Questions for Judith Curry

I posted a comment at Curry’s blog. Namely this:

Tamino | November 1, 2011 at 9:43 am | Reply

Judith Curry, you have made the following statements:

“Our data show the pause”

“There is no scientific basis for saying that warming hasn’t stopped”

“There has been a lag/slowdown/whatever you want to call it in the rate of temperature increase since 1998”

Clearly you’ve read my post on the subject, in which I laid out the scientific basis for saying that warming hasn’t stopped. It consisted of actual data analysis, using exactly the data you refer to (from the Berkeley team).

You stated explicity that warming has stopped, your latest is vague enough to be satisfied by “slowdown” but the first two say “pause” and “stopped.” Either way — slowdown or stop — you need to provide some actual evidence that the trend has changed. The one thing that nobody has yet seen, is your scientific basis for any of these claims.

Question #1: Do you still maintain the above statements? No ambiguous answers, please, it’s yes-or-no for each statement.

Question #2: If any answer to #1 is “yes,” then what’s your scientific basis for claiming that the trend post-1998 (or post-2001 or whatever) has changed?

Incidentally, someone commented on my original post:

Michael | November 1, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Reply | Edit


A response from Curry popped up very breifly.

Judith said that she had no idea what you were asking and couldn’t understand your “screed” of a post.

Comment has now been removed!

101 responses to “Questions for Judith Curry

  1. I don’t see why you should extend the courtesy of allowing her to bias the sample by truncating at an outlier. I get that fitting shows it’s much more likely than not that there’s a warming trend even if you cherry pick her start date, but the plot in your post showing the estimate trend and error as a function of start date will just motivate someone to truncate the plot at 2000 and say, “Even Tamino says we don’t know whether the planet is warming or not!”

    There’s bias in any claim as to whether or not significant warming has occurred over any given period by anyone who’s already peeked at the data. Has anyone ever attempted to call up a dozen statisticians and say, “I’d like some help analyzing this data set; here’s the mean, noise spectrum, and autocorrelation w/ N measurements made at equal intervals; what’s the best test to determine whether the value changes significantly over any interval in the series?”

    [Response: She didn’t say “we don’t know whether the planet is warming or not.” She said “Our data show the pause,” then “There is no scientific basis for saying that warming hasn’t stopped,” then “There has been a lag/slowdown/whatever you want to call it in the rate of temperature increase since 1998.” There’s no “we don’t know” or “maybe” in any of that.

    I want to know — will she disavow these statements? Will she provide a scientific basis? Or neither?]

    • Rob Honeycutt

      Tamino said, “…will she disavow these statements? Will she provide a scientific basis?”

      I got a buck that says “neither.”

    • @Tamino — I understand that you’re trying to highlight her error by calculating what the uncertainty is… I think you could make a much more concise case by showing that her second statement (that there’s too much uncertainty to say that Earth’s warming; the corollary being that the same’s true about a trend in either direction) contradicts her first and third statements (that she knows that warming’s stopped/paused/slowed/lagged/chilled). If she’s conceding that the error’s large up front you don’t need to prove it.

      Apparently, feelings get hurt by long posts with pictures and numbers in them and in this case that could’ve been avoided. Several of Curry’s commenters jumped at the opportunity to highlight your best-fit values and ignore the larger point. I think there’s some value in making the minimal case necessary to prove your point rather than opting for overwhelming force.

      [Response: Her second statement does *not* amount to “there’s too much uncertainty to say that Earth’s warming.” It amounts to “you can’t say warming hasn’t stopped.”

      It’s time for Judith Curry to be held accountable for her own statements. Let her either disavow them, or give a scientific basis for them. If she does neither, then the conclusion is obvious.]

    • “Has anyone ever attempted to call up a dozen statisticians and say, “I’d like some help analyzing this data set; here’s the mean, noise spectrum, and autocorrelation w/ N measurements made at equal intervals; what’s the best test to determine whether the value changes significantly over any interval in the series?”'”
      Not exactly, but statisticians have come very close:.

