Tuesday, December 08, 2009

SwiftHack

...for "reality based" news stories on the CRU Hack pseudo-scandal. Which now, incidentally, includes death threats against several of the CRU scientists involved.

55 comments:

Ti-Guy said...

"They are truly stomach-turning and show what sort of venomous monsters we are up against.."

I'm shocked.

Prairie Kid said...

Count the number of Limos and private airplanes in Copenhagen and you'll see exactly how concerned world leaders are about climate change.

RuralSandi said...

PrairieKid - what do you suggest they do when people come from all over the world - walk?

Also, security is an issue.

...sigh....

Tom said...

What an idiotic comment PK. The trappings of the powerful, and the needs of security are irrelevant to the issue of global warming.

Prairie Kid said...

Over 50 Limos for the French?

Kind of like David Suzuki traveling across Canada in a big horkin bus with only 7 people inside.

Overkill?

And Tom, your comment is idiotic. You are going head first into spending billions and billions of dollars on science that has come into question and you still don't care about the cost.

If you read your wife's emails and read things like "tricking my husband" would you not want to question her about an affair? Just because you've been fed all this information from a few scientists does not make it right. You have to look at both sides and have an independent body look into it. Unfortunately the raw data somehow went missing so I would suggest that before we change our lives forever as we know it, we start from scratch and re-gather the info.

Robert McClelland said...

Don't worry, it won't be long now before climate change denial is declared a crime and we start institutionalizing the deniers.

CanuckRover said...

Count the number of Limos and private airplanes in Copenhagen and you'll see exactly how concerned world leaders are about climate change.

I already regret saying this, but Copenhagen is investing in carbon offsets to make the conference carbon neutral. Not that PK will care in the least.

sharonapple88 said...

If you read your wife's emails and read things like "tricking my husband" would you not want to question her about an affair?

But it could be a surprise party. Or better yet, getting relatives over for the holidays ("I tricked my husband into thinking you weren't coming").

Of course all of these are propositions until you find out what is actually going on. Probably best if you try and remain neutral and not leap to a conclusion.

Back to the death threats... because that's how people have a rational discussion about climate science, but threatening to kill someone.

sharonapple88 said...

Back to the death threats... because that's how people have a rational discussion about climate science, but threatening to kill someone.

I mean...

"Back to the death threats... because that's how people have a rational discussion about climate science, by threatening to kill someone."

Ti-Guy said...

I bet Prairie Kid has sent off a few death threats. Asshole always sounds like he's two minutes away from shooting up a MacDonald's.

Robert McClelland said...

"Back to the death threats... because that's how people have a rational discussion about climate science, by threatening to kill someone."

I wouldn't worry about it. That's just stage 2, anger. It's already beginning to give way to stage 3, bargaining, as Prairie Kid's comments show (ie. "I would suggest that before we change our lives forever as we know it, we start from scratch and re-gather the info.") Stage 4, depression, will likely begin to emerge shortly after the Copenhagen Conference when it dawns on the deniers that nobody who matters is listening to them.

Ti-Guy said...

You know, even a lot of genuine skeptics were appalled by the anti-scientific and morally bankrupt conclusions that were drawn from the body of evidence contained in the hacked emails.

If these people distort evidence that's right in front of them, it's no wonder they say whatever they feel like when they're dealing with data they don't have for a science they don't understand.

Tof KW said...

” If these people distort evidence that's right in front of them, it's no wonder they say whatever they feel like when they're dealing with data they don't have for a science they don't understand.”

Ah ‘tricks’

During my undergrad days, a second year biochem prof (he was of Irish descent) called it ‘Finnegan’s Finanigan Factor’. That was the number you would multiply your data by to get the results you were supposed to have. On my masters project, the prof called in ‘massaging’ the data, in order to bring the outliers more into line within the standard deviation.

Eternally angry westerners, populist windbags, conspiracy theorists, US faux-conservative tea-baggers, and general all-around lunatics like Prairie Kid who have absolutely no concept of the scientific method (let alone the science itself) to understand why researchers sometimes use ‘tricks’ to get the results in-line with what was to be expected. Likewise the researchers have to uphold the process and methods used to defend their theses, and their experiments must be duplicated by others in order to stand scrutiny.

The scientific community is easily the most conservative within society. They constantly question anything and everything so that there is actually little taken as absolute, kinda why gravity is still only considered a theory.

However these climate conspiracy theorists use this feature of the scientific method as an opportunity to completely dismiss the work of hundreds of thousands of researchers, all who’s work clearly shows that humans are indeed affecting the world’s climate every since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Even the real sceptics (ie. the ones that are really climate scientists) don’t disagree that this is really happening, only the rate of change is what they question.

