Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Global Warming, British Snow, and Filtered Evidence

In a recent online exchange, one poster suggested that the unseasonably cold weather in Britain was evidence against global warming. The response from another was that it was actually evidence in favor, that global warming meant more energy in the weather system, which led to greater variability, hence extremes in both directions.

Neither I nor the poster who made that argument knows enough about the physics of climate to judge whether that claim is or is not true; I am not sure anyone does. Suppose, however, that it is. We then have a serious problem for the ordinary citizen who is trying to figure out from the information that reaches him how seriously to take worries about global warming, who to believe. To see why, consider a simple back of the envelope calculation.

There are at least two features of the weather likely to show up in news stories: temperature and rainfall. Under our assumption, either unusually cold or unusually hot weather, either unusually dry or unusually wet seasons, count as evidence for global warming. Casual evidence for global warming need not be, usually is not, global, nor need it concern an entire year. An unusually hot summer in Australia or North America makes the news, just as an unusually cold winter in Britain does.

So how many different chances are there, each year, to generate evidence in favor of global warming? We have two weather variables, each of which can go in two directions. We have winter, summer, spring, and fall in which it can happen—although stories about temperature in spring and fall will be less striking than winter or summer—and a single month might also generate its own story. For simplicity, let's say there are five relevant time periods in a year. For further simplicity, let's say there are twenty geographical regions sufficiently salient so that unusual weather in one of them will be noticed. Multiply it out and we have four hundred different opportunities each year for the weather to turn out—somewhere, sometime—in a way that will generate a news story seen as evidence in favor of global warming. Whether or not global warming is real and significant, weather is notoriously variable, so we can be pretty sure that some of those four hundred will happen, giving the casual observer reason to believe that global warming is affecting the weather.

What about evidence in the other direction? Under our assumption, unusual weather in any direction counts as evidence in favor, so for evidence against we need usual weather. There are lots of opportunities for that too. But usual weather is not newsworthy—I don't remember any stories last winter, or the winter before, reporting that Britain was having about the usual amount of snow. The news media, for obvious reasons, filter in favor of the unusual, of man bites dog not dog bites man. If all unusual weather counts as evidence on one side of the argument, that side is going to look much stronger than it is.

The problem is not limited to this particular controversy. For an older and arguably more important example, consider religion. If a mother prays for the recovery of her dying child and the child recovers, everyone she knows and many people she doesn't know hear about it. If she prays and the dying child dies, that is likely to get much less attention. Death, after all, is what usually happens to dying people. In this case too, the evidence is filtered in favor of the unusual—and the unusual, in almost any direction, is going to look like evidence in favor,of religion, evidence that something beyond us is intervening.

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69 Comments:

At 10:34 PM, February 04, 2009, Blogger Tim Lambert said...

Fortunately, these days folks have more information available than news reports of weather reports. Scientists have looked at all the available evidence and concluded that global warming is incontrovertible.

 
At 10:51 PM, February 04, 2009, Blogger David Friedman said...

Tim writes:

"Scientists have looked at all the available evidence and concluded that global warming is incontrovertible."

Maybe. I'm automatically suspicious of statements of that sort, and other people should be. President Obama quite recently asserted that all economists agree on the need for "stimulus," which is either a flat lie or a remarkably misinformed statement for someone in his position.

Furthermore, the evidence that global warming is a serious problem is very far from incontrovertible. People who talk about the consensus tend to conveniently leave out the actual numbers that came out of the most recent IPCC work--a foot or so increase in sea level in a century, and two degrees centigrade warming. The horror stories that usually accompany such talk are much more speculative than the simple question of whether the globe has been getting warmer over the past century or so.

But all that is beside my central point, which isn't about whether global warming is true but about how the layman can form an opinion as to whether it's true. "Believe what the scientists tell you" is a poor rule because the layman isn't in a good position to figure out what the views of the scientists really are--as opposed to what various people want him to believe they are.

So it's tempting to look for some way of judging based on evidence he has at first hand--and people routinely try to do so, with global warming and much else. I was pointing out a serious problem with that.

 
At 2:19 AM, February 05, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The great problem is that the bulk of evidence that some (not all) scientists present is based on computer models. These models typically have formulas written by the scientists which they often don't share with anyone. The question about the models is then: how good are they? How accurately do they model what is happening?

For that we have to compare the predictions which the models make to the actual events BEFORE they happen. Warming models are notoriously bad at showing current trends and are repeatedly adjusted to try and reflect what is happening. If they have trouble modeling the present why assume they model the future any better?

Only recently none of the models predicted the last decade of climate non-change. (In fact we have had two years of declining temperature after nine years of static temperature). Only AFTER this period became impossible to ignore did the model-makers adjust their models to reflect what is happening.

One exception to that was those who argued that solar cycles explained climate change better than anything else. They have been saying that the earth was headed for a decline in global temperatures and they said it BEFORE it happened.

That doesn't necessarily prove the one is right and the other wrong but it sure says we have to be more skeptical about those who keep playing catch-up with their models.

 
At 4:39 AM, February 05, 2009, Anonymous Paul Birch said...

Probably the best rule for the layman to follow is this: Ask what the politicians are trying to make us believe. Then believe the opposite!

It doesn't always work - sometimes politicians tell the truth by accident - but more often than not it does.

More seriously, people should be very very sceptical of any subject that has become politicised; any "official" pronouncement or alleged "consensus" is then probably a lie (or at best, careless of the truth).

I suppose laymen can also look at how one side or the other ducks the difficult questions, or weasels out, or uses inflammatory or propagandist language, etcetera.

On the question of global warming (where, by the way, the actual evidence has always showed that the core theory of anthropogenic global warming is incontrovertibly false (the global temperature simply does not follow the production of CO2 and has if anything been going the opposite way over the past century)) they should note things like the weaseling shift to calling it "climate change", the defiance of common sense in calling cold winters evidence of warming (the exact opposite of what they were predicting ten years ago), and so on.

The other side, by contrast, simply says what laymen already know to be true: that the weather is highly variable, that sometimes it gets hotter or colder, over all timescales, always has and probably always will, that we often get extremes of weather without its meaning anything much at all. For example, the heaviest snowfall for ~14 years will happen about every 14 years. It should be obvious which side is the more trustworthy.

 
At 6:45 AM, February 05, 2009, Blogger Tim Lambert said...

David, I think that "believe what the scientists tell you" is a good rule and I suspect it's one that you follow. I think that your layman can figure out what the views of the scientists are. Anyone with Internet access can read the IPCC assessment reports themselves and they were widely reported on when they were issued. The media in countries other than the United States seems to have done a good job in informing the public what the scientists have found, at least in broad outline.

You are mistaken about the latest IPCC numbers. They did not give an upper bound on sea level, and the range of possible temperature increases this century went up to 6.4 degrees. I'm curious as to why your numbers were so different. Where did you get them from?

 
At 7:10 AM, February 05, 2009, Blogger Seth said...

If there are 400 possible extremes each year, I'd expect about 4 "one-century extrema" each year (given stationary random distributions). Before doing the arithmetic, we'd have to agree on which 400 cases to look at. I think there are more: I regularly see news reports about things like "coldest January in Minnesota in 10 years" leading to 16 time periods (months and quarters), and a lot more than 20 geographical areas.

Another statistic that requires less advance agreement: pick some value (e.g. rainfall in Oklahoma in March) and see how many of the 10 highest and 10 lowest values for the last century were in the last 10 years. If weather is getting more extreme, then such numbers average well above 1.

If we look back 1000 years, we don't have as good data; but during the Medieval Warm Period the Earth was a lot warmer than now, and during the Little Ice Age a lot cooler, so there are probably fewer 1000-year extremes in the current statistics than a stationary random variable would expect.

 
At 8:28 AM, February 05, 2009, Blogger FraserOrr said...

I think one of the problems is the word "scientist" itself. There is a spectrum of "science" from hard science (such as physics) to soft science (like "social science".) The distinguishing criterion is simply the degree to which the scientific method is, or can be, applied.

For example, physics says that if you drop and apple, it will accelerate toward the ground. I can give you my opinion that this is the case, but you don't have to believe me, you can simply drop it, film it, and look at the distance moved in each frame, and see the acceleration. That is to say, it doesn't matter what my opinion is, my hypothesis is testable independently by you (or by another suitable qualified and equipped scientist.)

However, in another science, economics perhaps, the scientific method is far harder to apply. JMK can recommend pumping government money into the economy to stimulate it. However, it is close to impossible to truly measure the effects of his claim, and extremely difficult to repeat it. His hypothesis is of very limited testability.

Another crucial feature of science is falsifiability. That is to say, if you have some theory A, then there must exist some way to prove that A is wrong: if the apple falls up, then Newton was wrong.

Again, the softer the science the less the degree of falisifiability. JMK can find all sorts of reasons why the US Economy was just as bad in 1940 as it was in 1930. A classic example of this would be religious science. How is it possible to create light before you create the sun? God did it -- it is a miracle. This might be true, but it is clearly not falsifiable.

Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, a scientific theory is measured in its power to predict. Newton didn't just say "an apple fell on my head", he said that whenever you drop an apple, it accelerates down. He is making a testable prediction. If a scientific theory can't make predictions about the future it is at best soft, and at worst useless.

These three concepts are at the very core of science -- repeatable experiments, falsifiable theories, theories with predictive power.

Your scientific discipline is hard to the degree that it encompasses these three things.

Climate change scientists really are pretty soft on all these things. Their ability to perform repeatable experiments is very limited, the predictive power is notoriously lacking, and, as the article that David cited mentions, apparently, their theories are not falsifiable.

I am not saying they are wrong (though I believe many of their claims are wrong), I am just saying that the science is soft.

Whenever you hear people talking about "scientific consensus" what you have is a soft science where there are only limited repeatable experiments. You don't need consensus if you can drop an apple on your head.

