Gaming the peer review system: IPCC scientists behaving badly

Dilbert.com

Embedded with permission from dilbert.com - click to see original

How IPCC scientists interfere with publication of inconvenient scientific results

By David H. Douglass, Professor of Physics, University of Rochester, New York, and John R. Christy, Distinguished Professor, Atmospheric Science, University of Alabama at Huntsville

  • In this article, reprinted from The American Thinker, two eminent Professors reveal just one of the many seamy stories that emerge from the Climategate emails. A prejudiced journal editor conspires with senior IPCC scientists to delay and discredit a paper by four distinguished scientists demonstrating that a central part of the IPCC’s scientific argument is erroneous.

The Climategate emails from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England have revealed how the normal conventions of the peer-review process appear to have been compromised by a Team of “global warming” scientists, with the willing cooperation of the editor of the International Journal of Climatology, Glenn McGregor.

The Team spent nearly a year preparing and publishing a paper that attempted to rebut a previously published paper in that journal by Douglass, Christy, Pearson and Singer. Our paper, reviewed and accepted in the traditional manner, had shown that the IPCC models that predicted significant “global warming” in fact largely disagreed with the observational data.

We will let the reader judge whether this team effort, revealed in dozens of emails and taking nearly a year, involves inappropriate behavior including (a) unusual cooperation between authors and editor, (b) misstatement of known facts, (c) character assassination, (d) avoidance of traditional scientific give-and-take, (e) using confidential information, (f) misrepresentation (or misunderstanding) of the scientific question posed by us in our paper, (g) withholding data, and more.

The team is a group of a number of climate scientists who frequently collaborate and publish papers which often supports the hypothesis of human-caused global warming. For present purposes, leading members of the Team include Ben Santer, Phil Jones, Timothy Osborn, and Tom Wigley, with lesser roles for several others.

Introduction

We submitted our paper to the International Journal of Climate on 31 May 2007. The paper was accepted four and a half months later, on 11 October. The page-proofs were accepted on 1 November. The paper was published online on 5 December. However, we had to wait very nearly a year after online publication, until 15 November 2008, for publication of the print version of the paper.

Ben Santer and 17 members of the Team subsequently published a paper intended to refute ours. It was submitted to the International Journal of Climate on 25 March 2008. It was revised on 18 July, accepted two days later, published online on 10 October, and published in print on 15 November, little more than a month after online publication.

This story uses various of the Climategate emails and our own personal knowledge of events and issues. References will be made to items in an appendix that are arranged chronologically. Each of the emails has an index number which comes from a compilation at http://www.eastangliaemails.com/index.php

2. The story

Our record of this story begins when Andrew Revkin, a reporter for the New York Times, sent three Team members an email dated 30 Nov 2007, to which he attached the page-proofs of our paper, which we had not sent to him. His email to the Team is dated just one week before the online publication of our paper. The subject of Revkin’s email,

“Sorry to take your time up, but really do need a scrub of Singer/Christy/etc effort”, implies that there had been prior correspondence between Revkin and the Team.

Carl Mears, a Team member, quickly responded with an email dated 4 December 2007 to fellow Team members Jones, Santer, Thorne, Sherwood, Lanzante, Taylor, Seidel, Free and Wentz Santer replies to all of these:

“I’m forwarding this to you in confidence. We all knew that some journal, somewhere, would eventually publish this stuff. Turns out that it was the International Journal of Climatology.”

Santer knew this because he had reviewed and rejected our paper when it had been previously submitted to another journal. Phil Jones, then director of the Climatic Research Unit at East Anglia, and now stood down pending an investigation of the Climategate affair, responded to Santer:

“It sure does! Have read briefly – the surface arguments are wrong. I know editors have difficulty finding reviewers, but letting this one pass is awful – and the International Journal of Climatology was improving.”

This exchange provides the first reference to the International Journal of Climatology.

The next day, 5 December 2007, the day on which our paper appeared on-line, Santer sent a email to Peter Thorne with copies to Carl Mears, Leopold Haimberger, Karl Taylor, Tom Wigley, Phil Jones, Steve Sherwood, John Lanzante, Dian Seidel, Melissa Free, Frank Wentz, and Steve Klein. Santer says:

“Peter, I think you’ve done a nice job in capturing some of my concerns about the Douglass et al. paper… I don’t think it’s a good strategy to submit a response to the Douglass et al. paper to the International Journal of Climatology. As Phil [Jones] pointed out, the Journal has a large backlog, so it might take some time to get a response published. Furthermore, Douglass et al. probably would be given the final word.”

The most critical point throughout these emails is the goal of preventing us from providing what is considered normal in the peer-reviewed literature: an opportunity to respond to their critique, or as they put it, “be given the final word.” One wonders if there is ever a “final word” in science, as the authors here seem to imply.

The next day, 6 December 2007, Melissa Free responded with a cautious note, evidently because she had presented a  paper with Lanzante and Seidel  at the American Meteorological Society’s 18th conference on Climate Variability and Change, acknowledging the existence of the discrepancy between observations and models – the basic conclusion of our paper:

“What about the implications of a real model-observation difference for upper-air trends? Is this really so dire?”

Santer responded on 6 December 2007 with his key reason for attacking our paper:

“What is dire is Douglass et al.’s wilful neglect of any observational datasets that do not support their arguments.”

This “wilful neglect” of “observational datasets” refers to the absence of two balloon datasets RAOBCORE v1.3 and v1.4. We had explained in addendum to our paper that these datasets were faulty.

A further email from Jones, dated 6 Dec 2007, discusses options for beating us into print.  Wigley, a former head of the Climatic Research Unit, enters the story on 10 Dec 2007 to accuse us of “fraud”, adding that under “normal circumstances” this would “cause him [Professor David Douglass] to lose his job”.

We remind the reader that our paper went through traditional, anonymous peer-review with several revisions to satisfy the reviewers and without communicating outside proper channels with the editor and reviewers.

Tim Osborn, a colleague of Jones at the Climatic Research Unit and a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Climate, then inserted himself into the process, declaring a bias on the issue. He said that Professor Douglass’ previous papers “appear to have serious problems”.

Santer responded on 12 December 2007 with gratitude for the “heads-up”, again making the claim that our paper had ignored certain balloon datasets, when in fact our paper had not used these datasets because they were known to be faulty.

The same day, an unsigned report appeared on the Team’s propaganda website, RealClimate.org, attacking us especially about not using the RAOBCORE 1.4 balloon dataset.

This prompted us to submit a one-page Addendum to the International Journal of Climatology on 3 January 2008 to explain two issues: first, the reason for not using RAOBCORE 1.4 and secondly, the experimental design to show why using the full spread of model results to compare with observations (as Santer i. would do) would lead to wrong conclusions about the relationship between trends in the upper air temperature vs. the surface. A copy of the addendum may be found at http://www.pas.rochester.edu/~douglass/.)

Osborn wrote to Santer and Jones on 10 January 2008 to discuss the “downside” of the normal comment-reply process in which we should be given an “opportunity to have a response.”  He explained that he has contacted the editor of the International Journal of Climatology, Glenn McGregor, to “see what he can do”.  According to Osborn, McGregor “promises to do everything he can to achieve a quick turn-around.”  He also wrote:

“… (and please treat this in confidence, which is why I emailed to you and Phil only) that he [McGregor] may be able to hold back the hardcopy (i.e. the print/paper version) appearance of Douglass et al., possibly so that any accepted Santer et al. comment could appear alongside it. He [McGregor] also intends to “correct the scientific record” and to identify “in advance reviewers who are both suitable and available”, perhaps including “someone on the email list you’ve been using”. Given the bias of Osborn and McGregor as expressed in the emails, one could wonder what it means to be a “suitable” reviewer of the Santer paper.

Santer responded with his conditions, highlighting his intent to have the “last word”:

“1. Our paper should be regarded as an independent contribution, not as a comment on Douglass et al. … 2. If the International Journal of Climatology agrees to 1, then Douglass et al. should have the opportunity to respond to our contribution, and we should be given the chance to reply. Any response and reply should be published side-by-side, in the same issue of the Journal. I’d be grateful if you and Phil could provide me with some guidance on 1 and 2, and on whether you think we should submit to the Journal. Feel free to forward my email to Glenn McGregor.”

This Osborn email and the response by Santer essentially lay out the publication strategy apparently agreed to by Santer, Jones, Osborn and editor McGregor. Santer accepts Osborn as a conduit and defines the conditions (having the “last word”). This is exactly what he seeks to deny to us, even though it was we who had published the original paper in this sequence in the Journal, and should, under customary academic procedures, have been entitled to have the last word alongside any rebuttal of our paper that the Journal published.

We were never informed of this process, even though it specifically addressed our paper, nor were we contacted for an explanation on any point raised in these negotiations. Santer’s allegations regarding our paper and his conditions for publication of his response to it were simply accepted by the Journal’s editor. If our results had indeed been so obviously and demonstrably in error, why would anyone have feared a response by us?

The same day, 10 January 2008, Jones told the Team (Wigley, K. Taylor, Lanzante, Mears, Bader, Zwiers, Wentz, Haimberger, Free, MacCracken, Jones, Sherwood, Klein, Solomon, Thorne, Osborn, Schmidt, and Hack) a “secret” he had learned from Osborn: that one of the recipients on the Santer email list was one of the original reviewers of our paper – a reviewer who had not rejected it:

“The problem! The person who said they would leave it to the editor’s discretion is on your email list! I don’t know who it is – Tim does – maybe they have told you? I don’t want to put pressure on Tim. He doesn’t know I’m sending this. It isn’t me by the way – nor Tim! Tim said it was someone who hasn’t contributed to the discussion – which does narrow the possibilities down!”

Does Santer start wondering who the original reviewer is?  Does Osborn reveal this part of McGregor’s secret?

Then, on the matter of paying for expensive color plots, Jones adds, “I’m sure I can lean on Glenn [McGregor] to evidently deal with the costs.” Obviously, no such assistance had been offered to us when we had published our original paper.

The final approval of the strategy (Santer’s conditions) to deny us an opportunity to respond in the normal way is acknowledged by Osborn to Santer and Jones on 11 January 2008. Osborn writes that McGregor, as editor is “prepared to treat it as a new submission rather than a comment on Douglass et al.” and “my [McGregor’s] offer of a quick turnaround time etc. still stands.”  Osborn also reminds Santer and Jones of the potential impropriety of this situation:

“… the only thing I didn’t want to make more generally known was the suggestion that print publication of Douglass et al. might be delayed… all other aspects of this discussion are unrestricted.”

Santer now informed the Team that the strategy had been agreed to. We were never notified of these machinations, and it is clear that Santer’s story of the situation was never investigated independently. In this long email, the issue of radiosonde errors is discussed, together with the fact that one dataset, RAOBCORE v1.4, is missing from our paper.

To explain briefly, Sakamoto and Christy (accepted in 2008 and published in 2009) looked closely at the ERA-40 Reanlayses on which RAOBCORE v1.3 and v1.4 were based, and demonstrated that a spurious warming shift occurred in 1991 (a problem with a satellite channel: HIRS 11) which was then assimilated into RAOBCORE, producing spurious positive trends in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere.

Sakamoto and Christy had been working on this since 2006 when they had first met, and so were aware of the problems at that time. Later, on 27 May 2008, Sherwood – a member of the Team – comments on this evidence during the deliberations on Santer’s publication, so the Team was aware of the problem too.  Even though McGregor had sent Santer our Addendum explaining the RAOBCORE problems as early as 10 April 2008, their published paper contains the statement:

“Although DCPS07 had access to all three RAOBCORE versions, they presented results from v1.2 only.”

Another interesting comment here is that Santer does “not” want to “show the most recent radiosonde [balloon] results” from the Hadley Center and Sherwood’s IUK. In short, he was withholding data that did not support his view, probably because these two datasets, extended out in time, provide even stronger evidence in favor of our conclusion. The final version of Santer’s paper cuts off these datasets in 1999.

Professor Douglass became concerned that McGregor had not responded after receiving the Addendum sent on 3 January 2008. The Professor wrote on 1 April 2008 to ask about the status of the Addendum.  On 10 April 2008 McGregor responded that he had had “great difficulty locating your Addendum”, and Douglass responded with the International Journal of Climatology’s file number acknowledging receipt of the Addendum on 3 January, and attached the Addendum again.  That very day, McGregor sent the Addendum to Santer to “learn your views.”  Santer was afforded the opportunity to comment on our Addendum, but we never heard about it from McGregor again.

On 24 April 2008 McGregor informed Santer that he had received one set of comments and,  though he “… would normally wait for all comments to come in before providing them to you, I thought in this case I would give you a head start in your preparation of revisions”.

That day, Santer informed the Team of the situation. Ws there ever any possibility that Santer’s paper could have been rejected, given the many favors already extended to this submission? McGregor now knew, because he had the Addendum, what the main point of our response to Santer et al. might be, yet evidently dropped the Addendum from consideration.  At this point, we were unaware of any response by Santer to our Addendum, as we were dealing with the RealClimate.org blog on this matter.

Santer was worried about the lack of “urgency” in receiving the remaining reviews and, on 5 May 2008, complained to McGregor.  He reminded McGregor that Osborn had agreed to the strategy that the “process would be handled as expeditiously as possible”. McGregor replied that he hoped that the further comments would come within “2 weeks”.  The following day, Osborn wrote to McGregor that Santer’s 90-page article was much more than anticipated, implying that Santer was being rather demanding considering how much had been done to aid him.  One wonders why it should take 10 months and 90 pages to show that any paper contained a “serious flaw”, and why Santer et al. needed to be protected from a response by us.

A paper by Thorne now appeared in Nature Geosciences which referenced the as-yet-unpublished paper by Santer et al. (including Thorne). On 26 May 2008, Professor Douglass wrote to Thorne asking for a copy and was told the following day that Thorne could not supply the paper because Santer was the lead author author.

Professor Douglass replied that day, repeating his request for a copy of the paper and reminding Thorne of Nature’s publication-ethics policy on the availability of data and materials:

“An inherent principle of publication is that others should be able to replicate and build    upon the authors’ published claims. Therefore, a condition of publication in a Nature journal is that authors are required to make materials, data and associated protocols available …”

At the same time Professor Douglass asked Santer for a copy of the paper. Santer responded by saying, “I see no conceivable reason why I should now send you an advance copy of my International Journal of Climatology paper.”  From the emails, we now know that the Santer et al. manucsript had not been accepted at this point, even though it had been cited in a Nature Geosciences article.  What is very curious is that in the email Santer claims Professor Douglass “… did not have the professional courtesy to provide me with any advance information about your 2007 International Journal of Climate paper …”.

In fact, Santer had been a reviewer of this paper when it had been submitted earlier, so he had in possession of the material (only slightly changed) for at least a year. Additionally, Santer received a copy of the page-proofs of our paper about a week before it even appeared online.

In further email exchanges the following day, 28 May 2008, Santer and his co-authors discussed the uncomfortable situation of having a citation in Nature Geosciences and being unable to provide the paper to the public before “a final decision on the paper has been reached”.  Santer stated they should “resubmit our revised manuscript to the Journal as soon as possible”, implying that Professor Douglass’ point about the ethics policies of Nature, which required cited literature to be made available, might put Santer et al. in jeopardy.

On 10 July 2008, Santer wrote to Jones that the two subsequent reviews were in but reviewer 2 was “somewhat crankier”. Santer indicated that McGregor has told him that he will not resend the coming revised manuscript to the “crankier” reviewer. This was another apparent effort by McGregor to accommodate Santer.

Conclusion

On 21 July 2008, Santer heard that his paper had been formally accepted and expressed his sincere gratitude to Osborn for “all your help with the tricky job of brokering the submission of the paper to the International Journal of Climatology”. Osborn responds, “I’m not sure that I did all that much.”

On 10 October 2008, Santer et al’s paper was published on-line.  Thirty-six days later Santer et al. appeared in print immediately following our own paper, even though we had waited more than 11 months for our paper to appear in print.  The strategy of delaying our paper and not allowing us to have a simultaneous response to Santer et al. published had been achieved.

Advertisements

182 thoughts on “Gaming the peer review system: IPCC scientists behaving badly

  1. Deleting posts that hint at disagreement is standard procedure for Realclimate. They are biased.
    Peer review for the AGW group is forever tarnished.

  2. I am just stunned. I should not be, based on all of the material already out in the “climategate” emails. However, this re-construction of events is an amazing show of theunprofessional depths that scientists, on whose “work” trillions of dollars of policy funding is riding, would plunge to make sure their view is the only dominant one.
    My hat is off to Dr. Douglass and Dr. Christy for their forthrightness, and carrying the true scientific torch in the abysmal absence of their supposed colleagues.

  3. This whole thing is making me sick. How do these people get away with such blatant criminal activities? Is there a grand conspiracy behind it all or is it just a case of dishonest human beings taking advantage of a corrupt system that lacks proper checks and balances? Mankind is screwed if our most trusted institutions can no longer be trusted. God, I wish there were a vaccine against dishonesty.

  4. One can only hope that, at the end of the day, each member of “The Team” receive their just deserts.

  5. These sorts of detailed, exhaustively referenced descriptions of how the peer review and publishing system has been gamed are fascinating to me.
    (also see http://www.scribd.com/doc/18773744/How-to-Publish-a-Scientific-Comment-in-1-2-3-Easy-Steps )
    Eventually, I hope they will be used during legal proceedings.
    This kind of stonewalling and manipulation tells me either:
    a) the noble, idealistic scientist is convinced beyond doubt that their position is correct, and they are trying to keep the record clean and pristine, or
    b) they’re completely full of crap, and gaming the system for their personal or ideological gain.
    There’s not much middle ground, and I highly doubt (a) is even remotely possible.
    Sad, pathetic little people playing sad, pathetic little games.

  6. This behaviour is pretty disgraceful. These kinds of matters should be referred to government committee’s that oversee the funding of these people.

  7. “We will let the reader judge whether this team effort, revealed in dozens of emails and taking nearly a year, involves inappropriate behavior including (a) unusual cooperation between authors and editor, (b) misstatement of known facts, (c) character assassination, (d) avoidance of traditional scientific give-and-take, (e) using confidential information, (f) misrepresentation (or misunderstanding) of the scientific question posed by us in our paper, (g) withholding data, and more.”
    Gosh, hard to pick at this point. It would have been a lot easier if they had included: (h) all of the above.

  8. We must take it on faith something is going on in the atmosphere! We must take it on faith that peer review will silence infidels who dare challenge our worldview!

  9. “My hat is off to Dr. Douglass and Dr. Christy for their forthrightness”
    Professor Douglass and Professor Christy.

  10. In ANY other industry, this kind of behavior would force the Fed to invoke RICO and sundry other anti-racketeering statutes and laws.
    Imagine if this was how “peer review” worked in the pharmaceutical industry?
    Or the Auto Industry? Or Avionics?
    The truth of the matter is that these “high priests of DOOM” cannt afford to let the sheeple look at real facts. In the words of a favorite actor:
    “The TRUTH? Yu can’t handle the TRUTH!”,(that we are lying though our teeth and cannot really support what we say, but we want yu all to spend a ka-jillion dollars n our say so anyway!)

