How Scientists Study Cycles

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

We have the ill-fated stillborn Copernicus Special Edition as an example of how those authors went about analyzing the possible effects of astronomical cycles. Let me put up a contrasting example, which is The 1,800-year oceanic tidal cycle: A possible cause of rapid climate change. Heck, it’s even got “cycle” in the title. Please be clear that I am not advocating for this study. or saying that this explains how the climate works. Instead, I am offering it as an example of a reasonable paper showing a real scientific investigation of the effect of sun-moon-earth cycles and conjunctions on the climate. From the abstract:

We propose that such abrupt millennial changes [rapid global cooling], seen in ice and sedimentary core records, were produced in part by well characterized, almost periodic variations in the strength of the global oceanic tide-raising forces caused by resonances in the periodic motions of the earth and moon.

A well defined 1,800-year tidal cycle is associated with gradually shifting lunar declination from one episode of maximum tidal forcing on the centennial time-scale to the next. An amplitude modulation of this cycle occurs with an average period of about 5,000 years, associated with gradually shifting separation-intervals between perihelion and syzygy at maxima of the 1,800-year cycle.

We propose that strong tidal forcing causes cooling at the sea surface by increasing vertical mixing in the oceans. On the millennial time-scale, this tidal hypothesis is supported by findings, from sedimentary records of ice-rafting debris, that ocean waters cooled close to the times predicted for strong tidal forcing.

And here is their Figure 1, showing the peak tidal strengths for the last several hundred years:

table 1 keeling and whorf

So why do I like this analysis of cycles, and yet I was so scathing about the analyses of cycles in the Copernicus Special Edition? The answer is simple: science, science, science.

First off, they make a clear statement of their claim—they propose that periodic changes in the strength of the oceanic tides affect the global temperature. 

Next, they propose a mechanism—the strong tides stir up the deeper, colder ocean waters and bring them to the surface, cooling the globe.

Next, they connect the astronomical cycles to the earth through recognized and well understood calculations. There is no fitting of parameters, no messing with fractions. There is no mention of golden ratios, Titius Bode “law” calculations, the music of the spheres, or the planetary Hum. Just mathematical calculations of the strength of the tidal-raising forces, such as those shown in Figure 1. They’ve cited their data source in the caption. Note that what they show is the accurately calculated strength of a real measurable physical force, and not some theoretical superposition of some mystical confluence of the orbital periods of random planets.

And finally, they offer observational evidence to support their claim.

Hypothesis, proposed mechanism, mathematical calculations without tunable parameters, identified data, clear methods, observational evidence … plain old science, what’s not to like.

Now, is their claim right? Do strong tides stir up the oceans and bring cooler water to the surface? I have no clue, although it certainly sounds plausible, and the forces are of the right order of magnitude. I haven’t looked into it, and even if true, it’s a side issue in my world. But it may well be true, and they’ve made their scientific case for it.

Like I said, I offer this simply as an example to assist folks in differentiating between science on the one hand, and what went on in far too much of the Copernicus Special Issue on the other hand.

w.

PS—While code and data as used would have been a bonus, this was published in 2000, which is about a century ago in computer years. However, I think I could recreate their results purely from their paper, in part because the mechanisms and calculations for planetary locations and orbits and tidal forces are well understood. So it’s not like trying to replicate Michael Mann’s Hockeystick paper of the same era, which could not be done until the code was published …

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182 thoughts on “How Scientists Study Cycles

  1. I agree, astronomical cycles are interesting. There is no debate about forcing or TSI or whatever. They are all about Newtonian mechanics. Personally, I can’t imagine that the movements of the planets around the sun DO NOT cause deltas of planetary angular momentum and if you change the angular momentum of the earth, now can it NOT cause a disruption or change in ocean currents?

  2. Will these attacks on that journal now be a regular feature of this blog? Can I expect this to be like the Friday Funny feature and see some further attacks from Willis once a week?

    I am amazed at Willis and his spewing bile over the Physics journal over and over. Amazed.

  3. Ugh, sorry but there is *way* too much going on in that one graph. I don’t really get what it is supposed to illustrate?

  4. Willis
    You affirm steps:
    “they make a clear statement of their claim”
    ” they propose a mechanism”
    “connect the astronomical cycles to the earth through recognized and well understood calculations”
    ” offer observational evidence to support their claim.”

    Hypothesizing by analogy:
    Extrapolating the results of this paper would suggest a corresponding stirring of fluid layers in the Sun by the Jovian planets moving about the barycenter.
    Compare Wilson et al 2008 where they find spin-orbit coupling, but at the time they were unable to suggest a plausible underlying physical cause.
    Does a Spin-Orbit Coupling Between the Sun and the Jovian Planets Govern the Solar Cycle? Wilson et al. Pub. Astronomical Soc. Australia, 2008
    There may be further evidence of such tidal variations visible in total solar radiation, solar UV, and/or sunspots, or the heliosphere.

  5. the book “Climate Change in Eurasian Arctic Shelf Seas” Prof Ivan Frolov & ors Praxis Publishing 2009 suggests that planetary gravitation may play a part. They suggest this as a theory without giving any opinion. That book also examines the role of CO2 and human emissions and conclude such matters are not relevant. They describe the 60 year cycle and conclude that Arctic ice will increase from about 2010. That seems now to be the case, although a year or two late. The authors are from the St Petersburg Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute.

  6. Oh the Irony – the 1st author is Charles D. Keeling!!!! When most are blaiming the “Keeling curve” for earth warming, Keeling, himself, was thinking more about tides. You miss that one Willis? Thank you for the article.

  7. Willis

    It is very interesting and an area where I have done some work. Whenever the Moon passes over the North American continent lifts by 2 inches. We have measured the variation in the gravity field directly with extremely sensitive accelerometers. Don’t know if they are right, but the science is good…

  8. I was referring to the “The 1,800-year oceanic tidal cycle: A possible cause
    of rapid climate change” article, of course… Willis, you have to write in BOLD that this article was, indeed, written by Keeling!

  9. I think the tidal forcing of climate is an important dynamic that is often overlooked. MITs Carl Wunsch has determined that winds and tides are the only forces capable of redirecting currents. The graph reminds me of a 2000 paper by Dr Keeling (famous for his graph of CO2 concentrations. He too was a proponent of tidal forces to explain cooling events that that were not aligned with changing CO2. He wrote “We propose that strong tidal forcing causes cooling at the sea surface by increasing vertical mixing in the oceans. On the millennial time-scale, this tidal hypothesis is supported by findings, from sedimentary records of ice-rafting debris, that ocean waters cooled close to the times predicted for strong tidal forcing.”

    Read The 1,800-year oceanic tidal cycle: A possible cause of rapid climate change. PNAS, April 11, 2000, vol. 97, no. 8.

    My only problem with that theory is cooling would only happen in the subtropical and tropical oceans. In the polar regions tidal action would bring warmer waters to the surface. I suspect the Dansgaard Oecshger warming events were due to tidal caused warming.

  10. Hmm, 1974 was also (arguably) the inflection point for going from cooling to warming. I wonder if there’s a relationship there with Point C.

    That said, none of the points, or any combination of the points correlate with a ~sixty year cycle, so while there could be an effect, it is not the whole story.

  11. As I am yet to see an actual reasonable scientifically-founded refutation of the recently much talked about patterns in physics papers, I am amazed at the amount of hatred that keeps pouring their way.

  12. Easily one of the more intriguing
    climate papers by Keeling.

    It makes sense, and would explain a
    lot(including the current cooling).

  13. Close on the heels of the closure of a journal in which some skeptics presented their arguments, the science category for blog awards–dominated by skeptical bloggers–has been eliminated.

    It seems to me–pace Willis–that the real issue is not whether Willis or others agrees with or respects the quality of the journal Patterns in Physics, but that discussion is being stifled in the name of orthodoxy of ideas, methodology and claimed results.

    Like the Cardinals of the Catholic church in the time of Galileo, experts are setting themselves up to censor and censure others whose views they do not agree with.

    In the matter of climate alarmism, I am a skeptic. I do not think the sky is falling and I am not off to see the King or even to tell the President. I follow WUWT and a dozen other climate blogs.

    Based on my own study of climate over the last 50 years–including MA in geography and MS in Earth Science–my opinion is that more than half of both alarmist and skeptical blogs is rubbish. Worst of all are the alarmist journalists who seem willing to stoop to anything for a headline..

    Both alarmist and skeptical bloggers are only marginally worse than the IPCC, including the political summaries. Cherry pickers whether peer-reviewed or not thrive within the ranks of the IPCC.

    Willis and others are probably right to criticize papers in the banned journal as below their standards for doing science. But they miss the point: the journal was banned to silence a heresy, not because of its quality or because of allowing pal review. That is what the CEO of Copernicus wrote as his reason for closing the journal. I assume Willis and others read the first letter he wrote before he added the charge of “nepotism” (sic).

  14. I’m a bit thick today. While planetary and lunar gravity may lift oceans to give us tides how can this effect cause vertical mixing? As I understand it the oceans under these gravity effects could simply expand. If this is the case, would not this simply reduce pressure at all depths? There would have to be another effect to cause vertical mixing. Do oceans currents modify sufficiently, at depth, to cause the mixing?

  15. uncalled for sniping

    Perhaps so, but so is the article. The most recent of several from the W. Do you guys ever get tired of looking the other way?

  16. Told you I was thick! Tides are just water sloshing around; producing different water column heights. Perhaps the mixing also has a “horizontal dragging” element…….

  17. This article makes no sense to me on the face of it.

    But it makes a whole lot of sense when you consider the broad context.

  18. So our climate fate depends on the alignments of the heavenly bodies. We are doomed. It’s in the stars.

  19. Wow , . . . my goodness . . .

    is it possible that so much of our weather from year to year, or even decade to decade, is in large part the moon or planets . . . ?

    . .does that mean . . that . .’ughh ‘ . . CO2 might not have a GREAT effect . . .

    . does that mean, that trying to cut CO2 won’t have MUCH OF ANY EFFECT ? !? !? !

    . .OMG . . IT”S WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT . .! ! ! ! :-) :-) :-)

    ( .I sure hope I DON’T have to put ‘SARC” after this . . . uuhhh, OK . . SSSAARRCC ! ! ! )

  20. Frederick Colbourne said @ January 24, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Like the Cardinals of the Catholic church in the time of Galileo, experts are setting themselves up to censor and censure others whose views they do not agree with.

    Galileo was not tried for heresy over his scientific ideas, but for putting the pope’s words into the mouth of a character in his book, Simplicus (simpleton, or idiot). Galileo wrote that the tides were caused by the Earth’s rotation causing the oceans to slosh about, something that was impossible were Galileo’s other ideas correct. The pope knew this and criticised Galileo for contradicting himself. Galileo knew that what he had written was bullsh!t and wrote a note to that effect inside the cover of his own copy of the book (Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems).

    The Dialogue was approved by the censors in 1630 and published in 1632. It was only then that Galielo’s enemies noticed that Galileo had ridiculed the pope, something the pope himself had missed when he read the book.

    Galileo, in criticising the pope, had left himself open to his enemies, who were not the cardinals of the church, but his fellow academics (The Pigeon League). The cardinals decided that ridiculing the pope was not heresy, but brought in a verdict that Galileo was “vehemently suspected of heresy”.

    There is perhaps a lesson here, but not quite the one you were attempting to convey by repeating the mythology.

  21. Resorting to an elitist argument to debunk someone else’s creative thought is not essentially any different from what is happening in reverse with so called climate change science. It matters not whether these much maligned papers were curve fitting exercises or not. Their creators may not be able to take these initial findings further, however you never know, someone else might have an epiphany and create a whole new area of research and discovery. They may in fact be on to something no one else sees at the moment, and they are struggling to express it within the pure scientific method.
    If you read the history of Faraday – Maxwell – Einstein in sequence you will appreciate that the General Theory of Relativity actually owes greatly to the Special Theory, to Maxwell’s four equations of electro-magnetism and hence to Faraday’s semi chaotic thinking on magnetism. Faraday was untrained in either mathematics or science. Faraday broke completely new ground contrary to established scientific theory but he couldn’t express it in the terms the scientific community required and he was ostracised. Maxwell in turn pursued these ideas mathematically and had an epiphany, and of course Einstein took these ideas into completely new territory with the Special Theory of Relativity and Quantum Theory. Einstein later created his General Theory covering gravity. But no Faraday – no General Theory of Relativity.
    String Theory similarly grew from a researcher accidentally finding a mathematical connection between the General Theory and Maxwell’s equations which impressed Einstein but went no where until by chance string theory (by several names) emerged as the current front runner for the theory of everything which had eluded Einstein and everyone else. (Who new we lived in 10 dimensions).
    The beginnings of chaos theory emerged from the meandering thoughts of a weatherman who played with some embryonic computer programs trying to solve multiple non linear functions. As an aside, this is still impossible to do for weather (and hence the forecasts break down after 3 to 7 days) and I am constantly astounded that it is thought that long term weather or climate is ‘modeled’. It can be in a sense replicated, but not predicted.
    My point is, don’t censor creativity, even if you think it inconsequential, or you might inadvertently limit human endeavour.

  22. markstoval says:
    January 24, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Will these attacks on that journal now be a regular feature of this blog? Can I expect this to be like the Friday Funny feature and see some further attacks from Willis once a week?

    I am amazed at Willis and his spewing bile over the Physics journal over and over. Amazed.

    markstoval, to date you have not identified a single thing I’ve said that you disagreed with, despite repeated requests not to just continue making vague mud-slinging attacks. I suppose some day we might find out what it is you are upset about. To date, however, you’ve given us no information.

    Regards,

    w.

  23. Jarryd Beck says:
    January 24, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    As I am yet to see an actual reasonable scientifically-founded refutation of the recently much talked about patterns in physics papers, I am amazed at the amount of hatred that keeps pouring their way.

    Jarryd, before letting your amazement run away with you, perhaps you missed my posts here and here. Also, see my comments here on Tallbloke’s paper here and here.

    Finally, we can’t say what’s happening in Scafetta’s paper, because it’s not science at all, just an advertisement—he’s refused to reveal his code and data, so we don’t know what he did. That’s four papers … I don’t know if my stomach can handle reading more.

    w.

  24. The Pompous Git:

    Yes. That is a old tired record isn’t it. It is actually not a myth. It is a tragic lie that even when it is revealed for what it is, it is still perpetuated.

  25. Willis, I read the paper as soon as I found the Journal existed and I too was impressed with the careful analysis and the wealth of support that exists for its conclusions.

    I suffered two shocks later: the cancelling of of the entire issue which was another act of CAGW insanity and the second was the caustic and dismissive response to the articles displayed on WUWT not because of their content which was apparently as yet unexamined, but on the basis of their titles, perhaps abstracts. in other words they were literally judged by their covers.

    That is inexcusable.

    There is nothing in the AGW narrative that comes close to the precision of the claims, the evidence, and the logic of this paper on super tides.

    Lief dismisses everything to do with this topic as “wiggle matching”, by which I mean that exactly the same forces and type of effects evidenced on Earth happen on the Sun with observable consequences.

    How can such obvious and measurable causes not have effects? Conversely, how can there be any demonstrable effect that is cause-less? Analysed properly, as in the book “Minimalism, the New Philosophy” there is only one effect without a cause which is the Universe itself.

  26. Frederick Colbourne says:
    January 24, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    … Willis and others are probably right to criticize papers in the banned journal as below their standards for doing science. But they miss the point: the journal was banned to silence a heresy, not because of its quality or because of allowing pal review. That is what the CEO of Copernicus wrote as his reason for closing the journal. I assume Willis and others read the first letter he wrote before he added the charge of “nepotism” (sic).

    I don’t care particularly why Copernicus closed the journal, because I would have closed it my self. The editors and peer-reviewers were in total violation of their agreed upon responsibilities and duties. As a result, they all approved each others papers, gave each other a pat on the back, and published. The result was garbage. At that point, Copernicus had little choice but to engage in heavy damage control.

    Frederick, the authors and editors were the peer reviewers, and the peer reviewers and editors were the authors. They are the ones who agreed to be bound by the normal rules, then they smashed those rules to bits … and now you want to paint them as the victims? Victims of their own foolishness, perhaps. Did you expect Copernicus just to look the other way?

    Anyone who is surprised by Copernicus’s actions doesn’t understand that they are a business. As such, they cannot afford those kinds of shenanigans, it would be fatal to their operation.

    And if Copernicus did this to silence them, you’d have to say it was a resounding failure, so it’s not an issue of freedom of expression, listen to them howl, their freedom to put their ideas forwards is in no way curtailed, … but I don’t think that’s why Copernicus did it.

    Finally, what the authors and editors stated about the IPCC was not a heresy. It was a vague, uncited, unreferenced, handwaving claim. It did not identify what they were saying the IPCC got wrong. It did not say how their work showed the IPCC was wrong about whatever it was.

    Instead, the authors’ claim was the equivalent of them saying “Our pile of paper shows the IPCC pile of paper is wrong, so there” …

    So I object to their statement, not on the grounds of heresy, but on the grounds that it is a meaningless unprincipled vague claim that is not scientific in the slightest—it is just an idle boast, without patrimony, citation, or meaning. Not only was it unsourced and unsupported, with no scientific justification or support … it was also outright stupid. Why spit in Copernicus’s face? And why should I feel sorry for them after they did so?

    So yes, I’d have done just what Copernicus did. And no, I don’t think this has anything to do with the consensus, nor with freedom of expression. It has to do with a business’s response to execrable science, unsupported attacks, and slip-shod, pathetic peer review and editing. Anyone who is surprised shouldn’t be. That’s what happens when you agree to play by the rules and then break them.

    w.