 
At 8:56 AM, February 05, 2009, Blogger Bhuvan Chand said...

great article on global warming...

 
At 9:11 AM, February 05, 2009, Blogger David Friedman said...

"You are mistaken about the latest IPCC numbers. They did not give an upper bound on sea level, and the range of possible temperature increases this century went up to 6.4 degrees. I'm curious as to why your numbers were so different. Where did you get them from?"

The webbed IPCC report.

I didn't say there was an upper bound on sea level--the latest version was cagey about giving upper bounds. But they ran through the same four sets of assumptions they had used in the previous report, and for those assumptions the highest sea level rise predicted was less than two feet--lower than the figure from the previous round. Similarly, they had some language hedging on the possibility of larger effects, but the actual prediction was .2 degrees per decade.

There is a huge difference between "the upper limit of the possible is" and "our prediction is." But most of the popular talk--including the recent pronouncement by Obama's science advisor--isn't of the form "it is possible that" but "we can expect that."

 
At 9:39 AM, February 05, 2009, Anonymous Paul Birch said...

The IPCC is not a scientific association; it was politically funded and politically motivated from the outset. Its "science" is mere propaganda - unphysical models designed to give the sort of "answers" the politicians demand. Like other irrational prognosticators they brush aside contrary evidence or failed predictions (such as the fact that the global temperature has not risen, as they predicted it would, over the past decade, but has actually fallen slightly) and continue to promote their platform regardless. At a pinch, they'll rewrite the evidence to fit their dogmas (as they have already been caught doing with the medieval warm period). But I don't expect to convince anywone who shares their anti-technology ideology - or who is still daft enough to trust politicians.

 
At 10:05 AM, February 05, 2009, Blogger FraserOrr said...

> The IPCC is not a scientific
> association; it was politically
> funded and politically motivated
> from the outset.

I don't know if I entirely agree with all your conclusions, however it does raise an important point. Oftentimes studies that are not supportive of global warming theories are dismissed because they are funded by "big oil". The idea is that the people funding them gain benefit from "global warming denial", and so fix the results.

However, when scientists funded by the government produce studies supporting global warming theories, no one complains about them being funded by "big government". No one points out that since the theories of global warming support more power for governments that there might also be a conflict of interest there, and perhaps "big government" might fix those studies.

I think there is some truth to "the fix" in both cases, though I think the fix is more in terms of expectations, intellectual environment and other soft things rather than "write this or you are out of a job."

 
At 12:00 PM, February 05, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

Tim wrote:

"Fortunately, these days folks have more information available than news reports of weather reports. Scientists have looked at all the available evidence and concluded that global warming is incontrovertible."

But there are many more scientists who say that the mild warming that we saw after we came out of the Little Ice Age is neither unusual nor unexpected. And what is more important, they point out that the AGW argument is false because CO2 does not drive temperatures; in fact the ice core studies tell us that it is temperature changes that drive changes in CO2 concentration. Also, scientists point out that warming periods are better for people, plants and animals than cooling because history shows us that mankind does much better when the planet is warmer than when it is cooling.

The simple fact is that the biggest voices in favour of AGW have been exposed a number of times to doctor data and manipulate algorithms to to have their models come to a predetermined conclusion. First they said that the ice core records proved that CO2 drove temperatures higher only to have to admit that it was the other way around. Then there was the great, 'Hockey Stick,' claim, which was exposed as sloppy incompetence at best and fraud as most likely. And not too long ago we had the same attempt to make the recorded Antarctic cooling to turn into warming. But the authors of the paper and their supporters were so blinded by the conclusions that they did not check the data carefully enough and Steve McIntyre, who discovered the 'Hockey Stick' fraud and the Hansen data errors only needed a few hours to spot the problem with the station data.

From what I see, the claim that scientists overwhelmingly support the AGW hype is clearly not a valid statement and even if it were it would not make a difference because the scientific evidence shows that climate change is normal and primarily driven by natural factors just as it always has been.

 
At 12:10 PM, February 05, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

Tim wrote:

"Anyone with Internet access can read the IPCC assessment reports themselves and they were widely reported on when they were issued."

The IPCC is a political organization that appoints lead authors to put together the summary report, which is what most people hear about. The problem is that the summary does not always agree with what is in the main body. For example, you can go to Section 9 and get a good description of how CO2 emissions cause the mid-troposphere to warm at the equatorial region and predicts that we will see this signature. The problem is that the satellite data shows no such signature. In fact, the data shows that the atmosphere has not really warmed over the past decade and that over the past few years we have seen a strong cooling trend.

Add to this the fiasco with the 'Hockey Stick,' which was dropped from the latest report because it was exposed as a fraud as well as many defections from its ranks and the IPCC has a major credibility problem.

Then we have the inconvenient ice core studies that show that CO2 concentrations follow temperature trend changes, embarrassing questions about the validity of the models that are making the predictions and the fact that $50 billion in funding have yet to provide any evidence.

It seems to me that the AGW people simply rely on hype and narrative instead of science.

 
At 8:12 PM, February 05, 2009, Anonymous Charles Pierce said...

I was interested to find this blog. 20 years ago I had a book published on different economic concepts to point the way to a sustainable world economy. Someone who liked the book contacted me this year to suggest that I update and re-publish it as a blog. She set up the blog, and the book is now complete on the blog in a series of postings. There are now also additional pieces on global warming and other subjects. Here is the link:

http://www.economicsforaroundearth.com

With all good wishes,
Charles Pierce

 
At 11:43 PM, February 05, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with FraserOrr. All science is not equally trustworthy. Fitting historical data to theories is very different from performing repeatable experiments. The real issue isn't whether there's a scientitic consensus, but how scientific the science really is.

 
At 9:07 AM, February 06, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those who deny the existence of climate change,almost always seem advocate that the government should not invest in such things as "sea walls",or other things that can protect us from natural disasters. I disagree with this though because natural disasters would still be a problem even in the absence of climate change.

people can deny the existence of climate change all they want,but it does not mean that elected officials should just sit there and watch the cities fall into the sea.

Climate change was not an issue for those individuals who lived in Pompeii,but i am sure that many of those citizens would have supported the idea of creating lava drenches .

The Debate over climate change is ridiculous because those who deny its existence exhibit the same arrogance as those citizens of Pompeii.

 
At 11:20 AM, February 06, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

"people can deny the existence of climate change all they want,but it does not mean that elected officials should just sit there and watch the cities fall into the sea."

First, you won't find anyone denying that climate changes. The history of our planet shows that climate changes at every time scale we wish to look at. That is the problem with the AGW argument, it assumes that climate should not change and that we should be at a lower temperature than what we are experiencing at this period of time. Of course, the same type of clowns were warning us of an upcoming ice age in the 1970s but that is a story for another post.

Second, the government should do nothing. If I want to build next to the shore line it is up to me to buy insurance to protect me from storms that might do damage to my residence. It certainly is not the government's job to take money from people who live far away from the shore line and build a sea wall to protect me from the 16" increase in sea levels that are expected by the end of the century. Of course, I don't know anybody who builds a home 16" above sea level and doubt that you do but that too is a story for another time.

 
At 1:54 PM, February 07, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weather events are difficult to attribute to climate change, as climate and weather, while related, are not the same thing. By example, attempting to determine the final standings of all the teams in a sports league based on the outcome of a single play in a single game isn't likely to be correct. However, a long series of successful plays, over many games, by a given team leads one to conclude that overall, that team will do well over the sports season.

One thing about the repeatability aspect of climate science somehow negating the field - we don't have another identical planet that we can use as a control for the real Earth. We're stuck trying to determine the nature of the experiment while we're living "inside" it. That makes the task difficult, and comments about repeatability are rather off-target as a result.

This particular blog isn't really the place to discuss climate science, as there are other places on the Web, as well as the scientific literature itself, that are better. Some of the other discussants are raising issues with climate science generally that are peripheral to David's post, but I will note that they are using accusations that are, at best, uninformed smears. That's unfortunate.

 
At 7:02 PM, February 07, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

"This particular blog isn't really the place to discuss climate science, as there are other places on the Web, as well as the scientific literature itself, that are better."


There are plenty of other sites to discuss climate but there is nothing wrong with discussing it here.

"Some of the other discussants are raising issues with climate science generally that are peripheral to David's post, but I will note that they are using accusations that are, at best, uninformed smears. That's unfortunate."

The smears are usually used by the AGW who try to paint everyone who disagrees with them as an enemy of humanity and the equivalent of a Holocaust denier. The anti-AGW side does not need to use smears because it has plenty of evidence that shows that much of the hype came from selective use of data and outright fraud. The simple fact is that even after $50 billion in research the AGW side has no scientific smoking gun to show that CO2 drives temperature change and must resort to narrative to counter direct evidence that falsifies its position.

 
At 7:24 AM, February 08, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The anti-AGW side does not need to use smears because it has plenty of evidence that shows that much of the hype came from selective use of data and outright fraud."

That's a serious accusation - what's your proof? Why have there been no journal articles that show evidence of fraud been published?

 
At 8:24 AM, February 08, 2009, Anonymous Darren said...

No one, & I mean no one, of any consequence has ever claimed to have proof that man is causing global warming. Even the IPCC says as much:

Greenhouse gas forcing has very likely caused most of the
observed global warming over the last 50 years. This conclusion
takes into account observational and forcing uncertainty, and
the possibility that the response to solar forcing could be
underestimated by climate models.

http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-chapter9.pdf

The understanding of anthropogenic warming and
cooling influences on climate has improved since
the TAR, leading to very high confidence7 that the
global average net effect of human activities since
1750 has been one of warming, with a radiative
forcing of +1.6 [+0.6 to +2.4] W m–2 (see Figure
SPM.2). {2.3., 6.5, 2.9}

Footnote 7:

7 In this Summary for Policymakers the following levels of confidence have been used to express expert judgements on the correctness of the underlying science: very high confidence represents at least a 9 out of 10 chance of being correct; high confidence represents about an 8 out of 10 chance of
being correct (see Box TS.1)

http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-spm.pdf

This ain't Vegas. Someone saying 9 out of 10 chances doesn't constitute proof of anything. All they can do is point to some higher levels of some gasses & some slight temp increases. Never mind that the temp increases lead, instead of following, the CO2 increases.

