things that make a movie work.

        Sharks attack an occasional human all the time. People do not stop playing in the ocean.

        The grisly boat captain was cast as a veteran of the USS Indianapolis. What this did was turn the shark from a wild animal that might eat an occasional human into a being that systematically attacked and ate a sizable military force, so to speak. Dreyfuss: You were on the Indianapolis?

        And I’ve met many survivors of that horrible event, and have heard their stories first hand. Initially I did not know who there were. I sat down in a chair in a hotel lobby just off to the side of a bunch of old guys. After a few minutes of listening to recounts of buddies being swallowed and legs being chomped off, I asked, “Are you the guys from Jaws?” They all broke out laughing in affirmation. Because, while they were not in the movie, they were what made the movie work.

        So now, exactly who were the chum in the movie: the scientist, the boat captain, the law enforcer. Like the Indianapolis crew, all alone in an ocean with a unrelenting man eater.

  39. J. Climate rejected my paper. Damn it.

  40. No, they didn’t want it revised, they turned it down flat. If I do a rewrite, I’ll have to submit it elsewhere. Christ, I hope I haven’t made an enemy of Dai. The letter was from him and chided me for not going into his articles in more depth, although I certainly cited Dai et al. 2004 extensively.

  41. Hey Tamino and any other statistically knowledgeable people:

    WUWT recently had a post about Pielke Sr saying that global temperatures looked like a random walk with 30 year period (or something – it didn’t make sense to me, so I can’t remember it). Anyhow, there followed lots of statistical argument with several heavyweights getting into the ring and throwing a few punches.

    So here’s an idea. I presume the quoted paper described the random process which they claim is not inconsistent with the last 160 years of global temperatures. If they do, then it should(?) be easy to simulate this random process. Indeed, one could run several thousand simulations, and then compare these to the actual temperature record (using some or other parameter to allow numerical comparison). One could also run a simulation over a longer period (say 1000 years) to see if what looked plausible over the short period still looks good over a longer period.

    I suggest this because my eyes glaze over when someone tells me exactly which statistical test they used, and why its the right test to use, and then gives me a p value and assumes I know what is going on. On the other hand, simulations can be shown visually alongside the real data. You can then make statements like, “85% of simulations produced temperature increases less than what we see in the real data” – and that makes sense to me. I’m sure most people reading blogs have the same attitude to statistics – they don’t have the expertise or want to go to the trouble of understanding the mathematical formalism of hypothesis testing etc.

    [Response: I went to look at the paper, but it’s behind a paywall and I’m just not willing to pay for the privelidge. If somebody knows where to find a copy … ?]

  42. John Brookes, Let me guess. It’s by an economist? Again?

    Here’s a prediction: The posts in Wattsville will fill every possibility in phase space except science. So…what’s up with that?

  43. Must read: Sir John Beddington goes on the offensive and lashes out at pseudo-science.

    Dellingpole’s upset, so Beddington must be doing something right ;)

  44. Here are a few quotes from “Random walk lengths of about 30 years in global climate” by Bye et al. (a pre-publication version?):

    Data Sources and Methodology

    We use (i) the twentieth century NCEP reanalysis data ( for 1871-2008, which has a T62 resolution of surface air temperature (the air temperature on the lowest sigma level), (ii) the T63 run of the ECHAM5 model for the IPCC AR4 20C (run1) for 1860-2100 (Roeckner 2005, Giorgetta et al 2006 and Hagemann et al 2006) from which the fields of the globally defined surface temperature (TS), which is the skin temperature at the interface, and in ice covered regions of the ocean is measured just above the ice (CF Metadata 2010) have been extracted, and (iii) the Millennium control run of 3100 years (mil01) from the MPI-M Earth System Model on a T31 resolution (Jungclaus 2007) from which fields of TS havealso been obtained as for (ii).

    These temperature fields were processed to obtain the time (tmax) of maximum temperature (Tmax), and the time (tmin) of minimum temperature (Tmin). In the following discussions we exclude grid points which occur in the tropics.

    [4] In the subtropics, the solar radiation input has an annual cycle with a single peak in insolation so that the summer lag (SL) of the temperature relative to the peak in daily insolation in the subtropics (June 21 in the northern hemisphere and December 22 in the southern hemisphere) and the winter lag (WL) relative to December 22 in the northern hemisphere and June 21 in the southern hemisphere (in days) can be obtained from the times of maximum temperature (tmax) and minimum temperature (tmin) by a change in reference time
    (northern hemisphere: SL = tmax -172, WL = tmin + 9,
    southern hemisphere: SL = tmax + 9, WL = tmin – 172)
    from which the global means and standard deviations of WL and SL and Tmin and Tmax over land and in the ocean have been derived (Table 1).

    Random Walk Lengths

    The random walk lengths are estimated from the statistical data for the time series using the relation for the mean of the expected values of the maximum excursion of the random walk, E |MT| = sqrt(2T/pi)sigma; where MT is the maximum excursion, T is the length of the walk and sigma is the standard deviation (Feller 1962). We invert this relation to yield an estimate of the random walk length,

    E |T| = pi/2(MT/sigma)^2

    The results for ECHAM5 and NCEP were obtained from the linearly de-trended data, and those for the mil01 run are averages over consecutive segments of data (thirty 100 year periods and three 1000 year periods). It is clear for each of the shorter periods (Table 1) that the mean random walk lengths are similar (NCEP 21 yr, ECHAM5 23 yr and mil01 22 yr), and also that the mean random walk on the land (24 yr) is greater than that over the ocean (20 yr). The mean random walk for SL and WL (26 yr) also is greater than that for Tmax and Tmin (18 yr). The mean random walk length for all three shorter record lengths (22 yr) is shorter than the record lengths (NCEP 137 yr, ECHAM5 240 yr and mil01 100 yr). There is still the possibility however that the record lengths have influenced the mean random walk length. This was tested using mil01 run segments of 1000 yr (Table 1). These results indicated that the random walk length increased to 37 yr on the land and 33 yr over the ocean, with a mean standard deviation of 6 yr (the mean random walk lengths for record lengths between 100 and 1000 years showed a gradual increase from 22 to 35 yr). On this basis we argue that a reasonable estimate for the random walk length for the global climate on the time scale of civilisations is about 30 years.