Prairie Kid, unless you have some experience within the scientific field (doesn’t matter which faculty) at a university level (undergrad is fine) …then you really have no clue as to what these ‘tricks’ are about. That goes for any other losers that are commenting that these leaked emails are some sort of smoking gun as to a giant worldwide global warming cover-up.

In short, you conspiracy-types are nothing but ignorant twits.

Lenny said...

"You are going head first into spending billions and billions of dollars on science that has come into question"

Which science would that be? Citations please.

And still waiting for you to name those scientists you were talking about here:

"Yet when many scientists are questioning global warming you don't want to listen to them."

Jerome Bastien said...

TKW:

During my undergrad days, a second year biochem prof (he was of Irish descent) called it ‘Finnegan’s Finanigan Factor’. That was the number you would multiply your data by to get the results you were supposed to have. On my masters project, the prof called in ‘massaging’ the data, in order to bring the outliers more into line within the standard deviation.

Is this part of the new and improved scientific method?

1. formulate a hypothesis
2. make a prediction
3. test prediction with experiment
4. massage experiment results until it matches prediction
5. create a UN bureaucracy
6. transfer wealth

No seriously, it is of course proper to adjust results to compensate for known biases, as long as the adjustments have a reasonable basis in reality.

This is not what is being complained of by the intelligent skeptics with respect to climategate.

From what I gather, the "trick" mentioned by Phil Jones in his email has to do with creating a graph partly from proxy values and partly from measured temp values. The portions of the graph are carefully selected so that when proxy values diverge from temperature values, the higher values (i.e., measured temps) are used, thereby giving the graph a hockey-stick shape.

The problem is that this divergence should lead to a re-calibration of the proxy rather than the creation of a graph, which by amazing coincidence, produces exactly the result needed by the IPCC. In other words, they're using proxies when the proxy values suit them, and they discard proxies if the values dont suit them. That's the problem with the "trick", its an actual dishonest trick, it's not just the fact that the word trick was used.

There are tons of other similar issues with the CRU and GISS data. Like apparently the Australian data was adjusted such that the only warming comes from the adjustments. This may be proper, but its not very convincing and would be quite coincidental if it were true.

In other words, the raw Australian data shows no warming whatsoever. Only once the data is adjusted is there any warming. It may be that the adjustments are valid, but essentially what happened is that the measured temps this century are all about the same, but some station moved or something else happened and the data from that point on is adjusted upwards.

It would be nice if there was actual warming that was, you know, measured, instead of inferred.

sharonapple88 said...

The problem is that this divergence should lead to a re-calibration of the proxy rather than the creation of a graph, which by amazing coincidence, produces exactly the result needed by the IPCC. In other words, they're using proxies when the proxy values suit them, and they discard proxies if the values dont suit them. That's the problem with the "trick", its an actual dishonest trick, it's not just the fact that the word trick was used.

The situation is a bit more complex than to say the tree ring proxie model is flawed.

The fact is that there the divergence between tree rings and temperature occurs in trees in the northern latitudes while those in the south don't appear to be effected.

Before tree rings are thrown out, they have to be compared to other proxies like boreholes and glaciers.

Do they compare well with each other. There was an attempt to see if they do.

There have been attempts to find out the reason for the divergence in the tree rings in the southern and northern latitudes.

If you still want to throw it out, aren't you curious to find out why it's flawed, or why for a period of time tree ring growth corresponded with temperature?

sharonapple88 said...

There are tons of other similar issues with the CRU and GISS data. Like apparently the Australian data was adjusted such that the only warming comes from the adjustments. This may be proper, but its not very convincing and would be quite coincidental if it were true.

I'm not certain about the Australian study.

Are you talking about the New Zealand situation?

Here's the explanation for the adjustments.

"Temps before the mid-20s were recorded at Thorndon, near sea level, but then the recording station moved to Kelburn at 125 m above sea level. It’s pretty basic meteorology that temperatures fall as you move above sea level, so the two stations are not directly comparable. Treadgold affects not to know this… But there’s no need to throw out all the old data, you can apply a correction."

Anyway, if this isn't want you're referring to, please find the source so we can look at it.

Jerome Bastien said...

If you still want to throw it out, aren't you curious to find out why it's flawed, or why for a period of time tree ring growth corresponded with temperature?

Im not saying throw it out. Im saying dont use proxy data only when it suits an agenda and present a misleading graph showing unprecedented warming when such a result is only obtained by such selective use of proxies.

Proxies are obviously useful and they are necessary for paleoclimate reconstructions. But they ought to be used with caution cause they can clearly be abused to show a preconceived result.

Tree rings are affected by a host of factors, including temperature, humidity, CO2 levels, soil quality, tree species...So its not surprising that proxies would diverge from temperatures at certain moments and correlate well with temperature at others. Its what you would expect.