  2. I predict she will ignore you. She stopped acting like a scientists years(?) ago when she started yapping about uncertainty. A scientist would be able to quantify the uncertainty in her calculations; a politician knows that buzz words are all that is important. Just give your side a word to hang their hats on. Don’t get pinned down in actual details.

  3. Will she provide a scientific basis?

    No, no. A scientific basis is only what you need to show… Unless it’s in a “screed” of a post that she doesn’t understand. Then she can quite rightly dismiss it. The Morton’s Demon is strong in this one.

  4. So now Judith Curry is disappearing posts that reflect poorly on her, or posts that contain inconvenient facts, even her own posts? I thought that she vowed never to do that, because that is what “they” did. Desperate times for Judith Curry require desperate measures.

    Looking forward to her statistical analysis, that is assuming that she is capable of undertaking simple statistical tests. The reason I say that is because she has not been forthcoming with anything quantitative to support her claims. Tamino should have stipulated that she is not allowed to ask anyone for help ;)

    IMO, Muller should get rid of Curry, she is a huge liability to the integrity of the BEST project.

  5. Rob Honeycutt

    “Screed” means lengthy and tedious. It looks to me like you were being pretty succinct.

  6. 49 years ago, Cuban Missile Crisis –

    Dean Rusk leans over to McGeorge Bundy and says, “We’re eyeball to eyeball and I think the other fellow just blinked.”

    Bit melodramatic, but …. what the hell?

  7. Curry is now being quoted in the tabloid press as saying “Global warming is over”, on the basis of the “no warming for 13 years” fiasco.

    • I believe the quotes in that Express story come from the story by David Rose in the.Daily Mail. And the Express story has been picked up by the GWPF, Marc Morano and is probably going the rest of the rounds.

      • Was was that Judith said ? That she did not like Muller’s PR tactics?:)

        Maybe she always wanted to be a heroine for swift-boaters and Fox News talking heads. Looks like this might do the rounds like “Phil Jones says no global warming for 15 years.” It has an uncanny resemblance.

  8. It might be better to ask her to give a formal statement of her hypothesis (perhaps suggest one and ask her if she agrres with it), and then having agreed the hypothesis ask if the evidence for her hypothesis is statistically significant. Without a formal statement of the hypothesis she is actually arguing it will be difficult to prevent evasion thanks to the ambiguity. Once formally stated though, she is committed to her hypothesis.

    • Judy would never consent to give a formal or falsifiable statement of her name. She will always reserve wiggle room or an escape clause. What she does is the exact opposite of science. What she does is BS.

    • > ask her to give a formal statement of her hypothesis (perhaps suggest one and ask her if she agrres with it), and then having agreed the hypothesis ask if the evidence for her hypothesis is statistically significant.

      I like this idea. I’ll email & ask if she’ll provide it.

      BTW, yesterday I emailed the (other )10 BEST team members, asking these 2 questions:

      1. Regarding Dr. Curry’s having been quoted (perhaps inaccurately) by
      David Rose as saying “There is no scientific basis for saying that
      warming hasn’t stopped (since 1998)”
      In your view, _is_ there a scientific basis for saying that warming
      has continued since 1998?

      2. In your view, is there a scientific basis for saying that there has
      been a (meaningful) lag/slowdown/whatever you want to call it, in the
      _rate_ of warming since 1998? (compared to the rest of the historic

      No response from any so far, though, a little over 24 hours later.

  9. Maybe the questions bear repeating. On her blog.

  10. Ian Forrester

    Any news from the Santa Fe meeting?

  11. On “the screed” post, several months ago somebody was posting using a version of her name. This morning I did not see the post that has since disappeared.

  12. Nothing official, but Curry’s expected to be working to hide the decline of her credibility.

  13. I do have a rather technical question on the BEST dataset located here;

    Now this file shows 1-month (monthly trend), 12-month (annual trend), 60-month (5-year trend), 120-month (10-year trend), and 240-month (20-year trend).

    The end of each of these time series is truncated appropriately according to to the N/2 rule for moving averaging (e. g. N = 0, 6, 30, 60, and 120 for the five time series mentioned in my previous sentence above).

    However, at the beginning of each time series a similar symmetric truncation is absent (e. g. N = 0, 0, 0, 0, and 0).