  27. dp says:
    January 24, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    uncalled for sniping

    Perhaps so, but so is the article. The most recent of several from the W. Do you guys ever get tired of looking the other way?

    I’ve made a host of strong scientific objections to their papers. If you think I’m wrong, show us, that would be interesting. Your opinion that I’m the bad guy, on the other hand, is far less interesting, since you’ve failed to support it with even the simplest example, quote or citation …

    w.

  28. @Willis “That’s four papers … I don’t know if my stomach can handle reading more.”

    Oh please! For a sailor you have a weak stomach. None are as bad as some Nature articles which have equally inaccessible data and code.

    Scarfetta: Put up the necessary or shut up. I wrote to you with a good suggestion. I can’t defend you if you don’t play by the rules.

  29. Willis wrote:
    “And finally, they offer observational evidence to support their claim.”
    ——————————–

    Hi Willis,

    did you compute a p value to compare the plot above with a detrended temperature record ?

    Visual inspection suggests it is zero. And I can’t even see a common pattern

  30. Crispin in Waterloo says:
    January 24, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Willis, I read the paper as soon as I found the Journal existed and I too was impressed with the careful analysis and the wealth of support that exists for its conclusions.

    I suffered two shocks later: the cancelling of of the entire issue which was another act of CAGW insanity and the second was the caustic and dismissive response to the articles displayed on WUWT not because of their content which was apparently as yet unexamined, but on the basis of their titles, perhaps abstracts. in other words they were literally judged by their covers.

    That is inexcusable.

    That’s just petty nastiness. I’ve written two posts detailing very precisely the bogus claims and the lack of math in two of the papers. I’ve pointed out that instead of having a “wealth of support” as you fatuously claim, in a third paper Scafetta won’t even reveal his codes or data, which means it has no support, and that it is not science, it’s just an advertisement … and clearly, you can’t tell the difference.

    I’ve also pointed out the huge problems with Tallblokes paper as well, see above for the links to descriptions of his venture into numerology.

    Jelbring? Jelbring is still touting his long-falsified theory discussed here … he still claims he is right about the atmospheric mass causing warming, despite Dr. Brown’s most interesting and devastating evisceration of his work. Any man who continues with his BS after his work has been gutted like a fish is not a scientist in any sense of the word—scientists admit when they are wrong.

    In other words, your accusation that the papers were “judged by the covers” is totally refuted by the facts and shown to be baseless. All you’ve proven is that you have judged me by the cover …

    w.

  31. Manfred says:
    January 24, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    Willis wrote:

    “And finally, they offer observational evidence to support their claim.”

    ——————————–

    Hi Willis,

    did you compute a p value to compare the plot above with a detrended temperature record ?

    Visual inspection suggests it is zero. And I can’t even see a common pattern

    Thanks, Manfred. No, I didn’t compute anything. As I said my interest was not in defending the paper, and no paper is perfect. My interest was in pointing out how science is done, not in the details of their exposition.

    Best regards,

    w.

  32. Crispin in Waterloo says:
    January 24, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    @Willis

    “That’s four papers … I don’t know if my stomach can handle reading more.”

    Oh please! For a sailor you have a weak stomach.

    OK, swabbie, you take the wheel then, you can analyze the next paper while I puke over the gunwale to leewards …

    None are as bad as some Nature articles which have equally inaccessible data and code.

    No, some of them are worse than anything I’ve ever seen in Nature. However, I have quite often dissected and falsified studies from Nature as well, and excoriated them for the same faults.

    People seem surprised or offended that I apply the same standards to Scafetta and Tallbloke that I apply to Michael Mann or Peter Gleick. I make every effort to apply the same rules and tests to every scientific paper I analyze. Either you provide the data and code as used, or it’s not science.

    Have I been too harsh on the skeptics? Well, I’ve likely been harder on them then on Michael Mann … and that is because I expect more of the skeptics. You see, I expect Michael Mann to hide his data and code, and he never fails to deliver. I don’t expect skeptics to do that, and I really didn’t expect them to publish scientific papers without requiring full disclosure and transparence. In addition to being required by Copernicus policies, not requiring what is needed for replication is not science of any kind. It reflects horribly on all skeptics when they to try that same kind of a scam that the AGW alarmists have run in the past. So yeah, that’s in the mix as well.

    w.

  33. My reference to the wealth of support referred of course to the paper we are both discussing, not Scarfetta’s which I also read. Because it contained a conceptual error I looked up his email address and wrote to him with a suggestion. I didn’t find it necessary to insult him in public to discuss it.

    Nastiness?

    I judge your posts by their content. Some are good, some are great. I compliment you for bring tonight’s paper to greater prominence. Full marks for that.

  34. @Willis

    “It reflects horribly on all skeptics when they to try that same kind of a scam that the AGW alarmists have run in the past. So yeah, that’s in the mix as well.”

    i agree with you on the data thing, completely. As to “the mix” I for one understand and cut you some slack but you can’t have the whole hank.

    Your support for this article was clinical. The refutatations are more effective if the knife remains sharp.

  35. Bewitch

    be assured i will not visit that link – your post bears the odour of ad hominem

    do you have something worthwhile to contribute?

  36. “we find a strong correlation with the sunspot number, in multidecadal time scales, and with larger solar activity corresponding to larger stream flow.”

    The correlation coefficient is r=0.78, significant to a 99% level. In shorter time scales we find a strong correlation with El Nino. These results are a step toward flood prediction, which might have great social and economic impacts.

    From the above?

    Is this real?

  37. Paul Westhaver said @ January 24, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    The Pompous Git:

    Yes. That is a old tired record isn’t it. It is actually not a myth. It is a tragic lie that even when it is revealed for what it is, it is still perpetuated.

    Tragic lie, yes, but a myth nevertheless. From the OED:

    A purely fictitious narrative… embodying some popular idea concerning natural or historical phenomena.

    Additionally, myth seems often intended to justify some attitude or other. In this instance, that the Roman Catholic church persecuted Galileo and suppressed science when in fact the opposite occurred. Galileo had the full support of both the pope, an ex-student and friend, and Robert Bellarmine, head of the Inquisition. Without that support team Galileo likely would have been tortured and condemned for heresy.

  38. Willis,

    It’s great when you can do all those things:
    – make a claim
    – propose a mechanism
    – show data

    Obviously something to strive for whenever one can. However, I think you are too hard on those that just say “Hey look at this interesting periodic synchronicity. Could there be something there?” Someone has to make the first step. It would seem a shame to hold everyone to standards that require they have to be able to explain everything they see before they can show any data whatsoever. Finding patterns and publishing data allows others to look at it and see if there is something to it or not.

    I agree there is a danger of false correlation and ‘astrology science’, but it’s limited and mostly harmless. Many interesting phenomenon (Milankovitch cycles synchronicity with ice ages for example) would never have been published for all to think about if we demanded they had to have a solid empirically provable mechanism fist. Many other interesting theories (string theory, Higgs-Boson particles, actually most of modern physics really) would not have been published if it was held to your standard. Science is data, but it is also creating wild theories that direct others of possible areas where to look further (i.e. most of modern physics today).

  39. Keeling and Whorf 2000 is a very interesting paper, Willis. Thanks for digging it up. Do you happen know if it was peer reviewed? It’s my understanding that many PNAS papers are not. Just curious…

  40. Scarfetta: Put up the necessary or shut up. I wrote to you with a good suggestion. I can’t defend you if you don’t play by the rules.

    Mosh, Willis, McIntyre, and others have been asking Scarfetta (sic, but I love it), for data and code since around 2008. His answer: Read my papers!

  41. “Conversely, how can there be any demonstrable effect that is cause-less?’

    Since “effect” means “result of a cause”, it is logically impossible to have an effect without a cause. However, there is no such logical constraint on events and phenomena. An uncaused event is a logical possibility. Uncaused events may be nomologically impossible, but I do not know how we could establish the relevant law of nature.

    “there is only one effect without a cause which is the Universe itself.”

    The universe might well be a phenomenon without a cause (and for economy it would be reasonable to consider it so) but it is quite possible that it does have a cause. (A previous universe, perhaps. Or maybe an accident in a Celestial High School Chemistry class.) We simply do not know.

    “Analysed properly, as in the book “Minimalism, the New Philosophy”

    I cannot find any reference to this anywhere aside from your posts.

  42. Interesting that the peaks seem to be about the same interval that it takes for the planets to do a complete cycle i.e all the planets in a line – all the planets in a line.

  43. Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 24, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    markstoval says:
    January 24, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Will these attacks on that journal now be a regular feature of this blog? Can I expect this to be like the Friday Funny feature and see some further attacks from Willis once a week?

    I am amazed at Willis and his spewing bile over the Physics journal over and over. Amazed.

    markstoval, to date you have not identified a single thing I’ve said that you disagreed with, despite repeated requests not to just continue making vague mud-slinging attacks. I suppose some day we might find out what it is you are upset about. To date, however, you’ve given us no information.

    Willis some information..
    Just like I said earlier. I agree with Pointmans view on this..Cool it

    http://thepointman.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/cool-it/

  44. @ RoHa

    My search for Minimalism, the New Philosophy found Home Decorating Secrets You Can Use To Transform Your Home Into The Palace You’ve Always Imagined!: How To Renovate The Interior Of Your Home The Way A Home Decorating Television Expert Would!. Perhaps that was the work being referred to ;-)

  45. Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 24, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    ” … Have I been too harsh on the skeptics? Well, I’ve likely been harder on them then on Michael Mann … and that is because I expect more of the skeptics. …”
    —-l
    I consider the greatest risk to be that someone is not held to the same standards as those with a generally “opposing” view, since “he is one of us.” Corruption starts with this step ( or “looking the other way” as another poster suggested. )

    Willis might be over-compensating, but I would rather see that, than have sceptics commit the same errors that I disapprove of in the warmist tactics.

    I note that many posters seem to be hesitant to debate the factual statements Willis makes – if he is incompetent or unqualified, as some posters seem to think, it should be no problem to show that these arguments are unsound :) They prefer to focus instead on his style and motives. It does give his accusations of handwaving and vagueness some ground, so maybe a different approach would work better to convince those who are reading that he is mistaken.

  46. If you google “alignment of the planets” you come up with all sorts of new age garbage. No doubt the authors of the papers wanted them taken seriously. If so it is a shame that they were not iron clad in their publishing and review procedures. It may well be that there is something in their theories. However by allowing such a PR disaster, they risk tarring all skeptics with the brush of “voodoo science” and ammunition of the likes of Lewandowsky. So whether the science has merit or not, this is an unforced error.

  47. Willis said:

    “Have I been too harsh on the skeptics? Well, I’ve likely been harder on them then on Michael Mann … and that is because I expect more of the skeptics. You see, I expect Michael Mann to hide his data and code, and he never fails to deliver. I don’t expect skeptics to do that, and I really didn’t expect them to publish scientific papers without requiring full disclosure and transparence.”

    Well said.

    Sceptics are well aware alarmists routinely manipulate, ‘homogenise’, or torture data to get the required Thermageddon result. That is why they usually do not like to disclose all data and code, as expert sceptics will unpick the results and rightly ridicule what has been done. Pal review in alarmist papers is just a front to try and provide respectability for whatever was written.

    The point is very simple: sceptics should not sink to alarmist levels and thereby discredit the entire sceptic argument. I originally thought Copernicus should have been censured for what they did, but that was before I read a couple of the journal’s articles……enough said.

  48. “I note that many posters seem to be hesitant to debate the factual statements Willis makes – if he is incompetent or unqualified, as some posters seem to think, it should be no problem to show that these arguments are unsound :) They prefer to focus instead on his style and motives. It does give his accusations of handwaving and vagueness some ground, so maybe a different approach would work better to convince those who are reading that he is mistaken.”

    Matters of style are important, and Willis has made a crusade of criticizing the late physics journal and demonstrated a glee that they were shuttered and closed down. If one can not see that from the posts from Willis over the last several days then one has his eyes shut. Why the joy that one physics journal was closed down when there looks to be little that they did that many, many others have not also done? Is it because they were looking at cycles?

    A good example is the beginning of this latest post. He could have simply started off by saying that this paper that he based this post on was “good science” regardless weather you agreed with it or not without bringing up the whole affair yet again. That would have set a positive tone for this thread; but instead he took yet another shot at the closed down physics journal and all the scientists who were involved. You may find that “the way we want to do things here” but I find it disgusting.

    Another good one is his post to me where he claims I have not let him know what has upset me with his recent crusade. Yet I have been plain that the continual attacks are unseemly. We don’t really know what happened there. These men are being smeared at WUWT on a now daily basis.

    I don’t like the attacks and think that a few here are petty and small minded in this whole matter. But, it is a free country and if the host likes this sort of thing at his blog then so be it. But I will remember this episode for a long time and especially next time one of this inquisition are themselves attacked unfairly or without all the information being known.

    “Willis might be over-compensating, but I would rather see that, than have sceptics commit the same errors that I disapprove of in the warmist tactics.”

    “over-compensating”? Ya think? But his tactics are the same as the warmists; and that is the point. Where is the information from a trial or real investigation in this matter? All I really have is that Lord Monckton thought that the journal was worth keeping open and that in his generally reliable opinion the journal was shut down unfairly.

    As a side note; I have read here a long time and made only a few comments over time. I have almost always agreed with Willis’ positions and am truly disappointed at the latest developments here at this blog. But as the old Sufi teaching story tells us — this too shall pass.

    I thought that the NoTricksZone post on this matter nailed it pretty good: http://notrickszone.com/2014/01/24/monckton-blasts-prp-journal-shutdown-21st-century-equivalent-of-nazi-era-book-burning-by-a-vicious-campaign/

  49. “markstoval, to date you have not identified a single thing I’ve said that you disagreed with”

    I have and you know it. I disagree with the continual smearing of the people who posted in that journal and the glee that it is shut down. I get it that you are overjoyed that the journal was shut down and that you feel great about that. Good for you.

    There are many on the skeptical side that are not happy that the journal was shut down and I suppose that colors our views of the glee you have shown over its demise, but I am hoping that sometime before spring you stop taking pot shots at those scientists. Ah, …. spring of this year of course.

    I now understand this comment at NoTricksZone:
    “It’s becoming increasingly clear that a certain WUWT contributor is having perhaps too much influence at the number one skeptic blog, a blog to which we owe so much to. As talented as that person may be, it seems odd he would take it upon himself, given his relatively scant scientific credentials, to tell the rest of us which science is to be believed. One paper or two doesn’t make a person the authority. There were other self-anointed climate science quality czars who came out of the woodwork and over-extended. …

  50. markstoval

    Don’t confuse glee with standing up for principles and shouting down the voices of hypocrisy.

    Don’t confuse persistence for persecution.

    It is extremely disappointing for those standing up for principles of ethical scientific research to see their former allies defending the indefensible. Since those former allies continue to spout nonsense and hypocritical, Machiavellian, tribal, rationalizations, people like Willis have to make the point, firmly, logically, and repetitively, that there is no there, there.

    They did it first is not a justification for publishing substandard work, especially when the substandard work you publish is much, much worse than the other side ever published.

    They did it first is no justification for violating the principles of peer review.

    They did it first is no justification for withholding data and code.

    They did it first is no justification for purposely misleading the publisher.

    They did if first is no justification for circling the wagons and dismissing all criticism.

    The defenders of the PRiP clique truly sadden me. One does not want to be allied with hypocrisy, especially when one has worked for years for the opposite. Perhaps now you see why Willis is relentless.

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing.

  51. markstoval said @ January 25, 2014 at 1:30 am

    As talented as that person may be, it seems odd he would take it upon himself, given his relatively scant scientific credentials, to tell the rest of us which science is to be believed.

    Where does willis tell us “which science is to be believed”? Don’t be shy. The paper referred to in the headpost is given as an example of what appears to be prima facie reasonable science. Willis specifically says: “Please be clear that I am not advocating for this study. or saying that this explains how the climate works.” You may very well interpret that statement as a directive as to what to believe, but then you’re fairly obviously in a logic-free zone.

  52. markstoval says:
    January 25, 2014 at 1:30 am

    “markstoval, to date you have not identified a single thing I’ve said that you disagreed with”

    I have and you know it. I disagree with the continual smearing of the people who posted in that journal and the glee that it is shut down. I get it that you are overjoyed that the journal was shut down and that you feel great about that. Good for you.

    markstoval, I’ve asked you a number of times to specifically identify what I said that you object to. I’ve requested that you quote my words so we could know what you are referring to.

    Instead, you just keep repeating your vague accusations, like that I am “smearing” people, without coming up with one single solitary example of such claimed smearing. I don’t think I’ve smeared anyone. You obviously do … but I’m still waiting for even one example.

    So no, what I said is still true—to date you have not identified a single thing I’ve said that you disagreed with. You’ve just repeated your accusations, with no more substance than before.

    w.

  53. The Pompous Git says:
    January 24, 2014 at 8:59 pm
    Thanks for clarifying this.
    I recall your post clarifying the history on the discussion about the ‘meme’ when you and M deconstructed the Dawkins’ theory.
    You may see fit to repost.

  54. charles the moderator said @ January 25, 2014 at 2:28 am

    It is extremely disappointing for those standing up for principles of ethical scientific research to see their former allies defending the indefensible.

    If there is one thing that truly characterises this website, it is the soundness of moral principle in our host, most of his guest contributors and many of the commentators. The abandonment of moral principle would seem to indicate that rather than being allies, they were merely looking for a trough to feed from. So sad that it was taken away from them.