The fact is, proxy data is just that and I dont think we can filter out the temp signal from it with absolute certainty. I suppose x-referencing tree ring data with another temp proxy which is not affected by the other factors affecting tree rings would be one way of improving results. I dont know if such other proxies exist.

Regardless, the issue is not with proxies in general. It is with the use CRU made of proxies.

To present one portion of proxy data as the unassailable truth and another portion as disposable garbage is dishonest.

Tof KW said...

Ah Jerome, and your degree would be in ???

My studies were in limnology and phycology, so I‘m not about to pretend that I did any climate studies research, nor am I about to defend Jones’ work. It is up to his peers to scrutinize. Likewise your criticism (or more likely the other ignorant yahoos you copied/pasted from) in this matter are irrelevant. That was the point of my original post, not that I’d expect you to catch the drift.

As for your statement about creating a UN bureaucracy and transferring wealth, well that’s a very silly postulation and it projects more upon you and your silly little gang of angry populists than on the scientific community you attempt to criticize.

The researchers and various scientific institutions are not expressing opinions; they are describing what they see. It is up to the citizens of the various nations of earth (via their politicians) to decide what to do about it.

Furthermore, not that I expect you to change your opinion (I find trying to debate with climate change deniers is no different than attempting to discuss evolution with religious crazies) but here is what the Royal Society of London’s answer is to the conspiracy theorists: The Royal Society 
Just download the “Climate change controversies: a simple guide” .pdf file in the upper right.

So being I was once involved with the scientific community do I believe my fellow researchers on this, or a bunch of tea-bagging populist twits with a political agenda?

Take a wild guess on that one.

To sharonapple88 .. a valiant effort to educate the ignorant, but I’m afraid Ti-Guy may have the better approach with these idiots.

bigcitylib said...

Jerome,

That is simply an issue of (in this case) whether to use Briffa's particular set of proxies. If you read through the emails, there was a fairly lengthy debate between Mann and Briffa about this, with the conclusion being to use them.

If they had left this proxy out, the reconstruction would have looked almost identical.

Jerome Bastien said...

Sharon:

Im not talking about NZ, Im talking about Australia, although I am familiar with the NZ situation and it is eerily similar to the Australian one.

Here is the 'source', or at least the WUWT post from which I got my info. It has to do with only one station in Australia, so my earlier statements might have been a bit too sweeping. But clearly, if this happened to one station picked at random, it is likely to have happened elsewhere.

Also, Im aware of the explanation for the NZ adjustments. It seems fine on the face of it but it is not insignificant that without any adjustments the temperature looks flat, because it suggests that temperatures started going up just at the time that the adjustment was needed. And the same coincidence happened in Australia's Darwin station.

That's why I say the warming is not measured, it's inferred.

It also leaves open the question whether the adjustments made were of the proper magnitude and whether warming biases were ignored in favor of cooling biases.

Jerome Bastien said...

TKW:

thanks for a hilarious post.

My qualifications are irrelevant. Im not arguing from authority, Im arguing from facts. But if you must know I have a B.Sc and an LLB. I am not a climate scientist, but I have followed up the climate change issue for a while now. If you're so scientilicious yourself, you may try to argue with me using facts too.

As for your statement about creating a UN bureaucracy and transferring wealth

yeah that was a joke. im sorry if you thought i was serious there. except, like every good joke, it has a grain of truth. and isn't bizarre that the solution to the 'climate problem' involves massive transfers of wealth?

The researchers and various scientific institutions are not expressing opinions; they are describing what they see.

They adjust what they see and then describe it. Your statement is ridiculous in itself - it suggests there is no room for dissent or interpretation in science. Again, if you're such an awesome scienticizer, you should know this.

Jerome Bastien said...

If they had left this proxy out, the reconstruction would have looked almost identical.

Yeah I think I saw the graphs you're referring to BCL. I believe in one graph there's a little dip at the end of the timeline which is eliminated in the other graph.

But that doesnt address the fraudulent practice of cherry picking proxy data depending on whether it fits a theory or not, or splicing proxy data with measured temp data. These are fraudulent practices intended to deceive. This practice is clear comes from the software code, not the emails.

bigcitylib said...

Jerome,

There has been an open discussion about these practices for at least ten years, and MCI has been bitching about the practice of adding instrument readings to proxy data in graphs since at 2005. Who was decieved?

Jerome Bastien said...

There has been an open discussion about these practices for at least ten years, and MCI has been bitching about the practice of adding instrument readings to proxy data in graphs since at 2005. Who was decieved?

Thanks BCL I did not know that. Who's MCI?