    So either the raw dataset of stations (and thereof the analysis of that dataset) contains data back to 1790 (not shown in this time series), or the averaging process (given a start date of 1800) must exclude N/2 datapoints at the start of each time series.

    At this moment in time, I can only conclude that data esists back to 1790 that BEST has not shown in this file, otherwise the dataset needs to show symmetry at both its endpoints.

    If this has already been discussed emsewhere, than my bad.

    The usual n00b caveat applies here: Am I missing something here that is rather obvious to others?

    [Response: I hadn’t noticed that! Fascinating.]

    • I tried just doing the truncated average over the first 60 months, but the results don’t match. So they aren’t doing that. They’re not zero padded either.

      So I agree, they either have data from before 1800, or they are using a more sophisticated endpoint method. In the first case we could do a rough reconstruction of what those temps would have to be, except that they haven’t given enough significant figures of data.

    • I think the data extends further back than 1800. There is no reason that exactly 1800 should be the start date, other than being a pretty round number. Most of the few temperature stations back then operated since somewhere in the second half of the 18th century, so you would probably have nearly exactly the same number of stations in 1790. So, you can start with the pretty number 1800 and have the advantage, that your moving averages also can start in 1800.

      But remember: Coverage during these previous years was mainly restricted to a handful of stations in Europe and New England. So, the uncertainty in those numbers is so high, that you can’t really say anything with a useful certainty about the global temperatures. A good analysis of paleo proxy data gives already a better picture in this time. There is therefore a good reason, why all other datasets start in 1880 or something around that time, as we have a near-global coverage of measurements only since this time. You can see this in the BEST dataset also, because uncertainty for annual global temperature anomaly is around 0,7-0,8°C in 1800 and drops below 0,2°C (nearly 4 times lower (!)) around 1880.

      So, I would not give very much abount the pre-1850 temperatures in the BEST dataset. The associated uncertainty is simply to high to make some useful statements about temperature change back then.

      • Exactly.

        I’ve plotted all uncertainties for the monthly, annual, 5-year, 10-year, and 20-trends.

        IMHO the most interesting of these are the monthly uncertainties.

        The monthly uncertainties show three distinct regions, 1800-1880, 1880-1955, 1955-2010 (boundary values of 1880 and 1955 are eyeball approximations).

        There is also a very strong 12-month periodicity throughout most of the the monthly uncertainties, but particularly before 1880, and again from say 1915-1970.

        Now what’s so interesting about the 12-month cycle is the relative phase of this 12-month cycle before and after 1880, before 1880 the minimums are at 0.5 year increments (June-July), after 1880 the minimums are at 0.0 year increments (December-January).

        So far I’ve done a 3-segment (512-point, Welch with M = D/2, not windowed) FFT on the period 1800-1885.

        Perhaps Tamino, or Nick, or someone else could look into this in more detail, or more correctly.

        But I think the pre-1880 are highly spatially biased (i. e. NH) and I am not quite sure how one goes about estimating those spatial uncertainties (e. g. IMHO the pre-1880 uncertainties are too low as published).

      • Is it the effing trailing average introduced by Frauenfelder, Knappenberger, and Michaels? Lord deliver us.

      • EFS_Junior wrote:
        “The monthly uncertainties show three distinct regions, 1800-1880, 1880-1955, 1955-2010 (boundary values of 1880 and 1955 are eyeball approximations)”

        Well, this is caused by spatial coverage changes. Around 1800 there were only European and New England stations reporting. In the midth of the 19th century coverage extended rapidly to the southern hemisphere, which lead to a strong reduction in spatial uncertainty. The next step around 1950/1960 is the deployment of the Antarctic weather stations, which was the last remaining area of the land surface without temperature measurements.

        For the 12-month cycle: I guess, that this is a northern/southern hemisphere thing. When you have e.g. a bigger temperature variance in winter due to more diverse weather patterns, than the global uncertainty will also be greater during the northern hemispheric winter months, because land masses on the NH are much bigger than on the SH, and therefore have a bigger influence on the global average. But I have not checked that, this is only a guess, which seems plausible to me.