  55. Lewis P Buckingham said @ January 25, 2014 at 2:34 am

    The Pompous Git says:
    January 24, 2014 at 8:59 pm
    Thanks for clarifying this.
    I recall your post clarifying the history on the discussion about the ‘meme’ when you and M deconstructed the Dawkins’ theory.
    You may see fit to repost.

    For those curious enough, a search of this website on “pompous git meme” should suffice. It was an interesting conversation…

  56. “As talented as that person may be, it seems odd he would take it upon himself, given his relatively scant scientific credentials, to tell the rest of us which science is to be believed.”

    You don’t have to be a mechanic to know your car is broken.

    Why do so many people insist that only “qualified” persons can identify the existence of a fault? The pro-AGW camp has been making that fatuous claim for as long as I can remember. I am a bit surprised to see it popping up here.

  57. markstoval says: January 24, 2014 at 5:37 pm
    Will these attacks on that journal now be a regular feature of this blog? Can I expect this to be like the Friday Funny feature and see some further attacks from Willis once a week?

    I am amazed at Willis and his spewing bile over the Physics journal over and over. Amazed.

    Yes, not a pretty sight.

  58. Interesting and a distinct possibility of being correct. Certainly nor a process considered in the climate models.

  59. Martin A says:
    January 25, 2014 at 2:55 am

    markstoval says: January 24, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Will these attacks on that journal now be a regular feature of this blog? Can I expect this to be like the Friday Funny feature and see some further attacks from Willis once a week?

    I am amazed at Willis and his spewing bile over the Physics journal over and over. Amazed.

    Yes, not a pretty sight.

    What’s not a pretty sight are random anonymous internet popups like markstoval making vague accusations of my unspecified wrongdoing, and not backing them up with examples despite repeated requests.

    However, their supporters, yes-men like your self, are even less pretty … like I did with markstoval, I invite you to quote what I said that has you grasping your pearls and being aghast. Unlike him, perhaps you’ll actually do it.

    w.

  60. The Pompous Git wrote –

    “The Dialogue was approved by the censors in 1630 and published in 1632. It was only then that Galielo’s enemies noticed that Galileo had ridiculed the pope, something the pope himself had missed when he read the book.

    Galileo, in criticising the pope, had left himself open to his enemies, who were not the cardinals of the church, but his fellow academics (The Pigeon League). The cardinals decided that ridiculing the pope was not heresy, but brought in a verdict that Galileo was “vehemently suspected of heresy”.”

    At last somebody with enough common sense to partition a political decision from a scientific or theological one. It does not excuse the Church from the effects of that decision which still plague this era by effectively jettisoning its astronomical heritage for some moral dictatorship and leaving the valid objections unresolved.

    Perhaps the most influential work in respect to the tides occurred 23 years before everything went sideways with Newton’s overreaching agenda,this originally took the form of a letter from John Wallis to Robert Boyle in 1666 where Wallis uses experimental analogies in tandem with planetary dynamics and lunar influences to outline his ideas as to why the tides change daily,monthly and annually.

    http://rstl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/1/1-22/263.full.pdf+html

    Most readers who live on the Western Isles of Europe now know that the huge storms that rolled in during late December and January wiped out beaches and man-made defenses because of the orbital influences on tidal fluctuations but the same readers here positively refuse to accept the uneven surface rotation to the central Sun which is most pronounced as the planet starts to speed up from 6 months of slowing down. This surfaces in part on page 277 of Wallis’s commentary where he freely admits that he doesn’t have an idea what the cause behind the natural noon variations are but today that secondary surface rotation can be identified to a 100% certainty and when allied with daily rotation causes the seasons,annual variations in the tides and so on.

    It is actually possible to talk like men and disagree,not to defend an agenda but to come to a cleaner and clearer technical and historical view and why we inherited exceptionally poor ideologies built on others that were equally poor. To untangle knots means sometimes going back to simplicity and see where the tangles occurred.

  61. Willis Eschenbach on January 24, 2014 at 9:40 pmJarryd Beck says:January 24, 2014 at 6:37 pmAs I am yet to see an actual reasonable scientifically-founded refutation of the recently much talked about patterns in physics papers, I am amazed at the amount of hatred that keeps pouring their way.Jarryd, before letting your amazement run away with you, perhaps you missed my posts here and here. Also, see my comments here on Tallbloke’s paper hereand here.Finally, we can’t say what’s happening in Scafetta’s paper, because it’s not science at all, just an advertisement—he’s refused to reveal his code and data, so we don’t know what he did. That’s four papers … I don’t know if my stomach can handle reading more.

    OK Willis, I write a post summarizing your attempt to defame Prof Jan-Erik Solheim with a straw man argument over a single figure in his extensive and interesting paper.

    And another on your ludicrous attempt to ridicule R.J. Salvador’s intriguing solar-planetary model which successfully hindcasts 1000 years of solar variation as represented by Max Planck Institute chief Sami Solanki’s 14C reconstruction.

    And finally, after I’ve defended my esteemed colleagues, I’ll defend my own contribution. It’s a pity you didn’t have a go at the more interesting sections further into the paper where we get to the cyclicities which interact to produce periodicities which match climatic periods such as the AMO or the Hudson Bay beach ridges, but I appreciate that cowboys in a hurry to shoot from the hip won’t have the attention span required to fully absorb a paper before launching into a tirade of ignorant abuse.

    In the meantime I advise everyone else to download the papers and form their own judgements, rather than take this vengeful (he hates being banned) cowboy at his word. They are all still published and available from Copernicus here.

    http://www.pattern-recogn-phys.net/special_issue2.html

  62. markstoval says:
    January 25, 2014 at 1:17 am

    ” … Matters of style are important, … ”
    —-l
    I fully agree. When lecturing others on style one could argue that it is advisable to to avoid phrases such as :
    ” … I will never again read anything here posted by you without knowing what a real hater and foul little thing you are … ”

    —-l
    But his tactics are the same as the warmists; and that is the point.
    —-l
    Just to clarify, the tactic I specifically was referring to was that of noble cause corruption, which I don’t think he has committed. Some of the warmists’ other tactics to obscuring the true issues include ad hominem attacks, which I assume you do not approve of and would not want to be thought guilty of.
    —-l

    Where is the information from a trial or real investigation in this matter?
    —-l
    For a start, I note that in one instance he compared some of their mathematical procedures to numerology. Do you feel that this is a valid statement and that he can show good reason? Since this forms part of the factual arguments that he bases his criticism on, what are your feelings on this point?
    —-l

    markstoval says:
    January 24, 2014 at 1:55 am

    ” … It would be nice if someone who knew all the groups would do a list of the various players and groups here for those of us that don’t have time to keep up properly. … ”
    —-l
    To clue you in would take quite a while and I don’t think the other readers would appreciate it. I can only recommend that you read the threads gave rise to this one thoroughly(preferably in a calmer state of mind.) No one here is going to prechew or predigest your information for you. Your specific line of attack has been raised before as an argument to minimise the transgressions of the parties that are seeking sympathy. That could explain why some posters are impatient with your viewpoint (which might not be incorrect so much as overstated and given too much weight.)

    I think I should mention that Willis seems to enjoy getting a reaction and so far you have not disappointed, but I would say that what he really wants is someone who is willing to debate the facts of his criticism. There are probably readers here who dream about Willis getting taken down in a real debate concerning his factual statements. As you don’t seem up to it, perhaps you could recommend someone else?

    Try not to get paranoid or upset about moderation – using certain keywords gets you moderated – it happens to everyone. The most important advice I can give you concerning style in debate is that it is inadvisable to appear childish or petulant – it does tend to swing popular opinion against you.

  63. Deniswingo,
    It is very interesting and an area where I have done some work. Whenever the Moon passes over the North American continent lifts by 2 inches. We have measured the variation in the gravity field directly with extremely sensitive accelerometers. Don’t know if they are right, but the science is good…

    Are you sure what you’re measuring isn’t the NET gravity when the moon is overhead? If the moon is pulling your instrument up, it’s directly counteracting the pull of the earth. Now, maybe you’ve already taken the pull of the moon into account and have found a difference that you’re attributing to NA pulling a little further away from the core, but since you didn’t explicitly say so it seems like the most likely answer.

  64. Willis – ‘yes-man’? Me? I don’t think so. I think for myself and I simply don’t like what I see here.

    To me, the content and the repetition of these threads are reminiscent to some degree of the atmosphere of “The Two Minute Hate” (1984).

    If you don’t see what your threads have a really nasty and obsessive tone (and believe me, they have) then that says something about your abilities in human communication and your personal qualities. If you don’t see it, then it’s certainly not because the threads are in fact expressed objectively and express nothing but a desire for quality in scientific publishing.

    Clearly, you don’t see what I and some other see in this and related threads. It’s the tone of thread as a whole, including the fact that it was posted at all, that disappoints and upsets us – not just some isolated points.

    Since you ask, even though I’m pretty sure you won’t get it, here are just a few lines that characterize the tone of the thread:

    - I don’t know if my stomach can handle reading more.
    – Victims of their own foolishness
    – it was also outright stupid.
    – why should I feel sorry for them
    – their supporters, yes-men like your self
    – random anonymous internet popups
    – grasping your pearls and being aghast.

    Get it now? I doubt it. Bye.

  65. Willis referred to RG Brown’s thread in 2012 in which rgb said this :

    “One is then left with an uncomfortable picture of the gas moving constantly – heat must be adiabatically convected downward to the bottom of the container in figure 1 in ongoing opposition to the upward directed flow of heat due to the fact that Fourier’s Law applies to the ideal gas in such a way that equilibrium is never reached!
    Of course, this will not happen. The gas in the container will quickly reach equilibrium. ”

    I think that is where rgb (and by implication, Willis) must be wrong because for a rotating, rough surfaced sphere illuminated by a point source of light no equilibrium can ever be reached and so that ‘uncomfortable picture’ is exactly what does happen.

    The reason that it must happen is that in such a scenario one always finds the creation of parcels of air at different temperatures and densities next to one another at the same height.

    Once that happens then they must change positions relative to one another within the gravitational field due to the differing weights caused by the different temperatures and densities.

    Thus the system can never reach equilibrium, the gas must move constantly, heat must be convected downward as per Fourier’s Law and an isothermal equilibrium will never be attained. There will always be a lapse rate through the gas from surface to space and it will be a result of conduction and convection and not radiation from GHGs at height.

    That heat constantly being convected downward by the reconversion of PE to KE is the missing element in the global energy budget cartoons and once it is included the ‘need’ to assume a surface warming effect from DWIR disappears.

  66. Nice article about the tides Willis. The next question to be asked would be, why the standard model of gravity does not explain the tides in any way shape or form. Neither does it explain the universe as per the standard model, 95% of matter is missing. Thus the recent fudge of dark matter and dark energy.

    Perhaps some thing is missing, that is subtle but more powerful than gravity in our understanding of the processes that control what we see. Never throw out the baby with the bath water.

  67. it is quite a complicated thing, we have a physical mechanism, but we don’t not how to calculate the quantitative effect…
    nature had time to synchronize but nature has strength to destroy synchronization.

    The answer will be empirical, but from my point of view it is exactly the same with models and agw.

    And because the answer is empirical, the accuracy of data is a central issue.

  68. From the paper:

    “Consistent periodicity was demonstrated by averaging the times between inferred cool events over 12-kyr time intervals. This ‘‘pacing’’ of events was found to be restricted to a narrow range between 1,328 and 1,795 years, with a grand average of 1,476 +/- 585 yr.”

    The middle value is 1561.5yr, planetary theory predicts ~1542.5yrs.

    “This time-difference describes a pattern consisting of a generally declining difference interrupted by an abrupt upward shift that occurs 61 times in a simulation of 283.674 kyr (not all plotted): hence, an average period of 4,650 years.”

    Planetary theory predicts 4627yrs.

    I see it highly unlikely that tides have driven major temperature change through the Holocene, and looking at the data has decided it for me. That 1974 peak tide period is at the the leading edge of the 1975/76 climate shift.

  69. Well, since this thread has become analogous to a Miss Manners class, I offer the following: You Scrabble players who are euphoric about “syzygy” apparently plan to come to the table with a y in your pockets. There are only two y tiles in the Scrabble letter set.

  70. Willis, a mathematical model that predicts the future accurately is useful, regardless of who created it, why and whether the underlying mechanism is understood. For example, tide tables have been used for decades. They are very accurate, people on boats trust their lives to them but no one really understands them and no one cares.

  71. My suspicion is that the GW alarmists are ignoring the Ice Core stories as they do not support the storyline. A cursory visual look at the Greenland and Antarctic data sets would match reasonably close for a long term study Does anyone know of a study that has tried to develop a Holocene-long, global-wide temperature trend using the set of ice core datasets?

  72. markstoval et al.:

    When the PRP fiasco broke it was generally assumed that there had been censorship by the publisher, Copernicus. Our host posted an article condemning the apparent censorship and I made a series of strongly worded posts in that thread which supported the PRP-Team and opposed the apparent censorship.

    Then the reality was exposed. The PRP-Team had agreed to provide a peer reviewed Special Edition of PRP and in accepting that they accepted the written rules for publication provided by Copernicus. But they flagrantly disregarded and violated those rules. This provided Copernicus with a problem which they solved by axing the small-circulation PRP and, thus, stopping the publication of the Special Edition.

    The revelation of what had happened was an eye-opener. I reversed my view and explained why on the WUWT thread. Subsequently, our host reversed his view for the same reason, and he provided an article which explained his change of view.

    The behaviour of the PRP-Team has serious effects.
    It has brought discredit on the long-standing campaign of AGW-sceptics for proper scientific conduct. All AGW-alarmists now say that we have no grounds for complaint when we do it too. But a main reason for some of us being active AGW-sceptics is our desire to halt the lowering of standards for scientific conduct, and the action of the PRP-Team has been a ‘stab in the back’ for us. Willis is one who has been campaigning for open exposure of data and, thus, is among those of us who have been ‘stabbed in the back’.

    We have called for the PRP-Team to acknowledge what they did and to express regret which would enable some reduction of the damage they have done. Willis is one who has been explaining what the PRP-Team did.

    The PRP-Team have responded by pretending they did nothing wrong and pretending that – somehow – they are innocent victims. They claimed it was “all about the science” and people should consider their science which they claimed had been “censored”. Also, they claimed that support of the action of the publisher was because people wanted to stop discussion of a solar/climate relationship and/or suppression of opposition to the IPCC. Importantly, some of the PRP-Team and their supporters have made untrue smears and attacks (both public and private) of those who are calling for the PRP-Team to acknowledge their actions and to express regret for them.

    The PRP-Team did abuse the trust of the publisher, Copernicus, by flagrantly breaking the rules the PRP-Team had accepted. This is a matter of documented fact.

    Copernicus had no option but to stop the Special Edition as a result of the PRP-Team having broken the rules. This is a matter of business reality. And it is an understandable business judgement for Copernicus to have closed the journal completely as a result of the bad publicity which was inevitable from the stopping of the Special Edition.

    It is specious to claim that the PRP-Team are innocent victims. Copernicus is the innocent victim of the misbehaviour by the PRP-Team, and all AGW-scepticism has been harmed, too.

    It is demonstrably untrue that demand for the PRP-Team to acknowledge what they have done is a veiled campaign against the possibility of a solar/climate relationship. It is a matter of record that
    (a) I assisted Hans Jelbring to obtain publication of his hypothesis and
    (b) I gave very great assistance to Theodor Landscheit in getting his seminal barycenter work published including a re-write of his paper to turn it into language suitable for publication (we remained friends until his demise).
    I did this so their ideas could be widely assessed. And now people claim my concerns at actions of the PRP-Team are me having an “agenda” of opposing a solar/climate relationship. Incredible!

    The excuse that stopping publication of the Special Edition was “all about the science” has been addressed by considering the papers which would have been in the Special Edition. Willis has provided a series of reviews on WUWT so the “science” that would have been in the Special Edition is being assessed. And in the above article Willis demonstrates that it is the nature of the papers in the Special Review which is problematic and not any opposition to the idea of a solar/climate connection.

    The PRP-Team supporters now claim this addressing of the science is a “campaign” against the PRP-Team. No! It is the address of the science which they previously claimed they wanted.

    Anth0ny Watts, Willis Eschenbach and I each has long record of exposing the flaws of the IPCC procedures and science.
    The assertion that our attempt to uphold good scientific standards is in support of the IPCC is too ridiculous for it to need refutation.

    So, markstoval et al., stop your campaign of unsubstantiated smears and turn your campaign of vilification on the PRP-Team. They deserve vilification unless and until they admit what they have done and express some regret for it.

    Richard

  73. markstoval – You are coming across as unhinged and an embarrassment.

    Perhaps you should take note of your own conduct first.

  74. Willis :
    [...] Anyone who is surprised by Copernicus’s actions doesn’t understand that they are a business. As such, they cannot afford those kinds of shenanigans, it would be fatal to their operation. [...]

    This is something that seems to have been completely missed by most. Whatever issue, and I suspect there were many, finally prompted Copernicus to act is absolutely irrelevant. They didn’t want their reputation destroyed by the publication – end of story. No company in a competitive market would.

    There has been so much nonsense written on the subject that I have dumped more than a few ‘blogs’ from my ‘bookmarks’. The usual conspiracy nonsense, the standard ‘victim’ crap from the usual sources and even a missive linking Copernicus to the holocaust. You just couldn’t make this stuff up.

    manny says:
    January 25, 2014 at 6:33 am

    Willis, a mathematical model that predicts the future accurately is useful, regardless of who created it, why and whether the underlying mechanism is understood. [...]