 
At 6:36 PM, February 08, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

"That's a serious accusation - what's your proof? Why have there been no journal articles that show evidence of fraud been published?"

The proof is out there for everyone to see. In the IPCC 2001 report the Mann 'Hockey Stick' graph was used a number of times as support for the claim that the 1990s were the warmest period in a thousand years. But it wasn't too long before analysis showed that the Mann algorithms turned random red noise inputs into hockey stick shapes and analysis showed a serious problem with the proxies chosen and with the statistical analysis.

Edward Wegman, chair of the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics and a believer in global warming, was asked to review the Mann paper. His committee concluded that, "Our committee believes that the assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade in a millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year in a millennium cannot be supported." The bottom line is that the paleoclimate folks that supposedly came up with the 'smoking gun' did not use sound methods to come up with their conclusion and when Wegman corrected the statistical errors made by Mann the 'hockey stick' disappeared. Wegman went on to write that Mann made a basic error that would be easy to overlook by someone who was not trained in statistical methodology, and added that, "We note that there is no evidence that Dr. Mann or any of the other authors in paleoclimate studies have had significant interactions with mainstream statisticians."

We just saw a replay of the Hockey Stick scam not too long ago when Mann and a few others applied an algorithm to the station and satellite data for Antarctica and concluded that the continent was cooling even though the data has shown a slight cooling over the past 50 years. The problems surfaced immediately when the same guy who noticed the errors with the 'Hockey Stick' paper found out data errors. And as before, the authors of the papers have not disclosed their code so that others can see what was done with the data. Once again, the credibility of the AGW community has been shot.

You might want to look at the link below for part of the story about the lack of credibility among some in the AGW community.

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fpcomment/archive/2009/02/06/mann-s-conclusions-not-to-be-believed.aspx

 
At 6:45 PM, February 08, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a nice narrative you're telling (and you're not really telling the whole story, but I'll let that pass), but error and fraud are not the same thing.

Do you have evidence of fraud, rather than error?

 
At 8:18 PM, February 08, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

Let me see.

Mann refused to provide the algorithm and had to be subpoenaed.

He chose bristlecone pine even though the proxies are known not to be a reliable indicator of temperature change because they also respond to CO2 concentration changes and precipitation changes. While that choice can be considered an error once he is still using the same proxies.

Many proxies that were available were not chosen. Proxies were not archived. Exact location data was not shared with the scientific community.

The algorithm was written to create a hockey stick shape by mining for trends. This was necessary to eliminate the LIA and MWP that the historical evidence said existed and were a part of the first IPCC report.

Any scientist who was even mildly competent would check his methods if they suggested that a known episode in history did not exist. To suggest that Mann missed his obvious errors suggests a level of incompetence that I find hard to accept.

Mann and his RC friends also lied about the outcome of the review. They still claim that the NAS found that his papers were correct. That certainly is fraud.

Also, Mann just did the same thing again with the Arctic data. Again, I believe that the level of incompetence shown is not possible so the only conclusion is fraud.

The link below goes through the latest fiasco.

http://motls.blogspot.com/2009/02/gavin-schmidt-is-his-own-mystery-woman.html

When SM found the data errors, Gavin Schmidt, a supporter of Mann and noted critic of those that not support the AGW thesis, made the corrections in his own name but lied about who really found the error.

No matter how you slice it we are either looking at the biggest example of incompetence or fraud. I suggest that the evidence for those that are objective is in favour of fraud.

I can dig up many examples but have to get some sleep. If you are unconvinced I will get some of the links explaining the entire sorry episode in the next few days.

 
At 1:11 AM, February 09, 2009, Blogger David Friedman said...

" In this Summary for Policymakers the following levels of confidence have been used to express expert judgements on the correctness of the underlying science: very high confidence represents at least a 9 out of 10 chance of being correct; high confidence represents about an 8 out of 10 chance of being correct (see Box TS.1)"

I hadn't noticed that, but it's disturbing, because it seems to have been written by someone who doesn't understand elementary statistics. A confidence measure doesn't tell you how likely it is that your hypothesis is correct. It tells you how likely it is that the evidence for your hypothesis would be as strong as it is if the hypothesis was false (in the particular fashion described by the null hypothesis).

The two numbers are entirely different. It's easy to describe an experiment which supports a hypothesis with a confidence of better than 90% but which gives you a probability that the hypothesis is true of less than 10%.

 
At 6:26 AM, February 09, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're still engaging in narrative - and blog-based, no less.

I'd much prefer to see unquestionable evidence of fraud, rather than opinions and hearsay based on hurt feelings and political grandstanding. Surely a qualified scientist has been able to prove Mann wrong, without relying on Mann's allegedly erroneous methods, and has published the results of their work such that we can determine that Mann has committed scientific fraud. Otherwise, your argument is just slurs and person-based, not science-based.

 
At 6:54 AM, February 09, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

David

There is a great deal of evidence that the AGW arguments often rely on bad assumptions and a poor understanding of statistics.

The IPCC’s most promising ‘smoking gun’ was the Hockey Stick in the 2001 report. This figure did away with the very inconvenient Medieval Warming Period, which had a natural warming take temperatures higher than what we are experiencing without CO2 emissions. The problem for the IPCC was the poor quality of the papers that produced the hockey stick. First, the detailed methodology was secret and was not disclosed for independent review. Second, the data used seemed to be cherry picked to fit a predetermined conclusion because a number of data sets that could have been used were rejected without providing an adequate explanation. (These sets did not support the conclusions in the papers.) After a great deal of work on the issue, Steve McIntyre, a statistician who worked as a mining analyst, figured out the algorithm and reconstructed the graphs in the IPCC report. The problem came when the algorithm was fed random red noise and it produced the same hockey stick shape over and over again. If an algorithm can produce the same shape no matter what is fed into it, the claim that the shape proves anything is not valid. But that was just the beginning. McIntyre also discovered that some of the tree ring series had no correlation to gridcell temperatures. The bristlecone pines have a correlation to CO2 levels while some of the correlations were to precipitation as one would expect.

After a nasty fight the NAS asked Dr. Edward Wegman to do a review of the claims. The findings from the, Ad Hoc Committee Report On The ‘Hockey Stick’ Global Climate Reconstruction, are shown in bold below.

”In general, we found MBH98 and MBH99 to be somewhat obscure and incomplete and the criticisms of MM03/05a/05b to be valid and compelling. We also comment that they were attempting to draw attention to the discrepancies in MBH98 and MBH99, and not to do paleoclimatic temperature reconstruction. Normally, one would try to select a calibration dataset that is representative of the entire dataset. The 1902-1995 data is not fully appropriate for calibration and leads to a misuse in principal component analysis. However, the reasons for setting 1902-1995 as the calibration point presented in the narrative of MBH98 sounds reasonable, and the error may be easily overlooked by someone not trained in statistical methodology. We note that there is no evidence that Dr. Mann or any of the other authors in paleoclimatology studies have had significant interactions with mainstream statisticians.

In our further exploration of the social network of authorships in temperature reconstruction, we found that at least 43 authors have direct ties to Dr. Mann by virtue of coauthored papers with him. Our findings from this analysis suggest that authors in the area of paleoclimate studies are closely connected and thus ‘independent studies’ may not be as independent as they might appear on the surface. This committee does not believe that web logs are an appropriate forum for the scientific debate on this issue.

It is important to note the isolation of the paleoclimate community; even though they rely heavily on statistical methods they do not seem to be interacting with the statistical community. Additionally, we judge that the sharing of research materials, data and results was haphazardly and grudgingly done. In this case we judge that there was too much reliance on peer review, which was not necessarily independent. Moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility. Overall, our committee believes that Mann’s assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year of the millennium cannot be supported by his analysis.


As far as I am concerned an objective observer need to ask a very simple question. Why is it that after $50 billion in research the AGW is still relying on narratives and bad statistics if the claim that CO2 emissions were driving climate change were really true?

 
At 8:21 AM, February 09, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

"I'd much prefer to see unquestionable evidence of fraud, rather than opinions and hearsay based on hurt feelings and political grandstanding. Surely a qualified scientist has been able to prove Mann wrong, without relying on Mann's allegedly erroneous methods, and has published the results of their work such that we can determine that Mann has committed scientific fraud. Otherwise, your argument is just slurs and person-based, not science-based."

1. Mann and the AGW community are still using bristlecone pines, which are correlated to CO2 levels and as such are inappropriate.

2. Most of the proxies are cut off in 1980 and have not been brought up to date because they diverge from the actual observations. The claim by the AGW community is that updating them is too expensive yet it wants us to spend trillions to implement Kyoto and make carbon traders rich by having us pay more in taxes. Give me a break.

http://www.climateaudit.org/index.php?p=89

3. The AGW community keeps talking about global warming even though the satellite data shows that average temperatures in 2008 were about the same level as they were in 1980. Isn't it fraud to ignore evidence that does not support your view?

4. In NS Magazine Hansen wrote, "let us say that ice sheet melting adds 1 centimetre to sea level for the decade 2005 to 2015, and that this doubles each decade until the West Antarctic ice sheet is largely depleted. This would yield a rise in sea level of more than 5 metres by 2095." This hype gets used in the media to scare people. What Hansen does not make clear is that scientists who study ocean levels disagree with his alarmist rhetoric. Misrepresenting himself as an expert climate modeler and an authority on sea levels is a case of fraud in my book.