  14. Anna Haynes, the official BEST answer to your question has already been published in Rohde et al, 2011 (the methods paper):

    “Though it is sometimes argued that global warming has abated since the 1998 El Nino event (e.g. Easterling and Wehner 2009, Meehl et al. 2011), we find no evidence of this in the GHCN land data. Applying our analysis over the interval 1998 to 2010, we find the land temperature trend to be 2.84 ± 0.73 C / century, consistent with prior decades.”

    Note this analysis was performed on the GHCN network stations. The full BEST network shows an even larger positive trend. (Note, they significantly underestimate the confidence interval of their trend.)

    So the question needs to be, given that Judith Curry appears to disagree with the papers conclusions, why has she not withdrawn as a co-author?

  15. Tamino, just a thought.

    Would an empirical Bayesian approach work here?

    We have prior data up to 1998, 200, 2001 or whatever, with an (assumed Normal) estimate of the trend variable. We have “new data” 2001 to the present.

    If we combine the prior and “new” data to get a posterior estimate, we can see if the confidence interval for the posterior estimate contains 0 or not. Not sure, because I have not done it yet!

  16. Wouter Lefebvre

    Dear Tamino,

    this is not a comment on the blog post under which I post, but a question to you, which I hope you are willing and able to answer.

    I’m myself busy data crunching. I have a series of daily temperature data for a measurement location and I want to test if the sunday is on average cooler/warmer than the other days of the week (the so-called sunday-effect). Calculating the mean over the weekdays is not difficult, but I fail to find how to calculate correctly the significance of the differences. Applying standard sampling techniques on the dataset does not solve my problem, as then we are comparing maybe 5 summer days to 5 winter days, whereas for a week is not separated over summer and winter (or, to say it differently, the amount of sundays in winter, summer, spring and autumn is always about equal). Random sampling for Monte Carlo analysis would lead to time series with maybe ‘5 sundays in summer’ and ’20 sundays in winter’ for one set and the reverse for the other set. As a result, none of the results would be found to be statistically significant, even if there is a small but significant effect).

    A second analysis that I tried to do was testing for every week which day was the warmest/coolest. However, this does not work properly as slowly rising temperatures in spring would always lead to a sunday as being the warmest (if one takes the week beginning with monday) or saturday being the warmest (if one takes the beek beginning with sunday). In order to eliminate the problem, I counted the number of warmest mondays, tuesdays, …, sundays for weeks beginning on monday until sunday. As a result, no bias towards a specific day is present. However, I do get a number of warmest days by day of the week but again significance determination is a problem, as the datasets are not independent (an overlap of 6 days with the same week beginning with monday/tuesday). Do you have an idea on how to solve this? Simple autocorrelated monte carlo will not work, as the autocorrelation will be estimated to be very high (as summer temperatures are correlated to summer temperatures and winter temperatures to winter temperatures).

    Hope this is clear and that you can enlighten me,

    • Wouter Lefebvre

      Dear Tamino, dear blog readers,

      problem solved, thanks to one of your very enlightened blog readers (by personal email).


  17. I would agree with Judith Curry that given the BEST data –
    “There is no scientific basis for saying that warming hasn’t stopped”

    [Response: I disagree. There is Occam’s razor — that the simplest hypothesis (namely: the trend hasn’t changed) is preferable. Besides which, basing her statement on “It may have stopped since 1998” is really no different than “it may have stopped since last Thursday.” If that’s Judith Curry’s “scientific basis” … ]

    However I am sure that she would agree that it is equally accurate to say that –
    “There is no scientific basis for saying that warming HAS stopped.”

    [Response: I’m skeptical. I suspect that she wants to give the impression that global warming has stopped/slowed/whatever you want to call it — not that it MAY have done so, but that it HAS. And that is what she said — more than once. Is she trying to be misunderstood — so she can give the wrong impression but not be held accountable for it? If she doesn’t want to be misunderstood, let her say so.]

    Because the data from the last ~10 years shows a great deal of interannual variation that swamps ANY scientific basis for statements about the longer-term small trend over periods longer than 10 years.

    For that you need to look at a temperature record of several decades and have a physical hypothesis for the trend seen.