    No. This is exactly the point re “wiggle matching” – anyone competent in mathematics can do it. Just develop some software that keeps adding periodic waveforms together until you match your target waveform. Write a ‘scientific’ paper and whine continuously as, one by one, people expose your work for what it actually is.

  75. Gkell1 said @ January 25, 2014 at 3:36 am

    It is actually possible to talk like men and disagree,not to defend an agenda but to come to a cleaner and clearer technical and historical view and why we inherited exceptionally poor ideologies built on others that were equally poor. To untangle knots means sometimes going back to simplicity and see where the tangles occurred.

    Indeed! And many thanks for the link to Dr John Wallis’s excellent essay. I was not previously aware of it. I must now reread the Dialogue :-) Galileo was certainly wrong to dismiss Kepler’s lunar hypothesis, but it would seem it was also wrong of the pope (and the Git) to dismiss Galileo’s “sloshing”.

  76. @ richardscourtney:

    It is specious to claim that the PRP-Team are innocent victims. Copernicus is the possibly innocent victim of the misbehaviour by the PRP-Team, and all AGW-scepticism has been harmed, too.

    Fixed it for you. The general problem with focusing on people instead of arguments is that it causes people to try to figure out who is “guilty” and “innocent.” No need for that. It might well be that PRP is guilty — of pal review, of failing to produce data and code — and that Copernicus is also guilty of trying to shut down debate. Or not.

    It’s a shame that PRP provided the excuse for it, though. And that was Willis’ point. This was an “own-goal.”

    The question moving forward is whether to sympathize with the misdeeds of PRP, and I say, tell them to cut it out.

    @ Willis:

    Here is a sampling of your own words which serve only or almost only a rhetorical effect in the article Congentical Cyclomania Redux.

    “Our friend Nicola Scafetta is back again…”

    “Just roll that around in your mouth and taste it, “eighteen tunable parameters”. Is there anything that you couldn’t hindcast given 18 different tunable parameters?

    Anyhow, if I were handing out awards, I’d certainly give him the first award for having eighteen arbitrary parameters. But then, I’d have to give him another award for his mystery ingredient.”

    “Now, I don’t even know what to say about this method. I’m dumbfounded.”

    “I truly lack words to describe that, it’s such an awesome logical jump I can only shake my head in awe at the daring trapeze leaps of faith …”

    “Heck, with that many parameters, he should be able to make that sucker tap dance and spit pickle juice …”

    “Now, you can expect that if Nicola Scafetta shows up, he will argue that somehow … ”

    “half-ast-ronomical explanation…”

    I’ll stop there. All of these quotes are mixed in with a genuine argument (that I happen to agree with).

    Now, your rhetoric is your own business and perhaps you have good reason for it. But for me, I found it distracting and off-putting. A strong argument doesn’t need a blustery cloak, just a dispassionate and clear presentation. I get that this is a blog and not a journal, but I would guess that you lose more readers than you might wish with the tone. We caught your disapproval after the first five times.

    Not only so, but it strikes me that the skeptic-and-lukewarmer community is probably not in a position to start splintering into sub-tribes. Why raise everyone’s blood pressure?

    Thanks for considering this.

  77. I suggest we all read, or reread as appropirate, PointMan’s blog article recently reposted on Tallbloke’s Talkshop. We all need to take a deep breath, calm down, and behave like scientists and not like immature grad students fighting for recognition. Keep your eye on THE PRIZE.

    I must say I have been greatly saddened by the petty bickering going on among a few of the regulars here. It has been so bad that I am close to removing the site from my bookmarks.

  78. The link to the original didn’t work for me.

    Next, they propose a mechanism—the strong tides stir up the deeper, colder ocean waters and bring them to the surface, cooling the globe.

    Lots of good science proceeds without mechanisms, such as Newton’s inverse square law for gravitation. That’s the topic about which he wrote that he did not “feign” hypotheses. The gravitational constant had to be estimated later from data, or as we say nowadays, it is a “tunable parameter”; Gauss also did scientific work that involved “curve fitting”.

    I am glad that you found a paper that you like. I’ll check back later to see whether I can download it.

  79. Willis Eschenbach says:
    January 24, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Crispin in Waterloo says:
    January 24, 2014 at 10:04 pm

    “It reflects horribly on all skeptics when they to try that same kind of a scam that the AGW alarmists have run in the past. So yeah, that’s in the mix as well.”

    Well said Willis. The Team and associates already employ transference, accusing skeptical authors of being guilty of all the sins CO2 warmers have committed anyway. This terrible advertisement for skeptical science now makes transference unnecessary. These few skeptics have done immeasurable harm at a critical time. we should be blasting them and disowning them everyday. They aren’t even repentant. They think what they did was fine (sound familiar). If I were a diabolical and unprincipled warmist, I could do no better than pretend I’m a skeptic and do something as egregious as this. I’m surprised at some of your detractors here.

  80. richardscourtney: Then the reality was exposed. The PRP-Team had agreed to provide a peer reviewed Special Edition of PRP and in accepting that they accepted the written rules for publication provided by Copernicus. But they flagrantly disregarded and violated those rules. This provided Copernicus with a problem which they solved by axing the small-circulation PRP and, thus, stopping the publication of the Special Edition.

    I missed that. Where can I read about it?

  81. Martin A, What you don’t seem to get is that until these papers are properly peer reviewed they are pieces of science fiction that are properly criticized as being an abomination to due process.

  82. In a fairly long life as an engineer and scientist I have several times been a close witness to the metamorphosis of derided conjecture into centre-ground certainty.

    The first was the involvemen of a geophysicist relative who was involved in the research that developed the speculative but inexplicable notion of continental drift into the wholly believable and proven plate tectonics.

    The second was the involvement of a very close relative in the science of the interation between bacteria and bacteriophages, which at that time (the 1960’s) were an exciting discovery. Leading the research was the formidable Dr E S Anderson, who discovered that proliferating bacteriophages could carry across snippets of DNA not only to other strains of the same bacterium but also to other bacterial species. He became seriously worried (paranoid, even) that this could be a mechanism for the development and transmission of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Anderson was subjected to vilification and derision but fifty years later we have MRSA and we wish we hadn’t.

    My experience is that quantum steps in the understanding of obscure phenomena never come from those at the centre of affairs – it is always the awkward oddball who sees the new reality. These people are to be valued and respected, even when the may prove to be wrong. When challenged in such a way I was taught to ask the question “What do you see that I don’t see?”. It works.

    The most valuable attribute of an engineer is to know when to say “I don’t know”.

    Since finding WUWT some years ago I have lurked and learned, to my great benefit and for which much thanks. I must say that now am both surprised and disappointed at the apparent unwillingness to accept that innovation, whatever the source, starts with conjecture and that the advancement of scientific knowledge is always at the margin where uncertainty is greatest, where convention is stretched and where acceptance would cause disruption to the status quo. Just because a new perception does not burst fully formed from the forehead of the originator of a troublesome conjecture is not grounds for a distinctly graceless dismissal.

    I wish it hadn’t happened and I don’t like it.

  83. Matthew R Marler:

    At January 25, 2014 at 9:38 am you ask

    richardscourtney:

    Then the reality was exposed. The PRP-Team had agreed to provide a peer reviewed Special Edition of PRP and in accepting that they accepted the written rules for publication provided by Copernicus. But they flagrantly disregarded and violated those rules. This provided Copernicus with a problem which they solved by axing the small-circulation PRP and, thus, stopping the publication of the Special Edition.

    I missed that. Where can I read about it?

    Obviously, you have not followed the matter until now. You can read about it at many places including The Copernicus-PRP fiasco: predictable and preventable

    Richard

  84. Phil R says:
    January 24, 2014 at 6:33 pm
    syzygy!

    Great Scrabble word! :)

    Terrible Scrabble word, there are only 2 ‘Y’ tiles!

  85. Jeff Cagle:

    Re your post at January 25, 2014 at 9:13 am.

    Are you really trying to claim that the publisher, Copernicus, was NOT the main victim of the actions by the PRP-Team?

    As I read your post, that is what I understand it to be saying. Please explain.

    Richard

  86. Just looking at that graph above, I am embarrassed for our level of science. I think that is Anthony’s point. Those utterly simplistic curves look like something out of a junior high school math text book. At least to me they do. Which brings me to this:

    Regardless of how high our mathematicians’ “higher math” is, it isn’t high enough. In almost every application of math in complex systems, you see this ubiquitous effort to simplify the complexity of the system in order to crowbar it into math that our scientists can use. And they use the best math they have. The math just isn’t adequate yet. (Not that THIS paper is one of our best efforts or best applications of the math we DO have.)

    And it isn’t just because they are doing good and loyal reductionism. The math is constraining even reductionism. Even the smaller pieces of the various puzzles are still complex – regardless of what the researchers might tell you.

    I don’t say this as a slam against scientists or science. Mathematicians need to give scientists better math tools. And since they don’t even know that the math is coming up short, the mathematicians aren’t doing anything about it.

    Statistics? IMHO statistics is where it wall went wrong. Science was making grand strides – up to about the time they started applying statistics. Quantum physics had a good deal to do with that, in all probability. Quantum physics is looked at as the end all and be all of scientists doing science. But the idea that particles only have a certain statistical likelihood of being where we think they are or in the energy state that we think they are in – this is a dead end for science. As it is turning out to be. Physics hasn’t come up with jack on the last 40 years. Look it up. String theory? It’s all math, and math that cannot be tested in the real world. Again, the math is coming up short. Dark matter and dark energy? They only exist in the math. They’ve never been detected in the real world, empirically.

    Statistics is math in which assumptions deliver the goods – or the bads – depending on the assumptions. Blame it on the assumptions? Maybe, but everybody here should be familiar with how the data gives whatever answer the researcher desires to find. Any math that can give you whatever answer you are looking for IS NOT MATH. Or isn’t any math worth its salt.

    The math is the focus of the weakness, and it is the focus of the disconnect between theory and reality. That is the other side of it. Inadequate math is leading science astray, both in shortcomings re complexity and in statistics.

    As a young high school grad, I was heading for college to study either math or physics or cosmology. I was amazed later on at how little there had been available left to study, in either of the first two there really wasn’t much between me and the level achieved at the farthest frontiers yet achieved. While that might have meant there might be a lot out there for me and others to discover yet, it also meant that we weren’t very far along. It was one of the biggest disappointments of my life – my own real life “Man behind the curtain” moment. It isn’t that the math isn’t over my own head – yes, it IS – but it is not THAT much over my head. The idea that I’d already learned most of what schools had to offer – that was a wake-up call.

    So I discovered that scientists really aren’t doing that much groundbreaking work. Reading journals papers will tell you that. The concepts and the conclusions are not very often very much above what a good secondary school student would come up with for a science fair.

    And why? When you break something down into its constituent parts, study them and then put it all together, you don’t often get what you started out trying to understand: the whole. The whole is more than the sum of the parts. When they began with the reductionism/rationalism thing back in the 1800s, they were starting out from pretty close to rock bottom. (There has probably been 10 to 100 times as much science done since then as before.) Then they HAD to simplify, even if their brains were as capable as ours are today. But with the relatively stark bare-bones concepts of science that existed, they had to tackle it at a level at which they could make some progress. The whole was over their heads (and it still is, IMHO), so in their wisdom – a wise choice at the time – they decided that they would make best progress in fundamental understandings if they looked at things at a dissected level. I AGREE WITH THAT – you have to build a foundation first.

    But we are past the foundation-building level. We need to be able to deal with complex systems with complex tools – tools that will allow the whole to remain intact while we study it. But our current level of math won’t allow us to do that.

    We simply need better math tools.

    Otherwise you get people with higher degrees doing work like this paper Anthony rightfully laughs at.

  87. Tantalus says:
    January 25, 2014 at 9:55 am

    “When challenged in such a way I was taught to ask the question “What do you see that I don’t see?”. ”

    Curiosity it always a good thing.

    The surprising thing is that many who support AGW have none at all!

  88. I believe quite strongly that Gravity plays a much larger function in Climate than most have given it credit for.

    A very powerful force indeed.

  89. Tantalus says:
    January 25, 2014 at 9:55 am

    “In a fairly long life as an engineer and scientist I have several times been a close witness to the metamorphosis of derided conjecture into centre-ground certainty.”

    You have not investigated the happenings here sufficiently. It is not whether these guys are onto something (although there are a few things that point to them not being onto much), the main story is how pals peer reviewed each others papers and facilely okayed them for publication and other editorial abuses. That they may not be up to much in the pointed end of science is refusal to provide code for their work. Now why would someone do that? Ask Michael Mann, Phil Jones, etc the same question. None of these guys fought the good fight and soldiered on. It was open gates for them.

    The historical fellows you describe are something else. I trust your intrepid ancestors who validated plate tectonics were the English pair – I’ve forgotten their names, but I don’t recall they gave any kudos to Alfred Wegener – who was vilified for decades and died before Plate Tectonics came on the scene. I had always felt that changing the name from the beautiful poetry of “continental drift” to the dental mechanics-type Plate Tectonics was to distance themselves from the one who could not have failed to inspire their work. This is even worse than the editorial chicanery in the present discussion.

  90. I think you are being rather hard on Scarfetta.

    I’ve just read some of his papers that seem reasonable at first sight. He is explicit about the data that he uses from the public domain.

    As regards his computer programs, the calculations are pretty straight forward. Anyone can do calculations relatively easily. Most people don’t enjoy scrabbling through other people’s code and repeating the calculations makes one concentrate on the issues.

    If one thinks he’s wrong, one can repeat the calculations. If one gets the same result, one can be confident that the calculations are correct. What significance one places on them is a matter of judgement.

  91. RC Saumarez says:
    January 25, 2014 at 10:35 am

    I think you are being rather hard on Scarfetta.

    I’ve just read some of his papers that seem reasonable at first sight. He is explicit about the data that he uses from the public domain.

    As regards his computer programs, the calculations are pretty straight forward. Anyone can do calculations relatively easily. Most people don’t enjoy scrabbling through other people’s code and repeating the calculations makes one concentrate on the issues.

    If one thinks he’s wrong, one can repeat the calculations. If one gets the same result, one can be confident that the calculations are correct. What significance one places on them is a matter of judgement.

    This is exactly the argument made by Michael Mann about why he shouldn’t have had to reveal his code for the Hockeystick … code which was eventually discovered, and found to be terribly flawed. He, of course, didn’t want his code exposed either, and curiously, RC, you could be channelling him to a “T”.

    I don’t understand your objection to scientific transparency. You claim to be a scientist, I think you are one … so why the hostility to calls for transparency?

    But let’s follow your advice out to the end. Suppose I try to replicate Scafetta’s results, and I come out with a different answer … what then? I say “Scafetta, you made a mistake”, and he says “Show me where I made a mistake”.

    Now me, I figure I’ll follow the famous Mann/Saumarez advice and not reveal my code either, after all RC says that’s right and proper to do. So I say to Scafetta, “No way I’m showing my code to you. RC said that anyone can do calculations relatively easily. He advised that if you think I’m wrong, you can repeat my calculations. It’s up to you to show me that I’m wrong” …

    I’m sure you can see the deadlock that leads from the even-handed application of your advice, RC. If we all hide our code, which you seem to think is not only acceptable but proper behavior, science grinds to a halt. I can’t point to the errors in Scafetta’s code, he can’t point to the errors in my code, all either of us can say is, “I’m right, and you haven’t been able to show that I’m wrong!” … which of course is the whole point of hiding code, so no one can find flaws in it.

    Clearly, that system won’t work. Which is why major journals have policies requiring the archiving of code as used. They may not always enforce them, but they are there specifically to stop people like Mann, Scafetta, and yourself from refusing to disclose how you do what you do.

    As Steven Mosher said, unless you provide the code and data as used for your claims, I’m under no obligation to pay any attention to you, because you are not providing scientific results, you’re just advertising.

    Seriously, RC … do you truly think that science could work if everyone hid their computer code?

    w.

  92. Tantalus says:
    January 25, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Since finding WUWT some years ago I have lurked and learned, to my great benefit and for which much thanks. I must say that now am both surprised and disappointed at the apparent unwillingness to accept that innovation, whatever the source, starts with conjecture and that the advancement of scientific knowledge is always at the margin where uncertainty is greatest, where convention is stretched and where acceptance would cause disruption to the status quo. Just because a new perception does not burst fully formed from the forehead of the originator of a troublesome conjecture is not grounds for a distinctly graceless dismissal.

    Tantalus, I understand your frustration. However, there is a difference between innovation and numerology. I hold views that are different from the mainstream, so pushing innovative ideas is what I do all the time. I understand the challenges they face.

    As you point out, these views start with conjecture. However, if we are scientists then the next step needs to be the search for a mechanism that supports the conjecture, and then search for the math to be able to quantify the mechanism, and then search for evidence to support the entire edifice. And this, of course, is the path of science.

    On the other hand, you could take your conjecture and use a 20-tunable-parameter curve-fitting model to replicate it. Or you could find “evidence” and not actually measure and test it mathematically and statistically. Or you could just wander off into numerology

    Unfortunately, that’s what we find in the Special Edition … the problem is not that their ideas are innovative. It is that they are claiming that they have established the veracity of their ideas in the normal scientific manner, when they’ve done no such thing.