  11. Of course, missing from this whole discussion is any objective assessment of whether the Douglass et al. paper suffered from such a blatant error that it should have never made it through the peer-review process in the first place. Who is to blame the editors for trying to redeem their journal from the embarrassment of publishing such an erroneous piece of work?
    The fact is that the paper’s use of the standard error rather than the standard deviation to characterize the model results is doubly wrong. It is wrong first (as Gavin Schmidt has pointed out) for the simple reason that the climate system corresponds to one realization of running a climate model, not an average over many realizations, which would average out the internal variability in the system. It is exactly as if I ran a model on the computer where I simulated flipping a die 1,000,000 times and arrived at the result that the expected value on the die is 3.500 +- 0.001 and then used this to argue that the result actually obtained by one given role of the die shows that the die must be biased because the role falls outside this expectation (which, of course, it always will since one role will get a value of either 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6)!
    That problem alone is enough to basically disqualify the paper, but it turns out that even if one asks a different question, namely, whether the standard deviation or the standard error for the models is the more appropriate measure of the uncertainty in only the FORCED COMPONENT of the result, then the answer still turns out to be that the standard error is the wrong thing to use…Or, at least, that the IPCC has implicitly come to this conclusion. To see this, for example, one can simply take the equilibrium climate sensitivities (ECS) of the various climate models in the IPCC AR4 report (conveniently given in Table 8.2 in Chapter 8 of the WG-1 AR4 report http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/ar4-wg1.htm ) and compute the standard deviation and the standard error and then compare this to the statement that the IPCC makes about the ECS (i.e., that it is likely [66-90%] chance to lie in the range 2.0 to 4.5 C).
    What one finds is that if the IPCC really believed the models could be trusted enough that their standard errors would be a measure of the uncertainty in the forced component of the response, then they had no business giving such a large range for the ECS. In fact, even using standard deviation as a measure of uncertainty, one finds that the IPCC statement on the likely range for the ECS is compatible with the standard deviation only if one assumes that the “likely” range really means there is ~90% chance of it falling in this range and not just the 66% chance. (In fact, none of the 19 models for which the IPCC reports an ECS has an ECS outside of the IPCC “likely” range for the ECS!)
    I know that technically speaking, the IPCC quoted its likely range of ECS based more on empirical data than on directly what the different climate models give for the ECS. Nonetheless, my basic point still stands, namely that if one believes that the standard error in the model predictions is a good measure of the uncertainty in the forced component of the climate response then one is placing way, way more faith in the models than the IPCC is! So, comparing to the standard error in the models, one is essentially deriving a conclusion that is only true if one trusts the models to a much higher degree than the IPCC does. And, of course, this is all basically irrelevant anyway because the paper by Douglass et al. were not even looking at only the forced component of the climate response since the actual climate system has no way of separating this out from the internal variability component!
    The best that can be said about the Douglass et al. paper is that it is so wrong that you can arbitrarily (and without justification) ignore one fatal flaw and it still fails due to another fatal flaw!
    REPLY: Oh puuuhhhllleeeezze! And this lack of discussion on the issue of the paper’s analysis is the only thing you see Joel? Catching problems like this are what peer review is all about.
    I used to think you had some level of objectivity outside of the AGW mantra you embrace. I’m not amused nor impressed with your complaint. Sour grapes on details that aren’t part of the story. I assume then, from your lack of discussion (to use your complaint, what’s missing from your comment) that you are perfectly OK with the behavior exhibited here?
    From your past correspondence on the subject of peer review, publicly available here:
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/OMB/inforeg/2003iq/33.pdf
    Where you say:
    “Before the system is fixed, there must be a compelling argument made that the current system is broken and that the current processes of peer review that exist in the different agencies are inadequate and are resulting in regulations with a poor scientific basis.”
    Well here you are, peer review failed to catch the error you raise, and instead of interested parties following process properly, they it turned into a bullying, rule bending, and gaming exercise with the NYT involved. Looks pretty darn broken to me there buster.
    Like I said, I’m not at all impressed with your complaint when you argue against changing peer review standards in the past.
    -A

  12. Bryan says:
    One can only hope that, at the end of the day, each member of “The Team” receive their just deserts.
    So you are advocating taking them to the Sahara or Mojave and dumping them to experience climate change first hand ? That’s a bit harsh even by my standards. Or would that be some form of Freudian slip ?

  13. The Dilbert cartoon is very appropriate – for those calling for the legal system to be involved, I very much doubt that any laws were actually broken. The actions are highly immoral, unethical, and professionally disgraceful, but the law does not concern itself with what gets published in journals or how it comes to be published.
    Nevertheless, that also does not stop us from saying what we now know to be true. I remember that it used to be an open question as to whether Mann, Gavin Schmidt, Phil Johnson and their cohorts were simply scientist who made a mistake, but now we know that they are all blatant charlatans and outright frauds. They are no “scientists”, they are simply slightly educated thugs with the memorized scripts of a used car salesman. From now on, that is the only way they and the organizations they represent deserve to be treated.

  14. An outsider’s perspective: McGregor’s behavior is clearly unethical and that of Santer and Osborn is damn close.

  15. Carlo (15:29:25) :
    The e-mails on http://www.eastangliaemails.com are not reliable, some txt in e-mails are missing.
    Sounds like another in-depth thread is warranted.
    (If some investigative research can find hidden declines and fudged data along with damning collusion and defamation, do these bozos think they can really get away with deleting text?? Where do the trial lawyers line up for duty?)

  16. Someone needs to initiate a multi-national class action suit against the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia and the IPCC. Michael Mann, Phil Jones should, of course, be named as defendants, not to mention the Dean of UEA and whoever was in charge of CRU at the time.

  17. Artifex (15:47:48) :
    “Bryan says:
    One can only hope that, at the end of the day, each member of “The Team” receive their just deserts.”
    So you are advocating taking them to the Sahara or Mojave and dumping them to experience climate change first hand ? That’s a bit harsh even by my standards. Or would that be some form of Freudian slip ?
    Ans: Haven’t you heard? The Sahara and the Mojave are greening up. That’s right. Perhaps the best thing that can happen to members of ‘The Team” is a Starbuck’s expedition that actually involves a trip into the Mojave or a honest-to-goodness safari into the Sahara and see what is going on because of “poisonous” CO2.
    As CO2 continues to increase (and nothing short of global war will bring it down) the deserts of the world will blossom as the rose, as it has been predicted. More CO2 means *) more plant growth, *) plants need less water, *) more food per acre, and *) more robust habitats and ecosystems. Recent studies of China bear this out.
    Rub the faces of “The Team” into it until they look like the Jolly Green Giant.

  18. Well I’m not surprised by any of what Profs Douglass, and Christy reveal here; not that I am or was privy to any of it before their very detailed expose essay here.
    But this whole CRU mess is just revealing to us how some people who are supposed to be documenting scientific truths, seem to stop at nothing to defend their financially lucrative turfs..
    The most recent issue of SCIENCE for Dec 4/2009 also contains clearly whitewash articles trying to further muddy the water. They keep talking about thefts of private e-mails, when no proof of theft has yet been uncovered, and such publicly funded institutions as CRU shouldn’t even have any private e-mail networks.
    Don’t know much about Professor Douglass, but if he hangs out a lot with john Christy, that gives me a great deal of comfort in his integrity.
    The IPCC crowd on the other hand are emitting a stench, that rivals the carboniferous effluent of the sacred cows of Pachauri’s homeland.
    And here we thought that Saddam Hussein was a total crook, in his UN machinations, of the oil for food progam. Well the IPCC’s climate train engineer puts Saddam to shame.

  19. Sickening. I also read the CA positing on Climategatekeeping: Siberia.
    http://climateaudit.org/2009/12/21/climategatekeeping-siberia/
    “…it’s hard to assess the precise damage of the interference. In the case of another paper (Aufhammer et al ), obstruction has delayed publication of the paper by six years but the authors are still endeavouring to get the paper into print. This was not the case with the Kamél paper; Kamél himself had abandoned the field.”
    Mal

  20. Artifex (15:47:48) :
    many parts of the Arctic are also a desert based on yearly precip, so perhaps they can be dropped there instead. somehow that seems more like a just desert to me.

  21. Artifex,
    I think that the Freudian slip solution is rather too kind. I’m sorry that you find it a bit harsh. I certainly had some climate change in mind. However, of rather the cool damp kind, to be found inside an old fashioned prison!

  22. George E. Smith wrote:
    “The IPCC crowd on the other hand are emitting a stench, that rivals the carboniferous effluent of the sacred cows of Pachauri’s homeland.”
    LOL. “The carboniferous effluent of the sacred cows of Pachauri’s homeland.” I like that.

  23. I recognize the perfidy, the underhandedness, and the rodent opportunism from encounters with the least pleasant individuals to have crossed my path.
    Regrettably, people like that succeed all too often. The only remedy is sunlight and sanitation.

  24. Aaarrrrggghhh! That is so absolutely exasperating! I’m more and more glad I am an astrophysicist whose work affects nobody’s day-to-day life, nor any government policy, so that I am free of this kind of outrageous manipulation and conspiracy.
    Surely this goes against the journal’s ethics policies, doesn’t it? If this kind of thing had happened in astronomy, there’d be general disgust with the journal itself for allowing it to happen. I can imagine that an editor would be fired, although it’s so rare here that I don’t really know.

  25. An entire team of Climeballs doing their climey best to destroy honest science.
    The crazy thing is that I am aghast, but not amazed. They’ve been polluting the science for decades, and those of us who have been paying attention have known full well what they have been up to … But to see it all laid out in chronological order just drives the length and depth of their treachery home. They are a stain on science and on humanity.

  26. Re: Joel Shore (15:47:41) :

    Of course, missing from this whole discussion is any objective assessment of whether the Douglass et al. paper suffered from such a blatant error… etc etc

    No Joel, whats missing from this discussion is the fact that the email record is not complete. We only have the emails that the whistleblower/hacker managed to obtain and release. What is contained in the other emails? What other papers have they interfered with? What other “tricks” have they performed? What else have they conspired to keep out of IPCC reports? What emails were deleted to avoid the FOI request? What was in the emails that never touched the UEA mailservers?
    The information released in the emails is simply the tip of the iceberg, we might never find out what remains hidden beneath.

  27. Indeed Joel Shore, may I ask why the modeled temperature rise is zero order and that the ‘average’ temperature has a Gaussian distribution?

  28. Put out an A.P.B regarding complete email correspondence concerning review comments from authors which have had difficulties in publishing articles that opposes the mainstream concensus on what good climate science should be

  29. All of the above (a-g) appear to be the case. Those involved should apologize and/or resign. This is gross abuse of power and several violations of the scientific method that even a high schooler couldn’t miss.
    If someone will lie to you about small things why would you ever trust them in something large.

  30. I’m sorry to say that this isn’t limited to Climate science. I’ve been on the receiving end of this sort of behaviour in medical research. It’s incredibly unpleasant but generally if people are peddling non-science, they get found out in the end.

  31. Anyone in the know please teach me the following:
    1. The total number of people who exchanged the leaked emails.
    2. Of which the total number of researchers engaged in writing the IPCC 4th Assessment Report.
    Thanks.

  32. @ Joel Shore
    “Of course, missing from this whole discussion is any objective assessment of whether the Douglass et al. paper suffered from such a blatant error that it should have never made it through the peer-review process in the first place. Who is to blame the editors for trying to redeem their journal from the embarrassment of publishing such an erroneous piece of work”
    For the sake of the argument let us assume you are correct in the above statement. It matters not one jot whether the paper was right or wrong what matters is the conspiracy to prevent its publication in the dark recesses of junk science.
    Any professional would have approached this matter openly and with a proper distancing of themselves from vested interests.
    The peer review process which you seem so enamoured by in climate science by the Team is now a whore with no knickers.
    Trick or Cheat?

  33. “Carlo (15:29:25) :
    The e-mails on http://www.eastangliaemails.com are not reliable, some txt in e-mails are missing.”
    Yep, the text on some of the website emails IS truncated.
    For example, on the website the 1251384906.txt email prematurely ends in mid-sentence. This is definite, since I grabbed my original reference copy off the Russian server that first night.
    I hope this is just a php or mySQL issue with the eastangliaemails.com site.

  34. I would say, Anthony, that Joel Shore got hoisted by his own petard here, eh? Not a surprise from someone arguing from a position of ideological, rather than scientific, belief. That you are surprised about Joel, however, surprises me. He’s never been objective as far as I’ve seen, just advocative.
    Mark

  35. I don’t know if it’s been mentioned before, but deleted emails are never truly deleted. When a user marks them for deletion they are removed from his list, but they still live on in the server. If the IT department was doing its job at all, there should be backups of the mail server files from which any and all “deleted” emails can be recovered.

  36. I guess one could commend those two journals, Nature and International Journal of Climate, on such a good job of actively cheating their readers, and hence the public.
    However, I’m fairly sure most readers will disagree, and not just because they’re rational and have an “odd” need to trust the proper process, but rather due to the whole fuzz about shelling out hard earned cash for crap all.

  37. This level of scientific fraud (in the WHO) is also becoming clearer with regards to the Swine Flu scare – big Pharma selling lots of drugs and vaccine ‘experts’ with their hands in the till.
    I’m finding it quite difficult to believe anything coming from the UN these days.
    My political leanings are in flux too.
    Interesting times indeed.

  38. Joel, once again you come into the discussion not to elucidate or discuss the issue, but to help the team throw up chaff. Your rebuttal of the Douglass paper simply reflects the change in team talking points over the past year. When Santer created his figure showing tropospheric warming using the now discredited RAOB 1.4 reanalysis, his strategy was very simple. To quote from his email:
    “If Leo is agreeable, I would like to show results from his three RAOBCORE versions (v1.2, v1.3, and v1.4) in Figure 4”
    Leo is Leopold who created the reanalysis so it would be “useful” for climate studies like Santer’s. It is unrealistic, read McIntyre’s thread “Leopold in the Sky with Diamonds” for more information. Santer then said:
    “Nevertheless, I strongly believe that Douglass et al. should have at least mentioned the existence of the v1.3 and v1.4 results”
    That was his attack, not Gavin’s new red herring. You should address the original issues (the team’s machinations, the proper exclusion of RAOB 1.4) because we know you love RAOB 1.4. Why don’t you defend that?
    For everyone else interested in the actual facts, read this thread
    http://climateaudit.org/2008/05/27/leopold-in-the-sky-with-diamonds/

  39. The malfeance of this group of “scientists” know no bounds. It really is overdue for University heads to take some action on this.

  40. Slightly off topic, but I wanted to point out a very interesting parallel between the ‘team’ and the greatest scientific scandal in physics which occurred in the last decade.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Hendrik_Sch%C3%B6n
    From wiki:
    “Department of Physics spokesman Wolfgang Dieterich called the affair the “biggest fraud in physics in the last 50 years” and said that the “credibility of science had been brought into disrepute”.[12] Schön appealed the ruling, but on October 28, 2009 it was upheld by the University.[13][14]”
    What did he do?
    Created fraudulent experiments that couldn’t be replicated. Notice the similarities:
    “In May 2002 Bell Labs set up a committee to investigate with Professor Malcolm Beasley of Stanford University as chair.[4] The committee obtained information from all of Schön’s coauthors, and interviewed the three principal ones (Zhenan Bao, Bertram Batlogg and Christian Kloc). It examined electronic drafts of the disputed papers which included processed numeric data. The committee requested copies of the raw data but found that Schön had kept no laboratory notebooks. His raw-data files had been erased from his computer. According to Schön the files were erased because his computer had limited hard drive space. In addition, all of his experimental samples had been discarded, or damaged beyond repair.[2][4]”
    Sound familiar?
    Just thought it was an interesting parallel – and just how prominent it is in the annals of scientific malfeasance now that there’s been some time to digest it.

  41. Re: Dev (17:07:35) :

    “Carlo (15:29:25) :
    The e-mails on http://www.eastangliaemails.com are not reliable, some txt in e-mails are missing.”
    Yep, the text on some of the website emails IS truncated.
    For example, on the website the 1251384906.txt email prematurely ends in mid-sentence. This is definite, since I grabbed my original reference copy off the Russian server that first night.
    I hope this is just a php or mySQL issue with the eastangliaemails.com site.

    I’ve just had a look and it appears that some of the emails contain characters beyond the normal ASCII character set (for example the £ sign, accented characters etc) and the PHP they are using to parse and format the emails for display stops as soon as it hits one of these characters.
    In your example the next part of the email should be “£5070 and” but the £ sign causes it stop parsing.
    There is nothing nefarious about it, just a simple coding bug.

  42. Mapou (15:13:44)
    its a case of dishonesty and deceit, i’m afraid and to this end they do conspire to keep up the deceit. The good news is, this is not scientifically valid, and isn’t a sensible peer review process. It is a paranoid process that doesn’t help to understand the various claims of whether we’re cooling or warming. Looking at raw data, then there was never that much a warming trend, or the semblence of one in real terms, so its hardly surprising that the team are playing politics than science over this matter.
    if *the team* contrive to publish papers that refute other papers and have them published in advance of the original, – i’m sorry, but this is the attitude of the cunning schoolroom sneak than that of disinterested peer review. The fact that the team are selective to a far greater degree with data sets and adjustments itself gives greater ground for self disqualification by their own terms.
    PS Someone give Willis Eschenbach the joint directorship of CRU and GISS

  43. Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Jackson, Clinton, Chu, Holdren et al are still in charge. These people are the team leaders. No one has breached their shell of secrecy , so the agenda continues.

  44. It does all seem so disgraceful.
    I doubt any of them will ever really answer any questions about this issue.
    Many kudos to the real scientists !!!!

  45. @ TerryS (16:41:26) :
    [quote] “The information released in the emails is simply the tip of the iceberg, we might never find out what remains hidden beneath.” [/quote]
    If we believe Al Gore, all the icebergs will have melted in 5 years so we should find out what is hidden soon enough.

  46. Talking of climate scientists behaving badly, here’s another one:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/employment/news/article.cfm?c_id=11&objectid=10616915
    The decision upheld is, of course, not concerned with the truth of what Salinger said. But it does uphold the decision to sack him based on his advocacy for AGW outside the bounds that even NIWA think reasonable.
    I also note that he was on the gravy train with a second high profile job, which I did not know before.

  47. @Richard Saumarez
    ” sorry to say that this isn’t limited to Climate science. I’ve been on the receiving end of this sort of behaviour in medical research. It’s incredibly unpleasant but generally if people are peddling non-science, they get found out in the end.”
    That is not a fair comparison. If you expose a hokum cure in medical research you save a few lives. If you expose an ‘adjustment’ in Climate Science you endanger a $300bn industry. Who is going to fight longest and dirtiest to keep you from revealing something…?