5. The IPCC claimed that global warming would cause more hurricane activity when the experts that were taking part in the report stated that the conclusion could not be supported by either theory or data.

http://www.climatechangefacts.info/ClimateChangeDocuments/LandseaResignationLetterFromIPCC.htm

6. Gore and Hansen claimed that the ice core evidence showed that CO2 drove temperatures. The ice core data actually showed that it is temperature that drives CO2.

7. In the latest attempt at revisionism Mann and Steig use temperatures from stations that have been buried in snow, which insulates the sensors from the cold to support a claim of warming. They make the false claim that their interpolation is justified because of “high spatial coherence” in the Antarctic and create with temperature data for areas that have no actual measurements. How can you see this as anything other than fraud?

8. Mann and Steig continue to refuse to allow a review of the code that produced the latest paper. When you claim to have irrefutable evidence of an event that can’t be falsified because there is no way to measure the temperature changes you made up and you don’t allow independent reviewers access to the computer code that created those temperatures you are not engaging in science and selling it as science is fraud.

9. The historical data is constantly being changed. In 1998 Hansen wrote, “The US has warmed during the past century, but the warming hardly exceeds year-to-year variability. Indeed, in the US the warmest decade was the 1930s and the warmest year was 1934.” Since then we have seen a number of changes that have made the 1930s seem much cooler and the 1990s warmer. Please note that the changes have not been archived properly and the only reason why we have access to the old data is because some people who don’t trust the official sources have saved the images and old data tables. Isn’t it fraud in your books when data is changed to eliminate an inconvenient fact?

http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1139

 
At 8:49 AM, February 09, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As far as I am concerned an objective observer need to ask a very simple question. Why is it that after $50 billion in research the AGW is still relying on narratives and bad statistics if the claim that CO2 emissions were driving climate change were really true?"

From where do you get your "$50 billion in research" value?

Again, I'd like to see some definitive, published, peer-reviewed work that shows that Mann, Hansen, etc. have engaged in fraud. Mere accusations and narratives, without corroborating evidence, isn't enough. You're making incredibly serious charges, and yet have provided nothing of real substance to prove them. Blogs and so forth do not count as substantive proof.

I think I've had enough of bothering David with replying to what is essentially repetitions of the skeptic's case against man-caused global warming - there are many other sites and many other sources.

Overall, I consider your commentary to be essentially worthless, VangelV.

 
At 11:49 AM, February 09, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

"From where do you get your "$50 billion in research" value?

Google search is a wonderful service. Here you go.

http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2007/8/6/100434.shtml?s=lh

"Again, I'd like to see some definitive, published, peer-reviewed work that shows that Mann, Hansen, etc. have engaged in fraud. Mere accusations and narratives, without corroborating evidence, isn't enough. You're making incredibly serious charges, and yet have provided nothing of real substance to prove them. Blogs and so forth do not count as substantive proof.”

Read the Wegman report. It is quite clear.

http://www.climateaudit.org/pdf/others/07142006_Wegman_Report.pdf

“I think I've had enough of bothering David with replying to what is essentially repetitions of the skeptic's case against man-caused global warming - there are many other sites and many other sources.”

David is free not to read anything any of us post. And I have yet to see any evidence that CO2 is causing warming coming from you. All I get are stories. I suspect that after $50 billion you guys might have some more.

“Overall, I consider your commentary to be essentially worthless, VangelV."

Well, you might think that changing data is not fraud but I don't believe that other people have the same opinion. And you might believe that claims of being able to predict future climate change by models that can't pass audits is not fraud but I certainly do not share that view. In no particular order let us look at a few of the points.

First, some interesting points are made by Wegman in his responses to questions about the Mann fiasco. They can be found at the very slow UofG link below.

http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/StupakResponse.pdf

Wegman makes it clear that the creators of the hockey stick used bristlecone/foxtail pine proxies even though they knew that the species respond to CO2 fertilization. If it had not known it then, which is not possible for ‘experts’ in the field, the community is continuing to use the improper proxies. Isn’t that fraud?

Ammann, who was a student of Mann’s and is hardly an independent voice and Wahl made an attempt to defend Mann against the MM charges. But in the excerpt below Wegman notes, the paper supports the case made by MM, who pointed out the errors in MBH and have been correcting Hansen’s data errors over the past few years. Wegman answers:

“This together with the AOGCM quotation reinforces the notion that MBH are attempting to reconstruct temperature histories based on proxy data that are extremely problematic in terms of actually capturing temperature information directly. As we testified, it would seem that there is some substantial likelihood that the bristlecone/foxtail pines are CO2 fertilized and hence are reflecting not temperature at all but CO2 concentration. It is a circular argument to say increased CO2 concentrations are causing temperature increases when temperature increases are estimated by using proxies that are directly affected by increased CO2 concentrations.

It is our understanding that when using the same proxies as and the same methodology as MM, Wahl and Ammann essentially reproduce the MM curves. Thus, far from disproving the MM work, they reinforce the MM work. The debate then is over the proxies and the exact algorithms as it always has been.

The fact that Wahl and Ammann (2006) admit that the results of the MBH methodology does not coincide with the results of other methods such as borehole methods and atmospheric-ocean general circulation models and that Wahl and Ammann adjust the MBH methodology to include the PC4 bristlecone/foxtail pine effects are significant reasons we believe that the Wahl and Ammann paper does not convincingly demonstrate the validity of the MBH methodology.”

There is also a devastating point made by Wegman that the Mann defenders like to ignore.

“Wahl and Ammann reject this criticism of MM based on the fact that if one adds enough principal components back into the proxy, one obtains the hockey stick shape again. This is precisely the point of contention. It is a point we made in our testimony and that Wahl and Ammann make as well. A cardinal rule of statistical inference is that the method of analysis must be decided before looking at the data. The rules and strategy of analysis cannot be changed in order to obtain the desired result. Such a strategy carries no statistical integrity and cannot be used as a basis for drawing sound inferential conclusions.

Cherry picking proxies to support a conclusion is not scientific. In fact it is clearly fraud. And it is clearly fraud to keep using the same improper proxies to argue a case that has no other support.

But Mann is not the only fraud in this game. The indisputable fact is that Hansen has been changing historical temperature data without using proper archival methods or allowing the algorithms to be analyzed by outsiders. Below is a link to a graphical representation of the changes made by Hansen.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/25/the-hardest-part-is-trying-to-influence-the-nature-of-the-measurements-obtained/

Here is further evidence about the changes in the data. Note the differences in Figure 2. And note the last figure showing that the most recent adjustments will make it even hotter. How you can consider changing data not fraud is be fraud is only a question that you can answer.

http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1142

I will end this here because I doubt that you would accept any evidence of fraud as fraud unless there was some form of enquiry in the scientific community. The problem with that is that much of the scientific community is looking for a way out and far too many people were caught with their pants down and their hands out. It becomes difficult for these people to step forward and tell the truth at this time. Of course, given the fact that we have now had hundreds of people abandon the AGW positions and that we have clear evidence that we are not in a warming trend the day of reckoning for the frauds is coming closer.

By the way, where is the evidence to support your view that we are warming?

 
At 12:06 PM, February 09, 2009, Blogger David Friedman said...

"The IPCC claimed that global warming would cause more hurricane activity when the experts that were taking part in the report stated that the conclusion could not be supported by either theory or data."

That particular controversy got discussed here in the comments to my post at:

http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/2007/02/reality-based-environmentalism.html

The claim Landsea objected to wasn't made by the IPCC. It was made by Trenberth, who was in charge of that part of the report--which Landsea was going to be one of the authors of. The IPCC didn't endorse the claim, it merely failed to disavow it.

 
At 12:22 PM, February 09, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

VangelV, I see references to climate skeptic blogs and right-wing news sites. I'm not impressed. Where are the peer-reviewed articles from "Nature", "Science", and so on, that detail these alleged instances of fraud?

Given the seriousness of your accusations, I was expecting more.

 
At 12:46 PM, February 09, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

David

I am sorry but I do not believe that Trenberth or lead authors are the big problem. The problem is the IPCC and its connection to the UN.

The IPCC is a political organization whose job is to evaluate the risk of climate change caused by human activity. When its mandate begins with an assumption that mankind is driving climate change and when funding is provided to prove that assumption there is a problem with the objectivity of the process.

The IPCC bureaucrats select lead authors on their views, not on their scientific reputations. Trenberth was picked as a lead author because his views about man's impact on the environment were known for quite some time. Michael Mann was a nobody when he was picked as a lead author for the 2001 report. He certainly was not picked for his scientific or mathematical skills but for the fact that he was willing to make the claim that the MWP did not exist, which he did by cherry picking proxies, using faulty algorithms and choosing convenient splicing points to create the famous hockey stick shape.

This whole debate is not all that complicated because we have sufficient data to evaluate the theories. For example, we do have the ice core data that shows that CO2 concentration changes follow changes in temperature trends. The theory actually expects this to happen because the biggest source/sink of CO2 is ocean water and solubility increases as water cools and decreases as water warms. We have the instrumental records, which show that when our emissions exploded prior to WWII the climate went into a thirty year cooling trend. We have the satellite measurements, which show that we have had no warming for a decade even though industrial activity has caused CO2 emissions to go up substantially. We have the MWP, which was warmer than today and could not have been caused by CO2 emissions.

You would think that after $50 billion the AGW side would have some actual evidence instead of narratives. This is not a problem for the sceptics, who can point to the PDO and solar activity to explain most of the changes.

 
At 1:22 PM, February 09, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a note to the gentle reader - VangelV is making unsubstantiated claims, wild accusations, and is gravely misstating the facts and the science of climate change.

 
At 1:42 PM, February 09, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

"Anonymous said...

Just a note to the gentle reader - VangelV is making unsubstantiated claims, wild accusations, and is gravely misstating the facts and the science of climate change."