    Finally, when they signed on as Editors and Peer Reviewers, there are a number of things that they agreed to do, like not appoint reviewers nepotistically, and to see that all code and data was available so that the work could be replicated. They not only broke those rules, they stomped them into the ground and spat on them … now I’m supposed to feel sorry for them when the lifeguard said get out of the pool?

    Best regards,

    w.

    PS—In fact they lucked out, they’ve gotten huge publicity for their ideas which they could never have obtained if the journal had been published … so if their ideas are good, Tantalus, they will still rise to the top, and even faster from the notoriety. I doubt that will happen, though … for scientific reasons …

  93. RC Saumarez says: Replication is paramount. Assumption that you know how they made the calculations is nonsense and filled with pitfalls. There are thousands of ways to skin a cat but if you want to show me the skinned cat then tell me how you did it.

  94. Willis, thank you for your attention, which I am not sure I deserve. Having read your response several times I have to say that there is not one sentence with which I disagree.

    However, I am not concerned directly with the content of those papers; as you say, time will tell. I suppose that what has really disturbed me is that I have become to revere WUWT as a rare repository of sagacity, which I see as combination of wisdom, curiosity, lucidity and respect for ones fellows. This time I am dismayed at what I perceive (maybe wrongly, I agree) at what I see as the evidence of wholly disconcerting and unexpectedly closed minds and unnecessarily bad manners. That is what I don’t like.

    I have been silent as to the content of the papers or to the reasons for the closure of the periodical because I have nothing to say on the matter. That is not my focus of attention. Time will be the arbiter.

    On a different tack, you introduce the topic of computer modelling. I have been involved in engineering in two very important uses of mathematical modelling. As a young man I was on the periphery of the prediction of the behaviour of the then new commercial nuclear power reactors. The computers (two of them), which filled an entire office block, employed enough thermionic valves to justify the full time employment of a man to change the “soft” ones, or those that had completely expired. Even then, in the early sixties, the models had no validity until their output was proved against the characteristics of the real reactor at Calder Hall. After numerous iterations, once the validity was understood – the code was then locked and no unauthorised and unvalidated changes were permitted.
    Later in my life, modelling was used to predict the ultimate strength and also the fatigue characteristics of offshore oil platforms, both in their entirety and of their components and sub-assemblies. Exactly the same criteria applied – no predictive skill = not valid = not usable. Only validated code could be used; nobody was permitted to mess with it.

    The uncontrolled and unprincipled lack of control of the operation of the “Anthropogenic Climate Change” modelling is a total disgrace to scientific endeavour.

    How do they get away with it? What can we do?

    T.

  95. Tantalus:

    At January 25, 2014 at 12:39 pm concerning the misuse of computer modelling by AGW-alarmists, you ask Willis

    How do they get away with it? What can we do?

    I hope you will accept my injecting my own answers.

    We consistently campaign for proper scientific practice by EVERYBODY and revile misconduct by ANYBODY. Until there is unity on that then miscreants will continue with improper scientific conduct.

    This goes to the heart of the present controversy which I explain in my summary in this thread at link

    Richard

  96. @Willis Eschenbach.
    Thank you for telling me about transparancy in software. I deal with sudden cardiac death and the instruments that have have developed have 70,000+ lines of code. Before these can be used this has to be verified. This is a complex process and requires considerable attention to detail in coding and testing and has to be scrutisied in detail by EU and US regulatory authorities

    I also deal in invasive electrophysiology of high risk patients using engineering methods. Do you really believe that I could behave in the manner you suggest? Furthermore, much of what I have developed has been done in teams where we test and scrutinise eachothers’ work

    When have I ever said that code should not be made available?

    Problems in coding are generally discovered when results are found to be anaomalous. It is often easier to rework the problem than sort through code. Serious problems are often coded in serious languages and use serious numerics. It can be extremely difficult to find the coding errors in large programs without extensive testing. If there is found to be a problem, it is quite reasonable to ask for the code or to request that an established test problem is run on the code. This is a very deep problem that is occupying a large number of computer scientists and it is recognised that verification of large computer programs is a serious intellectual problem that has not been solved.

    I note your criticisms of my scientific credentials and my honesty. I would simply remark that you come over as an opinionated, intemperate,ill-educated boor who has no understanding or experience in either science or maths. This is becoming increasingly noticed as more people are seeing through the superficiality of your posts, your lack of real track record and are repelled by your rudeness and the arbitrary insults you hurl at people.

    @GregB.
    Scarfetta’s calculations require a knowledge of orbital mechanics of a small number of bodies . This simply requires a knowledge of orbits, which are established and some I agree the results could be calculated in a number of ways but less, I suspect, there are of skinning a cat.

  97. @ richardscourtney:

    “Are you really trying to claim that Copernicus was not the victim of actions taken by the PRP team?”

    Not really. I’m saying that bad behavior by PRP does not automatically clear Copernicus.

  98. Phil points out there are only two y’s. But there are blanks to assist in the making on a triple word hopefully.

  99. Jeff Cagle:

    Thankyou for your reply to me at January 25, 2014 at 1:10 pm which says in total

    @ richardscourtney:
    “Are you really trying to claim that Copernicus was not the victim of actions taken by the PRP team?”

    Not really. I’m saying that bad behavior by PRP does not automatically clear Copernicus.
    Unfortunately, that does not fulfill my request for explanation.

    Clear Copernicus of what?

    Copernicus made the only sensible business decision when confronted with the actions of the people who had provided the Special Edition. Or perhaps you can suggest an alternative and sensible business decision Copernicus could have made?

    Richard

  100. Jeff Cagle:

    Please forgive my formatting error in my reply to you. Hopefully you can still read it. Sorry.

    Richard

  101. I agree with the comment Tantalus has made regarding the strange and unfriendly tone centered around the actions regarding the PRP fiasco. Willis has done this before with Dr. Spencer and probably others.Skeptics are no more immune to the Orwellian actions of “Animal Farm” or the daily hates of “1984” than anyone else. Willis is an amazing story teller, and frequently offers well written essays on climate issues. That does not make him any more incapable of error in judgement or manners than anyone else.

    respectfully,
    hunter

  102. richardcourthey,
    Why are you rewriting history regarding copernicus?
    They made it perfectly clear from the start as to why they over reacted as they did.
    They plainly stated that someone had complained about an observation regarding the implications of the work and AGW.
    That some skeptics are assisting in a pro-AGW rewrite of history by calling this action a ‘cold hard business decision’ as you and Willis keep repeating, to say the least.

  103. hunter:

    re your post at January 25, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    I am not offended by your “bad typing” which is better than my typing.

    I am not “rewriting history”. I am stating documented facts.

    The issue is as I summarised in my post in this thread at here

    Please read it and take especial note of its final paragraph.

    Richard

  104. Gary Pearce says: –
    [i]The historical fellows you describe are something else. I trust your intrepid ancestors who validated plate tectonics were the English pair – I’ve forgotten their names, but I don’t recall they gave any kudos to Alfred Wegener – who was vilified for decades and died before Plate Tectonics came on the scene. I had always felt that changing the name from the beautiful poetry of “continental drift” to the dental mechanics-type Plate Tectonics was to distance themselves from the one who could not have failed to inspire their work. This is even worse than the editorial chicanery in the present discussion.[/i]
    Gary, the people I refer to are not “historical fellows”. My late wife worked as a post graduate bacteriologist with Andy Anderson at the Central Public Health Labortatory in Colindale in the early 1960’s. Anderson was a driven man who demanded quite unreasonable efforts from his staff. Many times I had to reconstruct her psyche from his demands. He was a quite unreasonable and psychologically driven man; he was despisedby the conventional thinkers , but he was right.

    My daughter worked as a PhD Geophysics student with Dan McKenzie at Cambridge when continental drift was being transformed into plate techtonics. I’m afraid I don’t relate to the “poetry” of continental drift, which was an interesting conjecture with not much evidential support. To my mind plate techtonics is a quite wonderful and indeed magnificently poetic example of science at its very best.

    Nobody, least of all Dan McKenzie, disrespected Alfred Wengener, but plate technonics is not at all the same as continental drift.

    I am the lat person in the world to disrespect dreamers.

    With respect, even if you are a dreamer!

    Tantalus

  105. Nothing like the BS that is being perpetrated in this Blog to turn one right off following it. Has WUWT become a ‘reincarnation’ of SkS ?

  106. Tantalus says:
    January 25, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Gary Pearce says: –

    Fair enough, I apologize for the tone and the carelessness of my remarks (I’m bundled up with the flu and a bit cranky). Interestingly my daughter is a PhD Geophysicist, too who did post doc with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and with Scripps. She’s just begun teaching at university in Bogota.

    I’m a geologist and engineer, still working in mining consulting 10 or more years after normal retirement. I don’t know what else I’d rather do.

    Cheers,
    Gary

  107. @ richardscourtney:

    Yes, I could read it, thanks. Just to make sure we’re being clear: my first comment noted that Copernicus is “possibly innocent.” And I would stand by that and say that they acted within reason – but on the harsh end of reasonable courses.

    Other reasonable courses were open: demanding retractions, or demanding changes going forward.

    So why the harshness? Maybe they felt cornered. Or maybe, they were pressured to make an example. Or maybe, they felt that the only honorable course was to jettison the journal.

    Some of those motives are innocent, some not.

    Here’s the point: criticizing or questioning Copernicus does not imply defending PRP.

  108. A great deal of classical physics was curve fitting, and a lot of it was found to be incomplete. Proportionality constants were found to actually be functions dependent on one of the variables, and simplifying assumptions were found to rarely hold true in intensive experimentation, yet these first approximations became the foundations of the more complex future. That being said, we still found physical meanings for each of these proportionality constants that could be measured somewhat independently. That is how we determined that they were not necessarily constants all the time and that there was more to the story. If these “planetary influence” theories can show that their curve fitting is in direct proportion to some physically measurable characteristic of each body’s orbit and mass, and that the gravity effect with some complex interaction with solar tidal forces, then maybe I’ll look at them. Mr. Fourier showed quite distinctly that any signal can be reproduced with an infinite sum of harmonic components, and reasonably reproduced with significantly fewer components, so “curve fitting” to random sines and cosines is probably not helpful – unless you want to make a computer game.

  109. @ The Popous Git.

    Thanks for that. I must say, though, that transforming your home into a palace doesn’t sound very minimalist to me.

  110. I’m hung up on the quantitative analytical methods I learned in PSSC physics a half century ago . And , being an APL programmer , I want to quantitatively understand the simplest phenomena first .

    Before getting into more esoteric and speculative orbital effects , I’d like to see it demonstrated that we can detect the most most obvious and calculable .

    Our distance from the sun varies from about 1.4709807e11 meters at perihelion which we just passed to about 1.520977e11 meters at aphelion , a variation of about 3.4% . Given that the temperature of a radiantly heated ball is inversely proportional to the square root of it’s distance from the source , this implies a variation in temperature from peri- to ap-helion of about 1.7% , substantially larger than the approximately 0.3% variation we have seen since the invention of the steam engine . Given that we know both the phase and the magnitude of this effect , surely we should be able to find it in the data if we can find anything . In fact , it is such classically understood factor , that an estimate of the effect of our north-south hemispheric surface spectrum asymmetry ought to be extractable by subtracting it from the data .

    That’s the limit of my knowledge of our orbital parameters . Back in the early days of APL , I know a rather thorough orbital model “planetarium” was constructed . Certainly any “paleo” scale model must include with such mechanics .

    Apparently the effect of the precession of the perihelion versus our hemispheric asymmetry is well known . Does anyone have a web accessible references to a quantitative analysis ?

  111. RC Saumarez says:
    January 25, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    … I note your criticisms of my scientific credentials and my honesty. I would simply remark that you come over as an opinionated, intemperate,ill-educated boor who has no understanding or experience in either science or maths.

    Again, Richard, as I have said many times, a quotation of what I said that you object to would make your objections clear.

    I don’t recall impugning your honesty, for example. Perhaps I did, but I don’t have a clue what you are referring to. This is why I have requested ad nauseum that you pull your politeness out of wherever you’ve hidden it and QUOTE MY WORDS that you object to.

    Of course, you’re a professional scientist, and obviously consider yourself too far above my lowly station to pay any attention to a polite request that you stop whining and explain what has you upset …

    The problems is that when you don’t provide a single quotation, link, or any way to tell what it is I’ve done that has your blood pressure spiking, well, that means you’re just flinging verbal feces around. And since if you look around you, you’ll see that there is no one is there in the room but you, well, you’re the only who ends up smelling fragrant … but despite that, it’s no fun on this side.

    Seriously, RC, since you first appeared on my threads you’ve said over and over that I’m a fool doing nothing but making mistakes … but somehow, it never seems to occur to you to identify the mistakes you claim I’m making. Instead, we are treated to an endless stream of unsupported nasty attacks like the one I quote above.

    Truly, my friend, your obsessive stalking of me is creepy. How about you go somewhere that your genius will be appreciated? It’s not going to happen here, from all appearances.

    Because you’ve burnt your bridges with me. Your endless regurgitation of a nasty farrago of insults of the kind I’ve quoted above, despite my repeated requests that you actually identify the problems you claim to see, has proven to me that you have no interest in either teaching or learning anything, and that you are just a spoiler trying to make trouble.

    Richard, the people who think I’m a jerk already think I’m a jerk. When you fly off the handle and start spewing insults like the primal nastiness quoted above, do you think that will convince other people that I’m a jerk … or will it convince them that you are?

    w.

  112. The Pompous Git wrote –

    “Indeed! And many thanks for the link to Dr John Wallis’s excellent essay. I was not previously aware of it. ”

    That letter of Wallis written in 1666 concerning the tides is instructive for many reasons yet within a decade all that good work was lost due to a series of events which displaced that back and forth reasoning between analogies at a human level and experiences on a large terrestrial or astronomical scale.

    What really began modeling as we know it today was the emergence of fairly accurate watches and in 1677 John Flamsteed announced to the world that he had proved the planet’s rotation was constant using a foreground reference and the daily return of a star in stellar circumpolar motion –

    ” Flamsteed used the star Sirius as a timekeeper correcting the sidereal time obtained from successive transits of the star into solar time, the difference of course being due to the rotation of the Earth round the Sun. Flamsteed wrote in a letter in 1677:-

    … our clocks kept so good a correspondence with the Heavens that I doubt it not but they would prove the revolutions of the Earth to be isochronical…”

    http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/HistTopics/Longitude2.html

    It is so difficult to quantify just how bad that conclusion is other than to bring the whole thing up to date and show its relevance to our era and what is going on presently.In our times they announce that watches are now so accurate that they no longer rely on the Earth’s daily motion yet they have altered the story to a new fiction by jettisoning the ‘solar vs sidereal’ scaffolding on which Flamsteed based his conclusion. They have created a non cyclical astronomical framework and conjured a conclusion out of thin air thereby totally ignoring the ‘solar vs sidereal’ ideology they held up to then –

    “At the time of the dinosaurs, Earth completed one rotation in about 23 hours,” says MacMillan, who is a member of the VLBI team at NASA Goddard. “In the year 1820, a rotation took exactly 24 hours, or 86,400 standard seconds. Since 1820, the mean solar day has increased by about 2.5 milliseconds.” NASA

    I see a lot of ‘curve fitting’ terminology attached to this thread however what it really represents is fiction creation on an industrial scale and this has been going on for a number of centuries with the narrative becoming more and more unstable with time. In this respect the call for simplicity is also a call for some sanity and this does not allow for mob activity on either side of this mess.we inherited.

  113. hunter says:
    January 25, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    I agree with the comment Tantalus has made regarding the strange and unfriendly tone centered around the actions regarding the PRP fiasco. Willis has done this before with Dr. Spencer and probably others.

    Hunter, Dr. Roy publicly and falsely accused me of plagiarism, of not crediting Ramanathan for his ideas. It was totally bogus, and I was able to find and cite where I had indeed credited him … it’s all in the public record, fortunately.

    I’m sorry my response didn’t meet the Hunter standard for how to respond when you get publicly traduced, accused of the lowest of scientific sins, plagiarism. Perhaps you are uniquely qualified to advise me on this because you’ve been in that situation … or just perhaps it’s never happened to you, and you’re just making things up and accusing me of not meeting your impossible standards.

    Maybe you don’t get upset when you are publicly and falsely accused like that … and maybe you’re just posing. In any case, I don’t care, Hunter. I just want you to know that when I’m falsely accused by someone, sorry, but I’m not going to rub that person’s stomach and blow in his ear, even if that is the approved Hunter method.

    So get off my case, please. From my perspective, the problem is not that I’m too upset. It is that you all are not anywhere near upset enough. You’re willing to just roll over and play dead, and not call out bad science, bad peer review, and bad editing.

    How about we do it this way. Rather than you agreeing with Tantalus and him agreeing with someone else, how about you just all decide that I’m a goner with no change of redemption and just STFU? I’m not gonna change, Hunter, you’re on a hopeless quest, and this endless whining about how I’m eeevil for calling for scientific transparency because YOU DON’T LIKE THE WAY I PHRASED IT! It was too … what … unfriendly? I’m dealing with Nicola Scafetta, who does nothing but abuse me, Tallbloke who has banned me from his site, Jelbring who just spews endless accusations … and I’m the bad guy here? Are you aware of the ceaseless accusations from those guys towards me? There’s no end to it … and I’m the bad guy?

    Gotta tell you, “hunter” or whatever your name might be, I’m awful tired of a bunch of random anonymous internet popups like you, folks who don’t have the balls to sign their own name to their own words, wanting to lecture me on ethical behavior. You won’t even stand behind your claims, and you think you have the high ground to lecture me? Sorry, talk to the hand, because the head don’t listen to advice on morality from people too cowardly to sign their own comments.

    w.

