Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Oxburgh Panel And David Hand Apologize To Michael Mann

That's not spoken anywhere in the Oxburgh report's newly added addendum, but if you look at how stats specialist David Hand's words were torqued, for example here (and this is a fairly mild example):

Hockey stick' graph was exaggerated


[Hand] said the [hockey stick] graph, that showed global temperature records going back 1,000 years, was exaggerated - although any reproduction using improved techniques is likely to also show a sharp rise in global warming. He agreed the graph would be more like a field hockey stick than the ice hockey blade it was originally compared to.

...then it the best interpretation of this:

Addendum to report, 19 April 2010

For the avoidance of misunderstanding in the light of various press stories, it is important to be clear that the neither the panel report nor the press briefing intended to imply that any research group in the field of climate change had been deliberately misleading in any of their analyses or intentionally exaggerated their findings. Rather, the aim was to draw attention to the complexity of statistics in this field, and the need to use the best possible methods.

Nice to see that the Oxburgh bunch is not willing to let its message get spun.

And, by the way, Michael Mann is not to be fucked with. If someone attacks his work (on, say, Fox News), he defends it in real time, within a news cycle or two. Other climate scientists sit there and endure it.

Other climate scientists should be more like Mike. It would be easier on us non-scientists trying to help them out.



Steve Bloom said...

I can only imagine that Lisa Graumlich in particular was quite pissed at Hand's remarks and let Oxburgh know it in no uncertain terms. It sounds as if Hand was the only committee member at the press conference aside from Oxburgh. Both should have known enough to avoid going off-topic (assuming that Oxburgh was even within earshot when Hand went off the reservation), but now have hopefully learned a lesson.

Given the odd Wegman report and Hand's remarks, one wonders if statisticians have a hard time finding employment.

JohnMashey said...

I would not equate Hand and Wegman, and I would not generalize from Wegman to statisticians in general.

Anyone, especially if unused to dealing with press, can get tripped by offhand comments.

Finally, I would not mess around with Lord Oxburgh.

He long ran Imperial College, London (~MIT of UK), and was grabbed as Chairman of Shell to clean up a scandal there. He is smart, says what he thinks, bluntly, and has plenty of experience talking to the press.

He is actually a (non-hereditary( member of the House of Lords, unlike someone else eager to give that impression.

Holly Stick said...

Yeehah! Andrew Weaver is suing the National Post! One of the thinkgs he is seeking is to make them find websites posting their inaccurate articles, to get them removed.