    • @Tamino:
      It doesn’t even make sense to state, that warming “may have stopped/slowed down”, even when you put Occam’s razor aside. Because on short timescales the trend uncertainty will *always* be so big, that you will get a range that will cover positive as well as negative trends. So, by this logic, you could *always*, even in the strongest warming period, claim, that the warming has “slowed down”. Obviously, this would be pure nonsense. But that hasn’t stopped deniers to argue this way ^^

  18. This is her answer?!

    “curryja | November 2, 2011 at 8:43 am | Reply

    yes, that is rather the point. The BEST data only covers land. The other 70% was not addressed by BEST. So BEST has nothing to say, one way or the other, about GLOBAL warming.”

    • Oh, FFS. That’s it? This woman is lame beyond imagination. Christ, when she buys icecream in the grocery store, I’ll bet she buys Neapolitan so she doesn’t have to commit to a fricking flavor.

    • Seems Judith wants it both ways – the data shows a pause in warming, but the data is not global so it can’t say anything about global trends one way or the other.

      Have I got this right?

    • JC now says it is David Rose’s fault after all – apparently there is some ‘context’ to the quotes that will clear all this up.

    • “So BEST has nothing to say, one way or the other, about GLOBAL warming”

      No, Judith does not wiggle out of this that easily. If that is the best she can do it is pretty darn pathetic. Sometimes it is almost impossible to believe that we are having this discussion about a scientist who managed to become the chair for the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology.

      Let us help Judith Curry join the dots. Nowhere in her statements that Tamino quoted above did she mention “global”. She did specifically mentions “our data” though and those are the BEST surface temperature data. So that is the context.

      She knows that but is now playing games, and like Tamino pointed put she probably wanted to be misunderstood, misquoted. She still has not answered Tamino’s questions. When people spin, misinform and twist so much it eventually catches up with them, as has been the case here again with Judith Curry.

      If Curry cannot accept what here own data are showing, then she should not be an author on the paper/s.

      Muller should get rid of her and she can pretend to be a martyr, but then in doing so she is pretending that she is fighting a religious war, not fighting for science.

    • I wonder what her tune would be if the BEST result was significantly different than the comparable treatment by NOAA, GisTemp, and CRU?

      I bet land only would suddenly be sufficient for her to say something about global.

      Also, A. Lacis seems to indicate he sees little chance including oceans will change the BEST result to date.

  19. Curry responded on her website with a conversation with Richard Muller.

  20. Say you have water boiling on a cooktop. Longterm trend – boiling. On the side you have a dish of cut-up potatoes in cold water. When that is dumped into the boiling water the water stops boiling.

    Seriously, can it truly be said there is no scientific basis for saying the longterm trend of boiling hasn’t stopped. Is the theory of electricity suddenly no good? Should I throw away my Gaggenau cooktop and become a hunter gatherer?

  21. Reading J.Curry’s blog, my take on it is: Robert agreed to go on attacking Phil Jones and Michael Mann, and that is all I really care about. As long as we are in the business of attacking certain scientists, I am happy.

  22. Curry linked to this blog post about Muller, in which he seems to be tap-dancing all over the fence:

    Her post:

  23. If Curry is now all so upset about the report, why-oh-why did she not mention any of her objections in her October 20 blog post dedicated to the BEST release?

    A few excerpts:

    – “In summary, there are no particularly surprising results here. The papers are initial steps in analyzing the data set, and the verdict on these particular papers will be given by others who do subsequent analyses.”
    – “I think the most significant paper is the Berkeley Earth Temperature Averaging Process” [the paper which specifically states that there is no evidence in the GHCN land data for GW having stagnated since 1998]
    – On BEST’s PR strategy she wrote: “In terms of how effective the team’s overall PR strategy has been, that is a subject that is certainly open to debate. But my impression is that the group has been honest brokers in all this in terms of trying to improve our understanding of the surface temperature data, while maximizing the impact of the data set and their research”.
    – On release of papers prior to publication she wrote: “I have encouraged making the data set available as soon as possible. They were reluctant to do this before papers had been submitted for publication, and cited the problems that Anthony Watts had with releasing his dataset before papers were accepted for publication.” & “I have no problem with posting the papers before they are accepted for publication, in fact I encourage people to post their papers before publication.”