  114. Streetcred says:
    January 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Nothing like the BS that is being perpetrated in this Blog to turn one right off following it. Has WUWT become a ‘reincarnation’ of SkS ?

    If you think something is wrong, let us know what it is. Because just smearing your excrement on the walls of your cage as you do above to indicate your displeasure goes nowhere. What EXACTLY did I say that has you upset?

    w.

  115. Willis old buddy, your wheels are falling off. I never would expect you to say anything along the lines of “Because just smearing your excrement on the walls of your cage”. Not sure what put the bug up your arse, but I think your better than stuping to this level of venom. I have thoroughly enjoyed your stories and your analysis, but you are really going off track lately. Drop the whole Tallbloke saga and move on, or move back, back to where you were an enjoyble read. I have no arguement with your analysies, or facts, but your overall tone is somewhat demeaning…surely I don’t need to give you examples of what I’m saying.

  116. manny says:
    January 25, 2014 at 6:33 am
    Willis, a mathematical model that predicts the future accurately is useful, regardless of who created it, why and whether the underlying mechanism is understood. For example, tide tables have been used for decades. They are very accurate, people on boats trust their lives to them but no one really understands them and no one cares.

    ++++++++++++++++++

    Well Manny, I was thinking of saying pretty much the same thing. I work on the cutting edge of something and there is precious little to go on except curves for data measurements. Nearly every advance comes from mentally fitting the curves and wiggles into an emerging framework. Details will follow when we get the causes and effects separated. Suggestions that cutting edge work that provides new and very useful understandings is Not Science i reject out of hand. “Wiggle matching” my foot!

    Thanks to the contributors for examples from engineering and history that started with wiggly data.

    I was pleased to ‘meet’ someone who assisted Landscheidt get published. Afterward he too was criticised for publishing a theory that did not have a complete, verified physical explanation for it. that is plainly a ridiculous demand.

    Another comment says basically a paper not peer reviewed is bunk. That statement is bunk. I understand that the ordinary person in the street thinks ‘peer review’ means ‘truth’ and ‘endorsed’ because or the way climate scientists have turned it into a bragging right (that their paper is peer reviewed therefore correct).

    A publication in a journal is part of a conversation. It is not a PhD thesis that has to defend something new. I have had a mean-spirited review for a hostile reviewer and I do not have to ‘keep them happy’. They can piss off and I will ask for someone else who understands what i am talking about or is not an architect of the thing I am taking down. I have reviewed lots of papers and I do not have to sign off on the intent or the conclusions to approve it. There is far too much faith and expectations placed on this rather hum drum activity of cleaning up papers or logic or pointing out a significant question has been raised and not answered. In one such case the authors elected to delete the section that allowed the question to be inferred rather than face it because it gutted their conclusions. The Editor published the paper, reviewed. Someone can write another coming to a different conclusion.

    Scientists are not priests reciting canonical texts dripping with Truth. They just write what they think at the time.

  117. Willis is certainly capable of being an imperious ass, and he has been flogging the Copernicus team to the extent of being a one-man pile on, but to he credit he did look beyond the stain of scandal [and] flagrant pall review to examine the science, and that he rightfully found lacking. It isn’t necessary to place heads on pike poles – the science speaks for itself and it’s time to move on as gentlemen do. This seems to be another blood match for the W and that further erodes respect for him. I don’t even read his stories with any regularity but I do count the blue panels among the comments to his stories, and if I see more than four I’ll follow the scent because I do love a good train wreck.

    Now I don’t care about the pal review system no matter who practices it. I have no respect whatsoever for the peer review system as practiced by climate bunk buddies so when I saw the crime unfold in this topic I yawned. I’m a shunning crew of one, and for my purposes that is enough. Peer review is old school fraud intended to create activity in the exchange of the coin of the realm. The idea that a peer reviewed and paywalled paper does not include adequate information to reproduce the science is the stake in the heart of the journals that practice the charade.

    But I care deeply about the science and so too does the W and for that I thank him for his deconstruction of this tabloid-class story and hope he moves his sometimes imperious ass on to more meaningful things soon.

  118. Regarding the book “Minimalism, the new philosophy” by Dr William S Hatcher, I found the same text in a new cover with the title, Minimalism: A Bridge between Classical Philosophy and the Baha’i Revelation” at http://www.amazon.ca/Minimalism-between-Classical-Philosophy-Revelation/dp/9889745127

    It is a bit too mathematical for a lot of people but in a nutshell Hatcher divides all effects into two possible sets: those that are caused and those that are uncaused. He argues that all effects in the ’caused’ set are caused by something which is itself an effect of a prior cause, leading ultimately back to a single, causeless effect – the first effect, for example a Big Bang. By demanding logically a cause for this initial effect that produces the universe as we see it means that the cause of this primal effect must be located outside the system, ie outside the universe. Whatever it was is literally unknowable.

    The point about ‘a previous universe’ does not address the point about the initial effect: the sudden existence of first universe.

    We are surrounded by unexplained effects. Anyone who can correctly predict, by wiggle matching or Excel model the beginning of a D-O event to within a year has my respect. I want to read about it in a journal and I don’t give a hoot whose A-frigging-GW model it contradicts. I quite frankly don’t care who peer reviews it as long as the language is comprehensible and the method clear. I want to hear from the author, not the reviewers. Let’s let the innovators constrain a few of the causes of what affects the climate.

  119. manny says:
    January 25, 2014 at 6:33 am

    Willis, a mathematical model that predicts the future accurately is useful, regardless of who created it, why and whether the underlying mechanism is understood. For example, tide tables have been used for decades. They are very accurate, people on boats trust their lives to them but no one really understands them and no one cares.

    When did I ever say that a mathematical model that predicts the future is NOT useful? I’m not clear what your point is here, Manny.

    As to the tide tables, since at one point in my life I was producing tide tables for the Solomon Islands, I can say that people do indeed understand them …

    w.

  120. Steve says:
    January 25, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Willis old buddy, your wheels are falling off. I never would expect you to say anything along the lines of “Because just smearing your excrement on the walls of your cage”. Not sure what put the bug up your arse, but I think your better than stuping to this level of venom.

    I don’t get it, Steve old buddy. People come on here and abuse me as hard as they can, no terms are too strong. I’ve taken endless harassment in the last few days, I’ve been accused of everything but mopery on the skyways … and you haven’t said a word about that. Not one damn word from my old buddy Steve.

    So then, I object strongly to anonymous jerkwagons making scurrilous uncited false accusations about me … and you pop up to tell me I’m the bad guy for calling them out. Still not one single word against the scurvedogs making the false accusations from my old buddy Steve, though …

    You seem to want to jump in with both feet. OK, old buddy, so how about you jump on the charming folks making the slimy accusations for a while, and just leave me alone for a while, instead of jumping in on their side? Isn’t that what a buddy would do?

    w.

  121. We must be winning the AGW debate / war… we’re starting to attack our own…

    Willis, I generally like your articles. I also have to “second the notion” that the overall tone of articles since the PRP event has been negative and sometimes borderline nasty. To quote your actual words would require large chunks of the relevant articles (as “tone” is a distributed thing) and frankly, not add much “evidence”. (Since “tone” is also largely in how the responder responds. Note the ongoing trouble folks have ‘hearing’ sarcasm without a /sarc tag… and one man’s ‘simple fact’ is another man’s ‘emotional attack’… Is observing someone doing a stupid thing a clinical observation? Is saying “He did the stupid thing.” an attack? Well… it depends…)

    So no, no quotes from me. But just the observation that the negativity of attacks is wearing thin. Where I used to have a spike of joy at seeing your name on an article and relished the human experience story or the clear reasoning; now I find a pang of “Will it be more attack gak?’ (Gak being my ‘inner word’ for things that make my throat tighten and stomach start to heave…)

    No, I do not expect you to take responsibility for my feelings. I’m the only one who can do that. (Everyone chooses and creates their own feelings, IMHO.) But I can be a “witness” to them and note that others have the same. I just don’t like watching one person attack another. I think this article would have been improved without the reach back to the PRP annoyance.

    Oh, and on a more humorous note: How dare you not credit me with the dozens of times I’ve posted links to the article that this posting is about! (ref. a prior comment on another thread ;-)

    Starting in 2011 in this article:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/11/03/lunar-resonance-and-taurid-storms/

    and continuing even this week:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/the-moons-orbit-is-wrong-it-can-change-a-lot-and-tides-will-too/

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/a-remarkable-lunar-paper-and-numbers-on-major-standstill/

    The reality is that I’m just glad to seeing it get some more visibility. Is it right? I don’t know either; but I lean toward “yes”. Though as I’ve said before, many things all arrive together so you can’t sort them out via correlation. It might be a minor player. Only time and math will tell.

  122. E. M Smith et al,

    Criticisms of Willis’s tone are misplaced. Willis is standing up clearly and taking a stand for scientific integrity, ethics, and logic. Given the continuing defense of the indefensible, this has turned into a Sisyphean game of whack-a-mole. This is not a live and let live situation. The PRiPpers have embarrassed the CAGW skeptic community and given almost unlimited ammunition to the Pro-CAGW camp.

    This must be dealt with, clearly, loudly, and directly.

    I have great admiration for Willis being willing to put in the time to dissect these embarrassments. His efforts are of direct benefit to us and the world. If he doesn’t speak the insipid language of diplomacy and sweetness, so much the better.

    It is said that the difference between a New Yorker and a San Franciscan is that when a New Yorker says #%W^ you, he is really saying “Hello” and when a San Franciscan says Hello he is really saying #%W^ you. I live in San Francisco, but I prefer New Yorkers.

  123. E.M.Smith says:
    January 26, 2014 at 2:03 am

    “We must be winning the AGW debate / war… we’re starting to attack our own…”

    It’s sad, but I think I’m agreeing with you. In the past Willis has done some truly excellent work e.g. on extinctions. But something seems to have changed.

    Willis emphasises the importance of science, and I certainly agree. But, sadly, he gives the impression that anyone who disagrees with him is not being scientific. So, how good was his science in his piece about the correlation between sunspots and the rate of sea level rise?

    I’ve read the paper. It’s not perfect, but I would say it’s considerably better than many other papers analysed at WUWT e.g. MBH98 and Mann 2008 (upside-down Mann), the Parmesan butterfly extinction paper and many others.
    Willis was absolutely right on one issue: the author gave R values for some other graphs, but not for the sunspot – sea level graph. It’s highly suspicious, and it’s possible the author did calculate the R , found a low value and so did not publish it. If so, it’s disgraceful.

    Basically, Willis looked at the graph, noted some problems (e.g. the lack of correlation right at the start of the graph), did the R2 calculation and found a low value. And that was it, end of story. Was that good science?
    No, not even close.

    There is clearly an apparent dramatic correlation between sunspots and sea level rise (but whether it’s real and provides evidence of causation is what the debate’s about). Don’t take my word for it, listen to Steve McIntyre:

    “The maxima and minima of the solar cycles seem to match the fluctuations in sea level rise rather uncannily. While the resemblance is impressionistic (I don’t have a digital version of Holgate’s series), offhand, I can’t think of any two climate series with better decadal matching. I think that this resemblance is pretty obvious. ”

    Note:in the paper under discussion the authors used different SLR data, but the correlation is basically the same.

    I think this debate is partly philosophical: do you believe the evidence of your eyes or do you rely entirely on mathematical analysis?

    I would suggest the best answer is both – and be sceptical of both at the same time.
    I also suggest that science has several important parts: observation, common sense and analysis.
    I’m sure we can all agree that observation is of paramount importance and has been for many centuries.

    But many scientific discoveries depended more on observation and common sense than on analysis. Think of Galileo peering through his telescope at Jupiter. His observation that it was accompanied by four moons was based on common sense and did not depend on any kind of mathematical analysis. Of course, analysis became increasingly important with the passing centuries, and rightly so e.g. Newton’s law of gravitation.

    So, I believe that common sense and analysis are both important in science. If they arrive at completely different conclusions, then the message is clear: the investigator needs to dig deeper.

    In Willis’ account, common sense and analysis give completely different conclusions. To be brutally frank: if anyone who has genuinely looked at the graph states that there is no sign of correlation then I don’t think we live on the same planet. Steve M made it very clear.

    So: we need to dig deeper in order to bring common sense/observation and analysis into agreement.

    I’ve made a start. First, I’ve found that the Internet is littered with warnings about improper use of the R2 method.

    A good example:
    “Again, the r2 value doesn’t tell us that the regression model fits the data well. This is the most common misuse of the r2 value! When you are reading the literature in your research area, pay close attention to how others interpret r2. I am confident that you will find some authors misinterpreting the r2 value in this way. And, when you are analyzing your own data make sure you plot the data — 99 times out of a 100, the plot will tell more of the story than a simple summary measure like r or r2 ever could.”

    https://onlinecourses.science.psu.edu/stat501/node/32

    Here the author emphasises the importance of plotting the data and eyeballing it.

    Steve M does the same: he often describes how, when looking at a new paper, he simply plots the input proxy data and eyeballs it. In the case of the hockeystick, many of the proxies show strong MWP and LIA tendencies, but after Mann had “analysed” this data the MWP and LIA had somehow gone missing. After McIntyre and McKitrick did their research we now know exactly what was wrong with Mann’s analysis.

    It also appears that R2 is of no use unless it is a linear relationship. If the relationship between sunspots and SLR is complex and non linear then it’s likely that R2 will fail completely. R2 is also very simplistic. It will almost certainly fail to spot correlations between specific features, of which there are many in this graph. In contrast, the human eye is excellent at spotting correlations between specific features as opposed to an overall trend.

    So, it looks like dismissing any causal relationship between sunspots and SLR just on the basis of the R2 calculation is deeply flawed.

    A low R2 suggests that very likely the apparent correlation was caused purely by chance. To me that seems very unlikely – how many times would you have to plot random red noise before it even showed a distinct cyclical form, let alone with the right period? My guess is that you’d need tens of thousands of random plots before you obtained one even remotely as good as the plot under discussion. But that’s just a guess.

    Fortunately, there’s a standard method that’s often used to assess correlation or causality: Monte Carlo plots. Simply generate thousands of random plots and assess what proportion had a similar apparent correlation. I would strongly suggest that Willis does this and reports his findings. I’ll probably try it too.

    I also don’t think it to be good practice to base this kind of analysis on scanned data. Getting sunspot data should be easy, but is the Holgate data available? If not, it should be.

    Fortunately the raw sea level data is available at PSMSL

    http://www.psmsl.org/data/obtaining/rlr.monthly.data/150.rlrdata

    There is an obvious problem right at the beginning of the plot. Holgate shows the nine plots:

    http://www.joelschwartz.com/pdfs/Holgate.pdf

    Right at the start of the graph the values are all over the place: Auckland has a strong falling trend while Honolulu has a strong rising trend. Clearly, they can’t both be indicating a global trend. In his paper Shaviv noted that there could be problems with the earliest part of the SRL records.
    There are some other problems in correlation as noted by Willis. But it’s certainly possible there are problems with the data and the relationship between sunspots and SLR (if real) is almost certain to be complex. This isn’t quantum mechanics, it’s climate science, where every constant is a variable and everything is a function of everything else.

    So: was Willis right to completely dismiss any causal relationship between sunspots and SLR?
    No, absolutely not. He placed too much reliance on a possibly unsuitable analysis tool and ignored the evidence of his eyes. That’s not good science.

    But I think the relationship, although it’s actually quite a likely one in view of a lot of research (particularly Svensmark, but much else besides) is still unproven.

    To prove that the graph was probably due to random chance, show me the evidence. Show me the Monte Carlo plots.

    Chris

  124. tallbloke says:
    “It’s a pity you didn’t have a go at the more interesting sections further into the paper where we get to the cyclicities which interact to produce periodicities which match climatic periods such as the AMO…”

    From your paper:
    “..the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation. It is bounded on either side by the period of five Jupiter Neptune synods (63.9 yr), and five Jupiter–Uranus synods (69.05 yr).”

    Which you lifted straight from my work and have given me no credit for it, and without explaining the role of Saturn which goes from one square to the opposite square at five synods, the five Jupiter–Uranus synods on their own mean nothing.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/ian-wilson-the-vej-tidal-torquing-model-can-explain-many-of-the-long-term-changes-in-the-level-of-solar-activity-part-2/comment-page-1/#comment-57568

  125. Jeff Cagle:

    I am responding to your post at January 25, 2014 at 5:48 pm to say that I agree with your statement saying

    Here’s the point: criticizing or questioning Copernicus does not imply defending PRP.

    Yes, indeed so.

    But some people are complaining that Copernicus closed PRP in defence of the IPCC and/or to stifle scientific publication of a subject on which PRP had commissioned a Special Edition. On face value these complaints are ridiculous. Importantly, despite your suggested alternatives, I do not see any viable business alternative which was available to Copernicus in the situation with which they were presented. Please note that the important word is ‘viable’.

    Richard

  126. Hi Willis.
    I’m starting to write my rebuttal to your attack on Professor Jan-Erik Solheim. I looked at your post again to find a link to the data you generated by digitising the plot of Solar Activity vs Holgate’s Sea Level curve, but to my astonishment, it appears you didn’t supply the dataset as supplementary information in your post.

    Please could you upload and link it so I can replicate your R^2 findings.

    Many thanks

    Richard Coutney.
    See the first and primary reason given by Copernicus on the front page of PRP before they had second thoughts and altered it.

    http://www.webcitation.org/6Mhpi0uiZ

    We followed similar peer review procedure to other journals publishing special editions. I’ll publish proof of this if you like. Some others won’t like the outcome though. I’ll make it clear in the post who goaded me into it with extensive quotes of your hypocrisy.