Who was deceived? Anyone who looked at Mann or Jone's reconstructions and thought they were reliable.

sharonapple88 said...

Also, Im aware of the explanation for the NZ adjustments. It seems fine on the face of it but it is not insignificant that without any adjustments the temperature looks flat, because it suggests that temperatures started going up just at the time that the adjustment was needed. And the same coincidence happened in Australia's Darwin station.

The reason they gave for the adjustments was a change in altitude. The environmental lapse rate notes a decrease in temperature as you go up. The data has to be adjusted to account for this.

sharonapple88 said...

The post on the Darwin station post is interesting.

From the post:

Also, although the 1941 temperature shift seems large, I see a similar sized shift from 1992 to 1999. Looking at the whole picture, I think I’d vote to leave it as it is, that’s always the best option when you don’t have other evidence. First do no harm.

Actually, I think the first step would be to find out if anything happened during the period when the temperature dropped to account for the change.

The drop in 1941 could possibly be because of the use of a Stevenson Screen. An article on the situation here.

The change in the 1990's... use of automated weather stations (unknown if one was used during this period)? There was a new passenger terminal that opened at the airport (where the weather station is) in Dec. 1991. Could this have impacted on the evironment? Global warming reversing itself? Need more data....

sharonapple88 said...

To sharonapple88 .. a valiant effort to educate the ignorant, but I’m afraid Ti-Guy may have the better approach with these idiots.

As they say, you can't lead a horse to water... I guess I'm being needlessly stubborn.

sharonapple88 said...

As they say, you can't lead a horse to water... I guess I'm being needlessly stubborn.

Er, actually, you can lead them to water... it's the drinking part that's the problem. :P

Well, it's their choice in the end.

Jerome Bastien said...

Sharon:

It very well might be that those adjustments were all required. It would just be extremely coincidental that in at least two cases, the adjustments coincide exactly and entirely with the overall adjusted trend.

But hey if you're in favor of bankrupting our economies over the adjustments made to data by a cabal of scientists who have been shown to be, in some cases, less than objective, like you said, you can lead a horse to water but you cant make him drink.

Holly Stick said...

Are you seriously trying to argue that Australia has not warmed up?

"...Given these data, and the fact that the latest spring event has equaled previous all-time summer records (!), and the alarm bells should rightly be ringing. Statistically speaking, it’s astronomically unlikely that such a sequence of rare heat waves would occur by chance, if the climate wasn’t warming. But of course, it is..."

http://bravenewclimate.com/2009/11/14/three-record-heatwaves-seaust/

Tof KW said...

Jerome, my initial response to you was a reply to your first post, not the second. I am impressed how far you (and others here) have been following this study, and will admit I have not. Mainly because it has been a long time since I’ve taken any plant anatomy courses and I’m no expert in how temperatures affect xylem development in annual tree growth. Likewise no one else here is either. The tree ring proxy data may or may not be bad science, but to say that this alone (or a collection of other questionable studies) somehow proves that all work showing that climate change is real and is man-made, is now completely false …seriously I think someone with your background would be more objective, regardless of political leanings.

Your statements about the UN somehow being a powerful and massive bureaucratic agent of global wealth transfer only shows you’re being affected by the wacko teabaggers of the GOP too much. Aside from the one overriding principle that the UN was based upon after WW2, to prevent wars between nations (which to that it has limited success, take the USSR & UN invasions of Afghanistan, illegal UN bombing of Yugoslavia, US invasion of Iraq, etc) the organization really has little influence over individual nation states. Ask the leaders of Iran, North Korea, the Sudan and Burma to what degree the UN influences their foreign and domestic policies.

I just don’t see how Canada beginning to invest in greener technologies (like the Europeans are doing) is a giant money grab by the developing nations. There have been plenty of technological changes since the industrial revolution, and none have been detrimental to the economy as a whole. Indeed the opposite is usually the case. Germany’s economy seems to be doing just fine considering the global situation.

Jerome Bastien said...

Holly Stick:

Are you seriously trying to argue that Australia has not warmed up?

I cant speak for the whole of Australia, so, no, this is not what im trying to argue.

What I am arguing however is that, in at least one station in Australia, the warming is based only on the adjustment.

Look at the first graph here. The actual readings after the station was moved went down. Yet the adjustment made to the raw data to reflect that the station moved create a warming trend, starting precisely at the time the station was moved.

This is either a remarkable coincidence, or much more likely, an adjustment which was way too large.

Jerome Bastien said...

TKW:

The tree ring proxy data may or may not be bad science, but to say that this alone (or a collection of other questionable studies) somehow proves that all work showing that climate change is real and is man-made, is now completely false …seriously I think someone with your background would be more objective, regardless of political leanings.