    It appears to me that Curry has done a full 180 the moment sites like WUWT started to criticize the BEST report. Giving interviews to british tabloids (with ther particular lack of objective reporting) hasn’t helped her credibility much either.

  24. There is a big, brown cloud of Asian and South Asian particulate matter that is blocking sunlight. There is a lot stuff in the sky from aircraft. There is more shit in the sky than the models expected.

    I would say, that human emissions of particulate matter have paused the run up in temperatures compared to the temperature expected solely on the basis of current levels of greenhouse gases.

    However, do not worry, the greenhouse gases are still there and will have their effect.

    Think about this every time you see an ad for the new generation of fuel-efficient aircraft. They will leave fewer particles in the sky and let greenhouse gases do their thing. It is a more interesting dilemma than any I know of from fiction.

    • I can add another stranger-than-fiction effect to this picture: aircraft emissions include nitric/nitrogen oxide which contribute to ozone formation. Of course, this is good in the stratosphere and very bad in the troposphere. Not surprisingly, aircraft release a lot of NOx during take-off. Putting my geoengineering cap on, it’s clear we should just construct an airport in the stratosphere so we never have to land at the surface.

      It’s fascinating and ridiculous that there’s such a dilemma involved in cleaning up emissions.

  25. agres …

    Think about this every time you see an ad for the new generation of fuel-efficient aircraft. They will leave fewer particles in the sky and let greenhouse gases do their thing. It is a more interesting dilemma than any I know of from fiction.

    They’ll also dump 20% less CO2 in the atmosphere (in the case of the 787 vs. the average airliner it’s expected to replace).

  26. Could it possible be that she’s a lying corporate shill? Or just a raving ideologue? Either way, you’re dealing with somneone who WILL NOT admit that she’s wrong. She’s left the path of science; like Richard Lindzen, she has become a sort of Halton Arp or Thomas C. van Flandern of climatology–expertly qualified, but increasingly disconnected from reality for reasons unknown.

    [Response: She has promised an post about the “pause” soon. Let’s wait to see what she says, shall we?]

    • Oh goodie! A pause post from Aunt Judy! I’m gonna go way, way out on a limb here and posit that its information content will be zero.

      Judy seems to be congenitally incapable of saying anything in a simple, straightforward and–most important–falsifiable way. I can honestly say that I’ve never learned anything from anything she has written. She is an embarassment to science.

      • Oh god, just look at her “Uncertainty Monster” keynote at the Santa Fe conference which I’ve linked to (or given the hint on how to find) below. I couldn’t figure out if she had a valid (or even invalid) point to make.

      • Do you guys think the sources of pause/offest/shift/etc. are relevant? Offset, for instance, was used in Keenlyside et al. They made a prediction. RC tracks it. Reality, so far, does not resemble their prediction. I do not see they ever say AGW stops. Same for Tsonis-Swanson, and she’s big on them. They called it a shift. That I can see, they never say AGW stops. Smith et al apparently predict that the initial years in their prediction would see natural variation suppress AGW.

        In other words, the “pause” did not spring out of vacuum. I think it originated in peer-reviewed papers. When that information hit the blogs, its presentation was twisted. The “pause” became AGW has stopped. I struggle to read these papers, but I can’t see they ever say anything like that.

  27. What’s the betting it isn’t not entirely non-unambiguous?

  28. Tamino, have you seen this? Deniers like Montford are not too happy :)

    [Response: Good article. As for keeping my identity “deeply under wraps,” I’ve been “outed” so many times it’s getting boring. As for Montford being unhappy, somehow that fails to disquiet me.

    And that final graph is a real winner.]

    • from the article, ‘”It’s politics, not science,” Richard Muller told me by phone. “Politicians have been doing this kind of stuff for a long time – look at what Al Gore did with all his disinformation.’

      What is it with these people trying to have their cake and eat it, too?

    • I see the Bishop’s fanboys have overrun the comments as usual. I also see he fails to actually explain why Richard Black is wrong.