  48. I once was a police officer in the state of Florida USA. this has been 30 years ago but I remember that during the extensive schooling we had to attend there were 2 definitions we had to learn and relearn often, understand they didn’t change we were just often reminded of them. I can’t quote them verbatim but will attempt to give a good equivalent.
    Theft- 1 (The removal of property belonging to another.)
    2 ( The intentional denial of use of ones property by another.)
    The question here is 1. is data property and who owns it. (publicly funded data and the publicly funded collection of said data belongs to the public that paid for it. (This is the reason for the Freedom Of Information Acts.)
    Fraud- The deliberate manipulation of data, statistics, costs, or consequences for monetary gain, personal gain, or to cause harm financially or physically to another either individual or collectively.
    The question is have these activitys been deliberate and have they been for personal or financial gain or to cause harm. the Question of manipulation of data and consequences is apparent. The manipulation of statistics appears to be no longer in question. The costs have yet to be determined. The second question is has harm been done?
    In my non scientific trained brain my humble opinion is that it is time for the equivalent of the States Attorney in every jurisdiction to become involved in this. It is my belief that the definition for the accusation of theft has been met several times over. It is also my humble opinion that the definition of fraud has also been met several times over. No longer being current in the law I can only encourage a knowledgeable attorney to get involved.
    I have never been involved in a case to prove slander but it is also possible that there is a good case for slander by reason of character assassination and misrepresentation of intent.
    These people have in my humble opinion committed criminal acts against humanity above criminal acts against their own countries. I am thoroughly disgusted with their activities.
    Bill Derryberry

  49. each thread makes me feel angrier anthony, so hope u will indulge me a little here.
    science has been so damaged by climategate, it won’t be easy to remedy the situation. once AGW segued into the generic ‘climate change’ seemingly overnight, with all MSM on board, the fix was in. after all, it’s not easy to bring lawsuits arguing against something so obvious and real as ‘climate change’, tho at this stage, lawsuits is the only way to go. to hear media, including BBC presenters, say ‘climate change’ with no qualification, is more than i can bear. no resignations from the media? amazing. revkin’s ‘unrelated’ departure from NYT is a minor consolation prize.
    25 Nov: WSJ: US Lawmakers Seek To Unseal Records In Climate Fraud Case
    Rep. Walden is also fearful that many of the most exuberant, enthusiastic advocates of cap-and-trade are some of the same major institutional investors that were involved in the housing and commodity markets that failed in the past year.
    For example, in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, a cap-and- trade system in the northeastern states, among those who wanted to buy credits were a raft of investors that aren’t major emitters, including trading units of Barclay’s Plc (BCS), Goldman Sachs (GS), JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Merrill Lynch, now a unit of Bank of America (BAC), and Morgan Stanley (MS).
    Legislators also point to alleged fraud in international emissions-trading markets, where billions of dollars worth of reduction projects have been recognized to be illegitimate
    http://www.nasdaq.com/aspx/stock-market-news-story.aspx?storyid=200911251628dowjonesdjonline000568&title=us-lawmakers-seek-to-unseal-records-in-climate-fraud-case
    7 Dec: Spiegel: Climate Mafia
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,665594,00.html
    16 Nov: Environmental Leader: Mafia tied to wind fraud in Italy
    The anti-fraud team also is investigating IVPC’s sales of wind farms to foreign companies, and already has sent requests for documentation to five companies located in the Netherlands and Spain, as well as IVPC’s Italian affiliates in Ireland and the UK, according to the article.
    Anti-mafia prosecutors in Sicily also have launched a parallel investigation, reports the Financial Times.
    Fraud appears to be an emerging problem in the nascent clean energy sector. Most recently, two clean energy auditors – SGS UK and DNV – were accused of not properly auditing projects in carbon trading markets.
    Meanwhile, the UK is dealing with carbon trading credit scams that could cost millions of dollars. In Australia, to prevent bogus carbon offset schemes, federal police agents can now enter company premises and request paperwork to monitor their emissions.
    http://www.windaction.org/news/24127
    it’s also a pity partisan politics are muddying the debate because the proponents of AGW at copenhagen were as much from the right as from the left, as if there is an iota of difference between them.
    meanwhile, young rightwingers freaked out over the offer of an initial $10 billion per year to mitigate the effects of ‘climate change’ for 1.6 billion poor people (wow, $6 per person per year when aussies and others have been warned it will cost each of us in excess of $1,000 per year to pay for this scam).
    not that the poor would ever receive their pittance:
    25 Nov: BBC: Climate change help for the poor ‘has not materialised’
    Large sums promised to developing countries to help them tackle climate change cannot be accounted for, a BBC investigation has found.
    Rich countries pledged $410m (£247m) a year in a 2001 declaration – but it is now unclear whether the money was paid.
    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has accused industrialised countries of failing to keep their promise…
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8376009.stm
    7 Dec: BBC: ‘30% of carbon offsets’ spent on reducing emissions
    Less than 30 pence in every pound spent on some carbon offset schemes goes directly to projects designed to reduce emissions, according to a new report.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8399740.stm
    and the leftwing at hopenhagen chants: “we stand with africa”. poor deluded lefties.
    meanwhile, in australia, the greens are proclaiming they are ready to help the govt get their emissions trading scheme thru, provided the govt agrees to cut emissions by 25 to 40 percent instead of the govt’s proposed 15 percent. (penny wrong just said no way, greens). ousted opposition leader, malcolm turnbull, who the prime minister calls ‘the member for goldman sachs, continues to demand an ETS and the new opposition leader, tony abbott, would never utter the word ‘climategate’, even if becoming the next PM depended on it!
    given the money to be made if the big bankers get their ‘green bubble’ of carbon trading off the ground, we either get used to this post-science era, or we keep fighting. hopefully WUWT is in it for the long haul.
    July 2009: Rolling Stone: Matt Taibbi: The Great American Bubble Machine
    BUBBLE #6 Global Warming
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/29127316/the_great_american_bubble_machine/1

  50. “reply:
    From your past correspondence on the subject of peer review, publicly available here:
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/OMB/inforeg/2003iq/33.pdf
    Joel Shore’s sense of urgency about the integrity of the peer review process is noted, particularly the point of one group of stakeholders against another, and the possible conflict of interests thereof.
    If the divergence between models and data on the surface – upper air relation stands, then the models need adjusting than the data. There is a dubious adjustment made for so called atmospheric drift of satellites. If satellites drift, they lose velocity, and in losing velocity move closer to the surface where they record higher temperatures than they should. These are udjusted upwards when in fact they should be adjusted downwards. It seems Schmidt has no understanding of satellite physics.

  51. Peter (18:04:40) :
    Use the word blockquote instead of quote, and use angle brackets (gt., lt.) instead of square brackets, and your quotes will work.
    Mark

  52. PaulH (17:26:17) :

    I’m finding it quite difficult to believe anything coming from the UN these days.

    You should always have found it difficult to believe anything coming from the UN. Their sole purpose is to implement a single world government based on a socialist model. I recommend http://www.unisevil.com for more light reading on the subject.

    My political leanings are in flux too.

    First, believe in the concept of individual rights… then everything else makes sense.
    Mark

  53. A recent post on DeepClimate about the Wegman Report got me thinking.
    DeepClimate discovered that some parts, for example the explanation of the importance and use of tree ring proxies, was “lifted” from another source. That’s uncool, tacky. Unethical, but, also, not particularly germane to the report’s thrust, does not negate the report’s conclusions, in particular, that the climate science peer-review process is, at least, inbred and that climate scientists need more cross-disciplinary mathematical expertise in their work. (I also believe that Mann made some apology/correction to his “hockey stick” as a result of the Wegman Report, but I understand nothing about this.)
    I would be interested in reading two overviews of the chronology of climate science, dating back, say, to the 1970’s, done by both skeptics and believers in AGW. If science is to build on prior science, should not all interested individuals have access to everything upon which peer-reviewed and published papers are based, including the selected data and models?
    I envision only a couple of pages, with head-to-head comments by the “other” side appended to each – but written for the intelligent lay community. Allowed comments being like “direct hits” instead of diversionary and distracting sideways slings.
    In the 1970’s, I believe, persons attempting to understand the world’s oceans, and others studying the atmosphere were called oceanographers and meteorologists and atmospheric scientists. Mostly, scientists focused on a narrow swath, like the biology of the ocean, or a study of its currents. Air-sea interactions were very complex, nuanced mysteries, I thought.
    When was “climate science” invented as a discipline, separate from previous earth sciences? What are the course requirements, what universities confer degrees in “climate science,” instead of, or alongside, traditional earth sciences? How much math, statistics, and physics are required for a “climate science” degree?
    Below is a succinct explanation of the difference between science and engineering and why we should open our confusing “settled science” about climate to qualified engineers:
    http://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2009/12/21/the_perverse_economics_of_climate_modeling_97559.html
    Who were the first persons to attempt to do long-range, climate predictions? When? What were the predictions? In the 1970’s some folk were predicting a new Ice Age. The source most often referenced is a Newsweek article, which is derided by the AGW community as not authoritative, or peer-reviewed. I find it hard to believe that, one week, Newsweek went over the top and reported something completely without any scientific basis whatsoever. So, what was the genesis of that article? Who did the research and what became of them and their work? When did the consensus view shift from global ice to problematic warming?
    When did the IPCC issue its first report and how have its predictions borne out over time? How does the IPCC build upon its earlier predictions with each new report? What is the IPCC overall predictive track record?
    I am confused, and there appears to be controversy whether the last decade was the warmest in history (excluding 1934, possibly…?), is getting somewhat warmer, or is cooling. I’ve seen a U-Tube video of a ten year old and his father doing an analysis of US temperature data outside of urban centers which is a flat line, and read about cherry-picked data and temperature sensors mounted atop buildings beside air conditioning units. Why is the temperature record — from just the past ten years! — so controversial, more complicated than a junior high school science project, binary list of do’s and don’ts? Why isn’t satellite data incorporated more into contemporary analyses of global temperatures?
    In the past months I have read DeepClimate, ClimateProgress and RealClimate on the AGW side of the aisle.
    ClimateProgress reports today that a new, independent study by the British Met Office in conjunction with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting has – so quickly? – determined that prior HadleyCRU global warming predictions have been more conservative than the data and analysis now indicates and includes a terrifying, new hockey stick graph of warming from 1860 to the uptick present. The problem, of course, is that I have no confidence in the independence of this analysis and wouldn’t know if the graph were upside-down. (I am, however, impressed with the rapidity of this analysis and am left wondering why, if so easy and fast, this data cannot be analyzed by independent statistical experts and engineers.
    (There are often dismissive references from within the climate science community about the importance of trusting only peer-reviewed articles written by those with the appropriate academic degrees, the only ones entitled to have opinions on matters pertaining to climate. There is a modest, thin, little-known book by the late, great Jane Jacobs, an intellectual gadfly of great proportion, titled Dark Age Ahead – a subject not ungermane to matters at hand. There are three chapters of particular note: Credentialing Versus Educating, Science Abandoned, and Self-Policing Subverted. The entire book is an easy yet compelling read. Look it up. Read it.)
    I also read WattsUpWithThat, The Air Vent, and, of course, ClimateAudit. Frankly, I find them more closely aligned with facts, with science and with numbers. Somehow, I feel that if Steve McIntyre woke up one morning with a realization that Michael Mann’s hockey stick was accurate – and McIntyre could prove it – he would. And Watts and JeffId would applaud. I like that.
    I am sending this request to all six mentioned blogs – somewhere! I hope it’s not snipped, can be addressed in a constructive way.
    PS: I cannot find the “bulletin board” upon which to post on ClimateAudit and do not wish to interrupt a technical thread. Hope McI sees this, if appropriate.

  54. Minor Nit:
    Thorne could not supply the paper because Santer was the lead author author.
    Unless cheering at the theatre, the redoubled “author” is most likely not intended 😉
    Per the basic article:
    They let no angle go un-worked, do they? even down to the manipulation of subtleties of timing and what’s a response or a “new” submission.
    I think the “peer review” process needs a complete revamp. I’d start with canning the “single blind” review process. Make it absolutely public who is doing the review. Any bias in selection of reviewers will be visible. “Stacking the deck” that much harder.
    I’d even go so far as to say it ought to be a “blog” process. “Journal of Foo” can have accounts for anyone with a Ph.D in “foo”. The base article is put up as a ‘private’ article only visible to those with accounts. They make comments with names visible to all others with accounts (i.e. all Ph.Ds in the field). When ‘issues’ settle, a copy of the (revised) article is put up in the ‘public’ area. Need to work out some process that prevents a ‘dog pile’ on an article from preventing publication (i.e. fixed time to comment or ‘nobody can veto but the author’ – I’d make it Editor, but the editor seems complicit in this case…) but it isn’t that hard to come up with something that would work.
    At any rate, the sheer bias and manipulation shown by The Team with the collusion of the Editor is very troubling.

  55. Joel Shore (15:47:41) :
    Of course, missing from this whole discussion is any objective assessment of whether the Douglass et al. paper suffered from such a blatant error that it should have never made it through the peer-review process in the first place. Who is to blame the editors for trying to redeem their journal from the embarrassment of publishing such an erroneous piece of work?
    ————
    Hey Joel, why don’t you spend some time helping the Nature editors redeem their journal from the embarrassment of Steig et al. The [snipping] front cover could be a serious problem.
    Welcome back by the way. If I might steal from a well known quote, it’s been miserable without you here Joel, almost as miserable as having you here.

  56. How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds makes ill deeds done!
    – Shakespeare, King John: Act IV, Scene II
    It seems that every man has a price. I think The Team set theirs too low, considering the apparent damage to their names and careers. A shame for them to sink to folly, dragging all around them down in turn. Swinehood hath no remedy (Sidney Lanier).

  57. philincalifornia (18:50:50),
    By my count, during his absence six posters have commented on Joel Shore’s abrupt disappearance when the East Anglia emails were leaked. Now he’s back, spreading chaff to distract from the fraud, collusion and incompetence exposed by the emails and code. IMHO, they’re all birds of a feather.

  58. @Richard Saumarez (17:05:20) :
    ” It’s incredibly unpleasant but generally if people are peddling non-science, they get found out in the end.”
    I couldn’t agree more. But sometimes it takes a long time and in the meantime a lot of harm is done.

  59. Joel,
    If it was as easy as you say to refute the original Christy et al paper, then why did it take Santer 90 pages? And why did he did to conspire with the Journal editor to delay Christy’s paper? And why did he need to get his submission expedited? And why did he feel it was so important to deny Christy the last word while ensuring it for himself? What was he afraid of? The fact that you are silent on these and so many other behaviors of Santer and the team speaks volumes.

  60. While this paints a disgraceful picture, it is hardly surprising. Reading the comments and responses that are allowed to stand on the RC blog is like reading one of those “Ask the Imam” websites. It would be funny if it weren’t so terrifying.

  61. Anthony Watts says:

    I assume then, from your lack of discussion (to use your complaint, what’s missing from your comment) that you are perfectly OK with the behavior exhibited here?

    Actually, I can’t say that I even read the comment in detail since I don’t usually find “he-said, she-said” stories particularly enlightening, particularly when told by only one side. I am more interested in the science and the fact is that I know that in this case the science in the original paper by Douglass et al. was extremely flawed and the more interesting question is why such erroneous papers get published at all, let alone complaints that the environment is such that these “skeptics” somehow have things stacked against them.
    This whole thing is presumably supposed to illustrate how the only reason why the overwhelming majority of peer-reviewed scientific literature points in one direction is that there is such inherent bias that good papers are being rejected or treated unfairly in some way. To illustrate this by talking about a highly erroneous paper that nonetheless was published seems to me more to undermine that point than to re-enforce it!
    Frankly, I have no idea why you brought my comment to OMB into the picture other than perhaps your general desire for “outing” individuals here who post views you do not like by bringing in facets from their life outside of this venue. (In the cases of others, you have done this by revealing information that only you have access to; in my case, since I have not been posting under a pseudonym, I suppose you are not exposing me any more than anyone could do with a little bit of googling.)
    The OMB issue concerned peer-review in the venue of government regulatory policymaking, not in journals. And, the issue was frankly an attempt by the Bush Administration to try to bring another level of review into the picture that could be more directly influenced by the political powers-that-be.
    At any rate, I have said many times that peer-review is an imperfect filter and there is probably little that can be done to correct that without making the system worse. And, in the scientific community, I don’t think the Douglass et al. paper, with its major flaws, is likely to have a very big impact anyway. The goal of publishing such papers seems to be to issue press releases that then go beyond what is even claimed (on the basis of some quite blatant errors) in the original paper to make overarching statements about climate change (and, then, subsequently, write articles in political journals like “The American Thinker” explaining how you were unfairly treated). It is more public relations than science.
    philincalifornia says:

    Welcome back by the way. If I might steal from a well known quote, it’s been miserable without you here Joel, almost as miserable as having you here.

    ***Chuckle.*** I hadn’t heard that one before and will have to remember it! It is nice to be loved.
    Smokey says:

    By my count, during his absence six posters have commented on Joel Shore’s abrupt disappearance when the East Anglia emails were leaked.

    What do folks say about correlation and causation? Believe it or not, I do have a life outside of WUWT and holiday trips, new jobs, and other such things sometimes distract me for a little while. To the extent that the nature of the thread topics may also have played a bit of a role in my lying low for a while, I do prefer to discuss issues of science rather than issues of what people say in their private e-mail communications, as titillating as some of those might be.
    REPLY:Frankly, I have no idea why you brought my comment to OMB into the picture other than perhaps your general desire for “outing” individuals here who post views you do not like by bringing in facets from their life outside of this venue.
    Joel. I was only interested in what you may have said elsewhere on other blogs about peer review, because your comment here is so far off base. Google “joel shore peer review” and the OMB document is the fifth link. It’s a public document of your own making. Just that simple. Again not impressed since you can’t see the relevance. Since you only addressed my question obliquely We’ll just say then for the record, that Joel Shore is OK with the sort of behavior exhibited in the story. – A

  62. FOR ALONG TIME NOW, I HAVE THOUGHT OF IPCC IS A CONTRACTION FOR IPECAC ,THE EMETIC,IP’C’C CERTAINLY MAKES ME WANT TO PUKE THESE DAYS.
    WALT CAMACK

  63. Joel Shore: “The best that can be said about the Douglass et al. paper is that it is so wrong that you can arbitrarily (and without justification) ignore one fatal flaw and it still fails due to another fatal flaw!”
    Nah….that sounds like pure PROJECTION, Joel.
    You have one big-ass red herring eating an even bigger red-herring….and so on.
    Amazingly….you make no mention whatsoever of the obvious impropriety of your teammates Santer “et al” [that “et al” statement gets old].
    You just bury that in your extreme invective and sophistry.
    [And I am thinking….this…..THIS….is the type of individual who is running our science/physics programs today???]
    Is your reply written in the stone cold objectivity of a physicist…or by some bickering, emo, cliquish, teenage girl??
    Well don’t worry, when reading this, I am not “tempted”, like Ben Santer.
    I will not stoop that low.
    However….there are plenty of rational minds would love to see a normal CIVIL debate on the issue….in real time….and from behind the smokescreen of the climate models.
    What say ye?
    Methinks your competition would be little more intense than just being able to post a sophistic response on a blog!
    Let’s put you, Gavin, and Ben in a debate against John, Richard, and _______ [fill in the blank for the many].
    Actually you, Gavin, Ben, Mike, against Lindzen. BIG TIME POWER PLAY.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  64. Thanks Joel Shore
    We are open and welcoming to the views of ideological fanatacism. You can get your feelings expressed here and not erased. Just don’t think hide the decline is science.
    We are not that gullible.
    As a Psychologist, it is easy to read deceptive behaviors. The last 30 days are only the beginning of a painful intervention.
    The shame and pain have just begun

  65. The whole thing sounds exactly like “dirty cops”. The team probably started out with grand plans to ‘save the world’. But, somehow things didn’t work out. Of course, they knew in their hearts they were *right*. That allowed them to take the first immoral step. The second was easier. Finally, they lost all touch with their moral centers and anything was game.