You're quite right, it doesnt. But it does, and it should, suggest that this particular aspect of the science (paleo-reconstructions) are on shaky grounds. It should also lead to a closer inspection of the rest of the science.

Which brings us to the rest of the science. The real question is not whether climate change is real (of course it is), but whether it is man-made. There is surprisingly little (or none at all) evidence that this is the case.

CO2 is rising and humans are causing the CO2 to rise. No questions here.

CO2 also absorbs heat. No questions here. We can even quantify it very easily: a doubling of CO2 would lead to a 1.1 deg C increase in temp (everything else being equal).

The real question has to do with feedbacks. Does the CO2-induced warming amplify itself or does it dampen itself?

The IPCC posits strong positive feedbacks based on water vapor which is pure conjecture. Not proven at all.

Skeptics like Lindzen and Pielke have published convincing papers which suggest the feedbacks are most likely negative. But we just dont know conclusively. If the feedbacks are negative, there is no "climate crisis". In fact, the only way we have a "climate crisis", is if the feedbacks are strongly positive, which is why the IPCC thinks they are, with absolutely no evidence to back it up.

Regarding the current warming trend, I personally suspect that it is probably less pronounced than suggested but still real, simply because I think the shenanigans like those at CRU, Australia, and NZ are widespread, but this is just a personal guess. So, let's accept the current warming trend at face value.

What is the IPCC's evidence for the proposition that humans are the cause of the current warming trend? It is that their computer models cant replicate the current trend without "radiative forcing". Really, that's what it is. So we'd be betting our economy on the accuracy of computer models. As a former software developer myself, I find this idea ludicrous and terrifying.

RE: the UN
You're right, its not powerful, but it wants to be. Climate change is the perfect means to increase the UN's power. The UN is a nice utopian idea, but in reality it is nothing more than a forum allowing 3d world dictators (who represent themselves, not their population) to punch above their weight.

RE: investing in green tech

Of course invest in green tech. This is a separate issue. Energy efficiency and pollution reduction are valid goals in and of themselves. Let's focus on these directly rather than pretending that the air we breath out is a "danger to health" like the EPA did the other day.h

sharonapple88 said...

Regarding the current warming trend, I personally suspect that it is probably less pronounced than suggested but still real, simply because I think the shenanigans like those at CRU, Australia, and NZ are widespread, but this is just a personal guess.

Do you know what reasons the scientists gave to adjust the temperatures? Besides the idea it's to fit the models? What are the excuses they use to justify what they did? Once you know them, you have to ask do they hold reason. Until you know this, you can't dismiss what they did.

The fact that it took bloggers to "find" this story and not climatologist critical of global warming may show that the critics might be missing some basic elements -- like the enviromental lapse rate and the possible historical record that a thermometer was moved from the sun into the shade at Darwin (the "problem" at Darwin was noted years ago by John Daly around 2000... so this isn't a "new" discovery).

Lenny said...

"The IPCC posits strong positive feedbacks based on water vapor which is pure conjecture. Not proven at all."

You might as well argue that we should scrap all earthquake-related building code in B.C. because plate tectonic theory "isn't proven".
Of course positive feedbacks aren't proven - and they never will be, anymore than plate tectonic theory will be.
But there's plenty of evidence for positive feedbacks, with the consensus being somewhere around 3 per doubling.
And no, Lindzen's and P's low estimates of sensitivity aren't convincing, at least not to the experts in the field, though I'm sure they're gospel to the quacks and liars like yourself who credulously embrace anthing that fits their agenda.

Jerome Bastien said...

You might as well argue that we should scrap all earthquake-related building code in B.C. because plate tectonic theory "isn't proven".

Ok fine. Your post isnt deserving of a reply because you make your arguments by calling me a quack, but since its so easy to dismiss I will take 2 seconds to do it.

Nothing in science is ever 'proven', in the same sense that something can be proven in mathematics. In science, things are falsified. However, if a theory is never falsified despite being tested several times, it is usually considered to be true.

Regarding plate tectonics, it was at first considered a ludicrous idea. But it made a prediction: that as the earth's magnetic poles shift (every 5000 years or so), there would be measurable magnetic differences in parallel bands in the ocean floor, and that these bands would be symmetrically centered around a major fault line.

Lo and behold, that is exactly what people found when the ocean floor was mapped out.

So, plate tectonics is not 'proven', but there is some very strong evidence to back it up.

You cant say that of the positive water vapor feedback. In fact, the water vapor feedback predicts a hotspot in the lower troposphere. Measurements were made, no hotspot was found. Alarmists like Santer have written papers rationalizing why this could be, and they may be right, but still, there is no evidence yet.

Jerome Bastien said...