      • Montford and his acolytes are in a tizzy for sure. It is fun watching them panicking, hand waiving and basically self destructing. Muller really has upset them, in the ensuing panic they have completely lost it and are all over the map. They are even defending the GWPF.

        Some sensible and rational posts at BBC by some reasonable people would be nice. Thanks JBowers for doing your part.

        [Response: Anyone else who wants to inject a note of sanity over there — please do.]

  29. Today I had lunch with Richard Muller and Christopher Monckton. Topics covered included Climategate, the IPCC, climate sensitivity, trend analysis. I was relatively passive, just taking it all in What an amazing conversation.

    [edit — please no embedded video in comments]

    • The notion that an intelligent physicist like Muller would share a table with an outright fraud like Monckton is deeply disturbing …

      Gee, I wonder if Muller addressed him as “Lord Monckton” throughout lunch?

      • The best thing is, that she characterized the conversation with Monckton and Muller so: “What an amazing conversation.”

        Yeah… a coversation with Monckton about climate science is certainly amazing. Amazingly funny because of all the stupidity perhaps. But I doubt that she meant it this way. I guess, it must have been one of her “wow!” moments, like with the Salby paper.

      • Actually, he can be referred to as Lord (it’s a generic form of address for the titled), he just has nothing to do with the House of Lords contrary to his claims. Worth bearing in mind.

      • Eh, I think that given this is the egalitarian USA (or at least we used to be egalitarian) he should be referred to as “Chris”. Or more properly as “you idiot Chris”.

      • Observer:

        My guess was that she was dazzled by his intelligence and amazing grasp of the scientific issues.

        no “sarc off” from me, I’m dead-serious.

        J Bowers:

        As a yank, I personally would address him as … “oh, lord, [“wtf” or fill in your own prefix to your response here].

        “you idiot, Chris”, as suggested by da rat, would be fine, too …

      • Philippe Chantreau

        I second Rattus, I do not acknowledge or recognize nobility titles. Everyone is to be addressed as “Mr” or “Ms” as far as I’m concerned. Where I’m from, there was a time when these titles could make you loose your head. Not that it was necessarily good to do that, but it did put things in perspective…

      • The “just taking it all in” really gassed me. I’m picturing a starstruck Judith watching Muller and Monckton like a tennis match and the who great worthies debate the issues of our time.

        And sorry for the embedded video; since just typing an URL causes an embed, one hardly knows how not to do so… maybe if make it inline?

        I’d give my right arm to see Ali G interview Judith…

      • Horatio Algeranon

        Perhaps Mocktman should be addressed as “Chris the Lord”.

        He sure seems to think he is.

        Wonder if they had lunch at his favorite spot: The House of Lords Diner.

      • Philipe, I’m very close friends with a french woman who cheerfully and frequently points out that the French solved the whole issue of how to address titled folk way back in the late 1700s :)

        Something to do with Dr. Guillotine …

      • Folks, I’m no fan of arsitocracy, either. It’s just what it is. Third Viscount itself is no big deal, it means he just inherited the title and didn’t earn it.

      • “Chris the Lord”–fits to a ‘t.’

  30. Tamino,
    this paper has come to my attention
    Ole Humlum et al. 2011
    Identifying natural contributions to late Holocene climate change

    It involves a lot of statistics that are a bit beyond my grasp (some wavelet analysis and fourier) but it is published in Global and Planetary Change which is a reputable journal. Anyways if you could take a look it’d be great.

      • Just to note that I mentioned this paper on a previous thread, where it was vaguely on-topic. The SkS post helps place the authors, but it addresses some of their sillier statements in public debate and does not directly speak to the (subsequent) journal paper.

    • The paper in question (not the news article critiqued by SkS) is a classic, chronic case of climastrological curve-fitting with a healthy dose of mathturbation to build a model rouns the supposed lunar and solar cycles identified in GISP (up to 1850) and a Svalbard temperature record. Tamino, you’ll love the identification of >60-year cycles in a 100 year temperature record too. Finish off by projecting the results globally, and you have the paper. Nothing based around physics, or a mechanism by which the supposed ‘cycles’ might operate. Total garbage IMHO.