  127. Charles the Moderator said:

    I have great admiration for Willis being willing to put in the time to dissect these embarrassments. His efforts are of direct benefit to us and the world. If he doesn’t speak the insipid language of diplomacy and sweetness, so much the better.

    The take-away from this is this blog practices pal moderation (evidence abounds, of course, but this statement of yours codifies policy as practiced). Pals such as the W can be as nasty to the readership as they wish if they are on message. I wonder if that is what you meant to convey. The science certainly doesn’t require it.

  128. Tallbloke – I presume you know Courtney sits on the editorial board of the journal that published Willis’ thunderstorm paper and which he likes to wave as evidence of his creds in the world of peer reviewed science. That doesn’t stand as proof of pal review regards his paper and I make no accusation, but it looks bad enough from an appearance perspective that I can’t be convinced by either of them that it can’t have taken place. That is the down side of even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

    • The best thing to do in a ‘debate’ with Willis is to let him wash over you in full flood and just politely return to the issue in hand.

      Sometimes he gets the point, sometimes not, but others can judge.

      Personally, I think he does have a couple of mental blocks when it comes to conduction and convection within non-radiative gases but the internet never forgets so if one does have a good point which Willis doesn’t accept then whatever the power of his invective it is there forever for all to see.

      Mind you, it would be nice if he were more restrained :)

  129. Poor dp, Charles doesn’t bow down to you and say what you’re demanding to hear, so of course!, the fix is in.

    Some folks have an insane jealousy of Willis, want to knock him down a few pegs but are out of their depth and typically end up making out with the floor by the end.

    Other folks seem to view themselves as the thought and manners police. They order Willis to do this and do that, when he doesn’t comply we get various forms of hissy fits from the “angels”

    The last time I checked, no one is ever forced to read anything written by Willis.

  130. @DP:

    No, not “pal moderation”. At least 2 “pairs” of moderators are at odds with each other on different points (including this one). To their great merit, the moderators check their opinions of things at the door and moderate mostly on “tone” of a comment. Thus my comment about “tone” being a bit edgy. It is that ‘out of character’ aspect that caught my eye. There is no moderation based on “what you think”, but the comment is supposed to stay polite and professional (as much as possible, and with leeway to letting a discussion develop rather than stifle on the first snarl).

    So what any one moderator tends to think is balanced by what some other moderator tends to think. Most of the time. As near as I can tell, Anthony picks moderators from a broad pool, and for exactly that reason. Some hard core skeptics, and some “lukewarmers”. Some who give a bit of leeway to ‘the sun did it’, and some staunchly against. Some… but you get the idea.

    Also note that “moderation” is far less frequent now. I remember “in the old days” ALL comments went to moderation. Somewhere along the line a ‘white list’ system started and now most comments bypass all moderation. Faster, but less likely to catch a “colorful” remark before it hits the screen.

    At any rate, that’s my opinion of moderation here; having observed if for many years. (Gosh… just realized it’s a bit over 1/2 decade now… measuring in ‘decades’, even fractional ones, is one of my touchstones for when things are ‘a long time’ ;-)

    @Charles The Moderator:

    So I’m the Poster Child for all of us made a bit squeamish by the shift away from ‘polite and professional, avoid personal attacks’ more toward emotion and ‘to the person’? OK, fine with me. I tried to present my feelings in a reasonably polite way, with due language of “diplomacy and sweetness”; but then you don’t prefer that… Sorry, I’m going to disappoint then, as I will not indulge the antithesis… And being from neither San Francisco nor New York, but a farm town in the country, when I say “Hello”, I mean “Hello”. I rarely say “#%W^ you”, as “them’s fight’n words” and where I grew up you needed to be ready to duck a swing, a knife, or worse. Mostly I just give a polite flat look, and find a way to head for the exit while keeping an eye out. But if it really needs it, then that’s what I’ll say. In short, what I say means exactly the surface meaning. Though politely most of the time.

    Now your entry to the ‘fray’ is interesting. I’ll be “keeping an eye out” and heading for the exit after this, as I’ve said my piece. But you have given an official stamp of approval to vilification.

    The ends justified the means, in what you said. Because in your opinion some skeptics doing what the Warmers do all the time (self and pal review) is somehow more evil and causes us great damage but them not at all. I can not agree with that.

    It is part of my “be the mirror” philosophy. ALL sides get the same ground rules all the time. Someone steals from me, they give me permission to steal my item back. Someone pulls a knife on me, they give me permission to use a knife. Someone is rude to me, they ask rudeness in return. I have tried many times in my life to live the assymetrical rule set (“turn the other cheek”) and it just gets you two busted chops. It is a standard ploy of many authoritarian systems to have asymetrical rules; a “heads they win tails you lose”. The only reasonble response is to refuse to play that game. (Nothing like finding a “I get this” in a contract and changing all the “I”s to “We”… suddenly “we both get this” causes the other party to realize they can not game you. Done it many a time. It works. Well.)

    So we come at this from very different premisses. You, that we must take the moral high ground and be more impeccable then they. Me, that we are the weaker player so simply must take the rules as given by our opponent and respond in kind. “Be the Mirror”. One does not follow rules of the Boxing Federation in a back ally. Does that mean it is wrong for me (and those like me) to be bothered by a negative tone, and an attack ‘to the person’? I hope not, as that means you are telling me what it is permissable for me to feel…

    So, enough of this. It’s a nice warm day in Florida, and I’ve got a chicken to BBQ. Willis has heard my feedback. It can help, or be ignored; but nothing I can do can shift that outcome.

    Please do note: I am not saying it is wrong for Willis to feel as he does, or to believe the behaviour of others was wrong. Just as I am not saying it is wrong for you to feel as you do or believe that great damage was done or that the folks who did the ‘pal review’ did a bad thing. I’m just saying there is a polite way to say that which does not carry angre and is not an attack or ‘to the person’. Then again, I’m not that fond of New York Style…

    @Chris Wright:

    Well said.

    BTW, Willis has his own form of “Be the Mirror”. He responds to negative tone with slightly stronger negative tone (but nearly the same). You see that in things like the reflection of the word “buddy” above. I find it charming to watch as it is a technique I frequently use. As we have some interesting life parallels, I know he knows how handy it can be. Blending with many cultures around you is strongly helped by that tendency. So not knocking that at all.

    But there are times when being a 1/2 silvered mirror is better. Reflect some, but not all, of the emergy. Act to dampen strong emotions, not amplify them. The web is one of those places. Folks regularly add loads of emotion that are not in the words of the writer. It takes some extra care to prevent that. It’ hard to do, and often fails. Oh Well…

    What’s changed? IMHO it is just that Willis has posted a lot more articles. His daily “intake” of the load of insult and flack (as comes on ALL articles) will have risen a lot. It is very hard to avoid being defensive when that level exceeds the individual tollerance. At some point, the total “incomming” just overwhelms. I had a couple of articles posted here, and found the effort of “defending” them significant and to some extent irritating. I’d not want to be carrying the load that Willis is carrying. I’m pretty sure I’d be even more “hair trigger” in the responses and even more “reflecting” of the negativity. I had several folks tell me some article or other of mine ought to be posted here, and my response was just that Anthony had carte blanch to repost any of my stuff. The reality, too, was that I also didn’t want to promote it and have another round of insults to deal with.

    In short, I think of Willis as a “friend at a distance” with a lot of shared life path and attitudes, and my comments were more in the way of a friend saying “Have a cool one and come at it later” than any kind of criticism or attack. (At least, I hope it came across that way…)

    @Tallbloke:

    Take a look at:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/a-remarkable-lunar-paper-and-numbers-on-major-standstill/

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/the-moons-orbit-is-wrong-it-can-change-a-lot-and-tides-will-too/

    It is a brief survey of a couple of places that the lunar orbit is not as predicted. This ties in with the “Supertides” posting by Clive. IMHO, this gives a mechanism for planets moving the sun, that then moves the lunar orbit, which at key extreme points, moves the oceans and tides in strong ways. That, then, shifts the weather. (And, incidentally, would explain things like New Zealand sea level trend being different from Hawaii… the “Sea Level” changes from place to place over the planet based on where the moon goes most…)

    I don’t have a lot of answers in them, but it does point at some interesting data to ponder. And some unexpected lunar aspects.

  131. E.M.
    Many thanks, I’ll read your posts and give you some feedback. I’ve been finding some interesting links between Lunar motion and Jupiter which haven’t been explained before. There are named librations which have no underlying theory. In 2014!

  132. Actually Willis, I didn’t think you needed my help as I thought your explanation of the facts pretty much won the argument. It’s the tone I’m objecting to, and quite simply what used to be a good objective read is now gone off to some other place I’m not familiar with.
    As a person who writes as much as you do, certainly you have to expect your going to get darts thrown your way, and at least in my view, you seemed to have some very good arguments on your side. I actually thought you carried the argument, and didn’t see any need for a somewhat defensive and sarcastic tone. A return dart or too is fine, but letting this degenerate into the “Wack-a-Mole” slug fest, is again, beneath you.
    Can I understand your being a little peaved at some of the attacks, Yes I can. Can I understand it getting the better of you, no, not really…I am actually surprised. My objection here is watching a single contentious thread, spread it’s way into other threads, so that in effect, that one thread is starting to affect the tone of all subsequent threads. I don’t think that”s a good thing.
    I visit this site often for my late night read on the sciences..thought provoking and relaxing, especially when interspersed with your stories of land and sea. The last few days have been more like watching pulp fiction before nodding off…not very conducive to a good nights sleep.
    I’m a big believer in “This too shall Pass”

  133. E.M.Smith:

    In your post at January 26, 2014 at 8:27 am you say

    So we come at this from very different premisses. You, that we must take the moral high ground and be more impeccable then they. Me, that we are the weaker player so simply must take the rules as given by our opponent and respond in kind. “Be the Mirror”.

    Sadly, it is now clear that you are not alone in that attitude of “Be the Mirror”, and it has caused the present problem.

    People who accept the rules must keep to the rules or suffer the consequences. This is especially true when their breaking the rules harms others. It is NOT relevant whether or not some others got away with breaking the rules. And it is not acceptable for those who suffer the consequences of their having broken the rules to then attempt to pretend they are victims: they are only victims of their own behaviour.

    Willis is one whose long-standing campaign for probity has been damaged by rule-breakers. In this circumstance, his reaction has been firm, consistent and – considering the situation – restrained.

    People who say they ‘pick and choose’ when and why to obey the rules are not in a good position to complain that Willis is not patient with those who whinge because they are suffering consequences of breaking rules they agree to accept.

    Richard

  134. Chris Wright says:
    January 26, 2014 at 5:15 am

    E.M.Smith says:
    January 26, 2014 at 2:03 am

    “We must be winning the AGW debate / war… we’re starting to attack our own…”

    It’s sad, but I think I’m agreeing with you.

    Perhaps in your world, people who are writing “scientific” papers that are nothing but numerology or 20-parameter curve fits, or people refusing to reveal their data and code, are part of “your own”.

    I assure you, in my world those people are none of my own, whoever they are. I do not understand you people standing up in favor of bad science and the concealment of code and data.

    All I have called for in this debate is for people to apply the same standards to the authors and editors of the Special Edition that we have called for with Michael Mann and Phil Jones—be transparent, reveal your data and code, don’t pack the peer-review panels with your friends, don’t make unsupported statements about the future. Why is this so contentious? What’s not to like?

    I do my best to be absolutely evenhanded in what I ask of scientists. I ask for scientific transparency and scientific honesty and impartial peer review, whether it’s Michael Mann or Nicola Scafetta that is hiding data and code and packing the peer review panesl … and you think I’m “attacking our own”.

    Madness … I will call out anyone hiding their data and code, prince or pauper, and anyone who does that is absolutely not one of my own.

    Finally, have I been somewhat aggro in this? Yes, I have faced endless opposion of the ugliest kind, including your assertion that somehow I’m attacking my own. Take a look at the opening statements from Scafetta, Jelbring, and Tallbloke … since they walked in the door they have done nothing but abuse me personally. Not my ideas, not my scientific or other claims, but me personally. Not only that, but every anonymous jerk on the internet now wants to jump up and call me nasty names and to tell me how to behave … and to top it off, folks like you who should know better are clutching your pearls and going tut, tut, Willis, you should be much nicer …

    From my perspective, the problem is not that I’m too upset. The problem is that you’re not upset enough. Chris and Chiefio and those of you who are so damn concerned about the tone of this discussion, how about you start by calling out Scafetta and Jelbring and Tallbloke for their science, and while you’re at it, how about telling them how you’re so worried about their tone? Where is your great concern about their comments?

    Good thing about this debacle? It’s shown me who is really in favor of good science, and who just wants to ignore the scientific questions and be a concern troll and tell me I should be nicer to people doing their best to body-slam me into irrelevance …

    w.

  135. Chris Wright says:
    January 26, 2014 at 5:15 am

    So: was Willis right to completely dismiss any causal relationship between sunspots and SLR?
    No, absolutely not. He placed too much reliance on a possibly unsuitable analysis tool and ignored the evidence of his eyes. That’s not good science.

    First, I didn’t “dismiss any causal relationship”. I simply said that

    1. If Solheim wishes to claim a relationship, he needs to do the calculations of significance.

    2. He made no such calculations. This whould have been caught by any competent reviewer.

    3. As a result, his claim in the paper was scientifically meaningless.

    4. I did the significance calculation, and it was suggestive, but NOT scientifically significant. This was confirmed by a cross-correlation analysis. It was also confirmed by the fact pointed out by Dr. Robert Brown, that with only 9 tidal stations used, you need much stronger results to be statistically significant. It was also supported by looking at the lack of a relationship between sunspots and other measures of sea level such as the Church and White data. Finally, it was also supported by the Woodworth study.

    In short, the work of Solheim was not science, it was just a pretty picture. It fooled Solheim, and from the sound of it it fooled you as well, but it couldn’t fool the mathematics, and it couldn’t fool Dr. Brown. I didn’t find any comment in the whole thread that claimed that Solheims results WERE statistically significant by some “suitable” method such as you allege exists … well, except for the “Chris’s eyeball” method, which reports signifcance …

    Given all of that evidence that the Solheim results were NOT significant, and no evidence that they were significant, I don’t give a flying squirrel what your eyes tell you, Chris. I’m sure you can see faces in the clouds too, as can I … does that mean that there really is a face-making mechanism hidden in the cumulus?

    More to the point … Solheim didn’t do any math to establish his case, he just showed the pretty picture that so impresses you. Perhaps that’s “science” on your world. In my world, that’s a joke, and an infallible sign of very shoddy peer review. SO that’s what you are defending … garbage science, and garbage peer review.

    You sure that’s the stand you want to take, defending Solheim?

    w.

  136. Chris, a final note. You trust your eyeball. So do I. In fact, I do most of my work visually, looking at just such graphs and seeing if there are correlations.

    The difference is, I’ve looked at literally thousands of such graphs as Solheim showed, and when I looked at his graph, I thought “Man, it sure looks like a poor correlation to me. I wonder if it is significant?”

    That’s what led me to look for the significance calculations, because the relationship looked so weak to my eyes … but there were no calculations. Intrigued, I digitized the data (since it wasn’t publicly archived, bad scientists, no cookies) and did the calculations, and guess what?

    I found out my eyeballs were right, the correlation was very weak … so yes, I agree with you that the eyes are critical in this kind of work.

    But you need experience as well, because when I started studying the climate, my eyes would have given me the false message you get from the graph, that of a strong correlation.

    w.

  137. E.M.Smith,

    If this were a physical battle, you may have a point, but this is a battle of ideas.

    When you fight with a weak idea, you have given the other side a weapon to use against you.

    When you fight with poor ethics, you have given the other side a weapon to use against you.

    When you fight with poor logic, you have given the other side a weapon to use against you.

    The only way to prevent this is to stick the high ground, in ethics and logic.

    DP,

    E.M.Smith has moderator privileges here as do I. Willis does not, although he may have abused this a time or two in the past, I do not recall.

  138. Ulric Lyons says:
    January 26, 2014 at 5:49 am

    tallbloke says:

    “It’s a pity you didn’t have a go at the more interesting sections further into the paper where we get to the cyclicities which interact to produce periodicities which match climatic periods such as the AMO…”

    From your paper:

    “..the Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation. It is bounded on either side by the period of five Jupiter Neptune synods (63.9 yr), and five Jupiter–Uranus synods (69.05 yr).”

    Which you lifted straight from my work and have given me no credit for it, and without explaining the role of Saturn which goes from one square to the opposite square at five synods, the five Jupiter–Uranus synods on their own mean nothing.

    Well dang. I was gonna say that I didn’t put much weight on the Jupiter-Uranus synods myself either, and that I always preferred the Mercury-Pluto synods, but unfortunately I hadn’t gotten around to mentioning it … you see, I was waiting to comment until Saturn finished going to the opposite square at five synods before I revealed that particular bit of crucial information, and now you scooped me by publishing first.

    However, to avoid your wrath, please note I give you full credit for primacy, you made the connection in your work first, you beat me to it … …

    … sigh …

    w.

  139. tallbloke says:
    January 26, 2014 at 6:38 am

    Hi Willis.
    I’m starting to write my rebuttal to your attack on Professor Jan-Erik Solheim. I looked at your post again to find a link to the data you generated by digitising the plot of Solar Activity vs Holgate’s Sea Level curve, but to my astonishment, it appears you didn’t supply the dataset as supplementary information in your post.