  66. Lady in Red (18:44:35) :
    Your request is detailed and I doubt anyone can put together a comprehensive summary before this thread goes quite cold and all are posting somewhere else. Let me make a comment about a couple of your questions…
    When was “climate science” invented as a discipline, separate from previous earth sciences? What are the course requirements, what universities confer degrees in “climate science,” instead of, or alongside, traditional earth sciences? How much math, statistics, and physics are required for a “climate science” degree?
    You may find that many of the “climate scientists” have come to this “discipline” (if we can use that word right now) by various other routes–meteorology, geophysics, geology, physics, geochemistry, and so forth. This isn’t a bad thing, actually, and people coming from other disciplines often bring vitality to an endeavor. However, after a time the insiders in a discipline begin to obsess about credentials, theirs being perfect of course, and excluding the unwashed. Engineers, by the way, are just about as bad in this regard as anyone else. So, by all means open the field to engineers, but be prepared for more good-ole-boy behavior just the same.
    Who were the first persons to attempt to do long-range, climate predictions? When? What were the predictions? In the 1970’s some folk were predicting a new Ice Age. The source most often referenced is a Newsweek article, which is derided by the AGW community as not authoritative, or peer-reviewed.
    Bollocks! The most authoritative reference ought to point to a National Academy of Science (NAS) report dating from 1975–the reference is in a notebook of mine at school. Forget Newsweek. The Newsweek rap is a canard. There is a concerted effort to make lots of things disappear, MWP, Roman Warm Period, Holocene optimum, Little Ice Age, and authoritative concerns about global cooling in the 1970s. Believe me, there were reputable scientists worried about it, and they didn’t publish in Newsweek. At the same time the “modern” worry about global warming probably stems from a Science article in 1971–the reference now escapes me–but there were worries about this in the 1930s (when it was warm, by the way) and the 1950s–Gilbert Plass and G. S. Callendar are two names that come to mind. So, there have always been concerns about climate in both directions. In fact, W.S. Humphreys once said ( in 1920) that everyone talks about climate and the bulk of their testimony is that it is always getting worse. The difference at the present time is that there is so much money involved now that it has corrupted everything and the stakes are very high.

  67. One problem the Joel Shores and Nick Stokes of the world need to start assimilating is something called “guilt by association”. Do they really want to go down with the *team*? Of course, maybe it’s too late already. Maybe that’s why Joel’s post here was so poorly thought out. He may very well be in panic mode.

  68. Carlo, AdderW, Galen Haugh, Dev, Gilbert, TerryS,
    re “The e-mails on http://www.eastangliaemails.com are not reliable, some txt in e-mails are missing.”
    As stated e.g. in 1251384906.txt the end of the email is missing. Not sinister, just a bug.
    Another problem as I’ve pointed out before is that when searching for a phrase, if the phrase extends over a line the phrase will not be found, because there is an invisible line feed inside the phrase when it is in the email. I’m not sure if the search can be fixed easily to avoid that. Perhaps the search program could replace the linefeeds with blanks before a search. But phrases containing two blanks in a row will not be found.

  69. I think it all started when students in the ’60s went into Journalism “to change the world”. It now seems students went into Climate Science for the same reasons. They weren’t going “to change the world” by their creativity, hard work and discovery; that would have been too hard. They were going “to change the world” by corrupting science itself to fit a preconceived political agenda. Much less effort.

  70. Lady in Red (18:44:35) :
    Many of your questions can be answered by others more versed in the recent history of the climate wars, than I am. However, I see a couple of other questions I can speak to…
    I am confused, and there appears to be controversy whether the last decade was the warmest in history (excluding 1934, possibly…?), is getting somewhat warmer, or is cooling.
    When you say “history” you must limit yourself to that part of history since the invention of a calibrated thermometer, which means since the mid eighteenth century. The thermometer became available during the Little Ice Age, and so there is some good reason why the present warmth according to the instrument record is not unexpected. However, until just recently most of us thought the warmest decade was the 1930s–it seems so in the raw temperature records, but the past few years have shown us that the temperature records are like shifting dunes of sand. They are “corrected” and “adjusted” endlessly. Are the 1930s the warmest decade? I think so. The instruments though are a mess as Anthony Watts has shown here. The mixture of types of data in the “raw” record has always been embarrassing — i.e. canvas bags of sea water and all that. The corrections and adjustments are suspicious beyond any ability to ignore as Willis E. shows. So we may never come to any agreement.
    However, what does it matter if the 1930s were not the warmest decade and the last one was? There are tree stumps in Northern Canada dated to about 7000ybp that suggest the holocene was a lot warmer than now. There is plenty of evidence about MWP warmth in northern europe, Peru, and on and on. Temperature goes up and down, which is very inconvenient for one side of this war.
    The “hockey stick” graph of temperature is a wonderful thing to point to if you are an advocate of man-caused global warming because it points a finger right at the industrialized world. But that graph is a fraud I have no doubt. The various investigators on this site can talk at length about Mann and his pals and the e-mails and so forth, but I saw the machinations myself involved in trying to concoct an earlier “hockey stick” out of borehole temperature records, and no scientist goes to such efforts unless judgment has given way to advocacy.

  71. I found this interesting comment on an SMH blog…
    “Recognition of human-induced global warming was by UK climatologist G.S. Callendar in the 1930’s; Callendar hoped that human-induced changes to atmosphere composition would forestall the next Ice Age. Callendar’s work was based on 19th century discoveries, from Joseph Fourier in 1820 to Svante Arrhenius’s 1896 Nobel Prize-winning work showing that doubling atmospheric CO2 would raise surface temperatures around 5 deg C.”
    I’ve never heard of this person before in the debate of climate change and CO2.

  72. Sadly, it is not only “the Team” that is culpable. A thorough house cleaning is in order for the corrupted leadership of the scientific journals (including especially Science, the standard bearer of American science) and of the learned societies who have failed to enforce rigorous ethical standards and transparent scientific debate. Resignations accepted.

  73. Regarding comments by a “Joel Shore”. The statistics of DCPS are correct. See the explanation in Appendix A of the American Thinker. Santer (Schmidt and others) desire to compare apples with oranges – i.e. upper air trends of models v. observations when they have very different surface trends. The comparison of DCPS requires the same surface trend for both models and observations before the upper air trends may be compared because we were testing the surface to upper air relationship (which in models is quite rigid). There is no flaw, fatal or otherwise, with the design of this test. What is being promoted by “Joel Shore”, apparently, is that upper air trends of models associated with a surface trend of say only +0.03 C/decade should be compared with observed upper air trends associated with the observed surface trend of +0.125 C/decade. That is inappropriate as should be obvious. The statistical analysis is sound.

  74. I thought I was sick before, but this really takes the cake. Oop, be right back, gotta run to the can and hurl again…
    This is just disgusting stuff. And to think that the AGW crooks just about pulled it off in kookenhagen. Had it not been for Climategate and sites like WUWT, we may have been singing a different tune today.
    A very sincere Thank you Anthony!
    And thank ALL of you out there that continually contribute to this, the best blog site on the planet. May you all have the most wonderful of holidays and greatest of new years!
    Merry Christmas to all .. and to all God Bless!

  75. “The carboniferous effluent of the sacred cows of Pachauri’s homeland.”
    You dont have to insult a whole country just because one person is an enviro-head. I am sure there are many examples of bovine-related humor that one can think up about the US and the UK, for example.
    🙂
    Anand

  76. Paul Penrose – further, if you’re a Team player and you are given a softball to swing at, a fatally flawed paper accepted for publication, I’d think the surest way to dissuade further pursuit in that direction is to slap it down publicly once it’s been published, not expend huge effort clambering up and down the back stairs to prevent it from being published in the first place.

  77. I wish I had the time to do this, but could someone:
    (1) Identify the U Pres and School Deans of the Universities of the key players in this manipulation (Santer, etc., etc.) and send them a copy of the blog above asking whether they condone this behavior of their faculty.
    (2) send the letter and blog to the U Pres/ Dean to the editor of the student newspaper at each institution whether they consider this “news.”
    (3) send the letter and blog to Sen Inhoffe and head of NSF, Dept Energy (or whoever the likely funding sources of these scientists).
    (4) send letter and blog to WSJ, NYT (I know, why bother), etc.
    Easy for me to ask — if I were retired with climate science as a focus of interest, I would gladly take the day or so required.
    Anyone game?

  78. An excellent description of exactly why “peerreviewedpublished” papers in the “right” journals is the mantra of the Team and their chorus line.
    It used to be fun to infer collusive behaviour when there was suspicion of manipulation. Now it’s just trawling the garbage to confirm all the accusations that were levelled and so rigorously and righteously defended elsewhere. Keep it up – the trickle is becoming the stream is becoming the river.
    Thank you to all those who have had the stamina to stay the course.
    “A luta continua”

  79. Mapou (15:13:44) :
    This whole thing is making me sick. How do these people get away with such blatant criminal activities? Is there a grand conspiracy behind it all or is it just a case of dishonest human beings taking advantage of a corrupt system that lacks proper checks and balances? Mankind is screwed if our most trusted institutions can no longer be trusted. God, I wish there were a vaccine against dishonesty.

    It is interesting that you would address that question to God.
    The left wants to add another “freedom” to the FDR’s list; the freedom from religion.  Religion makes them feel guilty about “such blatant criminal activities” and therefore religion must be removed from civic discourse.  The USA founding fathers envisioned a society where religion could be followed without interference from the central government.  The left has perverted this to remove religion from all aspects of civic society. What did people think would happen?
    My two cents anyway.
    Mike Ramsey

  80. Joel Shore (15:47:41) :
    Of course, missing from this whole discussion is any objective assessment of whether the Douglass et al. paper suffered from such a blatant error that it should have never made it through the peer-review process in the first place. Who is to blame the editors for trying to redeem their journal from the embarrassment of publishing such an erroneous piece of work?
    All you are doing is repeating a red herring as discussed in the above article – the allegation that there was some kind of serious error in the DCPS paper that would have somehow precluded its publication, that the alleged error was not discussed, and that IGL was, snif, only trying to cover for its embarrassment.
    There is no evidence that there was any “embarrassment” on the part of IGL as to the exact concern you allege.
    Moreover, the idea that peer review results in a paper’s conclusions being the “given truth” is simply wrong in the first place. That’s never been the point of peer review, to leave it to a few selected reviewers.

  81. Those people will never be treated like criminals because they belong to the system which created the myth.
    On the other hand, I don’t know who was the first one who thought that treering of C3 plants could be useful like climate domains; however, these people gave the treerings an exaggerated importance for knowing paleotemperatures. We know the treerings are not adecquate for knowing the environmental conditions because treering growth is influenced by many factors, insolation in the first place. Plagues, diseases, RH, soil composition, etc., are factors that affect the development of any plant. C3 plants show a very special response towards insolation, temperature and humidity. As C3 plants, bristlecones for example, are exposed to low temperature, their growth slows; however, if they are exposed to high temperatures, i.e. above the optimum temperature which is about 23 °C, their growth is also slowed as if they were exposed to low temperatures.
    I hope the readers of this blog can get a conclusion on why those people were very interested on presenting the treering growth of Siberian Larch trees like a trusty methodology for investigating paleotemperatures.
    The climategate perpetrators would not have advanced so far, if they would have acted like normal and honest scientists.

  82. Anand Rajan KD (21:22:15) :
    “The carboniferous effluent of the sacred cows of Pachauri’s homeland.”
    You dont have to insult a whole country just because one person is an enviro-head.

    I caught that too, but only because I’m a peer-acknowledged expert on “gas”.

  83. On climategate, I have seen another crisis. Politicians tested science and science fell into their corrupted networks, thanks to unethical corrupted people. It will be very hard or impossible for us to optimize the status of science as we knew it when we were students. It is very easy to corrupt, but very difficult to restore.

  84. Nasif Nahle (22:03:28) :
    Nasif,
    I agree.  Working scientist have a lot to lose by the fraudulent behavior of the AGW cabal.  I see parallels with wall street (finance).  How do you regain your integrity after it is lost?
    Mike Ramsey

  85. Nasif, actually corruption is easy to eliminate: you take those found being corrupt and you penalize them severely: years in jail at a minimum. Amazing how severe penalties impact the behavior of others observing. China is cleaning up corruption faster than any other country (still slow, by the way) through exactly that method — having done business in more than 30 developing countries around the world, I speak from personal experience.
    The challenge is getting those in control of the power in a system to severely penalize those misbehaving. If Deans start firing professors for behavior unbecoming a professional academic (they can do that), other academics will get the message fast. But, Deans financially benefit from scientists being funded by government, so I’m not sanguine about that happening…
    Eisenhower knew what he was talking about.

  86. JChristy (21:10:01) says:

    Regarding comments by a “Joel Shore”. The statistics of DCPS are correct. See the explanation in Appendix A of the American Thinker. Santer (Schmidt and others) desire to compare apples with oranges – i.e. upper air trends of models v. observations when they have very different surface trends. The comparison of DCPS requires the same surface trend for both models and observations before the upper air trends may be compared because we were testing the surface to upper air relationship (which in models is quite rigid). There is no flaw, fatal or otherwise, with the design of this test. What is being promoted by “Joel Shore”, apparently, is that upper air trends of models associated with a surface trend of say only +0.03 C/decade should be compared with observed upper air trends associated with the observed surface trend of +0.125 C/decade. That is inappropriate as should be obvious. The statistical analysis is sound.

    Thank you for verifying just how lacking in integrity Joel Shore is.

  87. @ Joel Shore
    The goal of publishing such papers seems to be to issue press releases that then go beyond what is even claimed (on the basis of some quite blatant errors) in the original paper to make overarching statements about climate change…
    This appears to be an apt description of exactly how Fenton Communications uses “peer reviewed” literature to support “climate change.”
    This post demonstrates the irrecoverable damage to the “climate peer review” process. It is corrupted beyond repair save banning the corruptors for life.

  88. In this situation, the scientists can be regarded like football players. Trying to win at all costs, including a little bit of cheating and trying to con the referee.
    When the referee appears to be ‘bent’, i.e. clearly favouring one side (in this case, the warmers), then the concept of ‘august scientific journal’ would appear to be becoming under strain.
    It is the editor of the journal who should face the consequences in this situation, me thinks………

  89. Lady in Red (18:44:35) :
    “I am confused, and there appears to be controversy whether the last decade was the warmest in history (excluding 1934, possibly…?), is getting somewhat warmer, or is cooling.”
    The mantra “the last decade was the warmest in history” is an attempt to change the goal posts. Indeed, the last decade may well be the hottest since the medieval warm period. But the significance of the last 10 years is that temperature increase has stalled where a positive (upward) trend was predicted. Imagine that the present temperature stays the same for the next 90 years, then it is true to say this has been the warmest century in history. Yet it also negates all IPCC predictions and falsifies the hypothesis of AGW. And that’s what’s at stake here.

  90. The sad fact is that this behaviour is not exclusive to the climate community, but is an endemic problem in many if not most scientific communities. The structure of science as a profession and a career is highly abnormal compared to most professions. In many ways it is deeply primitive and feudal. A small coterie of all-powerful barons have practically limitless power. There is no equivalent of shareholders in a company or legal appeal in the legal profession or outside audit in the case of financial or accounting business, or inspection from another branch or division for the police, or an electorate in the case of a politician, etc.. You have the medieval phenomenon of “tenure” i.e. unsackability of professors. The very archaic pyramid-like career structure of science is obvious by glancing at any research group – a horde of PhD students like small-holding peasants around the castle walls, a much smaller elite of salaried research assistants or “associate profesors”, like the medieval knights, and at the top of it all, Jabba-the-Hut like in complacent autocracy, is the bloated figure of the queen of the nest, the professor.
    As this revealing article by Douglass shows, along with the climategate emails, once the science barons are ensconsed in their positions as journal editors or board members, other scientific organisation boards, not to mention grant commities, the phenomenon of unchallenged power is established. This feudal set-up is ripe for mafia-style manipulation not only by political interest groups such as the AGW lobby and other political lobbies, but even companies making scientific equipment or services, and any other grouping seeking influence through the back door.
    In this context “peer review” needless to say, is a joke. Willis Eschenbach’s suggestion of double blindness followed by revealing who the reviewers are is a good one, although blindness is difficult in a specialised field where even without names, the identity of authors is often clear from the content of their work.

  91. JChristy,
    “The statistical analysis is sound.”
    Thanks for that clarification. I have been scratching my head trying to figure what Joel Shore was saying – all that about tossing dice – just didn’t add up.
    It is interesting is it not, that Joel Shore leaps into action to point out some imagined statistical error in a paper he is ideologically opposed to, but remains silent, or even defends the most blatant frauds of the hockey stick studies. When is Joel Shore going to admit that Briffa’s 2009 Yamal paper is not worth the tree rings it took to print?

  92. Joel Shore says “I do prefer to discuss issues of science rather than issues of what people say in their private e-mail communications, as titillating as some of those might be”
    But Joel, you didn’t address the science, you merely repeated Gavin’s new talking point about using std err instead of std dev. But that minor point doesn’t matter. The much bigger error was Santer’s use of RAOB 1.4 Back then the talking point was “oh well, not perfect, we’ll just move on to RAOB 1.5 (coming soon)”. OTOH, Douglass et al made no such error and addressed the RAOB 1.4 issue as soon as it was presented at RC.
    The bottom line is that the RAOB 1.4 reanalysis used models to adjust the tropical troposphere upwards which was then used by the team to validate their models. That is a huge circular reasoning error. Again I recommend all people read the thread http://climateaudit.org/2008/05/27/leopold-in-the-sky-with-diamonds/

  93. Anthony:
    Here’s a possible answer: Peer review integrity was important in 2003, but redundant in 2009.

  94. Joel Shore says:
    “At any rate, I have said many times that peer-review is an imperfect filter and there is probably little that can be done to correct that without making the system worse. And, in the scientific community, I don’t think the Douglass et al. paper, with its major flaws, is likely to have a very big impact anyway. The goal of publishing such papers seems to be to issue press releases that then go beyond what is even claimed (on the basis of some quite blatant errors) in the original paper to make overarching statements about climate change (and, then, subsequently, write articles in political journals like “The American Thinker” explaining how you were unfairly treated). It is more public relations than science.”
    Thats an apt assertion in every sense. The notion of the politicisation of science and peer review goes in both directions. Its possible that when an agenda has been formulated by a closed circle, one ought to read the emails and documents.
    Those “leading scientists” write with the worst cavalier parlance of political activists. ie, not as scientists, with open discussions of “manufacturing biases in datasets”, blackballing papers that present different evidence, fabricating data to produce “blips”, changing and deleting the scientific record, downtrending, “fiddling with the best way to illustrate the stable nature of the medieval warm period”, and smoothing it out of the temperature reconstruction. One even said “We have to delete the MWP”, and “beating the crap out of critics”, or else the “catch 22’s” they’re caught in, when detrended, regressed, or audited climate data is presented to them (such as tree rings used to construct past climate showing lower growth today than recent history). They’re hardly personal tittle tattle. As for the poor Harry_read_me, if peer review is erroneous then Harry’s task was impossible.

  95. Re: Joel Shore (19:59:05) :

    Actually, I can’t say that I even read the comment in detail since I don’t usually find “he-said, she-said” stories particularly enlightening, particularly when told by only one side.

    First of all, if you are going to comment on an article on Anthony’s blog you could at least do him the courtesy of reading it. Or is you purpose solely to divert attention away from the article itself?
    Secondly, it isn’t just a “he-said, she-said” story. The “other side” is presented through the contents of the emails and if any of the authors/recipients of the emails wish to elaborate or explain how they are “taken out context” then they can leave comments about it. I can not speak for Anthony but I am confident that if any of the parties involved wished to post a reply then Anthony would welcome it.