      • sky,
        Just because the mechanism of the physical observations cannot be identified is not reason to deny the conclusions of the paper. I found the paper well-based in both physics and mathematics. Maybe it was a bit over your head for you to understand.

        [Response: I found it to be one of the worst cases of useless mathturbation in the literature.]

      • What a gloriously arrogant, yet content-free, statement by Dan H. Fortunately, my limited understanding was more than enough to see how poor this paper was.

  31. Here is an experiment….

    Here is a link to her keynote address.

    If this ends up embedding the video, you can see it by searching for “The uncertainty monster at the climate science-pol” on YouTube. If it does work you can link to YouTube videos by turning them into a regular anchor link in HTML.

    The main thing that I think she is missing (perhaps by not being familiar with the ecological literature on the effects of climate change) is that the uncertainties range from a little bad to really, really bad. She is right in that we don’t really know with any confidence what those effects will be, but on the basic physical science I think we have a pretty good handle. Not ideal, but pretty good, and the physical science says it is more likely to be on the large side than the small side.

    • Hey, it worked! So the answer is to link to video with >a href=”the video link” <text about the link>/a< and you your good to go.

    • Ian Forrester

      I’m surprised she didn’t wear her Lisbon t-shirt for that talk.

    • Thanks Rattus, interesting talk about uncertainty…Lots of vague implications, cites: “online survey” but absolutely no discussion of statistical uncertainty as commonly used in science and statistics. No discussion of the uncertainty that is clearly expressed throughout the AR4 (except to imply that it is inadequate), lots of dancing around on cherry picked quotes. Interesting that she spends time on a political based definition of “deep uncertainty” and spends absolutely no time on the scientific definitions that render the whole concept moot.

      It’s easy to see that she will not engage Tamino on this topic. Exactly why is not clear. It’s hard to believe that it is due to statistical ignorance or from lack of reading the AR4 which addresses both “likelihood” and “confidence” (and never claims “100%”). It’s hard to get past the “merchant” possibility though…

      Interesting pan of the audience @ ~27 min; who’s that sitting with Chris the Lord? I’m glad Fred didn’t fall over.

      • Arch, I rather doubt Judy will engage anyone with any sincerity for the simple reason that she doesn’t want to have to reattach her tuckus with superglue.

      • Ray, personally I prefer Goodyear Pliobond where flexibility is an asset.

        Regardless, how can she say these things? She must know uncertainty can and is quantified. Why does she not acknowledge it? If she does not agree with the methodology of quantification why doesn’t she address it rather than make vague (false) insinuations?

        I don’t think she is stupid (I don’t think Monckton is stupid either). Unfortunately that leaves the “merchant” explanation in the forefront of probability.

        And there they sit with Fred…

  32. Ack, WordPress screwed up the HMTL entities… Google “HTML anchor” and you will find out how to do it…

  33. Horatio Algeranon

    “Curt Curry”
    — by Horatio Algeranon

    “You know, our data show the pause”
    “Don’t ask how, it’s ‘just because’ “

  34. My apologies for being off-topic, but is there any chance that you’d be interested in giving your thoughts on and/or replying to these remarks?

  35. @ Tamino, Curry has a new post up titled Pause (?)

    Even to a layman like me it seems long on waffle and short on most other things. This statement made me blink:

    Note that the short time scales considered here preclude determination of a statistically significant trend at the 95% confidence level, although lack of statistical signficance does not negate the existence of a pause as defined here.

    So it’s a pause Jim, but not as we know it…

    • “I know I shouldn’t believe my eyes…. but I see what I see”.

      This is human pattern recognition, known to be statistically invalid for small sample sizes, overriding what training tells her. Besides it lets her feed the uncertainty monster.

      I’m starting to have visions of “little shop of horrors” and Audrey II– “Feeeeed me”

  36. It appears as though Judy, Judy, Judy has a response up. Unfortunately, she is trying to have it both ways as usual. In the end she doesn’t back up her claim. Typical…

    • Actually, that’s Juday, Juday, Juday.

      But it is claimed Cary Grant never said it. That’s the movies.