Well, the sceptic site is the one that found the Mann fraud. SM, who runs the site certainly is a better statistician than Mann and the palaeoclimatology group if Edward Wegman, who is hardly a sceptic, is to be trusted. And instead of worrying about right or left wing you better start to think about why you don't have any evidence to support your claims after $50 billion in spending.

For the record, I have little time for the right or left wing and prefer the libertarian position. That means that if you are trying to sell me a bill of goods you better have real facts. From what I see, you don't seem to be able to point to any that support your positions.

 
At 1:47 PM, February 09, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where's the proof that Mann is a "fraud"?

Where's the evidence to support your "$50 billion" figure?

You shouldn't speak of "facts", because, as I said, you've only supplied unsupported accusations, smears, and outright deceptions about climate change and the science of climate change.

You're far too conspiratorial for my taste.

 
At 6:46 PM, February 09, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

"Where's the proof that Mann is a "fraud"?"

The Wegman report shows that either Mann is a fraud or the dumbest idiot who ever received a PhD. You pick one. As far as I am concerned Mann showed himself to be a fraud when he continued to use bristlecone/foxtail pine proxies even though they knew that the species respond to CO2 fertilization. Wegman took him to task on this but as far as I know the palaeoclimatology community is still using the proxies because AGW fanatics still keep sending me spaghetti graph reconstructions including the same proxy sets. He is also a fraud because he cut off the series at 1980 and spliced in the instrumental record. That was done because the proxies diverged from the trend that he was trying to show.

"Where's the evidence to support your "$50 billion" figure?"

I read the $50 billion number several times and heard it made by a number of commentators. The number makes sense sense given the reported annual spending of around $2 billion just by the US government. Add the supposedly more environmentally conscious United Nations, the EU, Japan, Korea, Canada, Australia, China as well as state, provincial and local funding plus funding from private foundations and you are looking at some serious coin. Of course, if you understood just how expensive it is to launch and operate all those weather satellites, maintain weather stations in Antarctica, transmit data from remote monitoring systems and fund expensive climate change conferences in five star hotels around the world, you will see that the number has to be extremely big. If you want to see a decent source you might want to look at the Marshall Institute's report, Funding Flows for Climate Change Research and Related Activities. Just look at figure 4 and you will find $23 billion from 1997 to today (you have to find the post 2005 numbers on your own) spent just by the US federal government. If you adjust for inflation and go back to the mid-1970s, when a great deal of funding started to be allocated to climate change (it was cooling worries early in the game) and you are looking at much more than $50 billion by the US alone. Of course, if you have numbers and sources I would be happy to look at them.

And where again is your evidence for CO2 driven climate change again? I keep asking but have yet to get a response on that front.

 
At 8:38 PM, February 09, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where's the peer-reviewed research and analysis that shows that Mann is a "fraud"? You haven't shown anything other than that some people find fault with his methods. That's a very far cry from "fraud".

Your "$50 billion" figure is still unsupported. Do you have any real proof, other than guesswork, narrative, and lumping lots of things under "climate change" to arrive at this magical figure?

For someone who dismisses climate change as a mere result of "narrative" and "hype", you're certainly not above using those tactics!

 
At 7:12 AM, February 10, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

"Where's the peer-reviewed research and analysis that shows that Mann is a "fraud"? You haven't shown anything other than that some people find fault with his methods. That's a very far cry from "fraud"."

It is called the Wegman report. It was pretty clear as far as I am concerned. Wegman also did a good job making it clear in the respones he gave to Stupak. You have the link. Download the material and see for yourself.

Anyone who is objective and can read, something that the AGW crowd seems unable to be, will see that Mann is a fraud. He is still engaging in fraud because he and the rest of the palaeoclimatology community continue to use bristlecone/foxtail pine proxies that continue to be cut off in 1980 because of divergence.

"Your "$50 billion" figure is still unsupported. Do you have any real proof, other than guesswork, narrative, and lumping lots of things under "climate change" to arrive at this magical figure?"

I take it that you did not look at the Marshall Institute paper. If you did and had simple math skills you will find $23 billion since 1997 spent by the US on climate change. The fact that some of the taxpayer dollars are wasted on expensive conferences or trying to figure out what to do after the seas rise 23 feet is not my problem but that of the AGW community.

"For someone who dismisses climate change as a mere result of "narrative" and "hype", you're certainly not above using those tactics!"

I don't dismiss climate change. Climate change is always present in our complex, non-linear world. History shows that temperatures have always changed over time and that temperatures have been warmer and colder than what we have today. After all, we have evidence of Viking farms that are still under permafrost today, meaning that not too long ago it was warmer and have evidence of brutally cold winters in the US, Europe and elsewhere not very long ago.

What I dismiss are the unsupported claims that CO2 is a major driver of climate change. I keep asking for such evidence but have yet to see it. In fact, even when I read the IPCC reports I see plenty of disclaimers in the sections where the details are provided that make it aquite clear that the issue is not settled. For some reasons you seem to ignore all those facts and and accept the claims on faith.

Let me go over these one at a time.

1. The first smoking gun, the ice core data, actually show that CO2 concentrations lag temperatures in the atmosphere.

2. The second smoking gun, the hockey stick, was found to be a fraud. When the obvious errors were fixed by Wegman the hockey stick shape went away and the MWP and LIA reappeared as they were before. The only way to reach the conclusions of Mann is to cherry pick proxies and use inappropriate data that measures responses to CO2 and precipitation instead of temperature.

3. The CO2 fingerprint described in Section 9 of the IPCC report, which you can find at the link below is nowhere to be found in the satellite data. I refer you to page 675.

http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Report/AR4WG1_Print_Ch09.pdf

I suggest that you try to figure out why the predicted signature of CO2 driven warming is missing from the mid-troposhpere readings taken by the least biased sensors that we have in use. Unless you can explain why what is predicted is not observed you will have a hard time making the case of 'scientific' support for your thesis.

I look forward to looking at the data that you provide to support your position that CO2 is a material driver of temperature.

 
At 8:24 AM, February 10, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like I said, where are the peer-reviewed journal articles that show Mann is a "fraud"? Having a difference of opinion on his work isn't fraud. You'll have to do a lot better.

Likewise, where does the Marshall Institute (yet another right-wing source) get its numbers, and, does every penny of their $23 billion (which is a lot different than "$50 billion") truly count as research on climate change?

You're relying on narrative and hype. I want data.

Where's your peer-reviewed research that shows that the PDO and solar activity can explain all of the climate change we've observed? If it's not out there, why not?

 
At 2:41 PM, February 10, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

"Anonymous said...

Like I said, where are the peer-reviewed journal articles that show Mann is a "fraud"? Having a difference of opinion on his work isn't fraud. You'll have to do a lot better."

You are playing games. It is not normal for peer reviewed articles on fraud to be published in journals. What you are more likely to get is the publication of articles that destroy the argument made by a previous author.

As far as I am concerned, NAS' Wegman report made it clear that the peer reviewed articles put out by the palaeoclimatology community were amateurish and/or fraudulent and the conclusions could not be supported by the data or methodology. (Wegman does not use the word fraud but the simple fact that the community keeps selecting the foxtail/bristlecone proxies when they are not appropriate makes it clear that they are engaging in fraud. For the record, Wegman pointed out that the community keeps reviewing its own articles so the label peer review is not indicative of high quality.)

"Likewise, where does the Marshall Institute (yet another right-wing source) get its numbers, and, does every penny of their $23 billion (which is a lot different than "$50 billion") truly count as research on climate change?"

It is called the US government. It actually does keep some books about what it spends money on. For example, those books have NASA getting about a $1 billiion per year for weather satellites over the past thirty years or so. (That includes hardware and operational costs.) Hell, you can use Google and find that the Bush administration and Congress had budgeted $2 billion per year over the next five years for climate related studies. The Obama administration and Congress just added $400 million to that number.

"You're relying on narrative and hype. I want data.

Where's your peer-reviewed research that shows that the PDO and solar activity can explain all of the climate change we've observed? If it's not out there, why not?"

In no particular order here you go. I begin with solar activity.

This is a small fraction of the papers making the case that solar activity and the position of the earth relative to the sun are the most important drivers of climate change. The CRF theory can explain why we had an ice age when CO2 concentrations were ten times higher, the faint sun paradox, or why we had a cooling trend from 1945 to 1970 even as CO2 levels were exploding.

http://www.gsajournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1130%2F1052-5173(2003)013%3C0004:CDOPC%3E2.0.CO%3B2&ct=1
http://www.springerlink.com/content/u348727n87q617l3/
http://prola.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v89/i5/e051102
http://www.springerlink.com/content/q0x72u303vv6713x/
http://www.springerlink.com/content/ylw671pr10742m48/
http://www.springerlink.com/content/h0qx821637430208/
http://prola.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v85/i23/p5004_1

Here are some references regarding the effect of the changing PDO on temperatures. Note the phases mentioned. We had a positive phase from 1922 to 1944, which was characterized by rising temperatures. That was followed by a negative phase from 1946 to 1977, which was characterized by cooling temperatures and ended with a panic about the next ice age. From 1978 the PDO went into a positive phase and temperatures started to go up again and we had the old fears of the Arctic melting once again.

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/89011576/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/mscp/ene/2003/00000014/F0020002/art00010
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V7B-41FTS3S-2&_user=10&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=747ff944c2f9c2a4c28b935d8c4278e1
http://icecap.us/images/uploads/US_Temperatures_and_Climate_Factors_since_1895.pdf
http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v415/n6872/abs/415603a.html
http://www.springerlink.com/content/f3u339577l7w1065/
http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2F1520-0442(2001)014%3C0005%3ANPDCVS%3E2.0.CO%3B2&ct=1

 
At 2:54 PM, February 10, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

"Anonymous wrote..."