  96. Vincent (01:38:50)
    actually thats fairly interesting an experiment, though irrelevant to the discussion – its about probablility. If probability were an added factor, what the team have been doing is manufacturing probability via adjustments, so that goes as an argument against the favour of *the team*
    If you had 6 dice under ideal experiment conditions, then there is the liklihood that if they were threw 1,000,000 times, all factors being equal, its possible that all 6 would roll out showing 3 face upwards simultaneously, though highly improbable in every case. You’d take note of every combination and adjust the result to give a trend that showed in most cases the likelihood of 4 and upward landing face up is greater than lesser number combinations. (Its possible to create a trend when there isn’t one due to the sheer volume and variability of readings)

  97. The question for those like me who are not scientists, but found the orthodoxy suspect, was always “why?”
    As the size of the Carbon Trade bubble becomes revealed, along with the amount of money that depends upon the scare being maintained, it all becomes clearer.
    Perhaps now we are seeing the real ‘inconvenient truth’.

  98. Mike O’Kelly (16:37:57) :
    “An entire team of Climeballs doing their climey best to destroy honest science. … They are a stain on science and on humanity.”

    And their enablers, the Climategate deniers, are just as bad.

  99. What is interesting is the way the information in the emails dovetails so neatly with information available to Douglas and his co-authors. It is unlikely that a hacker would have been able to select emails which so perfectly satisfied other people’s need to know?
    There is one intriguing possibility I have not seen posted before. Could the emails be ones Jones thought he had deleted because they were too sensitive for an FoI request but which were available on a back-up server.

  100. JChristy (21:10:01) :

    Regarding comments by a “Joel Shore”. The statistics of DCPS are correct. See the explanation in Appendix A of the American Thinker. Santer (Schmidt and others) desire to compare apples with oranges – i.e. upper air trends of models v. observations when they have very different surface trends. The comparison of DCPS requires the same surface trend for both models and observations before the upper air trends may be compared because we were testing the surface to upper air relationship (which in models is quite rigid). There is no flaw, fatal or otherwise, with the design of this test. What is being promoted by “Joel Shore”, apparently, is that upper air trends of models associated with a surface trend of say only +0.03 C/decade should be compared with observed upper air trends associated with the observed surface trend of +0.125 C/decade. That is inappropriate as should be obvious. The statistical analysis is sound.

    Dr. Christy,
    That claim is ridiculous. There is no justification for using the standard error as a measure of the model uncertainty to compare to a real world climate realization. If you want to control for similar surface trends in some way, there are other ways that you could do it. For example, you could explicitly choose models that have trends in some range and then compute a standard deviation among these. (This may be somewhat problematical, depending on how many models you eliminate, but it is at least not blatantly wrong.) Or, you could divide produce a normalized picture where you divide each model’s trends by the trend at the surface (with appropriate propagation of uncertainties), which is what Santer et al. had done in their 2005 paper.
    Using the standard error is just wrong…and in fact doubly wrong, as I noted (both because of what Gavin has pointed out regarding the difference between a single realization of the climate system or a climate model and an average over different runs of climate models, which essentially averages over the internal variability eventually leaving only the forced component AND because it is quite clear that the IPCC does not in any way shape or form subscribe to the notion that the standard error is a measure of even the uncertainty in the forced component; they actually seem to subscribe to the notion that the uncertainty is at least as large as the standard deviation).

  101. Terry (17:09:24) :
    We have now reached critical mass. A storm is coming.”

    Yes. Just give things time. (I’ve been saying this since Day 2, BTW.) Each insect that crawls out from under the rock will add to the pressure to roll away the stone and watch ’em scuttle.
    mrpkw (18:04:32) :
    “It does all seem so disgraceful. I doubt any of them will ever really answer any questions about this issue.”

    Lawsuits and legislative investigations, including discovery of e-mails by independent computer consultants, will keep this issue on the boil for years.
    Lady in Red:
    “There is a modest, thin, little-known book by the late, great Jane Jacobs, an intellectual gadfly of great proportion, titled Dark Age Ahead – a subject not ungermane to matters at hand. There are three chapters of particular note: Credentialing Versus Educating, Science Abandoned, and Self-Policing Subverted. The entire book is an easy yet compelling read. Look it up. Read it.”

    Here’s the link on Amazon. Used copies are cheap ($3).
    http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Age-Ahead-Jane-Jacobs/dp/1400076706/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1261489655&sr=1-1

  102. Chris Schoneveld (00:53:28) :
    “The mantra “the last decade was the warmest in history” is an attempt to change the goal posts. Indeed, the last decade may well be the hottest since the medieval warm period. But the significance of the last 10 years is that temperature increase has stalled where a positive (upward) trend was predicted. Imagine that the present temperature stays the same for the next 90 years, then it is true to say this has been the warmest century in history. Yet it also negates all IPCC predictions and falsifies the hypothesis of AGW. And that’s what’s at stake here.”

    Here’s a good comeback: But the last five years have been cooler than the prior five years.
    (Would someone who knows the figures for the past ten years please post them, along with a link, to back this up? I’ve only inferred this, not verified it.)

  103. phlogiston (01:27:12) :
    “The sad fact is that this behaviour is not exclusive to the climate community, but is an endemic problem in many if not most scientific communities. The structure of science as a profession and a career is highly abnormal compared to most professions. In many ways it is deeply primitive and feudal.
    “Once the science barons are ensconced in their positions as journal editors or board members, other scientific organisation boards, not to mention grant commitees, the phenomenon of unchallenged power is established. This feudal set-up is ripe for mafia-style manipulation not only by political interest groups such as the AGW lobby and other political lobbies, but even companies making scientific equipment or services, and any other grouping seeking influence through the back door.
    “In this context “peer review” needless to say, is a joke.”

    Warmists often suggest that climate skeptics must believe in a conspiracy in order to account for the prevailing scientific consensus on AGW. But these warmists presume that current science is working according to an out-dated and idealistic picture of a free market in ideas by disinterested and idealistic practitioners and gatekeepers, which is not how science functions nowadays. Nowadays, it is much more susceptible to fads, bureaucratic inertia, cheating, monetary inducements, and groupthink than previously. Here is a link to an article by a scientist and scientific administrator with inside knowledge of the dark side of science:
    **************
    Science in the 21st Century: Knowledge Monopolies and Research Cartels
    By HENRY H. BAUER
    Professor Emeritus of Chemistry & Science Studies
    Dean Emeritus of Arts & Sciences
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
    Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 18, No. 4, pp. 643–660, 2004
    http://henryhbauer.homestead.com/21stCenturyScience.pdf

  104. McGregor, Santer and Osborn should all be fired and banned from science for some period. The rest should be put on some kind of probation contingent with conducting real science and not a collusive sham.

  105. It’s laughable to see the analogy between climate model runs and dice. Dices are DISCRETE numbers. The expected value of rolling many dices is only making sense in the sense that the average of all the discrete numbers will be close to the expected value. In the climate case, however, there’s no proof of any discreteness at all of the state of the climate. If anything, it’s continuous. So it is just stupid to use this analogy.

  106. Joel Shore
    “the climate system corresponds to one realization of running a climate model”
    This statement implies an extraordinary level of trust in – even devotion to – climate models, if the boundaries between the models and reality start to fade. Are we in something like the Wachowski brothers’ “Matrix” film scenario – everything we see around us just a computer simulation? This goes well beyond the very thing you criticised in Douglass’ article – putting too much faith in the models.
    JS To JChristy:
    “There is no justification for using the standard error as a measure of the model uncertainty to compare to a real world climate realization.”
    The SD / SE issue is I suspect its a red herring. However your statement contradicts the definition of SD and SE. SD characterises the actual variation in experimental measurements (models should not be elevated to the status of data but we’ll overlook that for now). SE characterises the uncertainty as to the location of the true value being measured. So the measure of uncertainty is SE, not SD. The AGW community clearly thinks it has a lot of power, to rewrite climate history (not to mention wikipedia) but it cannot change established scientific / mathematical definitions.
    The climate system is a realisation of itself. To think that it can be meaningfully approximated as a whole by a set of linear type equations is part of the problem affecting climate science – it excludes the role of chaotic / nonlinear dynamics in the system (and is grossly over-ambitious). Its kind of a mistake even taking on the AGW community on the subject of these models since it is very much an “away game” played on AGW terms. Radically different approaches are needed – the work of Tsonis involving chaotic dynamics is a good example.

  107. Roger Knights (06:17:45)
    Very nice paper by Bauer, Thanks. Food for thought indeed – a “scientific court” or ombudsman may not be such a bad idea.

  108. Joel Shore
    Frankly, I have no idea why you brought my comment to OMB into the picture other than perhaps your general desire for “outing” individuals here who post views you do not like by bringing in facets from their life outside of this venue.
    Of course you are right – much better to simply delete contentious posts than try to engage in open debate a la RC

  109. The title of this thread and/or of the reprinted article would have had more bite with this title:
    You Shouldn’t Have Wished for “Context”
    OR
    “Out of Context”? NOT

  110. This all comes down to the scientific bodies and journals. They can only sell their credibility when it is worth something. At some point they have to make an about face, because even if the case for AGW is not destroyed – they need respect from scientists and the wider community. The reason why the UN etc. gives funding to these bodies is because they have credibility. If they go down with the consensus then who will give them funding for the next government projects? In my view the best interests of the UN and Governments is diverging from the best interests of the journals and scientific bodies. They need scientific credibility or they have no value. I doubt any scientists reading these blogs believes the science is as settled as the scientific bodies claim. I would suspect these bodies are silently changing their criteria, to allow them to be slowly convinced by the weight of evidence, and hoping they don’t get caught in the legal crossfire (or at least point to changes in methodology that would prevent it happening in future). Although the UK met office seems particularly suicidal….

  111. Roger Knights (06:17:45)
    i doubt the conspiracy theory of AGW. It is a subjective theory that can’t be defended with facts, so the data has to be fabricated using a broad selection. When its pointed out, as it so often is, the statisitcians and mathemeticians that formulate them have to go into chains and chains of abstruse reasoning to prove that things are otherwise thean they are. When the tropospheric temperature shows not a warming trend then the trend is adjusted to get the 0.6C they are looking for. In the case of orbital drift of satellites, the data was so faked in the wrong direction that it defies any sort of peer review standard. They adjusted the data in the opposite direction. Of course Hansen was delighted that sonde balloons were lowered as they could show higher temperatures and a warming trend. However, the example that isn’t paid attention to is stratospheric cooling ideology, which isn’t happening either.
    http://www.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t4/tlsglhmam_5.1
    takes the data to the latest figure. As is seen there’s no cooling trend, even a slight warming trend over the last decade.
    Otherwise, the satellite meeasurements are as phony as the land based selections, although its easy to understand the pressure the team were under to produce from the magic hat a warming trend over the last 30-40 years whilst downgrading the warming trends of the decades prior to that. The subject of the beginning point however – 1850 is another matter – it was the lowest point of the entire holocene, so isn’t really a starting point. Even iof the team try to erase the MWP, then what of the Holocene Optimum? OK none of this deals with the present anomalies between temperature measurements and models 10 years ago which predicted relentless warming. The fact that it didn’t materialise shows that the IPCC models failed. To simplify matter you’d need only two models. One based on natural variability with all known factors (whether from *sceptics* or from AGW) and one based on whats considered to co2 hypothesis – since that is considred by the IPCC to be the most dominant climtic factor. If the divergence falls on the side of natural variability (oceans heat content, solar activity, troposhere and stratosphere temps) and diverged significantly from raw data from the 1850-present raw data then there might be a case to be made for co2 being a forcing. Then you would need to explain why c02 was a forcing, where the physics are not at all compelling, and at that point it would be necessary to look at hitherto unexamined factors.
    the fact that Christy & Douglas were dealt with in a galling way however leads one to think that the peer review process isn’t impartial. Neither was the way Briffa was browbeaten by Mann and Jones such a good example of unbiased peer review, as its clear that Briffa was the superior of the team dealing with tree proxies. No wonder Briffa isn’t being invoked in th eclimategate scandal. Some of those emails with Briffa are quite revealing: It shows how the peer process was subjectively arrived at.

  112. Joel,
    I’m curious how your example above, the dice roll (not role) experiment is an apt analogy? Single die rolls fit to a uniform distribution with each value equally probable and rolls outside the range impossible. The phenomenon the DCPS papare is describing, however, is not known to be a uniform distribution. Furthermore, as noted by a previous poster, the die roll example is a discrete distribution in which the probability that a single roll is not within the SD of the mean is identically equal to 1. I’m sure you realized these two points given the authority in which you made your claims, correct?
    I’m also concerned about your statement that “internal variability averages out.” While true with random signals, not explicitly true otherwise.
    You may be correct in the general assertion (I have not read deep enough to come to any conclusions other than these), but repeatedly making the “doubly wrong” claim sounds a bit hyperbolic and, quite frankly, exposes your clear bias. Arguing the merits of statistical analyses when making such obvious errors also seems a bit… disingenuous.
    Mark

  113. phlogistan (and everybody):
    Here’s an on-topic book, Science, Money, and Politics: Political Triumph and Ethical Erosion, on the dark side of modern science, by Daniel Greenberg,
    http://www.amazon.com/Science-Money-Politics-Political-Triumph/dp/0226306356/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1261504566&sr=1-1
    Here are quotes from reviews on Amazon:
    “Science, in the abstract, is supposed to be nonpolitical, even to transcend politics entirely. In truth, though, science is always conditioned by political reality–and by money.
    So writes journalist Daniel Greenberg in this wide-ranging indictment of the way in which science is conducted in the United States. Although funding for scientific research has been readily available since the end of World War II, he maintains, research bureaucrats have transformed the enterprise into “a clever, well-financed claimant for money” and the successful quest for that funding into a condition of employment and advancement. Given that climate, Greenberg suggests, basic research has suffered, so that many diseases go unconquered, while more politically glamorous investigations are rewarded. Increasingly corporatized–industry, he writes, accounts for two-thirds of all research and development dollars spent, and its “profit-seeking values” are radiating throughout the culture–scientific research is insufficiently policed and criticized, watched over only by the inmates. In the rush for funding, Greenberg argues, science becomes increasingly subject to ethical lapses, with scientists too easily endorsing dubious causes such as the so-called Star Wars missile-defense system and too readily putting human subjects in danger.”
    “Debunking science industry and policy myths left and right, Greenberg combines archival research and interviews with scientists and politicians in the know to explore why and how research has happened in the postwar U.S. “[B]ecause the politics of science is registered in money awarded or denied… [m]oney will serve as a diagnostic tool for our study,” says Greenberg. He goes on to describe the sycophancy, backbends and, sometimes, dishonesty practiced by researchers, and the willingness of some government scientists to keep their mouths shut when it behooves their bosses. A disturbing, compelling and well-researched conspiracy story of the “I knew it!” variety.”
    “Frontiers of Illusion: Science, Technology, and the Politics of Progress by Daniel Sarewitz, is an excellent counterpart to Greenberg …. If science is corrupt on the one hand, it is also over-sold on the other, a point that Sarewitz addresses very methodically.”
    “I’m one of those who believes that we have far more to gain from good science than we have to lose. Nonetheless, Greenberg’s book brought me up short. This is a dramatic, readable, well-documented, and shocking exposé of the dirty back-door means by which much support for science research is secured in this country. Greenberg cites example after example of how undeserving or questionable projects are funded while, presumably, more promising work goes begging because it lacks powerful patrons. Greenberg also argues that the whole system is corrupt because universities depend on grant overhead for operating budgets, while congressmen and -women want money for their districts, and various scientific disciplines want to increase their clout and standing. Greenberg clearly is very angry, and his anger stems from genuine outrage that an enterprise such as science, which is so important, and so powerful, has participated in making itself an often-sleazy political tool. I hope university administrators and all the federal officials responsible for science funding will read this book–the fault lies less with scientists individually than with the ways in which universities, the federal government, and scientific organizations see their self-interest.”
    “The chapter on the National Science Foundation (NSF) and its claim a few years ago that the country faced a shortage of tens of thousands of scientists is illustrative. Greenberg shows this lobbying effort for increased funds as a knowingly false issue pushed by a merger of institutional and academic interests. Greenberg quotes a US Office of Management & Budget Report which had this to say about scientists: “They are the quintessential special interest group…” He has much to say on the inflated claims of many projects. Although he specifically mentions the aborted Superconducting Super Collider (SSC), it is clear he views more recent projects such as the Human Genome Project, and cloning, in the same light.”

  114. This is simply disgusting. Where this about something else, Nuclear Energy, Medicine, Genetically Modified crops, these people would be in jail. Criminals is what they are.

  115. Reader says:

    It’s laughable to see the analogy between climate model runs and dice. Dices are DISCRETE numbers. The expected value of rolling many dices is only making sense in the sense that the average of all the discrete numbers will be close to the expected value. In the climate case, however, there’s no proof of any discreteness at all of the state of the climate. If anything, it’s continuous. So it is just stupid to use this analogy.

    Mark T says:

    I’m curious how your example above, the dice roll (not role) experiment is an apt analogy? Single die rolls fit to a uniform distribution with each value equally probable and rolls outside the range impossible. The phenomenon the DCPS papare is describing, however, is not known to be a uniform distribution. Furthermore, as noted by a previous poster, the die roll example is a discrete distribution in which the probability that a single roll is not within the SD of the mean is identically equal to 1. I’m sure you realized these two points given the authority in which you made your claims, correct?

    Good God, folks. An analogy is an analogy. All because you can find irrelevant ways in which the analogy is not exactly the same as the system being studied does not mean it is not a good analogy for the purpose at hand. Yes, the die case has only discrete values…and that has the advantage of making the silliness of using standard error to predict the likely range for a single die role more readily apparent. However, even if one is dealing with a continuous distribution, it is still silly to use the standard error to predict the likely range of a single realization.
    As for the distribution issue, again that is a red herring. If you want, consider throwing two dies. In that case, a simulation will predict an expected value of 7 and you would get a standard error that is very small if you averaged the simulation over enough realizations. In this case, 7 is a value that can actually be realized in a single roll of two dies and the distribution of different values is no longer uniform but more bell-shaped. Yet, the same problem would still occur: Any particular realization for rolling two dies only has a 1 in 6 chance of getting a 7 even though one could easily run the simulation enough times to say that the expected value was, say, 7.000 with a standard error of 0.001.
    If you want a continuous case, choose a random number from a Gaussian distribution with mean zero and standard deviation 1. Again, you could run the simulation millions of time and get an expected value of, say, 0.000 with a standard error of 0.001 but when you actually looked at any particular realization, it would almost always fall outside of this range.

  116. Paul Penrose asks If it was as easy as you say to refute the original Christy et al paper, then why did it take Santer 90 pages?
    Of course it didn’t Paul. You shouldn’t take anything you read in American Thinker at face value. Here is the source of that number
    From: Tim Osborn
    To: g.mcgregor@xxxxxxxxx.xxx
    Subject: Re: JOC-08-0098 – International Journal of Climatology
    Date: Tue May 6 09:19:06 2008
    Hi Glenn — I hope the slow reviewer is not one that I suggested! Sorry if it is. I’m not sure what Ben Santer expects you to do about it at this stage; I guess you didn’t expect such a lengthy article… I’ve not seen it, but Phil Jones told me it ran to around 90 pages! Hope all’s well in NZ.
    Tim

    Did Osborn say it was ninety pages? No, he said he had been told it was 90 pages. Was it 90 pages? No – I’ve read it, in the print version it was around 20 pages including 2 pages of references. Would you have learned this from Christy and Douglass’s screed? No you would not, they repeat the 90 page hearsay knowing it to be false. Par for the course as the article is a clearly partial interpretation of the mails and one which is largely unsupported by the texts themselves.
    For example, here is the key claim …. The most critical point throughout these emails is the goal of preventing DCPS from providing what is considered normal in the peer-reviewed literature: an opportunity to respond to their critique, or as they put it, “be given the final word.”
    And yet here is the mail from Ben Santer to colleague Tim Osborn discussing one way of submitting the paper
    1) Our paper should be regarded as an independent contribution, not as a comment on Douglass et al. …
    2) If IJC agrees to 1), then Douglass et al. should have the opportunity to respond to our contribution, and we should be given the chance to reply. Any response and reply should be published side-by-side, in the same issue of IJC.
    So we are going to brutally remove the right of Douglass et al to respond by er, suggesting that they should be given the right to respond. That’ll teach them!
    It seems a theme of ‘ClimateGate’ … I am offered a rich roast dinner of conspiracy, with trimmings of data deletion, silencing of dissent, result manipulation, but when I sit down to eat all I get is a thin watery soup of paranoia and allegations completely unsupported by the actual texts.