Do you know what reasons the scientists gave to adjust the temperatures? Besides the idea it's to fit the models? What are the excuses they use to justify what they did? Once you know them, you have to ask do they hold reason. Until you know this, you can't dismiss what they did.


The reason, as far as I know, is that the station was changed to a location of higher elevation. And yeah, I cant dismiss it out of hand. But the point is, it seems to me much more plausible that the adjustments made were simply too high, because otherwise it means the warming trend started exactly at the same time that the station was moved, which is quite a coincidence.

You can tell from the graph I linked to in my earlier post that there clearly is an adjustment required - the raw data shows a drop in temperature exactly at the time the station was moved. If the adjustments made brought back the data around the levels it was prior to the station move, and then there was a warming trend, it would be quite convincing. Or if the warming trend had started before the station move and the adjustments just kept that trend going, it would be quite convincing. But no, the only warming trend is just caused by the adjustment.

This is either very coincidental or excessive adjustments.

Lenny said...

So, we agree that plate tectonics is a theory. Good show.
As to the evidence for positive feedbacks, it's funny that you should choose to focus on the lack of a "hotspot". In fact it's fucking hilarious because your evidence against this positive feedback is the product of climate models, about which you say "Computer models are useful, but they are not evidence.(boldface added)" I guess they're just "not evidence" when they're evidence you don't like.
Regardless, we know that water vapour has increased with warming, and Santer provides evidence that this is largely due to human caused increases in greenhouse gas.
http://www.pnas.org/content/104/39/15248.full.pdf

And that's hardly the only feedback or evidence for higher climate sensitivity. Those models that don't provide evidence except when you like the evidence, put it in the 3 range as do a number of papers assessing past climate periods.

It would be nice if sensitivity was only the 1.1 you're talking about but there's no evidence that that's anything more than the ravings of quacks and liars.

Holly Stick said...

OK Jerome, your Darwin airport link is to Jo Nova's website, (probably denialist but I didn't look at it much.) She got it from a post on denialist WUWT by Willis Eschenbach. Tim at Deltoid has now pointed out what Eschenbach did not; that it's the early temperatures which are too low, not the later ones which are too high. Tim includes links and citations explaining the reasons, of course.

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/willis_eschenbach_caught_lying.php

Jerome Bastien said...

I guess they're just "not evidence" when they're evidence you don't like.

First, lets define our terms. Evidence in this context means observational data which fits with predictions from the theory.

So computer models are never 'evidence' because they are not observational data. They are however, as you quoted from my piece, useful.

One of the things they are useful for is to make a prediction. Such a prediction is the presence of a hotspot in the lower troposphere, which so far anyways, has not been found, despite observations. Finding the hotspot would be evidence. Not finding the hotspot essentially falsifies the theory that predicted it (and this theory is that of the water vapor feedback).

There may be good reasons why it wasnt found and while the current results falsify the theory better measurements later may revive it. We dont know. But that's the point: so far, there is no empirical data to suggest the existence of a water vapor feedback.

I dont know about that Santer piece but I'll take your word for it. It's not surprising to see increased water vapor with increased temperatures. But water vapor is not a GHG like CO2, because it can form clouds and precipitation, both of which cool the planet.

While there are many disagreements in climate science, one thing scientists agree on is this: they dont understand clouds and water vapor well. And it's a crucial question.

Jerome Bastien said...

Tim includes links and citations explaining the reasons, of course.

That's a rather poor explanation over at that link, as it misses the point entirely.

The charge is not that adjustments are not needed. Clearly they are, you can see it visually on the graph, where the raw data dips at the moment the station was changed.

The charge is that the adjustments are in all likelihood way too high (like the zigzag pirate tells that kid on the MADD commercial).

Take a look at the graph. Check out where the warming trend begins. It begins exactly at the time the station was moved. In fact the adjusted data has a big spike upward corresponding exactly to the big spike upward in the adjustment around 1940. Then the adjusted data trends upward slightly, just like the adjustment value trends upward slightly, from 1940 to 1980.

The fact that the trends in the adjusted data follows the trend in the adjustment value in 3 distinct periods (1880-1940: essentially flat, 1940: big spike up, 1940-1980: slight warming, 1980-now: flat) should be a humongous red flag. You can point to any number of websites that says "yeah but there are good reasons" - doesnt matter, there are good reasons for the adjustments, not for the size of the adjustments. the fact is that the only trend in that graph is simply an artifact from the adjustments.

Lenny said...

"First, lets define our terms. Evidence in this context means observational data which fits with predictions from the theory.

So computer models are never 'evidence' because they are not observational data. They are however, as you quoted from my piece, useful."

Shorter JB: "Let's define evidence to exclude anything that supports AGW and include anything that doesn't"


"Not finding the hotspot essentially falsifies the theory that predicted it (and this theory is that of the water vapor feedback)."