By the way, where are the articles that demonstrate that CO2 is a primary driver of climate change again? You would think that all that money spent by the IPCC and governments around the world to prove the link would have produced something after decades of trying.

 
At 7:59 PM, February 10, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've had to back off considerably from your prior assertions, as I've already noted.

There's still no incontrovertible evidence that Mann engaged in "fraud" - a difference in technique does not constitute fraud.

Likewise, weather satellites may be useful for climate research, but counting their cost as part of your mythical "$50 billion" is dishonest. That's like saying it costs $30,000 to go to and from the store to get groceries, because a car costs that much, when in fact a car has many more uses.

I've shown that your assertion that Mann is/was a fraud is false, and that your "$50 billion" figure is very deceptive.

 
At 8:21 AM, February 11, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

"Anonymous said...

You've had to back off considerably from your prior assertions, as I've already noted."

No. I never claimed that scientists publish peer reviewed papers that accuse others of fraud. I just said that the investigations showed that Mann committed and is still committing fraud.

"There's still no incontrovertible evidence that Mann engaged in "fraud" - a difference in technique does not constitute fraud."

Of course there is. Everyone knows that you can't use foxtail/bristlecone pine proxies to make claims about temperatures but Mann and the palaeoclimatology community still keeps recycling those proxies and claims that they are meaningful. The papers pass the review process because Wegman points out the lack of independence. His network diagram was very interesting and shows exactly how the fraud works.

"Likewise, weather satellites may be useful for climate research, but counting their cost as part of your mythical "$50 billion" is dishonest. That's like saying it costs $30,000 to go to and from the store to get groceries, because a car costs that much, when in fact a car has many more uses."

When you buy a piece of hardware for studies the cost of the hardware is amortized over the life of the program. You also count the huge operating cost that is funded every year.

"I've shown that your assertion that Mann is/was a fraud is false, and that your "$50 billion" figure is very deceptive."

No. You want me to show you a paper in a journal that tells you that Mann is a fraud but science does not work that way. After all, you don't see papers pointing out that Hansen's claims that he can predict climate change are fraudulent but we know that they are because his past predictions did not turn out too well.

And where is the support for your position that CO2 is a driver of climate change again? It took me four minutes to provide support for my position that the PDO and solar activity are major factors in climate change. Why don't you take four minutes and come up with a reference? You don't because you can't. The AGW position is very long on narrative but short on science.

 
At 8:48 AM, February 11, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

All I can say is that you have a very strange definition for "fraud" that is at considerable variance with correct and popular usage. Bernie Madoff is a fraud - Mann is not. Labeling him as such speaks much more about your agenda than it does Mann's character and his science.

Your "$50 billion" figure is pure hyperbole and has no basis in fact.

I recommend you stick to the science, and leave the narrative and hype alone.

 
At 12:23 PM, February 11, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

"All I can say is that you have a very strange definition for "fraud" that is at considerable variance with correct and popular usage. Bernie Madoff is a fraud - Mann is not. Labeling him as such speaks much more about your agenda than it does Mann's character and his science."

Not at all. My definition is pretty standard. I suggest that you need to check your dictionary.

http://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&hs=950&defl=en&q=define:fraud&ei=2DGTScqBHdTKmQeH9cmtDA&sa=X&oi=glossary_definition&ct=title

"Your "$50 billion" figure is pure hyperbole and has no basis in fact."

It actually isn't. I provided you with a reference and you have the means to check how much money the US government spends on climate change. If you use the Marshall Institute numbers you get around $23 billion spent by the US government alone since 1997. This year the budget is $2 billion plus another $400 million in the stimulus package. Add to this the spending done by other federal governments, the UN, private funding by foundations and other levels of government and my number is actually smaller than it should be.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/01/business/media/01green.html

And speaking of narratives and unsupported claims, where again is your support for the claim that CO2 concentrations drive temperature changes? Surely after those $50 billion you have something.

 
At 12:54 PM, February 11, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Engaging in random redefinitions to suit your "argument" is dishonest. Not an uncommon trait among skeptics.

Likewise, lumping in all sorts of spending under "climate change", when in fact it's not just for climate change research, is another form of dishonesty. Par for the course.

If you can't argue your case without those kinds of games, then you've not got much of a case to argue.

 
At 1:25 PM, February 11, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

"Engaging in random redefinitions to suit your "argument" is dishonest. Not an uncommon trait among skeptics."

I guess that AGW people have a hard time with dictionaries and prefer to make up their own definitions. The simple fact is that Mann is a fraud and engaged in fraud. Even if we give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he was simply incompetent once the errors were pointed out he should have apologized and withdrawn his paper. He didn't and his group went on the offensive against McIntyre and McKitrick even though they were right and far more knowledgeable about statistics than Mann or his palaeoclimatology group. Wegman, whose report I cited, sided with MM and against Mann.

What is also an example of fraud is the continued use of inappropriate proxies to support a position that cannot be supported and for not archiving data or allowing others to look at it or the methods used to come up with conclusions.

"Likewise, lumping in all sorts of spending under "climate change", when in fact it's not just for climate change research, is another form of dishonesty. Par for the course."

That is what the US Congress did. It budgeted $2 billion for climate change. Why I can't use those numbers is not exactly clear. And as I said, those weather satellites have been measuring temperature trends since the 1ate 1970s and cost more than $1 billion per year in today's dollars. That is more than $30 billion already just spent on NASA's climate change budget. Add the other money for other efforts, the EU, UN, UK, etc., and my number looks a little light.

Hell, Al Gore wants to spend $300 million over three years just on false advertising claiming that the warming that seems to have stopped in 1998 is still a big problem.

"If you can't argue your case without those kinds of games, then you've not got much of a case to argue."

I argued my case by providing references to papers showing that climate changes can be attributed to the ocean current index and solar activity far more than it can by looking at CO2 levels. While I have no trouble providing support for that position you keep avoiding doing the same for your position. All that money and you still can't point to a single paper that proves that changes in COs levels drive climate change. Sadly for your position you used to have studies that tried but further analysis showed that what the papers really showed is that temperature change drives CO2 levels instead.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/1143791v1

 
At 3:32 PM, February 11, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You keep missing the point.

Calling Mann a "fraud" because you need him to be one to make your argument doesn't mean he is one.

Calling the cost of climate change research "$50 billion" because you need that number to make your argument doesn't mean it's correct.

You've gone around and around in the same circle, and haven't made epsilon of progress. I'll let you have the last word, since that seems to be important to you.

 
At 4:34 PM, February 11, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

"You keep missing the point.

Calling Mann a "fraud" because you need him to be one to make your argument doesn't mean he is one."

I call him a fraud because that is what he is. He and the RC people still claim that the Wegman report concluded that the paper was valid. He and the palaeoclimatology people still use improper proxies and create data where there is none. (The latest example is the Antarctica fiasco, where SM was able to find data errors in a few hours that the so-called peer review process missed. Even some of the big AGW proponents are stepping away from that paper and admit that, "It is hard to make data where none exist.”

"Calling the cost of climate change research "$50 billion" because you need that number to make your argument doesn't mean it's correct."

The numbers are what they are and can be found easily from the federal budgets. The fact that you don't like what some of the money is spent on is not my problem but yours.

"You've gone around and around in the same circle, and haven't made epsilon of progress. I'll let you have the last word, since that seems to be important to you."

I notice that you have yet to provide any evidence to support your claim that CO2 emissions are a driver of climate change. The fact that you can't find such evidence and have to resort to narrative tells us all that we need to know.

 
At 7:48 PM, February 17, 2009, Blogger Karl said...

I bookmarked this post a while ago, and finally have time to get back to it. I'd like, if possible, to drag the conversation back to a more general level, suggested by the title of the blog post: "Global warming, British snow, and filtered evidence".

All evidence is filtered, even if only by the fact that it's impossible, even in principle, to collect every last data point. When it comes to global warming, no one can measure every last temperature on the planet. The best we can hope for is a measurement of a representative sample of the ecosystem.
Similarly, with thousands of researchers making millions of observations, no one, even in the field, can account for all the published data. There's just too much of it.
Stepping over to another field, that of evolution, I've followed the science well enough over some decades to know that mainstream science holds that evolution is true. That people publish books arguing the opposite doesn't make evolution false. It doesn't even make it any less certain for those who work in the field. However, for those outside the relevant branches of science, the presence of evolution deniers is more than enough to confuse the issue. Scientists in a field that lacks such controversy may believe the presence of a loud argument in another field is evidence of something worth arguing over. And unfortunately, people untrained in the sciences may not know enough to ask the right questions.
Why do scientists think evolution happened? Why don't they get the same answer when they use Occam's Razor? (The process of evolution can seem a lot more complicated than "God done it" -- it certainly takes longer to say.) What is the evidence scientists find so compelling?
Back to climate.
I'm not an expert in climate.
I don't even play on on TV.
I didn't even stay at a Holiday Inn last night.
But I have some thoughts that seem to me to be common sense.
1) We have a mechanism by which human activity could affect the average temperature of the planet. Humans are burning fossil fuels and releasing carbon dioxide into the air, and carbon dioxide blocks certain frequencies of radiation which would otherwise carry heat into space.
2) People plug different levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide into computer models, and conclude that we're all in serious trouble unless we take steps to reverse the process at once.
OK, stop here.
This is a theory. We have a mechanism that links climate changes to carbon dioxide levels. We have a model that predicts what these changes should be.
The next step should be to test the model.
People may say that we'd expect heavier snowfalls in Britain because of global warming, but I want to know if this prediction turned up in the computer models.
Astrologers are very good at finding the planetary configuration responsible for events after the fact. Show me one who can do so before, and I'll listen. Likewise, find me a computer model that predicts heavier snowfall in Britain in advance, within acceptably small error bars. Show me a computer model that accurately predicts the observed number and intensity of hurricanes. Plug in the known climate and carbon dioxide levels for 1900 and run the model forward a century, and show me how well it matches what actually happened.
And no, I don't mean accounting for every thunder shower and bolt of lightning -- I'm not that dense. I'll settle for average decadal temperatures on each continent and in each polar region.
But I don't want to base very expensive and disruptive policy changes on a theory that "could explain" both heat waves and cold snaps, both droughts and floods, both calm and storms.
A theory that can explain anything at all explains nothing.
This is true in physics.
This is true in evolution.
And it's true in climate.