  117. phlogiston:

    “the climate system corresponds to one realization of running a climate model”
    This statement implies an extraordinary level of trust in – even devotion to – climate models, if the boundaries between the models and reality start to fade. Are we in something like the Wachowski brothers’ “Matrix” film scenario – everything we see around us just a computer simulation? This goes well beyond the very thing you criticised in Douglass’ article – putting too much faith in the models.

    People around here seem very good at jumping on irrelevant points. I didn’t claim that the models were perfect representations of reality. What I said is that to the extent the the models do represent the climate system, a single run of the model corresponds to a single possible trajectory for the climate system.
    Averaging over several different runs with perturbed initial conditions (or several different models) does not get you a better representation of the climate…It actually averages over an important aspect of climate, which is its internal variability. It does likely get you a better representation of the FORCED COMPONENT of the response, which is why climate scientists find useful to do such averaging…but that is a different story. And, as I pointed out, the IPCC is clearly not foolish enough to believe that the averaging over different models gives one so much confidence in the forced component that one can claim that the standard error is a good measure for the uncertainty in it. If they thought this, then they could in no way justify giving such a wide range for the likely value for the equilibrium climate sensitivity. It is not I or the IPCC who is putting too much faith in the models…It is Douglass and Christy et al. (Or, more precisely, they are attacking a “strawman” representation of the certainty in the climate models which is demonstrably much higher than the level of certainty that the IPCC is putting in them.)

    The SD / SE issue is I suspect its a red herring. However your statement contradicts the definition of SD and SE. SD characterises the actual variation in experimental measurements (models should not be elevated to the status of data but we’ll overlook that for now). SE characterises the uncertainty as to the location of the true value being measured. So the measure of uncertainty is SE, not SD. The AGW community clearly thinks it has a lot of power, to rewrite climate history (not to mention wikipedia) but it cannot change established scientific / mathematical definitions.

    You suspect wrongly. For one thing, standard error is only appropriate as a measure of the likely error in the true expectation value for a quantity if the errors are known to be statistically-random. There is no reason to believe that this is true for the IPCC climate models and, as I have pointed out above, it is in fact clear that the IPCC itself does not believe this to be the case at least for the climate sensitivity value.
    But, even more to the point, the standard error is a measure of the likely error in the EXPECTATION VALUE only. It is not a measure of how things are likely to deviate in any specific realization. And, the dice rolling analogy makes this fact painfully obvious, which is why it is such a useful analogy.

    The climate system is a realisation of itself. To think that it can be meaningfully approximated as a whole by a set of linear type equations is part of the problem affecting climate science – it excludes the role of chaotic / nonlinear dynamics in the system (and is grossly over-ambitious).

    You are talking nonsense here. The climate models are not based on “linear type equations”…and they in fact exhibit chaotic behavior, which is why one can run the same model with slightly perturbed initial conditions and get different results for the detailed evolution of the climate system. This is also true, by the way, for the numerical weather prediction models…and in fact these models are now run for “ensemble” modes precisely in order to see how far out in the future one can go before the weather forecast is dominated by the slight changes in initial conditions…and hence the weather forecast is no longer reliable.

  118. This chronology missed the real first step, the email from S. Fred Singer, one of the authors, inviting me to consider covering the paper as an exclusive. As I always do with any paper, by anyone, I sent it around for vetting (shorthand: “scrubbing”). Here’s Fred’s note confirming this (he sent this to me today)
    I have researched past e-mails and will send you copies
    This is the earliest one to Revkin on Nov 29, 2007. You are in the clear
    Let me know if you need more help
    Best for 2010 — and good luck on yr new gig Fred
    Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 21:26:42 -0500
    To: anrevk@nytimes.com, revkin@gmail.com
    From: “S. Fred Singer”
    Subject: Fwd: Hoover Energy Task Force
    Andy
    I’d like to discuss with you doing a possible exclusive story with wide-ranging implications:
    1. With the impending publication of our new peer-reviewed paper, we will soon go public about the ‘smoking gun’ against AGW. See attached and read my blog below, addressed o the AGU:
    http://science-sepp.blogspot.com/2007/09/contribution-to-agu-panel-drafting.html
    I will lecture on this to the MIT Club (Washington) on Dec 11 and to a conference on Energy and Climate on Dec 20 at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in Rome.
    2. The implications are many — and some peak around mid-December:
    a] the Bali conference, following the IPCC Synthesis report, building to a crescendo
    b] the release of the AGU Statement, which will likely echo the IPCC
    c] the release of the NIPCC report (countering the IPCC)
    d] my letter on AGW in the Dec issue of SciAm
    But the major implications are to ongoing legislation, court rulings and administrative procedures, and to national energy policy (below).
    Let me know of yr interest
    Best Fred
    ****************************
    Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2007 21:00:05 -0500
    To: jschlesi@lehman.com
    From: “S. Fred Singer”
    Subject: Hoover Energy Task Force
    Cc: rmw@theadvisorygroup.com, eddavid@media.mit.edu
    Jim
    Different groups are grappling with energy policy: NCEP, NPC, Chamber of Commerce, Lehman Brothers, Hoover, to name a few. I am concerned that they are all missing a crucial dimension and would like to meet with you to discuss what might be done.
    For example, last week, before I left Hoover to return to Virginia, Geo Shultz asked me for a briefing on climate science.
    I tried to convince him that the current warming is natural — not anthropogenic. I may have succeeded — not sure.
    Anyway, I’d like you to see my presentation to the AGU panel
    http://science-sepp.blogspot.com/2007/09/contribution-to-agu-panel-drafting.html
    The implications for energy policy are fairly obvious.
    Best Fred
    PS I am attaching a draft press release about a peer-reviewed research paper we are just publishing
    ***************************************************************************
    S. Fred Singer, President
    Science & Environmental Policy Project
    1600 S. Eads St, #712-S
    Arlington, VA 22202-2907
    Tel: 703/920-2744
    http ://www.sepp.org
    Read about what is really causing warming
    Unstoppable Global Warming : Every 1500 Years
    (Natural climate cycles as seen in the geological record)
    by S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery
    Rowman & Littlefield (2007) 260 pp. $25.00 plus $5 S&H
    On New York Times Best-seller list
    S. Fred Singer, PhD, President
    Science & Environmental Policy Project
    1600 S. Eads St, #712-S
    Arlington, VA 22202-2907
    Tel: 703/920-2744
    http :// http://www.sepp.org
    **************
    “The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses
    to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism
    is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.”
    Thomas H. Huxley
    ************
    “If the facts change, I’ll change my opinion. What do you do, sir? ” J. M. Keynes
    ************
    2 attachments — Download all attachments
    DCPS-proofs_IJC07.pdf
    269K View Download
    IJC Draft Press Release SFS.doc
    27K View as HTML Open as a Google document Download

  119. Joel Shore (12:43:15) :

    Good God, folks. An analogy is an analogy.

    Yes, and an analogy has to fit the circumstance in which it is used.

    All because you can find irrelevant ways in which the analogy is not exactly the same as the system being studied does not mean it is not a good analogy for the purpose at hand.

    Um, it is not “irrelevant” when it is the only way in which the example works.

    Yes, the die case has only discrete values…and that has the advantage of making the silliness of using standard error to predict the likely range for a single die role more readily apparent. However, even if one is dealing with a continuous distribution, it is still silly to use the standard error to predict the likely range of a single realization.

    No, it was a silly example that has no bearing on the problem at hand. In your example you will always reject a valid hypothesis.

    Yet, the same problem would still occur:

    Which is still equally invalid as an analogy.

    If you want a continuous case…

    Immaterial to the comment I made, for sure, and does not in any way validate your flawed analogy from before, which was what I referred to. Had you actually used this analogy instead, I would not have commented.
    Mark

  120. For those interested in how minor an issue the calculation of the variance of the model ensembles is, here is more background: arxiv.org/pdf/0905.0445 Joel Shore’s argument is simply chaff to distract from numerous important differences in the approaches. The RAOB 1.4 data selection, the time period selected, the selection of autocorrelation coefficients, and the general attempt by Santer et al to imply a broader range of statistical uncertainty in the radiosonde measurements.
    It’s pretty clear from Santer’s email what is goal was. It can be read here: http://www.climate-gate.org/cru/mail/1200010023.txt

  121. Mr Revkin: you said “As I always do with any paper, by anyone, I sent it around for vetting”. Can you give an example where you sent a paper by any of the Osborn, Mann, Jones, Wigley, etc. for vetting by any skeptic? Just one example will do.

  122. Joel Shore:
    “The climate models are not based on “linear type equations”…and they in fact exhibit chaotic behavior”
    If the climate models are so good at representing chaotic / nonlinear behaviour, its odd that they all seem to predict rather linear-looking continuous warming, which is contrary to both the (highly oscillatory) climate history and to what is actually happening at present.
    High sensitivity to initial conditions does not necessarily imply and is not sufficient to indicate actual bifurcation leading to a non-equilibrium / non-linear chaotic regime.

  123. I wouldn’t worry too much. Joel is just playing around with absurd probability to justify failed climatic models. They were not random – just erroneous. Some of the gross errors were quietly suppressed in fact, as data diverged from them. For want of the ones i’ve noticed over the years, Lord Monckton did a fairly good synopsis
    http://ff.org/centers/csspp/pdf/20070226_monckton.pdf

  124. Dear Phil Clarke
    If the following is for you “thin watery soup” I would love to see your rich roast dinner!
    * Phil Jones writes to University of Hull to try to stop sceptic Sonia Boehmer Christiansen using her Hull affiliation. Graham F Haughton of Hull University says its easier to push greenery there now SB-C has retired.(1256765544)
    * Michael Mann discusses how to destroy a journal that has published sceptic papers.(1047388489)
    * Tim Osborn discusses how data are truncated to stop an apparent cooling trend showing up in the results (0939154709). Analysis of impact here. Wow!
    * Phil Jones describes the death of sceptic, John Daly, as “cheering news”.(1075403821)
    * Phil Jones encourages colleagues to delete information subject to FoI request.(1212063122)
    * Phil Jones says he has use Mann’s “Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series”…to hide the decline”. Real Climate says “hiding” was an unfortunate turn of phrase.(0942777075)
    * Letter to The Times from climate scientists was drafted with the help of Greenpeace.(0872202064)
    * Mann thinks he will contact BBC’s Richard Black to find out why another BBC journalist was allowed to publish a vaguely sceptical article. (1255352257)
    * Kevin Trenberth says they can’t account for the lack of recent warming and that it is a travesty that they can’t.(1255352257)
    * Tom Wigley says that Lindzen and Choi’s paper is crap.(1257532857)
    * Tom Wigley says that von Storch is partly to blame for sceptic papers getting published at Climate Research. Says he encourages the publication of crap science. Says they should tell publisher that the journal is being used for misinformation. Says that whether this is true or not doesn’t matter. Says they need to get editorial board to resign. Says they need to get rid of von Storch too. (1051190249)
    * Ben Santer says (presumably jokingly!) he’s “tempted, very tempted, to beat the crap” out of sceptic Pat Michaels. (1255100876)
    * Mann tells Jones that it would be nice to ‘”contain” the putative Medieval Warm Period’. (1054736277)
    * Tom Wigley tells Jones that the land warming since 1980 has been twice the ocean warming and that this might be used by sceptics as evidence for urban heat islands.(1257546975)
    * Tom Wigley say that Keith Briffa has got himself into a mess over the Yamal chronology (although also says it’s insignificant. Wonders how Briffa explains McIntyre’s sensitivity test on Yamal and how he explains the use of a less-well replicated chronology over a better one. Wonders if he can. Says data withholding issue is hot potato, since many “good”
    scientists condemn it.(1254756944)
    * Briffa is funding Russian dendro Shiyatov, who asks him to send money to personal bank account so as to avoid tax, thereby retaining money for research.(0826209667)
    * Kevin Trenberth says climatologists are nowhere near knowing where the energy goes or what the effect of clouds is. Says nowhere balancing the energy budget. Geoengineering is not possible.(1255523796)
    * Mann discusses tactics for screening and delaying postings at Real Climate.(1139521913)
    * Tom Wigley discusses how to deal with the advent of FoI law in UK. Jones says use IPR argument to hold onto code. Says data is covered by agreements with outsiders and that CRU will be “hiding behind them”.(1106338806)
    * Overpeck has no recollection of saying that he wanted to “get rid of the Medieval Warm Period”. Thinks he may have been quoted out of context. (1206628118)
    * Mann launches RealClimate to the scientific community.(1102687002)
    * Santer complaining about FoI requests from McIntyre. Says he expects support of Lawrence Livermore Lab management. Jones says that once support staff at CRU realised the kind of people the scientists were dealing with they became very supportive. Says the VC [vice chancellor] knows what is going on (in one case). (1228330629)
    * Rob Wilson concerned about upsetting Mann in a manuscript. Says he needs to word things diplomatically. (1140554230)
    * Briffa says he is sick to death of Mann claiming his reconstruction is tropical because it has a few poorly temp sensitive tropical proxies. Says he should regress these against something else like the “increasing trend of self-opinionated verbiage” he produces. Ed Cook agrees with problems. (1024334440)
    * Overpeck tells Team to write emails as if they would be made public. Discussion of what to do with McIntyre finding an error in Kaufman paper. Kaufman’s admits error and wants to correct. Appears interested in Climate Audit findings. (1252164302)
    * Jones calls Pielke Snr a prat.(1233249393)
    * Santer says he will no longer publish in Royal Met Soc journals if they enforce intermediate data being made available. Jones has complained to head of Royal Met Soc about new editor of Weather [why?data?] and has threatened to resign from RMS.(1237496573)
    * Reaction to McIntyre’s 2005 paper in GRL. Mann has challenged GRL editor-in-chief over the publication. Mann is concerned about the connections of the paper’s editor James Saiers with U Virginia [does he mean Pat Michaels?]. Tom Wigley says that if Saiers is a sceptic they should go through official GRL channels to get him ousted. (1106322460) [Note to readers – Saiers was subsequently ousted]
    * Later on Mann refers to the leak at GRL being plugged.(1132094873)
    * Jones says he’s found a way around releasing AR4 review comments to David Holland.(1210367056)
    * Wigley says Keenan’s fraud accusation against Wang is correct. (1188557698)
    * Jones calls for Wahl and Ammann to try to change the received date on their alleged refutation of McIntyre [presumably so it can get into AR4] (1189722851)
    * Mann tells Jones that he is on board and that they are working towards a common goal.(0926010576)
    * Mann sends calibration residuals for MBH99 to Osborn. Says they are pretty red, and that they shouldn’t be passed on to others, this being the kind of dirty laundry they don’t want in the hands of those who might distort it.(1059664704)
    * Prior to AR3 Briffa talks of pressure to produce a tidy picture of “apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data”. [This appears to be the politics leading the science] Briffa says it was just as warm a thousand years ago.(0938018124)
    * Jones says that UK climate organisations are coordinating themselves to resist FoI. They got advice from the Information Commissioner [!](1219239172)
    * Mann tells Revkin that McIntyre is not to be trusted.(1254259645)
    * Revkin quotes von Storch as saying it is time to toss the Hockey Stick . This back in 2004.(1096382684)
    * Funkhouser says he’s pulled every trick up his sleeve to milk his Kyrgistan series. Doesn’t think it’s productive to juggle the chronology statistics any more than he has. (0843161829)
    * Wigley discusses fixing an issue with sea surface temperatures in the context of making the results look both warmer but still plausible. (1254108338)
    * Jones says he and Kevin will keep some papers out of the next IPCC report.(1089318616)
    * Tom Wigley tells Mann that a figure Schmidt put together to refute Monckton is deceptive and that the match it shows of instrumental to model predictions is a fluke. Says there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model output by authors and IPCC.(1255553034)
    * Grant Foster putting together a critical comment on a sceptic paper. Asks for help for names of possible reviewers. Jones replies with a list of people, telling Foster they know what to say about the paper and the comment without any prompting.(1249503274)
    * David Parker discussing the possibility of changing the reference period for global temperature index. Thinks this shouldn’t be done because it confuses people and because it will make things look less warm. (1105019698)
    * Briffa discusses an sceptic article review with Ed Cook. Says that confidentially he needs to put together a case to reject it (1054756929)
    * Ben Santer, referring to McIntyre says he hopes Mr “I’m not entirely there in the head” will not be at the AGU. (1233249393)
    * Jones tells Mann that he is sending station data. Says that if McIntyre requests it under FoI he will delete it rather than hand it over. Says he will hide behind data protection laws. Says Rutherford screwed up big time by creating an FTP directory for Osborn. Says Wigley worried he will have to release his model code. Also discuss AR4 draft. Mann says paleoclimate chapter will be contentious but that the author team has the right personalities to deal with sceptics. (1107454306)
    And this list does not even include the “hide the decline” email! (Unless I missed it).

  125. Joel Shore:
    The goal of publishing such papers [DCPS] seems to be to issue press releases that then go beyond what is even claimed (on the basis of some quite blatant errors) in the original paper to make overarching statements about climate change…
    Heh, yes, that’s exactly what the ipcc does: 4AR – press releases to Public claiming “smoking gun” upcoming proving AGW, followed weeks later by SPM4 which releases alleged smoking gun conclusions without underlying paper, 4AR, which itself only appears a good 3 months later and has no validly scientific smoking guns in regard to what they first wanted to suggest to the Public.
    No one does this in conducting real Science.
    Now that’s a series of real smoking guns pointing right back at ipcc “science”.

  126. Andy Revkin (13:17:54) :
    This chronology missed the real first step, the email from S. Fred Singer, one of the authors, inviting me to consider covering the paper as an exclusive. As I always do with any paper, by anyone, I sent it around for vetting (shorthand: “scrubbing”). Here’s Fred’s note confirming this (he sent this to me today)
    ———–
    I’m intrigued by this “shorthand”; “scrubbing” for “vetting”, where the shorthand is actually two letters longer than the word it replaces. In fairness, in the original it was only “scrub”, which is two letters shorter than “vetting”.
    Well, obviously it’s not a very efficient shorthand, so maybe it’s jargon, but is it journalistic jargon or climate scientist jargon? And how do the twain happen to meet? And what are the connotations of “scrub” other than “clean” or “erase”?

  127. Eric (skeptic) says:

    For those interested in how minor an issue the calculation of the variance of the model ensembles is, here is more background: arxiv.org/pdf/0905.0445 Joel Shore’s argument is simply chaff to distract from numerous important differences in the approaches.