Wrong. It isn't "falsified" because our instrumentation isn't able to discern a "hotspot", any more than evolution was "falsified" before DNA was identified.

But like I said, there are numerous lines of evidence for a +/-3 sensitivity, and little for your 1.1.

Jerome Bastien said...

Shorter JB: "Let's define evidence to exclude anything that supports AGW and include anything that doesn't"

My definition of evidence in the previous post was not pulled out of my ass. If you have a better one I'd be glad to hear it. But evidence, or at least empirical evidence, is widely understood to refer to observed data. That is the basis of science: observation. Dont take it from me, go ask around.

Regardless, let's assume that the IPCC's "evidence" that warming is man-made is acceptable (it is not). Well, that "evidence" consists of the results of climate models. And the climate models predict a measurable hot spot in the atmosphere. This hot spot was not found. So, at least according to the current available data, the models have been shown to be wrong. So the "evidence" of the IPCC has been shown to be wrong too. There is simply no way around it.


Wrong. It isn't "falsified" because our instrumentation isn't able to discern a "hotspot", any more than evolution was "falsified" before DNA was identified.


Yeah for sure, makes total sense. You are saying that we are not technologically advanced enough to measure temperatures in the atmosphere, yet we know for sure what the climate will be in 100 years. That is beautiful logic.

Actually, the models predict a hotspot which is sufficiently hotter than other parts of the atmosphere so that our instruments should be able to measure it. We tried to measure it and didnt find it. Maybe there was an error in the instrumentation, then again, maybe not. Maybe the hotspot is just not there.

But clearly, even if I were to accept your point, any claims that the science is settled are ignorant or dishonest.


But like I said, there are numerous lines of evidence for a +/-3 sensitivity, and little for your 1.1.


I never said sensitivity was 1.1. 1.1 is the all-other-things-being-equal sensitivity. My personal guess is that sensitivity is 0.5, but nobody actually knows what sensitivity is and if they tell you otherwise, they're lying.

But, please, what are the "numerous lines of evidence" for a sensitivity of 3.3?

sharonapple88 said...

Take a look at the graph. Check out where the warming trend begins. It begins exactly at the time the station was moved. In fact the adjusted data has a big spike upward corresponding exactly to the big spike upward in the adjustment around 1940. Then the adjusted data trends upward slightly, just like the adjustment value trends upward slightly, from 1940 to 1980.

Just wanted to point out that on the "raw data graph" (which is really a combination of data from various stations) there's a trend upwards from 1940-1990.

Lenny said...

So now you're saying that only empirical observation evidence is evidence? That's nonsense.

"Well, that "evidence" consists of the results of climate models."

You know very well that models aren't the only evidence for AGW. (and save your protestions that you didn't say "only". That's obviously the misleading impression you were trying to leave)

" So, at least according to the current available data, the models have been shown to be wrong. So the "evidence" of the IPCC has been shown to be wrong too."

You're employing fallacious logic - the inability to detect a hotspot DOES NOT demonstrate that the models are wrong no matter how many times you say it. The inability to detect a hotspot DOES NOT prove it isn't there. Furthermore, the hotspot isn't a unique signature of AGW. It's a result of any surface warming, and we know we've had surface warming. The balance of evidence suggests the problem lays in our observational abilities.

"yet we know for sure what the climate will be in 100 years."

That's a lovely strawman.

A survey of the literature regarding climate sensitivity:
http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/knutti08natgeo.pdf

Jerome Bastien said...

Just wanted to point out that on the "raw data graph" (which is really a combination of data from various stations) there's a trend upwards from 1940-1990.

true

Jerome Bastien said...

So now you're saying that only empirical observation evidence is evidence? That's nonsense.

In science, empirical evidence trumps all. Dont take my word for it, find out from others. And besides it makes sense, science is about finding how the world works and the best way to do that is to observe it.


You know very well that models aren't the only evidence for AGW.


Actually I did mean "only", but i should have made it clear that i referred to the fact that the warming is man-made. There is plenty of evidence for warming, finding who/what is responsible for that warming is no easy feat, and the only reason the IPCC states for the attribution of the warming to man's activities is computer models. If you have another, Id be very pleased to hear one it is.

RE: the hotspot.

It's the 'signature' of the water vapor feedback caused by surface warming. No hotspot, no water vapor feedback, at least as postulated by the IPCC and represented by the models. I dont know why you're so convinced that this hotspot exists even though it hasnt been measured - it's a hypothesis and sometime hypotheses turn out to be wrong.

Like you said, we know we've had surface warming - we dont know (but the IPCC thinks) that surface warming creates a water vapor feedback.

Holly Stick said...