    Please could you upload and link it so I can replicate your R^2 findings.

    Thanks, tallbloke, but I took a lesson from Nicola Scafetta on this one and refused to release either my code or my data, just as he did. Of course he was publishing in a journal where he’s required to supply his data and code … unless the editor is a friend of his … and I’m just writing on a blog. Not only that, but heck, it’s not even my data, it’s either Holgate’s or Solheim’s data.

    However, I can get it for you if you’re willing to wait. You see, I’ve put a release date on my code and data.

    What date?

    Well, I’ll release it the day after Nicola releases his code and data.

    Thank you for your interest in my work.

    Best regards,

    w.

    PS—I do hope, Roger, that you have already realized that I deliberately did not include my data or code in my post, just as Solheim did with his paper in the Special Issue, and just as Scafetta did with his paper in the Special Issue, in the thin hope that you or someone else would ask me for them.

    Fortunately, as I’d thought might happen, hubris got the best of you. Instead of noticing that you’d just published a special issue of a scientific journal without requiring that the authors provide code and data as used, you decided to bust me for the exact same scientific crime, and so now you are “astonished” that I would overlook such a basic and vital requirement of scientific transparency.

    No need for astonishment, Roger. I didn’t overlook anything. I left it out deliberately it in the almost futile hope that you would complain about it, so that your hypocrisy regarding scientific transparency would be revealed to the world … and by gosh, you came through in the end.

  140. Willis Eschenbach says at January 26, 2014 at 2:10 pm…
    In principle I don’t approve of playing games instead of open friendliness but in this case you have been entirely vindicated.

    Make it a main post.
    Hypocrisy (self-deceit) is the root cause of the moral failures of Climategate.
    This is also hypocrisy.
    It must be confronted just the same
    Go get them, please

  141. Willis

    “From my perspective, the problem is not that I’m too upset. The problem is that you’re not upset enough. Chris and Chiefio and those of you who are so damn concerned about the tone of this discussion, how about you start by calling out Scafetta and Jelbring and Tallbloke for their science, and while you’re at it, how about telling them how you’re so worried about their tone? Where is your great concern about their comments?”

    Notice also that few criticize your tone when you write open letters or bust on Judith. I noticed nobody complained when I posted on RC demanding Hansen’s code. Nobody complained when we peppered Jones with dozens of FOIA.. ya we fought for the principle of the thing and our cheerleaders found no fault in us. And now I read what these people write and I feel like Im reading climate gate mails again.. guys defending data hiding, defending code hiding, defending pal review. Not holding journals to their rulz, whitewashing bad behavior.. “cool it dudes.”.
    Where the hell was Pointsmen and his ilk when you were breathing fire on Hansen, Jones, and Mann? where? nowhere, or cheerleading at best.

    Here is the way I look at it. You earned the right to have any damn tone you want. How soon they forget the guy who did the First FOIA. Did they think that fighting spirit wasn’t a part of your character?

  142. Tallbloke

    “I’m starting to write my rebuttal to your attack on Professor Jan-Erik Solheim. I looked at your post again to find a link to the data you generated by digitising the plot of Solar Activity vs Holgate’s Sea Level curve, but to my astonishment, it appears you didn’t supply the dataset as supplementary information in your post.”

    when you get around to answering the following I’ll be interested

    1. What stations did Holgate Use
    2. Did the author test the sensitivity to station selection?
    3. Since the idea originated on Climate audit have the proper attributions been made.

    Asking Willis for his data shows you dont know how to do proper research and documentation.

    You are editor of the journal. Go ask the author to supply you with his data. Ask him which stations
    he used. you will then have

    1. The source data
    2. The data as used by your author

    That’s the real test. As editor you should have made sure that was in the SI anyways.

    Lets see, since Oct 1 youve had 90 days or more to request this

  143. charles the moderator said @ January 26, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    E.M.Smith,

    If this were a physical battle, you may have a point, but this is a battle of ideas.

    When you fight with a weak idea, you have given the other side a weapon to use against you.

    When you fight with poor ethics, you have given the other side a weapon to use against you.

    When you fight with poor logic, you have given the other side a weapon to use against you.

    The only way to prevent this is to stick the high ground, in ethics and logic.

    That has my fullest agreement CTM. Well said…

  144. Willis Eschenbach said @ January 26, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    Fortunately, as I’d thought might happen, hubris got the best of you. Instead of noticing that you’d just published a special issue of a scientific journal without requiring that the authors provide code and data as used, you decided to bust me for the exact same scientific crime, and so now you are “astonished” that I would overlook such a basic and vital requirement of scientific transparency.

    No need for astonishment, Roger. I didn’t overlook anything. I left it out deliberately it in the almost futile hope that you would complain about it, so that your hypocrisy regarding scientific transparency would be revealed to the world … and by gosh, you came through in the end.

    That’s just so funny :-) I haven’t laughed as much as this week for months.

  145. Willis writes:
    “And finally, they offer observational evidence to support their claim.”

    From Fig 2 of the paper, 1974, 1770 and 1629 all look like anti-correlations. The second half of the 1770’s were like late 20th century temperatures on CET, and the 1630’s were very warm:

    http://booty.org.uk/booty.weather/climate/1600_1649.htm

    Quote:
    “They also noted a general tendency for interdecadal warming near 1930, when Saros cycle forcing was weak, and a lack of warming when this forcing was strong near 1880 and 1970, as though cooling near times of strong forcing lingered for several decades, despite the identified events being only single tides.”

    Lingered for several decades from 1974?

  146. Pompus Git says a wee bit earlier…..

    “That’s just so funny :-) I haven’t laughed as much as this week for months.”

    Agreed.

    I would love to see a Josh cartoon on this. Perhaps Mann and Tallbloke commiserating over a drink.

  147. @ Crispin.

    Thank you , Crispin. I will investigate it under that title.

    “Hatcher divides all effects into two possible sets: those that are caused and those that are uncaused.

    “Uncaused effect” is a contradiction in terms. I assume he means “uncaused event/phenomenon”.

    “leading ultimately back to a single, causeless effect – the first effect, for example a Big Bang.”

    I will be curious to see why he concludes a single uncaused event, rather than multiple uncaused events.

    “By demanding logically a cause for this initial effect that produces the universe”

    There is no logical requirement for a cause for an event. We usually assume that events have causes, but that is a methodological assumption. And it seems that they usually do, but that is an empirical observation. We are inclined to generalize that observation, but it is based on observations made within the universe. We have no reason to suppose that universes as a whole follow the same laws as items within the universe. (To suppose that is to commit the fallacy of composition.)

    “Whatever it was is literally unknowable.”

    Then we cannot even know it existed.

    “The point about ‘a previous universe’ does not address the point about the initial effect: the sudden existence of first universe.”

    That is assuming there was a first universe. There may have been an sequence of universes without beginning. Does it make sense to ask for a cause for that which has always existed? (And I seem to be assuming some sort of hyper-time independent of this universe. Does that idea make sense?)

  148. The Pompous Git says:
    January 24, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    One suspects that “Bewitch” is either Poptick, or a sock-puppet…

    Please don’t post lies about me in addition to your childish name calling.

  149. Tallbloke, if you are still around. You have stated the reason for no posting of data or code is that you are locked out of Copernicus’s site. I would be happy to spend 13 dollars or so to purchase a domain for you such as PRiP-Sup-materials.net and host an FTP site for you. I would transfer the ownership of the domain to you or anyone you designate immediately upon request so you wouldn’t have to worry about broken links in the future when you move the materials to your own host.

    I make this offer in public to be held accountable.

  150. @ Poptick

    If you can present evidence that my saying “one suspects X” then do so. It wasn’t a lie. I did so suspect. As for childish name-calling (aka mud-slinging): pot… kettle… black.

  151. @RoHa

    I can’t do justice to a topic that occupied a brilliant guy for a whole book. I gave the briefest possible description to a topic that is pretty deep. I was given a (turns out to be the original version) copy of the book by a pretty famous guy who said, “You take this, I can’t understand it.” That was an intimidating start.

    As for a ’causeless effect’ that is rule out by definition. An effect is a consequence of something caused. Something ‘that just is’ such as an eternal universe that ‘Always Was’ is perhaps listed in a different Set. The book starts off easily enough with a division of All Things into those which are caused and those which are uncaused. As for multiple causes for a single effect, that is an interesting idea which I think is dealt with when everything is later reduced to set theory and the symbols become more arcane!

    Have fun.

    The relevance of course is the large number of effects on the climate that are attributed rather carelessly to ‘an increase in CO2′ with the expectation that the reader would accept CO2 as the cause and just about anything as the effects: ‘multiple effects, single cause theory’.

    As we know from funny websites, there are already hundreds of claimed effects, but especially the ‘on-going and increasing rate of rise in the global temperature’ that isn’t happening.

  152. Robert in Calgary says:

    >Some folks have an insane jealousy of Willis, want to knock him down a few pegs but are out of their depth and typically end up making out with the floor by the end.

    I certainly hope I am not placed in that category of the knockers. I have a lot of time for autodidacts for personal reasons.

    I have been put off as usual by some claims that over-reacting to something, which leads I believe to making overarching replies to same in response, needs a good analogy to show that over-claiming in service the getting people to ‘see the truth’ is bad for business. This doesn’t answer a question to do with the article above, but does have relevance to elevating the claims or responses to get attention. I have friends who really do take this exaggeration to heart and feel that making wild claims is legitimate because the truth, being so much more moderate, will be more easily accepted. Sort of negotiating a price like on Pawn Stars.

    Here is my offering:

    Mr Newton, what is it you have come up with – a gravity constant or something?

    Yes Ferdi, I have been researching this for some time and I published a paper “Principia” currently ‘in press”. You can read it when it comes out. It includes a note on the Gravitational Constant.

    What is it?

    It is something like 250 feet per second per second, and if CO2 keeps rising from all the land clearing they have started in the American Colonies, it will rise to 300 feet per second or more within 100 years. It is going to cause all sorts of terrible consequences. Eventually people be unable to stand up. Apples will be burying themselves in the ground!

    Is it really that high? Wow, it’s a lot worse than I thought. I have done some measurements myself and the value seemed to be a lot closer to 30 feet per second squared. Can I see your calculations?

    It is all there in my paper – well the conclusions are. I developed a model of gravity and the extrapolation from a couple of experiments gives a pretty high value. In any case, we need to get people’s attention and in this day and age, what with the ending of the Scottish rebellions, the rise in the cotton trade and all, it is hard to get media space. Please support me by writing to the editor.

    But if the value is about 30 don’t you think claiming it is “250 and rising” is a bit of a stretch? That would imply some sort of ‘expanding Earth’ phenomenon. I can’t see people accepting something as preposterous as that.

    OK…OK, yes it implies an expanding Earth but no one can measure it accurately. If we don’t issue something alarming every now and then our funding for basic research will dry up. If it is ever shown by observations that 250 is high, just point out that whoever says it does not really know anything about gravity, we do, and that will buy us another lifetime of funding. If you don’t like the principium of ‘exaggeration to make reality look more realistic that it is” I have others. That is after all why my paper is called “Principia”, not “Principium”. In the end we can go with 30, maybe 32. but for the moment its 250, OK? And don’t forget, “and rising”. That’s the money shot.

  153. Crispin in Waterloo says:
    January 27, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Robert in Calgary says:

    Some folks have an insane jealousy of Willis, want to knock him down a few pegs but are out of their depth and typically end up making out with the floor by the end.

    I certainly hope I am not placed in that category of the knockers. I have a lot of time for autodidacts for personal reasons.

    I have been put off as usual by some claims that [are?] over-reacting to something, which leads I believe to making overarching replies to same in response, needs a good analogy to show that over-claiming in service the getting people to ‘see the truth’ is bad for business.

    Thanks, Crispin. I don’t think you are a “knocker”. However, your post makes no sense.

    My problem with your post is that you are put off by “some claims that are over-reacting to something”, so you spin an analogy about it …

    Let me get this straight. Your complaint in its entirety is that somebody said something in some comment somewhere that you didn’t like?

    SRSLY?

    I’ve said over and over, if you disagree with something, QUOTE IT! At present, nobody but you has any clue what it is that has you all upset. Well, that’s not entirely true. Our clue is that you are upset by some people who said something somewhere … seriously, Crispin, that’s totally inadequate. Quote what you disagree with and tell use why. Your analogy based on the fact you didn’t like something somewhere was just too painful to read …

    w.

  154. @ Crispin

    I’ve found that I can get a PFD of the book online. I’ll give it a read, but so far it looks like a dressed up version of the old “first cause” argument. Philosophers of Religion (like me) know that one well. It will be interesting to see if he can meet the fundamental objections to the argument.

  155. The Pompous Git says:
    January 26, 2014 at 9:13 pm
    @ Poptick

    If you can present evidence that my saying “one suspects X” then do so. It wasn’t a lie. I did so suspect. As for childish name-calling (aka mud-slinging): pot… kettle… black.

    Oh OK then, I suspect you are shill for Skeptical Science.

    Posting factual information fully sourced is not mud-slinging no matter how uncomfortable those facts may be.

  156. Frederick Colbourne says:
    January 24, 2014 at 7:19 pm
    But they miss the point: the journal was banned to silence a heresy, not because of its quality or because of allowing pal review. That is what the CEO of Copernicus wrote as his reason for closing the journal. I assume Willis and others read the first letter he wrote before he added the charge of “nepotism” (sic).
    ==============
    peer review is almost always anonymous. the charge of nepotism only came about because the authors published the names of those reviewers that were also authors. they were under no obligation to publish these names, and in other magazines they would not be published. so, to me the charge of nepotism doesn’t make sense. I believe it has been mistakenly exaggerated to hide the real cause for cancellation.

    to me, by publishing the names of those reviewers that were also authors, my conclusions is that the authors were trying to be above board and open. It was what I thought when I first read the articles and saw that some reviewers were also authors. had they wished to do something underhanded, then why makes the names of the reviewers public? why not simply make all reviewers anonymous as is almost universally done in scientific publishing?

    As Keeling’s paper shows, there is a case for orbital mechanics determining earth’s climate on much smaller time frames than is typically assumed by climate science. The question the other papers was trying to answer was whether orbital mechanics plays a part in regulating solar activity. I suspect the solar system has been in existence too long for some synchronization not to have taken place.

  157. Frederick Colbourne says:
    January 24, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    But they miss the point: the journal was banned to silence a heresy, not because of its quality or because of allowing pal review. That is what the CEO of Copernicus wrote as his reason for closing the journal. I assume Willis and others read the first letter he wrote before he added the charge of “nepotism” (sic).

    That is actually taken out of context for why the IPCC line was quoted. The publishers were told that the journal would not be used by climate skeptics to focus on climate related issues. Instead that is exactly what PRP concluded in their special edition. The IPCC line Copernicus quoted was used as an example of why this agreement was not upheld. My firm belief is that if PRP wanted to have a focus on climate related issues than you need to make that clear when you setup the journal.

  158. ferdberple says:
    January 27, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    to me, by publishing the names of those reviewers that were also authors, my conclusions is that the authors were trying to be above board and open. It was what I thought when I first read the articles and saw that some reviewers were also authors. had they wished to do something underhanded, then why makes the names of the reviewers public? why not simply make all reviewers anonymous as is almost universally done in scientific publishing?

    I was told the publishing of the names was because they were concerned about a conflict of interest, in which case they should not have been reviewing those papers. Intent at this point doesn’t matter because the perception will always be of pal-review. If you want your work to be taken seriously you cannot fall into these traps and must be much more careful.

  159. It is well worth reading Nils-Axel Morner’s account.

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/nils-axel-morner-an-unbelievable-decision/

    An Unbelievable Decision
    Nils-Axel MÖRNER
    Handling editor of the Special Issue of PRP
    Nils-Axel Mörner, born 1938, is the former head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics department at Stockholm University. He was also president of the International Union for Quaternary Research Commission on Neotectonics. He has added around 100 peer reviewed papers to his career total of around 500 papers since he retired in 2005.

    Here is the actual conclusion that was cited as the reason for cancellation:
    Implication 2
    Several papers have addressed the question about the evolu-
    tion of climate during the 21st century. Obviously, we are on
    our way into a new grand solar minimum. This sheds serious
    doubts on the issue of a continued, even accelerated, warm-
    ing as claimed by the IPCC project.

    Keep in mind that Prediction and Replication, not Peer Review, establishes truth in science. If it turns out that we are headed for a solar minimum then this magazine cancellation will be cited in history books as yet another example of the long history of suppression of new ideas by the established scientific community of the day, along with examples such a continental drift, milankovitch cycles, and heliocentric solar system.

    Some quotes from Max Planck
    “New scientific ideas never spring from a communal body, however organized, but rather from the head of an individually inspired researcher who struggles with his problems in lonely thought and unites all his thought on one single point which is his whole world for the moment.”

    “A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

  160. An interesting observation from: The 1,800-year oceanic tidal cycle: A possible cause
    of rapid climate change

    “A cause for such greater regularity in tidal forcing might be
    resonances of other bodies of the solar system, especially the
    outer planets. We are struck by the close correspondence of the
    average period of the 180-year tidal cycle of 179.5 years (1/10 of
    that of the 1,800-year cycle) and the period of the sun’s rotation
    about the center of mass of the solar system of 179.2 years, the
    latter a manifestation of planetary resonances (13).”

    The near integer resonance in the solar system is not a product of chance. This provides a means to predict the future of chaotic systems that is currently not possible from first principles.

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