    I love how the sort of people who have been making mountains out of molehills for years (e.g., the Y2K bug that had essentially zero effect on the global temperature trend) are willing to dismiss complete and significant mathematical errors that in fact cause considerable change in the results when it is made by people who they like.
    I am personally rather agnostic as to whether differences in the tropical tropospheric amplification between models and data are statistically significant. There are simply too many problems with the various data sets to make a rigorous determination…or at least one that allows you to conclude anything about where the fault lies. The original work by Santer et al. back in 2005 ( http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;309/5740/1551), which I personally found more compelling than their more recent paper (and much better than the hopelessly flawed work of Douglass et al.) concluded at that time that there was a difference between the models and experimental data…and gave good reasons to suspect why the problem lay with residual problems with the data. (And, in fact, since that paper was published, an error in the UAH data was discovered and corrected that, while still not resolving the conflict with the models or with the RSS data set, certainly makes a significant step in that direction…See “Update 7 Aug 2005” in this file http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/data/msu/t2lt/readme.18Jul2009 for mention of the correction of this error which, as they note, most strongly affected the tropical trends.)
    However, this still doesn’t excuse all the flaws with the Douglass et al. paper, which vastly underestimated the uncertainty in the modeling results and also sidestepped the whole issue of problems with the data, even though those problems were well-known and indeed had led to a myriad of different data sets with various corrections applied. It was an extremely poor and biased piece of work and the press release and public pronouncements by the authors were a downright embarrassment.

  128. Joel Shore: “It was an extremely poor and biased piece of work and the press release and public pronouncements by the authors were a downright embarrassment.”
    Wow. Have you certainly outed yourself.
    You could have walked away from this on the high road and if you did all of us who are diametrically opposed to your own form of CAGW Newspeak bias, would say: Well, I don’t agree with Joel but I respect his fervor and scientific mind.
    But you blew it this time.
    Instead of commending Christy and Douglas for their meticulous approach [AND IT WAS….even if you did not agree with them]….you resort to THIS???
    How very unscientific of you.
    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  129. Joel Shore (18:23:49)
    “which I personally found more compelling than their more recent paper (and much better than the hopelessly flawed work of
    I am personally rather agnostic as to whether differences in the tropical tropospheric amplification between models and data are statistically significant. There are simply too many problems with the various data sets to make a rigorous determination”
    Observation: Pure personal rhetoric written in the most galling style. Besides which personal feelings are sentiments and you can’t extrapolate them to the level of truths. Its something of a doctrinaire mish mash, which is worse than chaff.
    i don’t find Christy and Douglas’s works personally more compelling. It is more objective. (PS> I garner that you’re not in a field related to climatology or temperature data analysis)

  130. Joel Shore states “I love how the sort of people who have been making mountains out of molehills for years (e.g., the Y2K bug that had essentially zero effect on the global temperature trend) are willing to dismiss complete and significant mathematical errors that in fact cause considerable change in the results when it is made by people who they like.”
    Looks like you have caught the RC disease since you can’t say the name “Steve McIntyre”. But you are wrong, SM did not dismiss the error, he noted it, he said Santer was correct to use Std dev and Douglass was not correct. However SM also noted that the other differences in methodology and use of data was much more important. At the time the RC spin (see Santer email above) was that RAOB 1.4 was the most important difference in the two methodologies, not std dev vs std err. Why? Because they figured that people wouldn’t notice that RAOB 1.4 used models to correct the radiosonde which was then used by Santer to validate the models. A perfect example of their reliance on circular reasoning (they’ve done the same with the satellite data as we’ve discussed here before).
    The problems with RAOB 1.4 had already been noticed by SM in his diamonds thread (link above). So step back a moment and take a look at the hypotheses of Douglass and Santer which were to test how well the instrumental record matches the mean of the models. Is model variance a more important component than the shape of the instrumental record curves in the upper atmosphere? Of course not. That is the whole reason that the original RC spin was curve shape not the model variance.
    Then you say: “I am personally rather agnostic as to whether differences in the tropical tropospheric amplification between models and data are statistically significant. There are simply too many problems with the various data sets to make a rigorous determination…or at least one that allows you to conclude anything about where the fault lies.”
    Of course you are not interested in the differences. You are here simply to poke random holes in Douglass et al, toss invective at Christy, and throw up whatever other chaff you can. You offer no science of your own, only Gavin’s latest spin and an unrelated analogy. But the real reason you are not interested in the differences is that the model hypothesis has failed.
    It is ironic that your quibble with Douglass is underestimated model variance. That is one of the main reasons that the climate models are so worthless. Your essential conclusion is that the models might show tropical tropo warming or they might not and thus will always match the instrumental record whether it shows warming or not.

  131. Eric (03:54:08)

    It is ironic that your quibble with Douglass is underestimated model variance. That is one of the main reasons that the climate models are so worthless.

    I’d say that the opposite is true, Eric. Climate models have successfully predicted many outcomes that were subsequently identified in the real world…however it would be an extraordinary model that predicted everything correctly, and an extraordinary set of models that produced tight agreement on everything; we should recognise variability where this exists (and quantitate it correctly if we wish to attempt robust interpretations!) and be rather happy about it in fact, since this provides a research focus. That’s why models are so extraordinarily useful (in all scientific endeavours).
    So it’s valuable to assess developments of the last 12-18 months in this field. Note that the apparent disparities between empirical (satellite/radiosondes) tropical trends and models have potential sources in the models and the empirical data. The early large discrepencies resulting from the horribly flawed UAH product and large radiosonde biases, were largely eliminated in favour of the models by the time of the 2008 Santer et al paper (everywhere but the tropics, largely). Recent work has is progressing towards resolving some of the remaining discrepancy:
    1. Continuing analyses of radiosonde biases has identified and corrected warm biases in the historical record due amongst other things to early deficiencies in efficient shielding of radiosondes from solar radiation, and so radisonde tropospheric trends are now closer to modelled trends.
    L. Haimberger (2008) Toward Elimination of the Warm Bias in Historic Radiosonde Temperature Records—Some New Results from a Comprehensive Intercomparison of Upper-Air Data Journal of Climate 21, 4587–4606
    2. And the radiosonde data in the tropical troposphere are still currently biased cold, although these aren’t yet robustly quantified. Note that the improved radiosonde homogenizations have been made independently of climate models (they use neighbour-based iterative breakpoint analysis or the background forecast (BG) temperature time series produced by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) 40-year series, or take into account wild-shear measurements):
    H. A. Titchner et al. (2009) Critically Reassessing Tropospheric Temperature Trends from Radiosondes Using Realistic Validation Experiments Journal of Climate 22, 465–485
    Sherwood SC et al. (2008) Robust Tropospheric Warming Revealed by Iteratively Homogenized Radiosonde Data J. Climate 21, 5336-5350
    3.In the meantime, analysis of satellite MSU temperature data with a data set filtered to match the coverage of the radiosonde data finds a close agreement between the RSS and the radiosonde data
    Mears CA, Wentz FJ (2009) Construction of the RSS V3.2 Lower-Tropospheric Temperature Dataset from the MSU and AMSU Microwave Sounders J Atmospheric Oceanic Technology 26, 1493-1509
    4. And analysis of new tropospheric (and stratospheric) temperature measures (thermal wind; GPS radio occulation), indicate tropospheric warming/ stratospheric cooling and warming/cooling across the tropopause, that are broadly consistent with the newly homogenized radiosonde data and with climate models.
    A. K. Steiner et al. (2009) Atmospheric temperature change detection with GPS radio occultation 1995 to 2008 Geophys. Res. Lett. 36, L18702
    P. W. Thorne (2008) Atmospheric science: The answer is blowing in the wind Nature Geoscience 1, 347 – 348
    5. And with respect to models, an analysis of the effects of ozone depletion on tropical upper troposperic temperatures, indicates that those models that take into account the small cooling contribution in the upper troposphere will likely produce a closer match to (improving!) tropical upper tropospheric temperature measures…
    P. M. Forster et al. (2007) Effects of ozone cooling in the tropical lower stratosphere and upper troposphere Geophys. Res. Lett., 34, L23813
    Shindell, D. (2008) Cool ozone Nat. Geosci., 1, 85–86
    Likely Douglass et al were premature in ascribing apparent discrepencies between tropical upper tropospheric temperature measures and models to statistically robust differences between model predictions and real world measurements. They’ve done the same in the past. As is often the case in research areas where novel experimental approaches with large potential errors are used to measure potentially small effects in the real world (see tropospheric water vapour content; ocean heat content measurement etc.), it’s best to wait just a little while to see how things develop.

  132. Odds and ends:
    To Joel Shore: Think of it this way. If several models all had a surface trend of +0.125 C/decade (as the real world had), what would the upper air trends of that set of models look like? The answer is they would have a very tight set of increasing trends as one ascended in the atmosphere, because the surface-troposphere relationship in models is quite rigid (has to do with radiative-convective schemes).
    Your suggestion on the amplification factor (AR, i.e. a normalized approach of calculating the ratio of upper air trends to surface ) is a good one, and has been done (see Christy et al. 2007 JGR). Here we see model ARs are much higher than observed ARs – same result as DCPS. Note, however, that by taking the mean of the model runs in DCPS, we in effect performed the normalization thanks to the fact the mean of the model surface trends indeed was close to the surface. Latest results show model ARs for LT and MT are 1.4 for both while that of observations is 0.8 (LT) and 0.5 (MT) – significantly different from models.
    This is of serious import because the lapse-rate feedback and associated atmospheric warming are crucial to depict properly for model integrations. Apparently, the real atmosphere finds ways (negative feedbacks) to expel the heat that models retain.
    There is quite a bit of literature on the precision of upper air datasets in which specific problems have been identified. Let me quote the most recent result from Bengtsson and Hodges (ECMWF) on MSU data “We have found that the data from UAH is more credible than the data from RSS.” Their paper will be published in Climate Dynamics soon.
    Revkin’s email was our starting point on the American Thinker piece. He did not do anything unusual here. He often forwards me (a relative skeptic) embargoed papers for comments when he is developing a story (see our notes on this in the appendix A). We began the story with his email because that was the first in the set of emails which mentioned the DCPS paper and it helps us establish a timeline. Revkin did not participate in the events following this early exchange.

  133. foinavon,
    “Climate models have successfully predicted many outcomes that were subsequently identified in the real world…”
    Some examples would be nice.

  134. foinavon (09:01:46)
    Are you saying that a instrument measurement that is below the model mean but falls within some variance is a successful match? What are you trying to compare?
    Second, it’s nice that you implicitly acknowledge the fallacy of adjusting an instrument (satellite or radiosonde) using a model, then using the adjusted instrument to validate (another) model. Your point 2 does that, so why not come out and state that RAOB 1.4 should not be used to validate models the way Santer did (and Douglass refused to do)? IMO, that is the main problem with Santer and the original team defense of Santer until they changed it.
    As pointed out in the Diamonds thread (link above), the Sherwood nearest neighbor adjustments tend to spread bad data from one sensor to others. SM notes that the approach of taking all the data with no consideration of physics or metadatat and putting it through a homogenization meat grinder is common to climate studies but may create as many problems as it solves.
    The work by Mears looks reasonable at least for satellites: http://www.remss.com/msu/msu_browse.html It uses physical principles rather than a model for adjustments. I don’t have any information on his radiosonde work, hopefully he did the same and eschewed the use of a model.
    On your point 4, “broad consistency” seems like a vague term to describe a model to instrument match. Thorne has tried for years to produce data consistent with the modeled tropical tropospheric hot spot, It is no surprise that his wind shear theory matches the model, but it is just a theory with no way to independently validate it. In general I am not impressed by numbers of peer reviewed analysis that confirm the tropospheric hot spot after seeing the way peer review has been (not) working.
    My opinion matches yours “Likely Douglass et al were premature in ascribing apparent discrepencies between tropical upper tropospheric temperature measures and models to statistically robust differences between model predictions and real world measurements. They’ve done the same in the past. …it’s best to wait just a little while to see how things develop.”
    Except you apparently don’t want to wait a while for better support for the hot spot, since you seem to have no problems with anything on the list you gave. One of the hallmarks of unbiased science is to describe both strengths and weaknesses of approaches even in short blurbs like yours and I see no evidence of that. It’s all good, it all supports the models, it proves robustness, etc. But (for example) one can more easily say Thorne is premature than Douglass is premature.

  135. Dr. Christy,
    I appreciate your response to my posts. Here are my replies:
    (1) I do appreciate your point about the amplification factor being what is most important. And, I understand that both the way that things were done in DCPS (i.e., using the standard error instead of the standard deviation) and the way things would be done if one divided the surface (or near-surface) temperature trend would tend to take things in the same direction (i.e., to provide a tighter uncertainty on the model results). However, I think that the way that you did it in DCPS was incorrect and uncontrolled…and if it gets a result anywhere close to what one gets by doing it the other way, it is only by shear luck. (If there were a thousand different models rather than ~20, this would be even more obvious!) At any rate, my impression (without having done the calculation) is that your method turns out to estimate the uncertainty in the models to be smaller than the correct method and hence exaggerates any discrepancy between models and data.
    (2) When you say, “Latest results show model ARs for LT and MT are 1.4 for both while that of observations is 0.8 (LT) and 0.5 (MT)”, how are you dealing with the issue of contamination from the stratospheric trend, which I think everyone agrees is a potential problem for the MT and some (Fu et al) argued might still be a problem for your LT results, although I know that that is controversial?
    (3) I understand that you favor your own UAH results over RSS regarding the remaining discrepancy and that some others have agreed with you. However, given all the issues that have plagued these satellite data analyses over the years, it seems to me that caution is warranted in concluding which data set has the more accurate tropical tropospheric trend.
    (4) I don’t really understand your statement, “This is of serious import because the lapse-rate feedback and associated atmospheric warming are crucial to depict properly for model integrations. Apparently, the real atmosphere finds ways (negative feedbacks) to expel the heat that models retain.” As you know, the lapse-rate feedback is a negative feedback in the models and the most direct result of any claim that the tropical tropospheric amplification is absent would be that this negative feedback is being overestimated by the models…i.e., that the surface would have to warm more than the models think it has to warm in order to warm the effective emitting layer enough to restore radiative balance in response to a radiative forcing. Admittedly, since a lot of the same physics controls the lapse rate feedback and the water vapor feedback, the lack of amplification could indicate something wrong with our understanding of the latter too, although the train to that conclusion is more indirect…and also has to be considered in light of the other evidence showing the upper troposphere tending to moisten as predicted (most definitively for temperature fluctuations on the monthly to yearly scales and with the usual caveat concerning data analysis on the multidecadal timescales).
    (5) I also think that one should be cautious in drawing conclusions about the models based on these discrepancies between model (or surface temp record, depending on your point of view) and satellite and radiosonde analyses. As foinavon has pointed out, the history of your analysis and the subsequent corrections to it along with a longer data record has been for most of the discrepancies to be resolved in favor of the models / surface record. I find it disappointing that no matter how much of the discrepancy gets resolved in favor of the models, the rhetoric about how the models must be seriously wrong because of any remaining discrepancy doesn’t seem to get tempered by any humility based on this past history. I find it even more frustrating when comments are made (which I am glad that you have not made here) that imply that the tropospheric amplification is some sort of “fingerprint” of the warming being due to greenhouse gases and hence that any lack of amplification suggests the warming seen is due to some other mechanism. (I do agree that lack of such amplification, if real, might have important implications for feedback processes.)
    (6) I think an important point from the Santer et al. (2005) paper does not get sufficient emphasis, which is that the observational data from both satellites and radiosondes do in fact show the expected tropical tropospheric amplification for the fluctuations on timescales of months to a few years…and this data is robust to the sort of issues that plague the data for the multidecadal trends. It is only for the multidecadal trends, where the observational data is most susceptible to artifacts, that there is a deviation of that observation data (at least in some analyses) from the predictions. This point suggests the problem could very well be in the data and also severely constrains the ways in which the models could potentially be wrong if indeed the observational data is saying that they are wrong on those multidecadal timescales. I’d be curious whether you even have any hypotheses of how the models could be wrong that would result in such behavior? Most ways in which one might imagine the models not handling convection correctly, for example, would seem to imply the discrepancies should show up on the shorter timescales too.
    Again, I appreciate your taking the time to respond to my questions and comments!

  136. Eric (skeptic) (13:29:40) :
    Not really Eric. I’m suggesting (i) that we should really wait until the problems with upper tropospheric temperature measures over the tropics have been sorted out before attempting categorical conclusions about the relationships between model predictions and real world measurements in this specific instance (tropical upper tropospheric temperature trends), and (ii) that even in the 18 months since the Douglass and Santer papers were published, significant progress has been made in this respect (see papers cited in my post just above; not just in relation to measurements, but also in the refinement of models to incorporate a likely small cooling efect of ozone depletion in the upper troposphere).
    An earlier study along these lines illustrates the problem of jumping to erroneous conclusions based on premature acceptance of the apparent reliability of observations. The same group of authors (some of) made similar grand pronouncements a few years ago on the relationship between empirical and modeled tropospheric temperatures [*]:

    “From the general agreement in amplitude and phase of these three data sets we infer that the methodologies of all are essentially correct and free from harmful errors”

    However we know that two of the data sets (the UAH tropospheric temperature data and the radiosonde data), were actually incorrect and plagued by “harmful errors”. They then concluded, based on their false confidence in the reliability of their data sets:

    “The implication of this conclusion is that the temperature of the surface and the temperature of the air above the surface are changing at different rates due to some unknown mechanism.”

    However now that the biases and errors in the radiosonde and UAH tropospheric temperature measures are identified, we know that the temperature of the air above the surface is changing pretty much as expected. So we don’t, in fact, have to postulate any “unknown mechanisms” after all..
    This illustrates a fundamental aspect of the relationship between models and observations in science, namely that one can’t establish the reliability of a model with respect to empirical observation until one has established that the empirical observations are robust. Far better to use any apparent disparity to develop some insightful experiments or analyses (such as those I cited above) to address the issue. That’s where models (which are essentially a formalised encapsulation of current understanding of a phenomenon) are so useful in science…
    [*] Douglass et al (2004) Disparity of tropospheric and surface temperature trends: New evidence, Geophys. Res. Lett. 31, L13207

  137. Vincent (10:53:06) :
    There are lots of examples Vincent. [1] It’s particularly impressive that early global circulation models from 2 decades ago predicted the broad elements of heat distribution in a greenhouse-forced warming. The focus of warming in the northern latitudes, and the absence of heating in the Antarctic circumpolar region in the early periods of a greenhouse forced warming was predicted in simulations run in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s.
    Bryan K et al. (1988) Interhemispheric asymmetry in the transient-response of a coupled ocean atmosphere model to a CO2 forcing. J. Phys. Oceanography 18, 851-867.
    Manabe S et al. (1992) Transient responses of a coupled ocean atmosphere model to gradual changes of atmospheric CO2 .2. Seasonal response J. Climate 5, 105-126
    [2] The general response of the global surface temperature to enhanced greenhouse forcing was correctly predicted (somewhat fortuitiously, possibly given the very early days!) as early as the mid 1970’s and formalised GCM models set up in the mid 1980’s and projected into the following several decades have done a pretty good job in predicting the subsequent temperature evolution:
    Broecker, WS (1975) Climate Change: Are we on the brink of a pronounced global warming? Science 189, 460-463
    J. Hanson et al (1998) Global climate changes as forecast by goddard institute for space studies 3-dimensional model J. Geophys. Res. 93: 9341-936
    see for an update: J. Hansen et al. (2006) Global temperature change Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 103, 14288-14293
    [3] The effect of greenhouse warming in enhancing the water vapour concentration in the upper troposphere was long predicted by models, before this was conclusively demonstrated around 2005 and in the following years, even while one rather prominent scientists were asserting that greenhouse warming would cause the upper troposphere to dry!
    I. Held and B. Soden (2000) Water vapor feedback and global warming Annu. Rev. Energy Environ. 25, 441
    [4] As we’ve already seen (see posts above on this thread), models long predicted that greenhouse warming would cause a warming of the upper troposphere, even during a period of more than a decade when erroneous satellite measures apparently showed little upper tropospheric warming and even cooling.
    [5] And models predicted stratospheric cooling in a greenhouse-warming world…they predicted that the night-time warming would be larger than day-time warming….they predicted that tropsopheric water vapour concentrations would vary so as to maintain roughly constant relative humidity (real world data is consistent with this expectation, but it’s probably too early to say that this is yet a robust conclusion)….models did a rather good job of predicting the magnitude and temporal response of the Pinatubo eruption.
    [6] Climate models have done a pretty good job of predicting the warming response of atmospheric circulation; e.g. :
    Vecchi GA (2006) Weakening of tropical Pacific atmospheric circulation due to anthropogenic forcing Nature 441, 73-76
    And the latitudinal distribution of changes in precipitation trends in a greenhouse –warmed world:
    Zhang XB et al. (2008) Detection of human influence on twentieth-century precipitation trends Nature 448, 461-464
    …etc. etc.