 
At 9:19 AM, February 20, 2009, Blogger G-Man said...

Problem is, Karl, we don't have good enough observations or forcings data, nor are climate models merely weather forecast models run for a long time, to make your challenge possible.

You're expecting things from climate models that they cannot deliver - nor will they ever, given the nature of weather and climate.

 
At 5:26 AM, February 24, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

Well Karl, we already have real world observations to see how the models are doing and so far they have failed miserably. They have predicted far more warming than has actually been observed and assumed CO2 level increases that are much higher than what we are seeing.

Then there is the actual theoretical problem. For one, the models fail to account for changes in cloud cover, which is important because low level clouds change the albedo and clearly effect the energy balance. For another, the climate models, do not deal with the world’s oceans, which are very important because most of the accessible heat is stored in the oceans. As Dr. Tennekes pointed out in some recent commentaries, the first few meters of water at the oceans' surface contain as much heat as the entire atmosphere of our planet.

We also have a problem with a lack of transparency. The models have not been reviewed independently and would never pass an external audit.

 
At 1:36 PM, February 25, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see VangelV is doing nothing more than revealing that his knowledge of climate modeling comes strictly from skeptic websites (i.e., biased secondhand information), rather than genuine sources.

"They have predicted far more warming than has actually been observed"

Not strictly true. It's more complicated than that.

"and assumed CO2 level increases that are much higher than what we are seeing."

False. CO2 observations are greater than the CO2 levels used in the IPCC AR4 projections.

"the models fail to account for changes in cloud cover"

Also false.

"For another, the climate models, do not deal with the world’s oceans, which are very important because most of the accessible heat is stored in the oceans."

Entirely false. All AOGCMs have an active ocean component - and not just a "swamp" or "slab" ocean. Your statement was somewhat true about 30 years ago, but it's entirely false as of today.

"We also have a problem with a lack of transparency. The models have not been reviewed independently and would never pass an external audit."

Feel free to download the source code for any of the climate models that make it available - CCSM from NCAR, for example. Then "audit" it and tell the developers what's wrong with it.

I recall something I read about folks who want to "audit" model codes:

"It seems to me that if you are interested in checking the validity of a model, you should not be pestering for the code. Instead, you should get the details of the model, then write your own, different, code and see if the results are the same. That way, you are much less likely to miss any errors that might be in the code."

Well?

 
At 8:06 PM, February 26, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

"I see VangelV is doing nothing more than revealing that his knowledge of climate modeling comes strictly from skeptic websites (i.e., biased secondhand information), rather than genuine sources."

Not at all. I know that models that are good are supposed to have predictive abilities and are supposed to be available for independent review. In the case of the IPCC models they fail on both counts. Their predictions are already so far out of line with reality that they are useless. And they do not and cannot stand up to independent reviews.

"Not strictly true. It's more complicated than that."

It isn't more complicated than that. The models predicted much more warming than what has been observed. And they certainly did not predict that there would be no warming for a decade.

"Entirely false. All AOGCMs have an active ocean component - and not just a "swamp" or "slab" ocean. Your statement was somewhat true about 30 years ago, but it's entirely false as of today."

They may have an ocean component but they have not handled the ocean data very well. Most of the models are primarily interested in the atmosphere but even there they fail miserably because they cannot handle changes in cloud cover very well.

You don't have to take my word for it. Dr. John S. Theon has pointed out that the climate models were useless. He stated that, “My own belief concerning anthropogenic climate change is that the models do not realistically simulate the climate system because there are many very important sub-grid scale processes that the models either replicate poorly or completely omit. Furthermore, some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results. In doing so, they neither explain what they have modified in the observations, nor explain how they did it. They have resisted making their work transparent so that it can be replicated independently by other scientists. This is clearly contrary to how science should be done. Thus there is no rational justification for using climate model forecasts to determine public policy.”

You say the models do a good job at handling ocean circulation and can probably point to statements made by many individuals supporting that claim. But you cannot point out to what the models themselves because they are not accessible to outsiders and cannot be reviewed independently.

Dr. John S. Theon is not the only person of note saying that the models are useless. Dr Scott Armstrong, a founder of the International Journal of Forecasting, Journal of Forecasting, International Institute of Forecasters, and the author of many papers on frecasting as well as the books, Long-range Forecasting and Principles of Forecasting Handbook stated that the forecasts made by the IPCC models lacked a scientific basis. He stated, "We also have a problem with a lack of transparency. The models have not been reviewed independently and would never pass an external audit."

"Feel free to download the source code for any of the climate models that make it available - CCSM from NCAR, for example. Then "audit" it and tell the developers what's wrong with it."

http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/01/no-scientific-forecasts-to-support-global-warming/

As Theon points out, it isn't that simple because the code is not permitted to be reviewed by independent sources. We certainly saw the problem that Mann had releasing his code for that fraud that created the hockey stick. And we are seeing the same problem with the code used by Steig/Mann to manufacture data that would be used to prove that Antarctica was warming when the station records actually showed cooling.

"I recall something I read about folks who want to "audit" model codes:

"It seems to me that if you are interested in checking the validity of a model, you should not be pestering for the code. Instead, you should get the details of the model, then write your own, different, code and see if the results are the same. That way, you are much less likely to miss any errors that might be in the code."

Well?"

Well, when Mann was forced to give up his code it immediately became obvious that M&M, who created their own model to replicate the bad results were correct and that Mann had written a program to create hockey stick shapes out of random red noise proxies. It is no surprise to find that the IPCC models, which missed the fact that the warming has stopped, are similar constructions that cannot pass an independent audit.

One last thing. It seems that the false claim of consensus is falling apart. In addition to the thousands of scientists who have joined the sceptics the government of Japan has stopped playing ball with the IPCC.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/02/25/jstor_climate_report_translation/print.html

 
At 10:15 PM, February 26, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"VangelV", you're so very typical of the skeptics - misstate, mislead, and outright lie.

"Their predictions are already so far out of line with reality that they are useless."

Climate model experiments are not predictions, they are projections. They are not synonymous. Nor are they "useless" - certainly they are better than the models economists use, because I don't recall anyone predicting the global economic situation.

"And they do not and cannot stand up to independent reviews."

How so? How many climate models have you reviewed and analyzed?

You're merely repeating the same skeptic talking points that infest the blogosphere, taking their comments at face value without actually examining the issue yourself. You're acting on faith, basically.

"They may have an ocean component but they have not handled the ocean data very well. Most of the models are primarily interested in the atmosphere but even there they fail miserably because they cannot handle changes in cloud cover very well."

You're backtracking again. And considering that we live in the atmosphere, it has been the focus of modeling efforts for longer, and is in some ways a more-tractable problem, atmospheric models are more complete that ocean models. However, you said:
For another, the climate models, do not deal with the world’s oceans, [...]
which is wholly false - a lie, in short.

BTW, John Theon is not a credible critic. That you use him as one is just more illustration that you're a secondhander.

"But you cannot point out to what the models themselves because they are not accessible to outsiders and cannot be reviewed independently."

Wholly false.

The model used at NCAR, CCSM, has its source code freely available and downloadable by anyone. They even provide the initial and forcing datasets to replicate their submission to the IPCC AR4. Clearly, you do not know anything about climate models or climate modeling other than what you read on the blogosphere. The arrogant ignorance you display ought to be embarrassing.

And no, the "government of Japan" hasn't changed policy. Once again, you're using the blogosphere to guide your views, and you've been led astray.

 
At 2:00 PM, February 27, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

"Climate model experiments are not predictions, they are projections. They are not synonymous. Nor are they "useless" - certainly they are better than the models economists use, because I don't recall anyone predicting the global economic situation."

Unless the models can predict what will happen accurately they are no more useful than astrology or coin flips. Sadly, the IPCC models seem to be doing worse than a coin flip.

And if you had paid attention you would have found that the Austrian School predicted everything that has happened. Of course, being a statist (like the typical Democrat or Republican) you probably never bothered looking into what the Austrians can teach you.

"How so? How many climate models have you reviewed and analyzed?"

I have not been able to get an explanation why various inputs were chosen when the data was not available. (Being a natural sceptic I suspect that is the only way to get the models to explain the past. If CO2 goes up but you have a cooling trend you plug in a high value for some factor that you claim lowers temperatures. When the trend is over and you have warming you claim that the effect is now negligible and pretend that it is CO2 that drives the change.)

I believe that is the point made by Theon and Armstrong. The explanations about why various figures are plugged into the IPCC models are not provided for independent review. Theon and Armstrong understand that the models are tweaked by having the inputs adjusted to provide a certain predetermined result. Any smart math geek can do that but tweaking the inputs to explain the past won't give the models any predictive abilities. The proof is in the performance and on that front the IPCC fails.

"You're merely repeating the same skeptic talking points that infest the blogosphere, taking their comments at face value without actually examining the issue yourself. You're acting on faith, basically."

Not at all. The IPCC models failed to predict the end of the warming cycle, don't really do a good job handling changes in cloud cover, and get out of whack very quickly after predictions are made. The models cannot explain why we had a MWP or LIA because neither was due to CO2 concentrations. They cannot explain why we had an iceball earth condition when CO2 levels were ten times the present concentration. They certainly can't explain the Mesozoic Era glaciation or explain why CO2 concentrations lag temperature trend changes but are considered a cause of those changes by the AGW community.