Jerome, they don't find out where the increased CO2 comes from by using models; they find it out by chemically analysing the CO2.

See the Royal Society's simple guide, especially #1, #5 and #3 which says:

"...This is because, by chemical analysis, we can tell that the majority of this carbon dioxide has come from the burning of fossil fuels..."

http://royalsociety.org/Climate-change-controversies-a-simple-guide/

So now if you ever write that there is no evidence the increased CO2 is manmade, everyone will know you are lying.

Jerome Bastien said...


So now if you ever write that there is no evidence the increased CO2 is manmade, everyone will know you are lying.


That is not what Im saying. I agree that increased CO2 in the atmosphere is man-made. After all, the chemical reaction for combustion is hydrocarbon + O2 -> CO2 + H20.

Im also not denying that manmade CO2 will cause some warming - in fact this is quantifiable, as per an earlier post, a doubling of CO2 would, all other things being equal, lead to a 1.1 deg C rise in temp. But its well understood that all other things are not equal, and that an increase of 1.1 deg C would be amplified or dampened by other factors.

That is the major unknown right now. The IPCC says that the 1.1 deg C would be amplified by a factor of 3 or 4 - this is what Im disputing, and in particular the fact that such a strong positive feedback is 'settled science'.

The question re: manmade is whether the 20th century warming trend is man-made, not whether extra CO2 is man-made.

I said earlier that the only 'evidence' offered by the IPCC is that they cant replicate (using their models) this warming trend without man-made CO2. This may be considered evidence by some, but science requires observational data, not computer simulations.

However, the IPCC also tried to use the hockey stick as evidence that the recent warming is man-made (essentially saying, this warming trend is unprecedented, so it must be caused by man). Well, this has the benefit of at least stemming from observational data, but it has the major disadvantage of having been debunked. And it has the other major disadvantage that the current warming trend may have been overestimated using various adjustments of dubious justification (in terms of the size of the adjustments).

Lenny said...

"In science, empirical evidence trumps all."

Are you talking to me? I don't recall saying otherwise or have any idea what "empirical evidence" you think is trumping what other evidence.

The balance of evidence is still that climate sensitivity is +/-3 whether or not we can detect a hotspot. The evidence comes from both models and the climate record. You've provided no evidence for a sensitivity of 1 or less. I provided you with a survey of the evidence for a climate sensitivity to co2 doubling of +/-3 - the increase in co2 being entirely attributable to humanity. There's about 100 papers there, so I imagine you'll be busy for a while.

"but it(hockey stick) has the major disadvantage of having been debunked. "

Bullshit. The only report that was peer-reviewed and looked at the results of the HS upheld its broad conclusions.

Jerome Bastien said...

"In science, empirical evidence trumps all."

Are you talking to me? I don't recall saying otherwise or have any idea what "empirical evidence" you think is trumping what other evidence.


That was in reply to this:

So now you're saying that only empirical observation evidence is evidence? That's nonsense.

Evidence in a scientific context, as far as Im concerned, is empirical evidence. Some may feel that computer simulations are evidence, but computer simulations are just calculations. I cant imagine why any calculation, however complex, would be considered evidence in science. IMHO, calculations are a tool used to make predictions against which observations are compared, and that produces evidence.

But if you have a different meaning of the term 'evidence', please share. That way if you suggest you have 'evidence' for the water vapor feedback, I'll know you dont necessarily mean empirical evidence.


You've provided no evidence for a sensitivity of 1 or less.


You're right I havent. I just think that it's up to the people claiming a climate sensitivity of >3 to prove that.

Im curious to go check out the link you provided. Thanks for that.

Bullshit. The only report that was peer-reviewed and looked at the results of the HS upheld its broad conclusions.

The hockey-stick has been thoroughly debunked in each of its forms. Yes we are in a warming trend, but no we are not in an unprecedented warmer than the MWP warming trend. The most extreme alarmists and the HS's creators (creator here is most appropriate) still pretend that the hockey stick is not bogus, but Im sorry to say the game is up. Even the climategate emails reveal how these people were scheming to 'contain the putative MWP'.

Jerome Bastien said...

Lenny:

http://www.iac.ethz.ch/people/knuttir/papers/knutti08natgeo.pdf

Your link is broken. I even updated adobe and it still doesnt work.

Lenny said...

Works for me, but you can also find it at the libary in the Nov 08 Nature Geoscience.

Tom said...

Jerome

Obviously data gathering is the foundation upon which any confirmation of an hypothesis will be built. But almost certainly, to turn that mass of raw data into something useful scientifically, calculations will be needed. Evidence means not just the observations but also the calculations necessary to make those observations meaningful. Analysis of data (meaning calculation) is the primary work of scientists once they have the observational data needed.