  138. foinavon, you state “The same group of authors (some of) made similar grand pronouncements a few years ago on the relationship between empirical and modeled tropospheric temperatures”. But I can’t help noticing other groups of authors making grand pronouncements about model validation and thus catastrophic AGW. One specific example is Santer et al 2003 tropopause height rising paper with the announcement “A team of scientists, including several from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), has determined that human-related emissions are largely responsible for an increase in the height of the tropopause–…” comparing their models to the measurements. Apples to apples, same amount of grandness as Douglass.
    As I said above, I’ll let the experts adjust the radiosonde and satellites using physical principles. I’m not as interested in statistics using the full data set without metadata. I am not at all interested in Leopold-style model-based adjustments which are then used to validate (other) models. After the adjustments we can finally get a paper from Douglass comparing model means to the measurements provided that the team doesn’t block publication. I assume you’ve given up on the idea that measurements lying within model standard deviations are ok even when they don’t match the mean.
    As for your final statement “That’s where models (which are essentially a formalised encapsulation of current understanding of a phenomenon) are so useful in science” The models are not at all an “encapsulation” of climate-inducing phenomenon. The biggest failure is their inability to simulate weather due to their insufficient granularity. In fact this very topic, tropospheric warming, depends on convection which must be modeled on a mesoscale to have a shred of a hope of determining what kind of water vapor feedback will exist in the tropics. Then they need to do the same for temperate zones since those have negative water vapor feedback. Then the models must cover the planet as a whole to determine the boundaries of tropical and temperate zones. Without all of those results the models are not useful at all.

  139. VIncent, I haven’t studied the rest of the papers, but the Soden paper uses a climate model to determine the UT water vapor because it uses satellite measurements of temperature, not water vapor. This was done because the longer satellite records are needed to look for multi-decade trends. Now newer satellites measure water vapor directly with active soundings.
    So the Soden paper was a clear case of using a model to adjust (or in this case determine) an atmospheric parameter, then using the parameter to confirm the model. Circular reasoning.

  140. foinavon,
    thank you for taking the time to compile a list of model successes. I would caution however, of falling into the “prosecutors fallacy” – because A causes B, then if B is observed, it proves A was the cause. For example,
    1)The prediction that CO2 leads to higher warming in high latitudes, which has been observed does not prove that CO2 caused this warming. This can equally be accounted for by PDO cycles and other long term climatic phenomena.
    2)”GCM models set up in the mid 1980’s and projected into the following several decades have done a pretty good job in predicting the subsequent temperature evolution”.
    Only up until 1998, and then fail to predict. This is evidence against said models.
    3)”The effect of greenhouse warming in enhancing the water vapour concentration in the upper troposphere was long predicted by models.”
    Prosecutor fallacy again. That water vapour increases with warming is a known physical law (Clausius-Clapeyeron). Therefore to argue that model predictions of increased water vapour when the temperature rises, are evidence that the warming is caused by CO2 is illogical.
    4)You say the upper troposphere warmed but satellites that showed this not to be happening were erroneous. I am not sure about this. From what I read of the scientific literature, there seems to be a lot of disagreement in this area, depending on who you talk to.
    5)”Models predicted stratospheric cooling.” True, but according to Lindzen and Choi, the stratosphere does not cool when the surface warms. Their paper concludes that the radiation escapes into space, contrary to the model predictions.
    5b)”they predicted that tropsopheric water vapour concentrations would vary so as to maintain roughly constant relative humidity”
    This is a repeat of point 3) above.
    6) “Climate models have done a pretty good job of predicting the warming response of atmospheric circulation; e.g. :
    Vecchi GA (2006) Weakening of tropical Pacific atmospheric circulation due to anthropogenic forcing”
    Again, we see the assumption that the weakening of atmospheric circulation is due to anthopogenic forcing, when in reality, there is no way this conclusion can be reached.
    I leave you with a quote from Roger Pielke sr. who states that models do not have predictive skill.

  141. Vincent (04:27:03),
    Now that you’ve corrected foinavon, don’t expect him to accept reality. He will simply move the goal posts. I’ve seen it happen time and again when he shows up here. When someone is afflicted with cognitive dissonance, it doesn’t matter that the flying saucers didn’t arrive as predicted. Rather than accept the possibility that there never were any flying saucers, alarmists like foinavon simply re-schedule the arrival time.

  142. Eric (skeptic), Vincent
    “The models are not at all an “encapsulation” of climate-inducing phenomenon. The biggest failure is their inability to simulate weather due to their insufficient granularity.”
    I’m way out of my own field in looking at atmosphere thermodynamics in the context of climate. However a question occurred to me – does climate modeling regard the inversion boundary between troposphere and stratosphere as flat and stable? Would it make any difference if one allowed it to be complex showing turbulence and a fractal surface? I remember reading about some work on simulating a supernova, in particular the wave of fusion and heavy-element creation expanding outwards from the supernova core. Attempts to make a computer simulation this proved intractable until the nature of the advancing wave was allowed to be turbulent and fractal rather than an onion-like simple concentric ring. If atmospheric boundaries such as troposphere / stratosphere were turbulent and fractal rather than flat this might for instance increase the radiative/convective surface and influence the amount of heat transfer? (or not?) Just a thought.

  143. Phlog, you are way beyond my expertise. My information is that most models have a dozen or less vertical layers, so the tropo-strato boundary is going to be modeled with a very broad brush. That doesn’t preclude a submodel or a fancy parameterization that uses something like what you describe. But finite element or grid box models aren’t really compatible with equations for spatial boundaries (fractal or not) because the former is discrete and the latter is continuous.
    There is a tendency by modelers particularly physicists to develop elegant models like what you describe, but which don’t adequately address the other parts of the problem like how the heat gets up to that boundary with radiation (easier and potentially elegant) and convection (physically messy, hard to model elegantly, etc).

  144. I haven’t read all of the comments, but so far one point missing is that these dishonest whores are all feeding at the tax trough. Thus, for those who understand that stealing is evil, it is no surprise that thieves will also lie, especially when their lies are an excuse to engage in more stealing (cap’n trade).
    What is most amazing is all the folks who are most amazed that government whores will tell lies. To repeat the point: anyone who would live by stealing from you would not hesitate to lie to you. Ten-year-olds understand this. It takes years of higher education to get them to forget it. It takes a graduate degree to get them to believe that a “consensus” of tax-suckers is a guide to scientific truth.
    The big surprise here is that this scandal is a big surprise.

  145. Eric (skeptic) (19:54:45)
    According to your helpful characterisation of the model situation, we would indeed be looking at parameterisation of heat transfer at the boundary. Complexity or turbulence at the boundary, if found to be present, could lead via some simulation of a submodel, to some revised parameters for tropo-strato heat transfer. (One could even – shock horror! – make experimental measurements to find out the nature of the boundary.) It would certainly not be appropriate to add such a level of detail to the whole model.
    According to Dr Christy, “the real atmosphere finds ways (negative feedbacks) to expel the heat that models retain.” A tropo-strato boundary assumed to be flat and placid but in fact turbulent and quasi-fractal with a much larger surface area for exchange, might (speculatively) address such a discrepancy.

  146. Final Post (Response to Joel Shore and others).
    (1) Our question was simple: do trends of observations agree with the models’ best estimate (i.e. model average following IPCC analogy). The best estimate requires SE – a consequence of the central limit theorem. The best estimate is a single value (for each level) accompanied by an error estimate of its magnitude (SE), it is not a spread of individual realizations. If the sample size is large (thousands) there will be virtually no error in the value of the best estimate. We purposefully did not test the spread for the simple reason of the inconsistency of surface trends between most models and observations (though we did test the spread for amplification ratios in another exercise and found models inconsistent with observations). Perhaps this is all just a matter of terminology – DCPS tested the best estimate for absolute trend magnitudes. And, as we’ve always stated, it was fortunate that the average (or best estimate) of models’ surface trend matched the observed surface trend. Without this outcome, we could not have directly compared upper air trends in an apples to apples comparison (though we could have selected a subset of models with the correct average surface trend – but the result would be the same.) There are a couple of models that are close to observations and we hope to report on those next year.
    (2) MT has about 10 percent stratospheric weighting in the observations and in models. Again, apples to apples. Some like to use MT for the ratio, which is their prerogative, and the numbers are even worse for models when using MT.
    (3) Only a few studies have actually dug into the errors and their causes. Other studies, often cited, do not – they prefer democracy rather than employing known information about problems – see details in Christy and Norris 2006, Christy et al. 2007, Randal and Herman 2008, Bengtsson and Hodges 2009, Sakamoto and Christy 2009, and Christy and Norris 2009. RAOBCORE and RSS have problems that can be demonstrated and explained (see papers).
    (4) I didn’t explain it well. Feedback includes more than the lapse-rate and water vapor, both of which need to be correct in their own right, but are convolved with the following. Cloud distribution responses have been shown to provide a dominant source of negative feedback in the tropics (See Spencer and Braswell’s work). Lindzen shows a bit of this in his GRL paper this year. I would encourage you to contact Roy Spencer for the latest in this area. Models show a positive feedback here (i.e. in models, cloud coverage shrinks with warming allowing sun to heat the earth/troposphere, observations show cloud coverage expands with warming episodes and acts as a thermostat to cool the earth – see Spencer’s results.)
    (5) See (3). As errors are resolved (which for a number of datasets creates cooler trends), models are not looking any better, but worse in our analyses. They also look worse as time has gone on with only modest warming trends in the observed data updated to the present. More will be coming out next year on this. Please note that no upper air dataset has been scrutinized more than UAH’s, especially by those who find its result objectionable – which is good for everyone in the long run. We’ve generated new versions when we and others (in two cases) discover various problems. As time goes on, the confidence intervals shrink. It is interesting that Bengtsson and Hodges of the ECMWF concluded that UAH was more credible than RSS for temperature trends.
    (6) The observed atmosphere reveals an amplification factor on shorter time scales that is larger than seen on longer time scales according to several of the latest observational studies (see strong evidence in Klotzbach et al. 2009.) Models are simpler in this regard due, I suspect, to simplistic thermodynamics (convective adjustment) and cloud physics, and show consistent amplification factors throughout time scales.
    Merry Christmas 2009

  147. Dr. Christy,
    Thank you for your response.

    (1) Our question was simple: do trends of observations agree with the models’ best estimate (i.e. model average following IPCC analogy). The best estimate requires SE – a consequence of the central limit theorem. The best estimate is a single value (for each level) accompanied by an error estimate of its magnitude (SE), it is not a spread of individual realizations. If the sample size is large (thousands) there will be virtually no error in the value of the best estimate.

    I appreciate the notion of trying to address simple questions, but I usually find it most useful to address simple questions for which there is actual disagreement on what the answer is likely to be. If you can find anyone who believes that the observations should agree with the model results to within the SE, then please let me know. The IPCC doesn’t believe this ***even for the forced component of the climate response*** (as is very clear from their estimated likely range of the climate sensitivity in comparison to the models’ range of climate sensitivities).
    And, of course, that leaves aside the issue of the difference between only the forced component and the entire climate response, which includes also the internal variability…I.e., to find someone who believes the SE is the relevant thing to compare to the real climate system, you will presumably have to find someone who believes that the single flip of a die is going to give a value within, say, 0.001 of 3.5 because a simple numerical simulation of die flipping can easily determine the best estimate for the average value to at least that small of an SE. My prediction is that such a person will not be easy to find.
    I’ll leave it there…as the rest of our discussion basically revolves around issues of data precision and analysis that will presumably become clearer over time and I think we have both stated our personal opinions over how it is likely to be resolved, but ultimately nature will be the arbiter.
    Happy holidays to you and all!

  148. Joel Shore (11:28:35)
    Just how far wrong do you see the models as being? If it is far enough, then we can all agree and be a happy family!
    Happy Christmas and New Year indeed!

  149. Phlog, I would be happy enough if the models would show flat temperatures for the next decade or so in their range of estimates. Perhaps Joel can point out a study showing model results that contain flat or declining temperatures in the next decade within their range of potential scenarios. If not, then we either we are guaranteed warmer climate or the models or their estimated variances are wrong!

  150. The models do in general predict that it should not be particularly unusual to find periods of 10…or even 15… years with little trend or even a small negative trend. See, for example, this paper: http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/csi/images/GRL2009_ClimateWarming.pdf Of course, predicting when these periods will occur would mean predicting the specific trajectory that the climate system takes, including internal variability, which is very sensitive to the initial conditions. So, the models give us guidance on the general statistics of the variability but not exactly when a particular short-term trend will occur.

  151. Joel Shore,
    The model statistics on variability don’t qualify as guidance on the climates variability. The climate has ENSO and multidecadal oscillations which the models cannot yet reproduce. This shows that the models have more problems in matching observed climate trajectories than just poor data on initial conditions. Authors and peer reviewers are rather cavalier in allowing conclusions that the model results relate to the climate. Models results are assumed to relate to the climate. Apparently no amount of correlated error from diagnostic studies or failures to reproduce important climate phenomena and modes will temper their hubris. Models don’t match the climate or each other well enough to shed quantitative insight on a radiative imbalance this small, where we don’t even know whether the net feedback to CO2 forcing is positive or negative and where the climate sensitivity to CO2 may be as low as 0.5 to 1.5 degrees C rather than in the models ranges of 2 to 4+ degrees C.

  152. Eric (skeptic) (14:58:42)
    The comment was only half-serious although the New Year greeting is sincere!

  153. Joel, initial conditions is a red herring. It does not matter in the slightest what conditions the weather is in in order to properly model weather for a climate model. If you want to predict weather, that’s obviously a different story. But the models for weather (e.g. in a tropics slightly warmed by CO2) won’t care what conditions they start in, any will do.
    After that, the weather will start to impact the multi-year and multi-decade cycles in ocean currents and associated large scale weather patterns. Those will depend on initial conditions and will impact the short term model predictions. But unlike the chaotic weather initial conditions, those are large scale, easy to measure, and easy to input to the models.

  154. Eric,
    Well…If you believe that, you should write it up and submit it for publication. Because in fact, the scientists in the field are struggling with the initial conditions issue in terms of being able to make short term climate predictions. And, they even struggle to predict the El Nino conditions several months in advance. I don’t think it is a red herring at all.

  155. Joel Shore,
    Lack of detailed enough data on actual conditions, especially ocean state might be a legitimate excuse for not being able to predict ENSO and multi-decadal oscillations, but it does not excuse being unable to reproduce the climate behaviors. The issue is not one of mere lack of synchrony with the climate state, but lack of skill in reproducing the behaviors over centuries of simulated time independent of the current state of the climate.

  156. Martin,
    What behaviors over centuries are you talking about? I think there is still too much uncertainty in both the temperature data and the forcings to say how well the climate models replicate the past climate over century scales. A better test is actually the longer scale glacial – interglacial changes where the signal for both the temperature data and forcings is large enough that there is less uncertainty.

  157. Joel, I can fairly easily predict El Nino conditions for the next few days because I can use current measurements and a huge amount of ocean current inertia, and then I can simply add on the predicted surface weather (winds) which will perturb those currents. Predicting a few weeks gets hairy because of the unpredictability of weather, all I have is inertia and overlapping extrapolated cycles.
    As we know weather doesn’t have to be predicted for climate simulations, just accurately modelled. The same is true for El Nino except on its much larger time scale. The overlapping cyclical nature of El Nino will appear once it is properly modelled, if not, we need to fix the model. There will be multi-decade cycles on PDO with multi-year El Ninos within those that will appear in the model.
    The initial conditions needed for weather prediction are small scale, but they are not necessary for convergence to realistic weather patterns. For example, I can start with clear sky, pole to pole and within just a few days my weather simulation will be realistic. I could freeze the western hemisphere from the equator to one pole and, provided the ice isn’t too thick I would have realistic weather for that season world wide within a few weeks or perhaps a few months and my climate model would run fine by that point. Initial conditions simply do not matter.
    El Nino is longer scale which is perhaps deceptive when considering the impact of initial conditions. But the same principles apply on a large time scale. I can start with the one ocean hemisphere in a wild and crazy state, say the NH Pacific with a 50 knot clockwise current. But relatively soon the current would quiet and it’s influence on weather would become more normal at the same time that the (properly modelled) weather would normalize the current. Over the course of a year (probably less) the climate would revert to natural patterns. Predictable patterns? No absolutely not, but normal ones. Once again initial conditions don’t matter.
    The upshot is a proper climate model will contain the mix of cycles matching what we see in nature. With one caveat of course, external events. That would be modelled by inputting a variety of potential events at different time and scales. This is not as hard as it sounds since we can assume a lot of latitudinal banding of volcanic emissions for example.
    Those events will produce a variety of scenarios. If any given model scenario does not match reality given a particular external event or set of events, then that is model error, not a lack of initial conditions. For example if a particular volcano triggers an El Nino, but the model doesn’t pick it up, that is model error.

  158. Joel, I don’t know if you are still around. It is certainly true that initial conditions matter for weather prediction as well as for El Nino prediction since both are chaotic processes. But a climate model does not need to predict weather, nor does it need to predict El Nino. It simply needs to model both with minimal model error. The fact that 3-6 month El Nino predictions are of poor quality should not preclude climate model fidelity over longer time scales.
    Regarding weather, climate models do not have sufficient vertical and horizontal resolution to accurately model convection which particularly in the tropics is the determiner for water vapor feedback. To some extent they can make up for this by using submodels with higher resolution although it is difficult to determine the boundaries between tropical and subtropical processes which behave differently and interaction between the two. Another way to deal with the model error is to use real world observations, but once again the observed water vapor feedback can be both positive and negative (tropical / subtropical) and modulated by moisture transport (primarily tropical to subtropical). It is very difficult to incorporate such observations into a model.
    Some questions I would pose to anyone is what is the role of model resolution or model error in modeling El Nino? Also if there are people familiar with the models, do they show cycles similar to the natural ones? Are there ways to utilize submodels? Are there ways to incorporate long time-scale El Nino observations into the models?

Comments are closed.