Of course, if they were adjusted to take into account solar activity it would be much easier to make far more accurate predictions at all time scales.

"You're backtracking again. And considering that we live in the atmosphere, it has been the focus of modeling efforts for longer, and is in some ways a more-tractable problem, atmospheric models are more complete that ocean models. However, you said:
For another, the climate models, do not deal with the world’s oceans, [...]
which is wholly false - a lie, in short."

I am correct. They don't deal well with the oceans. Just ask John Theon.

"BTW, John Theon is not a credible critic. That you use him as one is just more illustration that you're a secondhander."

Why is he not credible? Unlike Hansen, who has made all kinds of alarmist predictions that have no support among the scientific community Theon has been very reasonable and has supported his statements with facts. And the evidence proves him right because the IPCC models made wrong predictions.

Keep in mind that Hansen has been caught making claims that sea levels will increase far beyond what the IPCC models are predicting and cannot explain how we are supposed to see Greenland's or Antarctica's glaciers melt when the increases would still mean that temperatures would stay far below zero most of the time and when increased precipitation should deposit far more snow in both regions.

"Wholly false.

The model used at NCAR, CCSM, has its source code freely available and downloadable by anyone. They even provide the initial and forcing datasets to replicate their submission to the IPCC AR4. Clearly, you do not know anything about climate models or climate modeling other than what you read on the blogosphere. The arrogant ignorance you display ought to be embarrassing."

I have seen the sites that allow the source code to be downloaded but have not seen the conditions that are input into the models. If those are available for review and they come with explanations about where the inputs came from than you would be correct.

But I doubt that the data inputs are available for independent audit. And that does not change the fact that the models failed to predict the actual temperature changes. That means that the IPCC are useless for prediction purposes.

Have you looked at the models? Some of them assume CO2 concentrations that would be impossible to achieve unless developing countries started to burn fossil fuels at Western levels. They also assume positive feedback that is not justified by actual observations.

Please note that I keep going back to the actual observations and the data. Using models that can't predict temperature changes with any accuracy to argue for actions to avoid temperature changes makes no sense. And adjusting inputs to tune the responses of the models to explain the past does not seem very scientific.

"And no, the "government of Japan" hasn't changed policy. Once again, you're using the blogosphere to guide your views, and you've been led astray."

I simply read the comments made by JSER, which is an an academic society that promote energy science and technology and acts as a government advisory panel. I would suggest that if the advisory panel to the Japanese government puts out such a report Japanese citizens and politicians are being given the tiem to adjust to a change in polity. The Japanese are not fools and will not choose to destroy their economies just because some charlatans predict a warming that is not happening. I suspect that the are starting to see the virtue of living in the real world where evidence and logic matter far more than opportunistic political goals that favour special interests and hurt ordinary citizens.

 
At 2:19 PM, February 27, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't know anything about climate models except what you read in the blogosphere. Period.

In short, you're full of baloney, VangelV.

Arguing with you is rather like arguing with Holocaust deniers, creationists, and 9/11 troofers - a complete waste of time.

The irony is that you arrogantly assume knowledge of the subject, when in fact you make repeated assertions that have absolutely no basis in fact.

 
At 7:59 PM, February 27, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

"You don't know anything about climate models except what you read in the blogosphere. Period."

I know that the temperatures that were predicted by the models were too high. The bottom line is that they were useless because one could have made better predictions by flipping a coin.

I know that many in the IPCC have now started to claim that the models don't even make predictions and have started to claim that they are projections. Well, bad predictions are bad predictions no matter what you call them.

"In short, you're full of baloney, VangelV."

So claims the person who admits that the IPCC models do not make predictions and does not seem to be familiar with the fact that even some of the IPCC lead authors have made the same claims that I have advanced here.

Kevin Trenberth has stated that, "The state of the oceans, sea ice and soil moisture has no relationship to the observed state at any recent time in any of the IPCC models. There is neither an El Nino sequence nor any Pacific Decadal Oscillation that replicates the recent past; yet these are critical modes of variability that affect Pacific rim countries and
beyond."


He has admitted that, “...the starting climate state in several of the models may depart significantly from the real climate owing to model errors” and “regional climate change is impossible to deal with properly unless the models are initialised."

He has also pointed out that the models, “...assume linearity” which “works for global forced variations, but it cannot work for many aspects of climate, especially those related to the water cycle. ...the science is not done because we do not have reliable or regional predictions of climate."

"Arguing with you is rather like arguing with Holocaust deniers, creationists, and 9/11 troofers - a complete waste of time."

I do not deny that the climate is changing. I simply point out that you have no evidence that the increase that we have seen since the end of the Little Ice Age is due to CO2 emissions. I point out that the first, 'smoking gun,' that was trotted out by the AGW crowd turned out to be ice cores that actually showed that it was temperature trends that drove CO2 and not the other way around. I point out that the evidence clearly shows that most of the warming since the end of the LIA came long before emissions exploded and when they actually did in the 1940s we experienced a three decade cooling trend. I also point out that the most recent warming trend ended when the PDO went into its cool phase.

And what do you have? Models that you claim do not make any predictions and which IPCC lead authors admit are useless for forecasting purposes. So much for the science being settled.

"The irony is that you arrogantly assume knowledge of the subject, when in fact you make repeated assertions that have absolutely no basis in fact."

Actually, you admitted that the models have no predictive value and said that they were used to make projections, whatever that means. Even IPCC authors admit that the models are not very good and the observations clearly show that the climate is not cooperating.

The bottom line is that all you AGW cultists have are narratives that have no scientific basis. Those Japanese scientists were right; your AGW theories are not all that much different than astrology.

 
At 8:24 PM, February 27, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cutting and pasting from skeptic websites is all you've got.

You don't understand the science and you don't understand the models. You presume to pass judgement from arrogant ignorance. That, sir, is intellectually bankrupt.

 
At 3:47 PM, February 28, 2009, Blogger Karl said...

Unto "Anonymous" [10:15 PM, February 26, 2009]:

Um.....

What is the distinction you're making between "predictions" and "projections"? Why does this distinction matter?

If you're saying that the adverse changes indicated in the climate models are not expected to happen, because those are "projections", then how much money is it reasonable to spend trying to prevent them?

 
At 5:39 PM, February 28, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A projection is a potential future evolution of a quantity or set of quantities, often computed with the help of a model. Projections are distinguished from predictions in order to emphasise that projections involve assumptions concerning e.g. future socio-economic and technological developments that may or may not be realised and are therefore subject to substantial uncertainty.

 
At 12:32 PM, March 06, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

"What is the distinction you're making between "predictions" and "projections"? Why does this distinction matter?"

Claims of projections are what you get when the predictions that were made by the models were shown to be wrong. The distinction does not matter because the models are flat out wrong because they are based on bad assumptions.

"If you're saying that the adverse changes indicated in the climate models are not expected to happen, because those are "projections", then how much money is it reasonable to spend trying to prevent them?""

No money should be spent trying to deal with the effects of events that are not going to happen. The data shows that the bigger danger to humanity is a cooling trend but the AGW cultists are pushing for us to do something about warming. Of course, they get a cut for guiding those efforts while the rest of us have to pay to carry them forward. Fortunately, the latest economic crisis has put a stop to many of the efforts and some of the loudest voices are now in retreat. Imagine how fast they will be back-pedalling when it becomes evident that average temperatures are falling.

 
At 9:24 PM, March 06, 2009, Blogger look said...

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At 7:59 AM, March 07, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

VangelV is clinging to the belief, common among skeptics, that global average surface temperature is the only measure of global warming.

That's rather like saying that since the DJIA is about where it was 10 years ago, the overall economy is the same too. Perhaps an economics analogy will get the basic concepts of climate change through her stubborn head.

 
At 8:41 AM, March 07, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

"Anonymous said...

VangelV is clinging to the belief, common among skeptics, that global average surface temperature is the only measure of global warming."

Actually, when the sensors are next to more and more concrete and artificial sources of heat every year I expect them to measure the effect of urbanization. But that has nothing to do with global warming. And even with the flawed surface data it is still cooling.

"That's rather like saying that since the DJIA is about where it was 10 years ago, the overall economy is the same too. Perhaps an economics analogy will get the basic concepts of climate change through her stubborn head."

Usually when you talk about warming you mean that it is getting hotter. If you understand the AGW theory that you are pushing you will know that it claims that CO2 emissions will cause temperatures to go up. Well, temperatures haven't gone up for about a decade even though CO2 concentrations are about 8% higher. It now seems that the natural factors that were being identified by the sceptics are now being used by the AGW proponents to explain why warming will not be a problem for about 30 years. But if they are so strong that they can offset the effects of CO2 it is obvious that the effects of CO2 are minimal and not worth worrying about.

Of course, the science is clear. There never has been any evidence that changes in CO2 levels have been a primary driver of temperature change.

 
At 9:07 AM, March 07, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

VangeV, you don't understand the science and you don't understand the models. You presume to pass judgement from arrogant ignorance. That, sir, is intellectually bankrupt.

And as you always do, you misstate the facts.

You're dishonorable.

 
At 6:51 PM, March 07, 2009, Blogger VangelV said...

"Anonymous said...

VangeV, you don't understand the science and you don't understand the models. You presume to pass judgement from arrogant ignorance. That, sir, is intellectually bankrupt.

And as you always do, you misstate the facts"

I understand the science. You guys are predicting warming due to man's emissions of CO2 but can't provide any evidence of it. (Since 1945 emissions have exploded but there have been more years in cooling trends (1945-1977 and 1998-2009) than years in warming trends (1977-1998).

Of course, you may not have received the memo because some of your fellow cultists have started a retreat and are busy spinning narratives to explain why the warming will not be seen for a thirty year period.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29469287/

 
At 8:14 AM, March 08, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, you don't understand the science and misstate the facts.

 

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